Deed Restrictions and Zoning in Cherokee County and Murphy NC

Many parts of the United States have some sort of land use controls on the real estate to make things uniform, similar, or prevent problems before they ever occur. We commonly get asked, how does zoning work in Murphy NC?

Zoning

Most of Cherokee County has NO zoning. The only part of the county that does have zoning is the Murphy NC City Limits, which are actually quite small compared to what many people are used to. The City Limits is broken into several different zones like commercial and residential with varying levels of each. You can obtain a copy of the zoning ordinances for the City Limits of Murphy right here on our website.

Deed Restrictions

Mostly, the county is controlled with deed restrictions which govern, usually, things that cannot be done on a property. They are said to “run with the land,” meaning they cannot be altered and regardless of who owns it, the restrictions remain intact (unless they expire).

Generally speaking, deed restrictions are very basic in Murphy with the main intention being to retain property values and keep places looking nice. You usually find them in subdivisions and communities. We don’t really have any with super-strict requirements like some horror stories we hear from other places – thank goodness! Many of our common restrictions are:

  • No mobile homes, manufactured homes, and in some cases, modular homes.
  • No junk cars or untagged or unlicensed vehicles.
  • No used appliances to be left on property and all trash to be in refuse containers.
  • Certain square footage limitations. Our common range is from 800-1400 square feet minimum, depending on the community.
  • Many more recent ones reference “Earth Tone” colors to be used on the house so you don’t have a random pink, purple, or yellow house in a cabin community.
  • No livestock/farm animals – sorry! In some cases, your dream of a llama farm is no more! 😉
  • Must complete a home within 1 year of beginning building

That gives you a good idea of many of the common restrictions we see. In fact, you can download a copy of the Brookgreen restrictions by clicking here. Although older, many of our newer restrictions say the same basic thing.

Unrestricted

You can do anything you like, so long as its legal, with unrestricted real estate. An unrestricted parcel may be perfect for you if you’d like to: 

  • Have an RV or camper on your land for extended periods of time
  • Build a house over a long time (over a year’s time)
  • Have livestock or other animals
  • Run a commercial business out of the “normal” areas
  • Simply not have to worry about someone else’s rules

Larger tracts of land (3 or more acres) are not very hard to find that are unrestricted. Smaller parcels less than three acres can be more challenging to find depending on the area you want to be.

Looking for a home or land in Murphy NC? Let The POLTROCK TEAM find it for you! You can Search Our Murphy NC Listings, Search the entire Murphy NC MLS for Free, or complete our “Dream Home Finder” for Murphy NC Real Estate and we’ll find it for you!

John Poltrock – Certified Residential Specialist – The POLTROCK TEAM at REMAX Mountain Properties – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call Us Toll Free at 1-866-687-7496

The Importance of a Home Inspection in Murphy NC Real Estate

When you’re getting a home inspection on a home you’re buying in Murphy, NC, it simply makes “good sense.” In fact, I commonly equate it to buying a Carfax Report when you’re purchasing a car – you hope you’re throwing your money away, but if there’s something that pops up, you’ll be glad you did it.

Home inspectors commonly go through a home and check a variety of items. A few of the items they check on while going through your future home can be: appliances, electrical outlets, light fixtures, heating and air conditioning systems, possibly the water, radon, commodes, water heater, and much more.

Base cost for most home inspections is $350 and can go up from there based on the size of the home and a few a la carte tests that can be done. Once the inspection is completed, you get a thick report with many pictures showing issues, concerns, and maintenance items. This report allows you to request repairs, if needed, on the home you’re buying.

One important thing for real estate buyers and sellers to remember is that home inspectors almost always find something that needs repair. In fact, if you think about it, if someone paid you $350 to check out a house, you would feel a bit obligated to find something. If there’s small nit-picky items on the inspection, in many cases you don’t need to worry about it. The key is you’re looking for major issues of concern that need to be repaired.

