BUY OR WAIT? Check The Answer That’s Right For You | Wilmington NC real estate

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There’s no right or wrong answer when you ask: “Is it the right time to buy a home?” For some, it’s a great time to buy—while for others, the answer is not as clear cut. There are lots of check marks that make buying favorable, but some unknowns as well. We’re here to help you sort out the right answer for you.

Today’s real estate market is affordable for many. Interest rates are still near historic lows, which means your money buys more home than it will when rates rise. With stable employment, a decent down payment and a good credit history, you’re likely to qualify for a mortgage.

The selection of homes available locally is improving because the overall economy has encouraged more owners to sell. Because of this, your odds of finding the right home for you are higher today. Also, homebuyers now have many financing options because lenders offer a variety of loan programs that allow buyers to choose their mortgage term and interest rate to ensure the loan is affordable today—and tomorrow.

Should you buy a home today?
There are many reasons why it might be a good time for you, personally, to buy real estate today. How many reasons can you check off?

☑ I need a tax break.
Paying mortgage interest and real estate taxes may provide you with a sizable deduction on your income taxes. Consult a financial professional to review your tax return and see the impact owning a home (or a larger home) could have on your tax bill.

☑ My household income is likely to grow.
Up for a raise in the not-too-distant future? In line for a promotion? If your career—or your partner’s career—is on an upward trajectory, your growing income will offset any increases in real estate taxes, insurance or interest rate down the road.

☑ I’m ready to put down some roots.
You may feel ready to sink deeper roots in one location and become more vested in our community. If you’re looking to call our area home for five years or more, it may make sense to buy a home or move up to a larger one.

☑ I have been saving for a rainy day.
If you’ve been stashing away money for a down payment for some time, consult a mortgage lender to determine how much home you can comfortably afford to buy (ask us for lender recommendations). Calculate if your savings cushion is enough to cover unexpected maintenance costs or other emergencies after the down payment is paid.

☑ I need a home that will grow with my family.
If the home you can afford today has enough bedrooms to accommodate future children, children who are returning home, elderly family members or a work-at-home situation, it may be the right time for you to buy.

☑ I’ll be receiving some money.
If you are receiving a large legal settlement or a family member has presented you or your partner with a sizable monetary gift or inheritance, you might be able to buy that home you’ve only dreamed of before now.

☑ I follow a budget.
With your finances in order and personal spending in check, you likely have a realistic budget to know how much you can safely spend on housing.

☑ My debt situation is under control.
If you had student loans and they’re nearly paid off, college-age kids that are close to graduation or credit card debt that is near a zero balance, it might be time for you to think about buying a home.

☑ I’m just ready.
If you’re ready to buy a home, it’s time to contact us. We can show you local homes that fit your finances and your family. We can work with you to determine which one meets your needs best. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Categories: Buy Now or Wait, Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Market Statistics, wilmington nc real estate, Wrightsville Beach NC

MOVE UP: 4 Smart Strategies For Purchasing Your Next Home

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kingarthur3If you’ve decided it’s time to move up to a bigger home, a better home or a home in a more coveted area, your next challenge will be getting there financially. It’s likely you’ll need more cash, a larger income and, perhaps, better credit than you had when you purchased your current home. Putting all the pieces in place for the move up could take some time and detailed planning. Here are some ideas when buying Wilmington NC real estate.

1. Credit Clean-Up

Although your credit rating may have been sterling as a first-time home buyer, years of credit-card and utility accounts, car payments and consumer loans may have scuffed up that financial image a bit. Late or missed payments have a negative effect on your credit profile, as do large, long-term balances on your accounts. Your credit score, a rating system many lenders use to evaluate your financial situation, may prevent you from borrowing as much as you’d like for your next home or getting the lowest interest rate currently available.

The wise move-up buyer will take stock of his or her credit standing and debt status well before attempting the next home purchase. You may need some time to reduce your debt, catch up on any delinquent accounts, remove inaccuracies and blemishes from credit reports and make other adjustments to increase your credit score.

2. Loan Shopping

A quick way to sift through these issues is to contact a lender who can pull a credit report to see if there are any glaring spots on your record. If nothing needs immediate attention, you can continue on with a complete application, providing the financial information needed for loan pre-approval. The loan officer will determine the maximum loan amount you qualify for based on your income and debt profile.

You may want to shop around at this point, comparing loan programs and interest rates. Consider how well your current loan has worked for you and remember that rates aren’t everything. The lowest rate may be accompanied by high points. If so, you’ll have to keep the mortgage long enough to justify paying the steep up-front cost of the loan.

Consider whether a non-traditional mortgage program could meet your needs. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be a good choice if it looks as though interest rates will be falling. A 40-year mortgage might reduce the monthly payment enough so you qualify for a larger loan.

