Thursday, October 26, 2017

The State of the Triad Region...

Today, the Piedmont Triad Partnership, our regional economic development organization and the Triad Business Journal held the State of the Region address at Elon University and to celebrate a few of the Triad's "Power Players".  This event an overview of the local economy, where we currently are as a region and the cities that make up the region, such as Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Kernersville, High Point and others.  It was a good report, but like anything else, there is always work to do. Ted Abernathy with Economic Leadership and a friend, gave a great economic report.

A few key takeaways for us include the following:

  • the region is poised for growth, particularly manufacturing such as aerospac
  • strong infrastructure such as highway connectivity, railroads, airport & an inland port
  • strong leadership - what are called "tribal leaders"
  • local economic development organizations that are working together
  • NC's housing prices and the Triad's as a whole are outpacing the national average
  • Jobs, wages and GDP are leaders in the nation

The key takeaway for the next number of years and will directly impact our ability to compete, grow and sustain will be our workforce and talent supply.  Places like High Point Andrews have put in place efforts like the Aviation Academy which directly helps trains students for work with great Triad companies, like HAECO - which operates globally.  The NC Chamber is also leading an effort statewide called NC Certified Work Ready Communities which basically tells manufacturers that your region is open for business with a well-trained workforce.

We commend the Piedmont Triad Partnership and the Triad Business Journal for their program today.  It was well worth the time and we would encourage you to go to others.  We've added some pics below for your review.  Happy to discuss in more detail!

From 16% to 36% in four years....!

We live in an ever-changing world.  Technology is changing everyday.  Heck, by the time we get used to one device or piece of technology it is already obsolete.  

Our homes are also becoming autonomous.  In this article, "The Future of Homes: from Smart to Autonomous", the author tells us that "the end of 2017, it’s estimated that only 16.3% of Americans will live in a smart home, though this percentage will increase to 35.6% by 2021."  I suspect the percentage will only increase as the years go by.

I'd be interested in your feedback.  Take a look at this infographic and give me your you want to live in a fully autonomous home?  Do you have smart devices in your current home?  Where do you see things heading?

Thanks for your support.  Hope to talk soon!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Think Brooke will get clearance?

Story People by Brian Andreas

I just love StoryPeople by Brian Andreas.  Every time I see his work, it brings a smile to my face so I thought I'd share a blog he did about anxiousness.  It is easy to become anxious during the real estate process...there is a lot going on and a lot that you probably feel burdened with I'm sure.  But take comfort that there are expert professionals out there to help you and will help mitigate the anxiousness and maximize the excitement!

I thought this piece by him helps put things into perspective just a little...No Reason to be Anxious...

Thanks - enjoy the day and the real estate process!

Monday, October 23, 2017

College and Real Estate...How to Tackle the Tough Questions...

If you are like us, you are thinking about college and those next steps in your kids' life.  What also comes to mind is how to pay for it.  There are many different strategies to pay for college and different people do it in different ways.  The following is a good summary about how to tackle the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and what to do as it relates to you real estate.  As a caveat, it would be a good idea before embarking upon any of these suggestions to simply speak with a tax expert as it relates to your personal situation.

"Getting ready to fill out the dreaded Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? It's the form that strikes fear in parents of college students and college students-to-be who have been cautioned about the tedious process involved, and the disappointing results. And while there is a ton of advice out there about how to properly prepare, what you need, and what to expect, there's another layer of concern for homeowners and homebuyers: How does the FAFSA affect you if you're in the market, already own a home, have investment property, or are thinking about refinancing?..." The FAFSA And Real Estate: When To Buy And Refi To Get The Most Aid For College

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What is one of the largest economic events in NC each year?

The High Point Market is in high gear this week.  This is one of the largest economic events in North Carolina each year and has been for a number of years.

In 2013, Duke University conducted an economic study on the furniture market...from the report, the authors said:

"Overall, this report indicates that the High Point Market has a significant economic and fiscal impact on the 30 county study region of North Carolina and south central Virginia. Overall, the Market generates over $5.39 billion in total economic output across all types of activities modeled here, including visitor spending, direct HPMA budget, vendor spending, sales of furnishings and rental income. The Market supports a total of 37,616 jobs across all the industry sectors stimulated. Of the total of 21,461 direct jobs created by Market related activities, the largest share accrues to manufacturing and related sectors (i.e. distribution, accessories). These are jobs supported due to sales of furniture and related accessories that can be directly tied to transactions made at the Market."
To celebrate the furniture market, we ran across this article...Tips for Decorating Rooms That Are Long and Narrow - it has some good ideas that we get questions regularly about.

