5 Ways To Increase Your Home’s Value

increase your home value

Sell Your Home For More

Whether you’re looking to increase your home’s value for a quick sale or just make improvements that will pay off in the long run, there are an assortment of things you can do to improve your property. Take a look at the list below if you want to learn 5 Ways To Increase Your Home’s Value.

1. Paint

Painting is one of the simplest, yet most significant things you can do to improve the value of your home. A gallon of paint costs around $20, so there’s no excuse for not keeping your home looking shiny and new. Keep in mind, neutral colors are the best option, as they appeal to the majority of buyers. Take a weekend and freshen up your bathrooms, kitchen, and any other area that’s looking dull. You’ll be glad you put in the effort when it comes time to sell.

2. Improve Your Curb Appeal

There are a lot of different things that you can do to improve your curb appeal that will actually increase the value of your home – without breaking the bank. Dress up your front door, replace the old house numbers that have never been changed or add some outdoor lighting to really spruce things up. Another thing to remember is that symmetry sells; when adding lights or plants, always make sure you line everything up symmetrically.

3. Landscaping

Recently  a study by Alex X. Niemiera, a horticulturist at Virginia Tech, revealed that well-landscaped homes actually had a substantial  price advantage over homes with little or no landscaping. The actual price difference was shown to be 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent higher. To put this into perspective – on a $400,000 home, this translates into an extra $22,000- $50,000. Time to put on those gardening gloves!

4. Remodel Your Bathrooms

Often small bathroom fixes can lead to big returns. You almost always get your money back on any updates you make to your bathroom, and the renovation doesn’t have to be expensive. For under $750 you can put some serious work into the bathrooms in your home – do not be afraid to head down to the local Home Depot and get busy next Saturday. Start by fixing and improving things that you genuinely would like to see in your bathroom, whether it be low-flush toilets, new heated-tile flooring or a lighting fixture to show off your new masterpiece. Odds are you’ll actually enjoy the renovation, it can be very rewarding when it comes time to sell your property.

5. Keep Your Kitchen Clean, and Updated

The kitchen is an interesting place when it comes to adding value to your home, as many people have different tastes. What’s certain is that an open kitchen with lots of space is most desirable, so don’t be afraid to knock out a non-structural wall or remove an island. Removing clutter allows potential buyers to picture themselves living in your home, so keeping your kitchen clean and open is a must. When it comes to renovations, the kitchen is another area where you can really add value. Granite counter-tops and a new faucet go a long way in upping your resale value.

Did we forget anything? What recent home renovations have helped you increase your home’s value in that past? Let us know!



Five Safest Cities in North Carolina

safest cities in North Carolina

Looking for the safest city in North Carolina?

North Carolina is composed of 100 counties, so choosing a city in which you want to live can be difficult because so many options are available. The state is home to some of the fastest growing cities in USA, with Raleigh and Charlotte, but if safety is your main concern for choosing your next home, here are the Five  Safest Cities in North Carolina.

1. Pinehurst, North Carolina

Pinehurst is easily one of the safest cities in North Carolina as it boosts an incredibly low crime rate. The city is listed as a National Historic Landmark which gives residents a reason to be prideful of their city. Pinehurst is also not short on recreational activities, residents of Pinehurst (as well as surrounding cities) spend their free time golfing, cycling, playing tennis, and enjoying equestrian sports.

Violent Crimes Per 1,000: .79
Property Crimes Per 1,000: .39

2. Apex, North Carolina

Apex is one of the best cities in North Carolina, especially if you are looking to be in a smaller city with all the benefits of a big city. With a population of just over 37,000 people it is a fairly friendly city as everyone is familiar with one another. Safety is not an issue when living in Apex.

Violent Crimes Per 1,000: .84
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 2.25

3. Cary, North Carolina

If you want a safe and interactive city in North Carolina, Cary should definitely be on top of your list. Cary aims to get residents involved with the safety and progress of their community in an interactive and innovative way. The website CaryHaveYourSay.com allows residents to give their thoughts and opinions on what can be done to make their city even better.

Violent Crimes Per 1,000: .81
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 2.62

4. Morrisville, North Carolina

Morrisville is another one of the great prospering cities in North Carolina, located to the west of Raleigh. For those looking to be a part of an eco-friendly community, Morrisville should be an option as it has shown commitment to taking care of the environment. Along with the “Green” mentality of the city, the crime rate is fairly low, and you won’t have to worry about pesky issues.