3. Collecting Cash

An important factor in the equation that determines your buying power will be how much cash you have for a down payment and closing costs. The best mortgage interest rates are available to buyers with down payments of 20% or more. If you make a smaller down payment, you may have to take a higher interest rate or pay for private mortgage insurance, both of which will reduce your buying power.

Unless you’re a prodigious saver, chances are the equity you have in your current home will provide the largest source of cash for your next home purchase. Equity, of course, is the difference between the market value of the home and the balance on any mortgages secured by the home.

We would be happy to conduct a comparative analysis of your home to determine the right sales price — at no obligation to you, of course. By determining the value of your home and subtracting out selling costs (paying off the old mortgage, marketing fees and settlement expenses), you’ll have the basis for a down payment on your move-up property.

4. Fine Tuning

After taking stock of your financial situation, you may find it necessary to delay your move in order to get the type of home you’ve targeted. Perhaps you need to save more cash for down payment and settlement costs. You may need to pay down outstanding debts to improve your credit score and qualify for a larger mortgage or a lower interest rate. Remember, it’s likely your home’s value and your equity in it will continue to grow as you get yourself in a position to move up successfully.

Categories: Move Up Homes, Waterfront Wilmington NC, waterfront wrightsville beach, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation

Online Tools | Starting The Mortgage Process? The Internet Is Your Friend

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cbbaker_002The Internet is a great tool for home buyers. It can help you find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. With virtual tools, buyers can even see the exteriors and interiors of homes that interest them, all without leaving their screens.

But did you know that the Internet is an essential tool for buyers who are ready to apply for a mortgage loan, too?

It’s true. The Internet makes applying for a home loan easier than ever.

First, there are plenty of mortgage affordability calculators and mortgage payment calculators available online. With these tools you can enter your basic financial information to determine how much of a mortgage payment you can afford to make each month. You can also enter the information you know about a potential mortgage loan—everything from the term/length of your expected loan to the amount you plan to borrow—to calculate the estimated size of your monthly payment.

You can also use several websites to get a feel for where the interest rates for various loan types—15-year fixed, 30-year fixed, adjustable-rate—stand at any given time.

And if you’re still looking for a home—and you know how much mortgage you can afford and, therefore, how much you can spend on a new residence—you can use national real estate sites such as our MLS public link,, Trulia and Zillow to get a ‘starting point’ estimated value of any home in the neighborhoods that interest you. Don’t forget, we can refer you to local real estate professionals to find the home of your dreams in person.

Remember, though, that the Internet is a useful tool. It’s not a substitute for working with a skilled mortgage loan officer who can guide you through the process of applying for a loan. When you’re ready to get real-world figures, contact us today. We’d be happy to help you find the perfect mortgage loan. Call us tel:1-910-202-3607

or email –



Categories: wilmington beach homes, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

Wilmington NC Hollywood East | Welcome Back Under The Dome and Bolden |

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Welcome back to our great town of Wilmington NC.  Round two for Stephen Kings Under The Dome.  Pre-production will start in January with actually filming to start in March 2014.

See last seasons finale :


Wilmington NC also welcomes back Bolden. Filmed in the area in 2007 the production team comes back to the area for additional re-shoots.  Based on Jazz legend Buddy Bolden.

Sleepy Hallow just wrapped up filming in Wilmington on December 22, 2013.  Look for the first episode on January 13, followed by a 2 episode night on January 20, 2014.  Looking forward to having the production team back in town for more episodes.

The Remaining came back to town to film additional scenes for the film they shot last February.

Revolution – moved it’s production to Texas, but hopefully will be returning to shoot additional scenes.

The Squeeze recently wrapped production.

Just Released:

Christmas in Conway – aired on Hallmark Channel Dec. 1 and will continue to have reruns.  Available on

‘The Conjuring’ – released in October, now available on DVD and Blue Ray

We’re The Millers – released in November, now available on DVD and Blue Ray

Safe Haven has brought many a fan to Southport to see where the movie was filmed.

We look forward to a full filming schedule in 2014.

Categories: Movies in Wilmington NC, Screen Gems Studio, Uncategorized


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Hampstead, NC, an unincorporated area of Pender County, is just north of Wilmington on Hwy 17. Hampstead offers lower cost of living and is becoming very popular for many retirees, especially from the Northeast. In fact, families from all over have come to call Hampstead home. Hampstead, NC real estate information is at your fingertips by contacting Baker Wayne and Associates today.



Hampstead is bordered on the east by the intracoastal waterway and Topsail Island. This area is rich in all types of water recreational opportunities and golf. You can enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, camping or just a round of golf at one of the nearby courses.

