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Do I Need A Home Inspection?

Is a home inspection needed?

Protect your interest

When you buy a Charlotte NC home, you buy its amazing features and great location. You also buy its flaws. Not all homes are perfect. Even some new construction homes have minor flaws.

Your home is a big investment, and you want to make sure it is in good condition when you buy it.  It is your right to know the weaknesses of the home you are going to purchase, and the home inspection allows you to learn that.

Many buyers feel that the home inspection is something they can do themselves because it seems easy to check the condition of the home and find out if the electrical or heating systems are working.  While it’s true that a home inspection only covers and inspect things that are visible, there are many things you don’t check when buying a home.

For example, one of the reasons you love the living room is for its stone-lined fireplace. Have you checked if it is safe? Did you check the wiring of the home? How about the plumbing?  All these things are covered in the home inspection.

Top 3 benefits of a home inspection

  1. It saves you money. Home inspections cost $300 – $400 depending on the size of the home. It is a small amount to pay compared to your possible expense a couple of years later when you have to rewire your entire home, or when you need to have your foundation repaired.
  1. It allows you to negotiate for a lower price. When the home you like is still at the upper end of your budget price range, a home inspection may give you the means to negotiate the price to your favor.
  1. It gives you a good deal. Not only does a home inspection allow you to ask for a lower price, it also gives you the power to request needed repairs. Some sellers are willing to deduct the amount of repair from the listing price.

What’s included in a home inspection?

Home inspections start from the top of the house down to the bottom, but it will not cover everything in the Charlotte NC home you are planning to buy. The inspector has a list of different items to look at in the home. These inspectors are trained and certified by the state and are experts in what they do.  The following are some areas covered in an inspection:

  • Structural components including foundation and framework of the house are covered. The inspector will check if the foundation is solid, and if the walls are straight. This is especially helpful if you are buying an older home.
  • The roofing system is composed of the shingles, flashing, fascia and skylight which will be looked at. The inspector will check for defects which may cause drips or loose gutters.
  • Exterior portions of the home will be covered including the siding, porches, and driveways. The inspection will check for cracks, rot or decay in the siding.
  • The plumbing system which includes pipes, drains, and water heater will be inspected to check for deficiencies.
  • Heating and Cooling system and its distribution equipment will be analyzed.
  • Interior features like walls, ceilings, windows, doors, etc will be looked at.
  • Insulation and ventilation will be inspected to see if it was installed properly.
  • Fireplaces which include chimneys and vents will be inspected for problems.
  • Kitchens will be checked from plumbing, to electrical and appliances.
  • Bathrooms will be inspected for venting, leaks and more.

You will be provided with the detailed findings, which you can use as basis for further price negotiation. As a buyer, the home inspection report is your way of checking the investment you’ll be making is sound and will not give you any problems in the near future.

Call me, Nancy Braun, at (704) 997-3794. Allow me to make your real estate experience a smooth and enjoyable journey.

May 27, 2015

8024 Juniper Court, Indian Trail, NC

8024 Juniper Court Indian Trail NC

8024 Juniper Court is nestled in a quiet neighborhood located in Indian Trail, North Carolina. This beautiful home welcomes you with a large front porch and has lovely landscaping that gives the home great curb appeal.

This charming home comes with four spacious bedrooms and three bathrooms – 2 full and 1-half bath with new renovations throughout. The exterior of the home has been freshly painted and the floors in the kitchen have been revamped as well. The kitchen comes equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and stone backsplash. Crown molding lines the ceilings around the home and tray ceilings add a touch of elegance to the master suite.

Spacious, green and well manicured, the backyard is perfect for enjoying these summer nights. The deck has been treated and stained to maximize its life and the new homeowner can enjoy it for years to come.

Juniper Court is listed at $232,500 with tons of storage, space and room to grow! 

 

March 18, 2015

HUD Home of the Week – 414 Leander

HUD Home of the Week

414 Leander Street is a very charming 1-story home in Shelby, North Carolina that is an incredible deal at only $66,800, more than 43,000 below tax value.

