LOOKING FORWARD Real Opportunities In Real Estate This Year

Be the first to comment on this post

Whether you’re looking to buy your first—or 15th—home, this year holds many opportunities for you. And, if you need to sell this year, the same holds true. 2017 is looking to be a great year for sellers, buyers, investors and those who need to relocate or settle down with a second home, too.

How is that possible? First, financing continues to be available to a wider group of consumers as lenders increasingly work to open up some qualifications. Secondly, interest rates continue to sit near historic lows, making mortgages affordable for many. Lastly, with rents increasing in many regions, it makes more sense to buy a home than it does to rent one. (And, if you’re an investor, with rising rents, it makes more sense to grow your rental property portfolio this year.)

Additionally, your credit plays a big role in landing affordable financing, so we’ll give you the year’s scoop on how to monitor your credit report and protect your identity and financial details in light of all-too-frequent data breaches.

Free stock photo of wood, light, house, luxuryAnd, if you’re just staying put in your home, we’ll give you the remodeling outlook for the year, too.

No matter your real estate plans, we are here for your home-related needs. Contact us. We’re eager to work with you this year!

SMART CHOICE

When It Makes More Sense To Buy Than Rent

In many areas today, rents are rising faster than home prices. In such situations, it often makes more sense to own a home than to rent someplace to live. Even when renting and owning seem like a wash, owning can still come out ahead.

Consider these facts as you look at buying a home in 2017:
  • Don’t forget how the mortgage interest you’re paying will likely benefit you at tax time. (Consult with a tax adviser for details specific to your situation.)
  • If you plan to live in the same place for a length of time, your home is likely to appreciate so that at sale time, you’ll find yourself with a gain, or at least break even in many cases.
  • Buying gives you a home that you’re free to customize as you wish, while also giving you a place to put down roots and get involved in the community.
  • Depending on the financing you choose for your home purchase, your monthly home mortgage amount may be fixed from 15 to 30 years, allowing you to budget for other expenses more easily.
  • Renting puts money in the pockets of your landlord while paying off a mortgage results in a home paid off, and resulting in no more monthly mortgage/housing payments.

Consult with a local mortgage professional (contact us for recommendations) to get preapproved for a mortgage. Then let’s talk about home shopping! kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com 

Categories: buying a home, real estate, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC homes

BUY OR WAIT? Check The Answer That’s Right For You | Wilmington NC real estate

Be the first to comment on this post

www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

There’s no right or wrong answer when you ask: “Is it the right time to buy a home?” For some, it’s a great time to buy—while for others, the answer is not as clear cut. There are lots of check marks that make buying favorable, but some unknowns as well. We’re here to help you sort out the right answer for you.

Today’s real estate market is affordable for many. Interest rates are still near historic lows, which means your money buys more home than it will when rates rise. With stable employment, a decent down payment and a good credit history, you’re likely to qualify for a mortgage.

The selection of homes available locally is improving because the overall economy has encouraged more owners to sell. Because of this, your odds of finding the right home for you are higher today. Also, homebuyers now have many financing options because lenders offer a variety of loan programs that allow buyers to choose their mortgage term and interest rate to ensure the loan is affordable today—and tomorrow.

Should you buy a home today?
There are many reasons why it might be a good time for you, personally, to buy real estate today. How many reasons can you check off?

☑ I need a tax break.
Paying mortgage interest and real estate taxes may provide you with a sizable deduction on your income taxes. Consult a financial professional to review your tax return and see the impact owning a home (or a larger home) could have on your tax bill.

☑ My household income is likely to grow.
Up for a raise in the not-too-distant future? In line for a promotion? If your career—or your partner’s career—is on an upward trajectory, your growing income will offset any increases in real estate taxes, insurance or interest rate down the road.

☑ I’m ready to put down some roots.
You may feel ready to sink deeper roots in one location and become more vested in our community. If you’re looking to call our area home for five years or more, it may make sense to buy a home or move up to a larger one.

