Home Safe Home

Home Safe Home …..  Home is a place you should feel safe and secure. Sometimes, we take it for granted and unfortunately, we do need to remain vigilant about things we do that could compromise our safety. Here are a few tips to consider:

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  • Everyone loves an inviting home including burglars. Make sure it looks occupied and is difficult to break in.
    • Always lock outside doors and windows even if you’re only gone for a brief time.
    • Lock gates and fences.
    • Leave lights on when you leave; consider timers to automatically control the lights.
    • Keep your garage door closed even when you’re home; don’t tempt thieves with what you have in your garage.
    • Suspend your mail and newspaper delivery when you’re out of town or get a neighbor to pick it up for you.
  • Posting that you’re out of town or away from home on social networks is like advertising your home is unprotected.
  • Equally dangerous could be allowing certain social network sites to track your location.
  • Don’t leave keys under doormats, in flowerpots or the plastic rocks; thieves know about those hiding places and even more than you can think.
  • Trim the shrubs from around your home; don’t give criminals a place to hide.
  • Use exterior motion detectors and yard lighting.
  • Have an alarm system and use it when you leave home and go to bed.
  • Put 3 ½” deck screws in door plates and door hinges.
  • Have good deadbolts on all exterior doors.
  • Exterior doors should be solid core.
Attachments area

7132 Capulin Crest in The Park at Westlake, Apex NC

You’ll be impressed with 7132 Capulin Crest in The Park at Westlake.

A Parade Of Homes Gold Winner, The “Lillypad” is a 4-bedroom, 3-full bath and 2-1/2 bath home built by L and L of Raleigh, Inc.

Gleaming hardwoods greet you in the foyer and continue thru the living room, dining room, family room, staircase and upstairs hallway.

The property offers a transitional floor plan that delivers a striking living room with a coffered ceiling, an impressive dining room with a tray ceiling and an inviting family room with a fireplace with gas logs flanked by built-in bookcases.

The master suite is huge with his-and-her walk-in closets and a master spa.  All of the secondary bedrooms are also spacious and each has a walk-in closet with wood closet systems and brand new carpeting in all bedrooms.

The gourmet kitchen has tile floors, granite countertops, stainless and a good size pantry.

First floor guest en-suite is perfect for visiting parents or friends.

Great storage with both a walk-in and walk-up attic.

Arches, detailed woodwork and ceilings thru home.

For additional images please check out the property website:  7132 Capulin Crest and for more information about the neighborhood please visit The Park at Westlake.

Don’t Have a CLUE?

If you haven’t heard of a CLUE report, it has nothing to do with the table game searching for a murderer. It is a report showing the insurance claims on your home and car for the past five to seven years.

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This database is used by insurance companies to evaluate risks and determine rates. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. Rates can be increased not only due to legitimate claims but data entry errors also. Sometimes, simply asking a question without filing a claim can be logged as a claim.

For that reason, similar to verifying the accuracy of your credit report, it is important to check out the CLUE report on your home and car. The reports are free and there is a process for correcting mistakes.

An interesting and sometimes costly surprise occurs during the home buying process. The claim experience of the prior seller could impact the price of the premium of the new buyer. For that reason, you can ask for a copy of the CLUE report on the home you’re interested in buying prior to writing a contract.

HOAs – Good or Bad For Homeowners?

Most subdivisions around The Triangle in North Carolina have HOA’s.  HOA’s can be good for a community as they can and should enforce the covenants for the subdivision.  They are not supposed to discriminate against homeowners and are supposed to enforce the covenants.

Most HOA’s also have to comply with other NC laws that govern HOAs.

Before you purchase a home in a subdivision with covenants make sure you read them and find out how the HOA is managed.

I personally live in a 10 lot subdivision with covenants.  The HOA has been run by 2 officers and we have not had an HOA meeting in 3 years.

Recently one of our homeowners in the subdivision erected this shed facing our house.  The shed is erected in violation of our covenants and is also in violation of the City of Raleigh codes concerning sheds.  The homeowners have applied for a waiver from the City and the HOA officers are favoring these homeowners over other homeowners in the subdivision.

So as in any situation “buyer beware”.  Investigate and make sure you are making the right decision about subdivision to live in.

An eyesore like this is not something you want to embrace and endure.

