The Secret to My Open House Success

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Free stock photo of house, windows, plants, doorIn today’s real estate environment, more than ever, open houses are an effective open house marketing strategy. But, just to advertise the home in the Sunday paper and post a sign is not enough. An effective marketing campaign for open houses will prove to be a very successful open house and hopefully bring buyers to the table. Read the rest of this entry

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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

Tips On What To Do IF Your Home Isn’t Selling | Wilmington NC real estate

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What to do if your home isn’t selling……

  Whether you’re in a bone-dry market or a sizzling selling season, if you haven’t received any offers on your home you’re probably facing the question of what to do.  A house that goes too long without selling begins to appear “stale” and can actually damage your future chances of a sale.

In Wilmington NC, how long is too long? It’s not an exact science, but there are some helpful indicators. In a dry market, a sales period of six months to one year isn’t unusual. Look at recent sales reports of similar homes nearby to determine a reasonable selling interval. In a hot seller’s market, a house that hasn’t sold within one month indicates a problem. In either case, there are several steps you can take before putting up the white flag.

Tips to improve your selling karma

  • Videotape your house, inside and out, and watch the tape as if you were a prospective buyer. Is the lawn weedy or the garden bare? Is your home uncluttered and spotlessly scrubbed? Sparkling-clean houses sell faster than those that look too lived-in or show an abundance of the owner’s personality.
  • Take a second look at your listing price. Visit open houses in your neighborhood. Are similar homes priced lower? Selling prices may have dropped since your first comparative market analysis. If you haven’t sold your home within one month, chances are good that you’ve overpriced it. If you do lower your asking price, consider a figure slightly below those of other comparable homes if you are interested in a speedy sale.
  • Do whatever it takes to be away from your home during showings and open houses. The presence of sellers makes it difficult for prospective buyers to take their time or talk openly with their partner and agent. Leave some treats out to make potential buyers more comfortable: beverages, nuts, cookies — anything that won’t lose freshness or be too messy.
  • Pay close attention to feedback from showings. The feedback can guide you in making home repairs, toning down your décor, making landscaping improvements and the like.
  • You can offer perks to buyers, such as a cash bonus, closing costs or buy down the interest rate to lower monthly payments. You could also consider creative owner financing.
  • Neutralize your color scheme. Most buyers prefer pale, neutral colors that make it easier to imagine a new home as their own. Houses with white exteriors are the highest sellers; for interiors, try whites, off-whites or pale grays.
  • Expose hardwood floors and buff them until they shine. It’s amazing how many buyers will not even look at a house without hardwood floors.
  • If you have dogs, cats, old carpeting, mildew or smoke problems chances are that a potential buyer may be offended by the odor. Ventilate the home and invest in an air-cleaning and deodorizing product to remove odors. Another option is a cleaning product with living enzymes that consume the odor causing agents and remove the smell permanently.
  • Staging your home is one of the very best ways to sell your home the quickest and for top dollar. Staging sets the scene throughout the home to create immediate buyer interest in the property. The way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two different things. One idea is to pack up several large pieces of furniture and as much clutter in each room as possible. Don’t just shift to another room or garage- rent storage space and get it out of the house before showing.
  • Pay attention to lighting. Make sure light sources are clean. Cleaning them isn’t enjoyable, but the sparkling lighting will pay off. You may even increase the brightness factor of your rooms by adding brighter bulbs, or by placing accent lamps or cabinet lighting. Be sure and pull back the curtains and lift the blinds. For the best effect, use a balance of natural, overhead, and table or floor lighting
  • Try readjusting your sights. Determine the lowest price you find acceptable, and consider anything more as icing on the cake. In a longstanding dry market you may even have to sell at a loss, so it’s important to take every offer seriously. You don’t want to alienate a potential buyer who has solid financing because you’ve set your sights unrealistically high.
  • If the market is underwater, consider offering an increased commission or a bonus for your listing agent as extra incentive. If you do sweeten the pot for your agent, amend your listing contract to reflect the change, and be sure it’s added to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)  — buyer agents will also be inspired to give your house extra attention.

For more information or to search Wilmington NC real estate, please visit our site www.cbaker.com

 

 

 

 

Categories: Home Selling, Mortgages, New Hanover county shcools, Waterfront Wilmington NC, waterfront wrightsville beach, 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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Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Does it Again…| Wilmington NC real estate

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Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty has come out strong for the start of 2011 in real estate sales.  We have sold 243 homes since January 1, 2011, with the closet competitor having sold 108 homes at 9.38% of the market.  Sea Coast holds 21.09 % of the market out of 57 of the top firms in the area.  Currently we have 168 properties under contract at  23.66% of the market.  The next competitor has 83 properties under contract with 11.69% of the market.  Pretty impressive numbers. Extensive training and courses are offered at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast, thus giving us an edge to sell your home, or purchase a new one.  Knowledge and experience makes the difference.  Call us today. Kay Baker & Associates

Categories: Home Selling, wilmington nc convention center, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, wilmington nc real estate, Wilmington nc schools, wilmington nc weekly events

Baseball on the Riverfront | Say it’s So!| Wilmington NC real estate

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There is talk of a minor league baseball stadium being built on the riverfront in downtown Wilmington NC.  There has not been a baseball team in Wilmington NC since the Port City Roosters, a Southern League minor team which was a Double A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners Major Club in 1995.  Some of the players that wore the Roosters Uniform you might recognize : Red Sox captain Jason Varitek, pitchers Derek Lowe and Ryan Franklin, infielder Desi Relaford and outfielders José Cruz, Jr. and Raul Ibanez.

