Housing Outlook Very Strong For 2016

The housing outlook for 2016 looks very strong. For the first time in three years it seems even the most conservative economic experts are in agreement. This year will be the best since the housing recession of past years.

The indicators that these experts rely on are all looking better for the coming years, starting with this year. Household formations will top 1.25 million in 2016…this is a large driver of new home sales. The rental market is very tight causing rents to increase significantly. Combined with low mortgage interest rates, buying a home looks even more affordable. The “Home Purchase Sentiment Index” from Fannie Mae has two compelling improvements for December of 2015. First consumer sentiment improved with regard to income, job security, and economic outlook. Secondly, more consumers now believe that it is a good time to sell a home.

What does all this mean for McKee Homes? First time buyers are coming into the market and we are well positioned to appeal to them. Great plans at very affordable prices…and we include features that are optional elsewhere. With special financing available many buyers will not need a down payment…usually a barrier to purchasing.

Why is being confidant about selling a home good for McKee? Because most move up buyers need the equity from their current home…and do not want to sell in a “down market”. Selling their current home gives them the opportunity to purchase a new home with the features they want.

With an improving economic forecast and the government raising interest rates, most of these experts are predicting mortgage interest rates to be 4.75%-5% by the end of the year. This may not seem like much…but here is what it means.

For the average buyer of a McKee home, the principal and interest payment will be $134 higher by the end of 2016…over thirty years this amounts to $48,240!!!

Or put another way, a buyer could add $28,000 in options today for that same $134 per month additional payment.

The other compelling factor for purchasing sooner rather than waiting is the increasing price of homes. Even Robert Schiller, the foremost housing expert, is anticipating prices rising 4-5%. Based on our average sales price that means prices will go up by almost $12,000 this year.

All this bodes well for McKee homes in 2016. Let’s make it happen together!

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McKee Homes Building in Anderson Creek Crossing

McKee Homes is now building in Anderson Creek Crossing just outside the main gates of Anderson Creek Club in Harnett County, NC just north of Fort Bragg between Spring Lake and Lillington. We are building our Craftsman elevation floor plans in this new community designed for individuals and families that want beautiful new homes, luxury amenities and 24/7 security without the high cost.

Our Craftsman elevation floor plans include all the great interior features of our Classic floor plans with the addition of custom exterior details that give the homes distinctive elegance and refinement. A blend of stone, siding and specially styled roof lines and supports give our Craftsman floor plans a custom upscale look.

Anderson Creek Crossing will be an amenity-rich new home community with easy access to new schools, daycare, Fort Bragg, and the Championship Anderson Creek Golf Course.

The amenities in Anderson Creek Crossing will be developed over time as the new homes are being built. The master plan for this community includes:

  • Gated Entrance with Guard House for 24/7 Security
  • Expansive, Luxurious Lodge-style Clubhouse
  • Full Fitness Center Complete with Locker Rooms and Showers
  • Pool with Outdoor Snack Bar
  • Community Pavilion and Event Center
  • Tennis Courts
  • Basketball Court
  • Huge Playground
  • Restaurant and Bar
  • New Schools and Daycare Nearby
  • Less Than 15 Minutes to The Gates Of Ft. Bragg
  • 100Mbps High Speed Internet
  • Quick Access to 4.5-Star Championship Anderson Creek Golf Course

Anderson Creek Crossing will develop into a robust bustling community growing to a total of 1,000 homes. Anderson Creek Commons Commercial Center– the latest addition to the Anderson Creek Club Developments, is less than a mile down the road and includes convenient store, gas station, full service restaurants, bakery and church.

If you’ve been looking for an affordable new home community with country club amenities close to shopping and schools, contact McKee Homes to get more information on the community and our new Craftsman elevation floor plans.

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Best Budget Hotels in Wilmington, NC

Planning a trip to the largest historic city in North Carolina but are not sure where to stay? Whether you are visiting on vacation or are in town for a business trip, you just may find yourself wanting to stay! While you begin dreaming about new homes in Wilmington, NC, here are several suggestions for your upcoming short-term stay.

