SELLING A HOME HAS CHANGED Retiring Soon? Avoid These Common (And Costly) Home Selling Myths

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Myth: A neighborhood pretty much like the old one we have is just fine.
Truth: If you have your heart set on certain activities such as swimming, golf, volunteering, etc. choose a location where these activities are readily available. Are you a gardener who thrives getting your hands in the dirt or are you trying to escape yard work?

If you are thinking of continuing to work—part time or more—are there job opportunities available? Consider: Even if you don’t want to work now, down the road, your finances may require you resume working and you’ll want to avoid relocating for a job.

Myth: Every place has the same healthcare resources.
Truth: Good healthcare access is a necessity as we age. Make sure suitable hospitals and doctors in your health insurance network are within easy proximity to your retirement location. If you already have preferred healthcare professionals, consider whether your new home gives easy access or if you will need to find new providers. TIP: Ask your existing medical team for referrals and recommendations for professionals in your new location.

Myth: Driving is always the best way to get around.
Truth: As visions of golf carts, public transportation options, bicycles, taxis and your own car, or two, dance in your head, prioritize what your main method of commuting will be in your new location. Will these options still be viable later on in life? Don’t forget safety considerations. If you have plans to attend evening events in a big city, will you feel safe on public transportation as your only transportation choice? TIP: Reliance on friends or relatives for occasional commitments may work in a pinch, but over time, these arrangements may be fraught with problems.

Myth: When it’s time to move, I’ll just hire a packer/mover.
Truth: Long before you decide to move, start to pare down and clear out furniture and household items you no longer need or want. It’s not just for showing your home for sale; in the process you can decide what is moving with you on the next stage in your life. Be ruthless. Go through everything you own—even those unknown boxes of “stuff” tucked away, enjoying and savoring the trip down memory lane. Determine what moves with you, what gets tossed or sold and what is give-away worthy or can be recycled. Don’t be surprised how long this takes. Remember: The stuff you shed now means an easier and cheaper move later.

Myth: Better to home shop before you sell to ensure you don’t miss your dream home.
Truth: Well ahead of home shopping, determine if your finances will allow you to purchase a new home before you sell your old one. Remember: You’ll have less negotiating power as a homebuyer if your home purchase must be contingent upon your current home’s sale. To avoid having to wait for your home to sell before you buy your next one, research whether you can tap the equity in your home (say through a bridge loan) or borrow against investment or retirement accounts as a temporary loan to purchase your new home.

Myth: Paying all cash is the best strategy for retiree homebuyers.
Truth: Previous homeowners and excellent savers may have the ability to pay cash for their retirement home. It’s comforting to many retirees—especially those on a fixed income—not to have the pressure of making a large mortgage payment every month. Before you make this decision though, sit down with your financial advisor and tax professional to determine whether it might make sense to take a mortgage on your new home. Doing so may free up cash that can be invested for a higher return than the mortgage interest rate. Plus, mortgage holders can take a tax deduction for their annual interest payments. TIP: Discuss the pros and cons of reverse mortgages during the same meeting to determine if this equity-drawdown is something you may eventually need or want to take advantage of

We’re experts in local real estate. Contact us today to help you separate market myths from local reality for your specific situation.

Categories: Buying Retirement Home, Retirement, Selling Home

What are some typical closing costs? | Wilmington NC real estate

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Cash In HandWhen you apply for a mortgage, the lender must respond with a Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs, which explains the costs you will likely have to pay at settlement. But the numbers on the form are estimates, and the final tally could be higher or lower.

Some of the more common charges are:

  • Loan Origination Fee: usually 1% of the loan;
  • Loan Discount Points: a form of accelerated interest; each point is 1% of the loan amount (who pays points is negotiable between buyer and seller);
  • Appraisal Fee: the charge to have a professional appraiser certify the value of the property being purchased;
  • Credit Report: the cost of getting a credit history from a credit service;
  • Tax Service Fee, Document Preparation Fee: charges to set up a tax escrow account and prepare mortgage documents;
  • Attorney Fees: the settlement agent’s charges for processing the sale closing;
  • Title Insurance: charges for insurance to guarantee the validity of the property’s title for the lender; buyers can also purchase title insurance at settlement to protect their interests;
  • Recording Fees, Tax Stamps: local charges to officially record the deed and mortgage, and transfer taxes;
  • Survey: the charge to verify the boundaries of the property being purchased.
  • Call us, we can help do a net sheet on your costs.
Categories: Mortage options, Mortgage options, Mortgage points, Mortgages, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington real estate stats

TRENDING | What’s New and In Demand

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29 cu. ft. Whirlpool® French Door Refrigerator with Flexible Capacity ...If you’re buying a home, you probably already know what looks dated and what’s desired in today’s homes. If you’re selling your home, you may need a little help determining if your home is move-in ready and if buyers will sigh—relief or despair—when they get inside. Check with us before you start remodeling—as local trends move fast in our ever-changing real estate marketplace.

