“LITTLE” HOUSEHOLD PROBLEMS CAN EVENTUALLY COST A LOT

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Sometimes a $1,000 disaster can be prevented with a $4 hose. That’s the finding of many homeowners who end up paying a lot for repairs that could have been prevented with just an ounce of inexpensive prevention.

One of the best places to check first is any place in your home that can be damaged by water. A survey by the American Society of Home Inspectors found that 40% of home maintenance problems are related to water. Water seeping into the basement or crawlspace, leaks from neglected washer and dishwasher hoses, and leaking pipes can leave you wet and poor.

Pay attention to the following items in your home regularly:

Water Threats
• Check for leaks from appliance hoses (washer and dishwasher), connections to the hot water heater and humidifier, outside spigots, exposed plumbing. Tighten all connections.

• After a heavy rain, check for water in attics, basements and crawlspaces. Make repairs as soon as the area is dry.

• Backed-up gutters can cause water to seep back up into the attic. The solution is simple, though: regularly remove leaves and debris from the gutter system.

Electrical System
• Check the circuit breakers about every six months.

• Check switches when lights seem to blink when the switch is touched.

• Keep wall-socket plates secure and replace broken ones.

A/C and Heating System
• Check these systems at least once a year; have them cleaned and serviced. You could save thousands in repair/replacement bills later, and improve operating efficiency thereby lowering monthly costs.

• If you have a fireplace, make sure it is professionally inspected and cleaned annually. Wood-burning fireplaces can cause creosote to build up in their chimneys–a dangerous fire hazard.

For more information please visit www.cbbaker.com

Categories: Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation

Tools and Gadgets For Holiday Home Gifts

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When it comes to home repairs, maintenance and fix-ups, having the right tool for the task at hand can spell the difference between a quick job well done and a frustrating ordeal. If you have a “handyperson” (willing or not) on your holiday gift list, here are some great gifts you could contribute to his or her arsenal of equipment–if he or she hasn’t already discovered them.

 

  • Cordless Power Drill

(9.6 volt or more) with two rechargeable batteries. Likely to become the most oft-used tool in the box!

Drill bit set (100 piece or more)

to handle any challenge-ceramic, concrete, specialty head shapes, etc. With quick-snap adaptor, even better.

Portable tool organizer

of heavy-duty canvas or rip-stop fabric. Belt, vest or bucket offers ready access to tools, often with dozens of varying pocket sizes.

Universal socket wrench

can adjust to any size, both metric and standard, due to flexible pin design. Some come with power adaptors for electric drills/screwdrivers.

Spring hose

(50′ or longer) takes the weight and the winding out of watering tasks, yet stands up to wear and tear.

Pressure washer

for concrete, siding, outdoor furniture, decks, vehicles and much more. Even inexpensive, lower pressure models (about $80) are effective enough for most tasks.

Electronic stud finder

finds the wood, not just the nail holding it in place. Some come with laser leveling devices.

Carpenter’s level

comes in handy for everything from tree houses and fencing to hanging picture on the walls.

Sanding sponges,

in various texture grades, offer a tough, rinseable, reusable sanding surface, particularly useful with drywall and spackling compound.

 

Categories: Tools, wilmington nc

Someone would like to see your home in a half hour | Ready. Set. Go

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READY TO SHOW

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Showing Primer: Get Your Home Visitor-Ready In A Flash

Some Wilmington NC buyers may not give you much notice before they want to tour your home. Here are several tips to keep your home showcase-ready—or get it ready fast. On your mark: Assemble a cleaning caddy with all necessary tools, cleaners and rags to take with you from room to room. Get set. Go!

Everywhere

  • Turn on lights, open window coverings.
  • Stash items that don’t belong in a particular room in a box or bin. Place the filled container in the garage, basement, attic or another out-of-the-way area.
  • Lock up pets or take them with you when you leave for showing.

Kitchen

  • Pop dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
  • Take garbage/recycling to bins outside.
  • Wipe counters, sink, appliances with appropriate cleaner.
  • Sweep along cabinets and in corners.
  • Wipe up any sticky floor spots.

Living Room/Family Room/Den

  • Dust large open surfaces such as tables, lamp shades, shelves, etc.
  • Straighten books, magazines, videos, music, electronics (better yet, ban this clutter for now).
  • Fluff and arrange pillows and throws.

Bedroom

  • Make beds, even if it means throwing bedspread/comforter over unmade sheets.
  • Prop up pillows decoratively.
  • Put away clothes and other clutter (under-bed storage box works too).

Bathroom

  • All countertop items in cabinets.
  • Fold towels neatly or put out special “showing-only towels.”
  • Wipe down counter/sink and perhaps tub/shower if you have time.
  • Sweep or wet-mop floor, especially corners.
  • Wipe down toilet and/or swish inside with nearby toilet brush.

Hallways/Entry/Mudroom

  • Hang up all items.
  • Sweep and/or shake out rug outside.
  • Put dirty clothes in washing machine or dryer (if either are empty).
  • Showtime!
Categories: Getting your home ready for a showing, wilmington beach homes, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC homes, wilmington nc real estate

“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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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


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.