First Time Home Buyer's Guide


Congratulations on your decision to buy a home!

Buying a home is an exciting time for you and your family.

Homeownership isn’t just about the ability to stay in one place for years — it’s about the ability to invest in a home that’s all yours. It’s about having the freedom to paint the walls, change the floor tiles, or plant a garden in your yard. Homeownership is about having a place to create memories and the lifestyle that you want with your family. As a long time home owner, I know that if you take care of your real estate, it will take care of you. If you take care of your home, it will be one of the steps in your long term financial goals.

As a first-time buyer, it’s important to understand each step of the home buying process and your role in it.

Let’s Work Together.

There are many factors to consider and negotiate when buying a home. We’ll discuss every aspect of your purchase to make sure it’s the right move for you. That includes crafting a purchase offer that’ll make the seller choose you, and allow you the flexibility you need.

Use this guide to plan as you begin your home search, and reach out with any questions you may have.

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The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act protects you from discrimination when buying a home, getting a mortgage or seeking housing assistance.

Borrower’s Rights

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers initiatives to help you understand your loan options, shop for the mortgage that’s best for you and avoid unexpected fees at the closing table.

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Many buyers think the first step to buying a home is to find the home. While it’s okay to start looking at listings, it’s a smart idea to prepare for the home financing. Checking your credit (and possibly boosting your score), taking your current debt into account, budgeting and saving are all things that will help you when you’re ready to apply for a mortgage.

Your Credit Score Matters.

If you’re going to get a mortgage for your new home, you’ll want the best credit score possible. Your credit will impact the interest rates and loans you qualify for. Start by pulling your annual credit report to take stock of your situation.

You don’t need perfect credit to buy a home. But the higher your score, the simpler (and more affordable) the process will be.

If you need to improve your credit score, start with these three tips:

  1. Start paying down your debts. Work on high-interest debts first. It’ll free upmore cash to pay down your other balances.

  2. Pay on time, every time. Payment history is a huge factor in your credit score and late payments can send it plummeting.

  3. Steer clear of new loans and accounts. Don’t open any new accounts or apply for new loans as you approach the home-buying process. The new activity will result in what’s called a “hard” credit inquiry, which can take down your score.

Do you have student loan debt?

This may be less of an issue than you think. Plenty of people who are still paying off their student loans are also able to buy a home. One of the main things you should be thinking about is your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

If a mortgage payment plus your current debts (student loans, car payment, credit card payments, etc.) totals to more than 43% of your income each month, it’ll be tougher for you to get approved for a home loan. We can discuss your situation with your lender and figure out the best options.

Create a budget and start saving.

Determining how much home you can afford takes some number crunching. The listing price is only one part of the equation. In reality, there are several new expenses you’ll face as a homeowner.

So what should you consider when budgeting for a home purchase? These expenses are a good place to start:

  • Home and Mortgage Insurance

  • Property Taxes

  • Earnest Money Deposit (goes toward your down payment) Down Payment & Due Diligence Fee

  • Closing Costs

  • Moving Expenses

  • Ongoing Home Repairs and Maintenance

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Once you have a rough estimate of what your monthly budget will be, give it a trial run. How Much House Can You Afford?

Are you still able to afford all your monthly bills and expenses? If not, let’s have a chat with your lender to see what the monthly payment could look like if we target a lower price point.

There’s nothing like walking into a house and realizing it’s the one — your dream home!
But before you go house hunting, you should get pre-approved for a loan that’s just as perfect for you.

Researching lenders and loan types and applying for pre-approval will put you in a better position to make an offer on a home. It’ll give you an idea of what you can afford so we can point you toward homes in the right price range.

Looking for some insight to make financing more straightforward? Answer these questions to get started:

Do you want a 15- or 30-year mortgage?

If paying off your loan sooner is important to you, a 15-year mortgage might be a good fit. These typically have a lower interest rate, but you’ll have a higher monthly payment due to the shorter loan term.

If you want a lower monthly payment, a 30-year mortgage might be better suited to your lifestyle.

Should you get a fixed or adjustable interest rate?

With a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll have a set interest rate and monthly payment for the life of the loan. If you want to take the guesswork out of your long-term budgeting, this can be a great option.

