The 2017 Housing Market: Should I Rent or Purchase?

The jump from renting to buying is a huge milestone in life. Ever since the Subprime Mortgage Crisis of 2008, trends and predictions have flowed about who will buy, when and if Millennials will buy, and how long it will take the market to settle back down. Those interested in buying or renting out property in 2017 will want to look at the financial forecast of the housing market for the coming year. Experts in economics have predicted an overall steady housing market for the next year. While the close of 2016 should not be majorly affected, trending housing demands, the beginning of President Trump’s term, and a hike in interest rates will likely create a slower but still rising year. As always, whether you buy or rent will depend on a few factors, including your age, financial situation, and distance you are willing to move. Here are a few tips as well as explanations of the market predictions that will help you determine whether you should rent or purchase a unit in 2017.

  1. Consider Your Location to Buy. Ask yourself: Where are you willing to move? Housing price is all about location, location, location. Some cities are seeing higher demand and rising home prices while towns on the fringes slowly develop. If you are looking for a home in a particular area, it is best to consult an experienced realtor in the field who knows the area. Many people find realtors through word of mouth, but there are also websites that will match you with a realtor. A realtor who knows the area will match your needs with the best prices and will be able to give you financing tips that will suite you. If you are more open to locations out of the city or state, you might find more prime options. Housing markets in cities like Denver, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; Richmond, Virginia; Tampa, Florida; San Diego, California, and many more are attracting investors and might be good options to find a home. If you are willing to move out of state, research different cities to determine which lifestyle is right for you, and whether the job market is growing or stable in your field of work (unless you are flexible on that term).
  2. Stick to a Budget. The 2008 Subprime Mortgage Crisis sobered up the public as well as the banks and federal government about affordability. If you feel in over your head about mortgages, fixed interest rates, and what your monthly budget can sustain in this rising market, then it is wise to consult with your realtor. Again, a realtor should be able to simplify the terms based on your income and expectations. It is easy to fall in love and romanticize your life in the beautiful new home you just saw, but don’t be fooled: if it is out of your budget along with your other monthly expenses, you need to keep looking. Your local bank can also advise you. They can inform you on what they can lend you at a certain interest rate.
  3. Consider the Financial Risk. Once you already know your budget, you can create a more accurate assessment on whether you should continue to rent or buy a home. It will not be worth it to buy if you are not financially secure. Although it is predicted that home buying will rise in 2017, that does not mean you are ready. It is predicted that Millennials, for example, are likely to settle down in large numbers in the coming years, but that does not define your individual needs at this moment. Some people fear that if they continue to rent, it may be a poor investment decision. But in the end, it may actually be the best in the long term.
  4. The Benefits of Renting. Since the Recession, young people have become more mobile and more educated. Renting means that at the end of the lease you can choose to leave on a whim. If you are not financially able to own a house, that doesn’t mean you are not financially stable enough to travel or relocate. The flexibility that renting offers can allow you to try different lifestyles or adjust in case you lose or try to change your job. Eventually, when you are financially prepared and satisfied with the pros and cons of the area you wish to live, then the time to settle down will come. However, do not pressure yourself—all things come in good time. If you do choose to rent, be wary of fraudulent schemes; with the rise in tenancy, con artists have jumped on the bandwagon. When a prospective landlord asks for your social security number and other important information, make sure they’re running their credit check through certified companies like Transunion SmartMove services. This will help you avoid scams and keep your personal information protected.
Posted in Guest Post | 1 Comment

Coming Soon to Durham County…

showimage

Every three years, the Durham County Department of Public Health completes a health assessment for the entire county, which includes an opinion survey. The survey is conducted at randomly selected households throughout the county.

The information collected is used to help community members and organizations set health priorities and to help inform programming needs for nonprofits, government agencies, and hospitals in the area.

The Durham County Department of Public Health will be conducting surveys throughout the county on Thursday, October 6th through Saturday, October 8th and will be conducting a survey among Hispanic and Latino households on Thursday, October 13th through Saturday, October 15th.

