10 Tips Smart Wilmington NC Condominium Shoppers Should Consider

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There may be no such thing as a perfect condominium, but you can probably come close to your ideal. With the help of an experienced real estate agent, you can check out the following criteria to locate the right condo at an affordable price: For Sale Sign

Look at common areas:

  1. A condo situated in a neighborhood on the upswing, not the downslide; convenient to shopping, cultural and recreational facilities and good schools. (Even if you have no children, you may someday have a potential buyer who does.)
  2. Ample parking areas, as invisible as possible – especially from the front entrance.
  3. Whether high-rise or two-story, a structure that is sound and attractive.
  4. All public and private entrances equipped with double-lock systems. Electronic surveillance, where possible.
  5. Convenient and discretely placed laundry facilities, community rooms, saunas, locker rooms, game rooms, individual storage spaces and spots for trash.

Consider the private areas:

  1. Well-placed air-conditioning and heating units.
  2. Soundproofed walls, ceiling and floors.
  3. Well-padded, good-quality carpeting.
  4. First-rate kitchen and bathroom appliances and facilities.
  5. A kitchen equipped with an exhaust fan for cooking fumes.

If you’re thinking of looking at condominiums, e-mail us or give us a call. We’ll be glad to help show you what’s available in our area.

Categories: Buying a Condo, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC homes

MILLENIALS ON THE MOVE | Starter Homes, No Longer Your Parents’ Boomerang Basement

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Wilmington NC real estate

Millennials are broadly defined as the generation born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. With Millennials born in 1980 turning 35 in 2015, many from the older end of this peer group are looking to buy homes and are NOT looking to continue renting or living in their parents’ home.

Actively saving. Twenty- and thirty-somethings who are serious about moving out are working hard to save up to buy property. Parents and grandparents, if in a position to give money, can help these Millennials achieve their real estate goals by giving up to $14,000 per year per individual tax-free.

Understand the value of homeownership.Millennials who are recently married, in a committed relationship or starting families are eager to have their own space. Starter homes are in demand for these groups who want to become part of the community and set down roots.

Why pay rent when I can own? Savvy young adults realize that everyone needs a place to live and it makes more financial sense to pay off your own mortgage than help pay your landlord’s.

Financing strong. The outlook for Millennials is positive as interest rates remain historically low and housing selection is generally wide. Loosening down-payment and mortgage insurance lending standards are opening more doors to homeownership for this group as well.

Competition. First-time homebuyers still are plagued by competition from investors who use all cash to scoop up desirable bargain properties. Working with a real estate pro, like us, can help buyers gain the upper hand.

Expectations. Too many buyers have unrealistic expectations for their first homes. First-time homebuyers need to realize they often will not be able to buy the type of home that their parents currently own. Many first homes need a bit of elbow grease to make them a showcase property.

Photo by imagerymajestic | freedigitalphotos

Categories: Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, Wilmington NC real estate stats 2014

#things to do wilmington nc

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TGIF Scoop

   presented by Kay Baker Associates

www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

  Hello and welcome to the Scoop

Timely Tips to save on energy costs.  Turn it down | Realize Cool Savings.  The hot months are coming and that means

electric bills that we do not want to see.  Here are a coulple of money saving tips to help.  Read rest of story here.


23rd Annual Greek Festival

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

http://www.stnicholasgreekfest.com/homemedia/flyer2015.pdf

May 15 & 16, 2015 11am-10pm May 17 11AM-7PM

Free Trolley from KMart

608 S. College Road

Love Letters

May 15, 2015 to May 16, 2015

7:30 PM

Thalian Hall

www.thalianhall.com


Pro Soccer: Wilmington Hammerheads vs. Rochester

May 16, 2015
7:00 PM

Legion Stadium


Kip Moore in Concert

May 15, 2015
6:30 PM

http://www.hukaentertainment.com/event/827921

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater


Carolina Beach Street Arts Festival

May 16, 2015
10:00 AM

Carolina Beach @ Cape Fear Blvd


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

May 15, 2015 to May 16, 2015
8:00 PM

May 17  3:00 PM

Cape Fear Playhouse

http://www.bigdawgproductions.org/

Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series

Shine

May 15, 2015
6:00 PM

Free trolley on 5335 Oleander Dr. next to Tidal Creek Co-op

Location:

Airlie Gardens


Dinner Theater: Raney

May 15, 2015 to May 16 2015
7:00 PM

Doors open at 6:00

http://www.theatrewilmington.com/

TheatreNOW


Port City Blues

When:

May 15, 2015
7:00 PM

Presented by the Wilmington Police Dept.

