Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rich Ferretti and the Charlotte NC Housing Market.

Rich Ferretti
10801 Johnston Road, Suite 216
Charlotte, NC 28277 (704) 564-0807
Broker / Realtor NC & SC

“Exceeding your expectations in Real Estate Service”

Knowing I can make a difference and entrusting me with your Real Estate needs, I promise to provide you with my total loyalty, dedication and to conduct all business with a focus on professionalism, integrity and service.

It is my goal as your full service Real Estate Broker, specializing in Charlotte NC and the surrounding areas, to provide you with superior service at all times.

My local expertise and extensive real estate experience will benefit you whether you are serious about buying or selling a home at this time, or are a returning client checking out the many homeowner
resources we offer.

Buying a home? I look forward to helping you select the home of your dreams by taking time to listen to your needs and desires.

Selling a home? My real estate expertise and many effective marketing programs will give you the exposure and edge you need to sell your home quickly for top dollar.

Returning Client? I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve you and hope you take advantage of the valuable resources I provide.

Come back to visit often!

I consider the Charlotte area an excellent place to reside and would love to share with you my enthusiasm for the many neighborhoods that encompass it. I pride myself on providing unparalleled service and look forward to developing a long-term relationship with you.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss how I can best assist you with your real estate needs.

Ten Best Suburbs to Sell a Home

(from a recent article by Matt Woosley)

As we close up the year 2008, the US housing market is undoubtedly under stress, but in some parts of the country, like Matthews, North Carolina, selling a home is still a comparatively easy undertaking.

In Berkeley, California, prices are up 9% this year, with homes selling for a median price of $790,986. These California properties are sitting on the market for 73 days on average, which is low for the country right now. And better yet for our friends in Berkley, only 37% of sellers have been forced to reduce their prices to get their homes sold—one of the lowest rates in the country.
Berkeley is in good company: Venice, California; Bedford, Texas; Kennesaw, Georgia; and Montclair, New Jersey, are all also on the list of suburbs with the best conditions for sellers. The folks at looked at the suburbs in the country's 75 largest (census-defined) metro areas based on the last 90 days of sales activity, (research provided by Altos Research, a Mountain View, California). The study was narrowed to those cities with an inventory of at least 75 homes on the market, and suburbs where it currently takes more than 125 days to sell the average home were also eliminated. Cities like Sacramento, California, and Los Angeles are among the easiest to sell a home, (based on sales data from Radar Logic, a New York real estate research firm), but homes are mainly selling at massive discounts—so they were eliminated from the final list as the “best places to sell a home.” Also eliminated were any other suburb where year-over-year price declines were steeper than 10% and where more than 50% of sellers had to reduce their asking price to sell their home.

All that said, areas like Encinitas, Calif., and Matthews, N.C., where among the locations where homes are staying on the market 100 and 127 days respectively, made the list even though the wait times indicate a buyers' market.

Waltham, Mass., has the second-quickest turnaround of any suburb on the list, with only 79 days average on-market. Waltham, a middle-class suburb west of Boston, has seen 1% price appreciation over the last year, and only 53% of sellers have to reduce their price in order to make a sale. While this does not indicate the strongest of markets, it does put Waltham in a better position than many cities in the US.

Here is the list of the 10 best places to sell your home:
1. Berkeley, CA
2. Bedford, TX
3. Venice, CA
4. Kennesaw, GA
5. Sugarland, TX
6. Midvale, Utah
7. Matthews, NC
8. Encinitas, CA.
9. Waltham Mass.
10. Montclair, NJ

So what does all this mean to you? If you are buying a home in Charlotte, than you can find that there are some great deals out there still—and you can feel comforted by the fact that our property values are holding still or growing despite the economy. You are making a good investment with a property in Charlotte. And if you are a seller, than you are lucky to be in or around Matthews, where you are likely to get close to your asking price…and in an acceptable amount of time!

Are you looking to sell or buy a home in Charlotte, NC? Call Rich Ferretti at 704-564-0807.
Want more information about the Charlotte area real estate market? Check out

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas in the South

Christmas in the South

Having lived most of my life in New Jersey- I have to tell you, I love celebrating Christmas in the South.

After talking with my sister yesterday, she still lives up North and having her tell me about the pending snow storm I know I made the right decision moving south especially to Charlotte NC.

It’s takes a little getting used to the weather but that’s easy. Yesterday it was 65 degrees and if it wasn’t drizzling I would have played golf.

