Greater Charlotte Area Real Estate & Community News

Sept. 15, 2021

Fall Maintenance 2021

 

Anything you'd add to our fall maintenance checklist? 

 

- Jackie Mistretta

 

Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 20, 2021

Is the market starting to even out?!

It’s a question we hear OFTEN… “When will the market slow down?” And this question is not always easy to answer. The best way to know what’s coming next is to track the data. This month we’re seen some things that we haven't seen in almost a year. There is no guarantee that these changes will last but it’s been a nice break for our buyers being able to see more than one house at a time, and to not have to offer your first born as collateral to obtain a home. 

 

So what exactly are we looking for in market shifts?

 

 

To start, prices to even out – they don’t even always have to drop. This month we saw the average sold price drop by the largest percentage (a little over 3% drop) seen in over a year. 

 

Next, the time on market is a great indication of how current market trends stand. Again, we’ve seen the first increase in average days on market in almost a year. 

 

Last, just watch pricing! On the listing service we have seen a LOT of price reductions in the market to get homes under contract. Prices are still high, but the rate of appreciation is starting to cool off. 

 

 

Now this isn’t to say that every place in the Charlotte metro is trending this way but we’ve seen as a whole in Mecklenburg county, these key indicators showing a VERY slight shift towards a more balanced market. Currently Mecklenburg County has 0.8 months of inventory, the highest inventory we’ve seen since November 2020. 

 

This could be a return to a more “normal” market that we didn’t see last year where we’ve got seasonality throughout the year. This means slower fall/winters than we have in the spring/summer. Again, not a crash since we still have incredibly limited inventory, lots of new businesses moving in, and about 70 people every day moving to the Queen City to help sustain our market for a while. 

 

If you’re looking to buy we still recommend doing it sooner rather than later as prices will continue to rise (just likely at a slower rate) and interest rates are currently still at an all time low, meaning you can afford more house now than you will be able to if rates or prices continue to rise. 

 

We’ll end on this – the market is so versatile and so many things can affect these trends like new businesses moving headquarters here, changes in interest rates, or companies announcing they will be continuing remote positions longer. What we do know is that your home is a place to build wealth and hold equity, as well as be a place of safety and comfort at the end of the day. 

 

Want specific data for your part of Charlotte Metro? Shoot us a message!

 

 

Jackie Mistretta

 

Posted in Market Stats
Aug. 11, 2021

Enjoy It While It Lasts…

Summer that is! 

What are some things you plan to do around Charlotte these last few weeks of summer? If you need some ideas still to fill in the gaps check out some of our favorite places around town! 

1.     The U.S. National White Water Center

This place is full of all things outdoors! They’ve got miles and miles of trails, obstacles, rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, mountain biking, rock climbing and ziplines. BUT it’s not just for adventure, they also have tons of greenspace where they host yoga or concerts. The best part? They also serve food and beverages so you can go have a beer and catch up with friends. If you haven’t gone yet… GO! It’s amazing. 

2.     Anne Springs Close Greenway

With 2,100 acres of nature you’ll find a little of everything at Anne Springs. Located in Fort Mill, SC they have several trails for hiking, biking and horse rides. If you prefer to be on the water hike over to Lake Haigler where you can fish, kayak or paddle board. Throughout the year they host different events like live music or yoga! The Greenway Stables are a working horse farm where you can take guided trail rides or riding lessons? Last the Greenway offers group camping as well, so grab a group of friends and spend a few days exploring all that Anne Springs has to offer. 

3.     Check out all of the murals around town

Local artists have been pairing with small shops and restaurants and painting gorgeous murals all over Charlotte. Take a walk around South End and you’ll find the “Confetti Heart Wall” outside Jeni’s Ice Cream or the “Magic Carpet” on the Rail Trail. Head up to NoDa and check out “The People Wall” showcasing all the people of Noda and the “Lotus Mural” just as a start. There are tons of murals all over town, we recommend spending the day exploring the city and snapping some great photos along the way.

4.     Watch the Charlotte Knights

Head over to Truist Field (Formerly BB&T Ballpark) and watch our very own minor league baseball team in action! Located in the heart of Third ward you can stroll through Romare Bearden Park, grab dinner or a drink and head in to the stadium to root, root, root for the home team. 

