INVEST YOUR RENT: Why Pay Your Landlord’s Mortgage?

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The only one who benefits from a rent check is the landlord. Renters never see that money again, while homeowners usually profit when they sell. In addition, renters can’t use any of their rent payment as a tax deduction, like homeowners can. If you or someone you know is renting, it’s time to put that rent check to better use!e mortgage-interest deduction is probably the best financial argument for buying rather than renting. Consider this example:If you can afford a mortgage payment of $1,000 (principal and interest only), you can buy a house for $151,426 if you put 10% down on a 30-year mortgage at 8% interest ( current rate for great credit is 4%) . If your payments started in January, you would pay $10,862 in interest for the first year in the home. That entire amount is deductible on your federal income tax return! Assuming you are in the 27.5% tax bracket, you would save $2,989 in taxes, or $249 per month. So your $1,000 payment is really only $751 when you factor in the homeowner’s tax advantage.

Can A Renter Really Afford To Buy?

shells5The real question is whether renters can afford not to buy. The tax savings alone make the purchase of a home a wise financial decision. But let’s go a step further.

Using the same example, a 10% down payment would create an immediate equity of $15,142. Assuming the $151,426 house grows in value by just 3% a year, in five years it would be worth $175,544. The original loan amount would then be down to $129,565, yielding an equity of $45,980. In addition, remember the nearly $3,000 tax savings every year. The total value of your equity and tax savings would be almost $61,000 after five years.

Pick A Loan

To take advantage of the financial benefits of homeownership, renters must first find out how much buying power they have. We can help. Call us for information about the whole range of mortgage options now available, including low- and no-down-payment loans, and programs that allow buyers wrap home-improvement costs and closing costs into the mortgage.

Plan Ahead

Although some lenders allow buyers to use up to 41% of monthly income to purchase a house, beware of becoming “house rich and cash poor.” Be sure to budget for homeownership costs beyond the mortgage, including expenses for:

decorating and furnishing
homeowners insurance
property taxes
homeowners association fees (if any)
utilities-power, water, sewer, cable, trash pick-up
yard tools, supplies and general upkeep
home repairs, supplies, cleaning and upgrades.

Today, homeownership is a wonderful dream-come-true for more people than ever before. Let us help turn those dreams into a home to be proud of.

Check out for more information and helpful tips.

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, mortgage interest deductions, tax advantage, tax advantages to buying real estate, tax exemptions, why pay your landlords mortgage, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wilmington NC real esatate

Masonboro Island Wilmington NC

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Masonboro Island NC

Masonboro Island is an 8 mile long uninhabited island on the southern North Carolina coast between Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach and is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve. Masonboro Island, only accessible by boat, is enjoyed by campers, surfers, anglers, and bird-watchers alike. The reserve consists of about 5000 acres, which about 4400 acres are tidal marsh and mud flats. The most northern end at Masonboro Inlet is the most popular area with its sandy beaches and protected waters. Any summer weekend you will see many boaters and campers prepared for a few days on the beach with tents, grills and water toys in tow. Read the rest of this entry

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

Want To Save Big Dollars? Pay Your Mortgage Bi-Weekly

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river2We get it. No one really enjoys making a mortgage payment each month. But here’s a secret: You can shorten the length of your mortgage loan without refinancing your loan to a shorter term.

You simply have to make bi-weekly payments.

Here’s how this works: Normally, you’ll make 12 mortgage payments a year, one each month. If you owe $1,000 on your mortgage each month, you’ll make 12 mortgage payments for a total of $12,000 a year. But if you split your payment into bi-weekly payments, you’ll pay $500 every two weeks.

This pays off in a big way: Because there are 52 weeks in a year, you’ll make 26 bi-weekly payments. That is equal to making 13 monthly payments in a year. That’s right, with the bi-weekly mortgage payment, you’d make one extra mortgage payment each year than you would when paying 12 standard monthly payments.

Bi-weekly payments reduce the payoff time of your mortgage loan. The number of months you chop off your mortgage varies depending on the size, interest rate and length of your loan. If you are paying off a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan of $180,000 with an interest rate of 4%, you’ll pay off your loan in 25 years and 11 months, eliminating four years and one month of payments. That means you’ll also save more than $20,000 in interest during the life of your loan.

