TWO-MINUTE DRILL: Timely Tips For Short Notice Home Showings

It’s a seller’s worst nightmare…the sink is full of dishes, the baby is crying — and an agent calls: “We’ll be there in two minutes. I have the perfect buyer for your house.” Before that overwhelming feeling of panic sets in, don’t despair! Here’s a quick roundup of easy pick-up tips to get your house in show-time shape in minutes.

Have A Game Plan

  • Assign responsibility for each room to a family member.
    When the “last-minute dash” starts, each person knows which room to straighten.
  • Plan your get-away.
    Know where you’ll go when you vacate the house for show time. Take the kids to the library, park, playground or to visit friends. Do your grocery shopping, pick up the dry cleaning or run other errands.

Whole-House Strategies

  • Perk up your carpets.
    Eliminate stray crumbs and dirt with a quick pick-up by a hand-held vacuum.
  • Turn on the lights.
    Light up dark corners and hallways. Even on sunny days, rooms show better when brightly lighted.
  • Open curtains and blinds.
    Let in as much natural light and good views as possible.

Kitchen Quickies

  • Use paper plates.
    A lot of people house hunt on their way home from work — at dinner time. Eat on, then toss, paper plates to avoid unsightly dirty dishes and speed clean-up time.
  • Put dinner in cold storage.
    If you’re caught with dinner on the table, shove the plates into the refrigerator. Re-heat in the microwave when prospects have gone.
  • Simmer some spices.
    Prepare a pot of cloves, cinnamon sticks and water. With only minutes to spare, bring your spices to a rapid boil, turn back immediately to simmer and your home will have a warm, inviting smell.
  • Try microwaving instead of baking.
    Keep your oven free of spatters by switching to microwave dinners.
  • Drain dishes in the dishwasher.
    Air-dry hand-washed dishes in the upper rack of the dishwasher to keep the sink and counter clutter-free.
  • Add sparkle and shine with spray cleaners.
    Wipe out cooking spills with a quick squirt of a grease-cutting spray cleaner and rub with a paper towel.

Laundry Disguises

  • Use the washer as a hideout.
    Put your dirty clothes in the washer until you have time to launder. Same goes for clean clothes that you don’t have time to fold — let them sit in the dryer instead of in a messy pile.
  • Try a laundry-basket disguise.
    If you have more laundry than you know what to do with, drop it in a basket, fold two large bath towels and place on top, and presto — laundry goes from messy to neat.

“Junk” Catchers?

  • Use under-bed storage boxes.
    For last-minute pick-ups, under-bed boxes are great catch-alls for toys, books, dirty socks, etc.
  • Have a bail-out box.
    Eliminate a frantic search for keys, wallet, dog’s leash and shoes when you are leaving to let the agent show the house. Keep a small box with pertinent items stashed in a handy place such as the coat-closet floor.

Make A Final Check?

Run through the home room by room, from top to bottom, to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

These are just a few of the ways to make your home sparkle and shine in a matter of minutes. If you are considering selling and would like more ideas on how to make your home show in its best possible light, please give us a call!

PICK A WINNER! Select The Best Home Today For The Life You Dream About Tomorrow | Wilmington NC real estate

It wasn’t so long ago that most people visualized the “American Dream” as ownership of a single-family home. Today, home buyers have — and appreciate — more options for meeting their lifestyle preferences and budgets, including townhomes, condos and co-ops.

Lifestyle preferences and income tend to change as people journey through the different life stages. To research Wilmington NC real estate and to look at different lifestyles please visit or take us with you


  • The housing needs of singles quickly change with marriage and children. Small families often outgrow their starter homes, and can afford to “move up” as more babies arrive and kids grow older.
  • Couples who’ve sent their last grown child into the world may start thinking about whether their suburban home with yard is still the ideal setting for how they want to spend their time.
  • As people approach or reach their later years, they may focus more on how easy it is to live and move about in a home.


If you’re in one of those transition periods of life, take some time to consider how your time, needs and budget might be better served by a change in housing type. Selling your current home and buying a more suitable one (or your first one!) could improve your quality of life on a daily basis. Your timing could be perfect today, as mortgage rates are oh-so-low and there’s plenty of housing inventory to choose from.


Here are some things to consider about the various housing options available to today’s homeowners. And they’re all available new or as resales.


Single-Family Homes. Available in many styles, sizes and price ranges, single-family detached homes are the traditional preference of most home buyers.


