Becoming a homeowner is still the American Dream for many people. You apply for a 15- or 30-year mortgage and add as many home upgrades and improvements as possible. In addition to hoping it’s a seller’s market when you put the ‘for sale’ in your lawn, those home improvements determine how much profit you stand to make from your investment.

One of the best investments you can make is fireplace installation, according to a recent study from Angie’s List. The company surveyed 100 real estate agents on home values in relation to fireplaces and 2,000 homeowners/home buyers and found that fireplaces are a pretty hot commodity.

The majority of potential homeowners in the market today see fireplaces as an asset. They top so many home buyers’ must-have lists and are in such demand, in fact, that fireplaces increase over 76% of homes’ value anywhere from $1,000 to $4,999. The study has one caveat—electric fireplace inserts aren’t nearly as desirable as wood-burning or gas-burning fireplaces.


Read more here.

Last week, NAR launched a Call for Action asking you to contact your Congressman to ask that they pass House Resolution 2874 "The 21st Century Flood Reform Act."

While this bill makes numerous reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), it also reauthorizes the program for an additional five years. As we mentioned in previous Updates, this is extremely important because the NFIP will expire on September 30 without reauthorization!

The REALTOR® voice is needed on this key priority to ensure that properties across our state remain protected. This is not just a coastal issue, as numerous inland properties lie in river floodplains and can be more directly affected by irregular storms. North Carolina is no stranger to flooding and we have numerous examples about how having the NFIP helped property owners stay in their homes and repair them following flooding.

Earlier this week, NAR launched a Call for Action asking you to tell Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Without action, the NFIP will sunset on September 30, leaving more than 40,000 transactions per month in jeopardy.




In addition to a 5-year reauthorization of the NFIP, "The 21st Century Flood Reform Act" (H.R. 2874) also makes needed reforms to the program, including providing additional monies for flood mitigation assistance programs and mapping to ensure that appropriate planning can be conducted.

The need for flood insurance is an issue which touches every corner of our state, not just the coast. North Carolina is no stranger to flooding, both as a result of hurricanes, as well as normal rainstorms in low lying areas.

Make your voice heard on this important issue and TAKE ACTION TODAY!

When you're house hunting, finding an amazing house in your location of choice that doesn't require much additional investment seems like a huge score.

But is it really? Before making an offer on that picture-perfect home, take a look at the surrounding houses. If they're all in disrepair—or just obviously less nice than the one you’re considering—you might be buying the most expensive house in the neighborhood.

Maybe that seems awesome because you’ll get bragging rights and price of place! But more than likely, it's going to hurt you. Here's why.

These days, knowing how to sell a house isn’t as simple as sticking a “For Sale” sign on your lawn. Oh, no, times have changed, but the good news is we've got your crash course in getting up to speed on this matter. Follow these simple rules to sell your house in no time and for more money...

See more here.