Chuck Schoninger, the CEO of USA InvestCo owns property on the riverfront, 35 acres which he hopes to develop into a marina, a hotel,  condos, restaurants and to top it  off a Minor League Baseball Stadium.  Schoninger will travel to China to present his plan to Chinese investors with a Federal Program called Employment Based Program Number 5, or EB5, that was started by George Bush in 1990 to entice foreign investment.  With the opening of the Wilmington NC Convention Center, this will make an addition to the growing and thriving downtown area. For a complete story from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, read more here….

To search all Wilmington NC downtown properties, please visit www.cbbaker.com

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Wilmington NC Real Estate

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Enough already of all the negative publicity in the marketplace. If you are a potential home buyer looking at Wilmington NC real estate, you need to be looking at the affordability index. It is at an all time high (meaning home prices have been lowered)  and interest rates are at historic lows! 4.25%     If you wait for prices to drop further and interest rates go up, the value of the lower purchase price will be wiped out by higher payment. Get out there and look for the perfect house at the perfect price today!

And, if you are looking to sell your home  in Wilmington, NC,  your home must be aggressively priced, it must be in the best possible condition, you are in a beauty pageant and price war at the same time, and it must have the assistance of a reputable Realtor who knows the market and offers an aggressive marketing campaign and will use every tool in the arsenal.

For more details about the Wilmington NC real estate market, please contact kaybaker@ec.rr.com or 910-232-0363 or go to www.cbbaker.com.

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Home Selling, wilmington nc real estate

Wilmington NC real estate | Announcing the Greater Wilmington NC School Guide

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Kay Baker Wilmington NC school guideKay Baker & Associates is excited to announce our Greater Wilmington NC School Guide.  Your one stop shop for all the information you need on New Hanover County, Pender County and Brunswick County schools.  This innovative digital magazine is the first in the Wilmington NC area.  Useful information is at your fingertips when selecting the best school for you or your child from Kindergarden to Higher College Education, whether it be a public school or private school.  We have it all here for you.  Please take time to visit, and explore the links to each school system.  All the information about registering for schools, what each library has on it’s shelves, special need centers in each school and contact numbers are all put together for you in an easy digital magazine.  There is also a link for Wilmington NC real estate to search for homes in a certain school district.  We want to make your life easy, especially when entertaining a move.  Click here for the Greater Wilmington NC School Guide. Search all Wilmington NC real estate on www.cbbaker.com and let us know if we can help.

Categories: brunswick county schools, Buying Wilmington NC real estate, college's in wilmington nc, Home Selling, Kay Bakers Greater Wilmington NC school guide, New Hanover county shcools, Pender county Schools, private schools in wilmington nc, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wilmington nc schools, Wrightsville Beach NC

Wilmington NC Real Estate Homeowners May Qualify for $1500 Relocation Assistance

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1,500 towards relocationWilmington NC Real Estate Homeowners

Starting April 5, 2010 the Government will be paying homeowners in default, to relocate. The new program will demand lenders to honor short sales whereby the homeowner can sell the property for less than the mortgage payoff. The Obama administration is trying a different approach to assist more than 5 Million households who are behind on their mortgages. In turn, the homeowner will receive $1500 for relocation assistance and the lender $1000 for expediting the short sale process.  

This arrangement could prove very beneficial to the homeowner, as they will not suffer further credit damage and they will get reassurance from the lender that they will not be sued for the balance. And, under this arrangement, the number of potential  foreclosed homes on the market should drastically decrease which in turn, should improve the  overall housing market.

Finally, short sales will have their day! If you are facing a foreclosure, and need assistance, we are specialists in the Wilmington NC real estate short sale and foreclosure market. We are there for you every step of the way. Just give us a call or email kaybaker@ec.rr.com.

And, if you are looking to purchase a short sale or foreclosure, we have you covered there, as well.  We have a Certified Distressed Property broker on our team and will help you with your short sale or  purchase a short sale or foreclosure with complete knowledge of the process.  Read more here

Categories: Economy, Home Selling, Uncategorized, wilmington nc

Wilmington NC Real Estate Short Sales

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Many homeowners in the Wilmington NC real estate marketplace are finding themselves with a mortgage balance higher than they can even sell their home for. This puts the seller in a “short sale” situation. This means that the lender may agree to accept less than is actually owed on the property.  And, not all lenders will agree to accept less than what is actually owed, especially if you are not in default.  If you find yourself in this situation, you need a qualified real estate professional to guide you through this process. It is not an easy one, trust me. We will assist you in putting together a hardship package for the lender that may include a financial statement, hardship letter, bank statements, income statements, an appraisal on the property and even a listing agreement to prove that the property is on the market.

If you are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to call or email kay@cbbaker.com. We are happy to answer any questions you may have concerning short sales and foreclosures in Wilmington, NC. And, if you are a buyer, we can send you a list of short sales and foreclosures, or you can search short sales and foreclosures.

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Home Selling


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.