What are the essential steps every first-time buyer should know?

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KeyIf you think it’s about time you bought a home instead of renting, a little homework before you start looking will increase your odds of finding the best buy for you. First, you must educate yourself about the home buying process. You can take a class or pick up books from your local library. Also be sure to read the real estate sections of your newspaper to familiarize yourself with properties and prices in your area. Consumer magazines that focus on the home can also be a good source of information.

Here are some things you will want to do:

  • Separate needs from wants

      What are your priorities for your next home? How important are public transportation, community facilities, on-street parking, lot size, privacy? How many bedrooms and baths will you need? Will you need a space for a home office? How important are quality neighborhood schools?

  • Investigate neighborhood prices

      What neighborhoods feature homes in your price range? Are there areas you may have overlooked? With the help of a trusted real estate agent, you may discover neighborhoods and home types you may not have considered. We’ll introduce you to a wide range of possibilities and help you find the home that best suits your needs.

  • Determine how much house you can afford

      It’s tough to home shop if you don’t know what you can afford. Together with a reputable lender, we can help you determine how much home you can afford and which loan program will maximize your buying power. Also, by getting pre-approved for a loan before you start looking for your first home, you’ll be a better prospect in the seller’s eyes.

  • Shop for the best loan

      Which type of loan is best for you? Will you be in the house several years and benefit most from a long-term fixed rate, or do you want a lower, short-term rate because you plan to move soon or expect your income to increase rapidly over the next few years? You may want to interview several lenders to learn about the many mortgages available.

  • Check out interest rates

      What are current local mortgage interest rates for 15-year and 30-year fixed rate mortgages, and for 1-, 3- and 5-year adjustable rate mortgages?

  • Dig up your down payment

      Know where your down payment cash will come from. If it’s coming from stocks, go ahead and sell them. If Aunt Mabel is loaning you the money, get it in hand so you are ready to go.

  • Relax and let an experienced real estate agent to help you through the process

    Buying your first home can be an overwhelming experience, but, with the help of a professional real estate agent, you can easily manage the process and confidently close the deal.

Chances are you can answer a couple of these questions on your own, but you may need some assistance with others. If you do, please call or e-mail us. We can make sure you have the preliminary house-hunting information you need.

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I Have A Dream | Martin Luther King Parade Downtown Wilmington NC 2014

martin_luther

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This year’s Martin Luther King parade will be held in downtown Wilmington NC. and it is expected to be bigger than ever.  Over the years the parade and festivities have grown and a new venue should allow more visitors.
The MLK Parade Monday – January 20, 2014 Parade Begins 11:00 NOON Historic Downtown Wilmington Parade starting point: Front St. & Hanover St.  Here is parade route if you would like a pick a spot to watch.  Route

There are many local events leading up to the parade on Monday.  Some of them are:

Friday January, 17 2014 6:30 PM MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. ANNUAL BANQUET  Wilmington Convention Center 10 Convention Ctr. Dr. Wilmington, NC  Guest Speaker: N.C.  Supreme Court Justice Cherie Beasley  Tickets: $50.00 click to close frame

Saturday January, 18 2014 9:00 AM N.A.A.C.P. / MLK BREAKFAST  UNCW Warwick Center UNCW  Main Campus Wilmington, NC  Guest Speaker: Rev. Curtis Gatewood NAACP HK on J Coordinator Saturday January, 18 2014 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM KIDS FUN DAY  WILLIAM E. MURPHY SPORTS COMPLEX 401 S. 8th Street Wilmington, NC  presented by the: Wilmington Parks & Recreation Dept. (Fun, games, face painting, refreshments for all ages)  Saturday January, 18 2014 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM CAR & BIKE SHOW AND SOUL FOOD COOK-OFF (for grown folk)  WILLIAM E. MURPHY SPORTS COMPLEX 401 S. 8th Street Wilmington, NC  (Best Mortorcycle and Best Antique Car awards)  click to close frame

For more information please visit the website  http://www.mlkjrcelebration-senc10.com/index.htm

Enjoy….

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2013 in review | Wilmington NC Real Estate Blog

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

INSPECTING YOUR HOME | How will a home inspection benefit me?

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The purchase of a home is the single most costly investment most people make, and you want to know what you are getting for your hard earned money. Inspections are a great way for home buyers to assure themselves that the home they are buying is in good condition.

