Get Your Parade Hat Ready | 9th Annual Wilmington NC Holiday Parade | Wilmington NC real estate

Wilmington Holiday Parade.

Help welcome in the Christmas season by coming downtown on Sunday December 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm.  Night lights and the perfect setting will make this parade enjoyable.  The parade route starts at N.  Front and Walnut at 6:15 pm.  The parade route travels south on Front to Orange, then follows back north on Water St taking in some gorgeous Wilmington NC real estate and the Cape Fear River.   There is a reviewing stand on Riverfront Park on Water.  The parade route map is here….  If you don’t want to venture outside, these stations are offering live coverage.

Live coverage of the parade begins at 6:30 pm on the following channels:

  • Time Warner Cable – 121
  • ATMC – 94
  • Charter Cable – 137
  • Over the Air on 6.2

This is your chance to listen to the area high school bands and more.  Enjoy…


The Worlds Largest Christmas Tree | Wilmington NC

Update – November 25, 2011
Well, our tree will be lit after all. There will not be a ceremony and Santa has taken a trip down to the Riverfront instead, but you do need to go see this precious tree. Thank you for lighting it one more time….

December 30, 2010 –

An update on the Worlds Largest Christmas Tree and it’s future.  The tree location was picked by locals in a contest held by Town Commissioner J.E.L. ‘Hi Buddy’ Wade.  Two children picked the Hilton Tree and the prize for picking the location was a $5 gold piece, according to Ben Steelman of the Star News.  In 1959, 150,000 people from 11 foreign countries and 42 states ventured out to see the lighting of the Worlds Largest Christmas Tree. 

With talk of not continuing the tradition you have another chance to get a peek at the Worlds Largest Christmas Tree the lights will be on from 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31.  Hilton Park, 401 Hilton St. right next to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. 

Everyone’s favorite!  An 2010 update on our great World’s Largest Christmas Tree!.. Read more here…

The 79th annual lighting of the World’s Largest Christmas Tree in Wilmington NC was held Thursday night at 6pm at Wilmington’s Hilton Park. The massive oak tree covered with spanish moss is believed to be more than 400 years old and covered with 5,250 bulbs. It was first lit in 1928 with over 500 multicolored lights The tree lighting event was also celebrated by the arrival of Mr. & Mrs. Santa. For the first time, the ornaments were hand made by local school students.

The world’s largest living Christmas tree is lit nightly and available for viewing between now and Christmas at 407 Hilton St. Wilmington, NC.

Kay Baker, a life long Top Realtor in Wilmington, NC brings local knowledge and experience to her valued clients. With her decades of experience in the Wilmington, NC real estate market, she can greatly benefit her buyer clients in choosing the perfect Wilmington NC neighborhood, in the negotiation process, obtain the best financing, obtain a home inspection and negotiate the repairs, and assist with the final closing preparations. Her sellers can also reap the rewards of a successful and aggressive Realtor that is always eager to sell their home at a record pace and for the most money possible. Kay has a long track record of selling homes quickly and exposes her listings on over 100 websites.

Kay has earned numerous awards for her outstanding production over the years including the prestigious Coldwell Banker President’s Elite Club.

Kay Baker may be contacted at or

Just Released | Coldwell Banker Sea Coast and Coldwell Banker Advantage to Merge | Wilmington NC real estate

