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Jan. 2, 2020

What to Expect From Our 2020 Outer Banks Market

Our Outer Banks market is poised for a great 2020. Here’s why.
 
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What’s in store for our Outer Banks market in 2020? To answer that question, let’s recap what happened in 2019. 

November was the biggest month in terms of homes going under contract since the MLS started tracking this metric in our area in 2013. This means that January and February of 2020 will feature a tremendous number of closings, which is a good thing because it creates momentum heading into the second quarter of the year. 

Before that, the market almost stalled near the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third because interest rates jumped. After rates were reduced (twice), the floodgates opened. Interest rates are still low and the market is still strong, so if you’re thinking of buying or selling, now’s the time. 2020’s first quarter should be stronger than anything we’ve seen in the last decade.
I think we’re in store for a great 2020 in the Outer Banks market.
After this propels us into the summer months, if history is any indication, we should see a bit of a dip right before the election. Uncertainty creates indecision, but that’s OK—we expect a great fall/winter season next year, which will put us in a great position once 2021 is ready to begin. 

Keep in mind, I don’t have a crystal ball. If the Federal Reserve were to raise interest rates by 0.25% or even 0.5%, it would slow everything down considerably. That being said, I think we’re in store for a great 2020 in the Outer Banks market. 

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a property or you have any more questions about our Outer Banks market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.
Posted in Market Update
Dec. 13, 2019

Happy Holidays From Colony Realty!

We’re wishing you a happy holiday season and introducing you to each member of our team.
 
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Today we wanted to send you a happy holiday message and thank you for a wonderful year! Watch the video above for introductions to every member of our team.
As you may know, we’ve been in a transition this year, and we’re thankful to everyone who has been part of our programs or worked with us. On behalf of all of us, we want to wish you happy holidays.
We enjoy helping our community with its real estate needs. If you have any questions please reach out to us. We’d be glad to help you.
Posted in Holidays
Dec. 10, 2019

A Few Interesting Things I’ve Seen in My 20-Year Real Estate Career

Real estate can lead to some pretty interesting stories. Here are three events that stood out to me the most.
 
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I’ve spent more than 20 years in the real estate business, and those two decades have been filled with a lot of interesting moments. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the fun, weird, and wild things I’ve seen throughout the years. There were three profound moments that really stood out to me, and today I’d like to share them with you.


I had one of my first sales in the fall of 1998, when I helped a large family purchase an oceanfront property. Years later, they were looking to expand their investments, so I found them a property. It was a few days before closing and they still hadn’t received a loan package. Why? Because the underwriter wanted to see the title for the buyer’s Volkswagen. Regardless of the buyer’s many other assets, this loan professional was fixated on whether an old car was paid for.


Another time, I’d just finished showing a home to a family. They had pulled away already, and I was just about to get into my truck. Before I got in, I saw a woman walk out of the house I had just shown. Apparently, she’d been on the deck the whole time; she only came out after hearing the door shut when we left. Then, after this somewhat odd encounter, she asked me to fix the light pole. Unfortunately for her, I couldn’t help.
A lot of things have happened throughout the years, but these were a few of the events that stood out to me the most.
My last story occurred when I was driving around, searching for a home’s location. It was difficult to find, but I finally arrived — with no way of getting inside! I figured I would walk to the owner’s home, as it was just down the road. Suddenly, a woman in the bushes asked, “Can I help you?” I told the bush woman of my plight, and she told me she could help. The whole ordeal just felt off, and it was one of the most uncomfortable experiences I’ve ever had in real estate. When we arrived, she began freaking out about everything that was wrong with the home. It turns out she was one of the owners, and she didn’t want it to be sold.


A lot of things have happened throughout the years, but these were a few of the events that stood out to me the most. If you have any questions about real estate or would like to hear about more of my adventures, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Posted in General
Nov. 19, 2019

Replacing Your Roof Before Selling Your Home

Should you replace your roof before you sell your home? Here are my recommendations.
 
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Recently, many home sellers have been asking us whether they need to replace their roof before they sell their home, and today I’d like to share my thoughts.


The answer ultimately depends on the age and condition of the roof. If you have a home with a roof that’s fairly old, I’d suggest that you have a contractor come take a look at it to see what its current condition is. If the age of the roof is suspect and you’ve had to have it patched a few times over the years, it’s also a good idea to have an insurance adjuster come out to see if you could work it into your insurance policy before you close on your home sale.
If the roof is in bad enough shape, insurance companies may deny your coverage.
Here’s why that’s important: Insurance underwriters are now sending people out to discover the age, quality, and lifespan of the roof on a home before they’ll insure it; if the roof is in bad enough shape, they may deny your coverage. 


What does that mean for you? Well, if you have a 20-year-old roof on the home you’re selling, the buyer will have someone come out to inspect the roof in order for their insurance to be able to cover it. If the roof is in such condition that their insurance won’t cover it, that may be a deal-breaker for them.


So if the contractor you hired to take a look recommends that it be replaced, it’s a good idea to see if you can have at least a portion of it covered. Here in the Outer Banks, where we’ve recently dealt with Hurricane Dorian and then a nor’easter, coverage for wind damage is especially important.


In the end, you’ll want to replace your roof before selling if the condition is poor enough to deter buyers from making it through the transaction to the closing table.


If you have any questions about this or other real estate topics, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.
Posted in Home Seller Tips
Nov. 7, 2019

Should You Sell Now or Wait Until Spring?

Why is selling during the fall or winter such a good idea? Let’s discuss.
 
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The end of the year is quickly approaching, and this has many homeowners who were thinking of selling in 2019 wondering if they’ve missed their window. But should you really wait until spring to list your home?


