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…

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Veterans Day | Take a moment and thank a Vet

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veteranHappy Veterans Day.  A huge thank you for all of you that have served or are serving our great Country.  We would not have the rights and privileges that we enjoy today without your selfless service.  According to the Department of Veterans Website the history of Veterans Day started after  World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

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Carolina Beach NC | Sun, Fun and Affordable Beach Houses | Wilmington NC real estate

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Carolina Beach NC Real Estate

Carolina Beach, NC is located on Pleasure Island, just across the Snow’s Cut Bridge on Hwy 421, south of Wilmington, NC. The quiet atmosphere of this small town beach will surely charm you, the minute you cross the bridge. A true family beach which offers long stretches of beachfront, marinas, boardwalk, fishing charters, party and dinner cruises and miles of shopping. You can practically walk or bike anywhere. Other popular attractions include ferry rides to historic Southport, NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, NC Underwater Archaelogy Center, Federal Point History Center, and Civil War Historic sites at Fort Fisher. Come enjoy our oceanfront town on the coast of North Carolina near Wilmington, NC. Check out all the properties for sale at Carolina Beach right here.

For all your Carolina Beach real estate information, please give me a call at 1-800-497-7325 ex. 3607 or email me at

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

 View Carolina Beach Properties

Carolina Beach Area

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Peace of Mind | Buy a 2-10 Home Warranty | Wilmington NC real estate

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Whether you are buying or selling a home, it is a good idea to purchase a home warranty to give you peace of mind.  If you are selling, you can use the warranty as an incentive for the buyer.  I would highly recommend purchasing a warranty when you purchase Wilmington NC real estate, as this gives you 1 year to make sure things are working as they should.  Of course, a home inspection should be done before you purchase to let you see what exactly you are buying.  Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage Realty uses 2-10 Home Buyers Resale Warranty.  If a seller is purchasing a warranty, we can start the warranty at the time of actually listing the house.  The seller is covered during the listing agreement time, and for a extra fee the Seller’s AC/Heat Pump are covered as well.

Provided at the closing of your home or purchased directly from 2-10 HBW*, this warranty covers normal wear and tear to your home’s major systems (furnace, hot water heater, air conditioner, plumbing and electrical systems) and major appliances (refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, built-in microwave, disposal, trash compactor). Complementary to your homeowner’s insurance, your 2-10 HBW warranty covers the repair or replacement of the most frequent and likely home system and appliance breakdowns.

When a covered system breaks down, simply place a claim online or call their toll-free number, and we will immediately dispatch a contractor to make the repair. You pay the contractor a small service fee and we pay the rest for all covered items. You don’t have to hassle with finding a contractor or worry about negotiating the cost of the repair work. In the event that a covered system or appliance cannot be repaired, we will replace it with a system or appliance of comparable or better quality. It’s the perfect solution for today’s busy homeowner.  There are warranty plans for existing homeowners who are not planning on selling as well.

For more information please visit


Categories: 2-10 home warranty, Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Figure Eight Island, Landfall, Porters Neck Plantation, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, worlds largest christmas tree, Wrightsville Beach NC

Choosing A Contractor | Homework First | Wilmington NC real estate

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Thinking of updating your kitchen? Re-doing your bath? Adding on to your home? Most likely, you’ll need to hire a home improvement contractor.

You can start your search for a contractor by talking to friends, family members or neighbors who have used a contractor recently. Ask if they would recommend the person or firm they used. To verify each contractor’s reputation, ask these questions:

• Did the contractor begin and end on time?
• Did the contractor try to minimize disruption of your family? How?
• How do you score the contractor on both technical expertise and finished appearance of the project?
• Did the contractor work neatly and clean up at the end of each workday?

Once you have a list of prospective contractors, do some research on your project by reading do-it-yourself magazines and manuals. You don’t need to know how to do the job yourself, you just need an idea of the work involved.

Now it’s time to ask at least three contractors to bid on your project. As you talk through the proposed improvement, ask what special or unexpected problems could arise and ask how the contractor would resolve them. If a contractor is vague or dismisses your question, scratch him off your list.

When adding rooms, rearranging the kitchen, moving walls or performing other major improvements, spend the extra money for a design professional. Be sure anyone who works on your house is licensed and insured.

Once you receive the bids, review them carefully. Don’t automatically go with the lowest bidder. You may get a better job or the contractor may use better materials when you pay a little more.

Write the contract to include exactly what the project will entail, how much it will cost, and at what points payments will be made; how changes in plans will be handled; the quality of materials to be used; the beginning and ending dates and sanctions for tardiness.