Need a home inspector? Go to our Murphy NC “Gotta Guy” List for Recommended Contractors today! You can find several choices on folks who do good work. The next time you’re buying a home, be certain to get a home inspection – even if your house is brand-spankin’ new. Sometimes, those check out worse than resales because sub contractors forgot to do something, something was overlooked, or a shortcut was taken.

Enjoy your new home!

John Poltrock – The POLTROCK TEAM with RE/MAX Mountain Properties – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us toll free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496

Tips for Bargain Buying Real Estate in Murphy NC

            Real estate has been a hot topic here lately in the news – and its positive! Nationally, sales were up for the month of February. Ms. Lisa Floyd of Carolina Farm Credit was kind enough to send an article from USA Today that sums up what we as Realtors and mortgage lenders are seeing. Home mortgage rates have dropped to less than 5% and have spurred a race to buy a new home and to refinance current ones. Coupled with rock bottom low prices on homes, buyers are in search of great deals and good rates – and you’ll find them.

            With that said – there are some things you really need to consider when you’re looking for a new home today.

  • Consider ALL the purchase options:
    • Foreclosures: if you’re a buyer, this is really becoming a hot topic. There are some great values on bank owned properties and then there are some rip-offs no matter what the price is. Don’t get caught up in the “allure” of buying a foreclosure. It doesn’t make you a “sophisticated” buyer or make you look like you’re on the cutting edge with your friends. There are many times as good or better buys that the bank doesn’t own. Look at ALL your options because many times there are better choices. (You can learn more about foreclosure buying and tips on our website www.iLoveMurphy.com . Search “foreclosure”)
    • Short Sales: This is another hot topic that not everyone knows about. This is where the current owner is selling their property for less than what they owe on it. The bank either forgives the difference or agrees to do a personal loan to the owner for the difference (in which the owner still has to pay back the lost money over time). I’ve seen several cases where there’s a better buy on short sales than foreclosures, so this is a good consideration. In this case, you MUST have patience because it will be very drawn out.
    • Sellers: this is the tried and true way and doesn’t have the fancy new lingo attached to it or make you sound sophisticated, and many times this is still the best way. Many homes have been owned for 10+ years and they can afford to sell it at a great value. Other sellers MUST move and are willing to take a hit to get on with their lives. There are thousands of other possibilities here and you should certainly not rule this out just because it’s not the “cool, new thing.”
  • Here’s what you must have when you buy a new property:
    • Patience: If you’re dealing with foreclosures and short sales, you better have patience and the ability to wait. If you need to move in to a house yesterday, you had better look at some other alternatives. Odds are there will be delays coupled with large amounts of waiting to find out about offers and more.
    • Patience: Nope – I didn’t stutter here. This is more important than anything. Sometimes you won’t find what you’re looking for right away. You’ll have to be willing to tell your Realtor to look ACTIVELY for you and be able to act fast when the right thing comes along. Although there are a lot of homes on the market currently, some styles/categories/types of homes in certain price ranges are very picked over. As such, you need to have the ability to wait and look for the right thing.
    • Money in Hand: There’s no need to walk in with a suit case of money (although you’ll be able to negotiate a bit harder for a better buy if you do!). You do need to be prequalified with a reputable mortgage lender and have verifiable funds to pay your down payment. This is very important because sellers (or banks which won’t even look at your offer unless you complete this step) will take you far more seriously and give you a better value.
    • Don’t Fall in Love: When you’re negotiating for practically anything, you have to be able to have “walk away power.” You’ll get a better deal if you have the ability to walk away from the table and move on to the next thing. If you fall in love, you loose that ability. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with buying a property you absolutely love. It may cost you a little bit more, and that’s okay. It’s probably worth it.
    • Representation: With all the new topics, concerns, and issues that face you in your real estate purchase, it’s not wise to try and tackle it on your own. Real estate is one of the largest investments you make, and you should have a Realtor and/or an attorney who specializes in real estate working for you. As Warren Buffett said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Make sure you’re comfortable with and trust your agent and/or attorney.  They should also have the heart of a teacher. They need to be able to break everything down for you so that you can easily understand it and the choices you have.

