Tag Archives for " Nancy Braun Best Real Estate Agent in Charlotte NC "

How to Avoid Getting Your House Foreclosed On

 

Don’t give up, there is still hope

You’ve worked so hard to buy your home, and it is one of your biggest investments. You are proud of it, and it is a source of comfort and peace for you. But if you fall on hard times, and you are unable to keep up with your monthly mortgage payments, you may lose your home to foreclosure.

Before such a drastic thing happens, what can you do to avoid foreclosure?

If you are at the end of your rope financially, don’t give up. Consider your other options. Just think of how much more difficult it will be to get a new home when you credit rating is affected. It will definitely be affected if you let your lender foreclose your home.

Foreclosure alternatives

If your monthly mortgages are piling up, here are some options for you to choose from:

  • Consider a short sale.  A foreclosure is a big deal to lenders because they will lose money, so when you are unable to make payments, the lender usually takes it to court. And if you happen to have a second mortgage or other loans secured by the home, you stand the chance of not just losing your home but your money as well.

When there is no way for you come up with the monthly mortgage, a short sale is a better option. Doing a short sale is beneficial for both you and the lender, and a far better alternative than foreclosure.  

A short sale is when you sell the home for less than the outstanding mortgage on it, with the signed approval of the lender of course.  In a short sale, your REALTOR® will work with the mortgage lender to get a deficiency waiver so that the balance can be forgiven. Your REALTOR® will also work with any  other lenders so that their lien or claim can be removed.

One advantage of short sale over foreclosure is there will be no foreclosure stigma attached to your credit rating. Foreclosures appear on your credit report for seven years, and make it difficult to buy a new home, even if you have saved enough for a down payment and have already gotten a good job.

A short sale also appears on your credit record and lowers your credit score, but you will have get a shorter waiting period before you quality for a Fannie Mae or Fred Mac loan.

Another advantage of short sale is it allows a fresh start. With a foreclosure, only your mortgage payments are taken care of, but with a short sale, all your debts are negotiated by the real estate agent. The selling process will proceed like a normal real estate transaction, so if you chose not to tell your neighbors, they won’t even know the real reason why you’re selling your home.

  • Talk to your lender about a loan modification. When you realize you are behind on your payments and you are not able to come up with a full amount to cover the outstanding monthly mortgage, you need to call your lender.  Most lenders would rather negotiate a compromise which will help you catch up with your payments rather than foreclose on your home. A loan modification can give you a more affordable monthly  mortgage payment, it’s less damaging to your credit rating, and best of all, lets you keep your home.
  • Seek assistance from the government. There are several government programs to help you refinance your loan.  You might consider getting help from the Making Home Affordable (MHA), or the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).  These programs seek to provide qualified homeowners a chance to reduce their monthly mortgage payment to a more affordable price.
  • Opt for a mortgage forbearance agreement.  If you are having difficulty with your monthly payments because of a temporary issue like unemployment or health problems, another good option is talking to your lender about a forbearance agreement.

A mortgage forbearance agreement is a temporary solution for borrowers.  In this agreement, the lender agrees to reduce or suspend payments for a specific time frame, and not to initiate foreclosure. You as the borrower, promise to pay an additional amount to cover the monthly mortgage, including the principal, interest, taxes and insurance, once the agreed upon time period has elapsed.

Don’t allow your hard work to go to the lender. There are many ways you can avoid getting your home foreclosed on.

Whether you are looking for cheap homes Charlotte NC or just want to know more about Charlotte foreclosures and short sales, you can contact me for help. Call me, Nancy Braun, at (704) 997-3794. Let my skills and experience as one of the top REALTORS® of Charlotte help you sell your home.

 

✋What Mistakes Can Seriously Hamper the Sale of Your Charlotte NC Home

homes for sale in Charlotte NC

Mistakes on the small things aren’t a big deal.

However, when it comes to selling your home, you need to do everything right. Before you get too excited about seeing the “Sold” sign out on your lawn, there are some things you should be aware of first.

Homeowners, especially first time sellers, often commit mistakes that cause negative feedback on their Charlotte NC home and hamper their sale.

Here are three major blunders you should avoid at all costs:

1. Improperly Pricing Your Charlotte NC Home

The most common reason why a home doesn’t sell is that the asking price has been set too high. A high price will make buyers wonder what is so special about the property but might leave them disappointed in the end.

If you price your home too high, you’re setting yourself up for a number of obstacles to selling your Charlotte NC home. Even if you receive an offer, the deal may fall apart before the closing because the buyer might encounter problems financing at too high a price.

Keep in mind that the right asking price is your most important tool in real estate. A professional market analysis done by an experienced agent like me can give you the accurate, reliable foundation you need to price your home right.