Those are some compelling reasons to consider a bi-weekly payment plan. Call us today if you are interested. We’ll walk you through the process and help you make the right decision for your financial situation.

Categories: Mortgage, Mortgage 101, Mortgage choice, Mortgage ideas, Mortgage options, Mortgage points, mortgage rates, Mortgages, MPP mortgage, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

RESALES: Hidden Advantages Of Previously Owned Homes

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Although many people prefer to buy new homes, the vast majority of buyers prefer resales. According to the National Association of Realtors, 75% of homes sold are resales.When home buyers ask us about the merits of buying an “old” versus a newly built home, we show them how resales offer some of the best values in the market today. The news gets better when they see the wonderfully diverse resale selection of appealing styles and sizes in may locations and price ranges. Plus, when the owner goes to sell an “old” home, they have what most buyers are looking for.

Here are some of the advantages that make “old” homes so popular:

Size Appeal

Older homes often have more space inside and out than new homes. Inside, resale homes may have more square footage and higher ceilings; outside, resale lot sizes are typically larger.

Close-in convenience

Many resale homes are in older neighborhoods, which are closer to downtown business districts and shopping. New communities are often a distance away from cities and commute times may be much longer.{short description of image}

Cost savings

Resale homes generally are less expensive than similar new homes. One reason could be that resale sellers have more bargaining room than builders who must make a return on the high costs they recently paid for land and building materials. In fact, a NAR study found resale sellers accepted a median drop of $4,000 from their asking price while builders’ median drop was only $500.

More green space

For tree lovers, resales are a big draw. Older homes typically have mature trees and plantings, unlike what’s found in new neighborhoods.

What you see is what you get

There is no guesswork with older, established neighborhoods. Buyers can research and tour the schools, sample the shopping, and check out the neighbors. In a new-home subdivision, buyers might not want to live with the noise and dirt of construction, may wonder about future development, or deal with possible long bus rides to existing schools and little or no nearby shopping.

Lots of Extras

Many resale buyers cash in on “extras” the owner has already put in, which can save big money. Typical money-saving extras: fenced yards, decks, pools, play sets, window treatments and appliances.We would be happy to assist you with your house-hunting needs. A resale home can be an excellent value for a buyer in today’s market. Call or e-mail for more information.”


Categories: Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wilmington NC real esatate, Wrightsville Beach NC

KEY TO SUCCESS | How To Choose Your Rental Property Tenants Wisely

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whitneyHow do you find responsible tenants who pay their rent on time, take care of your property, get on well with the neighbors and stay as long as you want them to?

Recruiting: Ask around to find potential tenants looking for a rental or advertise your property online to find them. Two proven ways to find good tenants is through tenant referrals or a reputable management service, which can advertise your property, efficiently screen applicants and refer people to you for a fee.

PERFECT RENTALSSuccess as a landlord starts with having the right rental property—one that appeals to renters, minimizes your costs, maximizes your income and is likely to appreciate in value while you own it. Wise investments start with the following tips:

1. Location. Be sure the property is in a location where rental demand is high (e.g., near public transportation, employment centers, etc.). Check vacancy rates and how long properties stay on the rental market.2. Property. Buy the type of property that is most desired by renters. In some areas, condos, townhouses or multi-family units may be easier to rent than single-family homes. In other areas, the reverse may be true.

3. Condition. Choose a property in good shape and easy to maintain. Excessive repair and maintenance expenses can seriously impact the profitability of your investment.

4. Demand. Find out what is predicted for the area’s rental market in years to come. Learn what plans are underway to change the neighborhood (e.g., road construction, industrial development, etc.) that might affect the value of or demand for your investment.

Setting Standards: Decide what your rental criteria are—then make sure you advertise the property accurately. Determine the following:

  • Rental price and rental period.
  • Minimum income requirements.
  • Security deposits for last month’s rent, damages, pets, etc.
  • Who pays which utilities.
  • Restrictions on pets, smoking and/or maximum number of occupants or cars.
  • Responsibilities for maintenance, repairs, yard upkeep and pest control.
  • Satisfactory personal and former landlord recommendations.

