Buying FAQ’s

Charlotte Home Buying Questions?

“How long does it take to close on a home?”  “What is a short sale?” … and everything in between, you’ll find these at my Charlotte Homes FAQ’s

Latest Charlotte Real Estate Market Conditions

April Home Sales in Charlotte Pendings, Closings and Home Prices UP over 1year ago

Charlotte Home Sales 1st Q Market Report median square foot prices rising

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Charlotte, NC Real Estate. Yes There are new Rules for Real Estate in 2010. 2009 Changed EVERYTHING. I’m talking about those changes here, and here. But That doesn’t affect the following.

Are you going to buy a home in 2010?  If the answer is Yes, it is time to get after it, here’s why.

Mortgage Interest rates are at (nearly) all time lows, and creeping up slowly.

Houses and Money- its all about hte moneyAs the economic recovery expands, expect rates to go up.   The difference between 5% and 6% interest on a $250,000 loan? Fixed for 30 years, the 5% payment is $1,342/mo, the 6% payment is $1,499, that’s $157/mo, $1,884 per year, and $18,840 over 10 years.

On a $600,000 loan? Jumbo loans cost more, so what is the difference between 6 and 7%? At 6% its $3,597/mo   at 7% $3,990. That’s $393 per month difference, $4,716 per year, and $47, 160 over ten years. Real money.

Tax Credits Will Bring Out Sellers and Buyers in the Spring

The first home buyer tax credit most are familiar with by now- it offers 10% credit up to $8,000 for first home buyers and it goes away April 30 for contracts, July 1 for closings.

The “move-up” home buyer tax credit of $6500: to qualify you have to be in your home for a minimum of 5 years, and contract for a new home by April 30, which means you have to sell first quarter of 2010, then write a contract (contingent perhaps on the closing) on a new home by April 30, and close on that home by July 1. Additional details including income limits in the link.

Prices Have Bottomed and are Edging up

Nationally prices have fallen 30% since their peak in 2005. Arguably housing hasn’t been this affordable since the Great Depression argues the WSJ.  After a steep fall in the 4th quarter of 2008, prices remained steady through out the worst real estate year in history, then began edging up in late spring. Except for some seasonal and minor declines in the fall, Charlotte home prices are higher at the end of 2009 then at the beginning according to Case-Shiller.

So great home values, historically low mortgage rates plus tax credits for many… make this the best time to buy a home in atleast the last decade. Maybe much much longer.

 

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Homewith a question markIf you are in Charlotte real estate, you are often asked

How Much Is That Home per Square Foot?

That’s the question we Realtor’s hear almost daily. But can you predict a certain homes value, by the pasts’s average sf price? Well no. But it is such a bad predictor of value, that many MLS’s don’t report square footage on their listings, or like ours, they give a range of square footages…

WHY?

Price per square foot is  easy, its division, and even if inexact, Buyers and Sellers often use to compare properties.  It is great for a historical look at  large number of homes.  It  is an important first step in valuing a property. Unfortunately, because of its simplicity, it is often mis-used, and misunderstood.  Instead, you must look st the range of square foot values and apply tie right value to the home you are considering.

What is Cost Per Square foot?

Simple mathematical division: when looking at  a property, we simply take the sales price, and divide by the reported square feet. Sales Price/Sf=$/sf . in Charlotte, homes old have reported exact square footages making a historic view of the transactions quite accurate.  On home for sale, the MLS reports a range of square foots, but because we don’t report exact square footages prior to sale, you need to first estimate the square foot, then do the division… and then you MUST

Adjust Cost Per Square Foot

There is always a range of selling or sold prices- the high to low, and I often report the median Sold cost per square foot- the middle price based on a period’s sales.  Where a home sells, on a cost per sf basis is, is determined by the negotiated agreement, and that is determined by the relative value of atleast these variables below!

Construction Materials- Brick versus siding etc

Condition- from the extremely good to the bad, walk in and do nothing, or walk in and needs everything

Lot Size/Location- nice lots fetch more money. Families with children like cul de sacs. Water view, water front, and golf course lots command larger premiums.

Upgrades- the more upgrades, the higher the price

Overall appeal- the intangibles, but beauty is a powerful one, community amenities when comparing competing subdivisons.

Other adjustments include: shared driveways, HOA/Condo fees, big easements, and many more!

So if you know the range of home prices, and the median cost per square foot for a given neighborhood, you should be able to determine the best, worst and most likely price. In this way, with good information, you should know a bargain when you see it.

I love square foot pricing when used in the aggregate, looking at the past, what can I say, I’m Analytical! It is perfect when comparing, for example,  the last 180 days sales in subdivision A versus subdivision B. If there are a handful of sales, this provides good information on relative pricing, and price trends.  However, it is of much less value, trying to predict selling prices, BECAUSE the adjustments above are quite subjective, and there are always outliers.

We can help you with this- this is just one of the research tools we use to evaluate prices, offers and suggested List Prices.

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A smart buyer, good information and a good Buyer Agent Make GREAT deals happen!

Call us today, 704-351-1519, or use the link below.

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