“BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN HOMETOWN” APPRECIATION DAY Sunday – March 3, 2013

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Do not miss your chance to tour New Hanover County’s great attractions for FREE…. FREE… FREE.  This Sunday March 3, 2013 all these attractions are open to New Hanover County Residents.  Some restrictions apply and please bring proof of residency.
Here is a list of places that will welcome you and your family.  You can register online to win a Hometown Tourist goodie bag.

HOMETOWN TOURIST ONLINE DRAWING

To register to win a Hometown Tourist goodie bag, you must be able to prove residency within New Hanover County. If you are a resident of New Hanover County, please email your full name, home street address, City/State/zip code and a working phone number to hometowntourist@wilmingtonandbeaches.com. Please put HOMETOWN TOURIST in the ‘Subject’ line. Please, no business addresses. Entry emails must be received by Friday, March 1, 2013 and winners will be contacted by Wednesday, March 6, 2013. [If your email is bounced back, please either try again or send it via snail mail to Wilmington and Beaches CVB, Attn: Hometown Tourist, 505 Nutt Street, Unit A, Wilmington, NC, 28401. Must be received by Thurs. Feb. 28.]

LIST OF PARTICIPATING ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS

SPECIAL GUESTS at Riverfront Visitor Information Booth: 12-3pm (weather permitting), Cape Fear Riverwalk (Water & Market Sts.), Wilmington, 341-4030. Stop by to meet the special guests, get a “Hometown Tourist” sticker, and a list of attractions/tours offering free admission! Team and event mascots will greet residents, hand out schedules/flyers, pose for photos, and sign autographs. Confirmed guests include “Sledge” (Wilmington Hammerheads pro soccer team) from 12-3pm; Azalea Belles (courtesy of the Cape Fear Garden Club) from 1-3pm; and storyteller/musician John Golden from 1-3pm.

Airlie Gardens, 9am-5pm, 300 Airlie Rd., Wilmington, 798-7700. Stroll through the winding paths of this century-old garden by the sea. Enjoy 67-acres of gardens, including the 468-year-old Airlie Oak. 

Bellamy Mansion Museum, 1-4pm, 503 Market St., Wilmington, 251-3700. Visit the formal areas and kitchen in the basement of the mansion, hear the history of the original slave quarters and its restoration, and peruse the gift shop.

Burgwin-Wright Museum House, 12-5pm, 224 Market St., Wilmington, 762-0570.  The house will not be open; however, visitors may tour the historic gardens and visit the Colonial kitchen and the former jail. A self-guided garden tour is available, with layout, historic facts, plant identification, etc.

Cameron Art Museum, 10am–5pm, 3201 S. 17th  St., Wilmington (corner of Independence Blvd and 17th  St.),  395-5999. Southeast NC’s premier art museum. Cameron Art Museum celebrates 50 years! Visit the Museum Shop and view three exhibits: From Gatehouse to Winehouse: Inside the Artist’s Workplace, Sometimes Madness is Wisdom: The Artwork of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald and The Transformative Power of Friendship.  

Cape Fear Museum of History & Science, 1-5pm, 814 Market St., Wilmington, 798-4350. Discover the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. Visit the Museum’s newest exhibits – Shopping Around Wilmington, Collection Selections: Breakfast, and the award-winning Fragments of War exhibit combines the stories of wartime symbols with the more intimate histories of some local men who served in the Confederate military.

NHC ID & ADVANCE TIX  Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington, Meets at Cape Fear Riverwalk at Market & Water Sts., Wilmington, 233-7630. Guided tours start at 5:30pm only. ADVANCE TICKETS REQUIRED. Tickets MUST be picked up at the Black Cat Shoppe at 8 Market St. on Saturday March 2nd    from 11am-6pm. Tickets will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. NO TICKETS WILL BE GIVEN OUT THE DAY OF THE TOUR. Guide will take larger than normal groups and tour will be somewhat abbreviated. Space is limited. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.

