CHECK THAT PIGGY BANK Do You Have Enough To Finance A Home?

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Piggy Bank, Heart, Funny, Ceramic, SaveYou know you make enough money to afford a monthly mortgage payment. Your credit is strong, too, so you’re not worried about getting hit with a high interest rate.But you do have one concern: You’re not sure you have enough money in your bank accounts to cover the down payment and closing costs that go with financing a home purchase.

It’s a legitimate concern. Fortunately, there are some estimates you can use as a guide.


Down Payment

Start with the down payment. This is the biggest upfront cost of buying a home. If you are taking out a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, and your FICO credit score is at least 580, you’ll need a down payment of at least 3.5% of your home’s final purchase price. For a home costing $150,000, that comes out to $5,250.

If you’re going with a conventional mortgage loan—one not insured by the federal government—you’ll usually need a down payment of 5% to 20% of your home’s purchase price. For a home costing $180,000, that comes to $9,000 to $36,000.

That’s a lot of money, and it’s why many homebuyers save for years before finally buying a home. You can, though, rely on gifts from family members to help cover your down payment. Whoever is gifting you funds must write a letter stating that the down payment funds are actually a gift that do not have to be paid back. If they don’t provide this letter, your lender will consider the down payment funds they give you to be a loan that you have to pay back—and this can reduce your borrowing power.

Closing/Settlement Costs

Closing costs are another major expense involved in closing a mortgage loan. These are the fees that lenders and third-party providers, such as title insurers or real estate attorneys, charge for the work they put in to originate and close your loan.

Closing costs vary according to lender, but in Bankrate’s 2015 survey of closing costs, the financial website found that the average homebuyer spent $1,847 in mortgage closing costs. However, it’s important to note that what you actually pay may differ. Bankrate’s study didn’t include fees such as title insurance, title search, property taxes and other associated costs.

Earnest Money Deposit

You’ll need funds, too, to pay for an earnest money deposit. This is the payment you provide to sellers after they accept your signed purchase offer for their home and both you and they sign a sales contract. The earnest money is evidence that you are serious about buying the home.

The good news? Your earnest money deposit is usually included as part of your down payment if the home sale actually closes. How much earnest money you’ll need varies widely. Some sellers will accept earnest money deposits of as little as $200. Others might want a deposit of as much as 1.5% of the home’s final sales price. For a $140,000 home, that comes out to $2,100. Your real estate pro can advise you on local expectations.


Finally, most mortgage lenders will require that you have at least two months of reserves in your bank accounts. These are funds that you have saved that you won’t be using on down payment or closing costs, but that you can use to pay for your estimated new monthly mortgage payment.

Say your estimated mortgage payment comes out to $1,200 a month. If your lender requires that you have at least two months of reserves saved up, you’d need another $2,400 in your bank accounts.

This isn’t as rigid of a rule. If your credit score is high, say 740 or more on the FICO credit scale, your lender might not require any reserves at all. That’s because your lender will have more confidence that you’ll pay your mortgage on time, even without extra money reserved.

Categories: Closing costs on a home, Financing a home, Saving for a home

Homes, Townhomes, Waterfront, Boatslips, Luxury Homes | Search by Map | Easy Real Estate Search

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Have you ever wanted to search for a new home but wanted to do it from a map.  This site lets you explore different areas and put in your criteria such as price, lot features etc. Click on map to begin.

If you do find homes that you want to save, you can login and save your favorites.  Any questions, just let us know. We are the Wilmington NC real estate team with a full service company behind us.  Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty.


Categories: Boat slips Wilmington Nc, homes in wilmington nc, Homes in Wrightsville Beach, Waterfront Wilmington NC, Wilmington NC homes

REMODEL:Ten Ingenious Ways to Remodel With Beauty and the Best

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Get more ideas here.

What does your home need to bring out its beauty and its best value? Not mundane repair items, but those touches that showcase your home’s worth, enhance its beauty, improve its comfort and safety–things that carry enchantment far beyond one festive season.Go over your home, room by room, with an eye to what’s best in aesthetic and practical value. Keep in mind how long you plan to keep your home and what might appeal to future buyers.

Here are some of the latest trends you might consider to make the home you love even more lovable. Generally, luxurious details are in. Not only are they smart and practical, they’re also sure-fire investments for bringing you top dollar on resale.

