What are the basic steps to selling my home? Wilmington NC real estate

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  • Do your homework.
      Visit our website to size-up the homes-for-sale competition, read home selling articles on our site, consider reading a book on home selling, attend some seller’s Open Houses in the your area (ask us or see the local newspaper).  www.cbbaker.com
  • Hire a specialist.
      As neighborhood real estate agents that specialize in listing in your area, we know what it takes to sell in this market. We welcome your call!
  • Set the price.
      Ask your agent for an analysis of the local market and an opinion of the best price range for your home.
  • Set a marketing strategy.
      Have your agent discuss a marketing plan and include the main elements in the listing presentation.
  • Get the house ready.
      With your agent, take a hard, objective look at your home. Prioritize what needs to be done, and decide how much you can spend in time and money to make it look its best before opening it up to buyers. Get rid of all clutter and put some of your stuff in storage to make the rooms and closets roomier. Put together an information packet on local amenities, your utility bills and other helpful information.
  • Consider finding a reliable real estate attorney.
      The attorney can help review all the paperwork.
  • Keep on top of the process.
    Stash some quick clean-up supplies close at hand, and do a fast run-through before letting a prospective buyer preview your home. Also, keep a notebook handy with a record of everyone who has come through (and their agents), and inform your agent after each visit. This can speed the follow-up that your agent will do.


Categories: Selling your home, Steps to Sell your home, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

Giving Tuesday | Dollars and Sense | Wilmington NC

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Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, after black Friday etc etc…. Tuesday  is the most important day.  There are many organizations locally that would love your support.  Check out http://wilmingtongivesback.org/ for ideas.  Here are some ideas to think about while looking for charities to give too.

Check Out Your Charities Before Being Generous


Although most charities are honest and accountable to their donors, CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) says the holiday season often brings out a few “fly by night” operators ready to take advantage of your goodwill. To help you choose wisely and give more effectively, CharityWatch offers the following tips:

1. Know your charity. Charities are obligated to provide detailed information, including a mission statement and recent audited financial statements to interested donors. If a charity does not provide you with the information you request, you may want to think twice about giving to it.

2. Don’t be misled by familiar names. Some questionable charities use names that closely resemble the name of a respected, legitimate organization. Check out the charity with CharityWatch (www.CharityWatch.org) or other watchdog organizations before making a contribution.

3. Find out where your dollars go. Determine how much of your donation goes for general administration and fundraising expenses and how much is left for the program services you want to support. CharityWatch’s Rating Guide recommends that in most cases, 60% or more of your charitable donation should go to program services.

4. Do not respond to pressure. It’s your money, so don’t let yourself be pressured into contributing on the spot — or more than you want. You can always say no.

5. Beware of charities offering gifts. Direct-mail solicitations are often accompanied by address stickers, calendars or other “gifts” designed to increase donations. You do not have to make a contribution to keep these gifts, and it is against the law for a charity to demand payment for any unordered merchandise.

6. Avoid giving cash. Also, do not give your credit card number to a telephone solicitor or Internet site that you do not know. Always be sure to obtain a receipt or printed copy of your donation so you will have a record for tax purposes.

7. “Tax exempt” does not always mean “tax deductible.” Not all charities are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions even though they may have tax-exempt status (for example, political organizations). Tax exempt means the organization does not have to pay taxes. Tax deductible means donors can deduct contributions to the charity on their federal income tax returns. Request the charity’s tax exempt letter to determine whether the organization qualifies for tax-deductible contributions. Or, use the IRS “Exempt Organizations Select Check” online tool — at www.TinyURL.com/a72f74x — to see if donations to a particular organization are deductible.

Categories: #Giving Tuyesday, volunteer in wilmington NC, wilmington nc relocation, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

Want to Save the Big Bucks? Pay Your Mortgage Bi-Weekly

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lv2We 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, Pay off mortgage, Uncategorized

Top Selling House Tips | Serious Holiday Selling

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housebowThinking about waiting until after the hectic holidays to sell your home? Think again. Did you know that buyers looking for a home during the holiday season are some of the most serious buyers all year? So, if you’re thinking of selling, don’t wait until spring to list your home for sale. Clean, clear-out, fix-up and prep your home like you’re hosting a big holiday party. Your home will shine online and be tour-ready when that right buyer walks through the front door. After all, emotion sells homes. Few homes for sale are more appealing than a warm and cheery holiday home. Give yourself the gift of a quick holiday home sale.

