Rembrandt in America? I collect Rembrandts in Cary and Raleigh!

 

Since the end of October, the North Carolina Museum of Art has been honored to host Rembrandt in America, the largest collection of Rembrandt paintings to ever have been exhibited in America.
The collection is on display for a few more weeks, until January 22, so you should be scheduling your visit soon.
I haven’t even visited the new NC Museum of Art since construction was completed, so I am overdue to find a reason to go.

Rembrandt in America may be the perfect reason to get out and go.

Interestingly, I have been collecting Rembrandts in Cary and Raleigh for some time.   Houses, that is.  “Rembrandt” models by New Fortis/K Hovnanian Homes.

I live in a Rembrandt.  Circa 1993.
Oddly enough, my Rembrandt is in a subdivision named “Giverny.”  Rembrandt in Giverny?  Maybe it should have been a Monet?  That would have been OK, too.

The Rembrandt by New Fortis

 

The Elevation “D” Rembrandt was the masterpiece of the model.  Full brick front, with half circle windows, a hip roof, and a finished bonus room over the garage all elevated the “D” to the top of the heap.  It was the model home in Giverny, and as is common, the model became one of the most popular floor plans to be built.  I belive our neighborhood is about 20% Rembrandts, of one elevation or another.
I live in a home built to Elevation “C.”  The “C” has a partial brick front.  We added a front porch that makes our “C” unique in the neighborhood.

Rembrandt Elevations A, B, and C

 

Elevation “A” was the “plain Jane,” base model elevation.

Elevation “B” adds a rocking chair front porch.

Elevation “C” includes brick trim on the left of the front of the house, and a step down in the roof.

But interiors of these three elevations are the same, unless options were chosen to change them.

The two-story family room in the top rendering offers dramatic central height to the interior, and the rendering shows the palladian windows included in the “D” elevation.  Our “C” Elevation home has rectangular transom windows in place of the palladians.
Most commonly, buyers chose to finish a loft area into a 4th bedroom and/or to add a 5th bedroom/bonus room over the garage.
Square footages vary from just over 2200 to about 2800 square feet.

While owners have customized their homes and properties over the last 15 to 18 years, a tour around the area turns up many Rembrandts.  You can see the Rembrandt DNA in the photos, and also appreciate the pride homeowners take in personalization of their properties.

 

 

Basements! Or, no basement. How we roll in Cary NC…

Cary home buyers who want basement homes often have to compromise. Many select finished attics.



Basement Homes in Cary NC

Basements in Cary NC

Cary home buyers from other regions often are shocked that many Cary homes do not have basements, and buyers agents need to do some explaining.

There are several contributing factors to that situation.

1.  Basements are not structurally necessary, so they are luxury priced.  We just don't need them.  In the north and midwest states, it is necessary to excavate footings 4 to 8 feet below grade to get below frost depth.  We only need, by code, to bury footings 15 inches below grade, so further excavation is unnecessary.  And expensive.

2.  Many Triangle areas have high water tables on site.  Water around foundation walls  is more likely to intrude into the interior of the basement. 

3.  Expansive clay soils.  Our soils will expand and contract as they get wet and dry.  This movement can stress walls, and allow more opportunity for water intrusion.

4.  Cost of finish.  It is usually more cost effective to convert attic space and finish it than to create and finish a basement.  And the home buyers benefit from being high, dry and lit by sunlight.

Yes, you can get a basement in Cary NC.  Commonly, it will be a "walk out" basement, also known as a "daylight" basement.  one or two walls will be above grade, with exit doors and windows.  And the lot will have some slope to accommodate this.  Dugout, hole in the ground, basements are extremely rare.

Cary Homes for Sale with Basements

 


Cary NC Market Report, Closed Sales in the last 30 days. 60 Seconds in Real Estate Cary NC

Cary NC Market Report, last 30 days closings.



Cary NC Market Report

30 days of Real Estate Closing in Cary, as of August 17, 2011

Numbers are pretty stable in Cary real estate.  As of today, we closed 123 residential sales in the last 30 days.

Days on Market were 93 for those 123 listings.

Cumulative Days on Market, meaning that the property was listed more than once, were 115.

On July 17, those numbers were 87 and 114.

I pulled out three of the highest DOM properties, and the remaining 120 homes showed 86 Days on Market,
and 102 Cumulative Days on Market.
Fun with numbers…

Average selling price was 0.962 of final listing price.

 


Listing Your Home For Sale? Updates Trump Allowances! 60 Seconds in Real Estate Cary NC

Updates bring Sellers more value than offering Allowances.





Cary Listing Agent says, "Updates Trump Allowances!"

When listing a home for sale, whether Home Sellers should do updates and minor repairs prior to listing or to just offer allowances for home buyers to handle updates themselves is a common question.

I fall into the freshen, repair, and update camp.  Of course, that is dependent on the ability of the Home Seller to afford the costs of work out of pocket prior to receiving sales proceeds.

