Mailbag Edition: Fixer Uppers, Cash Pits, Marketing & Budgets

The Savvy Synopsis

When is a home a fixer upper worth buying and when does it become a money pit? How do you set a budget for buying a house and how does Angie’s team market a home to sell? Angie will answer all of these questions and more on today’s podcast answering your questions from the mailbag.

0:38 Did you see this? The tower house.

  • Unique house for sale in upstate New York is on a lake that is shaped like a lighthouse or “Rapunzel” tower.
  • A huge spiral staircase brings the homeowner up to a beautiful view of the lake might make for a fun vacation home.
  • Angie has seen some unique things as she’s toured thousands of homes in the area. Ones that stand out include seeing dramatic murals in homes before as well as some maxed out basements here in the Triangle.

4:59 Mailbag: Fixer Upper

  • Joey has looked at a few homes with minor issues like carpet stains or ugly countertops. Is there a fine line between a fixer upper and a cash pit?
  • It depends on the buyer and how savvy you are and if you’re willing to put in sweat equity.
  • If it’s just more cosmetic like floors, counter tops, and fresh paint then you should be open to those changes.
  • Make sure you are buying the home at the value of its true condition.
  • You can always hire a professional to do some of these things too, so don’t let this scare you away. 
  • There’s always something you will want to change.
  • Overestimate the amount of time and money it will take to make the repairs.

10:11 Marketing a home for sale 

  • Darcy asks what are some of the outside-of-the-box ways you use to help people sell their home?
  • Angie has the radio show and podcast, with the ability to market a home they are selling.
  • She also has a professional stager to make your home show the best.
  • A professional photographer is key. They also create floor plan drawings.
  • Angie’s team also uses social media advertising with targeted ads.

11:49 Home buying budget

  • Grant from Garner is trying to set a house buying budget and doesn’t want to end up house poor. Is there good guideline to follow?
  • Angie suggests not going off of the pre-qualification number that the lender gives you but the monthly payment you can make.
  • Tell the mortgage lender your monthly budget then ask for the purchase price.
  • One of the preferred lenders for Angie’s team is Ned Liggon, and they have a useful mortgage app for your smartphone. Text LENDING to 555888 if you want to download the app.

14:51 Basement update

  • Darlene in Fuquay-Varina says they have a huge empty basement, but she isn’t sure what to do with it. They will probably sell it in a year or two, so what should they do?
  • Angie says it depends on the surrounding homes in their neighborhood. The largest and most expensive home in a neighborhood likely won’t get a lot of value out of it.
  • If finishing off the space won’t push you to the highest price in the neighborhood, it’s probably worth making it into a living space like a bonus room or maybe another bedroom.

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The Host:

Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:

Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...

Speaker 1: It's time for the savvy real tour podcast I'm Walter Salt alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of a co realty serving you throughout the triangle, teaching you about the ends announced When it comes to buying or selling a home, you can find the team online by going to a coal realty dot com. That's a c o l e realty dot com, or by calling 0 91957831 to 8. That's 919578331 to 8, and now it's time for one of the top rail tours in the triangle. Angie Cole and the savvy real Tour podcast. This is the savvy real tour, and this is segment we call. Did you see this? And this was something that I don't even know how I stumbled across this. Angie, this is just a like, you know, a listing you would find on Zillow. Or in this case, I think it was a real tour dot com listing. But I saw somebody feature this probably on social media or something like that. But it's a unique house that's for sale up in New York somewhere in new. I think it's upstate New York, maybe, but it's on a lake, so it's a lakefront house, but it's shaped like a lighthouse, so it's got, like, almost like the innkeeper's house down below. And then in the middle, it's got this huge spiral staircase that goes up, you know, basically the shape of a lighthouse, you know, pretty high up into the air and then overlooks the lake from up there. And it's got a little observatory up at the top of the lake. I don't know. It seemed like a pretty cool, pretty cool little place.

Speaker 2: It looks super cool. And I I of course I didn't see it until you brought to my attention. But it is the neatest little home. I mean stuff Lee unique, right? But yeah, it looks like it was, I wondered who was like a little white house overlooking the lake. It is the prettiest views. There's a deck going out back, and I love the windows of it as well. They kind of I don't know what you would call them.

Speaker 1: They did like a a mural, too. On the inside walls of the view that's up top downloaded a mural of the upper views.

Speaker 2: I mean, it's just one of the most unique homes out there. We should give people the address. Oh, here it is. 6518 East Shore Road in Watson, W. S. O. N New York It is a super cool home.

