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 – Call Toll Free (866) 687-7496 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!! –

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!!!

While in Murphy, North Carolina, It’s Fun to Visit Helen, Georgia!


One of Murphy, North Carolina’s greatest assets is not actually something in Murphy, but everything around our hometown. You’ll commonly hear the phrase that Murphy is “about 2 hours from anywhere.”

In less than that you can find yourself in the quaint little town of Helen, Georgia. It has a distinct Bavarian flair through the architectural style of practically every store and building.

It offers my two personal favorites:

Tubing down the Chattahoochee River. There’s two main companies that operate there, and we always go with the Flea Market Tuning Co. You’ll recognize their trademark hot pink tubes floating down the crystal clear river water when you get there, and for a mere $3 per person, you can’t beat it! Be sure to bring a stick like a broom handle to help navigate – it’ll save you from having to spend several more dollars. Its quite Dub and very relaxing!

Hansel and Gretel’s Chocolatier. Need I say more? Hansel and Gretel’s is a great candy shop with chocolate covered everything – strawberries, pretzels, cherries, cows, chickens and yaks. Well, just kidding about the last few, but you get the idea! They are simply put, excellent!

Those are my favorites. There’s also German cuisine, shopping at local stores, several other restaurants, horse drawn carriage rides, inns, and many other places.

Helen is a perfect excursion for the day or weekend. It’s also convenient that its an easy drive there and back so you don’t have to stay in a hotel or anything unless you want to. Typically, when the day is over with, you can jump in your vehicle and head back home to Murphy, North Carolina!

You can even visit Helen GA’s official website to learn more about the little town and another site about Helen as well.

John Poltrock, Murphy NC’s Certified Residential – RE/MAX Mountain Properties – The POLTROCK TEAM – Call Toll Free (866) 687-7496 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!!

First Ever Land Expo in Murphy NC at RE/MAX Mountain Properties

Over Memorial Day weekend, we held the first ever Land Expo! It turned out to be a great success with over 1/2 a million off that day on participating properties! With 82 people signing in (half of those were couples, so by rough estimation, I would say we had about 50% more than what signed in), there were many people shopping the properties, grabbing a hamburger or hot dog, and listening to the live 103.9 fm broadcast.

We’re getting geared up to do another one soon! It was a lot of fun and I believe shoppers enjoyed being able to see so many properties at one time.

John Poltrock – RE/MAX Mountain Properties – Visit our main Murphy NC Real Estate Site –  Homes and Land in the Mountains of Murphy, NC – Call Toll-Free (866) 687-7496 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!

Murphy NC Home for Sale in Timberwood Mountain – Top of the Mountain View!!

Here’s an amazing home for sale on the top of Timberwood Mountain Estates in Murphy, NC! It’s on top of the ridge with an amazing view! This picture doesn’t do the view justice!

Some of the best features of this home are:

  • the distinctive Timber Frame covered front porch
  • Lots of deck space to enjoy your mountain view
  • 2 Bedrooms, 2 baths
  • A full basement, complete with its own deck and poured concrete walls
  • Over 2.5 acres with over 200 feet of US Forest Service border – which also has a great mountain view!
  • Virtually new stainless appliances
  • Australian Cypress floors
  • Wood burning masonry fireplace
  • Lots of windows with lots of miles of views!!!!
  • And for more, watch the video tour and see this home for yourself as if you were walking through it!


Request an appointment to see this home in person now! Have a question and want to know more? Email me now to find out.

John Poltrock, your Murphy, NC Certified Residential – – Real Estate in Murphy, NC – Call Toll-Free (866) 687-7496 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!!!

Cherokee County and Murphy NC Real Estate Market Report – State of the Market Address

It’s been a while since the last market report, and its time for a new one! The market has remained incredibly stable with little to no changes in numbers. We’ll have a quick uptick followed by a leveling back to previous transaction amounts. There are some outstanding values in homes on the market right now, and watching them on the market has been quite interesting.

As far as straight numbers for the Cherokee County marketplace across the Mountain Lakes Board of Realtors, here they are:


  • 15 Homes have sold in the last month – that’s one every other day!
  • There are an astounding 908 opportunities to buy a home on the market currently
  • $165,247 is the average sales price over the past month
  • 94.5% is the average list to sell ratio (think: on average, if you have a $100,000 house, it would sell for $94,500.)
  • $300,000 is the highest sales price in the past month
  • 212 Days on market – the current average time to sell your home in Murphy, NC


  • 10 Parcels of land have sold int he past month
  • 2,669 total opportunities to buy land on the market currently 
  • $42,700 is the average selling price of land
  • 85.47% is the average list to sell ratio
  • 413 days is the average time on the market for land

Land has been a particularly interesting case because there are usually 50% more transactions than homes, yet now, it’s that much lower. Quite the switch! Based on the research I’ve done, it largely seems due to the great home values on the market. Many people are skipping the building process and going straight for buying a home because they can buy now for less money than they can build.

