Worlds Largest Christmas Tree | Wilmington NC real estate

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Wilmington NC Worlds Largest Christmas Tree | Star News Photo

Our world famous tree will not be lit again this year, but here is  a little history to bring back memories.  In 1928 “Hi Buddy” Wade, the town commissioner held a contest to find the best Christmas tree to light in Wilmington. Two local school children choose the tree at the Hilton Park. A Large Oak.  Each was rewarded with a $5 gold piece.  450 lights were used to decorate the tree.  The Worlds Largest Christmas tree lighting ceremony which has  been held every year since 1928 (except the one year during World War II) until 2010.  The age and health of the tree has been a concern in prior years.  The City of  Wilmington is doing renovations at the Sweeney plant next to the tree, and these are safety concerns as well.  To upgrade and accommodate changes to make the area around the tree safe is not in the City budget.

So, we will have to view the tree from afar, and visit the new tree and Santa’s house on the downtown Wilmington NC riverfront.  Until then, we can still say Wilmington NC had the “Worlds Largest Christmas tree” .

If you are in town and want to search Wilmington NC real estate – visit www.cbbaker.com/

Categories: Uncategorized, wilmington nc, wilmington nc convention center, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, wilmington nc real estate, worlds largest christmas tree

MORTGAGE PAYOFF? Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Pay Off Your Mortgage Loan Early

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danceDo you dream of the day when you mail your last mortgage payment to your lender? Do you wish for a day when you are mortgage-free?

Well, your dreams might be misplaced.

Paying off that loan early—if you have the extra dollars—seems to make sense, especially if you have other plans for your money. Yes, you absolutely should make your mortgage payments on time each month with the goal of one day eliminating these payments entirely. But paying off your mortgage loan early? That might not make the most financial sense, even if you have the funds available to pay off your 30-year or 15-year mortgage loan before it reaches the natural end of its life.

Here are three reasons why paying off your home loan months or years early might not be the right move for you.

You have high credit-card debt: Mortgage debt has a key advantage over other forms of debt: low interest rates. The same can’t be said of credit-card debt, which can come with sky-high interest rates. It’s not unusual for consumers to have credit-card debt that comes with interest rates of 15-20% or higher. If you are burdened with high levels of credit-card debt, it makes more financial sense to pay off your credit cards before you use your extra money to pay off your mortgage loan early. Take any extra dollars to pay down the debt that comes with the highest interest rates.

You need that tax deduction: Having a mortgage loan comes in handy at tax time, when you can deduct the interest that you paid on your mortgage throughout the previous year. The IRS allows you to deduct the interest paid on up to $1 million worth of mortgage debt, and you can take this deduction for both a primary residence and a second home. You can also deduct the interest on up to $100,000 worth of home-equity loans. This holds true even if you didn’t use your home-equity loan to make any home improvements. If you pay off your mortgage loan early, this tax advantage will disappear. This can be a painful out-of-pocket experience, especially if you work as an independent contractor or on a freelance basis. That mortgage-interest tax deduction can help soften the blow come income-tax time.

You need to save for retirement: If you’re not contributing the maximum to your retirement plans, it makes sense to take the money you might use to pay off your mortgage loan early and instead boost your retirement savings. People are living longer today. They need, then, to save more money to ensure a retirement that isn’t ruined by financial stress. Unfortunately, financial surveys show that a majority of people approaching retirement have not saved enough for their after-work years. You can avoid this trap. Consider paying off your mortgage loan early only if you are already contributing the maximum amount of dollars to your IRA or 401(k) plan.

 

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Lender Requirements When Purchasing a Home.

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Perhaps you’re nervous about applying for a home loan. There’s good reason. Lenders’ requirements have gotten tougher, down payments higher and interest rates keep creeping up. But getting a loan today is easier than you might expect.

Be aware that there are many reasons that lenders cannot use to turn you down for a loan. If you are otherwise qualified for a home loan, a lender cannot reject your application for these reasons:

  1. If a female applicant is pregnant.
  2. If you are on paid family leave from your job.
  3. Based on your race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disabilities.
  4. Based on family status.
  5. Your reliable income is from part-time employment, Social Security, pensions and annuities.
  6. Your reliable income is from alimony, child support or separate maintenance payments.

