Triad Real Estate News & Market Trends

You'll find in our content a wealth of knowledge about real estate in the North Carolina Triad area, and soon to come the North Carolina coast. We aim to help you find all the information that you should know, want to know, and need to know. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us anytime! We would love to hear from you!

April 19, 2024

Boost Desirability to your Home with These Eco-Friendly Updates

I'm thrilled to dive into a topic that's not only close to my heart but also essential in today's ever-evolving real estate landscape: eco-friendly home updates. As the best realtor in North Carolina, Kim Mathis and Associates is honored to serve the beautiful state of North Carolina. I've witnessed firsthand the growing demand for sustainable living spaces. So, let's talk about how embracing eco-consciousness can elevate your home's desirability when it's time to sell.

 

The Green Wave in Real Estate

It's no secret that today's homebuyers are increasingly drawn to properties that prioritize sustainability. As awareness of environmental issues continues to rise, so does the desire for homes that reduce carbon footprints and promote eco-friendly living. That's where you, as a savvy homeowner, have a fantastic opportunity to enhance your property's appeal and value.

 

Eco-Friendly Updates That Make a Difference

  • Energy-Efficient Appliances: Investing in energy-efficient appliances not only reduces utility bills but also signals to potential buyers that your home is environmentally conscious. From ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerators to smart thermostats, these upgrades are sure to catch the eye of eco-minded buyers.
  • Solar Panels: Want to truly impress environmentally conscious buyers? Consider installing solar panels on your roof. Not only do solar panels reduce electricity costs, but they also demonstrate a commitment to renewable energy sources, making your home stand out in the market.
  • Low-Flow Fixtures: Upgrading to low-flow fixtures in your bathrooms and kitchen is a simple yet effective way to conserve water. Buyers appreciate these eco-friendly features, knowing they can save money on water bills while reducing their environmental impact.
  • Smart Home Technology: Incorporating smart home technology not only adds convenience but also promotes energy efficiency. From smart thermostats that optimize heating and cooling to lighting systems that adjust based on occupancy, these features appeal to eco-conscious buyers seeking sustainable living solutions.
  • Native Landscaping: When it comes to boosting curb appeal, native landscaping is a game-changer. Planting native species requires less water and maintenance compared to traditional landscaping, making it an attractive option for eco-minded buyers who value sustainability.

 

Why Choose Kim Mathis and Associates?

At Kim Mathis and Associates, we're not just about selling homes; we're about creating exceptional real estate experiences that exceed expectations. With our unparalleled expertise and dedication to client satisfaction, we've earned a reputation as the best realtor in North Carolina. When you partner with us, you gain access to a team of professionals who are committed to achieving your real estate goals with integrity, professionalism, and personalized service.

 

Ready to Go Green and Sell?

If you're ready to embrace eco-friendly home updates that boost desirability and maximize your home's value, Kim Mathis and Associates are here to guide you every step of the way. Let's work together to make your home a shining example of sustainable living in North Carolina's thriving real estate market.

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 12, 2024

Exploring Downsizing: Is Now the Time For You?

As the best realtor in North Carolina, Kim Mathis and Associates, have seen firsthand the positive impact downsizing can have on individuals and families alike. So, let's dive in and explore whether it's time for you to make that move and the benefits it can bring.

 

Why Downsize?

First things first, why consider downsizing? Well, life changes, and so do our needs. Whether you're an empty nester, looking to simplify your lifestyle, or just want to free up some cash, downsizing can be a game-changer.

 

1. Simplify Your Life

One of the biggest perks of downsizing is simplification. Say goodbye to excess space and the clutter that comes with it. Downsizing allows you to streamline your belongings, focusing on what truly matters and creating a more manageable living environment.

 

2. Financial Freedom

Let's talk money. Downsizing often means a smaller mortgage or rent payment, lower utility bills, and reduced maintenance costs. That extra cash can be a game-changer, whether you're saving for retirement, traveling, or investing in your passions.

 

3. Embrace a New Lifestyle

Downsizing opens the door to new possibilities. Whether you're relocating to a vibrant city center, a cozy beach town, or a serene countryside retreat, you have the opportunity to embrace a lifestyle that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

 

Is it Time for You?

Now that we've covered the benefits, let's talk about whether it's time for you to downsize. Here are a few signs that might indicate it's the right move:

  • Empty Nest: Your kids have flown the coop, and you find yourself with more space than you need.
  • Financial Strain: Your current home is stretching your budget, and downsizing could provide some much-needed financial relief.
  • Maintenance Overload: You're tired of spending your weekends on home maintenance and would rather spend your time doing things you love.

 

Why Choose Kim Mathis and Associates?

