Flood insurance rates could increase dramatically for home owner

Realtors watch Congress for a bill to delay increases in flood insurance rates

If a recent U.S. Senate bill passes the U.S. House of Representatives, premium increases for flood insurance policies could be delayed for up to four years, and with residences in the Crabtree Creek floodplain, the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors is paying close attention.

Last week, Senators voted 67 to 32 to delay for up to four years large premium increases that are set to take effect next year as part of updated government flood maps, according to the Washington Post.

“Now that the bill has passed the Senate, we hope that the House will either take up the Senate bill or work on a similar bill to institute a four-year moratorium on rate increases for the buyers and owners of previously grandfathered properties,” says Tessa Hultz, CEO of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors.

If more properties are included in the next version of preliminary flood maps expected for Wake County in March or April, passage of the bill could have significant impact, according to Hultz, but more on homeowners than on commercial properties like Crabtree Valley Mall.

“Additionally, the moratorium on rate increases is important while issues of rate quote miscalculations and discrepancies are investigated,” says Hultz. “When the National Association of Realtors provided testimony to Congress recently, they were able to provide examples of quotes of rates exceeding the true risk rate by thousands of dollars.”

The Ultimate Guide to Homeowners’ Association

Here are some pros and cons of buying a home within the Homeowners’ Association.

Do you have mixed feelings about living under the Homeowners’ Association?  Have you heard horror stories from friends or family about their HOA? We’re here to set the record straight.  Residing in a neighborhood controlled and monitored by this type of association can have many drawbacks, but it also offers significant advantages.  Here are some pros and cons of buying a home within the Homeowners’ Association:


  1. Monthly Dues.  Owing monthly dues to the Homeowners’ Association is just another expense when evaluating how much home you can afford.  This is something that should be budgeted for in advance because they can increase over the years, without warning.  If you do not pay your dues within a set frame time, an HOA can put a lien on your house or force a foreclosure of a property.
  2. Strict Regulations.  Any structural modifications to your home must be approved by the Homeowners’ Association.  You also may be charged assessment fees for improvements and modifications to the neighborhood.  If an HOA decides that the clubhouse needs a new roof or the neighborhood pool has a leak and needs to be refaced, you will be assessed a fee from the HOA to make the repair.
  3. Selling or Renting Out your Home.  When deciding to sell your home or have it rented, the potential occupant must be approved and screened by the Homeowners’ Association board.  The HOA also has the power to regulate how much you can charge for rent or when the occupant is allowed to move in.


  1. Neighborhood Curb Appeal.  HOAs maintain things that would otherwise be your responsibility.  This includes landscaping, home maintenance, and roof repair.  This is great if you’re busy and don’t have the extra time to dedicate to maintaining your house.  You will not have to worry about hiring an outside company to mow your lawn or taking care of these services yourself.
  2. Landscaped Entrance and Amenities.  Homeowners’ Associations provide a well-maintained and attractive entrance to your neighborhood and often provides residents with a neighborhood pool, playground, tennis and basketball courts, golf course, and club house, all of which is in excellent condition year round.  This results in an increase of property value.
  3. “Expected” Community Lifestyle.  Living in a neighborhood governed by a HOA means you do not need to worry about noisy neighbors, trash in other yards, cars parked on the street, or loud parties that last all night.  Homeowners’ Associations have strict regulations and will not allow it.  HOAs also do a good job of resolving neighbor disputes.

If you’re buying a home in a Homeowners’ Association, always do your research first.  Before signing the purchase agreement, make sure you get personal copies of the rules, regulations and bylaws.  It is also a good idea to look at the budget and financial records from the HOA board.  This will give you a better idea of how well the organization is run.  Consider everything and then ask yourself:  Is a home in an HOA right for you?

