Get The Most Bang For Your Remodeling Bucks | Wilmington NC real estate

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Get The Most Bang For Your Remodeling Bucks

Thinking about making a change to your home? Be sure your remodeling dollars are well spent.
You certainly should focus on making your home a place you (rather than some future buyer) will enjoy living in. Still, it makes sense to remodel with an eye to maximizing the return you’ll get on your remodeling costs when the time does come to sell.
Consider the following suggestions:
1. Try To Fit In
Make sure your changes are consistent with the neighborhood. Don’t improve your home’s value more than 20% above the average value of homes in your area. If three bedrooms are standard and you are adding two more, you are not likely to get a very good return on your investment. Consider moving to a larger home rather than over-improving your current one.
2. Take The Middle Path
Shy away from highly decorative (or expensive) fixtures and designs. While a black-onyx wet bar and a mirrored wall might suit your fancy, it may make your home harder to sell later on. Remember, trendy colors and styles become stale all too soon (remember “harvest gold”?). Classic styles and neutral colors, on the other hand, stand the test of time. Express your individual taste with furnishings that you can take with you when you go.
3. Invest In Popular Improvements
Renovations with the best return include changes in the kitchen or bathrooms and room additions accomplished by adding on or enclosing a porch or garage. Tour similar homes that are for sale to see what kind of renovations your neighbors have made. Take a look inside some new homes, too. Builders know what today’s buyers are looking for; you may want to incorporate a few of the latest features in your home remodeling project.
4. Look At Your Moving Timetable
Will you be moving in a year or two? If so, shy away from major projects or personalized “luxury” updates such as saunas or art studios. You could end up spending extra money to reconvert the space if your buyers don’t like the results. Don’t start renovating if you expect a short-term stay, because long-term remodeling loans will deduct cash from your equity when you sell.
5. Find A Reputable Contractor
Look for a contractor with a solid track record doing the kind of work you’re looking for. Check for proof of insurance, licensing and bonding. Ask for references and contact several. Make sure you have a contract that spells out all of the details and possible scenarios — materials, periodic payments based on progress, completion dates, etc.

More on remodeling here…

Categories: Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Home Selling, Managing your debt, Screen Gems Studio, Showcasing your home, Technorati Profile, volunteer in wilmington NC, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate

Vital Signs – The Home Check Up | Wilmington NC real estate

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This winter, give your Wilmington NC home a check-up. Arrange to have an energy-efficiency evaluation by the local utility or contractor. You will find out how you can save on heating and cooling costs, and how much each improvement will cost. While you’re at it, have your heating and cooling systems checked to make sure they’re working at their best.

Another area to check is the house exterior for termites and carpenter ants. And take a look at the roof for shingles or tiles that may be loose or have cracks or bubbles, and for dried or missing caulk around flashing. Check gutters for clogged downspouts, cracks, loose nails and places where the gutters have pulled away from the house.

If you’re planning to sell your home, this check-up will help eliminate surprises when it comes time to have your home inspected before settlement.

For more seller information please visit www.cbbaker.com

Categories: Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation

Do You Know Where Your Mortgage Money Comes From? | Wilmington NC real estate

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Mortgage companies and banks are working overtime these days processing new mortgages – which raises an interesting question: Will they ever run out of money to lend?

The chances of that happening are virtually nil, thanks to a highly complex investment market for mortgages that has grown immensely since the 1970s. The key players in this game are “Fannie Mae” (Federal National Mortgage Association), “Ginnie Mae” (Government National Mortgage Association), and “Freddie Mac” (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.). These agencies, along with several private companies, turn homeowners’ mortgages into investment vehicles for individuals, pension funds, insurance companies and other large institutions. Altogether, these investment groups make up the bulk of what is known as the “secondary market.”

When a bank or mortgage company writes a mortgage, the loan is lumped with other mortgages in a bundle (or “pool”) that is often sold to one of the agencies. With the sale of the mortgage, the bank or mortgage company again has money to lend to another home buyer.

Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae, and Freddie Mac differ as to the type of mortgage bundle they buy and in the type of investment vehicle they use to attract investors. But the process they use is the same: Assembling large packages of mortgages and issuing securities backed by the mortgages.