  • Homeowners are responsible for all costs associated with the home and the property it sits on, including maintenance, repairs, property taxes, utilities, upgrades, etc.
  • Many newer single-family developments come with features formerly associated with townhome, condo and co-op communities. “Common interest subdivisions” and “planned unit developments” have homeowner’s associations — to which homeowners pay dues — that maintain common grounds and recreational facilities and often place certain restrictions on homeowners’ properties.
  • Detached homes offer a greater sense of independence and privacy than other multi-unit options.
  • In recent years, the size of yards associated with detached homes has shrunk — so small that some are known as patio homes. Smaller yard, less work!


Townhomes. Townhome communities typically consist of multi-story row houses (though they can be single story), attached by at least one common wall.


  • They allow individual ownership of the unit and the land it sits on.
  • Owners are responsible for paying utilities and maintaining the interior and exterior of their unit along with the owned area around it.
  • The homeowner’s association, to which homeowners pay dues, maintains common grounds and may provide other services such as trash removal.


Condominiums. “Condos” can come in a variety of forms — high-rise units, attached units, duplexes, even detached homes. The key difference is how they are owned.


  • Condo owners buy the right to live in their unit — they buy the “airspace” so to speak — along with an undivided interest in the surrounding structure/s, common areas and facilities, which are owned together by everyone with an ownership stake in the complex.
  • Typically, the condo owner is responsible for maintaining the interior of his or her unit, while the condo owner’s association is responsible for maintaining the exterior, as well as any grounds and common areas.
  • Owners pay a monthly assessment, sometimes higher than for a comparable townhome, to the owner’s association.
  • Owners may pay some or all utilities, while many services, such as trash removal, lawn maintenance, etc., are often provided by the association.


Co-operatives. “Co-ops” are actually corporations that own housing units, typically in multi-story buildings, but sometimes in other forms.


  • Buyers of co-ops purchase shares in the corporation, which allows the buyer the right to occupy (by lease) a particular unit.
  • The number of shares the buyer purchases determines the monthly amount that is paid in “rent” — the more shares, the lower the monthly rent per share.
  • Because the co-op buyer does not “own” the property, the unit usually cannot be used as collateral to secure a mortgage loan, and buyers work with lenders that specialize in co-op financing.
  • Co-op buyers may need a substantial down payment (say, 20% to 30%) to purchase the shares that give them the right to live in the co-op property.


Take your pick. Generally, single-family detached homes tend to be more expensive than townhomes, condos and co-ops, in that order. However, “luxury” non-traditional homes can certainly cost more per square foot.


Message us to find out how we can help finance your next home — whatever you decide is perfect for you.

All about Wilmington NC real estate.


Feel the Love | Wilmington Gives Back | Wilmington NC real estate

Nonprofits, Service Providers, Advertisers, Community Volunteers – Wilmington Gives Back.

The summer has picked up speed this year.  We can’t believe it is almost the end of July. We hope that you have enjoyed our beautiful beaches, waterways and the Historic Downtown Wilmington.  If you feel like you need to do something more and different, please consider giving you time and energy to Wilmington Gives Back.  There is something for everyone.  Even 1 hour will be appreciated.  There are NonProfits, Service Provider even Events that would love to have your talents.

These are just “some” of the Nonprofits looking for volunteers or help.

Nonprofit Search Results

Adopt An Angel

Description: Adopt an ANGEL is a 501c3 charitable organization based in New Hanover County, North Carolina. We were founded in January of 2004 by compassionate volunteers who wanted to increase adoptions at New…

Headquarters: P.O. Box 15095 , Wilmington, NC 28408

Agnita M Stine Schreiber Foundation, Inc

Description: A private family foundation…

Headquarters: 1004 Butler National Lane , Wilmington, NC 28411

Airlie Gardens

Description: Established in 1901, Airlie Gardens is a valuable cultural and ecological component of New Hanover County and North Carolina history. In 1999, a grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the c…

Headquarters: 300 Airlie Rd , Wilmington, NC 28403

American Cancer Society

Description: The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and dimin…

Headquarters: 2202 Wrightsville Ave, Suite 111 , Wilmington, NC 28403

American Heart Association

Description: The mission of the American Heart Association is to build healthier lives by eliminating heart disease and stroke through education, community advocacy and medical research….

