September 29, 2011

Great New Listing!!! ~ Great Neighborhood ~ Great Price!!!

Check out this wonderful and superbly affordable, solid Arts & Crafts Bungalow in the desirable Fulton Heights neighborhood at 1118 Fries Street. This home features a large 7.5 x 30 foot front porch, with Arts & Crafts mill work at the front door and windows. Special features of this charming bungalow are its 2 fireplaces, one in the living room and one in the master bed room. French doors divide the living and dining room spaces. The Jack and Jill bath between the bedrooms has both a shower and separate bathtub. There is a large, spacious utility room that could easily accommodate an upgrade for an additional bathroom.  This home has 6yr-old roof, updated 200 amp electric panel, and newer water heater. Exit through the walk-out cellar to the greenery of the back yard.

At only $48,500 (WOW!!!), 1118 Fries Street is a steal, especially because of its location in the very family oriented neighborhood of Fulton Heights in Salisbury NC!

The Fulton Heights Neighborhood Historic District in Salisbury, North Carolina is an intact representation of a middle and upper-middle class residential neighborhood that developed in the early twentieth century. It is among several suburbs of North Carolina towns that emerged as an outgrowth of the City Beautiful Movement. You can read more about the history of Fulton Heights or read why streetcar suburbs worked so well.
fulton heights map

The neighborhood is laid out in grid patterned streets along which houses rendered in nationally-popular styles were regularly spaced within well-landscaped yards. Fulton Heights is among several neighborhoods of the period in North Carolina that boasted amenities such as a streetcar system and large park area within its boundaries. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

The old trolley lines are now covered with landscaped green-space mediums that the neighborhood maintains.  The neighborhood additionally raised enough funding and worked with the City of Salisbury to create Centennial Park, where Easter Egg hunts are conducted annually and other neighborhood events are held.  This one acre park located in the Fulton Heights neighborhood features a walking trail, a footbridge, a picnic table with benches, and a play structure. Tree-lined streets give this neighborhood a special feel where families walk, children bicycle, and where the neighborhood even provides a weekly dog-walk.  The area is supported by the strong Fulton Heights Neighborhood Association, that ensures local codes are enforced, exercises a crime-watch program, and keeps the lines of communication open in the neighborhood.  The neighborhood association sponsors a Halloween Parade, Easter Egg Hunt, and Holiday Home Tour. 

The opportunity to own an Arts & Crafts bungalow in Fulton Heights at this price does not come along every day!  This 1243 sq ft, 2-bedroom home is the perfect starter or retirement cottage!  And the neighborhood's proximity to Downtown Salisbury keeps you within reach of the cultural happenings, dining, and shopping opportunities that comprise historic Salisbury North Carolina.

Give Greg Rapp a call today at 704.213.6846 to be the first in line for 1118 Fries Street!  You won't be sorry!

September 28, 2011

Historic Salisbury Foundation 35th Annual October Tour of Historic Properties ~ Open House Opportunity!

For the past 35 years, Salisbury has set aside the second weekend of October for a tour of eight to ten historic properties. Meticulously planned and organized by the Historic Salisbury Foundation, October Tour stands among the elite historic home tours of North Carolina. It is a short course in architecture, history, restoration and antiques. It has also provided the foundation with funds that helped save or protect some 100 older homes from demolition.

The 2011 tour will take place on Saturday, October 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 9th from noon to 5:30 p.m.

Among the historic properties that will be shown on this year's OctoberTour are:

Bernhardt House c. 1882
Maxwell House c. 185
The Bernhardt House is a unique property that acts as a cornerstone to the entrance of historic downtown Salisbury. This significant landmark is a wonderful example of a 2-story, late Victorian, reflecting the two successive phases of the Italianate style. It sits on its original site and was updated in 1999. Most recent updates include a new roof, new exterior paint, floor repair, new bath fixtures, and fresh interior paint. 
The house has been used as a commercial building with 4 large office spaces. The property is close to the commercial and entertainment area of Fisher Street with plenty of parking in the back. The Bernhardt House is individually listed on the National Register and qualifies for NC Tax Credits. Property has a Preservation Agreement.

