Holly Springs Real Estate Blog

The most educational real estate blog, providing articles, videos and guides on buying or selling a home in the Holly Springs area.

Nov. 1, 2018

Two-Words We Never Say Enough

 Ever since Sunday's service at Hope Community Church, I have been thinking about what Pastor Donnie said. He said there are two-words that we never say enough, Thank You. He went on to state the importance of the words we choose and how the words we say to ourselves have so much power. 


 I really started to think about how powerful these two words are. I truly am one who never says Thank You enough, so I want to write this post today just to show my gratitude of how thankful I am.


 I am so thankful that God has provided me the opportunity to live in the greatest small city in North Carolina, Holly Springs. It's really amazing how our paths are led for us and the great people who are brought in our lives to share it with along our journey.


 I am thankful for the most common thing I have heard since moving here; "I have met the best people who have now become my best friends." We can go to the beach, we can go to the mountains. I am so appreciative of the people I've met.


 I will admit that moving from what you know and the family you leave behind is hard. If it wasn't for the warm smiles and my great neighbors it would have been terrible. I am so lucky to live in such a diverse area. I have the best neighbors from all over the world; Scotland, Canada, as well as Puerto Rico and all over the US.


 I am so thankful and get warmth in my heart when my New Yorkers ask why does everyone waves at us. Welcome to the South, and especially Holly Springs. 


 We are thankful to live in one of the safest cities and to have a school system that took my four children in and showed them the value of a great education.


 I am thankful to a great town staff and town council that is looking to the future and creating a place that is up to the challenges of the growth that's coming.


 I am most thankful for my wife who gave us four great children. She continues to pick me up when I am down, love me unconditionally and allows me the chance to grow.


So for now, please choose your words wisely and be thankful for all that's been given.




Ed Neering

Posted in Live Local
Sept. 29, 2018

Are Realtors Great Salespeople?

I recently had a great debate on our Citizens for Responsible Growth in Holly Springs facebook group over the proposed transportation bond coming before voters November 6th. The discussion itself had great input from residents on why the residents didn't want any higher taxes as well as conversations on why we need to be proactive and really look forward.

 As I brought up a previous time before the 540 came in where Holly Springs lacked accessibility, I mentioned how I lost multiple buyers that worked in RTP (Research Triangle Park) that didn't want the long commute. Another agent stated that for every 1 they lost to RTP they sold 3 more whom wanted to live in Holly Springs.

I appreciate his passion towards Holly Springs and he is a great agent. What really surprised me was when someone came on and said hes a better salesperson then me. I didn't take it as a personal attack but it made me really look at the context of his question, are Realtors salespeople?

Are Realtors suppose to be great salespeople? To me the answer is simple absolutely not. It's no wonder why real estate has such a negative reputation. In my opinion agents shouldn't be trying to convince someone to do anything (That's what salespeople do) Instead agents should be helping clients discover what their options are.

They should explain the pros and cons of each option and then let the clients make the decision on what's best for them and their families. That's what a trusted advisor with the heart of a teacher does.  

Expert Advice ¹ Perfect Advice 

Don't be afraid of the words expert advice.

Remember: Expert doesn't mean they're going to give perfect advice. Expert means they're going to give excellent advice.


If you go to a doctor with a serious illness, they can't tell you how it's all going to wind up in the end. They don't know. If they did, that would be perfect advice.

However, your doctor, assuming they truly are an expert, can give you excellent advice. They can tell you about your illness and your options, whether it is surgery or medication.

They can also explain what they believe to be the best options for you based on your history, symptoms, and overall health. Ultimately, though, you're the one who must make the final decision on whether you go through with the treatment plan.

Once you make the decision, your doctor will take you by the hand and walk you down the road of recovery. They will explain to you that there might be adjustments that need to be made to the treatment plan, because no one can know for certain how things will turn out.

They might have to adjust your medication or increase/decrease your treatment schedule, but every step of the way they're with you helping you get to your goal.

This is called excellent advice, (By the way, does this sound like what your real estate agent should do with their clients?)

Similarly, if you were to go to an attorney, they could tell you how the case would end up or how the judge or jury would rule. That would be perfect advice.

What an expert attorney can do is explain your options. They might pick out one or two they believe to be the best ones to pursue. They will then leave you to decide which option you may want to take.

Once you decide, they will put a plan together based on the facts at hand. They will help you get the best possible resolution of the case. And, along the way they'll make whatever changes are needed. This is excellent advice. 

The role of the real estate professional is like that of the doctor and lawyer. They cant give perfect advice because they don't know what's going to happen-they can't know the future.