Applications And Screening: Make sure your application form asks for all the information you need. Ask applicants to show their legal identification and verify the information they’ve provided to you. Remember, although you do have the right to choose who lives in your property, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on the applicant’s race or color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap or disability. In ads: Describe the property, not the people.

TIP: Ask applicants for their credit reports with their application or permission to order a report directly from a credit reporting agency.
Categories: Choosing a rental client, Things to look for in a renter, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington real estate stats

PLAY SMART: Savvy Tips On Buying A Vacation Home :: Wrightsville Beach

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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.

Great Reasons To Buy A Vacation Home

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

Sign up for your own portal for looking at Wilmington NC real estate at

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 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 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.


Categories: Buying a Vacation Home, Figure Eight Island, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

What is the single most important rule in house hunting?

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1604 CrowsLand-0503Want to know what the number one rule is when Wilmington NC home shopping? Well, many details must be considered in choosing your next home – style, size, price, location. It’s probably impossible to say which factor is most important. But one thing is certain – if you will be moving again in a few years, be sure you buy with selling in mind. Chances are, the items that make your new home a comfortable fit for you will also attract buyers later on.

Some special considerations for the short-term homeowner who has resale in mind:

  • Watch for growth potential
      Look for an established neighborhood that will be enhanced by future growth but not inconvenienced by it.
  • Look out for resale value
      Seek a prime neighborhood where houses sell well in any market.
  • Check out location
      Consider availability of all aspects of transportation; even those you may not use.
  • Schools are important
      Check for quality public schools, whether or not you have school-age children.
  • Green is good
      Look carefully at the lot for trees and greenery to buffer winter winds or summer heat.
  • Make room for visitors
      See if ample guest parking is available for you and your neighbors.


  • Privacy is a plus
      Consider how much privacy the house and lot provide.
  • Drive the commute before you buy

Check morning and afternoon drive time to work, schools, shopping, churches.  Call us 910-202-3607 or

Categories: house hunting, Uncategorized, Waterfront Wilmington NC, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate

Is Your Homes Atmosphere Healthy?

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gardentipsEven though you can’t see it, the air in your home can affect the well being of you and your family. Now is a good time to check your home for a healthy atmosphere.

No matter how well you clean, silent, unseen polluters can build up inside a home, making you feel under the weather or even causing illness. Here are a few common polluters and simple solutions for eliminating them:


  • Mold and mildew:


      These organisms, which can grow wherever there is excess moisture, can cause allergic reactions. The simple solution is to ventilate the kitchen when cooking, and the bathrooms during and after baths or showers. Air conditioning and dehumidifiers help control humidity in the rest of the home. If you are remodeling, add a ventilating fan to the kitchen and baths.


  • Dust mites:


      These microscopic creatures live where the vacuum cleaner can’t get them-inside mattresses and box springs, down in heating ducts-and can cause allergic reactions. To limit their effect, enclose mattresses and box springs in zippered casings, and have ducts professionally cleaned.


  • Carbon monoxide:


      This colorless, odorless gas, which can cause fatal illness, can come from malfunctioning furnaces, gas dryers, stoves, or air seeping in from the garage. Equip your home with a carbon monoxide detector and have all appliances serviced regularly. Be sure any walls or floors between the garage and your home are airtight.

  • Cleaning solutions:


      Spray and squirt bottles make cleaning faster and easier, but some of the chemicals in the bottles can contribute to indoor air pollution. Look for more environmentally friendly cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda and borax (remember to keep borax out of reach of children).


  • The “new” smell:


      Carpets, furniture or cabinets made with pressed wood, and other new products can introduce fumes into the home as chemicals used in manufacturing are released. The simple solution for those sensitive to these fumes is to buy carpets with low-emission green labels or all-wood furniture. After a few months, the level of the fume emissions declines, but in the meantime, ventilate your home by opening windows frequently.


  • Although you may have to spend a little extra time or money


    to eliminate your home’s air polluters, it may be worth it for your family’s health.