☑ I have been saving for a rainy day.
If you’ve been stashing away money for a down payment for some time, consult a mortgage lender to determine how much home you can comfortably afford to buy (ask us for lender recommendations). Calculate if your savings cushion is enough to cover unexpected maintenance costs or other emergencies after the down payment is paid.

☑ I need a home that will grow with my family.
If the home you can afford today has enough bedrooms to accommodate future children, children who are returning home, elderly family members or a work-at-home situation, it may be the right time for you to buy.

☑ I’ll be receiving some money.
If you are receiving a large legal settlement or a family member has presented you or your partner with a sizable monetary gift or inheritance, you might be able to buy that home you’ve only dreamed of before now.

☑ I follow a budget.
With your finances in order and personal spending in check, you likely have a realistic budget to know how much you can safely spend on housing.

☑ My debt situation is under control.
If you had student loans and they’re nearly paid off, college-age kids that are close to graduation or credit card debt that is near a zero balance, it might be time for you to think about buying a home.

☑ I’m just ready.
If you’re ready to buy a home, it’s time to contact us. We can show you local homes that fit your finances and your family. We can work with you to determine which one meets your needs best. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Categories: Buy Now or Wait, Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

Next Tax Season | Work From Home? It Pays Off At Tax Time

Be the first to comment on this post

birdflyingTime to plan for next tax season.  If you keep records, schedule appointments and carry on other such activities from your home office, some common home-office expenses, such as utilities, insurance, repairs, cleaning and depreciation, may qualify for a deduction, even if you do the actual work in another location. Be aware, however, any depreciation claimed after May 6, 1997, will be taxed at 25% if the residence is sold for a gain, whether or not the property has been converted to personal use.

Starting in 2013, there is a simplified home office deduction calculation to bypass maintaining detailed expense records. Simply deduct $5 for every square foot of home office space used, up to a maximum of 300 square feet or $1,500. This simplified expense is recorded on Schedule C rather than Form 8829 which allows you to separately deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.

TAX TIP: If you (or your family) use your home office for non-business purposes, it cannot be claimed on your tax return. To claim home-office deductions, the space must be used exclusively for business purposes.

BONU$ ARTICLE

PROPERTY LOSSES

Disasters Hurt: Get What You Deserve At Tax Time


If you lost property due to an accident, storm, fire, flood, drought or other unforeseen occurrence, you may not have to report insurance proceeds if you use the proceeds to replace the property within a specified time. Additionally, if the home was located in a federally declared disaster area, you can claim the loss on your tax return in the year of the loss (2015) or for the preceding year.

TAX TIP: Local and state property taxes may also be abated in some cases. Consult IRS Publication 547 “Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts” to find out more.

We are here to help.  Just let us know.  910-202-3607 or kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: #Taxes, Home Office, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

69th NC Azalea Festival Wilmington NC 2016 | Get Your Party Hat On.

Be the first to comment on this post

69th NC Azalea Festival Wilmington NC 2016 | Wilmington NC real estate

 

 Join us for the 69th NC Azalea Festival in Wilmington NC. April 6 – 10 .

 

 

“The North Carolina Azalea Festival is Wilmington’s annual community celebration and the largest festival of its kind in the state. Founded in 1948, the Azalea Festival has emerged as Wilmington’s premier event.

Each April, a full week of natural beauty, big-name entertainment, festive galas, fun family events and Southern hospitality come together to showcase the charms of the Wilmington area. For community pride and springtime pageantry, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has no equal!

The Festival’s concerts, fairs and special events are viewed by more than one million people each year, in person and through media coverage. More than 200,000 are estimated to attend the annual two-day street fair, while more than 100,000 gather to watch the Festival parade. Each event is a celebration, beginning with the traditional arrival of Queen Azalea at the official opening of the five-day event. Stars glitter throughout town as Southern belles and their escorts promenade through lush gardens at the annual garden party. Everywhere the blooming azaleas offer colorful testimony to the rich heritage of coastal Carolina.”