However, agents can give excellent advice based on the information and situation at hand. The agent's role is to guide you through the process and help make necessary changes alone the way. And that's exactly what clients want...and deserve!

So for me I am not a great salesperson. I will continue to educate my clients so they can make the best decisions possible...


Posted in Holly Springs News
Sept. 12, 2018

5-Signs of a Holly Springs Market Shift

by Ed Neering BIC,

Amazes me that many within our industry are warning and preparing agents of a market correction, but no one is informing the clients who we are suppose to serve and protect. I put together this post to help educate you of the early signs of a coming market shift.

 Hopefully by understanding the Phases you can look at the signs within each one to truly understand where our local market is. You should never buy at the top of any market. Lets take a look at the signs.

5-Signs of a Holly Springs Market Shift

  1. Days on Market Increase- one of the best early indicators is the days it takes to get a home sold starts to increase as demand decreases. It usually starts in the upper ranges.
  2. Prices Begin to Decrease- Homes in the upper ranges will be the first to drop.
  3. Number of sales Decrease- Unit sales can decrease from many factors including lack of supply. It's important to use all of these factors when determining where we are at in the cycle.
  4. New Construction begins to slow- Builders are well aware when a market is about to shift. They will usually offer large incentives and free upgrades.
  5. Supply of "Move-Up" and Higher End Housing is Growing- this currently is the majority of single family new home construction in Holly Springs.

 Holly Springs has experienced a very hot market as it's been in Phase 3 Exuberance for the past five years. As we are showing early signs of Phase 4, it is also a time to be cautious for many whom plan on buying in the next year plus. 

Raising Prices ALL Time High:

Average home sold price is the highest it's ever been in Holly Springs. Year-to-Date we are at $374,535, that's a 25% increase in 5-years, it's not healthy or sustainable. We just finished the September Monthly Market Report where we cover other signs you should be aware of and understand. We are following a similar path of 2005-2006 market cycle where many who bought were unfortunately not educated and informed. 

Sept. 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence hitting Holly Springs

 As Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolina's coast so many are worried about the possible impact to the area. What started out as a category 3 now is being upgraded to a category 4. Gas stations are running out of gas as well as many of the store shelves are empty.  

I know there are a lot of new residents whom moved into Holly Springs that have never been through a hurricane and are really concerned. I want to share with you how lucky we are to live in such a great community. What I witnessed after the tornado in 2011 only verifies how fortunate we are to live here. I had a tree fall on the side of my home and had no idea how I was going to remove it. My neighbor Bob Trautz and Craig Ashby came down with a chainsaw and helped in cutting it up.

After I finished taking care of my family and home,  I walked throughout the neighborhood and watched my neighbors come together and help so many others. Baxter Walker and his chainsaw are very well known in Holly Glen. He and so many others helped get the neighborhood out of a really bad situation. Avent Ferry was blocked in as many of the telephone poles and trees feel across making it impassable. 


 There was an elderly couple who lived on the corner of Trotters Bluff. The volunteers that came and helped them still makes my heart warm with everything they did to help this couple.

 As the storm approaches things may get destroyed, but what you will discover is we have the best people and community that will always come together when you truly need it.  Blessings


Posted in Holly Springs News
Aug. 4, 2018

Holly Springs Real Estate Will Always Be Cyclical

by Ed Neering BIC,

 One of the greatest investors Warren Buffet made 2 quotes famous, and are so pertinent now when it comes to the local Holly Springs Market. The current market is following a similar path that happened during the 2005-2007 cycle and you should pay major attention if you're planning on buying soon.

#1. "Real estate will always be cyclical." - Warren Buffet

Yes the market has good times and bad, there are times of boom and bust. The only way you can protect yourself and your homes equity is by learning and educating yourself of these cycles and minimizing the affect it can have on you and your home financially. 

#2. "We will have another bubble, but usually you don't get in the same way you got it before." - Warren Buffet

The last major bubble was caused by loose lending of the banks and mortgage companies, along with the greed of Wall Street. People were not prepared and many lost their homes. SO is it going to better now that the banks and mortgage companies are better leveraged than the last bust? 

 I have been blessed to be in real estate for over 30 years. I have witnessed 3 major market corrections and as Warren Buffet states above, each one starts a different way. One thing that I have noticed is each of the last 3 shifts, each one is more severe than the last.

 My next post I will be covering the 4 major signs that a market correction is coming.

March 21, 2018

Holly Springs a Tree City USA Community?

by Ed Neering,

On March 20th a huge step was taken at Town hall. Matt Beard town planner, presented a very well researched presentation on what other towns around Holly Springs are doing for tree preservation. Town Councilman Peter Villadsen wrote a post about the workshop and I couldn't be more thankful for our town staff and town council for stepping up to protect one of our best treasures.

