The Triangle has 3 of the Top 10 Best Cities for Young Families in North Carolina

Few states can claim to have made more changes over the past few decades than North Carolina. Not only has the state modernized its economy — from agriculture to one of the nation’s fastest-growing centers for software and technology services, biotech and life sciences — the state’s economic prospects, affordable housing and moderate climate have attracted new residents from across the nation. According to an analysis by the New York Times, in 1980, 76% of North Carolina residents were natives. Today, that number has shrunk to 58%, with a large number of newcomers coming from the Northeast, the Midwest and, increasingly, from outside the U.S.

By some measures, the economic recovery has been stronger in North Carolina than in the nation as a whole. Although the state’s most recent unemployment rate of 5.8% matches the national average, its post-recession high of 11.3% in January 2010 was higher than the national rate. The improving employment picture, affordability and more make North Carolina one of the nation’s top destinations for young families.

NerdWallet found the communities in the Tar Heel State that offer young families the best combination of solid schools, friendly neighbors and affordability in our analysis of 123 cities, towns and census-designated places in North Carolina.

3. Holly Springs

Education is integral to understanding Holly Springs. This fast-growing town in Wake County, near the Research Triangle, gives residents direct access to North Carolina’s center for technology, medicine and biotech. In turn, 53.5% of Holly Springs residents hold a college degree or higher, which is more than 20 percentage points higher than the national average. Though the town is near some of the most important institutions in the state, Holly Springs still holds onto and continues to build, its own identity. Events such as Hollyfest and the annual Christmas Parade are local favorites, and the Holly Springs Cultural Center, which is home to a performing arts center and outdoor stage, has become a regional destination.

7. Apex

Apex got its name because it was the highest point on a railroad that stretched from Richmond, Virginia, to Jacksonville, Florida. Now, it is near the pinnacle of the best cities for young families in North Carolina because of its affordability and excellent school system. Residents can expect to allocate about 19% of their median monthly income to homeowner costs, which is below the top 10 average of 22%. While Apex is a great choice for young families on a tighter budget, it also has plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities as well — the Halle Cultural Arts Center in downtown Apex has music and theatrical events throughout the year, and the town is only minutes from Jordan Lake State Park.

9. Morrisville

Morrisville is no longer a secret for young families, who have been moving to the town for more than a decade. In 2000, 18.1% of married family households had at least one child under 18, but by 2013, that number had jumped to 32.4% — the largest gain in the top 10. The town’s exceptional school system, which received a perfect 10 at GreatSchools, has been a significant draw, as well as the above-average family income growth. Residents of Morrisville also have a unique blend of amenities, from Lake Crabtree’s fishing, boating and 16 miles of trails, to the convenience of its location to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which is only eight minutes away.

If you are considering one of the above locations to relocate, contact FOR HomeBUYERS a Raleigh Real Estate Exclusive Buyer Only Agency that serves Apex, Holly Springs, and Morrisville.

For more information on Exclusive Buyer Agents and the level of representation you will receive Contact Us or call 919-878-1110, text 919-219-9878, or email

FOR HomeBUYERS serves the entire Triangle of North Carolina which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding counties of NC.


Do you know the problems when you have an undersized HVAC unit?

Service Providers say that an undersized HVAC unit may:

  • Increase energy costs
  • Fail to properly heat or cool the home
  • May cause the premature failure of components

“Tonnage” is the unit of measurement that describes the cooling capacity of an air conditioning system, and for each ton, the typical HVAC unit can cool 500-600 square feet of living space. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. To confirm that the home is equipped with a properly sized HVAC system, an industry recognized “load calculation” may be necessary, which takes into consideration several factors beyond square footage (e.g., number of windows, ceiling height, sun exposure, etc.). That said, a quick calculation based on the square footage may help determine whether an HVAC system is at least in the ballpark. TIP: Consider crunching the numbers if you are considering buying or selling a home where the original square footage has been increased… it might require a more powerful HVAC system!

