How to Buy a House Under $300,000 in Wake County, NC

wake countyWith approximately 75 people moving to the Triangle area each day, house prices and rents have increased steadily since 2013.

An article published in July 2017 says the average price of a house in Wake County is now over $300,000. Wake County includes Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Wake Forest, Knightdale, and Fuquay Varina.


It’s not the time for Wake County buyers who are considering home ownership to get discouraged, but it is time for those buyers to have realistic expectations.

As prices increase, buyers need to consider moving a little further away from work, consider an older home, or consider a smaller home than what they originally planned.

Homes priced under $300,000 sell quickly and it is hard for buyers to negotiate having sellers pay their loan closing costs because those properties are receiving multiple offers. Buyers need to be prepared to prioritize the most important criteria and be flexible on wish-list criteria and most importantly be able to make a fast decision. Buyers who wait a couple days to see a house or want to go back the next day to see it again may find the house sold while they were deciding.


Why are sellers not waiting for other serious buyers to see the house?

Sellers feel the motivated buyers are prepared to make a strong offer and commit right away. A buyer who hesitates scares the seller, no matter why the buyer is not willing or able to make a quick offer.


My advice to buyers is to do your homework in advance.

Only look at houses in your price range; if you want to increase your price range talk to your mortgage lender first before you look at more properties and get an updated pre-approval letter. Your buyer’s agent should be able to provide you with information about the property and give you comparable sale data quickly. With few houses to choose from under $300,000, buyers are not alone in waiting for the next property to hit the market.

Amy Shair ReMax United Cary Durham NC 919-469-6539


Amy Shair has been an award-winning Realtor in residential real estate in the Wake County area for over 20 years. Hundreds of sellers over the years have trusted her when it came time to sell their home. Amy Shair will work hard for you and will protect your best interests when listing your house for sale. She will take the time to let you know what to expect while your house is on the market and what happens between getting an offer and closing where your house sale is complete. Contact her today for a free consultation.



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How Long is the Perfect Commute?

commuteWhen you are looking for a home, one of the major factors to consider is the location of your workplace in comparison to the location of your home. In other words, how long is the perfect commute?

Thoughts to consider about a long commute (30 minutes or more)

According to recent US Census data, there are a large number of commuters in the Triangle area. Almost 51% of those working in Durham do not live in the county. And 49% of employees in Orange live in another county. How do these commuters feel about having a long commute? There are some pros and cons.

  • You may prefer a longer commute so you can have an opportunity to mentally unwind from the day of work. That way when you arrive at home, you are ready to give all your attention and focus to your family.
  • If the long commute is on public transportation, you can use the time to catch up on email or to read for pleasure or work. Commuting on a bus or rideshare tends to be less stressful because you are not the driver.
  • Many times a longer commute enables you to purchase a more affordable home. In this case, the longer commute time is worth it as a contribution to your overall financial picture.
  • On the downside, the longer the commute, the more likely you are to be affected by traffic backups, road construction, or accidents.
  • Any time you spend commuting is time you are not spending elsewhere.

Thoughts to consider about a short commute (30 minutes or less)

  • Less time on the road means more time at home.
  • Less driving means less money spent on gas and car repairs.
  • If you work in an urban area and you want a short commute, you will need to live in an urban area as well. This may or may not be your preference. You may not be able to have both a large detached single-family home with a yard and a short commute.

work from homeOther considerations:  Can you work remotely?

Working from home cuts out the need for any commute at all.  Do you have the kind of job that would be amenable to telecommuting? If not for every day, perhaps just for a couple days a week? If so, a longer commute may not be as taxing if you don’t need to do it every day.

What about your spouse?

If both spouses work, most couples assume they need to live in the geographic center so each spouse has an equally long commute. But keep in mind personal preferences. If one spouse doesn’t mind a long commute, but the other does, live closer to the workplace of the one who wants the short commute time.


What about the kids?

Commute time effects students as well as workers. Commuting from home can make college affordable for those who would otherwise need to take out hefty loans to afford room and board. Thankfully, no matter where you live in the Triangle area there are loads of educational options close to home. Duke University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the three Tier One universities in the area. There are at least 15 other colleges and universities plus a number of top notch community colleges.

Unique commuting options in the Triangle:

If you are employed by Research Triangle Park, take part in the SmartCommute@RTP program. There are several initiatives for a variety of commuting options such as carpooling, biking to work, and bus service.

