HPW Open Houses | July 22 – 23

Have you figured out what type of home you want to buy? Do you know what communities you prefer? Did you make a list of your new home wants and needs yet? No matter where you are in the house hunting process, we’re here to help.

All of our real estate agents have the local expertise that buyers and sellers demand and deserve.

With the power of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston by their side, our sales associates are leading the market in home sales and client service. You can trust them to do the same for you starting as soon as this weekend.

Our listing agents will be hosting more than 325 open houses this Saturday and Sunday from as far west as Alamance County all the way to Wayne County in the east. Consider heading out to a handful of these homes to see and tour them for yourself. An onsite visit will help you determine if you like what you see beyond the listing photos shown on your computer screen.

Featured Open Houses

Access a complete list of our real estate agents’ listings and open houses online to make a house-hunting plan for the weekend.

2220 Misskelly Drive, Raleigh, NC 27612
Sq Ft: 3,018 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Saturday, July 22 from noon to 2 p.m.

304 Valleyshire Road, Durham, NC 27707
Sq Ft: 2,835 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Saturday, July 22 from 1 to 3 p.m.

803 Shelley Road, Raleigh, NC 27609
Sq Ft: 3,052 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 3 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Saturday, July 23 from 2 to 4 p.m.

35 Kilkee Lane, Youngsville, NC 27596
Sq Ft: 1,947 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open Houses: Saturday, July 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. and
Sunday, July 23 from 1 to 3 p.m.

2817 Pluton Place, Rolesville, NC 27571
Sq Ft: 3,305 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 3 (full)
Open Houses: Saturday, July 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. and
Sunday, July 23 from 2 to 5 p.m.

2414 Mt. Sinai Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Sq Ft: 2,891 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 3 (full)
Open House: Sunday, July 23 from 2 to 5 p.m.

120 Dumont Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Sq Ft: 1,862 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full)
Open House: Sunday, July 23 from 2 to 4 p.m.

9 Shadow Moss Place, Durham, NC 27705
Sq Ft: 3,809 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 3 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Sunday, July 23 from 2 to 4 p.m.

10716 Golf Link Drive, Raleigh, NC 27617
Sq Ft: 5,841 | Beds: 6 | Baths: 6 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Sunday, July 23 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Content/Image Source:

Assumptions are an Alternative

FHA VA Assumption.png

In the late 80’s, both FHA and VA began requiring buyers to qualify to assume their mortgages. The main reason there haven’t been many assumptions in the past 25 years is that interest rates have been steadily going down and if a person has to qualify, they might as well do it on a new loan and get a lower interest rate.

Based on projections by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the MBA and NAR, rates for the second half of 2017 and 2018 are expected to be higher. When interest rates on new mortgages are higher than the rates of assumable FHA and VA mortgages in the recent past, it becomes more advantageous to assume the existing mortgages.

FHA and VA loans originated with lower than current interest rates have great advantages for buyers and sellers.

  1. Interest rate won’t change for the qualified buyer
  2. Lower interest rate means lower payments
  3. Lower closing costs than originating a new mortgage
  4. Easier to qualify for an assumption than a new loan
  5. Lower interest rate loans amortize faster than higher ones
  6. Equity grows faster because loan is further along the amortization schedule
  7. Assumable mortgage could make the home more marketable

An Assumption Comparison can help determine the savings and financial benefits of an assumable mortgage with a lower rate.

What is a Credit Score?

Content prepared by Towne Mortgage of the Carolinas for Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston

While most people know what a credit score is, many do not fully understand what factors can impact their scores.

What is a credit score?

Credit scores reflect your payment patterns and credit history over time, and almost all major lenders use them to determine how likely you are to pay back a loan.

In the eyes of a lender, a high credit score indicates you are reliable, while a lower credit score means you’re less likely to make payments on time, or even pay back your loan at all. Your score will also help a lender determine the types of loan available to you and the interest rate that you will pay to borrow money.

“Today’s home buyers are impacted more than ever by their credit score,” said Doug Anderson, Lending Manager with Towne Mortgage of the Carolinas. “A credit score can affect their down payment, their interest rate, and their mortgage insurance payment; even homeowner’s insurance can be affected by a credit score.”

What is a good credit score?

A perfect credit score is 850; however, any credit score above 760 is considered to be good.

How do you establish credit?