As your agent, I will evaluate your home’s location and lot size; your home’s age, size and condition; the number of bedrooms, baths, and total rooms; and the kinds of extra features it has. Then, I will compare your home with similar properties currently for sale or recently sold.  As the top real estate agent in Charlotte, I have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which gives me all the information needed to accurately and thoroughly compare your home to similar properties.

2. Staying too emotionally attached

It’s natural to grow fond of the home where you created memories with your family and friends. However, once you decide to sell, you’ll have to emotionally detach from your home. You must now view the property as a blank canvas that is ready for someone else’s memories to be created there.

Although your home may hold a lot of sentimental value, it does not directly translate to its financial value. You can’t price your home according to what it means to you.  

Some sellers make the mistake of pricing their home too high due to their attachment to the property. However, this can backfire and cause the home to languish on the market instead.

Take the time to ensure you’re emotionally prepared for the home selling process so you won’t end up sabotaging your chances of a quick and successful sale.

3. Limited showings

If your home is priced right and shows well, you could get showing requests within hours of listing the home with your agent. To sell it quickly, you need to cooperate when your real estate agent wants to show it.

Your goal is to accommodate as many buyers as possible, even if their timing is inconvenient. If you turn away prospective buyers or make it difficult to show your home, it sends a negative message — that you’re not motivated or serious about selling.

If your house isn’t easy to show, it won’t be easy to sell either.  You’ll need to be flexible when buyers looking for cheap houses for sale in Charlotte NC ask to see your home even on short notice.

 

If you avoid these classic mistakes, you might close your sale faster and easier than you’d have thought possible.

We would love to work with you!

Call me, Nancy Braun, at 704-997-3794. We deliver fast results! The average agent sells a home in 67 days, while our average time for selling a home is only 43 days!

 

Read: How to Sell My Home Fast in Charlotte – a Comprehensive Guide

 

What You Should Know about Home Inspections in Charlotte NC

Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

As a seller, you need to find out if there are hidden issues that need fixing before you put your home on the market!

You would be surprised to see the substantial improvements home inspection companies have made in Charlotte, NC.

Home inspection is normally handled by your buyers but my team and I recommend that if you’re selling your home for top dollar, you need to match it with the same level of preparation.

Why is it necessary to do a home inspection before any purchase?

Your home consists of many complex components including heating, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning systems, structural framing, and other physical components.

If the home you are trying to sell does not have the structural integrity to give you the confidence to show it to your buyers, you may just be wasting your time.

Here are the most important things you should know:

  • I can work with you as we choose your own home inspector. If REALTORS? have the National Association of Realtors (NAR), inspectors also have their National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI). This means that members completed an approved home inspector training program, passed the written exam, and adhere to the NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.  
  • Home inspections are designed to determine any adverse conditions your home may have. Be sure to be present when the inspection is administered. This way, you learn what needs repair or if there are any safety-related concerns that need to be addressed. Remember, no house is perfect and it’s expected that the home inspector will uncover faults. This is to help you as a seller and not just to do destructive testing.  
  • Inspectors aren’t responsible for the condition of your home. Keep in mind that they are not part of the sales transaction. They will possibly tell us that your walls and floors need to be replaced. What happens afterward will be up to us as a seller and your agent.
  • Home inspection reports only include the basics. You’ll expect a detailed report about your home’s exterior, steps, chimneys, roofs, windows, decks, doors, attics, electrical components, plumbing, air conditioning, and garages.

You may also need additional help from a:

  • Mold inspector
  • Pest inspector
  • Soil inspector
  • Arborist
  • Electrician

What are the most common defects established during home inspections?

  1. Ceiling stains – stains are difficult to determine if this is part of an existing leak or were caused by leaks that have already been repaired.
  2. Rotted wood – you can find this in tubs, showers, and toilets.
  3. Roofing – usually damaged, most roofs either need maintenance or to be repaired, ask your inspector if replacing the entire roof will save you more in the long run.
  4. Water heater installations – most heater installations do not follow the local plumbing code so this needs a serious attention.
  5. Electrical defects – this may come from underground outlets wired incorrectly all over your house.

How to prepare for an inspection?

If you’re a home seller, you will need a pre-listing home inspection which means that if anything needs an upgrade or replacement you will handle it on your terms.  Another option that’s common in the market is a short sale, where you can present your house as is and adjust your selling price proportionally.

It is highly important to accompany the inspector so you can inform them of the items you’ve seen in your home that you feel are a cause for concern.

Make sure that the areas that need inspection are accessible, declutter rooms so the listing photos look better, and complete minor repairs such as replacing door handles and so on.

If you’re thinking of selling a home in Charlotte, NC, there’s only one team to get in touch with!

It’s Showcase Realty!

Look for me, Nancy Braun, or any of the more than 50 efficient and best-in-class agents. We can help you sell your house fast, and for more!

