PLAY SMART: Savvy Tips On Buying A Vacation Home

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Great Reasons To Buy A Vacation Home

Figure Eight Island

Figure Eight Island

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

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.

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.

Call us 910.202.3607 or or

Categories: Buying a Vacation Home, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

Figure Eight Island | The Wilmington NC Real Estate Island

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figureeightFigure Eight Island NC real estate comprises a beautiful coastal community offering the ultimate in privacy and security located just minutes from the conveniences of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. Whether you’re looking for waterfront/oceanfront real estate on Figure 8 Island, for your dream home or second home for a beach vacation of a lifetime, Kay Baker & Associates of Sea Coast Realty can help you find premier Figure Eight Island, North Carolina, real estate! Come and experience the beauty, serenity and casual atmosphere of Figure Eight Island for yourself.

Homes for Sale in Figure Eight Island, NC

Homes for sale on Figure Eight Island, North Carolina are unlike any other oceanfront property you’ll find anywhere. Located on the Atlantic Ocean and accessible only by a private bridge, Figure Eight Island, North Carolina real estate is known for its proximity to over five miles of sandy white beaches, sparkling blue waters and abundant natural resources. Yet the island remains untouched by commercial developments like hotels and shopping centers.

See listing and more here...


Categories: Figure Eight Island, Gated Island NC, Waterfront Wilmington NC, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

IN/OUT What’s In, What’s Out For 2014 Buyers & Sellers| Wilmington NC real estate

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What’s In, What’s Out For 2014 Buyers & Sellers

For the past few years the Wilmington NC housing market hasn’t been easy for home buyers or sellers. Waves of distressed sales, dropping prices, tightened mortgage standards…then rising prices, bidding wars, low inventory…oh, my…pot holes along the path to homeownership lurked around every corner.

Good news. The 2014 housing market is shaping up to be one of the best in years for both buyers and sellers. In this Special Issue we’ll take a look at what’s IN and OUT for housing in the year ahead to help you make smart real estate decisions. No question: The best way to beat the 2014 market is to get “ahead of the curve” and know how the coming changes impact your home buying power and your home selling options.

Don’t stress. We’ll be your guide. Our local expertise will help you navigate today’s IN’s and OUT’s of buying or selling a home while avoiding the pitfalls even smart consumers make.

To learn what’s on our real estate horizon — and how to make the 2014 market work for you — keep reading.



Fair & Final

In a rising real estate market, it’s best to make any offer your best and final price on the first go-round. Making a solid purchase offer (price and terms) gives you the best chance to get the house you want in this market. This is especially important when bidding wars erupt on the most-desirable properties or all-cash investors try to capture a bargain. Fair and final is IN.


Home prices are going up, inventory remains low, distressed home sales inventory is dropping. Low-ball offers waste everyone’s time. We can guide you on rare exceptions, but you shouldn’t expect to get a home for a fraction of its listing price. Low-balling is OUT in 2014.


Make your home purchase offer stand out by eliminating as many contingencies and requests as possible. If you can be flexible and streamlined with your offer, it will be more appealing to the home seller. With an expected increase in offers per property, flexibility is IN to make your offer stand out.

Online Valuations

The convenience of online valuation sites is tempting, but the numbers there are only as good as the public data is recent. Real-time real estate markets are often too fluid and sites may not be able to keep up. Tip: use sites for reference only.

Shopping Lenders

It’s not just enough to compare interest rates, but you need to compare different loan products and banks to get the best deal for your financial situation. Comparison shopping for lenders and loans is IN in 2014.

Rock-Bottom Bargains

With the number of foreclosures, short sales and distressed sales dropping, it’s harder to find a steal-of-a-deal these days. This year you’ll need to research first, look closely and act fast to get the home you want at the best possible price.


Share This!

Don’t keep great home buying and selling information to yourself. When you’re done with this newsletter, please pass it along to friends, family and other contacts who are looking to make a move this year. Thank you for your referrals!



Quick Deals

With buyers being more flexible, being pre-qualified for a home loan and eager to move in, sellers need to be prepared to move out quickly…and into a new home or temporary quarters promptly. Being prepared is IN in 2014.

One Selling Season

The notion of the busy spring selling season is giving way to the year ’round selling season. Sellers sell when they need to, not because of the time of year. Buyers are looking to buy homes all year long as well, meaning a successful sale is attainable at any time.

Watching Appraisals

In a changing market, it’s not uncommon to have homes appraise for lower than contract prices. Ensure your appraiser knows all the home’s features and recent comparables to make sure your home’s purchase isn’t canceled or delayed if the appraisal comes in too low.