Violent Crimes Per 1,000: .56
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 2.78

5. Wake Forest, North Carolina

If you are looking to move to North Carolina, the city of Wake Forest is definitely one of the cities one should be looking at. The city of Wake Forest is a growing community and they pull out all of the stops to make new residents feel welcome. The city has a customer service web page that is very helpful to newcomers, providing them with an official guide to Wake Forest, and links to many helpful resources that will make your life easier.

Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.56
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 3.60


Where would you move to? Did we miss a safe city in North Carolina that you love? Let us know in the comments section below


Friday Factoid: NC’s clay makes great bricks

TryonPalace_LRNorth Carolina’s brick manufacturing history reaches back to the late 1600s, when brick-making colonists trickled down from Virginia to settle around Albemarle Sound. They ground up clam and oyster shells for mortar. By the early 1700s, the coastal area was known for making bricks and tiles. Farther south, in New Bern, Tryon Palace [pictured above], the massive home of royal Gov. William Tryon, was made of brick. The original house was completed in 1770.

Prisoners made the bricks used to build the governor’s mansion in Raleigh. Some of the sidewalk bricks still bear the names of the men who made them. The mansion was finished in 1891 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also on the National Register: the George Black House and Brickyard in Winston-Salem. Brick-maker George Black, the son of a former slave, started a brickyard behind the house in the early 1900s. Black handcrafted bricks known internationally for their quality and durability.

During the post-World War II building boom, North Carolina was the brick capital of the nation, producing more than any other state. Most plants were in the Piedmont region, where population, demand, and raw materials intersected.

Today, North Carolina remains strong in brick-making; it ranks No. 2 behind Texas, the home of Acme Brick, a giant manufacturer owned by Berkshire Hathaway. In NC, the number of manufacturers dropped from about 30 in 1960 to 13 today. Seven of the surviving companies are owned by North Carolina families. Brick homes are still in demand, and North Carolina continues to fill that demand. And our bricks are prized by high profile customers outside the state as well — even the walkways of Disney World and Disneyland are paved with NC brick.

Source: Our State magazine

Whatever the material used to build the home of your dreams, a professional who understands the complexities involved in real estate and is familiar with the North Carolina market can help you find it. There’s no better way to get started than to visit www.BHHSCarolinas.com to find a knowledgable real estate professional nearest you.

My Home Finder – an amazing tool that will help simplify your home search

myhomefinder_bigbtnThe internet can a tremendous resource when you’re searching for the right house, but can also be a little too vast. You may wonder …where do I begin? And how do I streamline my searches and keep my favorite finds organized even when I’m not online?

To help simplify the entire process, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas has designed an effective and unique My Carolinas Home Finder tool. My Home Finder is a FREE tool that lets you save your favorite homes for sale as you search our website and receive automatic email updates with new homes that meet your search criteria!

Signing up is quick and easy, and the benefits are easy to love:

  • Saved homes for sale to keep for future reference
  • Saved Searches for easy reference whenever you visit our website
  • Automatic email updates when newly listed homes match your search criteria

Our efficient Home Finder Tool will help you find your dream home in no time. Sign up now and find out how easy it can be!

NC Profiles In Character: James Taylor


Although he was born in Boston [in 1948], James Vernon Taylor moved to North Carolina at age 3, where his father was dean of the medical school at UNC Chapel Hill. As a child, James studied cello, but in 1960, he started teaching himself how to play guitar. Three years later, he headed back to New England to attend prep school at the Milton Academy in Massachusetts.

At age 16, Taylor checked into a Massachusetts hospital to receive treatment for severe depression, and began focusing on songwriting. After his release, Taylor returned to New York and formed an unsuccessful band called The Flying Machine. The combo broke up in 1967 and Taylor moved to London the following year. There, he managed to get signed by The Beatles as the first artist to record on their newly created label Apple Records, and recorded his first album. The self-titled album contained the now-celebrated song “Carolina In My Mind” and was a critical success in spite of it not charting as a hit.

Later, Taylor signed with Warner Brothers Records, moved to California, and started work on his second album “Sweet Baby James,” which spawned the huge hit “Fire & Rain” and helped to bring his more obscure debut album back into popularity. He followed up that hit with another success — a cover of Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend.”