The affordability of housing, lower taxes, friendly people and you gotta love the weather.

Let me tell you about Charlotte –Ya hear!!!!

Home for Sale- Charlotte NC

Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't make these mistakes when showing your home.

Deadly Mistake Number # 2

Failing to "Showcase" your home

Buyers are looking for homes, not houses, and they buy the home in which they would like to live. They buy emotionally and then back up that emotional decision logically.

Owners who fail to make necessary repairs and don't spruce up the house inside and out, touch up the paint and landscaping and keep it neat and clean, chase buyers away as rapidly as Realtors can bring them.

If you were selling a car, you would wash it or perhaps even detail it to get the highest price and sell it quickly. Houses are no different. Call me today at 704-564-0807 for FREE information on how to get your property ready for sale.

Mint Hill North Carolina

Mint Hill North Carolina-28227

Mint Hill North Carolina is the hidden gem of Mecklenburg County.

Mortgage Update

While the mortgage market continues to generate a lot of chatter in both the media and in Washington, interest rates are currently near or at all-time lows. If you or anyone you know are looking to take advantage of these low rates, let me explain why now is the time to act.
Lately there has been talk about the 4.5% 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Will it become a reality though? Right now, no one really knows. Homeowners who could benefit from a lower interest rate need to know that even if 4.5% becomes a reality from Washington's actions, it would only be available to home buyers, not homeowners seeking to better their rate. If you need to refinance, you will be left out.
You also may have heard about Hope for Homeowners, which is a program approved by legislators to help distressed homeowners. However, regardless of its best intentions, the program has not been embraced by investors, and it is not available to many it could help.
The bottom line is, the Fed announced recently that they are going to buy up to $600 billion in mortgage-backed securities. This has already driven rates to historical lows. In January, the SEC is meeting and information may be released that could have a significant bearing on rates, potentially for the worse.
Waiting to obtain the best rate is only possible for those with loan applications already in process. Interest rates are incredibly volatile and fluctuations that used to take months are now occurring in just days or even hours. If you don't have an application in process, you could lose out.
We are already seeing lender backlog due to low interest rates. In 2003, with rates at these same low levels, we saw some lenders taking up to 90 days to close a loan.
Home loan rates are currently in the mid- to low-5% range. Home values are currently at 2003-2004 levels, coming down significantly from their high point. If you–or friends and family members you know–are contemplating seeking financing, now is the time to act.
With a first time home buyer tax credit of up to $7,500 and low or no money down programs available for many people today, now is a great time to buy a home.
If you have any questions about how we can help you, call us today.
Tony Garshnick
Franklin American Mortgage
(704) 206-7763

Tony is a true professional and can help you with all the mortgage questions.

Let us get you into your dream home today!

Rich Ferretti 704-564-0807

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What is a "Short Sale"

Dear Rich,

My wife and I bought a home in Charlotte about 2 years ago and we now have to move. I was laid off last month, and I think we will have to move in with family until I am able to get a decent job put some money away. I have missed two mortgage payments already and it was hard to pay the mortgage even when I was working--we bit off more than we could chew and had no safety net...

A friend of mine recommended a "short sale." What is a "short sale" and how would it benefit me to sell my house this way?

Ben R. Charlotte

Dear Ben,

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, it is all too common in the current economy. But not to worry, you do have options.

A short sale may be the way to go, but this is something you will have to discuss candidly with your Realtor.

A short sale is what happens when the proceeds of a real estate sale fall short of the balance owed on the property--when the offer on the table is less than what you owe. In a short sale, the mortgage lender, (or bank) agrees to accept a discount of the balance due the current owner's financial hardship, (i.e. in the case of a lost job).

The negotiation of a short sale is done through bank's loss mitigation department, with the home owner, and often the seller's real estate agent.

The home owner is the allowed to sell the mortgaged property for less than the outstanding balance of the loan, and the bank forgives the loan in exchange for the total of the sale proceeds. In this case, the lender has the right to approve or disapprove of a proposed sale--they want to get the most they can for the mortgage, but also know that in many cases the deal offered is a good business decision.

Often the borrower will still owe some amount above and beyond the sale and the home seller will have to make this difference up.

Generally, short sales happen when there are extenuating circumstances, and the real estate market is in such a state, that the lender does not feel that they will otherwise profit, or make back their investment.