The City of Raleigh has also come up with their own initiative for business owners called Commute Smart Raliegh.

Amy Shair ReMax United Cary Durham NC 919-469-6539


If you are moving to the Triangle area or within the Triangle area, you need a well-informed realtor to help you think through your commuting options in regards to choosing your new home. Amy Shair has lived and worked in the Triangle area for over 25 years so she knows first-hand the locations that can give you the commute that is right for you and your family. Contact her today.


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July 4th – 2017 Fireworks Events Raleigh Cary Apex NC

Fireworks 2017Mark your calendars for the 2017 Fireworks displays in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Apex and more!

Fireworks on the Fourth of July are some of the best memories we have with family and friends.


Several celebrations include “old fashioned” festivities for families such as face painting, watermelon seed contest, potato sack races, and plenty of live music.

The Triangle area is well-known for great music and a wonderful summer atmosphere.

Pick your day, time, and activity and click on all of the links for additional details.

Have a wonderful and safe Independence Day holiday!


Olde Fashioned Fourth of July – Tuesday, July 4th in Historic Downtown Apex

Events are as follows:

  • 9:00 am: Flag Raising
  • 9:15 am: Activities begin (inflatables, water slide, face painting, karaoke contest, carnival games, climbing wall, sno cones, barbecue, and more!)
  • 11:45 am: Parade of Wheels line-up
  • 11:50 am: Activities end
  • 12:00 pm: Uncle Sam’s Parade of Wheels
  • 12:30 pm: Fire Department Splash Down


Fireworks in Burlington City Park (on Monday, July 3rd)  There will be live music, great food, amusement park rides, games and of course fireworks at 9:00 pm!


Fireworks 2017The 2017 Carrboro July 4th Celebration will be held at Carrboro Town Hall on Tuesday, July 4. The event kicks off at Weaver Street Market Lawn beginning at 9:30 am!

A parade from Weaver Street Market to Town Hall, starting at 10:50 am, will bring the Weaver Street participants together with those in attendance at Carrboro Town Hall.

Of course, the Kids Fun Zone and Fun Zone Stage will be back and better than ever! Enjoy plenty of activities, games, good food, and live music.


Independence Eve Celebration – Monday, July 3 | Free, Cary Arts Center Pre-show with Applause! Cary Youth Theatre | 6:30 p.m. Cary Town Band | 7:30 p.m. This year, for the 29th Annual Patriotic Celebration, the Cary Town Band, Applause! Cary Youth Theatre and other groups will be musically saluting the American flag, its history, and the musical works it has inspired. Joined by the Concert Singers of Cary, the Town Band features John Raymond Howell’s offering of “A Salute to the Flag”, plus marches, songs, a salute to our military service personnel (past and present) and other works recalling Old Glory.

Independence Day Olde Time Celebration

Tuesday, July 4 | Activities begin at 8 a.m. | Free
Fred G. Metro Bond Park

Join us for an old-fashioned celebration of our nation’s birth — sure to be lots of fun for the entire family! Much more information on their site!

July 4th Celebration at Koka Booth Amphitheatre

Tuesday, July 4 | 3-10 p.m. Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Celebrate our nation’s birthday in spectacular style at Booth Amphitheatre for the area’s biggest Independence Day celebration ever. Come early and enjoy the beautiful setting and patriotic performances by the Cary Town Band and the North Carolina Symphony in what promises to make guests proud to be an American.

3 pm – Gates Open to Blankets, Lawn Chairs & Picnics
3 pm-7 pm – Kid’s Activities and Ferris Wheel rides all day long!
5:45 pm – Cary Town Band – Main Stage
7:30 pm – NC Symphony- Main Stage


fireworks 2017Tuesday, July 4th UNC’s Kenan Memorial Stadium. Gates open at 7:00 pm! Fireworks begin at 9:30 pm. Arrive early for the best seats. Make sure to get there early at 7 pm to participate in our watermelon eating contest. Winners will receive prizes!

  • The DSI comedy teams will be onsite with interactive improv!!
  • Face Painting, Spin Art, Photobooth, Stiltwalkers and Old-Fashioned Family Fun!
  • Main stage music provided by Radiojacks! With their universal appeal, Radiojacks will have audiences of all ages on the dance floor all night long!