We’re constantly ranking in the top 1% of America’s Best Agents Category for sales and volumes by RealTrends of The Wall Street Journal.  

Together with my team, we use technology, creativity, and innovation to raise the bar of how real estate is sold.

We know what works well and we’d like to share it with you! Call us today at 704-997-3794!

Read: How to Sell My Home Fast in Charlotte – a Comprehensive Guide

20 Home Gadget Gift Ideas to Fit Any Budget

Budget-friendly-home-gadget-gifts-for-the-holidays

Looking for the perfect present for a loved one this holiday season? We've rounded up 20 of our favorite gift ideas. And since we work in real estate, we focused on items that add enjoyment, comfort and, in some cases, major value to your home.

From music lovers to home chefs, we've got something for everyone. And we've included a range of price points to suit any budget, from under $50 to major splurge ”¦ in case you're feeling extra generous this year. We hope you find this list useful in identifying gifts your friends and family will love. And maybe some of these items will make your wish list this year, too!

Approximate Price Ranges
$ - under $50
$$ - $51 to $200
$$$ - $201 to $500
$$$$ - Splurge

LET IT SNOW

Heat things up this holiday season! Keep your loved ones cozy all winter with these gifts that add warmth and a touch of luxury.

Tabletop Fireplace - $
On cold nights, nothing beats the comfort and glow of a fire. Whether you're looking to cozy up on the couch with a good book, or enjoy a relaxing night in the backyard with family and friends, a tabletop fireplace is an easy way to light up your evening. The Regal Flame Black Utopia Tabletop Fireplace can be used indoors or outdoors, no vent required. It runs on ethanol, which can be mixed with citronella to double as a mosquito repellent for outdoor use.

Towel Warmer - $$
Who wouldn't love to wrap themselves in a warm towel when they step out of the shower on a cold morning? While heated towel racks are available in a variety of styles and price points, the Anzzi Glow 4-Bar Electric Towel Warmer in Polished Chrome is an entry level version that gets good reviews. Modern and elegant, this model plugs into a nearby outlet for easy installation and is made of rust-resistant stainless steel. Turn your daily shower into a spa-like experience!

Smart Thermostat - $$$
Now you can wake up to a warm house, even if you like it cool while you sleep. After using the Nest Learning Thermostat for a week, it will start to recognize your patterns and adjust the temperature automatically to your preferences. In its third-generation, Nest claims to pay for itself over time in energy savings. It uses sensors and your phone's location to check if you've left the house, then sets itself to an Eco Temperature. And this smart-thermostat knows when you typically get home from work and can heat things up before you return. If your schedule changes, you can even adjust the temperature remotely from your smartphone.

Radiant Floor Heating - $$$$
Radiant heating has been a popular alternative in new construction to traditional forced-air heating systems. And new technology has made it easier and less expensive to retrofit existing homes with radiant heating. According to BobVila.com, “radiant floors are heated either with electric resistance cables or hot water flowing inside tubing” beneath the floor. It's energy-efficient, effective, and doesn't blow dust and allergens around the way forced-air systems do. Not only will you love stepping onto a heated floor on a cool morning, you'll be adding value to your home, as this is an appealing upgrade to buyers when it comes time to sell.

ROCK AROUND THE TREE

It's holiday music time! Music lovers are sure to appreciate these gifts guaranteed to enhance their listening experience throughout the home.

Showerhead Speaker - $
Whether you enjoy singing in the shower, or listening to your favorite podcast, the H2oVibe Rain Showerhead Jet with Wireless Bluetooth Speaker syncs with any bluetooth-enabled device so you can stream your favorite music or other audio directly into the shower. The waterproof speaker easily detaches from the showerhead so you can bring it with you from room to room while you get dressed. And the showerhead itself features jets with three times more spray power than the average showerhead, creating a spa-like experience.

Voice Controlled Smart Speaker - $$
Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home not only stream music on demand via voice control, they can also serve as a central hub for numerous other smart-home devices. Now you can change the channel on your TV, make a phone call, turn on your lights, set your thermostat and lock your front door, all without lifting a finger.

High-End Wireless Speaker - $$$
If you prefer a premium speaker, the Sonos Play:3 is the mid-range option in the brand's line of wireless speakers. It delivers rich and robust sound with a sleek design that can placed horizontally or vertically to fit almost any space. Sonos speakers sync with Amazon Echo and Alexa, which enable you to control the speaker with voice commands. And you can easily add additional speakers from the Sonos line for an enhanced, surround-sound experience.

Whole Home Audio System - $$$$
The sky's the limit when it comes to whole-home audio systems, and for a premium sound system you can expect to make a significant investment. Companies like Yamaha offer a wide variety of components, all designed to work in conjunction to give you a customized whole-home audio and home theater system to suit your needs.


