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Cabarrus Magazine

"Up Front" Examines House Hunting (or Selling) in a COVID Market

Jul 02, 2020 11:15AM ● By Jason Huddle

Historic 1900s House for sale, 222 Corban Ave. Photo courtesy of

Jason Huddle  00:00

Coming up in this episode of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, we learn about the real estate industry in our market in this COVID-19 world. Unlike other industries, things haven't really slowed in the real estate world. But there are some things you need to know. Matt, let me ask you from a lending standpoint are home loans right now more or less accessible than they were pre COVID? 


Matt Dennehy  00:20

Depends upon the type of loan you're you're looking for when it comes to self employment. Lenders want to see a very stable income pattern. So if their income has been affected by the Corona virus, it could affect their ability to borrow money at this stage. 


Jason Huddle  00:36

If you're planning on buying or selling a house in the near future, you're going to want to listen to this episode, where you'll learn things like it's not just about the house, but about having the right agents.


Rochelle Ogburn  00:46

They're going to coach their sellers on don't look at the price. There are so many other factors to an offer that make it a strong offer and you got to have that great agent that's gonna coach you on that. 


Jason Huddle  00:55

That's just ahead on this episode of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine presented by CabCo Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Event Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center, and Walk Cabarrus. I'm your host Jason Huddle. Hello again, my friends and welcome to another edition of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I hope you enjoyed last week's episode with Sid Davis. It was just an opportunity for us to cut back and get some laughs because I think we all needed it. So if you have not checked out that episode, please check out last week's edition with very funny comedian Sid Davis. This week, we're kind of getting back to the COVID thing a little bit in a roundabout way. Because a lot of people right now believe it or not are buying and selling their houses. We have a couple of sponsors that happen to specialize in this industry. And so I thought it'd be a good idea to break them in, Matt Dennehy, he from Atlantic Bay mortgage group is going to be here along with a realtor that he works with Angela Kirsch. And then as of this week, we have a brand new sponsor. Her name is Rochelle Ogburn. She is with level up realty. And she's going to come in on the second half of our show, and talk about her perspective on buying and selling a house and things that you need to know. So if you know somebody who is buying or selling or you yourself are planning on doing that in the very near future, this is an episode you want to listen to. Before we get to that though, let's talk shameless plug time. I'd like to announce that I am recording the final episode of Up ront with Cabarrus Magazine from this studio. That's right CabCo Media Group is getting new digs. I am moving into a new studio and we would like to invite you to come by and say hello our new offices are located at 1025 Concord Parkway north in Concord, North Carolina. So if you are in the area and wants to drop by please feel free to do so. We would love to meet you. We're excited about our new facility and the fact that we are growing as a company. And so I'm not ashamed to use this shameless plug time to tell you about our brand new offices. Please come by and see us, short, sweet. That's this week's shameless plug time. Right after the break, we'll talk everything you need to know about buying or selling a house in the Cabarrus market with Matt Dennehy and Angela Kirsch. Stay tuned.


Commercial  03:28



Jason Huddle  04:07

Welcome back to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. As I mentioned at the top of the show, we are talking about the real estate market and how it has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I have with me in studio today, Matt Dennehy from Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. If you've been listening to our program for any amount of time, you've heard his spot on our show as he is a sponsor of this show, Matt, thank you for being here today. 


Matt Dennehy  05:42

Thank you for inviting me. 


Jason Huddle  05:43

And of course, thank you for your sponsorship too. 


Matt Dennehy  05:46



Jason Huddle  05:46

And then we also have Angela Kirsch she is with Keller Williams Realty. And she's gonna offer the realtors perspective during this little brief conversation that we have today. So Angela, thank you also for being on.


Angela Kirsch  05:58

Thank you for having me. 


Jason Huddle  05:59

So Let's talk about the market as it is right now. A lot of markets are down. A lot of industries are down. What does it look like for the real estate market in Cabarrus County? 


Matt Dennehy  06:10

Well, from a lending perspective, it's never been hotter as everybody knows rates have plummeted down due to the Coronavirus, high unemployment and whatnot. And so rates are at historic lows right now. And that is peaked a lot of people's interest in going out and finding a house. They may have looked last year and a 250 price point. Now they could afford a $300,000 house for the same amount. So Angelas, very busy as well showing properties. 


Jason Huddle  06:39

Angela from a realtors perspective, do you have more inventory less inventory than you did before all this started?