Hampstead is also home to some of the best schools in North Carolina. There are three elementary schools:  read rest of story here….

Categories: Hampstead Nc, Wilmington NC homes, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, wilmington real estate stats

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

The Wilmington NC Real Estate Stats are UP!

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The March Wilmington NC real estate statistical report has been released and all the numbers are up, except “Days On Market”.  That is good news.  We are getting into multiple offer situations which has not happened for years.  If you are thinking about selling your home but have some concerns or questions about the market, give us a call.  We would be happy to go over what has been selling in your neighborhood and in Wilmington NC in general.  Thinking about moving up? Perfect time to do this.  Here are the Statistics, just click on photo for full report.

Please feel free to visit our website for seller and buyer advice, as well as search the local Wilmington NC real estate market.  You can search by map, schools, street, county, price and more.


Categories: Uncategorized

Waterfront In Wilmington NC | Search By Price Range

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 Waterfront Homes from $100,000 – $200,000 – Find Here

Waterfront Townhomes and Condo’s from $100,000 – $200,000 – Find Here

Waterfront Homes from $200,000 – $400,000 – Find Here

Waterfront Townhomes and Condo’s from $200.000 –  $400,000 – Find Here

Waterfront Homes from $400,000 – Find Here

 Waterfront Townhomes and Condo’s from $400,000 – Find Here

 Waterview Homes, Townhomes and Condo’s – Find Here

                                          Waterfront and Waterview Foreclosures – Find Here
                                           Waterfront and Waterview Shortsales – Find Here
                                             To Search Different Criteria and Want’s – Find Here

 To live by the water is devine…

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

What’s So Special About “Location, Location, Location”?

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What do real estate agents mean when they say the three most important factors in selecting a house are “location, location, location”?

Door KnockerThe house is wonderful! But before you buy, carefully check the location to be sure this is the house you want to buy.

  • Consider destinations

Where will family members go most often from this new location? How easy is it to reach those places from here? How accessible are schools, churches, grocery stores, medical care, public transportation, shopping malls, and neighborhood services?

  • Be sure rooms have a view

What is the view from the house and yard? Is the yard right for your anticipated activities? What uses are possible for nearby undeveloped land? Is a new road planned?

  • Check around the clock

Is rush hour traffic a problem? What will be the impact of special events like local high school games or church picnics?

  • Crash test the driveway

How easy is it to get into and out of the driveway?

  • Be service conscious

What utilities serve this property? Are the rates competitive? Do you want an all-electric house, or do you want gas or oil heat? Where will you get your mail? Where are the easements?

  • Dig below the surface

Is the soil stable? Is part of the property on a flood plain — if so, what is the history of floods on the property?

  • Visit the neighbors

How will you fit in with the neighbors? Do people seem to be friendly? Are houses well-maintained?

  • Read the fine print

If the community has special by-laws or architectural controls over changes to a house, what are the pros and cons?

Make a list of the positive and negative aspects of each property as you tour it. Assign priorities to important elements of the house’s location.

Do you have home questions about a specific location? We can help. Call or e-mail us now. Kay Baker 910-202-3607 or

To search all Wilmington NC real estate please visit


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January 2011 Wilmington NC Real Estate Report

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January 2011 Wilmington NC MLS Report

Based on the winter weather we have had it is obvious that our real estate market still has the Winter Blues. Our average sales price has dropped 17% from December 2010; that is quite a fall. Most of the transactions that closed in January we put under contract in December. When you break down the sales that took place in January 2011 there is only 1 transaction that closed above $700,000. While in December 2010 there were 14 sold transactions over $700,000 and January 2010 there were 5 sold transactions over $700,000. This greatly affects our monthly average sales price, our current monthly average sold price is $194,425 for the month of January. This is the first time that the monthly average sold price has dipped under $200,000 in a looooong time.

January’s average sales price has managed to show a decrease of 17% from December. Sold units are down 119 units over last month (about 31%) and even with last January. In the month of January we saw a increase of 71 homes in our listing inventory, we have 4,718 homes on the market as of February 1st. This continues to put us in a strong buyer’s market with a listing inventory of just over a 17.8 month supply. With the low sales in January this affects our month supply with an increase of 5 months from last month with 12.6. Our average list price has started the year under $350,000 range; we are currently at $343,053. In January sellers paid concessions in about 30.6% of all the month’s transactions.  Our average days on the market are at 132 days. The list to sold ratio has improved some to 94.4% this number needs to continue to get better. The number of homes that sold in 15 days or less continues to remain very low, 11.3% of January sold homes. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.05% with an average 0.7 points for the week ending February 10, 2011. We have already hit the historic lows in mortgage rates and they are now on the rebound. 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 January we saw a increase in listing inventory of 71 units. We are about 496 units under February 1, 2010 and 687 units under February 1, 2009. We have 4,718 single family homes for sale in our MLS. The average list price of $343,053 is down by $5,950 from last month. Please note the consistent winter dip in listings – see chart below.


