ALL THE RIGHT MOVES The Best Strategy To Get To SOLD!

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Does your game plan require you to sell your home before you can make your next move in life? If so, you need a strategy to get the best price for your home in the shortest amount of time.

It’s like playing a game of chess: Successfully selling your home requires a combination of thought, planning, preparation and some good moves.

Think through your moves and determine your timeline. In the meantime, start prepping your home for sale—earlier is better—by thoroughly cleaning and decluttering every single space. Ditch excess belongings by donating, selling or pitching them. Box seldom used items and store them in an out-of-the way space, or, better yet, off-site. Create curb appeal that makes buyers want to get out of their car as soon as they see your home. Stage your home to create inviting spaces in which buyers want to live—and own. Predict when you’ll have to negotiate an offer and be flexible with your terms. If you practice all these moves, your game will end with a successful sale.

Learn how to master selling a home. It will open doors to your next move. Remember, as your real estate professionals, we can help you as you contemplate every single move!

Winning Requires Planning

If you’re looking to get your home sold quickly and for the best price, it takes some planning. Just like in chess, you’ll need to study the competition. See how your home stacks up against the ones already on the market. Consider your property’s location, amenities, age and condition as you visit these homes.

Take mental notes on what staging ideas make a room look warm and inviting. Recreate those in your own home. Determine what feature(s) your home has that the competition does not—and make that element pop in your own home. With a clear plan, you’re on your way!

The Game Board

The game board for chess is the same for all players, just as every home seller has access to the same set of information: data from recently sold, listed and expired homes; local economic conditions; housing demand; nearby competition; etc. It’s how you use this information that can give you an advantage.

Using the data, you can make an informed decision when pricing your home to sell fast. We can help you determine the price that buyers will find realistic and invite action, that is, a purchase offer. If you price too high, your home will languish; pricing it right or just under will create interest to get the selling game off on a good start!

Manage Your Time Wisely

Professional chess players are under time pressure to make each move. Home sellers have their own personal timeline dictating when they need to have the home sold. No matter how tight of a timeline you face, we can help.

Plan carefully for each move you make: prepping the home for sale; studying local data to determine a price; timing to put the home on the market to reach the greatest number of homebuyers; and getting the signed contract to closing/settlement uneventfully. It’s never too early to start planning to sell your home!

A Better Position Can Help

Going it alone in the real estate market can be overwhelming. Rely on real estate professionals—like us—to guide your moves through the entire selling process. We’ll cover the details and give you a play-by-play of every strategically important move you need to make. We’ll also tell you what to expect from buyers. Contact us. We look forward to helping you make the right moves to win the selling game!

Call us we would love to help.  Or visit www.cbbaker.com for more Wilmington NC Real estate information.  910-202-3607 kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

 

Categories: Get a House sold!, Sell a House Quick', Selling Houses, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE | Mortgage 101

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Check The Fine Print On Your Loan Estimate And Closing Disclosure

Mortgage lenders—including us, of course—do our best to make it easy for you to understand how much you can expect to pay for your home loan. To do this, we rely on two documents created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure.

The CFPB mandated the use of both forms starting in October of 2015. Now all mortgage lenders are required to use the standard Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms nationwide. These streamlined forms make it easier for borrowers to understand all fees and costs associated with taking out a mortgage and understand exactly what they’ll be paying.

LOAN ESTIMATE

The first important form is a three-page document known as the Loan Estimate. Lenders are required to send their mortgage customers this form within three business days after they receive your mortgage loan application. The purpose of the Loan Estimate is simple: It spells out each and every cost related to your mortgage loan.

But be aware of this important fact: As the name suggests, the Loan Estimate does not contain final costs. Instead, it lists the estimated fees that your lender is charging you to close/settle your mortgage loan.

CLOSING DISCLOSURE

For final, exact figures, you’ll have to wait for the Closing Disclosure. This is another key form that lenders provide you, this time at least three business days before you close/settle your loan. The Closing Disclosure form lists the exact, final fees and interest rate you’ll be charged for your home loan.

GET OUT THE MAGNIFYING GLASS

Smart homebuyers will want to study both of these documents carefully. Make sure that the figures listed on your Closing Disclosure vary only slightly from the ones on your earlier Loan Estimate. If the fees on the Closing Disclosure differ—higher or lower—ask your lender about them. If you can’t resolve the discrepancies to your liking, you always have the option to walk away from the loan.

What other information will your Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure contain? The documents will also list the estimated costs of your new home’s property taxes and insurance payments. If your loan comes with a prepayment penalty—a fee you’ll have to pay for paying off or refinancing your loan before a set number of years pass—your Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure will list this, too. More more helpful hints please visit www.cbbaker.com or contact us at kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com
Categories: Mortgage, Mortgage Fine Print, Uncategorized

INVEST YOUR RENT: Why Pay Your Landlord’s Mortgage?