Strategic Default

With more options for homeowners, more programs to help those underwater with mortgages, and rising prices, homeowners don’t need to walk away from homes — or pay at closing to pay off their loan. Many different, streamlined selling and restructuring options exist to help homeowners.

Niche Marketing

If your home is a rental (or would be a perfect rental), highlight that with details. If your home is in a great school district, within walking distance to public transportation, has low energy costs, prominently feature these facts online or in a flyer, powerpoint or poster in the kitchen. Buyers want to know as much as they can about your house and sometimes only you are the best person to tell them. Merchandising your home creatively is IN for 2014.


Homes are expected to appreciate in many markets in 2014 compared with the past several years. Price appreciation varies, especially when looking at a specific area of the county, city, neighborhood or even small “micro-market” pockets related to local economic conditions this year.

Sellers’ Market

Generally speaking, 2014 will be a good year to sell because our local real estate market is leaning in sellers’ favor this year. With a continued low inventory of homes available for sale, buyers will be competing for fewer properties, meaning your priced-right, move-in-ready home will sell.

Local Experts

As always, we provide the most up-to-date information as of press time — but check in with any real estate question anytime — relying on our local real estate expertise is always IN.

Categories: wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, wilmington real estate stats

The Secret to Our Open House Success | Wilmington NC real estate

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The Secret to Our Open House Success


In today’s real estate environment in Wilmington, NC, more than ever, open houses are an effective marketing strategy. But, just to advertise the home in the Sunday paper and post a sign is not enough. An effective marketing campaign for open houses will prove to be a very successful open house and hopefully bring buyers to the table.

Our Open House Marketing Strategy

Stage and landscape should begin 7-10 days prior to the open house. Sellers need to understand the importance of curb appeal and presentation. Some nice fresh flowers in the kitchen, potted plants on the front porch, fresh baked cookies  are all enhancements for an open house.

Place strategic open house signs  5-7 days before the open house stating the day and time of the open house. I have found this creates a lot of interest even before the open house.

Direct mail pieces to the neighborhood and adjoining neighborhoods to let everyone know. Neighbors will call their friends to tell them about the open house.

Marketing blitz to top Realtors to let them know to send their clients over to view this home.

Place open house banners on all the websites available days ahead of time. Buyers will see this online and start planning to attend and sometimes they even make an appt to see the home in advance.

Advertise in the newspaper days ahead and of course, post an ad for the day of the open house.

We always have comparable sales information to present at the open house.

Remove brochures from the brochure box out front and bring them inside. This will entice the buyers to come in rather than taking a flyer and driving away.

You can always check out our open houses on our website at and the numerous other websites that we promote our listings on.

Categories: Wilmington NC homes, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

Wilmington NC Makes Best Housing Market List 2013 | Real Esate

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The market has been brisk for months now, and we officially made another list!  The Wilmington NC real estate market made the top 14 best housing markets for the next 5 years.  To find out about our area, or to look for Wilmington Beach areas please visit

From the Money Insider:

13. Wilmington, North Carolina

Annualized expected growth from Q3 2012 – Q3 2017:

Home prices in the Wilmington metro area are down 25.6% from their Q2 2007 peak.

The metro has a population of 369,685, an unemployment rate of 9.8%, and a median family income of $61,100.

Data provided by CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes

Read more:

Categories: wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, Wrightsville Beach makes Top 20 Surf Towns, Wrightsville Beach NC

Positivity | 12 Signs Housing Recovery Is Taking Hold | Wilmington NC real estate

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Good News and Positive Numbers For Wilmington NC real estate ( click on graph for more statistics)
Call us if you are thinking about selling your home.
We will be glad to give you advice

12 Signs Housing Recovery Is Taking Hold

If you’ve been one of those would-be home buyers on the proverbial fence, now is the perfect time to get off and make your move! All signs point to right now being a great time to buy in our local housing market — for far more reasons than historic low interest rates alone. We can work with you to take advantage of these truly extraordinary conditions to buy now. From discovering how much home you can afford to uncovering the best deals in our area, we will share with you the insider info you need to buy your next home today. Here are 12 signs why it’s a great time to make a move toward buying in this market.

1. Incredible Interest Rates
Interest rates are at historical lows. It’s hard to walk away from fixed-rate mortgages with low interest rates that can keep your monthly payment manageable for the life of the loan. Because your interest rate is low, you can afford more home than you would otherwise be able to buy.

2. Financing Back On Track
If you need a loan, lenders are ready to help. Once you provide evidence of your income and job history, a down payment and good credit score, you’re more likely to get a loan than at any time during the recent past.

