Durham homes, in demand and cheaper, sell faster than in Raleigh

Y’all know I love Raleigh, or I wouldn’t have lived there for almost 20 years.

But my new home is now  in Durham (although it resides only a few miles outside of Raleigh, because I still love me that Raleigh!) so I was pleased to read the latest – Durham is now outpacing Raleigh in selling homes.

Of course the fact that you get more for you money in Durham might be the biggest reason. But look at what else you get – DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) with 500 more seats than Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, many many award winning restaurants (in fact I just discovered a new one (to me) that has shot to the TOP of my list, The Refactory, check it out, so yummy!) a fabulous weekly Farmers Market (in Durham’s very own, “Central Park”), the Durham Bulls, and an amazing museum focused on children, The Museum of Life and Science.

Speaking of this museum, have you checked it out yet? If your kids are into dinosaurs (and what kid isn’t these days?) in addition to loving the museum and the Butterfly House they will go nuts for the outdoor display of life sized dinosaurs (that are in what looks like their natural habitats). I can go on and on about that museum (great food, train rides, special Christmas displays, and more).

Given all this, who would not want to live in Durham? No wonder those homes are falling off the shelves these days!

Most and Least Educated Cities in America

The news just keeps getting better – my adopted hometown area of Durham/Chapel Hill is now being recognized for the amount of highly educated people who live and work here!

According to WalletHub and it’s findings, Durham/Chapel Hill is the #4 place in the country where “the most educated people are putting their degrees to work”.

As the locals know, the Triangle area is home to three major universities – North Carolina State (Raleigh), Duke University (Durham) and the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). Apparently graduates of these prestigious universities (and others I’m sure!) are flocking to our area.

Well I say, WELCOME Y’ALL!

Durham named best city for millennials in US

Our new hometown, Durham North Carolina, makes the news again! The word must be spreading, because now Durham has been cited as the #1 best place for millenials to live in the entire United States.

And even more exciting – HAMILTON is coming to Durham! In case you haven’t heard, the Broadway musical Hamilton has become the most popular in history (for so many good reasons), and it’s going to be performed at DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) later this year.

The day this news was announced in early 2017 DPAC was barraged with phone calls and season subscription renewals, so unless you are lucky enough to already be a season ticket holder don’t expect to be able to get a good seat for this amazing musical (trust me, I tried) – that is, not unless you are willing to pay a 3rd party GOBS of money. (Tickets in New York City have been sold for as much as $10,000 EACH, I kid you not!)

Of course, all this Durham excitement  and attention has had a major impact on real estate – homes listed in the under $300K price range have been selling like HOTCAKES. I had an experience with one listing that had 14 showings and 5 offers on the very first day on market.

Bottom line – it’s a great time to own real estate in Durham North Carolina!

Durham Voted “Hippest City in NC” by Vogue Magazine


It must be “synchronicity”, because just a few weeks after my husband and I found a home we liked in Durham and decided to move there from our current home in Wake Forest, Vogue Magazine decided that Durham is now the “hippest city” in North Carolina. What an unexpected surprise! While excited to be closer to our grandchildren (our main motivation to move) we had a few second thoughts, mostly because (after 20 enjoyable years in NW Raleigh) we have really loved our last 5 years in Wake Forest, especially its community focus and friendly small-town feel.

In my mind (and what I share with prospective Yankee transplants), Wake Forest is to Raleigh like upstate New York is to NYC, while the Cary area is to Raleigh like Long Island is to NYC.

To be perfectly honest, until my son and his wife went to grad school at Duke University and then loved the area so much they decided to stay and raise their family there, I never thought that much about Durham. Even after finally experiencing their great Farmer’s Market, theatre events, restaurants and museums, there was a little trepidation in my heart about actually living there. How nice to know that soon, in addition to being closer to my dear children and grandchildren, I am going to be amongst the coolest hipsters enjoying all of Durham’s amenities!

Why Durham is North Carolina’s Hippest City

The only downside, as Barry Saunders pointed out in a recent N&O column, is that now that the word is out about Durham it may soon be inundated with hipsters. So before you know it, there may be even more great restaurants, culture, entertainment, etc., which will of course eventually result in higher home prices. (This actually happened to Asheville a few years back when the same label was given them.)

Well, I can think of worse fates…bring it on!

May 2017

Multiple Offer Situations

It has slowly become obvious to many of us in the real estate industry that the real estate market in the Triangle has been moving toward a “Seller’s Market”, particularly in locations where the inventory of homes on the market is limited, at lower price points and for homes that are in high demand (such as ranch style and homes with a downstairs Master Bedroom). In fact, I would say that because of the still low inventory, just about any home that is aggressively priced is bound these days to receive multiple offers. My advice to sellers is to always price slightly under market value for this very reason, because multiple offers generally will get sellers the highest price, often above list price.

While great for sellers, multiple offers can and usually are very stressful for buyers. I have recently been involved in several multiple offer situations, and thought it would be helpful to offer my observations and advice. Sometime my buyers are successful in getting the home they desired, while others are sometimes sadly disappointed when perhaps their dream home was lost to another buyer’s better offer.

Often the difference is the buyer’s understanding and acceptance of the market, being prepared to act quickly and then not choosing to “low ball”, especially if they are seriously interested in that home (and especially if it is fresh on the market!).

Making a strong bid from the start and having the necessary financial paperwork in order with the fewest contingencies possible will vastly increase your chances of succeeding in a multiple offer situation.  I advise my clients to be as flexible as possible with the seller’s requests, don’t procrastinate, make a fair offer that fits comfortably within their budget, and stay positive…but best to have a backup plan. It’s never a good idea to get so involved in trying to win a bidding war that you move beyond a price point you wanted to avoid.

Prospective buyers have sometimes asked me whether writing a personal note to a seller, expressing how much they love the seller’s home, is a useful exercise.  My answer is: Generally not, unless the seller has an emotional connection to the home.  But if time allows, a personal note to the seller of a well maintained home can’t hurt.  It just might give you an edge by demonstrating your seriousness about buying this particular home and planning to provide the same level of love and care that it has been given over the years by the seller.

While I always do everything I can to offer you helpful advice, guidance and even emotional support throughout the negotiating process, it is important that you remain focused on your ultimate goal: buying a home that meets your needs and stays within your budget!

March 2017

Money Magazine named Raleigh BEST big city to live in the Southeast!

Raleigh neighborhood

September 2016

The town of Wake Forest is among Top Ten Cities where the middle class is rising!


May 2015

For all you transplanted Yankee fans…

aj house

May 2016


Aug 2016 jobs

August 2016

RALEIGH tops American Cities of the Future list!!!

Raleigh 2015

April 2015

I have enjoyed living in the south so much (since Dec. 1992) I cannot imagine living anywhere else! So when I decided to go off on my own as a realtor I needed to pay homage to my adopted home base. Thus, Southern Market Realty was born, and I couldn’t be happier.

Helping buyers and sellers reach their goals and realize their dreams has brought me much joy. I hope you too will choose to trust me to be your hard working realtor in this beautiful area of ours!

August 2016