Buying a home is not as easy as you think


This week I wanted to talk a little about how to find a home in today’s market.  It is not as easy as some think.  The perception is there is a TON of  inventory out there and the prices have been dropping for the last few years so I should be able to find the home of my dreams at a huge bargain with no problems – right?  WRONG.  Let’s take a closer look at why this may not be true.


Inventory depends on what it is you are looking for.  Sure there are currently 1090 single family homes for sale in Iredell County, but you are not looking at all the homes in Iredell County.  You are looking for something more specific.  Let’s say you want a home from $100,000 to $200,000 – that will narrow it down to 342.  You just want to look in Statesville NC – 166.  You want .5 acres or more – 90.  You have to have a two car garage – 49.  You can’t live without 4 bedrooms -10.  Get the picture?  The inventory gets smaller and smaller when you get down to what you are really looking for in a home.  In some price ranges, there is very little inventory to choose from and it does not take long to look at all the homes out there that fit your checklist.


Well, based on what we just went over with the inventory, only 2 of the 10 are distressed homes (20%) and one of them is a 100 year old home priced 60,000 below tax value.  Now that could be your bargain – but if you were thinking of something a little newer, you might not get that huge bargain.


Who cares what the list price says!  “I say, let’s throw a really low offer at them and see if they are desperate”. Do you know how many times I hear this and just cringe?  Let’s look at this logically. If you are in investor, then you will not be living in the home and  your objective is to just get the best price on the property – no personal ties, no “goose bumps” and no attachment.  It’s all about price.  You don’t care how many times you hear the words “no” from the seller or “forget it and I am not countering either!”.  It’s all business.  But what about the home buyer that is looking for the home of their dreams?  Your objective is to get the best price for the home in this market with the least amount of stress.  This is why you have hired your buyers agent!  Their job is to pull comparables on the home you are interested in, make sure the price is REASONABLE for the current market and help you get the BEST price you can without overpaying.  Going in $30,000 less on a home that is already priced to sell will only get you off on the wrong foot with the sellers.  Sure, there is nothing wrong with going in a little under market value to see if the seller has any wiggle room – sometimes you get real lucky and catch a seller at the right time, but mostly they reduce their price very little.  If you are not willing to pay what the home is currently worth, you may find yourself with more headaches than you anticipated.


So many times, I see my buyers getting frustrated with the home shopping process and giving up or getting bummed out because they have seen so many homes and put in offers on several only to hear that they did not get the home.  Maybe there were multiple offers and your offer was not the best one, maybe your offer was too low and the seller could not lower their price anymore because they owed too much on the home, maybe the seller  just refused to “give their house away” even though it was overpriced to start with, maybe you were booted out because  cash offer came in before the seller signed the contract.  There are so many scenarios that could happen to derail your search for a home.


There are several things you can do to take some of the stress away from the home buying process. Consider your needs and wants again and see if you can live without some of your “must haves”.  Maybe you could live with a carport instead of garage, maybe you can make 3 bedrooms and a bonus or a basement work instead of 4 bedrooms, maybe .45 acres will be enough if the home is set on the lot well, maybe you can go up in price a little more to give you more options (although I don’t recommend this if you are on a tight budget- stick to the payment you are comfortable with).  Ask your buyers agent to suggest alternative things that could still get you a wonderful home, at a great price that will make you happy.


Buying a home is hard.  Period.  The flood of foreclosures and short sales have not made it any easier for Real Estate Agents, Sellers or for buyers.  Sure the rates are real low and there are some great deals out there for buyers, but expect to make some concessions and even some renovations to get the BIG BARGAIN.  Set your priorities and make a list of what is REALLY important to you in your next home.  Features? Price? Location? If you want it all – be prepared to pay a fair price for it.

Statesville NC September 2011 Market Update

The Statesville real estate market has been a roller coaster this year to say the least.  For a market that is normally busy in the spring and a little quieter in the summer, this year has been to opposite for me.  My spring was a little slow going and the summer was HOT!  Not only have sales increased this summer, the foreclosure market seems to be slowing, giving “regular” sellers a better chance of selling their homes.  Statesville has always been known to have plenty of affordable homes and our current market stats show this fact.  You will see in the charts below that the average sales price for homes sold since January 1, 2011 is $108,708 and I can attest to the fact that most of our sales have been for homes under $140,000.   We have a large investor market in Statesville for homes under $90,000 and the numbers show that increase.


On the brighter side, I have also experienced a larger demand for homes over $150,000 than we have seen in previous years.  Prices on those homes have dropped slightly and buyers are finally taking notice and taking advantage of some great deals on these homes.  The biggest hole in our market now is the availability of new construction.  New homes that had been foreclosed on in the past several years have been sold and builders are still not constructing many new homes in our area.  We have a few “track” builders that are building some spec homes but custom homes are non existent.
Currently in Statesville, we have 496 active listings with an average list price of $195,928 and an average Days on the market of 184 days.

*All information obtained from Carolina Multiple Listing Service




Since January 1, 2011 – Statesville has had 348 single family residential homes sell with an average days on the market of 136 days.  This compares to 376 listings sold for the same period of 2010 with average days on the market of 135.  Of the 348 sales, 100 were categorized as a Foreclosure with an average sales price of $72,109.





















This chart shows the fact that our foreclosures in Statesville have fallen to only 3.6 months of inventory verses 21.5 months for regular resales and 19.4 months for short sales.  The question is:  Will we see more foreclosures in the future or will the cooperation of the banks with the short sales and loan modifications finally slow the foreclosure market? image










In the end, the Statesville market is continuing to improve in certain areas and stay stale in others.  Homes over $200,000 still struggle to find buyers while we see multiple offers on homes under $200,000.  There are bright spots in every market and the Statesville market is no exception.  With interest rates at close to 4%, the USDA 100% program going strong for rural areas and prices holding steady – our market looks pretty good right now.

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Can I say – I am so Jealous!

I cannot believe how “techie” kids are these days!  I am amazed when I watch my 2 year old granddaughter operate my IPad better than I do.  This article in the Statesville Record and Landmark talks about the Statesville Christian School here in Statesville NC that purchased 22 IPads, 6 Kindles and a smart board for the elementary school children this year.

All I had was a green chalkboard with the ABC’s across the top and some messy chalk (you remember that don’t you!) We had those lovely Britannica Encyclopedias if you needed to do some research and don’t forget that awesome world globe that sat in the corner.  For movies we got to grab our lovely wooden chairs and march down the school halls to the AV room and sit nicely in a row (this is where I got my first kiss) in the dark.  Oh, and don’t forget the best technology of our time……..the overhead projector!  How cool were we? 

Obviously not as cool as the kids today.  What a great way to learn and to keep their attention.  Kids can go mobile with everything they need right in their hands.  You gotta love technology. 


Statesville Christian puts technology in students’ hands