Headquarters: Cape Fear Chapter , Wilmington, NC

American Legion of Carolina Beach

Description: The American Legion has a venue at Carolina Beach. They offer a monthly Fish Fry that includes Fried Fish, hushpuppies, cole slaw, potato salad, corn and ice tea. The Ladies of the Auxillary sell de…

Headquarters: Post 129 1500 Old Dow Road, Carolina Beach, NC 28428-3975

American Red Cross – Cape Fear Chapter

Description: The Cape Fear Chapter was founded on November 10, 1908 as the Wilmington Chapter of the American Red Cross. The Chapter celebrated its 100th anniversary in November 10, 2008 and is the oldest est…

Headquarters: 1102 S 16th St , Wilmington, NC 28401

AMEZ Housing Community Development Corporation

Description: To provide decent affordable housing to low to moderate income households through programs of housing and human development. Programs include but are not limited to pre and post homeownership educat…

Headquarters: , Wilmington, NC

Arab Shrine Club

Description: The local branch of the “Shriners.”…

Headquarters: 4510 S College Rd , Wilmington, NC 28412

Arthritis Foundation

Description: To improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis….

Headquarters: , Raleigh, NC

Assistance League of Greater Wilmington

Description: Assistance League® is an all volunteer national nonprofit organization with 122 chapters and guilds that puts caring and commitment into action through community-based philanthropic programs.  W…

Headquarters: 1319-CC Military Cutoff Rd, PMB 155 , Wilmington, NC 28405

Association of Fundraising Professionals

Description: AFP is the professional association for non-profit development officers. It advocates for high ethical standards and broad community involvement. It meets monthly….

Headquarters: PO Box , Wilmington, NC 28401

Bellamy Mansion Museum

Description: The Bellamy Mansion is one of North Carolina’s most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture built on the eve of the Civil War by free and enslaved black artisants. Now the house is a museum…

Headquarters: 503 Market St. , Wilmington, NC 28401

Big Dawg Productions

Description: Big Dawg’s mission is to present quality theatrical productions to enhance the cultural life of southeastern North Carolina, with an emphasis on education through classes, workshops and our New Play F…

Headquarters: Castle St , Wilmington, NC 28401

Black Arts Alliance

Description: As a multidisciplinary vehicle for the advancement of African-American arts and culture, the Black Arts Alliance serves as an advocate for arts and artists, nurtures emerging and veteran artistic tale…

Headquarters: 801 N 4th St, Suite 304 , Wilmington, NC 28401

Boy Scouts of America Cape Fear Chapter

Description: The Cape Fear Council of the Boy Scouts of America also operates Camp Bowers….

Headquarters: 110 Longstreet Dr , Wilmington, NC 28412

Brigade Boys & Girls Club

Description: Founded in 1896, the Brigade Boys & Girls Club serves over 1,500 youth at our sites across New Hanover and Pender counties. The Club offers quality after-school and summer programs in a safe, positiv…

Headquarters: 2759 Vance St , Wilmington, NC 28412

Bruce Barclay Cameron Foundation, Inc.

Description: A Foundation…

Headquarters: P.O. Box 3649 , Wilmington, NC 28406

Cameron Art Museum

Description: The Louise Cameron Art Museum was founded and moved from downtown into a modern building close to the Battle of WIlmington…

Headquarters: 3201 S 17th St , Wilmington, NC 28412

This is our community and if you have even 1 hour to give to help people “Feel the Love of Wilmington NC” then please visit and get started.  You will reap more than you sow.

NC Budget State Crunch 2011 | Wilmington NC real estate

The Recommended Adjustments to the 2010 – 2011 budget for North Carolina was released yesterday by Gov.  Beverly Perdue.  “Gov. Perdue’s proposed budget prepares North Carolina to take off as the economy improves by recommending strategic investments in four priority areas:

  1. creating jobs,
  2. ensuring every student graduates high school prepared for success,
  3. setting government straight and
  4. building safer and healthier communities.

These investments will bolster our state’s recovery and help ensure North Carolina emerges from this recession as the best place in the world to live and work.”    For the entire 2010 – 2011 budget recommendations read more here…  Gov. Perdue has stressed that painful cuts  will have to be made in matters of the state, but that she would like to spare laying off any teachers or teacher assistants.  There would be accountability on the part of the teachers though, or decisions would have to be made about replacements.  To see the fact sheets for some of the items listed in the budget read more here… 

Searching for real estate in the Wilmington NC area?  Visit

Want a Great Short Sale Opportunity Only $165,000 | Wilmington NC Real Estate

Wilmington NC Real Estate, Wilmington NC Homes, Wrightsville Beach Homes.

This is it!  Fantastic price and floor plan.  Custom paint mural.