Here is a sampling of the schedule for this years festival from the festival website.

  • Azalea 5K/10K/Kid’s Run

    Tagged:  , ,

    2APR2016
    The North Carolina Azalea Festival 5K/10K & 1 mile-Kid’s Run is an annual event hosted by the Cape Fear Volunteer Center. Kids, dogs, and costumes are welcome! All proceeds from …

    Read More…

  • Azalea Sweep

    2APR2016
    The Azalea Sweep is an event that takes place a week or two prior to the Azalea Festival. Officers, committee members, and volunteers get together and clean various places where …

    Read More…

  • Queen’s Coronation

    Tagged:  , ,

    6APR2016
    The Queen’s Coronation is an annual event where the Queen is officially crowned the North Carolina Azalea Festival Queen Azalea. In attendance are the Festival Celebrity Guests as well as: City …

    Read More…

  • Brigade Boys & Girls Club Community Visit

    Tagged:  , , ,

    7APR2016
    Each year the Azalea Festival Queen Azalea, Celebrities, and Official Party visit a community organization to help spread the Festival spirit.  We were proud to visit the Brigade Boys & …

    Read More…

  • Celebrity Reception

    Tagged:  ,

    7APR2016
    The Celebrity Reception provides sponsors of the Festival a close and personal opportunity to see and meet Queen Azalea, Celebrity Guests, and other Festival Dignitaries.  A relaxing luncheon on sprawling …

    Read More…

  • School Visit

    Tagged:  ,

    7APR2016
    Each year the Azalea Festival Queen Azalea, Celebrities, and Official Party visit a local school to share the Festival spirit.  The school works year-long to prepare a program and showcase …

    Read More…

  • The Avett Brothers

    7APR2016
    When you’re receptive to the forces around you, you’ll notice there’s something powerful in the air. It’s that feeling of inspiration to which The Avett Brothers consistently remain open.” It’s a spirit …

    Read More…

  • After Garden Get Down

    8APR2016
    The After Garden Get Down at Bluewater Grill is a fun, dockside party on Friday, March 8th from 2-5 PM, immediately following the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party.  Guests enjoy live music by Darryl …

    Read More…

  • Airlie Luncheon Garden Party

    Tagged:  , , , ,

    8APR2016
    The premier event in Wilmington, the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party is one you can’t miss! Join us and 2,500 of our closest friends as we kick off Spring with big …

    Read More…

  • Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour

    Tagged:  ,

    8-10APR2016
    The Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour © is sponsored by the Cape Fear Garden Club, Inc. The tour has been featured in SOUTHERN LIVING and is one of …

    Read More…

  • City RockFest Tour

    8APR2016
    Join us for the City RockFest Tour 2016 with Seventh Day Slumber, Decyfer Down, Childen 18:3, Spoken, & Disciple, presented by: McDonalds, McAnderson’s Inc. and the North Carolina Azalea Festival.Read More…

  • Juried Art Show

    8-10APR2016
    Over 100 North Carolina artists and national artists present fine paintings at the Annual Juried Spring Art Show and Sale.  The Art Show is a long-standing tradition of the North …

    Read More…

  • Snoop Dogg with Doug E. Fresh

    8APR2016
    Multi-platinum artist, actor and entertainment icon Snoop Dogg is at the forefront of popular culture with award-winning albums and songs, multiple films, lifestyle products, philanthropic efforts, and digital ventures, including …

    Read More…

  • Street Fair

    Tagged:  ,

    8-10APR2016
    The North Carolina Azalea Festival Street Fair Presented by Wells Fargo is a free, family event with over 330 arts and craft vendors, 40 food vendors, 2 stages, a Children’s …

    Read More…

  • USCGC Diligence Tours

    8-10APR2016
    Tour times are: Friday from 12:30 PM  – 15 minutes before sunset Saturday/Sunday from 10:00 AM  – 15 minutes before sunsetRead More…

