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.

 

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.

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.

Moving? Steps to save money….

www.cbbaker.com 

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.

Last Chance for White Pants Gala | benefit Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter

Great fun and for a good cause.

From the Hospice website.

August 30, 2013
7 p.m. – midnight
Hilton Wilmington Riverside
Poolside Patio and Grand Ballroom

Tickets are $100 and include, live music by motown, funk,
soul and hip-hop band, Mo’ Sol, heavy hors d’oeuvres,
beer and wine, and silent and live auctions.

To purchase tickets click here or call the
event hotline at 910.796.8099 ext. 6.

Guest packages and sponsorships start at only $500
and include a guest room for two at the Hilton!

Start Bidding Now!
The Last Chance for White Pants online auction has officially launched! Start placing your real-time bids on bucket list items and packages, including concert tickets, a stand-up paddleboard, Fifty Shades of Grey-themed adventures and an African safari! You do not have to be present to win and all proceeds support Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter! To browse auction items and place your bids, please visit https://www.501auctions.com/lcfh/.

We are excited about this year’s band…take a listen!

 

Thank you to our 2013 sponsors!

 

http://www.cbbaker.com

How To Look For The Most Affordable Mortgage | #Wilmington NC real estate

http://www.WilmingtonNC-RealEstate.com

 

With lenders quoting a wide variety of interest rates and points, smart mortgage shoppers take a close look when comparing borrowing costs. Sometimes it turns out that the lowest interest rate isn’t necessarily the best buy. Here are some tips: Loupe

  • Compare borrowing costs.
      The simplest way to compare borrowing costs is to ask the lender for the actual annual percentage rate (APR) – the true interest on the loan. The APR consists of the simple interest rate, plus all other charges imposed by the lender. It’s not at all unusual for the APR to be substantially higher than the rate quoted by the lender. What’s more, a simple rate quoted by one lender, although higher than another lender’s advertised simple interest rate, may turn out to have the lower APR.
  • Count the points.
      For the shopper who wants to take into account the cost of points (each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount), an simplified rule of thumb comes in handy: Each point is roughly equal to an interest rate increase of 1/8 of 1% over a payback period of 30 years. Thus, a lender offering a 10% rate with no extra points is offering a better deal than the lender offering, say, a loan at 9 7/8% plus two points. Which is best for you depends on how long you plan to live in the house.

Please call or e-mail us today. We can help you get through all the steps of home buying and selling with the least amount of confusion possible.  Search All Wilmington NC real estate on http://www.cbbaker.com

BIG Remodeling Pays Off Better…. to a point| Wilmington NC real estate

www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

 

It shouldn’t be a surprise that some Wilmington NC remodeling projects increase a home’s value. What’s news is that homeowners who spend the most on remodeling get a higher rate of return on their investment, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.Rates Of Return
Results of the Center’s recent study indicate that projects costing 20% or more of the home’s initial value yielded an average home price appreciation of 23%. Homeowners who spent 10% to 20% of their home’s value on remodeling saw a more modest price increase of 12%. Spending 5% to 10% of home value achieved a 7.5% price increase, an outlay of 2% to 5% earned a 6% increase, and spending 2% or less on remodeling improved home prices by 2.5%.

Tapping Equity
The remodeling industry has been booming for several years, fueled by steady home price appreciation in many areas of the country. As home values have increased, homeowners have been tapping their equity to finance remodeling projects, which in turn have further increased their homes’ values. In addition, home improvements have promised a better return in recent years than many other investment options.

Major Improvements
Larger projects–such as room additions and kitchen makeovers undertaken by upper-income homeowners–have helped push the remodeling industry to a record of more than $135 billion spent in 2002. Established baby boomers are choosing to remodel rather than move away from friends, relatives and work venues. Immigrants and 20-somethings have been taking advantage of low mortgage rates to buy starter homes, then improve them according to their tastes and needs.

Caution Advised
If you are tempted to spend a lot improving your home in order to get the best return, be careful not to “over-improve.” Real estate experts advise that the return on your remodeling investment is likely to be lower if your remodeled home exceeds the value of comparable properties in the area by more than 20%. (Give us a call to find out what your home would be worth after remodeling.)

Done well and wisely, your remodeling project could result in a more comfortable home to live in and a nice financial return when you sell. If, however, your remodeling project will take the value of your home well beyond that of neighborhood homes, you might be better off selling your current home and buying a new one with the amenities you want.