Charlotte NC Real Estate Blog by Litoya Mikel, Realtor

Thinking About Investing in Real Estate? You can do with as little as $500 dollars.

I don’t know about you, but the global health crisis has definitely forced me to think about what’s truly  important, reflect on those things which I’ve placed too much emphasis on that really don’t hold importance, and make decisions on the things I need to accomplish, achieve, and focus on in order to “LIVE MY BEST LIFE.”

 Let’s face it, the way we interact, work, socialize, and even vacation will be forever affected by the current health crisis we are living.  Now I say this with it being my own opinion, and I’m not trying to create an article with the intent of creating a debate about good ole 2020.  But if you are like me, you’re focusing on how to ensure an array of income streams that will work for you, for a very long time.     As I think of people who I consider wealthy, from the Bill Gate’s, Oprah Winfrey’ and the Jay-Z’s of the world, to a former Supervisor I had who made the decision to be a stay at home mom, or family and friends who haven’t had to flinch during the current economic state.  One thing I can say they all have in common, is that their financial portfolio includes some form of real estate investment.    

Personally speaking, it is nice to know that tucked away, you have this secret weapon that can be used if needed.  Investing in real estate definitely offers a type of security that your 9-5 can’t offer as well as a very nice overall return. 

If you haven’t already, please read my article:  Real Estate Investors:  North Carolina is a great option for your portfolio (, where I give you insight on cities in North Carolina which...

Real Estate Investors: North Carolina is a Great Option for Your Portfolio

Real estate is always a great investment for an array of reasons.  It has an excellent rate of return, you obtain great tax advantages, and you can use real estate as leverage for wealth building.  Even with the current state of the United States, wealth building and generating added income streams should be a focus and goal, whether in the moment or at a later time, as we move into our “new normal.”

Some cities make better investment arenas when compared to other cities.  When targeting a desired market, you should focus on the area's affordability and growth.  A good market for investing will obtain affordable home median prices and a good amount of high paying jobs.  Why?  Because this will guarantee an adequate level of interested buyers and potential renters.

According to Reality Biz News, here are the current top 5 cities with the best investment potential:

  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Columbus, OH
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

These results were concluded by taking the top 100 populated cities in the US and ranking them in accordance to CAP rate, job growth ranking, and population growth percentiles.

With millennials flocking to North Carolina in record numbers, this is a wonderful choice for investors to take the plunge on rentals and flips.  Overall, this state offers an affordable cost of living, mild year-round weather, and major cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham are all seeing steady job growth.

If you're looking to invest in an area which will yield a good return on the investment, then Charlotte is the place. With the new restaurants and attractions, Charlotte has given residents novelty and exciting things to see and do. The cap rate is 6.8%, which shows the ROI is strong. Right now, the median house price is around the $250,000 mark, but it with the continual growth happening it will not stay there...

Learn More about the North Carolina Home Advantage Mortgage

As the market changes, the NC Housing Finance Agency is dedicated to ensuring North Carolinians have what they need to become successful-long term homeowners. 

You may be asking, “What is the NC Housing Finance Agency?”

Created in 1973, this self-supporting public agency has financed 282,080 homes and apartments and gives assistance with:

  • Home purchasing
  • Lenders
  • Rental Development

Currently seeing historically low interest rates for homes along with homebound sales increasing, the real estate market has taken a favorable turn over the past few months.  The NCFA has made its contribution to this upswing with the services they provide to North Carolinians such as the NC Home Advantage Mortgage.

 This mortgage offers:

  • Up to a 5% down payment contribution of the loan amount
  • Competitive interest rates
  • A network of lenders

To help more buyers qualify for the loan, the agency changed the income limit from $89,500 to $92,000 on July 1, 2020.  An applicant must have a credit score of 640 or higher, and it is available for FHA, USDA, VA, and conventional loans.  Please note that there are limitations on the loan type depending on the sale price of the home. 

If you are a first-time home buyer or military veteran, you could also be eligible for the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit (Mortgage Credit Certificate) and the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment.  With the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment, an applicant could get up to $8000 in down payment assistance and with the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit you could save up to $2000 a year on federal taxes. 

To find out if you are eligible for these programs, please visit:


Home Pricing reflects Supply and Demand

With the summer months approaching and still being in the midst of the challenges of the current health crisis, many are wondering (including myself):  What impact will this economic slowdown have on home prices?  To answer this question, one must look at overall supply and demand of homes in the market.

According to the National Association of Realtors {NAR}, across the country, there is a 4.1-month supply of homes within markets.  To label a market as balanced, there should be a supply of 6 months.  What does that mean?  Whenever a market has less than a 6-month supply of homes, home prices tend to appreciate. 

An article form MarketWatch stated:

“As buyers return to the market as the country rebounds from the pandemic, limited inventory of homes could fuel bidding wars and push prices higher.”

Bottom Line:

The lack of supply will maintain a sellers’ market even through the midst of the pandemic.  Sellers:  You can still list your home, should see top dollar, and expect a decent turnaround time.  Buyers:  Be ready to potentially be a part of a bidding war, when deciding your moving date give yourself a cushion….the last thing you want is to determine you need to move in 30-60 days and not be able to secure the home of your dreams. 

Also remember, Realtors like myself are here to help you with this process (whether you’re selling or buying).  We are here to help and support!


3 Ways to Assess a Real Estate Market Before Buying

As a homebuyer, there are several steps you can take to ensure you are making an informed decision with your home purchase.  One of the most important things you can do is conduct a market analysis.  Real estate markets are constantly fluctuating so as a buyer, you need to do your research throughout the course of your home search.  Here are a few tips on how you can assess the market before buying.

1. Use the internet as a resource

You should use a variety of resources when gathering information about a market.  Because we live in a digital age, one of the best starting points is the internet.  Through various search terms, you really can learn just about anything you need about market conditions. By keying in an area’s name or zip code, a you should not have any trouble finding community websites, social media posts, and local news stories that will provide you with different insights.

2. Consider pricing trends

Another way to gain valuable insight on your market is to research price trends.  Research current price trends and compare them to price trends in previous years.  This will give you the data needed to forecast the growth of the market in the future. 

3. Rely on the expertise of an Agent

Real estate agents can provide you with the guidance needed to steer you in the right direction.  We are experienced in working an array of markets and have additional resources to help you with your buying needs.  We can pull data and statistics within the industry not readily available AND we have connections within the industry who can be of help in your buying process.  We bring you value, and you will not regret having a Realtor in your corner.   


Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit for more tips.