            Real estate is an excellent investment strategy when it’s done correctly. We’re finding buyers that are ready to buy now because they know that the market is dragging bottom! You can look free of charge with no obligation to see what properties are available on our website at www.MyMurphy.com. Contact us or your agent to find some great opportunities that aren’t online because they’re out there!

            If you’re selling your property now or considering it, yes – the value of your property is down from the peak of the market. The good thing is you can take this information and utilize it once your property is sold and you’re buying another. You WILL get a better buy now than what you would have, even if you got more money for it before. Truthfully, it’s likely a zero sum game and the numbers are just different. Talk to your current agent or call us and we will help you any way we can. We’re here for you!

John Poltrock, The POLTROCK TEAM with RE/MAX Mountain Properties – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll-Free at 1-866-687-7496 – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com

Foreclosure Horror Story Means Your Should Buy Real Estate Safe in Murphy NC

I met with a man a few days ago who found us by reading our article on “What to Expect When Offering to Buy a Foreclosure in Murphy NC” and “Foreclosure Houses and Tips to Buying Them in Murphy NC“. It was one of the most discouraging attempted real estate purchases I’ve heard of in a long time.

The moral to his story is buy smart – go through a typical real estate transaction that have safeguards built in for your purchase. Read on and you’ll understand better what I mean.

Jim, as I’ll call him, bought a house with several acres adjoining the US Forest Service and absolutely loved it. He bought it from a wealthy friend of his who was a developer in Florida and life treated him well. They agreed to exchange it in a sale for $170,000. His buddy said he didn’t have to do a straight purchase, that he would be happy to finance it for him like a bank would. They did what’s called a Land Contract.

Jim put $40,000 in cash down on the house and has been making payments for several years. He’s put in a new well, done several major renovations, and by this time, he has invested about $120,000 total of cash in the property. Then he came home and found foreclosure documents on the door to his home.

Turns out the seller has a first mortgage and an equity line that’s been over extended on the property and hasn’t paid in months. The bank is foreclosing – simple as that. Since he has no legal ownership, his name is not on the deed, and the mortgage liens far superseed any right he has to the property, he cannot get anywhere. No bank will tell him what is owed on the property or anything else for that matter.

Jim has lost $120,000 in his own cash and now has nothing to show for it. His only option, if he wants to keep the house, is to wait for it to come out the other end of the foreclosure process and buy it. That means he will likely have $200,000 in a home that should be his that worth substantially less than that.

What could or should he have done in this instance? A traditional closing with owner financing in place. The closing attorney would have made sure there were no liens on the property (and if there were, they would have to be paid) and issued title insurance at closing.

Moral of the story again – Be smart about closings and buying real estate. Use a Realtor (namely The POLTROCK TEAM! 😉 and/or an attorney that specializes in real estate closings (you can find real estate attorneys in Murphy NC on our Gotta Guy List). That will give you true professional advice that can ultimately save you thousands, or in this case, over $100,000.

John Poltrock, Certified Residential Specialist – Murphy, NC Real Estate – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call Toll-Free at 1-866-687-7496

Types of Real Estate for Sale in Murphy, North Carolina

There are many different types of real estate you can purchase when you come to Murphy, North Carolina and our surrounding communities in Cherokee County NC. Here are some of the residential investments available to you:

Types of Homes

Real Estate - Chalet HomeChalets in Murphy NC—Our most popular and well known style. They are known for the large front that resembles an A-frame with lots of fixed glass      windows. We have many options and sizes available for these home. The average chalet consists of two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen, and a large great room. The master bedroom is often in the loft (the upstairs bedroom) and some have dual master suites on both the main and loft level. Serious consideration should be taken on whether you are willing to have your master bedroom upstairs in the loft and if privacy there is important (many times the loft is open air to the great room).

