3 Myths About Buying a Home in Murphy, NC

Mountain home for sale in Murphy, NC Home for sale in Murphy, NCChoosing your North Carolina mountain home location is a great step toward achieving the lifestyle you want. Maybe you’ve enjoyed several weekend or vacation rentals, and decided it’s time to soak up our blue skies and mountain views all year ’round. And while you’ve savored your time spent in each North Carolina mountains home, Murphy, NC and Cherokee County are your favorite getaway spots.

Now that you’re giving our region some serious consideration, you want to make a sensible home-buying decision that’s based on accurate information. To begin, let’s dispel 3 myths about buying a home in Murphy, NC. Continue reading “3 Myths About Buying a Home in Murphy, NC”

Total Solar Eclipse Brings Epic Viewing Experience Near Murphy, NC

Watching the August 21 Total Solar Eclipse was like opening a highly anticipated present on Christmas morning. For several weeks (even months) ahead, we read about this rare natural phenomenon. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, completely blocking the Sun’s light and briefly turning day into night. During the August 21 event, viewers in a nationwide 70-mile-wide swath would enjoy the maximum effect. Here in Brasstown, the spectacle began at 1:05 p.m. EDT in a clear, hot day dotted by puffy clouds.

As we settled into our Brasstown, North Carolina viewing spot (just a few miles from Murphy, NC), we kept our eclipse viewing glasses and water bottles close at hand. Every few minutes, we slipped on the glasses and gazed at the Sun, watching the Moon’s slow migration across the brilliant white sphere. First, the Moon’s effect was barely noticeable; however, the Sun’s circular shape gradually transformed into an ever-shrinking crescent as the sky darkened around us. Shadows began to appear, and the surrounding landscape took on the colors of twilight.

As the total eclipse (or “Totality”) crept closer, we noticed a drop in temperature, with some observers noting that it felt 10 degrees cooler. Shortly before the magic moment, our environment grew very still, with birds flying up to their nighttime roosts and crickets chirping in the distance. A rooster also began to crow, likely convinced that the “twilight” meant it was time to begin a new day.

Finally, at 2:34 p.m. EDT, we experienced “Totality” in Brasstown, with a dark twilight taking over the forested landscape as the Moon completely covered the Sun. This amazing spectacle lasted only 2 minutes 26 seconds, giving us just enough time to enjoy the view before a sliver of sunlight peeked from behind the Moon’s shadow. When that occurred, we quickly donned our eclipse glasses to safely enjoy the rest of the show. Watching for more than an hour, we saw the Moon continue its path across the Sun, with daylight and warmer temperatures gradually returning as well.

Finally, the Great American Eclipse was over, not to return nationwide for many years. As we swapped viewing experiences and sipped cold drinks, we marveled at this stunning solar extravaganza that had unfolded right before our eyes. This was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime event, made for sharing with family and friends across the country. Even better, we had experienced it from peaceful Brasstown, just a stone’s throw from Murphy, NC in a beautiful little corner of the world.

5 Reasons Why Murphy, NC Is the Best Place to Buy a Carolina Mountain Cabin

Deciding where to buy your North Carolina mountain cabin is like combing through a box of chocolates. You examine every delectable-looking piece, savoring its visual appearance and fragrance before selecting the most appealing option. As you enjoy your reward, you know you made the perfect choice.

Likewise, you’ll consider several different factors when choosing your mountain cabins location. Of course, you want a beautiful and peaceful setting, but within easy driving distance of grocery stores and other shops. When you travel to town, you’d like a friendly atmosphere that makes you feel welcome. If you enjoy outdoor activities, you want varied options for yourself and your kids (or grandkids). And finally, you’re looking for an affordably priced property, leaving you plenty of discretionary income to enjoy the finer things in life.