Angela Kirsch  06:46

The inventory is really low. But pending sales are up so I think we're starting to rebound and what we found is that a lot of people were looking in the spring or are thinking about putting their house up for sale in the spring had pushed it back to the summer. So even though inventory is very low right now, are healthy, or at for about four months supply in the Charlotte metro area, but our pending sales are up by 14% from last year. So it looks like we're going to start rebounding later on, then our normal spring season, which is usually pretty hot, is now moved into the summer. So and that's that's what I've been seeing. I think the virus has impacted some people as far as their income. But I think just people are a little bit more hesitant, but like Matt said, they're getting so much more for their money because the interest rates are so low. So I have I've had some some people that have said, like, let me let's just get pre approved on one income and so to just to be on the safe side. But other than that, there's the markets been really good. It's really, really hot for the summer.


Jason Huddle  07:51

But how do people handle showing the house in this particular era that we're in I know that A lot of people are very scared about strangers coming into their house, especially right now. So how are people handling that power realtors like you handling that.


Angela Kirsch  08:09

Um, so we we even still a lot of safety guidelines in our showings in our listings we don't require a face masks but social distancing is definitely something that we if you don't have a face masks you should you should do we're having the realtor's wear gloves and and the clients do not touch anything. So if the realtor is going to touch a doorknob, or you know a closet door any of the the locks or anything like that, that's the realtors jobs and they're wearing gloves or they sanitize before and after. So it's really a safe environment. We're trying to be as safe as possible during that whole time and in the midst of this because it's been going on now for three months we found out more and more information about the virus that thankfully doesn't live on surfaces as long as they originally Thought so so that's just good overall good. So there's less fear in and people listing that are there occupied owner occupied homes.


Jason Huddle  09:11

Are you selling some homes just through virtual tours? Or do people still need to come in and see the home? 


Angela Kirsch  09:16

Yes, and to be honest, this area, because we're such a high relocation area, we've always kind of sold there's a lot of times we have sold houses sight unseen, just virtually. So this is just kind of an extension of what people are used to, especially if they're relocating from out of state. So yeah, that is just something that people are continuing to do.


Jason Huddle  09:38

Matt, let me ask you from a lending standpoint, are home loans right now more or less accessible than they were pre COVID?


Matt Dennehy  09:45

Depends upon the type of loan you're you're looking for on a large loan amount, the jumbo loan, we call it anything over 510,400 it is a little hard because those loans are we call portfoliod as opposed to loan going to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and VA. So the Fannie and Freddie anything under 510 400 is about the similar to what we have there have been some restrictions. When it comes to self employment. Lenders want to see a very stable income pattern. So if their income has been affected by the Coronavirus, it could affect their ability to borrow money at this stage. So we've had some, a lot of lenders have increased their minimum credit scores, we have not our credit, minimum credit score 640. So we have been able to help people get in houses and it's a it's a real good thing. 


Jason Huddle  10:39

Let me also ask you both sort of as a blanket question as we head into this last half of 2020. And hopefully soon we'll be coming out of this pandemic. What is the real estate market look like moving forward? And has it been changed permanently? 


Matt Dennehy  10:56

I don't think it's been changed permanently. It was minor glitch. I think we're going to have steady real estate over the next six to nine months. Matter of fact, the real estate business has been most of the businesses have happens in late spring and summer. I think we're going to see a gradual, full year of real estate where it's the school systems and the relocations arent affected, specifically in a summertime, which is a good thing.


Angela Kirsch  11:24

Yes, yeah, I agree. I mean, and there's a lot of projections, like we just saw here that in five years, it's still looking good as as far as appreciation. So there's there's is this this recession or pandemic is a lot different than it was the last one we had which a lot of it was due to the housing market. This was not so this is really just a like Matt said, just a glitch and everything's just been pushed further back and we're definitely catching up very quickly.


Matt Dennehy  11:54

Values are very strong. I do a lot of refinances, as well. And with the appraisals coming in, they're coming in very high. So there hasn't been any reduction in value where the last recession usually we saw the real estate values just go down and down and down. It took a couple years, just keep going down. We've seen it really increase and I think there's going to be more of a exodus too, from the cities. In New York City. There's a lot of people moving out to Westchester County, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and we're going to probably see that here where people that have wanted to live in close quarters of the city may decide to move farther out to the Cabarrus County or higher Mecklenburg County. So I think it's going to be a lot of a lot of real estate, transacting over the next six to 12 months. 


Jason Huddle  12:49

Good information from both of you. Do you have something else to add Angela?


Angela Kirsch  12:52

I was just gonna say I primarily do a lot of relocation from out of state and I have seen a huge In the last few months with the pandemic, I've seen people that were on the fence about moving from maybe more expensive places, or they were considering moving in a couple years, they've actually pushed up their timeline because this whole pandemic kind of made them rethink where everything was going and maybe their income. So I have I've gotten a lot of calls or papers, people saying that they wanted to move maybe two, three years down the road, but now they're thinking about just moving this summer instead.


Jason Huddle  13:28

I've got to cut to break. But before I let you guys go, let people know where they can find you to get more information Matt.