Seller will consider a Lease Option to Purchase with a qualified buyer.

Reynolds House c. 1916
Tickets: A ticket allows one visit to each tour site and can be used on Saturday and/or Sunday. Tickets are non-refundable. All tickets online will be held at ‘will call’ which is located at the Henderson Law Office, corner of West Fisher and South Church Streets.
Torrence House c. 1839
Advance Tickets: $18 for Historic Salisbury Foundation members, $20 for non-members. Children (6-12) $10. Groups (10 or more) $18 each.
Tour Day Tickets: $20 for everyone. Available at the Henderson Law Office on West Fisher and South Jackson Streets or at any Tour location.

"Great" Legends "GREAT" OFFER! Every year, the Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society ( hosts the North Carolina Symphony ( and this year William Henry Curry will conduct Mussorgsky, Night on Bald Mountain; Grieg, Suite from Peer Gynt; and Schubert, Symphony No. 9, “The Great” on October 8th. What a great opportunity to hear North Carolina’s state orchestra and take in historic Salisbury!
Special ticket package: The HSF has partnered with the Salisbury Symphony and the Comfort Suites, Hampton Inn, and Holiday Inn on packages that include discounts on overnight stays and tickets to both OctoberTour and this concert. Special room rates will be offered in combination with two discounted tickets to OctoberTour and two discounted tickets to the North Carolina Symphony concert the evening of October 8th.

For more information about each "GREAT" Offer, contact the hotel of your choice:

Comfort Suites: 1040 East Innes Street, Salisbury. Call 704-630-0065 for package details.
Hampton Inn: 1001 Klumac Road, Salisbury. Call 800-426-7866 for package details.
Holiday Inn: 530 S. Jake Alexander Blvd., Salisbury. Call 1-800-HOLIDAY for package details.
TOUR HOURS: Saturday 10 am to 5:30 pm Sunday Noon to 5:30 pm.

Greg Rapp will be hosting not one, but TWO historic property open houses. These special houses are not formally part of Historic Salisbury Foundation's annual fund raiser, but should not be missed if you are out to see the beauty and practicality of living in a historic residence!  
414 Park Avenue c. 1900 ~ $89,900

429 Park Avenue & 414 Park Avenue homes, both circa 1900 dwellings that are currently on the market, will be open for viewing Saturday October 8th from 1:00pm ~ 4:00pm.

Be sure to stop by, meet Greg, and find the historic home you've been looking for!

414 Park Avenue, already a jewel in the neighborhood's crown, will be a masterpiece when restoration is complete. The large renovated kitchen features granite counter tops.  French doors open to the renovated dining room. The kitchen features a walk-in pantry and rear mudroom that opens to a walled patio space. The first floor ceiling height reaches 11 ft. in most rooms. Numerous original features still remain in this 4,000 sq. ft. home.

429 Park Avenue c. 1900 ~ $142,500
429 Park Avenue is a shining example of how a house can be transformed and in doing so, transforms the neighborhood!

This 2300 sq. ft. circa 1900 single story Queen Anne Victorian has been meticulously restored.  Original heart pine floors and original moldings have been restored in many rooms to a soft gleam.  Fireplaces boast original mantels, beveled mirrors, tile work, and iron screens.
The 500 square foot wrap-around front porch is the most identifying feature of this specimen home. 

Be sure to give Greg Rapp a call at 703.213.6846 to know more about this open-house opportunity on Saturday October 8th, 2011 ~ from 1pm to 4pm, the Historic October Tour, or any of the other fabulous historic homes for sale in Salisbury North Carolina! 

