“Make A Moving Game Plan.” Moving on in…

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The best first thing you can do when you find out you’re relocatichecklist-ng is to draw up a “game plan” for your move. Make lists for everything. List all the tasks you need to accomplish and try to give a reasonable deadline for each task. This will help you to set priorities so you’ll have a clear idea of what needs to get done and by when.

Here are some items to include on your moving “to-do” list:

Six Weeks Before Moving

  • Make an inventory of everything to be moved.
  • Collect everything not to be moved for a garage sale or charitable donation.
  • Contact the charity for date/time of pickup. Save receipts for tax records.
  • Select mover, arrange for exact form of payment at destination (cash, check). Get cartons and packing materials to start packing NOW, unless you have packing services.
  • Contact insurance agent to transfer/cancel insurance coverage.
  • Check with employer to find out what moving expenses they will pay.

Four Weeks Before Moving

  • Notify all magazines of change of address.
  • Check with veterinarian for pet records and immunizations.
  • Contact utility companies for refunds of deposit, set turn-off date.
  • Contact broker in new community to set up utility turn-on date.
  • Service power mowers, boats, snowmobiles, etc. that are to be moved, drain all gas/oil to prevent fire in moving van.
  • Check with doctors and dentist for all family records and prescriptions.
  • Get children’s school records.
  • Remove all jewelry and other valuables to a safe deposit box or other safe place to prevent loss during move.
  • Give away or arrange for transportation of house plants (most moving companies will not move plants, especially in winter).

One Week Before

  • Transfer or close checking and savings accounts. Arrange for cashier’s check or money order to pay moving company on arrival to new community.
  • Have automobile serviced for trip.
  • Fill out Post Office change of address forms, give to postmaster.
  • Check and make inventory of all furniture for dents and scratches, notify moving company of your inventory and compare on final day.
  • Dispose of all combustibles and spray cans (spray cans can explode or burn).
  • Pack a separate carton for cleaning materials and tools.
  • Separate cartons and luggage you need for personal travel.
  • Organize at least one room in the house for packers and movers to work freely.
  • Cancel all newspapers, garden service, snow removal, etc.
  • Review the entire list to make certain that you haven’t overlooked anything. Check and double-check everthing you have done before it’s too late.
Categories: 2-10 home warranty, Moving, wilmington, wilmington beach homes

Is Your Homes Atmosphere Healthy?

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gardentipsEven though you can’t see it, the air in your home can affect the well being of you and your family. Now is a good time to check your home for a healthy atmosphere.

No matter how well you clean, silent, unseen polluters can build up inside a home, making you feel under the weather or even causing illness. Here are a few common polluters and simple solutions for eliminating them:


  • Mold and mildew:


      These organisms, which can grow wherever there is excess moisture, can cause allergic reactions. The simple solution is to ventilate the kitchen when cooking, and the bathrooms during and after baths or showers. Air conditioning and dehumidifiers help control humidity in the rest of the home. If you are remodeling, add a ventilating fan to the kitchen and baths.


  • Dust mites:


      These microscopic creatures live where the vacuum cleaner can’t get them-inside mattresses and box springs, down in heating ducts-and can cause allergic reactions. To limit their effect, enclose mattresses and box springs in zippered casings, and have ducts professionally cleaned.


  • Carbon monoxide:


      This colorless, odorless gas, which can cause fatal illness, can come from malfunctioning furnaces, gas dryers, stoves, or air seeping in from the garage. Equip your home with a carbon monoxide detector and have all appliances serviced regularly. Be sure any walls or floors between the garage and your home are airtight.

  • Cleaning solutions:


      Spray and squirt bottles make cleaning faster and easier, but some of the chemicals in the bottles can contribute to indoor air pollution. Look for more environmentally friendly cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda and borax (remember to keep borax out of reach of children).


  • The “new” smell:


      Carpets, furniture or cabinets made with pressed wood, and other new products can introduce fumes into the home as chemicals used in manufacturing are released. The simple solution for those sensitive to these fumes is to buy carpets with low-emission green labels or all-wood furniture. After a few months, the level of the fume emissions declines, but in the meantime, ventilate your home by opening windows frequently.


  • Although you may have to spend a little extra time or money


    to eliminate your home’s air polluters, it may be worth it for your family’s health.


Categories: Healthy Home Atmosphere, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

No PITI Party | Understanding Your Mortgage Payment

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cloudcbbakerYour mortgage payment is probably the biggest financial responsibility you face each month. But do you know all the parts of your monthly mortgage payment?

PITI is the key abbreviation: That stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance. Those four components make up most homeowners’ monthly mortgage bills.