The biggest advantages for you would include avoiding a foreclosure on your credit history, and a short sale is typically faster and less expensive than a foreclosure.

I hope that this answers your questions, and my best wishes for a happier and more prosperous 2009.

Rich Ferretti
Want more information about the Charlotte area real estate market? Check out

Charlotte Schools



The Right Real Estate Advice
Makes all the Difference



There are many great schools in the Charlotte metro region. Below are links to the Charlotte and surrounding county schools.

Colleges and Universities









Public Schools

Great Schools

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Gaston County Schools

NC Schools Reports

Anson County Schools

Burke County Schools

Cabarrus County Schools

Catawba County Schools

Cleveland County Schools

Davidson County Schools

Iredell-Statesville Schools

Kannapolis City Schools

Lincoln County Schools

Mooresville Schools

Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Stanly County Schools

Ft.Mill, SC Schools

Union County Schools

Area Private Schools

Providence Day School

Country Day School

Charlotte Latin

Charlotte Catholic

Charlotte Christian

Northside Christian Academy

Hockory Grove Baptist Christian School

Covenant Day Schoo

Southlake Christian

Carmel Christian School

1st Assembly C.S. - Concord

Cannon School

Incorrectly Pricing Your Home!

When you are getting ready to put your property on the market, there is a myriad of things to think about, to prepare for, and to organize. Here is a short list of some of the pitfalls to watch out for.

Deadly Mistake Number # 1

Incorrectly Pricing Your Home

Every seller wants to net as much money as possible when selling their home. Unfortunately, a listing price that is too high often gets the seller less than a listing priced at market value. If your house is not priced competitively, people looking in your price range will reject your house in favor of other larger homes for the same price.

At the same time, the people who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. Overpricing usually increases the time on the market and that adds to the seller's carrying costs. Ultimately, many overpriced properties sell below market value.

Once you understand the principles of pricing your home, you will know how to sell your house for the best price. To help you avoid costly mistakes related to pricing your home… just call our office at 704-564-0807 and we will deliver to you a FREE Market Evaluation of your home.

10 Biggest Selling Myths

10 Biggest Selling Myths Uncovered

Selling a house can be a bit like having a baby -- everyone gives you advice that may or may not be true for you. Here are ten myths uncovered:
1. Myth: You should always price your home high and gradually lower it if it doesn’t sell.
Truth: Pricing too high can be as bad as pricing too low.
You may think by listing high you can always accept a lower offer, but if you do, you'll miss the buyers looking in the price range where your home should be. Offers may not even come in, because interested buyers are scared off by the price and won't bother to look. By the time the listing price is corrected, you will have lost a large group of potential buyers. Your real estate agent will offer you a comparable market analysis. This is a document that compares your home to other similar homes in your area, with the goal of helping you to accurately assess your home's true market value.

Call or email me for the complete list of Myths.

Rich 704-564-0807 or Email: Rich

The Holidays: A Great Time to Buy or Sell


The Holidays: A Great Time to Buy or Sell!

Mortgage rates are at a low 5% and if you have been considering moving out of your apartment, or into a new home, this is the time to do it!

"But..." you say, "it's the holidays!" Yes, it is, and despite the fact that this is traditionally considered a slow time for real estate transactions, I am here to tell you that this might be the best time to buy...or sell a home.

Families are busy this time of year, no doubt. But because of job change, or other life event, moving in December or January may just be something that has to happen. And this could be a great thing! With the current high inventory of homes on the market in Charlotte and elsewhere, the buyer has many options to choose from, and the potential ability to move in quickly to a house that they get a great price on...and a great rate. Many buyers take the months of December and January off from looking, because they are moving from areas where the weather is cold and snowy and won't be able to sell their homes. But not here in Charlotte! And so if you have already sold your home or currently live in a warmer location, selling should be easier for you at this time of year.

Which brings me to the benefits to sellers...If you are selling a home at the holiday season, you likely have spent the time to decorate it, and make it "extra" nice. This is a great attractor to a potential buyer who will want that "home-for-the-holidays" feeling in a new home this time of year. Additionally, buyers looking in December and January are probably motivated buyers, looking at getting into a new home as soon as possible. If someone is taking the time away from family during the holidays, they are likely very interested in buying. So if your agent calls you to let you know there is a showing scheduled, it is well worth your time and effort.

