Lynne's Blog

Housing Market Optimism  

Our housing market is bouncing back!  FNMA (Fannie Mae) survey shows there is growing optimism. Number of closings are up and inventory is down.  We have had a number of multiple offers on properties for sale - we have represented both buyers and sellers this year in such situations. This is the formula for a rising market. 


Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill has ranked #8 in  Real Age's top 10 list of the "youngest" cities in America, metropolitan areas with such healthy lifestyles that on average their residents are physically at least two years younger than their chronological age, and many are years younger than that. RealAge analyzed data from the largest 50 metropolitan areas to compile the rankings.

Get an infographic of the 10 youngest and oldest cities hereFor the complete ranking of America's 50 Youngest and Oldest Cities, please visit here.


The New Offer to Purchase & Contract for North Carolina 

You may have heard or read that there have been some major changes to the 2011 Offer to Purchase & Contract.  In some ways, the 2011 OPC is simpler, with fewer blanks to fill in.  Buyers and Sellers will know what’s “at stake” for them, and important contract terms are now clearly defined. However, there are several new provisions to which Buyers and Sellers accustomed to the “old” agreement form are well-advised to pay special attention.  

1/ During an agreed-upon (new) Due Diligence Period,” buyers will have the opportunity to investigate the property and the transaction to decide whether he and /or she will proceed with or terminate the contract. Prior to the expiration of the Due Diligence Period, the buyer may terminate the contract for any reason or no reason. That raises the question:

What’s a fair period of time to give a buyer to make a decision? The buyer typically would like for this date to fall as close to the closing as possible and the seller typically would like for this date to come sooner in the process.

Read More

Carrboro Celebrates Bicycle Award 

The Town of Carrboro recently received the Bicycle Friendly Community Silver designation from the League of American Bicyclists.  Carrboro was one of 27 cities and towns in the country that are recognized by the League at the silver level and the first town in North Carolina.  Only two communities in the southeastern U.S. have achieved silver or higher.  The Bicycle Friendly Community Program provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling.  A Bicycle Friendly Community welcomes cyclists by providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation.  Chapel Hill, NC, received the bronze award.  Read More

Interest Rate "Float Downs" - Loan Officer Answers Your Question 

 It seems perfectly logical!  You apply for a loan and soon after the rates drop, so why can't the lender just give you the new rate?  As in anything, what is seemingly simple on the surface to someone on the "outside" of any business is often way more complicated and not easily understood.  Here is great information on Interest Rate Float Downs from a local loan officer...when you can and when you can't get a lower rate after already having made loan applicaton....

Triangle area's Unemployment Rate Improved over 2009 

 Following up on the article from Forbes that lists the Triangle area as the number 1 area likely to rebound the fastest from the recession, it appears that the unemployment rate in The Triangle has improved by 1.1% since 2009. 

The Triangle Business Journal says:  "Economic conditions appear to have improved at least marginally in the Raleigh-Durham area since June 2009. The Triangle unemployment rate in June 2009 was 9.1 percent. In July of 2010, the rate had dropped to 8 perccent.    See full article from the Triangle Business Journal:   Economists group says recession ended in June 2009 - Triangle Business Journal

The Triangle area in NC again comes in on top of real estate news! 

               Forbes sponsored a study of the real estate markets in the country and once again, the Triangle area comes out on top! This research was to investigate which real estate markets would be most likely to appreciate and why. The Triangle’s diverse job market in growth industries is cited as the main reason why the area was selected.

Money Magazine ranks Durham #1 for Retirees! 

 Durham tops this year's Money Magazine list for Best Places to Retire!  The magazine cites Durham's cultural offerings, Duke University's learning in retirement programs and its temperate southern climate among other things.  The photo to the left is of one of Durham's earlier tobacco warehouse renovation projects, Brightleaf Square, a complex of shops and restaurants in the heart of downtown Durham.  Click here for the full Money Magazine article!


North Carolina has 2nd lowest closing costs in country! cites North Carolina as having the 2nd best mortgage closing costs in the country!  Check this out:


An INTEREST ing Rate Chart from 1972 to 2010 

 Here is a chart showing the history of interest rates since 1972. They are currently the best they will most likely be especially since, come March 31st the government’s program to buy mortgage backed securities will be ending and all economists are predicting rates to go up after that. With the rates where they are and home prices being held down and with the IRS’s tax credits expiring APRIL 30th (for written contracts to close by July 1st), there is little time to spare to find a home! Use our search function to see what might be of interest to you and then email us or call us to assist you in your search. Chart provided courtesy of John Tyrrell of Chapel Hill NC.   Click on "Read More" below to see graph showing rates from 1972 to present...


Is your townhouse protected with fire insurance or not? 

 Beware townhouse owners!  Check with your Homeowners Association or Property Management Company to see if your townhome's structure is properly insured in case of fire!  You may think you are insured but there are more and more HOAs not covering property insurance - just liability on common area.

