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.

Sept. 2, 2016

Considering Buying a Fixer Upper in Holly Springs?

We've all seen those shows on HGTV where a lovable team of construction-savvy husbands and wives, fathers and sons, siblings, or business partners buy a run-down house and, in 30 minutes of TV time, turn it into a masterpiece and create tens of thousands of dollars of instant equity.

While it's certainly possible, these shows almost always gloss over some of the most stressful parts of buying a fixer-upper.

Lots of people also overlook their expertise, like how to handle permit issues. In the end though, the the allure of a fixer-upper can be irresistible. If you budget your renovations right, you can get a steal of a deal on a run-down house, and you can customize the home in almost any way you desire. I wanted to provide some tips for anyone thinking about undertaking a fixer-upper in Holly Springs so you can be prepared for what's ahead.

  1. Check the zoning: This isn't sexy a sexy process so you rarely see it on TV, but zoning can go a long way in determining what is and isn't permitted to do to a property. Zoning varies by municipality and you can research your municipality's requirements on their website, or arrange to meet with the staff.
  2. Get a home inspection: Cosmetic issues like the avocado green bathroom tile and disco-era dark cabinets are easy to spot of course, but the inspection will help you find what you're in for behind the scenes. Issues like plumbing, electrical systems, and heating and air conditioning. You may have run the how water and flipped on the lights when you made the offer, but the heating unit could be on it's last leg, and the plumbing could be corroded and in need of total replacement. Older homes might not be up to code with with electrical systems and could have dangerous materials like asbestos. 
  3. Bring in an architect and/or contractor: Many buyers of fixer-uppers want to make big changes like removing a wall to get a open concept feel, or adding a bathroom or walk-in closet. An architect can help you determine which walls are load bearing and will cost more to to remove. They can help with design elements. When it comes to contractors, do your homework. The cheapest is rarely your best option. A good contractor can give you an honest estimate on all your projects and will stay on budget and schedule.
  4. Look into tax incentives: Depending on your area, you may be eligible for tax abatement or a tax credit for improving a property's value. Do your Homework!

A fixer-upper can be a long stressful project, but if you have the resources, the patience, and the research and due diligence done, you can find yourself in your own custom dream home with a good amount of free instant equity. If you're considering a fixer upper in the Holly Springs area, we would love the to sit down with you and discuss the process in more detail.

You can search all properties available from the MLS HERE. If you're planning on selling your Holly Springs home you can get an instant Equity Analysis on your Home Value Here

by Holly Springs Real Estate-Protectors of the Holly Springs Market



March 6, 2016

Professional Courtesy in Real Estate GONE

Has professional courtesy been removed from the real estate market? You decide... 


 The Triangle area has one of the best automated systems to provide feedback, and inform the seller on how the home compares in price, condition, and interior and exterior features to the rest of the market. It really is a great system. When done right it allows the sellers to know if there's any issues, and what they can do to help improve them. Its a great informative resource that is vital to the sellers success.

A call comes in for a showing and the seller has to take time out of their schedule to make sure the home is clean, kids are removed, and pets are taken with them so the agent can show the home. Yet only 70% of the time agents will respond and provide feedback to let the seller, that means 30% don't?

  To understand how it works, the automated feedback system will send out 4 questionnaire surveys, 1 each day until the agent decides to fill in the survey. Even if the agent is busy 1 or 2 of those days you could understand, but not 4 days in a row without a response. They should be more professional and provide the courtesy to the seller?

When I complained to one local broker about one of his agents, his comment was- He's too busy??? SO if the broker has this lackadaisical approach it's no wonder why his agents do. It all starts at the top.



 With a shortage of homes available in many price ranges in Holly Springs, it's not uncommon to get multiple offers on a home within days of it hitting the market. But what's really becoming common is the agents total lack of not informing or letting them know they have offers already. Not letting the buyer have the choice if they wish to see the home.

 A buyer goes through the home and gets really excited that  this is the home, only to find out that there's an offer already. The agent is informed when a showing has been set yet they couldn't even send an email to inform the showing agent prior to seeing the home. I can't even explain for a buyer how emotional this is. 

 The other common thing that's actually happened twice in the last week is the listing agent said, "It's not mine or my sellers responsibility to inform you of an offer" I ask then who's responsibility is it?