While the original lending bank may no longer hold the mortgage it gave to a home buyer, it still services the loan. That means collecting the monthly payments, keeping escrow accounts to pay for insurance and property taxes, and – through the agencies or companies that issued mortgage-backed securities – paying investors.  Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is a full service real estate company with in house mortgage brokers from Alpha Mortgage.  Contact  us about all your Wilmington NC real estate needs.  Visit www.cbbaker.com to search or catch us on mobile at mobile.cbbaker.com

 

Categories: Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, wilmington nc convention center, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events

7 Reasons To Love | A TOUGH MARKET | The Time to Buy is Now.

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Today’s housing market is challenging. That’s a given. It’s tough on buyers and sellers alike, who are anxious, not knowing where the real estate market is going next. They both want — and often need — a great deal whether they are buying or selling. Our current real estate market requires a special perspective no matter which side of the settlement table you are on. The rates inched up a bit last week, and the market has been hot.  If you have been waiting for interest rates to get better and home prices to fall, then you might get left out of the chance to buy.

Savvy buyers can readily find a lot to love in today’s market. Buyers feel the love from low interest rates and competitive prices to a huge selection of homes and incredible investment opportunities. Look past the national headlines — which are gloomy at best and don’t apply at worst — to our local real estate market. Here is where buyers benefit the most when the going is tough. Unless, of course, you wait and miss out.

Smart sellers, on the other hand, can benefit from a buyer’s market as well. Successful home sellers in today’s market know they must price their home correctly and be flexible. Providing a buyer with a great deal on their home opens the door for sellers to move on to their own next step — whether it’s moving up, downsizing or relocating. Smart sellers also know what they may give up on price, they can make up — and then some — on their next home purchase. That’s another bright side of today’s real estate market.

Take a moment to learn the seven reasons why it’s a great time to buy a home. And, be sure to contact us when you’re ready to make a move.

1. Loving Low Interest Rates
Historically low interest rates continue to allow home buyers to afford more home for their money. Lower interest rates reduce your monthly payment and increase your buying power. Locking in at a low, fixed-interest rate means your monthly loan payment will never change over the course of your loan.

2. Embracing Investment Property
Even if you’re not in the market to buy a primary residence, you should take a look at the properties available for sale as investments. With ever-increasing numbers of families looking to rent, it’s an opportune time to invest in a rental property. Being a landlord can be a rewarding experience when you find the perfect property.

3. Attractive Home Prices
Home prices have never looked better! Many sellers are motivated to get their homes sold and are pricing accordingly. Don’t be afraid to make an offer on a home or to work with us to negotiate a great price on a great home.

4. Wondrous Selection Of Homes
If your “needs and wants list” of home features can’t be contained, now is the time to be looking at homes. The selection available in our area is outstanding. No matter what your budget, family size or life stage, we can help you find the home that fits.

5. Digging Distressed Properties
Others’ foreclosures, bank-owned and short-sale properties can be the key to your next home. Don’t overlook distressed properties, as you may uncover a hidden gem priced right so you can make upgrades and improvements without breaking your budget. Distressed doesn’t always mean a steal, but it can often lead to a great deal.

6. Engaging Your Financial Options
If you’re tired of seeing your savings yo-yo in the volatile stock market, real estate is a great asset balancer. Consult your financial professional to make sure you have the savings to spare. When you’re ready, we can help you find great investment property or a home to buy for all-cash if you desire.

7. Winning Over Motivated Sellers
Successful sellers keep the market going. Homeowners are eager to sell their homes to buyers who make realistic offers. It’s a crowded market for sellers, but the ones who are motivated will offer a great price and may throw in incentives (e.g., helping with closing costs, etc.) or much-valued sweeteners — such as a home warranty — that are as good as cash.

8. Professional Partner
When you’re buying or selling a home, it’s difficult to go it alone. We can help you every step of the way when it comes to getting a great deal on a new home. Feel free to contact us anytime you’re ready to jump into our real estate market to buy or sell. We’d love to work with you!