5.     Check out a museum

There are a few museums around town including MINT that offers an Uptown location and a Randolph location. If you want more modern art check out Bechtler Museum of Modern Art which you won’t miss If you just keep an eye out for the Firebird (or as some call it – the disco chicken) sculpture out front.

6.     Head over to Crowders Mountain State Park

Check out this 5,300 acre state park located near Kings Mountain, NC with 1,000’s of miles of trails to explore with trails for every experience group. The park offers camping, fishing and rock climbing all set in a picturesque mountain terrain with a 7 acre lake. 

What places would you add to the list? 

 

Jackie Mistretta

Posted in Community News
June 1, 2021

To FSBO or Not to FSBO....

 

Have you thought about selling lately? Maybe the idea of selling on your own, without an agent, even crossed your mind. The market is definitely heavily in a seller’s favor, which can incentivize you to try it out, and to be honest, you will likely get an offer or two, but that will come with a lot of unknown.

 

We’ll start with why does anyone choose to sell their home without an agent? 

 

Last year only 8% of sellers sold on their own, and 56% of those FSBO sellers already knew their buyer prior to selling.  So, a friend, family member or neighbor purchased the home from these sellers. 

 

About 41% of all FSBO sellers sold on their own because they wanted to save money and not pay a commission, most sold in one to two weeks, and eight out of ten FSBO sellers were “Very Satisfied” with their outcome. Sounds great right? 

 

Let’s take a look at the data. The median FSBO home sold for $217,900 while the median agent assisted home sold at $295,000. That is a whopping $77,100 MORE when using an agent. Every Realtor® can charge their own commission fee, but at least for us, this nets you, the seller, a significant amount more than selling on your own, and I don’t know any seller that would be happy knowing that they left tens of thousands of dollars behind. 

 

 

Moving on… The average FSBO did no marketing. None. This means they weren’t on any websites, no postcards, and no widespread exposure to buyers. As your agent we will aggressively market your home, and in this market, that can often result in multiple offers with more favorable terms for you. Once the offers come in, we’ll vet out the buyers, confirm their financing, and ensure that the terms offered match your goals and ideal time frames and best protect you, our client. A FSBO seller often doesn’t know that a buyer needs to be pre-approved, or what the various levels of pre-approvals mean. 

 

 

 

According to the NAR profile of Home buyers and sellers, the biggest hurdles FSBO sellers had? Preparing for market, understanding the paperwork, and pricing correctly. These are all things that we, as your Realtor® help you with. We come through prior to listing and we’ll give you a detailed list of improvements, and we can even help coordinate getting this work, if needed, done. We also give you a market analysis, suggesting a listing price that can include selling the home in its current condition, or with different levels of preparation. During the sale we stay on top of all the paperwork and keep everyone moving within our contract’s timeframe. 

 

 

Last comes repair negotiations. When a FSBO sellers gets a repair request from a buyer or their agent they don’t often know what to do. We’ve heard from a few people that they had to either repair everything on the list or come down in price to accommodate these concerns. While some of those problems may need immediate attention, some may actually be minor concerns. We walk through each and every inspection report item and come up with an action plan to quote out work and repair as necessary to help keep you moving towards the closing table.

 

Some sellers are absolutely capable of selling on their own, but sometimes, it’s easier to let the professionals handle the details. Our team works full time in real estate. All day, every day, we research the market, talk with buyers and sellers, negotiate offers and audit paperwork. Real Estate is our passion and we hope that we get the chance to talk with you about your selling goals soon! 

 

- Jackie Mistretta

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 18, 2021

Is Charlotte's Market In A Bubble?

 

Often, we hear about buyers waiting for the market to crash or the “bubble to burst,” and every time we cringe. While yes, home prices have skyrocketed in the last year and a half, there are several other factors to consider when talking about the market today and what makes it different from 2007/2008. Below are a few reasons we don’t see the market caving in any time soon. 