What many in our industry might not understand is, we all play in the same sandbox, and we all work for a common goal when it comes to serving the public. EVERYONE deserves respect and to be properly informed. I will not change who I am, or how I treat my fellow Realtors. Hopefully some day out Industry see's how important this really is on how the public perceives us....

Posted in Holly Springs News
Feb. 18, 2016

It Take's a Village

by Ed Neering,
The older I get the more I really like to learn what the meaning of things are. I'm reading a book and one of the quotes was, "It Take's a Village" Not quite sure what the meaning is so I google it. I'm glad I did and am truly amazed at what I learned.

It Take's a Village

It means that one family is not the only thing that determines a child's future. It means that the entire village or town must care for and help with the care taking of the town's children. 
It means that more then just parents have the influence that instills values in a child, teachers, friends, neighbors, churches, businesses, coaches, etc. all have the ability and the responsibility to be a positive influence on the youth of the community. It's a larger, more generalized concept. It means that whatever is to be done benefits from the participation of more people then just one individual!!!
I really have to ask now you know what the meaning is, if we truly lived by this principle, how many would really love to live in this village?
Posted in
Jan. 27, 2016

Holly Springs Sellers-Hows does the buyers loan choice affect Your bottom Line?

One of the biggest things our industry doesn't educate and inform sellers on is, how the different loans affect price and the money you potentially put in your pocket. All you ever hear is the more loans and terms, the more buyers we open the home to. This is true to a point of opening it up to more buyers, but what aren't you being told?

 I'm sure you have heard horror stories when it comes to VA and FHA loans not going through because of the appraisers value. What the industry is not telling you is- "The lower the down-payment, the more the bank relies heavily on the true value of the home". The more the down-payment the less the bank and the appraiser worry about the homes value. This limits the risk on the bank in case of a default.

  Even though the buyer hires and pays for the appraisal they're working for the bank and the banks best interest.

 I recently heard of a seller in Autumn Park who put their home on the market. An offer came in on the first day after multiple showings, it was for VA financing. The appraisal came in $7,500 less then the sales contract so what is the seller suppose to do? Under what I call bad advice from the agent, she informed the seller that they should reduce the price and accept the lesser value. Never once going to the appraiser and providing additional comps and disputing the value, which by the way the same price that was the recommendation of the agent that listed it. In this case the difference could of been negotiated between the buyer and seller.

Could the seller have possibly got more with a different buyer and offer?

  In fairness to the buyer they too should of been educated and informed on how the loan choice works with value. By this time the buyer can have $1,000's of dollars in inspections, due-diligence fees, deposits and appraisal fees. All lost because of not understanding how the appraisal, down-payment and values work.

 I do want to inform you the reality of the market is not everyone has 20% down payments. Around 1/3 of all Holly Springs sales is some sort of low down-payment programs, USDA, FHA or VA.

  If there's one bit of advice I would like to share with you is, take the time and do the research yourself. Most agents do not work a specific area and don't pay attention to the local market and the prices. And absolutely NO ONE will care more about your decision then you.

 SO how can you do your own research and get the information you'll need? For Holly Springs buyers and sellers, we now provide neighborhood market report pages. They will show what's available, under contract and what has sold. We also provide the monthly reports broke down by price ranges.

PLEASE take the time and do your RESEARCH...



Posted in Holly Springs News
Jan. 18, 2016

New Trends Hurting the Real Estate Industry

Barbara Corcoran does it, Dave Ramsey does it and now Glenn Beck has jumped on board. What am I referring to? For a fee you can now buy an endorsement from just about anyone.

This is a problem to me.

It represents what I call "Fake Authority". It's the new trend in real estate, responsible for further destroying the fabric of this industry's integrity. They are selling fake status awards and access to fake associations in place of actually earning credibility.

This is why I miss great communicators like Martin Luther King.

People like King didn't try to buy their respect. They didn't make their impact by pointing to some bought-and-paid-for 3rd party endorsement. No! They let their beliefs and convictions earn that respect for them.

They crafted messages with actual words, strung together to create sentences, that connected with people, gave hope, inspired, and rung true in a way that altered the way we see the world. And if you believed what he was fighting for, you trusted him.

That is how it should be.

That is how Martin Luther King did it. It's how Winston Churchill did it.

Great Leaders do it with their actions and words.

Not their pocketbooks.