 

Good Info-Good Decision

Good Info – Good Decisions

While low inventory is certainly challenging buyers, not having a clear understanding of mortgage financing is also causing issues. By having good information, they are able to make better decisions as well as compete favorably.

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Most buyers don’t realize how the mortgage rate is determined for a borrower. While annual income is important, a good credit score, low debt-to-income ratio, loan-to-value ratio and ability to repay the loan are vital concerns.

A variety of myths seem to permeate the market such as rates are set and released once a day; FHA loans are for first-time buyers only; pre-qualification commits the lender; lender fees are not negotiable and adjustable rate mortgages always go up.

Misunderstanding of actual mortgage practices may be a contributing factor to why more buyers are not taking advantage of what are still historically low mortgage rates.

While getting solid information about mortgages and being pre-approved from a lender are very important, it is only one step in the home buying process. Success in buying a home in today’s market should begin with a real estate professional who will coordinate all the different parts of the transaction including mortgage, title, insurance, inspections.

May Happenings in The Triangle

MAY HAPPENINGS WORTH A TRIP
Apex PeakFest (5/6) brings all-day live music, arts and crafts, food and tons of family-friendly entertainment to downtown Apex. DETAILS

Downtown Raleigh’s Halifax Mall will host the Capital Cricket Classic (5/6), showcasing the sport of cricket with eight teams participating in seven knockout matches in a full day of fun with food and other festivities. DETAILS

Herbfest (5/6) features plant and craft booths, live butterfly releases, kids’ activities, food trucks, a bake sale and more in Cary. DETAILS

Out! Raleigh (5/6), a celebration of the LGBT community and its allies, will be an inclusive, family-friendly event in downtown Raleigh. More than 50,000 people are expected to take in the live music, local vendors and artists, a beer garden and the KidsZone. DETAILS

The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo (5/7) returns with nearly a half-mile of food trucks lining Fayetteville St., serving everything from ice cream sundaes to buttery lobster rolls. DETAILS

Carolina Ballet closes out the 2016-2017 season with Carmen (5/18-21), the story of a woman who captures the hearts and souls of the men who love her. DETAILS

Artsplosure – The Raleigh Arts Festival (5/19-21) gathers nearly 200 artists and craftspeople to exhibit original works of art in 10 different categories across downtown Raleigh. Food trucks, art installations and tons of live music highlight a weekend of visual and performing arts. DETAILS

Animazement (5/26-28), celebrating popular Japanese visual culture, takes over the Raleigh Convention Center on Memorial Day weekend with cultural demos, guest panels, concerts and more. DETAILS
The admission-free, family-oriented WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest (5/26-29) returns to Fuquay-Varina. 30+ hot air balloons will take part in mass ascensions and “glows,” and lots of food and field games will be on hand. DETAILS

Rent vs. Own

Would-be to Should-be

Some would-be buyers have emotional reasons to own a home like having a place of their own where they can raise a family, feel safe and secure and enjoy their friends’ company. Other buyers’ dominant reasons might be financial in nature such as building equity or lowering their cost of housing.

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Regardless of what might be motivating people to want their own home, it is easy to justify that now is a good time to purchase. Let’s look at a $250,000 example using a FHA loan.

The total payment will be about $1,835 dollars a month. If the payment is lower than the rent a person is paying, that should encourage a person to continue investigating.

In this example, when you consider the monthly principal reduction, the monthly appreciation and the tax savings, even with money added for monthly maintenance, the net cost of housing is less than half the total house payment.

Considering all those advantages, the would-be buyer is spending over $1,100 per month more to rent than it would be to own. In a year’s time, they would lose close to $14,000 which is more than the down payment of $8,750 required on this price home.

Most would-be buyers understand that a home is a big investment but they may not understand the advantage of the leverage caused by the low down payment mortgage. The benefits extend beyond a return on the down payment but to the value of the home.

In this example, the $8,750 down payment grows to an equity of $73,546 in seven years based on 2% annual appreciation and normal amortization on a 30-year loan. If you calculated that as a rate of return, you’d be challenged to find anything that could compare with it.

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To see what your numbers might look like, check out this Rent vs. Own. If you need any help or have any questions, contact us. Part of our greatest satisfaction is helping would-be buyers understand why they should-be.