MURPHY, NC DELIVERS A TOP-NOTCH MOUNTAIN CABIN EXPERIENCE
Believe it or not, Murphy, North Carolina checks all the boxes when it comes to choosing your cabins location. Yes, we’re a bit biased, as we thoroughly enjoy living in this beautiful part of the world. And, we’re happy to share the five factors that make Murphy (and surrounding Cherokee County) so special: Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Murphy, NC Is the Best Place to Buy a Carolina Mountain Cabin”

6 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Murphy, NC Home Shine

With spring’s arrival just a few weeks away, you’ve got the urge to give your Murphy, NC home a big cosmetic makeover. In other words, you’re gearing up for some serious spring cleaning. To keep from getting overwhelmed by the project ahead, break the work into manageable chunks. Plan to begin with tasks common to each room, and then put the finishing touches on specific parts of the house.

Next, gather your cleaning tools and supplies, plus plenty of paper towels and/or rags. Include a set of sturdy rubber gloves to protect your hands, along with a mask if you’re sensitive to chemical smells. Then, crank up your favorite playlist and give your home some timely TLC before warmer weather begins. Continue reading “6 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Murphy, NC Home Shine”

Beware Inflated Appraisals – They Don’t Help Your Real Estate in Murphy NC

Appraisals are often viewed as the end-all for determining the value of your home. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to find the value of your chalet, traditional home, cabin, land, or other type of real estate from the mountains of Murphy, North Carolina all the way to the sandy shores of the coast, fact is, that’s not necessarily the truth.

Appraisals are usually for honest, genuine reasons. Don’t be confused though – an over inflated appraisal of your real estate won’t help sell your property for an inflated value. Then on occasion, they’re for fraudulent reasons. If you’re considering selling your real estate and would like to know if an appraisal would help, you should read this article.

Although con artists and fraudsters have dozens of schemes to steal property and money, numerous schemes rely on inflated appraisals – appraisals that claim the property is more valuable than it really is.

Some homeowners use inflated appraisals to pull more equity out of their home than they have in it. For example, say the owners owe $180,000 on a home that’s worth $200,000, and they want to borrow $40,000 to redo their kitchen. Most lenders will be reluctant to approve a $40,000 loan, because the owners have only $20,000 equity in the home. To get around this problem, the homeowners (and perhaps their loan originator) may hire a "cooperative" appraiser to appraise the home at $240,000, so the loan can be approved.

This may seem like an innocent "white" lie, because the kitchen rehab will probably raise the value of the property, the lender will make a larger loan and earn more interest, and the loan originator will earn a commission. On the surface, everybody wins. However, this is a form of mortgage fraud – it misleads the lender into approving an overly risky loan. It also artificially inflates property values, property taxes, and insurance, making housing less affordable.

Con artists also use inflated appraisals to rip off home buyers and investors. In a recent case in Florida, a company was converting apartments into condominiums and selling them to (mostly out-of-state) investors. The company hired an appraiser from hundreds of miles away to appraise the properties without ever seeing them; the appraiser had no idea what similar properties in the area were selling for. The company fed the appraiser the information that was used to write up the appraisals, usually indicating that the properties were worth anywhere from 30 to 100 percent more than their true market value.

Many of the investors assumed that if the lender (or bank) was willing to loan them the money to purchase the properties based on the values stated in the appraisals, the appraised values must be accurate. Unfortunately, this assumption was wrong. The loan originator was in on the scam with the company that was selling the properties. Together, they were pulling all the strings, misleading both the lender and the investors through the use of inflated appraisals.

For an appraisal to be valid and reliable, it must be unbiased. If you are buying a property and have no clear idea of what similar properties in the same neighborhood are selling for, then order your own appraisal. Hire a reputable appraiser who is familiar with property values in the area and instruct the appraiser that you want an unbiased appraisal. Don’t rely on what the seller or loan originator (or their appraiser) is telling you. That person’s view could be the most biased of all.

Ralph R. Roberts, GRI, CRS is a real estate and mortgage fraud forensics expert and author of Protect Yourself from Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud: Preserving the American Dream of Homeownership (Kaplan Publishing). If you’re interested, you can find out more in his book.

 We’re fortunate here in Murphy that we rarely see fraudulent activity as a result of false appraisals. If you would like a reputable appraiser, please don’t hesitate to ask us to find an appraiser for you. It’d be our privilege to help.

