Category Archives: Real Estate Market Trends

Ranking the Triangle neighborhoods with highest same-home resale value

In Franklin County’s Lake Royale subdivision, prospective homebuyers can find larger lakefront properties for sale behind the community’s private gates. In Raleigh, at the Harrington Grove neighborhood, home hunters can tour residencies that are just minutes from Research Triangle Park but also a short drive from the city’s restaurants and night life.

Both areas are near the top of the list of Triangle subdivisions that have seen the highest appreciation of resale homes through the first nine months of 2017.

There’s one caveat, however. The analysis looks at houses that were first sold between 2013 and 2016 — and then resold this year through September. The apples-to-apples comparison presents a picture of the market value of the same house over a period of four-plus years.

Residential home sales observers note that examining appreciation for resales of the same homes in specific subdivisions provides a closer and more exact look at how the residential market is changing in some areas. The list is filled with subdivisions near and far, both luxury and starter homes, and paints a picture of the different attributes homebuyers are looking for in the Triangle, especially those who may be new to the area.

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Triangle homes selling at ‘historically’ rapid rate

Home sales in the Triangle’s 16-county region were up nearly 4 percent in October, and the median sales price is 8 percent above the same time period last year. Meanwhile, the average number of days a home stays on the market sunk 10 percent to 44 on the year, compared to 49 at this point in 2016, according to Triangle Multiple Listing Service.

In a separate report for the month of October, appraiser Stacey Anfindsen found that within the four core counties of Wake, Orange, Durham and Chatham, a house stayed on the market for an average of just 36 days.

“That’s historically low,” says Anfindsen, whose publication is titled the Triangle Area Residential Realty report. “It’s gone down in increments. We’re kind of at the bottom of that now.”

While homebuyers are snapping up houses at record rates, housing supply also continues to narrow. In October, the Triangle’s four core counties had an average of two months of housing inventory available. Typically, market equilibrium for inventory is considered to be about 6 months of supply.

In particular, inventory is low for homes under $400,000, and that can stifle sales, Anfindsen says. These trends aren’t new – it’s been this way for the last two years. And they seem to be holding across the board for each of the Triangle’s core counties.

The story is slightly different in Wake County, where home sales inched up 1.5 percent in October and 2.5 percent on the year. Still, the median sale price is up 8.8 percent, at $284,000. In Orange County, home sales are more sluggish. They are down 2 percent on the year, and the median home price dipped slightly, by 0.3 percent, to $306,000.

By , Triangle Business Journal

Making Homeownership Work on a Budget

For low-income families, buying a home can seem out of reach. On top of financial stress, the competitive market  may make buyers feel like they will never find a home they can afford. If you dream of buying a house but have lost hope because of you don’t think you can afford it, don’t give up. There are several things you can do to help make your dream of buying a home into a reality.  But always keep in mind how much you can really afford considering upkeep, etc.

Search in More Affordable Neighborhoods

When trying to buy a house in a competitive market, you might see high-end houses snapped up in minutes. In order to avoid bidding wars and having to either walk away or agree to a price way outside your budget, consider looking at areas with less interest. This includes neighborhoods you may have written off – you may find a hidden gem in an area you originally ignored.

Consider neighborhoods farther away from downtown, which often have lower house values. You could get more bang for your buck in terms of home size and outdoor space in these areas. Some neighborhoods on public transit lines may end up being quicker commutes than areas closer to downtown metros.

Save for Amenities

If switching neighborhoods isn’t an option, scale back on your must-have list. A great home doesn’t have to come with all the bells and whistles and you can save up to make gradual improvements after you purchase your home. Several aspects of residential properties can increase the value of a home:

  • Large yard
  • Landscaping
  • Brand-new appliances
  • Finished basement
  • Renovated kitchen and bathroom

Houses without these characteristics are often less expensive and a good place to start when looking for affordable homes.

FHA Loans

FHA loans are mortgages approved by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Borrowers only need 3.5% of the total price for a down payment and a minimum credit score of 580. These kinds of loans are helpful if you can’t afford to save tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment. Even if you have recently gone through a bankruptcy, you might still qualify for an FHA loan.

There are a few downsides to an FHA loan. You will be required to foot two types of mortgage insurance premiums: one upfront premium that’s built into the mortgage payment, and an annual premium that you break down into monthly payments. The house you want to buy must also meet Minimum Property Standards and pass an inspection from an FHA-approved appraiser.

Additionally, you must meet a number of other requirements to qualify for an FHA loan.

Reduce Utility Expenses

Owning a home comes with additional costs you should consider, especially if you’re moving to a house from a rental apartment. Not only do you need to pay a mortgage and save for a down payment, you’ll also have higher utility bills, and any repair bills fall on you. Maintaining the day-to-day aspects of a house can be expensive, but there are ways to cut these costs.

Several states and utility companies have programs to help low-income residents pay for services. These programs include energy assistance, utility assistance, housing initiatives, and more. Other options such as Access from AT&T provide low income households with internet service for as low as $5 a month. Some states even provide cell phones for low-income residents.

Be sure to do research on what programs are available for low income families at both the state and federal level – most states have numerous forms of income-qualified assistance programs.

Other Government Assistance Programs

There are dozens of programs available to assist low-income families with dreams of buying a home in the near future. Some programs are available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), while others are funded through different government branches.

Difficult finances shouldn’t keep you from living in a home suitable to your family’s needs. There are dozens of options available for individuals from all backgrounds. If you would like to reach your dream of owning a home, investigate your options and find what works for you.

By Jonathan Deesing, RISMedia’s Housecall