Tag Archives: real estate

WANT TO GET A $150-$250 MONTHLY RAISE?

Call us to LEVERAGE YOUR TAX REFUND OR Get $15,000 IN DOWNPAYMENT ASSISTANCE FROM THE STATE TO BUY A HOME!!

Chrystal Roy and the Team at The Safari Group LLC of Real Estate Realty LLC has known for years that buying a home provides long term financial benefits. But how do today’s renters become tomorrow’s buyers? We share tips for you to develop strategies to move from paying someone else’s mortgage to paying your own, increasing your net worth and having a legacy for your family.

It’s a Good Investment

If you are currently renting, use our Rent vs Buy Calculator to help determine which option provides the most economic benefits for you over time. Rent payments go straight into the pocket of the landlord – and at the beginning of the next month, you’ve got nothing to show for it.

Build Equity

With each monthly mortgage payment you make, a portion goes toward reducing the amount you owe on your loan, which increases your equity. As your home increases in value, it creates more equity for you.

Enjoy Significant Tax

Owning a home can reduce the amount you pay in income taxes each year. The mortgage interest and property tax payments can be deductible from your Federal Taxes and State Taxes. As well certain closing cost and loan discount points.

Deductions

Owning a home can reduce the amount you pay in income taxes each year. The mortgage interest and property tax payments can be deductible from your Federal Taxes and State Taxes. As well certain closing cost and loan discount points.

Build a Strong Credit History

Once you have purchased your dream home and is consistent in paying the mortgage loan on time, it demonstrates to other lenders that you are a good borrower and the risk of you defaulting on a loan is low. This strong credit history will be helpful in the future when you need other loans for buying a car, making improvements to your home, or paying other major expenses.

Contact US to qualify for NC’s $15,000 in Down Payment assistance and we’ll help you make your next move!

Chrystal Safari Roy | REALTOR® | Investor | Broker in Charge | REAL ESTATE REALTY LLC

WE BUY HOUSES TOO!

ATC School of Real Estate MASTERS DESIGNATION | Luxury Home Specialist | Certified Military Residential Specialist | HUD Registered Agent

704.562.1030 | e: Chrystal.Roy@RERCharlotte.com | Text for Faster Service

SouthPark Towers 6000 Ste 1200 Fairview Road Charlotte, NC 28210

Room for Negotiations

One of the most important rooms in your listing is room for negotiation.  It is critical in every market to set your list price accurately.  In any market, if your listing isn’t priced right, you price yourself out of showings.  Pricing with room for negotiations can be a dangerous practice and may sabotage your chances to make the sale.

Here’s where a trained and experienced broker is instrumental in getting the property priced right, not only to achieve vigorous showings, but also to elicit that all important high offer.  A skilled broker is trained by appraisers who are actively working in your market and who partner with lending institutions in providing their professional services to set market value once the property is under contract. 

Once your broker has researched your neighborhood’s recent sales of properties most similar to yours, several line-item adjustments will equalize the subject (your property) and the comparables (homes sold in the last 6 – 12 months in or near your neighborhood) for a suggested list price range.  Then the competition will be evaluated.  If new construction is in the area, the product, incentives, and desirability will also be considered.  Any home, in addition to yours, that would be included in a buyer’s tour must be carefully considered.

Once a range of value is determined using several calculations, it’s time to discuss price.  If your home is found to be a unique value, then its suggested list price would be on the upper range of calculated value.  This unique value may include condition, location, or the fact that there’s nothing like it available in your price range.  Here’s where sellers sometimes are tempted to become greedy. 

It’s just not worth the potential sabotage to your sale to price your property greater than ten percent above the suggested list price of your broker.  Buyers are out touring the listed homes and generally getting a better hands-on look at competing inventory than most sellers, and will see the inequity.  Most won’t make the offer even if they like the house.  What seller wants lots of showings, but no offer? What buyer wants to make an offer, only to hear “No?”

Take your broker’s advice in pricing your listing.  The result will be a quicker sale at a higher percentage of the list price.  Who wants the deal to fall apart when the appraisal is returned?

#   #   #

I love what I do, I’m good at it, & I’d love to work with you! My personal best is 8th with foreclosure bid; we not only won (it was NOT more $), but listing agent complimented me on my complete package, & asked permission to use my secret weapon! 

My listing was on Google, first page, number three position, ‘above the fold’ within minutes of my blog post featuring it!

Chrystal is a REALTOR® and principal of The Safari Group, a local, homegrown real estate firm, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market, including New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Luxury Homes and GREEN Features.  Contact her at 704.562.1030 TXT/PH or Chrystal@TheSafariGroup.com

Why Hire a Full-time, Experienced Buyer’s Agent?