John Poltrock, Certified Residential Specialistwww.MyMurphy.com – Call Toll Free (866) 687-7496 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!! – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com

Should Gas Prices Affect My Trip to Murphy, North Carolina?

Gas Pump ImageGas prices are on everyone’s mind right now — especially when you’re standing at the pump, debit card in hand. The gas prices are affecting everyone from Murphy NC to Miami FL. About two weeks ago, I spoke to the first (and so far only) person who said they won’t be coming up this year because of gas prices.

That spurred the question, "Are gas prices at the pump so high folks shouldn’t travel?"

I remember paying $2.50 per gallon, and that wasn’t too bad. With that said, I used that as my benchmark. I also used the trip from Miami to Murphy since it’s the southernmost, and furthest, major metropolitan area. It’s about 784 miles total.

So, how much more does it cost to drive from Miami to Murphy? The best directions to Murphy NC

 

Miles per Gallon/Price 

$4.00

$4.25

$4.50

$4.75

$5.00

10 MPG (Hummer)

 $117.60

 $137.20

 $156.80

 $176.40

 $196.00

15 MPG (Suburban)

 $78.40

 $91.47

 $104.53

 $117.60

 $130.67

20 MPG (Average)

 $58.80

$ 68.60

 $78.40

 $88.20

 $98.00

25 MPG (Minivan)

 $47.04

 $54.88

 $62.72

 $70.56

 $78.40

30 MPG (Many Hybrids)

 $39.20

 $45.73

$ 52.27

 $58.80

 $65.33

35 MPG (Corolla)

 $33.60

 $39.20

$ 44.80

 $50.40

 $56.00

40 MPG

 $29.40

 $34.30

 $39.20

 $44.10

 $49.00

45 MPG

 $26.13

 $30.49

 $34.84

 $39.20

 $43.56

50 MPG (Prius)

 $23.52

$ 27.44

 $31.36

 $35.28

$ 39.20

At current prices and assuming average miles per gallon (MPG), it costs about $58.80 more than what it did at $2.50 per gallon. Not too bad, and if you trade in your Hummer for a Toyota Prius, spending $23.52 more to come to the Blue Ridge Mountains is simply a no brainer.

Does that mean you should stay home and not travel? Truth is, only you can decide that. What I do know is that I’ve spent three $20 bills going to a restaurant, so I personally don’t want to exchange my happiness and vacation in on a saving a few bucks at the pump.

John Poltrock, Certified Residential Specialist in Murphy NC – RE/MAX Mountain Properties – www.MyMurphy.com – Real Estate in the Mountains of Murphy NC – JohnPoltrock@gmail.comCall Toll-Free (866) 687-7496 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!

Do You Have What It Takes To Flip Houses in the Mountains of Murphy NC?

Investing in real estate became a national pass-time about a few years ago. Now that we are in a different market, investors must be more wise and disciplined to make their investment yield the results they’re looking for. We’ve sold many spec homes for clients, including a chalet we built and sold ourselves in Glenn Oaks.

Most real estate investment gurus will tell you that “Anybody can do it.” “Anybody can flip houses and earn a hundred thousand dollars in their spare time, buying, fixing, and selling run-down homes.” Well, that’s not exactly true. If it were as easy as these gurus claim it is, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, the sheer number of people who have tried to become wealthy real estate investors and have failed proves that not everybody has what it takes to succeed.

The following list describes the most basic qualifications you need to get started:

•           Nights (or days if you work the night shift) and weekends off: Flipping houses is like moonlighting at another job. Part-time flippers, often called weekend warriors, can succeed as long as they are committed to treating flipping as another job.

•           Financial stability: You should be paying all of your bills on time, including the mortgage on your primary residence, before you consider taking on another financial burden. Don’t look at flipping as a way to solve your financial difficulties – you may end up digging yourself into a deeper hole.

•           Energy: Couch potatoes need not apply. You need plenty of energy to work on a home while fulfilling the responsibilities of your day job.

•           Ability to function in a crisis: Flipping a house is more complicated than it seems and always more of a challenge than it looks on TV. If you commonly feel overwhelmed already, taking on another burden may not be prudent.