Speaker 1: They also call it the Rapunzel Tower. I thought it looked more like a lighthouse, but then some people said it was a reponsible tower. And so if you Google Rapunzel Tower in New York, it'll probably come up

Speaker 2: pop right out.

Speaker 1: Yeah, it's

Speaker 2: huge. It's only

Speaker 1: 2 59 which for a lakefront home seems pretty affordable on

Speaker 2: any your work

Speaker 1: and in New York would

Speaker 2: be, Yeah, dollars only 1000 square feet but still acre lot in New York for you think the land alone will cost that much, right?

Speaker 1: Right, Exactly. So I don't know. It's pretty cool. I don't know anything about the area, obviously, but it got me thinking, though, have you run across all the homes that you've listed and the buyers you've helped over the years? Have you come across any unique homes that had or just something a little different about it? Kind of like this one with the lighthouse theme.

Speaker 2: Yeah, I feel like I know I have. I have seen murals before, 100% and I've even, unfortunately bet on listing appointments where there was, you know, these murals, Maybe in, like, a kid's bedroom. And Oh, it's the worst thing when we tell them we probably should paint over it, you know? I mean, they're just heartbroken. I've had that happen. Unfortunately, I'm trying to think I've seen now some really just cool, you know, maxed out basements. I mean, where they are, I'm like, Whoa, I wish this was my home. You know, the full kitchen. I mean, it is just a cool, stellar basement. So I have seen that now I haven't seen anything just really out of the ordinary or different that I could share with you guys. I know that's boring,

Speaker 1: but that for our area, that sounds like it fits, though with, you know, people love their basements, I think, especially in the triangle. And so, yes, Cem, Cem, like, over the top basements. This

Speaker 2: reminds me, though there's a show on HD TV and it's something about like, cool houses. And I've watched many of the episodes and its homes like this that they you know, fine. And, you know, maybe I mean one was taken all over by. It was like, I think the Chicago Bears fan and I mean, they had a ducked out basement where it was, I mean, crazy, insane amount of money into their basement. But all Chicago bear stuff, right? They had another one that was themed like, medieval times. Just really different, unique, you know, humps. So it's cool.

Speaker 1: Yeah, pretty neat. There's thought you'd enjoy hearing about that again. If you want to check out this home, just Google something like Rapunzel Tower, New York in this home, I think, will likely pop up because it was making the rounds on social media recently. So it's a cool one to go look at. I don't know. I would definitely go spend a weekend at that house. And you know, if that was my vacation home or something like that and be on the lake and, you know, put your little there's a nice docked at the bottom, but you're kayaks out there, have a look around. Kind of a cool thing, much more coming up on today's show. This is the savvy real tour, and we've got lots to get to so we won't delay back to the real estate talk coming up. It's

Speaker 2: time for the mailbag We want

Speaker 1: to hear from you, Joey says. We've looked at a few homes that have some minor issues, like carpet stains, work hardwoods and ugly countertops. We're OK with doing a little fixing up, but how much is too much? Is there a fine line between fixer upper and cash pit?

Speaker 2: Sure, Joey, you know first, I think it's It all depends on you, right? It depends on because every buyer is a little bit different. It's for is how savvy they are is Bora's. You know, putting in the sweat equity and being able Thio do some improvements and changes to their home. I know, Walter, You and I were just chatting about the nice changes you're doing to your home right where it was. That was up to me. No way. So it depends on it Depends on the owner. Okay? But you know, to me, it is just more of cosmetic, you know, like all right, switching out the, you know, floors that countertops maybe a fresh coat of paint. That, to me, is not a lot of items to dio. And oftentimes in today's market, you have to be a little bit more open to doing some of those changes. The big thing to me that when you mentioned the fine line between a fixer upper and Akash pit, you know, make sure that you are buying the home at the value of its true condition. So if there's a lot of you know improvements, the home needs because it's really just warn, make sure your pan the warn price, not the updated price. So to me, it's not a cash pit as long as your pain fair market value for the home in its current state.

Speaker 1: That's a really good point and realize also, Joey, that some things that might be out of your skill set. Now this is speaking from experience can quickly become your part of your skill set. It just takes. You just got to get in there and do it, and I've really enjoyed that. But, you know, do look out for the things that make you go. I don't really feel like doing that. I have definitely found joy in painting and fixing things up and learning how to, you know, take the doors off the hinges and swapping in new hinges And, you know, just doing some of these things a little bit of light plumbing work, even installing new vanities. Just all sorts of, you know, things like that that, you know, maybe a couple of years ago weren't in my skill level. But now they are now. I may have drilled into a water piper to process that

Speaker 2: was in the back of my mind. I wasn't going to 30 under the bus, but you did it on your own. They have

Speaker 1: done that in the process.