The fact is, real estate law is complicated and ever-changing. It is not easy for the average individual to keep up with the constant transformations of the market. While it is easy to get lots of information about the market, including specific values, when it comes to protecting your best interests, your real estate professional knows how to evaluate that information to determine the true value a property holds for you based on your specific criteria and short and long-term objectives.

In addition, there are increasing numbers of inexperienced agents providing inaccurate real estate advice and making promises regarding getting you the best deal on a property that no one can assure, resulting in serious financial consequences to you.

A good real estate broker does research, understands the complexities of a real estate transaction, and remains on the forefront of new changes and updates in the industry. In addition, he or she will present clients with a realistic assessment of their individual real estate matters while addressing their concerns and questions. Make sure your Buyer’s Agent is in good-standing with their state real estate commission and are members of the local REALTOR® board with positive personal testimonies from real clients.  Remember, there’s a top ten percent and bottom ten percent in every field.

Real estate is local.  In the state of North Carolina, a well known axiom is true: Buyer Beware.  In North Carolina, until a buyer is formally contracted with a real estate agent as Buyer Agent, that agent is considered to be a seller’s agent, representing sellers in general.  If you’ve toured a home with a real estate agent without benefit of having that Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement contract in place, you had no representation.  However, once you are under contract with an Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement, that contract changes the relationship you have with your real estate agent.  Now your Buyer’s Agent’s fiduciary responsibilities are to you alone, unless dual agency exists.  Dual agency has two facets.  Dual agency exists if the real estate broker (a) is also the listing agent of a property you’re considering, or (b) if the property you’re touring and may be considering is listed by any member of your Buyer Agent’s firm.  Is it possible to assure that the agent you’re working with represents you and you alone?  Absolutely.  The key is to contract with your real estate agent at the first possible opportunity to put in place the buyer agency agreement so that the agent’s fiduciary responsibility is to you alone.

An Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement also prevents a third party from forcing you to perhaps also pay them for procuring cause if they introduced you to a property and could prove they continued the conversation that led you to purchase even while contracted with your preferred and contracted Buyer’s Agent.  It attempts to eliminate the scenario where one party does all the work and a side party comes in and makes claim to the deal.

Too commonly, a buyer new to the market looks at a first property, perhaps with Agent A who opens the door and says welcome, but the client is unsure of the deal and doesn’t proceed with an offer.  The buyer then spends weeks with Agent B looking at everything else meeting his criteria, getting a grasp of values, strategy of return on investment (ROI), strong offer strategies, appreciation potential, etc. with Agent B and goes back to property one for a purchase…the biggest issue and problem that the real estate commission handles every year is procuring cause: who made the deal on property one happen?  Your formal relationship with your Buyer’s Agent puts all agents on legal notice to send all information and make all contact through your agent, who works exclusively on your behalf to protect your best interests.

To protect your best interests from contract to close, make sure you employ an experienced and knowledgeable Buyer’s Agent in every real estate transaction.  This professional service is a free service to you.  Builders and sellers whose homes are listed in the MLS system already include this fee.  Who’d pay thousands of dollars for a professional service and then not utilize it to protect his best interests?

My Commitment to You

As your Buyer’s Agent, I commit to provide well-planned tours of numerous communities, neighborhoods, and homes that meet the guidelines you set, and to represent your best interests from contract to close.  I pledge to:

◊ Communicate clearly and provide information pertinent to your housing, price range and special needs.

◊ Adapt to meet your changing needs as you reset priorities.

◊ Use a well organized, systematic approach to the process that helps you maintain focus on your personal priorities of housing, education, lifestyle, price range, commute time, and family needs.

◊ Advise you on issues that are common to this market that may affect your decisions.

◊ Approach For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBO’s), Auction Representatives, and Custom builders on your behalf to arrange for home tours.

◊ Provide you with the history of the listing, recent sales in the neighborhood of like properties, flood plain information and, in general, give you the information that you will need to make the most educated decision.

◊ Provide you with the details on how to make the strongest offer on a home, negotiate the offer for you, set up and attend inspections, and negotiate the request for repair details.

◊  If building is your preference, I’ll guide you through the lot selection process, interview solvent builders of good repute who build in your price point, and work with you from contract to close, including attending all meetings with the architect, builder, and materials selection, etc., overseeing the process in the smallest detail.

◊ Assure that you receive and approve the HOA Covenants and Restrictions, if applicable, prior to going under contract.

◊ Complete all the necessary paperwork required by both state law and the real estate firm.

◊ Provide lender contacts and discuss financing options and strategies.