 

Cabins—Somewhat of a broad definition, cabins are everything that’s “mountainy” and not a chalet. It could be a ranch styled home, home with a loft, and almost always had wood or log siding of some sort. Many times, the master bedroom suite is on the main level making it easier to access. We have brand new cabins available all the way to old, rustic get-a-ways.

 

Manufactured Homes—We don’t have as many manufactured homes, yet the are a very good home for the budget conscious. They offer some of the greatest square footage of living area for the purchase price.   Virtually always on one level, these homes frequently offer all the amenities that life has to offer at a lower cost of living.

 

  Traditional Styled Home

Traditional—For folks who love the mountains and don’t want to live in a chalet, cabin, or manufactured home, traditional homes are for you. They come in all shapes, sizes, and settings.                               

 

 

Land

Lots—We have lots in all shapes and sizes! Lot sizes generally range from 1/2 an acre upwards of about 3 acres. More land than that, and you start to get into small land tracts. Options are virtually endless! Great properties start around the 20’s and reach all the way to the 150’s. You can have many things to consider, and we can best guide you on this in person or on the phone. We can tailor your property to your lifestyle. Consider what kind of views and environment you would like. Bear in mind that creeks and mountain tops don’t usually go together—you have to be lower on the mountain and in valleys to get good water frontage. We can situate you on your own private estate all the way to on top of a mountain—the choice is yours.
 

View Overlooking Brasstown Valley in Martin's CreekLand Tracts—A virtually endless category, land tracts is usually no less than 3 acres. You can have smaller acreage all the way to hundreds of acres. Often you will have to run power, put in driveways, clear homesites, and many things like that. If it sounds like a cumbersome task, don’t worry about it! We have many very reputable contractors who can take care of everything for you from start to finish. The beauty of many land tracts is that you can make it your own and do most anything you like with it.

 

 

Which type of property are you searching for? Email me if you’d like me to search for you. Please visit our FREE online services and search our listings for sale in Murphy, North Carolina or Search ALL the listings for sale in Murphy NC.

John Poltrock, Certified Residential Specialist – www.MyMurphy.com – The POLTROCK TEAM at RE/MAX Mountain Properties – 1-866-687-7496 – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com

I Want to Sell My Murphy NC Property. Will an Appraisal Help?

Appraisals can do you a lot of good when you get ready to sell your property here in Murphy, North Carolina. Real estate prices are constantly changing, so it’s good to have an accurate analysis of what your value is.

Realtors are able to perform a CMA, or Comparable Market Analysis. When you’re ready to sell your home, this will give you a good idea as to where you should price your property. There is a difference between an appraisal and a CMA. Appraisals are often more detailed in valuation, yet they frequently do not take into account current market trends.

With real estate values going down, many people interested in selling are using old appraisals to try to hold onto former higher prices. This strategy is a stage of denial that will hurt your home’s position to sell. If you list it too high to start off with, your home develops a “stigma” to it that will make it stagnant on the market and ultimately sell for less than what you could have achieved originally.

Other times, sellers are using an appraisal from a refinance. More often than not, that appraisal is not necessarily useful in marketing your home. Sometimes the appraisal is biased toward a certain value, whether it is conservative or high. You can read more about inflated real estate appraisals here.

Old appraisals mean nothing. Think of it this way: it would be the same as printing off a stock quote from when Enron shares were worth $50 per share. Consider taking it to your stock broker now and expecting the same price. It won’t happen. Real estate operates the exact same way, just the numbers are larger and more difficult to determine. Unfortunately, your real estate does not have a “ticker” streaming across the front of it telling us the current market value of your home.

An accurate appraisal will help you sell your home. Leaving a current appraisal on your counter while trying to sell will help prospective buyers determine how you priced and the value of your home. When and if you get a new appraisal before selling, ask around to find a good appraiser. Get a good recommendation and call them in.  Be certain not to influence their pricing. You want an unbiased evaluation of market value to sell your home. Make sure they know that’s what the appraisal is for.