2 episodes 30 minutes each then meet & greet

Location:

Wilmington City Hall
102 North 3rd Street

http://www.portcityblues.com/


Box and Cox

Comedy

May 15, 2015 to May 16, 2015
7:30 PM

May 17  3:00 PM

Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater

Thalian Hall


 

Cats

May 14, 2015 to May 17, 2015

Presented by the Childrens Theater

Hannah Block 2nd Street Stage

Friday and Saturday:7pm

Saturday and Sunday: 3pm

$12


Rims on the River

When:

May 15, 2015 to May 16, 2015

Location:

Downtown Wilmington (Front Street)

Friday: Pre-Show Entertainment at Hell’s Kitchen (Madonna Nash), Duck & Dive (Fustics), and Ziggy’s by the Sea (The Apache Relay)

Saturday: Car Show runs from 11am to 5pm. After party at Ziggy’s by the Sea (208 Market Street) with Monkey Knife Fight, The Madd Hatters, and The Phantom Playboys

Sunday: Cruise Day

http://www.rimsontheriver.com/


Coppelia: A Romantic Comedy

City Ballet

May 15, 2015 to May 16, 2015

Friday: 1 and 7pm

Saturday: 10am

Thalian Hall


Roller Derby Doubleheader

May 16, 2015
5:30 PM

www.capefearrollergirls.com

Portion of proceeds dontated to Special Olympics

Schwartz Center


  Saturdays

8:00 AM- 1:00 PM

Water Street

~

Poplar Grove Plantation

Wednesday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM,

~

Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market

Saturdays
8:00 – 1:00 PM

 Carolina Beach Lake Park


Time to Laugh Again -

Sean Donnelly

May 15

May 16

Showtimes 8 & 10

Dead Crow Comedy Room

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE. 

http://deadcrowcomedy.com


   

      Wilmington NC  Night Spots

 Friday May 8

Hans Arkai Band – Teds

Rob Ronner – Oceanic

The Apache Relay – Ziggy’s

Saturday  May 9

Dawg Gone – Scottish Rite Temple

Tyler Mckaig – Goat and Compass

David Dixon – Palm Room

Sunday May 10

Overtyme –  Bluewater


Stuffed eggplants from Lesvos island

10-12 round eggplants

1 large onion, grated
3-4 eggs
250 grams grated regato cheese, or any other sweet cheese
1 bunch of parsley
1 fresh tomato, mashed
2 spoons sugar
Salt
Bechamel Sauce or hard tack for placing on top of each eggplant
Olive oil
Wash eggplants, score them in the middle and boil until soft. Strain them, let them cool and cut them a long side. Remove with the spoon the inner part of each eggplant and leave them only with their skin. Keep half of the inner part of the eggplant and whiz it in a blender to make a puree.
Boil in a saucepan the onion and when it softens pour some olive oil. Add the eggplant puree, parsley, tomato, sugar and salt. Stir well and remove from heat after a couple of minutes.
Beat the eggs and pour over the mixture. Add the cheese and stir the mixture well. With this mixture you should stuff each piece of eggplant.
When you stuff all the eggplants cover them with béchamel sauce or with hard tack.
Baste a baking pan with oil, place the eggplants into it and bake for 30 minutes in moderate temperature.

mobile.cbbaker.com

Categories: Uncategorized

Today’s Homes Are Built And Modified “Eco”nomically

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www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

As energy prices increase and the nation searches for cheaper renewable resources, the housing industry has been improving the way it builds and remodels homes. Today’s homes and building materials are more environmentally responsible than ever–conserving resources, using recycled materials and building for longevity.

