Archive for October, 2011

Is the Real estate market improving or not?

October 28, 2011

Banked Owned homes have increased in Wake County from last year!

The questions I get the most when I am about Raleigh is “How’s Business?”; to be followed with “Hows the market?” Everyone seems to be concerned and interested in the state of the real estate market. The story is the same, that the market is holding steady, but not really growing. Looking at the numbers, it backs my assessment in terms of some positive numbers, but nothing compared to the numbers we experienced during the real estate “boom”.

According to the Triangle Area Residential Realty (TARR) report, the number of active listings has decreased over last year by 21% from the 3rd Quarter 2010 with new homes down 23% and re-sale down 21%. 49% of all listings currently in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service (TMLS) have had price reductions, down from 58% from this quarter last year. The average days on the market is 144, up from 130 a year ago.

Showings were up modestly by 4% from last year and pending sales have increased 22% from the 3rd Quarter 2010 to 2,985. Closings were up 28% from 3rd Quarter 2010 to 2,953. Of course, this number is considerably less than the boom years when we were seeing this many closings in a single month. The Wake County Register of Deeds reported a 9% increase in the number of deed transfers from 3rd Quarter 2010, but a decrease of 9% year to date. Of those that have closed, 53% had some seller concessions up slightly from the previous year and the average sales price was $246,300, down 7% from 3rd Quarter 2010.

Foreclosures and distressed properties account for 9% of current active listings, up from 7% last year at this time. Third quarter foreclosure fillings fell 26% over last year.

I know I have given you a lot of numbers and it can be difficult to understand them, but the bottom line is good news for the market, but maybe not enough good news. The 3rd Quarter was good for the Triangle and Wake County, but the numbers are a far cry from our best years. The number of sales have increased considerably, but home prices have continued to struggle. If you are selling your home, you need to understand that the home should be priced very competitively from the beginning if you wisht to sell your home quickly.

As a general rule, homes that are priced right at the beginning of the listing will typically sell for more than homes that start high and reduce more often to get to the final price. To understand this concept, you need to think like a buyer. If you see a home that has been on the market for 200 days, you know that the sellers are beginning to tire of having their home on the market and thus, have become even more motivated to sell the home. Thus, the negotiating position has shifted dramatically towards the buyer.

If you have additional questions about the market, please feel free to email me at  Be sure to subscribe to this blog as I update often.

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Brier Creek Countyr Club-Discover a New Lifestyle

October 13, 2011

18th Hole at Brier Creek Country Club

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to play for the first time at the Brier Creek Country Club and it was an amazing experience. Brier Creek is located in Northwest Raleigh, near the border of Durham County. This Arnold Palmer designed course offers challenging, but fair holes that are breathtaking with spectacular views on every hole. Your handicap will not inhibit your ability to enjoy this well-designed course. As a high handicap player, I had several opportunities for pars and even an opportunity for a birdie on this course. The more challenging holes offered the better golfers an opportunity to make difficult shots while leaving the lesser golfer spots to lay-up for a better approach shot to the greens. This course, unlike some I have played in the Triangle, is truly a fair and challenging course.

Brier Creek has been ranked at a Top 40 course in North Carolina as the conditions were near perfect. The fairways were well maintained and drained well despite heavy rain the prior day and drizzle on the day I played it. Of course, there were some saturated spots on the course, but very few. Most of the fairways offered safe landing areas for your tee shots despite your length off the tee, but with enough hazards for the very poor tee shots. Several fairways had water hazards and natural growth areas that had to be negotiated throughout the round, but very forgiving for the occasional poor shot.

The greens were well maintained with some speed, but not to the extent that makes it difficult for the amateur golfer to make putts. Many of the greens offered challenging putts, but not like a Donald Ross green where it is nearly impossible to make a simple put. The most challenging and breathtaking green is the 18th. It is an amazing finishing hole with the green being protected on three sides by a lake. The solid tee shot will give you the opportunity to reach this Par 4 in regulation, but a poor tee shot is not a deal breaker on this hole as there are ample areas to lay-up to give you a better shot of getting over the water.

My favorite hole on this course is the Par 3 16th. This hole is difficult, yet very fair. From the back tees, you will have 195 yards, but the blue tees will give you a 178  yard shot to this green. It is all water carry as the green is just off the lake’s edge with some tall grass between the water and the green. The green is elongated and not very deep. Go to long and you may end up in a sand bunker, giving you a delicate shot to hold the green without running off the front of the green. I was fortunate to land on the green from the tee, but with the elongated green, I had a forty-foot put to birdie. Unfortunately, I three putted this hole, but a boggie for me is a good score.

Brier Creek Membership

Brier Creek is a private club with membership opportunities for both residents and non-resident members. Initiation is not as high as you may imagine and Signature membership will also give you access to The Hassentree Club. Club amenities include the golf course, a 40,000 sq ft luxurious clubhouse, driving range, locker rooms, steam rooms, fitness center, banquet facilities, swim and tennis pavilion and much more. For the money, it is a good value, especially if you live in or near Brier Creek. I am not a member, but if we lived closer to this area, my wife and I would have to consider this as an option.

Living in Brier Creek

Living in Brier Creek has its benefits that few areas in Raleigh can compare. With easy access to I-540 and I-40 the conveniences is unmistakable. The conveniences do not end with this as all of the shopping you would need is near by with nearly all of the national retailers within minutes from your front door to include (but not limited to) Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Dicks. There are also several restaurants nearby with choices such as Wild Wings, Carolina Ale House, Red Robin and many more.

The community has all of the benefits you would imagine to include the golf course, clubhouse, pools and tennis courts and social events throughout the year. It is truly an environment that your family can live and thrive with resort style amenities that will make for a pleasant home life. This community has everything you could ever want in a community.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is a 2nd largest Metropolitan city in North Carolina. The economy is diverse with several technology and drug companies located in the Research Triangle Park (RTP). It is one of the fastest growing cities in the Southeast due to the lifestyle this area offers its residents. Real estate in the Triangle has always been a solid purchase as this area has benefited from stable growth over the past several years. Currently, the real estate market in the Triangle has declined due to national trends, but this area remains a mecca for families looking for quality of life along with strong schools and outdoor living. There are nearly 20 golf courses in Wake County alone with several more within the Triangle region and North Carolina. Raleigh and the Triangle has consistently been ranked among the Best Places to Live in the U.S.