1. Paint, panel or paper
Keep in mind, light colors make rooms look larger, dark colors smaller (cozier). If you like soft colors (pale pinks, greens, blues, yellows), they’re ideal for enlarging small rooms. Perk them up with accents in deeper tones or with interesting textures (such as sponging some walls or adding sisal).

If you like a touch of the dramatic, paint a door in primary colors or add a “fool the eye” scene (such as a landscape that seems to be seen through glass). Don’t be afraid to put reds and pinks together, or blues and greens. For real drama, add white trim to deep colors. Remember, if you’re thinking of selling your home soon–neutral tones are “safer.” Splash color around using upholstery, throw pillows, artwork and other furnishings.

2. Give small rooms extra dimension
Put in floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Place one at right angles to a corner window to bring in the outdoors. Mirrors at different angles create a patchwork of repeated patterns that can be interesting, light reflecting and fun.

3. Light up the house
Consider creative lighting, including:

  • Spotlights to point up art work
  • Track lights to illuminate bookshelves
  • Indirect lights or decorative wall sconces wherever shadows are too deep
  • Under-counter lights in kitchens and workshops
  • Using incandescent or halogen lighting, which is warmer than fluorescent

4. Transform your floors
Look under foot to refinish, recarpet or retile. Wood floors can be bleached, pickled, stained, painted almost any color or made unique by installing ceramic tiles in the kitchen, or a block of patterned wood (inside a wood border) in the center of a dining room or bedroom.

5. Open spaces and clear surfaces
Go with the trend of fewer furnishings and belongings in view. For things you want handy but not displayed, create storage places:

  • A window seat
  • Narrow shelves inside closet and cabinet doors
  • A tip-down triangular tray (for brushes, sponges, etc.) built into the cabinet at the front of the kitchen sink
  • A wall system with cubes of different sizes, some with shelves, some with drawers
  • A “Murphy” bed that folds into the wall

6. Large family kitchens
Top-grade is the trend in appliances, including microwave ovens, disposals and compactors, work islands that sport stainless steel double sinks or a down-vented stove, plus side bookshelves or lift-up table top. The dining end of the kitchen might be equipped with comfortable chairs, a desk, or book shelves. A fireplace turns the kitchen into a homey family room where everyone lingers.

7. Luxurious bathrooms
Make your privacy a pleasure. You might install light dimmers and thermostatically controlled mixer taps, extra mirrors, a solarium window, or create a sunken bath set in a raised floor that houses the plumbing.

8. Year-round comfort
Utility bills can be lower when windows are installed with low-emissity glass (gas filling between panes) that can be twice as efficient as double-glazed windows. They reflect heat, keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. An invisible coating also blocks ultraviolet light and protects furnishings.

9. Makeover the garage
The car park may not be the most beautiful part of your home, but it may be the most useful space you have–if it’s soundly built, clean, well organized and uncluttered. A garage can double as a workshop, garden house or playground. An automatic door opener is the warmest welcome in wet or cold weather.

10. Consider safety and convenience
Whatever alarm system you add to your basic smoke detector contributes to your peace and security. Electronic “smart” devices can be installed to turn lights, appliances and heating/air conditioning off and on at pre-set times, to warn of intrusion or announce a visitor, to remind you (in a synthesized voice) when you’re due at an appointment or when you’re using too much electricity.

Home improvement possibilities are endless. But if your home can’t accommodate your dreams–with neither love nor money–remember there are homes in the area that will. When you’re ready to explore the possibilities, we’re here to help make your dreams come true.

To search all Wilmington NC real estate, please visit

Categories: Remodel or Sell, Remodel your home, Staging your home, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach makes Top 20 Surf Towns, Wrightsville Beach NC

Kure Beach | Island Paradise | North Carolina

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Kure Beach, NC Real Estate

The small family-oriented community of Kure Beach lies at the Southern tip of Pleasure Island, just South of Wilmington, NC. It’s 1500 residents makes a very close community, because it is totally surrounded by Fort Fisher on the south side and Carolina Beach on the North side.Kure Beach has been growing in popularity in recent years. You will find nice communities such as Kure Beach Village and Beachwalk with tennis courts, pool and clubhouse. You can find all properties in Kure Beach right here.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests about Kure Beach, NC homes for sale or Kure Beach NC real estate, or any location in the Cape Fear Region. We have lived here all our live and can help match a neighborhood with a home and schools. We know where the best shopping is and all the main attractions. If you are looking for a second home or investment property in Kure Beach, NC, there are still real deals in the great coastal area, but you will need a real estate expert to help you. Baker Wayne and Associates are experienced real estate professional’s who have decades of home buying and selling experience in the Kure Beach area. For true local and knowledgable service in the Kure Beach real estate market, contact the team today.