Here is some more information concerning the High Point Furniture Market - it is an impressive event twice per year.

We get a lot of questions about interior design..happy to share with you folks we know who are really good at it if you have interest.


Friday, October 13, 2017

"Everything you wanted to know about closing cost"

When we put a property under contract, we often receive questions about closing cost.  This article gives a good summary so we thought we'd share as well.  Let us know if you want to dive deeper!  
"When you’re buying a home there’s tons of new terms and processes you’ll be learning as you go, so it’s likely that upon hearing your Realtor utter the words “closing costs” for the first time, they went in one ear and out the other. And if that’s the case, don’t feel bad; suffice it to say, you’re not alone— a survey released last week found that over half of all first-time home buyers were surprised by the closing costs required to close on their soon-to-be home. Keep reading and you won’t be able to claim ignorance the next time these words find their way into a conversation. 
Closing costs: Explained
I won’t waste any time beating around the bush here— closing costs range anywhere from 2-5% of your home’s total purchase price. For a home priced at $250,000, you could be on the line for $5,000 to $12,500, come closing time. Ouuuch. Double ouch if you had no idea closing costs existed.
Here are some examples of the most common items that make up your closing costs:
Title fees – Title fees cover a title search fee and title insurance fee, to guarantee that the property has a clear title with no liens or issues and that the title can be transferred from the seller to the buyer. Title fees also include recording the deed at the courthouse and notary fees.
Attorney fees – Attorney fees include the attorney’s time and expertise to review closing documents and oversee the closing process.
Pre-paids and escrow – This includes pro-rated property taxes and homeowner insurance premiums to insure there are no gaps in coverage. This may also include pro-rated mortgage interest to cover the gap between when you close and when you make your first mortgage payment, as well as an initial deposit of funds (escrow) for any tax or insurance bills that will need to be paid by your lender soon after closing.
Mortgage insurance – Certain loan programs (usually those that allow a down payment of less than 20 percent) require private mortgage insurance (PMI). This provides protection for the lender in the event you would foreclose on the property.
Lender fees – These are fees paid to your lender and include loan origination fees, application fee, processing fee, credit report fee and any discount points you want to pay to get a lower interest rate.
Property-related fees – Appraisal and inspection fees are included in this category, and are generally paid directly outside of closing. You may also need a survey to confirm property lines, and specialized inspections (termite or structural) depending on property and loan type.
Other – In some cases, closing costs may include a transfer tax (foreclosure, short sale or new construction purchase), additional appraisals (home to be used as a rental property), final inspection (new construction) and specialized underwriting review (condominium purchase). 
Whew! No wonder closing costs are a chunk of change—everybody and anybody involved in the purchase of your new home gets paid when you close. To be on the safe side, go ahead and budget about 5% of the purchase price of your home towards closing costs. You’ll receive a more concrete figure of just how much you’ll need to write a check for in the form of a loan estimate document.  Then, about three days before you actually close, you’ll receive a closing disclosure statement which gives you the exact amount of closing costs. Compare this document with your loan estimate and contact your Realtor immediately if you have any questions or notice discrepancies.
Can I avoid closing costs?
As a first-time buyer, you’re on the hook for a lot of cash— the down payment, moving expenses, new furniture, and now, closing costs. So it’s no surprise that you may be wondering if you can wiggle your way out of them. Here’s your answer: Yes and no.
Yes, you may be able to get out of closing costs in a buyer’s market. Often times sellers are highly motivated to get you in their home in a high inventory, low demand market, so they’ll gladly pay your closing costs. It’s a whole different ballgame in a seller’s market though— so be prepared to pay your closing costs if you buy while demand is high and inventory is low.
You can also lump your closing costs into your loan or consider a loan with a higher interest rate that allows for your lender to issue you a credit to cover your closing fees. Talk with your lender to uncover your full list of options."

Ashley Bryant
Ashley Bryant is a writer covering all things real estate. She resides in Charlotte, NC

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Kernersville Chamber's Corks' ncandidates invite

As you may know, November 7 is Election Day in North Carolina.  There are a number of state and local races, including the Town of Kernersville.  Citizens in Kernersville will be voting for five alderman to  lead the town for the next two years.  

In 2004, I was a Town of Kernersville Alderman and served two terms.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always treasure.  I participated in a couple of these types events and I would highly encourage you to go and learn about the candidates, talk to them and figure out which ones have the best ideas on how to grow our local economy, protect private property rights and to lead the town through important decisions.  

