5 Must-Haves When Searching for a Realtor in Murphy, NC

When you’re buying or selling a Murphy, NC home, choosing the right realtor is key to achieving a positive outcome. If you’re selling, working with a market-savvy, accomplished professional means your home will receive a targeted marketing plan – similar to launching a brand-new product.

Best of all, you’ll be an active partner in the process, as your agent will share their marketing strategy and provide regular updates. If you’re prepared to get the ball rolling, here are five “must haves” tips for finding this “cream of the crop” real estate professional.

Look for Extensive Local Knowledge

Although realtors frequently represent residential and commercial properties across your regional market, you’ll get the best results with a real estate business expert who has up-close knowledge of your immediate area. In other words, they must be intimately familiar with your community – rather than depending solely on published reports and online research for their information.

If you’re purchasing a home with your family, you’ll want “must haves” details about school quality, recreational options, and medical services. If you’re selling a house, you’d like specifics about comparable home sales in your area. Regardless of your goal, a well-rounded realtor should be informed about planned commercial developments, apartment communities, retail businesses, and expanded infrastructure that could influence your quality of life. Continue reading “5 Must-Haves When Searching for a Realtor in Murphy, NC”

5 Things to Do Before Listing Your Home in Murphy, NC

Selling your Murphy, NC home can provide a great opportunity. Maybe your circumstances have changed, and it’s time to transition to a new chapter in your life. Or, you’ve decided you love living in our beautiful mountains, but you’d like to enjoy the experience from a different house. Regardless of the reason for selling your home, you’ll increase your chances of success by making the property look attractive to potential buyers. Read on for five things to do before listing your home that will really help your home to shine. Continue reading “5 Things to Do Before Listing Your Home in Murphy, NC”

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”

Tiny House and Tiny Homes in Murphy NC

FullSizeRenderThis month, Consumer Reports rolled out their March 2016 edition focusing on housing – “Boost Your HOME’S VALUE by 35%” it claims on the cover. This is a great topic we know well! I love Consumer Reports and want to dive into a few things. There are many topics in this edition I’ll likely review over the coming month, and right now, the topic of Tiny Homes is what I want to discuss. They are trending nationwide and a lot of folks are considering the option of a tiny house for a getaway home or even as a permanent residence. Wikipedia calls a “tiny house” anything less than 1,000 square feet. My college apartment would qualify!  🙂

Locally in Murphy NC, the tiny house movement is not strong. We rarely see them here or people looking to purchase land to put one on. Don’t discount them though! On a recent trip to Murphy from Atlanta, we saw several folks advertising them alongside the road. We even have a vendor locally who can set one on the property for you if you would like to purchase one (email me for details if you want to purchase one and I will get you connected with him).

FullSizeRender 2There’s a really neat blurb in this Consumer Reports, “The Huge Truth about Tiny Homes” that reads:

The tiny-house movement has been enjoying its media “close-up,” even getting an HGTV show, “Tiny House Hunters,” dedicated to those seeking living spaces no bigger than a school bus. But the truth is that newly built single-family houses are still getting bigger. In fact, we hit another record high for overall size in 2014 – reaching a national average of 2,657 square feet. Of the 620,000 newly constructed single-family homes in 2014, only 48,000, or about 8 percent, were smaller than 1,400 square feet. Meanwhile, about 10% were 4,000 square feet or more. “The tiny-house movement is pretty tiny,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, adding that homes smaller than 1,000 square feet made up less than 1% of U.S. sales from 2010-2015. “People might seek smaller units for affordability or environmental benefit, but they quickly realize that, in terms of comfort, it’s not a permanent solution.”

-Consumer Reports

I personally was astonished at the size difference and the national average. It all makes perfect sense, I just never thought of it in such a manner. When you’re looking for your home in Murphy NC, be proud whether you’re looking for a tiny home or if you want a much nicer, larger home. Know we are here for you to find exactly what you’re searching for. Just like the sign you’ll find in many cabins here says, “If you’re lucky enough to be in Murphy, than you’re lucky enough!”

Feel free to Contact Us and let us know what we can do for you 🙂

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

7 Reasons to List Your House for Sale in Murphy NC During The Holidays

It’s common for people to think no real estate business happens here in the mountains of Murphy NC during November, December, and January. This time of year, I often hear, “we’re going to wait till Spring to list our house for sale.”

