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November 20, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in National Real Estate.
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Top 8 House-Hunting Mistakes

By Amy Fontinelle, Investopedia

Oct 30th, 2009

 These mistakes will blow your cool — your budget is likely to follow.

Buying a home is a very emotional process, and allowing those emotions to get the best of you can cause you to make any number of mistakes. Since buying a home has many far-reaching implications, from where you will live to how hard it will be to make ends meet, it’s important to keep your emotions in check and make the most rational decision possible.

There are eight common emotional mistakes that people make when buying a home. Avoiding these pitfalls will help you find the best home-sweet-home.

 

Mistake 1: Falling in love with a house you can’t afford

Once you’ve fallen in love with a particular home, it’s hard to go back. You start dreaming about how great your life would be if you had all the wonderful things it offered – the lovely, tree-lined streets, the jetted bathtub, the spacious kitchen with professional-grade appliances. However, if you can’t or won’t be able to afford that house, you’re just hurting yourself. To avoid the temptation to get in over your head financially, or the disappointment of feeling like you’re settling for less than you deserve, it’s best to only look at homes in your price range.

Further, start your search at the low end of your price range – if what you find there satisfies you, there’s no need to go higher. Remember, when you buy another $10,000 worth of house, you’re not just paying an extra $10,000 – you’re paying an extra $10,000 plus interest, which might come out to double that amount or more over the life of your loan. You may be better off putting that money toward another purpose.

Mistake 2: Thinking that a particular house is the only one that will suit you

Unless you are a high-end buyer looking at custom homes, chances are that for any home you find that you like, there are quite a few others that are nearly identical to it. Most neighborhoods have multiple homes that are the same model. Further, most neighborhoods are full of homes that were all constructed by the same builder, so even if you can’t find an identical model for sale, you can probably find a house with many of the same features. If you’re considering a condo or townhouse, the odds are also in your favor.

Even when you have a long list of must-haves, there are probably several homes out there that can meet your needs. Another house in the same area might be similar enough to meet your needs but be less expensive. Likewise, you could find a similar model with more of the upgrades you’re looking for at a similar price.

Mistake 3: Being so desperate to become a homeowner that you buy a place that doesn’t suit you

When you’ve been looking for a while and you’re not seeing anything you like – or worse, you’re getting outbid on the houses you do want – it’s easy to start thinking that what you really want simply won’t happen. If you move into a house you’ll end up hating, the transaction costs to get rid of it will be costly. You’ll have to pay an agent’s commission (up to 5-6% of the sale price) and you’ll have to pay closing costs for the mortgage on your new house. You’ll also deal with the hassle and expense of moving yet again. If you decide not to move but to try to make the best of what you have, remember that alterations and renovations are expensive, time-consuming and stressful. The best advice is to wait if you have the luxury of time, or to correct your vision for your future to what you actually need, not want.

Mistake 4: Overlooking important flaws in the structure, appearance or location of the house

For any of the three reasons we just discussed, you might be tempted to ignore major problems with the house that will be difficult, expensive or impossible to change. Carefully consider your options before you make a commitment, and consider waiting until something better comes along. New houses come on the market every day.

Mistake 5: Thinking you’re a handyman when you’re not

Don’t buy a fixer-upper that’s more than you can handle in terms of time, money or ability. For example, if you think you can do the work yourself then realize you can’t once you get started, any repairs or upgrades you were planning to make will probably cost twice as much once you factor in the labor – and that may not be in your budget. Not to mention the costs involved to fix anything you may have started and the fees to replace the materials you wasted. Honestly evaluate your abilities, your budget and how soon you need to move before purchasing a property that isn’t move-in ready.

Mistake 6: Putting in an offer before carefully considering all the pros and cons of the property

In a hot market (or even a hot submarket, with dirt-cheap, bank-owned properties during a housing slump) it may be necessary to pull the trigger very quickly if you find a home you like. However, you have to balance the need to make a quick decision with the need to make sure the home will be right for you. Don’t neglect important steps like making sure the neighborhood feels safe at night as well as during the day and investigating possible noise issues like a nearby train. Ideally you’ll be able to take at least a night to sleep on the decision. How well you sleep that night and how you feel about the home in the morning will tell you a lot about whether the decision you’re about to make is the right one. Taking the time to consider the decision also gives you a chance to research how much the property is really worth and offer an appropriate price.