Please help spread the word throughout the community, letting your friends and neighbors know that we may be coming to their homes to collect information for the health assessment.
Everyone is encouraged to participate so their opinions are taken into account when identifying and planning for our community’s health priorities in the future.

Volunteers helping with the survey will be wearing neon blue t-shirts with the Durham County Department of Public Health logo on it and will also have a letter from the County confirming that they are a volunteer.

Posted in Guest Post | Leave a comment

5 Tips For Spotless Home Every Home Seller Needs To Know

When staging a house for selling, its appearance plays a key role in influencing the rate at which potential buyers make a decision. Nobody admires a smelly, ugly, stained house with items lying all over. This can be a total turn off to any would be buyer. Also, many buyers want a home that looks as if it is ready for occupation. They do not want to engage in a lot of restorative work or undue cleaning. Prepping your house for sale doesn’t have to be costly. On the contrary, you can apply the following 5 tips to create a pristine home that can attract even the perfectionist of a buyer.

home-1416381_1920

  1. Cull the Clutter
  2. This is one way of freeing most of the space in your home so that prospective buyers can concentrate on the important details of the house. Free up the counters, shelves, drawers, and closets of the excess items. If you have many things occupying these areas, the buyer is only going to view these items and not what they are supposedly buying. Your personal belongings will act as distraction for would be buyer. You can sort the items and pack them in boxes, give out or ask a relative to keep them for you.

    You can also pack your personal belongings. When a prospective buyer is viewing a house, make them imagine their life in the new home. However, if you crowd the house with your personal items, it is hard for them to begin identifying with the new place.

    bathroom-1336164_1920 (1)

  3. Conduct a Thorough Cleaning
  4. Let a prospective buyer find your house spotless, just as it would look after detailed spring cleaning. Use the following ideas to tackle different areas.

    • Bathrooms: use baking soda to shine a grungy toilet bowl or bathtub. All you need is to sprinkle a generous amount of it on the tub or toilet bowl. Wait for about 20 minutes then scrub with a scourer or toilet brush. After you rinse, your bathtub or toilet bowl will sparkle just like it is new.
    • Grout: get rid of stubborn grime from grout lines by applying powder oxygen bleach and allowing it to sit for about 15 minutes. Then, use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the surface and rinse with clean water.
    • Countertops: it is important to identify the right cleaning agent and method for the kind
      of material that makes your countertops. Some materials react to harsh cleaning methods and require to be dealt with gently. For instance, you cannot apply strong acidic cleaners on natural stone surfaces like those made of limestone as the acid will pit the stone.

    kitchen-351094_1920

  5. Tend the Backyard and compound
  6. This is a grand way of improving the aesthetic appeal of your home. In any case, buyers are sure to notice the compound before they tour the interiors of your house. In this case, spare some time to mow the lawn, prune the fences, and water any plants in the compound.

    holiday-house-177401_1920

  7. Forget Not the House’s Exteriors
  8. Like the kempt compound, this also goes a long way in increasing your house’s curb appeal. Consider scrubbing the windows, pressure washing the cladding, cleaning the gutters and so forth. Also, consider pressure-washing the sidewalk and pavement. You can easily bring your windows to sparkle by spraying them with a homemade cleaning solution then wiping with an old newspaper. Make your solution by mixing 50% of distilled or white vinegar and 50% of clean water.

    bad-1480727_1920

  9. Consider Pocket-friendly Improvements
  10. Some surfaces may not sparkle even after endless cleaning. This could be because they have outlived their useful time. Do not waste time scrubbing. Instead, think of some improvements you can make that won’t cost you a lot. For instance, you can hide ugly marks on the walls by applying a fresh paint or improve the appearance of your hardwood floor by refinishing. Other things you should consider are installation of a new front door, tile re-grouting, mulching, and so forth.

stairs-846831_1920

Beverly Jenkins is proud of her staff at The Tidy Maids house cleaning service in Raleigh, NC. She has 24 years of experience in house cleaning, customer service, and business operations. She knows all the tips and tricks and do-it-yourself hacks when it comes to cleaning and her clients’ homes are the best proof for that.