When it comes to finding the perfect home to downsize, you need a realtor you can trust. That's where we come in. At Kim Mathis and Associates, we specialize in helping clients navigate the downsizing process with ease.

 

Our Expertise

With years of experience in the North Carolina real estate market, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you find your dream home. Whether you're looking for a cozy condo, a charming cottage, or a stylish townhouse, we'll work tirelessly to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

 

Personalized Service

We believe that every client deserves personalized attention and care. That's why we take the time to listen to your needs, understand your goals, and tailor our services to meet your unique requirements. With us by your side, you can rest assured knowing that you're in good hands every step of the way.

 

Ready to Downsize?

If you're ready to explore the benefits of downsizing and find your perfect home, look no further than Kim Mathis and Associates, the best realtor in NOrth Carolina. Get in touch today, and let's make your downsizing dreams a reality.

 

 

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Posted in Finding Your Home
April 5, 2024

6 Strategies to Save on Home Insurance Premiums with Kim Mathis and Associates, Best Realtor in North Carolina

From wildfires to floods, the past few years have brought a historic number of devastating climate and weather events to the United States. In 2023 alone, there were 28 individual weather-related disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damages each.1

These events triggered a huge influx of home insurance claims, and analysts expect the increase in both catastrophes and claims to continue. Adding to the problem, construction labor and supply costs have risen, making it more expensive to repair affected homes. Consequently, home insurance rates have surged: In 2024, Bankrate reports, premiums are already up an average of 23%, following double-digit increases the previous year.2,3

In disaster-prone regions, the situation is even more challenging. Some insurers have pulled out of risky areas entirely, and many of those that still offer policies in high-risk areas have doubled or even tripled their premiums.4

For most homeowners, comprehensive home insurance coverage is crucial for financial security—but massive rate increases can turn a once-affordable home into a financial burden. They can also pose a serious challenge for sellers. A home insurance policy is typically required to get a mortgage, and, in some hard-hit regions, we’re seeing sales fall through or homes sit on the market because insurance policies are unattainable or too expensive.5,6

But don’t panic! While these broader trends may be out of your control, there’s still plenty you can do to save. Here are our top six strategies to slash insurance premiums while maintaining the protection you need.

 

  1. SHOP AROUND

 

Getting multiple quotes is a smart move for many major purchases, including home insurance. We recommend reviewing at least three estimates before you commit to a policy. You can get quotes either by reaching out to insurers directly or by working with an independent insurance broker.7 You’ll need to provide detailed information about the property you’re insuring and your claims history.

Make sure you read policies carefully before you choose. Sometimes, a policy can look like a better deal at first glance but turn out to have important coverage gaps. Be sure to consider how much the policy will pay out to repair or replace your home and review caps on personal possession and liability claims. It’s also smart to read reviews from policyholders (Trustpilot is a good place to start) and ratings published by organizations like the Better Business Bureau and J.D. Power.

For help choosing the right policy, reach out to us for a list of trusted insurance professionals.

 

  1. INCREASE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE

 

The size of your deductible—which is the amount you pay before your insurance coverage kicks in on a claim—is a major factor in your insurance cost.

A low deductible, such as $500, comes with higher premiums, while a higher deductible, like $2,500 or even $5,000, costs less on a monthly basis. In some cases, you may be able to customize your coverage further by designating a different deductible for certain kinds of claims, such as those caused by named storms or natural disasters.

If you are confident that you have enough in savings to cover that initial outlay if needed, choosing a higher deductible can help you save significantly over the long term. According to Nerdwallet, raising your deductible from $1,000 to $2,500, for example, could save you an average of 11% each year.8

 

  1. BUNDLE MULTIPLE TYPES OF INSURANCE

 

Insurers want to get as much of your business as possible, so most offer significant discounts if you bundle your home and auto insurance, meaning that you package the two policies together. With some insurers, you can get even higher savings by bundling more than home and auto—RV, boat, jewelry, and life insurance are potential options to consider.

According to US News and World Report, insurers typically offer customers who bundle home and auto insurance 10-25% savings on monthly premiums. This approach also has other advantages: It cuts down on your paperwork, and in some cases—like if a storm damages both your home and car—you may be able to pay just one deductible instead of two when you file a claim.9

However, before you sign on the dotted line, remember strategy #1 and be sure to shop around. In some cases, bundling isn’t the cheaper option, and bundling deals vary between companies. It’s also critical to carefully check that the bundled coverage offers everything you need.

 

  1. ASK ABOUT AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS

 

Did you know that being a nonsmoker might qualify you for a home insurance discount?8 Some insurers offer some surprising incentives for policyholders who pose a statistically lower risk of filing a claim. In the case of nonsmokers, that’s because of the decreased risk of a home fire.