Adjustable-rate mortgages, also known as ARMs, typically start with interest rates lower than the fixed rate. However, the rates will change over time, based on the current market rate. An ARM can be a good option if you don’t plan to stay in the home for a prolonged period.

How much should you put down?

The biggest homebuying myth is that you can’t buy without a 20% down payment. But you can. Here’s how:

Low Down Payment Options: FHA loans only require 3.5% down with a FICO score of 580 or higher.

0% Down Options: Buyers shopping in rural areas may be eligible for a USDA loan with 0% down. For qualified veterans and active-duty military members, VA loans often have no down payment requirement.

Buyer Assistance Programs: There are also down payment and closing cost assistance pro- grams available to first-time homebuyers.

There are many loan options available, and that can feel overwhelming. But there’s a perfect loan for you and your situation.

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Ready to start your house hunt?

This is the fun part. You probably already know how big of a kitchen you want, the number of levels or even the size of your yard. You might have even chosen between a ranch or Colonial style home.

Everyone has a wish list for their dream home.

As we begin your home search, let’s go beyond square footage or the number of bedrooms and consider how the property fits your life. By focusing on what matters the most to you, we can refine your search to the closest matches.

Here are three questions every potential homebuyer should ask themselves:

  1. Where do I want to live? Think beyond your commute. Do you want to be in a specific school district? How much street noise can you cope with? Are you looking for an established neighborhood or one that’s up and coming? That could affect future home values.

  2. What does the future hold? Think about the next 10 years. Are you planning to have kids? Will your aging parents move in? If you plan to stay for the long haul, you might want a property to accommodate your family today, and in the future.

  3. How much work am I willing to do? When considering condition, be honest with yourself. How much work are you truly willing to take on? If the home needs cosmetic updates, will you want them completed before you move in? If you fall for a fixer-upper, do you have a budget for renovations?

Communication is a critical element of your home search. The more information you share, the better we’re able to match you with a home that fits your life.

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It’s one thing to view listings online, but seeing houses in person will help you to get a firmer grasp on what you really need out of your new home.

Open houses: window shopping for homes.

Attending an open house can be a great way to tour an available property, decide what you like and scope out various neighborhoods. It’ll also help you get a feel for the price range of different communities.

Here are some questions to keep in the back of your mind when attending an open house:

How does this house compare to other properties in the same price range?
Are there features that make this home of more or less value than those other properties? What feature did you like most about the home? Why did it appeal to you?

What did you like least? What makes that feature unappealing to you? What’s your overall opinion of this house?
Could you see yourself living here? If not, why?
What improvements would make this home a better fit for you?

We can attend open houses together. This may be especially helpful if you’re still deciding on specific neighborhoods, amenities or features.

Private showings: getting down to details.

We can also schedule private showings for any homes you’re interested in. That’ll give you an opportunity to look around at your leisure to make sure the layout, features and amenities will work for you. It also allows you to ask any pertinent questions you may have about the home without other buyers around.

In fact, it’s a good idea to view a home and get a feel for the neighborhood multiple times before making an offer.

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Making an offer on a home is both exciting and gut-wrenching. You want to protect your interests as a buyer but also make your offer stand out so the seller will choose you.

Thankfully, it’s absolutely possible for us to do both things at once. Here’s how:

  1. Leverage your earnest deposit. Earnest money is the deposit you make to the seller to show your “good faith” (i.e., how earnest you are!) in buying the home. It’s typically nonrefundable, but don’t worry — that’s only a concern if you back out of the deal for reasons that weren’t detailed in the contract.
    Otherwise, the earnest deposit is placed in escrow and goes toward your down payment. The more you offer as your earnest deposit, the more confidence sellers will likely have in your offer. There’s no set amount that’s right — but we can discuss what’s right for the home you’re buying.

  2. Show your financial prowess. Remember that mortgage pre-approval we discussed
    earlier? Your lender will give you a pre-approval letter that we will include with your offer. This assures the seller that you’ll be able to secure financing and close on the home.