◊ Set up the closing with the attorney and provide all necessary contract documents needed, and let you and the listing agent know time and date for closing.

◊ Contact and follow up regularly with the lender to ask what is needed.

◊ Provide contact with several insurance providers so you can set up Homeowner’s Insurance.

◊  Accompany you through final walk-thru to confirm repairs have been completed in a workman-like manner.

◊  Follow up with lender to make sure loan package has arrived.

◊  Make sure everyone is ready for closing and know what is needed.

◊  Review and explain HUD statement prior to closing.

◊  Accompany you to closing.

I look forward to working with you as you pursue the joys of home ownership.

#  #  #

A Charlotte area native, and licensed in NC & SC, Chrystal is very experienced with international relocation, home buying and selling and with rental portfolio development and holds MASTERS Designation specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology and is a member in good standing with Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

Charlotte Market 4th Smallest National Drop

‘Even with the current market downturn, the multi-faceted strength of our market has traditionally been reasonable appreciation, affordability, and transition.  While there are many deeply discounted homes available now in the form of builder inventory and foreclosed homes, our strong market has resulted in great news for most homeowners,’ adds Chrystal Safari, Luxury Home Specialist with Peters & Associates, Incorporated, Charlotte, NC.  

The Charlotte Business Journal reported June 30, 2009, Charlotte-area home prices are down 10% in April from a year earlier. Prices rose 0.5 percent in April from March.

The 10 percent price decline for the past 12 months was the fourth-smallest among the 20 markets tracked by the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Denver had the healthiest market of the 20 cities, with a 4.9 percent drop in home prices from April 2008. Dallas ranked second (down 5 percent). Boston was third (down 7.7 percent). The overall index of the 20 cities saw an 18.1 percent price decline. Phoenix was the weakest market, with a price drop of 35.3 percent, followed by Las Vegas (down 32.2 percent) and San Francisco (down 28 percent).

The index says as of April, average home prices across the United States were at similar levels to what they were in the middle of 2003.

From the peak in the second quarter of 2006, average home prices in the 20 markets are down 32.6 percent. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index tracks sales prices of typical single-family homes in leading metropolitan areas.

Chrystal shares, ‘Affordability is still key.  Many homes at all price points are ready now.  Rates are still great.  There are loan programs out there with 85% Loan to Value, with no MPI.  If you’re in the market for your next owner occupant home or would like to add to your rental/investment portfolio call me.  I’m at your service.’

                                                                      #  #  #

Living, playing, and working in south Charlotte for over 27 years, and with over 14 years experience in the real estate field as an investor and Luxury Home Specialist, I have the knowledge, experience and discretion you need to maximize your return on investment whether for your personal home, investment portfolio, or small business property.  Contact me at Chrystal.Safari@gmail.com

Your Rich Uncle Sam Wants to Give You $8,000!*

IRS.Gov reports that for 2009 owner occupant home purchases, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expanded the first-time homebuyer credit by increasing the credit amount to $8,000 for purchases made in 2009 before Dec. 1, 2009.

A first-time home buyer is one who has not owned a home in the last three years.

*For home purchased in 2009, the credit does not have to be paid back unless the home ceases to be the taxpayer’s main residence within a three-year period following the purchase.

First-time homebuyers who purchase a home in 2009 can claim the credit on either a 2008 tax return, due April 15, 2009, or a 2009 tax return, due April 15, 2010. The credit may not be claimed before the closing date. But, if the closing occurs after April 15, 2009, a taxpayer can still claim it on a 2008 tax return by requesting an extension of time to file or by filing an amended return. News release 2009-27 has more information on these options.

 The IRS reminds taxpayers the amount of the credit begins to phase out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is more than $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers. Taxpayers can claim 10 percent of the purchase price up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married individuals filing separately.

For more information on the tax credit, visit here: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html

For more information on property listings that meet your real estate needs, call me at 704.562.1030.  I’ll get an idea of your big picture and send emailed property listings that meet your criteria and introduce you to a lending officer who can guide you through pre-qulaifying and credit repair, if needed. 

Rates are low, list prices are low, and inventory is high.  It’s a great time to buy low for future increased home equity when the market recovers.

                                                                     #  #  #

A Charlotte area native, and licensed in NC & SC, Chrystal is very experienced with international relocation, home buying and selling and with rental portfolio development and holds MASTERS Designation specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology and is a member in good standing with Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

N.C. foreclosures fall 42% in 1Q

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 9:48am EDT

According to data from RealtyTrac Inc., the state had 5,988 foreclosures in the latest quarter, with one in every 689 homeowners receiving a default notice, auction-sale notice or bank-repossession filing.  North Carolina ranked 36th in the nation for foreclosure filings in the latest quarter.  Nevada, Arizona and California posted the top foreclosure rates.  Foreclosure filings in North Carolina fell 40 percent in March from the same period last year. Filings were down 3 percent last month from February. 