Town Councilman Peter Villadsen-Did you know that aside from Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs is the only local municipality that does not have some sort of tree ordinance? Well that wont be the case much longer. This evening Town Council met with staff in a two hour workshop to provide vision and feedback on tree preservation and the need to reduce clear cutting and mass grading. We heard from staff a number of possible options centered around canopy retention, perimeter buffers, specimen/champion trees, natural resource areas, and wildlife corridors. Town staff took our feedback and will create potential ordinances in the coming months to review by the Technical Review Committee, Planning Board, and the Town Council.

Not only that, we will have a resolution in front of us in an upcoming council meeting to become a Tree City USA community.

This is great news for Holly Springs and the preservation of it's natural beauty.



Posted in Holly Springs News
March 3, 2018

2018 Mortgage Rate Forecast: Overall it's Looking Pretty Good Holly Springs


Colin Robertson

It’s that time of the year again, when we take a look at what’s in store for mortgage rates the following year. So without further ado, here is the “2018 mortgage rate forecast” from a variety of different housing and mortgage groups.

2018 Mortgage Rate Forecast from the MBA

We’ll start with the Mortgage Bankers Association, which releases a monthly Mortgage Finance Forecast. In their latest release, they predict where 30-year fixed mortgage rates will go next year and even in 2019 and 2020.

Here’s how they see 2018 shaping up, broken down by quarter:

First quarter 2018: 4.3%
Second quarter 2018: 4.5%
Third quarter 2018: 4.7%
Fourth quarter 2018: 4.8%

All in all, it doesn’t look so bad, though a slow creep from the current ~4% rate to the high-4s could dent some wallets pretty good.

And in 2019, they see rates rising to 4.9%, just shy of that all-too-scary 5% threshold. Don’t ask what they think will happen in 2020. Fine, I’ll tell you, we’re looking at a rate of 5.3%. Yikes!

2018 Mortgage Rate Forecast from Fannie Mae

While the MBA’s estimate certainly didn’t put us at ease, maybe Fannie Mae’s forecast will be a little rosier. Let’s find out.

First quarter 2018: 4.0%
Second quarter 2018: 4.1%
Third quarter 2018: 4.1%
Fourth quarter 2018: 4.2%

That’s more like it! You gotta love Fannie Mae – they never seem to get too worked up when making their mortgage rate predictions, and 2018 is no different.

In fact, they barely expect mortgage rates to budge next year, with perhaps only a quarter-percent rise throughout the year.

Amazingly, their forecast for 2018 is lower than their 2017 predictions, which had called for rates as high as 4.3%.

In 2019, they’re still playing it cool with relatively flat rates and only a slight rise to 4.3% by that December.

For the record, they’ve nailed it two years in a row, so they might be the horse to go with in 2018 as well. If they’re right again, it’ll be more good news for both prospective and existing homeowners.

2018 Mortgage Rate Forecast from Freddie Mac

Now let’s take a look at brother Freddie Mac’s forecast, which you might want to pay close attention to seeing that they release the bellwether mortgage rate survey every week.

First quarter 2018: 4.1%
Second quarter 2018: 4.3%
Third quarter 2018: 4.4%
Fourth quarter 2018: 4.6%

Okay Freddie Mac, we can deal with that. A mere 10-basis point climb in the first quarter, followed by similarly reasonable increases in subsequent quarters. Yeah, that probably works for most folks.

A 4.6% rate at the end of 2018 certainly isn’t something to get upset about. As for 2019, you’re looking at a still decent 4.7% 30-year fixed rate.

2018 Mortgage Rate Forecast from the NAR

First quarter 2018: 4.2%
Second quarter 2018: 4.5%
Third quarter 2018: TBD
Fourth quarter 2018: TBD

Then there’s the National Association of Realtors, a group that always seems to fear for the worst. I don’t think they’ve ever predicted things to just remain where they are. They seem to sell urgency, which is important when you’re trying to get people into homes.

Anyway, I don’t have their full quarterly breakdown yet, just Q1 and Q2, as seen above.

But I also have a tidbit from chief economist Lawrence Yun who said recently in a release that “mortgage rates will gradually climb towards 4.50 percent by the end of 2018.”

Last year, they expected the 30-year fixed to climb to 4.6% by the end of 2017, which as you may know, hasn’t transpired.

They seem to make some comparatively loose predictions, often going with whatever the next highest threshold is, though they’ve backed away from their near-5% estimate held in 2016.

