The Bourke Group Real Estate Scoop – October 2016 Edition

 
bf1f3d82-9097-436f-94e5-d44bef43e022How to Keep Your Home Allergy Free

Allergies are often associated with the arrival of spring, but indoor allergy sufferers will often find themselves sniffing and sneezing year-round. The culprit? Indoor allergens such as dust, dust mites and pet hair and dander. So how do you make sure your home is a respite from both seasonal and interior allergens and create a healthy environment for you and your family? … continue reading

 

 

 

October Market Update

A cooling trend in the housing market continued in August with diminished inventory levels being the primary driving force behind 2016-10-oct-tmirethe decline. Despite near rock-bottom mortgage rates and healthy job growth, home sales eased after reaching record-setting levels in June. Affordability concerns have delayed some first-time buyers, which could contribute to pent-up demand in the future.

Interest Rates

Interest rates remain near all-time lows. Mortgage rates have remained relatively flat; however, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has suggested that an increase in the interest rate may be coming this December.

 

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Do you know of anyone looking to buy, sell, invest or discuss a career in real estate?  Call us today for more information, 828-771-2333, or contact us here.

 

 

Kitchen Island Styles For Your Asheville Area Home to Fit Any Use

Regardless of the size of your kitchen remodel, adding an island to your design is one of the best things you can do to make your home more livable. There are many ways to fit an island into your kitchen. Here are some types of kitchen islands to consider:
1) Go traditional.
If you have a small kitchen, you may not think you have room for a separate island. But even spatially limited kitchens have space for an island. Choose an appropriately sized island that blends well with the rest of the room.

The blend-in strategy works best for small kitchens, so choose colors and materials that are similar to what you already have. Whether you blend a butcher-block kitchen island into a wood-grain kitchen or select a small, black granite island to complement your black and white kitchen, you will end up with a stunning result.

2) Add more storage.
Many older kitchens suffer from two distinct, but interrelated, problems: a lack of room and a lack of storage space. You can solve both problems by converting an old table into a stunning kitchen island. Just add some storage shelves underneath one side of the table and some barstools to the other side.

You can top off your new kitchen island with a stunning butcher block or sturdy granite top. This idea works well in all kinds of kitchens – just choose a smaller table for a tiny kitchen and a larger one for a roomier space.

3) Build in versatility.
One of the smartest things you can do is make your kitchen island versatile enough to serve a variety of different uses. Position your island to help with meal prep, provide additional storage space and even offer a place for your children to do their homework.

You can please everyone by using various bench heights in your new kitchen island. Higher barstools will allow your kids to do their homework, while low-slung benches will help you to prepare meals or enjoy a romantic dinner with your significant other.

4) Create a private area.
Whether you want to give the kids a private space to do their homework or create a cozy cooking nook for yourself, you can use your kitchen island to create a sense of privacy and block off a new space.

You can use your kitchen island to create a sense of openness. But sometimes it can do the opposite. If your kitchen is already fairly open, walling off a corner is a great way to restore a sense of privacy.

5) Use it for cooking.
Kitchen islands also provide extra room for prep work. Be sure to choose an island that can withstand sharp objects and hot pots and pans. A butcher-block counter, for example, is great for cutting up meats and baking prep work.

You can use your kitchen island in many different ways. Whether your kitchen is small and cozy or large and open, you can design a kitchen island that fits your needs, brings your family together and enhances the livability and value of your home.

 

Do you need to hire a professional to install your kitchen island?  Give us a call, we’re happy to point you in the right direction, 828-771-2333.

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The Bourke Group, Keller Williams Professionals, www.TheBourkeGroup.com

3 Upgrades That Add Value to Your Home

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One of the best things a seller can do to increase the value of their home is start on a few home improvement projects. The following are some of the least expected upgrades that pack a large return for your investment:
  1. Install a Steel Door
    Aside from safe communities, buyers also want safe homes. Steel doors offer a feeling of security and protection, and will give you an impressive ROI of 101.8 percent.*
  2. Add a Wooden Deck
    Wooden decks are ideal for outdoor spaces. They make the home feel larger and typically cost less than brick patios, with an ROI of 80.5 percent.*
  3. Improve Curb Appeal
    The first areas of a home that buyers see are the driveway, front yard and the front of the house. Add some shrubs or flowers, pressure wash the driveway and repaint the front door to make a lasting impression.*Source: Realtor.com®
When you’re ready for your next move, call me to discuss home improvements that will add value and make your home stand out among the competition.