Types of Lodging
In addition to the numerous hotels and motels around town, there are many different types of lodging available. There are condos for rental, quaint guest rooms available by the night, and suites with full kitchens for those who want to eat in occasionally. Some hotels are located on the beach while others are conveniently placed in the historic downtown. Here are four budget-friendly hotels worth considering:

Ramada Inn Conference Center
This hotel offers standard rooms in a convenient location, with affordable and competitive rates. The room includes free breakfast, with an on-site restaurant if you want to stay in for lunch or dinner.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott
The TownePlace Suites by Marriott prides itself on being friendly and welcoming, the perfect base for your Cape Fear getaway. It offers competitive rates, even over holiday weekends, and each suite includes a full kitchen with a stovetop and refrigerator. The hotel is close to downtown and includes a 24-hour on-site business center.

Beach House Inn and Suites
Although located about twenty minutes from the city, the Beach House Inn and Suites might be worth considering! The property includes a variety of suites and oceanfront rooms, with easy access to sites and events in the area.

Riverview Suites at Water Street Center
Depending on when you are traveling, you may be able to get a decent rate at the Riverview’s affiliate, the Hilton Riverside. However, staying at the Riverview might be worth it thanks to its all-suites design, complete with full kitchens so you can prepare some of your own meals. Guests at either hotel can enjoy the fitness center, heated outdoor pool, and more.

A Word to the Wise
If you are traveling for vacation, you may want to consider staying at a bed and breakfast or in a vacation rental. However, these may be more costly than a hotel for a short-term stay. Do you have flexible travel dates? If you are looking for a place to stay on a budget, consider traveling during off-peak times. Hotel rates tend to rise during the summer tourist season, so try coming a few weeks before or after. With some competitive shopping, you should be able to find the perfect place to stay within your budget.

If you decide that coastal living is for you, contact McKee Homes for more information on new construction in Wilmington, NC. Our energy-efficient homes are expertly crafted and built in the area’s most attractive, up-and-coming neighborhoods. Let us help you find your dream home.

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Craftsman Collection Floor Plans in Knightdale Station

McKee Homes began building our Craftsman Collection floor plans at Knightdale Station in the town of Knightdale, only 15 miles from downtown Raleigh, during the summer months of 2015. With our model home now open, and many new homes almost completed, it’s time to unveil the Craftsman elevation floor plans by McKee Homes.

If you’ve been searching for Raleigh new homes, and want a family-friendly neighborhood conveniently located to good schools, new amenities and parks, our new Craftsman elevation floor plans in Knightdale Station may be exactly what you’re looking for.

The Craftsman Collection Floor Plans

The Craftsman Collection floor plans include all the great features of our Classic floor plans with custom exterior details that give the homes distinctive elegance and refinement. A blend of stone, siding and specially styled roof lines and supports give our Craftsman floor plans a custom upscale look.

The customized version of the new Craftsman Collection floor plans at Knightdale Station are referred to as the Craftsman KS elevations and include a trellis over the garage doors.

Knightdale Station sitemap

Knightdale Station

With over 800 homes in the planning stages Knightdale Station will be the town’s largest master-planned community with homes starting from the $280’s.

At the center of Knightdale Station is Knightdale Station Park, a 76-acre park in Eastern Wake County. It includes two miles of paved trails, picnic shelters, the Ashley Wilder Dog Park, athletic fields, restrooms and a large playground.

With the addition of the new Aquatics Center, YMCA, and Thales Academy elementary school, Knightdale Station is becoming one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Eastern Wake County.

For more information about Knightdale Station and our Craftsman elevation floor plans, please contact McKee Homes or visit our Knightdale Station web page.