 

1.     Quality of buyers – It’s no secret that there are multiple, crazy over asking offers right now in almost every price range here in Charlotte, with terms heavily favoring the seller. But unlike the previous crash, these buyers are more qualified than ever before. According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, 70% of buyers had a credit score above 760. Don’t worry if you’re below that though, there are still 30% of mortgage loans under that threshold. Plus, credit score isn’t everything, part of the reason these buyers are so well qualified is they are able to use the equity in their current home, towards their future one! While they may be paying top dollar for a new home, they are getting more than ever before on their old ones. Combine all of this with historically low interest rates and a lot of these buyers are set up for success. 

 

2.     Charlottes got a lot to offer – In Charlotte we currently have over 90 people each day moving to the city. Why are they coming here? It’s not just for the Cheerwine and Cook-out. Charlotte is home to several major industry headquarters. We’re the second largest banking city in addition to rising opportunities in healthcare, technology, education and hospitality. Which all just means, we’ve got the jobs! We also are a middle ground between the cold, snowy northern weather and the blistering heat and hurricanes of Florida. So a nice place to enjoy the outdoors throughout the entire year! 

 

3.     Simple Supply and Demand – This may sound different, but the supply shortage is helping us by expanding the time that homes will be in high demand, keeping prices up while the market starts to slowly even out. In new construction builders are being more responsible than previous years, building only a few inventory homes at one time rather than several all at once. This in the end helps keep construction in check allowing ample time for inspections, but also ensure that during these builders aren’t at as great of a financial risk. Over time there will be more built and more homes available, slowing down the rate of appreciation, but just the amount of people moving to the area will keep our market afloat for some time. 

 

If you’ve been waiting to buy a home during the next crash, we hate to say it, but you may want to reconsider. It’s likely that you’ll be pricing yourself out of the market as interest rates and home values continue to rise.

 

If you're more of a numbers person this YouTube video and the next section are for you. Here is an overview of the Mecklenburg County market statistics from April 2021. Want your City, or Neighborhood specific data? Just let us know, we’re happy to pull that for you.  

 

Number of Closed Sales

1,401

Avg. Price

$476,257

Price Compared to Last Month 

-.20%

Price Compared to Last Year

+ 18.1 %

Median Price

$365,000

Median Price Compared to Last Year

+ 12.3 %

Avg. Days on Market

16

Pending Sales

1,488

House Supply

.6 Months

Avg. Mortgage Rate

3.06 %

Avg. $/Sqft

$198

New Listings

1,706

 

 

- Jackie Mistretta 

Posted in Market Stats
April 26, 2021

Jackie's Moving Experience!

Hello Downey Properties Family 👋

 

 

Jackie here! I wanted to reach out and share a little of my own experience buying and selling in today’s market. I closed this past Friday and oh boy do I truly appreciate all of our amazing clients. These past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of chaos at all hours, on all days. So first, thank you all for trusting us, we truly appreciate you! Below are just my thoughts and tips for selling and buying, hopefully they help you with your own feelings when moving. 

 

Let’s start with selling: Take the current advantages of selling. You're going to make more than ever before and that's pretty amazing. It’s no secret that we are in a heavy seller’s market and that being said, you’re going to have a LOT going on in the first few days on the market. You’ll be asked to be out of your home for all the showings, review offers and choose from what could be several amazing offers. Lean in to your agent for advice! Even though I knew the answers to all of my questions, I still asked Bobby about 4,827 questions a day and I literally do this all day, every day. It’s OK, selling is stressful, we are here for YOU! We will make sure you are comfortable with the entire selling process, talk you through the terms of any offers, and ensure that you get the best deal possible for your needs. 

 

Some selling tips? Take those first few days that your house is on the market and go on a short trip. Allow all of the showings to happen back-to-back when you’re away so that you don’t have to worry about being in and out of the house all day. Once you're under contract, pack up EVERYTHING early. Hire out what you can for both pre-listing work and moving day. This can include Pressure washers, packers, movers, cleaners, etc. If you need someone, let us know, we have tons of tried and true referrals.

 

Let’s move on to buying. As you know, it’s NOT fun. You know that you are paying towards the upper end of current value for a home. You know sellers are going to tell you take it or leave it. You know you will bend over backwards to accommodate. Two-week leaseback? Fine. Cook them 4 course dinners throughout their leaseback? No problem. Hire movers for the sellers? Sure. First born child to be named after the seller? Great! 

 

Ok, Ok. Maybe it’s not THAT bad, but it can certainly feel like it and that can really sour your feelings towards your amazing new home… if you let it. 