There are five important factors when establishing credit:

Payment history
Your bill paying history is the most important factor on your credit score as it shows that you manage your money well and are likely to be a responsible borrower.

Be sure to pay all your bills on time. If you think you might be late on a payment, call your lender promptly, to determine if you may work something out to avoid penalty. 

Credit utilization
Credit utilization is the amount of money you spend compared to your available credit. For example, if your credit card has a limit of $1,000 each month and you only spend $200 each month, your credit utilization is 20 percent. Do your best to keep your credit utilization ratio under 30 percent to avoid drops in your credit score. 

Length of credit history
The length of time your credit accounts have been open and how often you’ve used those accounts determines your credit history. An account with a longstanding history will help you to establish credit and demonstrate that you are a responsible borrower. 

New credit
Lenders pay close attention to your credit activities and may lose confidence in your financial stability if you open too many credit accounts at the same time. Such concerns can lead credit-reporting agencies to issue you a lower credit score.

Credit mix
Credit mix is the variety of debt that you have taken out such as installment credit like car loans and student loans, or revolving credit like credit cards or retail accounts. This variety may indicate that the borrower can handle all different types of credit.

What is my credit score?

Interested to find out more about your credit score? You are entitled to order a free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—through AnnualCreditReport.com every 12 months. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only website that is government authorized to provide you with free copies of your score.

Pleased with your credit score? Congratulations, keep up the good financial work to continue increasing your credit score.

Surprised to find a negative report and low credit score? Unfortunately, negative information on your credit report remains for a long time. Here’s the rundown:
– Late payments: 7 years from the late payment date
– Foreclosures: 7 years
– Short sales: 7 years
– Repossessions: 7 years
– Judgments: 7 years if the judgment has been paid; potentially longer if unpaid
– Tax liens: 7 years after they are paid
– Collection accounts: 7 years and 180 days from the date of delinquency on the original debt
– Bankruptcies: 10 years from the filing date; 7 years for Chapter 13 cases

How can I better my credit score?

Yes, it may take awhile, but you can fix these blemishes over time. Tips that will help you rebuild your credit include:

Check your credit report for mistakes
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit-reporting companies are obligated to fix any mistakes on your report.

To report a mistake, you must submit any inaccuracies in writing to each credit bureau. You’ll need to clearly identify the issue in writing, and supply documents that support your position.

Make all payments on time
Your payment history is the basis for the majority of your credit score making it critical that you pay all bills in a timely fashion to prove your reliability to lenders. 

Keep credit card balances low
Maintaining ideal credit utilization of 20 percent or less by keeping a low balance on your credit card shows lenders that you can responsibly manage your credit without spending beyond your means.

Lenders may become concerned that you are in financial trouble if you continually spend more than 30 percent of your available credit.

Protect existing credit
Don’t take scissors to your credit cards or close existing credit accounts in hopes that previous negative activities will disappear from your credit report or increase your credit score. Instead, use your established credit accounts appropriately to rebuild your credit score by managing them wisely.

Create positive credit history
Bad credit history may cause you to be denied some forms of credit, but it is possible to open a new form of credit that could help build your score.

One option to consider includes asking a family member or close friend to co-sign for a credit card or car loan. You can also apply for a secured credit card, which will require you to put up cash collateral to serve as security for your line of credit.

Towne Mortgage of the Carolinas

Content prepared by Towne Mortgage of the Carolinas for Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston


Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

HPW Open Houses | July 15 – 16

Just like the summer heat this week, our Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston real estate agents have listed some homes that will take your breath away. Even better? They’re opening them up for you to tour.

Spend your Saturday and Sunday hunting for your next home in the Triangle’s best neighborhoods, most popular communities, and up-and-coming suburbs.

Here are some tips that will help you make the most of your open house visits:

Before You Go House Hunting

Remember to do your online research before you go to familiarize yourself with the home you’ll tour. Figure out area schools. Dig into the community’s retail, restaurant, and recreational offerings. Preview other area homes that have recently sold to see how they compare.

At the Open House

Once you get there, take your time. Let the listing agent lead you on a tour of the home, inside and out. Be sure to ask questions along the way and make mental notes about rooms you may want to revisit on your own.

After Your Open House Visit

Give yourself some time to walk around the neighborhood and drive around the surrounding community after you leave the open house. Consider striking up conversations with any neighbors you pass by on the sidewalk. Watch to see if the road is calm or if there is a steady flow of traffic.

