Boost The Value of Your Home!

Boosting your curb appeal through landscaping increases your home value and is vital if you are about to sell your home. Think of it this way, if a potential buyer doesn’t like the way the outside of your house looks, that buyer may not bother to enter your home to see those indoor upgrades such as new granite countertops or gleaming hardwood floors.

 Getting ready to sell your home?

If you are planning on putting your home on the market soon:

Keep your lawn lush, and green. Fertilize, weed, and water as needed. Keep in mind, however, any requisite watering ordinances. For example, the Town of Cary has a year-round alternate day watering ordinance depending upon your address. Also, make sure that you carefully follow fertilizing instructions. Don’t make the mistake of burning your lawn.

Mow and edge your lawn to give your property a clean and finished look.

Make sure to lay down a fresh layer of mulch around shrubs, trees, and on any flowerbeds. Although there are different colors of mulch, brown mulch tends to look more natural and is better in photographs.

Trim dead branches from trees. Make sure bushes are not overgrown. Generally speaking, bushes should not  

block your front windows, which can make your indoor rooms seem dark.

A planter filled with flowers close to your front door can add a pop of color, but commit to watering as needed. A planter greeting buyers with dead plants isn’t the impression you want!

Depending upon the market, your neighborhood, and the asking price of your home, additional landscaping may be in order to get top dollar. Talk to Mike’s team before you invest too much in a large outdoor expenditure.

Have you just purchased a new home?

You might be thinking that once you have unpacked, you shouldn’t be too concerned about landscaping. It’s all brand new, after all! This is the time, however, to evaluate your property’s landscaping.

Figure out what you got! Cary, Morrisville, and Apex is full of new construction. Frequently, the trees and bushes used by builders are meant to look good for the moment, not suitable for long term--that 3 foot bush next to the path to your door might be over 15 feet tall in 5 years. Make sure that any large trees such as a maple or oak are planted at least 20 feet from your house, or else the roots could damage your foundation.


Figure out what you need! Maybe you need privacy, have a slope difficult to mow, or need to hide an ugly obstacle. Maybe you would like a vegetable garden or sustainable landscaping in the form of xeriscaping

(low-water plants) or native plants to attract butterflies and birds.

Create a plan! One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is not having an overall plan. The bed designs spring up without a sense of order or design. Also, if you are a DIY type, keep track of the how sunny different locations are in the morning, afternoon, and late afternoon. Keep in mind that the sun patterns might change in the winter. If you buy a house in fall, that shady area may turn sunny in the summer. Check out the show gardens at J.C. Raulston Arboretum at NC State University for inspiration. Ask their Master Gardeners questions. The Garden Supply Company in Cary and Plants Delight in Raleigh, near Garner, can also provide advice as to which plants are best for your backyard and how to prepare the soil to ensure that they just don’t survive, but thrive.


Finally, don’t forget our recent “Local DIY Concerns” blog’s warning to call 1-800-632-4949 at least three business days in advance before you dig any new beds. Utility companies will come out and mark underground lines on your property for free. If you decide DIY landscaping is not for you or have remaining questions, make sure to ask Mike for the names of reputable landscape designers. As always, contact Mike to sell your house for top dollar!

Amazon, Apple, & The Army: Coming Soon To The Triangle Area?

Everyone knows that the housing market is hot in 2018 in the Triangle area. Multiple offers are common in certain subdivisions and price ranges. According to Forbes, Raleigh is the 15th fastest growing city in the US as of 2018. Now, the Triangle area is under consideration by three large employers—Apple, Amazon, and the U.S. Army. How will this affect the real estate market in our local area?

Amazon HQ2 in Raleigh?

Amazon’s second headquarters will need over 500,000 square feet of space and add a potential of 50,000 employees over the next 10-15 years—about the same number of employees currently at RTP. Raleigh is one of 20 remaining cities vying for HQ2. ATTOM, a premier multi-sourced property database, recently ranked Raleigh #1 out of the 20 cities based on 7 factors influencing housing market conditions and quality of life. Raleigh has relatively low median home prices, above average school scores, and below average levels of crime and property taxes. 

Apple at RTP?

The  News and Observer (“N&O”) reported that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who went to Duke, met with Governor Roy Cooper in May to discuss the possibility of a new Apple campus on the Wake County side of the RTP. Some of the 20,000 employees Apple plans to hire in the future would be located at this new site. Multiple sources told N&O that Apple would place workers temporarily in Cary while it builds a campus. The average paycheck at Apple is approximately $130,000 per year—an enviable statistic. 

The Army—1:5 Chances!

Another possible employer that could move to Raleigh is the U.S. Army. WRAL reported earlier in June that Raleigh is one of 5 finalists to host the Army’s new command center. Besides Raleigh’s proximity to Fort Bragg, the Army also appreciates Raleigh’s affordable cost of living and world-class research institutes. 500 civilian workers and uniformed staff may be hired. A final decision will be announced soon. 

Big Changes to the Triangle? 

How could these employers affect the Triangle area real estate market? Raleigh might grow even faster and larger depending upon which, or if more than one, employer decided to locate in the Triangle. Since Apple moved to Austin, the population has more than doubled. Demand could increase home and rent prices. Median prices in Raleigh and Durham have already risen at a much higher pace than even in Austin. A homeowner might feel good about a home increasing in value, however, buying a home could become much more expensive, especially with rising interest rates. Finding a “starter” home to buy in the Triangle can already be challenging. 