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5 Best Restaurants in Wilmington, NC

If you are considering contacting home builders in Wilmington, NC, then you must already know some of the benefits of living in this historic, arts-oriented city. However, did you know that the area is also known for its large number of high-quality, must-try restaurants? The best places are sprinkled throughout town, from the area around the university to practically anywhere along the waterfront. As the locals say, throw a rock and you will hit a good restaurant! Here are five of our top picks:

  1. Genki Sushi
    Genki Sushi is the place to go for fresh, authentic sushi. Everything on the menu is hand-prepared or homemade, including the sauces. The restaurant offers a true Japanese taste experience, with dishes like shrimp tempura and udon noodles. Plus, the owners are candid about the menu, using pi-water for drinking and cooking, with no chemicals or MSG in sight.
  2. Nikki’s Fresh Gourmet and Sushi
    Are you looking for a top-quality menu that includes sushi as well as vegetarian and organic dishes? Nikki’s Fresh Gourmet is highly rated by locals and tourists alike. You can visit its original location on Front Street as well as its locations in the mall and near the university. Another option is Nikki’s Hibachi Steak House, featuring hibachi dining along with the restaurant’s famous sushi.
  3. Cape Fear Seafood Company
    If you prefer your fish pan-seared, grilled, or otherwise prepared, stop by the Cape Fear Seafood Company. This locally owned restaurant prides itself on offering dishes with fresh ingredients in a relaxing atmosphere. Enjoy the extensive wine list, local art on the walls, and not-to-be-missed menu.
  4. Caprice Bistro
    For a taste of Europe with French and Belgian cuisine, plan a visit to the Caprice Bistro. Stop by the upstairs lounge for drinks and hors d’oeuvres, or enjoy a meal of fresh mussels, trout, or lamb downstairs. More favorites include the French onion soup, bistro steak, and fresh pasta.
  5. Paddy’s Hollow
    If you want comfort food in a great environment, look no further than Paddy’s Hollow, a pub located in a restored cotton warehouse. The restaurant has numerous beers on tap to complement entrees including grilled salmon, shrimp po boy, and shepherd’s pie. Locals cite it as a great place to stop for dinner before going out for the night, or anytime you want a meal in a great atmosphere.

Bonus: The Peppered Cupcake
No list of great restaurants would be complete without an option for dessert! This little shop offers gourmet cupcakes crafted with unique flavor combinations. Flavors include apple crisp, bourbon black cherry and vanilla cobbler, German chocolate, maple and bacon, and crème brûlée. Their everyday menu includes seven flavors, with other varieties depending on the day.

You may not be able to try dining at all of these restaurants unless you move to the area! Contact McKee Homes, expert home builders in Wilmington, NC, for more information on finding your perfect home.

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Top 5 Budget Hotels in Raleigh, NC

Are you looking at new homes in Raleigh, NC and need a place to stay for a few days? Or maybe you’ve moved out of your home while home builders in Raleigh, NC are renovating your living space. The Raleigh area has some great budget-friendly hotels for a comfortable stay. Some are even pet-friendly. Here are the Top 5 Budget Hotels in Raleigh, NC.

  1. Econo Lodge Inn and Suites
    Just a few minutes from the downtown area, off the I-440 and U.S. Highway 1, you will find the Econo Lodge. Convenient to the Convention and Conference Center, Alltel Pavilion and the North Carolina State Capitol Building, guests can enjoy free Internet access, coffee, deluxe continental breakfast and free local calls – perfect when you need to talk to your home builders in Raleigh, NC.
  2. Days Inn
    Great location, good value and free Wi-Fi are all on offer at Days Inn. Comfort and cost-savings are the key criteria here and the hotel boasts 135 pet-friendly rooms complete with all the usual amenities to make your stay feel like home-away-from-home. There are two restaurants adjacent to the property and a selection of museums nearby.
  3. America’s Best Value Inn-Crabtree/Raleigh
    Convenient location, attractive rooms and wallet-friendly prices attract guests to the three story hotel. There’s also a free deluxe continental breakfast, guest laundry and on-site fitness facilities. The hotel is situated close to the North Hills Mall and is the perfect base from which to explore Raleigh homes for sale.
  4. Super 8, Raleigh
    Free local calls, parking and free breakfast as well as pet-friendly rooms can be found at Super 8. All rooms have cable TVs, refrigerators, internet access, microwaves and work desks. Just 1 mile from the Crabtree Valley Mall, Super 8 is also close to the Exploris Museum, Convention Center and only 14 miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
  5. Best Western
    If you want to stay somewhere a little more upscale without breaking the budget, try the Best Western. The hotel in North-Downtown sits in a prime location and offers guests free parking, breakfast and Wi-Fi. The three story hotel is pet-friendly and boasts premium cable, coin laundry and an outdoor pool to cool off in after a long day of looking for Raleigh homes for sale. The hotel is a quick 3 miles from many of the downtown attractions, including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of Art. It also sits a mere five miles away from the Time Warner Pavilion at Walnut Creek as well as Crabtree Valley Mall. It is 15 miles from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Being close to the best Raleigh has to offer doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Staying in a budget-friendly hotel is one of the best ways to spend more time discovering the Raleigh, NC area while looking for new construction in Raleigh, NC.

