It’s A Big Difference!

Let’s say that you just won $8,750 on a lottery scratch-off ticket. You’ve decided to be frugal and invest the money and have decided on three alternatives: buying a certificate of deposit, a mutual fund or use the money as a down payment for a $250,000 home.

To compare the three alternatives, let’s look at the equity in each one three years from now.Your best investment graphic.png

The certificate of deposit can be invested at 1.3% in today’s market and you believe you can reasonably earn 5% on a mutual fund. You expect the home to appreciate at three percent a year.

The certificate of deposit would be worth $9,096 at the end of three years and the mutual fund would be worth $10,129. However, the equity in the home at the end of three years would be $45,204. That is a four time’s higher yield on the home.

One of the main reasons for the big difference is that the buyer benefits from leverage: the use of borrowed funds to increase the results. The $8,750 down payment is controlling a $250,000 investment. The appreciation is determined by the price and not merely by the cash invested. Another factor is that the loan balance is smaller at the end of five years than originally borrowed due to amortization.

There are certainly other factors to consider such as maintenance and other expenses but when the financial benefits are as strong as they are, it certainly deserves a much closer investigation. One of the first things to consider is whether the borrower can qualify for a mortgage and the only satisfactory way to be certain is to get pre-approved by a trusted mortgage professional.

Use the Your Best Investment calculator to make your own projections.

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering buying or selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

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1117 Mountain Laurel Drive, Raleigh NC 27603

3 beds 3.5 baths 3,208 sqft – $349,900
1117 Mountain Laurel Drive, Raleigh NC 27603

front porch

This new listing in Laurel Grove is a beautiful custom built home with gorgeous custom molding throughout. Below is an example of the molding in a hallway and in the dining room (which is currently being used as an office).

There are three bedrooms all located on the main level. The large master bedroom has trey ceilings, a sitting area, and two walk-in closets with custom shelves. The master bath has an over-sized shower with dual shower heads and a separate tub.

master

The open concept kitchen, breakfast area, and family room feels very spacious and inviting. The family room has built-ins, a gas fireplace, and hardwoods.

The upstairs has a great bonus room with a full bath and huge unfinished potential. Outdoor amenities include a front porch with swing, a screened in porch, and a fenced-in backyard. Great for outdoor entertaining!

Click here to see the VIRTUAL TOUR!

Directions – I-40 East, Right on Hwy 42 at Exit 312, Right on Sauls Road, and Right on Mountain Laurel Drive.

If you are interested in seeing this home or others like it, please contact our office at 919-518-8182 to speak to a buyer’s specialist.  If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

Connect with us on social media to learn more about our team and
how we can help you find your new home!

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Is Understanding Costing You Money?

People tend to fear what they don’t understand. Homeowners understand fixed rate mortgages and remember the horror stories of people who lost their homes because they could no longer afford them when their adjustable rate mortgages went up.iStock_000023022788Small-250.jpg

Interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages have been so low for enough years, that borrowers haven’t even given much consideration to an adjustable rate mortgage. Changes in the way adjustable rate mortgages are now made make them much safer for borrowers who understand how they work but also know they’ll only be in the home for a limited period of time.

Adjustable rate mortgages can go up or down according to an index that the lender has no control. The amount that can be adjusted is limited by caps for each period and for the life of the loan. While there are different periods for ARMs, the most popular lock the first period for five to seven years and then, can adjust annually after that.

One quick and easy way to determine whether an adjustable may be a viable alternative to a fixed would be to determine the maximum payment adjustments possible to find out when the savings from the early years are exhausted which would be the breakeven point. If the borrower is certain they’ll move prior to that date, the ARM will definitely provide a lower cost of housing.

The breakeven point for a $250,000 mortgage would be 8 years 3 months comparing a 2.9% 5/1 adjustable-rate with 1 and 5 caps to a 3.8% fixed-rate mortgage. In the initial five-year period, the payments on the ARM would be $124.32 lower and the unpaid balance would be $3,522 less than the fixed-rate to make a total savings of $10,981.

