“Mortgage pre-approval is the best first step to a home purchase.”

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Finding out how much home you can afford is basic to a successful homewilmington nc real estate search. But getting pre-approved for a mortgage is even better. Why? A lender who pre-qualifies a buyer is merely saying that a quick overview of the buyer’s financial picture indicates he or she can afford a home of a certain price. Pre-approving the buyer, however, means the lender has taken an in-depth look at the buyer’s finances and made a commitment to finance the buyer’s home choice up to a certain price. (This assumes the home appraises well and meets other lender criteria).

Home sellers heavily favor buyers who back their purchase offers with loan pre-approval because those contracts have a higher probability of going to settlement.

Get more Wilmington NC real estate information here.  kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com or www.cbbaker.com
Categories: How much can you afford, Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wrightsville Beach NC

DYI or Hire a Professional | Wilmington NC real estate

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homeplansMost homeowners have a list of things they would like to do to change and improve their homes. But moving those plans off the list and into reality is often prevented by costs, especially for labor. That’s why so many homeowners have adopted the “do-it-yourself” approach. Should you?

Don’t think you have to be an expert in masonry, carpentry, plumbing and electrical work to make your own home improvements. You can get help from books, magazines, videos, the Internet, or you could take a class with hands-on instruction. A bonus: When you learn to remodel, you’ll become a better maintenance person, saving yourself future repair costs.

If you’re just developing your handyperson skills, here are a few tips for getting the job done right at a cost savings:

Start with modest projects,

especially those with low materials costs (e.g., painting). That way you can afford to redo the project if your first attempt isn’t quite up to snuff.

Research and plan before diving in.

Get the training you need or talk with experts, then outline each step of the process on paper.

Buy, borrow or rent the proper tools.

Having the right tools when you need them is critical to doing any job efficiently and well.

If you lack the skills, patience or time to do the entire project, just do part of it.

You can ask contractors for bids that list the cost of each phase of the project, from preparation to finishing, plus materials. You may be able to save a lot by knocking down a wall yourself, removing old flooring or painting a newly installed wall.

Work with the professionals.

By becoming one of the “crew,” you can cut the overall cost of the project and learn a lot in the process.

    Let us know if we can help. www.cbbaker.com or kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

 

Categories: DYI Home Improvement, waterfront wrightsville beach, Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

Looking for a Bargain in Homebuying? Wilmington NC real estate

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www.WilmingtonNC-realesate

BUYING A BARGAIN HOME

How To Identify A Desirable Distressed Property

 

It’s not easy finding a bargain property in Wilmington NC that is worthy of purchasing.There are a lot of homes out there that may be up for sale, but—for a variety of reasons—are not suitable to fix up as your own home or an investment.What makes a particular real estate distressed home a good choice?

  • Location. It’s located in a desirable neighborhood. You—or future residents—would want to live in that area.
  • Bones. It’s got great bones. There is no major structural damage to the home and remodeling is for superficial items.
  • Rehab. The fixes it needs are relatively easy and quick to complete. If the to-do list only includes carpeting/flooring, paint and clean up, it’s likely a good choice compared to one that needs new windows, roof, HVAC system, plumbing/electrical rework, etc.
  • Price. The home is priced significantly lower than comparable, surrounding homes. If it stacks up well against neighboring homes in terms of price, it’s likely priced right to allow you to invest some fix-up money into it. The key is to act fast to grab this home—before someone else does!
  • Condition. You can get a home inspection completed before the sale becomes final. If the selling situation of the property makes you forego the inspection, it might be prudent to revisit buying that home.

When you’re ready to look for a bargain home, contact us. Foreclosures, short sales, and other distressed properties are out there. The key is knowing what to look for.

Categories: Bargain Homes, Distressed Homes, wilmington nc real estate

What is the single most important rule in looking for a home?

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www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com for more hints and ideas.

shells5While many important details must be considered in choosing your first home – style, size, price, location – 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 first-time 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 homes sell well in any market.

Check out location

Consider availability of all aspects of transportation; even those you may not use.

Research Area Schools

Check for quality public schools, whether or not you have school-age children.

Go for the green

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.

Ponder privacy issues

Consider how much privacy the home and lot provide.