Any of the Unethical s can stroke a check to buy a fake endorsement. Just look around, "endorsed-agents" are littered in every market. Do we really believe they would endorse these agents if they wasn't being paid?

Are we REALLY supposed to believe the endorsement is genuine?

If I'm being honest , for me, the fact that someone feels the need to buy some celebrity's approval is just sad.

If I truly want someone to think highly of me, my clients, I will use my words.

I will be authentic.

I will be a truth-teller and fight for something I believe in.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr day.

It is a National Holiday.

Martin Luther King above all was a Protector.

Mark my words.

Never will there be a National Holiday named for someone who tries to buy their respect...

Posted in
Dec. 21, 2015

Be the First to see Holly Springs Newest Listings

We keep hearing from Holly Springs area home buyers that they want to find homes faster. The Holly Springs Real Estate market's inventory is extremely low, from 12 Oaks, Woodcreek, Sunset Ridge to favorites like Holly Glen and Braxton Village are selling quickly.

Sellers want to know what's happening in their neighborhood, and buyers want to be the first ones through the door of a new listing. You can't do that when you're searching on National portals like Trulia and Zillow.

I'll repeat that because our clients usually don't believe us until we explain it fully.

You can't find all of the homes you're looking for on Zillow.

We're Realtors, and with that we have a direct access to the Triangle MLS. We get every listing by every company and agent. They're on our website within minutes of the real estate agent posting it.

On Zillow and National sites, many listings don't show up for up for 2 or 3 days after they're listed. It's not an automatic process and it's fairly slow. Even worse, many homes never get posted there. Lots of real estate brokers just don't advertise their listings on Zillow.

So you may enjoy using those sites for general real estate information, but if you really want to know what's going on in the local market, including every home that goes under contract and what has Sold, sign up for our immediate listing updates. They will come to you daily from the Triangle MLS. Or you can search the website for updates throughout the day.

Give us a call or send us an email if you'd like more detailed information on your Holly Springs neighborhood, what your home's value is today, or to receive automatic emails when new listings go live in your neighborhood.



New real estate listings in SeattleWhat is my Seattle home worth?Detailed Seattle home search


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Posted in
Oct. 24, 2015

BIG News-Holly Springs Real Estate now Provides Sold Information

written by Ed Neering

If you're planning on buying or selling a home in Holly Springs, there's a huge advantage you have access to. Holly Springs Real Estate's website now features all Sold data so you can do your own research and see what homes actually sell for. Our website has a direct link from the TMLS, the same source local real estate agents and appraisers use to find values.

In the past if you wanted to find out what homes Sold for in Holly Springs you had to rely on an agent, or go on the Wake County Government site for this information. On our site we made it extremely easy to search and get the information you need, including pictures. We have a Holly Springs Sold Search page that features a search box, where you can enter the criteria your looking for. You will be able to search every sold home in Holly Springs for the last 3 years. We also feature Holly Springs Most  Popular Community pages, where you can click on the neighborhood page your interested in. On the top of the page click on the link "Market Stats" it will show you everything in that neighborhood that's sold in the last 90 days from highest price down. 

 Another great resource is the Holly Springs Monthly Market Reports that will give you a great overview of what's the area Market conditions. Supply and demand always dictates which way prices are going. We provide the monthly reports and video that will break things down for you, and you will know with absolute certainty, if it's a good time to buy or sell.

 If ever any questions please let us know and we will do our best to help guide you.

Looking forward to serving you,



Posted in Holly Springs News
Oct. 14, 2015

Why knowing average Sold Price is so Important when buying a Home

 When it comes to buying a home in Holly Springs, buyers have no idea how important it is to know an area's average sold price. I actually learned this lesson while I was working with a very successful real estate investor. I asked him what was the #1 thing you credit for your success. I got the best advice that needs to be applied to everyone who is looking into buying a home. 

 He said it's actually quite simple, "invest where most of the buyers are." I asked him that's the formula you used to acquire so much wealth? He said yes you have to buy homes that appreciate the best in up market cycles, and don't drop that much during a down. He said "look for homes that are no more then 20% above, to 30% below the average sales price in an area."

 I started to research his advice and see how it applied to the local market. Supply and demand always dictates which way prices go.  During market drops, homes above his recommendations dropped a lot in value as there becomes more inventory and fewer buyers. What was amazing is I discovered homes above the range could still lose value even during a good upswing in the market. 