It may seem like things stand still around the holidays, but there will always be buyers and sellers looking at moving. So if you are ready to buy a home, or sell a house, don't despair or "write off"  December and January... you may very well find a match.

Looking to move to Charlotte, NC or the surrounding areas? We have a great home for you. Give me a call at 704-564-0807 and we can set up an appointment to get started today.

Best Regards,
Rich Ferretti

Monday, December 8, 2008

Charlotte NC and Rich Ferretti and Real Estate

Thank you for requesting home listings in the Charlotte/Lake Norman/Lake Wylie areas. I am delighted to have the opportunity to be of service! You should now be receiving homes that meet the criteria you provided to me. I will also be updating you with new listings as soon as they are available on the market.

Like you, I appreciate being treated with respect and dignity. I am here to be your real estate counselor and advisor. I will respect your preferences regarding communication, and I will be here to assist you anytime you are ready. Feel free to visit me on the web at to see what I am all about.

Please do not hesitate to e-mail or call me at 704-564-0807 if I can answer any questions you might have about your listings request or any specific properties that interest you, or if you have any difficulty opening up the listing information.

Complimentary Charlotte DVD


About The Author

His testimonials speak volumes about his work ethic.

Rich Ferretti is a Charlotte NC Residential Real Estate Professional that can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in Charlotte, North Carolina and surrounding areas, from bank owned homes to new construction to waterfront property, and everything in between.

· Rich is a Relocation Specialist that has created a network of real estate professionals throughout the country in an effort to assist people relocating to Charlotte NC.

· Rich Ferretti is a true professional and expert in the field of relocation and can serve many purposes beyond a simple home search.

· In addition to being a Relocation Specialist, Rich also holds the designations of Broker, Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), e-PRO and QSC (Quality Service Certified). Rich is also licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey.

If you are considering Homes for Sale in Charlotte NC, Rich can help!

Call or email today for your complimentary Charlotte DVD, quantities are limited.

Please visit for your Real Estate Needs.

Rich Ferretti – Broker/Realtor - 704-564-0807 –


Charlotte NC and Homes for Sale

Thank you for choosing Southern Winds Realty to help you conduct your search for a home in the Charlotte, Lake Norman and Lake Wylie areas of North Carolina. I have created a personalized website especially for you to store the listings in the Charlotte, Lake Norman and Lake Wylie area that match the search criteria you provided to me. Please remember, if the home listings you receive are not what you were hoping for, just let me know and I will make corrections promptly. I can change your home search as many times as you like!

All listings that match your search criteria will be emailed to you and I directly. You can mark them as favorites, possibilities and rejects, you can share them with family members and friends by forwarding the email, and it’s that easy! I can also add additional email addresses if you would like these to be sent directly to other people as well.

Also on my website,, you’ll find all the information you need on schools, neighborhoods, taxes, entertainment, etc. in the Charlotte area. Just click on School Reports or Important Information tabs.

If you have any questions about this free service or if there is anything I can do to make your home search easier, please contact me anytime by e-mail or call 704-564-0807

Thank you again and happy home hunting!


Complimentary Charlotte DVD


About The Author

His testimonials speak volumes about his work ethic.

Rich Ferretti is a Charlotte NC Residential Real Estate Professional that can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in Charlotte, North Carolina and surrounding areas, from bank owned homes to new construction to waterfront property, and everything in between.

· Rich is a Relocation Specialist that has created a network of real estate professionals throughout the country in an effort to assist people relocating to Charlotte NC.

· Rich Ferretti is a true professional and expert in the field of relocation and can serve many purposes beyond a simple home search.

· In addition to being a Relocation Specialist, Rich also holds the designations of Broker, Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), e-PRO and QSC (Quality Service Certified). Rich is also licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey.

If you are considering Homes for Sale in Charlotte NC, Rich can help!

Call or email today for your complimentary Charlotte DVD, quantities are limited.

Please visit for your Real Estate Needs.

Rich Ferretti – Broker/Realtor - 704-564-0807 –


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Relocating to Charlotte North Carolina

Start your search today

Welcome to Charlotte North Carolina,

Charlotte NC continures to grow.

  • The affordability of homes
  • lower taxes 
  • friendly people
  • you can't beat the weather

This all combines to make Charlotte North Carolina one great place to live, retire or raise a family.

The Charlotte North Carolina Real Estate Market is healthy and at present is a Buyers Market. This allows home buyers to receive some really good deals on our present inventory.

