OPEN HOUSES for Sunday, February 25th

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1135 Norwood Lane  |  Forest Wood at Sequoia Place  | Lewisville

This beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath home welcomes you right away! Bright and airy spacious living areas. Beautiful kitchen with lots of cabinets. Main level master bedroom with en-suite bath. Large upstairs bedrooms. Basement room can make a great area to use as a recreation area. LOTS of storage! You'll want to make an appointment right away - this won't last long! 

http://bit.ly/1135NorwoodLn 

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1711 Harper Spring Drive | Springfield Farms | Clemmons

This beautiful home is the one you have been looking for! Charming 1.5 story Cape Cod home features 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Living area has built in shelving. Large kitchen and eat in area. Main level master bedroom, 2 large bedrooms upstairs. Basement has another room that is perfect for a home office, playroom or recreational space! Enjoy the pergola covered deck and overlook the fenced backyard! Hurry this home won't last long! 

http://bit.ly/1711HarperSpringDr 

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3957 Burning Tree Lane  |  Greenbrier Farm  |  Winston Salem

Beautiful offering in popular Greenbrier Farm! Charming open floor plan with lots of details - crown moulding, fresh paint, butler's pantry and so much more! Chef's kitchen shows spectacular granite countertops, a large pantry and beautiful cabinetry. Main level master has gorgeous tray ceiling and en suite bath with separate shower and jetted tub. TONS of storage in the finished basement and walk up attic. Main level 3 car garage. Park like setting with great neighborhood amenities!

http://bit.ly/3957BurningTreeLn 

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3761 Sandalwood Lane  |  Greenbrier Farm  |  Winston Salem

Gorgeous offering in popular Greenbrier Farm. Beautiful living areas for entertaining! Stunning ceiling trim and accents will amaze you! Open yet cozy eat in kitchen with gas appliances. Sunny great room with fireplace. Main level master suite with jetted tub and separate shower. Basement has a playroom, full bath and partial kitchen. Lovely deck overlooks mature trees and a peaceful lake. Don't miss this beautiful must see home!

http://bit.ly/3761SandalwoodLn 

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100 Rosedown Court | Greenbrier Farm | Winston Salem

Greenbrier Farm executive home sits on a hard to find flat fenced lot! Fabulous great room is an entertainer's delight with lovely arch windows and built-ins. A main level bedroom could be used as a home office complete with a full bath. The master bedroom suite, on the upper level, is huge with new flooring. Walkout basement & 5th BR/bath complete this wonderful home. Neighborhood amentities include trails, pool, ponds stocked with fish and more! 

http://bit.ly/100RosedownCt  

JUST LISTED in Lewisville and Clemmons!

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1711 Harper Spring Drive | Clemmons

This beautiful home is the one you have been looking for! Charming 1.5 story Cape Cod home features 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Living area has built in shelving. Large kitchen and eat in area. Main level master bedroom, 2 large bedrooms upstairs. Basement has another room that is perfect for a home office, playroom or recreational space! Enjoy the pergola covered deck and overlook the fenced backyard! Hurry this home won't last long! 

http://bit.ly/1711HarperSpringDr 

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1135 Norwood Lane  |  Lewisville

This beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath home welcomes you right away! Bright and airy spacious living areas. Beautiful kitchen with lots of cabinets. Main level master bedroom with en-suite bath. Large upstairs bedrooms. Basement room can make a great area to use as a recreation area. LOTS of storage! You'll want to make an appointment right away - this won't last long! 

http://bit.ly/1135NorwoodLn 

2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home

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Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

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Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

A study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

Should I Wait Until Next Year to Buy? Or Buy Now?

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Some Highlights:

  • The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.1% by 2019.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 4.3% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

Which Comes First… Marriage or Mortgage?

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According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2017 at 57% of all buyers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.

But, many couples are also deciding to buy a home before spending what would be a down payment on a wedding, as unmarried couples made up 16% of all first-time buyers last year.

If you’re single, don’t fret! Single women made up 18% of first-time buyers in 2017, while single men accounted for 7% of buyers. A recent report pointed to a sense of responsibility and commitment that drives many single women to want to own their own homes rather than rent someone else’s.

Here is the breakdown of all first-time homebuyers in 2017 by percentage of all buyers, income, and age:

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Bottom Line

You may not be that much different than those who have already purchased their first homes. Let’s get together to determine if your dream home is already within your grasp!

Just Listed in Greenbrier Farm!

