Five Ways To Get The Best Interest Rate

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Free stock photo of black-and-white, man, hurry, reflectionsToday’s real estate market continues to be a busy one, thanks in part to mortgage interest rates that remain near historic lows, allowing buyers to afford more home. Despite this, it’s still important to watch interest rates to ensure you get the best deal.

(If you need recommendations for great local lenders, please let us know!) Here are in-the-know tips to help you get the best rate for your mortgage.

1. ACT FAST
Lock in an interest rate today. There’s no sense pining over rates of yesterday because they are old news and unlikely to return. If you’re nervous your home won’t close in the typical 30 days, pay to extend your rate lock.

2. GRAB A DEAL
Even with slightly higher interest rates, your buying power is still strong. The difference between an interest rate of 4% and 4.5% on a $200,000 30-year mortgage is only $58 more per month.

3. SCALE BACK
If your proposed mortgage payment makes you nervous, step back and think about finding a home with a smaller price tag. You may have to give some on space and/or location but your monthly budget will thank you.

4. ADJUST
If you aren’t sure how long you’ll be living in your next home, consider a hybrid or adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that offers an initial fixed lower rate for a specific amount of time (three, five, seven years, etc.) before a single adjustment or annual changes.

5. GOOD SIGNS
Closely examine the area where the home is located. An improving local economy with stable and increasing jobs, vibrant schools and nearby conveniences increases the likelihood that the home will appreciate over time. Besides your home being a great place to live, you might also make a profit when it comes time to sell!

Categories: Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate

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

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www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

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

NEGOTIATE: How To Buy The Home You Love At The Price You Want

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2Found the house of your dreams? Now the negotiations begin.

The agent you’re working with can guide you through the process of making a purchase offer. You’ll want to start by learning as much as you can about how much the property is worth.

Check the comparables

Your agent has up-to-the-minute price data at hand to help you analyze any comparable properties; just ask. Although every home is unique, here’s some of what makes a home “comparable” to the one you’re considering purchasing:

same neighborhood;
same age and condition;
same size lot;
same home style–equivalent living space, number of rooms and baths;
similar terms of sale.

Follow sales price trends

Ask about recent pricing trends in the neighborhood. Specifically, what has been the average difference between listing price and sales price for recent sales of comparable homes? What is the ratio of assessed tax value to market value?

Offer what you think the house is worth

Some asking prices have built-in padding, but others are already priced to sell. You could lose a well-priced home with a low-ball bid. Remember, a lower mortgage interest rate will allow you to borrow more and pay a higher price for a home without increasing your monthly payment.

Spell out the details

Consider getting a pre-purchase appraisal and home inspection. The appraisal will give an independent valuation of the house, and the inspection will help identify any potential problems you may have overlooked. Consider including a contingency making the contract subject to a satisfactory appraisal and inspection.

Evaluate contingencies

The contract can also be contingent upon an attorney’s review, previous home sale, and acceptable mortgage loan terms, etc. Contingencies are typically used to smooth acceptance of an offer without delaying the final decision. Too many contingencies, however, weaken your bargaining position.

Know what’s important to you

Prioritize the elements of the sale on paper (“must” and “want”) and decide where you have negotiating room–what you’ll give up or accept in exchange for a concession. Items frequently negotiated include adjustments for needed or requested repairs, what personal property stays and what goes with the seller, points and closing costs, and move-in date. Knowing exactly what you want and where you are willing to bargain is your most important negotiating tool.

Put everything in the first purchase offer

If the first offer is accepted it may be too late to add anything. Include a financial statement. Do all negotiating in writing with a deadline for a response, often 48 hours. You are free to cancel an offer until it is accepted by the seller. Require that your binder or deposit be held in an escrow account with the interest credited to you.

Be Patient

Negotiating could take several days. Be patient; you won’t want to rush into one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make.

We can help

If you’d like help finding your dream home, please call or e-mail us. We’ll help with your home search and will give you all the important information we can provide to help you make the right offer for the right home.

Categories: buying a home, The Art of Negotiating, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate

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…

Categories: Financing a Home Purchase in Wilmington NC, Home Selling, Managing your debt, Screen Gems Studio, Showcasing your home, Technorati Profile, volunteer in wilmington NC, wilmington nc, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington nc real estate

Avoid Foreclosure – Don’t Lose Your Home If You Fall Behind On Mortgage Payments

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wilmington nc real estateIf you’re experiencing financial hard times and have missed a payment or two on your home, it doesn’t mean you’re headed to foreclosure—yet.

If you’re at the end of your financial rope, it’s time to take these steps, immediately, to rescue your home—and your credit:

1. Contact your lender. Lenders may allow a forebearance (reducing or suspending payments for a short period) and/or a reinstatement (accepting the total overdue amount owed in a lump sum). Make sure you clearly understand the repayment plan and adhere to it.

