Tag Archives: real estate

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

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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

Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster and For More Money

In addition to right pricing, condition, condition, condition is the watch-word for selling a home faster and for more money.  Simple fixes and staging practices can focus buyers’ attention in the right places and keep them from getting sidetracked by personal items in the home.

  

 

Remember, you are preparing your home to become a product for market; one that appeals to the broadest market.  Don’t feel offended that your REALTOR® insists your coveted widget collection is stored, away from view.  How your live in your home and how you prepare and keep it market-ready are very different.  The 10 minute rule applies: if you (or the kids) can’t put it away in ten minutes, reevaluate whether you must take it out.

   

 

The front yard and door are the buyer’s first impression of your product.  If buyers won’t leave the car, you can’t make the sale.  Clean the gutters, paint the front door, pull weeds and spent flowers, polish the hardware, and power-wash walkways and siding.

 

Be prepared for a white glove inspection. Prospective buyers pull open drawers, look in closets and peek behind the shower curtain, and inspect the oven. Mop, dust, vacuum, clean baseboards, wash windows. Make sure the house looks fresh and smells neutral.

 

Remove furniture that makes rooms feel crowded or décor that will distract buyers from your home’s architectural features.  

 

 

Use furnishings to give each space a logical identity.  If it worked best for your family to use your formal dining room as a home office, get rid of the desk and computer, and bring back the dining table and chairs.

 

 

Eliminate countertop clutter. A countertop covered with small appliances and utensils looks crowded, not spacious. Store personal items, including toiletries; stash family photos and team and religious memorabilia.  Make the place look suitcase ready.

 

 

Dripping faucets, burned-out light bulbs, and squeaking hinges become a distraction and can falsely magnify a home’s need for routine care and maintenance and tend to make the buyer question the condition of other items that can’t be seen, such as the HVAC, roof, and other expensive items.

  

  

The buyer is mentally subtracting thousands of dollars from your list price with every flaw he sees.

 

 

Finally, ask yourself, “Is this property’s condition what I would like to see when I go house hunting this afternoon?”

 

For a checklist on how to prepare your home for market, or a list of preferred and proven vendors, email your request to: chrystal.safari@gmail.com

 

 

Consistent               Reliable               Loyal

Buyer’s Agent New Construction Closing Checklist

Closing Checklist as Buyer’s Agent

 

New Construction

Once you are under contract with a new home builder, there are many behind-the-scenes activities that are necessary to progress seamlessly from contract to close. 

Following is a list of items your REALTOR® should oversee.  Problems will arise.  To avoid unnecessary delays, let your REALTOR® know immediately when a problem occurs.  Always let your REALTOR® know all builder scheduled appointments as soon as they are set so your REALTOR® can attend.

 

  •            Get copies of finalized contract to buyers and lender
  •  ð       Follow loan process with loan officer from beginning to end
  •  ð       Ask lender what is needed from buyer
  •  ð       Accompany buyer to design center/location for color and materials selection
  •  ð       Attend pre-construction meeting with buyer
  •  ð       Set up pre-dry wall inspection with independent home inspector
  •  ð       Get update from lender – any needs outstanding from buyer
  •  ð       Get update from closing coordinator regarding closing with attorney
  •  ð       Inform buyers of time and date for closing
  •  ð       Have buyer check into and set up home owner’s insurance
  •       Clarify if survey (showing building on site) will be provided
  •  ð       Get update from lender
  •       Arrange home inspection prior to pre-closing walk –  utilities on, all appliances installed
  •  ð       Get repair request list to construction supervisor
  •  ð       Review HUD statement with buyers
  •  ð       Make sure buyers have driver’s licenses and certified check made out to attorney
  •  ð       Final walk to check on repairs the day of closing

 ð       Enjoy closing!

Avoid the sticker shock of a new or move up purchase

LANDLADY LEAD… Whether you are a renter, investor, or move up buyer, you can Avoid the Sticker Shock that has no doubt contributed to many foreclosure scenarios.  Put away the amount of money each month that is the difference between what you now pay for rent or mortgage.  For example, if you now pay $1,000 per month rent/mortgage, but expect to move up to $2,000 rent or mortgage, put away the additional $1,000 per month needed for 6 months.  If you never have to touch that money in 6 months, you will likely have little problems with paying for your new home.  Same works if you think you might need a new car.  Stash away that new car payment, and if it’s untouched for 6 months…you’ll have a great down payment!

The Unusual Suspects

A real estate broker must always be aware of personal safety, and the safety of clients, whether meeting new clients for the first time, while showing properties, driving to home tours, installing roadside signage, and on site at new construction.

The simplest tasks must constantly be evaluated and strategized to ensure utmost safety for all, but no class, lesson, or quick thinking could have prepared me for this.

While out with clients touring new home communities in Union County yesterday, we stopped into the builder’s agent-on-duty model home, and quickly on to the model next door with the preferred floor plan.  After getting the key and walking through an inventory home just down the street, we returned to the model home to see the sales agent.

As we were sharing our feedback on the house under construction, I noticed a sudden cough getting embarrassingly worse.  I started to make my apologies, explaining to the sales agent that I didn’t know what had happened, but it must have been the new construction dust that had triggered this worsening episode.

In mid-sentence, he stopped me.  He said, “I know what happened to you.”  He continued that 3 hours prior, he had accidentally set off pepper spray in his office…by this time, my lungs were burning, my chest was hurting, I felt a warm flush throughout my body and broke into a head-to-toe sweat! 

Continuing to cough to clear my airway, my client, a medical professional, became concerned, explaining that she could see my eyes and face swelling.  We said a quick goodbye and left.  I continued to cough terribly, and by this time had a headache. 

When we arrived at the next new home community minutes down the road, I realized that water might help clear my throat.  I was beginning to lose my voice.  It took several cups of water to relieve my throat symptoms, and after two hours I was no longer coughing, but had a headache until the next morning.

 Thank goodness he had not just sprayed that mace!  I can’t image my reaction if it had been recently sprayed, or worse yet, sprayed on me.  I don’t know how my client and the sales agent managed to avoid a reaction, but apparently I would make an excellent mine canary!

But let this be a lesson to you.  No matter how bored you are, sitting at work in your office with nothing to do, do not test your mace can.  Trust me, it works.