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USDA Loan Fee Increase Scheduled for October 1

By John Rives

How much is the cost of a USDA loan going up? If you are shopping for a new home and are considering getting a USDA loan, you should hurry, as there is a USDA loan fee increase scheduled for October 1. USDA loans are one of the few loans that offer home buyers in rural areas a no-money-down option for their mortgage. The current loan guarantee fee for USDA loans of 2% is going up to 2.75% on October 1, 2015.

According to Bloomberg, an e-mail from USDA spokesman David Sandretti, states the move will enable the $24 billion program “to continue to sustain itself without a congressional appropriation to offset credit-related costs.”

The current guarantee fee of 2% for an $180,000 USDA loan is $3,600. This cost is usually included in the loan increasing the total loan amount to $183,600. When the guarantee fee goes up to 2.75% in October, the new fee for an $180,000 loan will be $4,950. That’s an increase of $1,350, increasing the total loan amount to $184,950.

While the guarantee fee which is a one-time fee charged by all government mortgage programs including USDA, FHA, and VA is increasing, the annual fee (monthly PMI) for USDA loans will remain the same at 0.50 percent.

The USDA has invested more than $117 billion to support rural home ownership but the home loan program was temporarily halted in 2010 when the USDA ran out of money. Last year, over $19.9 billion was invested by USDA which helped approximately 140,000 families purchase homes in rural areas.

If you are considering buying a home with a USDA loan, you can save money by purchasing the home before October 1 of this year. For more information on which McKee Homes neighborhoods qualify for USDA loans and details about the loans, contact us at 910-672-7296.

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The Difference Between Due Diligence and Earnest Money

What Is The Difference Between Due Diligence Money and Earnest Money?

If you are shopping for a home and are hearing terms you aren’t familiar with such as due diligence money and earnest money, you might be wondering what the difference between the two is, how they affect you, how much they will cost you, and if you can get your money back if the contract is cancelled. This article should help answer some of your questions starting with the difference between due diligence money and earnest money.

“Due Diligence” is the buyer’s opportunity to engage in a process of further investigation of the property and the transaction as described in the Offer to Purchase form within a period of time agreed to by the seller and buyer. The buyer will want to inquire about anything bearing on a decision to either move forward with the contract or to terminate it.  Some common considerations of the “Due Diligence” period are; home, pest, and septic inspections, property survey, appraisal, title search, loan qualification and application, repair negotiation, etc. The buyer has until 5:00 PM on the expiration date of the due diligence period to terminate the contract for any or no reason at all. The due diligence fee is Non-Refundable however, if the buyer terminates the contract during the due diligence period, the Earnest money deposit is refundable.

Deciding how much due diligence time is needed requires thinking about how long it will take to schedule appointments for inspectors to come out and inspect the home and how long it takes to review documents like the HOA rules and regulations. During the due diligence time the buyer is able to cancel the contract for any reason, or no reason at all.  Due diligence money is non-refundable The good news is the money is typically credited towards the purchase of the home at closing.