Across the country, foreclosure filings rose 24 percent in the first quarter from a year ago. There were 803,489 foreclosure filings, which affected one in every 159 U.S. households. Filings rose 46 percent in March from a year ago and 17 percent from February. Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac tracks default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

Its figures exceed those compiled by the N.C. Commissioner of Banks. The company counts every foreclosure filing, including multiple filings for a single household, while the commissioner counts each household only once, regardless of the number of filings it receives.

Rates are low, listings high, prices slashed.  Now is the time to make your move to buy low and sell high, when the market recovers.  Call me to discuss your big picture and for a full listing of foreclosed homes that meet your criteria.  704.562.1030/800.243.6670 x 110

                                                                      *   *   *                                                               

Living, playing, and working in south Charlotte for over 27 years, and with over 14 years experience in the real estate field as an investor and Luxury Home Specialist, I have the knowledge, experience and discretion you need to maximize your return on investment whether for your personal home, investment portfolio, or small business property.  Contact me at Chrystal.Safari@gmail.com

Builders’ Confidence Brightens on Outlook

Daily Real Estate News  |  April 16, 2009  |   

Home builder confidence was in the double digits in April for the first time in six months.

The index rose to 14 from nine last month. That was the largest single-month increase since May 2003. An index number below 50 means most respondents view conditions as poor.

“After a very long period of extreme distress, it’s given the builders some sense of reaching a bottom,” says David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, which compiles the index along with Wells Fargo.

The confidence index was up all over the country, with the largest increases in the Northeast at 16 and the West at 9.

Source: CNNMoney (04/15/2009)

Meet Me at Montreux

 Montreux Old World Estates Luxury Living means

Leaving the world behind…As the drive home takes you to a world away… Nestled among the hardwoods and evergreens.

Rivaling Old World Europe, the craftsmanship of your estate home is an unparalleled destination, personally handcrafted by the area’s finest builders. 

Imagine your home, tailor-made and filled with fine features not found in similar homes including custom French Traditional, European Manor and Tuscan Villa  Architectural Design, 10 – 12 foot ceilings, 9 foot doors, exquisite paneled libraries, unique faux paint finishes, copper and beam ceilings, glazed or alder wood soft-close cabinetry, professional series appliances, double wall ovens, microwave drawers, warming drawers, wine or beverage coolers in the butler’s pantry and media rooms, furniture finish doors, elegant barrel ceilings, double balconies, dramatic curved stairways, card room with fireplace that adjoins the billiard room, media rooms with wet bar. 

Create lasting and impressive memories entertaining friends and family in your outdoor scapes with full outdoor Viking kitchen and outdoor fireplace on the covered veranda that rival indoor living spaces, or just get away on your own to enjoy the tranquility of the moment and of nature.

Five Fully Custom Model Homes are available for sale and preview.

Experience the outdoors and discover your neighbors at the stately Montreux Tea  House and picturesque waterfall as you mingle and enjoy tranquil moments among the fragrant, colorful gardens and panoramic views amid gas lantern lit streets.

Membership is included!  As a gift to buyers, initiation to membership for nearby Tim Wilkinson Sports Complex Swim and Fitness is yours.  More is available at your command, including tennis classes and private lessons by Tim.  The Family Fitness Center is loaded with state of the art computerized Cardio Equipment, Weight Machines, and Free Weights.  A knowledgeable, certified staff offers Personal Training and Nutritional Consultation as well as  yoga, Pilates, and aerobics for all ages and fitness levels. 
 
A nationally recognized Tae Kwon Do School is available for all ages to hone self-confidence and self-discipline.
 
The Junior Olympic Swimming Pool, and a child-friendly beach entry pool is  topped  off  with  a  double  enclosed waterslide and poolside cafes.

Hot Tubs, Saunas, and Steam Rooms complete the pampering experience.
Shopping, recreation, places of worship, public and private schools, and acclaimed medical care are just moments away.

Allow me to introduce you to our fine Builder’s Guild who will detail your custom home stone by stone to bring your vision to fruition.