Many carriers also offer discounts to military-affiliated families, homeowners in certain professions, such as teachers or engineers, or recent homebuyers. Sometimes, you can also save by opting for paperless billing or paying your premiums for a full year upfront.10

Since available discounts vary significantly between insurers, the best strategy is to simply ask a representative for the full list of available discounts so you can see what cost savings might be available to you.

 

  1. AVOID MAKING SMALL CLAIMS

 

Worried that your premiums will rise significantly in the future? Try to avoid making a claim unless truly necessary. Many insurers offer discounted rates to policyholders who go a certain number of years without filing a claim, and filing multiple claims typically results in large increases.10 If you file too many, you may even risk nonrenewal of your policy.11

Since the cost of even a small premium increase can add up significantly over time, if you have minor damage to your home—for example, if a few shingles blew off your roof in a windstorm—it may be a wiser long-term financial decision to pay out of pocket instead of filing a claim.

If the cost of the repair is less than your deductible, it never makes sense to file, and if it’s just slightly above your deductible, it’s also usually best to pay for the repairs yourself. Additionally, always be sure to review your policy before you make a claim. Even claims that are denied can count against you, so it’s not worth filing if the damage is clearly excluded from coverage.11

If you find yourself in this situation, feel free to reach out for a list of reasonably-priced professionals who can help with home repairs.

 

  1. BE STRATEGIC ABOUT HOME IMPROVEMENTS

 

Insurance premiums alone may not be the deciding factor for a home improvement project, but it’s important to know how renovations could impact your rates—for better or worse.

For example, some upgrades and repairs can reduce your premiums by making your home safer or less prone to certain types of damage. These include:12

       Upgrading your electrical system

       Updating your plumbing

       Installing a monitored security system

       Adding a fire sprinkler system

       Replacing the roof

On the other hand, some upgrades can raise premiums significantly, either because they increase the value of your home (and therefore the cost to replace it) or because they pose a hazard. These include:12

       Installing a swimming pool or other water features

       Building an extension or expanding your living space

       Upgrading materials, like flooring or countertops

       Adding a fireplace or woodstove

Whether or not your planned renovations are on either of these lists, it’s wise to inform your insurer about changes you make to your home—otherwise, you may risk gaps in coverage. And you’re always welcome to check with us before you begin any home improvement project to find out how it could impact the value and resale potential of your home.

 

BOTTOMLINE: Protect Your Investment Without Sacrificing Enjoyment of Your Home

 

Getting the coverage you need for financial security without overpaying can be a tricky balance, especially in today’s environment. But remember, while it’s important to find the best deal you can, home insurance isn’t an area to skimp on.

For advice on your specific risks and the type of coverage you need, we recommend consulting with a knowledgeable insurance professional. We’re happy to connect you with a trusted adviser in our network. And if you’re considering a home renovation, feel free to reach out for a free consultation on how it might affect your property value (and your premiums).

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, insurance, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

1.      Climate.gov -
https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/beyond-data/2023-historic-year-us-billion-dollar-weather-and-climate-disasters

2.      Bankrate -

https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/homeowners-insurance-cost/

3.      Policygenius -
https://www.policygenius.com/homeowners-insurance/home-insurance-pricing-report-2023/

4.      CNN -

https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/20/business/insurance-price-increase-risk-climate-first-street-dg/index.html

5.      BBC -

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-66367224

6.      US News -

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/how-climate-change-could-impact-your-home-value

7.      Nerdwallet -

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/how-to-shop-for-homeowners-insurance

8.      Nerdwallet -

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/save-on-homeowners-insurance

9.      US News and World Report -

https://www.usnews.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/how-to-bundle-home-and-auto-insurance

10.   Marketwatch -

https://www.marketwatch.com/guides/insurance-services/how-to-save-on-homeowners-insurance/

11.   Bankrate -

https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/when-to-file-a-home-insurance-claim/#when

12.   Bankrate -

https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/home-insurance-and-renovations/ 

 

Posted in Tips and Advice
March 29, 2024

5 Projects to Boost Curb Appeal with Kim Mathis and Associates, Best Realtor in North Carolina

As the best realtor in North Carolina, I'm excited to share some fantastic home improvement projects that will enhance the curb appeal of your beloved home. After all, first impressions matter, especially when it comes to wowing potential buyers or simply delighting your neighbors.

 

Luscious Landscaping: One of the easiest and most effective ways to boost curb appeal is by sprucing up your landscaping. Consider adding colorful flowers, trimming overgrown bushes, and maintaining a lush green lawn. Adding mulch to flower beds not only looks tidy but also helps retain moisture and prevents weed growth. A well-maintained landscape not only enhances the beauty of your home but also increases its value.