My point is it seems more psychological than it is scientific, and perhaps that’s a good thing if you want rates to stay in the 4% realm.

2018 Mortgage Rate Forecast from Zillow

We’ve also got a prediction from Zillow, which recently surveyed some 100 housing experts, market strategists, and economists about mortgage rates in 2018 (among other things).

That survey’s median prediction is 4.50% on the 30-year fixed, with a low-end prediction (25th percentile) of 4.28% and a high-end prediction (75th percentile) of 4.70%.

Depending on who’s right, if anyone, rates could move as little as a quarter of a percent to nearly a point higher next year.

I also stumbled upon the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) interest rate forecast, which sees the 30-year fixed rising to 4.20% next year and 4.67% in 2019.

The chart below from CoreLogic is an average of all those forecasts, which points to a rate of 4.6% by December 2018. The more pessimistic MBA forecast might be pushing it higher.

Feb. 11, 2018

Citizens view of the Holly Springs Retreat

Citizens view of the Holly Springs Retreat

I first of all would like to thank all the town staff, council, mayor, fire and police chief for being so inviting and answering the many questions I had throughout the retreat. It was an incredible experience as I got to see the amount of planning, work and thought process that goes into the major planning of our great city.

I hope I can do justice with explaining from my views and perspective but I am really looking forward from others that was there to hopefully share their input.

In the first session they discussed transportation, I unfortunately wasn't there. I asked others the main topic, they said the major points was current road improvements and possibility of a transportation bond. I was informed that the town staff will be having a workshop in the near future to explain the needs and possible future plans of what projects that's being targeted.

The 2nd session, open discussion was led by moderator Shannon Tuft's. In my opinion I was disappointed as there was many issues that needed to be brought up and discussed. To me I feel a moderator should be neutral, she spent the first 3 1/2 hours leading with an agenda that I feel was not there. We didn't have many citizens that was there but the majority left during this time.

Was so glad when Dan Berry spoke up and said it was not us. He said we have issues to talk about so please let us talk about them. The last hour was really good as a great discussion finally happened, some of the issues was finally on the table.

Tom O'Brien brought up Durhams social media policy and asked for advice, Shannon brought up that we are not alone as this is a major issue. She gave some great suggestions that hopefully help going forward. Was interesting to learn how Chief Herring and police officers have to be so careful.

Saturday morning SAPI Presentation- This was a great presentation by Gina and Jay Smith from O'Brien Adkins. Couple of my biggest take a ways is how the addition of Walmart and the 55 businesses really impacted how the CGA's (Community Growth Area's) was impacted.

Peter Villadsen brought up a great point, what is the reasoning of having 3 CGA's in such close proximity, Avent Ferry/Cass Holt, Honeycutt/Piney Grove Wilbon, and the one at Rouse/Cass Holt. Daniel Weeks brought up the possibility of removing two of them, which in my opinion makes great sense as they are areas of high density and by removing them can reduce 300-400 homes.

The findings of the SAPI was the addition of 5,200 homes in the 12.2 square mile area. The staff wanted to have the council make a decision as February 20th is the end of the moratorium for new developments for this area. The entire town council stated there wasn't enough information to base a decision at this time. They are concerned that this area could not handle this type of density, especially the roads and traffic.

Cheri Lee brought up her concerns of the impact of adding that many new homes with the already 1,500 homes approved in that area. She knows this area well as she lives within the SAPI area.

Kendra Parrish our town engineer agreed with Cheri and said without modeling and understanding traffic and the future road bond, it is impossible to base a decision. I know the staff will be planning a future workshop.

To me I really feel our town council united for the first time as all felt we need to prepare for the future and it's impact. Christine Kelly asked what are the finances of the town so we have a better understanding, Chuck Simmons the Town Manager stated that we have enough approved lots for 8-10 years. I really never took the time to talk with Chuck but I have to share with you what a great leader he is.

The next session was about historical preservation., it was interesting to learn the process. Hopefully someone can post additional information.

Time was running out and the staff said there will be a future workshop for clear cutting and tree preservation. This is good as now the public can go and become part of the discussion and process.

Much work to do and so thankful for all the past staff and town council that built this great place and to the current who have many challenges ahead.

Posted in Live Local
Feb. 2, 2018

Holly Springs Town Retreat February 9th-10th

  As the retreat approaches I really wanted to learn more so I reached out to each of the town council members. I asked them what’s the purpose of the retreat, who was invited, and what they hope to get out of the retreat.  I got some incredible response I felt should be shared to give their thoughts about the retreat. Let’s start with Cheri Lee as she has the most experience with the retreats.

