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Posts Tagged ‘Five Oaks Durham NC’

The right buyer’s agent; how the heck do you know?
I suppose before you can know, you need to understand exactly what it is a buyer’s agent is supposed to do and how they are supposed to operate.

In North Carolina a real estate agent is required to work for someone. That someone can either be a buyer or a seller or sometimes both. Being a seller’s agent is traditional agency, the agent is working for the seller’s best interest. Being a buyer’s agent is just that, working for the buyer’s best interest. Being a dual agent is working for both parties best interests. Believe it or not with experience this is not tough to do.

So back to buyer agency; most if not all problems associated with a real estate transaction boil down to communication.

1. An agent doesn’t have the experience to know and understand where pitfalls may be within a specific transaction.

2. Through training or lack thereof, the pitfalls have not been communicated to the agent and the agent has not communicated to the buyer the pitfalls.

3. The buyer agent does not adequately communicate to the listing agent what it is the buyer wants or expects.

4. The listing agent doesn’t know about a particular deficiency in the property.

5. Through training or lack thereof, the seller agent has not explored the red flags that would uncover a deficiency.

6. The buyer agent doesn’t show the buyers what they want to see.

7. The buyer agent has not asked the proper questions to determine and vet out exactly what the buyer wants or can afford.

8. The buyer agent doesn’t know the market and cannot adequately inform or show the buyer what is available in the market.

It boils down to communication. As a consumer of real estate take your time, sit down with your potential buyer agent or seller’s agent and talk to them, interview them. One of the most important practices that I typically engage in with my clients is an interview. We sit down and before we look at one home, we talk for a half hour. I ask a million questions so that I can better assist my buyers in making a home buying decision.

There is more but a blog is not the venue to go into all of that. Call me, Michael Sullivan at 919-608-2372 for a free no obligation consultation where we will discuss whether I am the right agent for you. I have 17 years market experience in the Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill real estate market where I have helped thousands of families find their spot to call home. You may text to 919-608-2372 or email me at MSullivan@fmrealty.com. Learn more about Team Michael Sullivan at TeamMichaelSullivan.com

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If you build it they will...hopefully come!


Oh boy, more sub-urban growth for southern Durham County.  My concern isn’t Jordan Lake; even though it is an emergancy water supply for the Bull City.  my worry isn’t the loss of rural charcter is the southern part of Durham.  Um…hello…rural character is gone, gone, gone, faster than you can see Streets at Southpoint Mall, Target or Melting Pot.  (all close to this proposed 751 South Devleopment.)

My worry is…wait for it…wait for it…wait for it…TRAFFIC.  Stagecoach Road between 751 and Farrington Road is a MESS at rush hour.  Fayetteville Road is a MESS at rush hour south of Southpoint, 751 if there is an accident is a MESS at rush hour and now, now we’re going to add som 1300 more homes and businesses. 

Ok, go for it Durham, I know that it is all about revenue.  Let’s just hope the economy recovers and the buyers come.

The Herald-Sun – Council extends growth line for 751 South.

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The ideal property that needs...HELP!

Spotlight on the HUD 203K Loan Program
So, you have your eye on a property that needs work? You have good credit and you qualify for a home loan but, you don’t have the capital required to renovate a home. Think about the HUD/FHA 203K loan.
• You can acquire a home loan to rehabilitate the home of your dreams.
• You close on your mortgage only once.
• You use an account as a draw to renovate your home.
• You must use a licensed general contractor.

Who do you talk to?
• You start with me; I will put you in touch with a terrific lender who will get you started on the pre-approval process.
• Once approved we shop for your home.
• We submit and offer and hopefully push it through to contract.
• We have two levels of inspection; a home inspection to determine condition of the home and then
• An inspection by a licensed general contractor to help us determine the costs of items needing replacement or renovation.

Once all of that is complete we close and you begin fixing up your new home.