September 23, 2011

I Love the House...BUT... by Guest Author: Chris Reshetar

As a buyer in today’s housing market, one needs to be knowledgeable about distressed properties with so many short sales & foreclosures for sale.  These houses come in all shapes and sizes, and typically come in below the current market value.   Buyers are often looking for a good deal.  However, we in the housing industry often hear “I love the house, BUT....”.  It can sometimes be difficult for the buyer to see beyond the needed repairs.   

Renovation loans to the rescue.  

A renovation loan is a mortgage that allows the borrower to secure funds to repair or upgrade a property by financing the repair costs in.  The home is appraised at the “future value” based on the sales price of the home plus the costs of repairs per the agreed upon contractors bid.  The loan closes in its current unrepaired state.  Immediately after the loan closing the borrower and contractor can begin the renovation work on the home. 

There are 3 main types of renovation loans:
  • FHA 203K Streamline Renovation loan (limited repair)
  • FHA 203K Standard Renovation loan
  • Conventional Renovation loan
The 203K Streamline program allows for repairs up to $35,000 with FHA specific allowable repairs.  No structural repairs permitted on the streamlined program.  

The FHA 203K Standard program has no minimum repair amount but is limited to the FHA loan limit for your area like all FHA loans.  However, a Standard FHA 203K loan can be used for more extensive repairs such a structural remediation.  This loan does required an FHA certified inspector to evaluate and approval all repaired items prior to occupancy.

These 2 FHA Renovation programs allow for the standard 3.5% down payment minimum and follow the traditional underwriting parameters as a regular 203B FHA loan.  The standard Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums apply (1%) as well as the monthly premiums.  This loan requires the buyer to occupy the property as their primary residence. 

414 Park Avenue ~  203K loan opportunity!
Here are just a few of the allowable repairs under this program:
·         Interior or exterior paint
·         New flooring
·         New appliances
·         Replace or repair siding and roofing
·         Replace or repair windows
·         Upgrade Kitchen and Bath cabinets and counter tops
·         Finish a basement, attic, or room above garage

The Conventional Renovation loan functions much like the FHA 203K loan, however this program can be used for both owner-occupied properties as well as investor owned.  Fewer lenders offer this program but it can be a great option in lieu of the 203K.
To find out more about the Renovation loan programs, please feel free to contact Chris Reshetar at or call 704-277-4463.

To learn how you can apply the Renovation Loan Programs to a home in Salisbury~Rowan County, contact Greg Rapp @ 704.213. 6846.

September 03, 2011

100% Financing Still Available with Rural Housing Guaranteed Loans!

More people may be able to become homeowners with the help of the Rural Housing Service Programs. The USDA Rural Housing Service has various programs available to aid low- to moderate-income rural residents to purchase, construct, repair, or relocate a dwelling and related facilities. USDA rural housing loan programs allow qualified home-buyers to get loans with minimal closing costs and no down-payment.

Founded in 1949 to spur home sales and development in rural areas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s popular direct and guaranteed rural housing loans are one of the few places in America people can still get a mortgage with no money down at competitive rates.

Borrowers do not have to be lower income and in fact can make slightly more than the median income for the area. To qualify for the government guaranteed loans, borrowers can earn up to 115 percent of the median income for the area. The property does not have to be located in a rural area. The property can be relatively close to a major urban area.  The borrower should check to be sure the property they are interested in is in a qualifying area that complies with the program’s rural mandate.

Section 502 Rural Housing Guaranteed Loan Program

Under the Guaranteed Loan program, the Rural Housing Service guarantees loans made by private sector lenders. A loan guarantee through RHS means that, should the individual borrower default on the loan, RHS will pay the private financier for the loan.

The purpose of this loan program is to enable eligible low- and moderate-income (up to 115 percent of the Area Median Family Income) rural residents to acquire modestly priced housing for their own use as a primary residence. The program is available for the purchase and repair of existing and newly constructed dwelling.

There is no required down payment, but families must be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance. In addition, applicants must be without adequate housing and be unable to obtain credit elsewhere, yet have acceptable credit histories. Loans are made for up to 30 years.

