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Kristin Ellefson
July 23rd, 2014  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

This beautiful Dilworth home is worth adding to your "must-see list" click on the image above to view more photos of this listing or read more about it!

 

MLS#: 3022780
4 Bedrooms, 3 Full Bathrooms, 2 Half  Bathrooms

 

“Custom built in 2010 in historic Dilworth, this home has modern features of a new home & keeps with the style & feel of one of Charlotte’s oldest neighborhoods. Situated on .33 acre & overlooking Latta Park, this home includes 5 BR’s plus bonus room, 3 full baths, 2 half baths, 10′ ceilings on main floor, grand foyer, additional office or library on main level. Large, covered, wraparound porch, garage w/covered parking, outdoor built-in grill. Extensive landscaping, details galore!”

 

 

Dilworth School Information:
Elementary School:
Dilworth Elementary School
Middle School: Alexander Graham Middle School
High School: Myers Park High School

 

Dilworth Real Estate Market Statistics:
Number of active single-family listings in Dilworth: 69
Average listing price for all active single-family listings in Dilworth: $773,373

The Number of closed sales in Dilworth has decreased to 163.

The average sales price for homes in Dilworth has increased to $480,113.

The average number of days on the market for homes in Dilworth have decreased to 63.

There is currently a 4.4 months supply of inventory for homes in Dilworth.

 

 

For more information on this listing contact Libby Gonyea. To learn more about Libby click here.

 
Kristin Ellefson
July 22nd, 2014  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

If you haven’t taken advantage yet of all the great deals going on for Restaurant Week, you still have time! The Queens Feast will end on Sunday July 27th. This event features over 100 of Charlotte’s local dining establishments from Mooresville all the way to Pineville! Its a great opportunity to get out and see all that Charlotte has to offer at an affordable price. Make sure to make your reservations as soon as you can, tables disappear quickly and this is one even you don’t want to miss out on. You can see a list of the restaurants participating below:

 

Cotswold

Dilworth:

Eastover:

Elizabeth:

Lake Norman/North Charlotte:

Matthews

Midtown

Mountain Island Lake

Plaza Midwood

South Charlotte / Ballantyne

South End

SouthPark

University / Concord

Uptown

Gaston County

 

 

 
Kristin Ellefson
July 22nd, 2014  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

 

This gorgeous condo is located in Rosewood at Providence. Make sure you click on the image above to view more photos of this fabulous residence!

MLS#: 3022094
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms

 

Rosewood at Providence Real Estate Market Statistics:

The number of closed sales in Rosewood at Providence has increased to 16 in the last 12 months.

The average sales price for homes in Rosewood at Providence has increased to $807,066

The average number of days on the market has increased to 222.

There is currently a 6.2 months supply of homes for sale in Rosewood at Providence.

 

For more information on this listing contact Alan Sussman. To learn more about Alan click here.

 
Kristin Ellefson
July 21st, 2014  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

As a first-time homebuyer the thought of the entire process and all the steps involved can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are not prepared to deal with it. Considering that purchasing a home can be one of the largest transactions you will be a part of, many first-time buyers can become easily overwhelmed with the process and some even revert back to “renter lifestyle” before the process is over. But, fear not! A prepared home shopper is a happy home shopper. Realtor.com recently published a list of 5 Tips to minimize First-Time Home buyer Stress and we think these tips are a great way to get focused and motivated when it comes to purchasing your first home:

 

  1. Get Mortgage Pre-approval
    Purchasing a home isn’t just about being able to afford the down payment, a lot more goes into mortgage approval than cash on hand, you want to make sure that when the time comes to make on offer that you already know the financing is there to back you, instead of finding out after you’ve found your “dream home” that financing will be a problem. Want to know more about loans? Check out our tips for a smooth mortgage loan process here.
  2. Set Clear House-Hunting Goals
    It’s important to be organized and a little bit methodical when it comes to house hunting. You need to set parameters for your search, one – so that you don’t waste time and two –  so that you know that you’re making the best choice. It’s also important to take time to establish the difference between your “Wants and Needs” to make the right choice.
  3. Budget, Budget, Budget
    When you’re on the hunt, sometimes you’re super focused on the features of the home and not necessarily the cost, but this is a big piece of the puzzle. You want to make sure that at the end of the transaction you’re not “house poor”  and you have plenty of money left for all the other initial expenses and other fun tasks, such as decorating, that come along with purchasing your first home! Check out this article about determining how much house you can afford!
  4. Use the Agent Advantage
    A good agent is the best tool you can have in your toolbox when it comes to finding a home. Working with a knowledgeable local marketplace specialist is key to ensuring you are able to move through the process with minimal hiccups. While finding an agent can be tough we have a few tips on finding those that are most qualified to help you!
  5. Delegate to your Realtor®
    Your Realtor® is there to help you every step of the way. They shouldn’t just be viewed as your ticket into the homes you’re going to see but also as a partner in your buying process. They are available to offer tips and guide you through the process, even once an offer has been submitted and accepted. Since they know the ins and outs of the business, they are an awesome resource to ensure that you are able to get everything completed and ready to go in time for closing!