Triangle home sales rise 4% in 2014, but inventory levels keep falling

The Triangle residential real estate industry enters 2015 facing the same question it faced at the beginning of last year.  Will this be the year when a substantial number of homeowners finally put their homes on the market?


The 2014 Triangle home sales ended with just 6,145 homes for sale, a 7 percent decline from the end of the previous year, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show. Inventory levels are now 43 percent below the record high reached in June 2010.

There has been some modest appreciation two or three years in a row, which hopefully will bring more sellers into the market and increase inventory levels.

The average sales price of the homes that sold last year was $255,900, a 4 percent increase over sales in 2013, according to MLS. According to data analysis provider CoreLogic, home prices increased 3.7 percent in November in Raleigh but fell 2.2 percent in the Durham-Chapel Hill area compared with the same period last year.

That inventory levels have remained so low for so long is a sign that many homeowners who bought during the boom have yet to see prices recover enough to where they can sell. The levels also reflect the current rate of new home construction, which has picked up in the Triangle but remains below previous levels.

Buyers’ preferences in the years since the housing bust have also shifted, with many now expecting homes to be “move-in ready.” Many sellers are reluctant to spend the tens of thousands of dollars needed to update their homes.

Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes MLS data for area real estate agents, said the health of the region’s housing market – and its inventory levels – will be tied to job growth.

Home sales spiked 24 percent in 2013, but that surge appeared to be tied to pent-up demand, as it occurred despite there being no significant increase in new jobs. In 2014, the market leveled off, with sales rising 4 percent last year.

Anfindsen has a hard time seeing where the Triangle’s additional inventory will come from this year, which means the strange dynamic now playing out in the housing market may be here to stay for a bit longer.

With competition being so strong for the homes that are on the market, it is important that you have the best representation when competing to purchase your new home. FOR HomeBUYERS can help your negotiation position because we are on your side 100% and will not convey any of your confidential information during negotiations that could compromise your chances of getting the best price and conditions. If you are working with a buyer’s agent in a listing company and especially if the home is with the same company that has the home listed your confidentiality could be compromised. As Exclusive Buyer’s Agents, FOR HomeBUYERS has no conflict of interest and are working only for you.



Cary & Chapel Hill are in’s small cities “50 Best Places to Live”

The Triangle, NC area has again been recognized for how great a place it is to live.

When you look at all the top rankings the Triangle Area of North Carolina receives for jobs, best places to live and have families, relocating to this area should be a strong consideration if you are planning a move or relocation. The cities of Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, Apex, Morrisville, Wake Forest, Fuquay Varina, Clayton, and others, will give you a good choice to fit your family’s needs. If you are considering a relocation to the area, FOR HomeBUYERS can provide a no obligation consultation on the areas that may best fit your needs and desires.

Cary is No. 19 and Chapel Hill is No. 36 on’s list of the top 50 “Best Places to LIve 2014.”

The report focuses on small cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. The rankings are based on both objective data and personal visits.

The report cites Cary’s proximity to Research Triangle Park and Triangle universities, as well as having SAS, top schools and a wide range of housing options.

Chapel Hill is also cited for the quality of its schools, along with its lively downtown and its proximity to white-collar jobs.

Rebecca Troyer manages the day-to-day process of delivering the daily digital content and the weekly print edition of the Triangle Business Journal.

Mortgage Market Guide Weekly Report for week of September 15

In housing news, the National Association of Home Builders report

This report is provided to you by FOR HomeBUYERS, an Exclusive Buyer only real estate agency. We feel it is important for you, the Buyer, to understand the broad financial picture before you purchase a home and to assist in making your decision to move forward with your purchase. It is hoped you find this article helpful.

The Fed pulled no punches after its regularly scheduled meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, once again tapering its big Bond-purchase program. The Fed will now purchase $5 billion in Mortgage Backed Securities and $10 billion in Treasury securities each month, which is down from the $85 billion in purchases the Fed was making each month when the program first began. The Fed is expected to fully wind down the program at the end of October, and the question remains: How will home loan rates, which are tied to Mortgage Bonds, be impacted?