  • Boxing

    Tagged:  ,

    9-10APR2016
    The North Carolina Azalea Festival Boxing Tournament showcases some of the finest boxers from the National and International level of competition & from the military branches. Queen Azalea & VIP …

    Read More…

  • Chase Rice with Kane Brown

    9APR2016
          Chase Rice When he takes the stage to perform, Chase Rice pulls no punches. “You’re gonna be mine and I’m gonna be yours for an hour and …

    Read More…

  • Coin Show

    9-10APR2016
    A fun filled family event! Children are given free foreign coins to learn about currency and foreign countries. More than 30 dealers from several surrounding states are on hand to …

    Read More…

  • Fireworks

    9APR2016
    A favorite Festival event, the fireworks are presented over the majestic Cape Fear River. Come early to pick out your best viewing spot!Read More…

  • Historic Home Tour

    9-10APR2016
    The North Carolina Azalea Festival Home Tour is an annual event held by the Historic Wilmington Foundation. Proceeds from the Home Tour will advance the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s efforts to …

    Read More…

  • MGC Parade Mile

    9APR2016
    Welcome to the MGC Parade mile. Local law firm McAngus Goudelock & Courie is teaming with Go Time and the North Carolina Azalea Festival to put on a one of …

    Read More…

  • Parade

    Tagged:  , , , ,

    9APR2016
    The Azalea Festival Parade continues to be one of Southeastern North Carolina’s largest annual event, with over 100,000 viewers each year. Our traditional parade route flows right through the heart …

    Read More…

  • Patrons’ Party Gala

    Tagged:  , ,

    9APR2016
    The Patrons’ Party Gala is the grand finale for sponsors of the Azalea Festival.  A black-tie event filled with wonderful food displays and dancing to the sounds of the hottest …

    Read More…

  • Street Fair Children’s Area

    Tagged:  ,

    9-10APR2016
    The Street Fair Children’s Area is family fun for everyone! Games, children’s craft projects, and a stage dedicated to children’s performances all await you at the Cotton Exchange.   Saturday …

    Read More…

  • Street Fair Multicultural Stage

    Tagged:  ,

    9APR2016
    We invite the public to join us for a unique, family-friendly multicultural experience on Saturday and Sunday, April 9th and 10th. The kick-off of the multicultural festivities goes global beginning …

    Read More…

  • USS North Carolina Battleship 75th Anniversary Celebration

    9APR2016
    Join us and our “living history crew” – active Marines in WWII attire bringing the Battleship to life on Saturday, April 9th! At 1:15 PM, there will be a Special …

    Read More…

  • Festival Finale

    10APR2016
    Bluewater Grill is kicking off their Waterfront Music Series by hosting the Festival Finale on Sunday, April 10th, the last event of the North Carolina Azalea Festival. Back of the Boat will provide …

    Read More…

From Last Years Festival

azalea

While you are in town, please visit our mobile site mobile.cbbaker.com to view our fabulous real estate offerings.  Or online www.cbbaker.com

Categories: 65th Azalea Festival, 67th Azalea Festival, azalea festival, Wilmington NC homes, wilmington real estate stats

WEEKEND DIY 2016 | Take Advantage

Be the first to comment on this post

birdflyingIf you have a free weekend, take advantage of it to improve your home. You don’t need a lot of time or a stack of cash to make a big change to your living area this year.

 

Painting: If you’re not up to changing the colors of an entire room but still want to use color to make an impact, consider accenting a single wall to draw your eye to that area. Alternatively, paint a hallway, a closet or a small area to define a play space, office or other nook.

Rugs: Measure and visualize how an area rug can tie a room together. Find a suitable rug for a living room, dining room, bedroom or other area that needs some warmth.

Shelving: Are your closets a mess? Take measurements and visit your local home improvement store to get new shelving or an organizing system for your closet and start your new work week with order in your life!