Your “draw” can be used for the following:
• Insulation
• Carpeting
• Ventilation
• Heating and Air Conditioning
• Paint
• Vinyl flooring and the list goes on and on.
• Permitting fees
• Up to six month outside living expenses.
• Contingency reserve

Other requirements:
• This will be your primary residence so no flipping is allowed.
• You may not use a 203K on investment properties
• There are caps on how much can be borrowed.
• The program takes LONGER than conventional financing, but not painfully so.

There is more but a blog is not the venue to go into all of that. Call me, Michael Sullivan at 919-608-2372 for a free no obligation consultation where we will discuss whether or not a 203K loan is right for you. I have 17 years market experience in the Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill real estate market where I have helped thousands of families find their spot to call home. You may text to 919-608-2372 or email me at MSullivan@fmrealty.com. Learn more about Team Michael Sullivan at TeamMichaelSullivan.com

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There really is only one way for home building to go and that’s up.  I certainly don’t expect gang busters now or in the near future.  Credit is the difficult topic and with projections in interest rates spiking sometime in 2011 this will further cool the building industry.

Realty Times – Real Estate Outlook: Builders Regain Optimism.

Interested in buying, selling, renting, leasing residential real estate in central North Carolina, call or click to Michael Sullivan where one call does it all.  Michael Sullivan, REALTRO, 919-608-2372 mobile/text or MSullivan@fmrealty.com

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Don’t get caught

I recently read a home inspection report which was the most evasive report that I’d ever seen. The report itself was very nice, full of photos and general observations but when it came to some the meat and potatoes, I was very disappointed. Thankfully I didn’t encourage the buyers to use this inspector.

The inspector noted that the home has aluminum wiring, not in and of itself a problem, especially since the house has copper pigtails. What was disturbing is the inspector refused to comment as to whether the terminal connections to the breakers and bus bar are secure and functioning properly. All of this done with the panel box open and with enough time to snap multiple photos.

I guess he couldn’t put his fingers on the wires; no danger here if one touches just the insulation and jiggle them a little to see if they are loose. The same true with the breakers. The home inspectors recommendation; hire an electrician to evaluate. The inspector did a political dance to the left. He took the fifth and passed a very expensive buck.

The same was true of some water stains in the house. He wouldn’t say yah or nah to whether or not there were active water leaks in this home. He said, get a plumber and investigate further. I imagine that a moisture meter placed on the spots and running the water at full force during the inspection didn’t cross this guys mind. That’s what other inspectors do; so that they can then say, ah ha here’s a water leak. To be fair to this fellow, he did find a lot.

However this side stepping at over $300 for a townhouse home inspection is unfair to the buyer, the seller and the agents involved. This is exacerbated too by his sarcasm and hostility when I asked him about the homes grounding, breaker box, wiring and “plumbing leaks.” I was told in no uncertain terms to read the whole report and reference all of the links he’d placed in it. Reading the report and following the links are all admirable and well spent time tasks but those tasks still don’t answer the questions left begging, are the bathrooms leaking? Is the electricity working properly?

 I guess that I’ll have to go elsewhere to determine those answers. Care to know more about finding the best home inspector to evaluate your future home? There is more but a blog is not the venue to go into all of that. Call me, Michael Sullivan at 919-608-2372 for a free no obligation consultation where we will discuss finding the very best inspectors for you. I have 17 years market experience in the Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill real estate market where I have helped thousands of families find their spot to call home. You may text to 919-608-2372 or email me at MSullivan@fmrealty.com. Learn more about Team Michael Sullivan at TeamMichaelSullivan.com

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Buying a foreclosed home? What you should know going into the process?

For the next two to three years those who are able are going to have their pick of the litter when it comes to foreclosed homes. The trend in the last six month of 2010 is that there are some pretty good foreclosed homes coming on the market in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Apex, Cary and Morrisville, North Carolina. Gone are the days, for the most part of the stripped down, abused and beat up foreclosed home. Gone also are the days of really holding the banks hands to the fire and driving a hard nuts bargain.

