Category Archives: Raleigh Real Estate News

New Construction – I Love It and Can Help You Love It!

Great New Construction Opportunities In Raleigh and the Triangle

I love new construction- I just love it! Love it! Love it! I love watching homes come alive during the construction process and when families move in. I love seeing streetscapes take shape and communities form.  I love the smell of fresh paint and the thought of knowing that you are the first person to ever lay on the carpet. Being the first to put the key in the lock and then know that you are the first person to help create the character and charm of the home.  That is just priceless.

New Construction brings a lot of excitement.

New Construction brings a lot of excitement.

The Triangle is filled with so many incredibly talented, capable and dedicated new home custom builders. I have been fortunate to work with many of them and these experiences have brought my love for new construction to a whole new level. The care and dedication for what they do is often overlooked. Many spend countless hours thinking about how someone will live in the home and new styles and techniques they can bring to their homes, as well as, features that future homeowners will enjoy and benefit from. They work countless hours to make their homes better.

To some building a new home can be overwhelming, but if you have the right people working with you and for you it can be a fun and exciting experience! There are many things to consider when deciding to buy or build a new construction home- here are a few things to consider:

  • Community– lifestyle and neighborhood amenities
  • Builder
  • Floor plan that fits your lifestyle
  • Picking the right homesite
  • Standard features vs. Upgraded features
  • Design Appointments
  • Allowances and Overages
  • Energy Star or Green Building Features/Techniques
  • Incentives
  • Deposits
  • Building Time Lines
  • Stages of the Building/Construction Process
  • Initial Floor Plan Review and Changes
  • Home staked on the lot
  • Pre-sheetrock walk
  • Final walk-through and new home orientation
  • Closing
  • Warranties
  • Maintenance

My new construction knowledge, experience and passion helps my clients in many ways. If you are a buyer who wants to build a new home, but not sure where to start or of the process- I am here to walk with you every step of the way!  For more information please contact me at 919-454-8173 or visit my website www.LiveInRaleigh.com

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR Broker

The Live In Raleigh Photo Blog Is Now Live

Live In Raleigh Photo Blog

Okay so I am really excited that the Live In Raleigh Photo Blog is now live!  Thanks to my great technology partners at Dakno the photo blog is going to be a great way to share all the great images I come across on my Raleigh and the Triangle adventures.  Keep in mind that many of the shots will be from my camera phone so quality will not always be up to par with say the shots we have taken when listing a house.

Everyone loves photos as they truly bring to life what is being talked about.  So now when I am at Heritage Wake Forest talking about the awesome amenities including the pool I can follow it up with a photo from that very moment.  Or when I am doing an open house at one of my great listings in Avalon Springs I can give you a quick sneak peak of the exact house I am sitting in!  I love writing my blogs and sharing some news, happenings, fun, events, insight, etc on Raleigh and the Triangle but the photo blog allows me to give my words some life!

So I hope you enjoy my Live In Raleigh photo blog as be sure to check back often as I try to bring you all that Raleigh and the Triangle has to offer – through my eyes!

 Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

New Town Home Listing in Wakefield Plantation

Great New Townhome For Sale in Wakefield Plantation in North Raleigh

I am pleased to announce my new listing at 11721 Coppergate Drive Unit #101 priced to sell at $164,000.  This gorgeous end unit town home in desirable Kingston section of Wakefield Plantation in North Raleigh is all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!  The town home features lots of natural light and upgrades including hardwoods, crown molding, stainless steel appliances, ceramic tile floors in baths and laundry room. Over sized owners suite and master bath with dual sinks and separate garden tub and shower. Refrigerator, washer and dryer convey. Great location close to shopping, schools, US 1, Falls Lake, HWY 98 and golf!   This home is move in ready!

View a Video Tour Of This Home

Please learn more about this listing on my LiveinRaleigh.com website and to learn more about this great Wakefield Plantation Town home please contact me.

 – Walking With You Every Step Of The Way

Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Raleigh Featured As The #2 Real Estate Market Most Likely To Rebound!