Touch up: Sometimes a new coat of paint on trim is all that’s needed to enliven a room. Clean the trim, tape and paint. Work in defined sections so you can call a room—or two or more—complete before Monday dawns.

Categories: DYI Weekend, Remodel your home, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

What are the basic steps to selling my home? Wilmington NC real estate

Be the first to comment on this post

  • 1
  • Do your homework.
      Visit our website to size-up the homes-for-sale competition, read home selling articles on our site, consider reading a book on home selling, attend some seller’s Open Houses in the your area (ask us or see the local newspaper).  www.cbbaker.com
  • Hire a specialist.
      As neighborhood real estate agents that specialize in listing in your area, we know what it takes to sell in this market. We welcome your call!
  • Set the price.
      Ask your agent for an analysis of the local market and an opinion of the best price range for your home.
  • Set a marketing strategy.
      Have your agent discuss a marketing plan and include the main elements in the listing presentation.
  • Get the house ready.
      With your agent, take a hard, objective look at your home. Prioritize what needs to be done, and decide how much you can spend in time and money to make it look its best before opening it up to buyers. Get rid of all clutter and put some of your stuff in storage to make the rooms and closets roomier. Put together an information packet on local amenities, your utility bills and other helpful information.
  • Consider finding a reliable real estate attorney.
      The attorney can help review all the paperwork.
  • Keep on top of the process.
    Stash some quick clean-up supplies close at hand, and do a fast run-through before letting a prospective buyer preview your home. Also, keep a notebook handy with a record of everyone who has come through (and their agents), and inform your agent after each visit. This can speed the follow-up that your agent will do.

 

Categories: Selling your home, Steps to Sell your home, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

Online Tools | Starting The Mortgage Process? The Internet Is Your Friend

Be the first to comment on this post

cbbaker_002The Internet is a great tool for home buyers. It can help you find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. With virtual tools, buyers can even see the exteriors and interiors of homes that interest them, all without leaving their screens.

But did you know that the Internet is an essential tool for buyers who are ready to apply for a mortgage loan, too?

It’s true. The Internet makes applying for a home loan easier than ever.

First, there are plenty of mortgage affordability calculators and mortgage payment calculators available online. With these tools you can enter your basic financial information to determine how much of a mortgage payment you can afford to make each month. You can also enter the information you know about a potential mortgage loan—everything from the term/length of your expected loan to the amount you plan to borrow—to calculate the estimated size of your monthly payment.

You can also use several websites to get a feel for where the interest rates for various loan types—15-year fixed, 30-year fixed, adjustable-rate—stand at any given time.

And if you’re still looking for a home—and you know how much mortgage you can afford and, therefore, how much you can spend on a new residence—you can use national real estate sites such as our MLS public link, Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow to get a ‘starting point’ estimated value of any home in the neighborhoods that interest you. Don’t forget, we can refer you to local real estate professionals to find the home of your dreams in person.

Remember, though, that the Internet is a useful tool. It’s not a substitute for working with a skilled mortgage loan officer who can guide you through the process of applying for a loan. When you’re ready to get real-world figures, contact us today. We’d be happy to help you find the perfect mortgage loan. Call us tel:1-910-202-3607

or email – kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

 

 

Categories: wilmington beach homes, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

10 Tips Smart Wilmington NC Condominium Shoppers Should Consider

Be the first to comment on this post

There may be no such thing as a perfect condominium, but you can probably come close to your ideal. With the help of an experienced real estate agent, you can check out the following criteria to locate the right condo at an affordable price: For Sale Sign

Look at common areas:

  1. A condo situated in a neighborhood on the upswing, not the downslide; convenient to shopping, cultural and recreational facilities and good schools. (Even if you have no children, you may someday have a potential buyer who does.)
  2. Ample parking areas, as invisible as possible – especially from the front entrance.
  3. Whether high-rise or two-story, a structure that is sound and attractive.
  4. All public and private entrances equipped with double-lock systems. Electronic surveillance, where possible.
  5. Convenient and discretely placed laundry facilities, community rooms, saunas, locker rooms, game rooms, individual storage spaces and spots for trash.