Mistake 7: Being too slow to pull the trigger

It’s a tough balancing act to make sure you make a careful decision yet don’t take too long to make it. Losing out on a property that you were almost ready to make an offer on because someone beat you to it can be heartbreaking. It can also have economic consequences. Let’s say you are self-employed. Perhaps for you more than anyone else, time is money. The more time and energy you have to take out of your normal activities to search for a house, the less time and energy you have available to work. Not dragging out the homebuying process unnecessarily may be the best thing for your business, and the continued success of your business will be essential to paying the mortgage. If you don’t pull the trigger quickly, someone else might, and you’ll have to keep looking. Don’t underestimate how time-consuming and routine-disrupting house shopping can be.

Mistake 8: Offering more than a house is worth

If there’s a lot of competition in your market and you find a place you really like, it’s all too easy to get sucked into a bidding war – or to try to preempt a bidding war by offering a high price in the first place. There are a couple of potential problems with this. First, if the house doesn’t appraise at or above the amount of your offer, the bank won’t give you the loan unless the seller reduces the price or you pay cash for the difference. If this happens, the shortfall on your bid as opposed to your mortgage will have to be paid out of pocket. Second, when you go to sell the house, if market conditions are similar to or worse than they were when you purchased, you may find yourself upside down on the mortgage and unable to sell. Make sure the purchase price for the home you buy is reasonable for both the house and the location by examining comparable sales and getting your agent’s opinion before making an offer.

Conclusion

Even knowing all of these things, it’s still hard to act on them. You may still find yourself making decisions based on emotion during the home-buying process. Slow down, overcome your emotions and, ultimately, make a home-purchase decision that’s good for both your feelings and your finances.

 

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November 17, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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By Adam Thompson
Freedom ENC

Danny Webster had a near-perfect passing day, leading Havelock to a 40-14 victory over Southern Guilford in the first round of the playoffs Monday.

The Rams junior quarterback completed 15 of 16 passes for 196 yards and two touchdown passes. Webster also ran for 89 yards on 11 carries.

“Danny is a great quarterback,” said Havelock senior running back William Griffith. “He can run, he can pass, he’s smart, and he can do it all. I’m proud to play with Danny.”

Due to rain and a flooded football field, Havelock’s originally scheduled game for Friday was pushed to Monday. The Rams will have just three days to prepare for their second-round opponent, East Rowan (9-3).

But playing on a short week is nothing new to Havelock (11-1), which beat White Oak on a Monday earlier this season before capping off a short week with a victory over D.H. Conley.

“It’s never good to have a short week of practice, especially against a team like East Rowan,” said Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant. “We are going to try and get the kids healthy. We won’t have a lot of contact this week.”

One of the banged up Rams was Webster, who strained his knee late in Monday’s game, and was taken out for precautionary reasons.

According to Bryant, Webster wanted to return, but with Havelock holding a 33-14 lead in the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Garrett Crowe finished the game.

Havelock running back Andretti George ran for 120 yards and a touchdown, while Griffith scored three touchdowns — one rushing, one receiving and one on a 35-yard interception return.

“It’s a team effort,” Griffith said. “I wouldn’t have been able to score if the line didn’t do their job, or if Danny didn’t do his job. I’m just happy we all did our part tonight.”

Webster got Havelock on the board with a 17-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. A 9-yard run by George and a 16-yard touchdown catch by Jerell Wallace gave the Rams a 20-0 lead at halftime.

After recovering a fumble on its own 18-yard line with five minutes remaining in the first half, Southern Guilford squandered an opportunity to score. On a trick play, halfback Warren Scott was intercepted by Havelock’s Andy Keel.

Southern Guilford scored on the opening kickoff of the second half when Scott returned the ball 76 yards for a touchdown. Storm quarterback Jamie Cunningham connected with Darren Mitchell for the two-point conversion.

Havelock answered on its next possession when Griffith scored on a 4-yard run. After a failed two-point conversion, the Rams took a 26-8 advantage.

Scott’s 3-yard touchdown run with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter cut the Storm’s deficit to 12 points.

Griffith ended the third quarter with a 20-yard touchdown reception, while icing the game with an interception return with 5:28 left in the game.