NHC ID & ADVANCE TIX  Hollywood Location Walk of Old Wilmington, Meets at Cape Fear Riverwalk at Market & Water Sts., Wilmington, 233-7630. Guided tour starts at 12:00 noon only. ADVANCE TICKETS REQUIRED. Tickets MUST be picked up at the Black Cat Shoppe at 8 Market St. on Saturday the 2nd    from 11am-6pm. Tickets will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. NO TICKETS WILL BE GIVEN OUT THE DAY OF THE TOUR. Guide will take larger than normal groups and tour will be somewhat abbreviated. Space is limited. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.

Haunted Cotton Exchange Tour, 10am, Meets at The Cotton Exchange next to the German Café. 409-4300.Take a 20-minute tour of the Haunted Cotton Exchange, one of the most haunted locations in Wilmington. Tour limited to 50 people.

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, 1-4pm, 5320 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, 791-0666. Choice of one (1) of the following activities to each participant: 1-game of Jungle Golf –OR- 1-free Grand Prix go-kart ride –OR– 1-free Sky Tower ride.

Tour Old Wilmington History Walking Tours, 1pm and 2pm, Meets at the foot of Market and Water Sts. 409-4300. Take a 30-minute tour of historic downtown Wilmington. Learn fun and interesting facts about Wilmington during the Victorian Era. Tours limited to 50 people.

Trip With Triplett-Oakdale Cemetery Guided Tour, 12pm; 1:30pm; 3pm, Meets at Oakdale Cemetery, 520 N. 15th  St., Wilmington, 392-6753. Stroll through tranquil Oakdale Cemetery with Robin Triplett, a retired Cape Fear History teacher, and learn about the lives of the people that rest there.

NHC ID  Wilmington Railroad Museum, 1-4pm, 505 Nutt St., Wilmington, 763-2634. Railroad history and features for everyone, all in an authentic 1883 railroad building. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.

Wilmington Trolley, 1-4pm. Downtown Wilmington, 763-4483. The trolley will offer free shuttle service between the participating attractions in the downtown area. This is shuttle service only, not tours.

NHC ID & ADVANCE TIX  Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours & Taxi, 12pm &1pm, Banks Channel across from Blockade Runner Resort, Wrightsville Beach, 200-4002. The Cape Fear Naturalist, Joseph Abbate, explores the tidal creeks of Masonboro Island. The 1-hour tour focuses on water bird and shorebird identification. Topics include shorebird identification, salt marsh function and water quality issues. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Space is limited.

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FIRST TIME: How To Buy The Most Home For Your Money

 

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You’re neither rich nor poor, and you’re ready to buy your first home. You look around. All those homes on the market! All seemingly priced out of reach!

Cheer up. You’re not alone. With some solid real estate counseling and some help from your lender and/or sellers and others, you can not only get your toe in the door, but you can own the house too. It just takes some creativity, a few inside tips and a bit of homework.

For starters:

Examine your goals

How ironclad are your dreams? Can your ideal of a formal dining room or a hot tub on a redwood deck be postponed? Must you have a two-car garage? Lowering your expectations and starting out modestly (in decent housing that meets your needs) can lead to owning those dreams — in time.

Start saving

Get your priorities straight. Without taking all the fun out of life, what’s more important to you, weekends on the road and dinners out or stashing away at least part of your down payment? (Most lenders want to see that some of the money you invest is your own.)

Keep your credit record clean

When you go mortgage shopping, lenders will be looking over your payment records. Don’t let a late-payment habit rise to haunt you. (Reformed late-payers can request creditors to erase the blots on their records — for a small fee.)

Look for financial assistance

Your parents and other relatives may be able and willing to give you gifts that will get you over the down payment hurdle. (Loans from relatives will be counted as debts and will lower the amount of mortgage payments your lender will allow you to carry.)

Get some co-signers

Parents, relatives (and unrelated investors) can either co-sign a loan or share the ownership of your home. With shared ownership, you’ll be the resident but your co-investor may share specified expenses (plus tax advantages and equity accrual), and will share in your profit on sale.

Shop for mortgage loans

Qualifying for a mortgage can be managed in several ways to fit your down payment and monthly-payment abilities. FHA and VA loans come with low down payment requirements, and lenders offer ARMs (adjustable-rate mortgages) at initially low interest rates. (Look for an ARM that can be converted to a fixed rate should rates drop.)