Drive the commute before you buy

Check morning and afternoon drive time to work, schools, shopping, churches.

Let us know how we can help you. kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: Things to look for when buying a home, wilmington nc real estate, Wilmington nc schools

The Secret to Our Open House Success | Wilmington NC real estate

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The Secret to Our Open House Success

 

beach3In today’s real estate environment in Wilmington, NC, more than ever, open houses are an effective marketing strategy. But, just to advertise the home in the Sunday paper and post a sign is not enough. An effective marketing campaign for open houses will prove to be a very successful open house and hopefully bring buyers to the table.

Our Open House Marketing Strategy

    1. Stage and landscape should begin 7-10 days prior to the open house. Sellers need to understand the importance of curb appeal and presentation. Some nice fresh flowers in the kitchen, potted plants on the front porch, fresh baked cookies  are all enhancements for an open house.
    2. Place strategic open house signs  5-7 days before the open house stating the day and time of the open house. I have found this creates a lot of interest even before the open house.
      3.   Direct mail pieces to the neighborhood and adjoining neighborhoods to let everyone know. Neighbors will call their friends to tell them about the open house.
        4.  Marketing blitz to top Realtors to let them know to send their clients over to view this home.

 

Rest of story here… 

 

Categories: coldwell banker sea coast advantage, Wilmington NC homes, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington real estate stats

So you want a Luxury home | Look no further.

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IMG_4710Our intelligent marketing strategies, years of experience and powerful connections in the worldwide brokerage community have enabled Kay Baker Associates to attain the prestigious Coldwell Banker Previews International Specialist designation. We specialize in marketing the finest luxury homes in the Wilmington, NC area. Billy Baker is a Previews Specialists. This high profile exposure will ensure that we will reach the best, highly discriminating circle of buyers for your Wilmington, NC luxury home.

This website offers some of the most valuable information about the very best neighborhoods in Wilmington NC.

View all Luxury homes in Wilmington NC here.

Categories: Previews Luxury Homes, Wilmington NC homes, wilmington nc real estate

Figure Eight Island | The Wilmington NC Real Estate Island

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figureeightFigure Eight Island NC real estate comprises a beautiful coastal community offering the ultimate in privacy and security located just minutes from the conveniences of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. Whether you’re looking for waterfront/oceanfront real estate on Figure 8 Island, for your dream home or second home for a beach vacation of a lifetime, Kay Baker & Associates of Sea Coast Realty can help you find premier Figure Eight Island, North Carolina, real estate! Come and experience the beauty, serenity and casual atmosphere of Figure Eight Island for yourself.

Homes for Sale in Figure Eight Island, NC

Homes for sale on Figure Eight Island, North Carolina are unlike any other oceanfront property you’ll find anywhere. Located on the Atlantic Ocean and accessible only by a private bridge, Figure Eight Island, North Carolina real estate is known for its proximity to over five miles of sandy white beaches, sparkling blue waters and abundant natural resources. Yet the island remains untouched by commercial developments like hotels and shopping centers.

See listing and more here...http://www.cbbaker.com/figure+eight+island+real+estate

 

Categories: Figure Eight Island, Gated Island NC, Waterfront Wilmington NC, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

BUY OR WAIT? Check The Answer That’s Right For You | Wilmington NC real estate

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www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

There’s no right or wrong answer when you ask: “Is it the right time to buy a home?” For some, it’s a great time to buy—while for others, the answer is not as clear cut. There are lots of check marks that make buying favorable, but some unknowns as well. We’re here to help you sort out the right answer for you.

Today’s real estate market is affordable for many. Interest rates are still near historic lows, which means your money buys more home than it will when rates rise. With stable employment, a decent down payment and a good credit history, you’re likely to qualify for a mortgage.

The selection of homes available locally is improving because the overall economy has encouraged more owners to sell. Because of this, your odds of finding the right home for you are higher today. Also, homebuyers now have many financing options because lenders offer a variety of loan programs that allow buyers to choose their mortgage term and interest rate to ensure the loan is affordable today—and tomorrow.

Should you buy a home today?
There are many reasons why it might be a good time for you, personally, to buy real estate today. How many reasons can you check off?

