WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN A RENTAL PROPERTY

Investing in real estate can be a great alternative to traditional investments and many owners choose to rent out their property. Here are some of the top benefits for getting into this line of business!

Increase over time. Money being put towards real estate investments has increased substantially over the past few years. This is due to an influx in demand of rental properties and an increase in rental rates. These continue to trend upwards, meaning your property’s value will continue to increase as well.

Security. Unlike investing in stocks, your investment growth is a lot steadier with a very minimal chance that you can lose it all overnight. Generally, experts can predict when the market will start to dip in advance, and you can adjust accordingly.

Create passive income. Investing in a rental property (or four!) can make you money while you sleep and the rent you collect can cover or exceed your mortgage payment and other expenses, allowing you to bring in extra cash flow.

Tax breaks. As a real estate investor, you can take advantage of several tax exemptions. Rental income is not subject to self-employment tax and government provides tax breaks on insurance, repairs, legal fees, and property taxes.

Inflation. Although normally a bad thing, people who own rental properties actually benefit from inflation because, as the cost of living increases, so does your income.

Flexibility to sell. Renting out a home allows the homeowner the opportunity to be selective about when and if they sell while the home is still appreciating. Once the market is in the right place and the lease is up, they can pull the trigger.

Curious of opportunities in your area or what to look for when considering a property to hold as an investment? Schedule a call with me using my calendar below. Or you are welcome to text, call, or email me at anytime. Contact me here

Upsizing Your Home: Read this first


Before taking the plunge to go bigger, take a moment to ask yourself these important questions.

  • First of all, why are you considering an upsize?
    • What is it that your current home isn’t fulfilling for you? Know what this is, so that you can weigh the option of updating your current property or if it’s time to move on. Also look into the bigger picture, like the kind of community you want to live in, the school district, commute to work, and your lifestyle.
  • Think realistically: What are you future goals?
    • How long do you plan to stay in the home? How might your needs change?
      • Will your family size change? Do you dream of having a certain animals? etc.
      • Buy a home that fits with your lifestyle and goals. As your local Lake Norman Realtor®, I can help you find a home that’s as unique as you are. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me to talk about your goals, plans, and expectations.
  • What can you afford, what do you WANT to afford?
    • There is a difference in what you CAN afford (are qualified for) and what you WANT to afford (the lifestyle you want to live).
      • Take a moment to reflect on your current lifestyle and budget. Buying a bigger home, could mean more financial responsibility. (maintenance costs, mortgage, insurance, etc.)
      • Do you have hobbies, vacations, charities, or other things you enjoy doing that you may have to push aside if your home costs increase? If so, is it worth it? After all, life is about making memories and having life experiences. (in my opinion)
    • Know that you can afford to move up and still maintain your lifestyle. 🙂
  • How will you use the extra space?
    • Don’t let your money go to waste. Yes, that home may have more square footage than your current home. But does that mean it’s usable space for your needs?
      • Do you really need more bedrooms? What will you do with them? Do you have a vision for the “bonus room,” or will it end up as empty space? When you think of a bigger home/yard, envision what that means for you and how you’ll use the space.
  • Should you buy first, or sell first?
    • I recommend you sell your home before purchasing a new one. However, in some situations it may make sense for you to buy before you sell. If this is the case, do your best to:
      • Know what your home will likely sell for, think realistically and count on the low end of the range to be safe.
      • Get a 90 day closing on your home purchase to allow you more time to sell and avoid the stress of being in a time crunch.
      • List your home as soon as the due diligence is over for your new home purchase.
  • Know your options, should you choose to sell your home before you buy a new one:
    • I’m sure you’ve heard, it’s a HOT seller’s market right now. This means that sellers have the upper hand. Here are some options to keep in mind allowing you time to find a new home:
      • Request a seller lease-back from the buyer. It’s important you discuss this with the buyer(s) before accepting an offer. You and the buyers can negotiate the terms of the lease back (amount of time, compensation, utilities, etc.) This allows you as the seller more time to procure a new home.
      • You may also ask for a longer closing period to give you more time to get into a new home. I would suggest waiting until due diligence is over to make an offer on another home. The reason for this is:
        • 1. It allows you to give a stronger offer (showing you have a serious offer on your home, past the due diligence period and highly likely to close).
        • 2. Gives you more peace of mind that the buyer has done their due diligence and are moving forward with the purchase. Of course, in certain circumstances the buyer can still back out of the contract after due diligence, but this doesn’t usually happen. If it does, the buyer would likely be forfeiting their earnest money deposit.