Section 502 Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program

Under the Direct Loan program, individuals or families receive direct financial assistance directly from the Rural Housing Service in the form of a home loan at an affordable interest rate. These loans may be made to eligible applicants to buy, build, repair, renovate, or relocate homes, to provide related facilities, or to refinance home debts under certain conditions.

Applicants for direct loans from RHS must have very low or low incomes. Very low income is defined as below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI); low income is between 50 and 80 percent of AMI. There is no required down payment, but families must be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance. In addition, applicants must be without adequate housing and be unable to obtain credit elsewhere, yet have reasonable credit histories. Loans are typically made for up to 33 years (38 for those with incomes below 60 percent of AMI and who cannot afford 33-year terms).

What’s different this year?

Usually by August, the program runs out of money and applications are put on hold until more money becomes available with the beginning of a new federal fiscal year on October 1. This year, President Obama signed a resolution that doubled the size of the USDA’s Rural Development Service’s Section 502 single family guaranteed loan program.  At this writing, the USDA has only two months to spend $11.2 billion on the no-down payment rural development loan programs.  This is a record amount at this juncture in the federal fiscal year for the program that provides no-down payment mortgages to borrowers in rural and suburban markets.

Where can this program be used?

A perfect example of where the USDA’s direct and guaranteed rural housing loans can be utilized is for the property at 335 Pine Valley Road, Salisbury NC.  This one story, 3-bedroom 1972 brick ranch-style home with spacious yard, is just outside the city limits of Salisbury.  Financing for this home could be obtained using the USDA loan programs.  This is a solid and affordable house at $125,000 for 1,500 square feet of living space in the peace and quiet of Salisbury’s country side.  And in just a 10-minute drive, the owners can take advantage of the wonderful amenities in Salisbury’s city limits: shops, restaurants, a vibrant cultural scene, and much more. 

Additionally, this home very near Hurley Elementary school, a nice feature for a young family with school-age children!  To have a closer look at this house and to understand how to use the USDA Section 502 loan program to purchase it, contact Greg Rapp at 704.213.6846.

More about the Section 502 Loan Program

Section 502 loans can help low-income individuals or households purchase homes in rural areas, and build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. An snapshot view of the program includes:


Applicants for loans may have an income of up to 115% of the median income for the area. Families must be without adequate housing, but be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance.  In addition, applicants must have reasonable credit histories.
Approved lenders under the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program include:
  • Any State housing agency;
  • Lenders approved by:
    • HUD for submission of applications for Federal Housing Mortgage Insurance or as an issuer of Ginnie Mae mortgage backed securities;
    • the U.S. Veterans Administration as a qualified mortgagee;
    • Fannie Mae for participation in family mortgage loans;
    • Freddie Mac for participation in family mortgage loans;
  • Any FCS (Farm Credit System) institution with direct lending authority;
  • Any lender participating in other USDA Rural Development and/or Farm Service Agency guaranteed loan programs.

Loans are for 30 years.  The promissory note interest rate is set by the lender.  There is no required down payment. The lender must also determine repayment feasibility, using ratios of repayment (gross) income to PITI and to total family debt.


Under the Section 502 program, housing must be modest in size, design, and cost.   Houses constructed, purchased, or rehabilitated must meet the voluntary national model building code adopted by the state and HCFP thermal and site standards. New Manufactured housing must be permanently installed and meet the HUD Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards and HCFP thermal and site standards.  Existing manufactured housing will not be guaranteed unless it is already financed with an HCFP direct or guaranteed loan or it is Real Estate Owned (REO) formerly secured by an HCFP direct or guaranteed loan.


Rural Development officials have the authority to approve most Section 502 loan guarantee requests.

If you meet the eligibility requirements for the USDA’s direct and guaranteed rural housing loans and have a house in Rowan County, North Carolina in mind, call Greg Rapp/Wallace Realty at 704.213.6846 to let him help you get your loan and your new home.