Consider the private areas:

  1. Well-placed air-conditioning and heating units.
  2. Soundproofed walls, ceiling and floors.
  3. Well-padded, good-quality carpeting.
  4. First-rate kitchen and bathroom appliances and facilities.
  5. A kitchen equipped with an exhaust fan for cooking fumes.

If you’re thinking of looking at condominiums, e-mail us or give us a call. We’ll be glad to help show you what’s available in our area.

Categories: Buying a Condo, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC homes

Today’s Homes Are Built And Modified “Eco”nomically

Be the first to comment on this post

wb2

www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

As energy prices increase and the nation searches for cheaper renewable resources, the housing industry has been improving the way it builds and remodels homes. Today’s homes and building materials are more environmentally responsible than ever–conserving resources, using recycled materials and building for longevity.

The National Association of Home Builders reports the following “green” innovations. Be sure to look for them if you’re shopping for a new home or consider installing them if you’re remodeling or repairing a home you already own.

More-durable roof coverings

such as steel and fiber-cement

More and better insulation

in walls and attics, conserving energy, lowering utility bills and reducing pollution related to energy production

OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and laminated fiberboard

made from smaller younger trees, replacing plywood on roofs and board sheathing in walls, both made from larger, older trees

Greater use of carpet, sheet vinyl and laminates

rather than wood flooring that taxes lumber supplies

Foundation insulation

to reduce energy loss while providing more-comfortable floors

Insulated exterior doors and windows with insulating and low-E glass

to keep homes more comfortable and energy efficient

Vinyl siding and fiber cement siding

, reducing the use of cedar, redwood and other wood products

 

  • High-efficiency heating, cooling, and water-heating equipment

to cut energy consumption

 

  • Water-saving appliances and plumbing fixtures

to reduce water use. They also require less energy to heat water

Factory-built components

, such as trusses and pre-hung doors, resulting in more-economical use of materials than cutting wood on the job site

  • Recycled plastic “lumber”

instead of weather-resistant woods (e.g., redwood) for decks, porches, trim and fencing

High-efficiency refrigerators

that use less energy and operate using refrigerants that have less potential impact on the ozone layer

Passive solar designs

using the sun’s “free” energy to help heat homes

Xeriscaping

, which employs native plants that can thrive with little or no extra watering

Tree preservation

around homes to provide shade, reducing summer energy costs.

Thank you for viewing – kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

Rehab Junkie? Buying A Fixer-Upper? An FHA 203k Loan Might Be Right For You

Be the first to comment on this post

jones 91011 278You’ve found your dream home. Only one problem: Its foundation is sinking and it needs a new roof. The purchase price is right, but you’re worried that you’ll never be able to afford all those repairs.

Here’s some good news, though: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers a loan product designed for buyers who want to purchase and renovate a fixer-upper.

An FHA 203k loan lets you borrow enough money to not only buy a fixer-upper, but to repair it, too. So if your home costs $150,000, and contractors estimate that you’ll need $50,000 to modernize an outdated kitchen and repair a leaking roof, you’ll be able to borrow enough to both buy the home and fund repairs.

Here’s how it works: Say you come up with a down payment of $5,250 on the $150,000 home. That would leave you with a mortgage loan of $144,750 with a typical loan product. With an FHA 203k loan, though, you can add in contractors’ estimated cost of repairs. You, then, could borrow $194,750 to cover both the purchase of the home and the needed repairs.

If you’re in the market for a home that needs some TLC, give us a call. We’re happy to discuss the FHA 203k program with you. We can help you determine if the program is a good fit for you and the home you want to buy.

 

Categories: Fixer Upper Loans, Sell your home, Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, Wrightsville Beach NC


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.