ADD SOME SIZZLE TO THE SEASON

Home chefs will love these gifts, perfect for holiday entertaining and home cooking all year long. Not only will they bring excitement to the recipient, everyone in the family will benefit from the delicious dishes these gifts are sure to inspire!

Bread Maker - $
Warm, fresh bread can make any meal feel special. With a bread machine like this one from Hamilton Beach, you can enjoy fresh rolls, pizza dough, cakes, jams, flatbreads and croissants with minimal effort. Plus, there's a gluten-free setting, which makes this a perfect gift for anyone avoiding gluten in their diet.

Electric Smoker - $$
If you love to barbecue, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker gives you the tenderness and flavor of smoking meat, without the hassle. The integrated meat probe alerts you when the meat reaches a predetermined internal temperature, and when it's done cooking the “warming” feature keeps your food hot until it's ready to be served.

Smart Sous-Vide Machine - $$$
Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and then placed in a water bath to cook at a precise temperature. The new Mellow Smart Sous Vide Appliance hits the market this holiday season and promises to make sous vide as easy and foolproof as a slow cooker. Its built-in cooling system keeps your food cold until it's ready to be cooked ”¦ so you can stick a piece of salmon in before you leave for work, choose the time you want it to be ready, and dinner will be done when you get home.

High-End Oven Range - $$$$
To really heat things up in the kitchen, any home chef would love a new high-end range, like this 36” Dual Fuel Range with Six Burners from Sub-Zero Wolf. With ten custom cooking modes-including one for proofing dough and one for dehydrating-and a temperature probe alert, this oven makes cooking almost foolproof. And the timeless stainless steel design will enhance the beauty of any kitchen. Investing in a high-end range not only adds enjoyment to meal preparation, it's highly-desired by home buyers ”¦ something to consider if you plan to list your home within the next few years.


SPARKLE AND SHINE

Holiday lights aren't the only way to make a home sparkle. These cleaning gadgets and appliances will keep your home clean and shiny all year long ”¦ and hopefully bring some joy to the cleaning process!

Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner - $
Anyone who has pets or young children will love the convenience of a cordless and portable spot cleaner like the BISSELL SpotLifter 2X Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner. Its cleaning brush agitates soiled spots while simultaneously sucking up debris. Use it to remove small spills and stains from carpet, furniture, rugs, drapes, car seats, and other upholstered items.

Robotic Vacuum Cleaner - $$
Robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for years, but new technology has made them more effective and lowered the cost significantly. The ECOVACS DEEBOT N79 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner provides a good mix of features and value. It offers several cleaning modes and moves easily from rugs to tile to carpet. You can also control it with your smartphone using the ECOVACS App.

Dishwasher - $$$
While a high-end dishwasher with all the bells and whistles can certainly be a good investment, there are some great values on the market for those with a more modest budget. For example, the Maytag Front Control Dishwasher gets consistently great reviews for its powerful motor that disintegrates bits of food to deliver sparkling clean dishes, even without rinsing. And its elegant exterior will upgrade the look of your kitchen ”¦ all without breaking the bank.

New Washer/Dryer - $$$$
If anything can make laundry exciting, it's a new washer and dryer with smart-technology like the Kenmore Elite Smart Washer and Dryer. Now you can start a load of laundry remotely from your smartphone to time it with your arrival home. You can also customize washer and dryer cycles and receive an alert when a cycle is complete. And with the Express cycle, you can wash and dry a small load in 45 minutes, saving you time and energy.


KEEP THE GRINCH AWAY

Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your family. Protect your loved ones-and deter intruders-with gifts that keep you and your home safe and secure.

Smart Light Bulbs - $
The Philips Hue White Smart Bulb Starter Kit is a good entry-level investment in smart lighting technology. Now you can automate your lighting and control your lights from your smartphone using the Philips Hue App. Deter burglars by making it look like someone's home when you turn your lights on remotely. And stay safer by never entering a dark house again. Plus, it has several options to enhance the look and ambiance of your home lighting.

Video Doorbell - $$
Watch over your home and greet visitors from your computer or smartphone with a video-enabled doorbell, like the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Adjustable motion sensors alert you when someone is approaching your door, and live video and audio allow you to see and talk to visitors without opening the door, even if you're away from home. The best part is, they'll never know you're not home if you don't tell them.

Smart Lock - $$$
Control and monitor your locks from anywhere with a smart lock like the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect. Now there's no need to leave a key under the doormat or give a copy to the housekeeper. You can activate keyless access remotely, and even lock up when they leave, all from your computer or smartphone. And no more fumbling around for your keys in the dark. Similar to keyless entry for your car, Smart Lock Pro automatically unlocks your door when you approach.

