Avoid Rookie Mistakes in Buying Wilmington NC real estate

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  • Don’t rush into the transaction. Buyers searching for homes in tight markets may feel pressured to make an immediate offer.
    Solution: Become familiar with the local market before making a purchase offer.

  • Ask questions. First-time homebuyers, by definition, simply don’t have home buying experience. If you don’t know, ask. It may be uncomfortable, but let’s face it…a broker cannot answer an unasked question.

  • There’s no such thing as the “ideal” house. Many buyers run themselves, not to mention their brokers, ragged as they repeatedly dismiss homes that meet most…but not all…of their requirements. A buyer who turns down a house that meets most, but not all, of their criteria may miss out on the best available property as well as good financing, should market conditions change.
    Solution: First-timers should definitely view many different homes as possible before making an offer. However, they should definitely not make an offer on the first home they like…but also, and more importantly, they should not hesitate to make an offer when they find a home they love.

  • Don’t “Overbuy”. Many First-timers are routinely seduced into becoming “house poor”. That is, they spend so much for a home that they must forego annual vacations, restaurant meals and other forms of entertainment.
    Solution: Get Pre-approved with a lender. This can help determine a reasonable target price range and also identify the mortgage programs which can work best for you.

  • Don’t wait for that 20% down. It’s an admirable goal, but it’s often years in the future for many first-time buyers. Instead — especially in markets with rising values — buy now with as little down as possible. Consider VA, FHA and other loans with private mortgage insurance (PMI).

  • Be realistic. It’s tough to ignore a home’s curb appeal, but what about practical matters? Is there enough space? Is there off-street parking? Is the construction solid in good shape? What about maintenance costs? How far to work? It may seem like boring stuff…but it’s important none-the-less.

  • Find out about zoning. Is the property next door zoned for a 24-hour service station? Fire station? Super Wal-Mart? Ask the broker about zoning for the property and the surrounding area. Find out before you buy. Otherwise you might be stuck with the home of your dreams…right next door to the new landfill.

  • Don’t ignore representation. Chances are good that the seller has a broker. Who’s representing you?
    Solution: A buyer broker, an attorney, or both can give you needed representation at the bargaining table.

  • Don’t Skip an inspection. A professional home inspection is simply a “must” whether you are buying an existing home or a new one. Speak with inspectors before you enter the marketplace to see how they work, what they cost, and what they recommend.

  • Don’t under-estimate closing costs. Closing costs comprise much of the expense when purchasing a home. In many cases, the closing costs can be as much (if not higher) than the down payment amount being required.
    Solution: Examine your good faith estimate provided by your lender. Talk to people who have recently been through the buying process. Ask about fees you don’t understand. If some of the fees seem excessive, ask the lender if they can be waived (or at least reduced). Many lenders will work with you to secure your business. Just be realistic. If you feel that the lender is “taking advantage” of you, consult another lender.
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HOME SEARCH 101: Tips For Locating The Right Schools | Wilmington NC real estate

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When it comes time to buy your next home, your decision will be based on dozens of criteria. If you’re like many home buyers, good schools will be at the very top of your list. Even buyers without children are often concerned about the quality of schools. They know property values often reflect the reputation of local schools-both public and private-and that a home near good schools may be easier to sell later on.

Plan Ahead

It pays to look at schools early in the house-hunting process so you can narrow your focus to particular neighborhoods. Consider the following approaches and available resources for determining whether a school or school district is right for you and your children.

Define Your Idea Of “Good”

{short description of image}The first step is taking an honest look at your child’s educational needs. Is he or she average, exceptional, or is there a learning disability to consider? What are the student’s interests and natural abilities? Cerebral? Artistic? Athletic? It won’t matter that a school is tops in math and science if your child’s educational focus is in language and fine arts. Identifying your child’s individual needs will help determine the types of programs and educational approaches you’re looking for in a school.

Get An Overview

You can tap the resources of several organizations to find out what schools are available in a particular area and how they rank compared with others in the system, the state and the nation. (See the side bar for details.)

Take a look at the programs that would most interest or benefit your children. Is the local public school strong in those areas? If not, there may be good private-school alternatives in the vicinity.

Keep in mind that what you see on paper may not provide a complete picture of the school, its resources and the capabilities of its educational staff.

Identify The District

It’s easy to find out what public school district a house is in-the information is nearly always included in the MLS listing, available through your Realtor. Note, however, that school boards frequently re-draw districts. To help ensure a home is likely to remain in a particular district, you may want to find out how close it is to district lines-being central to a district increases your chances of staying there. Contact the local board of education to obtain a district map.