  3. Be flexible. If you have flexibility in your moving schedule, we’ll leverage that with the seller, too.
    If the seller is relocating or needs to move immediately, we can offer a fast closing, which means you’d probably be helping them to avoid paying two mortgages. On the other hand, if they’ve hit a snag in purchasing their next home, offering a delayed possession date gives them the security of having their new home lined up before they have to move.

  4. Leverage the due diligence fee and period. When you buy a home in North Carolina you will write two checks; One of these is the earnest money deposit mentioned above. The other is the due diligence fee. The due diligence fee compensates the seller for taking their home off the market while you complete inspections. The due diligence fee is typically between $500 and $2000, depending on the price of the home. As a buyer, you want a smaller fee because it means less money at stake should you back out of the purchase. You particularly want a smaller due diligence fee if you have reasons to suspect that there may be major problems with the property. However, in a multiple offer situation, a larger due diligence fee may make your offer more appealing to the seller by demonstrating that you have cash and are committed to purchasing the home to risk a larger amount of money. When you complete the purchase of the home, the due diligence fee is put towards the down payment of the home. The seller keeps the due diligence fee only if you walk away from the purchase of the home.
    The due diligence period in North Carolina is a negotiated period of time during which you have the opportunity to conduct your “due diligence” on the home before deciding to move forward with the purchase of the home. Usually the time period is somewhere between 14 and 30 days and it begins as soon as the contract is signed and you are “under contract.” During this time, you should have a professional home inspection, HVAC inspection, and termite inspection completed. You may also have other inspections such as a septic inspection or radon inspection. Buying an older home may come with the need for additional inspections.

    Just Remember - Every situation is going to be different, and every seller is going to be motivated by different factors. But don’t worry — you’re not in it alone. We’ll work together to craft the right offer for your home.

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You’re so close to the finish line! There are just a few more steps we need to take to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible on your new home: an inspection, the appraisal and the final walk-through.

Your FAQs on home inspections:
“Do I really need to pay for an inspection?”

A: An inspection isn’t always an absolute requirement, but it’s always in your best interest to get one. Not all problems found will be deal breakers. In fact, most will be quick fixes we can have the seller fix or negotiate a credit for. But if there are major problems, we want to know about them before you buy the home.

Here’s what you should know as we head into the inspection process:

What is it? An independent, third-party evaluation of the home’s structure, systems and features. The inspector will look for potential problems or deficiencies on the property.

Why do you need it? We want to make sure the home is safe for your family to live in and a good long-term investment. Some loan types will also require inspections.

What’s covered? A standard inspection includes the roof, foundation, insulation, appliances, HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems.

How are you involved? You’re not required to attend the inspection, but it’s in your best interest to be there. The inspector can walk you through any defects they find.

The inspector will give us a final inspection report with all their findings. We’ll review this together and discuss which repairs are needed for your loan to close, and how we should negotiate the repairs or credits with the seller.

Be picky about your inspector.

The home inspection is designed to protect you, your family and your investment, so choose your inspector carefully. Make sure the home inspector is experienced, licensed and insured where required.

A thorough inspector can save you thousands of dollars or even prevent you from buying a dud. Don’t just hire the first one you find. Do your research before hiring an inspector.

Your lender will require an appraisal.

An appraisal is an independent estimate of the property based on recent sales data of similar homes in the area. When your mortgage amount matches the appraised price of the home, you know that you aren’t paying more than you should be.

But if the appraisal comes in lower than expected, you won’t be able to get a loan for more than the appraised price. This is where your appraisal contingency comes in: You’ll either need to come up with the difference, renegotiate the price of the house or exercise your right to walk away.

Your closing attorney will research the property and prepare the closing documents.

The closing attorney will study the title records. They will also research if there are any unpaid mortgages, liens, prior conveyances, and if there are any easements, they will be identified and dealt with before the transaction occurs. The closing attorney will also verify that the seller can legally transfer the deed of the property to you.

We’ll also do a final walk-through.

The final walk-through can happen anywhere from a few days prior to your closing to just a few hours before. This is your opportunity to make sure the condition of the home is the same or better condition as when you went under contract.

Specifically, we’ll want to make sure there isn’t any move-out damage and that all of our requested repairs have been made. We’ll also verify that everything included in the home price — items like appliances, light fixtures or window blinds are in place.