 

A Fresh Coat of Paint: Nothing revitalizes a home quite like a fresh coat of paint. Whether it's the front door, shutters, or trim, a new paint job can instantly breathe life into your home's exterior. Opt for colors that complement your home's architectural style and the surrounding landscape. Don't forget to power wash the exterior walls before painting to ensure a smooth and clean surface.

 

Charming Front Porch: Your front porch sets the tone for your home's exterior. Make it inviting by adding cozy furniture, potted plants, and decorative accents. Consider installing outdoor lighting to highlight architectural features and create a warm ambiance. A well-designed front porch not only adds curb appeal but also provides a welcoming space for relaxation and socializing.

 

Upgrade Your Garage Door: The garage door often occupies a significant portion of your home's facade, so why not make it a focal point? Consider upgrading to a stylish and durable garage door that complements your home's architecture. Whether it's traditional carriage-style doors or sleek modern designs, a new garage door can dramatically enhance the overall look of your home.

 

Revitalize Your Driveway: Don't overlook the importance of a well-maintained driveway. Repair any cracks or potholes, and consider sealing the surface to protect it from damage and enhance its appearance. Adding decorative elements such as brick borders or stamped concrete can add visual interest and elevate the curb appeal of your home.

 

Remember, these home improvement projects not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home but also increase its value and marketability. If you're considering selling your home or simply want to impress potential buyers, investing in these projects is a wise decision.

 

And if you're in the market to buy or sell a home in North Carolina, remember to reach out to Kim Mathis and Associates, best realtor in North Carolina. With our unparalleled expertise and dedication to client satisfaction, we'll ensure a smooth and successful real estate experience. Let's turn your homeownership dreams into reality!

Posted in Tips and Advice
March 22, 2024

A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Homebuyers from Kim Mathis & Associates, the Best Realtor in North Carolina

If you're diving into the exciting journey of buying your first home, congratulations! As the best realtor in North Carolina, Kim Mathis & Associates, serving North Carolina's vibrant communities, I understand the mix of emotions and questions that come with this milestone.

Here, I'm sharing some invaluable tips to help you navigate the homebuying process like a pro.

 

Exploring Homebuyer Programs:

One of the first steps in your homebuying journey should be researching homebuyer programs. These initiatives, often offered by government agencies or non-profit organizations, provide financial assistance, down payment grants, or favorable loan terms to qualified buyers. They can significantly ease the financial burden of purchasing your first home. Take the time to explore the options available in your area and see if you meet the eligibility criteria. As your trusted realtor, I can help you identify and leverage these programs to your advantage.

 

Expanding Your Search Area:

While it's natural to have a specific neighborhood or city in mind, expanding your search area can open up a world of possibilities. Sometimes, nearby neighborhoods offer similar amenities and housing options at more affordable prices. Don't hesitate to explore different areas and consider factors like commute times, school districts, and community amenities. As experts in the North Carolina real estate market, my team and I can provide valuable insights into various neighborhoods, helping you find the perfect fit for your lifestyle and budget.

 

Considering Multi-Generational Homes:

In today's housing market, multi-generational homes are becoming increasingly popular for their practicality and cost-saving benefits. Whether you're planning to accommodate aging parents or provide space for adult children, multi-gen homes offer flexibility and long-term value. When house hunting, consider properties with separate living spaces, accessory dwelling units, or layouts conducive to multi-generational living. As your dedicated real estate partner, I can help you explore these options and find a home that meets your family's unique needs.

 

Additional Tips for First-Time Homebuyers:

 

  • Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage: Before you start house hunting, it's essential to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you a clear understanding of your budget and strengthen your position as a serious buyer when making offers.
  • Don't Overlook Hidden Costs: Beyond the purchase price, remember to budget for closing costs, property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and potential maintenance expenses. Factor in these costs to ensure you're financially prepared for homeownership.
  • Attend Open Houses and Home Inspections: Take advantage of open houses and home inspections to thoroughly evaluate properties. Pay attention to details like structural integrity, maintenance issues, and potential renovations needed.
  • Negotiate Wisely: Don't be afraid to negotiate with sellers, especially in competitive markets. Your realtor can help you craft strategic offers and negotiate favorable terms on your behalf.
  • Plan for the Future: Think long-term when buying your first home. Consider your future needs, such as expanding your family or changing careers, and choose a property that can accommodate these changes.

 

Why Choose Kim Mathis & Associates?

At Kim Mathis & Associates, we're more than just real estate agents—we're your trusted advisors and advocates throughout the homebuying process. With our in-depth knowledge of the North Carolina market, personalized approach, and commitment to excellence, we ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for our clients. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, we go above and beyond to exceed your expectations and make your homeownership dreams a reality.