In conclusion

Know your why, your motivation for a bigger home. Is it necessary to move to fulfill your desire? Know what lifestyle you want to live, can you afford (preapproved from your lender) the upsize and maintain this lifestyle? Envision yourself in this bigger home, do you have a vision for the extra space? Or do you simply just “feel” like more space would be better? Knowing your why, will help you envision how you want your home to be. If you’ve decided that it’s time to upsize, make a game plan. Are you going to sell first, or buy first?

Reach out to me to discuss your goals, strategies, and options to get you where you want to be. 🙂 You can schedule time on my calendar here. Or feel free to call, text, or email me at anytime.

(704)951-4017 or Maranda.Christensen@exprealty.com

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WHICH FEATURES ARE YOUNG BUYERS LOOKING FOR IN A HOME?


Millennials are the second-largest segment of home buyers, ranking behind only baby boomers, according to the National Association of Realtors. Here are five features that tend to entice millennials who are looking to buy.


Updated Kitchen

An up-to-date kitchen and bath
Younger buyers often have limited funds for renovations, so it’s important that they have functional and inviting bathroom and kitchen spaces from the very start.

An open floor plan
Having a formal dining room isn’t of particular importance to millennials, in fact, many prefer open spaces with no separation between kitchen, living room, and dining room. An open concept makes it easier to entertain everyone at once.

An office
More and more jobs are offering work-from-home options, and there are also plenty of freelancers and telecommuters among millennials. A dedicated space for getting some work done can be a key attraction.

Friendly location
With gas prices rising, many millennials prefer walking, biking, or public transit for their commutes. A great location is key.

Energy savings
Millennials are often more conscious of energy conservation and efficiency. Energy-efficient appliances, energy-efficient windows, and quality insulation can make a huge difference.


Contact me here

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FIVE NEGOTIATING TACTICS THAT CAN KILL A SALE


Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:


 1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.

 2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.

 3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.

 4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.

 5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

For more advice and tips, feel free to reach out at anytime! It’s my goal to go above and beyond for my clients! My advice is always free. Reach out to me here.


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TAKE 5: PREP YOUR BUDGET FOR BUYING A HOME


Choosing to enter the home buying process is likely the largest financial decision you will make in your lifetime, so it is not one that should be taken lightly. Ensuring that your other current and upcoming financial responsibilities are under control is crucial to having a smooth transaction and being able to enjoy your investment fully. These tips will help you prepare your budget for purchasing your dream home.


Calculate your monthly income. How much money is coming in every month? This is the amount that is left after taxes, health insurance, and retirement savings are taken out of your monthly salary.

Understand your current expenses. Make a list of all your current recurring expenses month to month. Don’t forget to factor in things like loan payments, gym memberships, car maintenance, groceries, self-care appointments, etc.

Determine where you can find savings. Are there any ongoing memberships or subscriptions you don’t use that can be canceled? Can you cut out your daily coffee or eating out lunch? Make these adjustments right away to start saving more.

Boost your financial standing. Before buying a home, it is recommended that you dedicate extra effort to paying off other debts and boosting your credit score. Taking these steps will help you during the loan approval process.

Don’t move finances around. Your lender will review your bank statements during the pre-approval process and then again during underwriting. Any large withdrawals or deposits may throw a red flag so try to avoid these when possible. If you can’t, make sure you have proper documentation to explain the movement of money.