Monthly Average Sold Price – this is not a pretty section

Our monthly average sold price is down by 17% from last month and down 9.7% from January 2010. Our average sold price is down by $39,939 from last month. January average sold price ($194,425) shows a decrease of 15.9% from year end 2010.


Monthly Sold Units

We are 2 units shy of matching January 2010 sold homes of 267, while this January we have sold 265 homes. I am sure as January gets closed out we will see the numbers increase over last year’s production. The number of sold homes is up 68 homes from January 2010.



Average Sold Price Year to Date

Year over year our year to date numbers have dipped a little.

2003 year end average sale price $ 186,137

2004 year end average sale price $ 210,048

2005 year end average sale price $ 254,080

2006 year end average sale price $ 264,498

2007 year end average sale price $ 273,408

2008 year end average sale price $256,498

2009 year end average sale price $234,379

2010 year to date average sale price $231,141

While our 2010 year end numbers are lower than year end 2009 they do show promising signs that our sales are on the upswing. Looks like we have a setback with January’s average sold price – $194,425


Rolling 12 months

Our rolling 12 months gives us a better look at our production. It helps to smooth out a month that jumps up and down. When we look at February 1st, 2010 to January 31st, 2011 we have 4,526 sold units and when we compare the year prior February 1st, 2009 to January 31st, 2010 we have a 87 unit gain (4,439 sold units). When we look at the same rolling 12 months for average sold price we see that we are only down by 2.0%. So the dates of 2/1/2010 to 1/31/2011 we have an average sold price of $229,930 while from 2/1/2009 to 1/31/2010 we had an average sold price $233,436.


Median Sold Price

Our Median sold price decreased this month by 12.5% from last month. Our national numbers lag by one month. Our median sales price continues its jagged path – up then down then up and now down. I am hoping that our January dip in median sold price is a onetime event. I am hoping we can see the national median sales price reverse its downward trend as well as WRAR’s.



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. With the new sales contract I am also counting Active Due Diligence and pending contracts. I look at the total pending units on a regular basis and this is how they chart out. Our pending index is dropping to our winter lows. In December we bottomed out about 575 units, we have since rebounded and have over 663 units that are pending – this is a 15% increase since the end of 2010.  With the new contract in place this is a good start to 2011.



Market Absorption rate – The number of homes sold in January, 265 divided by the current listing inventory, 4,718 gives us a 17.8 month supply of single family homes. This increased by 5 months from last month. We need to get this inventory back under 12 months supply. With a large inventory and the low sales in January 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 $206,188 and the average sold price is $194,425 for January which gives us a 94.4% list to sold price ratio – a good increase from last month. We have now managed to stay under 95% for over a year and several months. I want to quit counting the number of months and get this trend reversed.

Seller Concessions – We had 30.6% of sold properties report a sales concession for January, a increase of 4.2%. We want this number to go lower.

Days on Market – The average days on market for the sold properties is now at 132 for January. That is about 4.5 months to keep a property on the market. Only 11.3% of the properties were placed under contract in less than 15 days for the month of January.

Carolina & Kure Beach

There are currently 387 single family homes for sale and this represents little change from January 1, 2011 and 8.2% of our total WRAR inventory. The average list price is $390,006 and decrease of about $12,624 from January. In January there were 21 homes sold, divide that by the homes available and you have a 18.4 monthly supply of homes in Carolina and Kure Beach. The average sold price for the month of January was $230,953 and is down $37,893 from last month. When we look at a rolling 12 months for Carolina & Kure Beach we are up by 61 units and our sold prices are down 7.1% from the previous rolling 12 months.

This data was pulled on February 12, 2011, based on information from the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS Incorporated, for the period Jan. 1, 2005 through January 31, 2011.


The Market

Primary Mortgage Market Survey Press Release

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Rates Rise to 5.05 Percent Highest Level since April 2010

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®  which shows long- and short-term rates rising this week.

News Facts

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.05 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 10, 2011, up from last week when it averaged 4.81 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.97 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged 4.29 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.08 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.34 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.


Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Long-term bond yields jumped on positive economic data reports, which placed upward pressure on mortgage rates this week.

“For all of 2010, nonfarm productivity rose 3.6 percent, the most since 2002, while January’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell from 9.4 percent to 9.0 percent. Moreover, the service industry expanded in January at the fastest pace since August 2005.

“As a result, interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to the highest level since the last week in April 2010.”

Freddie Mac

Source:  Wilmington MLS and David Flory Cunningham Mortgage

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Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate

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.