Featured Open Houses

Visit our open house website for a complete list of all of the homes our HPW real estate agents will host this weekend.

108 Tuftin Drive, Durham, NC 27703
Sq Ft: 1,491 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Saturday, July 15 from noon to 2 p.m.

213 Ivey Gate Lane, Garner, NC 27529
Sq Ft: 3,800 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 3 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Saturday, July 15 from 1 to 4 p.m.

10 Weeping Beech Way, Durham, NC 27713
Sq Ft: 2,693 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Saturday, July 15 from 2 to 4 p.m.

7325 Sparhawk Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587
Sq Ft: 3,635 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 3 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Saturday, July 15 from 2 to 4 p.m.

2818 Sagebrush Lane, Durham, NC 27703
Sq Ft: 2,695 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Saturday, July 15 from 2 to 4 p.m.

2386 Goudy Drive, Raleigh, NC 27615
Sq Ft: 3,115 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 4 (full)
Open Houses: Saturday, July 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and
Sunday, July 16 from 1 to 6 p.m.

326 N. Wingate Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587
Sq Ft: 2,783 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 3 (full)
Open House: Sunday, July 16 from 1 to 4 p.m.

101 Camden Branch Drive, Cary, NC 27511
Sq Ft: 3,604 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 3 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Sunday, July 16 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Content/Image Source:

Worth A Visit: Neuse River Greenway Trail

Fields of radiant sunflowers have bloomed at Raleigh’s Neuse River Greenway Trail drawing attention from people all over the Triangle and even the state.

A beautiful setting for a weekend stroll, run or bike ride, these must-see flowers were planted several years ago by the City of Raleigh to prevent soil erosion into the nearby streams and rivers. The towering beauties are fertilized with biosolids from the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility wastewater treatment plant and will soon be harvested to produce biodiesel.

Covering more than 50 acres, this is a bright sight you won’t want to miss. According to VisitRaleigh, this weekend is supposed to be the peak of the bloom with the flowers only lasting one or two more weeks, so don’t delay your trip. Do remember to take your smartphone or camera to snap a few pictures of the memorable scene.

You’ll also want to be sure to pay attention to the “No Trespassing” signs posted around the fencing to avoid close contact with the stabilized sludge fertilizer, copperhead snakes, bees and other safety concerns.

According to the City’s website, there are two greenway trail access points that will lead you to the spectacular sunflower display: 

Neuse River Greenway Trail

Auburn-Knightdale Access Point
2901 Auburn-Knightdale Road, Raleigh, NC 27610
*approximately 2 miles to the sunflowers

Mial Planation Access Point
6008 Mial Plantation Road, Raleigh, 27610
*approximately 1.5 miles to the sunflowers


Image Credit: Shutterstock

Family & Friends Mortgage

Anytime a lender and borrower can agree on rates and terms, it can be a good match but IRS has specific rules that govern the transaction especially when the parties are family or friends.26614035-250.jpg

The loan must be done in a business-like manner with a written note specifying the loan amount, interest rate, term and collateral. IRS requires that the mortgage be a recorded lien to allow the interest deduction.

Sometimes, a friends and family situation might have a less than normal interest rate on the mortgage. However, the rate charged in the note is regulated by the minimum applicable federal rate which is published monthly by IRS based on current Treasury securities. For July 2017, the rate is 2.57% for terms over nine years.

The seller must report the interest paid to them along with the name, address and Social Security number on schedule B when the buyer uses the property as their principal residence. A mortgage between family and friends can be good for both parties. It may allow the borrower a slightly lower rate without the expenses of a traditional lender while giving the note holder a higher rate than they can earn in available investments.

Your tax professional can guide the transaction whether you’re a buyer or a seller and your real estate professional can help arrange to have the documents drawn and filed.

HPW Happenings | Durham Real Estate Office Ribbon-Cutting

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston is growing in the Bull City!

Together with the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, we cut a bright orange ribbon celebrating the grand re-opening of our Durham sales office now located near The Streets at Southpoint at 6911 Fayetteville Road, Ste. 105. Led by recently appointed Managing Broker Trish Taylor, the new location features a contemporary, collaborative business space designed to better serve agents through all stages of the home buying process.