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Congratulations! Landing a deal on your dream home in today’s hot market was quite a feat.

Your closing is the last step before the home is finally yours. This is when the title is transferred, the mortgage is approved and you become the legal owner of your home.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you should know:

What should you bring to the closing?

  • Your license or other legal ID

  • Any paperwork requested by the title company or your lender

  • A certified check for the closing costs (if funds aren’t sent electronically)

Who else will be there?

  • The closing attorney

  • A representative of the title company

  • Your real estate agent

  • The seller and their agent, if they didn’t pre-sign the deed and transfer documents

Where will it take place?

Typically, we’ll meet at the closing attorney’s office.

How much are closing costs?

Closing costs typically run about 3% to 5% of the purchase price and are paid to title agents, attorneys and other third parties. You’ll notice that you have more fees to pay than the seller does at closing — that’s because many of those costs are related to your new home loan.

At this time, you’ll pay for your appraisal, as well as loan processing fees and prepaid costs (property taxes and homeowners insurance) that were laid out in the Loan Estimate from your lender.

What documents will you sign?

  • The property deed

  • A bill of sale

  • A transfer tax declaration

  • Your mortgage agreement and note The closing disclosure

There will be a lot of paperwork, so you should plan for the closing to take several hours. You want to be thorough and read through all the documents.

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You’re a homeowner!

The stress of home buying and financing are over. Now you get to move in, decorate and start creating wonderful memories.

Here’s a quick checklist of things that’ll make moving a bit easier for you:

Things to Prep Beforehand:

  1. Forward Your Mail: You can go online to update your address with the date you’ll be moving, and your mail will automatically forward.

  2. Stock Up on Supplies: You’re always going to need more packing material than you think. Grab some extra boxes, rolls of packing tape, labels and markers.

  3. Set Up Utilities: You’ll definitely want functioning electricity, water and internet on move- in day.

  4. Clean Your New Place: As soon as you have access to it, give your new home a good cleaning. It’ll make organizing on move-in day that much easier.

  5. Organize Your Documents: Keep your moving-related paperwork together and organized. This includes your closing papers, moving estimates and the utility setup details.

  6. Measure and Decide: Take a measuring tape to your new home and jot down the measurements of each wall and nook. What furniture and decor will fit in your new home? What won’t? It’s better to make decisions about what to donate or sell before moving day.

Things To Do On Moving Day

  1. Pack a “Go” Bag: Include things like phone chargers, medication, toiletries and extra clothes. Be sure to pack it in your car so it won’t get lost in the shuffle.

  2. Have Resealable Bags Handy: You can use them to keep track of screws or small parts if your movers need to disassemble furniture.

  3. Communicate With Your Movers: Let them know if there are items or rooms you want them to focus on, and which items will need extra care. And make sure they have the correct address and directions to your new home once the truck is packed up!

  4. Stay Hydrated and Energized: It’s going to be a hectic day. Keep snacks and water bottles around so you (and your movers!) can keep your energy up. Consider having pizza delivered so you don’t accidentally skip lunch.

  5. Hang Window Coverings: Installing blinds and curtains on day one is necessary. Why? Because you probably don’t want to wake up at sunrise on day two.

  6. Go Room by Room: This is a great way to stay on top of things. Have the movers drop off furniture and boxes in the correct room so you can unpack and organize one room at a time.

Reach out if you’re looking for a recommendation for local movers, cleaners or handymen.

Are you ready to start looking for your first home?

Whether you have questions about financing, budgeting, home styles or neighborhoods, the first step is to reach out. I am here to help!

What Is Your Calling?

Finding our way can take twists and turns we never see coming.

Over the past 3 years, I have been working on a shift in my work.  When I relocated from California to North Carolina, I left a thriving commercial interior design business.  I had great clients and great work but I was at a place in my life where I was hungry for change. I was in love with a man who lived on the other side of the country so I said goodbye to my home, my clients, my business, and my friends and off I went.  