Cheri Lee- The retreat allows the council and staff to step away from day to day duties, so we can regroup and focus on the future of the town. Although it is an open meeting, it is a more casual atmosphere which can enhance the retreats effectiveness by giving us time to know each other and to do long range strategic planning for the town. Each retreat is a little bit different. It is important that we meet the specific needs of our group and reflect the unique context in which the council and staff are operating. These two days are the first of many strategic sessions.


 I recently read a statement that really fits what we want to do: to accomplish things, sometimes you need less of a silver bullet and more of a silver BB gun…Several little steps which put together, will transform the team and accelerate its impact. As for taking it out of town, being away from the distractions of home life allows us a couple of days where we are solely dedicated to the task at hand and we can share ideas, research, and constructive criticism as well as bond as people not just coworkers. Being somewhere new and dedicating yourself to a purpose often makes team members come out feeling stronger together.

  Tom O’Brien- 2018 Holly Springs retreat is open to the public, and during the two-day meeting, presentations will be made by Town Staff. Each department will provide updates and a budget overview. Council and staff work together to identify and prioritize certain projects needed.

 Over the last year I have attended several HOA meetings to provide updates and receive feedback. The most consistent concern that I have heard is traffic. Some of the topics we will be covering are road improvements, tree preservation, and capital projects. These are just some of the items that will be covered. Our goal is to continue to make Holly Springs one of the best places to live.

Peter Villadsen- The retreat will give the new Council and Mayor the opportunity to address with each other any issues and goals that will allow us to be successful this coming year. This council is young: the average length of experience is just 1.8 years and it is so critical for Council to learn about each other and what our vision is for Holly Springs.

Most of the retreat will be spent discussing what Council has identified as being key topics: transportation, tree and historic preservation, Southern Area Planning Initiative findings, and parks & recreation. The goal is not only discuss these topics, but to come away with actionable items that will help address these issues in the coming years according to the vision of Council.

The retreat is exciting in that it gives Council and staff an opportunity to learn about each other on a more personal level. It is a great way to build trust and dialogue which allows each of us to do our jobs more effectively and successfully.

Dan Berry- I view the retreat as an opportunity for the council and staff to come together and discuss priorities for the year. It allows the staff to ensure they are operating the town in alignment with the Councils expectations.

Staff needs clear direction on what the Council’s expectations are and this is one of several opportunities throughout the year to ensure that alignment. It’s the Council’s role to provide guidance and feedback on items and be clear on establishing direction.

This year’s retreat is particularly important because of a rough and tenuous election cycle. There are undoubtedly questions from the administration, staff, and even council members themselves on how we can unite our thoughts for the town’s best interest and move forward.

Christine Kelly- Thank you for reaching out and asking me why I was looking forward to our upcoming town retreat. There are many reasons, but here are my top ones:

  1. To get to know the staff and other council members better.  This will help us build better lines of communication and learn of everyone’s experience.  I know the attendees are dedicated and passionate about our town, this retreat will help to understand a little more of why.
  2. The vision, mission, goals, strategies.  I look forward to discussing these important topics as it relates to our town and where we want to be in the short and long term.  Having this dialog will make sure that what decisions we make in the coming years will support our chosen direction and help prioritize projects based on resident input.  It will also help us as we update several of our town plans.
  3. I had the pleasure of attending Essentials of Municipal Government training in January, a required training course for all newly elected officials and an excellent opportunity to learn the fundamentals of how a town is established and should operate.  The attendees came from all over NC and I was able to meet and hear how other towns are coping with traffic, staff changes, social media adoption and other similar topics pertinent to Holly Springs.  I look forward to sharing what I learned to help us discuss how we want to move forward with the opportunities and challenges our town is facing.



Thank you Town Council for taking the time… 

Posted in Holly Springs News
Feb. 13, 2017

Are we at the Top of the Market in Holly Springs?

 After the last housing bubble it still amazes me how the majority of people are so unaware of the local market conditions. Is it that the agents do not provide the resources so buyers and sellers in Holly Springs can make wise decisions? Or do people not wish to spend the time learning about it? No matter what the reasoning we will do everything we can to protect our Holly Springs Housing Market with the educational resources needed.

 The (NAR) National Association of Realtors just published a report that over half the markets in the United States Hit the Market Peaks.  

 Our current market that we are in now reminds me of the 2005-2006 market peak where many are finally coming out from being underwater in their home equity. Many bought at the top of the market.  I highly recommend if you are planning on buying make sure you create a plan and understand where we are at in the cycle. There's many people who's buying right now that shouldn't because our commission based industry doesn't educate and warn the people who they're sworn to protect. Please proceed with caution