So, if you're ready to embark on this exciting journey, don't hesitate to reach out to Kim Mathis & Associates, the best realtor in North Carolina. Together, let's find the perfect place to call home.

Posted in Buying your Home
March 15, 2024

Kickstart Your Spring Cleaning Journey with Kim Mathis & Associates, Best Realtor in North Carolina

As the spring season unfolds, it's time to shake off the winter blues and dive headfirst into the wonderful world of spring cleaning. Trust me, I know a thing or two about the importance of a fresh start, both in your home and in your life.

So, grab your cleaning supplies and let's embark on this cleansing journey together!

 

Why Spring Cleaning Matters

Before we roll up our sleeves, let's talk about why spring cleaning is more than just a chore. It's an opportunity to declutter not only our physical spaces but also our minds. A clean and organized home sets the stage for a clear and focused mindset, allowing us to tackle new challenges with vigor and enthusiasm.

Moreover, as the best realtor serving the beautiful state of North Carolina, I can attest to the fact that a well-maintained home holds its value and attracts potential buyers like bees to honey. So, whether you're planning to sell your home or simply want to create a serene sanctuary for yourself and your loved ones, spring cleaning is the first step towards achieving that goal.

 

Getting Started

Now that we understand the significance of spring cleaning, let's dive into the nitty-gritty details. Here are some tips to help you kickstart your cleaning spree:

 

  • Make a Plan: Start by creating a comprehensive cleaning plan. Divide your home into manageable sections and allocate specific tasks to each area. Having a roadmap will keep you organized and motivated throughout the process.
  • Declutter with Purpose: Channel your inner Marie Kondo and declutter with purpose. Sort through your belongings and ask yourself if each item sparks joy. If not, it's time to bid farewell and create space for the things that truly matter.
  • Deep Clean: Once the clutter is out of the way, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get down to business. Dust those forgotten corners, scrub every surface, and don't forget to tackle those pesky baseboards and ceiling fans.
  • Organize Efficiently: Invest in storage solutions that maximize space and streamline your belongings. Whether it's stylish baskets, space-saving shelves, or closet organizers, a little organization goes a long way in maintaining a clutter-free home.
  • Freshen Up: Finally, add the finishing touches to your clean canvas. Open the windows to let in fresh air, light a scented candle, and adorn your space with fresh flowers for an instant mood lift.

 

Why Choose Kim Mathis & Associates

At Kim Mathis & Associates, we're more than just real estate experts; we're your partners in creating the home of your dreams. With our unparalleled knowledge of the North Carolina real estate market and our commitment to exceptional service, we'll help you find the perfect place to call home or sell your current property for top dollar.

So, why settle for anything less when you can work with the best realtor in North Carolina? Reach out to Kim Mathis & Associates today.

 

Spring is in the air and there's no better time to breathe new life into your home. With a little elbow grease and the support of Kim Mathis & Associates, the best realtor in North Carolina, you'll be well on your way to a brighter, happier, and cleaner living space. Happy cleaning!

Posted in Tips and Advice
March 8, 2024

Spring Selling Tips by Kim Mathis and Associates, Best Realtor in North Carolina

As the spring season approaches, many homeowners are gearing up to put their houses on the market. Spring is often considered one of the best times to sell a home, thanks to the favorable weather and increased buyer activity. However, even in a seller's market, there are common mistakes that can sabotage your efforts to sell quickly and for top dollar. To ensure a successful home-selling experience this spring, it's crucial to steer clear of these pitfalls. And who better to guide you through the process than Kim Mathis and Associates, the best realtor in North Carolina?

 

Neglecting Curb Appeal:

First impressions matter, especially in real estate. Many sellers make the mistake of focusing solely on the interior of their home while neglecting the exterior. Kim Mathis and Associates understand the importance of curb appeal and can offer valuable advice on enhancing your home's exterior to attract potential buyers from the moment they pull up to the curb.

 

Overpricing Your Home:

Setting the right price for your home is essential for a successful sale. While it's natural to want to maximize your profit, overpricing your home can deter potential buyers and prolong the selling process. Kim Mathis and Associates have a deep understanding of the local market trends and can help you price your home competitively to attract buyers while still ensuring you get the best possible price.

 

Ignoring Necessary Repairs:

Buyers are often deterred by homes that require significant repairs or updates. Before listing your home, it's essential to address any necessary repairs or improvements to make your property more appealing to potential buyers. Kim Mathis and Associates can provide guidance on which repairs are essential and how to prioritize them to maximize your return on investment.

 

Skipping Professional Staging:

Proper staging can significantly impact how buyers perceive your home. Professional staging helps potential buyers envision themselves living in the space and highlights its best features. Kim Mathis and Associates can connect you with expert stagers who can transform your home into a showplace that stands out in the competitive spring market.