2. Request a modified mortgage plan. The term or interest rate may be permanently changed on your loan and/or past-due payments added to the mortgage balance.

3. Interest-free or low-interest loans. Investigate the availability of loans from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or your loan insurance company to bring payments up to date.

4. Sell. Go ahead and get out of the home before it’s repossessed. Better to dump the mortgage and rent than to ruin your future credit.

5. Deed in lieu of foreclosure. As a last resort, give the property back to the lender. This move can only be made if none of the above work for you.

Let us know what we can do to help.  For more information please visit www.cbbaker.com and look in the seller section.  kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: avoid foreclosure, Avoiding Foreclosure, foreclosrue

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES The Best Strategy To Get To SOLD!

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www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

Does your game plan require you to sell your home before you can make your next move in life? If so, you need a strategy to get the best price for your home in the shortest amount of time.

It’s like playing a game of chess: Successfully selling your home requires a combination of thought, planning, preparation and some good moves.

Think through your moves and determine your timeline. In the meantime, start prepping your home for sale—earlier is better—by thoroughly cleaning and decluttering every single space. Ditch excess belongings by donating, selling or pitching them. Box seldom used items and store them in an out-of-the way space, or, better yet, off-site. Create curb appeal that makes buyers want to get out of their car as soon as they see your home. Stage your home to create inviting spaces in which buyers want to live—and own. Predict when you’ll have to negotiate an offer and be flexible with your terms. If you practice all these moves, your game will end with a successful sale.

Learn how to master selling a home. It will open doors to your next move. Remember, as your real estate professionals, we can help you as you contemplate every single move!

Winning Requires Planning

If you’re looking to get your home sold quickly and for the best price, it takes some planning. Just like in chess, you’ll need to study the competition. See how your home stacks up against the ones already on the market. Consider your property’s location, amenities, age and condition as you visit these homes.

Take mental notes on what staging ideas make a room look warm and inviting. Recreate those in your own home. Determine what feature(s) your home has that the competition does not—and make that element pop in your own home. With a clear plan, you’re on your way!

The Game Board

The game board for chess is the same for all players, just as every home seller has access to the same set of information: data from recently sold, listed and expired homes; local economic conditions; housing demand; nearby competition; etc. It’s how you use this information that can give you an advantage.

Using the data, you can make an informed decision when pricing your home to sell fast. We can help you determine the price that buyers will find realistic and invite action, that is, a purchase offer. If you price too high, your home will languish; pricing it right or just under will create interest to get the selling game off on a good start!

Manage Your Time Wisely

Professional chess players are under time pressure to make each move. Home sellers have their own personal timeline dictating when they need to have the home sold. No matter how tight of a timeline you face, we can help.

Plan carefully for each move you make: prepping the home for sale; studying local data to determine a price; timing to put the home on the market to reach the greatest number of homebuyers; and getting the signed contract to closing/settlement uneventfully. It’s never too early to start planning to sell your home!

A Better Position Can Help

Going it alone in the real estate market can be overwhelming. Rely on real estate professionals—like us—to guide your moves through the entire selling process. We’ll cover the details and give you a play-by-play of every strategically important move you need to make. We’ll also tell you what to expect from buyers. Contact us. We look forward to helping you make the right moves to win the selling game!

Call us we would love to help.  Or visit www.cbbaker.com for more Wilmington NC Real estate information.  910-202-3607 kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

 

Categories: Get a House sold!, Sell a House Quick', Selling Houses, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate

INVEST YOUR RENT: Why Pay Your Landlord’s Mortgage?

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The only one who benefits from a rent check is the landlord. Renters never see that money again, while homeowners usually profit when they sell. In addition, renters can’t use any of their rent payment as a tax deduction, like homeowners can. If you or someone you know is renting, it’s time to put that rent check to better use!e mortgage-interest deduction is probably the best financial argument for buying rather than renting. Consider this example:If you can afford a mortgage payment of $1,000 (principal and interest only), you can buy a house for $151,426 if you put 10% down on a 30-year mortgage at 8% interest ( current rate for great credit is 4%) . If your payments started in January, you would pay $10,862 in interest for the first year in the home. That entire amount is deductible on your federal income tax return! Assuming you are in the 27.5% tax bracket, you would save $2,989 in taxes, or $249 per month. So your $1,000 payment is really only $751 when you factor in the homeowner’s tax advantage.

Can A Renter Really Afford To Buy?

shells5The real question is whether renters can afford not to buy. The tax savings alone make the purchase of a home a wise financial decision. But let’s go a step further.

Using the same example, a 10% down payment would create an immediate equity of $15,142. Assuming the $151,426 house grows in value by just 3% a year, in five years it would be worth $175,544. The original loan amount would then be down to $129,565, yielding an equity of $45,980. In addition, remember the nearly $3,000 tax savings every year. The total value of your equity and tax savings would be almost $61,000 after five years.