If you’re looking for more advice, lenders, financial advisors, or anything real estate related. Give me a call, text, or email and I’ll get you in touch with one of my many trusted professionals. It’s my goal to go above and beyond for my clients. Contact me here.


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TAKE 5: WHAT AFFECTS PROPERTY VALUES?


Some the features that increase property values are obvious—like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.


 1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.

 2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.

 3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.

 4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.

 5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers—many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.

For more tips, behind the scenes, Lake Norman Market Watch, and more…Follow my Instagram and/or Facebook. I love meeting new people, and especially like minded people that enjoy lifting people, not competing with the Jones’ (if you catch my reference).

https://www.facebook.com/TheRealEstatePanda/


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Buying a Home – Parts 2 to 4

When house hunting, determine your “must haves” and what your “would love to, but isn’t a must.”


Things to let your real estate agent know about your ideal home:

  • Price
    • Shop within your budget, the way the market is right now, I recommend you shop for homes that are about $50,000 below your ideal price point. The reason for this is because there is little inventory for the amount of qualified buyers that there are in the market. So, many homes are getting OVER asking price. This will give you some wiggle room to come in strong on your offer. Talk with your realtor about more ways you can make your offer stand out.
  • Square footage
    • Have a range here.
  • Home condition and possible need for repairs
    • Are you willing to put in some work or do you prefer turn key ready?
  • Access to public transportation
    • Do you commute for work, would you prefer to be in close proximity to bus stations and other public transport?
  • Number of bedrooms
    • Would you want an office, bonus room, exercise room?
    • Master on main?
  • Backyard/swimming pool
    • Exterior features of home
      • Size of lot
      • Garden area
      • Outdoor kitchen, etc.
  • Local entertainment options
    • Do you go to the movies a lot or love shopping?
      • How close would you like to be to shops, dining, movies?
  • Local school district ranking
    • Do you have children?
      • What kind of schools are you interested in?
        • Public schools and there ranking?
        • Charter schools?
        • Private schools?
    • Your realtor can help you locate these details so that you can make an informed decision that works for you.
  • Property/real estate taxes
    • This goes right along with the budget you set in Part 1 of buying a home.
    • Depending on the location you want to live in, this number could change drastically. Determine what amount in property taxes is too high for your budget.

Now you’ve found the home, it’s time to Make an Offer! Keep in mind that depending on the market in your area, your offer may be one of dozens of offers. Don’t get discouraged if the first offer you write isn’t accepted.

Once you have an accepted offer:

  • Congratulations, you are now UNDER CONTRACT!
    • Your Realtor® will help you with the entire process which includes things like:
  • Scheduling a Home Inspection
  • Home Appraisal (it is usually the lender that orders the appraisal, your real estate agent will keep in touch with your lender to keep things moving along)
  • Negotiate for Repairs or Credits
  • Schedule a Final Walkthrough
  • Schedule Closing on your new home with title company or real estate attorney.

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How to Buy a Home: Part 1


You’ve thought about buying a home…you’ve searched a few things and still just aren’t sure where to even start. This will likely be the most expensive purchase of your life. But, don’t get overwhelmed. I’ve broken down the home buying process into four parts. Let’s dive in.

Ok, so who am I and why should you listen to me? I’m Maranda, Realtor® with Tailored Real Estate and eXp Realty in Denver North Carolina 28037. I’ve helped buyers through the entire process of buying a home and have professionals of all things real estate by my side and eager to help.


Buying a home is nerve racking, as it should be. It will be one of the most expensive purchases in your life…

One step at a time = big results, less stress. You must start with the end in mind to know how to get there. These steps are finding out the “where” so you can find out “how”

Do you even know how much home you really can afford? Do you even know if you can get approved for a mortgage? It’s important to know this before spending your time scouring the internet for your new home.