Well Raleigh is buzzing again from the great news from yesterday’s Today Show.  Raleigh was featured as the #2 real estate market most likely to rebound. In the below video from the Today Show you will hear the many things we already know about living in Raleigh and the Triangle – good companies, great weather, strong family life and affordable housing.  Whether you are looking for a change of scenery, want to get out of cold weather, just settling down after graduating college or want to live in a place where the news is positive, Raleigh and the Surrounding Triangle should be at the top of your list!  Enjoy the video and let me know if I can help you find the perfect home in Raleigh!

Walking With You Every Step Of the Way!

– Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Great Time For First Time Home Buyers Here In Raleigh and the Surrounding Triangle

I get a lot of questions about the $8,0000 first time home buyers tax credit and I wanted to pass along some exciting news that came out yesterday.  The first time home buyers tax credit has been a great benefit but unfortunately like a lot of things coming from the government, not everyone has understood it.

Please see article below as YES the tax credit can be used for a down payment which is very helpful and important!  I can’t stress enough what a great buying opportunity this is for first time home buyers here in Raleigh and the Triangle as the combination of the tax credit, low interest rates and great house prices makes this the time to move into your first home.  Please contact me and let me know if I can help you in your search here in Raleigh and the Triangle as there are many great neighborhoods in the Triangle that are perfect for first time home buyers!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Tax Credit Can Be Used for Down Payment
Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on Tuesday said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow home buyers to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment.

Previously, most buyers wouldn’t receive the funds until after they filed their tax return, and that deterred some people from using the credit. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has been calling for the change.

“We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment,” Donovan says. His remarks came in an address to several thousand REALTORS® gathered Tuesday morning at “The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy,” at the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.

Twitter Is My Raleigh Real Estate Friend and Here Is Why!

Twitter Is Everywhere It Seams

Unless you live under a rock you are already using it, have spoken to someone using it, seen it on your local news telecast or heard it on a sports radio show – I am talking about Twitter.  I too am on Twitter or are Tweeting as who knows what the right terminology is but I think it is great and have totally embraced it.  Yes it consists of a whole lot of talking and not a lot of listening but if you go Tweeting with a plan then it should be and can be a productive tool for you and your business!

Follow Live In Raleigh On Twitter

Check out my Twitter page at twitter.com/LiveinRaleigh as feel free to follow me as I look forward to following you as well.

Why Did I Get Into Twitter

  • Great learning tool – it is amazing how much you can learn, how many good links & resources can be recommended and how much local information you can absorb in 140 characters or less.  If you follow the right people then Twitter can be a great source of quick but useful information.
  • Great networking tool – Whether it be with local Raleigh and the Triangle REALTORS or with REALTORS in other parts of the country, Twitter is a great way to network.  REALTORS rely on each other in almost every deal so having as many trusted sources in your network is never a bad thing!
  • Local Knowledge is Power – Real Estate is local and when you follow fellow Raleigh and Triangle Tweeters you will be in the know on so many local happenings – from events to sports, to business to even police reports (yes even the Raleigh police are on Twitter!) as the updates are fast, furious and many times local.
  • Technology Queen – In a place like Research Triangle Park technology is everywhere so I want to be in the know on the latest in technology, web services and social online networking and Twitter is the tool to do it.  Twitter not only helps me look savvy but helps me be savvy!
  • Promote – Twitter is another great way to promote my listingsmy neighborhoods and my services to Raleigh and the Triangle buyers, sellers and fellow REALTORS.  If 87% of real estate searches are done on the web these days then the web is where I want to be promoting!
  • Tweet Ups – Twitter has now brought the online networking offline in local networking events called Tweet Ups.  I have been to 1 local Triangle Tweet Up so far and it was great to meet how other people in a variety of industries are using Twitter.  I am looking forward to many more Tweet Ups and “in person” introductions!
  • Still learning – Okay Twitter is still pretty new and I don’t claim to be the expert.  I have learned a lot but I know I have a lot more to learn.  But that is the fun part as I am excited to be learning something new everyday – whether it be about Twitter or something I learned thanks to Twitter.  Remember I said knowledge is power and Twitter offers plenty of information!