Keep on top of the project, checking progress and the quality of workmanship. If you are unhappy with something, talk to the contractor immediately. Make sure all changes from the original contract are made in writing and keep in mind that changes may affect the schedule and delay completion.

If possible, have your chosen contractor do a small job first, so you can learn first-hand the quality of work and what it’s like to have that person temporarily take over a part of your home.

We have concierge list of contractors in the Wilmington NC area that we would be glad to share with you.  Just email me at and we will get it right out to you.

Have fun with your project!

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, contractors in wilmington nc, wilmington nc, wilmington nc convention center, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate

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

Get the Party Started | 64th Azalea Festival | Wilmington NC real estate

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The azaleas are blooming and the weather is perfect.  Please join us in celebrating the 64th Azalea Festival in Wilmington NC April 6-10, 2011.

” The mission of the North Carolina Azalea Festival is to be nationally recognized as a showcase for our community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture through recreational, educational and family-oriented events. The Festival encourages volunteerism and civic participation as it contributes to the region’s economy and promotes the unique qualities of Wilmington’s river-to-the-sea community.”

Sponsors and volunteers spend all year planning the weekend.  See the schedule here.

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Is this the Best Time to Lock in Your Interest Rate | Wilmington NC real estate

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The proverbial question every buyer who is in the loan process has is “Is this the best time to lock in my rate”.  The rates are creeping up but still under 5%.  Well, Warren Buffett, one the wealthiest and most highly successful investors  is “locking” in now.  His Berkshire Hathaway Company just sold $1.5B in fixed debt, mostly in 10-year Notes, in order to refinance their adjustable rate loans.  Mr. Buffett has not made comments on the move – but it is clear to us that he sees rates gradually moving higher over time as the US economy improves.   Business Week states “The market scrutinizes Buffett’s moves very closely and this would indicate he’s thinking interest rates in the longer term may go up,” Vijay Chander, Hong Kong-based head of credit strategy at Standard Chartered Plc, said in a phone interview. That’s consistent with our house view that the U.S. economy is improving.”

“The world’s most successful investor locked in interest payments on most of the debt as a report showed U.S. manufacturing expanded in December at the fastest pace in seven months, spurring confidence the world’s biggest economy is gaining momentum. Former Federal Reserve Governor Frederic Mishkin said yesterday that while the central bank will complete its $600 billion bond-purchase program, a third round of so- called quantitative easing to spur growth is unlikely”

So, buyers it is a great time to buy a home and lock in with a great wait.  It looks like the rates will probably be holding steady or increasing.  Search 24/7 on .  Call and we can send you instant emails when something in your price range hits the market. Happy Buying.

Categories: Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate

Help the City of Wilmington NC set their budget | Wilmington NC real estate

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Facing a budget deficit, the city of Wilmington NC would like to have your input on the 2011 budget with a little challenge.  To take the challenge you can visit

How to take the Challenge:

1.) We’ve broken the budget into percentages, so your total budget will be $100, where $1 = 1% of the city’s budget. Example: Streets & Transportation represent approx. 10% of the city’s budget; so you’ll start out with $10 for Streets & Transportation.

2.) Give or take away dollars from each Service Area depending on where you believe the city’s priorities should and should not be.

3.) Your total budget does not have to equal $100. Example: If you want the city to spend 5% less, your total Expenses should equal $95. Your budget can also be more than $100.

4.) If you want more information about the components of each Service Area, click on the appropriate link in the second column, “What It Includes”.

5.) When you’re finished, click on “Submit”. The city will take your public input into consideration in looking at next year’s budget.

6.) That’s it! We appreciate your input and participation in your city government!

Click on Budget Challenge below to play.

Note: Includes highlights only, to see more detailed information,
click on any of the items listed, or see the city’s entire budget
document at
Get involved with the area you live in and strive to make a difference in 2011.  Every little bit helps.
Peace for the 2011 New Year.  Kay Baker & Associates
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October 2010 Wilmington NC real estate MLS report

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So where are you going? Do you know how to get there? Where is our economy going? Does the Federal Reserve know how to get there? In the last week the Federal Reserve announced that it plans to purchase up to $600 billion in government securities. Treasury bond yields initially fell and then gradually rose again. This allowed mortgage rates to fall to record levels this past week. Will this action succeed and improve our housing recovery. Our housing recovery is key to the current economic situation.

Octobers average sales price has managed to exceed last month as well as 2009 year end average sales price. While the numbers of sales were down from last month and as well as down from a year ago. Our average sales price is up 5.8% over last month and up 1.1% from Year End 2009. When we look at our year to date average sold price we are only down 2.1% from Year End 2009. Our median sold price is up from last month by 4.8% and down by 2.4% from last year this time. Our median sold price has rebounded and has risen and is only 1.2% behind 2009 year end median. In our rolling 12 months we are up 10.8% in sold units and our average sold price is only down by 3.7%. Sold units are only 85 units down from last month and down 153 from last October.