Housing Outlook, 2014

Release date: 12/05/13 NC Association of Realtors

After a surge in home values in most cities over the past year, prices are expected to increase more slowly in 2014. Prices nationwide rose by 10.9%, pushing the median price for existing homes up by $30,000, to $215,000. According to Clear Capital, a provider of real estate data and analysis, home prices are expected to rise by just 3 to 5 percent in 2014. See how home prices are shifting in 276 metro areas, including many in N.C.

Raleigh #6 among top cities for job seekers in 2014

Raleigh is one of the cities that has a more positive outlook for job seekers

Raleigh is one of the cities that has a more positive outlook for job seekers than other cities due to a variety of factors,according to financial website NerdWallet.com. The site lists 10 cities, two of which are in North Carolina.

The cities were chosen by job availability, growth and cost of living. Raleigh was listed sixth, right after Charlotte, because it “is known for its research and development industry,” according to NerdWallet. Other qualities that got the city placed were the Research Triangle Park tech hub, the career development center at N.C. State University and the Center for Employment Training, which provides hands-on training for vocational skills.

Here’s the list:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Forth Worth, Texas
  4. Denver, Colo.
  5. Charlotte, N.C.
  6. Raleigh, N.C.
  7. Omaha, Neb.
  8. Minneapolis, Minn.
  9. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  10. San Antonio, Texas

Here are the top 10 Triangle ZIP codes newcomers are flocking to

Dawn Kurry,  Staff Writer- Triangle Business Journal

Of the 52 ZIP codes in Wake, Durham and Orange counties, the Cary-Morrisville 27519 ZIP code seems to be the most appealing among people who are moving into the Triangle, averaging 405 new residents each month.

That’s according to Welcomemat Services, a marketing services company that sends coupons and incentives to the recently relocated enticing them to visit local small businesses instead of big-box stores. The company buys relocation data from a number of companies that compile the information from more than 35 sources, including utility companies, communication companies and county court house records, among other sources.

Based on Welcomemat’s curated data, here are the top 10 Triangle ZIP codes ranked by the average number of new residents that each ZIP code is receiving per month.

  1. 27519 (Cary/Morrisville, either side of Highway 55)
    New move-ins per month: 405
  2. 27713 (south Durham)
    New move-ins per month: 356
  3. 27612 (Raleigh, inside the beltline/Glenwood Avenue area)
    New move-ins per month: 337
  4. 27587 (Wake Forest)
    New move-ins per month: 316
  5. 27513 (Cary, Lake Crabtree area)
    New move-ins per month: 310
  6. 27606 (southwest Raleigh)
    New move-ins per month: 301
  7. 27613 (northwest Raleigh)
    New move-ins per month: 300
  8. 27707 (mid-Durham)
    New move-ins per month: 295
  9. 27616 (northeast Raleigh)
    New move-ins per month: 294
  10. 27610 (southeast Raleigh)
    New move-ins per month: 291

Triangle home sales in 2013 grew 24%

2013 saw an increase in buyers and an improved demand for listed homes.

Triangle home owners in 2013 had a much easier time finding a strong buyer pool for home listing than in any of the past five years, and that trend is expected to continue into 2014.

But now that home prices have started to normalize again, don’t expect to see a huge rise in prices in 2014.

Average home prices in the Triangle rose 4.5 percent to $236,755 in 2013 compared to the year prior, according to the latest report from Triangle Multiple Listing Service. The median home price rose 4.2 percent to $198,000.

Clear Capital, a real estate data firm, forecasts that home prices nationally will rise by 3 percent to 5 percent in 2014, which is close to the historical average. Kiplinger expects an increase of 4 percent.

The number of home sales in the Triangle, though, rose 23.5 percent in 2013 compared to the year prior, with nearly 29,500 home sales recorded through Triangle MLS.

The MLS database is maintained by its real estate agent subscribers from a 16-county area in the greater Triangle region, including Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

On average, home sellers received 95.4 percent of the original list price at closing in 2013 compared to a rate of only 92 percent of the list price two years ago. The average days on market also dropped from 119 days on market in 2011 and in 2012 to an average of 100 days on market in 2013.