For Release November 17, 2011

Merger of Two Top-Selling Coldwell Banker Franchises Creates State’s Third-Largest Residential Real Estate Brokerage Two of the top-selling Coldwell Banker franchises in North Carolina have joined forces, creating the state’s third-largest residential real estate brokerage company. The merger of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty of Wilmington and Coldwell Banker Advantage of Raleigh and Fayetteville creates a regional powerhouse with a sales team of more than 600 agents and 26 sales offices in Raleigh, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Jacksonville and other Eastern North Carolina markets. The two companies combined to generate more than $1.3 billion in sales volume from 6,500 real estate transactions in 2010, which would have ranked the merged company as the state’s third-largest brokerage, according to REAL Trends, a real estate industry trade magazine. Those totals would also have ranked among the top 55 brokerages in the country in sales volume and among the top 75 in transactions, according to the magazine. The two companies are on track to surpass last year’s sales and transactions totals in 2011, having already exceeded $1 billion in sales and 6,000 transactions through October, according to statistics provided by local offices of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The merger was announced by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation CEO Jim Gillespie on Thursday, November 17th in separate news conferences in Raleigh and Wilmington. “Today’s merger creates the fifth largest Coldwell Banker affiliated company in North America,” Gillespie said. “Coldwell Banker Advantage and Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty have been long-time members of the Coldwell Banker Chairman’s Circle, representing the best-of-the-best of our great brand,” he said. The new company – to be called Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage – will be led by co-CEOs Tim Milam of Sea Coast Realty and Gary Rabon of Advantage. “This is a true merger of equals,” Milam said. “It is not an acquisition. I want to emphasize that in the strongest possible terms. All owners of both companies will remain owners with the new company. Neither company is buying the other. Instead we’re joining forces to compete more effectively in today’s challenging marketplace. “Gary and I have been friends for years,” he added. “Our companies have been built on similar values and culture. We’ve talked about merging for at least the last five years, and finally decided this summer the time was right to get it done.” Rabon added: “This is a merger where both companies are strengthened. It builds our regional footprint and enables us to do an even better job of supporting our team of brokers and agents in the field. It also creates a lot of synergies in terms of marketing, training and technology.” The merger brings together two companies that have dominated their respective markets. SeaCoast Realty is currently the number one brokerage in Wilmington, Brunswick County, Topsail and Jacksonville with over 23 percent of the market. Advantage, meanwhile, ranks number four in Raleigh and number one in Fayetteville, according to MLS statistics. Both have emerged as leaders in North Carolina’s fast-growing military market, with strong positions among military families in Fayetteville and Jacksonville – home of Fort Bragg and Camp LeJeune, respectively. The merged companies will also have an advantage in serving the two-way traffic between the Raleigh/Research Triangle and the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach markets, Rabon said. “There’s a lot of cross-pollination on I-40 in both directions,” he said. “Triangle families are looking in Wilmington area for second-home opportunities, while a lot of Wilmington area families are looking to move to the Triangle for job opportunities. “The merger gives us an even better connection to this growing segment of the market, one that we are both going to capitalize on.” CONTACT: Tim Milam Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (910) 202 2501 Gary Rabon Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (919) 846 3305

Welcome Coldwell Banker Advantage, we look forward to working with you.  Kay Baker and Associates –


Coldwell Banker Finds Great Value in College Town Living | Wilmington NC real estate

Just released by Coldwell Banker:


PARSIPPANY, N.J. (Nov. 15, 2011)Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC today released its 2011 College Home Listing Report (College HLR), which ranks college towns across the country in home affordability. The report provides the average home listing prices for three-bedroom, two-bathroom properties that were listed for sale on between August 2010 and August 2011 in markets home to 117* of the 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.  According to the report, three-bedroom homes cost less than $200,000 on average in nearly two-thirds of the college towns included (76 markets) and less than $150,000 in nearly one-quarter (26 markets). In the most affordable market, Memphis, Tenn., (home to University of Memphis) the average listing price of a three-bedroom home is $89,244. The full ranking is available at“I love the College Home Listing Report, because it highlights the amazing affordability of the college towns that define the fabric of America,” said Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “Our report underscores the homeownership opportunities in many of these vibrant, affordable communities that are known for their high energy, educational systems and often stable job markets.”

Gillespie can speak first-hand about the benefits of buying a home in a college town, having purchased a townhouse in Champaign, Ill., home to his alma mater, the University of Illinois. “I am a huge fan of the culture and events, and found this to be a wonderful investment and an excellent spot for my family when we come to see the Fighting Illini in action,” Gillespie said. “In Champaign, a three-bedroom home currently lists at an average of $178,310, which is remarkable considering its unbeatable Midwestern charm and location.”

Local Testaments to College Town Living
Big and small, affordable or more expensive, many residents and community members attest to all that college towns have to offer. For example, Evanston, Ill., home to Northwestern University, comes with a higher price tag, where an average three-bedroom home listing price is $385,540, but many say it is worth the cost.

“Evanston is a great community on the lakefront, just north of Chicago,” said Cornelia Steffes, manager of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Evanston-Central office. “We have easy access to Lake Michigan, beaches and water sports. Plus, we have fabulous arts and culture, festivals and dining, sports and leisure. It is truly a world-class city in a world class location.”

