Nelvia Bullock
REALTORĀ® NC & SC, ABR, PSA | Director of Culture
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Nelvia Bullock

Charlotte NC Real Estate Blog by Nelvia Bullock, Realtor

What Is the Top Financial Benefit of Homeownership?

There are many financial and non-financial benefits of homeownership, and the greatest financial one is wealth creation. Homeownership has always been the first rung on the ladder that leads to forming household wealth. As Freddie Mac explains: “Homeownership has cemented its role as part of the American Dream, providing families with a place that is their own and an avenue for building wealth over time. This ‘wealth’ is built, in large part, through the creation of equity…Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.”

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, also notes: “The wealth-building power of homeownership shows that home is not only where your heart is, but also where your wealth is…For the majority of households that transition into homeownership, the most recent data reinforces that housing is one of the biggest positive...

7 Signs You're Ready To Buy

Living in an apartment or rental home does have its perks: You can test out different neighborhoods and locations, you have the flexibility to move, and you have access to great amenities like a gym or pool. But there’s a reason that owning a home, rather than renting one, is a highly desired achievement.

Maybe the thought of having your own place has crossed your mind only recently, or maybe you’re regularly saving a chunk of your paycheck for that future down payment. No matter where you are in the process of considering homeownership, here are the unmistakable signs that you’re ready to buy your first home.

1. You Want to Get to Know Your Neighbors 

Because renters don’t tend to live in one apartment for very long, it can be difficult to meet people who live in your building. But when you buy a home and are more invested in your community, it’s easier to forge lasting friendships.

2. You Want to Customize Your Space

Many rental communities have limits on what you can customize in your unit. You may be able to paint your walls a different color, but you may not be able to replace the countertops or appliances that come standard in your apartment.

3. You Want More Space or Amenities

You daydream about having a home with a large kitchen, dining room, basement, garage, or maybe even a home office or bonus room for your hobbies.

4. You Regularly Drive by Your Favorite Neighborhoods

You have a list of at least three communities (or maybe even houses) that you would love to live in when you’re ready to buy a home. You might even attend an open house or two.

5. You’re Eager to Put Down Roots

A home is more than a financial investment. It’s your own space, a private retreat,...

WHY FSBO CAN BE A BIG NO-NO

In this DIY-age, it is easy to want to do everything by yourself. Saving money is great, and there are so many things today that we can do on our own after a simple Google search and a Youtube video or two. While sometimes doing it yourself saves you a few dollars, that isn’t always the case when selling your home. 

When looking at it from the outside, the For Sale By Owner option, or FSBO, may seem great. With a standard Realtor commission of 5-6%, wouldn’t it make sense to save yourself that money? Think again. In most cases, people choosing to take the FSBO route end up losing more than that when they try to sell on their own. Here are a few reasons to consider forgoing FSBO and hiring an agent. 

1. Keeping emotions out can be difficult

Your home typically means something to you. It is where you’ve created memories. Because of that, it can be difficult to remove your emotions from a sale. Agents are there to be a mediator for rejections or negative feedback. It can be emotionally tolling to have your home rejected multiple times. Having an agent there to negotiate terms, repairs, and everything in between will offer peace of mind instead of stress and heartbreak. 

2. Selling a home can be a full-time job

Even if you don’t already have another job, selling your home can consume all of your time. Are you available to meet for a viewing or answer potential buyer calls at any time during the work day? Do you have the experience to market your home and ensure it is being seen by potential buyers? Even if you have some free time, selling a home can be a daunting task. It is the job of an agent to do all of this for you, so that you can sell your home without taking on the workload of another full-time job!

3. You could be sued

There is a reason agents need training. Legal paperwork...

10 Home Chores To Do Annually

Here are ten chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let's dive in!

1. Curtains & Drapes

Unfortunately, we don't mean the dusting part. You'll want to dust at least once a month, but when it actually comes time to getting them cleaned, you only really need to do that once a year. You can take them in to get dry cleaned or follow the instructions on their tags if you choose to wash them at home. 

2. House Gutters

Gutter guards can be a great investment, especially if you live around trees that shed all year long. These can keep your gutter cleanings minimal, generally about once per year. You'll want to do this in the autumn when all of the leaves from the trees have already fallen. 

3. Fireplace & Chimney 

After the winter, you'll want to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning. You can use a shop vacuum to clean up the embers. Make sure to wash down the fireplace tools as well. Go an extra step further and schedule an appointment with a chimney sweeper. 

4. Carpets

We wish we meant vacuuming, but that's pretty much a weekly or biweekly task for most households. In this case, we mean a deep clean. The best time to get this taken care of is right after summer. 

5. Outdoor Furniture

The best time to clean outdoor furniture is when you bring them out of storage for Spring. Of course, if messes up happen while you're using them, you want to clean the spots right away, so you avoid an accumulation of stains in a short...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

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