7 Reasons to Sell Your House During the HolidaysThat’s simply not the best way to go! Here’s 7 Reasons to sell your house during the holidays:

1.)  While there may be less buyers during the summer and fall months, people who look for a home during the holidays are serious … they are ready to buy!

2.) There are fewer homes for buyers to look at during the holidays which means less competition for you … less competition equals more money! Right now there’s about 512 houses on the market which is the least we’ve seen in years! And get this – 46 homes sold in November (last year), 30 in December, and 24 in January. That’s great traffic and odds of selling!

3.) After the holidays the supply of listings increases substantially which lowers the demand for your home … more competition equals less money! Literally, you can see as many as 100 homes hit the market after the holidays and in to the Spring.

4.) Your home shows better when decorated for the holidays!

5.) Many buyers have more time to look for property during the holidays as opposed to a normal work week.

6.) We will restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You remain in control.

7.) You can sell now for more money and not have to physically move until January or February … as opposed to just starting the whole process at that time.
So don’t wait – want your house sold? Call me today and get ready to hang a sold sign  🙂

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Streamline your loan process when you buy your home in Murphy NC

Buying a home is exciting, but frankly, getting a loan isn’t. It’s a necessary process if you need to borrow money to purchase your dream home. Around 60% of our closings involve a loan, so we certainly can help with the process. Remember, there is a HUGE benefit to using a local lender as opposed to a big national or out-of-town lender. Click here to read our article why.

Here’s a few things you’ll need to bring with you to speed up your loan approval process:

  1. Residence History
    • Your street address, or addresses, for the past two years.
    • If you rent, your landlord’s contact information.
    • If you own your house, your mortgage lender’s name and account number.
  2. Employment History
    • The name and contact information for any employer you’ve worked for over the past two years.
  3. Income Information
    • Your gross monthly salary and/or other income.
    • Year to Date pay stub.
    • W2’s for the past two years.
    • Signed tax returns for the past 2 years, especially if you work on commission or wish to use interest, dividends, or bonus income to qualify for the loan.
    • If self employed, bring the past two years and the current Profit & Loss statement in addition to tax returns.
    • If you’re not currently employed, bring proof of other sources of income.
  4. Deposit, Retirement and Equity Account Info
    • You’ll need statements for the past two months of all checking, savings, IRA, retirement, 401(k), stock and mutual fund accounts. Make sure the statements show your balance and account numbers.
  5. Debt Information
    • Name, contact information, account number, balance, and monthly payment(s) on all outstanding loans and credit cards.
  6. Real Estate Information
    • The address, current market value, and loan information of all real estate you own.
    • Copies of any leases on any rental property you own.
  7. Personal Property Information
    • The rough value of your furniture and other personal property including vehicles, boats, campers, etc. and their make/model.
  8. Sales Contract
    • If you already have an offer to purchase in place, bring a copy with you. Otherwise, your Realtor can forward it to the lender once you’ve found your property to purchase.
  9. Fees
    • You’ll have to pay for your appraisal and credit report with a check, so bring a couple checks with you for any fees that apply.
  10. Other
    • Government issued ID
    • If applying for a VA Loan, you’ll need military discharge papers (Form DD214) and your Certificate of Eligibility.

This article is courtesy of a contribution made by Teresa O’Blenes. She is a mortgage lender with BB&T Bank here in Murphy NC. She’s an excellent resource and can be reached at 828-837-8017.

Call The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC –www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.comCall us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

How to Unwinterize Your Home

If you leave your home in Murphy NC when the temperatures dip below freezing, winterizing your home is a wise precaution to prevent damage. This article will guide you when you are ready to get the water operational, it is quite easy to get it going. Follow these simples steps:

  1. If you drained your water heater, DO NOT TURN POWER ON to it just yet. If you do, you’ll likely burn out your elements.
  2. Turn your faucets on with both the hot and cold water running.
  3. Turn the main water line valve to your house back to the “On” position very S…L…O…W…L…Y. This will allow water to gradually flow into your home’s plumbing. If you do it too fast, you can knock loose grit or debris in your pipes which will glow to faucets etc. and potentially clog them up.
  4. You’ll hear a bunch of sputtering, spitting, and crazy noises as the air escapes the pipes. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
  5. Let this go on till you no longer hear the sputtering of the air in the pipes and it sounds like normal, running water.
  6. Turn off all your faucets.
  7. If you drained your water heater, go to a faucet and turn the HOT water back on and allow it to run till you are certain there’s no air left. Once you are, turn power back on to your water heater. This is typically done by flipping the breaker in your power panel and/or by plugging in the pull switch above the water heater.
  8. Go through and flush your commodes and you’re good to go! To be double safe, turn off all faucets and listed for any running water to ensure you don’t have a leak. If you do, turn off your water main and call a plumber. Feel free to use our Gotta Guy List for recommended plumbers if you do not have one you prefer.