In housing news, the National Association of Home Builders reported that its Housing Market Index rose by four points in September to 59, its highest level since November 2005. The index measures home builder confidence in the newly built single home sector of the market, so this is a good sign for the housing industry. However, on a disappointing note, both Housing Starts and Building Permits declined in August from the previous month.

Also of importance—inflation at both the wholesale and consumer levels remains tame, as evidenced by the Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index, respectively. This news is friendly to Bonds (and also to home loan rates), as inflation reduces the value of fixed investments like Bonds and any hint of inflation can cause Bonds and home loan rates to worsen.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain near some of their best levels of the year, and now is a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

Christofer Roberts
Senior Mortgage Loan Officer
Regions Mortgage
Office: 919-784-8268
Cell: 919-434-4190

Triangle MLS August Home Sales Report

Monthly Indicators for August 2014

This report is brought to you by FOR HomeBUYERS, an Exclusive Buyer Only Real Estate Agency. Call us if you would like to view any of the homes you might find on TMLS or any home you find in the Triangle area at 919-878-1110.

Most local markets continue to recover from a soft patch earlier this year. The macro trend is still positive; the micro trend involves more moderate pinching up and down the month-to-month timeline. This is not uncommon in a balanced market, but it’s been so long since we’ve seen one that we’re watching it with perhaps too much trepidation. Metrics to watch include inventory and prices, but also days on market, months’ supply and percent of list price received at sale. Declines in pending and closed sales activity may reflect strong decreases at lower price points and may not indicate softening demand.

New Listings in the Triangle region decreased 4.8 percent to 3,579. Pending Sales were up 3.2 percent to 2,846. Inventory levels fell 1.9 percent to 14,029 units.

Prices were fairly stable. The Median Sales Price decreased 0.4 percent to $207,205. Days on Market was up 2.2 percent to 94 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 8.4 percent to 5.6 months.

Sustained job growth, lower mortgage rates and a slow rise in the number of homes for sale appear to have unleashed at least some pent-up demand. Since housing demand relies heavily on an economy churning out good jobs, it’s encouraging to see second quarter GDP growth revised upwards to a 4.2 percent annualized rate and stronger-than-expected job growth in recent months. Further improvements are still needed by way of wage growth and consumer confidence but recovery continues.

Click here to access the TMLS Monthly Indicators report for August 2014.

How to Begin your Home Search in Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill, NC

The best approach to finding a new home for sale in the Triangle NC Area

First try to narrow down the location you wish to live in. The areas within the Triangle Area of North Carolina are quite different in many respects and even within the county itself. Wake County has several very desirable communities but each may have its unique appeal to the different home buyers. Your realtor can be helpful in guiding you to the community that best fits your need.

You should already know your price range, so you might begin searching homes in the price range and location on the internet. You may want to drive by some of the homes before asking your Real Estate Agent to show you the homes, as pictures can be deceiving.

Be sure to look at several homes to make comparisons before making your final decision. If you fall in love with the first home you see, still view several others to be sure. Different areas may give you more home for your money, so you may want to broaden your location requirements.

First time buyers are many times surprised and disappointed in the amount of house you can get for your money. As first time home buyers, don’t expect to find your ultimate “dream home.” Your first home may need to be a starter home. If you are picturing your “dream” home you may have a difficult time finding a home. Your Agent can be a great help in advising you on the realities of the current Real Estate Market and what you might find in your price range.

If you are beginning to think about a new home as a first time home buyer or if you are considering a relocation to the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill /Triangle Area of North Carolina, FOR HomeBUYERS offers a no obligation consultation in which they will explain the benefits of Exclusive Buyer Representation, evaluate your needs and guide you to the areas in the Triangle that might best fit your needs and desires, and show you homes that are for sale in those areas.