Security System - $$$$
An in-home security system is still one of the best ways to protect your home and family from intruders and alert you to the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide. Some companies, like Vivint, can integrate your security system with video monitoring, a doorbell camera, smart locks, garage doors and even your thermostat. Prices vary depending on the options you select, and a monthly monitoring service is required, but a home security system can bring peace of mind knowing your family and home are protected.


WE'RE HERE TO HELP

As real estate professionals, we get to visit people's homes every day and talk to buyers and sellers about their favorite features. So we have a unique insight into the elements that truly make a house special, bring joy to homeowners and add value to a home. Did we miss your favorite home-related gift? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below!

If you do decide to “splurge” on a home upgrade, contact Nancy Braun, Broker-In-Charge/Owner of Showcase Realty, at (704) 997-3794, for recommendations on the best options for your particular home. Buyer expectations and preferences vary depending on price point, style of home and neighborhood. We can run a comparative market analysis to find out how the upgrade you're considering will impact the value of your home, before you make the investment.

20 Home Gadget Gift Ideas to Fit Any Budget



Looking for the perfect present for a loved one this holiday season? We've rounded up 20 of our favorite gift ideas. And since we work in real estate, we focused on items that add enjoyment, comfort and, in some cases, major value to your home.


From music lovers to home chefs, we've got something for everyone. And we've included a range of price points to suit any budget, from under $50 to major splurge ”¦ in case you're feeling extra generous this year. We hope you find this list useful in identifying gifts your friends and family will love. And maybe some of these items will make your wish list this year, too!


Approximate Price Ranges

$ - under $50

$$ - $51 to $200

$$$ - $201 to $500

$$$$ - Splurge



LET IT SNOW


Heat things up this holiday season! Keep your loved ones cozy all winter with these gifts that add warmth and a touch of luxury. 


Tabletop Fireplace - $

On cold nights, nothing beats the comfort and glow of a fire. Whether you're looking to cozy up on the couch with a good book, or enjoy a relaxing night in the backyard with family and friends, a tabletop fireplace is an easy way to light up your evening. The Regal Flame Black Utopia Tabletop Fireplace can be used indoors or outdoors, no vent required. It runs on ethanol, which can be mixed with citronella to double as a mosquito repellent for outdoor use.


Towel Warmer - $$

Who wouldn't love to wrap themselves in a warm towel when they step out of the shower on a cold morning? While heated towel racks are available in a variety of styles and price points, the Anzzi Glow 4-Bar Electric Towel Warmer in Polished Chrome is an entry level version that gets good reviews. Modern and elegant, this model plugs into a nearby outlet for easy installation and is made of rust-resistant stainless steel. Turn your daily shower into a spa-like experience!


Smart Thermostat - $$$

Now you can wake up to a warm house, even if you like it cool while you sleep. After using the Nest Learning Thermostat for a week, it will start to recognize your patterns and adjust the temperature automatically to your preferences. In its third-generation, Nest claims to pay for itself over time in energy savings. It uses sensors and your phone's location to check if you've left the house, then sets itself to an Eco Temperature. And this smart-thermostat knows when you typically get home from work and can heat things up before you return. If your schedule changes, you can even adjust the temperature remotely from your smartphone.


Radiant Floor Heating - $$$$

Radiant heating has been a popular alternative in new construction to traditional forced-air heating systems. And new technology has made it easier and less expensive to retrofit existing homes with radiant heating. According to BobVila.com, “radiant floors are heated either with electric resistance cables or hot water flowing inside tubing” beneath the floor. It's energy-efficient, effective, and doesn't blow dust and allergens around the way forced-air systems do. Not only will you love stepping onto a heated floor on a cool morning, you'll be adding value to your home, as this is an appealing upgrade to buyers when it comes time to sell.



ROCK AROUND THE TREE


It's holiday music time! Music lovers are sure to appreciate these gifts guaranteed to enhance their listening experience throughout the home. 


Showerhead Speaker - $

Whether you enjoy singing in the shower, or listening to your favorite podcast, the H2oVibe Rain Showerhead Jet with Wireless Bluetooth Speaker syncs with any bluetooth-enabled device so you can stream your favorite music or other audio directly into the shower. The waterproof speaker easily detaches from the showerhead so you can bring it with you from room to room while you get dressed. And the showerhead itself features jets with three times more spray power than the average showerhead, creating a spa-like experience.


Voice Controlled Smart Speaker - $$

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home not only stream music on demand via voice control, they can also serve as a central hub for numerous other smart-home devices. Now you can change the channel on your TV, make a phone call, turn on your lights, set your thermostat and lock your front door, all without lifting a finger.


High-End Wireless Speaker - $$$

If you prefer a premium speaker, the Sonos Play:3 is the mid-range option in the brand's line of wireless speakers. It delivers rich and robust sound with a sleek design that can placed horizontally or vertically to fit almost any space. Sonos speakers sync with Amazon Echo and Alexa, which enable you to control the speaker with voice commands. And you can easily add additional speakers from the Sonos line for an enhanced, surround-sound experience.