 

Neglecting Marketing:

Effective marketing is key to attracting buyers and selling your home quickly. Simply listing your home on the MLS may not be enough to reach the right audience. Kim Mathis and Associates employ a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes online listings, social media promotion, open houses, and more, ensuring maximum exposure for your property.

 

Selling your home this spring can be a seamless and profitable experience with the right guidance. By avoiding these common mistakes and enlisting the help of Kim Mathis and Associates, the best realtor in North Carolina, you can navigate the selling process with confidence and achieve your goals. Don't let these pitfalls derail your home-selling journey—reach out to Kim Mathis and Associates today and take the first step towards a successful sale!

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 1, 2024

Downsize Your Home, Rightsize Your Life: How to Choose the Ideal Smaller Home with Kim Mathis and Associates, The Best Realtor in North Carolina

When you've lived somewhere for many years, it can be tough to say goodbye. But if you (or a loved one) currently have a home that is bigger than necessary or is too high maintenance, it may be time to trade unused square footage for a smaller, more manageable space.

Take it from the downsizers who’ve been there: Although living small might require some adjustments, it can also be liberating––especially if you're in a stage of life where past responsibilities have given way to new possibilities and adventures. 

In fact, many downsizers report feeling invigorated by the change, according to real estate journalist and author Sheri Koones. “It scares people to think of moving into a smaller space,” said Koones to the Associated Press. “But every single person I interviewed who has made the transition says they are so happy they did.”1

The key is to find somewhere you can live well and move around comfortably, without feeling overly restricted. If you like the idea of aging in place or are already in your golden years, you may also want to look for signs that a new home can conveniently age with you.

With that in mind, we recommend focusing your search around three key factors: desired lifestyle, optimal design, and long-term accessibility. Read on for specific tips, then call us for a free consultation. Kim Mathis and Associates, the best realtor in North Carolina can help you identify the types of homes that are best suited to living large with less.

 

Do you have a loved one whose housing needs have changed?
Share this information to help start a conversation about the benefits of downsizing.

 

DESIRED LIFESTYLE

The best part of downsizing is the lifestyle you unlock when you trade square footage for convenience. With fewer chores and home maintenance tasks to worry about, you can instead channel your energy into other pursuits.

For example, instead of spending your afternoons working in the yard or cleaning, you can catch up on the news, read a bestseller, start a new craft project, or pursue other hobbies. You may even be able to travel or spend more time with friends and family.

Research shows that individuals over the age of 65 report more life satisfaction when they have the opportunity to spend time around children, talk with friends, socialize in community centers, volunteer, or engage in hobbies. But that can be hard to do regularly when you've got a home that needs constant attention or you live far from your community.2

As you compare potential homes, keep in mind the type of lifestyle you envision. Do you plan to travel? If so, a home with extra security, such as a condominium or gated community, may give you some welcome peace of mind. Or do you plan to have friends and family stay overnight? In that case, you may want to look for a floor plan with flex space or a property that has access to separate guest suites.

Alternatively, a senior community that offers catered meals and housekeeping may be a better choice if you or a spouse need extra support.

Action item: Grab a pen and take some time to envision what your ideal future might look like. Write down the activities and hobbies you hope to add to your life or continue with going forward, as well as the chores and responsibilities you'd love to drop. We can use those answers to help shape your house hunt.

 

OPTIMAL DESIGN

Even though your new home will be smaller, that doesn't mean it has to feel cramped. As Koones explains, “The key is to have a home that is efficiently designed, both in terms of energy use and in terms of space.”1

Look for features that can help make a space feel bigger, like high ceilings, large windows, and an open layout.

Built-in shelving that extends all the way to the ceiling can also make a small room feel more expansive by helping to draw the eye upward. The same goes for highly placed window treatments and striped or mural-style wallpaper, says interior designer, Kati Greene Curtis. “You’ll feel like you’re walking into the scene,” said Curtis to the Washington Post.3

Efficient layouts with flexible, multi-purpose rooms and few, if any, hallways work especially well for small-scale living. You can also limit dead space in a home by steering clear of layouts with awkward corners, unusable nooks, and other space-eating design elements.

In addition, look for features that support a simpler, lower-maintenance lifestyle, such as easy-care floors, durable countertops, and bare walls with little, if any, crown molding.

Don’t write off a home too soon, though, if it feels narrow or congested because of outdated design or poor staging. Cosmetic issues that visually shrink a space are often easy to fix.

For example, you can instantly make a room feel bigger just by painting it a lighter shade. Adding mirrors and swapping out heavy curtains for sheer ones can also be effective. Plus, utilizing multipurpose furniture with hidden storage is a great way to maximize space.

