All posts by Teresa Bowen, Real Estate Broker

About Teresa Bowen, Real Estate Broker

Welcome to my blog. I hope my money saving tips are useful to you!

Using video to show off a seller’s property

In order to market my listings to an ever tech savvy community here in the RTP N.C. area and beyond, I am now creating eye catching videos such as this one for my sellers.  Yes, I did kayak out to the lake to get the water shot of the property!


Tips for Easier and Cheaper ways to Pack and Move

One of the hardest parts about moving out of your old home and into your new home is packing.  First, you have to sift through years of accumulated stuff, which, if you live with a pack rat, as many of us do, will be pain number one.  After you argue over what to donate, sell, trash or keep, drink a bottle of wine and then make up, you are ready for pain number two….packing what is going to move with you.

I would like to introduce you to a better way than the old cardboard box scenario. It is a product I recommend to my Real Estate clients and they have been very very happy with it. Bungobox is a company that delivers various sizes of stackable plastic boxes to your home.  You load them up, transport them to the new home, and then they pick the empty boxes back up. It is an Earth friendly, less expensive, and more protective way to pack. The cost is approximately HALF the cost of the dreaded cardboard boxes.  They are a franchise so, check on- line to see if you have a Bungobox in your city.

Top Cary and Apex Appreciating Subdivisions

The Wake County housing market is continuing to improve and continues to be one of the strongest markets in the United States. The Cary, Morrisville and Apex markets can boast 26% increase in showings over this time last year, closing are up 19% and homes on the market have decreased 23%.  Very good news for the local housing market!

Below you will see the top Appreciating Subdivisions in the Cary/Morrisville/Apex Areas:


Wake County Addresses Determine Assigned Schools Once Again

People planning to buy new homes in Wake County can once again get a pretty fair shot at knowing which schools their children will be assigned to.  Children will be assigned to base schools, given an option of  Year Round Schools, and a list of  Magnet Schools available for their address. There are some schools which are currently over-crowded (mainly in the Cary/ Morrisville area) and new residents normally assigned to those schools will be given a number of alternative schools to attend.  The Magnet Schools web page shows which schools provide neighborhood transportation for your address, or provide “Express Busing” (Parents take children to a nearby location for bus pick-up) or S.O.L. busing (parents must drive their darlings to the school) pretend it is free private school! Joking aside, a number of our Magnet Schools are some of the highest rated schools in the country.

Some parents are willing to spend premium dollars to buy Cary houses which feed into schools that have stellar academic records such as Panther Creek High and  Green Hope High School. However,  these schools are very very academically competitive.Unless you child is truly gifted, they will find it very hard to get a high class rank.  On the other hand, if you child attends many of the other Wake County Schools, they may have a better chance at getting a higher class rank.  In addition,  I heard from my Dentist, who’s daughter attended Athens High and was accepted at UNC Chapel Hill this year, that the Admissions Dept at her new College told her that they prefer students from diverse schools such as Athens. Folks, these schools have the same AP courses, less competition to get into the courses, and a well rounded student body. In summary, almost all of the schools in Wake County will do a great job of educating little Johnny! Just something to think about when looking for a new home in the Cary/ Raleigh/ Apex areas.

Wake County Assignment Plan

School Buses

USDA Maps Being Redrawn for Wake County

USDA loans have been a super sweet option for many home buyers in Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay and other areas which were once considered “rural” by the USDA. The program allows buyers to purchase a home with 100% financing. WOW. These loans are income dependant, so your lender can help you determine if you are eligible. However, the USDA now realizes that Holly Springs and such are not really farm land which needs to be developed. Thus, the USDA eligible properties have been redrawn as of October 1st. The good news is that the current maps will be grandfathered in until March 2012.   So, if you are thinking of selling your Apex, Holly Springs area home…you might want to get to it in order to attract the most buyers possible.  Here is the link to the USDA map address look-up link:  USDA WAKE COUNTY MAP

Wake County areas that are USDA eligible for 100% financing

Wake County Air Traffic Noise

When purchasing a new home in Cary, Morrisville, and Raleigh NC, many people wonder if their potential home will have loud airplane noise from the RDU Airport nearby.  This is very important to know before you make your purchase. In fact, if you are a For Sale By Owner, please note that like any seller, by law you must disclose if you are in the noise contour lines of RDU,  in the NC Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement form. How do you see if a Wake County property is in the airplane noise contour map?  Enter the property’s email address into the RDU website.  Important: under the “Layers” list on the left of the page, UNSELECT all options except “NOISE CONTOURS”.

