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

TIMING: Seven Buying And Selling Secrets To Know Before You Relocate

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The secret to a successful relocation is timing — synchronized buying, moving and selling. Good timing just takes a little advance planning that puts you in control. Here are seven relocation secrets to make your move work smoothly for you.

1. Sell First

Ideally, you should sell your current home first in order to have all your financial resources available to purchase your next home. You want to avoid waiting until the closing on your new home forces you to sell your old home under the gun. Note that in some markets today, houses are moving so quickly that sellers will not even consider taking a contingency clause that postpones their sale until the buyer’s home sells. Setting the right price for your home and having a customized marketing plan are your best bets for bringing about a quick sale.

2. Find Out What You Can Afford

{short description of image}While your house is on the market, look at what’s available to buy within your price range in your destination area. Your perfect house is out there, but take as much time as you can to find it. It’s not just the house you’ll have to live with — you’ll want to find out about the neighborhood, the schools, proximity to shopping, etc. before you commit to your next home.

3. Shop For A Loan Before You Shop For A House

Try to lock in the best rate you can find. Get pre-approved for financing so you have more bargaining power when you bid on a house. With a pre-approved loan, you’ll be able to go to closing on your new house faster.

4. Coordinate Settlements And Moving Dates

Try to move directly from the old home to the new one. Sometimes you can rent back the old property for a few days or weeks if closing on the new one is delayed. Another alternative is an interim move to an apartment for a short time while waiting to close on the new house.

5. Begin Fix-Ups And Pre-Sale Improvements Early

Have any needed work completed before your house goes on the market. Consider having a home inspection early in the fix-up process so you know what’s important to repair or replace before you set the sales price for your house.

6. Work Closely With Your Agent

Make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed on time for both closings. You may save time and money for the buyer of your old home with lower “re-issue” fees by referring them to the previous providers of inspections, surveys, title insurance, etc. The information is in your settlement papers. And, if it’s a busy season, line up appointments in advance with the people you’ll need to close on your new house.

7. Avoid The Last-Minute Rush

Call us early. We’ll gather information and provide it to you quickly so you can make informed decisions and workable plans.

Categories: #selling homes, Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Showcasing your home, Uncategorized

Show it off |Staging Your Home To Sell Doesn’t Have To Be Costly

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3De-cluttering, reorganizing and returning rooms to their showcase role can help sell a home. But what if you’ve already moved out?And, renting or buying brand new furniture and accessories would break the budget? Remember, leaving behind some homey, welcoming pieces in an otherwise empty home can mean the difference between sold and stagnation. Or, ask friends or neighbors to lend furniture pieces or accessories. Then put these homestaging tips to work:

  • Set up a small end table and chair, a small bistro set, and a comfy chair draped with a throw to provide potential buyers the homey feel they’re looking for.
  • Small tables create great focal points when topped with a book, vase or small knick knack.
  • Keep a painting, picture or mirror hanging on select walls for interest.
  • A vase of silk flowers in the kitchen, an artful display on the mantel or birch logs in the fireplace and/or a small table at the entry way brighten up a home.
  • An area rug or throw rug can add warmth and dimension to a room.
  • Use an old table—covered with a long tablecloth—as a dining table set with some dishes.
  • An artful umbrella propped in an entryway corner, a clean welcome mat or a small wreath on the door can alsocreate a great first impression.
  • Suggest office space or sitting area in a large corner of a bedroom, living room, or basement with a small desk and lamp.
  • Stage a single robe, suitcase or hatbox to accent a walk-in closet.

It doesn’t take much to make a home look well cared for, lived in and inviting. Take a moment to look around your home to create focal points of interest in various rooms and spots.

Categories: Showcasing your home, Staging your home, Uncategorized

Showcasing: Set The Stage For A Quick Sale | Wilmington NC real estate

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Remember the last time you visited a new home development? How did you feel touring the model? Usually, pleasant memories come to mind about how well the home looked. That’s because it was “showcased” properly.

You can do the same thing when you prepare your own home for sale.

Home showcasing is not about remodeling, fixing up or making your home look sterile. Instead, it focuses on amazingly simple steps to make your home show like a model without spending a lot of money. The secret is setting the stage, which helps potential buyers imagine themselves and their families at home in your “home for sale.”

