WHY DID I GET INTO REAL ESTATE?
I certainly didn’t start out with this in mind! I have held various positions over the years, from an efficiency and utilization analyst to a biotech facility manager, to working in equity research at an investment banking firm to French cooking. Little did I know at the time, all of these positions were stepping stones leading me to the point I am at today owning my own real estate company!
I think my past analytical experience has given me the ability to look at a property, know what needs to be done in order for it to sell and not stagnate on the market, and at what price point to list at. For buyers, looking at a property with a trained eye to see beyond the surface for what may become an issue. For either side of the transaction, negotiation is key.
My experience as a French cooking instructor in France, teaching many people from all cultures, has led me to a better understanding of interpersonal dynamics and communication. I believe all the skill and “expertise” means nothing if you are not a good communicator and truly enjoy working with people.
Providing my clients a service which they are happy with is my number one priority. I strive to make your real estate experience of buying and/or selling a home a positive one.
A little recent history…………
Before moving to North Carolina, I lived in southwestern France where I taught French cooking. I still hold this passion true to my heart.
When we first moved to France, I spoke hardly a word of French. I could utter “bonjour, c’est combien?, and ou est le toilette?” I soon learned in order to communicate and make the most of my French experience I had to learn the language. Well, as some of you know, learning a language when you are young is one thing, but learning it when you’re 35 is another! I can now say I am fluent in French and it all started with translating French recipes!
We bought an old house which was a former inn on the route to Santiago de Compostella dating back to the mid-17th century, with origins in the 10th century. The house was in poor shape when we bought it. But, with my love of houses, and specifically period houses, I knew we could create a fantastic home, which propelled me toward taking on this huge project. (Think under the Tuscan Sun!) By the time we moved, our house had been completely renovated and restored to its original beauty. Quite a feat given the local artisans were not used to dealing with an American much less a woman! This was accomplished through sheer determination and perseverance!
When we decided to relocate to the States, determining where we would live was like looking at a large menu and trying to decide what to order. We were fortunate that with my husband's work as an engineering consultant we could live anywhere, as long as it was near an airport. Well, it’s a double edged sword as there were too many choices!
We ultimately decided to live in Chapel Hill based on quality of life, great schools (our son Alex was a rising 6th grader), and a strong sense of community. These are things that seem to have gone by the wayside in many areas. It doesn’t hurt that there is a local farmer’s market in Carrboro , a Whole Foods , and A Southern Season . All things that attract a foodie like me!
I've been known to be a contrarian, and in the case of choosing a real estate career, it was certainly true! When I first got my real estate license in 2010, it was the worst year in history for real estate. My feet hit the ground running! I got to know the local market and worked hard, determined that I would be a success. Each year I successfully completed more transactions and increased my production winning numerous awards.
Once again, I took a risk and decided to open my own real estate company. I didn't want it to mimic all the other firms that were around. I really wanted to provide what I believed to be a niche in the market - a boutique firm for Chapel Hill and it's environs while providing the highest level of customer service.
When thinking of buying or selling a home, you want the best for yourself, your family and your local community. As your realtor, I will do my utmost to work on your behalf as an advisor, negotiator, and hopefully friend.
Taking on the responsibility as your trusted advisor I would like to assure you of my loyalty and honesty as well as my determination to serve you to the utmost of my abilities!
Where will housing be in 2020? According to the latest Metrostudy predictions, if all continues on its current track, construction costs could continue to increase, and mortgage rates could reel in.
While rates have increased in the last six months, impacting affordability, the rise is not significant according to historical trends, says Mark Bound, chief economist and senior vice president at Metrostudy, a provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and residential construction industries. In the long term, Boud predicts mortgage interest rates will top out at 5.8 percent in 2020 and 2021, eventually being pulled down by slower economic growth—and because of tighter lending practices, the market environment will not become as dire as the last housing bubble.
As for inventory, it is significantly under-supplied, while homes are increasingly overvalued; however, the risk of a price collapse is small due to the tight market, and Boud expects the cycle of under-supply to plateau in 2020. The lack of new inventory is, in part, in response to trade increases, as many of the imposed tariffs—specifically the 20-plus percent tariff on lumber imports, and 10 and 25 percent tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, respectively—directly impact construction efforts.
These factors could lead to an increase in overall construction timelines, as well as an increase in construction costs by at least $2,000 per house, according to Boud. More homes in the upper price ranges are being built, while inventory under $400,000 is lower, in some cases. Overall, the national market is becoming top-heavy, which typically only occurs where land is more expensive, such as in California, Boud says.
Remodeling activity continues to rise in response to homeowners staying in their homes for longer, as well as the continuing trend toward purchasing existing homes, which triggers renovations. According to Boud, this is most common in coastal markets, or markets that have high appreciation rates, such as Texas.
Something to watch? Inflation. Boud says inflationary pressures are slowly building—inflation rose from 2.4 percent in March to 2.9 percent in August—but in a few years, the national debt could slow economic growth, which, in turn, could slow down rising interest rates.
Another concern? The current downward trend of the 2-10 Treasury yield spread, which could see negative figures in about a year, may be a sign that a recession is in the cards.
However, the current economy is healthy, Boud says. In the past 12 months, 2.4 million jobs have been generated, increasing demand for housing and pushing the unemployment rate down. Additionally, housing starts are fairly stable, forecasted to be 1.28 million in 2018, and increasing to 1.33 million in 2019 and 1.345 million in 2020, before plateauing.