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The only one who benefits from a rent check is the landlord. Renters never see that money again, while homeowners usually profit when they sell. In addition, renters can’t use any of their rent payment as a tax deduction, like homeowners can. If you or someone you know is renting, it’s time to put that rent check to better use!e mortgage-interest deduction is probably the best financial argument for buying rather than renting. Consider this example:If you can afford a mortgage payment of $1,000 (principal and interest only), you can buy a house for $151,426 if you put 10% down on a 30-year mortgage at 8% interest ( current rate for great credit is 4%) . If your payments started in January, you would pay $10,862 in interest for the first year in the home. That entire amount is deductible on your federal income tax return! Assuming you are in the 27.5% tax bracket, you would save $2,989 in taxes, or $249 per month. So your $1,000 payment is really only $751 when you factor in the homeowner’s tax advantage.

Can A Renter Really Afford To Buy?

shells5The real question is whether renters can afford not to buy. The tax savings alone make the purchase of a home a wise financial decision. But let’s go a step further.

Using the same example, a 10% down payment would create an immediate equity of $15,142. Assuming the $151,426 house grows in value by just 3% a year, in five years it would be worth $175,544. The original loan amount would then be down to $129,565, yielding an equity of $45,980. In addition, remember the nearly $3,000 tax savings every year. The total value of your equity and tax savings would be almost $61,000 after five years.

Pick A Loan

To take advantage of the financial benefits of homeownership, renters must first find out how much buying power they have. We can help. Call us for information about the whole range of mortgage options now available, including low- and no-down-payment loans, and programs that allow buyers wrap home-improvement costs and closing costs into the mortgage.

Plan Ahead

Although some lenders allow buyers to use up to 41% of monthly income to purchase a house, beware of becoming “house rich and cash poor.” Be sure to budget for homeownership costs beyond the mortgage, including expenses for:

moving
decorating and furnishing
homeowners insurance
property taxes
homeowners association fees (if any)
utilities-power, water, sewer, cable, trash pick-up
yard tools, supplies and general upkeep
home repairs, supplies, cleaning and upgrades.

Today, homeownership is a wonderful dream-come-true for more people than ever before. Let us help turn those dreams into a home to be proud of.

Check out www.cbbaker.com for more information and helpful tips.  kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, mortgage interest deductions, tax advantage, tax advantages to buying real estate, tax exemptions, why pay your landlords mortgage, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wilmington NC real esatate

Do You Know How You Can Profit Using “OPM” and Leverage?

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Home ownership remains an important investment for most people, thanks in large part to the use of OPM (“Other People’s Money”) to gain “leverage.” Here’s how leverage works.

  • Assume that a family bought a home five years ago for $80,000. They put up 20% of the purchase price ($16,000) and borrowed the 80% ($64,000) balance. Now, they manage to sell the house for $120,000. Their relatively small cash investment has reaped the benefit of the increase in value of the entire property. The $16,000 cash investment has resulted in a profit of $40,000.
  • Compare this with an investment in common stocks. Federal regulations require that an investor put up at least 50% in cash. Therefore, the leverage is not as high as for the home buyer. If the investor put up $40,000 to buy $80,000 in securities and sold the stocks five years later for $120,000, the return would have been less substantial.
  • Taxes, selling costs and other factors would change these figures in the “real” world, but the principle of leverage would remain the same. If you want to increase the return on your home investment as much as possible, let OPM go to work for you.

If you want to increase the value of your house hunting time and energy, let us go to work for you. We can help steer you through the complexities of contracting, financing and closing.

Visit www.cbbaker.com for more information.

Categories: OPM, Uncategorized

Masonboro Island Wilmington NC

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Masonboro Island NC

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. Read the rest of this entry

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

HEALTHY HOME: The Top 10 House Maladies To Avoid

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babyhandWhether you’re selling a home or looking to purchase one, you’ll want to make certain the home in question is in good physical condition. Check out the following list of the 10 most common home “health” problems identified by members of the American Society of Home Inspectors in a recent survey.

1. Improper surface grading and drainage.

Inspectors rated this problem the most troublesome, with 35.8% of those surveyed listing it as their top issue. Responsible for household maladies, such as leaky basements or crawl spaces, grading and drainage problems can be fixed either by regrading the ground away from the house or replacing gutters and down spouts.