Contact me for a complimentary DVD and for the latest BEST BUY LIST of homes in Charlotte, Mint Hill North Carolina area.

FYI- I relocated to Charlotte, from New Jersey about 6 years ago and never looked back. Leave your snow shovels up North!!!!

Call or email me today to get started to find your new home here in Wonderful Charlotte North Carolina.

Find your next home here:



Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Belmont TownHome

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Do you have a business Plan.

Real estate is a highly competitive field. To become a top-producing agent you need to treat your real estate
practice like a business. In fact, the most successful agents run their business as if they are the CEO, and
they create a yearly business plan as a road map for their success.
Agent CEOs use their business plan to help them prioritize their business tasks and automate much of the
“busy work” required to keep their business going. This allows them to focus on what they most enjoy—
working with clients, which allows them to dramatically increase their productivity and earning potential.
Agents who plan out their year in advance, and then use Market Leader as their basic business system
have the ability to consistently stay in touch and build relationships with literally thousands of prospects
“automagically.” That means they can stay on track and maintain a steady stream of business regardless of
market conditions.
Because as surely as the real estate market has changed, the consumers have changed as well. Nearly 80%
of consumers today are searching for real estate information on the Internet, according to NAR. Yet the vast
majority of agents continue to spend their advertising dollars on traditional channels, such as newspapers and
real estate magazines. Many agents continue to do things the way they have always done them. Unfortunately,
they are still getting the same results they have always gotten. Today’s and tomorrow’s top agents are
marketing and prospecting almost exclusively online. They are spending their ad dollars where the prospects
are looking.

Charlotte-area home sales fall 31%

The number of houses sold in the Charlotte area fell 30.6 percent last month, and the average closing price declined nearly 1 percent, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.

The number of closings dropped to 1,848 last month from 2,662 in October 2007.

The average sales price dipped to $216,777 from $217,504 a year earlier.

The average number of days on the market was 134.

The statistics cover homes in Mecklenburg, Union, Iredell, Lincoln, Cabarrus, Gaston and Stanly counties.


Info from CRRA

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Curb Appeal and Marketing your Home

If you are like so many home-sellers right now, your house has been on sale a couple months, and you are starting to wonder if it is ever going to sell.

The current economy has produced a flood of homes on the market, lowered prices and not enough buyers able to make the purchase. These factors are meaning houses are on the market longer and selling for less than the original asking price—and sometimes dramatically under the home-value!

Fortunately there are things you can do to keep your asking price up and to draw in more buyers. With just a few updates, you can completely change the curb appeal of your house.

First, take a look at the property from across the street and write down all the things that look like they could detract from seeing the overall greatness of the house. Are there things that could be cleaned up, such as extra lawn ornaments, children’s toys, or even several cars in the driveway? Is the front walkway clean, in good repair and inviting? Is there a burst of color that attracts the eye to the front door like a contrasting paint color or flower box? Are leaves raked up and trees and shrubs neatly trimmed?

 Read the Full Story

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Charlotte North Carolina and Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is what will make a potential buyer want to stop and walk into your house. Doing small touch-ups and cleaning up the outside of your property will make a huge difference in bring in the buyers. Here are the top twelve things you can do to increase your curb appeal and sell that house quick!

1) Store any extra garden implements, lawn ornaments and tools away. Less is more.

Full Story

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Making Curb Appeal #1 Priority

Potential home buyers make a lot of judgments about a house before they even step inside. Curb appeal – or the view they see as they drive buy or up to the house, will determine if the buyer feels welcomed, and if they feel the house is worth further consideration.

So many houses are taken off a list before anyone even gets a chance to step inside!

Sometimes it is difficult to look at our own homes the way a potential buyer would. It is natural to become accustomed to the way things look and work, and we lose our ability to see the faults or areas of improvement. Read Article.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Active Rain Post: Today's Housing Market

Hello Folks -

Today's market isn't all doom and gloom... Charlotte is still a strong city economically and I believe we will come out of this faster and better than many - Read more about my take on the real estate market on my active rain blog.