Categories: 3D Journey 2 Mysterious Island, Economy, Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Investment Property Wilmington NC, miracle league, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate

Desire Change in Your Life | Put your Home’s Equity to Work | Wilmington NC real estate

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IDLE EQUITY:

Put Your Home’s Equity To Work

With Six Savvy Strategies

Do you have idle equity sitting in your home that could be building wealth instead? One of the great aspects of homeownership is that you increase your wealth every month by building equity in your home and reducing your tax bill at the same time.

After you’ve been in your home a few years, you may have some equity that you could put to work for you. Even if the property has appreciated by just a few percentage points per year, significant equity can build up fairly quickly. Just be sure you retain enough equity that you’ll be able to pay a real estate agent’s commission when you sell the home.

Home equity loans are the most common means of tapping a home’s value. In states where home equity loans are not allowed, however, you can still put your home’s value to work by refinancing it for more than you currently owe–a “cash out” refinancing.

The first way most homeowners think of using their equity is to pay off high-interest debt. That’s one popular option, but you could also invest that equity in other ways. Here are six more ways to put your equity to work for you.

1. Trade Up

Using your equity as a down payment for a larger home could make financial sense. If you’re in a $200,000 home now and it appreciates by 5% each year, your gain is $10,000 for the first year. In five years, that home would be worth $255,256. But in a $275,000 home, that same 5% growth would be $13,750 for the first year. After five years, the more-expensive home would be worth $350,977 — nearly $100,000 more than the less-expensive home.

Of course, you may not be able to count on 5% appreciation every year. It could be higher or lower, depending on the state of the economy and market conditions. Not to worry, though. Even 2% appreciation will still add up over time.

Using additional equity to trade up will allow you to put a significant amount of money down on your next home. That could allow you to own a home you never could afford before.

2. Downsize

Another way to use your equity is to scale down. With the recent changes in tax laws, homeowners may sell a home every two years and walk away with tax-free profits up to $250,000 (for singles) and $500,000 (for married couples). By scaling down, you can purchase a smaller, less-expensive primary dwelling, and use the extra cash for investments, debt reduction or even purchasing an investment property.

3. Second Home

The real estate market has been fueled during the past few years by retiring baby boomers purchasing second homes. Maybe now is the time to purchase that home on the beach, at the lake or in the mountains. We can refer you to a knowledgeable agent in a resort area to help you with this move.

If you know you’re retiring to a particular area in the next few years, study that market now. You may want to buy the home now while prices are still affordable. If you do, you could rent the home during the peak vacation season. Many second homeowners discover they can just about cover their annual property expenses by renting out during peak season.

4. Investment Property

While the stock market often bounces up and down, many investors feel comfortable with the security of real estate. Not everyone has extra money to play the stock market profitably, but landlords can enjoy income every month. The secret is selecting the right property and finding expert property management if you don’t want to manage the property yourself. We can help with both these issues.

Some buyers have found it beneficial to purchase a property in the area where their college-age children are going to school. Their child can help manage the units and share the housing with other students to defray costs. The young adults learn responsibility and property management skills, and you have a live-in manager to watch over your investment.

5. Shared Equity

Another way to put your idle equity to work is to lend it to an adult child as a down payment for his or her first home. Some parents maintain a co-ownership interest while the young adult makes the mortgage payments. At the time of the sale, the equity is then split between the two. This is called a shared-equity arrangement.

6. Remodel

If you really like where you’re living, but desire a few more amenities, consider taking cash out for remodeling or adding to your current home. The interest paid on some home equity loans is tax deductible, just as it is with your first trust. Give us a call to find out what financing options suit your situation best.

Call us, we are the experts with expert partners in mortgage and everything real estate related. 800-497-7325-3607 or kaybaker@ec.rr.com . Sign up for our newsletters and our weekly TGIF Scoop on everything Wilmington NC!

 

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Great Reasons to Buy a Vacation Home | Wilmington NC real estate

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We’ve all thought about it while lying on the beach or inhaling the fresh mountain air: “Why don’t we buy a vacation home?” Owning a vacation home can be a good decision if you buy smart.

They provide another investment that includes a mortgage-interest tax deduction.

Whether you rent it out or not, you can deduct the mortgage interest as long as you use the home more than 14 days or more than 10% of the number of days the home is rented annually at a fair rental, whichever is longer.