Twitter may not be for everyone but if you have a plan and use it to your advantage it can be a great tool for your business – whatever business you may be in.  I for one love Twittering, Tweeting or whatever you call it!

Walking and Tweeting With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Raleigh is Nation’s Fastest Growing Metro Area!

As a real estate agent and a resident of Raleigh and the Triangle, I never get sick of all the awards and honors that this area wins – especially when it is great news about the economy.  See the article below from WRAL.com and Forbes as it really drives home why this area is a great place to work, live and play. When times are tough you want to live in a area that is hopeful and opportunistic.  Well 4% economic growth in this day and age is definitely reason to celebrate.   If you are thinking about moving to Raleigh and Triangle area then there is no time like the present as along with showing economic growth the real estate market remains a buyers market – but this will not last too much longer as my fellow real estate agents and builders I work with are reporting good traffic and more contracts coming in.

Enjoy the article below and  if you want to be like recent transplant Edward Appel then let me know as I am always available to help buyers learn more about the area and find their next dream home.

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way

Jenn Nowalk Raleigh Realtor/Broker

From WRAL.com

Despite the economic downturn, the Raleigh-Cary area grew by more than 4 percent last year, making it the nation’s fastest-growing metro area, according to Forbes magazine.

The magazine rated Raleigh as the No. 1 city where Americans are relocating. Charlotte was third on the list, behind Austin, Texas.

“In the last five or six years, Raleigh has been recognized with a lot of accolades,” said Ken Atkins, senior vice president for economic development for the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.  Atkins said rankings like Raleigh’s three straight years atop Forbes’ annual list of the Best Places for Business and Careers have attracted people as well as attention.

Edward Appel, who recently moved to the Triangle from California to work with HCL Technologies, is one of the latest transplants.

“I first heard about Raleigh from the article in Forbes,” said Appel, a senior systems engineer with the software and information technology development firm. “The fact that there are so many large universities here in close proximity was a great selling point.”

HCL is setting up an office in Cary that officials expect to employ 500 people within a few years. Appel said the area’s low cost of living also helped the Triangle beat out 19 other locations for the new office.

“On the West Coast, we all know that (the) Silicon Valley of the East is the Research Triangle,” he said, adding that he knows people who have moved to Raleigh without jobs expecting to find work in the area.

The Raleigh-Cary area had an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in February, with a net loss of 700 jobs, as the recession deepened across North Carolina. Statewide, the unemployment rate was a record 11.3 percent in February.

Atkins said other technology companies also are looking to locate or expand in the area, but he declined to elaborate.

“My feeling is that this market is at the bottom. I think that we are going to see some significant new announcements in growth coming up in probably … (the) third quarter of this year,” he said.

Ride Out The Recession In Raleigh

Okay so unless you live in a cave (wonder how those comps look) you know that the country is in a recession.  The good news is that signs are pointing towards recovery as the stock market is up, home sales are up and consumer spending is up.  When it comes to riding out the recession we here in Raleigh and the Triangle have been very lucky compared to other parts of the country.  Once again Raleigh has been named a #1 – the #1 market for business and careers during the recession.  Nobody likes a recession and we are glad that the worst looks to be behind us but I was thinking that if Raleigh is the #1 place now then imagine how great this market will be once the economy is hopping again.  Just another reason to be glad you live here in Raleigh or to make Raleigh and the Triangle your new home.  Read the full article here and let me know if I can help you make Raleigh your new home.

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Details on First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit and New Stimulus Plan

It truly is a great time to be a first time home buyer as the combination of tax credits, low interest rates and great pricing makes this truly the time to buy your first home.  Here is some information to help you better understand the first time home buyers tax credit and details of the new stimulus package that was passed last week.  If you are a first time home buyer then let me know how I can help you take advantage of this great buying opportunity.