 

My advice for buying? Start by writing down a list of all of your reasons for moving and come back to it often. You bought the house for something and we want you to keep that something top of mind. This is not a pros and con’s list; this is all the positives for your new adventure. Focus on the future. Focus on making this house your home. Enjoy all of the new memories you’ll be making and know that you are working towards your goals. Also, look forward, your home will continue to appreciate so keep an eye on your neighbors’ sales (we can set you up on a neighborhood watch) and celebrate when other homes sell at or above your value.

 

Did you end up with a project house? I know the feeling 🥴 Make a Pinterest board, goal board or PowerPoint with your renovation ideas. Then when you realize that inside your kitchen cabinet is a hole that must be where monsters live, literally a true story, you can pull out your vision board and again, focus on the future. 

 

We truly appreciate each and every client we’ve helped and we hope that you loved working with us just as much. We know the process can feel stressful to even the most even-keeled person, so if you need absolutely anything at all, please reach out!

April 6, 2021

Spring Is In The Air

 

Spring is in the air and with this gorgeous weather comes everyone’s favorite… Spring Cleaning!

 

Ok, so maybe not favorite, but it’s definitely feels good to keep your home in tip-top shape and avoid any delayed maintenance costs.

 

Below are a few things you should check on each Spring:

 

 

1.    Clean up yard debris.Trimming tree branches and bushes and thinning old plants. Don’t forget to clear the gutters. All those April showers will be testing your gutters, make sure they are clear from debris so they don’t overflow or get clogged.

 

 

 

 

2.    Check the windows. Repair or replace any damaged or missing caulk, paint any peeling window frames to protect from wood rot, and check screens for tears, we don’t want to let bugs in whenever we open up those windows.

 

 

 

 

 

3.    Check your irrigation system.After winter you’ll want to check your system for any cracked or broken pipes or sprayer heads before you begin regular use.

 

 

 

 

4.    Pressure wash the exterior of your home. Make sure to include any decks, patios, sidewalks and driveways. This will keep any algae or moss that grew over winter under control.

 

 

 

 

5.    Check your roof. Look for any damage to the shingles, seal any exposed nail heads and check pipe boots for cracking. This will help ensure you don’t have any leaks.

 

 

 

 

6.    Have your HVAC unit serviced. Make sure to change the return filters too. Keeping the HVAC unit clean helps extend the life of your unit, and having the system regularly checked will help ensure that you catch any potential problems early.

 

 

 

7.    Already knocked out these tasks? A few other quick things you can do: Treat for pests as needed, Clear out your dryer exhaust vent, Drain sediment from your water heater, And change the batteries in your smoke detector, even most wired smoke detectors have a battery backup that needs to be changed.

 

We hope that you found this list helpful, we’d love to hear anything that you would add to the list! As always, if you need any tradesmen to help with these tasks, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d be happy to connect you with the right person for the job! 

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 1, 2020

Is Charlotte For Me?

Coming to you today to talk again about our amazing community! Last month we talked about why we do what we do, and to put it simply, it’s because we want to build a better place to call home for all of you. 

 

So, this month, let’s dig a little deeper into these communities all around us! 

 

 

Charlotte is home to some pretty unique areas; it truly has something to offer anyone and everyone looking to relocate. Below are just a few options Charlotte has to offer for any preference. 

 

 

City living: We’ve certainly got your covered here! Stick to the heart of uptown and it’s immediate surroundings. You’ve got a mix of condo buildings, townhomes, and single family residences. All within walking distance to tons of offices, shops and restaurants. 

 

Specific areas to look in: Any of the 4 wards, South End, Dilworth, Myers Park, Plaza Midwood, Noda.

 

 

Moving to the suburbs: There are options circling the entire city like Matthews, Ballantyne, Concord, Huntersville ,Waxhaw, Fort Mill… I think you get the idea here. Again, all home types can be found in any of these cities, you’d just have to narrow down by preference for the small town feel, want more parks or more social options? We can guide you to which city may best fit your specific needs. 

 

Specific areas to look in: Ballantyne, Fort Mill, Concord, Matthews, Waxhaw, Davidson.