Want more information about the Charlotte area real estate market? Check out

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

9 Steps to Home Ownership

The 9 Steps to Home Ownership

Step - 1 Make the Decision to Buy

It seems obvious, but it's good to note that the first step to buying a house is making the decision to buy. Consider the reasons you want a new house and write them down. Determine how long you want to live in the new house - does buying still make good financial sense? Can you afford a house that will meet your list of requirements? A good rule of thumb is your mortgage payment should not exceed 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 - Seek Professional Guidance

I'd like to schedule a time to meet with you to hear the reasons you want to buy a house and your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools, economic factors liable to affect the market today and tomorrow, as well as how you would like your house and neighborhood to grow with you.

At this time, I will also help you get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. Pre-qualification is a written statement from a loan officer indicating his or her opinion that you will be approved for a mortgage loan up to a certain amount. The fact that you are pre-qualified will help us when we are negotiating the deal.

Step 3 - Begin the Hunt

After our initial meeting, I'll search all my resources for houses on the market that fit your criteria. I'll preview these houses to eliminate the duds. Then, I'll schedule appointments to tour the houses at times convenient to you.

As we tour houses, I'll point out positive features and negative features. I'll ask you to tell me what you like and what you don't like. You'll probably amend your "wish list" as we tour houses, some things will become more important and others less important. With this new information, I'll refine our search criteria to narrow in on the house of your dreams.

Step 4 - Know the Market

My knowledge of the local market is an essential factor in the house search. I'll let you know when the market in a particular neighborhood is "hot" and requires immediate action or when the market is "cool" and allows for thoughtful consideration.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know when the asking price has negotiating room and when the house is "priced to sell". My unique market knowledge will keep you a step ahead of the "house hunting competition".

In a "seller's market". It is not unusual to see multiple offers on a property, full-price offers and even above-price offers. On the flip side, during a "buyer's market" there are more houses for sale than buyers. This gives us more negotiating room as houses are taking longer to sell.

Step 5 - Find Your Dream House

I'm confident we'll find your dream house. When we do, I'll put together the purchase offer tailored for your needs including appropriate contingencies (such as obtaining financing, favorable home inspection, clear title, etc.).

The offer is normally presented with "earnest money". This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is applied to closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, generally closing is held 30 to 60 days from the offer date (generally dependent on the turn around time of your mortgage financing).

Step 6 - Negotiate the Deal

It is not uncommon to receive a counter offer when the initial purchase offer is submitted. Don't let this discourage you. We will discuss the counter offer and decide whether or not to accept the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the counter offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We will also work within your limits. Emotions can lead to buyer's remorse. It is better to set limits prior to negotiating an offer and stick to these limits.

Step 7 - Get a Loan

During the closing period, you will be working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. Since you pre-qualified for the loan before starting your home search, you will be that much closer to the end. I'll gather the necessary property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 - Close the Deal

You will receive a "Good Faith Estimate" of closing costs at the time the loan application is submitted to the lender. The estimate is based on the loan officer's past experience and may not include all the closing costs. I will be glad to review the "Good Faith Estimate," answering questions and highlighting missing costs and estimates I believe to be low.

Step 9 - Move In

Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house and make it your home. Enjoy this exciting time. I'll give you a checklist to help you remember the numerous details that will make your moving day a pleasure.

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Time Home Buyers Entering the Market