The home has a cozy front porch, is more than 18 hundred square feet and sits on a third of an acre with lots of mature trees. This is a 3-bedroom 2-bath home with many interior period details. It features hardwood floors, a fireplace and crown molding throughout. The home has an open kitchen, tons of natural light, a bonus room and an unfinished basement perfect for extra storage. It has easy access to HWY (74) and is close to dining and entertainment in Shelby.

For more information on how to purchase this HUD home contact Showcase Realty today at 704-997-3794 or visit our website at Showcaserealty.net

March 3, 2015

Tranquil Cabin & 40 Wooded Acres Perfect for Racecar Enthusiast or Nature Lover

310 cabin creek

Are you a nature lover looking for a home in a tranquil area? Perhaps a racecar enthusiast considering a space to house your cars? Look no further because this cabin could be exactly what you’re in the market for. This unique private retreat in the woods offers a serene and quiet place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Located on 310 Cabin Creek Road in Mooresville, NC, this cabin oasis sits on 40 acres, which includes multiple tranquil creeks that run throughout the property and an auto workshop. Not only is this home engulfed in the surrounding nature, there are also special touches that bring nature inside. You can sit out on the front porch which overlooks one of the creeks and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the morning. Cabin Creek was built with rare Hemlock logs from North Carolina Mountains and 35 tons of stone was used in the unique stonework found in all foundations and chimney of the home. The ceilings are all oak as is the overhangs on the outside of the house.

310 Cabin Creek Rd.

310 Cabin Creek Rd.

Inside, the home offers 3 bedrooms, 3 and a quarter bathrooms – two full, one-half and one-quarter – complete with a tiered wrap-around deck.  The original rustic theme can be seen throughout the house in the stone fireplace in the living room, the warm black walnut floors, mixed with the wide board oak floors and the extinct wormy chestnut cabinetry in the kitchen. The antiqued stove offers the same rustic appeal but in a modern way (bonus: all the appliances come with the house). A mudroom is accessible when you walk in from the garage to hold all of your coats, shoes, and equipment.

Pamper yourself in the spacious master suite which includes a jetted tub, separate shower, two pedestal sinks, large closets and skylights to gaze up at the stars. All of the rooms located on the second floor come with a skylight so everyone can enjoy the view. Another additional bonus, you get to keep the antique wardrobe and postal desk located in the master suite when you move in!

Moving to the basement, you will find a third bedroom with an office area (another bonus: you get to keep the desk!), a large closet, and a full bathroom. This bedroom is also encased in concrete and steel making it the perfect storm shelter. There is also a custom built cedar sauna to lounge in when you need to relax.

310 Cabin Creek Rd.

310 Cabin Creek Rd.

Don’t be barled by cabin creek’s rustic charm, the cabin has an HVAC system, gas furnace, security system and electric panel. There is also a new wood custom Jotul fireplace insert in the stone fireplace with a custom black oak mantel that was made from the property! One great environmental factor to this cabin is it is equipped with solar power panels. This feature is going to cut back on your monthly utility expenses and the security system is connected to the panels as well.

Saving the best for last, the backyard of this house is magnificent. Off of the 240-square bart deck, you can enjoy the in-ground pool and pool house. You can spend all day exploring the 40 acres of land that are home to deer and wild turkeys. There are also two large garden areas ready for planting all of your veggies. Apple, plum, pear and peach trees are also planted in the backyard for you to enjoy.

Professional Car shop

Professional Car Shop

For the sports car enthusiast, there is a large two car garage with access to an upper finished room and pool area. The professional auto shop measures 40 x 40 and is licensed for business. The auto shop is insulated, has its own gas heaters, propane tank, 10-ton car and security system and is zoned for commercial use. It has a finished office with customer counter and linear panels with a covered lean-to on the back. The motorcycle lift located in the auto shop is negotiable. Zoning for this property is residential, forestry and commercial so there is a ton of potential to do what you want with this space. If that’s not enough, there is one more feature that is sure to please. The home also comes with a fully renovated mobile home that is currently being rented for additional income!