In 1972, Taylor famously married fellow singer/songwriter Carly Simon, a union that unfortunately ended in divorce eleven years later. James’ singing career experienced many ups and downs throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, but he continued to record, tour, and maintain a devoted following of fans who continued to love and enthusiastically support his singular voice and songwriting style. In 1985, James married Kathryn Walker, another union that lasted only 11 years. Today he is happily remarried to Kim Smedvig, the director of public relations and marketing for the Boston Symphony; they are raising 13-year-old twin boys. Taylor’s children with Carly Simon—Ben and Sally—have embarked on musical careers of their own.

James continues to tirelessly tour around the world, and has received numerous Grammy Awards and nominations, and has been inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has released more than 20 albums to date.  North Carolinians consider James Taylor a “favorite son,” and believe that the Chapel Hill boy who wrote and sang “Carolina On My Mind” will also continue to keep the Tar Heel State in his heart.

James Taylor will return to North Carolina to perform in Raleigh at the Walnut Creek Pavilion Saturday, August 2, 2014 and in Charlotte at the PNC Music Pavilion Sunday, August 3, 2014.

Are you trying to find a North Carolina real estate agent? When looking for a real estate agent in the Carolinas, you need a seasoned professional who can understand the complexities involved in real estate, someone who can help you negotiate a great deal, and someone who is familiar with the North Carolina market. If you’re looking to find a North Carolina real estate agent, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty has you covered. Visit www.BHHSCarolinas.com to find a real estate professional nearest you.

The growing Greenway — progressively putting the green In Greensboro

Greenway collage1Have you caught the buzz about Greensboro’s fabulous new Downtown Greenway?  This exciting project is a planned 4-mile walking and biking greenway that will loop around downtown Greensboro, and will serve as a key economic development tool for the city.  The loop provides a unique opportunity for Greensboro to have the only one of its kind in the state—and one of few in the country. In addition, with the connections to the extensive existing and planned greenway systems in the city and the county, this loop will connect residents from all parts of the community and beyond.

The Downtown Greenway will enhance the urban landscape with a green space that is expected to promote fitness, encourage alternative transportation, and provide connectedness and well-being for both our residents and visitors in an aesthetically pleasing environment.  When completed, it will be a catalyst for lifestyle and economic change in Greensboro, and one of many features that continue to make The Gate City a wonderful place to live and work! For more information, visit www.downtowngreenway.org

 To download a Greenway map, click:


For a map showing completed sections of the Greenway, click:


We see all of North Carolina as our neighborhood.  We’ve been doing business here for more than three generations.  If you want to buy or sell a home in North Carolina, visit us at http://www.BHHSCarolinas.comwe’re eager to lend a helping hand. The services we provide, the relationships we forge and the care we offer are the reasons why We Make Great Neighbors.

Looking for a new home? Our must-have Mobile App is a tool you won’t want to be without!

3 mobile phonesThe internet in your pocket?  Email in your purse?  These notions were unthinkable just a few years ago — but wireless technology and smartphones have revolutionized all that.  Today, we would no more leave the house without our mobile devices that we would without getting dressed first.  Yes, we can send photos of ourselves to friends, play our favorite songs, check our social media pages.  But if you’re in the market for a home, are you making the most of that mobile minor miracle in your hand?

If your goal is to access to the latest listings, to choose from some of the best homes for sale in the location you’re interested in — mobile technology makes it easy to search current listings anytime, anywhere. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty’s mobile real estate search takes it a step further by allowing you to search for homes in your area and view exclusive locations with an amazingly user-friendly interface. What’s more, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty’s mobile real estate search is available on almost all mobile devices. Powered by SmarterAgent, our mobile home search gives you instant information about homes for sale all around you by using the GPS already in your cell phone. It’s truly real estate search convenience that fits inside your pocket!

Imagine that you’re visiting or driving through a location and you really like the look of the place. With our mobile search, you can search for properties instantly and view new homes for sale in any location in a jiffy. Get relevant real estate listings and check out some of the best features in property searching available. with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty’s Mobile Search.

Works on Any Phone!   Don’t delay — get it now at http://app.BHHSCarolinas.com/