For all your Kure Beach, NC real estate questions, please call Baker Wayne and Associates at 1-800-497-7325 Ex. 3607 or email

View Kure Beach Listings

Kure Beach Area

Categories: homes in wilmington nc, kure beach, wilmington beach homes

Do You Know Where Your Mortgage Money Comes From? | Wilmington NC real estate

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Mortgage companies and banks are working overtime these days processing new mortgages – which raises an interesting question: Will they ever run out of money to lend?

The chances of that happening are virtually nil, thanks to a highly complex investment market for mortgages that has grown immensely since the 1970s. The key players in this game are “Fannie Mae” (Federal National Mortgage Association), “Ginnie Mae” (Government National Mortgage Association), and “Freddie Mac” (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.). These agencies, along with several private companies, turn homeowners’ mortgages into investment vehicles for individuals, pension funds, insurance companies and other large institutions. Altogether, these investment groups make up the bulk of what is known as the “secondary market.”

When a bank or mortgage company writes a mortgage, the loan is lumped with other mortgages in a bundle (or “pool”) that is often sold to one of the agencies. With the sale of the mortgage, the bank or mortgage company again has money to lend to another home buyer.

Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae, and Freddie Mac differ as to the type of mortgage bundle they buy and in the type of investment vehicle they use to attract investors. But the process they use is the same: Assembling large packages of mortgages and issuing securities backed by the mortgages.

While the original lending bank may no longer hold the mortgage it gave to a home buyer, it still services the loan. That means collecting the monthly payments, keeping escrow accounts to pay for insurance and property taxes, and – through the agencies or companies that issued mortgage-backed securities – paying investors.  Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is a full service real estate company with in house mortgage brokers from Alpha Mortgage.  Contact  us about all your Wilmington NC real estate needs.  Visit to search or catch us on mobile at


Categories: Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, wilmington nc convention center, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events

Inventory Yourself | Wilmington NC real estate

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How Do You Prove You Had It………

When You Don’t Have It Anymore?

Have you counted your silverware lately? Cataloged your coin collection? Inventoried your attic treasures? If you lost them, would you be able to prove to your insurance company you actually possessed what you say you owned? Could you prove how much those lost items were worth? There are lots of ways you could lose some or all of your possessions–flood, fire or other natural disaster, moving, burglary. In attempting to recover your losses, having a comprehensive inventory on hand could be worth many thousands of dollars.

Here are some suggestions for compiling and storing a household inventory.

  • Ask your insurance company for a room-by-room form to help you make your inventory or use a computer software program designed for the same purpose.
  • Do your counting while you’re in the process of spring or fall cleaning–or as you move from one home to another.
  • Work in small doses, one room at a time.
  • Be as specific as possible in your listing. Note the date of purchase and the purchase price. Describe the item in detail, including serial number.
  • Some items increase in value over time. Be sure to get updated appraisals on antiques, jewelry and other valuables periodically.
  • If you’ve kept purchase receipts–always a good idea, especially for big-ticket items–keep them with your inventory.
  • To supplement your description, make photographs or a video of your things.
  • Update your inventory at least annually and when you purchase more-expensive items.
  • Make a copy of your inventory, keeping one at home and placing the other one in a safe place elsewhere–perhaps in a safe deposit box or with a relative.

Check with your insurance company about getting replacement-cost coverage if you don’t already have it. Rather than giving you the depreciated value of a lost or damaged item, for a slightly higher premium replacement-cost coverage will give you the full amount necessary to buy a similar new item at current prices.

Also, note the limits on your policy for various types of items. If, for example, you own jewelry worth in excess of the policy’s limit for jewelry, talk with your agent about picking up a rider policy to cover the full worth.

