Ballantyne Magazine

SPRING 2019

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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want to deal with your lack of updates," Huss stresses. "They want to move in fast and keep right on living their lives." In Butterworth's experience, buyers are fixated on outdoor living areas. "They don't want just a patio or deck, but a covered porch with an outside kitchen and beautiful landscaping that can become an extension of their indoor living space," she explains. Resort Touches Hotham says buyers are also seeking a resort feel. "They love pools, hot tubs, lighting and a fireplace." A master suite with a luxury- spa feeling to serve as a retreat from life's craziness is another request. Bradfield says neighborhood amenities also rank high with buyers. "That includes country clubs, pools, tennis and basketball courts, fitness facilities and our YMCAs. Ballantyne also offers the unique selling point of nine first-rate golf courses within 5 to 10 miles." Goode finds another major buyer demand these days is a new HVAC system and a new roof. "Buyers are more concerned about these issues because they know the replacement costs," she says. Given the tight inventory in Ballantyne, an innovative technique such as the free ski week can make a deal happen. Ditto for one buyer willing to rent the sellers' home back to them until they moved to California two months later. "The buyer got the perfect house and the sellers were able to stay until end of the school year — a win, win." Huss has recently had success with virtual walk- throughs, powered by relatively new technology in which a photographer with a special camera, such as a Matterport, does a 3D video tour of a home. The prospective buyer uses a computer or tablet to access the virtual tour, which goes room to room and includes a top-down view of the home as if the roof were removed. "We use this in cases where the layout or flow of a floorplan might be hard to capture through photography," Huss says. Looking to the future, all five brokers insist Ballantyne will remain an attractive market because it has a certain cachet. "Ballantyne has got that name, its own brand," Huss observes. MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK Top Ballantyne real estate brokers insist curb appeal is critical. "The exterior of your home must present just as show-ready as the interior," says Jo Butterworth, a broker with Helen Adams Realty. Christine Hotham, also of Helen Adams, concurs. "I have had buyers pull up to an exterior that looks unkempt and insist they don't even want to walk inside, so the exterior is of paramount importance because it is the beginning of the blind date for that house." If you are thinking of listing your home, these ideas may help improve its appearance from the street without having to spend a fortune. Pruning Green Monsters "Builders put in landscaping, but over time it grows, and some homeowners don't do a good job of managing that, so the front of the house looks like a jungle," says Allen Tate broker David Huss. He suggests hiring a good landscaper to cut back overgrowth and remove shrubs that are old or stick out like sore thumbs. Mulch and Pressure Washing Fresh mulch in all the planting beds is a must, as is pressure washing the driveway and front stoop to eliminate mildew, says Dickens Mitchener broker Joan Goode. "You never go to a car dealer and look at the dirty cars," she says in comparison. "Front Door" Smile In addition to fresh trim paint and sparkly clean windows, Hotham suggests sellers put in a fashionable new front door with updated hardware. Sellers can also add attractive planters filled with fresh foliage and colorful flowers, a door wreath, front- porch chairs and clean, fresh outdoor lighting/lanterns. Welcoming Outdoor Area With so many buyers today wanting to entertain outdoors, Butterworth encourages sellers to create a welcoming area in the backyard as a way of extending the home to the outside, such as staging trendy patio furniture with a fire pit. Splashes of Serenity Huss has helped several sellers with a home near a busy street add a water feature in the backyard. "Or, if they have a private courtyard, a running fountain creates a sense of peace about the space," he says. Courtesy of Joan Goode BALLANTYNE SPRING 2019 70 Feature

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