Categories: Healthy Home Atmosphere, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

25 Reasons to Love Wilmington NC

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1. Beautiful Beaches and Waterways

Wilmington NC is situated on the southeast coast of NC and is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and the west by the Cape Fear River. The beauty and charm of Wilmington and the surrounding beaches equal or surpass any on the east coast. The many pristine beaches that we have to enjoy such as Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Topsail Beach, Oak Island and Ocean Isle Beach are sure to captivate your heart.


2. Boating

The area’s many miles of coastline, rivers and sounds offer a variety of  watersports, boating activities, and quite a few harbors, marinas, and yacht clubs.

3. Fishing

Being located within minutes of one of the most protected inlets on the east coast, Wilmington offers bountiful fishing opportunities within minutes. Masonboro Inlet is located between the Southern tip of Wrightsville Beach and Masonboro Island. Also, the many creeks and bays located off banks channel and the waterways are a fisherman’s dream. You will see them fishing for drum, trout, and  flounder in the fall of the year.

3. Masonboro Island

Masonboro Island is an 8 mile long uninhabited island on the southern North Carolina coast between Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach and is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve. Masonboro Island, only accessible by boat, is enjoyed by campers, surfers, anglers, and bird-watchers alike. The reserve consists of about 5000 acres, which about 4400 acres are tidal marsh and mud flats. The most northern end at Masonboro Inlet is the most popular area with its sandy beaches and protected waters. Any summer weekend you will see many boaters and campers prepared for a few days on the beach with tents, grills and water toys in tow.

4. Historic Downtown Wilmington NC

Wilmington is blessed with a beautiful and extensive historic district with magnificent and stately oaks, azaleas and oleanders. 230 blocks of downtown are on the The National Register of Historic Districts. The city embraces a lot of history and is fortunate that so much has been preserved.

5. Wilmington NC Real Estate

I cannot speak highly enough about the real estate offered in and around Wilmington NC, from the River to the Sea! Wilmington offers many affordable neighborhoods such as Whitney Pines to move up neighborhoods like Covil Estates with amenities, to luxury gated communities such as Landfall, or golf course neighborhoods like Porters Neck, and waterfront neighborhoods with marinas and boatslips such as Turtle Hall or Shinn Point . The choices are all right here in our great port city of Wilmington NC. Read the rest of this entry

Categories: Figure Eight Island, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington nc schools, wilmington nc weekly events

MILLENIALS ON THE MOVE | Starter Homes, No Longer Your Parents’ Boomerang Basement

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Wilmington NC real estate

Millennials are broadly defined as the generation born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. With Millennials born in 1980 turning 35 in 2015, many from the older end of this peer group are looking to buy homes and are NOT looking to continue renting or living in their parents’ home.

Actively saving. Twenty- and thirty-somethings who are serious about moving out are working hard to save up to buy property. Parents and grandparents, if in a position to give money, can help these Millennials achieve their real estate goals by giving up to $14,000 per year per individual tax-free.

Understand the value of homeownership.Millennials who are recently married, in a committed relationship or starting families are eager to have their own space. Starter homes are in demand for these groups who want to become part of the community and set down roots.

Why pay rent when I can own? Savvy young adults realize that everyone needs a place to live and it makes more financial sense to pay off your own mortgage than help pay your landlord’s.

Financing strong. The outlook for Millennials is positive as interest rates remain historically low and housing selection is generally wide. Loosening down-payment and mortgage insurance lending standards are opening more doors to homeownership for this group as well.

Competition. First-time homebuyers still are plagued by competition from investors who use all cash to scoop up desirable bargain properties. Working with a real estate pro, like us, can help buyers gain the upper hand.

Expectations. Too many buyers have unrealistic expectations for their first homes. First-time homebuyers need to realize they often will not be able to buy the type of home that their parents currently own. Many first homes need a bit of elbow grease to make them a showcase property.

Photo by imagerymajestic | freedigitalphotos

Categories: Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, Wilmington NC real estate stats 2014

Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | | 910-202-3607 | Fax 910-338-2428

Copyright © 2016 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.