WHY WAIT? Contingencies Designed To Move A Sale Forward

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When you buy or sell a Wilmington NC home, there may be some delays before you can close and load up the moving van to say goodbye to your current neighborhood. These delays happen for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes a buyer is not able to make a decision to purchase. Contingencies are typically used to smooth acceptance of a contract without delaying the buying decision. Most contracts, for example, are contingent upon financing. This is for the protection of the seller as well as the buyer, because a seller doesn’t want to be tied to a buyer who can’t deliver.

Here are some common types of contingencies found in sales contracts:

Home inspection: Placed by the buyer, this type of contingency usually requires that a “satisfactory” home inspection must be conducted, before the buyer will go through with the purchase of a home. Somewhat related is buyer approval of required repairs, such as painting or roofing.

Financing: With today’s pre-approval for mortgages and all-cash buyers, this contingency is not as ubiquitous as it was in the past. However, some buyers will write a contract first, then determine if they can get the loan.

Home of choice: This is a seller’s contingency placed on a buyer’s contract. The seller may want to find another home and write a contract on it before agreeing to sell the home they live in. The buyer who agrees to this contingency will have to delay closing until the seller has purchased a new home.

Home sale: For financial or other reasons, some buyers may have to include this contingency, which gives them the opportunity to sell an existing home first, before completing a sales contract.

Contingencies can raise questions and need to be fulfilled before a contract can be settled. As your local real estate experts, we can give you more information on real estate transactions and what you might encounter in today’s market. Contact us to find out more.

Categories: home contingency, Move Sale of Home Forward, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, wilmington nc foreclosures, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation

Online Tools | Starting The Mortgage Process? The Internet Is Your Friend

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cbbaker_002The Internet is a great tool for home buyers. It can help you find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. With virtual tools, buyers can even see the exteriors and interiors of homes that interest them, all without leaving their screens.

But did you know that the Internet is an essential tool for buyers who are ready to apply for a mortgage loan, too?

It’s true. The Internet makes applying for a home loan easier than ever.

First, there are plenty of mortgage affordability calculators and mortgage payment calculators available online. With these tools you can enter your basic financial information to determine how much of a mortgage payment you can afford to make each month. You can also enter the information you know about a potential mortgage loan—everything from the term/length of your expected loan to the amount you plan to borrow—to calculate the estimated size of your monthly payment.

You can also use several websites to get a feel for where the interest rates for various loan types—15-year fixed, 30-year fixed, adjustable-rate—stand at any given time.

And if you’re still looking for a home—and you know how much mortgage you can afford and, therefore, how much you can spend on a new residence—you can use national real estate sites such as our MLS public link, Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow to get a ‘starting point’ estimated value of any home in the neighborhoods that interest you. Don’t forget, we can refer you to local real estate professionals to find the home of your dreams in person.

Remember, though, that the Internet is a useful tool. It’s not a substitute for working with a skilled mortgage loan officer who can guide you through the process of applying for a loan. When you’re ready to get real-world figures, contact us today. We’d be happy to help you find the perfect mortgage loan. Call us tel:1-910-202-3607

or email – kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

 

 

Categories: wilmington beach homes, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

What is the single most important rule in house hunting?

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1604 CrowsLand-0503Want to know what the number one rule is when Wilmington NC home shopping? Well, many details must be considered in choosing your next home – style, size, price, location. It’s probably impossible to say which factor is most important. But one thing is certain – if you will be moving again in a few years, be sure you buy with selling in mind. Chances are, the items that make your new home a comfortable fit for you will also attract buyers later on.

Some special considerations for the short-term homeowner who has resale in mind:

  • Watch for growth potential
      Look for an established neighborhood that will be enhanced by future growth but not inconvenienced by it.
  • Look out for resale value
      Seek a prime neighborhood where houses sell well in any market.
  • Check out location
      Consider availability of all aspects of transportation; even those you may not use.
  • Schools are important
      Check for quality public schools, whether or not you have school-age children.
  • Green is good
      Look carefully at the lot for trees and greenery to buffer winter winds or summer heat.
  • Make room for visitors
      See if ample guest parking is available for you and your neighbors.

 

  • Privacy is a plus
      Consider how much privacy the house and lot provide.
  • Drive the commute before you buy

Check morning and afternoon drive time to work, schools, shopping, churches.  Call us 910-202-3607 or kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: house hunting, Uncategorized, Waterfront Wilmington NC, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate

FAMILY MOVE: Tips For House Hunting With The Kids

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Parents Carrying Child

Child experts agree it’s a good idea to involve the children when a family makes relocation plans. You may have mixed feelings about taking the kids house-hunting, however. (It’s hard enough for just two people to decide on a new home!) Here are a few pointers that may help:

Narrow The Field First

The kids don’t need to visit every potential Wilmington NC house on the list. If possible, wait until you’ve selected two or three serious prospects before bringing the children along. In any case, limit your kid-accompanied tours to three houses or less per day.