The National Association of Home Builders reports the following “green” innovations. Be sure to look for them if you’re shopping for a new home or consider installing them if you’re remodeling or repairing a home you already own.

More-durable roof coverings

such as steel and fiber-cement

More and better insulation

in walls and attics, conserving energy, lowering utility bills and reducing pollution related to energy production

OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and laminated fiberboard

made from smaller younger trees, replacing plywood on roofs and board sheathing in walls, both made from larger, older trees

Greater use of carpet, sheet vinyl and laminates

rather than wood flooring that taxes lumber supplies

Foundation insulation

to reduce energy loss while providing more-comfortable floors

Insulated exterior doors and windows with insulating and low-E glass

to keep homes more comfortable and energy efficient

Vinyl siding and fiber cement siding

, reducing the use of cedar, redwood and other wood products

 

  • High-efficiency heating, cooling, and water-heating equipment

to cut energy consumption

 

  • Water-saving appliances and plumbing fixtures

to reduce water use. They also require less energy to heat water

Factory-built components

, such as trusses and pre-hung doors, resulting in more-economical use of materials than cutting wood on the job site

  • Recycled plastic “lumber”

instead of weather-resistant woods (e.g., redwood) for decks, porches, trim and fencing

High-efficiency refrigerators

that use less energy and operate using refrigerants that have less potential impact on the ozone layer

Passive solar designs

using the sun’s “free” energy to help heat homes

Xeriscaping

, which employs native plants that can thrive with little or no extra watering

Tree preservation

around homes to provide shade, reducing summer energy costs.

Thank you for viewing – kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

Rehab Junkie? Buying A Fixer-Upper? An FHA 203k Loan Might Be Right For You

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jones 91011 278You’ve found your dream home. Only one problem: Its foundation is sinking and it needs a new roof. The purchase price is right, but you’re worried that you’ll never be able to afford all those repairs.

Here’s some good news, though: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers a loan product designed for buyers who want to purchase and renovate a fixer-upper.

An FHA 203k loan lets you borrow enough money to not only buy a fixer-upper, but to repair it, too. So if your home costs $150,000, and contractors estimate that you’ll need $50,000 to modernize an outdated kitchen and repair a leaking roof, you’ll be able to borrow enough to both buy the home and fund repairs.

Here’s how it works: Say you come up with a down payment of $5,250 on the $150,000 home. That would leave you with a mortgage loan of $144,750 with a typical loan product. With an FHA 203k loan, though, you can add in contractors’ estimated cost of repairs. You, then, could borrow $194,750 to cover both the purchase of the home and the needed repairs.

If you’re in the market for a home that needs some TLC, give us a call. We’re happy to discuss the FHA 203k program with you. We can help you determine if the program is a good fit for you and the home you want to buy.

 

Categories: Fixer Upper Loans, Sell your home, Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, Wrightsville Beach NC

HEAVENLY Why You Don’t Need An Angelic Credit Score To Get A Loan Today

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www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

Wilmington NC Real estate

You can get a Wilmington NC mortgage loan today even if your past financial habits have been more devilish than angelic.Here’s a look at the steps you can take this year to boost your odds to qualify for a home loan, even if your three-digit credit score isn’t as sky-high as you’d like.

Boost your income, cut your debts: The most important guideline associated with the new Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule might be the one relating to your monthly income and debts. According to the QM rules, a mortgage can only be considered a qualified one if borrowers’ total monthly debts—including their estimated new mortgage payment—equal no more than 43% of their gross monthly income.

So if you want to convince lenders that you’re a good risk, work to improve your debt-to-income ratio. You can do this by either boosting your monthly income or eliminating some of your monthly debts. The lower this ratio is, the more attractive you’ll look to mortgage lenders, even if your credit score isn’t perfect.