This unique and tranquil wooded 40 acres, with 2 homes, car enthusiast commercial workshop and multiple babbling creeks is offered at $1.6 million. For more information or to personally view the property call Nancy Braun at 704-488-3109.

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February 11, 2015

Boomerang Buyers Return to Charlotte Housing Market

Boomerang Buyers Return to Charlotte Housing Market

 

Charlotte is among the 22 metropolitan areas with more than 250,000 residents that will probably experience a return to the housing market by those people who left their homes due to foreclosure during the housing crisis.

Based on RealtyTrac, the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia areas currently have top three conditions, which are sure to tempt these boomerang buyers. These conditions include a high percentage of housing units lost because of foreclosure, affordable home prices suitable for median income earners, as well as the steady or increasing population of Generation X, individuals born from 1965 to 1976, along with baby boomers, those born between 1945 and 1964.

The data analytics firm believes that these two generations are highly likely to re-enter the housing market especially now that the first batch of homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure or short sale during the housing bust have passed the conventional seven-year window necessary to fix their credit and be qualified to apply for a mortgage.

The number of these boomerang homebuyers continues to increase, making them likely to purchase a home thanks to the normalization of their credit.

At present, within the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia region, there are approximately 46,858 probable boomerang buyers, a number equal to 6.4 percent of the total housing units available according to RealtyTrac’s data. Affordability currently accounts at 22.5 percent.

Between 2007 and 2013, the Charlotte region saw a 1.9 percent increase in the number of baby boomers and Generation X.

There are also several metropolitan areas in Florida that saw a surge in boomerang homebuyers such as Fort Myers, Orlando, Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Sarasota, Lakeland, Ocala and Tampa. Other cities include Las Vegas, Des Moines, Iowa, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee, Columbus, Georgia and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

RealtyTrac forecasts that nationwide, there are about 7.3 million pending boomerang buyers representing 5.5 percent of the total available housing units. As for the house payments nationally, the average is 26.8 percent of income.

Between 2007 and 2013, the number of baby boomers and generation dropped 1.5 percent.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona area currently has the highest number of potential boomerang homebuyers, which is nearly 349,000. This region was hit badly during the housing crisis, followed by Miami, Detroit and Chicago with each place having more than 300,000 potential boomerang purchasers.

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February 11, 2015

Charlotte’s Hottest Neighborhood Is…

Starmount is the hottest neighborhood in Charlotte

 

According to Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin, Starmount is the hottest neighborhood in Charlotte this year especially for potential homebuyers.

Starmount, located east of South Boulevard, currently leads because of the affordability and convenience it gives to its residents. The 28210 zip code is followed by South End, Fourth Ward, Elizabeth and center city.

Redfin states that the median home sales price in Starmount, which is between Archdale Drive and Arrowood Road, is $161,000.

Charlotte Regional Realtors Association states that such amount is lower than the $180,000 median sales price on the 3,050 existing Charlotte units sold last December. Furthermore, Redfin cited that Starmount homes spend a median of 66 days on the market.

“Starmount is already getting a lot of buyer action and the development is going to be on fire in 2015,” said Redfin’s Charlotte agent Valli Smith. “Buyers are targeting the area for town homes and old bungalows with character, as well as tearing down older homes and building new ones.”

Smith reveals that Starmount has become more convenient and attractive to a lot of homebuyers because of the light rail expansion and its close proximity to Dilworth and uptown.

Redfin’s analysis of the matter was based on the web traffic of the site’s listings along with the feedback by some of their agents. After which, they made a list of the hottest neighborhoods in 27 metropolitan areas.

The trend of choosing to live in an affordable and convenient neighborhood is quite a change from the past two years, when the most popular areas were urban, expensive and home to the best schools in the area.