Tax Credit for Home Buyers

  • First-time home buyers who purchase homes from the start of the year until the end of November 2009 may be eligible for the lower of an $8,000 or 10% of the value of the home tax credit. Remember a tax credit is very different than a tax deduction – a tax credit is equivalent to money in your hand, as opposed to a tax deduction which only reduces your taxable income.
  • The tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000. Buyers will have to repay the credit if they sell their homes within three years.

Tax Credit Versus Tax Deduction

  • It’s important to remember that the $8,000 tax credit is just that… a tax credit. The benefit of a tax credit is that it’s a dollar-for-dollar tax reduction, rather than a reduction in a tax liability that would only save you $1,000 to $1,500 when all was said and done. So, if a home buyer were to owe $8,000 in income taxes and would qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, they would owe nothing.
  • Better still, the tax credit is refundable, which means the home buyer can receive a check for the credit if he or she has little income tax liability. For example, if a homebuyer is liable for $4,000 in income tax, he can offset that $4,000 with half of the tax credit… and still receive a check for the remaining $4,000!

Phaseout Examples

  • According to the plan, the tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000.

To break down what this phaseout means to home buyers who are over those amounts, the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) offers the following examples:

  • Example 1: Assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000. The applicable phaseout to qualify for the tax credit is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount. Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5. When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5. To determine the amount of the partial first-time homebuyer tax credit that is available to this couple, multiply $8,000 by 0.5. The result is $4,000.

  • Example 2: Assume that an individual homebuyer has a modified adjusted gross income of $88,000. The buyer’s income exceeds $75,000 by $13,000. Dividing $13,000 by $20,000 yields 0.65. When you subtract 0.65 from 1.0, the result is 0.35. Multiplying $8,000 by 0.35 shows that the buyer is eligible for a partial tax credit of $2,800.
  • Remember, these are general examples. You should always consult your tax advisor for information relating to your specific circumstances.

Homes that Qualify

  • The tax credit is applicable to any home that will be used as a principle residence. Based on that guideline, qualifying homes include single-family detached homes, as well as attached homes such as townhouses and condominiums. In addition, manufactured or homes and houseboats used for principle residence also qualify.

Higher Loan Amounts

  • More good news – there is an extension on the additional tier of conforming loan amounts which had been first established in 2008.  This tier of home loans are those greater than $417,000, and with a maximum that depends on the area, but is not greater than $729,750.  These loans will again be eligible for rates that are slightly higher than conforming loan rates, but less expensive than the standard “jumbo” loan rates.

Additional Housing-Related Provisions

  • Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs — This provision is designed to help promote energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.
  • Landmark Energy Savings — This provision provides $5 Billion for energy efficient improvements for more than one million modest-income homes through weatherization. According to some estimates, this can help modest-income families save an average of $350 a year on heating and air conditioning bills.

Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits To HUD-Assisted Housing

  • This provision provides a total of $6.3 Billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally supported housing programs.Specifically, it establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (for elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.

Expanding Housing Assistance

  • This provision increases support for several critical housing programs. It includes $2 Billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties.

Thanks to Beth Prochaska of Alera Financial for passing thisinformation along!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Hot Off The Press – My First Quarter Newsletter!

I am excited to announce that my first quarter newsletter is hot off the press and in the mail!  The goal of the newsletter is to offer my clients, family and friends a fun and informative way to stay up to date on subjects like the local real estate market, home decorating trends, home buying and selling tips, crafting ideas, local news and events, as well as my quarterly trivia question where one lucky winner each quarter will win a prize for providing the correct answer.  This quarter’s winner will receive a pizza dinner for the entire family!

If you are not currently receiving my newsletter but would like to then email me your contact information and I will be sure to add you to my mailing list.

I hope you enjoy my newsletter as much as I enjoy putting it together each quarter!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Contact me to sign up for my quarterly newsletter!

Contact me to sign up for my quarterly newsletter!