TOP IT OFF RIGHT | Kitchen Countertops Set A Whole New Style | Wilmington NC real estate

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Kitchen remodeling is among the most popular projects undertaken by homeowners — and the most profitable in terms of recouping the investment when the home is sold. One of the major decisions faced by anyone remodeling a kitchen is choosing a countertop.

Ideally, countertops will resist damage from heat, cold, acid burns, cuts, salt, water and various types of stains — and be easy to clean and maintain. It’s a tall order to fill, but a variety of choices are available these days that meet many, if not all, of those requirements.

Plastic Laminate And Ceramic Tile
These materials have long been popular choices because of their relatively low cost and easy installation. Laminates now come in many designs, including granite look-alikes. This variety makes it easy to coordinate a laminate top with wood cabinetry, metal details and other custom features. It is, however, susceptible to burns and scratches. And because laminate is not a solid surface, replacement may be necessary if damage occurs.

Ceramic tile has a classic look about it, provides a durable surface, and offers great variety in color and design. On the down side, its uneven surface makes it harder to keep clean, especially in the grout joints. Acrylic sealers have been developed to help resist grout staining.

Solid-Surface Materials
Countertops of solid-surface materials (e.g., Corian®) have become a popular, if more expensive, choice. Because color and pattern run all the way through this material, repairs are possible when damage occurs.

Other Options
Natural stone (granite is now popular, though expensive), butcher-block wood, stainless steel, poured concrete, and “labtop” (fiber-reinforced cement) are also being used in today’s kitchens. They’ll cost you more but look good and last for decades.

The cost of countertop materials varies greatly from as little as $1 per
linear foot for inexpensive ceramic tile to $150 per linear foot for high-grade stainless steel. Don’t forget to consider the cost of installation, as well, which generally increases with the cost of materials.

For more staging tips and to search all Wilmington NC real estate please visit


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Waiting for Mortgage Rates to go lower? Wilmington NC real estate

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Everyone wants to get the lowest mortgage interest rate when shopping for a Wilmington NC home. The rates have been at high 3’s and low 4’s the last couple of months. Freddie Mac just announced this week after it’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey that the rates for fixed and adjustable have risen again for the third straight week. 30 year rates hover around 4.46% up last week from 4.40%. It is still a great time to purchase a home. The housing prices are at a low, coupled with rates under 5%, it is a win win situation. To search all Wilmington NC real estate, please visit We have lenders that can give you a current quote and do a pre-qualification to get you started.

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September Existing Home Sales Show Another Strong Gain :: Wilmington NC real estate

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The National Association of realtors has posted that the existing home sales rose again in September.  This affirms that a sales recovery has begun. 

The NAR states that the “existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 10.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million in September from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August, but remain 19.1 percent below the 5.60 million-unit pace in September 2009 when first-time buyers were ramping up in advance of the initial deadline for the tax credit last November.”

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market is in the early stages of recovery. “A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium. But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions,” he said.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 4.35 percent in September from 4.43 percent in August; the rate was 5.06 percent in September 2009.

The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $171,700 in September, which is 2.4 percent below a year ago. Distressed homes3 accounted for 35 percent of sales in September compared with 34 percent in August; they were 29 percent in September 2009.  Ten years ago, the mortgage rates were twice what they are today and the home prices were at least 20% more, making this a great time to purchase Wilmington NC real estate.  Please visit to search all Wilmington NC area homes, land and boatslips.

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Wilmington NC real estate | Announcing the Greater Wilmington NC School Guide

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Kay Baker Wilmington NC school guideKay Baker & Associates is excited to announce our Greater Wilmington NC School Guide.  Your one stop shop for all the information you need on New Hanover County, Pender County and Brunswick County schools.  This innovative digital magazine is the first in the Wilmington NC area.  Useful information is at your fingertips when selecting the best school for you or your child from Kindergarden to Higher College Education, whether it be a public school or private school.  We have it all here for you.  Please take time to visit, and explore the links to each school system.  All the information about registering for schools, what each library has on it’s shelves, special need centers in each school and contact numbers are all put together for you in an easy digital magazine.  There is also a link for Wilmington NC real estate to search for homes in a certain school district.  We want to make your life easy, especially when entertaining a move.  Click here for the Greater Wilmington NC School Guide. Search all Wilmington NC real estate on and let us know if we can help.

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Wilmington NC Real Estate Homeowners May Qualify for $1500 Relocation Assistance

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1,500 towards relocationWilmington NC Real Estate Homeowners

Starting April 5, 2010 the Government will be paying homeowners in default, to relocate. The new program will demand lenders to honor short sales whereby the homeowner can sell the property for less than the mortgage payoff. The Obama administration is trying a different approach to assist more than 5 Million households who are behind on their mortgages. In turn, the homeowner will receive $1500 for relocation assistance and the lender $1000 for expediting the short sale process.  