Qualified second homes include houses, condominiums, cooperatives, mobile homes, house trailers, boats or similar properties that have sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities.

Here’s an interesting twist on the mortgage interest deduction: If you take out a home equity loan on your first home and use the funds to acquire your second home, the interest on the home equity loan is also deductible. That’s three mortgage interest deductions off your tax return!

Consult IRS Publication 936 for a complete discussion of how mortgage interest for a second home is deductible.

You can purchase your future retirement home in Wilmington NC now, at today’s prices.

Though your second home may be a vacation home now, if you buy right you can convert it into your principal residence later.

They can produce their own income.

Renting out a second home occasionally or often can help you pay for the property with OPM (other people’s money). Check with your tax advisor about how much of the upkeep and management expenses are deductible against your income.

Buying Tips From The Experts

Buy something within a reasonable distance.

Be sure you can get to your vacation home in a short amount of time. Before you make a final decision, travel the distance on a typical Friday afternoon to see whether the drive will be too much to deal with after a long work week.

Rent in the area several times before you buy.

If you really like a particular area, check it out during different seasons. This way you get to know the climate, people, pests, traffic patterns and other regional particulars first-hand.

Consult other owners.

Check with owners of nearby properties about public and private facilities, special maintenance required due to location or weather, the social climate, local development plans and prevalence of crime. Learning about the lifestyle of the area may help you narrow down your choices.

Think home first, investment second.

Although you may be able to generate rental income from your vacation home, it may not cover your ownership costs. (If you want to try real estate investments, give us a call to look at properties in the Wilmington NC  local area.)

Consider different styles of properties in a vacation area.

To minimize upkeep and have a more secure environment, a condo may be preferable to a single-family home. If you plan on converting it to a retirement home, consider what type of home you’ll want as a full-time residence.

Here are some of the current Wilmington NC real waterfront/waterview real estate  in our area.

Priced from 100,000 – 200,000  Click here

Priced from 200,000- 400,000  Click here

Priced from 400,00 -600,000  Click here

Priced from 600,000 – Click here

To search all properties please visit www.cbbaker.com

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Wilmington NC Real Estate Report

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The Wilmington NC real estate sold price continues its monthly climb; we are 2.0% ahead of last month and 5.5% over last year this time. In our rolling 12 months we are 18.2% up in sold units and our average sold price is only down by 1.9%. We are back with sold units that exceed the previous month by 7.8%. August was a close to great month – our average sold price climbed by 1.0% over last month and 1.9% over last August. We were off base on sold units for August by 3 homes –  386 Wilmington NC homes were sold in  August and last August we sold 390.  Our Year to Date shows us that our average sold price is 13.2% ahead in units over last year and only 1.5% behind last year.  The trend I continue to see; is our negative numbers and gaps keep getting smaller and smaller.
In the month of August we saw a decrease of 37 homes in our listing inventory, we have 5,567 homes for sale in Wilmington NC as of September 1st.  This continues to put us in a strong buyer’s market with a listing inventory of over a 14.4 month supply. With the low sales in August this affects our month supply with a change of 2 months from last month. Our average list price has stayed below the $400,000 range for the last year; we are currently at $374,121. In August we saw an increase in our seller concessions, it is now 24.1%. Our average days on the market are 135. The list to sold ratio is 93.6% and is down 1.0% from last month; this number needs to continue to get better. The number of homes that sold in 15 days or less continues to remain very low, 13.0% of August sold homes. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.35% with an average 0.7 points for the week ending September 9, 2010. We are now hitting historic lows in mortgage rates. Read the rest of this entry

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Economy, Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC

Wilmington NC Real Estate Remains Affordable for 6th Consecutive Month

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The Wilmington- Cape Fear Homebuilders announced yesterday that the “housing affordability” in the Wilmington NC area remained near the highest level nationwide for the 6 consectutive month.  The Wilmington NC real estate prices have been lowered and the interest rates are favorable.   

This quote is from WWAY 3 from the president of Homebuilders “The possibility of homeownership is more obtainable for buyers in our market now than it has been for years,” said WCFHBA President John Lancaster of Venture Homes of the Carolinas. “More buyers are beginning to enter the market again thanks to renewed confidence as housing prices stabilize while the fed maintains all time low interest rates.”