Actually, while inventory certainly does drop during the later months of the year, the number of pending home sales speaks for itself. Fall and winter can be a great time to sell for those savvy enough to try. 
Our goal is to make buying and selling simple and stress-free.
For one thing, the lower inventory will actually work to your advantage. Lower inventory means lower competition, and, besides that, buyers who are out looking for homes before and during the holidays tend to be very serious about doing so. The season is truly rife with opportunities if you understand how to take advantage of them.


Speaking of homebuyers, if you’re looking to make a move but need somewhere to live for a few weeks or days before you commit to your next home purchase, please check out the video above to see one of the great rental properties Colony Realty Corporation has to offer right now. Our goal is to make buying and selling simple and stress-free. 


If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Posted in Home Seller Tips
Sept. 30, 2019

An Update on Our Fall Market & the Post-Dorian Cleanup Effort

As we look toward fall, it’s a good time to buy or sell in our Outer Banks market.
 
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Today I want to give you a quick market update as we enter the fall of 2019.
In short, our Outer Banks market is still brisk and active. If you’re thinking of buying, there’s a good deal of inventory to choose from. If you’re looking to sell, now’s a good time to enter the market as well—September, October, and November traditionally have a high number of homes going under contract.
On a related note, if you’re interested in volunteering to help with the post-Dorian cleanup effort or you’d like to donate money to this cause, the Outer Banks Community Foundation and the Buxton United Methodist Men are two organizations I recommend reaching out to. They’ve each done a phenomenal job raising money and helping local families in need.
If you’d like to know more about volunteering for these two organizations or making a donation, just reply to this email. If you have any more questions about our Outer Banks market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me as well. I’d love to help you.
Sept. 16, 2019

Listing Spotlight: 3800 Elijah Baum Road, Kitty Hawk

Today let’s explore the historic property located at 3800 Elijah Baum Road in Kitty Hawk.
 
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Today, I’m standing in front of a home that we’re prepping for sale at a historic location: 3800 Elijah Baum Road, Kitty Hawk, NC.
This is a gorgeous location and property. Built in 1955, it’s an old 2-bed, 2-bath house that sits in the midst of ancient live oak groves. These trees have been documented to be between 250 and 300 years old or perhaps a bit older. That means they’ve been around since before Wilbur landed in the Kitty Hawk Bay in a schooner on September 13, 1900!
In today’s message, I just wanted to give you a peek at the property, including showing you the ancient groves, discussing the history of the area, and showing you what we’re doing to restore this beautiful property.
To see and learn more about 3800 Elijah Baum Road, I encourage you to refer to the video above. You can read more about this historic property in this interesting article.
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.
Sept. 5, 2019

Why Buy an Existing Home Instead of a Lot?

Why buy an existing home instead of a lot to build on? The answer boils down to cost.
 
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Why buy an existing home instead of a lot?
 
The answer boils down to the price of existing homes versus what it costs to build. Say you consider buying an $85,000 lot. On top of that, you have to tack on development costs (clearing trees, installing a septic tank, etc.) and building costs. Furthermore, over the past four or five years, building material costs have risen—most builders are quoting anywhere between $160,000 and $225,000.
 
That’s a pretty wide range, so let’s give a couple of examples for scale. If you’re building a little beach box with just carpet and vinyl flooring and maybe upgraded countertops, you’ll pay closer to $160,000. If you’re installing heart pine floors, upper-end cabinets, tile surrounds in your master bedrooms and bathrooms, etc., your price will be closer to $225,000. 
 
So if you buy that same $85,000 lot, but you find out that building a 2,000-square-foot home would cost $200,000, that’s when things start to get expensive. This is why single-family home sales are far outpacing lot sales in our market.
Over the past four or five years, building material costs have risen—most builders are quoting anywhere between $160,000 and $225,000.
A lot of people are curious about buying lots because between 2008 and 2014, you could buy one for as little as $20,000. However, that’s not the case anymore. 
 
That being said, lots are still a viable long-term investment if you’re thinking of building a beach house, so give me a call if you want to get the ball rolling on this project. 
 
As always, if you have any other real estate needs, feel free to reach out to me as well. I’d love to help you.
Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Aug. 22, 2019

Should You Sell Your Outer Banks Property in 2019?

If you’ve been thinking of selling your Outer Banks property in 2019, this message is for you.
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If you’ve thought about selling your Outer Banks home in 2019, there are a few things you need to understand about our market before making that decision. Over the last 12 months, interest rates and inventory have both been on the rise. This tends to cause the market to slow down. 
In our Outer Banks market, where many of the properties are second homes, the decision to sell comes down to supply and demand. And judging from the 12% increase in supply and the 4% decrease in closed sales we observed in July, it’s clear that the local demand for homes has become somewhat stagnant.
You'll need to be more strategic about your approach if you do decide to make a move.
 
This doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities for sellers this year, however. It simply means that you’ll need to be more strategic about your approach if you do decide to make a move. To learn more about whether selling in 2019 is right for you, please reach out to me. I would love to discuss your options.
As always, if you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Posted in Home Seller Tips
July 1, 2019

A Quiet Walk in the Maritime Forest

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There’s no telling what you might find in the Maritime Woods here in the Outer Banks—you might see some hawks, an osprey, rabbits, squirrels, and the occasional coyote, but watch out for turtles and snakes!
 
Beyond the wildlife, you’ll find interesting articles of history like the covered bridge. And that’s not to mention the myriad hiking trails that wind through the area.
 
Walking through the Maritime Forest in the morning, you don’t hear much at all. I used to say that the soft, silicon sands of the beach wash away the stresses of daily life here in the Outer Banks, but I’ve recently learned how good for your soul a quiet walk in the woods can be.
 
If you have any questions for me in the meantime or need any assistance at all when it comes to real estate, don't hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.