Other iconic college towns such as Madison, Wis., home to the University of Wisconsin (where a three-bedroom home’s listing average is $221,100) and Gainesville, Fla., (University of Florida, $192,055) are known for both their college town spirit and affordability.

“One reason Madison is such a great place to live is because of the incredible vitality the University of Wisconsin provides in economic development,” said Phil Sveum, broker/owner of Coldwell Banker Success. “The impact of the university’s research and growth of bio-tech companies has translated to good jobs for those seeking to live in a highly educated environment with many of the cultural opportunities of much larger cities.” 

J. Parrish, president of Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors in Gainesville, Fla., notes that the town’s ties to the University of Florida are parallel to the beauty of the area. “Situated in the heart of beautiful north central Florida midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Gainesville’s carefully preserved nature basks in beautiful sunshine,” Parrish said. “This is truly a lovely, unique place to live.”

Below are the most affordable and most expensive markets. Visit to view the full College HLR and for more details. An infographic comparing the top 10 most expensive markets based on number of students, tuition and city population is also available at

Most Affordable Markets – Coldwell Banker 2011 College Home Listing Report

1)    Memphis, Tenn.  (University of Memphis) – $89,244
2)    Muncie, Ind. (Ball State University) – $107,346
3)    Ypsilanti, Mich.  (Eastern Michigan University) – $107,458
4)    Toledo, Ohio (University of Toledo) – $112,688
5)    Kalamazoo, Mich. (Western Michigan University) – $116,455
6)    Buffalo, N.Y. (University of Buffalo) – $123,212
7)    Las Vegas, Nev. (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) – $124,955
8)    Fort Worth, Texas (Texas Christian University) – $128,491
9)    Kent, Ohio (Kent State University) – $130,218
10)     Lafayette, Ind. (Purdue University) – $132,910

Most Expensive Markets – Coldwell Banker 2011 College Home Listing Report

1)    Westwood, Los Angeles, Calif. (University of California, Los Angeles) – $1,271,428
2)    Palo Alto, Calif.  (Stanford University) – $1,232,070
3)    Honolulu, Hawaii (University of Hawaii) – $779,419
4)    Los Angeles, Calif. (University of Southern California) – $733,473
5)    Boulder, Colo. (University of Colorado) – $731,617
6)    Berkeley, Calif. (University of California, Berkeley) – $695,520
7)    Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Boston College) – $669,617
8)    Seattle, Wash. (University of Washington) – $570,535
9)    San Jose, Calif. (San Jose State University) – $541,231
10)     Annapolis, Md. (United States Naval Academy) – $522,420

Methodology: College Home Listing Report
The Coldwell Banker College Home Listing Report includes residential real estate listings appearing on between August 2010 and August 2011 for real estate markets home to 117* of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, which each had at least 10 home listings during the timeframe. This market data includes property listings from Coldwell Banker affiliates as well as listings from other Realogy franchise brands that fit the same three-bedroom, two-bathroom criteria. 

* Note: Tuscaloosa, AL, was not included out of respect for the damage caused by the April 27 tornado.   Bowling Green, Ohio, and Bloomington, Ind., did not meet minimum listing requirements to be included in the report.

Wilmington NC did not make this college list, but we love our college town.  UNCW, Cape Fear Community College, Mount Olive and  Miller-Motte enhance the area and make Wilmington NC a great place to live and learn.  Search all Wilmington NC real estate on

Wilmington Now’s Your Chance | TV Amazing Race Contest Here in Wilmington Nov. 19, 2011

Amazing Race Contest — WILM-TV.

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Amazing Race is coming to Wilmington NC Saturday November 19, 2011 scouting for contestants for its popular show which has won 12 Emmy awards since it has started in 2001.  The auditions are being held by CBS affiliate Channel 10 WILM-TV at Independence Mall in the Sear’s Wing from 10-6 pm.  There are eligibility requirements and releases to be signed before the audition.  WILM-TV will film pairs of contestants giving creative reasons why they should appear on the show.  For full details and forms please visit here…

Have fun and good luck if you try out.

For all your Wilmington NC real estate needs please visit