Whole Home Audio System - $$$$

The sky's the limit when it comes to whole-home audio systems, and for a premium sound system you can expect to make a significant investment. Companies like Yamaha offer a wide variety of components, all designed to work in conjunction to give you a customized whole-home audio and home theater system to suit your needs.



ADD SOME SIZZLE TO THE SEASON


Home chefs will love these gifts, perfect for holiday entertaining and home cooking all year long. Not only will they bring excitement to the recipient, everyone in the family will benefit from the delicious dishes these gifts are sure to inspire!


Bread Maker - $

Warm, fresh bread can make any meal feel special. With a bread machine like this one from Hamilton Beach, you can enjoy fresh rolls, pizza dough, cakes, jams, flatbreads and croissants with minimal effort. Plus, there's a gluten-free setting, which makes this a perfect gift for anyone avoiding gluten in their diet.


Electric Smoker - $$

If you love to barbecue, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker gives you the tenderness and flavor of smoking meat, without the hassle. The integrated meat probe alerts you when the meat reaches a predetermined internal temperature, and when it's done cooking the “warming” feature keeps your food hot until it's ready to be served.


Smart Sous-Vide Machine - $$$

Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and then placed in a water bath to cook at a precise temperature. The new Mellow Smart Sous Vide Appliance hits the market this holiday season and promises to make sous vide as easy and foolproof as a slow cooker. Its built-in cooling system keeps your food cold until it's ready to be cooked ”¦ so you can stick a piece of salmon in before you leave for work, choose the time you want it to be ready, and dinner will be done when you get home.


High-End Oven Range - $$$$

To really heat things up in the kitchen, any home chef would love a new high-end range, like this 36” Dual Fuel Range with Six Burners from Sub-Zero Wolf. With ten custom cooking modes-including one for proofing dough and one for dehydrating-and a temperature probe alert, this oven makes cooking almost foolproof. And the timeless stainless steel design will enhance the beauty of any kitchen. Investing in a high-end range not only adds enjoyment to meal preparation, it's highly-desired by home buyers ”¦ something to consider if you plan to list your home within the next few years.



SPARKLE AND SHINE


Holiday lights aren't the only way to make a home sparkle. These cleaning gadgets and appliances will keep your home clean and shiny all year long ”¦ and hopefully bring some joy to the cleaning process! 


Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner - $

Anyone who has pets or young children will love the convenience of a cordless and portable spot cleaner like the BISSELL SpotLifter 2X Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner. Its cleaning brush agitates soiled spots while simultaneously sucking up debris. Use it to remove small spills and stains from carpet, furniture, rugs, drapes, car seats, and other upholstered items.


Robotic Vacuum Cleaner - $$

Robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for years, but new technology has made them more effective and lowered the cost significantly. The ECOVACS DEEBOT N79 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner provides a good mix of features and value. It offers several cleaning modes and moves easily from rugs to tile to carpet. You can also control it with your smartphone using the ECOVACS App.


Dishwasher - $$$

While a high-end dishwasher with all the bells and whistles can certainly be a good investment, there are some great values on the market for those with a more modest budget. For example, the Maytag Front Control Dishwasher gets consistently great reviews for its powerful motor that disintegrates bits of food to deliver sparkling clean dishes, even without rinsing. And its elegant exterior will upgrade the look of your kitchen ”¦ all without breaking the bank.


New Washer/Dryer - $$$$

If anything can make laundry exciting, it's a new washer and dryer with smart-technology like the Kenmore Elite Smart Washer and Dryer. Now you can start a load of laundry remotely from your smartphone to time it with your arrival home. You can also customize washer and dryer cycles and receive an alert when a cycle is complete. And with the Express cycle, you can wash and dry a small load in 45 minutes, saving you time and energy. 



KEEP THE GRINCH AWAY


Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your family. Protect your loved ones-and deter intruders-with gifts that keep you and your home safe and secure.


Smart Light Bulbs - $

The Philips Hue White Smart Bulb Starter Kit is a good entry-level investment in smart lighting technology. Now you can automate your lighting and control your lights from your smartphone using the Philips Hue App. Deter burglars by making it look like someone's home when you turn your lights on remotely. And stay safer by never entering a dark house again. Plus, it has several options to enhance the look and ambiance of your home lighting.


Video Doorbell - $$

Watch over your home and greet visitors from your computer or smartphone with a video-enabled doorbell, like the Ring Video Doorbell 2.  Adjustable motion sensors alert you when someone is approaching your door, and live video and audio allow you to see and talk to visitors without opening the door, even if you're away from home. The best part is, they'll never know you're not home if you don't tell them.