“I didn’t think we played great, but we played good enough to win,” Bryant said. “A win is a win in the playoffs, whether it’s ugly or pretty.”

Havelock totaled 401 yards of offense, with 205 coming on the ground. The Rams fumbled seven times, and lost three.

Daniel Bailey hauled in 137 receiving yards, while Wallace had three catches for 50 yards.

Havelock’s defense allowed 135 yards, and forced three interceptions. Cody Toler had the Rams’ lone sack.

Scott led Southern Guilford’s offense with 62 rushing yards on 20 carries.

Havelock’s next opponent, East Rowan, defeated South Brunswick 14-11 in overtime.

“This feels good, but we just have to get back to work tomorrow and get ready for Friday night,” George said. “We have got to go hard. We can’t take anyone lightly.”

Havelock 40, Southern Guilford 14

Southern Guilford    0    0   14   0 — 14

Havelock               7   13   13   7 — 40

First quarter

H — Danny Webster 17 run (Tylor Cooper kick), 4:15

Second quarter

H — Andretti George 9 run (Cooper kick), 6:03

H — Jerell Wallace 16 pass from Webster (kick failed), 1:05

Third quarter

SG — Warren Scott 76 kickoff return (Jamie Cunningham pass to Darren Mitchell), 11:46

H — William Griffith 4 run (run failed), 5:05

SG — Scott 3 run (kick failed), 2:24

H — Griffith 20 pass from Webster (Cooper kick), :00

Fourth quarter

H —Griffith 35 interception return (Cooper kick), 5:28

Team stats              SG                 H

First downs              9              23

Total yards             135           401

Rush-yards            26- 53      36-205

Passing yards           82            196

Comp.-Att.-Int.     8-19-2       15-16-0

Punts-yards            3-66          3-66

Fumbles-lost           0-0            7-3

Penalties-yards       6-50           7-70

Individual stats

Passing: Southern Guilford — Jamie Cunningham 8-19-2 82, Warren Scott 0-1-1 0. Havelock — Danny Webster 15-16-0 196.

Rushing: Southern Guilford — Scott 20-62, Josh McDuffie 4-15, Cunningham 1- -8, Michael Mattocks 1- -16. Havelock — Andretti George 19-120, Webster 11-89, William Griffith 2-8, Frazier 3- -2, Garrett Crowe 1- -10.

Receiving: Southern Guilford —  Adonis Sherrod 3-24, O’Brien Chatman 2-20, Wesley Stephens 1-18, Scott 1-14, McDuffie 1-6. Havelock — Daniel Bailey 8-137, Jerell Wallace 3-50, Griffith 1-20, George 2- -5, Sonny Courtney 1- -6.

November 12, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in National Real Estate.
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Daily Real Estate News  |  November 10, 2009  |  

States See Surging Sales, Moderating Prices
Most states continued to experience rising existing-home sales in the third quarter, with prices moderating in many metro areas, according to the latest survey by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, increased 11.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.30 million units in the third quarter from 4.76 million units in the second quarter, and are now 5.9 percent above the 5.01 million-unit pace in the third quarter of 2008.
Sales increased from the second quarter in 45 states and the District of Columbia; 28 states and D.C. saw double-digit gains. Year-over-year sales were higher in 32 states and D.C.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the tax credit is a significant factor. “We can’t underestimate just how powerful a catalyst the first-time home buyer tax credit has been for the housing sector,” he said. “It’s given buyers the confidence they needed to get off the fence and take advantage of extremely affordable housing conditions. The buying conditions this year are the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but the tax credit is allowing buyers to set aside any reservations about waiting for a better deal.”

During the third quarter, 123 out of 153 metropolitan statistical areas2 reported lower median existing single-family home prices in comparison with the third quarter of 2008, while 30 areas had price gains.

The national median existing single-family price was $177,900, which is 11.2 percent below the third quarter of 2008; the median is where half sold for more and half sold for less. Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 30 percent of transactions in the third quarter, which continued to weigh down median home prices because they sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

“The decline in the national median price has moderated recently, and a shrinking supply of unsold inventory suggests we are getting closer to price stabilization in many areas, but we need a steady stream of financially qualified buyers to further reduce inventory and get us to a self-sustaining market,” Yun said. “Foreclosures will continue to come on the market, but rising sales from the expanded tax credit should stabilize home prices by next spring and help to stem future foreclosures.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate on a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.16 percent in the third quarter from a record low 5.03 percent in the second quarter, but was dramatically lower than the 6.32 percent average rate in the third quarter of 2008.

NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said he is encouraged by recent actions in Congress. “Extending and expanding the tax credit to more buyers through the middle of next year is the right medicine,” he said. “Congress understands the impact of housing on the economy, so consumers who aren’t able to complete a transaction before the end of this month now have a second chance but must have a contract in place by April 30.”

The biggest sales gain between the second and third quarters was in North Dakota, up 42.3 percent; followed by Rhode Island which rose 26.5 percent; and Pennsylvania, up 25.6 percent.

The largest single-family home price increase in the third quarter was in the Cumberland area of Maryland and West Virginia at $122,100, up 19.2 percent from the third quarter of 2008. Next was the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island area of Iowa and Illinois, where the median price increased 14.3 percent to $115,600, followed by Oklahoma City, at $144,100, up 9.1 percent from a year ago.

“The wide range of market performance and reversals around the country, ranging from double-digit gains to double-digit losses in both sales and prices, underscores just how local real estate truly is,” Yun said. “The wide changes and mix of numbers also indicates a market in transition, hopefully to one that is becoming more balanced and stable.”

Median third-quarter metro area single-family home prices ranged from a very affordable $61,400 in the Saginaw-Saginaw Township North area of Michigan to $566,000 in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area of California. The second most expensive area in the third quarter was San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont at $538,100; followed by the Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine area of California at $498,800.

Other affordable markets include the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman area of Ohio and Pennsylvania at $70,700, and Lansing-East Lansing, Mich., at $86,600.

In the condo sector, metro area condominium and cooperative prices – covering changes in 55 metro areas – showed the national median existing-condo price was $178,000 in the third quarter, down 15.4 percent from the third quarter of 2008. Four metros showed annual increases in the median condo price and 51 areas had declines.

The metros experiencing condo price gains were San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, at $215,100, up 13.3 percent; followed by the Cincinnati-Middletown area, up 2.0 percent to $119,700; the Toledo, Ohio, area, where the median price of $130,400 rose 1.7 percent from the third quarter of 2008; and the Indianapolis area at $114,400, up 0.8 percent.

Metro area median existing-condo prices in the third quarter ranged from $67,600 in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., to $432,800 in San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont. The second most expensive reported condo market was New York-Wayne-White Plains at $297,500, followed by Boston-Cambridge-Quincy at $293,700.

Other affordable condo markets include Reno-Sparks, Nev., at $81,300 in the third quarter, and Jacksonville, Fla., at $91,600.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast surged 16.7 percent in the third quarter to a pace of 930,000 units and are 6.9 percent higher than a year ago.
The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast declined 9.4 percent to $244,500 in the third quarter from the same quarter in 2008. The best price gain in the region was in Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y., where the median price of $119,700 rose 4.8 percent from the third quarter of 2008; followed by Manchester-Nashua, N.H., at $237,600, up 2.6 percent; and the Pittsburgh area, where the median price rose 1.5 percent to $124,600.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales jumped 13.2 percent in the third quarter to a pace of 1.20 million and are 5.2 percent above a year ago.

The median existing single-family home price in the Midwest was down 5.5 percent to $150,200 in the third quarter from the same period in 2008. After Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, the next strongest metro price increase in the region was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where the median price of $145,700 was 7.6 percent higher than a year ago; followed by Bismarck, N.D., at $157,200, up 7.5 percent; and Ft. Wayne, Ind., where the median price rose 6.9 percent to $102,500.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 11.3 percent in the third quarter to an annual rate of 1.97 million and are 5.9 percent higher than the third quarter of 2008.

The median existing single-family home price in the South was $160,000 in the third quarter, down 7.9 percent from a year earlier. After Cumberland and Oklahoma City, the next strongest price increase in the region was in Shreveport-Bossier City, La., at $152,300, up 8.6 percent from the third quarter of 2008; Jackson, Miss., at $141,200, up 4.6 percent; and Durham, N.C., where the median price rose 3.6 percent to $184,300.

