MOVE UP: 4 Smart Strategies For Purchasing Your Next Home

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kingarthur3If you’ve decided it’s time to move up to a bigger home, a better home or a home in a more coveted area, your next challenge will be getting there financially. It’s likely you’ll need more cash, a larger income and, perhaps, better credit than you had when you purchased your current home. Putting all the pieces in place for the move up could take some time and detailed planning. Here are some ideas when buying Wilmington NC real estate.

1. Credit Clean-Up

Although your credit rating may have been sterling as a first-time home buyer, years of credit-card and utility accounts, car payments and consumer loans may have scuffed up that financial image a bit. Late or missed payments have a negative effect on your credit profile, as do large, long-term balances on your accounts. Your credit score, a rating system many lenders use to evaluate your financial situation, may prevent you from borrowing as much as you’d like for your next home or getting the lowest interest rate currently available.

The wise move-up buyer will take stock of his or her credit standing and debt status well before attempting the next home purchase. You may need some time to reduce your debt, catch up on any delinquent accounts, remove inaccuracies and blemishes from credit reports and make other adjustments to increase your credit score.

2. Loan Shopping

A quick way to sift through these issues is to contact a lender who can pull a credit report to see if there are any glaring spots on your record. If nothing needs immediate attention, you can continue on with a complete application, providing the financial information needed for loan pre-approval. The loan officer will determine the maximum loan amount you qualify for based on your income and debt profile.

You may want to shop around at this point, comparing loan programs and interest rates. Consider how well your current loan has worked for you and remember that rates aren’t everything. The lowest rate may be accompanied by high points. If so, you’ll have to keep the mortgage long enough to justify paying the steep up-front cost of the loan.

Consider whether a non-traditional mortgage program could meet your needs. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be a good choice if it looks as though interest rates will be falling. A 40-year mortgage might reduce the monthly payment enough so you qualify for a larger loan.

3. Collecting Cash

An important factor in the equation that determines your buying power will be how much cash you have for a down payment and closing costs. The best mortgage interest rates are available to buyers with down payments of 20% or more. If you make a smaller down payment, you may have to take a higher interest rate or pay for private mortgage insurance, both of which will reduce your buying power.

Unless you’re a prodigious saver, chances are the equity you have in your current home will provide the largest source of cash for your next home purchase. Equity, of course, is the difference between the market value of the home and the balance on any mortgages secured by the home.

We would be happy to conduct a comparative analysis of your home to determine the right sales price — at no obligation to you, of course. By determining the value of your home and subtracting out selling costs (paying off the old mortgage, marketing fees and settlement expenses), you’ll have the basis for a down payment on your move-up property.

4. Fine Tuning

After taking stock of your financial situation, you may find it necessary to delay your move in order to get the type of home you’ve targeted. Perhaps you need to save more cash for down payment and settlement costs. You may need to pay down outstanding debts to improve your credit score and qualify for a larger mortgage or a lower interest rate. Remember, it’s likely your home’s value and your equity in it will continue to grow as you get yourself in a position to move up successfully.

Categories: Move Up Homes, Waterfront Wilmington NC, waterfront wrightsville beach, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation

How To Jazz Up Your Home To Sell | Wilmington NC Real Estate

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1If you’re looking to sell your home, want to buy a new one or just moved into your home, take some tips from the interior designer pros to make sure your home gives off a colorful, but inviting vibe:

ACCENT COLOR Don’t paint a room in your favorite vibrant hue. Instead, buy accessories in your fave color and place them around a neutrally painted room. Eyes will travel around the room from each pop of color.

TIE ROOMS TOGETHER Using bursts of color in other rooms in the same manner will tie rooms together and give them a unified overall look. Choose different accessories to exude color for variety and interest.

NEUTRAL BASE Choose neutral colors for the walls and trim of each room, allowing you to easily change the color pops as your budget allows and color whims evolve.

LAYER COLORS If you chose bright blue accent pieces, throw in other shades of blue—both lighter and darker—to carry the hue through the room.

Tour other homes for sale, even new model homes, to get design inspiration on how best to stage your home for sale.

Categories: Staging your home, Uncategorized

SELLERS MARKET – Why Every Home Doesn’t Sell

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Fence Series 3Wilmington NC has a healthy housing market—by most indicators a seller’s market—especially for homes that are priced to sell and in great condition.

As we move into the year-end season, there are no signs the market is shifting. Price remains critically important. Today’s sellers must avoid the pitfall of believing “everything sells.” Track market trends with a real estate pro—like us—and make sure your home’s sales price reflects what buyers expect—and will pay. If an offer doesn’t appear quickly, make a noticeable price improvement sooner—not later—if you expect to get your home sold.

Despite a great year so far, many prospective sellers still are not getting their homes sold. Here’s what our experience and local trends tell us:

Overpriced Listings. You can’t sell a home based on last year’s prices or national headlines that conflict with our area’s micro-trends. Don’t set a sales price based on the amount you want to cash out of the home. Pricing right is paramount to get your home noticed, toured and sold fast. The right price is one that buyers are willing to offer compared with other nearby homes currently for sale. Expired listings are often homes that aren’t priced right. You may be amazed at how many homes have lingered on the market longer than average—at all price points.

Condition. Is your home move-in ready? It will sell quickly because choosy buyers want a modern home in great condition. They’ll pay for it, too. If you have a list of fix-ups, needed updates and undone maintenance, buyers will notice and keep looking…right past your home.

Set The Stage. Clean and declutter each room. Make each space inviting and bright. If you’ve already moved out, rent or borrow furniture to give each room a purpose and focal point. Empty homes don’t sell.

Contract Kickouts. Perhaps the biggest reason not every home sells in this market is that some homes go under contract but never reach settlement. Those deals “kick out.” Maybe it’s the home inspection. Sometimes it’s buyer remorse. Often, financing for the buyer doesn’t come through…especially if the buyer isn’t preapproved or paid over market value in a bidding war. Whatever the reason, a significant number of contracts fall through without ever getting to closing—and if your home is priced right and in good condition, it’s got a better chance of not tripping over closing hurdles.

Going It Alone. If you’re trying to sell your home on your own, your property is not getting the marketing and exposure it could when you partner with a real estate professional. Today’s real estate market is healthy, but selling by yourself could mean lost time, lost money and a lost sale.

Bottom line for today’s sellers? Fixing-up matters. Staging matters. Savvy marketing matters. Negotiating experience matters. And—most important—pricing ahead of the market matters to be sure you get your home sold for top dollar in our market today. Contact us to discuss how we can turn your “for sale” quickly into “sold.”

Categories: Sellers Market, Wilmington NC Market Statistics


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.