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Whether you’re buying or refinancing, get some good advice from a trusted lending professional about the adjustable-rate alternative. If you’re only going to be in the home a short time after the mortgage is made and your tolerance for risk allows you to feel comfortable, the ARM may be the best choice for you. Check out this ARM Comparison to use your own numbers.

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

Why Should You Consider Selling Your Home in 2016?

Many realize that now is a great time to BUY a home, but here are the top 4 reasons why it may be the opportune time to SELL your home:

  1. Demand is high. Serious buyers are in the marketplace.
  2. The supply of homes on the market in Raleigh is starting to increase.
  3. Interest Rates are predicted to increase in the future from these historically low levels.
  4. New Construction is coming back, which will provide an attractive alternative for home buyers.

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

 

What’s That Smell?

Homeowners may be totally unaware that their home has an unpleasant odor. It can be unrecognizable to them but immediately apparent to visitors on entering the home.

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Cigarette smoke is particularly offensive to people.  It is very common for buyers to refuse to even consider looking at a home where smoking is allowed. This odor permeates the air in a home and soaks into carpets, furniture, drapes, clothing and even the building materials like drywall and cabinets.

Pets may be considered part of the family but it is still a problem when the animals are not adequately house-broken. Urine isn’t just absorbed by the carpet but also the padding and in some cases, the subflooring. Sometimes, walls and floors have to be treated and sealed before painting and new floor covering can be installed.

If a casual friend doesn’t want to hurt your feelings about the jeans you’re wearing, you can bet the ranch that they won’t tell you about the odors in your home. You’ll need to rely on your closest friends to tell you the truth or maybe your mother-in-law.

1108 Wagon Ridge Road, Raleigh NC 27614

Realtor's Guide to Raleigh

1108 Wagon Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27614

4 beds 4 baths 3,700 sqft – $575,000

The setting of this home makes it a MUST SEE!!! Don’t be surprised if deer run in the front yard while you are there. This beautiful Stephen Fuller designed home, with a rocking chair front porch, is located in gated Adams Mountain Subdivision.

This home has pretty much everything!  Lots of hardwoods, plantation shutters, crown molding & transom windows.

1108 Wagon Ridge Dr Rocking

Spacious 1st Floor Master is bright just like the rest of this home.

1108 Wagon Ridge Dr Master
1108 Wagon Ridge Dr Master Bath

The large family room feels even larger because of the cathedral ceiling. The masonry fireplace and built-ins are a perfect addition to this room. Neutral colors will make it easy for anyone to just move right in!

1108 Wagon Ridge Family

The large, bright kitchen / breakfast area is the perfect spot for family time. Lots of cabinet space and a butler’s pantry!

1108 Wagon Ridge Kitchen

The sunroom off the breakfast area…

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Tasty 8’s Gourmet Hot Dog Co. – Downtown Raleigh, NC

My goal is to post a blog weekly sharing a local restaurant or business that I think is a “MUST TRY.” This week I want to tell you that you should run, not walk, to Tasty 8’s located on Fayetteville Street across from the Wells Fargo Building.

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When Tasty 8’s opened, I was working across the street and was absolutely IN LOVE with the concept. I decided to make it my goal to try every single one of the hot dogs on the menu. I admit, I went A LOT… the pictures below are just a few of the ones I tried!

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You can buy one of their amazing 8 hot dogs:

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See their menu here!!!!

You can add one of eight tasty shakes and fries accompanied by eight dipping sauces. I always go for lunch, so I admittedly have not enjoyed the fact that they also serve 8 styles of beer!

Plus, they have a special hot dog of the month. My personal favorite was the Caprese Hot Dog from a couple of months ago… OH MY YUMMY!!!!

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The special for the month of January sounds heavenly too:

The AV”8″ER Parm Dog!

Ingredients:
✔ Chicken & Pheasant, Mushroom, Spinach and Parmesan Sausage
✔ Tomato sauce
✔ Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
✔ Parmesan Cheese
✔ Neomonde Potato Bun

If you don’t take my word for it, look what Business Insider had to say about Tasty 8’s:

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Go try it today!!