Speaker 2: Growing pains, you know, you're you're learning.

Speaker 1: Hey, I'm not afraid of failure. It's how you it's how you grow. Angie's,

Speaker 2: right. Exactly. And remember to Joe, you can always hire a professional to, you know, if you don't do it on your end, but, you know, yeah, a lot of homes this day and age. I mean, I feel like you might need a put in a little bit of work to make him You know how you want them, right? So don't know, scary away

Speaker 1: if we had kids, though, Angie, I don't We probably wouldn't have ended up with this home because of the work it needed. I don't know some of these projects. I just don't know how I would do them without. You have to rope off half the house for safety reasons. If he had little kids running around, it would just make things a little bit more stressful when you have. You know, if it's one room that needs to be done, then that's a different story. But if you got kind of a whole house, you're gonna kind of redux. Well, then you got to take all those different little nuances into account. So it's a personal personal thing to think about, but I wouldn't say Don't be scared of I have something that needs a little elbow Grease is long as you're okay with the costs that will go into it in the time and energy. But just

Speaker 2: you are

Speaker 1: going with eyes wide open. Is that

Speaker 2: Yeah, because I mean most of the time you're not going to find a home that is 100% perfect. There's always something you will want to change. It's just How many of those things are you willing to change? Right?

Speaker 1: I will say, Joey, to overestimate the amount of effort it is going to take to do the repairs, though. Don't make the trap of Well, Kay was just fresh paint that it needs. Really think about it. Always overestimate a little bit, because that's kind of we've run into that a few times. Okay, so it just needs fresh paint in here. Well, but it has textured walls or wallpaper. And so it's not just a new coat of paint. It's some sanding. And stripping off of old surface texture ends up being a lot harder, you know, to just do it. And then in reality, And then, you know, then you start noticing other things that you didn't pick up on the initial walk through, like Okay, well, the ceilings are freshly painted, but for some reason, they didn't cut in the paint. And so now it's very noticeable in it. A little bother you, and then you want to go fix that too,

Speaker 2: right? Right. Yeah. I

Speaker 1: was gonna be a few extra little things that come along with it, so just keep that in mind to overestimate the energy that it will take. And then you won't be caught by surprise when the time comes. But love questions like that because I was definitely in that camp of never wanting to be in the fixer upper category to all of a sudden loving being in that category. I'm

Speaker 2: just your master at it.

Speaker 1: Yeah, I would go far, but we're learning We're learning. Is

Speaker 2: new business on its way

Speaker 1: that, uh, I don't know about that. If it was someone else,

Speaker 2: time repairs.

Speaker 1: If it was someone else's house, I wouldn't care as much, right? It's fun when it's your house, but not having the payoff of enjoying it at the end of the day, I think would take some of the fun out of it. At least write for mate for me. Yeah. Good question, Joey. Thanks for submitting that to us again. If you've got any questions like this for Angie, you can talk to her directly about it. Call or text. 919538 64 77 That's 91953864753847 or look Angie upon liner Social media as well. Angie Cole Eko realty dot com. The place to go All right. Darcy's got another question for us. Then we'll get to some more later on. In today's show, Darcy's in Chapel Hill says,

Speaker 2: What are

Speaker 1: some of the outside the box ways that you help people sell their homes?

Speaker 2: Number One thing you're listening right now to the radio show is we have the opportunity and availability to market your home on the radio. You know, we're the only agent here in the triangle that I'm aware of that has a radio show where we can then talk all about your home, where we do like our featured listening of the week. So you know, getting the actual exposure. And really just getting your home out there to the audience, I mean, is huge. You know, other things that we do. We always have a professional stager that comes through. You know, if the homes bacon we can do, it's called light staging and do a little sprinkle in your home, you know, But professional staging is really huge to make your home show, you know, the very, very best. When buyers walking through, we have a professional photographer. We also do floor plan drawings. Another really cool thing that we d'oh to really outside of the box ways of selling your home is our social media advertising that we d'oh, which is just huge because that's where really the whole. You know, buying Rome has really gone, too. Is online presence. You know, we use social media. I have. First of all, I actually have someone who I pay to do a lot of our postings to make sure that it's top notch, and they really know how to, you know, feed to the public. So we get most responses. But we do a lot of targeted ads, which is really huge, so we can pinpoint people showing buying signals in your specific area and make your home pop up on their news feed. So there's a lot of just really cool ideas and, you know, features that we do in regards to thinking outside of the box in order to help you get your home sold. Let's

Speaker 1: see what you have for Grant here. Grant is in Garner and says, We're trying to set our home buying budget. We don't want to end up house poor is there a good guideline we should follow when it comes to buying a home. But not buying too much home.