Posted in Guest Post | Leave a comment

SUCCESS

JWE Logo

J Weeks Entertainment wants to personally invite you to our upcoming production “SUCCESS” which will be premiered at the Durham Arts Council in Durham, NC on July 23rd, 2016.

Briefly, our production SUCCESS is a compelling play that uncovers the true perceptions of how as a society we measure success and the challenging issues of how we must choose to either conform to the status quo set by others, or choose our own path in life.

We believe that patrons who come to see this play will be empowered with information; for some their perspective will be challenged and many will see themselves or someone they know in these characters.

Wear your finest and join us for this black tie affair complete with a red carpet, photographer and one-of-kind backdrop.

We will see you there!

Date:
July 23, 2016

Time:
6:00 PM Red Carpet
7:00 PM Show Begins

Location:
Durham Arts Council
120 Morris Street
Durham, NC 27701

success

Posted in Guest Post | Leave a comment

Luxury Living, Inside and Out

When you think about luxury living, there are a few things that typically come to mind. Updated bathrooms, granite or quartz countertops, high-end kitchen appliances, hardwood floors and an open floor plan are just a few of the things that are at the top of the list for most people. While these details do make a home beautiful and feel more lavish, these are not the things that bring a family together and help you create lasting memories with one another.

homes near raleigh

Holding Village, a new community in Wake Forest, has recognized the need to deliver even more to residents. Located on property that was once a dairy farm years ago, Holding Village was developed with an emphasis on bringing people together and getting them back outside. We all spend too much time on our phones, in front of the television and at the computer. As a breath of fresh air, Holding Village is striving to bring back the traditional way of living.

12049152_493637994131177_329260989238502541_n

This new home community in Wake Forest, NC is making it easy for families to get active and spend time outside together. Holding Village features over 35 acres of open space, four parks, nature trails, a lake and a pool pavilion. Whether you are interested in fishing, kayaking, running or simply watching the sunset, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty of nature in Holding Village.

Project-Holding-Village-birdeye-HR

After spending a day at the lake or on the nature trails, what better way to unwind than in a brand new home. Holding Village is proud to offer homes that are both luxurious and inviting. Even better, you have lots of options when it comes to choosing exactly what style and floor plan you want. Three of the top homebuilders in the Wake Forest area have home plans available in the Holding Village community. John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, Ashton Woods and Drees Homes have designed and built exceptional homes that can be customized to meet your specific needs and lifestyle.

With fabulous amenities, luxurious homes and top-notch builders, Holding Village is the premier place to be when it comes to new homes in Wake Forest.

Posted in Guest Post | 1 Comment

The 4th Bull City Vegan (Chef) Challenge

The 4th Bull City Vegan (Chef) Challenge is launching in downtown restaurants this April. A total of 15 Durham restaurants are participating (most of them downtown) and some of them might surprise you! We have Saltbox, The Federal, Parker + Otis, Guglhupf, etc. just to name a few.

It’s super fun! and not just for vegetarians and vegans, but people who like creative meals created by awesome chefs. Basically, during the month of April these restaurants add a vegan dish to their menus and you try them and vote on the best one. The Indy did a piece on it and the challenge has also been featured in the N&O and nationally by VegNews and Ecorazzi!

Untitled

http://www.indyweek.com/food/archives/2016/03/07/fifteen-durham-restaurants-to-participate-in-aprils-bull-city-vegan-challenge

http://www.newsobserver.com/living/food-drink/mouthful-blog/article65664737.html

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2016/03/09/durham-north-carolina-is-getting-its-own-vegan-cookoff/

http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=7587&catId=1

Our theme is #planetprotein since April is Earth day/month and…we love protein! There are also fun dessert participants like the forthcoming Rise, Parlour, and Monuts (the latter for the launch week).

Hope you enjoy supporting the restaurants! There are prizes to be announced for participating, too.