 

If you have been going back and forth on purchasing a home, or have been unsure about how the process unfolds or where to even start, these are some great tips to make sure you’re headed in the right direction!

 
Kristin Ellefson
July 21st, 2014  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

Check out this great home in Monteith Park in Huntersville. Click the image above to read more about it or see more photos.

 

MLS#: 3022462
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms

“Charming home with dual front porches in desirable Monteith Park. Abundant features include crown moldings throughout main level & master br, ceiling fans, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in kitchen. Enjoy privacy on the covered patio with a paver extension & 6 person hot tub all within the fenced backyard. 2-car attached garage with 4′ extension, irrigation sys, landscape lighting & upgraded landscaping set this home apart in the Charleston Style community.”

 

Monteith Park School Information:
Elementary School:
Huntersville Elementary School
Middle School: Bailey Middle School
High School: William Amos Hough High School

 

Monteith Park Real Estate Market Statistics:
Number of active single-family listings in Monteith Park: 12
Average listing price for all active single-family listings in Monteith Park: $270,433

The number of closed sales in Monteith Park over the last 12 months was 56.

The average sales price for homes in Monteith Park has increased to $217,982.

The average number of days on the market for homes in Monteith park has increased to 78

There is currently a 2.3 months supply of homes for sale in Monteith Park.

 

 

For more information on this listing contact Nikki Smith. To learn more about Nikki click here.

 
Jessica Sullivan
July 18th, 2014  |  +Jessica Sullivan  |  Add a Comment

In May we wrote about the Golf Club at Ballantyne becoming a certified wildlife habitat, and now another local club has earned the same honor! While most people think of the grand buildings of Uptown when they think Charlotte, or have a perception of it being metropolitan, the metro area really offers a huge variety of landscapes and entertainment for everyone!

 

Rocky River Golf Course, Concord, NCRocky River Golf Club, in Concord, NC has been named a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Foundation, as reported by the Charlotte Business Journal. The article is quoted as saying that “Staff members and guests at the Embassy Suites Golf Resort & Spa, adjacent to the golf course, often report sightings of bald eagles, blue herons, bobcats and coyotes, White says,” “White” being the course superintendent, Joel White.

“It allows us to maintain a habitat for animals and keeps us moving in the right direction for sustainability,” he says.

 

The Rocky River Golf Club is located within a mile of the Concord Mills Mall, and the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was designed by renowned Carolina architect Dan Maples.

 

Love golfing and wildlife? Just love wildlife and the idea of all that entertainment right in your backyard? Click here to see homes for sale within 5 miles of the Rocky River course. Use our Proximity Search to find homes within a proximity of your favorite places in the greater Charlotte area.Proximity Searching on Helenadamsrealty.com

 

 
Kristin Ellefson
July 18th, 2014  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

This immaculate home in Ballantyne Country Club is a must see. Click the image above to see more photos or read more about this listing!

 

MLS#: 3021409
6 Bedrooms, 5.5 Bathrooms

 

 

“Gorgeous English-styled brick with stunning quoining detail, soaring 2 story Greatroom, fireplace with custom mantle, built-ins & chef’s gourmet kit. Large screened porch overlooks resort-living pool, hot tub, waterfall & Koi pond, on a private, wooded & fenced, cul-de-sac location in Ballantyne CC. MB on 2nd floor with slate see-thru gas fireplace, huge BA & dream closet. 6200 sq ft inc walkout basement with media/music room, billiards/game room, custom Wine Cellar & family room (or handicap accessible guest suite.)”

 

Ballantyne Country Club Real Estate Market Statistics:
Number of active single-family listings in Ballantyne Country Club:  43
Average listing price for all active single-family listings in Ballantyne Country Club: $1,185,460

The number of closed sales sales in Ballantyne Country Club has increased to 72.

The average sales price for homes in Ballantyne Country Club has increased $774,123

The average number of days on the market for homes in Ballantyne Country Club has decreased to 79 days.

The months supply of homes for sale in Ballantyne Country Club has decreased to 6.4

 

For more information on this listing contact Christine Hotham. To learn more about Christine click here.

 
Jessica Sullivan
July 17th, 2014  |  +Jessica Sullivan  |  Add a Comment

As the real estate website Zillow gains more and more popularity, the real estate community grows concerned. Not because they are taking the place of your friendly neighborhood Realtor®, but because of the misconceptions that the public has about Zillow and its products.what is a zestimate?