Provide Behavioral Guidelines

{short description of image}Remind the kids to treat the owners and their property with respect. Make sure the kids stay in the same room with you at all times and that they “keep their hands to themselves.”If the owners are present, your family members should also keep their thoughts about the house to themselves until after you leave the property. Making positive comments in the presence of the owners could work against you when negotiating the price, while negative comments could spark a hostile reaction, causing the owner to sell to another buyer.

Make The Kids Your Secretaries

If they’re old enough, your children can each keep a log of the homes you look at, including detailed information about the house — location, size, types and numbers of rooms, etc. Have them describe they’re feelings about the house, too, particularly what they think it would be like to live there.

Locate The Nearest Playground

A post-tour trip to the park (or local mall, if you have teenagers) can be a great motivator for good behavior and a nice way to get to know the area. Walking the streets in the neighborhood will also give you and the kids a better feeling for the local lifestyle and whether there are other children the same age as yours in the area.

Offer Entertainment

Bring along books or games to help your kids through the “I’m bored” stage. If you’ll be driving for extended periods, bring some audio books or favorite music.

Time Your Tours For Success

Plan to look at houses early in the day or just after (certainly not during) nap time. Be prepared with snack foods and drinks to keep energy levels up.

Let Them Know Their Input Counts.

Although the final decision is yours, your children will feel better about the move if they know you value what they think about their potential new home and neighborhood.

 

Categories: Buying House with Kids, wilmington nc, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation

Holding Title – Options For Ownership in Real Estate

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72adf455If you are buying a home with another individual (or more than one), it’s important to understand the different ways to hold title to the property. Before closing/settlement, be sure to review how to hold title so that the title company or attorney will be able to title the ownership interests in the manner you desire.

Sole Ownership

One person holds title singly to the home regardless of marital or business partnership status. If married, the spouse of the property owner may have to sign a quitclaim deed that denies the non-owning spouse any rights to the home.

Joint Tenants (JT)

Most married buyers hold title to their homes as joint tenants. Both owners own equal shares. The ownership of the home goes to the surviving co-owner and does not go to the heirs of the deceased.

Tenants-In-Common (TIC)

Tenants-in-common provides owners with more flexibility. Either owner can sell a share of the property without permission of the other owner. If the business partnership or romantic relationship ends, selling the property is much easier.

Many unmarried buyers take title as tenants-in-common. Tenants in common can also hold different amounts of interest in the property (60%–40%, 80%–20%, etc.). This arrangement is especially useful for real estate investors.

Titling as TIC, deceased owners can leave their share of the home to their children or other heirs instead of their spouse.

Tenants-By-The-Entirety (TBTE)

This form of title, available to spouses in some states, assumes the husband and wife are one person for legal purposes. It is similar to Joint Tenants with right of survivorship in that when one spouse dies, the deceased’s share automatically goes to the surviving spouse, even if the Will says otherwise. Simply put, with Tenants-By-The-Entirety neither spouse can transfer his/her half to someone else without the other spouse’s approval — something Joint Tenants with right of survivorship and Tenants-In-Common can both do.

Trust

Once a home is held in a trust, all property is handled the same as if it wasn’t in a trust until one of the property owners dies. The trust outlines how property is to be handled after death and in most cases—unlike wills—trust terms are never made public. Trusts are often very hard to challenge in court, also unlike wills.

Community Property

Some states allow owners to hold title as community property. Wills must indicate upon an owner’s death if the home passes to the spouse or to someone else.

Before you buy your home, consult with financial and tax professionals, as well as a local real estate attorney, to learn the best way to hold title to your home.

Categories: Holding Title, Home Ownership Options', Uncategorized

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL…Who has the Fairest Kitchen of All

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1604 CrowsLand-0503It’s not a fairy tale, but the truth: Great-looking kitchens are magnets that lure potential buyers into a home. When your home is on the market, the kitchen must look its best—online and especially in person. Since so much time is spent in this room, it’s critical today to focus on the kitchen—and make it look terrific.

First: Prepare to make a mental switch—the home is no longer the center of your family’s life, but rather, a property for sale. Second: Make your property truly show its value. More than a magic wand, you may need to do some serious housework.

By their nature, kitchens are prime targets for clutter, wear and grime. (What other room do we fill with so many gadgets?)

Here are some great tips on how to stage your kitchen to sell your home:

Stash Counter Stuff

Clutter—even if the counters and floors are sparkling clean—makes a kitchen look smaller. Clear all small appliances from the kitchen countertops—even the coffee maker, toaster, blender, etc. While your home is on the market, find a place to stow your counter stuff…then treat yourself to java or breakfast out.

Utensils, spices, canisters, tissues, chargers, TV, even countertop microwave should be stored, leaving the counters open and clean. Make sure mail, homework, and newspapers don’t collect in the kitchen. Designate a special shelf, drawer or box as a drop zone for this always-growing pile.