All Lots Released ~ Select Your Prime Lot Today.  Register to receive periodic updates and more info on Montreux at: Chrystal.Safari@gmail.com

                                                              *   *   *                                                               

Living, playing, and working in south Charlotte for over 27 years, and with over 14 years experience in the real estate field as an investor and Luxury Home Specialist, I have the knowledge, experience and discretion you need to maximize your return on investment whether for your personal home, investment portfolio, or small business property.  Contact me at Chrystal.Safari@gmail.com

Foreclosures: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

There are many distressed properties available in our market, also known as foreclosures.  They are easy to find and generally easy to buy, with some exception.  But if your goal is to realize a financial return on investment, your purchase strategy must be lead by the facts, and not the emotions, of the transaction.

There are basically two types of distressed properties: those distressed by the financial condition of the owner and those in distressed condition.  Of those two types, subcategories exist that need to be understood for your maximum benefit and protection.

The two types of distressed properties are those that are:

  1. The result of the homeowner’s financial position or condition or 
  2. The result of the property’s inability to overcome a significant structural or other depreciating issue(s)

The better of these two scenarios for the future buyer is item one.  A home owner’s financial position or condition may lead to a foreclosure due to his inability to continue meeting his monthly housing costs, including mortgage and other escrowed amounts such as HOA dues, etc. 

In this case, if the homeowner is unable to rent or sell the property at a profit or to break even, he has few options.  He may sign the house back over to the lending bank or agency.  This process is called a deed in lieu of foreclosure.  Another dilemma may be getting behind in the mortgage payments and to become foreclosed upon.  Both of these cases have a significant negative impact against the credit score that lingers for several years. 

Foreclosures may be listed in the local Multiple Listing Service, be available as a Sheriff’s Sale to be sold at the courthouse steps, and/or be listed on the presiding attorney’s website for sale at the courthouse steps, or may be available at an onsite or offsite auction. 

There are also a myriad other websites that market foreclosures to capture buyer clients’ information.  If the lender is known, the pre-foreclosure department may accept an offer before the property hits any of these venues.  I have represented clients in purchasing foreclosures in all the above scenarios.  

A form of pre-foreclosure is increasing in prevalence and is called the short sale.  This typically takes place prior to foreclosure, but it’s headed in that direction.  A short sale occurs when the homeowner owes more on the property than its market value and fails to maintain his mortgage obligation.  Currently about 50% of these transactions close.  Those that don’t successfully close become foreclosures.  Last year’s first quarter there were 25 short sales being negotiated in our market.  This year, first quarter, there are 700. (Wells Fargo Loss Mitigation Supervisor Gwen Oberg, Secondary Market Loans, Charlotte Market).

Though the short sale or foreclosure sale may be an arduous process, if the property meets all your requirements, it may be worth the extra effort and patience it needs to get a great deal.

BUT BUYER BEWARE

Distressed property type two is not always obvious.  While the home or property owner may or may not have a financial condition that leads to a short sale or subsequent foreclosure, the property itself may have prohibited a timely and profitable sale.  It’s easy to see that a 3 bed, one bath home is functionally obsolete in our market, but with the right changes that house could become one of the best in the neighborhood. 

What might not be apparent is the fact that from the front yard of a WOW house a major highway is visible or audible and on the other side of the street commercial development and traffic will greatly affect potential for appreciation.  Your trained and experienced REALTOR® knows what to look for in evaluating a property’s potential for appreciation or depreciation to help protect your best interests. 

Don’t be misled by well-meaning friends, neighbors, and co-workers who tell you all about the new homes they are purchasing for pennies on the dollar in the best neighborhood in town and lose faith and trust in your REALTOR®.  If you begin to feel jealous and angry that those folks a getting what should have been yours, you may make an ill-advised or hasty buying decision that you’ll later regret.

chrystal.safari@gmail.com

 

 

Charlotte Area Showings Trends

I spoke with a rep at Centralized Showings today to ask the showing trends, appointments that have been made by agents to show buyers homes, in the Charlotte market. 

Great news!  Our market has officially begun!

Here are the stats:

FOURTH QUARTER 2008

October had 50,461 scheduled showings

November had 46,160 scheduled showings

December had 38,829 scheduled showings

FIRST QUARTER 2009

(Numbers still being gathered as we complete March)

January had 61,822 scheduled showings

February (shortest month) had 59,034 scheduled showings

     The numbers speak for themselves that buyers are back on the move, making appointments with agents to view real estate. 

     These numbers don’t include the visits to new construction communities where buyers, with and without agents, tour model homes, negotiate contracts, begin building and close.

     For sellers, this is great news that buyers are actively searching for homes with agents.  And for buyers, it should be motivation to make that offer since more buyers are moving into the market.

     Rates are still low, inventory high, and lenders and builders are making nice concessions because it’s end of month, end of quarter.  If you’ve been thinking of making your next move, email me.  I can help you negotiate your best deal.

chrystal.safari@gmail.com