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

http://www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

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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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.

Cucalorus 19 Film Festival| November 13-17 | Wilmington NC

Cucalorus Annual Film Festival Starts Tonight  November 13 – 17

There are some great films being offered, something for everyone.  For a full list visit http://www.cucalorus.org/filmlist.asp

cucalorus

welcome to cucalorus.
is it a film festival? well, not really
it’s a gathering, a congregation of creatives
an ensemble of artmakers
energy sources, swamp surfers
rolling down the cape fear river

Get your tickets and passes online http://www.cucalorus.org/tickets.asp or at the TicketBox. The TicketBox, your top top spot for festival info, is located in the Thalian Ballroom, at 310 Chestnut Street.

For schedule visit – http://www.cucalorus.org/calendar.asp

http://www.cucalorus.org/

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.

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

www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com


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

www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

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.

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.