I like to say that it is about "conversations."  Fewer defects and issues are fewer items of conversation, fewer things to talk about, whether it is the agent coaching buyers that they can handle updates, or the negotiations between the buyers themselves.  Less conversation may well mean more money in a faster sale.
Smart Cary Home Sellers want Buyers and Buyers agents talking among themselves about how fresh and up-to-date the property seems, how little updating the Buyer will need to do after closing, how that may create a more affordable home.

 


For Sale By Owner? Go For it and Good Luck! 60 Seconds in Real Estate, Cary NC

For Sale By Owner Video Blog



FSBO?

For Sale By Owner?  FSBO in Cary NC?

We are seeing more and more Cary homeowners test the market with For Sale By Owner, AKA FSBO, offerings.

I think right now that approach takes some guts, as even the Cary NC real estate market is a little soft at some price points.  Hopefully, the FSBO Owner is trying to present more affordable home pricing to potential buyers and their Buyers agent.

But, I stop short of harassing For Sale By Owner sellers to convince them they are mistaken if they do not use me as their listing agent.  Whether they are listed on the Triangle MLS or not, I assume that most people are sharp enough that IF they want a listing agent, they will hire a listing agent.

 

 

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Cary NC Closed Sales 7/17/11, 60 Seconds in Real Estate, Cary NC

Closed Existing Home Sales in Cary NC through 7/17/11

I just ran the numbers on Closed Sales in Cary for the 30 days ending Sunday, July 17.

Disregarding New Construction
127 Resale Homes Closed

Average Listing Agent Days on Market were 87
Average Cumulative Days on Market were 104
Shortest DOM was 2 days
Longest Cumulative DOM was 713 Days.
30 homes went Under Contract in 30 or fewer days.

Average Sale Price was $299,604
High Sale Price was $950,000
Low Sale Price was $65,000

Average Sale Price was 96.1% of the last Listing Price.

So, Sellers are getting homes Closed when they prepare them for market, price them right and hire a good listing agent.
Yes, the Cary NC real estate market is soft, but it works when aggressive Sellers put their best foot forward.

Home Inspections: Do it Before you Market your Home! 60 Seconds in Real Estate in Cary NC

Prelisting inspections can help a Seller over some hurdles on the way to closing.



Prelisting Home Inspections

Home Inspections Prior to Selling

It is becoming more common for Sellers in Cary to have a home inspection prior to listing the house for sale.  I think that is a great trend, and a great marketing tool, particularly when all repairs are already made too.  This method allows the Seller to perform repairs with chosen contractors, and without the rush of a closing deadline.

When the Listing Agent can advertise as much, and the Buyers Agent can tell their client that the home has been inspected and repaired, it is a HUGE confidence builder for the Buyer.  The Buyers inspections will yield fewer findings, and the home should be easier to accept.

And, I said as much, in 60 Seconds in Real Estate

Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing

Cary Home Sales set comps. Competitive pricing compels buyers to buy.



Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing

Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing

Everyone wants to see "Comps," comparable closed sales when fixing a price for a new listing.

I agree.  We have to begin with the end in mind, and the "End in Mind" is a closed sale.  A contract price MUST be supported by market activity, specifically recent, comparable sales that have closed.

However, a smart seller and smart listing agent will also consider "Competition."  And that will include properties outside the specific neighborhood where the home to be listed for sale is located.
See, while the neighborhood activity must support the sales price for appraisal purposes, Buyers have myriad choices outside the neighborhood. 
A home worth $400,000 must compete with and draw attention away from other $400,000 choices.  We just cannot tell Buyers that they can only shop one neighborhood.

So, Sellers have to be competitive across a broader area, perhaps a school district, or a local geographic area in a county or town.
In Cary, and Wake County, NC, the Wake County Public School System manages all public schools at the County level.  Town boundaries do not indicate school assignments, and it is not uncommon to see a neighborhood, all or part, reassigned to another school
So, parents will shop various school assignments, attempt to grasp stability in assignment, and affordable neighborhood options. To do so, they may look in a ten mile radius, or farther.  That search may take them out of Cary, and into Morrisville, Apex, Raleigh or any other local municipality. 
That is why it is smart to consider a wide area of competitive Active listings when pricing a home.

Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing, via 60 Seconds in Real Estate, Cary NC:

 


Termite Time in Cary, North Carolina?

Termites need to be dealt with in the Cary area, but there is not need for fear and panic.

Welcome to Spring, in Cary, North Carolina.
Soon we will be into the spring termite activity season. Termites will swarm in attempts to settle new colonies. And they can be pretty dramatic when they swarm in and around a home.
This is also the time of year when termite control sales kick into high gear. Homeowners become unnerved by swarmers and have homes inspected. Evidence of termites unnerves them more and many will contract for a termite treatment. It is a busy time for the termite treatment technicians.
Don’t take termites too lightly. But, don’t panic over them, either. Despite what the TV ads show you, termites will not devour your home in a weekend, or in a week, or a month, or even a year.

Yes, they can get well-established, and over time, they are capable of significant damage. But, it is not necessary to hire the first termite control company that offers a quote. You have time to take a week or so and interview a few service providers, and make a choice without being in a terrible rush.
So, if it is time to have termite treatment performed, do it logically, methodically, and dispense with the fear and doubt that the television commercials are trying to provoke.