Everyone has different opinions of acceptable air traffic noise levels. In Wake County, the majority of flights are at 6:00 – 7:00 AM and then at 4:00 – 6:00PM. So I always advise my clients to visit the property they are considering buying during those times! 

RDU 5-31-08 N585AA
Check out RDU noise patterns for Cary, Morrisville and Raleigh NC

Triangle Green Home Tour Starts May 5th

It is that time of year again where we get to tour the new Green Homes that have been built in the Wake, Durham and Chattham County areas.  We have more than ever entered this year.  I am looking forward to seeing what BuildSense has entered; they built the addition to our home and we are very very happy with the level of service and quality in construction. It is incredibly energy efficient and BEAUTIFUL!

Green construction is beneficial to the homeowner in a number of ways. Energy costs are lower, resources used are less, durable products which require less maintenance.  You can pick up your guide to the Green Home locations at most Harris Teeters in the Triangle NC area.

An energy-efficient home under construction by...
An energy-efficient home under construction by BuildSense, Inc. at the intersection of Markham Avenue and North Gregson Street in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Real Estate Market Conditions in the Raleigh area – Spring 2012 Summary

When people see my little name tag that reads, “Teresa Bowen, Broker / Realtor Keller Williams Cary NC”, many give me a look of sympathy and ask quietly, “how’s it going?” As any good agent should, I reply “GREAT!”  But in truth, it IS great.

I was recently interviewed by Christa Gala of the News and Observer Newspaper to explain the current Raleigh area real estate market conditions and forecast.  I was happy to report that home sales are up by 35% from this time last year, and inventory is down. Our foreclosure rate is only 9% which is enviable for the rest of the country.

Forecasts predict that Raleigh / Cary home prices may fall slightly this year ( 2-3%),  remain even next year, then rise 3%. Read my interview below for more info:

We’re one to watch 

Teresa Bowen Interview News and Observer Real Estate Market
Teresa Bowen Raleigh Real Estate Evaluation for News and Observer

Which Remodeling Projects Give Homeowners the Most Payback?

Thinking of doing some upgrades to your home? You may want to consider the payback you will get when selling your Raleigh area home in the future. The website Remodeling Magazine explains how different areas of the country reward home sellers in varying degrees for their home improvements; in the Raleigh real estate market replacing  your property’s siding from Masonite to Fiber cement will let your recoup 78% of the cost.  Converting an attic to a bedroom will payback 72%,  replacing your front door 73% and the beloved kitchen upgrade ($20,000 in value) may allow you to get back approx 72% your cost.

Modern kitchen
Modern kitchen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition to making your home nicer while you live in it, these popular upgrades will attract more buyers to your home when you are ready to sell…and your home will sell faster than those Raleigh homeowners who do not offer homes which are up to date in repairs and condition. Take a look at Remodeling Magazine‘s site to see each type of home upgrade/ update and the typical payback seen in Raleigh’s Real Estate Market.

These 3 Factors Determine If and When Your Home Sells

There are 3 factors that determine if you sell your home and what you get for it. 

1. Location – If you live in the Raleigh / Cary area you have a leg up on other cities in the United States for getting your home sold.

2. Price – homes that sell in today’s market tend to sell within the first 45 days that it is put on the market. This is the window in which your property will get the most showing activity, and it is freshest on the web.  So price it right to begin with to get it sold – don’t “let’s test the waters” …otherwise you risk your property getting “stale” in the market which leads to less and less interest.  Guess what, you’ll end up selling it lower than if you priced it right to  begin with. Homes in Raleigh and the Cary Area sell for 95% of list price…meaning they are priced correctly when they sell.

3. Condition – a properly staged home sells for 1% more than one that is not. Doesn’t sound like much but that means that you’ll get the money you spend to spruce your home up back! THE BIG BONUS is that a staged home sells 80% FASTER than one that is not staged. No Brainer!!