Consider creative financing

Also, new-home builders and other sellers may offer buy-downs that lower your interest rate in the first few years of a mortgage, thereby making a home more affordable. Balloon loans (if they have at least a 7-year term) can often bridge gaps and give you time to accumulate equity and/or cash to pay them off. Home sellers can sometimes help you financially — with a lease-purchase arrangement or a take-back loan. Lenders and sellers are constantly creating new ways to help buyers buy homes. We can help you check them out.

Look at starter homes

Once freed of the vision of “instant dream home,” you can look for housing that will start you on the equity-building path to realizing your dream. Condominiums and townhouses are often much less expensive than detached houses and buying one now can serve well as a stepping stone.

Search for bargains

If you’re handy with tools, a fixer-upper home gives you the opportunity to buy inexpensively, fix up and, in a few years, trade up. And if you’re adventurous, auctioned properties in suitable neighborhoods can also be good values. If you don’t mind a longer commute to work, outlying areas frequently offer homes at lower prices than those found close to town.

Whatever route you choose toward buying your first home, keep cool. It may take time to find the right combination of elements, but there is a home out there for you and a way to obtain it. We’ll be most happy to help you create your path to its door.

Call or e-mail us for more information on buying your first home.

Search all Wilmington NC real estate on www.cbbaker.com

Shag on the Beach | East Coast Shag Classic for Women of Hope

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This charity event is for beach music lovers along the east coast to come and enjoy the sights and sounds of beach music by some of the greatest bands while enjoying beautiful accommodations with spectacular views of the ocean and harbour. You can enjoyed all of this while helping support women and their families with cancer.

This event can be experienced by purchasing an EAST COAST SHAG CLASSIC SHAGGING FOR HOPE WEEKEND GETAWAY by contacting the Blockade Runner Resort at 800-541-1161 or 910-256-2251. Agents are available 24 hours/7 days a week.

More info here…

Location. Location. Location | Wilmington NC real estate

What do Wilmington NC real estate  agents mean when they say the  three most important factors in  selecting a house are  “location, location, location”?
 
Door Knocker The house is wonderful! But before you buy, carefully check the location to be sure this is the house you want to buy.

  • Consider destinations
      Where will family members go most often from this new location? How easy is it to reach those places from here? How accessible are schools, churches, grocery stores, medical care, public transportation, shopping malls, and neighborhood services?
  • Be sure rooms have a view
      What is the view from the house and yard? Is the yard right for your anticipated activities? What uses are possible for nearby undeveloped land? Is a new road planned?
  • Check around the clock
      Is rush hour traffic a problem? What will be the impact of special events like local high school games or church picnics?
  • Crash test the driveway
      How easy is it to get into and out of the driveway?
  • Be service conscious
      What utilities serve this property? Are the rates competitive? Do you want an all-electric house, or do you want gas or oil heat? Where will you get your mail? Where are the easements?
  • Dig below the surface
      Is the soil stable? Is part of the property on a flood plain — if so, what is the history of floods on the property?
  • Visit the neighbors
      How will you fit in with the neighbors? Do people seem to be friendly? Are houses well-maintained?
  • Read the fine print
      If the community has special by-laws or architectural controls over changes to a house, what are the pros and cons?
    Make a list of the positive and negative aspects of each property as you tour it. Assign priorities to important elements of the house’s location.

Do you have home questions about a specific location? We can help. Call or e-mail us now,  910-202-3607 or bakerwayneassociates@ec.rr.com

Here is our Coldwell Banker Homebuyer guide to help you.
 
www.cbbaker.com for all your Wilmington NC real estate needs.
 
 
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2013 What To Expect For Home Buyers, Sellers, Investors | Wilmington NC real estate

Wilmington NC real estateToday’s real estate market is not the question mark it has been for some time. National trends and statistics support a lot of what is showing up in our own local real estate market — steady improvements and signs of positive activity are taking hold. In 2013, if you’re a homeowner looking to make a move, a renter looking to settle down, an investor looking for opportunities or a homeowner looking to stay put and remodel, here’s how to take advantage of today’s Wilmington NC  real estate market — no matter what your situation.