Focus On The Fridge

Remove everything from your bulletin board-cum-fridge door. Pack up the magnets, calendars, to-do lists, photos, kids’ art, homework and postcards. Put them in a special box marked ‘Fridge Art,’ so you can find them again after you move. Don’t forget to store away all the stuff from the top of the fridge, as well. Then mop the top down with a wet cloth and mild soap.

While you’re at it, this would be a good time to clean out the refrigerator. You’re going to throw out all the excess condiments and mystery freezer bags when you move anyway. Why not sooner than later? Don’t lose the overall effect of a sparkling kitchen when a potential buyer opens the refrigerator door to find old food and stains.

Universal Shine

Once you’ve defeated the clutter, it’s time to clean up. Cabinets collect grease and grime, but we sometimes don’t see it. Give your cabinets and appliances a deep cleaning outside and in. Buyers love a sparkling oven and microwave ready to receive their own dishes. Replace any outdated or worn cabinet hardware and tighten loose hinges and knobs.

While your home is on the market, switch to pumps for liquid hand soap and dish liquid. There’s nothing more off-putting than a bar of soupy soap. When you’re working the tile and walls, remove pictures, frames and patch hanger holes. Toss the old sink mat. Store (or toss) that drying rack—for now put wet dishes in the dishwasher rack to dry. For every showing, display unused dish towels.

Check your lighting and fans in the kitchen and make sure that all bulbs and switches work because buyers will.

The Nose Knows

Unpleasant smells are a turn off to buyers. Take out the garbage and recycling—daily. Potpourri and air fresheners are a plus. To clear cooking aromas burn a candle or put out fresh coffee grounds in a dish. Run a lemon through the disposal to freshen the air before a showing. Same goes for the sink full of dishes; do them every day or load them in the dishwasher or, while your home is on the market, use disposable dinnerware.

Get A Professional Opinion

Kitchens can be a heavy traffic zone. Even if you declutter and clean up, some kitchens can still look ‘used.’ Visit a new home model to see how appealing an immaculate kitchen can be. Or flip through any home design magazine. Imagine you’re getting your kitchen ready for a photo shoot—which you are. Count on us to advise you if a makeover makes top-dollar marketing sense.

When you’re ready to list your home for sale, contact us. We’ll work with you to show you how to showcase your entire home in ways that will make buyers write that perfect purchase contract…which is the point.

Categories: Awesome kitchen

Bank Scams | Keep Your Money Safe With These Easy Tips

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Keep a close eye on all transactions in your checking, savings, mortgage, credit card and brokerage accounts on a regular basis, not just when statements come out. More tips:

  • Never open email attachments or click on links in email that appear to come from your bank or other financial entities.
  • Only provide sensitive data such as social security numbers, account numbers and personal info on phone calls that you have initiated.
  • Only visit your bank’s website by typing the web address directly into your browser window.
  • Before recycling, shred all paperwork that has sensitive info on it.
  • Remind all family members who have access to your accounts to follow the above rules at all times.
  • Keep an extra close watch on elderly family members who may not be as savvy about protecting their sensitive banking info.

If in doubt, contact your financial institution with anything—account activity, mail, calls, email—that look suspicious to you.

Categories: Bank scams, protect your info, Uncategorized

What is the difference between loan pre-approval and pre-qualification?

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www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

Pre-approval and pre-qualification are steps ywww.cbbaker.comou can take to line up your mortgage loan before you start house hunting in Wilmington NC. They are different, so read on:

Pre-approval:

  • is actually applying for, and getting, a conditional commitment for a mortgage loan up to a specific amount of money.
  • is usually good for 60-90 days.
  • applies, even though you might not have chosen the home you will buy.
  • often requires a loan application fee.
  • gives you bargaining power, because it tells the seller you are ready to buy and able to get financing.

Pre-qualification:

  • is the result of a lender taking a cursory look at the buyer’s income, credit history and assets.
  • states the buyer probably could afford to buy up to a certain limit.
  • does not include a loan commitment.
  • tells sellers you’re serious about buying and their house is in your price range.
  • usually costs no more than the credit report fee.

Some advantages of pre-qualification and pre-approval are:

  • A pre-approval or pre-qualification can speed closing because the paperwork for the loan has already been started.
  • You will begin learning about the financing process, and any problems that might arise can be resolved early.
  • You know in advance how much you can borrow.
  • Your offer is more attractive to the seller, because the seller won’t have to guess about whether you can afford the house.

Where do you begin when it’s time to look for a new house? Start by calling or e-mailing us with your home-buying questions. We can give you an idea of how much home you can afford to buy, then you can follow up with your local lender.

Categories: Pre-Approval for Loan, Pre-Qualification, wilmington nc real estate, Wilmington NC real estate stats 2014, wilmington real estate stats

“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


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.