Principal: This is the part of your payment that each month goes toward paying off the amount of money you owe on your mortgage. When you first start making mortgage payments, a fairly small percentage of your monthly payment goes toward your loan’s principal balance. As the years go on, though, a greater slice of your payment will go toward reducing your loan’s balance.

Interest: Early in the life of your loan, a hefty chunk of your monthly payment will go toward interest. The interest you pay on your loan depends on the size of your loan, the loan’s term and the interest rate attached to it. You’ll pay more in monthly interest on a 30-year fixed-rate loan of $200,000 with an interest rate of 6% than you would for a 15-year fixed-rate loan in the same amount with an interest rate of 4.5%.

Taxes: You’ll have to pay property taxes when you buy a home. Most lenders ask that you set up an escrow arrangement with them, meaning that you’ll pay a bit extra with each payment to help cover property taxes. When your taxes are due, your lender dips into this escrow fund to pay your tax bill on your behalf. If your yearly property taxes are, say, $6,000, expect your lender to add about $500 each month to your mortgage bill.

Insurance: Mortgage lenders won’t loan you money if you don’t first pay for homeowners insurance. Again, in an escrow arrangement—which many lenders require—you’ll pay extra each month to cover homeowners insurance. If your yearly insurance policy is $1,200, your lender will add about $100 to your monthly mortgage payment and then pay this bill for you when it comes due.

Categories: Mortgage, PITI

BIRDS-EYE VIDEO | Wilmington NC real estate

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You can’t beat a birds’ eye view of things. With the advent of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, flown at low altitudes, you can capture a great view of your home and area—whether for personal satisfaction or to offer an attention-grabbing unseen view to potential buyers.

Although the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requires permits for commercial aviation such as drones, you may be able to find a government-authorized resource with permission to take some bird’s-eye photos or video of your property to share with potential buyers. Dramatic drone images are especially effective for estates, large acreage properties, unaccessible locations and waterviews or attractive near-by amenities.

A Favor, Please?
Much of our business comes from clients who are happy with our services and have told their friends, co-workers, relatives and neighbors. We hope you’ll refer us too! And please share our newsletter with anyone you know who may be looking for a mortgage or information about home loans.
Categories: Uncategorized

25 Reasons to Love Wilmington NC

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1. Beautiful Beaches and Waterways

Wilmington NC is situated on the southeast coast of NC and is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and the west by the Cape Fear River. The beauty and charm of Wilmington and the surrounding beaches equal or surpass any on the east coast. The many pristine beaches that we have to enjoy such as Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Topsail Beach, Oak Island and Ocean Isle Beach are sure to captivate your heart.


2. Boating

The area’s many miles of coastline, rivers and sounds offer a variety of  watersports, boating activities, and quite a few harbors, marinas, and yacht clubs.

3. Fishing

Being located within minutes of one of the most protected inlets on the east coast, Wilmington offers bountiful fishing opportunities within minutes. Masonboro Inlet is located between the Southern tip of Wrightsville Beach and Masonboro Island. Also, the many creeks and bays located off banks channel and the waterways are a fisherman’s dream. You will see them fishing for drum, trout, and  flounder in the fall of the year.

3. Masonboro Island

Masonboro Island is an 8 mile long uninhabited island on the southern North Carolina coast between Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach and is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve. Masonboro Island, only accessible by boat, is enjoyed by campers, surfers, anglers, and bird-watchers alike. The reserve consists of about 5000 acres, which about 4400 acres are tidal marsh and mud flats. The most northern end at Masonboro Inlet is the most popular area with its sandy beaches and protected waters. Any summer weekend you will see many boaters and campers prepared for a few days on the beach with tents, grills and water toys in tow.

4. Historic Downtown Wilmington NC

Wilmington is blessed with a beautiful and extensive historic district with magnificent and stately oaks, azaleas and oleanders. 230 blocks of downtown are on the The National Register of Historic Districts. The city embraces a lot of history and is fortunate that so much has been preserved.

5. Wilmington NC Real Estate

I cannot speak highly enough about the real estate offered in and around Wilmington NC, from the River to the Sea! Wilmington offers many affordable neighborhoods such as Whitney Pines to move up neighborhoods like Covil Estates with amenities, to luxury gated communities such as Landfall, or golf course neighborhoods like Porters Neck, and waterfront neighborhoods with marinas and boatslips such as Turtle Hall or Shinn Point . The choices are all right here in our great port city of Wilmington NC. Read the rest of this entry

Categories: Figure Eight Island, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington nc schools, wilmington nc weekly events