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3957 Burning Tree Lane  |   Winston Salem

Beautiful offering in popular Greenbrier Farm! Charming open floor plan with lots of details - crown moulding, fresh paint, butler's pantry and so much more! Chef's kitchen shows spectacular granite countertops, a large pantry and beautiful cabinetry. Main level master has gorgeous tray ceiling and en suite bath with separate shower and jetted tub. TONS of storage in the finished basement and walk up attic. Main level 3 car garage. Park like setting with great neighborhood amenities!

http://bit.ly/3957BurningTreeLn 

Under Contract!

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5501 Club Knoll Road  |  Winston Salem

Gorgeous renovation on this super ranch in Pine Brook Country Club. Enjoy the convenience of low maintenance, main-level living thanks to the following renovations: 2017 roof, HVAC, quaint cooks kitchen with new appliances and cabinets, both bathrooms fully renovated, new water heater, new back deck! Stunning hardwood floors refinished, wood burning fireplace. Too many features to list.

http://bit.ly/5501ClubKnollRoad

JUST LISTED!

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2700 Greenwich Road  |  Winston Salem

As soon as you arrive, this stately home displays nothing but classic beauty. The 5 bedroom / 3.5 bath stunner has  spacious living and dining areas for entertaining. Lovely arched doorways open to a great room complete with a large stone fireplace! Kitchen has new cabinetry, gas cooktop, wall ovens, stainless steel appliances, subway tile, and so much more! The comfy master suite beckons with fireplace and amazing en-suite bath! Tons of storage, walk-up attic. The brick walled patio overlooks a private fenced yard - completing the timeless atmosphere and truly making this a home you must see!

http://bit.ly/2700GreenwichRd 

The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring

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The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2017:

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Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for increased competition in the spring might make a lot of sense.

Bottom Line

Buyers in the market during the winter months are truly motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.

5 Reasons to Love Using A Real Estate Pro

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Highlights:

  • Hiring a real estate professional to guide you through the process of buying a home or selling your house can be one of the best decisions you make!
  • They are there for you to help with paperwork, understanding the process, negotiations, and helping you with pricing (both when making an offer or setting the right price for your home).
  • One of the top reasons to hire a real estate professional is their understanding of your local market and how the conditions in your neighborhood will impact your experience.

Set Up An Emergency Fund

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An emergency fund is a separate bank account set aside to cover the costs of life’s unplanned events such as large medical bills, job loss or major auto or home repair. While many people understand that they need an emergency fund, they have trouble finding the breathing room in their budget to start one. A good rule of thumb is to have enough in your fund to cover three to six months worth of living expenses. This will allow you to pay for necessities if you lose your job.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you work towards your emergency fund goal:

Contribute monthly – Set a goal for an amount of money that you will contribute each month and stick to it. A great way to do this to set up an automatic transfer from your checking account.

Keep a change jar – If you frequently carry cash, start a change jar at home. You can collect your extra change and small bills in the jar and when it is full, deposit it in your emergency fund account.

Transfer extra cash – If you have paid your necessities and have extra money leftover at the end of a pay period, consider transferring it to your emergency fund rather than spending it on luxuries.

Use bonuses and tax refunds – If you receive a bonus from work or a tax refund, put these towards your emergency fund.

As you build your emergency fund, make sure to only use it for emergencies, which should be only things that affect your health or ability to earn money.

Contributed by Ashley McKenzie-Sharpe  

Phone: 336-748-4599    |    ashleym@fairwaymc.com

Millionaire to Millennials: Don’t Rent a Home… Buy!

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In a CNBC article, self-made millionaire David Bach explained that: The biggest mistake millennials are making is not buying their first home.” He goes on to say that, “If you want to build real financial security, real wealth for your lifetime, then you need to buy a home.

Bach went on to explain:

“Homeowners are worth 40 times more than renters. Now, that first home doesn’t need to be a dream home, it can be a very small home. You might literally have to buy a small studio apartment, but that’s how you get started.” 

Then he explains the secret in order to buy that home!

Don’t do a 30-year mortgage. You want to take that 30-year mortgage and instead pay it off early, do a 15-year mortgage. What happens if you do a 15-year mortgage? Well, one, you pay the mortgage off 15-years sooner, that means you’ll be able to retire in your fifties. Number two, you’ll save a fortune (on potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments).”

What will it cost to pay your mortgage in fifteen years? He explains further:

“For fifteen years, you got to brownbag your lunch. Think about that! Brownbag your lunch literally for fifteen years. You can retire ten years sooner than your friends. You’ll have real wealth, because you bought a home – you’re not a renter. And you’ll be financially secure for life.”

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.