Daily Real Estate News  November 10, 2008 

More First-Time Buyers Entering the Market
The 2008 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
reveals that the number of first-time buyers have risen as a percentage of the market share and they plan to own their homes longer than buyers in the past.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a higher share of first-time buyers makes perfect sense, and it’s a trend he expects to grow.
“First-time buyers are much more flexible in entering the market because they aren’t concerned about selling an existing home,” he said. “Given low home prices, plentiful supply, and affordable interest rates, it’s been an optimal time for entry-level buyers with a long-term view.
“Considering the temporary first-time buyer tax credit and improvements to the FHA loan program, we expect stronger entry-level activity as the flow of credit improves – that, in turn, should free more existing owners to make a trade in 2009.”
The number of first-time buyers rose to 41 percent from 39 percent of transactions in last year’s survey and 36 percent in 2006. “Although modest, this is a meaningful gain for the 12-month period ending at the close of June, and more recent independent data show a stronger uptrend in first-time buyers who are helping to reduce excess inventory,” Yun said.
According to the NAR study, the median age of first-time buyers was 30, down from 31 in 2007, and the median income was $60,600. The typical first-time buyer purchased a home costing $165,000 and plans to stay in that home for 10 years, up from seven years in 2007.
The median down payment by first-time buyers was 4 percent, up from 2 percent in 2007; the number purchasing with no money down fell from 45 percent in 2007 to 34 percent in the current survey.
“The study covers transactions through the middle of 2008, so we can assume the down payment numbers have shifted recently because credit tightened and no-down payment loans all but disappeared around the close of the survey,” Yun explained.
Of first-time buyers who made a down payment, 69 percent used savings and 26 percent received a gift from a friend or relative, typically from their parents. Another 7 percent received a loan from a relative or friend, while 16 percent tapped into a 401(k) fund, stocks or bonds. Ninety-two percent chose a fixed-rate mortgage.
The percentage of buyers who purchased a home in foreclosure jumped to 6 percent of transactions in the 2008 survey from 1 percent in 2007. Another 38 percent of buyers considered purchasing of a home in foreclosure but did not, primarily because they could not find the right home.
Commuting costs factored greatly in neighborhood selection, with 41 percent of buyers saying they were very important and another 39 percent saying transportation costs were somewhat important.
“Since fuel costs began rising in the latter part of the survey period, it’s reasonable to assume they’ve become even more important to home buyers since,” Yun said. “We’ve heard from our members that commuting costs are playing a bigger role in buyers’ decisions.”
Environmentally friendly features also were important, cited by 90 percent of buyers. Heating and cooling costs were of primary importance, followed by energy efficient appliances and energy efficient lighting.
The study found that 81 percent of sellers used full-service brokerage, in which real estate agents provide a range of services that include managing most of the process of selling a home from listing to closing.
Nine percent chose limited services, which may include discount brokerage, and 9 percent used minimal service, such as simply listing a property on a multiple listing service. All of these types of services are provided by REALTORS® as well as non-member agents and brokers. The results are identical to findings in 2007 and comparable to findings in 2006.
Primarily, sellers want agents to price their home competitively, market the property, find a buyer and sell within a specific timeframe. Home buyers are consistent in their expectations of real estate agents.
Buyers thought the most important agent services are helping find the right house, and negotiating sales terms and price. Because agents often are chosen based on a referral or were used in a previous transaction, two-thirds of buyers contacted only one real estate sales associates in the search process.
Sixty-one percent of buyers are married couples, 20 percent are single women, 10 percent single men, 7 percent unmarried couples and 2 percent other. Twenty-six percent are nonwhite, 9 percent were born outside of the United States, and 4 percent primarily speak a language other than English.
Seventy-eight percent of all respondents purchased a detached single-family home, 9 percent a condo, 8 percent a townhouse or rowhouse, and 5 percent some other kind of housing.
Fifty-five percent of all homes purchased were in a suburb or subdivision, 17 percent were in an urban area, 16 percent in a small town, 10 percent in a rural area, and 2 percent in a resort or recreation area. The median distance from the previous residence was 12 miles.
The biggest factors influencing neighborhood choice varied by household type, but overall they were quality of the neighborhood, cited by 62 percent of respondents; convenience to jobs, 51 percent; overall affordability of homes, 41 percent; and convenience to family and friends, 38 percent.
Other factors valued highly by consumers include quality of the school district, 27 percent; convenience to shopping, 27 percent; and neighborhood design, 24 percent.
—REATLOR Magazine Online

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Empty Nesters, First time home buyers looking for a townhome???

 Click here for your new home

1160 Drummond- Front View

This 2 bedroom 2.5 bath townhome has it all.

Call today for mortgage info and a personal view of this home.

Rich Ferretti

Charlotte NC Real Estate Homes


Charlotte NC Home Search is Now Available

Considering a move to Charlotte NC?

Well here is the number one site to view and check out all the latest homes available.

Also, contact me for my latest BEST BUY LIST.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Twitter comes to Real Estate

I was finally convinced to start using Twitter. Good Idea? Not sure yet?

Active Rain is still my blog of choice. When it comes to solid Charlotte NC real estate advise, Active Rain wins. What are your thoughts?

The Charlotte NC Relocation market is slowing making a turn for the good. People still want to move South and Charlotte NC continues to grow.

Contact me for my list of Great Buy Homes.

Co-Ownership Gets Popular as Lending Tightens

Co-Ownership Gets Popular as Lending Tightens

Real estate co-ownership arrangements are becoming increasingly popular, especially in cities where prices—even after the real estate meltdown—remain out of reach for many buyers.