Matt Dennehy  13:35

You can contact me on my cell phone which is 704-201-9603 or you can just go to Matt that's m a t t d e n n e h y .com.


Angela Kirsch  13:49

And for me, Angela Kirsch at is k r i s c h. And you can also get me on my cell phone at a 847-508-7084.


Jason Huddle  14:02

Matt Dennehy with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, and Angela Kirsch with Keller Williams Realty. Thank you both so much for giving us some insight on the Cabarrus County real estate market. 


Angela Kirsch  14:12

Thank you. 


Matt Dennehy  14:12

Thank you. 


Jason Huddle  14:13

All you guys stay tuned. We'll be right back after these messages from our sponsors. 


Commercial  14:17



Jason Huddle  16:05

Welcome back to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. We are talking this week about buying and selling in this COVID-19 world that we live in, and I am very pleased to now be joined by Rochelle Ogburn. She is a realtor and brand new sponsor of the program. Thank you very much, with Level Up Realty and she is a marvelous person and I wanted her to come in and give her two cents about buying and selling in this market. So first of all, Rochelle, thanks for coming in today.


Rochelle Ogburn  16:35

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me in. I'm so excited to start this new chapter. 


Jason Huddle  16:40

Well, we are excited to have you, Rochelle, first of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. I understand you moved around a lot as a kid. So how is that parlayed into you being a successful realtor?


Rochelle Ogburn  16:50

Well, so my husband and I, we will we're going on 20 years married next year on and we have moved, bought and sold five times. So I'm very experienced with helping families move when you you know when the house is the walls are closing in and you just need more room helping families find that that next step and helping them have a smooth transition because it can be it can be a challenge when you're selling and you're, you know, showing homes with kids, how does that work? And then just the timing of everything, how do you close on your house and then your old house and then buying a new house? So that's that's my specialty. I love helping families and that's what they call me. I'm Charlotte real estate matchmaker.


Jason Huddle  17:33

That is that is a nice tag. 


Rochelle Ogburn  17:35

Thank you. 


Jason Huddle  17:36

That is one of the big horror stories that I've heard from so many people is that whole timing thing where you're so you're not handling two mortgages, and I've had plenty of friends that have gotten caught having to pay two mortgages because they didn't quite offload their old house first. Is there a way to avoid that or is that more of luck of the draw kind of a thing?


Rochelle Ogburn  17:57

So I the best way to have avoid doing that is to market your property, the property that you have that you're selling, just market it aggressively, make sure that you've got an agent that's going to help you stage it properly so that it appeals to the mass buyers. And then make sure it's at a price point that it's going to sell fast. So that's what I do my average days on market for the homes that I list is eight. So I like to get I help my clients stage them and make sure that we're positioned right in the market so that it moves fast. And usually what we end up doing is they will close on the house that they are selling and then buy back a week or even two weeks so that they have time to get into their new house and then you know, clean it up and it's ready for the next buyer.


Jason Huddle  18:50

So you were telling me a little bit before the break that now is a good time to buy a house in this COVID market because of interest rates. Tell us a little bit about them.


Rochelle Ogburn  19:00

So interest rates actually dipped down below 3% and that's, that's amazing. It's a it's a real hurdle. Yeah, right, a really good time to buy. But as a lot of people know, lending rules were also tightened. So um, if you've got that, that sweet spot, I like to call it is 680. So you want to be able to hit that 680 if you're at 700 or above, you're awesome, you're doing great. And then you'll be able to get a great loan product and get that awesome interest rate. And if you're below that, then talk to me I there's still a few lenders that are working with people that are having issues with their credit score.


Jason Huddle  19:40

One of the things you pride yourself with is the fact that you help people after the sale with that transition. Tell us a little bit about what your approach is there.


Rochelle Ogburn  19:49

So after the sale I I'm always around because once you get into a new home, there's there might be you know, things that break down or you want to paint and so I always make sure that my clients know that I'm available, the day we close, that's just the beginning. I will be around to help you, especially for referrals if you've got friends and family that are buying or selling on, and then if you've got things that you're needing to do with the home call me because I have that list of great carpenters and painters and different tradesmen that I've worked with, and I can refer them to you and you know that they're trusted, and they're good people.


Jason Huddle  20:27

We talked a little bit in the first segment about how inventory seems to be low. Are you finding that? 


Rochelle Ogburn  20:32

Oh, ay-ay-ay . Its the bane of my existence. Yeah, it's crazy. I had a client that's looking at a half a million dollar home and there were multiple offers and a half a million dollar home and this is like, within 48 hours of it hitting the market. So it's a tight market here in Charlotte. I mean, but it just, it goes to show how awesome of a town we live in, right. So you need to know when you're in a tight market like this. It's important you have a real estate agent that knows how to write strong offers. I like to win, I like to win when I'm in a multiple offer situation. So I coach my buyers, this is how we're going to write an offer, we keep it clean, we keep it strong, but making sure that their interests are covered, I want to make sure that they're protected and they're not getting into a situation where they're, you know, taking on more than they can actually handle.


