LOCATION: The Most Important Questions Every Buyer Should Ask

It’s a maxim in real estate that the three most crucial factors in selecting a home are “location, location, location.” It’s also true! No matter how wonderful the home is, the location is key to how well you’ll like living in it and how well it sells when you’re ready to move on. Before you buy, carefully check the following factors to be sure the home you like is really the one you want to live in.

Wilmington NC real estateConsider destinations

Where will family members go most often from this new location? How easy is it to reach those places from the home? How accessible are schools, churches, grocery stores, medical care, public transportation, shopping malls and emergency services?

Be sure rooms have a view

What is the view from the home and yard? Is the yard right for your anticipated activities? What uses are possible for nearby undeveloped land? Is a new road or commercial development planned?

Check around the clock

{short description of image}Is rush hour traffic a problem? What will be the impact of special events such as local high-school games or church picnics? Test the driveway. How easy is it to get into and out of the driveway?

Be service conscious

What utilities serve the property? Are the rates competitive? Do you want an all-electric home, or do you want gas or oil heat? Where will your mail get delivered? Are there any 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 and what would flood insurance cost?

Visit the neighbors

How will you fit in with the neighbors? Do people seem to be friendly? Are homes well-maintained?

Read the fine print

If the community has special by-laws or architectural controls over changes to a homes in the area?Make a list of the positive and negative aspects of each property as you tour it. Assign priorities to important elements of the home’s location. If you have questions about a home’s location, we can help. Call or e-mail us now.

 

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.

First Time? How To Buy The Most Home For YOUR Money | Wilmington NC

 

             www.cbbaker.com

{short description of image}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 to buy a Wilmington NC home.

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.

17th Annual Lumina Daze | Wrightsville Beach NC real estate

lumina wrigthsville beach
Lumina Daze at Wrightsville Beach

17th Lumina Daze


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blockade Runner Beach Resort

Wilmington Big Band, Dixieland All-Stars, 
The Imitations

From the Wrightsville Beach Museum website:

Click here for 2013 EVENT SCHEDULE

Live auction in addition to the popular Silent Auction.  Live Auction Items Include:

    • Historic Downtown Package – 4 trolley passes, 4 Historic House Museum 3-House passes, an item from the gift shop from each of the 3 houses.
    • Marine Max – boat cruise for an evening
    • Shrimperoo for up to 25:  Courtesy of Lackey Builders, Inc., DC North, Middle of the Island Catering, and Greenville Loop Seafood
    • Painting by Betty Brown
    • Jamis Earth Beach Cruiser Bike
    • Kingoff’s Jewelers – diamond bezel pendant, 14K white gold
    • Stand Up Paddleboard and Paddle
    • Recognition / Memorial Plank in Wrightsville Beach Museum Boardwalk

Silent auction items include:

    • Airlie Gardens – “Summer Fun for Four” includes cooler, blanket, 4 coozies and 4 tickets to one concert in the Airlie Concert Series or admissions to the Gardens
    • Harbor Island Garden Club Harbor Way Gardens Pathway Brick and a HIGC Cookbook
    • Motts Channel Seafood gift basket – gift certificate, t-shirt, cheese grits, cocktail sauce, seafood breading.
    • LM Restaurants gift certificates, t-shirts, canvas bags, coozies, key rings
    • Bill Creasy – photo of Harbor Island, circa 1929
    • Las Olas Mexi-Q Grill gift certificate
    • One Hour Tennis Lesson – with Charlie Owens
    • Necklace by Kay Morgan
    • Two tickets to Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tour Sunset Cruise
    • “Day at the Beach” photo art by Mike Bryand
    • Green Goddess Essentials Basket from Green Goddess Essentials
    • Taste of Wrightsville Beach  – two passes, from Wrightsville Beach Foundation
    • Gift Certificate from Great Outdoor Provision Company
    • Four Personal Training Sessions with Shay Duval – “A Body to Live For”
    • Four Guest passes to the Children’s Museum of Wilmington
    • Three full-day passes for Deep Sea Fishing on “Vonda Kay”
    • Gift Certificate and Dog Treats from Unleashed – the dog and cat store
    • Men’s Seiko Divers Watch
    • Lady’s Seiko Divers Watch
    • Handmade Sterling Silver and Inlaid Opal Surfboard Pendant with Chain
    • Handmade Sterling Silver and Inlaid Opal Dolphin Pendant with Neck Wire
    • Sterling/Gold Mahdi pendant with chain
    • Greenville Loop Seafood Gift Certificate
    • Personal Chef for an evening meal
    • Lovey’s Natural Foods and Cafe Gift Basket

TIMING: Seven Buying and Selling Secrets To Know Before You Relocate | Wilmington NC

 

www.WilmingtonNC-RealEstate.com

The secret to a successful relocation is timing — synchronized buying, moving and selling. Good timing just takes a little advance planning that puts you in control. Here are seven relocation secrets to make your move work smoothly for you.

