No Brainer | Pre-Approval Is The Smart Choice

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happyYou know that getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you even start shopping for a home is the smart move.

When a lender pre-approves you—telling you exactly how much mortgage money it is willing to lend you—you know how expensive a home you can truly afford. You won’t waste time looking at residences that fall outside your price range.

But how do you go about getting pre-approved? Fortunately, the process isn’t overly complicated.

1. Contact a lender that offers loans in the area where the property is located. Ask about interest rates and fees. If you’re comfortable, explain that you’d like to get pre-approved for a mortgage.The lender will ask to run your credit. Give your permission. Your credit scores determine the interest rate for which you might qualify—if you qualify for a mortgage loan at all.

2. You will need to provide financial documents that prove your income. Documents will include your last two paycheck stubs, last two months of bank-account statements, last two W-2 forms and, maybe, copies of your tax returns from the last two years.

3. All this information will then be sent onto the underwriting team, which will study your finances to determine how much of a lending risk you are. Once the underwriting team finishes its study, your lender can tell you exactly how much they are willing to lend you.

4. Finally, your lender will send you a pre-approval letter that will state this amount. Now you’ll know not to look at $300,000 homes if you can only qualify for $200,000 in mortgage money.

We are local Wilmington NC people who love real estate.  Let us help you. – –

Categories: Get Pre-approved before house hunting, Mortgage 101, Pre Approval for Mortgage

Avoid Foreclosure – Don’t Lose Your Home If You Fall Behind On Mortgage Payments

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wilmington nc real estateIf you’re experiencing financial hard times and have missed a payment or two on your home, it doesn’t mean you’re headed to foreclosure—yet.

If you’re at the end of your financial rope, it’s time to take these steps, immediately, to rescue your home—and your credit:

1. Contact your lender. Lenders may allow a forebearance (reducing or suspending payments for a short period) and/or a reinstatement (accepting the total overdue amount owed in a lump sum). Make sure you clearly understand the repayment plan and adhere to it.

2. Request a modified mortgage plan. The term or interest rate may be permanently changed on your loan and/or past-due payments added to the mortgage balance.

3. Interest-free or low-interest loans. Investigate the availability of loans from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or your loan insurance company to bring payments up to date.

4. Sell. Go ahead and get out of the home before it’s repossessed. Better to dump the mortgage and rent than to ruin your future credit.

5. Deed in lieu of foreclosure. As a last resort, give the property back to the lender. This move can only be made if none of the above work for you.

Let us know what we can do to help.  For more information please visit and look in the seller section.

Categories: avoid foreclosure, Avoiding Foreclosure, foreclosrue

A KING’S RANSOM? Why The MARKET (Not Sellers) Determines The Sales Price Of Your Home

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It’s no secret, pricing a home in today’s market can be difficult. Despite what some home sellers believe—that their “castle” is worth more than recent comparable sales in their area—homebuyers are the driving force in determining the true value of homes.

frontPricing a home higher than advised to “test the market” often proves a waste of a seller’s time—and of buyers’ time too. Smart homebuyers comparison shop to learn the local real estate scene, and will offer only what the home is worth today—not what other homes sold for a few months ago, not what the seller paid for it years ago and not the combined prices of all the upgrades and improvements made to the property.

A realistic price—sometimes slightly lower than the competition—attracts buyer activity right from the first moment your home hits the market. The more interest in your home, the more opportunities for offers. The positive energy from early activity today is likely to put your home in demand—and can create multiple offers and a quick sale.

Remember, the converse is also true—a too-high price can turn your attractive home into a white elephant. More and more buyers in this market will pass on an overpriced home because they know they can get more for their money elsewhere. The longer your overpriced home stays on the market unsold, the more likely it is buyers will start suspecting something more is wrong with it beyond just the price. In today’s market, the old maxim is more true than ever: Price sells!

Throw out those old calculations and numbers and sit down to face the reality of our local market today. As real estate professionals, we can help you see where home prices are right now, learn what buyers are purchasing and offering for similar homes in our area and suggest a price point that will get your home sold quickly. Here are several more tips to maximize market value.

Be Realistic

If you are a seller who bought at the peak of the market and now needs or wants to sell, being understanding is the name of the game. In many cases, you may not be able to sell your home for the same price at which you purchased it. Stand back from those numbers and realize you have had a number of good years in your home, living there and enjoying it, making it your own. Now it’s time to move on to your next stage in life. To get there, your home must be sold for whatever buyers determine it is currently worth—which may not be what you paid for it.

Make It A Steal

If you are ready to sell and your house is in great condition, aggressive pricing will get your home sold quickly. Look at your competitors, and then consider pricing your home slightly under them. When your home is crowned with that “for sale” sign, interest will be highest as buyers see the true deal they have before them. Buyers will view your home as not just a good deal or a bargain, but a steal! A bidding war may even ensue, bringing your home’s final selling price up in the process.

Super Staging

Home staging—making your home look inviting and picture perfect—is effective in getting your home sold. It’s hard erasing your personal touches from your home, but it’s needed if you want buyers to see your home as if it were a royal palace. Great staging makes it easy for buyers to picture themselves living, relaxing and entertaining in your home—as well as owning it! Hiring a professional home stager is often well worth the money as a stager’s work will encourage buyers to linger and like your home enough to make an offer. With the right price and right look, your home is as good as sold!

Walk In Buyers’ Shoes

If you’re looking to really understand where to position your home, step back and be as critical as a potential homebuyer. Analyze what the flaws are in your home—that to this day still bother you—and remedy them. If you can’t fix the problems, such as location, needed major remodeling or items that are still not updated or fixed, adjust your asking price accordingly. We will guide you.

Serious About Selling

If you are ready to sell your home, be sure to price it right from the beginning. Waiting for multiple price reductions to finally hit the correct market price can cost you time, money—and many lost buyers. If you have a home for sale that is not garnering any interest, let alone offers, slashing the price significantly is more effective than small, incremental drops. A home that drops its price by 10% to 20% will be seen by a new buyer pool searching in that different price range—where buyers will actually consider it.

Look For Guidance

In today’s market, it’s imperative to have a professional alongside you when you sell your home. We can help you determine the best price to make your home sell quickly so you can move on. We know our local market, what buyers are looking for—and at what price points—and what makes homes sell today.


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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.