Whether You Rent or Buy, Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage!

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There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize, however, that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage as opposed to paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person building that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.22% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

Open Houses for Sunday, February 4th

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3761 Sandalwood Lane  |  Winston Salem

Gorgeous offering in popular Greenbrier Farm. Beautiful living areas for entertaining! Stunning ceiling trim and accents will amaze you! Open yet cozy eat in kitchen with gas appliances. Sunny great room with fireplace. Main level master suite with jetted tub and separate shower. Basement has a playroom, full bath and partial kitchen. Lovely deck overlooks mature trees and a peaceful lake. Don't miss this beautiful must see home!

http://bit.ly/3761SandalwoodLn 

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100 Rosedown Court | Winston Salem

Fabulously renovated Greenbrier Farm executive home which sits on the hard to find, flat, lush, lot! Fabulous great room is an entertainer's delight. A main level bedroom could be used as a home office complete with a full bath. The master bedroom suite, on the upper level, is huge with new flooring. Walkout basement & 5th BR/bath complete this wonderful home. 

http://bit.ly/100RosewoodCourt 

Bidding Wars Abound… How Long Will They Continue?

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Just like with any product or service, the law of supply and demand impacts home prices. Any time that there is less supply than the market demands, prices increase.

In many areas of the country, the supply of homes for sale in the starter and trade-up home markets is so low that bidding wars have ensued, and the busy spring-buying season is just around the corner.

CoreLogic recently conducted an analysis on national home prices at the time of sale for their January 2018 MarketPulse Report and found that a third of homes sold for at least list price.

“The share selling above list price was almost three times the trough in January 2008 and represented more than one-fifth of total sales.”

Many markets in the western part of the country and around major cities are experiencing higher shares of homes selling above list price.

“San Francisco had the largest share of homes—76 percent—that sold for at least the list price, and Seattle and Los Angeles followed with 63 and 51 percent, respectively. Miami had the lowest share—16 percent—of homes selling at or above the list price.”

Increased demand during the spring and summer months, the traditionally busier seasons for real estate, will no doubt influence how many homes continue to sell over list price.

This should not be seen by sellers as permission to overprice their homes, though. Buyers are becoming more and more educated, especially those who have been searching for their dream homes for a while now while waiting for new inventory to come to market.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

Bottom Line

Without a large wave of new listings coming to market, buyers will continue competing with each other for the homes that are available. If you are thinking of selling your home, now may be the time to do so before more competition comes this spring. Let’s get together to determine the demand for your house in our area.

Just Listed in Kernersville!

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4519 Kernersville Road |  Kernersville

Main level living at its finest in this meticulously-kept ranch nestled among mature trees on 2+ acres. An abundance of natural light presents an open and spacious floor plan great for entertaining. Dream kitchen with vaulted ceiling, granite countertops, stainless appliances, stunning white cabinetry and subway tiles. Fabulous hardwoods, built-ins, accent lighting and millwork intertwine to add character and charm to this beauty. Privacy and picturesque views abound...this one won't last long!

http://bit.ly/4519KernersvilleRoad 

Another Kinderton Village Gem UNDER CONTRACT!

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199 Kilbourne Drive | Bermuda Run

Beautiful home in popular Kinderton Village! This stunning home has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Open floor plan perfect for entertaining or those special occasions. Fabulous dining area with columns and tray ceiling. Large chef's kitchen. Sunny bonus area off kitchen for relaxing and enjoying the private fenced backyard! Large bedrooms upstairs. Convenient location near I-40, shopping, restaurants and hospitals. Neighborhood features beautiful commons areas, serene neighborhood pool, playground, and other great amenities!

http://bit.ly/199KilbourneDr

2 Major Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

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Urban Institute recently released a report entitled, “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership,” which revealed that eighty percent of consumers either are unaware of how much lenders require for a down payment or believe all lenders require a down payment above 5 percent.”

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Buyers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:

Consumers are often unaware of the option to take out low-down-payment mortgages. Only 19% of consumers believe lenders would make loans with a down payment of 5% or less… While 15% believe lenders require a 20% down payment, and 30% believe lenders expect a 20% down payment.”

These numbers do not differ much between non-owners and homeowners; 39% of non-owners believe they need more than 20% for a down payment and 30% of homeowners believe they need more than 20% for a down payment.

While many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, they do not realize that programs are available that allow them to put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher to Buy”

Similar to the down payment, many either don’t know or are misinformed about what FICO® score is necessary to qualify.

Many Americans believe a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

To help debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.

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As you can see in the chart above, 53.5% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.