Very nice 1300+ SqFt, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 2-car garage on a cul-de-sac. All one level with a detached one-car garage or great wired work shop. Home is a short sale. Large fenced back yard. Minutes to Carolina Beach and downtown Wilmington NC, Park and State ports. Fireplace and some upgrades. Large owners bath. Must see this one.
Visit website Wilmington NC real estate

Safe to Buy a House Again? | Wilmington NC real estate

Why it’s safe to buy homes again – 1 – investing strategy – MSN Money.

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The American Dream seems to have been disrupted the last couple of years.  According to a survey by Fannie May, that despite what the housing market has gone through most aspire to be homeowners.  It is right to be skeptical about purchasing a home in Wilmington NC or anywhere, but if you do your homework and get the help of an experienced Realtor and Mortgage Broker, the dream of homeownership can still be accomplished. 

Study the market, and the mortgage rates to make a wise decision.  MSN published the following on why it is a good time to buy:

“Why it’s time to buy

Basically, the bull’s case as outlined by Ackman can be boiled down to a few simple bullet points:

  • Home prices are at their lowest valuation in at least a generation.
  • A large number of forced sellers gives buyers negotiating power.
  • Attractive, low-rate financing.
  • Still favorable long-term supply dynamics as the U.S. has one of the best demographic outlooks in the developed world.
  • Housing is an out-of-consensus idea that is under-owned by institutional investors.

The most important factor is affordability” in Wilmington NC real estate

Knowledge and Experience makes the difference.  Let Kay Baker & Associates help you.

Search all Wilmington NC real estate on or

Happy House Hunting…..

The Worlds Largest Christmas Tree | Wilmington NC real estate

Wilmington NC Worlds Largest Christmas Tree | Star News Photo

The Worlds Largest Christmas tree lighting ceremony which has been held every year since 1928 (except the one year during World War II), unfortunately will not be held this year. The tree will be lit, but there will not be a ceremony and access to the tree will be limited. The age and health of the tree has been a concern in prior years. The City of Wilmington is doing renovations at the Sweeney plant next to the tree, and these are safety concerns as well. To upgrade and accommodate changes to make the area around the tree safe is not in the City budget.

So, we will have to view the tree from afar, and visit the new tree and Santa’s house on the downtown Wilmington NC riverfront. This new tree will be lit at 5:45 – Friday November 26, 2010 at 5:45 Riverfront Park. Maybe next year tree will make another grand appearance. Until then, we can still say Wilmington NC has the “Worlds Largest Christmas tree” but with a quiet ceremony. On a quick note, the Department of Parks and Recreation would like to bring the tree back to life with fertilizers, frequent trimmings and taking the metal poles down surrounding the tree. The department did wonders in bring back the beloved “Airlie Oak” in Airlie Gardens. We would love to see that happen.!

If you are in town and want to search Wilmington NC real estate – visit

The BIG question…Will Rates Go Lower? Wilmington NC Real Estate

Kay Baker Wilmington NC Real Estate | Wilmington New Homes Search | Covering Wilmington, Brunswick County and Pender County | Will Rates Go Lower?.

Everyone is asking are the rates going to go lower.  With the Federal Reserve buying Mortgage Backed Securities this week, and the job report, who knows?  Chris Hutchens of Alpha Mortgage in Wilmington NC does.  Broken down in an understandable format for us… read more here…

For mortgage rates and Wilmington NC real estate visit

How Much is My Wilmington, NC Home Worth | Wilmington NC real estate

How Much is My Wilmington, NC Home Worth.

How much is my home worth in the Wilmington area?

Get a free valuation online!

If you are thinking of selling your home for Top Dollar, you will need to know what your home is worth before the sign goes up.
We can email you a thorough net price analysis with absolutely no cost or obligation to you. Simply complete our brief questionaire.

It’s that quick and easy. don’t delay, get your’s today.

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Georgetowne Living Finest Wilmington NC Real Estate

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Wilmington NC Real Estate, Wilmington NC Homes, Wrightsville Beach Homes.

Georgetowne, one of Wilmington NC real estates finest neighborhoods.  Awesome home in gorgeous Georgetowne. An absolutely perfect floor plan for entertaining or spacious family living. Freshly painted and shows great. Gleaming hardwood floors. Two story foyer, French doors, archways and columns welcome you into the next living areas. Vaulted living room boasts corner fireplace hearth. Wonderful master suite with trey ceiling. Tiled soaking tub and separate shower.

See more here.

Priced to sell and shows great. Search online at anytime!