2. Improper electrical wiring.

This was rated the most common problem by 20% of the inspectors surveyed. Some inspectors reported that 70% to 80% of electrical wiring in homes is installed incorrectly — mostly by do-it-yourselfers. Noted problems included insufficient electrical service, inadequate overload protection and amateur (sometimes dangerous) wiring connections.{short description of image}

3. Roof damage.

Leaking roofs ranked third in the survey, resulting most often from old or damaged shingles or improper flashing and drainage. Asphalt shingles, the most commonly used shingle type, last between 20 and 30 years — about the same life span as wooden shake shingles. For longevity, try slate shingles, which can last 100-plus years!

4. Heating systems.

Most sales contracts require that heating systems be in working order, so it’s an item that must be dealt with if it fails the home inspection — which often happens, according to the ASHI survey. Problems include broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys and unsafe exhaust disposal. Don’t overlook heating system problems — they can be dangerous if left unattended.

5. Poor overall maintenance.

Although the survey found this problem common, it is truly avoidable. Signs of poor maintenance include: cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces; crumbling masonry; makeshift wiring or plumbing; and broken fixtures and appliances.

6. Structural problems.

This category includes damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters and window/door headers — often caused by some of the five problems already listed.

7. Plumbing.

Common problems include faulty fixtures and waste lines and the existence of old or incompatible piping materials.

8. Exteriors.

While exterior flaws may not have structural significance, defects in windows, doors and wall surfaces can cause discomfort to residents via moisture and air penetration. The most common exterior problems are inadequate caulking and/or weatherstripping.

9. Poor ventilation.

It is possible to “overseal” a home, resulting in excessive interior moisture, which can lead to rotting and failure of structural and non-structural elements.

10. Miscellaneous.

Included here were interior elements — usually cosmetic. They were mentioned so infrequently by respondents that they did not rank individually in the survey.Fortunately, many of the most common problems in homes are far from fatal — they can often be fixed quickly and inexpensively! The point is to fix them early, before they cause significant damage to your home.

Call us 910-202-3607 for more information and tips. Or visit www.cbbaker.com

 

 

Categories: #selling homes, #Spring Time To Sell, Healthy Homes, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate

Want To Save Big Dollars? Pay Your Mortgage Bi-Weekly

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river2We get it. No one really enjoys making a mortgage payment each month. But here’s a secret: You can shorten the length of your mortgage loan without refinancing your loan to a shorter term.

You simply have to make bi-weekly payments.

Here’s how this works: Normally, you’ll make 12 mortgage payments a year, one each month. If you owe $1,000 on your mortgage each month, you’ll make 12 mortgage payments for a total of $12,000 a year. But if you split your payment into bi-weekly payments, you’ll pay $500 every two weeks.

This pays off in a big way: Because there are 52 weeks in a year, you’ll make 26 bi-weekly payments. That is equal to making 13 monthly payments in a year. That’s right, with the bi-weekly mortgage payment, you’d make one extra mortgage payment each year than you would when paying 12 standard monthly payments.

Bi-weekly payments reduce the payoff time of your mortgage loan. The number of months you chop off your mortgage varies depending on the size, interest rate and length of your loan. If you are paying off a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan of $180,000 with an interest rate of 4%, you’ll pay off your loan in 25 years and 11 months, eliminating four years and one month of payments. That means you’ll also save more than $20,000 in interest during the life of your loan.

Those are some compelling reasons to consider a bi-weekly payment plan. Call us today if you are interested. We’ll walk you through the process and help you make the right decision for your financial situation.

Categories: Mortgage, Mortgage 101, Mortgage choice, Mortgage ideas, Mortgage options, Mortgage points, mortgage rates, Mortgages, MPP mortgage, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

RESALES: Hidden Advantages Of Previously Owned Homes

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Although many people prefer to buy new homes, the vast majority of buyers prefer resales. According to the National Association of Realtors, 75% of homes sold are resales.When home buyers ask us about the merits of buying an “old” versus a newly built home, we show them how resales offer some of the best values in the market today. The news gets better when they see the wonderfully diverse resale selection of appealing styles and sizes in may locations and price ranges. Plus, when the owner goes to sell an “old” home, they have what most buyers are looking for.

Here are some of the advantages that make “old” homes so popular:

Size Appeal

Older homes often have more space inside and out than new homes. Inside, resale homes may have more square footage and higher ceilings; outside, resale lot sizes are typically larger.

Close-in convenience

Many resale homes are in older neighborhoods, which are closer to downtown business districts and shopping. New communities are often a distance away from cities and commute times may be much longer.{short description of image}

Cost savings

Resale homes generally are less expensive than similar new homes. One reason could be that resale sellers have more bargaining room than builders who must make a return on the high costs they recently paid for land and building materials. In fact, a NAR study found resale sellers accepted a median drop of $4,000 from their asking price while builders’ median drop was only $500.