 Homes in his recommended range showed significantly smaller loses, if any at all during down cycles.  As the market showed signs of an upswing, the demand increased faster and the supply becomes seriously low like we are experiencing now. While there's more demand in the recommended range and supply becomes really low is a great time to take advantage if your looking to sell.

Take the time and educate yourself to the home buying process and the local market conditions. A great way to start is to get a copy of the monthly market report where I break down each price range supply and demand, and which way each price range is going. Even in our good overall market we are experiencing Realty Trac-US Home Equity & Underwater Report stated that 8.5 million homeowners are on the verge of breaking even in 2015 representing 16% of all properties with a mortgage. And some 7.4 million are still seriously underwater, being 25% or more under water representing 13% of all homes with a mortgage. You absolutely must do your research and become part of the process.

Sept. 14, 2015

213 Covenant Rock Lane Holly Springs


Open floor plan Holly Glen Home on Quiet Wooded Setting

                             3-4 bedroom / 3 1/2 baths / Bonus

                         213 Covenant Rock Ln

                           213 Covenant Rock Ln 213 Covenant Rock Ln

                           213 Covenant Rock Ln  213 Covenant Rock Ln




              213 Covenant Rock Lane Holly Springs NC 27540

Click here: For more photos and information on 213 Covenant Rock Lane Holly Springs NC 27540



Winning combination-Holly Glen, and one of the best builders Olde South Homes. If you're looking for a well thought out open floor plan with private back yard, you're going to love the Warren model. Olde South is well known for there attention to detail and not skimping on the products they use, especially the custom trim and molding throughout. When I asked the owner what the top reason she chose them-She said 1st it was the kitchen and granite counters. 2nd was layout and size of Master bedroom suite.

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Posted in Holly Springs News
June 1, 2015

Holly Springs-Can Growth keep up with Infrastructure?


I love living in Holly Springs. When we first moved here from Michigan in 07, I did a lot of research on Holly Springs. Back when we moved here the projected population was to be in the mid 30K. That was similar size to where I came from with tremendous up side of growth for my children s future. Plenty of room in the schools, great colleges, job opportunities and roads were extremely easy to navigate.

 Fast forward to 2015, we already have subdivisions approved that will increase population over 42k, with many more in the works. I wouldn't be surprised at the current rate if we hit over 50K in the next 10 years. The problem lies that the infrastructure is not keeping up with the growth rate. Over 60% of the schools in Holly Springs was capped in 2014, since lifted as most of Western Wake County is growing faster then it can keep up. 

So "How does Infrastructure Keep Up with Growth?" No one seems to know, I keep hearing excuses that it's the DOT's problem for not keeping up. It's the Wake County Schools not keeping up. Would be nice to know what the residents and the town leaders envision Holly Springs to be. I keep hearing that you can't control growth, if you turn down a development you'll only pay have to pay more for attorney fees. I have heard absolutely no one come up with a pro-active solution. In my search for finding a possible solution I just read about a small town south of here called Davidson, who's issues were very similar to Holly Springs. It's a long article but it's well worth the read to see how they solved many of the problems.

Davidson-Growth versus Infrastructure

 Situated 20 miles from Charlotte (North Carolina's largest city), Davidson is a suburban community on the eastern edge of Lake Norman. For the past 25 years, Davidson has fought hard to resist development pressure from the rapidly expanding Charlotte metropolitan area. The perception among neighboring communities and private developers is that Davidson is anti-growth and anti-business. Others see Davidson as a progressive community with a global and long term perspective on development. The drive into town makes one thing clear: Davidson is something different. The town's historic Main Street is lined on one side by restaurants, coffee shops, book stores and a variety of professional services. The other side of Main Street is an expansive downtown green, which frames the entrance to the public library.

According to several local residents, one of the core values is ensuring the presence of open spaces where neighbors can gather together. Public parks and green spaces stretch through every part of Davidson. Davidson's two-lane streets, wide sidewalks and green-ways provide access to open spaces and emphasize walking and biking over cars.

The Strategy

Davidson aims to manage growth, allowing development on the town's own terms, which includes facilitating the development of retail and service amenities for residents and partnering with neighboring communities to create industrial jobs that benefit the entire region.