Action item: Make a note of your must-keep furniture and other items. Then pull out a measuring tape and write down the dimensions. Once it's time to visit homes, we'll have a more accurate sense of what will fit and how much space you’ll need.

To get your creative juices flowing, you may also want to flip through some design magazines that specialize in compact living or catalogs that feature space-saving furniture and accessories. If you give us a list of your favorite features, we can use it to pinpoint homes that are a good match.

 

LONG-TERM ACCESSIBILITY

Buying a home that you can age well in can be a great way to boost your health prospects and happiness. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), homeowners who age in place instead of in an institutional environment not only save money over time, they also enjoy greater health and emotional benefits.4

Aging in place is also popular. According to survey findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, the vast majority of adults between the ages of 50 and 80 would prefer to age in their own homes.5

But even though many adults want to age in place, only 34% of surveyed adults currently live in a home with the features to make it possible.5

If you're already in the second half of your life, then it's smart to prioritize accessibility now, even if you're highly mobile.

Choosing an accessible home will improve your odds of staying put for longer. Plus, you never know when you might need an accessible light switch, handrails in the bathroom, or a seat in the shower, says Sheri Koones. “Yes, older people with disabilities need them, but even younger people break a leg skiing, or have situations where they want a barrier-free shower.”1 

As you consider your options, try to imagine what your needs might be as you get older and be proactive in identifying potential obstacles, recommends the National Council on Aging (NCOA).6

For example, a single-level home or one with wide enough stairs for a stair lift or access to an elevator may be a more practical choice than a home with lots of narrow stairs. Alternatively, a home with at least one ground-level bedroom and bathroom may also work well for you.

Consider your needs outside the home, as well: If you frequently visit the doctor, grocery store, or community center, for example, then you may benefit from choosing a property nearby.

Action item: Review the checklist below, adapted from the National Institute on Aging’s home safety worksheet, or download the full version from the agency’s website.7 Highlight the items that are most important to you. We can reference these guidelines as we consider potential homes and suggest ways to adapt a property to meet your current or future requirements.

 

HOME SAFETY CHECKLIST 7

      If a walker or wheelchair is needed, can the entrances to the house be modified — perhaps by putting in a ramp to the front door?

      Are there any tripping hazards at exterior entrances or inside the house?

      Are the hallways and doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair if needed?

      Does the home have at least one ground-floor bedroom and bathroom?

      Are there any staircases, and if so, could they accommodate a stair lift?

      Is the house well-lit, inside and out, particularly at the top and bottom of stairs?

      Could handrails be installed on both sides of the staircase?

      Is there at least one stairway handrail that extends beyond the first and last steps on each flight of stairs?

      Are outdoor steps sturdy and textured to prevent falls in wet or icy weather?

      Are there grab bars near toilets and in the tub or shower?

      Have a shower stool and hand-held shower head been installed to make bathing easier?

      Is the water heater set at 120° F to avoid scalding tap water?

      Are there safety knobs and an automatic shut-off switch on the stove?

      Have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms been installed near the kitchen and in all bedrooms?

      Are there secure locks on all outside doors and windows?

 

BOTTOMLINE

You don't have to compromise on comfort to downsize successfully. We can help you strategize your next move and identify the best new home for you—whether that's a smaller home for rent or another one to call your own. Kim Mathis and Associates, the best realtor in North Carolina, take pride in offering a full-service real estate experience and assisting our clients through all stages of the real estate journey. And we’ll go the extra mile to maximize your current home's sales price so that you’re set up for financial security. Give us a call today and find out for yourself why we are the best realtor in North Carolina.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

1.      Associated Press (AP) -
https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-f094372b46bae82020c174907eb953c0

2.      Healthcare (Basel) -
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10671417/

3.      Washington Post -
https://www.washingtonpost.com/home/2023/02/07/make-small-room-appear-larger/

4.      HUD User -
https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/em/fall13/highlight2.html

5.      National Poll on Healthy Aging - https://www.healthyagingpoll.org/reports-more/report/older-adults-preparedness-age-place

6.      National Council on Aging (NCOA) - https://www.ncoa.org/adviser/medical-alert-systems/downsizing-for-aging-in-place/

7.      National Institute of Health (NIH)  - https://www.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2023-04/worksheet-home-safety-checklist_1.pdf

Posted in Finding Your Home
Feb. 23, 2024

Spring into Action: Preparing Your Home to Sell with Kim Mathis & Associates, the Best Realtor in North Carolina

As the spring season approaches, it's time to shake off the winter blues and get ready for a fresh start. And what better way to embrace the new season than by preparing your home to sell? I'm Kim Mathis, and along with my incredible team at Kim Mathis & Associates,the best realtors in North Carolina, we're here to guide you through the process of getting your home market-ready for a successful sale in North Carolina.