Wilmington NC real estate

 

 

1. Sell First

Ideally, you should sell your current home first in order to have all your financial resources available to purchase your next home. You want to avoid waiting until the closing on your new home forces you to sell your old home under the gun. Note that in some markets today, houses are moving so quickly that sellers will not even consider taking a contingency clause that postpones their sale until the buyer’s home sells. Setting the right price for your home and having a customized marketing plan are your best bets for bringing about a quick sale.

2. Find Out What You Can Afford

{short description of image} While your house is on the market, look at what’s available to buy within your price range in your destination area. Your perfect house is out there, but take as much time as you can to find it. It’s not just the house you’ll have to live with — you’ll want to find out about the neighborhood, the schools, proximity to shopping, etc. before you commit to your next home.

3. Shop For A Loan Before You Shop For A House

Try to lock in the best rate you can find. Get pre-approved for financing so you have more bargaining power when you bid on a house. With a pre-approved loan, you’ll be able to go to closing on your new house faster.

4. Coordinate Settlements And Moving Dates

Try to move directly from the old home to the new one. Sometimes you can rent back the old property for a few days or weeks if closing on the new one is delayed. Another alternative is an interim move to an apartment for a short time while waiting to close on the new house.

5. Begin Fix-Ups And Pre-Sale Improvements Early

Have any needed work completed before your house goes on the market. Consider having a home inspection early in the fix-up process so you know what’s important to repair or replace before you set the sales price for your house.

6. Work Closely With Your Agent

Make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed on time for both closings. You may save time and money for the buyer of your old home with lower “re-issue” fees by referring them to the previous providers of inspections, surveys, title insurance, etc. The information is in your settlement papers. And, if it’s a busy season, line up appointments in advance with the people you’ll need to close on your new house.

7. Avoid The Last-Minute Rush

Call us early. We’ll gather information and provide it to you quickly so you can make informed decisions and workable plans.  910-202-3607 or bakerwayneassociates@ec.rr.com

Second Ever Surfalorus Film Festival July 18 – 20, 2013 | Wilmington NC real estate

Surf, Surf, Surf…..

From the makers of the GREAT Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington NC, join them in the Second ever Surfalorus Film Festival starting July 19 – July 20 in various venues around town.  The surf films viewed are local as well as classics.  From their website:

 Second Ever Surfalorus Film Festival
After eleven years of showcasing the tastiest surf flicks at the November festival, Cucalorians are now throwing up a summer festival just for surfers. The Surfalorus Film Festival will feature local films created by filmmakers of all levels as well as classic surf films,  Waverider by Karl Lear at Carolina Beach on the 18th
The schedule of top-notch films will includeJeremy Johnston x Electric  by Ben Capron
The 2nd annual Surfalorus Film Festival hits screens this summer with the hottest new surf films and docs about coastal issues. Surfers, nature lovers, water weirdos, and fans of good film will enjoy three days of outdoor screenings in Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach and  Downtown Wilmington – bringing people from Southeastern North Carolina together to celebrate and discover great surf films. The three-day event will be held July 18-20 and will include an outdoor board expo and shaper show – a live display from area board artists. A free, outdoor screening will be held each night of the festival with live music and cold beer.
“My favorite part about Surfalorus will be seeing the tribe gather around to watch a surf film,” said Hanner, “This is an opportunity to catch up with people that you may only see in the water.”
Weekend pass is $40.00  
Surfalorus Film Festival – Schedule of events:

Thursday – Carolina Beach

Kick Off Screening @ Ocean Grill + Tiki Bar – Free Event!

6:30p- Traveler’s Trio

9:00p- Fireworks on the Beach!

9:30p- No Directions by Julian Martin (2mins) + Waverider by Karl Lear (62mins)

Friday- Wrightsville Beach

Screenings @Red Dogs – $10 admission per Screening

10:00am-  H2IndO by Brent Deal (76mins)

12:00pm-  Dust. Resin. Water.  By Troy Cryder (51mins)

1:30pm-  Shored Up by Ben Kalina (83mins)

3:30pm- Isolated by Justin LePera (92mins)

6:00pm- Bikini Bottom Shorts Film Block (75 mins)

    • Sine Qua Non by Richard Yelland (24mins)
    • The Lazy Surfer by Connor Buss (2mins)
    • Lunch Break by Clare Plueckhahn (5mins)
    • Runman’s Grom by Ray Kleiman (7mins)
    • By the Way by Hayley Gordon (15mins)
    • North by Mikey Detemple (8mins)
    • Beyond the Drop by Mark Anders (7mins)
    • Jeremy Johnston x Electric  by Ben Capron (2mins)
    • Excitation by Rene Laudi (10 mins) 

Showcase Film @ Jengo’s – Free Event!