I thought I would continue working in commercial design instead of building a new business,. I would simply get a job with one of the great design firms in Raleigh. I had 25+ years of experience. Someone would want me to work with them, right?  Wrong!  The universe had something else in mind for me.  I applied for jobs and promptly blew every interview, and then my mother had a stroke and passed away.  I was stunned, confused. and the executor of her estate.  By the time I had finished up the majority of work surrounding mom’s estate, I had sold 3 homes and 3 pieces of land in a year. It felt like the universe was trying to tell me something. I was good at real estate, and wow people could make good money if they took care of their real estate.  I decided I wanted to help people with real estate. If I did it correctly, I could help them build their long term wealth with real estate as one of their retirement strategies and I could bring design along with me for the ride! Eureka!!  Well, it’s not that easy to start a whole new career in a new area where you don’t know anyone and building a business takes TIME!  Patience isn’t one of my virtues.

Did I incorrectly interpret the signs I was receiving?  I don’t think so, I love helping people with real estate and I am good at it - I’m just not as great at marketing.  And then there is interior design… it is my calling. It is in my DNA. I fell in love with design when I was 12 and people trust me with design way more than they trust me with real estate.  How can I do both? Luckily, I met a great group of women teachers within Boldheart who are helping me become the type of marketer and business woman that I aspire to be.

In some ways I feel like I am back at square one.  After a very busy first part of 2019 helping both real estate and interior design clients, my business is very quiet. I am working on my interior design website, updating my real estate website with more of a focus on design, and trying to rebuild again. Sometimes I feel like if I don’t get focused I am going to lose the plot. Other times, I believe I am focused and I am working towards my goals of helping people in my special real estate/interior design way. I know there is more ahead for me and for the people I am meant to help.    

What is your calling?  Do you love two careers?  Is it confusing for you at times?     

Jean Mathieson is an Interior Designer and Realtor® living and working in Holly Springs, North Carolina.  

The Mathieson Method - Preparing Your Home to Get It Sold Quickly and For Top Dollar!

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Deciding to sell your home is one of the most important financial decisions you will make within your lifetime. This guide will help you maximize the amount of money you can make on the sale of your home and give you advice on how to sell it quickly, while helping you to reduce your stress during the process.

The reasons you are selling your home are personal, but they affect the approach you will want to take to draw full advantage of your home’s earning potential. If your goal is to sell as quickly as possible, you will require a minimal preparation strategy — perhaps you do not have time to make any necessary repairs. However, cleaning and decluttering your home will help you to sell more quickly. If you have time and want to maximize your home’s profit potential, the preparation may take a bit longer. In either situation, your realtor can help you set the priorities that will make your home shine! Following is my method AKA The Mathieson Method that I recommend to enhance your home’s sales potential no matter your situation. 

I am a realtor with an extensive career in interior designer. Before I was a realtor, I bought, renovated, and sold numerous homes. I always hired a realtor to help me when I needed to sell and I listened & did as they advised me to do to prepare my home for the market. Financially, it worked out very well for me and it is the main reason I became a realtor; I want to help people with their long term financial goals by helping them maximize their real estate’s earning potential. So my first bit of advise is to hire a local real estate agent to help you understand how best to approach the sale of your home based on your goals and local market. Select someone you feel the most comfortable with, who understands what is important to you, has a great marketing plan, has your best interests at heart and communicates clearly and often. Having an agent you trust, and respect is crucial for a successful and pleasant sales experience. Below is a process that will help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar!

  1. Assess the condition of your home: Have your agent walk through your home and advise if any remodeling work is warranted before you list the house. You might be surprised at the things that an agent will tell you to leave alone. The elements of the space that may annoy you or that you thought would turn off a buyer, may go completely unnoticed when you are selling your home. By recruiting your real estate agent (and their stager) to assess the house’s condition with an educated eye, you can start to see your house as a product rather than your treasured home. If you are proactive with an objective assessment early on, you will put money only into items that need to be handled before the house is placed on the market.