“Affordable inventory remained low throughout most of 2014 so homebuyers have to look a bit further afield to find the perfect home without sacrificing the conveniences of being close to an urban center,” Redfin says.

However, it still remains difficult for homebuyers to save for their down payment since housing costs remain to be higher than the wage increases.

The National Association of Realtors also cited that the national median price for existing properties last December was $208,500, which has been the highest since 2007 at $219,000.

As stated earlier, Starmount is the most affordable among Redfin’s list of top five Charlotte neighborhood. Here are their median home price: South End at $310,000, Fourth Ward at $242,000, Elizabeth at $273,000 and center city at $270,000. As for the median days for the property’s stay on the market, South End is at 72 days, Fourth Ward at 76 days, Elizabeth at 69 days, and center city at 78 days.

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January 29, 2015

FHA to Reduce Annual Insurance Premiums

FHA lower mortgage

FHA TO REDUCE ANNUAL INSURANCE PREMIUMS

Reduction to increase credit affordability and reflects improved economic health of FHA

FHA TO REDUCE ANNUAL INSURANCE PREMIUMS Reduction to increase credit affordability and reflects improved economic health of FHA WASHINGTON – As the nation’s housing market continues to improve, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro today announced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce the annual premiums new borrowers will pay by half of a percent. This action is projected to save more than two million FHA homeowners an average of $900 annually and spur 250,000 new homebuyers to purchase their first home over the next three years. Read FHA’s Mortgagee Letter.

Today’s action also reflects the improved economic health of FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF). FHA’s recent annual report to Congress demonstrates the economic condition of the agency’s single-family insurance fund continues to improve, adding $21 billion in value over the past two years.

“This action will make homeownership more affordable for over two million Americans in the next three years,” said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. “Since 2009, the Obama Administration has taken bold steps to reduce risks in the mortgage market and to protect consumers. These efforts have made it possible to take this prudent measure while also ensuring FHA remains on a positive financial trajectory. By bringing our premiums down, we’re helping folks lift themselves up so they can open new doors of opportunity and strengthen their financial futures.”

In the wake of the nation’s housing crisis, FHA increased its premium prices to stabilize the health of its MMI Fund. In addition, the Obama Administration took dramatic steps to safeguard consumers in the mortgage market to ensure responsible borrowers continued to have access to mortgage capital as many private lending sources tightened their lending standards.

Today’s reduction will significantly expand access to mortgage credit for these families and is expected to lower the cost of housing for the approximately 800,000 households who use FHA annually.

FHA’s new annual premium prices are expected to take effect towards the end of the month. Read FHA’s Mortgagee Letter.

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December 9, 2014

Rising Star Featured in Observer

Courtesy of the Charlotte Observer home|design
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Showcase Broker Julius Green Rising Star

 

JULIUS GREEN
BROKER, SHOWCASE REALTY
Julius@showcaserealty.net
//about.me/JuliusGreen

Julius Green, a Kansas City, Mo., native, studied business management at Longview community College, which led to a position as an assistant manager and a five-year partnership with a prominent Fortune 500 company. The role allowed him to expand his expertise in public service and eventually transition into a real estate career. As a dedicated real estate agent with showcase Realty, Green specializes in first-time homebuyers, investment properties, condominium sales and residential properties in the Charlotte market.

Green is a family man with a devotion to God, his beautiful wife and two children. He enjoys long walks in the park, reading and spending time with his family, and anything basketball-related: he’s a natural athlete and it’s one of his year-round passions.

“Very proud Julius was honored with this award. He is hard working, energetic, versatile and enjoys working in all price points and especially first-time home buyers. Slthough successful in a prior job, he made a career change due to his passion for real estate” – Nancy Braun, Owner Broker in charge, Showcase Realty

December 3, 2014

Finding the Right Home Inspector For You

Finding the Right Home Inspector For You

You plan to buy a house, you saw one, you made an offer, the offer has been accepted and your funding is now ready. However, before you continue with the home buying process, ask yourself, are you sure your soon-to-be-home doesn’t have any major defects that will eventually cost you a lot along the way?