8:00pm – Doors open – come on in and socialize

9:00pm – Live music from…

10:00pm – by Keith Ketchum (4mins) + The HEART and The SEA by Nathan Oldfield (85 mins)

Saturday

Board & Beach Expo  10am- 4pm @ Tidal Creek Co-op – Free Event

    • Surfer’s Yoga by Wilmington Yoga Center (10am)
    • Green Room Live Shaper Show – See area board shapers and artists in action
    • Water Slide for kids of all ages – All Day
    • Food and Drink by Tidal Creek
    • NC Microbrews Samples and Sales + local Kombucha
    • James Bain Cooking Workshop
    • Live Music- The Clams and The Meteor Men

Evening Sessions @ Jengo’s Playhouse 

5:00pm- Manufacturing Stoke by Pierce Michael (80mins) – $10 Admission

7:00pm- Jeff Divine Workshop – $15 Admission

9:00pm- Baggie Shorts Film Block (71mins) – $10 Admission

    • Remind Me To Forget by Jeremy Asher Lynch (35mins)
    • Another Session by Scooter Hayes (6mins)
    • River Run by Dirk Brandt (8mins)
    • Party Mix by Hayley Gordon (13mins)
    • Boxing Day in Byron Bay by Stephan Kleinlein (6mins)
    • Mason Test by Logan Beam (3mins)
    • Welcome to ILM by Do Good Real Estate (3mins)
    • Meanwhile by James Throssel (5mins)

11:00pm-  Surfalorus Night Cap – $5 Admission

    • Celluloid Surf Classics: Runmans 69


For the rest of the venue please visit website here…

If you see a house for sale that you like, look it up on your phone at mobile.cbbaker.com or online http://www.cbbaker.com

Wilmington NC real estate full service website.

USDA 100% Financing in Wilmington NC | Real Estate

Current list of homes in Wilmington NC here.

There is still USDA 100% financing money available on certain homes in the area. This is a possible Scenario –

$100000.00 Purchase Price

2% Guarantee Fee ($2000.00) added to the purchase price equals a financed amount of $102000.00

If the interest rate were 3.875% (APR 4.12%) the principal and interest would be $479.64

***then add the monthly amount of .03% which in this example would be $30.60***

The payment is $510.24 before taxes and insurance

Click Here for a partial list of USDA homes in New Hanover County –

USDA is still an amazing loan and this monthly fee should not discourage buyers from using this program because this is most often the most economical way to purchase a home.

Kristina McLeod

New American Mortgage

USDA Quick Guidelines

· 100% Financing on a low 30 year fixed rate
· No PMI
· 2% Guarantee Fee (Ex. Purchase price $100000.00 +2%=$102000.00)
· Monthly .03% USDA fee (Ex. $100000.00 at .03% =$30.60 per month)
· Borrower cannot own any other properties.
· 640 credit score minimum
· Up to 6% seller concession allowed
· Borrower must meet income restrictions per county. Use $73050.00 for New Hanover and Brunswick. If your income is close to that figure don’t assume they don’t qualify. There are a few exceptions to the rule.
· Try to avoid in ground swimming pools. These can be done on a case by case basis.
· Home must be located in a certain area. http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do
This is the place to look to see if the property is eligible. As a general rule, in New Hanover County you would look north of Gordon Rd. and South of Monkey Junction. Almost all of Brunswick county is USDA eligible.To search all homes in Wilmington NC please visit http://www.cbbaker.com

For a quick list of some of the USDA homes in the area – let us know your wants in a home and neighborhood and we can email you a list of available homes asap.

Wilmington NC Arts Council – Awesome New Website | Free sign up for artists

http://www.wilmingtonnc-realestate.com

Arts Council Of Wilmington

The Arts Community has been waiting for their new website and it has launched.  Take a look.
artscouncilofwilmington.org

There is an incredible pool of talent in the Wilmington Area.  Now there is an opportunity to find it in one place.  You can get a free membership here. http://artscouncilofwilmington.org/members/
Add your event to the calendar and have a place to showcase your work.  Information about 4th Friday Gallery tours, Pedestrian Art locations, Art Directory, and Opportunities are on the site as well.
Well done, Arts Coucil!

Home Inspection Coming Up? Smart Strategies to Make It Work For You.

www.wilmingtonnc-realestate.com

www.cbbaker.com
Smart Strategies To Make A Wilmingtno NC Home Inspection Work For You

Whether you’re buying or selling a home (or both), pay special attention to how a home inspection can serve your interests. A professional home inspection protects both buyers and sellers from legal action sparked by problems found after a home is sold.Buyers have long been advised to include a home inspection contingency in their purchase offers. The cost–$300 or so–is well worth the information it buys, protecting the purchaser from costly surprises later on. In fact, many homes harbor problems their owners aren’t even aware of until a professional inspector points them out. (That’s why some savvy sellers have been getting their homes inspected before putting them on the market.)