This arrangement could prove very beneficial to the homeowner, as they will not suffer further credit damage and they will get reassurance from the lender that they will not be sued for the balance. And, under this arrangement, the number of potential  foreclosed homes on the market should drastically decrease which in turn, should improve the  overall housing market.

Finally, short sales will have their day! If you are facing a foreclosure, and need assistance, we are specialists in the Wilmington NC real estate short sale and foreclosure market. We are there for you every step of the way. Just give us a call or email

And, if you are looking to purchase a short sale or foreclosure, we have you covered there, as well.  We have a Certified Distressed Property broker on our team and will help you with your short sale or  purchase a short sale or foreclosure with complete knowledge of the process.  Read more here

Categories: Economy, Home Selling, Uncategorized, wilmington nc

Get Ready for Spring Cleaning | Wilmington NC real estate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.  Call us to help you sell your home!

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

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

Congress asked to stimulate the housing market

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There has been a  positive development for the real estate industry that was announced earlier this week by the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations. Specifically, the Business Roundtable’s Housing Working Group – which is chaired by Realogy CEO Richard A. Smith – issued a set of recommendations for the White House and Congress that are aimed at jump starting the housing market in order to stimulate a broader economic recovery.

This is particularly timely as it comes right on the heels of my recent visit to Capitol Hill and Coldwell Banker Legislative Week. The Business Roundtable’s recommendations are as follows, similar to what I was proposing during my recent meetings:

Keep mortgage interest rates at historically low levels (below 5 percent) for at least one year;
Expand the current First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit incentive from the lesser of 10 percent of the purchase price of the home or $8,000 to a higher limit of either 10 percent or $15,000 for all homebuyers, remove the income restrictions and include all primary residence purchases for one full year;
Conduct a thorough review of current foreclosure mitigation and loan-modification programs in light of rising loan-modification re-default rates;
Make permanent the current temporary conforming loan limits; and
Continue to review and strengthen government efforts already underway to review and refine mortgage lending practices.
“We believe targeted, demand-side solutions – such as the ones Business Roundtable is recommending today – will provide a critical next step for a housing recovery that will help create jobs and boost the economy as a whole,” said Smith in the Business Roundtable’s press release.

Coldwell Banker applauds the Business Roundtable for its proactive efforts to reinvigorate the U.S. housing market, and we are proud of the leadership role our parent company, Realogy, has taken in this regard.
As  we all know, this would be great news for our Wilmington, NC real estate market. We are experiencing an increase in contracts, but sales activity on homes for sale in Wilmington, NC  above $300,000 still remain very slow.

For more detailed information about the housing market in Wilmington, NC, please contact me directly or 910-232-0363.

Categories: Uncategorized

April 2009 Pending Real Estate Sales Contracts Up for Third Month

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First Time Homebuyers DreamFantastic positive news was released from the National Association of Realtors today.  The news release stated that the historically low interest rates combined with the $8,000 credit for first-time ( or homeowners who have not purchased a home in 3 years) helped raise the pending home sales contracts, for the third consective month.

The Pending Home Sales Index a “pending prediction” indicator based on contracts signed in April, rose 6.7 percent to 90.3 from 84.6 in March,
which is even above the April 2008 index of 87.5.

To get the first time home buyer credit of $8,000, contracts must be firmed up by November 30, 2009 to receive the credit, so we look forward to an increase in home sales.

The Wilmington NC real estate market has also enjoyed an increase in pending sales contract and still is in a a strong postion to continue this trend.

To search all Wilmington NC real estate and find out about the $8,000 tax credit please read more about the Wilmington NC real estate market here.

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Economy, Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

New Signs of Economic Recovery

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Chief economists say the worst may be over as new signs of recovery in housing and the stock market are more evident every day. It’s all about consumer confidence, as we all know, and it can be a very temperamental. But, with the recent rise in the stock market and the stimulus starting to energize the housing market, the recovery is more and more distinct.

The job market is not a leading indicator of recovery as indicated by the recent job report of more jobs being shed. In a downturn, employers tend to wait it out to see if the rebound is certain before hiring new employees. The job market decline is expected to soften in the second quarter.

Wilmington NC real estate

The real estate market in Wilmington NC is showing definite signs of recovery as more and more contracts are written week after week. We are even seeing multiple offers in some situations. The most active price range still remains under $300,000, but the luxury buyers are starting to come forward as Spring arrives.

For the most up to date details on Wilmington NC real estate, please call me at 800-497-7325 , email or log onto

Categories: Economy

September Home sales Rise

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Has the Housing Market Bottomed?

National existing home sales increased in September by the largest amount seen in several years. Are we actually seeing signs that the real estate market has bottomed out? Home sales increased but prices are down 9% from a year ago, nationwide. Some analysts are predicting home prices could fall another 10% as the inventory of foreclosures increases. 35 to 40% percent of recent sales are either foreclosures or short sales according to the National Associaton of Realtors. Read the rest of this entry

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Economy, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Market Statistics

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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.