Durham Bulls Baseball July 4 vs. Charlotte Knights

  • Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza
  • Baseball, fireworks, and Independence Day. There’s nothing more American. Get your tickets early for July 4, our biggest game of the season…it will sell out!
  • Diamond Cutters Performance
  • Make sure you’re in your seat at the end of the 6th inning because the Diamond Cutters, the Bulls’ world famous dancing grounds crew, will perform tonight.


Independence Day Celebration
Sponsored by:  Town of Fuquay-Varina
Monday, July 3, Gates open 6 pm, Fireworks at sundown
South Park (900 S. Main Street, Fuquay-Varina, NC)  
Celebrate America’s birthday at the Fuquay-Varina Independence Day Celebration at South Park on Monday, July 3rd. South Park is located at 820 S. Main Street.  Gates open at 6 pm with Spare Change, playing a range of music sure to please everyone beginning at 7 pm.

Kids can enjoy free inflatables, rides, and activities prior to the fireworks which begin at sundown.  Make sure to bring a blanket or chair and get there early to claim the best location to view the fireworks.  The event is alcohol-free, however, coolers are allowed. Food vendors will be on site.



Join us for an evening of fun for the whole family featuring a headlining performance by the North Carolina Symphony.

Your children will love our Kids Adventure Zone featuring inflatables, games, and crafts. Bring a picnic, or help your community by enjoying delicious concessions provided by local non-profit organizations.

Join us at the Garner, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources tent for some fun activities to kick off National Park and Recreation Month!

Top your evening off with the best fireworks show in the Triangle and you’ll see why the National Civic League named Garner an All-America City in 2013 and why our citizens are proud of their hometown.


fireworks 2017Wednesday, July 5, 2017 – 5-9:30 p.m.
Jefferson L. Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park
2401 Grigsby Avenue
Holly Springs, NC 27540

Join us the day after Independence Day for this traditional celebration of America’s birthday.  Admission is free and everyone is invited, including friendly, leashed pets!

The fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 9:15 pm, weather permitting and will last about 20 minutes.  Please do not bring your own fireworks to the celebration. This includes sparklers.


Date and Time:  July 4, 2017, 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Location: Mebane Arts & Community Center
Description:  Mebane’s July 4th Family Music Festival. Back by Popular Demand…..Too Much Sylvia playing Beach & Top 40 inside the Mebane Arts & Community Center.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket as no seating will be provided. Admission is free! Fireworks will follow at 9:40 pm (weather permitting).


Joel Lane Museum House “The Birthplace of Raleigh,” will sponsor its 26th annual Independence Day Open House on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, from 11:00 am to 4 p.m. Admission is free, and donations are requested. See link for more details.

Raleigh – The Works

Once again, Downtown Raleigh will be the one and only host of the City’s Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza.

fireworks 2017When:
July 4, noon to 11 pm – THIS IS A FREE EVENT

Fayetteville Street, Downtown Raleigh

Independence Day Celebration during the day with live music, Beer/Wine tent, kids rides and games, Aerial Performances, Cirque de Vol street performers, eating contests, food and art vendors, and much more! Fireworks will light up the sky over The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts starting at around 9:30pm.


Once again, this year’s celebration is a two-day affair consisting of the following events and activities:

  • Fireworks Spectacular
    Monday, July 3; Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
    Wake Forest High School, 420 W. Stadium Dr.

  • Children’s Parade
    Tuesday, July 4; line-up begins at 10 a.m.; parade starts at 10:30 a.m.
    Intersection of North Main Street and West Juniper Avenue, near the Wake Forest College Birthplace
  • Art & Games in the Park
    Tuesday, July 4; 11 a.m.
    Holding Park, 133 W. Owen Ave., and R.H. Forrest Field, 123 W. Owen Ave.

Amy Shair ReMax United Cary Durham NC 919-469-6539

I hope you found this list helpful.

I know how much fun fireworks and July 4th celebrations are with my family and friends!

Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July Celebration this year! ~ Amy Shair


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Real Estate Options for Baby Boomers

Baby boomers


More and more of the Baby Boomer generation has reached the retirement years. They have lived through the long haul of their working life and have seen their kids are grown and gone (finally!).

Many Baby Boomers decide that this life transition is the perfect time to make a real estate transition. The husband and wife may be looking at each other in the middle of a large house saying, “now what?”

What are other Baby Boomers doing to meet their housing needs during this season of life?