•           Organizational expertise: With flipping houses, time is money, so you need to execute the flip as quickly as possible. This requires an organized mind. You have to act as contractor to make sure all materials are delivered on schedule and that your subcontractors aren’t tripping over one another.

•           Basic math skills: To be relatively certain that you will earn a profit, you need to be able to crunch some numbers. Overestimate expenses and underestimate profits to give yourself a safety buffer.

•           A supportive family: If you’re married, make sure your spouse supports this new venture. Otherwise, you will not only be fighting the world to flip houses for a profit, but you will also be fighting your partner. This often leads to failure both with the new venture and with the relationship.

You may notice that some skills have been omitted from the list, such as the ability to rehab a home or the ability to list and sell the home yourself. You do not need to have all the skills required to flip a home yourself. However, you do need to be able to fill the gaps with people who have the essential skills. For example, if you are not very good at estimating the costs of repairs, you may want to hire a contractor or professional home inspector who is aware of repair costs to inspect the home and provide you with detailed estimates. A real estate agent can often be indispensable in assisting you in determining how much to pay for a property and how much you can eventually sell it for.

Although many people who flip houses fly solo, you do not have to take that approach. In fact, you can often flip more homes and do a better job of it by building a team, complete with an agent, home inspector, mortgage broker, attorney, and handyman/contractor. This approach is particularly beneficial for those who are just learning the ropes.

Ralph R. Roberts, GRI, CRS is an experienced real estate investor and consultant and the author of Flipping Houses For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons).

Finding investment homes like the ones you need to turn a profit seems easy to a lot of folks, and finding the right property is often half the battle. If you’re looking for a property like this, be sure to subscribe to our blog – especially to Beat the Street! I’ve only had two houses that were perfect "flippers" in my personal inventory (I also find more other agents have listed), so when I do come across them, they sell fast! Both I sold in 10% of the average market time.

Long story short, if you’re looking to invest in flipping a home or even long term, you need The POLTROCK TEAM on your TEAM. Call us today and begin searching for your property in our listings or search the MLS.

John Poltrock, CRS – The POLTROCK TEAM at RE/MAX Mountain Properties – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.comCall Toll-Free (877) 837-3002 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!

Fraud for Housing – Lying to Get a Home in Murphy, North Carolina

When you buy a home – whether its your primary home or a vacation home – most folks need to apply for a loan to finance a portion of their investment. When you’re going through all the documents, it is important to understand exactly what you’re saying.

The real estate and mortgage fraud cases that dominate the headlines usually have to do with fraud for profit. A ringleader conspires with industry insiders – usually a real estate agent, appraiser, and loan officer – to obtain mortgage loans they have no intention of ever repaying.

Another form of mortgage fraud is also common – fraud for housing. According to an FBI source, "Fraud for housing represents illegal actions perpetrated solely by the borrower. The simple motive behind this fraud is to acquire and maintain ownership of a house under false pretenses. This type of fraud is typified by a borrower who makes misrepresentations regarding his income or employment history to qualify for a loan."

Fraud for housing may include any of the following attempts to deceive the lender into approving a mortgage loan:

•           Claiming on a loan application that you earn more money than you actually earn.
•           Presenting counterfeit paycheck stubs to verify employment or income.
•           Intentionally overestimating the value of your assets on a loan application.
•           Claiming on a loan application to work for a particular employer when you do not.
•           Adding someone to the loan application as a co-borrower who does not intend to live in the home with you or assist you in making payments.
•           Signing a loan application that contains blanks you know the loan officer will fill in for you later with false information that will help you qualify for the loan.
•           Getting a friend or relative who owns a business to say that you work there.
•           Fudging the numbers on a document, such as a tax return, to make it look like you earn more than you do.
•           Applying for a loan in excess of the sale price paid to the seller, so you can obtain the surplus proceeds in cash back at closing.

Whenever you apply for a mortgage loan, you must sign the application – technically referred to as a 1003 (ten-oh-three) or Uniform Residential Loan Application. Just above the space for your signature is a statement worded something like this:

I/We fully understand that it is a federal crime punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, to knowingly make any false statements concerning any of the above facts as applicable under the provisions of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, et seq.