With years of experience in the real estate market, we understand the importance of making a stellar first impression. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let's dive into some expert tips on how to spruce up your home and attract potential buyers this spring.

 

Curb Appeal Makeover: The first thing potential buyers see is the exterior of your home, so let's make it count! Start by tidying up the yard, trimming bushes, and adding pops of color with fresh flowers. A well-maintained lawn and a welcoming entrance will instantly captivate buyers.

 

Declutter and Depersonalize: One of the golden rules of staging your home is to declutter and depersonalize the space. Remove personal items and excessive decorations to allow buyers to envision themselves living in the home. Aim for a clean, minimalist look that highlights the features of your property.

 

Let the Light In: Bright, airy spaces are incredibly inviting, so maximize natural light by opening curtains and blinds during showings. Consider adding mirrors to reflect light and make rooms appear larger and more spacious.

 

Freshen Up with Paint: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in transforming the look and feel of your home. Stick to neutral tones that appeal to a wide range of tastes and create a blank canvas for buyers to imagine their own style.

 

Focus on Kitchen and Bathrooms: These are often the most important rooms for buyers, so pay extra attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Update hardware, replace outdated fixtures, and ensure everything is sparkling clean. A modern, updated kitchen and bathroom can significantly increase the value of your home.

 

Highlight Outdoor Living Spaces: Spring is the perfect time to showcase outdoor living areas such as patios, decks, and gardens. Add cozy seating, colorful cushions, and potted plants to create inviting spaces for buyers to imagine themselves enjoying outdoor living.

 

Work with the Best: When it comes to selling your home, having the right realtor by your side can make all the difference. At Kim Mathis & Associates, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch service, personalized attention, and unparalleled expertise in the North Carolina real estate market. With our proven track record of success, you can trust us to handle every aspect of your home sale with professionalism and care.

 

So, if you're ready to make a move this spring, why not partner with the best? Contact Kim Mathis & Associates today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards selling your home with confidence.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 16, 2024

Achieving Homeownership: A Guide to Condos and Townhomes with Kim Mathis and Associates, the Best Realtor in North Carolina

As a seasoned realtor with Kim Mathis and Associates, recognized as the best realtor team in North Carolina, I've had the pleasure of guiding countless individuals and families through the process of finding their perfect home.

Let's dive right in and explore why condos and townhomes might be the perfect fit for you, and how my team and I can make this journey smooth sailing from start to finish.

 

The Appeal of Condos and Townhomes:

Condos and townhomes offer a unique blend of convenience, affordability, and community living that resonates with many homebuyers. Here's why they're worth considering:

  • Affordability: Condos and townhomes often come with a lower price tag compared to single-family homes, making them an attractive option for first-time buyers or those looking to downsize without compromising on quality.
  • Low Maintenance: Say goodbye to yard work and exterior maintenance headaches! Many condo and townhome communities include amenities like landscaping, exterior repairs, and even some utilities in the monthly dues, allowing homeowners to focus on enjoying their space rather than maintaining it.
  • Community Living: Whether it's a vibrant urban condo complex or a cozy townhome neighborhood, condos and townhomes often foster a strong sense of community. Shared amenities such as pools, gyms, and common areas provide opportunities for socializing and building relationships with neighbors.

 

Why Choose Kim Mathis and Associates:

Now, let's talk about why partnering with Kim Mathis and Associates is the smartest move you can make on your journey to homeownership:

  • Expertise: With years of experience in the North Carolina real estate market, my team and I have an in-depth understanding of local trends, neighborhoods, and property values. We leverage this expertise to find the perfect condo or townhome that aligns with your preferences and budget.
  • Personalized Service: At Kim Mathis and Associates, we believe in personalized service tailored to each client's unique needs and goals. From the initial consultation to closing day and beyond, we're dedicated to providing top-notch support and guidance every step of the way.
  • Extensive Network: As the best realtor team in North Carolina, we have built strong relationships with lenders, inspectors, and other professionals in the industry. This network allows us to streamline the homebuying process and connect you with trusted partners who can help make your homeownership dreams a reality.

 

Your Path to Homeownership Starts Here:

Ready to take the plunge into homeownership with a beautiful condo or townhome? Reach out to Kim Mathis and Associates today to schedule a consultation. Let's work together to find the perfect property that meets your needs, fits your budget, and exceeds your expectations.

Remember, with Kim Mathis and Associates, the best realtor in North Carolina, by your side, achieving homeownership has never been easier. Let's make your dream home a reality!

Posted in Finding Your Home