Lesson one; foreclosed homes are by their very nature at bargain basement prices. This is where most consumers miss the boat. Many real estate consumers of foreclosed homes believe that they can rake the banks over the coals and score a really terrific deal. Banks work off a system where by an actuary puts numbers into a formula and those numbers determine, list price, sales price, concessions if any and commissions. The consumers with whom I’ve worked; who have been successful in purchasing a foreclosed home have “hit their initial offer into the ballpark.” This initial offer is typically within three to five percent of asking price and this includes all concessions. Concessions being closing costs, warranties and any other out of pocket expense the bank would be asked to pay.

Lesson two; unless the property is a portfolio property, the bank has little if any investment or money into the property. Almost all mortgage loans, including those defaulted upon are bought and sold on secondary markets as commodity therefore the bank selling the foreclosed home is a loan servicer and their exposure is in holding the home in inventory. The servicing bank is exposed if the house burns down, develops mold, is vandalized and that’s about it.

 Lesson three; what is as is where is? Simply put, what you see is what you get and what you don’t see is what you get. Here is where you need an experienced savvy buyer’s agent to help you through the process, you also need an agent who knows your market and generally this will not be the listing agent. Most REO/Foreclosed home listing agents don’t work with buyers; they represent the best interests of the bank. This is where I can help you. My 17+ year’s market experience allows me to guide you through the process. I have also sold numerous bank owned properties. Here are my responsibilities to you the buyer:

 1. Make you aware of all hidden and latent fees associated with your purchase of a foreclosed home.

a. Did you know that you might be responsible for de-winterizing and re-winterizing the property even if you don’t get to the closing table?

b. Did you know that there might be significant issues of title including un-cancelled deeds of trust (mortgages).

 c. There indeed might be hidden document fees paid to the bank holding ownership of the foreclosed homes.

d. The bank contract or purchase addendum for the property being pursued may require that the buyer pay fees normally associated with the seller side. Having these documents in hand is critical before purchasing a foreclosed home.

Lesson four; in this down economy there may be unwelcomed residents and conditions associated with the foreclosed home that you are pursuing. I have seen squatters move in during the contract period and the sheriff has had to evict them prior to settlement. I have seen foreclosed homes vandalized or stripped of copper during the escrow period. What the buyer needs to understand is that the bank is under no obligation to bring the house back to the condition that it was in when first discovered by the potential buyer. That is indeed a painful reality.

Lesson five; the listing agent will get me a better deal on this foreclosed home. Nope, isn’t true at all. Most listing agents of foreclosed homes are playing a numbers game. If you don’t buy it someone else will and they are so swamped with paperwork and reporting to their masters at the bank that they don’t have the time or inclination to work with buyers.

Interested in learning more, and there is so much more to learn about foreclosed and short sale properties. Phone me, Michael Sullivan at 919-608-2372 or 1-888-574-6400 and ask for Michael Sullivan at Croasdaile. You may text me at 919-608-2372 or email me at MSullivan@fmrealty.com

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Maybe the maelstrom in real estate is starting to wear itself out and wind down. I sure hope so and I’ll bet many of my seller clients feel the same way. In an article dated today, Monica Chen with the “Durham Herald Sun,” writes on Durham County North Carolina foreclosures.
According to the NC Administrate Office of the courts; Durham County had 446 foreclosure starts from June through August 2010. This is down from 508 for the summer of 2009. Still the news is not rosy, 446 is a lot of foreclosed home and a lot of people moving from ownership into leasehold. Although Durham’s unemployment rate of 7.6 percent is below the sate wide level of 9.7 percent, there are still a lot of unemployed and underemployed people in our market.
The Herald Sun article further asserts from sources with the Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Project for Legal Aid of North Carolina that current sub-prime lending practices are affecting current foreclosure rates. HUH???? The Herald Sun article points to statistics that are four years old and two years old, kind of destroying the article’s credibility….these are not current lending practices; let’s call them…dated. The Herald does state that there has been a drop in sub-prime lending practices, this is true; there has been a drop in ALL lending practices from all banks.
So, with foreclosure rates starting to decline perhaps we’ll see a market return to stable real estate market.

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