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Blog about Wilmington NC real estate

By Baker, Wayne & Associates | Broker in Wilmington, NC
  • Spring is Coming! Best Move Options

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wilmington, Home Selling in Wilmington, In My Neighborhood in Wilmington  |  March 10, 2014 8:22 AM  |  128 views  |  No comments

    More Options Abound For Today’s Homebuyers And Sellers

    In this Wilmington NC spring market, making a move may be easier than ever before. Thanks to improvements in the real estate market, employment options, housing choices and personal finances, more people today are moving to where they want to live, not where they have to live.

    In fact, moving today is easier than you think. Wilmington NC real estate sellers are finding their priced-right homes selling, allowing them the freedom to relocate down the street, to the other side of town, across the country or around the world. Plenty of buyers are out there right now, taking advantage of our springtime temperatures and increased inventory. Many want to start their new life in a new home by the beginning of summer.

    What’s moving today’s buyers? Job situations for many have changed for the better. (As always, employment is a major factor driving home sales.) One reason is that more and more people are working from home, and breadwinners are less tied to living near work. Now they have the flexibility to move to where their family wants to be located, where their favorite activities are based (think sports, outdoor opportunities), and where they have relatives and friends.

    Don’t miss out. If it’s time for you to make a move, now is a great time. Keep reading to learn how to make the best move to a location that is the best for you!

    What Comes First?

    If you’re going to move, get your home ready for sale first. We can assist you with that task, helping you create a to-do list to attend to little things that buyers notice. Plus, nail down must-do bigger items that need attention before your home goes up for sale. Although some sellers don’t care to attend to these items, to get the best price for your home, it’s important to make your home an attractive, move-in-ready property.


    Take time to thoroughly go through your home and highlight any issues that a buyer’s inspection may later find. It is wise to remedy any problems before the home goes on the market. Additionally, we can advise you whether a home warranty would help make your home desirable to the greatest number of homebuyers.


    Bring in a home stager to make your home as close as possible to looking like a model home. Home stagers do a great job of using what you own to make your home’s spaces look friendly, usable and roomy for potential buyers.


    It’s often best to sell your home first, while you look but before you buy in your new location. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it allows you to know exactly how much money you have available to buy your next home. Shop while your home is for sale, and if you find that perfect home, consult with your mortgage lender to see if you can make the move financially before selling your current home. A bridge loan may help get you there.

    Where Are You Going?

    If you’re still deciding where you’re going to move to once you sell your home, you need to do some research…pronto. To judge places to live, it’s wise to visit multiple times to dig into the area, understand transportation and education options, the employment situation, housing types and costs, and true cost of living.


    Even if you’ve lived in a specific location before and want to move back, realize that time changes things. It’s still ideal to visit the area and confirm your move choice.Take time to research and make sure the move is a good fit for you—and your entire family. Yes, you can always move again, but as you know, it does require time and money to pick up again if you find you aren’t happy with your new location.We know our area well. We can advise you about the types of homes available here and their price ranges. We can guide you to local information that provides reliable details on schools, shopping, transportation, entertainment, outdoor space, you name it.

    If you are moving out of our area, we can connect you with a top-quality real estate professional in your new location to assist you in not only getting the home you want there, but the information you need to make an informed housing decision.Some online help is always valuable. Check out websites that provide school information, walkability, traffic and crime reports, etc. Many sites provide the information for free, but some require subscriptions to view details. Remember, we can help you with finding specific details on our local area—just ask.

    How To Whittle Down?

    If you’re making a move to improve your situation, you want to move with only what matters most to you and your family. Before you put your home up for sale, it’s important to start going through your belongings and categorizing what is most important to keep.

    Create areas to collect giveaway items (for charities, friends, family, etc.) while you evaluate your belongings.

    If you have items of value you want to sell, start early and don’t underestimate the amount of time needed to sell items online, through garage sale(s), auction or classified sites or even through nearby newspaper classifieds. Have a plan in place for items that don’t sell.

    Decluttering can uncover a lot of stuff you didn’t know you had, but still want. Box up items that you currently don’t have room for and store them off-site, either at a friend’s or family member’s home or in a rental storage unit.


    When boxing up items for off-site storage, be sure to pack them well the first time. When you’re ready to move with them, you won’t have to open and repack everything to safely survive a longer move.


    If you are likely to replace large/heavy items, such as appliances, a dining room set, couch or bedroom set, shortly upon arrival at your new residence, you may want to sell or give these items away before you move to cut down on the hassle and expense of moving them. Look for a local charity that helps homeless and disadvantaged families.


  • Small And Popular Vs. Big And Not | Pick Your Home By The Community

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wilmington, In My Neighborhood in Wilmington, Investment Properties in Wilmington  |  February 24, 2014 9:28 AM  |  175 views  |  No comments


    When relocating to a new area, especially a higher priced one, you may be concerned about getting the most home for your money. You may be tempted to opt for a larger home in a less desirable area rather than settling for a smaller home in an affluent community. From an investment standpoint, you could be making the wrong choice.

    Home prices in popular and affluent communities tend to increase more rapidly than those in less-sought-after, middle-class neighborhoods. That’s why real estate professionals frequently advise home buyers to choose a smaller home in a better neighborhood over a larger home elsewhere.

    This strategy is particularly useful for home buyers who do not expect to own their home for more than a few years. They may need the likelihood of a higher appreciation rate to help ensure they make a profit and cover selling costs when the time comes to move again. Click here to receive the appreciation rate of a certain neighborhood or zip code.  