The Bourke Group, Keller Williams Professionals, www.TheBourkeGroup.com

3 Rules to Remember When Shopping for a Mortgage

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If you’re in the market for a new home, you’re probably in the market for a new mortgage. Here are 3 critical shopping tips for anyone looking for a new loan.

  • Know the Terms
    All the terms of a loan matter. Unfortunately, shopping for a mortgage is not as simple as finding out how much a lender will let you borrow and at what interest rate. You’ll want to get a complete breakdown of what any offer your receive means to you on a monthly basis as well as how much money you’ll be spending over the life of the loan.
  • Not all Mortgages are the same
    There are several mortgage types available to residential home buyers. Most people will shop for a traditional fixed rate mortgage, but other options are available including adjustable rate loans (ARMs), Federal Housing Administration loans (FHAs), and Veteran’s Administration loans. You’ll want to be sure to understand what kind of loan a lender is offering you.
  • Fees, Fees, Fees
    Most loans have fees associated with them in additional to the principal amount borrowed to buy the home. You can sometimes borrow the money need to cover these fees, but that will obviously increase the overall amount of debt you undertake. Some fees are paid up front, and others are not due until closing.

If you’d like to chat with us personally about how to shop for a mortgage and what other questions you can ask lenders to find the best deal, give me a call at any time, 828-771-2333. We’re happy to get you started on the right path so we can start looking for your new home!

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The Bourke Group, Keller Williams Professionals, www.TheBourkeGroup.com

How to Keep Your Asheville Area Home Allergy Free

 

Allergies are often associated with the arrival of spring, but indoor allergy sufferers will often find themselves sniffing and sneezing year-round. The culprit? Indoor allergens such as dust, dust mites and pet hair and dander. So how do you make sure your home is a respite from both seasonal and interior allergens and create a healthy environment for you and your family?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there are several best practices you can adopt to manage allergens in your home:
 

1. Keep it clean. Regularly cleaning your home will go far in reducing allergens such as dust, dust mites and pet dander.

 

2. Redo your floors. Replacing rugs and carpets with wood or vinyl floorings will help minimize dust and other allergens that become embedded in fabric fibers.

3. Groom your furry friends. Regularly bathing and brushing your pets will help reduce the amount of dander and pet hair in your home.

 

 

4. Go on mold patrol. Be on the lookout for any leaks or moisture in your home as this can cause mold to thrive.


Simple tips like these can create a happier, healthier and more valuable home. Thank you for thinking of me for all of your real estate needs, and be sure to share my contact information with anyone you know of looking to buy, sell or invest in a home.

 

The Bourke Group, Keller Williams Professionals, 86 Asheland Avenue; Asheville, NC  28801

www.TheBourkeGroup.com

828-771-2333

How can your Asheville area home make you happier?

Your home should be your sanctuary, a refuge from the stresses of everyday life, where you can relax, enjoy yourself and spend time with friends and family. If your home isn’t bringing you the happiness it should, take a look at the following tips to help put a smile on your face whenever you walk in your front door.

Surround yourself with mood-boosting colors. Red, orange and yellow are most often associated with generating positive feelings. If those colors don’t make you smile, surround yourself with the colors that you’re most drawn to. Try using one of your favorite memories for inspiration. If you took a life-changing trip to Greece a few years ago, why not paint your bedroom the deep blue of the Aegean Sea?
 

Fill the air with blissful scents. Many scents, including jasmine, citrus and freshly baked bread, are reported to be linked to happiness. Scent is also closely linked with memory, so filling your home with a scent tied to happy memories will give your spirits a lift.

 

Create a dedicated space for your favorite hobbies. Spending time on activities that bring you joy is important to your overall happiness. Whether your passion is reading, painting or woodworking, having a space devoted to your favorite hobby will motivate you to spend more time doing what you love.