In other words, it is a felony to lie on a loan application, whether for profit or housing.

Some people argue that fraud for housing is a victimless crime. After all, the person applying for the mortgage loan really wants to keep the house and has every intention of making the monthly payments and paying off the debt. However, that’s beside the point. The real issue is that when people commit fraud for housing, they mislead the lender into approving a loan that is riskier than the lender would otherwise consider. It contributes to increases in foreclosures and the cost of mortgages to all consumers.

Knowing what constitutes fraud for housing can help you avoid committing it or becoming an accomplice if a loved one tries to make you complicit in their plans. Remain on the lookout for mortgage fraud of any type, and do your part to reduce fraud and make mortgage loans and housing more affordable for everyone, including your neighbors.

 Ralph R. Roberts, GRI, CRS is a real estate and mortgage fraud forensics expert and author of Protect Yourself from Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud: Preserving the American Dream of Homeownership (Kaplan Publishing).

During the real estate bubble, this type of loan fraud was sadly prevalent. In fact, many professionals agree this very issue caused a large portion of the inflated prices and has now left many would-be flippers and investors "holding the bag." Laws are in place for a reason, and its very important we follow them and banks enforce them.

If you’re looking for a primary home or a vacation home and are unsure of your financial situation, let us know! We have experience in both conventional and unconventional financing that will put you in your new home without putting you in a dangerous situation.

John and Jessica Poltrock – The POLTROCK TEAM at RE/MAX Mountain Properties – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Real estate in the Mountains of North Carolina – Call Toll-Free (877) 837-3002 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!

When It Comes to Investing in Murphy (and anywhere), There’s GOOD Debt Vs. BAD Debt

Many people look at investing as a tricky. Fact is, it’s great! Many of our most successful investors use debt to further their influence. Whether they’re buying homes or land tracts here in Murphy, real estate gives you the best returns when you use leverage.

When it comes to debt, most consumers fall into either of two camps – those who fear debt and those who embrace it. Let’s call the first group the debt-o-phobes. To these folks, debt is to be avoided at all costs. They don’t carry a credit card and refuse to buy anything, except a home perhaps, on credit. We’ll call the other group debt-thusiasts. As long as they can have whatever they want right now and can afford the monthly payments, they don’t care how much debt they are in or interest they will pay.

Neither extreme is healthy. The debt-thusiasts are constantly paying too much for goods and services, because in addition to the purchase price, they are usually paying a hefty amount in finance charges. They never get ahead and have little chance of building wealth.

The debt-o-phobes, on the other hand, can save a considerable amount of money in interest, but they have less money available to fund revenue-generating investments. Because they refuse to take on debt, the only money they have to invest is the money they have squirreled away.

Financially healthy, wealthy, and wise individuals are not opposed to taking on debt, but they are very proactive in limiting bad debt and maximizing the power of good debt.

Bad Debt

What exactly is bad debt? Bad debt is money you owe on something that 1) does not increase your earning potential and 2) depreciates – decreases in value over time. Generally speaking, if you go on a spending spree with your credit card, you are taking on bad debt.

Some experts would claim that a loan taken out to purchase a new car is bad debt, because as soon as you drive the car off the lot it depreciates. While that may be true, financing the purchase of a nice car could increase your earnings potential, allowing you to drive to a workplace that offers a higher salary. A nice car could also improve the earnings potential of someone in sales who must drive clients around.

Good Debt

Good debt is money you owe on something that either 1) increases your earnings potential sufficiently to pay back the debt, and then some, or 2) enables you to invest in an appreciable asset – an asset whose value increases over time sufficiently to cover the debt.

Experts generally agree that a mortgage loan used to purchase a home represents good debt, because while you are paying the interest on the mortgage, your home is appreciating in excess of the percentage interest you pay. In addition, your home mortgage is tax-deductible, assuming you can and do itemize your deductions.

Most people also consider education loans to be a form of good debt, because an education generally improves your earnings potential – although that may depend on what you study in school and how much debt you graduate with.