Go To The Source

Also ask the local board for any information available about the school system, special programs, etc. Many boards will provide you with standardized test scores, often broken down for each school and subject area. Private schools often provide test-score information and college-placement statistics as well.

See For Yourself

Make plans to visit the schools you are interested in. Schedule appointments with the principal and some of the teachers in your child’s grade. Inquire about school policies and procedures. Discuss your child’s strengths and weaknesses, asking how the school would handle them.

Interview The Neighbors

Perhaps the best way to investigate a school is to talk with parents whose children attend. Visit neighbors in the area and ask them to be candid about what they like and dislike about local schools.

Let Us Get You Started

We’ll be happy to provide the phone numbers and website addresses of the schools and districts in our area. Be aware, however, that complying with fair housing practices, we may not be able to provide you with all the information you seek. Discussing school quality can be construed as “steering” buyers to or away from particular neighborhoods, which could be viewed as discrimination-even if unintentional.

That being said, we’ll do everything we can to support your efforts to locate the right home and the right schools to meet your family’s needs.

THE SCHOOL HUNTERS

American School Directory: (800) 444-4488. P.O. Box 7003, Murfreesboro, TN 37133-7003. Web. E-mail. With over 108,000 individual websites, provides every K-12 school in America (public and private) a free Internet presence and identity. Includes pictures, maps, art, information, calendars, etc.

National Association of State Boards of Education: (703) 684-4000. 277 S. Washington St., Suite 100 Alexandria, VA. 22314. Web. E-mail. Offers quick reference state profiles for basic education information and data taken from U.S. Department of Education statistics. Includes statistics to allow comparisons between a state and the national mean.

School Match: (800) 992-5323. 5027 Pine Creek Drive, Westerville, OH 43081. Web. E-mail. For a fee, you can receive a report card on any public school or one of thousands of private schools in the U.S. At an additional cost, they will list up to 15 schools that match your criteria identified by their questionnaire. They also assist families with special-needs children and those moving overseas. All reports are confidential. If you are making a company move, your company may pay for School Match’s assistance.

Yahoo!: Web. You’ll find a state-by-state directory of schools and their websites, along with other useful information.  We have all the school information on our site. You can even search by the school.  Please visit www.cbbaker.com

Categories: private schools in wilmington nc, wilmington nc real estate

Curious about your neighborhood sold prices? | Wilmington NC real estate

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Do you wonder what the sold prices are in your neighborhood?  Of course you do.  It is  natural to want to know.  With the new Trends MLS reports we can give you sold prices, dates and graphs.  Easy, simple and no obligation.  We want potential Wilmington NC real estate sellers to be knowledgeable about the market.  It helps you make a decision as to whether or not this the best time to sell your home. We are here to help guide you in that decision.


Want to know what price homes have sold for recently in your area? Simply complete this  short form here. We will e-mail you regular updates on recent home sales in your area to give you a good idea of your own home’s current value.

To search all Wilmington NC real estate to see what is on the market in your neighborhood now, visit www.cbbaker.com

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Waiting for Mortgage Rates to go lower? Wilmington NC real estate

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Everyone wants to get the lowest mortgage interest rate when shopping for a Wilmington NC home. The rates have been at high 3’s and low 4’s the last couple of months. Freddie Mac just announced this week after it’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey that the rates for fixed and adjustable have risen again for the third straight week. 30 year rates hover around 4.46% up last week from 4.40%. It is still a great time to purchase a home. The housing prices are at a low, coupled with rates under 5%, it is a win win situation. To search all Wilmington NC real estate, please visit www.cbbaker.com. We have lenders that can give you a current quote and do a pre-qualification to get you started.

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September Existing Home Sales Show Another Strong Gain :: Wilmington NC real estate

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The National Association of realtors has posted that the existing home sales rose again in September.  This affirms that a sales recovery has begun. 

The NAR states that the “existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 10.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million in September from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August, but remain 19.1 percent below the 5.60 million-unit pace in September 2009 when first-time buyers were ramping up in advance of the initial deadline for the tax credit last November.”

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market is in the early stages of recovery. “A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium. But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions,” he said.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 4.35 percent in September from 4.43 percent in August; the rate was 5.06 percent in September 2009.

The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $171,700 in September, which is 2.4 percent below a year ago. Distressed homes3 accounted for 35 percent of sales in September compared with 34 percent in August; they were 29 percent in September 2009.  Ten years ago, the mortgage rates were twice what they are today and the home prices were at least 20% more, making this a great time to purchase Wilmington NC real estate.  Please visit www.cbbaker.com to search all Wilmington NC area homes, land and boatslips.

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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.

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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.