Jason Huddle  21:22

How do you handle it when a buyer really wants a house and they're even willing to overpay for it? And are you do you struggle with that? 


Rochelle Ogburn  21:30

Um, so when, ultimately that appraiser is going to set the price. So go ahead, you know, you can write it for 100,000 over because ultimately the appraiser is going to set the price. So a lot of times the the listing agent, they're going to coach their sellers on don't look at the price. There are so many other factors to an offer that make it a strong offer, and you got to have that great agent that's going to coach you on them.


Jason Huddle  21:59

We talked a little bit about this. And the first thing that as well, but I'm interested to hear your take how do you see the realty industry moving forward in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis?


Rochelle Ogburn  22:11

So we're seeing a lot more as far as virtual tours and that I think, making sure that our clients, sellers and buyers, that we're just protecting everyone, and we're not doing like overlapping showings, things like that. I still do open houses. My sellers, like open houses on Saturday, the first.


Jason Huddle  22:32

 Are they still well attended, how's that working? 


Rochelle Ogburn  22:34

Yes, yeah. And so when I have an open house, I've got booties, I've got mass, I've got gloves. I've got hand sanitizer right there at the door. On and then people you know, they're signing in, but they're just used to taking on the smartphone and they're scanning a QR code so that I have a list if anyone ever gets sick. Then the commission wants us to note wants to know who was at that open house. So we have a list that way, but it's also hands free and but yeah, they're the well attended, we only have one family go through at a time. So it's people want to be in the home. It's virtual tours are awesome. But people want to be in the home, but I want to protect my  seller. So that's that's how I do it.


Jason Huddle  23:15

It's just kind of like buying clothes, right? You can look at them all day on a computer screen. So true story. We were selling our house a few years ago. And the complaint about the house from the people that ultimately bought it. The complaint was there was too many windows. Ever heard that before? 


Rochelle Ogburn  23:37

Wow. No, that's actually the number one thing now for millennials is I want like, they like light.


Jason Huddle  23:43

Yeah, apparently I don't know if these people were vampires, im not sure. There was to many windows in the house for them. But ultimately, they ended up buying the house. So I guess it was, you know.


Rochelle Ogburn  23:53

Yeah. Yeah, I know millennials. They love light and I'm that type of person. I like lots of windows. And I always with my sellers, I want them to know what are those things that people that the mass buyer is looking for and you know still white cabinets we're still at that white cabinets and granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, every time every day, you know I coach them on those you know what's gonna appeal to the mass buyer so


Jason Huddle  24:24

Sure. Well Rochelle before I let you go, can you tell us how to get in touch with you or find you on the interwebs.


Rochelle Ogburn  24:34

So you can find me all over social media. You can find me on Instagram. You can find me on Facebook I am Roselles the qc. Also, my website is Rosells So it's r o s e l l s the q You can also give me a call at 704-750-1848 or shoot me me in an email you can send me an email are ogburn at level up reality that org that's org.


Jason Huddle  25:07

Dot org very important. Don't dot com it,. 


Rochelle Ogburn  25:09

Don't dot com it.


Jason Huddle  25:11

Alright, Rochelle Ogburn with Level Up Realty. Thank you so much for coming in spending some time with us today. 


Rochelle Ogburn  25:16

And thank you Jason for having me. I'm so excited to be with you guys.


Jason Huddle  25:20

We are excited to have you. You guys stay tuned we will be back to wrap up the program in just a moment.


Commercial  25:25



Jason Huddle  26:28

Once again I want to thank my guest this week Matt Dennehy, Angela Kirsch and Rochelle Ogburn for their valuable contribution and talking about real estate buying and selling your home in this market, especially in this COVID world like everything is topsy turvy right? Like everything is so fluid. At this point when I'm recording this episode, we don't even know when we're going to be moving to phase three yet so things are constantly changing. Sometimes I'm a little afraid that by the time I put out an episode of this podcast, the information in it will be obsolete. That's how quickly things are moving. But I did think it was important because a lot of people are trying to buy and sell their homes at this time and the world does not stop just because of a pandemic. So I hope that you found this episode informational. Next week we'll be getting ready for July 4. And even though a lot of places aren't doing the celebrations that we're used to, I still like to take this time of year to honor our veterans. We've got some very special guests that are going to be in next week. That's all I'll give you. You'll need to tune in next week to hear more about that. Until then, you've been listening to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, a presentation of Cabco Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. I've been your host Jason Huddle. Until next week. Go support our sponsors. That's a good idea.

Episode 66: Operation Decisive Victory

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