Leonard H. Craver

Leonard H. Craver
Leonard H. "Tony" Craver

Friday, March 3, 2017


     I hope stuff I find to be interesting reasonably resembles stuff you find interesting as well. This is a collection of true facts I have dug up about the area, in no particular order.
· According to “Nerd Wallet”, whoever that is, the top two months for getting a bargain when buying a home are January and February. I should have sent this Newsletter  out sooner. Homes average being sold  at a price that is 8.45% lower than the norm.
· In related news, Realty Trac says that the worst day to buy a house is January 19th when the average buyer pays 9.6% above the market value. They claim the best day to buy is October 8th. I detect some conflict in this January concept. I am glad it is almost February. You know what they say about statistics anyway.
· Home sales in 2016 were at 5.45 million units. That is the most since 2006 when  6.48 million units were sold.  Remember all of the warnings I have given you about being too excited about home sale growth rates in recent years. It is easy to make a number look good when comparing it to a lower number. Whereas I applaud the steady recovery rate of the past few years, please note that we are approximately one million home sales below 2006. We still have a lot of catching up to do.
· Many times when  I  go to make a listing presentation, one of the first things I hear from the seller is a list of things they have done to the house. They tend  to add the full cost of these improvements to their purchase price in hopes of recovering every penny. According to Remodeling Magazine, here is a list of the six most  popular renovation projects and their ROI (Return on Investment}. Hint: 100% means you can get all of your money back.  1) attic insulation… ROI 107%  2) Steel entry doors...ROI  90%   3) manufactured stone veneer...ROI  89%  4) minor kitchen redo...ROI  80%  5) new garage door...ROI  76%   6) window replacements...ROI  73 %.  I found this list amazing. What the average homeowners do not understand about spending money to keep their home nice is that some of it has to be written off to enjoyment.  This is why  I am amazed that a lot of folks wait until they are ready to sell to fix up their home.  Do that work gradually and enjoy the rewards it gives.
· Here is another interesting list from Daily Real Estate News. They have listed the top 10 design trends popular today.   1) open layouts (I can see Chip and Joanna knocking down walls)  2) neutral colors ( a little spice can be good for living but bland and blah may be good for selling )  3) multigenerational floor plans (sounds like something to confuse grandpa)  4) first floor masters    5) no dining rooms  (where do we put  grandma’s furniture)  6)  white kitchens  7) extra large garages  (finally a cracker jack idea)  8) big closets  9) finished basements with 9 foot ceilings (obviously they do not live in the Triangle)  10) barn-style sliding doors ( visions of Chip and Joanna again).
· Forbes says the top cities for investors are #1 Dallas, #2 Jacksonville #3 Orlando.  Charlotte came in at # 12 and Raleigh at #13. I am always a little suspect about list that include Raleigh or Durham. Out side of North Carolina a lot of survey-type folks tend not to  know the difference. Sometimes the two cities are lumped together, along with the whole Triangle and sometimes not. At least Durham folks were glad they included Raleigh in the bedbug list.
· The Triangle Business Journal had an interesting article on the scope of real estate investments by the three major universities in the Triangle.  The value of real estate owned by N C State is $2.16 billion dollars. They also own 2,955 acres of land in Wake County.  UNC has real estate valued at  $2.94 billion and maintains 20 million square feet of floor space. Duke’s real estate is valued at  $2.95 billion which just proves that stone cost more than brick. They maintain 15 million square feet of floor space but that does not include the hundreds of thousands of square feet they lease throughout Durham. Duke also owns over 9,000 acres of land, most of which is known as the Duke Forest. One side note: Duke just completed a new hotel as part of the Thomas Conference Center.  The 198 room, 7 story hotel cost $62 million. Oh yes, it is fully booked for the February 9th basketball game with UNC.