 

Bring the outdoors in. According to Psychology Today, there is a significant link between time spent enjoying nature and happiness. To bring Mother Nature indoors, fill your home with plants and fresh flowers or just open your curtains to enjoy the view of any nearby gardens or trees.

Simple tips like these can create a happier, healthier and more valuable home.

Thank you for thinking of me for all of your real estate needs, and be sure to share my contact information with anyone you know of looking to buy, sell or invest in a home.

 

The Bourke Group, Keller Williams Professionals, 86 Asheland Avenue; Asheville, NC  28801

www.TheBourkeGroup.com

828-771-2333

The Bourke Group Real Estate Scoop – September 2016 Edition

Late Summer Tips to Ready Your Home for Fall
Fall is fast approaching, and with it, the need for home maintenance. According to experts, the most important tasks for late summer are:Painting the ExteriorLower humidity and cooler temperatures make late summer and early fall ideal times to paint the exterior of the home.Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts

Clear all drainage areas of leaves and debris, and consider installing gutter guards.

Inspecting the Roof

Hire a licensed professional to examine the roof for wear and tear. (If the shingles are buckling, cracking or curling, it is time to replace them.) Be sure the professional assesses the flashing around chimneys, pipes and/or skylights.

read on …

 

 

 

September Market Update2016-09-sept-tmire

The housing market cooled in July as inventory remains at inadequate levels in many regions, particularly in the starter-home category. Affordability appears to be impacting prospective buyers despite near record-low mortgage rates. After several consecutive months of steady growth, home sales declined over the year prior for the first time since November 2015.
Interest Rates

Interest rates remain near all-time lows. Mortgage rates have remained flat; however, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has hinted that conditions are such that an increase in the interest rate may be coming later in the year.

 

See what’s happening in your area, subscribe to our Market Insider.

Click here to see our full newsletter.


Do you know of anyone looking to buy, sell, invest or discuss a career in real estate?  Call us today for more information, 828-771-2333, or contact us here.

 

 

Enjoying Fall In The Blue Ridge Mountains

While Asheville is known for its vibrant downtown scene and diverse dining options, the fall season is what really draws the crowds.  “Leaf Season”, as we call it in the mountains, is when we get to see the mountain’s true colors (no pun intended) as fall sets in and the leaves begin to change.  Our newscasters forecast the peak times travelers should be sure to visit and you can definitely see a change in the traffic patterns around here.  While you can hop onto the parkway conveniently from many areas in town, there are some outlying areas that are also worth checking out.  Here are some upcoming events in various areas where you can either be entertained or simply enjoy the beauty of fall.

via romanticasheville.com

Orchdownloadard at Altapass, Blue Ridge Parkway:  The Orchard at Altapass is a great stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, at Milepost 328.3 (about 55 miles north of Asheville). It’s between Mt. Mitchell and Linville Falls.  There you can enjoy live music, homemade ice cream and fudge, visiting the Butterfly Conservation Center, or taking a hayride through the apple orchards.  Find them on Facebook

 

 

WNC Mountain State Fair:  September 9-18, 2016  The North Carolina Mountain State Fair in Asheville is the “state fair” of the west. The ten-day event, attended by 180,000+ people, celebrates the people, agriculture, art and tradition that make our region great. It’s fun for all ages, with plenty of exhibits, animals, food, rides and more. The fair is held at the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center, near the Asheville Regional Airport (I-26 East, exit 40).  Find them on Facebook

 

Art in Autumn:  Saturday, September 17th, 2016:  A juried art and crafts festival: Ten years on Main Street, Weaverville, NC.  The tenth annual Art in Autumn Outdoor Arts and Crafts Festival takes place Saturday, September 17, 2016, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Weaverville, North Carolina, located in Buncombe county 7 miles from downtown Asheville.  Find them on Facebook

ExploreAsheville.com has also created a list of ways you can experience fall in the mountains, great for visitors and locals alike.images

If your fall trip includes searching for homes, give The Bourke Group a call, we’ll be happy to help you find the very right place for you here in the mountains, 828-771-2333.

How to Get Your Asheville Area Home Ready to Sell

Selling a home is more than just meeting with an agent, putting a sign in the yard and getting it listed online.  There is a good bit of prep work that needs to be done to make your home show ready as well as maintenance to keep it that way.  Once you’ve met with an agent and committed to selling, here are some things to keep in mind.