Existing-home sales in the West increased 5.6 percent in the third quarter to an annual rate of 1.19 million and are 4.6 percent above a year ago.
The median existing single-family home price in the West was $224,000 in the third quarter, which is 16.4 percent below the third quarter of 2008. The best metro price performance in the West was in Yakima, Wash., where the median price of $158,400 rose 2.7 percent from a year earlier; the Denver-Aurora area at $229,100, up 1.8 percent; and the Kennewick-Richland-Pasco area of Washington, where the median price rose 0.7 percent to $172,200.

Source: NAR

November 12, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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Rams ready to tackle playoffs

November 11, 2009 5:50 AM

By Ken Buday
Havelock News

Havelock High football coach Jim Bob Bryant calls it the third season. Only difference is the season ends after the first loss.

Havelock enters the 3A playoffs against Southern Guilford at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.

The Rams (10-1) drew the No. 3 seed for the playoffs. Southern Guilford went 5-6 during the regular season, losing 14-9 to Asheboro last week.

“They don’t run anything all that different from what we’ve seen,” Bryant said of the Storm.

That doesn’t mean Southern Guilford doesn’t have his respect.

“They’re in the playoffs for a reason,” Bryant said. “They had to win some games to get here. Everybody is capable of winning games and everybody can play.”

Southern Guilford surrendered 302 rushing yards in the loss to Asheboro last week. The Storm led 9-0 in the first quarter but failed to score the rest of the way, despite 150 yards rushing and 95 yards receiving from running back Warren Scott.

The Storm finished fourth in the Mid-Piedmont Conference, losing three of their last four.

Havelock lost 34-25 to Washington in the first round of the playoffs last year, but Bryant said this year’s squad is nothing like last year’s group.

“There’s a lot of difference between the way this team approaches a game,” he said. “They’re different players and they prepare differently.”

And, Bryant believes the Rams are going to have to be prepared against Southern Guilford.

“They’re coming out of a good conference,” he said. “We can’t just show up and expect to win.”

Bryant said his players should have no problem forgetting about last week’s 42-40 triumph over West Craven.

“We accomplished our goals in the second season, which was an undefeated record and a conference championship,” he said. “Now, we have to get ready for our third season.”

Tickets for the game are $7, and season passes won’t be honored, as per state rules. Advance tickets for $7 will be sold at Havelock High School during school hours on Thursday and Friday.

November 12, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Local Events.
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Election results – Sanders wins by 12

November 06, 2009 8:35 AM

By Drew C. Wilson
Havelock News

Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders was narrowly re-elected Tuesday, with just more than eight percent of registered voters going to the polls in the city election.

In unofficial returns, Sanders led challenger Charles “Chuck” Barnard by just 12 votes. Totals will not become official until next week’s canvass.

Sanders totaled 305 votes to Barnard’s 293, while Matthew L. “Sugarbear” Jones garnered 81 votes and Samuel A. Colley Jr. 36 votes in the four-way race to become Havelock mayor.

“I guess I’m a little bit in shock today,” Sanders said after the numbers were announced at the Havelock Performing Arts Center. “It’s the closest election I’ve ever been in. I think Chuck ran a good campaign and he got his voters out.”

The race for two Havelock commissioner seats was not as close. Incumbent Jim Stuart and Will Lewis Jr. held off challenger Bernd G. Doss. Stuart totaled 524 votes, while Lewis had 512 and Doss brought in 235 votes.

“It was really quiet,” Stuart said of this year’s election. “There weren’t any smoking guns this time.

“Being chosen by the citizens of Havelock to represent them is a great honor, and I do not take the responsibility lightly.”

Lewis said he was pleased to have another opportunity to represent the people of Havelock.

“I’m glad to serve four more years,” he said.

Turnout for the election was light, with 723 votes being cast Tuesday out of a possible 8,559 registered voters for a percentage of 8.4 percent.

Candidates gathered at the Havelock Performing Arts Center after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. to hear unofficial results, which for a time showed Sanders with only a five-vote lead over Barnard.

The lead stretched when early voting ballots were counted. Of those, Sanders had 18, Barnard 11, Jones 2, and Colley with 2.

Five uncounted write-in votes for mayor would not be enough for Barnard to overtake Sanders.

Unofficially, Sanders has enough of a margin to ultimately win the race. In the city, the race for mayor demands only a plurality, not a majority, so a runoff election is not required.

“It’s a dozen votes,” Sanders said. “I feel fairly confident. I’m thankful.”