Tasty 8’s Gourmet Hot Dog Co.
121 Fayetteville Street #108
Raleigh, NC 27601
http://tasty8s.com

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

2312 Clerestory Place, Raleigh NC 27615

2312 Clerestory Place, Raleigh NC 27615

3 beds 2.5 baths 1,826 sqft – $229,900

Clerestory

Beautiful, well-maintained home in The Pointe at Lemuel in North Raleigh. A great location convenient to I-540. 9 foot ceilings and hardwoods.

entry

Spacious kitchen with pantry and open to breakfast area and family room.

kitchen

Three bedrooms and a big bonus room. Fresh, neutral paint throughout. Deck looks onto a large, fenced in backyard.

yard

Click here to see the virtual tour!

If you are interested in seeing this home or others like it, please contact our office at 919-518-8182 to speak to a buyer’s specialist.  If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

217 Dalton Drive, Raleigh NC 27615

5 beds 4 baths 5,004 sqft – $549,900
217 Dalton Drive, Raleigh NC 27615

Front Exterior (1)

This beautiful Sutton Estates home is located just off 540. It has county taxes with city convenience! The sellers have put a lot of work into this home – refinished floors, new carpet, paint in/out, and an updated kitchen.

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Updated Kitchen

 

The main level includes the master bedroom, a 2nd bedroom or office, a huge family room with volume ceiling, and a keeping room off the kitchen.

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Family Room

There are two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor and the large basement area boasts a large bonus room with kitchenette/bar and a private bedroom suite, with plenty of unfinished storage areas too. The basement walks out to an amazing backyard pool area which is perfect for entertaining guests!

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Perfect for Entertaining

The aggressive price reflects the opportunity to update the 1st floor master bath and to make the house your own!!! Click here to see more pictures: 217 Dalton Drive, Raleigh NC 27615.

If you are interested in seeing this home or others like it, please contact our office at 919-518-8182 to speak to a buyer’s specialist.  If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.

Christmas Potpourri

Christmas is a time of tradition. We have plenty of Christmas traditions in our home. Because I do it year after year, my children expect me to have these things during the holidays…

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  • Christmas potpourri on the stove!
    Every year I make Christmas potpourri and keep it simmering on the stove the week before Christmas. It’s easy to make and you can simmer it all day long while adding water when needed. At the end of the day, let it cool and store it in the refrigerator. This also makes a fabulous gift for teachers or friends!!!! Put in a clear plastic bag and tie with a pretty ribbon. All they have to do is cut the fruit and pour into pot!

    • 1 lemon, cut
    • 1 orange, cut
    • 3 sticks of cinnamon
    • 3 tsp of whole cloves
    • 3 bay leaves

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  • Russian tea is another family favorite!!!This is another one that is perfect to make, pour into jars, and give as gifts. Easy to make and everyone loves it! Hand write a card that says, “Place two spoonfuls of mix into mug. Add boiling water. Stir until mix is dissolved.” Mix the following ingredients and store in air tight jars.
    • 1 1/2 c TANG Orange Drink
    • 1/2 c sugar
    • 1/3 c unsweetened instant tea
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Reindeer Poop or Muddy Buddies

  • It’s just not Christmas without WHITE TRASH!This is a personal favorite around here. My children don’t feel loved if they don’t get their White Trash fix. It’s not the simplest thing to make but is so worth it. It goes by many names… some call is Reindeer Poop! LOL… It can also be made more festive by adding red & green M&M’s after it’s done.
    • Ingredients:
      • 1 c peanut butter
      • 1/2 c butter
      • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
      • 12 oz box Chex cereal (rice is preferred)
      • 1 lb powdered sugar
    • Melt peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter together. Put cereal in a roaster pan. Pour melted mix over cereal and stir around in the pan. Pour all into a plastic bag and add powdered sugar. Shake bag until cereal mix is covered in sugar. Store in an airtight container.

Feel free to share your own special recipes too!!!

Enjoy the holidays with your family and please contact the Joe Ward team to discuss your real estate needs going into 2016. We would love to meet you for coffee to discuss your goals and plans!