All that being said, it’s not necessary, but having an appraisal done can give you a great marketing edge. It can give you the competitive edge over the competition. An average appraisal costs about $400 and can be an excellent investment when you’re selling your largest investment.

John Poltrock, CRSwww.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – For Real Estate in the Mountains of Murphy, NC, Call The POLTROCK TEAM at (866) 687-7496

Chalets Are Popular in Murphy NC Real Estate. What exactly is a Chalet?

Chalets are a very popular style of homes in Murphy, NC real estate. They are the perfect styled home for capturing our renowned long range mountain views or just overlooking your estate in the woods.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a chalet is, “a Swiss dwelling with unconcealed structural members and a wide overhang at the front and sides.” According to Wikipedia, a chalet was originally referred to the hut of a herder. Well, things have certainly come a long way from the days of the herder to today’s first-class version.

Chalet HomeThere are several characteristics that make a chalet a chalet in Murphy:

  • Large Fixed Pane Glass Windows in the Front
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Open Floor Plan with the living room/great room in the front
  • A Large Loft, commonly where the master bedroom is
  • Steep Pitched roof in the front with “bump outs” over the loft with a far less pitched roof in that section
  • Covered porches on either side
  • and you’ve really got to have a fireplace 

Builders today are constantly adding their own unique twist and making each one just a little bit different. Truth is, a classic is simply a classic. Just like every home in any market, you can upgrade a chalet till you heart is content. It offers a lot of flexibility, so its a lot of fun to make it your own home.

If you are considering buying or building a chalet, here are a few considerations you should take into account:

  • Chalets with a basement (finished or unfinished) sell much better and provide you with much more usable space. Walk-out basements are common.
  • Be sure to plumb your basement and go ahead and upgrade your heat pump to handle the basement should you or someone else decide to finish it.
  • Privacy is key in the loft. If you’ll be by yourself a lot, don’t worry about this part. If you entertain a lot and your master bedroom is in the loft, you won’t have any privacy.  If you want your own privacy, upgrade a bit and get a larger chalet with a blocked off loft.
  • Dual masters with a suite in the loft and a suite on the main level is a major plus.
  • Make sure your great room is large enough. I’ve seen small great rooms devastate the sale of a home. When it doubt, add a bit of room.

Would you love to have your own Chalet in the Mountains of Murphy, North Carolina?

Then use our Murphy NC Dream Home Finder and see what’s available that fits your needs. Be sure to mention you love chalets! We have many opportunities for you!

You can even search the Murphy NC MLS of Homes for Sale directly from our website.

Do you own a chalet and want to sell it?

Then use our Home Worth form and let us do the work for you! We specialize in chalets and can put our expertise to work for you. We can share with you your home’s worth and our proactive marketing plan that will get your home sold.

John Poltrock, your Murphy NC Certified Residential Specialistwww.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.comCall Toll Free (866) 687-7496 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!!!

To Pave or not to Pave – That is the Question for My Murphy NC Real Estate

A Freshly Paved Road in Murphy NCIt seems intuitive that paved roads are certainly an advantage when it comes to your real estate – regardless of whether it’s on a home or land. It makes travel much smoother, quieter, and overall a better experience. 

The majority of state maintained roads are all paved, with only a few exceptions in the further regions and communities of Cherokee County. Many of the residential areas of Murphy, North Carolina lack paved roads.  A few major subdivisions (most of which are relatively new) offer their residents pavement, such as Wolf Mountain Estates and Five Forks development in Murphy NC.

Interestingly enough, paving seems to not be a major driving force in lot sales. Regular raw land had a mere difference of $2,000 to have paving versus not. If you’re looking to boost the value of your vacant lot, paving does not seem to be the way to go. In fact, it seems that it would cost you more to have it done than it would return. Investment standpoint – don’t pave vacant land.