In the month of October we saw a decrease of 241 homes in our listing inventory, we have 5,150 homes on the market as of November 1st.  This continues to put us in a strong buyer’s market with a listing inventory of over a 16.8 month supply. With the low sales in October this affects our month supply with a change of 2.6 months from last month. Our average list price has stayed below the $400,000 range for the last year; we are currently at $364,097. In October we saw an increase in our seller concessions, it is now 25.6%. Our average days on the market are 121. The list to sold ratio is 93.0% and there is no change from last month; this number needs to continue to get better. The number of homes that sold in 15 days or less continues to remain very low, 18.0% of October sold homes. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.17% with an average 0.8 points for the week ending November 11, 2010. We have hit historic lows in mortgage rates. Call me so I can show you or your clients how they can get the benefit of these rates. Have a great week and let me know what I can do to help you and your clients.

Despite all the media comments about our markets we are still lending money for residential mortgages. If a client has income and credit and some sort of down payment; they can get a mortgage. It goes to the basic three C’s – Capacity, Collateral and Character.

Listing Inventory

In October we saw a decrease in listing inventory of 241 units. We are about 146 units under November 1, 2009. We have 5,150 single family homes for sale in our MLS. The average list price of $364,097 is down by $801 from last month. The average list price has decreased by 4.8% from November 1, 2009.

Monthly Average Sold Price

Our monthly average sold price is up by 5.8% from last month and down .01% from October 2009. Our average sold price is up by $12,898.00 from last month. October average sold price ($236,985) shows an increase of 1.1% from year end 2009. Our average sold price is up by $321.00 from last October.

Monthly Sold Units

This month’s decline in the number of homes sold when compared to previous year is down 153 units. The number of sold homes is down 21.8% from last month and down 33.4% from October 2009. Last month we had 390 sold units and this month 305 sold units, last year in October we had 458 sold units.

While our current year to date numbers are lower than Year End 2009 they do show promising signs that our sales are on the upswing. The first ten months of 2010 has a 211 sold unit gain over first ten months of 2009. The average sales price is down 2.9% for the first ten months of 2010 than the first ten months of 2009. Our median sales price is just 1.2% behind 2009.

Median Sold Price

Our Median sold price rebounded this month an increase of 4.8% from last month, up to $181,500. Our national numbers lag by one month. Our median sales price dip from last month matches up with the national median for September. I am hoping we can see the national median sales price reverse its downward trend.


Pending Sales – A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not yet closed. Sales are typically finalized within one to two months from signing. I look at the total pending units on a regular basis and this is how they chart out. We saw our peak pending numbers about May 3rd. We are actually up 2.3% from last month and we are down just 16.9% from November 2, 2009. With the tax credit benefits expired it will be interesting to see if our sales can improve going into early fall.

Market Absorption rate – The number of homes sold in October, 305 divided by the current listing inventory, 5,150 gives us a 16.8 month supply of single family homes. This increased by 2.6 months from last month. We need to get this inventory back under 12 months. With a large inventory and the few sales in October this affects our market absorption. With rates where they are and plenty of inventory; we can get this number down.

List to Sold price ratio – the average list price of the sold properties is $254,799 and the average sold price is $236,984 for October which gives us a 93.0% list to sold price ratio – a zero change from last month. We have now managed to stay under 95% for over a year and several months.

Seller Concessions – We had 25.6% of sold properties report a sales concession for October, an increase of 2.1%. We want this number to go lower.

Days on Market – The average days on market for the sold properties is now at 121 for October. That is about 4 months to keep a property on the market. Only 18.0% of the properties were placed under contract in less than 15 days for the month of October.

Carolina & Kure Beach

There are currently 405 single family homes for sale and this represents a 40 unit decrease over October 1, 2010 and 7.9% of our total WRAR inventory. The average list price is $412,359 a decrease of about $3,484 from October. In October there were 28 homes sold, divide that by the homes available and you have a 14.4 monthly supply of homes in Carolina and Kure Beach. The average sold price for the month of October was $263,439 and is up $11,864 from last month. When we look at our rolling 12 months November 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010 we have 327 homes sold at an average price of $284,291. While November 1, 2008 to October 31, 2009 we had 266 homes sold at an average price of $301,186.

This data was pulled on November 13, 2010, based on information from the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS Incorporated, for the period Jan. 1, 2005 through October 31, 2010. David Flory

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Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | | 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.