 

First of all, Zillow gains its housing data from lots of different places (listing syndication partners, brokerages themselves, virtual tour companies, multiple listing services, marketing vehicles like magazines or online publications, tax records, etc.). These sources might not have come directly from the real estate agent, and likely did not come directly from the home owner. This leads to misinformation, and gaps in information provided. Zillow tells you that (on a page that you have to search their site to find, or click through multiple pages to get to). Zillow does not claim any responsibility for the accuracy of the data found there, in fact they say this, “Since our data comes from public records, the information can be outdated or missing. Since the amount of data we have for a home affects the Zestimate accuracy, it is important that you review your home facts and update the information, if necessary.” Zillow believes it is the responsibility of the real estate agent or the home owner to come in and make sure the facts are correct and the home is being represented accurately. Many agents and homeowners do not know this.

 

So while much of the public now assumes Zillow to be an authority on the data they are gathering from their site, Zillow themselves will tell you that their data is not always accurate. What complicates the relationship often between Zillow, real estate agents, and the consumer, is the belief in the “Zestimates” that are provided next to every home, whether they are on the market or not. Here’s what Zillow says is the definition of their “Zestimate”: “The Zestimate® home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home’s value. The Zestimate is calculated from public and user submitted data; your real estate agent or appraiser physically inspects the home and takes special features, location, and market conditions into account. We encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement Zillow’s information by doing other research such as:

  • Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent
  • Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser
  • Visiting the house (whenever possible)”

 

They do offer an accuracy rating, which is key to whether your Zestimate holds any merit in your community or not. It is a star rating as follows:

Zillow Zestimate Star Rating System

However, when one dives deeper into the local ratings, here is what they will find for the Charlotte area. North Carolina as a whole is given a four star rating, meaning it is good, but only 45% of the Zestimates are within 5% of the sales price. When you dive to the county level, you find in Mecklenburg that only 47.6% of the Zestimates are within 5% of the sales price, and only 74%  are within 10% of the sales price. As you begin to consider what this means, coupled with the fact that often their sources of information are incomplete, it begins to make the Zestimate seem a bit useless.

Zestimates ratings for NC Cities

Fourth from the bottom, Mecklenburg County is shown with their rating and accuracies.

 

Zillow claims that “Occasionally however, someone will come along that insists on setting the price they are willing to buy or sell for based solely on the Zestimate.” Our agents tend to disagree with this sentiment. More and more we are encountered with seller clients who are outraged with how low their Zestimate is, or why it is so much higher than what the agent advises them to sell for. More and more we are finding buyers who only want to pay the low price shown as the Zestimate for properties they find on Zillow.

 

In a recent panel discussion of listing syndication presented in Charlotte, NC, Errol Samuelson, Chief Industry Development Officer for Zillow answered questions on the Zestimate by directing agents to go in and leave a “comment” on the Zestimate that explained why it was or wasn’t accurate. However, as Zillow gains more and more traction and power in the real estate world, why would a Zillow.com visitor believe a single real estate agent? They will think it an attempt to get more money out of the consumer, and with the general public sentiment of finding the best deal prevailing more often than not, this seems it will not help the seller’s attempt to defend their chosen price in the long run. Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been cheated, and Zillow’s Zestimate is often seen by the public as a way to uncover the “true” price of a property. On their website, Zillow instructs that you should update your data to improve your Zestimate, they say this: “It’s important to remember that Zestimates track the market, not drive it. People ultimately have more fundamental reasons that drive what they choose to buy or not buy. Our data shows that half of all sales are generally above the Zestimate. To provide more data on your Zestimate, you can post your estimated value and comments in the Owners Estimate section. The purpose of the Zestimate is provide data in a user-friendly format to promote transparent real estate markets and allow people to make informed decisions.”

 

They claim throughout their site that while the Zestimate and other Zillow offerings are meant as jumping-off points, one should always consult a real estate professional. But is the public listening to these claims? Are these claims prominent enough on their website? Real estate is hyper local. Even in the city of Charlotte, homes and desirability vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, and sometimes from street to street. In the last 18 months, appraisers couldn’t even keep up sometimes with the changing values of some homes. Demand (as always) drives the prices, and one has to be on the ground and know what the public is demanding to help set that price. That’s where the local real estate agent comes in.