GARDEN TIPS Your Kitchen Is Ripe For Making Your Garden Grow

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gardentipsDo you have a garden? Or, are you hoping to? If you answered “yes” to either, creating a compost pile in your yard could be a great nutrient-rich resource for virtually no cost.All you need is to collect your food waste (except for dairy, meats and oils) and add that waste to a compost bin or pile, along with a portion of leaves and grass clippings. Over time, the food scraps decompose and create a deep, dark almost-soil-like additive to enrich your garden beds.Simply Google “compost bins” and “compost piles” to see which is right for your habits. Then find a crock, pot or some small container that you keep covered on your kitchen counter or under the sink. Fill with fruit peels, vegetable scraps, old bread, coffee grounds, etc. You can empty this container regularly into your compost pile or bin.Find exact recipes online that explain how much green (kitchen waste and plants) and brown (dried leaves, dried grass, etc.) you need to balance your pile for the best—and quickest—results. Depending upon the season and what you add most to your pile, you’ll also need to turn or rotate the compost to allow it to “cook” evenly.Your garden will thank you for your hard work!

Don’t Keep Us A Secret!
If you or a friend or family member is thinking of making a move this year, please let us know. We help buyers successfully negotiate home purchases and skillfully market sellers’ homes for the highest possible price. Recommend names you know and they’ll get the experience you trust. Thank you!


Categories: Garden Tips, Uncategorized, wilmington, wilmington nc real estate


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banjoYou know the old story: Mortgage interest rates are at near-record lows. But mortgage lenders are passing out fewer home loans. Strict loan qualification rules are a reaction to sky-high foreclosures that hit the lenders during the housing bust.

What’s wrong with that story? It’s not entirely true. Yes, mortgage rates are at low levels. But, no, mortgage lenders aren’t nearly as tight-fisted with home-loan dollars as some say. In fact, it’s far easier today to qualify for a mortgage loan than you might think.

Here’s some friendly advice: If you haven’t applied for a mortgage loan because you think your credit or income levels aren’t good enough, give us a call. There are mortgage programs available for borrowers of all kinds today. You may be surprised just how attractive a borrower you truly are in this market.

Here’s what you’ll really need to qualify for a mortgage loan. If you didn’t know how reachable these numbers are, don’t feel bad. You’re far from alone.

Credit score: You might have paid a few credit-card bills late. Maybe you forgot to send in your auto-loan payment one month. That’s not good, and it will drop your credit score. But know this: You don’t need perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage loan.

If your FICO credit score is 740 or higher, you’ll qualify for the lowest interest rates and the widest variety of loan programs. But even if your score is lower, you can still qualify for a mortgage loan. You’ll just have to pay a higher interest rate. Even if your score is under 600, you can still qualify for a mortgage loan insured by the FHA.

Down payment:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now willing to back mortgage loans with down payments as low as 3% of a home’s final purchase price. Consider that $180,000 house again. A down payment of 3% on that home comes out to a more affordable $5,400.

Income: Many would-be borrowers think that they don’t make enough money for a mortgage loan. But mortgage lenders only care that your total monthly bills—including your new mortgage payment—equal 43% or less of your gross monthly income. This means that you don’t have to be a millionaire to afford a home today.

Self-employment: Others worry that because they are self-employed they won’t be able to convince lenders to loan them mortgage money. This isn’t exactly true. Lenders need to see proof that your income is consistent each year. Providing this proof might be more challenging if you are self-employed, but it is doable. Just send your lender copies of your most recent tax returns showing your annual income over the last three to five years. Your lender will look to make sure that your income has been stable, and hasn’t risen or fallen sharply during this time. Your lender might also ask for more information about your business—such as profit/loss statements. The quicker you can provide this information the faster the mortgage process will go.

We look forward to working with you!

Categories: Mortgage, Uncategorized

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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 Cheezburger animated GIF

TGIF Scoop

   presented by Kay Baker Associates


  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


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


Pro Soccer: Wilmington Hammerheads vs. Rochester

May 16, 2015
7:00 PM

Legion Stadium

Kip Moore in Concert

May 15, 2015
6:30 PM


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


Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series


May 15, 2015
6:00 PM

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


Airlie Gardens

Dinner Theater: Raney

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

Doors open at 6:00



Port City Blues


May 15, 2015
7:00 PM

Presented by the Wilmington Police Dept.

2 episodes 30 minutes each then meet & greet


Wilmington City Hall
102 North 3rd Street


Box and Cox


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

May 17  3:00 PM

Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater

Thalian Hall



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


Rims on the River


May 15, 2015 to May 16, 2015


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


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


Portion of proceeds dontated to Special Olympics

Schwartz Center


8:00 AM- 1:00 PM

Water Street


Poplar Grove Plantation

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


Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market

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




      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
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.


Categories: Uncategorized

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.