Are you considering selling your home and want to find what all this means to you? Find the value of your home in Murphy, NC by completing this form and we will evaluate your home for free!

Want to find all the great home values we’re talking about? Let us find your dream home in Murphy, NC for you! You’re also welcome to email me.

John Poltrock, your Murphy NC Certified Residential Specialist

Call Toll-Free 1-866-687-7496 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!! – Homes and Land for Sale in the Mountains of Murphy, NC – RE/MAX Mountain Properties

You can read our Previous "State of the Market Addresses" Murphy NC Real Estate Market Reports by clicking the link.

One of the last Remaining Large Tracts Available for Sale in Tarheel North in Murphy NC!

[youtube:] Here’s a beautiful rolling tract of land for sale in Tarheel North! Considered to be one of Murphy’s best neighborhoods, there’s not much large land left! Perfect for having your own estate, dividing and selling, and any stretch of your imagination, watch this great video to see what it looks like in person!
With 8.62+/- acres, this tract is a gorgeous piece of property! Click here to see more details and photos of the acreage in Tarheel North.

The POLTROCK TEAM at RE/MAX of Murphy NC – – Homes, Cabins, Chalets, and all sorts of real estate in the mountains of Murphy, NC

Frozen Water Pipes Lead to Frustration! How to Avoid (and fix!) your problems in cold weather

As I sit here and write this, I know for sure that I am going to have to walk out in the nine degree weather this morning to face the crisp, cold air to thaw out my water pipes. Of course, I’m sure I’m not the only fortunate person to have to do this. Sad thing is, I know better! Here are some quick and easy tips on how to *keep* your water pipes from freezing whether your in Murphy, North Carolina or anywhere else.

Preventative care is one of the first steps. If you have a well (which is the norm here), make sure it is properly insulated. Many people use insulated fake rocks to cover their well and protect it from the elements. Don’t forget you need more than that! Wrap it in insulation around the casing and pipes. Also, it’s not a bad idea to install a light bulb in with the well to help keep it warm and above freezing. Be safe with this! Be sure its properly installed so not to start a fire. The US Forest Service (and your neighbors!) doesn’t appreciate fires! Also, make sure there’s no gaps between the ground and your well house/covering. This is a prime spot for the cold air to sneak in. You want it well insulated just like you would your own house.

If you’re like me, you’ve already passed the preventative maintenance part – my pipes are frozen! If you can, wait till the temperature warms up and let it work itself out. Be careful! You may need to turn your water main off so pipes that may have burst don’t give you personal waterfall in your house! If you don’t have the luxury of waiting, get out there and defrost! Common household items work well – hair dryer, small space heaters, and heating pads will work wonders. Spend some time out there and get it done. Make sure to thoroughly check for leaks once you have water – you don’t want to damage your house.

Good luck out there! Stay warm and if you need additional help – call a plumber! We have our recommended plumbers by clicking here on our Gotta Guy List. Check them out! 🙂


John and Jessica Poltrock – Real Estate in the Mountains of Murphy North Carolina – Homes and Land for Sale – – (877) 837-3002 – Demand The POLTROCK TEAM!


*Recommendations are given as a convenience to you. We cannot guarantee the work of these contractors. We advise you do your own research and select a plumber you feel will meet your needs.

272 Little Rock Road; Marble, NC

New Home for Sale!
272 Little Rock Road
Marble, North Carolina 28905

Here’s a wonderful house! Built in 2005, its virtually brand new. As you can see, it has quite an amazing mountain view! Sit in the hot tub overlooking the view (which is included with the house!) and just enjoy your evenings! This home is FULLY furnished with furniture from Moose Hollow Trading Co. and gorgeous accessories! Partial basement is ideal for storage and much more! Watch the video below to find out what this home is really like. Watch it, call us, and come see it for yourself!

Watch our very first video tour! I’m sure it seems quite amateur, but it will be the next best thing to being there in person – from your chair!

The location is great! Private site for your enjoyment, yet ten minutes from it all! Quick road access links you on the easiest path to Andrews, Peachtree, Murphy Medical Center (the hospital), John C. Campbell Folk School, Wal-Mart, Lowes, Downtown Murphy, the Nantahala River, restaurants, the Hiwassee River, churches, and a whole lot more!

This home is now SOLD. Please check out our websites for all the active homes and land for sale.

Contact us TODAY for this home! – John and Jessica Poltrock – The POLTROCK TEAM at RE/MAX of Murphy, North Carolina – – Homes and Land in the Mountains for fun, retirement, and much more!

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 – –