A real estate agent will not determine the condition of the property. It is your responsibility, as a buyer, to ascertain the condition of the property. A licensed, professional inspector is best qualified to make an unbiased and objective evaluation of the functionality of each item or if it is in need of repair. The seller is not required to repair any items, but in the event he/she chooses not to, then the buyer may terminate.

What will the inspection cover?

An inspection will usually cover, at a minimum, those items specifically mentioned on the offer to purchase and contract. However, the inspector will not limit himself to those items.  Read rest of story here….

Moving On Up | New Buyer Wish List

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MOVING UP


Today’s Move-Up Buyers Differ From Yesterday’s

If you already own a Wilmington NC real estate home and you’re looking to buy a larger home, you’re a “move-up buyer.” You’re probably a bit different from move-up buyers of yesterday though. Some move-up buyers today are a lot more cautious — and for good reason.

Move-up buyers today are looking for a home to fit their needs because remodeling an existing home to add more space is often more expensive than buying a different home that’s already large enough. That wasn’t the case before and during the housing boom.

Convenience is the name of the game today. Many move-up buyers want to exchange their move-in-ready home for a bigger one in the same, move-in-ready condition. Most move-up buyers today want the ease of simply moving, but not managing a large or potentially complex remodeling project.

Typically, move-up buyers are confident that their personal financial situation is stable and secure enough to allow them to afford a larger property than in the past, but they still demand good value and know home prices intimately. During boom times, move-up buyers counted on steadily increasing salaries (or bonuses) and ongoing, often unrealistic home appreciation to finance their property purchase and upgrades.

Today’s move-up buyers are realistic. Even if they must sell their home for less than they thought they would get (or are underwater with the mortgage and need to come to the closing table with funds), they realize that the move-up home they’re buying is also being sold to them at a lower price than it would have sold for several years ago. Sell for less, buy for less equals a good outcome overall.

Smart move-up buyers of today have learned the mistakes of yesterday’s move-up buyers to take advantage of good values in the real estate market. No matter what your home needs are today, we can guide your home search to find the best value to meet your financial goals and family needs.

Moving? Steps to save money….

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Wilmington NC

Moving services can be costly, but there are some things you can do to help keep down the cost of moving your household goods:

  • Do as much yourself as possible. Rent a van, pack, load and move with help from family and friends. At least do the packing to cut mover’s charges considerably.
  • Move off-season. If possible, schedule your move after September 30 and before May 1 for lower moving or truck rental rates.
  • Get the floor plan of your future home to ensure your furniture will fit-get rid of what won’t.
  • Toss old clothes. A full wardrobe carton weighs 75 pounds. Why ship items you won’t ever wear again? Instead, hold a tag sale and give someone else the chance to enjoy them.
  • Toss or sell low-value, heavy and large items you no longer need or want. Items such as weight-lifting equipment, bird baths, appliances, a pool table, etc. have a way of weighing you down.
  • Be generous. Donate items you don’t want to a charity and take a deduction at tax time. Many charities will be happy to pick up heavier items at your home.
  • Avoid storage expenses by coordinating move-out and move-in dates so you can transfer possessions directly from the old home to the new one.

Wilmington Housing Summit | September 9/6/143

From wilmingtonncgov.com

 

The city, in partnership with the Affordable Housing Coalition of Southeastern North Carolina, is hosting the summit, which will be held at the Terraces on Sir Tyler, located at 1826 Sir Tyler Dr.

The registration fee is $25 per person, including lunch, and is limited to the first 250 people who sign up. Interested citizens can register here online.

Who should attend: Local community leaders, realtors, developers/builders, architects/planners, non-profits, human resource professionals, real estate attorneys, lenders and interested citizens who are impacted by the complexities of the emerging housing market.

The summit will spotlight the demographic shifts, changing market demands, rising energy costs, and new economic realities for families, government, and the development community. It will also include an interactive forum about the impact of these changes on future development and redevelopment of housing in Wilmington.

 

The summit will include nationally recognized speakers as well as panels of state and local experts in the areas of residential and commercial development, government, finance and business. Attendees will participate in round-table discussions about the future for housing and development in Wilmington.
For more information, call 341-3239.