3. Motivated Sellers
Whether it’s a homeowner who needs to relocate quickly or is being forced to short sell or it’s a bank selling their foreclosure property, there is no doubt that many sellers today are motivated. They want to get their homes sold and will consider your offer seriously, putting you in the driver’s seat during negotiations!

4. Fewer Buyers
Because so many would-be homeowners are still sitting on the fence waiting or don’t have the credit score needed to qualify today, your competition for buying now is going to be less than in the near future. Take advantage of that to start shopping!

5. Wide Selection
The number of homes available is still good, giving you a selection to choose from and some negotiating power. (Availability varies by price. Ask us for the latest listings.) Tip: If you feel like taking your time finding a home, beware that the true gems in the real estate marketplace are being snapped up fast!

6. High Affordability
The mortgage payment on a median-priced home at today’s average interest rate is the smallest percentage of median income in years, according to the National Association of REALTORS® Housing Affordability Index. Your home-buying power today is near an all-time high!

7. Home Prices Are Trending Upward
The days of rock-bottom prices are already history, especially for move-in-condition homes. You can still find a great deal on a home, but you need to act fast because the best-priced homes in the best condition don’t last long in our area.

8. Owning Vs. Renting
Rents continue to rise, often putting mortgage payments (principal and interest payments) below the average rental rates. For you, homeownership costs can be lower than renting!

9. Mortgage Deductions
The deductions for home mortgage interest and many other homeowner-favored tax breaks create a range of more great reasons to buy a home and get money-saving tax benefits every year.

10. Fix-Ups Abound
If you’re handy around the house and don’t mind if the home you buy isn’t in perfect move-in condition, you have even more options as a buyer. There are many homes that need work — sometimes just new paint and carpeting — and are available at a discount.

11. National Trends Are Not Ours
What you hear on the national news about “average” home-price trends simply does not apply when you look closely at our area. We know our real estate market best and can tell you exactly what is going on here in the neighborhoods you’re most interested in moving into.

12. The American Dream
Owning a home is still a goal of many Americans. To have a place to call your own, to customize it to your likes and to be able to show pride of ownership is what it’s all about. The American Dream is still attainable. Contact us and let us show you how!

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Categories: convention center wilmington, Economy, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, Wilmington nc schools, wilmington nc weekly events, Wrightsville Beach makes Top 20 Surf Towns, Wrightsville Beach NC

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

Action | Wilmington NC | 3D Journey 2 Mysterious Island

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Star News Photo

One of the treasures of Wilmington NC is the Screen Gems Movie Studio.  It is not a rare site to see a movie star or two while you are going about your daily business in Wilmington NC.  A new movie has started filming in the area, 3D Journey 2 Mysterious Island starring Michael Caine, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Josh Hucherson, and Vanessa Hudgens.  Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D was the first film ever shot in HD 3D, so the sequel should be equally filled with amazing digital shots.  It is the largest film being filmed at Screen Gems.  Another new special water tank was built just for the production.  This week they were filming on Colonial Drive in Forest Hills.  Wilmington NC welcomes the production and all the people who have come to our great city.  Enjoy….

If you would like to look at real estate, we invite you visit to learn about our town and what we have to offer.  From your phone you can text 14059 to 44133 and search there.

Click here for Screen Gems Brochure

Categories: 3D Journey 2 Mysterious Island, Screen Gems Studio, Uncategorized, wilmington nc convention center, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

The Real Facts of NC real estate | Wilmington NC real estate

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The National Association of Realtors have released their “For the Record” Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Real Facts about NC real estate.  Topics covered were Economy, Homeownership and Foreclosures.

NC unemployment rate has dropped steadily with NC being 3rd for declining rates.  September retail sales rose for the 3rd straight month.  Housing starts hit a 5 month high in September, 4.1% higher than September 2009.  Foreclosure rates fell and the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund assistance will start being available in December to struggling homeowners.  Read more here…

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

Want to buy a home? Manage your debt | Wilmington NC real estate

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If the low prices and the low interest rates have you wishing you could buy a new home but cannot because of your debt load, there is still time to reorganize your finances to make your wish come true.  Take a realistic look at where you spend your money.  Write everything down and where you spent it.  Is there a $4.00 Latte everyday? Make a budget and try to do away with some of the extras that you buy on a whim.  There are budget tools online, like Suze Ormans expense tracker that will help get you started.   We also have a credit repair company that can help you earn additional points for your credit score, so that you can qualify for lower interest rates.  Before you know it, that new home can be yours.  Be patient and work towards what you really want.  We can help you achieve this.  For all your Wilmington NC real estate needs please visit or

To view the home pictured please visit

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Coldwell Banker Buyer Bonus Program, Economy, Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Managing your debt, Uncategorized, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

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.