  2. Setting a price: Your realtor will help you establish a price for your home based on a comparative market analysis (CMA). The CMA involves comparing similar recently sold properties in the same or a nearby neighborhood, making adjustments for the differences among the homes, and tracking the current local market and inventory. This analysis will help you determine the correct price for your home. Buyers are looking for quality, but they’re also very concerned with price, , so pricing your home correctly is significant. The right price can attract buyers quickly and could initiate a bidding war. A price that is too high may mean the house sits on the market, which can create the impression with buyers and their agents that there is something wrong the home. If your home is in really great condition, challenging the market is possible.
    Property websites like Zillow and allow you to enter your home’s address to roughly how much your house is worth. These websites base their price on your home’s square footage and data such as recent home sales in your area. However, these prices are only estimates based on algorithms, not on your individual situation. If the price you see online does not align with what your agent suggests, discuss it with your agent.   

  3. Setting a timeline and preparing your home for the sale: If you must sell quickly, the 1-month time frame is for you!  If you have more time to prepare, the longer 2-month timeline is suggested for you. All of the preparations discussed here are recommended, but not mandatory. The more you can prepare, the better your home selling process and relocation will go. An organized approach takes much of the stress out of the project. 

1 - 2 months before listing: Select your realtor and assess your home's condition. Set a timeline and start to establish a price. It is wise to start the pricing process by looking at a range of prices your home could be priced at - I like to help my clients by waiting until their home preparation is complete before establishing the final listing price. At that point, we know the final condition of the home and how we can place it in the market to sell it quickly and for top dollar.

Get started on repairs 3 to 6 weeks before listing your home. The time frame really depends on your schedule and on the repairs you are going to make. You want your home to be in the best condition possible, so make repairs as needed. Fix anything that is obvious, that was recommended by your realtor, or that you know will come up during an inspection. Wow your buyers by following these tips: 

  • Improve your curb appeal. How your home looks from the street is crucial for an excellent first impression. Be confident that your garden is attractive by pruning bushes, removing weeds, and planting colorful flowers. Make sure the lawn is mowed and edges are trimmed while your house is on the market. 

  • Clean the outside of the home. If you haven’t done this in a while, pressure wash your home, touch up paint as needed, and clean the gutters. Wash windows and remove screens. It’s a good idea to mark screens for correct placement at a later date and store in the garage or attic. Consider painting your front door in a color that contrasts with the color of your home. This makes the entrance stand out. Repaint or replace your house numbers so they are visible from the street. Buy a new welcome mat and make sure that your doorbell is working correctly — this lets buyers know they are welcome in your home.

  • Remove clutter and depersonalize your home. Buyers want to envision their own belongings in the house, so remember less is more. Staging a home for sale is about editing things out of the home more often than it is about a stager bringing furnishings into your home. Start to pack for your move by wrapping and boxing up knick-knacks, personal photos, and so on. If necessary, rent a storage unit for the short term to house extra furnishings and boxed items that you want to keep. Donate or discard items that you don’t want. Decluttering now will help you sell your home faster and will make the final steps of moving from this house to your new home easier.

  • Organize all closets and drawers. Thin out and organize all closets, cabinets, and drawers. Messy closets and drawers make it appear as if the house does not have enough storage space.

Two weeks before listing your home, clean it. My mother always said, “Everything looks better when it is clean.” She was right! Here are some tips for making your home SHINE!

  • Dust and wash all light fixtures, fans, and switches. Replace any burned out light bulbs. Make sure all light bulbs are the same wattage in each fixture and the same color/warmth throughout your home. 

  • Clean your kitchen as if you are a chef expecting a health inspection. Clean all appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, range top, and ovens), polish kitchen counters, and put countertop appliances away when not in use. You want to give the appearance of abundant workspace in the kitchen. Remove all photos or magnets from the refrigerator. Put the trashcan under the kitchen sink or in the pantry if necessary. 

  • In the bathrooms, clean all countertops, tubs, toilets, and sinks. Make sure the grout is clean and polish all the hardware so it shines. Stow any unused soap, shampoos, and razors, under the sink. Remove rugs and toilet seat covers for showings. Remove clutter from your vanity, leaving only one or two decorative items. Store makeup and toiletries neatly in drawers or under the counter.

  • Air out your home, replace HVAC filters, and clean all HVAC vents. If necessary, use an air freshener, but be careful not to use something with a strong scent. Make sure your home is clean and you are not masking an underlying problem. If you have pets and have lived in the house for a long time, consider cleaning the air vents. This doesn’t cost a lot and can help your home smell fresh.