Exchanging Bad Debt for Better Debt

Although you may not be able to trade bad debt for good debt, you may be able to decrease your amount of bad debt. If you have a large amount of credit card debt, for example, and some equity in your home, you may benefit by refinancing your mortgage loan to pay off your credit card debt. (Equity is the amount of money locked up in your home – if you sold your home today and paid off the mortgage, the amount of money you would have left represents the equity.)

Refinancing your home mortgage to pay off your credit card debt could benefit you in two ways:

•           Decrease the amount of interest you’re paying. A mortgage loan usually carries a significantly lower interest rate than the rate charged on credit card debt.

•           Makes the interest you are paying tax-deductible. Home mortgage interest is tax-deductible. The interest you pay on your credit card balance is not.

Caution: Consult with a trusted and qualified accountant or loan specialist before refinancing your home to pay down your credit card debt. Refinancing too often can cost you a considerable amount of money in loan origination fees and other expenses related to taking out the loan.

Caution: Refinancing to pay off credit card debt converts the unsecured credit card debt into secured debt. The debt is now secured by your home, which allows the lender to foreclose if you are unable to make payments. Credit card companies cannot seize your home if you fail to make payments. In addition, if you file for bankruptcy, secured debts have priority over unsecured debts, so if you think you might have to file for bankruptcy later, converting unsecured debt into secured debt may not be a good idea.

Investing with Other People’s Money

One of the secrets to maximizing the return on your investments is to use borrowed money (other people’s money) to finance your investments. For example, say you have $100,000 to invest in real estate, knowing that you can buy and fix up a home for $100,000 and then turn around and sell it for $120,000. If you could pull it off, you would earn a 20% profit, which isn’t bad.

But what if you took that $100,000 purchased and fixed up five properties? For each property, you would use $20,000 of your own money as a down payment and $80,000 of borrowed money – other people’s money. Now, you buy, fix, and sell five homes, earning $20,000 per home for a total of $100,000 in profits – a 100% profit!

That’s what you call leverage, and you gain leverage by using other people’s money.

When you are ready to begin building your own wealth in real estate, talk to your loan officer or mortgage broker about leveraging the power of other people’s money. He or she will know exactly what you’re talking about.

 See more from author Ralph R. Roberts, GRI, CRS is an experienced real estate agent and investor and author of Mortgage Myths: 77 Secrets That Will Save You Thousands on Home Financing (John Wiley & Sons).

If you’re looking for an investment, now is the perfect time to contact us or start searching online. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you can beat the street! If you’re looking to refinance and stop paying so much interest on things like credit cards, we have some of the best mortgage brokers in the industry working with us!

John and Jessica Poltrock – REMAX Mountain Properties – The POLTROCK TEAM – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.comCall Toll Free (877) 837-3002 and demand the POLTROCK TEAM! to start investing successfully in real estate!

John and Jessica Bring Superior Education to the Murphy Real Estate Market

Murphy, NC — March 21, 2008 — John and Jessica Poltrock have just returned from their stay in Greensboro, NC where they completed a highly specialize course in residential real estate buyer sales strategies conducted by the Council of Residential Specialists of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

The course is one in a series of professional education sequences required to qualify for the coveted Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation. Learn why you should demand to work with a CRS and how we work.

"The growing importance of negotiation as well as sales strategies in today’s residential real estate market were addressed by the instructor of the course," said Jessica. "The many and varied needs of the buyer, who is making what is probably the largest single purchase of a lifetime, is dealt with in this advanced course."

The segments of the course included counseling techniques, understanding human behavior, and professional knowledge of the required steps in the real estate sales sequence.

The Council of Residential Specialists Courses are presented throughout the U.S. in affiliation with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, as part of its on-going program of promoting professionalism of the residential sales associates.

The completion of this course leaves John less than three months from obtaining CRS Designation for paperwork processing. Jessica lacks a mere one course.

Want to work with The POLTROCK TEAM? Put them to work for you! Use our Dream Home Finder, use our website to search Our Listings or the MLS, email them, or just call them at (877) 837-3002.

When you want results, demand The POLTROCK TEAM! John and Jessica Poltrock – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.comCall Toll-Free (877) 837-3002 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!