“We are strengthening our presence in Durham to support the thriving real estate market and influx of professionals drawn to the prospering tech businesses and career opportunities available in the area,” said Don Walston, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston Founder and Chairman. “Trish has the expertise to lead our Durham real estate team to great success to help even more home buyers and sellers win in the Bull City.”

The new Durham real estate office offers a modern atmosphere in an accessible, storefront setting. Featuring social gathering spaces with comfortable seating, shared computer areas for data research and desk-side meetings, and private meeting rooms, real estate agents will have the professional space they need to support their buyers and sellers.

“This new office space ensures our dynamic Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston real estate associates will continue to provide excellent support and unparalleled service to their clients,” said Taylor. “It also serves us well in partnering with even more agents and brokers in and around the Durham area to increase our presence and customer service offerings in all local neighborhoods and communities.”

About Durham

A revitalized tobacco town, Durham has seen a surge of startup and tech business activity drawing professionals in from throughout the state and across the country.

Often scoring high marks on “best of” lists touting career opportunities, cultural offerings, innovation, livability and more, the Bull City is a great choice for homebuyers of all ages in all life stages.

The City’s top medical, research and educational facilities like Duke Medicine and Duke University have earned national spotlight and its American Tobacco District retailers, venues and eateries continually make headlines. And, you certainly can’t forget about the Durham Performing Arts Center, known as the DPAC to locals, and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home to the Tampa Bay Rays’ Triple-A affiliate, located in the heart of the downtown district.

Want to learn more about Durham and all that it has to offer you and your family? Our Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston Durham real estate agents are happy to help.

What Price is the Right Price for Your Home?

Ready to sell your home? Pricing will be key in spurring the buyer activity you want to come through your front door. Yes, sellers, your home must be priced correctly, within market range, even in a popular real estate market.

The Triangle Multiple Listing Services reported that area home prices continued to rise through May, just over 8 percent year-to-date, with average days-on-market dropping 12 percent over data collected in April. Home sales were up 3 percent for the month of May, but inventory remains low, especially in the $400,000 range, at nearly half that of a healthy five- to six-month supply of homes.

“Though becoming more steady, it’s clear that the market continues to favor sellers and will through the summer months as buyer demand remains,” said David Jones, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston President and COO. “However, no matter the real estate market climate, it’s vital for sellers to be strategic and realistic in pricing their homes to sell quickly to avoid extra days on the market and unwanted price drops.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted a research study to determine the correlation between home prices and buyer foot traffic. The study revealed that a correctly priced home draws 60 percent of potential buyers in that specific price point, while, a home priced 10 percent over market value may only pull half of that segment.

So, how do you find the sweet-spot price point that will attract buyers and make you the most money on your home?

Hire a Real Estate Agent

According to the 2016 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, nearly 90 percent of sellers used a real estate agent to sell their home.

The same survey compilation also reported that for-sale-by-owner sellers “typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $185,000 in 2016 (down from $210,000 in 2015), and still far lower than the median selling price of all homes at $240,000. Agent-assisted homes sold for a median of $245,000.”

“Triangle homeowners may be tempted to try selling their home on their own, but data shows that they’ll be leaving money on the table. Not only do real estate agents have the insight into the market range of the homes they list, but they are also able to sell them more quickly to more qualified buyers,” explained Jones.

Benefits of Agent Expertise

A professional real estate agent will assist you from “for sale” to “sold.”

From determining the true market range for your home and marketing it across numerous channels to representing your best interests during negotiations and unforeseen issues that may arise, an agent can chart your course through the home buying process.

Determining the Value of Your Home

Home valuation websites will offer up automated price estimates for your home with a few mouse clicks, but all too often those values are skewed by misinformation or lack of local market intelligence. It’s only when the information returned is paired with an expert real estate agent’s analysis that a true price range for your home can be determined.

A local Realtor will conduct a thorough Competitive Market Analysis, most often referred to as a CMA, to determine the value range for your home. This analysis will include:

  • an assessment of your home and property, including upgrades and renovations
  • research into comparable homes (comps) in the area to gain knowledge about recently closed homes and corresponding sales prices, terms and conditions, e.g. premiums, discounts, etc.
  • research into competing listings within your neighborhood and the surrounding community
  • consideration of any contingencies that you may set, e.g. a delayed closing date 
Picking the Right Price

Once your CMA is complete, your real estate agent will present his or her findings and expert insight into the market range for your home. You’ll also be able to speak with your agent about what, if any, allowances or incentives you may want to consider as part of your home sale. This key information will allow you to make an educated decision on the sales price for your home. 