Read our article on how to winterize your home and protect your well from freezing temperatures.

 Call The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

How to Protect Your Well from Freezing Temperatures

We are blessed to live in Murphy, NC. A home where we enjoy moderate temperatures throughout all four seasons. However, that does not mean that you can’t prepare for extremely cold weather! Last year, we saw temperatures dip down to 0°! Now that winter is just around the corner, you should prepare and make sure your well is protected from freezing temperatures so you can enjoy a constant water supply throughout the winter.

Supplies you should gather and/or purchase:

  • An extension cord long enough to reach from a power supply to your well
  • A good quality utility light
  • Thermo Cube Picture40 watt STANDARD bulb – NOT a fluorescent or LED (you need heat, not energy efficiency)
  • A Thermo Cube (optional – this simple device will turn the light on and off automatically as needed. It can be purchased on Amazon)
  • You can opt to buy heat strips you can wrap around your well pipes from many hardware stores. If you go this route, you may not need the above items depending on its features. Personally, I prefer the lightbulb method. It is easy to test and ensure the system is working and also keeps the ambient air temperature in the entire well house/cover warm as opposed to strips that may only keep a certain spot warm.

Heres what to do with your supplies:

  1.  Well PictureRun your extension cord to the well and then plug in your Thermo Cube FIRST, if you opt to have one.
  2. Plug in your utility light next and leave it ON.
  3. Put the light and the plug under the protection of your well cover or house.
  4. And last but not least, keep your electrical parts elevated above ground in the event water does leak. You don’t want to damage any components should that happen.

Beside here is a picture of our well at home and you can see the utility light on and operational just left and below of the center of the picture. Be sure it’s not touching anything that can catch fire. It needs to be safely secured using zip ties or something similar. Put the well cover/house back over and, voila! You’re done!

Read our page on how to cheaply winterize your home so it is protected from freezing weather and temperatures.

Also read our page on how to unwinterize your house.

Good luck and stay warm!

 Call The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Cheaply Winterize your House and Save It from Winter Damage of Freezing Pipes, Water Intrusion, and More

It looks like old man winter is here to stay here in Murphy NC! Freezing temperatures can pose a threat that puts your house in danger of bursting pipes, flooding basements, and very expensive damages. Fortunately, you can take simple precautions to winterize your house that reduces the potential of these hazards to almost nothing. For less than $10 in supplies, you can have peace of mind that your house is safe from winter’s grip.

Here are the tips we recommend:

  • Take garden hoses off your exterior hose bibs. These are notorious to freeze and burst the pipes behind your wall which can be a real nightmare to repair!
  • Turn off the main water main coming in to your house. Usually the valve to do so is located in your crawlspace/basement or at the end of your driveway. They can be a myriad of locations, but this is the most important “to do” in preventing damage. If you have one located OUTSIDE of your house, this is the most important one to turn off.
  • Turn on the hot and cold water on all your faucets and tub/showers. This will drain water pressure off your plumbing system. Leave them open.
  • RV AntifreezePurchase 2-3 gallons of pink RV antifreeze from any auto parts store or big box retailer. Pour 1-2 cups in every sink, tub, and shower so it fills your drain traps. This does double duty – 1) prevents remaining water from freezing. 2) RV antifreeze doesn’t evaporate like water so when you come back to your house, you won’t smell septic/sewer gasses that releases when traps dry out.
  • Flush all your commodes till they can’t flush any more. Pour 2 cups of pink RV antifreeze in the back reservoir tank and 2-3 cups in the toilet bowl of each commode.
  • Leave your heat set on 50-60 degrees. In the event power goes out, this provides a buffer in your house before it drops to below freezing. Also open cabinet doors under sinks to let the warm air get to the pipes.