Call today 919-878-1110 and speak with Allen Shaver, Broker- in-charge, to schedule your no obligation consultation

Forbes names Raleigh No. 1 city in US for attracting families

Raleigh is the No. 1 city in the U.S. for attracting families, according to a recent analysis by Forbes.

The rankings are based on demographic data on the increase in the number of children aged 5 to 14 and the number of children aged 5-14 per capita.

“We picked this age range because it encompasses when parents often move due to such issues as school quality, the cost of housing and long-term economic security,” Forbes says.

The top 10 “Baby Boomtowns” are as follows:

  1. Raleigh
  2. Austin
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Charlotte
  5. Phoenix
  6. Dallas-Fort Worth
  7. Atlanta
  8. Houston
  9. Nashville
  10. Orlando

Rebecca Troyer manages the day-to-day process of delivering the daily digital content for Triangle Business Journal and the weekly print edition.


FOR HomeBUYERS’ comment: The entire Triangle area of North Carolina is a very family friendly area. The quality of living in Cary, Wake Forest, Apex, Chapel Hill an addition to Raleigh are great places to raise a family.

Relocating to the Triangle Area and the capital of North Carolina is a very positive move for any family. The job opportunities and educational experiences are very beneficial to anyone planning a relocation to Raleigh area.

For assistance in purchasing a home in this area, call FOR HomeBUYERS at 919-878-1110 and receive 100% buyer representation from an Exclusive Buyer Agency who has been representing Only Buyers since 1991.

Durham is #6 of the top 10 cheapest cities to live in according to Kiplinger

Durham is one of the “10 cheapest cities you’ll want to live in,” according to a recent report by Kiplinger.

The rankings are based on below-average living costs, high household incomes relative to the cost of living, an unemployment rate below the national average and access to fun, low-cost things to do. Only U.S. cities with populations of 50,000 or more are ranked.

Here are the top 10 most inexpensive (and desirable) cities, ranked according to median household income:

  1. Round Rock, Texas
  2. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  3. Temple, Texas
  4. Lincoln, Nebraska
  5. Norman, Oklahoma
  6. Durham
  7. Denton, Texas
  8. St. George, Utah
  9. Corpus Christi, Texas
  10. Omaha, Nebraska

Rebecca Troyer manages the day-to-day process of delivering the daily digital content for Triangle Business Journal and the weekly print edition.


FOR HomeBUYERS’ comment: Relocating to Durham or anywhere in the Triangle Area and the capital of North Carolina is a very positive move for any family. The job opportunities and educational experiences are very beneficial to anyone planning a relocation to the Durham, North Carolina area.

For assistance in purchasing a home in this area, call FOR HomeBUYERS at 919-878-1110 and receive 100% buyer representation from an Exclusive Buyer Agency who has been representing Only Buyers since 1991.

Triangle Home Sales Up 1 percent in July 2014

Through the first seven months of the year, home sales in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties are up 2 percent compared with the same period last year, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show. By comparison, home sales surged 24 percent last year.

Triangle home sales inched up 1 percent in July compared with the same period last year, as the housing market continued to level off after experiencing big year-over-year gains in 2013.

Through the first seven months of the year, home sales in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties are up 2 percent compared with the same period last year, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show. By comparison, home sales surged 24 percent last year.

Most housing analysts expect the Triangle to post annual sales growth this year in the low single digits as the region is not experiencing the kind of robust job growth needed to sustain such double-digit increases.

“I think we’re going to flat line for the rest of the year,” said Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes MLS data for area real estate agents. “It will just be 2 percent. We won’t see much movement in these numbers. The market we’ve had for the past six months will be the one we finish up with.”

The number of homes listed for sale continues to rise slowly, increasing 4 percent in July compared with the same month a year ago. The uptick in inventory is being driven largely by new home listings, which were up 23 percent while the number of existing homes on the market declined 1 percent.

The average price of the homes that sold in July was just over $260,000, up 4 percent. The average was the highest for July since 2010.

By David Bracken August 12, 2014