For more information on Election Day and voting, please visit NC State Board of Elections - as well, if you are not registered to vote, this site can help you do that.  

Information concerning the Corks' nCandidates is below.  I hope you will make it a point to add it to your calendar and attend.  Jake, Maddie and I will be there and hope to see you as well!

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Special Thanks to My Clients for Their Role in Making the Economy Work!

Real Estate and Transportation - How Will Impact You?

All of us enjoy or dread the different modes of the transportation network across NC and the US.  We all rely upon the network in some way, shape or form...most importantly, it allows us to eat on a daily basis.

But as technology advancements continue to change our world, how will these advancements impact your property and real estate?

This week, we've seen a number of news articles concerning electric vehicles, large retail companies buying last-mile transportation and logistics companies and an overview about the future of NC's transportation network and challenges.

We thought we'd briefly summarize and share these stories with you.  They are pretty interesting and provide thought provoking ideas about what the future holds and needs.  Take a look.

We'd be interested in your feedback...

Electric Vehicles are Forcing Real Estate to Change Gears - "Analysts predict that within a few years, electric cars will cost about the same or less than their gas-powered cousins, and electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to surge. Though range could still be an issue for some drivers, EVs do have one major advantage: you can charge them at home. No more side trips to the gas station, no more waiting in line, no more pumping gas in the rain, sleet, snow or gloom of night.
In fact, surveys show that most EV owners prefer to charge in the comfort of their own homes, where they can go about their lives while their vehicle quietly juices up.
To sweeten the pot, some states and utility companies offer tax incentives and rebates that apply to charging at home..."
Wal-Mart Buys Delivery Logistics Start-up Parcel "We plan to leverage Parcel for last mile delivery to customers in New York City – including same-day delivery – for both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet," Wal-Mart said in a blog post.
The Future of Transportation - NCDOT Sec Jim Trogdon - At the state level, the North Carolina General Assembly is taking a deep dive into these issues as well.  The House Select Committee on Strategic Transportation Planning and Long Term Funding Solutions had a presentation this week from Sec Trogdon.  If you review the summary on slide 15, all of the technological changes will impact real estate.  

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

What Is Going On With Mortgage Markets and Can I Get a Loan?

For most people when, buying a home they will start with the mortgage loan process.  This can be a confusing, challenging and yes, sometimes a frustrating experience.  However, we do our best to mitigate the frustrations and maximize the enjoyment of the process.  

We get questions everyday relating to what mortgage rates are doing and what types of loan programs they're currently able to take advantage of to the luxury marketplace and jumbo loans.  We love getting these questions and providing you the answers to these and other questions.  Therefore, in the following posts - four short clips - we work to answer these and a few others that you will be interested in.

We want to thank Tina Shields, Allen Tate Mortgage for taking a few minutes out of her very busy day to help.    We appreciate you Tina!  

What are mortgage rates going to do?

Why is is important to talk to more than one lender?

What type of loan products are there for the luxury markets?

Could I buy a home without a huge downpayment?

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Life Insurance...Are You Covered

"Life insurance. Yeah, your eyes glaze over and you start checking your Instagram just at the mention of it. But keep your attention here for just a few moments and I promise it won’t be painful. Life insurance is something that takes care of your loved ones, plain and simple. And that’s something we can all make a little time for, isn’t it?
And actually, according to the 2016 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA, 1 in 3 households would have immediate trouble paying living expenses if the primary wage earner died. And, the study also found that 40% of respondents had not bought life insurance or more of it because they were unsure of how much or what type to buy.
Since September [was] is also Life Insurance Awareness month, it seemed like a good time to talk to..."  Read more at A Discussion about Life Insurance.
Also, if you need ideas and suggestions on experts to speak with, we know several really good folks who would be more than delighted to help.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Square Footage Price - Why it Matters?

Good morning - we were looking at a market report and some numbers this morning from Inman-Weiss Analytics.  It is a great tool we use to better understand the marketplace, both from a national perspective and a local/micro-marktet perspective.

We pulled up the Winston-Salem MSA and its average price/square foot jumped out - currently it is around $92 and could see an increase moving into next year according to the data.  That's good news for sellers, so now would be a great time for buyers to jump into the marketplace.  But keep in mind, that this is just an average and micro-markets are different and lots of things go into this.

In this short VLOG, Brooke breaks down why it matters and how micro-markets and other factors impact the price/square foot. take a look!