Buy a House and Fix it UP! 

 Live in the Chapel Hill, Orange, Durham, Wake or Chatham County NC area? Get a regular conventional loan and renovate your “new” house! As little as 5% down plus closing costs may be all it takes if the loan is under conforming loan limits ($417,000). Closing costs and interests rates are a little higher than a loan without the renovation money included.   Or get an FHA loan with only 3.5% down (closing costs and rates are also a little more than non-renovation loans). FHA loans, while requiring less down payment, have loan amount restrictions based on county location.  See how this works...


Renovations Help Sellers Sell and Make Money – Get a Renovation and Repair Loan! 


 FOR SELLERS:  Considering selling soon? Don’t have the cash to update? Here is a story of a seller who couldn’t sell their house at their $420,000 listed price but after $30,000 of renovations sold it for $495,000 - the first week back on the market. And now there is a Renovation Loan available to help sellers update their houses so they too can make more money!

See the "AFTER"!...

A story about friendship I learned from my seller 

My seller is constrained in a wheelchair by MS. But he can tell a good story! He can keep me laughing! Over a glass of wine one night he tells the story about his dog and adopted friend. Who says buyers and sellers can't find a ways to get along?  Take a lesson from the animal kingdom...

Sellers and Buyers become friends 

 I had the good fortune to be introduced this year to people needing to sell their home here in Chapel Hill NC. He has had MS for over 30 years but has not lost his ability to tell jokes, carry on wonderful conversations or smile. Despite all the workload falling on her, she too was always smiling and looking at the positive. We sold their house after only 5 days on the market and like most sales these days had a bit of a tough negotiation but in the end seemed to get a fair price for both sides. But at that point they were only names on the contract. Not faces. Not real people. Then life took over…

Buying and Selling. Competition or Cooperation? 


Buyer agency. Seller agency. Winning. Losing. Getting a deal. Can both sides walk away feeling good about the sale? In this world of “Survivor” or “The Biggest Loser” it seems that someone has to lose for someone to win. What happened to the notion that BOTH parties can win? You have lived a life of memories in your home, hopefully mostly good memories. Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to know that the people moving into your house are people you like? That maybe someday your kids or grandkids could go back and see that house where those pictures were taken? Wouldn’t you as a buyer like to get little tips on things that made living in your new house special? How things work? What if some day you can’t figure something out – wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply call the former owners on a friendly basis? We had a wonderful real estate story this Spring about just such a friendship that got established between a buyer and a seller. After meeting each other by accident, names became faces with stories to tell. How buyers and sellers in Chapel Hill NC show everyone that this is truly the "southern part of heaven".  Check in to my blog in a few days and I will tell you all about it! 

Refinancing equity lines of credit for better interest rate 

 An interesting point to consider from a real estate attorney in Chapel Hill NC.  It seems that the interest rate charged on equity lines of credit for purchases is typically higher than for equity lines secured once someone owns their property. 

Carrboro is a small town at the doorstep of the University of North Carolina 

 Once a small mill town, Carrboro has become sought after for its community lifestyle. The old mill was converted into a quaint shopping “mall” in the 1980s retaining the old wood floors, high ceilings and beams and the old brick exterior.   Elmo’s Diner has been a favorite restaurant for affordable food – breakfast to late night. Weaver Street Market, a cooperative food store, also offers affordable high quality self serve food for eating on one of its outdoor picnic tables on the green or inside. You don’t want to miss Thursday nights for wine and music on the lawn or the Sunday morning Jazz Brunch. Check out some other wonderful restaurants in Carrboro.


Carrboro's Farmer's Market remains open year round! 

 Carrboro, NC is full of interesting things to do. The farmer’s market every Saturday morning has Dogs hang out near Carrboro's Farmer's marketbecome one of the biggest attractions to the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area. Colorful interesting people. Wonderful fresh vegetables, meats and cheese. Handcrafts. Flowers and plants. I never can go to the farmer’s market without meeting someone I know. People come on bikes, walk or drive. They bring their dogs and "park" them at the entrance.  It is centrally located right next to the Carrboro town hall.   And it is open all year offering not just seasonal vegetables but crafts of different kinds.


Meadowmont Village provides luxury homes in a neo-traditional neighborhood. 


Meadowmont offers luxury homes with high quality features close to Chapel Hill and University of North Carolina and within an easy drive of Duke University. Convenient lifestyle! Walking paths, close to golf courses – Chapel Hill Country Club and UNC’s Finley Golf Course. Village shops. UNC’s Wellness Center. A great outdoor pool facility and little playgrounds. Homes from the $400Ks to over $2M. From 1300 sf to nearly 6000 sf. Chapel Hill Schools or Durham’s Creekside Elementary, Githens Middle and Jordan High Schools. 20 minutes to RDU International Airport.


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