In: Top load, high-efficiency washing machines
Out: Front load, high-efficiency washing machines

In: White washers and dryers
Out: Colorful washers and dryers

In: Induction electric cooktop (stays cool to touch)
Out: Utilitarian cooktops without style

In: French door refrigerators with freezers on the bottom
Out: Side-by-side fridges with narrow shelves

In: “Smart” appliances that connect to phone apps
Out: Appliances that aren’t able to connect to the Internet

In: Quartz countertops that look like granite
Out: Laminate that looks like granite

In: Integrated sinks
Out: Stainless sinks

In: Backsplash tiles that extend all the way to the countertop
Out: 3–4″ back piece of counter that goes up the wall

In: Open shelves or glass-front cabinet doors in the kitchen
Out: All solid cabinet door

In: Larger showers with seats and body sprays
Out: Closed off, tiny showers

In: Grab bars that look like towel rods
Out: Grab bars that look like they came from the hospital

In: Framed mirrors
Out: Expansive, frameless wall mirrors

Categories: coldwell banker sea coast advantage, Whats Trending, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events

New Loan Rules | 2014 Wilmington NC Real Estate

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Back on January 1 of this year, new lending regulations came into effect capping what lenders can charge in points and fees to no more than 3% of the loan amount.

On the one hand, know that origination fees average only 0.87% and typically are not more than 1%, according to What’s more, the new fee rules do not include non-lender (third-party) charges for escrowed taxes and insurance, notary fees, appraisal fees, flood hazard reports, pest inspections, document preparation, title insurance or credit reports—as long as these fees all come from independent companies not affiliated with the lender. Also, loans of less than $100,000 are exempt and can have lender fees of more than 3%.

Some experts thought the new rules would impact mortgage brokers more than banks. Yet so far, homebuyers have not been dramatically impacted, even though the cost to comply with the new rules can be more burdensome to smaller lenders.

Bottom line: Lender fees are limited to 3% of the loan amount (over $100,000), which means borrowers won’t be overpaying for their loans. However, the cap on fees tends to make some lenders less likely to offer loans in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

Call us 910-202-3607 for more information.

Categories: wilmington nc real estate, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

Home Improvements | Investing In Accessibility Pays Back

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With an increase in multi-generational households, frequent out-of-town guests and various special needs that arise, a home that allows everyone to live and visit comfortably is a bonus for you, the homeowner, as well as a positive selling point for future buyers.

More and more families are finding themselves caring for family members with physical limitations. And many homeowners today express a preference for “aging in place”—not having to move to another home when they get older.

No matter if a physical impairment is temporary or permanent, or if elderly family members come to live with you or simply visit, updating your home to accommodate everyone is a wise investment.

  • Threshold. Consider modifying your home by creating a zero-threshold entry. No stairs, no steps, no barrier to getting through the front door. Be sure the width of the door also allows easy access.
  • Bedrooms. First-floor master bedrooms and baths can allow independence to any age, resident and visitor alike. Guests who have difficulty with stairs appreciate roomy first-floor half baths.
  • Bathrooms. Making bathrooms accessible to all includes doorways at least 32″ wide (36″ is even better), grab bars/handrails, easy-to-grasp lever faucets and sinks with lower cabinets/countertops or room to maneuver a wheelchair under.
  • Showers. If budget and space allow, consider creating a multi-function shower space that is accessible and safe for users who are in wheelchairs or need a seated shower.
  • Hardware. Consider lever-style door knobs and drawer pulls, which are easier to operate than knobs.
  • Kitchen. When redesigning a kitchen, make sure space between islands and counters is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
  • Stairs. To allow easy access to upper or lower floors, investigate the installation of a stair or wheelchair lift, or elevator, including space and cost requirements of each option.

Let us know if you would like to investigate how you could use your home’s equity to finance accessibility modifications to make your home more accessible for you, your loved ones and anyone who comes for a visit.

Contact us to help you decide whether paying points makes sense for your particular financial situation.