You have spent your lifetime making your home a home.  Keep it that way.  For all the latest Wilmington NC real estate trends, please visit


Categories: inventory your home, Uncategorized, wilmington nc convention center, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events

Do We Love Fesitvals? | 33 Years Of Riverfest | Wilmington NC real estate

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Riverfest logo 2011 from

The first Riverfest was October 1979.  A group of Wilmingtonian’s who were interested in the arts and wanted to resurrect the feeling of community in Downtown Wilmington brainstormed on how to bring back the alive nature of the downtown riverfront.  The area had become in disrepair and not family friendly.  The beautiful old buildings and the setting on the Cape Fear River deserved something better than the current conditions in the 1970’s.  The group of 40 volunteers put together the first Riverfest  with a budget of $5,500 (all donations).  This would be a free festival and would include trolley rides, 4 concessions and fireworks.  It was a huge success, thereby starting the tradition of holding the Riverfest every year since then on the first week of October.  This years festivities have grown even larger than past celebrations.

According to the Riverfest 2011 Reflections website ”

Over thirty years later Riverfest consists of: Twenty plus committees, over 300 volunteers, a budget of $90,000, over 200 craft vendors, 35 concessions booths, entertainment on various stages, Saturday night fireworks, Run the River 8K, the Great Wine Waiter’s Race, A Children’s Area, and more than 6 sporting events with contests for all ages. The end result is a half mile of free family entertainment, dependant on sponsorships and donations from community businesses and organizations. The economic impact on Riverfest on the surrounding community has been estimated at over three million dollars with attendance in excess of 100,000 per year.

As delightful as the festival outcome is, the end result is awarding of scholarships for marine related studies at Cape Fear Community College. The ultimate goal of Riverfest is to increase the amount of scholarship funds each year to Cape Fear Community College.”

It is wonderful to see such a great event in the fall in Wilmington NC.  The arts, cultural scene, music scene and the picturesque background of the city, is something not all cities can boast about.  Please join us in celebrating this years Riverfest ~ Reflections on the River October 7th – 9th.  For all the highlights and schedules please visit

If you see any historic homes or any neighborhoods  that catch your interest, give us a call and we can show you the homes available in the area.  Feel free to visit or text 14059 to 44133 to view listings on your phone.  Above all, welcome to our town and may you feel the Southern Hospitality all weekend.  Enjoy.



Categories: Riverfest 2011, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events, worlds largest christmas tree, Wrightsville Beach NC

Get Your Blues On | Cape Fear Blues Festival 2011

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Studebaker John

The 16th annual Blues Festival is this weekend.  Everywhere around town, the Blues shall be heard… The kick off party is on the Henrietta III at 7:30pm Friday July 29.  There will be music on the dock by Rick Toby.  Catered heavy appetizer buffet, cash bar and a 2-hour sunset cruise along the historic Cape Fear River.  Tickets are available at Wilmingtontickets. Three different Blues Bands will perform on the cruise.  Post Cruise party at Rusty Nail.   For a full list of events and bands please visit www.  The weekend will be fun and eventful. Talent everywhere.

Studebaker John and the Hawks… listen here….

While you are in town, if you see real estate that interests you, let us know.  On your phone text 14059 to 44133 to search Wilmington NC real estate or go to  Have fun!

Categories: azalea festival, cape fear blues festival, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events, worlds largest christmas tree, Wrightsville Beach NC

Great Reasons to Buy a Vacation Home | Wilmington NC real estate

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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.

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

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 in Wilmington NC 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 Wilmington NC  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.

Here are some of the current Wilmington NC real waterfront/waterview real estate  in our area.

Priced from 100,000 – 200,000  Click here

Priced from 200,000- 400,000  Click here

Priced from 400,00 -600,000  Click here

Priced from 600,000 – Click here

To search all properties please visit

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Local Home Sales and Prices Rose in March | Wilmington NC real estate

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Good news for Wilmington NC real estate – Total units sold from Feb 11 to March 11 showed a 52% increase.  The average sales price showed a 22 % increase.  Total dollars showed an 86% increase.  Hopefully this upward trend will continue.  The market has showed an increase this past month and the number of people looking at real estate on our website has showed an increase as well.  We are looking forward to an active spring and summer.  The rates have held steady which has helped spur the interest in the area.  To search all of Wilmington NC real estate 24/7 please visit

Categories: convention center wilmington, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc weekly events, Wrightsville Beach NC

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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.