Consider An FHA Loan: A mortgage loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) does come with some extra costs. But it also comes with some big benefits for credit-challenged consumers. You can qualify for an FHA loan even if your FICO credit score is as low as 500. Of course, a higher score is better. If your score is at least 580, you can take out an FHA loan with a required down payment of just 3.5% of your home’s final purchase price. If your credit score is under 580 but at least 500, you can still qualify for an FHA loan, but you’ll need a down payment of at least 10% of your home’s purchase price.

Your credit score makes a big difference in how much down payment is required. Consider a home that costs $150,000. A down payment of 10% will cost you $15,000. One of just 3.5%, though, will cost you a much more affordable $5,250.

Be Willing To Pay More In Interest: Mortgage lenders generally reserve their lowest interest rates for those borrowers whose FICO credit scores are 740 or higher. If your score is lower, though, this doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for a mortgage loan, but you will have to pay a higher interest rate. If your score is 740, for example, you might qualify for an interest rate of 4.25% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan of $200,000. But if your FICO score is just 640, you might have to take an interest rate of 5.5%—or higher—on the same loan. A higher interest rate will mean a higher monthly mortgage payment.

If your interest rate on that 30-year fixed-rate loan of $200,000 is 4.25%, you’ll pay about $983 each month in interest and principal. (This doesn’t include any money you’ll pay each month for property taxes and homeowners insurance.) If your interest rate on the same loan stood at 5.5%, your monthly payment—minus insurance and taxes—would be about $1,135.

Boost That Score: If your score is too low, of course, you will struggle to qualify for a home loan. But you can take steps to boost that score. Pay all your bills on time. Reduce your credit-card debt. If you gradually build a solid credit history, your score will rise. Just be patient. Boosting a credit score isn’t complicated, but it does take time. Expect to spend at least nine months to move your weak credit score high enough so that you’ll look like an angel to mortgage lenders.

Categories: Mortage options, Mortgage, Mortgage 101, Mortgage ideas, Mortgage options, Mortgage points, Mortgages, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate, Wilmington NC real estate stats 2014

CONTRACT: Who’s Offering What, When And How For Your Home?

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The exciting moment when an offer to purchase your home comes in can also feel a little overwhelming. One common first impulse is to ask “How much are they offering?” While price is an important factor, it’s also important to sit back and look at the big picture when negotiating a sale. Consider the following:

Buyer’s Financial Situation

Is the buyer qualified?
What is the buyer’s annual income and employment history?
How much down payment and closing-cost cash is available and what is its source?
What type of financial debt is there? Car loans? Credit cards?

Financing Method

Are the loan type and interest rate specifications realistic for current economic conditions?
Is the length of time requested to obtain a loan realistic? Forty-five days is often considered a typical time frame. It allows enough time to process papers, but also allows you to put the home back on the market promptly if things fall through.

Your Costs

How much does the buyer want you to contribute toward closing costs?
What will your net proceeds be? Add up any points, taxes or fix-up expenses requested and deduct them from the contract price to determine if your final profit is what you need to make your move.

Your Calendar

Does the buyer’s proposed settlement date give you enough time to select your next home and obtain financing?
If you can’t move to your next home promptly at settlement, can you rent back from the buyer to stay in your home a while longer?

Contingencies

Must the buyer sell a home before buying yours? You may not have the time to wait while they sell.
What add-ons does the buyer want? Curtains, lawn equipment, swing sets? All of this can affect your final net proceeds, or be used as bargaining chips, or both.We’re here to help. We’ve been through the contract negotiation process countless times. We can help you cut to the chase and come up with a mutually acceptable contract.

 

Categories: #Spring Time To Sell, Contract on your home?, inventory your home, Mortage options, Uncategorized, wilmington beach homes, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

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

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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.

selling

      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!

