lake norman real estate

How Noisy is a Lake Norman Neighborhood?

Sound map for home in Lake Norman

How would you like to search for homes and be able to also find out just how noisy it is in each location?  The company that provides the property search program for this website, Davis Farrell Technology, just added a really COOL new tool provided by a company called HowLoud.  Utilizing a Soundscore™, buyers can search and view properties based on environmental noise.  A Soundscore is a combination of 3 factors:  airports, traffic, and local sources.  Listings that are scored will display the score and a map like the one above.

To test this I did a search for homes in The Point in Mooresville.  Above is the result for a property just off Brawley School Rd.  As you can see, this property is rated 82 which is “calm” but getting close to being “active” given its proximity to Brawley School Rd.  As the main road in and out of the Brawley School Rd. peninsula, you can see that Brawley School Rd itself is yellow which indicates “Active”.  The farther away from Brawley School Rd you get the “Calmer” you get.  Note that the darkest areas are the lake itself.

How cool is this?  Have some fun, give it a try and let me know what you think!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s Elephant in the Room; The “T” Word!

Elephant in the Room

Let’s face it, Lake Norman’s popularity and growth is a double-edged sword. On the one hand we celebrate the opening of our Whole Foods, Publix, myriad micro-breweries and restaurants, hotels, sports facilities, big box stores and so many businesses that are moving in to our greater Lake Norman Charlotte area.  At the same time, you can’t avoid the one big issue that comes hand-in-hand with these perks: TRAFFIC.   Continue reading

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Update on $8,000 Tax Credit

 

 

By now most every potential Lake Norman home buyer or seller has at least heard about the new $8,000 tax credit for home buyers included in the recently enacted Economic Stimulus Package signed into law by President Obama on February 17th.

Unfortunately, there is a bit of confusion regarding the details of this bill.  In short this bill:

  • Makes available an $8,000 tax credit
  • Is for first-time home buyers
  • Is for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009
  • Is different from the old tax credit of 2008 because it this new credit does not have to be repaid

In an effort to provide more detailed information to potential qualified home buyers, the National Association of Home Builders has launched a website: Federal Housing Tax Credit.  This new website includes four sections:

Hopefully this information will help potential Lake Norman first-time home buyers better understand how to enjoy this new incentive!

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Lake Norman Real Estate: What Home Buyers Should Know Right Now!

Lake Norman future home buyers

Every time I go out with my buyers in our Lake Norman area I gain some knowledge about the dynamics of our market that can’t be acquired merely by looking at our Lake Norman housing statistics and reading the myriad real estate articles in the news.  Now more than ever real estate is very very local.  My insights about the Lake Norman real estate market may not even apply to Charlotte!

If you are serious about buying a home in Lake Norman this spring here are my recommendations:

Get pre-approved for a loan AND then keep in touch with your lender on a weekly basis.  Right now the lending market is so erratic that you can not count on last month’s pre-approval.  I had buyers completely pre-approved but when they finally were ready to write up their offer the lender told them they could no longer get a loan, period.  The rules changed, not their excellent credit or down payment.

Know your priorities and goals and stick to them.  There are so many homes for sale in the Lake Norman area that buyers have almost too many to choose from.  It is easy to get side tracked which leads to more confusion and frustration.  Stay focused!

Look at homes that are priced 10% or more above your intended purchase price.  I can’t tell you how many sellers, including my own, are afraid to lower their prices but keep asking why they haven’t gotten any offers and insisting that if they had an offer they would work with the buyers.  They might ultimately reduce their price lower than you might expect.  You may miss your perfect home that is simply overpriced if you don’t stretch your price-range.

Don’t be afraid to make a low offer!  This goes along with the idea of looking at higher-priced homes.  As a buyer you probably know the market better than the sellers since you are out there looking at active listings.  While there are times the seller will simply not respond, if they have a good agent they will counter with something just to keep the dialog going.

Before making your final decision/offer, ask your agent to provide you with:

  • An MLS archive search of your favorite homes:  This will tell you exactly how long the property has actually been on the market as well as how many times it has been reduced and/or expired and re-listed.  The most recent MLS data might say 100 days on the market when in fact it has listed for well over a year.
  • Tax records:  When did the sellers purchase their home and for how much.  Right now in many Lake Norman neighborhoods prices are back down to 2004/2005 prices so if the home was purchased more recently chances are the sellers are going to have to take a loss.
  • A comparative market analysis:  Learn everything you can about the recent sales and current active listings that an appraiser will use to help you decide your purchase price.  If there are one or two low sales or active listings these will greatly impact the value of the other homes in the neighborhood.  Lenders are so conservative right now that they are even doing second appraisals just before closing.  Our prices are trending downward.  Lenders are very difficult to work with under the best of circumstances but if your purchase price is a bit high it is most likely that you won’t be able to get the loan.

Finally, keep up with the financial news.  The newly passed Stimulis Bill includes an $8,000 tax credit (that does NOT have to be repaid) for first-time home buyers.  There are discussions about further efforts to bring mortgage interest rates down and other tools to revive our lagging national housing market.

Be smart and you will be successful!

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