Smart Lock - $$$

Control and monitor your locks from anywhere with a smart lock like the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect. Now there's no need to leave a key under the doormat or give a copy to the housekeeper. You can activate keyless access remotely, and even lock up when they leave, all from your computer or smartphone. And no more fumbling around for your keys in the dark. Similar to keyless entry for your car, Smart Lock Pro automatically unlocks your door when you approach. 


Security System - $$$$

An in-home security system is still one of the best ways to protect your home and family from intruders and alert you to the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide. Some companies, like Vivint, can integrate your security system with video monitoring, a doorbell camera, smart locks, garage doors and even your thermostat. Prices vary depending on the options you select, and a monthly monitoring service is required, but a home security system can bring peace of mind knowing your family and home are protected.



WE'RE HERE TO HELP


As real estate professionals, we get to visit people's homes every day and talk to buyers and sellers about their favorite features. So we have a unique insight into the elements that truly make a house special, bring joy to homeowners and add value to a home.  Did we miss your favorite home-related gift? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below!


If you do decide to “splurge” on a home upgrade, contact us for recommendations on the best options for your particular home. Buyer expectations and preferences vary depending on price point, style of home and neighborhood. We can run a comparative market analysis to find out how the upgrade you're considering will impact the value of your home, before you make the investment.


Find Out Why Charlotte is 2017’s 2nd Fastest-Growing Large City in America

The Queen City did it again!

Being in second place has never been this awesome especially if it means second among the fastest-growing in the nation.

The brains behind the free consumer tools producing research reports and surveys, WalletHub, conducted a comprehensive analysis using 15 key indicators. They spearheaded this study after experiencing several hurricanes over these past months, and to find out which has the fastest local economic growth survival and they involved 515 cities in the US with deviating population sizes.

These best practices stood out allowing WalletHub to clearly see which factors constitute the inevitable success of these cities which helped them stand the test of time. Charlotte is at number 2.

What are the key indicators that made Charlotte a winner?

Some of the metrics they have calculated and weighed are :

  1. Growth in Number of Businesses (# 1)
  2. Population Growth (# 41)
  3. Job Growth (# 17)
  4. Working-age Population Growth (# 35)
  5. Regional Gross Domestic Product Growth (# 148)

(1 = fastest-growing)

Charlotte’s huge estimated population of 842,051 has served the city its purpose by becoming the second of the largest cities with the highest growth and also getting the 20th spot in the over-all ranking. WalletHub defines that any community with more than 300,000 people is considered a large population. We’re not the only one who can see that Charlotte’s trend which has gone up a notch from last year’s conducted study will be a ladder-like success and we couldn’t be more proud of our city.

Why are people moving to Charlotte instead of other cities?

The fast economic development is inviting and spreading throughout the state. While some people will have to worry about the traffic and the possibility of city congestion, retailers and big companies continue to expand.

Here are my top 5 picks why I suggest that you seriously consider joining us:

> Charlotte has become a major US financial capital. This is the home of Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan, Ally Financial, and Wells Fargo which center their operations here. The exclusive employment offered by these most successful banks play a major part why this city’s population continues to soar. Look at the number one spot for this year’s growth in businesses and you will only see one name.

> The quality of education is exceptional. More than a dozen of our schools have been given top rankings by Newsweek’s Top High Schools in America. We have 38 colleges and universities to choose from.

> Affordable living options. Residents are given a variety of housing options. You can get a lot more for your money. A typical detached residence with 3 beds, 2 baths goes for around $250,000.

> Like most cities, Charlotte has numerous neighborhoods in different parts of the city and each of them is unique. You can divide them into categories of historic homes, artsy and eclectic neighborhood, urban living, country club feel and those which have easy rail access. Take your pick!

> People like to call it the “fitness community”. We have myriad offerings of physical activities like runs, races, and yoga. The Thunder Road is the yearly half and full marathon which we hold.

It’s easy to see and understand why Charlotte always feels like a young and thriving city. There’s no reason for you not to join the ranks. Connect with me, Nancy Braun, at 704-997-3794 when you’re in town!

How to Price Your Charlotte NC Home Correctly

Homes for sale in Charlotte

When it comes to selling your home, one of the crucial decisions you have to make is setting the right listing price.

The listing price is one of the first things that buyers will see when looking at your property online. It will serve as their basis in comparing your home to other Charlotte NC homes they are considering. The success of your home sale will depend largely on the price that you set.

Most sellers tend to make the mistake of overpricing their homes. Perhaps it is due to their emotional attachment to the property, or their intent on recovering their return-on-investment.

Overpriced homes languish on the market and they tend to lose the freshness of the home’s appeal after the first two or three weeks of showings. On the other hand, a lower priced home may sell quickly but the seller will end up with less money than he thinks his home is worth.