Smart Growth:managed growth with economic diversification

Davidsons strategy for managed growth begins with a vision-a set of principles that a cross-section of the community agreed represented the values of their town. Initially drafted as the Davidson land plan in 1995, Davidson's Eight Planning Principles of Smart Growth are:

1. Preserve Davidson's status as a small town

2. Preserve and enhance Davidson's unique downtown

3. Ensure that growth is sustainable

4. Preserve substantial amounts of open space

5. Re-establish the town's historic diversity of people

6. Develop no faster than the town can provide public facilities

7. Adhere to importance of both private property rights and the health of the community as a whole

8. Ensure that architecture and planning enhance the quality of life.

 Throughout the late 1990's, the town council, the planning staff, and community leaders developed a zoning ordinance to transform Davidson's vision for managed growth into actionable policy and practice. The zoning ordinance, adopted by the town council in 2001, is several pages long and is designed to hold the town's general growth pattern-as well as individual residential and commercial developments-to the highest of planning and zoning standards. 

The planning ordinance includes two particularly innovative tools for managing local growth. The first is the adequate public facilities ordinance(APFO) designed to soften the impact of booming residential development. The second is the intensive (and inclusive) process by which developments are approved.

Davidson's APFO, which applies to any residential development with more then 20 units, was written and designed to ensure that residential development did not outpace the community's capacity to provide services. The ordinance requires developers to pay for streets as well as other infrastructure associated with any new development. Davidson's APFO covers fire protection,law enforcement, intersection capacity, community parks and green-ways. For example, public parks must be provided at a ratio of one to every 500 dwelling units.

In addition, Davidson's APFO is the first in the country to include affordable housing. Within every residential development, one in eight units must be affordable, defined as "housing available for occupancy or ownership by a target household at mortgage or rental payments not exceeding 30% of the base, unadjusted income limits." This regulation is intended to ensure that Davidson does not become a heterogeneously wealthy community and maintains its historic diversity. The APFO is Davidson's pressure valve for regulating both the manner and speed at which residential development happens in town.

How and why this strategy is working

Given Davidson's apparent success with it's approach to small town economics development, the question then becomes: How and why has this small town in Mecklenburg County been so successful? First, there is little doubt that demand for access to Davidson's market is substantial. Investors are willing to endure extra hurdles in exchange for access to the local market. On the other side of the coin, however leaders are willing to assume risk to maintain small town character. Local leaders have a strong political will in the face of tremendous development pressures. In addition, the town has an almost continuous stream of newcomers with new ideas and energy, and local leaders have managed to embrace the concept of regionalism in their town's broader economic development efforts. 

Strong demand for access to the Davidson's market

Local market conditions in Davidson' are key factors in the relative success of the town's approach to growth management. Even with the town's reputation for being difficult, developers are lined up at Davidson's door step and are willing to work within the towns guidelines because the local market makes the extra investment worth it. It would be misleading though to imply that every small town has the resources, time and political will to shape development to the extent that Davidson has managed. In general, Davidson is a wealthy, highly educated and progressive community with the means to resist external development pressures.

Willingness to take Risks

One of the reasons that we've been as successful as we have, in terms of managing growth, is because we've had an attorney that let us take risks, Kincaid said, when it comes to growth management and economic development, the implementation and use of any new or innovative strategy comes with the inherent of legal challenge. The legality of Davidson's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance(as well as other areas of it's planning ordinance) falls into a gray zone. Without assuming the risk of a legal challenge, Davidson may have been developed in a way that erased the characteristics that make it special.

What are the lessons from this story?

"Are we moving in a direction that our children will be proud of? According to Mayor Kincaid, public officials in Davidson ask this question before every decision. In Davidson, the external pressure to make decisions based on the towns short term interest is tremendous. For example, during the search for a location for the Mecklenburg Industrial Park, one of the early options was a site on the outskirts of town limits. The town however already had decided to save that particular plot of land for the next generation of Davidsononians to develop. Even with the short term tax benefits of developing that would of been huge for the community, officials supported a site in Huntersville. The mayor and town council have maintained a futurist approach to local development. Further, the APFO and the process that Davidson put in place for permitting development are practical tools that help the community keep a balanced perspective on short versus long term outcomes. "Long range planning is very important in sort of getting in front of the curve and making sure the vision is embraced as new development comes along." 


Posted in Holly Springs News