Inspection Contingencies

A sales contract may include one of two types of inspection contingencies:

  1. A “general contingency” inspection clause stipulates that the contract is contingent on the buyer conducting a “satisfactory” professional home inspection. The contingency specifies a certain number of days for the buyer to conduct the inspection and report back to the seller, and allows the seller time to respond to the inspector’s findings.With a general contingency clause, if the buyer dislikes anything in the inspection results and chooses not to go forward with the transaction, the contract is null and void. Obviously, this type of contingency favors the buyer.
  2. A “specific contingency” spells out particular criteria that must be met before the buyer can back out, e.g., the owner’s failure to fix a problem identified by the inspection. The buyer can’t just walk away for any reason. Although not ideal for buyers, this type of contingency offers more protection than no home inspection clause at all.

Checking It Out

The most reputable home inspectors are members of The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and are bonded, licensed and insured.

What do these professionals look at? ASHI Standards of Practice require that an inspection evaluate the following:

  • Structural Components
  • Exterior
  • Roofing o Central Air Conditioning
  • Heating
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Insulation and Ventilation
  • Interiors

It’s equally important to understand what a professional inspector is not supposed to do.

An inspector can’t tell you everything you want to know about a house. Remember, inspectors are generalists who have a fair amount of information about all home systems but usually are not experts on any of them.

Professional inspectors are not supposed to fix problems they find. How much would you trust someone if you knew they were looking for a repair job while searching for defects in the home? If a major problem is found, ask a reputable contractor how much it would cost to repair or replace it.

Don’t expect the inspection report to include the condition of every single nail, electrical wire or piece of plumbing. Inspectors check out the overall systems, not all the joints and nail pops (unless they are visible).

Inspectors can’t give you the reason for the defects they find. Their job is to find defects, not to explain them.

Don’t expect a listing of cosmetic concerns–that’s the buyer’s job.

The inspector has no way of telling how long a system will last and shouldn’t volunteer an opinion about it. The inspection is not intended to be a guarantee of future performance.

Non-Contingent Inspections

As many real estate markets in the nation have heated up, buyers have increasingly been making purchase offers without including a home-inspection contingency. In an active market, this strategy can help make your offer more attractive to a seller, even though it puts you at risk for purchasing a home with problems that could be expensive to correct.

If you’re considering foregoing the home-inspection contingency, think seriously about having the home inspected anyway. Finding out ahead of time what you’ll need to fix will help you budget more realistically for your home purchase. For example, you may want to make a smaller down payment so you’ll have the cash you need for repairs.

Another reason to order a non-contingent inspection is if you’re thinking about purchasing a home warranty. These warranties can afford you some protection in case a system in your home malfunctions, but they will not cover “pre-existing defects.” If something does go wrong later, your home inspection report can help you prove to the warranty provider that the problem did not exist when you purchased the home.

Seller Benefits

Especially in slow markets, sellers do well to order home inspections (and make needed repairs) before putting their homes on the market. Being able to show that your home has a clean bill of health can encourage purchase offers from skittish buyers and speed your contract settlement.

Even if you’re selling in a seller’s market, you may want to accept a contract with an inspection contingency or have your home pre-inspected. Letting buyers know about defects you don’t intend to correct will help provide protection against legal action later. More and more buyers have been filing after-purchase lawsuits against home sellers for major defects found in homes that were not inspected before settlement. Whether such lawsuits are successful or not, they represent a real hassle for sellers.

Give us a call if you have any questions about ordering professional home inspections. We would be happy to provide you with a list of reputable inspectors in the area.

Find a Wilmington NC Fix Up Home That Pays | Real Estate

“There’s a big difference between a

‘handyman’s special’ and a ‘money

pit.’”


Well-located Wilmington NC homes in need of tender loving care can be a terrific value. If you’re interested in building “sweat equity” fixing up a home, hire a professional inspector to ensure the home won’t cost you a fortune to refurbish.

A worthy handyman’s special will be structurally sound with all major systems in good working order–heating/cooling, plumbing, electrical, roof. Those are the most costly items to repair or replace. Your time and effort will be better spent painting, making minor repairs, adding or replacing fixtures, sprucing up the landscaping, and accomplishing other low-cost fix-ups.

TIRE KICKING

Our online report, TIRE KICKING: Secret Tests To Check A Property’s Condition, offers valuable tips for selecting a sound home. Read it, with absolutely no obligation. And be sure to give us a call to find out what’s on the market that meets your requirements.