Strip Down And Build Up

The first step is to clear the set. Take out extraneous furniture, decorations, pictures, etc. Take each room down to its most basic form, opening up the living space as much as possible. Then build it back up to the way you want it to look, as simply as possible, and without clutter.

Make the strip-down process simpler by stowing packed boxes in a staging area like the garage, or by renting a storage space to hold extra furnishings while your home is on the market. In essence, pack up early.

Props

{short description of image}When building the set, try to make each room tell a story. Help potential buyers see themselves in each room. A clever arrangement of props will make it easy for buyers to imagine writing a letter at the desk in the kitchen, clicking on the television and enjoying a bowl of popcorn, turning on the stove and preparing a holiday repast.

Themes for a room can help you narrow down how to display it. You can, of course, stage the room as you use it now, or choose a particular motif, i.e. Southwestern, country style, international. Or you could pick an activity to illustrate on your stage, i.e., relaxed office or library, gourmet cooking, resort or vacation living. What would you like to do in that room? Place the props needed for those activities throughout the room.

Lighting

Lots of lights open up a room and gives it a larger appearance. If you’ve been using 50 watt bulbs, move up to 100 watts. If a large living room has only one lamp, move in another. Open curtains. Add mirrors. When it’s being shown, the home should be bright. Brightness gives a showy feel. And your home is now center stage!

Do Your Homework

Ask what buyers are looking for in your community. What are they saying about the homes they don’t buy? And what is it about the homes that are selling that makes them so popular? By determining your ideal target buyer, you will better understand how to merchandise your home. Our experience in your specific neighborhood can help you answer all these questions and more.

Aroma Therapy

Almost as important as how a home looks is how it smells. Ask a close friend to walk through your home — objectively — and take a whiff here and there. Are there any offensive odors? Is it too perfumy? Too drab? Stale? Musty? Are there pet odors (which should be fixed — not covered up!)? What can you do to impress potential buyers with aroma therapy?

When it comes time to sell your home, you’ll want to work with a real estate professional who knows all aspects of the selling process — including showcasing. Call us today to talk about how we can help you display your home to sell for the best possible price!  Look for ideas on www.cbbaker.com.

Categories: Showcasing your home, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, Wrightsville Beach makes Top 20 Surf Towns

To Fix or Not To Fix | 6 Staging Tips that are Worth it

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The survey is in and there are some low cost renovations that you can do to your home that will bring you more money back at the closing table.  Before you start,  go around your house and your yard and take pictures that you think would look good when the house is listed.  Take a good look at these pictures and you can pick out the things that need to be changed.  Like they say: a picture is worth a 1000 words.  You will see things that you walk by everyday and do not even catch your eye…. but they will catch a potential buyers eye.  The results are interesting and can help you prepare your home for sale.  We can help you with each of these steps.

The marketing company surveyed nearly 600 real estate professionals to discover which DIY home improvement projects give sellers the biggest return for their buck. Here are six projects under $1,000 (amounts are estimated) that made the list.

  1. Cleaning and decluttering.Remove any personal items, unclutter countertops, organize closets and shelves, and make the home sparkling clean.
    • $290 Cost
    • $1,990 Return
  2. Brightening.Clean all windows inside and out, replace old curtains, update lighting fixtures, and remove anything that blocks light from the windows.
    • $375 Cost
    •  $1,550 Return
  3. Smart staging.Rearrange furniture, bring in new accessories and furnishings to enhance rooms, incorporate artwork, and play soft music in the background.
    • $550 Cost
    • $2,194 Return
  4. Landscaping enhancements.Punch up the home’s curb appeal in the front and back yards by adding bark mulch, bushes, and flowers and ensuring current plants and grass are well-cared for and manicured.
    • $540 Cost
    • $1,932 return
  5. Repairing electrical or plumbing.Fix leaks under the sinks, remove any mildew stains, and ensure all plumbing is in good working condition. Update the home’s electrical with new wiring for modern appliances, fix any lights or outlets that don’t work, and replace old plug points with new safety fixtures.
    • $535 Cost
    • $1,505 Return
  6. Replacing or shampooing dirty carpets.Steam-clean carpets, replace any worn carpets, and repair any floor creaks.
    • $647 Cost
    • $1,739 Return

Realtor Magazine : Excerpted from HomeGain’s 2011 Home Sale Maximizer Survey: www.homesalemaximizer.com.