So how you can get the highest possible price for your home within a reasonable timeframe?

You have to start by striking a balance between overpriced and lower priced homes while considering yours and the customer’s side. Keep in mind that correctly priced homes sell faster than those that are not.

Here are other factors that you have to look into when determining your home’s listing price.

The home’s market value

When setting the price for your home, you shouldn’t let your emotions get in the way. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an overpriced home.

Having a  clear understanding of your home’s  true market value is the first step in establishing your list price. Market value is how much a home would sell for under normal conditions. This can be evaluated through a comparative market analysis (CMA).

The competition

The competition also plays an important role in determining your home’s listing price. Buyers will compare your home to other similar Charlotte NC homes for sale in your area.

This is where your real estate agent comes in. Your agent will provide you with a CMA which contains the comparables close to your neighborhood. To create a CMA, your real estate agent will look at the price of recently sold, active, and expired listings that are similar to your home.

A CMA includes active listings which refer to the homes currently for sale and pending listings which are homes under contract. It will also include homes in and near your area which were sold in the past three to six months.

Remember not to price your home above the pending list prices, or your property will stay on the market longer.

Market condition

It’s essential to know your home’s market when selling your home. There are three kinds of markets – Seller, Buyer And Neutral.

The seller’s market, also known as the hot market, happens when there are more buyers than available houses to buy. Serious buyers are often willing to pay more than the listing price. In a seller’s market, you can probably sell your home quickly and quite possibly for more than you ask for it.

The buyer’s market is the opposite of the seller’s market and is also known as the cold market. In this kind of market, there are more homes available for sale than buyers to purchase them. Buyers have more homes to choose from and homes tend to stay on the market longer. Be ready to lower your price if you want to sell your home fast in such a market.

The neutral or balanced market happens when there are relatively similar numbers of sellers to buyers, sale prices that are close to closing prices, and listings are on the market for about a month or a month and a half.

Incentives

Offering incentives is another pricing strategy that can help sell your home quickly and for a higher price. You may add on to the price of your home depending on the incentives you offer.

Visit //ShowcaseRealty.net for more tips  in choosing the right listing price for your home.

Call me, Nancy Braun, at (704) 997-3794. As the top real estate agent in Charlotte NC, I can assist you in getting your home sold fast for top dollar.

Another Happy Client Reviews Showcase Realty

Showcase Realty

“Nancy is the consummate professional. Everything she did to help us buy our new home was amazing. She explained everything so well. She made buying a home fun and easy and she knows her business. We are telling all of our friends how great our experience was.” – Barb7855, Zillow

Find your dream home with best Charlotte NC real estate agent Nancy Braun and the Showcase Realty Team! Call (704) 997-3794 today!

If you’re looking for homes for sale, visit: www.ShowcaseRealty.net.

Another Happy Client Reviews Showcase Realty

Nancy Braun Top Real Estate Agent in NC

“I reached out to Nancy Braun when I saw a piece of property I was interested in on the Zillow website. I was promptly contacted by Leigh Anne Forlidas, a broker associate for Nancy Braun. It was determined the initial property I called about was already sold, but Leigh Anne offered to help me find other suitable houses. I am lucky she did. After several weeks of looking, Leigh Anne found a house in my budget and in the perfect location. Considering how picky I am about things, Leigh Anne had to work hard to earn my business. She was considerate and worked around my schedule, which meant lots of evening and weekend work. I would certainly recommend Nancy’s group to others looking for a new place to live.” – Mparra67, Zillow

Find your dream home with best Charlotte NC real estate agent Nancy Braun and the Showcase Realty Team! Call (704) 997-3794 today!

If you’re looking for homes for sale, visit: www.ShowcaseRealty.net.

 

Another Happy Client Reviews Showcase Realty

Nancy Braun Top Real Estate Agent in NC

“Great customer service, attention to detail and very patient with us as we went through the process. She was always able to recommend good services throughout the process whether it be the closing attorney or the Inspector. We are so happy to be in our new home and that is thanks to Nancy and Showcase Realty!”  – Mlorence2000, Zillow

Find your dream home with best Charlotte NC real estate agent Nancy Braun and the Showcase Realty Team! Call (704) 997-3794 today!

If you’re looking for homes for sale, visit: www.ShowcaseRealty.net.

Another Happy Client Reviews Showcase Realty

Nancy Braun Top Real Estate Agent in NC

“Nancy and her team of professionals helped with our sale in such a way as it blew our minds. They’re all incredible professionals and I would highly recommend anyone to her, and have. You should definitely use Nancy Braun and her team to sell your home.” – Dforst04, Zillow

Find your dream home with best Charlotte NC real estate agent Nancy Braun and the Showcase Realty Team! Call (704) 997-3794 today!

If you’re looking for homes for sale, visit: www.ShowcaseRealty.net.

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