In December, home sales were up 21 percent compared to the year prior, the average home price was up 6.5 percent to $244,991, and the median home price was up 8.7 percent to $208,330 compared to December 2012.

Raleigh named among top 5 places for business success in 2014

Raleigh has been named one of the “top U.S. cities for business prosperity in 2014” by online publication Business Review USA.

Business Review ranks the City of Oaks No. 3 on its list, saying Raleigh, North Carolina has always caught the eye of entrepreneurs, due to a highly educated workforce and high quality family life.  Of course, Research Triangle Parkalso brings a lot to the table.

The area also boasts an impressive education system, with the likes of Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina in the immediate to surrounding area.  High research produces a nice pool of graduates that can boost local businesses looking to grow.

Des Moines, Iowa ranked No. 1 on the list with Austin, Texas ranking No. 2. and San Francisco, Ca. and Pittsburgh, PA 4th and 5th.

These five cities should certainly be a great source for businesses looking for interesting opportunities in 2014.

Retirement Apartment Community planned for North Raleigh

Capital Oaks Retirement Resort will break ground on Ray Road November 13 for an independent living senior apartment community.

Lincoln, Nebraska based Resort Lifestyle Communities is developing Capital Oaks Retirement Resort located at 6498 Ray Road just off Leesville Road in North Raleigh. There will be 130 one, two and three bedroom units for seniors ages 55 and up. There will be no additional buy-in or substantial deposits, only month to month rent which will include most utilities. Amenities will include 24/7 onsite staff, 3 daily meals, weekly housekeeping, social activities and transportation and valet parking services, and emergency call system in all units. The property plans to house a bank, pharmacy, and gift shop that will be available to the public.

Rents at these places are not cheap, however.

Rental rates at RLC’s newest community in Knoxville, Tenn., start at around $2,530 per month, which includes most utility costs, three daily meals, weekly housekeeping, social activities and transportation services. RLC also has financing options available.

Capital Oaks will start moving dirt on Nov. 13. Construction is expected to last just a little more than a year. Resort Lifestyle paid $1.9 million for the nine acres of land in August, according to Wake County records, after purchasing the property from longtime owner Evelyn B. Stanley.

Raleigh One of the Best Places to Retire

Money Magazine placed Raleigh among the top 5 best places to retire in 2014.

Donna Rosato, senior editor of Money Magazine stated that a few of the things that draw people to Raleigh is the strong local economy and North Carolina State University’s life long learning program for seniors has been popular with retirees. The numerous and well respected Medical Centers including Duke and University of North Carolina within easy access to Raleigh make it a very desirable choice for seniors.

Many people from the northeast move to Florida then decide to make a second move back north to the North Carolina and Raleigh or Triangle area. These people have become known as the “half-backs.”  The mile weather and four seasons seem to be some of the drawing cards for these “half-backers.”

This designation for Raleigh as being one of the best places to retire is no surprise for those of us who live in the area.  The housing prices are very reasonable in comparison to some areas of the country and the quality of life far exceeds most metropolitan areas of the country. Whether retiring or relocating for employment, Raleigh and the surrounding areas of Cary, Wake Forest, Apex, Durham and Chapel Hill are great places to live and to raise a family, as well as, to retire.

Triangle, NC Home Sales surge in July.

2013 Raleigh, Durham, & Chapel Hill, NC Home Sales exceeded July 2012 sales by 34%.

The Housing market in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Triangle, NC area is improving, The housing market in the Triangle seems to be very healthy, as the pace and price of home sales in the region continues to climb.

Home sales in the Triangle were up 34 percent in July compared to the year prior, with 3,082 closings recorded so far in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service database. On average, a home listed on MLS during the month of July was on the market for only 95 days. A year ago, that average was around 115 days on the market.

The price of homes sold also continued to climb. The median sale price for July, $202,559, was up 5.5 percent compared to the year prior, according to the Triangle MLS report. The average sale price was $242,153, which was up 5.1 percent. Increasing home prices could also be attributed in part to a boost in luxury home sales.