“Our Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston agents are immersed in their local marketplace, they know the real estate scene inside and out,” added Jones. “You can be assured that they are well prepared to lead you to sales success by helping you set the right price for your home and marketing it to the right buyers.”

Finding an Expert Real Estate Agent

Selecting the right real estate agent to trust with your home sale is important. You’ll want a professional who has had previous success in your neighborhood or community, has earned positive reviews and references from past clients, and someone who suits you and your family.

Ask your family, friends, and neighbors for recommendations or search online for some area real estate agents who serve your community. Once you establish a list of three to five, start narrowing it down with research. From there, conduct in-person interviews to learn more about each agent and discuss his or her strategy for how to sell your home.

Schedule a Home Appraisal

Not ready to speak with an agent yet, but still want to get a more accurate idea of your home’s worth? Have your home appraised.

A professional home appraiser will inspect your home from top to bottom, inside and out to determine its condition and features and consider its location. This information paired with further research into the area and the state of the market will allow an appraiser to offer an unbiased opinion of your home’s true value.

 Learn more about Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston and the cities and towns our leading real estate team serves.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

HPW Open Houses | July 8 – 9

All-brick houses, Craftsman-style designs, an ITB location, garden cottages, townhomes with garages, open floor plans in Clayton? Whatever type of home you seek in whichever Triangle city or town your prefer, our Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston real estate team can help you find it.

Our local market agents are announcing new listings every day, and you’re going to want to see them in person. Just look at the HPW open houses we’ve featured below to see a small sampling of the wide variety of homes you can tour this weekend.

A well-planned house hunt to area open houses this Saturday and Sunday could lead you straight to your new front door.

Featured Open Houses

40 Green Willow Drive, Clayton, NC 27527
Sq Ft: 3,511 | Beds: 5 | Baths: 3 (full)
Open House: Saturday, July 8 from 1 to 4 p.m.

5408 Beardall Street, Raleigh, NC 27616
Sq Ft: 2,276 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open Houses: Saturday, July 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. and
Sunday, July 9 from 1 to 4 p.m.

2274 The Circle, Raleigh, NC 27608
Sq Ft: 1,681 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full)
Open Houses: Saturday, July 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. and
Sunday, July 9 from 2 to 4 p.m.

2005 Devan Heath Court, Wake Forest, NC 27587
Sq Ft: 3,550 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 4 (full)
Open Houses: Saturday, July 8 from 2 to 5 p.m. and
Sunday, July 9 from 2 to 5 p.m.

8432 Montavista Lane, Wake Forest, NC 27587
Sq Ft: 3,152 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 4 (full)
Open House: Sunday, July 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.

106 Aster Place, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Sq Ft: 3,364 | Beds: 5 | Baths: 3 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Sunday, July 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.

11625 Broadfield Court, Raleigh, NC 27617
Sq Ft: 3,590 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 3 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Sunday, July 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.

1101 Copperstone Village Drive, Mebane, NC 27302
Sq Ft: 2,128 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)
Open House: Sunday, July 9 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Content/Image Source:

Down Payment Problem – Are You Sure?

There is increasing difficulty for first-time home buyers to save for their down payment as indicated in the graph. Several factors that contribute to this trend include rising rents, rising home prices, student loan debt and flat wages.down payment graph.png

Some would-be buyers feel they cannot buy a home today but a large part of those decisions may be based on inaccurate assumptions.

Nine out of ten non-owners believe they need ten percent or more for a down payment. The typical down payment for first-time buyers is six percent. VA has 100% loan programs as well as USDA for certain qualifying areas and buyers. FHA is known for 3.5% down payments. And FNMA and Freddie Mac have down payments as low as 3% and 5%.

There are gift provisions available for buyers who have an “angel” who would like to help them with their down payment.

There are ways to borrow against a person’s qualified retirement program for a down payment. It isn’t necessarily limited to the buyer but could include a relative. Interestingly, a son or daughter can borrow against their retirement to benefit their parents.

In some respects, having good credit and sufficient income is more important than the down payment. Don’t rely on “common knowledge.” Get expert advice and counsel to see if there is a way to advance your dream of owning a home.