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What is a walk-through and what should I expect? | Wilmington NC real estate

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Whether you are selling a relatively new house or one that was built years ago, most buyers will want to make a final inspection before settlement. This walk-through should be scheduled long enough before settlement so any problems can be repaired before closing.What Buyers Typically Look For

  • Check out contingencies.
      The buyers will examine the house closely to see that any contingencies you agreed to have been resolved.
  • Unseen blemishes.
      Buyers look for any flaws that might have escaped their notice earlier. For instance, how does the house look without your furniture? Have any changes been made since the buyer saw the house before?
    • Consider a negotiated solution.
        In some cases, problems will have to be taken care of after settlement. Just make sure you have a written agreement to that effect (with a timetable specified), to avoid misunderstandings.

      • Buyers aren’t shy.
          Don’t be surprised if buyers ask lots of questions during the final walk-through. After all, this may be their last chance to become familiar with their soon-to-be home. Some have been known to bring an experienced inspector or consult a home maintenance book during the walk-through.
      • Expect any requests in writing.

If the buyers do have concerns after the walk-through, expect them to put their requests in writing as soon after the inspection as possible. We can help resolve any concerns.

We have answers to your questions and more professional tips to make selling your house easier. Call or e-mail us or email us at

Categories: Buying First Home, Walk -Through, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation

Photos are 1000 Words | Wilmington NC real estate

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1,000 WORDS

Why Online Listing Photos Make (Or Break) A Great Sale


Before homebuyers even decide whether to tour a home, they can gather an enormous amount of information about the property online. Today’s buyers turn first to the Internet to filter out (or in) only the homes that absolutely fit their needs. That’s why listing photos today are true deal makers—or deal killers.Here’s what serious buyers are looking for before they drop their mouse and tour a house: 

Rooms. Buyers verify the number of bedrooms, bathroom(s) and total rooms match their needs.

Layout. Browsers click through a lot of photos or virtual tours to understand if the layout of a home looks like it’s what they want. If they require certain rooms to be open to others, to provide a floor plan that matches their family traffic, or a one-level home free of stairs, they will rule the home in or out online.

Location. Virtual shoppers scan the map to see if it’s a location, neighborhood, and commute they prefer. Schools, shopping, services, fire house and hospital are frequent search objects. Including photos of nearby landmarks with listing pictures is often a plus.

Niches. For keen buyers photos of niche features are key: Drop zone, mudroom, charging station, food pantry, storage for kid stuff, laundry folding station, garage storage, lighted workshop, garden shed, walk-in closets, just to name a few.

Amenities. Still other online buyers want granite countertops, no carpeting, a bay window or other hard-to-miss features, which they use to quickly determine from listing photos if the home meets their requirements.

Home seller tip: If changing simple things like paint color, carpeting, appliances, etc., can persuade a buyer to tour your home, do it. The upgrades will make great online photos—and make a great deal for a time-squeezed homebuyer. 


Prepare Now For Selling Action

If you are planning to sell your property soon, now is the time to prepare. Contact us for our “must-have” home sellers checklist and let our proven full service marketing plan work for you to achieve top dollar for your home. Contact us today.

Categories: Coldwell Banker Buyer Bonus Program, Photos in Real estate, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

Foreclosures in Wilmington NC from $50,000 | Real Estate

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Welcome to our Free Wilmington NC Foreclosure Site.

These prices won’t last for long!




Foreclosures from $50,000 – $175,000  Click Here…

Foreclosures from $175,000 – $300,000 Click Here…

Foreclosures from $300,000 Click Here…

Click Here to search on your own

We will provide you with free daily updates on Foreclosures and Short Sales in the Wilmington area.  Save money and enjoy quick equity when you purchase a foreclosed  or a short -sale home.  You provide the price and what you are looking for, and we will put you on our automatic  listing alert service directly from our MLS system, so that only the homes that match your criteria will be emailed to you.  At your convenience look through the listings  and if one catches your eye, call us and we will make arrangements with the bank to get more information about the home. It’s just that simple.
Just fill out the email request below and leave the rest to us.

Our speciality in todays market is short sales, foreclosures and Bank owned property.  We are knowledgeable and up to date on how to get you the very best price. Just have questions about the real estate market, email us anytime and we will be glad to answer your questions or concerns.

This service is available for New Hanover County, Brunswick County & Pender County. Wilmington NC Real Estate searches can be done on our website

Categories: Foreclosures in Wilmington NC, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation

Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | | 910-202-3607 | Fax 910-338-2428

Copyright © 2017 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.