Earnest money is “good faith” money. The buyer is showing the seller they are serious about buying the home.  If the seller is unable to fulfill the contract the buyer will get the earnest money back.  If the buyer is unable to fulfill the contract the seller can keep the earnest money.  Earnest money is refundable if the contract is cancelled within the due diligence time period and is credited toward the purchase at closing if the sale goes through.

In general, there is no definite amount set for due diligence or earnest money.   The amount of earnest money paid could be a percentage of the purchase price but both the due diligence fee and earnest money deposit will be decided between the buyer and seller and written into the contract.

For more information, please visit
North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract, standard form 2-T Revised 1/2015

“Due Diligence” Questions and Answers

Contact us for more information about how much earnest money is required to start building a new home.

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What is the TAEXX® Built-in Pest Control System?

By Lee Benson

The TAEXX® system is a built-in pest control system that is installed in all McKee Homes. It helps keep pests out of your home by installing tubes in wall voids. These tubes enable the Home Team Pest Defense technicians to provide a barrier of protection for the home without having to actually place chemicals inside the living area. This system also allows Home Team to service the home on a quarterly basis without having to go inside.

TAEXX® Pest Control System

By the time a homeowner notices bugs inside their home, they may already have a serious problem that is difficult to get rid of. With the TAEXX® system, pests are targeted at the point of entry, keeping them from living and breeding inside the walls of the home.

Home Team installs the tube system in the lower level exterior and interior wall void areas. Port boxes located outside the home allow the technicians to activate the system. Each port box contains a number of tubes that are installed throughout the wall voids.

The technician charges each tube with the chemical, Tempo SC, followed with a blast of compressed nitrogen, creating a vapor that treats the wall void area. It only takes one ounce of chemical per tube because Tempo SC is a super concentrate (SC). Tempo SC has over a 70% kill ratio for up to 120+ days after treatment. Pests entering the treated area are exposed to the chemical.Home Team is the only company that uses the Taexx® system.

Taexx® does not protect against termites. McKee Homes sprays a product called Bora-Care® during the rough mechanical stage to ward of those types of pests. (See blog Rough Mechanicals)

McKee Homes understands how busy our home buyers are and offer this innovative technology for those that don’t want the hassle of managing pest control themselves. The TAEXX® system makes pest control easy and convenient for homeowners, since they don’t have to be home when pest control materials are distributed inside the walls.

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Can You Build a House on my Land?

By Jennifer Buckwalter and Charmaine Simmons

Homebuilders get asked about building on land that customers own quite regularly. While we can’t answer for all homebuilders, we can answer how McKee Homes looks at and answers this question.

Can I build a house on my land

There are several factors that have to be considered when building on land that is not in a neighborhood that the builder is actively building in. We look at where the land is, if it is suitable for building on, and the time and cost.

Where is the land located?
If the land is in an existing neighborhood we will need to review the neighborhood’s covenants to determine if there are any restrictions on the size and/or style of the home. After understanding the covenants, the lot will have to be measured to make sure that it is big enough for the house to fit on

If the land is more rural, we have to make sure it’s easily accessible for our trade partners and builder to access. If necessary, a road may need to be built. We’ll also need to find out if the city/county will zone the land for a residential home (if it hasn’t been done already). We will also make sure that utilities are available.

Is the land suitable for building on?
Whether in an established neighborhood or in a rural area, a McKee Homes representative will visit the site and review a plat map to make sure there are no wetlands or other issues that may cause potential problems. Potential problems may include lack of useable water, extensive grading work, access issues and septic system suitability (if applicable).

Time and Cost
There is additional time and cost involved with building on your own land. When building on your land we do lose some efficiency because we are only building one home rather than several in a neighborhood. Additional time and expense will have to be allowed for inspections as well. However, some costs benefits you may find to you as well. For example, if you already own the land, provide construction financing, and pay for the utility extension fees this will result in a lower monthly mortgage payment.

So if you want to build a home on your own land, do your research on a builder that can meet your needs. A New Home Specialist at McKee Homes can talk to you about your options with building a McKee home on your land.

For more information please visit our Build On Your Lot webpage.

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