Therefore, you should never neglect one of the most important parts in the home buying process and that is doing a home inspection by an excellent home inspector. But how do you choose one? We’ve prepared for you some important tips to remember when choosing a home inspector.

Assess the inspector’s experience. You can do this by checking into how long he has been in the business and how many home inspections he has performed in the past. Ask about his expertise, the way he conducts the inspections, what will be included in his report, and how much he charge for his services. If possible, ask the inspector to give you a sample copy of a written report he has completed before. Remember, there is certainly no equivalent to experience as it enhances and broadens a person’s knowledge and skills in inspecting homes.

Check if the inspector is associated with a professional inspection organization. Although this won’t totally eradicate the bad options, it can help a lot in weeding out fly-by-night inspectors. But this doesn’t mean you’ll simply chose an organization, we highly recommend those professionals affiliated with groups like the National Institute of Building Inspectors, American Society of Home Inspectors, or the National Association of Home Inspectors.

Make sure the inspector has errors and omissions insurance. Your potential home inspectors should have errors and omissions insurance specifically for conducting home inspections. The purpose of the insurance is to cover mistakes of a home inspection – any flaws of a home that the inspector may have overlooked.

Ask for the type of equipment he’ll use for the home inspection. Never hire an inspector who’ll only use a flashlight throughout the inspection because he will not be able to provide you with the best and comprehensive home inspection results. There are actually now lots of sophisticated testing device today and if the inspector is serious about his job, he will invest in such delicate yet costly device to give the best services to his clients. Proper equipment will include electrical circuit analyzers, digital moisture meters, digital cameras for documentation, electronic carbon monoxide and fuel gas analyzers, along with the traditional necessary equipment.

Get feedbacks and recommendations. One of the most effective methods to get the best home inspector is to get recommendations and feedback from family or friends who have worked before with such professional. In this way, you already have an overview about his knowledge and skills. As much as possible, do not hire an inspector who’s affiliated with the seller, the seller’s agent or the agency selling the house.

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November 28, 2014

6 Advantages of Renting Versus Buying

Buying vs renting

The decision to rent or to buy is a common dilemma for most adults. But the current economic conditions place buyers in a more advantageous position than renters because it’s now actually less expensive (38% cheaper) to buy a home than it is to pay a landlord rent. If paying less for the place you call home is not enough to lead you down the path to home ownership, then we’re here to help you better understand with 6 advantages of  buying vs renting.

6 Advantages of Homeownership

#1 Equity Each payment you make towards the principal of your home loan every month increases your equity: the percentage of your home that you own. When you are renting you are actually paying off your landlord’s mortgage debt and increasing their equity in the house.

#2 Rent Goes Up No landlord reduced your rent, right? As a renter you are at the mercy of your landlord.  Rent typically goes up every year. However, mortgage payments can remain the same with a fixed rate loan.

#3 Tax Break When filing tax returns, you can claim mortgage interest as a deduction.   Rent payments are not deductible from income taxes.

#4 Your Personal Touch When you rent, you live in a space not designed for you and without your personal touch. You don’t have the opportunity to select paint colors, remove or add a wall or take any sweat equity with you. When you own your own home you can make improvements to your property based on what you want. You can paint walls any color you want, update the kitchen, and add those special touches to your house to make it feel like home. Renters don’t have any long term benefit from investing time, money or sweat equity into someone else’s property.

#5 Appreciation As a homeowner you typically can gain from the appreciation on your home. Repairs and upgrades (those personal touches) to your home (especially kitchen and bathroom renovations) tend to add value to your home. This is why homeownership is considered the best long-term investment any individual can make.

#6 Pride of Ownership There is a great deal of pride, comfort and stability in owning your own home. Homeownership gives you a joy and happiness that’s hard to describe. But some of the highlights of homeownership is having privacy, entertaining friends and family, having pets without paying a deposit, and the freedom start to your own garden, if you like.

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