  • Dust or clean window coverings. Keep all window coverings completely open during showings so that the light flows into your home.

  • Polish all furniture and cabinets. Liquid Gold or Old English are excellent for making wood cabinets and furniture shine. 

  • Wash and polish all flooring. If not replacing carpeting, have them steam cleaned. If you want to replace your carpeting ask your realtor which colors attract the most buyers.

  • Finally have your home staged for the sale. Your realtor should help you do this by either hiring a stager to help you or by doing it themselves. In my case, I put on my interior designer hat and put the final touches on your home in a way that enhances all the best qualities of your home to potential buyers.

Hopefully these tips will help you feel confident and organized about your approach to preparing your home to sell. If there is anything I can do, to help you in any capacity with the sale of your home, please contact me!

Jean Mathieson is a Realtor® & Interior Designer Located In Holly Springs, NC

Meet Reesey Collier of Classiq Creations!

It was her wedding that led Reesey Collier to form Classiq Creations, her wedding & event planning business. Reesey really enjoyed the research and planning for her wedding and was amazed at how relaxed she felt throughout the process - she just knew everything would be great! The day before her wedding,  a sprinkler head went off in her hotel room and almost ruined her dress - again she found she was calm and just knew everything would work out.  The hotel event planner helped her save the dress, and Reesey was a woman suddenly convinced she had met her calling!  She knew she wanted to help people plan and execute the significant events in their lives so they could feel confident about realizing their vision and enjoy their special day.

"I love to be the go-to person behind the scenes, juggling all the details, making sure the event runs smoothly & knowing my clients are enjoying their big day!"    Reesey Collier

"I love to be the go-to person behind the scenes, juggling all the details, making sure the event runs smoothly & knowing my clients are enjoying their big day!"  Reesey Collier

Classiq Creations is based in Holly Springs and serves clients throughout the Triangle.  Reesey's team can help you with all the aspects for an occasion from selecting the venue to catering, flowers, dessert, lighting, entertainment and plenty of other elements for an event.   


Reesey enjoys working with couples with different ideas and budgets and finds a considerable feeling of fulfillment when taking an affair from the idea stage to complete fruition.

Classiq Creations Has Three Levels of Wedding Planning

Classiq Package
Day/Month of Coordination

You have done your planning and want to make sure that everything gets executed according to plan. 

Charming Package
Partial Planning

You started to plan your big day, feel overwhelmed by the unending list of tasks, not sure how this will all come together and are concerned about missing important details. 

Elegant Package
Full Planning

You want to hand over all of the planning and management to Reesey's team of wedding specialists. Classiq Creations handles everything for you down to the very last details. 

You can reach Reesey Collier on the Classiq Creations website or give her a call or text at 919-285-9698.

Jean Mathieson is a Realtor® & Interior Designer Located In Holly Springs, NC

Shoes & Brews Is Opening In Holly Springs! Spring 2019!!


Come For The Gear - Stay For The Beer! 

 Ten members of the Holly Springs Running Community have joined forces to open a store
and gathering space in downtown Holly Springs.  The group's master plan is to create a
welcoming atmosphere that serves up great gear & service along with locally crafted
beer in a friendly place to hang out.  According To Dave Karls, VP of Marketing & Public Relations "Shoes & Brews aims to become a destination shopping experience for runners throughout the triangle."  

Shoes & Brew's Team Helping Break Ground For The New Building!  

Shoes & Brew's Team Helping Break Ground For The New Building!  

Specialty gear will include quality running shoes, apparel, accessories, and nutrition.  The team also aims to provide advice on running and training, host weekly runs and sponsor other special events for runners.  

Shoes & Brews will be located in the Town Hall Commons that is currently under construction in downtown Holly Springs.  The group has secured a great location on Main Street right next door to the new Body Shop Fitness also scheduled to open next Spring.  

You can connect with Shoes & Brews right now through their FaceBook page -  A new website is also in the works and should be ready for launch in the next month -



Jean Mathieson is a Realtor® & Interior Designer Located In Holly Springs, NC