When it comes to homes, there’s more of a difference. In the past six months, homes with pavement (whether it be concrete or asphalt) sold for an average of $10,792 more.

Depending on how much paving you’ll need, it would likely be a worthy investment in your property. Based on the research I’ve done, the main reason you should do it, however, is because you want to enjoy it for yourself – not because you’re looking to make a return on your money.

 John and Jessica Poltrock – The POLTROCK TEAM at RE/MAX of Murphy, North Carolina – www.MyMurphy.com – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call Toll-Free (877) 837-3002 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM for your real estate needs in the Mountains of Murphy, NC!

What Exactly Does “Underground Utilities” Mean for My Murphy NC Property?

Underground utilities are an advantage for property owners and investors. In fact, you can readily distinguish if they’re available by searching for the infamous “green box” for power. When you see a tract of land or a home for sale advertised as having Underground Utilities, they usually also have underground telephone cable as well.

 Underground Power BoxOne immediate advantages is the aesthetics. Unsightly power lines can ruin an otherwise phenomenal mountain view. It makes living in your community simply cleaner. Underground hides in the landscape rather than overwhelming it with poles and power lines littering the land.

Safety is another concern. Trees tend to blow over at some point in a storm, and if power lines are protected underground, the line won’t be knocked down creating a “live wire” and causing a power outage further down the grid. An invisible consideration is that power lines create electromagnetic radiation. It is widely believed that power lines can cause cancer from the invisible “field” they cause around them. Generally, this is a concern with larger distribution lines. By burying them in the ground, professionals in the field seem to agree the soil protects you from higher exposure.

From a purely financial aspect, it adds value to your property. I just performed a quick search of land sales in the past 6 months between one and three acres to see what the differences were in value. Here’s what I found:

  • With Underground Utilities – 51 real estate transactions with an average dollar value of $67,901
  • Without Underground Utilities – 37 real estate transactions with an average dollar value of $35,414

Does that mean my property is worth $32,487 more with underground utilities? No, it does not. This search doesn’t factor out certain features or characteristics that could skew the outcome of it. However, there is a direct correlation in having underground utilities and having a higher property value.

Your power company will be the one to install underground utilities should you decide you would like them. Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation (BREMC) and Murphy Power Board are two of our major power companies, and whichever is your power company would be responsible for installing it for you.

To make a long article short, underground utilities are certainly a worthy investment in your property. If you’re searching to buy a property, it is certainly worth considering regardless of whether you’re looking at it from an aesthetic, safety, or financial standpoint.

John and Jessica Poltrock – RE/MAX Mountain Properties – The POLTROCK TEAM –  Helping you make the wisest investment decision! – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.comCall Toll-Free (877) 837-3002 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!

The POWER of using a local bank in Murphy, North Carolina

In our real estate market, we have so many clients coming to purchase a second home or land they can enjoy now and in the future. Dreams of retirement, log cabins, mountain views, and warm fireplaces can quickly be dismantled by the wrong bank. Why? A variety of reasons come in to play.

Out of town banks are usually the ones to avoid – but not because they’re bad banks. We run into this commonly because many of our clients come from out of town and want to use the same one they have all their accounts with. This makes sense for convenience and sometimes even for the interest rate. Where it runs into problems is they are unfamiliar with our local market and require double appraisals, forms, and other things that are simply not commonplace in our area.

Who to use? We have many local opportunities that will prevent many of the kinks that can occur before they happen. Each buyer and property is totally unique, so different banks and lenders will fit certain instances better. Some of the good choices include:

Most every one of these banks can meet or beat any bank rate out there, so why go through the hassle of an out of towner? Want a personal testimony on why not to use a local bank? We can certainly give you a long list of clients who started with an out of town bank only to be turned down and have to switch at the last moment.

You Can also visit our Gotta Guy List, which is local Recommended Contractors and more in Murphy, NC

Call The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy, North Carolina – The POLTROCK TEAM – Homes and Land in the Mountains – (866) 687-7496 – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – www.MyMurphy.com