Let us know if you would like help getting your home ready for the market.  That is our expertise and we love “before and after” photos!  www.cbbaker.com for all your Wilmington NC real estate needs.

Categories: Showcasing your home, staging a home, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events, worlds largest christmas tree, Wrightsville Beach NC

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

Categories: azalea festival, college's in wilmington nc, Home Selling, Showcasing your home, Uncategorized, volunteer in wilmington NC, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events

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.

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, college's in wilmington nc, convention center wilmington, private schools in wilmington nc, Showcasing your home, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, wilmington nc convention center, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events

Coldwell Banker “On Location” YouTube Award | Wilmington NC

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Coldwell Banker real estate continues to receive awards for their innovative marketing especially in the Wilmington NC real estate market.  The Latest award was for “On Location” YouTube Channel, for the Real estate Category.  Below is the letter from Corporate headquarters for Coldwell Banker Realty.

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast realty and Kay Baker and Associates continue to strive for new ideas and creative outlets for marketing of Wilmington NC real estate.  Visit http://www.cbbaker.com/

COLDWELL BANKER REAL ESTATE WINS COMMUNICATOR CREATIVE EXCELLENCE AWARD FROM INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF VISUAL ARTS

Brand’s ‘On Location’ YouTube Channel Honored in Real Estate Website Category

PARSIPPANY, N.J., (July 7, 2010) – The International Academy of the Visual Arts has named Coldwell Banker On Location, the brand’s YouTube channel, a recipient of this year’s Communicator Awards for Creative Excellence in the real estate website category. The category honors the best site for the sale or rental of residential or commercial property.

“We were the first national real estate brand to add streaming video to our website. Today, our agents across the globe have posted more than 15,000 videos to our On Location channel,” said Mike Fischer, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “The most exciting part of On Location is that we have only just begun – there’s a lot more to come.”

On Location has been rated among the top 10 most-viewed brand channels on YouTube. In April, just 11 months after launching On Location, Coldwell Banker announced it had received over 1 million views. The site was launched in May 2009 and was produced in collaboration with FD Kinesis.

“Home buyers would much rather see a home than only read about it,” Fischer said. “Our On Location videos empower them to get a feel for a home, a community or a real estate professional that they could not get from photos or a text description alone. Equally important are the home sellers who are now expecting video to be a part of marketing their property.”

With thousands of entries received from across the United States and around the world, the Communicator Awards is one of the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence for communications professionals. The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, advertising and marketing firms.

About Coldwell Banker®

Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate. Coldwell Banker is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of more than 98,000 agents working in more than 3,600 offices in 50 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by being the first national real estate brand to augment its web site www.coldwellbanker.com for smart phones, the first to create a iPhone application and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSM YouTube channel. The Coldwell Banker system is a leader in specialty markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program.

© 2010 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated Except Offices Owned And Operated By NRT Incorporated.

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Coldwell Banker Buyer Bonus Program, Showcasing your home, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

Get Ready for Spring Cleaning | Wilmington NC real estate

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Spring is right around the corner in Wilmington NC. What a great time to get a jump start on your spring cleaning.  If you are considering putting your home on the market, this might be the time to hire a cleaning professional.Professional cleaner

Some of the things you need to keep in mind are:

1. Make a list of things that you would like to have done to the interior and the exterior of the home. 

2.  Do your homework and ask friends for referrals of cleaning companies.  Check out references before you hand over the keys to you home.

3.  Make sure that the cleaning company handles taxes for their employees, has insurance and is bonded.

4. Get an estimate for services and make sure it is detailed.  Your idea of a cleaning might be different than theirs.

5.  Make sure that the company can schedule days to fit your schedule and whether or not they supply the cleaning equipment and supplies.

6.  A professional cleaning job can make your home shine and show well. 

7.  Call us to help you sell your home!

So, start your real estate search today at www.cbbaker.com.  You can find a new home as well as get seller advice.  You can search by price range, map, schools, neighborhoods and more.

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Economy, Home Selling, Showcasing your home, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods


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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.