For more information and to see all the creative, tasty meals being offered – please check us out at:

https://www.facebook.com/bullcityvegan/

The Bull City Vegan (Chef) Challenge Team

Posted in Guest Post | 1 Comment

Why Durham, NC is the Best Place to Live for March Madness

March Madness. With brackets upturned and the sweet 16 here, there’s no better time to live in Durham. In fact, with Duke in Durham and UNC close by, and both of these teams holding their own in the tournament this year, Durham is the ideal town for those who go crazy for March Madness. And this year’s success is no fluke. These teams are consistently among the top, and a home or apartment in Durham puts you near them all.

A Duke fan, left, and a North Carolina fan cheer during the Boston College versus North Carolina semifinal Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament game Saturday, March 11, 2006, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Consistently Performing Teams Make Durham Residents Proud
Whether you are cheering for the Tarheels or the Blue Devils, you can be certain that your team will probably perform well. Historically, both of these teams have made strong showings each March in the NCAA tournament, so you can be proud of your favorite team. But be careful with just how crazy you go. Rivalries can run strong in Durham, so you might have some friendly over-the-fence banter with your neighbors once you choose a side!

A Number of Locations for Viewing the Tournament
March Madness isn’t just about basketball. It’s also about friendship and camaraderie. During the tournament, sports bars offer specials to draw in spectators, and this is a great way to experience the games. One reason that Durham is so appealing as a March Madness town is the large number of bars and other establishments that will showcase the tournament while offering excellent dining experiences and an environment that brings people together around the game.

Catch a Game During the Regular Season
Before March Madness hits and the teams head out to the tournament location, you can catch them in person at UNC or Duke easily from your home in Durham. The close proximity of both of these campuses allows you to experience the thrill of cheering your favorite team to victory during the regular season.

Not many communities can boast two exceptional teams within close proximity and a friendly, sports-loving population. There are many reasons to love Durham, but during March Madness season, basketball is certainly one of the best!

Like what you read? This article was posed by Trinity Commons at Erwin, a luxury apartment community in Durham located across the street from Duke Medical Center.

Posted in Guest Post | 1 Comment

New Apartments in Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh is one of the best places to spend time. With plenty of options to check out when it comes to dining, nightlife and entertainment, the area has unique offerings that truly make it one of a kind. The only thing better than visiting the eclectic area of downtown Raleigh is living there, and there is now a brand new apartment community for residents to enjoy.

downtown luxury apartments

Link Apartments Glenwood South gives individuals the opportunity to experience the urban lifestyle in the trendy Glenwood South neighborhood. There is studio, 1 and 2-bedroom floor plans available, so there are apartments available to meet the needs and lifestyle of each resident. These modern spaces also include many luxury features. The units at Link Apartments Glenwood South come equipped with energy-efficient lighting, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, walk-in closets and oversized windows. The community is also pet-friendly, so your fur babies can enjoy the downtown Raleigh life as well.

luxury apartments raleigh

Not only are there high-end finishes in all of the apartment units, but Link Apartments Glenwood South also provides many wonderful amenities for all of its residents. Some of the amenities offered include a saltwater pool, outdoor grills, fitness center, yoga room, entertaining clubroom and dog park. You can also feel good knowing that the neighborhood is green building certified and smoke-free. Even better, Link Apartments Glenwood South has professional on-site management and maintenance services, so all of your concerns or issues can be promptly addressed without causing you any worry.

downtown raleigh apartments

While Link Apartments Glenwood South offers many fantastic amenities within the community, there are also plenty of things to enjoy right outside your apartment door. The revitalization of the Glenwood South district has brought some of the best bars, restaurants, shopping and entertainment options to the area. You can easily go grocery shopping at Harris Teeter, get your hair done at Bottega Hair Salon, grab a bite to eat at MoJoe’s Burger Joint, have a beer at Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing, get dessert from The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery and check out the latest exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History.

These new apartments in downtown Raleigh have it all, so there are many perks that come along with calling Link Apartments Glenwood South home.