 

 

Lake life! We’ve got options: Lake Norman, which sits on the north-west side of Charlotte, this is the largest of our immediate local lakes. On the South-west side there is Lake Wylie, a mid-sized option,  and in between there is Mountain Island Lake which is the smallest of the three but offers lots of home options with that small-town feeling. 

 

Specific Areas to look in: Tega Cay, Huntersville, Mount Holly, Denver, Lake Wylie. 

 

 

Country living: If city life isn’t for you that’s OK. Just outside the suburbs Charlotte is still surrounded by country living. With plenty of options if you prefer mountain living, or want space to own horses, maybe even find yourself a small farm. 

 

Specific Areas to look in: Iron Station, Lancaster, Monroe, Statesville, Chester. 

 

This list is of course, just a small number of places around town to check out and doesn't even begin to mention all of the features all around, like the greenways, the U.S. National White Water Center, Crowders Mountain, the Panthers Stadium, to name a few. If you’re considering a move to Charlotte, there are so many great options to choose from, let’s talk about which place best fits you! 

Posted in Community News
Nov. 20, 2020

October Market Stats

One more month down in 2020! Often we hear about the market slowing in the fall but for October, numbers continued to hold strong. With such a tight inventory, and interest rates remaining as low as they are, we've still got plenty of competition in the Charlotte area. 

You'll see that both prices and number of sales remained steady, as did months supply holding at 1.1 again. One interesting thing we see is pending sales went up last month, meaning buyers are still out there shopping for their next homes! If you're curious to know what your house is worth you can get a general estimate with this link, or send us an email. 

 

Number of Closed Sales

1,513

Avg. Price

$419,583

Price Compared to Last Month 

.37%

Price Compared to Last Year

+ 14.4 %

Median Price

$323,000

Median Price Compared to Last Year

+ 15.2 %

Avg. Days on Market

20

Pending Sales

1,637

House Supply

1.1 Months

Avg. Mortgage Rate

2.83 %

Avg. $/Sqft

$173

New Listings

1,752

Above are market statistics for Mecklenburg County, single family homes. Statistics for your neighborhood may vary, so for more accurate data about your specific area, send us an email at Bobby@DowneyProperties.com.

Posted in Market Stats
Oct. 30, 2020

Why?

Why? 

 

Today’s blog is going to be a little different. Today we want to tell you a little bit of WHY we do what we do. Whenever someone finds out that we’re in Real Estate we get one of two questions asked…

 

1.     How’s the market? Which, we love talking about, so you may find yourself stuck in a data filled conversation about all things Real Estate! 

2.     How do you like it? To which we immediately respond with “I love it!” (For real, we all truly love it!)

 

So why do we do it? It’s simple really: To help others. 

 

Yes, it’s hard work, it’s calls late at night or bright and early in the morning, it’s planning and prepping for showings, and lots of paperwork, it’s endless market research to make sure that our client’s best interests are being looked out for. 

 

But Real Estate is so much more than just selling houses. It’s helping our clients get into their forever homes, it’s helping buyers make a good investment for their future, or moving them closer to friends and family, or work. It’s about making this transition as easy as possible for those who are selling, so they can focus on the future and their new home instead of worrying about their old ones. It’s about helping our clients find their community. 

 

We know that buying a home is the single biggest investment that most people will ever make. It’s a huge decision and it’s stressful. We want to help lessen that stress and we do that by knowing our market from not only the data side of things but also the personal side. Want to be out in the country? Or up in the hustle and bustle of the city? Prefer to live next to the parks or greenways? Or are the suburbs for you? We know the places that fit what YOU want. Our goal is to make sure that we’ve found the community that fits you.

 

We want to help build up our amazing community.

 

So now what do we do with our Downey Properties community? Now we help! As we head into the holiday season, we wanted to do something meaningful for our communities, and with COVID we know that the smaller organizations are all struggling. So, throughout November you’ll see us highlight four local organizations, all doing amazing things within our greater Charlotte community. We hope that you take a moment to read about each organization, maybe spread the word about what they are doing, and if you’d like, contribute to one (or a few) of their causes. (We’ll match any donations made) And in December we’ve got a few things up our sleeve to support local businesses, along with some ambitious goals that we know our Downey Properties sphere can help us achieve, more details on this to come. 

Posted in Community News