  • Some are keeping their current home as a rental property but moving into a smaller house. This can be a wise financial move as long as it doesn’t require taking out a large mortgage. You also need to be honest with yourself about whether or not you want to do the work necessary that comes with being a landlord. Being a landlord is not for everyone! Especially if you are relocating far away. But if you know you could keep up the property and live close enough to maintain it, renting out your current home could be a good option.
  • Some are moving to a condo or townhome. This is a great option for those who still want to own a property, but do not want to be bothered with lots of yard work.
  • Other Baby Boomers love yard work and gardening and are looking forward to retirement so as to have more time for it. Maybe you would like a larger yard or a property that has better sun for a garden. If you choose a house with a small footprint, you will not have to spend much time keeping up the inside.
  • Over 55 communities and independent living facilities are other popular choices. Many retirement homes have long waiting lists so it’s not too early to choose your favorite. These communities are active and vibrant and there is comfort in knowing that if you had a medical emergency there would be help available for you immediately.
  • Many Baby Boomers are moving to a different community or town. They may have lived in a particular place because of its close proximity to work, but now that they are retired, they do not need to live in that community. Some move close to their favorite baseball team. Others move to where the shopping or the fishing is good.
  • Those with young grandkids are moving closer to them so they can see more soccer games or more dance recitals. They also may want to help out with babysitting or just be available to love on them as needed.

selling a homeAre you a Baby Boomer ready to sell your home so you are free to pursue the house that suits your current season of life?

If so, this is a great time to be a seller in the Triangle Area! Many houses are selling quickly at the asking price or even above the asking price. If you are ready for a real estate change, contact Amy Shair. She will make sure you get your share of the market.


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Shredding Event RE/MAX United Cary

RE/MAX United – Cary and Raleigh Office’s are offering a Shredding Event

Shredding Event

Get Spring Cleaning off to a great start with this FREE community event!

Two great locations:

RE/MAX United Cary
51 Kilmayne Dr.
Cary, NC 27511
RE/MAX United Raleigh
7721 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27615

I am excited to participate and hope you will join me!

Bring up to 10 boxes of papers that you would like to have shredded.

Date: Saturday, April 29th

Time: 9 AM to 11 AM


A very special thank you to our sponsors:

Old Republic Home Protection and The Law Office of Jonathan Richardson

If you have any questions about this Shred Event, please email me at

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How to Find the Right Realtor for You

Right Realtor for YouSpring is here! Families across the country are getting ready to list their house now that the snow has melted, kids will be out of school soon, and the weather is pleasant enough to go house shopping.

At first glance, selling your house as a “for sale by owner” listing sounds like you would save a lot of money. Right?

Wrong. The best way for you to get the right price is to enlist an experienced Realtor who knows the market and has systems in place to get the word out about your home. A real estate agent also knows the legal ins and outs of selling a home.

But there are a lot of real estate agents out there.

How can you find the Realtor that is right for you?

  • Ask family and friends for suggestions. The benefit of getting suggestions is that you hear a first-hand account of the Realtor’s work ethic. When you get a name suggested, ask what the person appreciated about the Realtor. This can give a complete picture of the real estate agent beyond the answer: “she was great!”
  • Search online by searching “realtor near me.” Although your Realtor doesn’t need to live in the exact same town you do, they need to be close enough to be available to show your home.
  • Check websites. Now that you have a list of some possible Realtors, start looking at their websites. Pay attention to any specialties the Realtor may have. Take note of any awards or recognitions the real estate agent has earned. The website will also tell the level of expertise of the Realtor and the number of years of experience.
  • Check online testimonials. These can be on the Realtor’s website. They can also be on Google, social media, or Yelp.
  • Once you’ve narrowed down your search to 3-4 favorites, invite each Realtor over to meet them in person. Ask about their procedures for listing your house. A good Realtor will have done their homework and have some suggestions for a listing price. Note their confidence level and their ability to clearly communicate. Both are vital traits for a competent Realtor. Ask them about their marketing plan to get the word out about your house. Your home will not sell at the best price unless potential buyers come to see it!
  • After meeting the Realtors, decide who is the best fit for you.

Amy Shair ReMax United Cary Durham NC 919-469-6539


Amy Shair has been an award-winning Realtor in residential real estate in the Raleigh/Durham area for over 20 years. Hundreds of sellers over the years have trusted her when it came time to sell their home. Amy Shair will work hard for you and will protect your best interests when listing your house for sale. She will take the time to let you know what to expect while your house is on the market and what happens between getting an offer and closing where your house sale is complete. Contact her today for a free consultation.

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