Buying foreclosure homesBuying Foreclosures; not a week that goes by that I don’t receive one or more calls or e-mails from hopeful buyers and/or investors wanting to buy a bank-owned property (a foreclosure). I always start the conversation with a simple question, “Why do you want to buy a foreclosure?” More often than not I get a version of the following as an answer. “The price. I know foreclosures are a good deal.” As someone who specializes in buyer brokering, I will admit I inwardly cringe a little every time I hear this as I rarely find foreclosures to be the deal most people think they are.

My Experiences With Foreclosed Properties:

I've been a full-time real estate broker for more than twenty-four years and have been buying and selling real estate for over…

1717 Views, 0 Comments

Three weeks ago I published a blog titled 2012- Buy a Home or Keep on Renting- What's your Plan? Since then I've heard from some people saying that they enjoyed the article but wished I had a quick spreadsheet they could see summarizing the numbers I presented as this is how they grasped numbers best. So I took a little time and put one together which I present here.

 Rent vs Buy in 2012

Just a couple of days ago I was on my way to show a home to some buyer clients and was listing to NPR and heard a conversation about how the combination of historic low-interest rates combined with home prices being down anywhere from 10%-40% from their record highs just 5 years or so ago really made this the ideal home for home buyers. The problem the speaker was saying was that…

1776 Views, 0 Comments

Current Durham Market Statistics - October 2011

I'm sitting in my office now reviewing the latest market data from a variety of sources, including the raw local data my local MLS, Board of Realtors, Zillow, Trulia and others generate.

This is what I do regularly throughout each year, so that I can help my buyers and sellers get the information they need to make good, informed decisions.

Overall the market picture is mixed. While I’ve had an extremely good year, closing on average more than 3 transactions a month, I realize this is not at all indicative of the broader market. Studying all the data there are a few things that really stand out to me.

Low Housing Stock

First and most important is the overall drop in inventory on the market.…

1315 Views, 0 Comments

Backyard Gardening In Durham Growing was apparently the operative word as evidenced by the attached pictures. What started off as one simple raised bed was so successful that last spring I put in a second and we were off to the races. This year my wife Angela and I enjoyed fresh lettuces, tomatoes, zucchini, okra, summer squash, red and green peppers, lots of spinach, mustard greens, collards, cucumbers, green beans and herbs. we've got brocoli kale, cabbage, more lettuces, carrots, and greens growing now. For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that I've kept going and just finished putting in a third (and final) larger bed for next year.

All of these beds are actually in our front yard which gets long afternoon sun, and to make it easier on my wife and I to…

3130 Views, 1 Comments

Rue Cler - Downtown Durham

...Rue Cler is definitely on my list of places that everyone should try.

Rue Cler in DurhamWent out last evening with my wife and had a great time in downtown Durham. We started of with dinner at Rue Cler. Located in the heart of downtown Durham I've been by it countless times, stopped into their bakery on occasion but for some reason I'd never eaten there but after last nights meal, I know I'll be back.

Very much in the style of a traditional french neighborhood local restaurant, their focus is a $30 three course menu. As a former executive chef I was pleased to see that each course only offered three choices. The food is locally sourced and/or produced, the menu done daily, and I can honestly say everything we had was really good.…

1782 Views, 0 Comments

Earlier this week I went and listened to William “Bill” Kalkhof speak to a group of Durham Realtors about Durham. I've had the pleasure of hearing Bill speak before over the past few years and have always found him to be interesting as well as informative about what's going on here in my adopted home town of Durham, NC. This time I left the meeting really pumped up after listening to him Speak.

Bill is one of the founding members and President of Downtown Durham Inc. a nonprofit private organization devoted to the revitalization and development and promotion of Durham's downtown and historic district. Founded in 1993, DDI has been instrumental in Durham's tremendous renaissance, playing a significant part in bringing about such additions as The…

1929 Views, 0 Comments

Living and working here in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina one of the things I enjoy most about my job as a Realtor is the people I get to meet and help find a good home. At heart I'm a people person which is why I love what I do and here in Durham, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Pittsboro and Cary where I work there's no shortage of interesting and talented people for me to meet.

The ON Button - Durham's Computer Guru's

Over the summer I had the real pleasure of helping one new couple find a great house in Southwest Durham. Ashleigh's here attending Duke and Neil left his job where he was overseeing an IT department for Deutsche bank and after taking some down time and exploring the area a little has started his own tech business,…

1315 Views, 0 Comments

how to choose a real estate agent

With over twenty years working full-time as a Realtor I have often found myself wondering how so many people get hooked up with so many really bad Realtors and I've come to the conclusion that the reason is they don't take time to actually interview them. Thinking all Realtors are alike can lead to a lot of heartache and problems for the inexperienced home buyer or seller. It's comparable to believing all lawyers or doctors are the same so it hardly matters who you use.

Interview The REALTOR®

Having gone through numerous "interviews" with potential Buyers and Sellers I realize that even those that do want to interview and choose a Realtor often don't know what to really ask. Here's a list of five questions I think are the critical ones any home…

5670 Views, 4 Comments

Chapel Hill, NCThe largest public visioning and planning process in the history of Chapel Hill begins on Tuesday, Sept. 27, with the kickoff of Chapel Hill 2020, a community wide effort to create a new comprehensive plan.

Chapel Hill 2020 is all about involving the community from the beginning. There will be gathering at East Chapel Hill High, 500 Weaver Dairy Road. An open house is scheduled from 5 to 6 p.m., and the visioning process will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. All residents - and others who live, work, play and invest in Chapel Hill - are invited to this free and open event. Food is available for purchase, thanks to the East Chapel Hill High PTA. Child care for children ages 5 and older is available, thanks to the YMCA Teen Leaders' Club.

"You have made…

1361 Views, 0 Comments

I was sitting at a home inspection in Chapel Hill, NC; for an out-of-state Buyer client a few days ago and was pondering the old maxim: Knowledge is Power.

Modern Misinformation In The Real Estate Industry

In today's Internet driven, 24/7 news cycle world; if there's one thing we don't lack it's the availability of information. I don't know about you, but there are times I feel like I'm being inundated with information to the point where my head figuratively feels as if it's exploding. If knowledge is indeed power, than why do I often find myself feeling this way? I believe the reason is that we so often confuse information for knowledge.

Perhaps this is why so many people struggle with making well-informed decisions regarding real estate, their…

1343 Views, 0 Comments