Lending guidelines have tightened and it's twice as hard to qualify because of the housing market and sub-prime situation. People just don't qualify like they used to. But if they get some friends and put money together, they can afford that 20 percent down that you may need to purchase if your credit or work history are not excellent.

While financing may be easier, these arrangements have the capacity to fail. It's recommended that people who are considering a joint purchase hire a lawyer to draw up a co-ownership agreement, including a plan to get out of the arrangement.

Here are some other tips for co-buyers:

  • Before you begin looking for property, decide the geographic and financial ranges for the search.

  • Understand potential co-buyers’ finances; lenders will look hard at the finances of all partners in the deal.

  • If the property is a condo, understand the rules regarding rentals, just in case one partner needs to move out.

  • Put everything in writing, particularly the escape plan.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Southern Christmas Show

The region’s most exciting holiday tradition celebrates its 41st anniversary with “Windows of Christmas.” Come discover everything for the holidays, from spectacular designer displays to the most unusual and creative gifts.

Location: The Park Date:11/13/2008 - 11/23/2008

Schedule:Daily Time:Sundays, Monday and Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; All Other Days, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Cost:Adults: $9 at door; $8 advance and online; Ages 6-12: $3; Children under 6 free (excluding groups). Groups: $7.50 each for groups of 20 or more (advance only)

Address:2500 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte

Monday, November 3, 2008

Carolina Trivia


Carolina Trivia

The first one to respond by email (only) will win a one month subscription with Netflix (Respond to

This Months question: When it was in operation, what was the steepest grade on a mainline track in the United States?

Congratulations to Chris Roberts for answering last month’s trivia question: What NC company founded in 1937... now operates in 13 countries... has sold over a 2 billion of their product?

Answer: Krispy Kreme

Charlotte Housing Report

October Housing Report

Charlotte Housing Report

Each month Southern Winds Realty participates in a survey of the market. That information is then aggregated and broken down by some of the top markets nationwide. Click the link to see the entire report and view other markets.

Charlotte, NC – Uncertain Employment Picture Leads to Drop in Buyer Traffic (15,185 single-family permits in 2007, 7th largest market in the country) Employment fears weaken buyer confidence further. Buyer traffic fell in October as our buyer traffic index slipped to 12 from 14 in September (any reading below 50 suggests traffic below agents’ expectations). Agents said the recent turbulence in the financial markets hit home on several fronts, as the broader economic impacts were amplified by the recent merger announcements from both of the area’s prominent financial institutions, which unfortunately may result in many job losses.

Agents commented that the uncertainty surrounding potential job losses is motivating sellers to sell, but buyers want to wait until the dust settles before deciding whether or not to buy. Recent comments we’ve heard from homebuilders are consistent with this, as several have noted a sharp drop-off in buyertraffic in Charlotte.

Motivated sellers lead pricing lower, but inventory increases also. Home prices fell further in October, as our price index was unchanged at 18 from 17 in September (readings below 50 indicate lower home prices over the past 30 days). Agents said the weakening economy is motivating sellers to reduce pricing, but these efforts appeared to be in vain over the past month as there were few buyers and higher listings. Our home listings index fell to 22 in October from 32 in September, with readings below 50 indicating sequentially higher inventory levels. In addition, our time to sell index dropped to 8 inOctober from 12 in September, indicating a longer time needed to sell a home (readings below 50). Higher inventory and a longer time to sell suggest further price declines are ahead.

Complimentary Charlotte DVD


About The Author

His testimonials speak volumes about his work ethic.

Rich Ferretti is a Charlotte NC Residential Real Estate Professional that can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in Charlotte, North Carolina and surrounding areas, from bank owned homes to new construction to waterfront property, and everything in between.

· Rich is a Relocation Specialist that has created a network of real estate professionals throughout the country in an effort to assist people relocating to Charlotte NC.

· Rich Ferretti is a true professional and expert in the field of relocation and can serve many purposes beyond a simple home search.

· In addition to being a Relocation Specialist, Rich also holds the designations of Broker, Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), and e-PRO. Rich is also licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey.

If you are considering Homes for Sale in Charlotte NC, Rich can help!

Call or email today for your complimentary Charlotte DVD, quantities are limited.

Please visit for your Real Estate Needs.

Rich Ferretti – Broker/Realtor - 704-564-0807 –


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You can find great local Mint Hill, North Carolina real estate information on Rich Ferretti is a proud member of the ActiveRain Real Estate Network, a free online community to help real estate professionals grow their business.

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