Curb Appeal (make a great first impression)download

  • Keep the lawn mowed & leaves raked, trees & shrubs trimmed
  • Remove dead plants, trees, or flowers and keep flower beds free from weeds
  • Clean gutters, downspouts & windows
  • Clean/replace mailbox if needed
  • Sweep or blow debris/leaves from walkways, decks and steps
  • Replace or repair any broken steps, screens, windows, shingles, etc

 

Clean, Clean Clean (keep your home as clean as possible for unexpected showings)

  •  Every room should be neat, clean, dusted and uncluttered
  • Clean the refrigerator, stove, ceiling fans, etc
  • Use air-fresheners to keep your home smelling fresh and clean
  • Add flowers (fresh or faux) to accent your home

Lighting (bright light bulbs in the foyer and throughout)

  • Replace burned out light bulbslamps-lighting-1
  • Add lamps or lighting to dark rooms
  • Keep curtains open to allow natural light

De-clutter rooms and closets

  • Remove all knick-knacks (collections) from your shelves
  • Clear all of your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible
  • Clear out some clothes in the closets and organize shelves and shoes
  • Keep the floors clear from boxes and miscellaneous items/clutter

HIDE VALUABLES AND PRESCRIPTIONS

Depersonalize

  • Remove magnets and personal photos from the refrigerator
  • A home with too much “personality” can be difficult to sell, help the buyers visualize the home being theirs.

Complete necessary repairs/replacements to correct deferred maintenance

  •  Examples:  leaky faucets, torn screens, worn doormats, etc

Please leave premises during showings

  • You will be able to decide how much notice you need in order to get the home ready and remove pets if needed
  • Buyers like to have the opportunity to tour a home freely and discuss their thoughts with their agent while they are there

 

Selling a home may seem like a lot of work, but if you just view it as every day maintenance, you’ll have a stress free selling process.  Who doesn’t like coming home when it’s nice and clean?

Call The Bourke Group when you’re ready to discuss selling your home, 828-771-2333, we have a dynamic sales team of dedicated agents ready to help you make your next move.

Curious about the price of homes in your neighborhood?  Subscribe to our Market Insider.

Ready to start searching for your next home?  Set up a search and receive automated alerts when homes are listed that match your criteria.

 

 

 

 

The Bourke Group Real Estate Scoop – August 2016 Edition

8 Household Projects to Leave to the Professionalsc461f0ac-52b8-4733-b874-c53b4eb894c3

via (www.ahs.com)

DIY home projects are great for saving money and enjoying a good challenge, but these household projects are better left for professionals.

For some people, DIY is just a way of life. But whether your goal is to save money or just to enjoy a good challenge, there are some projects that are simply better left to the professionals. Whatever you do, don’t try these at home.
1. Flooring

On the surface, flooring seems like the perfect DIY project. But in reality, there’s much more to it than ripping up the old and replacing with new. Whether it’s carpet, wood or tile, there are several steps that (if not done correctly) could mean starting all over again. Plus, you never know what you’ll find underneath. You could have previous flooring material that’s now warped, damaged or in serious need of staining. Then of course, there’s the sub floor, which could be cracked or rotten and would need to be addressed before anything else can be done.

On top of all of that, there’s the sheer amount of waste that comes with the project. Your trashcan is definitely not big enough to hold it all. Do yourself a favor and call a professional right from the start.

read on

 

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August Market Update 

Home sales in June surged to their highest level in years, putting 2016 on track to be the best year for home sales since the recession. Near rock-bottom mortgage rates continue to lure more and more buyers into the market despite steadily rising prices and low inventory levels.
Interest Rates

Interest rates decreased slightly from the month prior and remain near all-time lows. Mortgage rates have declined recently due to the drop in U.S. Treasury rates created by the uncertainty surrounding the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.

 

See what’s happening in your area, subscribe to our Market Insider.

Click here to see our full newsletter.


Do you know of anyone looking to buy, sell, invest or discuss a career in real estate?  Call us today for more information, 828-771-2333, or contact us here.