The Most Important Questions in Real Estate Today

  Common Sense Answers from Real Estate Expert Steve Harney   How do I price my house to sell in today’s market? Your Allen Tate Realtor® is your best resource in helping you understand what it will take to sell your home timely and at the maximum value. Your Realtor can provide you with a comparative market analysis of recent home sales in your area, and offer helpful tips to market your home in top condition. Successful sellers are willing to price their home at or below market value, and reduce their listing price accordingly if it remains on the market. Research shows the longer a home is on the market, the lower the sales price when the home sells.*   How do I know that now is the right time to buy? If you are employed, have decent credit and some money set aside for a down payment, then this is one of the best times in history to purchase a home.  Interest rates are at an all-time low; there’s a great inventory of homes, priced to sell; and there are a wide variety of loan programs available. Additionally, first-time home buyers with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers are eligible for an $8,000 federal tax credit for homes purchased in 2009. That’s a great opportunity.   How do I sell my house at the price I need to move up? If you have equity in your existing home, you can leverage that equity to move up. Most North and South Carolina home owners who purchased their homes before 2005 will still be able to recoup their investment and potentially see some return. Sellers need to understand that if they are willing to take less on their existing home, they will very likely be able to purchase a new home at the same discount or better. Sellers simply need to get past the mindset that they “deserve” the same price as their neighbor, who sold his home two or three years ago. It’s a different market today, and it is very unlikely that will happen.   Will interest rates continue to fall? Low interest rates are designed to stimulate the economy by encouraging consumer confidence. The interest rates we’ve been seeing since last summer are at a 25-year low. So when interest rates begin to rise, it’s a sign that the economy is improving. We’re already seeing some small increases in interest rates. Buyers who are waiting for “the bottom” may find themselves disappointed when their ideal home is sold to a more eager buyer. The reality is that we will not know when we have hit “bottom” until it has passed.   What do I need to know about mortgages? Contrary to popular belief, mortgage money is still available, but more documentation is required than ever before. You’ll also need a down payment, but there are several loan programs which require only 3-to-5 percent down. There are several excellent programs targeted to first-time buyers, as well as federal loan programs, if you qualify. As always, it makes good sense to pre-qualify for a mortgage before you start shopping, so you know how much home you can afford. Your Allen Tate Mortgage Consultant would be happy to answer your mortgage questions and guide you through the pre-qualification process.

*National Association of Realtors 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers                                   