☑ I need a tax break.
Paying mortgage interest and real estate taxes may provide you with a sizable deduction on your income taxes. Consult a financial professional to review your tax return and see the impact owning a home (or a larger home) could have on your tax bill.

☑ My household income is likely to grow.
Up for a raise in the not-too-distant future? In line for a promotion? If your career—or your partner’s career—is on an upward trajectory, your growing income will offset any increases in real estate taxes, insurance or interest rate down the road.

☑ I’m ready to put down some roots.
You may feel ready to sink deeper roots in one location and become more vested in our community. If you’re looking to call our area home for five years or more, it may make sense to buy a home or move up to a larger one.

☑ I have been saving for a rainy day.
If you’ve been stashing away money for a down payment for some time, consult a mortgage lender to determine how much home you can comfortably afford to buy (ask us for lender recommendations). Calculate if your savings cushion is enough to cover unexpected maintenance costs or other emergencies after the down payment is paid.

☑ I need a home that will grow with my family.
If the home you can afford today has enough bedrooms to accommodate future children, children who are returning home, elderly family members or a work-at-home situation, it may be the right time for you to buy.

☑ I’ll be receiving some money.
If you are receiving a large legal settlement or a family member has presented you or your partner with a sizable monetary gift or inheritance, you might be able to buy that home you’ve only dreamed of before now.

☑ I follow a budget.
With your finances in order and personal spending in check, you likely have a realistic budget to know how much you can safely spend on housing.

☑ My debt situation is under control.
If you had student loans and they’re nearly paid off, college-age kids that are close to graduation or credit card debt that is near a zero balance, it might be time for you to think about buying a home.

☑ I’m just ready.
If you’re ready to buy a home, it’s time to contact us. We can show you local homes that fit your finances and your family. We can work with you to determine which one meets your needs best. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Categories: Buy Now or Wait, Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

Schools | Neighborhood | Why is it smart to size up the schools before buying a house?

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Why is it smart to size up the schools before buying a house?

ChalkboardWhen you buy a house, you also buy into the area schools. Why should schools influence the home choice of even childless couples? Resale values. Families will often spend thousands of dollars more for a home located in a better school district.

  • Start with statistics
    Typically the best place to start is with research that relies heavily on statistics like test scores, high school graduation and college attendance rates, student-teacher ratios and spending per pupil. This data can give a snapshot of the condition of a school or school district over the recent past. Ask your real estate agent, informed friends and school-finding services.
  • Visit, walk-through, ask
    If you have children and want to find out what the schools will be like for them, you need to visit the schools and see how well they are run, how ancient or modern are the buildings, and how well equipped they are. Pay attention to class size and teacher workload and whether enrichment courses are offered. You also need to talk to school staff to see what problems exist or are looming ahead. Budget cuts, a demographic shift in the area or local development that overwhelms schools with new students — all can change the quality of schools.
  • Decide for yourself
    Even if the schools are the best in the state, you should look for what is best for your children. Some youngsters need a small, quiet school where individual efforts are rewarded, others thrive in a large, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Or your children may need personal attention to help cope with special learning styles.
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We’re a little tight on cash. How can we shift some settlement costs to reduce out of pocket expenses?

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Piggy BankSome buyers reduce the cash needed at settlement by scheduling closing at the end of the month. But there are several other ways to save on closing costs that may work better in the long run.

  • Skip late-month settlement

      Since interest on the loan is paid to the end of the month at settlement, the interest payment gets lower as you get closer to the end of the month. But another approach is to wait a few days until the beginning of the next month. That way, you’ll need to pay more up front at settlement, but you’ll gain a whole month’s delay before the first full mortgage payment is due, because mortgage interest is paid in arrears, after the month has passed.

 

  • Reduce out-of-pocket cash

      Another way to reduce the cash needed at settlement takes some advance planning. By negotiating with the seller, the buyer may be able to pay more for the home and finance it, while the seller puts an equal amount toward out-of-pocket settlement costs.

 

  • Finance closing costs

      A third option is to find a lender who will finance closing costs by wrapping them into the mortgage. This method may, however, cost more over the long run, as lenders often will then charge a higher interest rate for a “no closing costs” loan.
Categories: closing on a home, homes, wilmington, Wilmington NC homes, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, Wilmington nc schools


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

Copyright © 2014 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.