Posted in Guest Post | 2 Comments

My Top 10 List of Triangle Walking Spots

The Triangle is a great place for young professionals and families. There are museums, good schools, nice houses; almost everything you could want. An attraction that I think many people are missing out on are the Triangle’s great walking spots. I have lived in the area for around 15 years and I wanted to share with you my list of great places for a walk or a hike. I would also encourage you to contribute your own in the comments and add to the list!

10) The Tobacco Trail
Long and flat, the Tobacco Trail offers easy walking and interesting views. The 22+ miles of trail can take you from Downtown Durham to quiet back-roads.

9) Lake Johnson
If you are looking to get in a hilly walk this is the place. You get gorgeous lake views, can go paddle boating, but beware the hills! The hills surrounding the lake can make for a tough walk.

8) UNC Campus
Soak in the history as you walk around the campus itself, or enjoy the many shops Franklin St. has to offer. The campus is a personal favorite due to the architecture which tends to be more diverse then State or Duke.

7) Dorthia Dix campus
Located off downtown Raleigh, Dix is an appealing destination for a walk or picnic. Boasting impressive skyline views and short trails, Dix is prime relaxation area for downtowners.

6) Yates Mill
The old gristmill sits in southwest Raleigh and offers wonderful trails of various lengths. The mill itself is a favorite for local wedding photographers.

5) Umstead Park
Umstead is massive and a hiker’s dream with unadulterated nature views. You can access it from points as varied as Glenwood Avenue and Harrison Avenue.

4) Duke Gardens
Beautiful year round, Duke Gardens is always bustling with life. A favorite spot for weddings, you can enjoy native plants and a stroll through ‘Japan’ all in about an hour.

3) NC State University
The campus grounds and Hillsborough st. make for a good walk of 2 or 3 miles. Personal favorite spots are the 1911 Building and clock tower.

2) Oakwood and Mordecai
Oakwood has become a more pleasant walk with each passing year. You can view 19th and early 20th century houses and also see the impressive cemetery. An absolute must for any history buff.

1) The North Carolina Museum of Art
The grounds are beautiful and diverse since the renovations. Also, there is a planned expansion that is already underway. You can also get in a good workout on the large hills leading to the Meredith campus.

Chris Fallon is the head of marketing at dosupply.com

Posted in Guest Post | Leave a comment

Benefits of Using a Property Management Company for Your Rental Property

If you own a rental property, whether a simple single-family residence or a large multi-
unit property, a property management firm can make your rental experience more
positive. If you are not working with a property manager, you are missing out on several
key benefits. Here are some ways that a property management team can improve your
experience as a landlord.

1. Help Selecting and Screening Tenants
A good tenant is worth his weight in gold, but a bad tenant can turn your ownership
experience into disaster in mere moments. An experienced property management firm
knows how to locate and screen tenants, ensuring that the tenants you have in your rental
property are the right match. This will limit the number of problems you have with
damage to the property or non-payment.

2. Help with Maintaining the Property Well
Property maintenance is one of the biggest headaches the modern landlord faces.
Property management firms have partnerships with local maintenance professionals, and
some even have maintenance crews who work with them directly, to help keep your
investment well maintained. This improves tenant satisfaction and improves the overall
success of your rental property.

3. Help with Understanding Tenant and Landlord Laws
A legal dispute with one of your tenants could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Working with a knowledgeable property management firm can help you do everything in
line with the law, so you can avoid potential legal problems. If you do have a dispute or
other problem, your property management team can help mitigate the problem to avoid a
legal concern and improve the chances of a positive outcome.

4. Help Keep Tenants Happy
Professionally maintained properties tend to have happier tenants. Because tenants have
someone they can talk to immediately if they have a problem, and maintenance is
covered through the property manager, tenants are happier and tend to stay in the
property longer.

5. Help Reduce the Stress of Working as a Landlord
Finally, a property manager will make owning rental property less stressful. They will
take calls from tenants, manage paperwork and bookkeeping tasks and arrange for
maintenance. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the financial benefits of owning
rental property.

If you are not working with a property manger, you are missing out. Find a qualified
property management professional today to help improve your property ownership
experience.

Posted in Guest Post | 11 Comments