More green space

For tree lovers, resales are a big draw. Older homes typically have mature trees and plantings, unlike what’s found in new neighborhoods.

What you see is what you get

There is no guesswork with older, established neighborhoods. Buyers can research and tour the schools, sample the shopping, and check out the neighbors. In a new-home subdivision, buyers might not want to live with the noise and dirt of construction, may wonder about future development, or deal with possible long bus rides to existing schools and little or no nearby shopping.

Lots of Extras

Many resale buyers cash in on “extras” the owner has already put in, which can save big money. Typical money-saving extras: fenced yards, decks, pools, play sets, window treatments and appliances.We would be happy to assist you with your house-hunting needs. A resale home can be an excellent value for a buyer in today’s market. Call or e-mail for more information.”

 

Categories: Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wilmington NC real esatate, Wrightsville Beach NC

How to Win the Mortgage Game When Relocating

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lotus_bud_free_photo-690x457www.cbbaker.com

The single smartest move you can make is to put off house hunting until you have a firm idea of your buying power. If you are pre-approved for a loan, you can save considerable time house hunting and mortgage shopping.

A pre-approved mortgage loan is an excellent guideline to help relocating home buyers know how much home they can afford. For the seller, pre-approval is proof that the buyer’s lender feels confident a loan commitment would not be a problem if all the financial documentation were in order.

Pre-Approval Benefits:

  • Streamlines house hunting.
      A pre-approval identifies how much money the transferee can obtain, so precious time isn’t wasted looking at too-costly homes.
  • Offers peace of mind.
      You know for sure how much home you can afford, and there is little chance a lender will not make the requested commitment.
  • Prevents “house poor” homeowners.
      Pre-approval reduces the possibility of you becoming overextended and unable to meet payments later on.
  • Boosts bargaining power.
      Pre-approved buyers tend to be in an advantageous position when bidding against other buyers, as sellers like knowing your loan is guaranteed.
  • Pinpoints best mortgage option.
    The pre-approval process helps you identify ahead of time which type of mortgage best meets your personal needs.

Before you jump into planning your move, there are some terrific services we offer to relocating families moving into or out of our area. Let us help you take advantage of them. Send us an e-mail or give us a call. 910-202-3607 or kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: Pre-Approved Mortgage, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

PLAY SMART: Savvy Tips On Buying A Vacation Home

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Great Reasons To Buy A Vacation Home

Figure Eight Island

Figure Eight Island

They provide another investment that includes a mortgage-interest tax deduction.

We’ve all thought about it while lying on the beach or inhaling the fresh mountain air: “Why don’t we buy a vacation home?” Owning a vacation home can be a good decision if you buy smart.

Whether you rent it out or not, you can deduct the mortgage interest as long as you use the home more than 14 days or more than 10% of the number of days the home is rented annually at a fair rental, whichever is longer.

Qualified second homes include houses, condominiums, cooperatives, mobile homes, house trailers, boats or similar properties that have sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities.

Here’s an interesting twist on the mortgage interest deduction: If you take out a home equity loan on your first home and use the funds to acquire your second home, the interest on the home equity loan is also deductible. That’s three mortgage interest deductions off your tax return!

Consult IRS Publication 936 for a complete discussion of how mortgage interest for a second home is deductible.

You can purchase your future retirement home now, at today’s prices.

Though your second home may be a vacation home now, if you buy right you can convert it into your principal residence later.

They can produce their own income.

Renting out a second home occasionally or often can help you pay for the property with OPM (other people’s money). Check with your tax advisor about how much of the upkeep and management expenses are deductible against your income.

Buying Tips From The Experts

Buy something within a reasonable distance.

Be sure you can get to your vacation home in a short amount of time. Before you make a final decision, travel the distance on a typical Friday afternoon to see whether the drive will be too much to deal with after a long work week.

Rent in the area several times before you buy.

If you really like a particular area, check it out during different seasons. This way you get to know the climate, people, pests, traffic patterns and other regional particulars first-hand.

Consult other owners.

Check with owners of nearby properties about public and private facilities, special maintenance required due to location or weather, the social climate, local development plans and prevalence of crime. Learning about the lifestyle of the area may help you narrow down your choices.

Think home first, investment second.

Although you may be able to generate rental income from your vacation home, it may not cover your ownership costs. (If you want to try real estate investments, give us a call to look at properties in the local area.)

Consider different styles of properties in a vacation area.

To minimize upkeep and have a more secure environment, a condo may be preferable to a single-family home. If you plan on converting it to a retirement home, consider what type of home you’ll want as a full-time residence.

Call us 910.202.3607 or kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com or www.cbbaker.com

Categories: Buying a Vacation Home, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC


Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com | 910-202-3607 | Fax 910-338-2428

Copyright © 2016 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.