Slightly more advanced techniques for added security (if you want):

  • Water heaters store a LOT of water and you certainly do not want that to freeze. You either need to leave the power to it on so the water stays hot or drain it. Draining it is more work but ensures it will not freeze and flushes out of any sediment that may have accumulated. Draining requires the water main to be off and a garden hose. FIRST, turn the power to it off at the breaker panel. If you do not, you’ll burn out the elements. SECOND, connect the garden hose to the drain at the bottom of your water heater. You’ll want to run the garden hose outside or to a drain in your sink or tub. To open the valve, you’ll need a flat head screw driver and/or a small wrench. Turn it to the left and open it completely. Make certain a couple faucets are open to allow air to fill the void. When the water finishes draining, close the valve by turning it to the right.
  • Plumbers use air to blow out pipes and get all the water out. You can do this yourself with a compressor and an attachment that can screw on to a shower head or sink. Open faucets etc individually to blow out the water in that line. This is easily done with two people – one to put air in the system and the other to go through the house opening faucets. Be sure to have the air pressure on your compressor turned down to 60-80 lbs.

Want the security of all this without having to do it yourself? No problem!! Go to our Gotta Guy list of Recommended Contractors, scroll to Plumbers, and call any of them to winterize your house for you. Then, you know it is done right! It generally costs a couple hundred bucks and often the plumber will offer to un-winterize your house at no additional cost.

I will also be writing tips on how to save your well from freezing temperatures and how to un-winterize your house. I hope this helps and keeps your house safe! We’re here for you and your real estate needs, so be certain to contact us or call today!

 Call The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Facing a Highest and Best Offer when Buying Real Estate

When you’re buying a new home in Murphy NC, the excitement of finding the one you want to buy can be truly exhilarating. Anytime you buy a home, you have to write up the contract and submit it to the seller. Being notified there are multiple offers on a home can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if you want to buy the home and beat out other potential purchasers.

When a seller receives multiple offers, they have 2+ offers on one property. I’ve seen 11 total offers on one property we had listed and represented several buyers where there were 5+ offers. A seller has several different options of how they can respond to the offers:

  1. They can choose to accept or negotiate with one of any of the offers.
  2. They can also go to all parties who have submitted an offer and request for each party to provide their “highest and best offer” by certain deadline. This is very common, especially if you are purchasing a foreclosure. I personally find this option the most fair because it allows every interested party to put their best foot forward.

Highest and Best OfferPut simply, highest and best offer is exactly that. You want to submit your best offer that you’re willing to present on the house. The BEST refers to terms and contingencies. In the eyes of the seller, they want the offer with the least contingencies and potential pitfalls. The HIGHEST refers to the highest purchase price you’re willing to pay. In the event your house were to sell for one dollar more than you offered, you lost out over one dollar. I always recommend to buyers submit an offer that is as high as they are willing to go and if they lost it for one more dollar, they would have NO regrets. I’ve had many people make their highest offer and then want to change it after the deadline – you almost never get than second chance. Don’t be one of those folks – put your best foot forward right away!

Here are some neat tricks to consider when determining what your highest and best offer is going to be if you find yourself in that situation.

  • Odd dollar amounts can work. I had one that the buyer offer something odd like $145,342.01. Guess what – they got it. Sometimes the smallest amount can make a difference.
  • Always have proof of funds (evidence of your money. This applies to downpayment amounts AND to all cash offers).
  • The purchase price can routinely over asking price for the hottest properties. As inventory dwindles, this can happen more and more.
  • If you’re getting a loan, get pre-qualified with a reputable lender. A loan letter from some fly-by-night internet operation will not have anywhere near the credibility a reliable, local lender has. It wouldn’t even be a bad idea to find out if the bank or listing agent has a lender they prefer to give you that “edge.”
  • Reasonable/quick inspection periods. Don’t ask for long periods of inspection times. Rarely will more than 5-10 days be considered.
  • Cash is king and can often win out over an equal or even higher offer that requires a loan. You may not have this option so you’ll have to make your offer shine in other areas. Believe it or not, cash is very common (especially in multiple offer situations) so just because you have cash doesn’t mean you’ll get the property or that you shouldn’t make it more compelling in other areas.
  • Closing dates should generally be as early as possible. Banks want the houses (assets as they call them) off their books ASAP. Make your offer scheduled to close as soon as you can make it happen.

If you’re in this position, good luck! It can be exciting, emotionally draining, and so many other emotions. The main thing is to lean on your Realtor for help. Every situation is different so be sure to utilize their insight and advice. We hope you get your property 🙂

The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team