Pick A Loan

To take advantage of the financial benefits of homeownership, renters must first find out how much buying power they have. We can help. Call us for information about the whole range of mortgage options now available, including low- and no-down-payment loans, and programs that allow buyers wrap home-improvement costs and closing costs into the mortgage.

Plan Ahead

Although some lenders allow buyers to use up to 41% of monthly income to purchase a house, beware of becoming “house rich and cash poor.” Be sure to budget for homeownership costs beyond the mortgage, including expenses for:

moving
decorating and furnishing
homeowners insurance
property taxes
homeowners association fees (if any)
utilities-power, water, sewer, cable, trash pick-up
yard tools, supplies and general upkeep
home repairs, supplies, cleaning and upgrades.

Today, homeownership is a wonderful dream-come-true for more people than ever before. Let us help turn those dreams into a home to be proud of.

Check out www.cbbaker.com for more information and helpful tips.  kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, mortgage interest deductions, tax advantage, tax advantages to buying real estate, tax exemptions, why pay your landlords mortgage, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wilmington NC real esatate

Do You Know How You Can Profit Using “OPM” and Leverage?

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Home ownership remains an important investment for most people, thanks in large part to the use of OPM (“Other People’s Money”) to gain “leverage.” Here’s how leverage works.

  • Assume that a family bought a home five years ago for $80,000. They put up 20% of the purchase price ($16,000) and borrowed the 80% ($64,000) balance. Now, they manage to sell the house for $120,000. Their relatively small cash investment has reaped the benefit of the increase in value of the entire property. The $16,000 cash investment has resulted in a profit of $40,000.
  • Compare this with an investment in common stocks. Federal regulations require that an investor put up at least 50% in cash. Therefore, the leverage is not as high as for the home buyer. If the investor put up $40,000 to buy $80,000 in securities and sold the stocks five years later for $120,000, the return would have been less substantial.
  • Taxes, selling costs and other factors would change these figures in the “real” world, but the principle of leverage would remain the same. If you want to increase the return on your home investment as much as possible, let OPM go to work for you.

If you want to increase the value of your house hunting time and energy, let us go to work for you. We can help steer you through the complexities of contracting, financing and closing.

Visit www.cbbaker.com for more information.

Categories: OPM, Uncategorized

Masonboro Island Wilmington NC

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Masonboro Island NC

Masonboro Island is an 8 mile long uninhabited island on the southern North Carolina coast between Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach and is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve. Masonboro Island, only accessible by boat, is enjoyed by campers, surfers, anglers, and bird-watchers alike. The reserve consists of about 5000 acres, which about 4400 acres are tidal marsh and mud flats. The most northern end at Masonboro Inlet is the most popular area with its sandy beaches and protected waters. Any summer weekend you will see many boaters and campers prepared for a few days on the beach with tents, grills and water toys in tow. Read the rest of this entry

Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

RESALES: Hidden Advantages Of Previously Owned Homes

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2www.cbbaker.com

Although many people prefer to buy new homes, the vast majority of buyers prefer resales. According to the National Association of Realtors, 75% of homes sold are resales.When home buyers ask us about the merits of buying an “old” versus a newly built home, we show them how resales offer some of the best values in the market today. The news gets better when they see the wonderfully diverse resale selection of appealing styles and sizes in may locations and price ranges. Plus, when the owner goes to sell an “old” home, they have what most buyers are looking for.

Here are some of the advantages that make “old” homes so popular:

Size Appeal

Older homes often have more space inside and out than new homes. Inside, resale homes may have more square footage and higher ceilings; outside, resale lot sizes are typically larger.

Close-in convenience

Many resale homes are in older neighborhoods, which are closer to downtown business districts and shopping. New communities are often a distance away from cities and commute times may be much longer.{short description of image}

Cost savings

Resale homes generally are less expensive than similar new homes. One reason could be that resale sellers have more bargaining room than builders who must make a return on the high costs they recently paid for land and building materials. In fact, a NAR study found resale sellers accepted a median drop of $4,000 from their asking price while builders’ median drop was only $500.

More green space

For tree lovers, resales are a big draw. Older homes typically have mature trees and plantings, unlike what’s found in new neighborhoods.

What you see is what you get

There is no guesswork with older, established neighborhoods. Buyers can research and tour the schools, sample the shopping, and check out the neighbors. In a new-home subdivision, buyers might not want to live with the noise and dirt of construction, may wonder about future development, or deal with possible long bus rides to existing schools and little or no nearby shopping.

Lots of Extras

Many resale buyers cash in on “extras” the owner has already put in, which can save big money. Typical money-saving extras: fenced yards, decks, pools, play sets, window treatments and appliances.We would be happy to assist you with your house-hunting needs. A resale home can be an excellent value for a buyer in today’s market. Call or e-mail for more information.”

 

Categories: Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wilmington NC real esatate, 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.