           For information Contact The Lee Ann Miller Team         

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Iredell County,NC

Iredell County, north of Charlotte, has many personalities. It’s lush pastures and open countryside, lake living and luxury homes, small-town atmosphere and big business. Iredell was formed from Rowan County in 1788 and was named for James Iredell, the attorney general during the Revolutionary War who later became a Supreme Court justice. Iredell has long been known as an agricultural county. It’s home to more cows and more eggs than any other N.C. county. In fact, some 60,000 head of cattle can be found in the rolling countryside north of Statesville. The county is the leading producer of breeder chicks in the world. Tobacco, grains and cotton are important economic crops as well. But there’s plenty more to Iredell County than farming. Take, for example, Mooresville, on the southern edge near Mecklenburg. Mooresville has two nicknames – the Port City, in honor of its location on Lake Norman, and Race City U.S.A., its official logo since it’s home to many auto racing teams and the N.C. Auto Hall of Fame. The town’s strategic location between NASCAR tracks put Mooresville on the racing map, with teams, suppliers and drivers setting up homes and shops here. Dozens of teams – including those of drivers Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd – have shops in this racing mecca. Tourists and visitors from around the world, drawn here by the racing magnet, help to grease the local economy. Each year, 100,000 to 150,000 people flock to Mooresville to retail shops, antique stores, the new 22,000-square-foot Citizens Center and the Depot Visual Arts Center. Carrigan Farms, outside of town, is a popular stop for families and schoolchildren who want to see farm animals, pick summer produce or select the perfect pumpkin for that Halloween jack-o-lantern. As the Charlotte suburbs continue to expand, they’re creeping north along I-77 through Mooresville into Troutman and even toward Statesville. Statesville was historically known as the Fourth Creek Community because it was the fourth creek west of Salisbury. The soil was fertile, the climate plentiful and the rivers plentiful in this area, so early settlers made their homes in this rich area. Today, Statesville is the county seat and a busy business center, thanks in part to its advantageous location at the intersection of I-77 and I-40. The town’s economy has diversified to meet the 21st century. Textile plants have given way to U.S. and international companies involved in machine manufacturing, motor manufacturing, filmmaking and plastics recycling. But you can still see Statesville’s past as a hub for area farmers in the many farmers markets that pop up during the summer. Every September, Iredell’s skies are filled with beautiful, ethereal hot-air balloons huffing and puffing their way from launch to landing. The National Balloon Rally draws a huge crowd every year to the Iredell County Fairgrounds in Troutman. Lake Norman, the state’s largest inland body of water, has long been a favorite weekend getaway for work-weary Charlotteans. It’s still a recreational draw, although today many people think of Lake Norman more as an upscale neighborhood than an outdoor playground. If you want lake living, you’ll have plenty of choices. Some communities include golf courses and boat slips. For folks who don’t live on the lake but want to play there, Lake NormanState Park, near Troutman, is a favorite destination. Here you can enjoy fishing, camping, hiking, swimming and boating. Other public access areas in Iredell County include Hager Creek Access at Exit 33, McCrary Creek Access, Pinnacle Access and Stumpy Creek Access, off N.C. 150. There’s fun of the nonsporting variety too. One popular spot is Love Valley, a replica of a Wild West town where horses outnumber cars. The community, located off N.C. 115 in northwest Iredell, even hosts a rodeo. Families living in Iredell County will find excellent educational options. The Mooresville Graded School District, one of only a few districts statewide that remain independent of the county school district, is a huge draw for homeowners because of its academically strong performance. Iredell-Statesville Schools, which serves the rest of the county, is growing to handle the students moving into the area. The systemopened Lakeshore Elementaryfor the 2000-2001 school year and opened a second high school, Lake Norman High, in 2002. Health-care choices, too, are plentiful and strong. Lake Norman Regional Medical Center moved into its elegant new home at I-77 Exit 33 recently. The medical center is becoming a magnet for physician groups and other health-care providers who want to serve the area’s growing population. Statesville is served by two hospitals, Davis Medical Center and Iredell Memorial Hospital.

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Golden Opportunity?

January 2008 Is this your golden opportunity? Anyone that has ever invested in the stock market knows the value of buying low and selling high. Some investors try to “time” the market in order to maximize their “low” buys and “high” sales. Is this your chance to look at real estate from an investor’s eyes? Interest rates are once again approaching historical lows for buyers with good credit and 10% down payment. In fact, strong borrowers are being rewarded in this new mortgage market with preferred rates as low as 5.5%. The demand for rental units is unusually high as transferees from other parts of the country are unable to sell their homes, resulting in a rental option in our region. Have you ever considered real estate as an investment? There are some incredible opportunities in this market. Builder closeouts are very appealing as the builders want to move inventory. Relocating sellers don’t want to own two properties might entertain your offer as an investor. With the interest rates incredibly low, this might be your chance to “buy low and sell high” once the national market improves and our local market once again catches fire. Don’t get me wrong – our local market remains the envy of the nation. Our seller’s market of 2005 has softened and has become very normal. Our supply of homes in inventory is in line with demand in most markets and most price points. Indeed our market is strong, particularly as compared with the national market. If you are interested in purchasing an investment property, the home of your dreams or simply your first home ever, don’t miss this chance to take advantage of the current rates. You might be sorry in the near future if you don’t!                                                Call The Lee Ann Miller Team today!                                                                                                                                        704-896-5141 Office                                                                     Allen Tate Company                                                                  www.LeeAnnMiller.com