Yes, foreclosures, short sales, underwater mortgages and other painful problems are real and prevalent in some areas. Despite these problems, homes in good condition and in good locations sell quickly when priced right. Great deals for buyers — both in distressed and traditional home sales — and low interest rates have converged to make the cost of buying much more affordable than just a few years ago! Investors benefit too by focusing on distress sales as well as bargain-priced traditional properties to hold as rentals or rehab and sell.

In 2013 some great opportunities exist, but only if you get into the real estate market now. If you don’t make a move soon, you’ll miss out. In this Special Report we’ve examined 2013 from great expectations to six great opportunities. Be sure to contact us as soon as you’re ready to buy or sell a home.

2013 OPPORTUNITIES

Underbuilding = More Buyer Demand For Sellers

Due to the slow-moving economy and slower-than-normal real estate market, builders have been slow to build new homes. Even though new home starts are recovering, in 2013 there will still be more new-home buyers looking than homes available for sale. The continued lack of competition from newly built homes will help you when you sell a home this year. If your home is in a good location and in move-in condition, it will sell quickly and for a price better than you might have gotten last year. Don’t expect a return to boom times, but prices are slowly, gradually moving up in most areas of the country.

Investing = Increased Profits
Investing in a rental home, condo or multi-family property can be profitable with the continued rising demand for rentals and increasing rents. Beware, though, that many would-be renters will be weighing carefully the cost of renting versus buying, and those able to purchase will leave the rental market. More renter turnover could be a bigger issue for landlords this year than last.

Interest = Historically Low Rates
With continuing low interest rates, if you have a good credit record and steady employment, it’s definitely a positive time to purchase a home. Low interest rates allow you to buy more home than you could otherwise. Low rates also work to your advantage keeping payments low.

Refinancing = Save Money Now And Later
With lower interest rates, refinancing is an option for homeowners who have good credit, a stable employment situation and whose home is not underwater — owing more than it is worth. The savings realized in refinancing can be significant for those who can take advantage of these low interest rates before they go higher.

Buying = Better Than Renting
In many major metropolitan areas, it makes more financial sense to buy a home rather than rent. With increasing demand for rentals and subsequent rising rents, buying — including down payment, closing costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs and tax advantages — is often a better financial move, allowing home buyers to break even, possibly in as few as two to five years. If you’re looking to settle somewhere for at least that long, 2013 is the time to look into buying a home.

Green = Products That Save
Environmentally friendly products, finishes, appliances and systems are readily available for new homes, remodels and updating. As demand for these resource-saving products continues to increase, prices are likely to decrease, allowing you to choose and install eco-friendly products to save energy and money.

Seller Expectations

Some expectations never change. Sellers expect a great selling price and a quick sale. As in the past, though, sellers need to realize that serious, traditional home buyers are looking for properties in move-in condition. Many buyers are turned off by unfinished home projects and outdated fixtures. Sellers in 2013 need to make their home spic-and-span before listing in order to get a quick sale at the right price. We can advise you on how to stage your home for a fast sale when you price it right.

Buyer Expectations

Buyers in the market today are looking for the best value. They remember the not-too-distant volatility of home prices and want the most home for the lowest payment. They know the market like a GPS and are quick to assess every home — before they even step into it. Today’s buyers are smart and savvy, especially when buyers work with a real estate professional — like us.

Investor Expectations

Investors, being home buyers, are smart and savvy too. They’re decisive and often able to purchase a home with all-cash, making their transaction quick to close. Investors rely on their ability to spot “diamonds in the rough” and snap up great deals lightning-fast. If you can’t get your home into move-in condition for the next buyer, an investor will — and your final sales price to the investor will reflect the profit the investor is looking to realize upon resale or rental of your property. We can help you find suitable income properties to fit your investment strategy or help you prep your home for quick sale to interested investors. For more advice and to search all Wilmington NC real estate please visit www.cbbaker.com or on your phone mobile.cbbaker.com

 

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