  1. Decide Whether you’re ready to buy
    • Meaning, pre-qualify yourself before searching for a home or comparing mortgages
      • Be sure you have at least 2 years employment history – this shows lenders that you have stable and reliable income.
      • Know your debt to income ratio
        • Lenders typically like to see less than 36% and no more than 28% of your income going towards housing expenses.
      • Check your credit score – a credit score of 580 or higher is ideal. Although some loan programs allow for lower credit score.
  2. Set a budget and calculate how much house you can afford
    • Owning a home has a higher cost than renting. (yearly property taxes, maintenance costs, insurance, etc.)
    • For Simplicity: Use this calculator from Nerd Wallet to find out how much house you can afford.
  1. Start saving for your closing costs and down payment
    • Plan on saving 3-6% of home purchase price for closing costs. (*This does not include your down payment)
    • Many have the misconception that they need 20% down to buy a home and that just isn’t the case.
      • There are loan programs you may qualify for require as little as 0 (zero) down!
      • I like to advise to save at least 3.5%-6% for a down payment.

Follow my blog or Instagram so that you don’t miss out of the next 3 steps of the home buying process.

You may also get a FREE pdf copy of my home buyers guidebook now. By clicking here.

The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale

Many industries have been devastated by the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 virus. Real estate is not one of them.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist for First American, just reported:

“Since hitting a low point during the initial stages of the pandemic, the only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market. Housing has experienced a strong V-shaped recovery and is now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.”

Buyer demand is still strong heading into the fall. ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of buyer showings on residential properties, just announced that buyer showings are up 61.9% compared to the same time last year. They went on to say:

“Normally, real estate activity begins to slow down in the late summer, but this year it peaked in July, August and into September.”

There Is One Big Challenge

Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available homes for sale. Just last week, realtor.com reported:

“Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in March, nearly 400,000 fewer homes have been listed compared to last year, leaving a gaping hole in the U.S. housing inventory.”

The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale | MyKCM

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that, while home sales are skyrocketing, the inventory of existing homes for sale is dropping dramatically. Below is a graph of existing inventory (September numbers are not yet available):Homebuilders are increasing construction, but they cannot keep up with the high demand. Bill McBride, founder of the Calculated Risk blog, in discussing inventory of newly constructed houses, notes:

“The months of supply decreased to 3.3 months…This is the all-time record low months of supply.”

What does this mean for sellers?

Anyone thinking of putting their home on the market should not wait. A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high and supply is limited. That’s exactly the situation in the real estate market today.

Next year, when the pandemic is hopefully behind us, there will be many more properties coming to the market. Don’t wait for that increase in competition in your neighborhood. Now is the time to sell.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect today to get your house on the market at this optimal time to sell.

Why Selling this Fall May Be Your Best Move

If you’re thinking about moving, selling your house this fall might be the way to go. Here are four highlights in the housing market that may make your decision to sell this fall an easy one.

1. Buyers Are Actively in the Market

ShowingTime, a leading real estate showing software and market stat service provider, just reported that buyer traffic jumped 60.7% compared to this time last year. That’s a huge increase.

It’s clear that buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase – and they’re in the market right now. In many regions of the country, multiple buyers are entering bidding wars to compete for the home they want. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market so you can sell your house in the most favorable terms.

2. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale

In the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that there were only 1.49 million units available for sale. That number was down 18.6% from one year ago. This means in the majority of the country, there aren’t enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Due to the health crisis, many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes earlier this year. That will change as the economy continues to recover. The choices buyers have will increase going into the new year. Don’t wait until additional sellers come to market before you decide to make a move.

3. The Process Is Going Quickly

Today’s ultra-competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. According to the latest Origination Insights Report from Ellie Mae, the time needed to close a loan is just 49 days.

4. There May Never Be a More Important Time to Move

You’ve likely spent much of the last six months in your current home. Perhaps you now realize how small it is, and you need more space. If you’re working from home, your children are doing virtual school, or you just need more space, your current floor plan may not work for your family’s changing needs.

Homebuilders are beginning to build houses again, so you can choose the exact floor plan to match what your family needs, and you can make sure the outdoor space is what you want too.

Bottom Line

The housing market is prime for sellers right now, so let’s connect to get the process started this fall. If the timing is right for you and your family, the market is calling your name.