 

Categories: Uncategorized

The Big Decision | Four Key Benefits That Come With Every Mortgage Loan

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www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

It’s a big decision: Taking on a monthly mortgage payment is no small matter. That payment will probably become a homebuyer’s biggest expense. And what if you can’t pay on time? Get sick? Lose a job? Divorce? You could see your credit score plummet.But there’s another side to taking on a first mortgage loan. Not only does such a loan allow a renter to become a homeowner—that mortgage also brings with it several financial benefits, everything from big savings at tax time to a boost in your credit score.If you’re debating whether it’s time for a mortgage loan—or know someone who is—peace of mind comes from understanding the benefits of that loan.

Mortgage interest deduction: Tax time is no fun. But if you are paying off a mortgage loan, your tax bill might become smaller. That’s because the interest you pay on your mortgage loan is deductible on your income taxes. You can deduct the interest on up to $1 million worth of home-mortgage debt, whether that debt has helped you buy a first home or a second one. You can only claim this deduction if you itemize your taxes, and you’ll have to determine if it makes more sense to take the standard deduction. But for many new homeowners, the mortgage-interest deduction is a welcome financial relief at tax time.

The power of equity: When you pay down your mortgage loan, you build up equity. For instance, if your home is worth $250,000 and you owe just $150,000 on your loan, you have $100,000 worth of equity in your home. You can tap into that equity through a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) to fund anything from home repairs to college tuition to a cruise around the world. Interest on equity loans of up to $100,000 is also tax deductible. Just make sure you pay your home equity loan or line of credit back on time; if you don’t you could lose your home.

A credit boost: You might never pay your insurance bills late. You might never miss a utility bill or a cable payment. But these regular payments most likely won’t boost your credit score. That’s because they aren’t reported to the three national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. And only TransUnion and Experian have begun collecting rental payment information. But one payment that is always reported to the credit bureaus? Your monthly mortgage payment. If you continually pay this bill on time, you can watch your credit score rise at a steady clip. And today, having a high credit score is a necessity when you want to take out additional credit at low interest rates.

Control: If you rent, your landlord can raise your monthly payment whenever your lease comes to an end. If you take out a fixed-rate mortgage loan, though, your monthly payment will fluctuate only slightly over its lifespan. That’s because your principal and interest payments are set when you take out a fixed-rate loan. All that can change is the amount you pay for homeowners insurance and property taxes, which is why your mortgage payment might rise or fall slightly during its life. This gives you more control over an ongoing, large monthly expense, and can make budgeting an easier task.

 

Categories: Mortgage 101, Uncategorized, wilmington beach homes, Wilmington NC homes

Decorating | Choose Wallpaper With The Future In Mind

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wallpaperThere’s nothing quite like wallpaper for warming up a room and giving it character. It isn’t without its drawbacks, though, as a design element. For one thing, the cost of buying and installing wallpaper is considerably higher than for painting-making it a longer-term design choice. When color and design styles change, or your personal tastes do, removing wallpaper can be quite a project, yet a necessary one before re-wallpapering or painting can be accomplished.

If you really want the distinctive look of wallpaper, consider the following tips to maximize your long-term satisfaction:

Choose washable wallpapers for kitchens, bathrooms and kids’ room, where marks and stains are likely to occur.

The size of the pattern should match the size of the room: small patterns for small rooms, large patterns for large rooms.

Think about using wallpaper on just one wall of the room to add personality with less expense (and less removal hassles later).

Select wallpaper patterns with relatively few or neutral colors (e.g., white on beige) to maximize the variety of furnishing colors that can coordinate with your choice. (This is particularly important if you expect to sell your home within a few years.)

Before buying or ordering any paper, purchase a large swatch and tape it to your walls at home to see how it will coordinate with your furnishings. (Often, wallpaper companies will charge a restocking fee for returned rolls.)

Order enough paper so you’ll have at least one additional roll of the same print run in case you need to make repairs later on.

Categories: decoating, Decorating with wallpaper, Uncategorized, wallpaper, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC


Kay Baker | 1001 Military Cutoff Rd. | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | kaybaker@seacoastrealty.com | 910-232-0363 | Fax: 910-256-0473

Copyright © 2015 Wilmington NC Real Estate Guide. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All content on this blog is my own opinion and should not be treated as fact or relied upon when purchasing or selling real estate.