 

As more and more concerns are voiced in the real estate community about the quality of both Zillow’s data and information, it often comes back to the turmoil surrounding the accuracy of the Zestimates. Errol Samuelson himself admitted that they get frustrated that their data is incorrect, and that more and more people are complaining about the Zestimates. If this is the thorn in everyone’s side, why not remove them? Would their site not still be a great resource without this tiny piece of (mis)information? They could even turn it into a profit center – sell it to local agents to be the “Zestimator” for specific properties. They’re already selling back advertising space to agents next to their own listings. If they claim they can never get it right, why have it at all?

 

For more reading on the topic of Zestimates and the accuracy of Zillow, check out these articles from The Washington Post, one written from the real estate perspective of David Howell, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at McEnearney Associates, and one, a rebuttal of his argument from Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

 

Whatever you take away from any of the articles written for or against the Zestimate, know that the next time you see one, you should think twice about its accuracy.

 

 
Kristin Ellefson
July 17th, 2014  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

This Beautiful Cedar Shake Style home is located in Concord, NC. Click on the photo above to see more images of this home or read more about it!

 

MLS#: 3020792
4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms

 

“MOVE IN READY!! Fresh New Paint. Gorgeous Hardwood Floors Through out Main Level. Custom Plantation Shutters on ALL Windows in Home including Patio Doors. Flowing, Bright Open Floor Plan. Extensive Crown Molding with Chair Railing. Master has deep Trey Ceiling. Large Master Bath with Walk in Closet. New Carpet. SS Appliances, Gas Cook Top with Oven Drawer. Walk to Tennis Courts, Pool, and Club House. Very Convenient to Restaurants and Shopping.”

 

Laurel Park School Information:
Elementary School:
Weddington Hills Elementary School
Middle School: Northwest Cabarrus Middle School
High School: Northwest Cabarrus High School

 

Laurel Park Real Estate Market Statistics:
Number of active single-family listings in Laurel Wood: 25
Average listing price for all active single-family listings in Laurel Wood: $322,292

The number of closed sales in Laurel Wood has decreased to 34.

The average sales price in Laurel Wood has increased to $279,731

The average number of days on the market has increased to 87.

the Months supply of homes for sale in Laurel Wood has increased to 5.4 months.

 

 

For more information on this listing contact Michelle Ivester-Rhyne. To learn more about Michelle, click here.


 
Kristin Ellefson
July 16th, 2014  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment


We have been talking a lot about the Millennial Generation lately, regarding the student debt crisis and their ability to get qualified, as well as the role they play in housing recovery. While there are a lot of problems this generation will face when it comes to home-ownership, Forbes offered some insight and tips to them regarding how they can make home-ownership work. A majority of these tips are based on a history of housing market success, and are a great place to start when you’re considering buying a home. While some of these rules seem to have been disregarded recently, they are, nonetheless, still key to being financially stable borrowers and homeowners. Whether you’re a Millennial buying for the first time or a repeat home-buyer making your fourth or fifth purchase, these are all worth considering (read the full article here, or view the list below):

 

 

 

  1. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.
  2. Don’t jump into a home purchase blindly. Research is key, and its always great to have an experienced agent on your side.
  3. No more creative financing: buy properties with traditional 30- or 15-year fixed loans – and know what your mortgage payment will be each month for the entire mortgage term. Talk with our Mortgage Partners at Cunningham & Company to find out your best options today!
  4. Always put 20% down. While many options are available, it never hurts to have as much equity in your home as possible.
  5. Whatever the bank says you can afford, subtract 20%, and you’ll never be house poor.
  6. You’re not just buying a house, you’re buying a neighborhood. Know the area and what it could mean for potential resale.
  7. It’s harder to get a mortgage because qualifications are more stringent these days. Keep great financial records, and be patient throughout the process.
  8. Don’t expect the market to bail you out. That means no overpaying for a house you can’t really afford in hopes of market appreciation making up the difference.
  9. Less is more. A smaller, practical, easy-to-maintain house is the new, big, rambling mansion.
  10. Stay on top of your credit, and shoot for an excellent score (above 750). Here are a few tips on managing your credit score!
  11. Plan to stay in your home at least 5 years. Think you’ll need to sell before then? Keep renting until you know you can stay put for a while.
  12. Budget for all the ongoing costs of home ownership – not just the monthly mortgage payment. Be sure you have the funds for property taxes, insurance, maintenance, upkeep, and even an emergency repair fund. Check out this article about unexpected costs of purchasing a home!
  13. If you are questioning your job security and your ability to get a new job quickly in the event of a layoff – don’t buy yet.

 

Making sure you are able to handle the all the financial obligations for home ownership and understanding the long-term ramifications of purchasing a home are key to making a good decision. These tips are great ways to make sure you start off on the right foot when making this purchase. If you have any questions regarding home mortgages, qualifying for mortgages, and lending, contact Chris Tilley, our Cunningham and Company Mortgage partner, today!

 

 
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