Speaker 2: Sure, Grant. You know what I would suggest is most of time. You know people are getting financing. So what? The route you're taking is getting financing your lenders going thio, you know, do a pre qual pre approval and tell you what the max is. You can search. But you know what? Don't go off of that number because that might not be a number you're comfortable with. So instead, what I would do is let's kind of flip it around and you need to decide, You know, what kind of monthly mortgage payment would you be comfortable with? So maybe you're releasing right now, whatever your lease payment is. Are you comfortable with that payment? Do you need to spend less? Are you open to paying more than from there? You will know what budget you would feel comfortable for your mortgage payment within. Take that number back to the mortgage lender and say OK, I want my budget to be at $1200 a month for my mortgage payment. Where does that put me In line as far as a purchase price and then go off of that because it's most important to make sure, like you mentioned that you're not house poor. You know you're enjoying your home, but you also have some, you know, money setback for whenever repairs are needed or to buy furniture. Or just be able to do whatever you like to do in regards to traveling and just, you know, take it, you know, having fun on the weekend. So you figure out what your mortgage payment should be and then take that number to your lender and asked them then what? Purchase price. Use their search within.

Speaker 1: That's a really good question, though. Grant and a lot of people certainly have questions about home affordability and things like that, and, ah, great place to start for most folks and G ends up ing, I think our mortgage app. A lot of folks find that useful You and Ned Ligon put together and helps people kind of find out about that big question of home affordability.

Speaker 2: Exactly. Yeah, so Net Ligon with Movement mortgage, who is one of our preferred lenders. He's been one of our prefer lenders since we opened up shop with a cool reality. So he is amazing at what he does. All of our clients are super happy and satisfied with his service is. So If you're thinking about buying a home and you want to start that process and that discussion of getting pre qualified and figuring out where you says search, you know what price point. So you're not house poor and you feel comfortable with a hunter you're buying. You can download Ned's mortgage app and so to get his mortgage app and to get that app on your phone, just text the word lending. That is L E N d I n g. So lending to the phone number 5558 So once again to download the mortgage app to your smartphone, just text the word lending to the phone number 555885558

Speaker 1: Very easy to tap into that great resource grant. And if you have any questions about mortgages, you can find out about the latest mortgage news, current rates, all sorts of great information again on that app. To get it on your phone, all you have to do is text the word lending to 55588555881 more question on the mailbag. Angie It comes to us from Darlene in few quavering. A Darlene says. We have a huge empty basement. We're not sure what to do with it. Oh, and he's probably got some ideas here. Ah, Darlene says. We'll probably sell the house in a year or two. Should we leave it empty? Put in a bar. A living space? What's the best choice?

Speaker 2: Sure. You know, darling, it all depends on your surrounding homes in your neighborhood. I always get a little bit concerned whenever someone has an unfinished basement or maybe an unfinished third floor, and they're thinking off finishing it off because it might make you now be the largest home in your neighborhood. And what typically happens is the largest home and then therefore the most expensive home in the neighborhood. You don't typically get the full value back out of it, so we need to be a little bit cautious on how much of that you know. How much money are we putting into finishing off unfinished space? If it's going to set us kind of outside of the norm for the neighborhood you know. But if you're thinking about selling in a year or two and if we do advise you, you know what, finishing off that space wouldn't push you outside of the neighborhood. You're still in line with other homes as faras. They're square footage. I would more turn it into probably living space, meaning, you know, maybe a bonus room area down there, and then an additional bedroom would be great. You know, I wouldn't put too much money into a full kitchen or bar. Maybe a little small. You know, bar area could be a cute idea, but often times you know owners will put a full kitchen into their basement, and it's just not needed by the next owner. So you want to make sure that we're appealing to every buyer and we're not limiting our buyer pool because we're just doing features that you know, I know. Personally, I wouldn't need a second kitchen in my home, right, cause it's more of like in law suite. So let's be minimalistic on putting money into something like that.

Speaker 1: You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast on Walter Store Halt alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of a co realty here in the Triangle. And if you have questions for Angie, we invite you to go online to a coal realty dot com. Listen to past podcast episodes on the website, read the block and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the Web site. That's a coal realty dot com, and you can also call Angie with your questions. 919578 31 28

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