Tip #1: Contact us to learn how we make holiday home selling easy.

Tip #2: Decorate, but don’t go over the top. Consider putting out just half of your decorations while it’s for sale. You’ll have more home to show and many fewer items to put away when you’re busy packing to move!

Tip #3: Focus on the outside. Make sure that your outside still looks inviting even though it’s winter. Be sure the front walkway is clean, clear and inviting with seasonal holiday décor.

Tip #4: Turn up the heat. Don’t skimp on the temperature. Turn up the thermostat to make it cozy and inviting. During an open house (where fireplaces can be closely monitored) consider a fire in the fireplace or warmed cookies in the oven.

Tip #5: Price it right and be flexible and open to all offers. The key to a home sale any time of year is making sure your price is realistic and takes into account the competition. We can help you set the right price to sell!

If you are in Southeastern NC, text “real estate” to 910-208-0556 and see your competition.

Categories: Holiday Selling, Sell your home during the Holidays, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

Veterans Day | Take a moment and thank a Vet

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veteranHappy Veterans Day.  A huge thank you for all of you that have served or are serving our great Country.  We would not have the rights and privileges that we enjoy today without your selfless service.  According to the Department of Veterans Website the history of Veterans Day started after  World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Categories: Uncategorized, Veterans Day

GOING TINY Want To Live In A Small Home? Financing Can Be A Big Challenge

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tinyFans of the “Tiny House Movement” have long dreamed of ditching most of their extra rooms, couches, bookshelves and tables and moving into a tiny home. Maybe you’ve thought about it…or know someone who has. This vision of the ultimate downsize is about living simply in a small home—often with around 500 square feet of living space.

But living the simple life can get complicated if you need to take out a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of a tiny home. Tiny homes are small, but they’re not free. They might cost $50,000 or more to buy, withTheTinyLife.com blog saying that the average cost to build a tiny house is $46,000 nationwide when they are built by professional builders (land additional).

Here’s the rub. Some banks won’t originate mortgage loans for $50,000 or less. These lenders simply won’t make enough money on such small loans to make originating one worth their time.

What to do if you’re ready to join the tiny-house movement? Here are three financing options.

Home Equity Loan: If you’re building a tiny home as the occasional retreat from your primary home, you might be able to take out a home equity loan to finance the purchase of your tiny second home.

To do this, of course, you’ll need a primary home, and you’ll need to have equity in that home. Say you owe $126,000 on your mortgage loan and your primary home is worth $220,000. You have $94,000 worth of equity in your primary residence ($220,000–$126,000 = $94,000). Lenders will lend you a certain percentage of that equity—it varies by financial institution—that you can then use to pay for your tiny home. For instance, your lender might, if you have equity of $94,000, approve you for a home equity loan of $50,000—leaving $44,000 home equity or loan-to-value of 80% ($126,000 + $50,000 V $220,000 = 80% LTV).

Recreational Vehicle Loan: If you don’t already own a home and if you want your tiny home to be your only residence—and not just a cozy vacation home—then you’ll have to go another route. You might turn to an RV loan to finance your tiny home.

To do this, you must first make sure that your tiny home actually qualifies as an RV (recreational vehicle). Usually, this means that your tiny home is mobile. It also means that your tiny home must be certified as an RV by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

The good news? The makers of tiny homes are increasingly certifying their homes as RVs to make it easier for consumers to finance the purchase.

Unsecured Loan: A final option is to turn to an unsecured personal loan as a way to finance a tiny home.

As its name suggests, an unsecured loan is one in which a property is not used as collateral. That’s the big difference between an unsecured loan and a standard mortgage loan. The home you are financing is used as collateral in a mortgage loan. If you miss enough mortgage payments, your lender can take possession of your home.

In an unsecured loan, lenders don’t have that opportunity. Because of this, these loans are riskier for financial institutions. Often, banks and lenders will charge higher interest rates on such loans because of this.

To qualify for an unsecured loan, you’ll need many of the same positive financial attributes that you’d bring to a lender when applying for a traditional mortgage loan: a high credit score, low debts and steady stream of monthly income. Whatever your plans, call us first. We’ll help you determine exactly what you can afford before you sign anything.

Categories: Financing for Tiny Homes, Tiny Homes, Uncategorized

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.