Syracuse NY held the top spot on most affordable homes, with some smaller housing markets following close by Mansfield, Ohio; Bay City, Mich.; Monroe, Mich.; and Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.  Lancaster says “Our market is greatly influenced by what happens up north, so the numbers out of places like New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio are encouraging,”. 

That is encouraging news when the news lately has not been so positive.

Please take a minute to tour our website and search the Wilmington NC real estate area to find the house, neighborhood and price that you are looking for.  We have an inhouse Lender – Alpha Mortgage and an inhouse Insurance Agency – Real Mark Insurance and would be happy to give you contact information so that you have a “One Stop” Shop to buy real estate.   We make it easy for you.  Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty and Kay Baker and Associates.  Search all Wilmington NC real estate on www.cbbaker.com

Categories: Economy, Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Managing your debt, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, wilmington nc real estate

Want to buy a home? Manage your debt | Wilmington NC real estate

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If the low prices and the low interest rates have you wishing you could buy a new home but cannot because of your debt load, there is still time to reorganize your finances to make your wish come true.  Take a realistic look at where you spend your money.  Write everything down and where you spent it.  Is there a $4.00 Latte everyday? Make a budget and try to do away with some of the extras that you buy on a whim.  There are budget tools online, like Suze Ormans expense tracker that will help get you started.   We also have a credit repair company that can help you earn additional points for your credit score, so that you can qualify for lower interest rates.  Before you know it, that new home can be yours.  Be patient and work towards what you really want.  We can help you achieve this.  For all your Wilmington NC real estate needs please visit www.cbbaker.com or www.kaybakerwilmington.com

To view the home pictured please visit www.AskMeAboutWilmington.com

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Coldwell Banker Buyer Bonus Program, Economy, Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Managing your debt, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

Home Buyer’s Tax Credit

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Income Tax Deadline

You’re probably up to your neck by now in forms and paperwork as the April 15th income tax deadline approaches. Maybe you’ve already completed your taxes, paid your bill, or are awaiting your refund check. Either way, now is the perfect time to revisit the extended and expanded Home Buyer’s Tax Credit.

$8000 Tax Credit

Why? Because now, as you calculate your tax bill or your refund, you can finally see in real terms just how beneficial a tax credit of up to $8,000 can be to your bottom line.

Here’s the basics:

Qualified 2009 and 2010 first-time home buyers can get up to 10% of the home’s purchase price or a maximum of $8,000. In November 2009, legislation extended a tax credit of up to $6,500 (or up 10% of the home’s purchase price) to long-time residents of the same primary residence if they purchase a new main home. To qualify, eligible taxpayers must show that they lived in their previous homes for a five-consecutive-year period during the eight-year period ending on the closing date of the new home.

Important details to remember:

1) You don’t have to pay it back (as long as you stay in your qualified home for at least 36 months).

2) If you qualify for the credit, you can still apply it to this year’s taxes, even if you’ve already filed your returns, or save it for your 2010 returns.

3) This is a true tax credit, not a deduction. If you qualify for the full credit, there will be an actual dollar-for-dollar reduction of up to $8,000 (or up to $6,500 for qualified repeat buyers) on your tax bill now or in 2010.

4) New income qualification limits have been put in place that expanded the pool of qualified buyers.

5) If you purchased a qualified home or plan to after reading this article, you must have a contract in place by April 30, 2010 (with closing to take place by June 30, 2010), so don’t wait!

There are, of course, other details and qualification requirements and restrictions that you’ll need to consider. But don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions. Also, if you happen to have your completed 2009 tax return handy, we’ll help you calculate how much money you can get if you purchase a home and qualify for the full credit.

Wilmington NC Real Estate

Start your Wilmington NC real estate search right here. You can search homes by schools, price range, neighborhoods, maps, zip codes and more. And, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at kaybaker@ec.rr.com.
If you know anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home, please forward their name and telephone number to us. We will happily provide the same high level of service that we have provided to you. The greatest compliment you could possibly give us is the referral of your friends and family.

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC


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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.