If you are denied a mortgage, your lender must outline exactly why you were rejected. Acceptable reasons include “your income was too low” or “you haven’t been employed long enough.” Unacceptable reasons include “you didn’t meet our minimum standards” as that reason is not specific enough.

If you are wrongly denied a mortgage, contact the lender to reconsider your application. In addition, consider contacting your state’s attorney general office to see if state laws were violated and contact the appropriate government agency.  kaybaker@associates@ec.rr.com
or 910-202-3607.  Find us on www.cbbaker.com

Categories: Lender Requirements, Wilmington NC homes, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

“What Really Determines Your Home’s True Value In Today’s Market ”

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Looking at a home just by its address or public data rarely returns an accurate market value. Why? Because every property and pocket-market is unique. Here’s a quick refresher to see how the home you own—or the home you’re thinking of buying—stacks up in terms of local values and price trends.

Check out your value here.  www.WilmingtonHouseValues.com

Location, location, location. It’s not just a cliché because most homebuyers will pay more for a comparable home that is conveniently located near schools, place of work, public transportation, parks, etc.

Size of home. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms and total rooms in the home helps determine its underlying value.

Size of lot. A bigger lot often means that the home commands a larger price tag, especially in cities where open space is at a premium. Landscaping and hardscaping improvements (or lack thereof) can swing value up or down.

Amenities. If the home has special features that other homes don’t have or it has been upgraded, it may be worth more if the majority of homebuyers find these features desirable. Large, updated kitchens and baths, spacious and numerous closets, usable storage space, outdoor entertaining space, modern wiring, etc. often add value.

Age and condition. Newer homes are typically worth more than older homes because they often need less work to make them move-in ready. Well-maintained older homes, however, that have been remodeled and are located in a desirable area may bump the price tag higher.

Get professional advice. If you have any question about local home price trends—or your home’s potential selling price—contact us. We’d love to show you how our knowledge of local values can help you determine what your home is really worth in today’s market—and if selling your home or finding a new one fits your financial goals.Let us know how we can help. kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com or 910-202-3607

Categories: Sell your home, Selling Home, Selling your home, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

LIVE BIGGER Small Ways To Make Your Home Fit Your Family’s Needs Better

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LIVE BIGGER
Small Ways To Make Your Home Fit
Your Family’s Needs Better


If it seems like the walls are closing in around you, it might actually be true. More stuff? More kids? New pets? Children grown but not yet out of the house? Maybe your elderly parents have moved back in? Maybe you’re even running a home office from your residence? All these changes—and all the extra stuff that comes with them—can make any home feel cramped.What can you do—short of moving? Here are five proven tips to make your home “live bigger.”

Before you buy it, think
What will you toss, recycle or give away when you bring something new to your home? If you are just adding to your stash, reconsider. If it’s “just nice to have” or you’ll “use it later,” hold off.

If it’s flimsy, avoid the clutter and hassle of dealing with it after it breaks. Sometimes waiting to buy the well-made, but more expensive item makes more sense.

Review your belongings, one-by-one
Do a deep declutter. Unpack every closet, drawer, cubby, container and bin. Pretend you’re moving. Be ruthless with the 5-Pile-Moving-Mantra: Sell, Return, Give/Donate, Toss/Recycle or Keep/Use. You don’t have to do this all at once. But carve out time to cut back your stored stuff.

Don’t hide things
When items are stored in opaque bins and closed boxes, no one can remember what’s inside; out of sight, out of mind. Bury the bins in closets, attics, crawl spaces, basements or under beds, and the memory gets even dustier. Inventory each box using the 5-Pile standard, and you’ll be amazed how much unwanted stuff you’ll clear out.

Double duty wins
Make sure new purchases can do multiple things, making them more useful. If you find a desk that has lots of storage space and a chair can fit completely under it, that desk can make a bookcase unneeded and more practical than a desk with a chair that sticks out.If the dining room is rarely used, convert it into your home office with a cabinet desk or get a credenza so that you can put away your work gear when meal time arrives.

Know when to throw in the towel
Sometimes, a home truly isn’t going to feel spacious no matter what you do. If you’ve worked through these declutter tips, but your home’s still not big enough for your needs, give us a call. We can help you sell your home and find a new one that is just right for you. Best of all, the packing for your move is mostly done!

 

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Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com | 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.