If you are interested in buying a home, it might be a good idea to get ahead of the curve. Make sure you have good credit scores and save money for a down deposit and moving expenses. Contact Mike and his team for custom searches for your dream home. Mike’s expert negotiation experience will help you obtain that dream home. If you are thinking of selling a home, ask Mike what repairs and staging need to get done to receive top dollar for your home. Also, remember that determining a suggested listing price for your home is a skill that not all agents have. Mike is a local expert in the Cary, Morrisville, and Apex, NC area. Let Mike help you accurately assess the value of your house and ensure a stress-free selling experience. Call Mike and his team at 919-303-9800!

Avoid Home Reno Mistakes

Local DIY Concerns


          If you're like most of our clients in the Cary, Morrisville, and Apex area, you may be deciding whether to do the work yourself, hire a repairman, or hire a licensed professional. Make sure you are aware of the ramifications of your decision. If you are a DIY type, note that before you start digging, call 1-800-632-4949 three business days before you plan on working. Utility companies will mark underground lines for free. For more information and to watch a video on a safe digging process, go to
           Another good idea is to review the appropriate municipalities' websites to see if a permit is required. For example, projects as small as a ceiling fan might require an inspection in Cary depending upon the circumstances involved. See links to all three government inspection websites to the right of this paragraph. Finally, remember that some insurance companies will not cover a claim if certain projects lack a permit.

Inspection Websites:

Town of Morrisville Inspections

Town of Cary Inspections

Town of Apex Inspections


Unsure if you're thinking of hiring a pro for your next renovation --large or small--give me a call and I'll connect you with a reputable professional in my network. You can also see my list of "favorites" at


  3 Reasons to Hire a Pro:  
1. Hiring a pro may be less expensive in the long run. A pro has the experience to handle any unexpected issues. Besides it can be frustrating to thumb through instruction manuals and watch how-to videos on YouTube! 2. One entity is responsible for everything. You don't have to worry about the stress of taking on the job; the professional is responsible for the materials, labor and budget controls. If something goes wrong, you only need to call that one person. 3. Better chances of high-quality work. A reputable professional who frequently works on these types of projects will make sure that the work is done to code and to your high-quality standards.


Open House 6/10

Visit Our Open House This Sunday!

Bring Your Buyers, to 104 Lemon Drop Circle in Apex, NC as it will be open to the public!  Stop by on Sunday, June 10th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST and see this gorgeous home for yourself. $200,000, 1,301 Square Feet, 3bd/2ba.  Call Mike Montpetit at 919-614-9100 for a personal tour.

Keep your pets protected!

           Image result for cats and dogs outside

As the weather heats up it is important to make sure your cats or dogs are comfortable, cool, and out of danger. This is particularly important for older animals, as well as kittens and puppies as they are more susceptible to overheating. In addition, short-nosed breeds like Persian cats, Pugs, and Bulldogs have a harder time keeping themselves from overheating. Alternatively, exercise your pets during cooler times of the day like early morning or late afternoon if possible. 

Rule of thumb: place your palm on the pavement, if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pet's pads of their feet

It is important to make sure there is PLENTY of water available for your furry friends. Drinking from pools, lakes, or oceans can often dehydrate your dog more due to the chemicals/salt in the water. Ceratin products now have flip-down cups and nozzles so you don't have to deal with the hassle of carrying a bowl with you everywhere. 

Cats and dogs have similar symptoms when they overheat including panting, rapid heartbeat, dark red gums, hyperventilation, and a glassy look in their eyes. In response, if you notice any of these symptoms, apply cool water to their lower abdomen region and take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Overheating is not a risk you should be willing to take this summer. Know how to protect your 4-legged friend and both of you can enjoy the warm, sunny days!



LED Discounts at Duke Energy

Out with the old and in with the new; making the switch from regular bulbs to energy-efficient light bulbs is easier than ever!

Did you know that each LED bulb can save you more than roughly $80 in energy costs over their lifetime? Duke Energy Progress is also offering up to 75% off at select retail locations. 

Why an LED you might ask? They're just as bright as a standard bulb, but use less wattage, use up to 90% less energy, and they can last up to 15x longer than a standard bulb. 

Click this energy calculator link to find out how much you can save by switching to LED bulbs! 

Smart Newspaper Uses

If you have some extra newspapers lying around and don't know what to do with them, we're here to help!

As the weather begins to get nice enough to where you don't need to be SO bundled up, a newspaper is a great firestarter for your outdoor firepit. For really good-smelling results, roll some cinnamon sticks and orange peels up in the newspaper! 

When wiping down your windows or mirrors, have you noticed that paper towels often leave streaks? Instead, use newspaper with your regular cleaner for a streak-free shine. 

Keep your boots upright by rolling up a newspaper and placing them in your shoes. Now they won't be some floppy mess by the door or take up any extra room in your closet. 

Personally, I hate it when I go to take the trash out and some random liquid starts dropping out of the bottom into the can. To help the mess and make for an easier cleanup, add layers of newspaper to the bottom of your trash can to help absorb any moisture! 

Open House 3/11

Visit Our Open House This Sunday!


Bring Your Buyers, to 111 Lulworth Court in Cary, NC as it will be open to the public!  Stop by on Sunday, March 11th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST and see this gorgeous home for yourself. $465,000, 3,044 Square Feet, 5bd/3.5ba.  Call Mike Montpetit at 919-614-9100 for a personal tour.


Open House 2/25

Visit Our Open House This Sunday!

Bring Your Buyers, to 308 Keener Street in Cary, NC as it will be open to the public!  Check out to get a preview of this luxurious Home in a Prime Location in Downtown Cary. Stop by on Sunday, February 25th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST and see this gorgeous home for yourself. $660,000, 3,285 Square Feet, 5bd/4ba.  Call Mike Montpetit at 919-614-9100 for a personal tour.

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Town & Country Realty
Cary, NC 27513

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Capital Equity Groups, Robert Yost, Folsom CA
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