  • IN/OUT What’s In, What’s Out For 2014 Buyers & Sellers

    Posted Under: General Area in Wilmington, Home Buying in Wilmington, Investment Properties in Wilmington  |  February 2, 2014 5:46 AM  |  170 views  |  No comments

    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. -
  • come walk with me in the garden | Awesome New Listing in The Cedars

    Posted Under: General Area in Wilmington, Home Buying in Wilmington, Investment Properties in Wilmington  |  January 24, 2014 9:14 AM  |  126 views  |  No comments


    Meticulously cared for and updated beautiful 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath w/bonus and sun-porch is a MUST SEE. New hardwoods throughout the home. Remodeled kitchen to include granite and stainless appliances. The spacious master suite leads into a spa like remodeled master bath with separate tiled shower, Jacuzzi tub, double vanity and large custom walk in closet. There is fireplace in the family room for those cozy nights Located in The Cedars @ Gorman Planation'' This home is in the most desirable school district, Ogden Elementary. Totally fenced incredible back yard with greenhouse and outside building. The space looks like an English Garden in the season. Large deck with swings allow you to sit and enjoy the beautiful gardens. Newer HVAC & water heater, water softener, roof and so much more. Home Warranty & Termite Bond. Ask Listing Agent for list of all updates to this home. All this and more located a very short distance to Wrightsville Beach and Mayfair shopping and dining areas.
    A must see.  www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com
  • New House vs. Re-sale House | Advantages

    Posted Under: General Area in Wilmington, Home Buying in Wilmington, Investment Properties in Wilmington  |  January 22, 2014 12:29 PM  |  84 views  |  No comments

    When looking for a community what are some advantages of buying a used house?

    Old TVAlthough 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 transferees 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 transferee goes to sell an "old" home they’ve got 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.
    • Cost savings

    • Resale homes generally are less expensive than similar new homes. One reason could be resale sellers have more bargaining room than builders who have to make a return on the high costs they recently paid for land and building materials. In fact, a 1991 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. Transferees 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, 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 transferee in today’s market.
  • Search Real Estate By Map and Criteria | Easy and Fast.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wilmington, In My Neighborhood in Wilmington, Investment Properties in Wilmington  |  January 20, 2014 10:18 AM  |  118 views  |  No comments
    Would you like to look at a map and pick homes from the location you would like to live in?  An easy way to search is to visit http://cbbaker.com/idx/residential/search/map 
    You can pick your zip code and area and fill in price range etc. and get listings that only fit the criteria you desire.  Use the advanced search on www.cbbaker.com to pick amenities and water features. 
  • Bank Owned Foreclosures | A Bargain?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wilmington, Foreclosure in Wilmington, Investment Properties in Wilmington  |  January 17, 2014 8:05 AM  |  134 views  |  No comments
    To view foreclosures in the area, please visit: http://cbbaker.com/foreclosureProperties
    6 Reasons Why Foreclosures Are Bargains
    Foreclosed or bank-owned homes are very attractive to buyers seeking bargains. They understand that lenders and government organizations don't really want to own homes, but would rather move their "non-performing assets" off the books as quickly as possible, minimizing carrying costs. That can mean a great value for the right buyer.

    Foreclosed vs Other "Bargains":

    Still, there are other bargain opportunities out there -- homes for sale in the pre-foreclosure stage (including short sales) and homes being sold at foreclosure auctions -- sometimes at discounts significantly better than at either other stage of foreclosure. So, why would a buyer prefer a foreclosed/bank-owned home?

    • Condition. Lenders and government organizations selling foreclosed properties sometimes make repairs that return these properties to livable condition before putting them on the market -- or they discount the prices accordingly to sell more quickly.

      Homes sold pre-foreclosure or at auction can be in much worse shape, either due to neglect by their cash-strapped former owners or damage caused by disgruntled residents or vandals. 

    • Inspections. With foreclosed homes, you have the opportunity to order professional inspections -- for structural integrity, systems, pests, mold, radon, etc. Although the home may be sold "as is," indicating the seller is not willing to rectify any problems, at least the buyer can find out in advance what problems the property may have. If buyers have inspections conducted before making a purchase offer, they don't have to go any further if the report shows problems they're not willing to deal with. Or, they can make a lower offer to factor in the costs of making needed repairs. If the buyer's intent is to conduct inspections after a sales contract is signed, buyers can include an inspection contingency in the contract that would allow them to terminate the sale if the inspection shows problems with the home. 

      Although professional inspections are also possible with pre-foreclosure and short sales, buyers of homes being sold at foreclosure auctions frequently do not have the opportunity to order professional inspections - and may not even be given time to conduct a personal inspection of the home's interior. These buyers take the risk that the home sold at auction - usually "as is" with no warranty or disclosure requirements -- comes with significant and costly physical problems that would have to be corrected at the buyer's expense after the purchase. 

    • Title issues. Sellers of most foreclosed homes will deliver a General Warranty Deed to the buyer, which guarantees that the seller owns the property and has the right to sell it. After repossessing the property, institutional owners - lenders or government agencies - will usually pay off any known outstanding liens and taxes, relieving the next buyer of those obligations. (However, buyers should still ensure a title search is conducted and purchase an owner's title insurance policy for extra protection.)

      With pre-foreclosure and auction sales, by contrast, the buyer must be wary of possible unsettled claims and unpaid taxes or liens that would transfer with the property - not uncommon with these types of sales. Even if the buyer conducts a title search and can negotiate to have those issues resolved, unrecorded liens can show up between the search and settlement/closing on the property. Paying off those obligations can be an expensive surprise that cuts into the savings from buying the discounted property. 

    • Evictions. By the time an institutional owner puts a foreclosed property on the market, former owners or tenants have already been evicted from the premises. 

      Buying a pre-foreclosure or auction property, however, risks being in the position of having to enforce evictions - often an expensive, frustrating and time-consuming process (in some states it can take up to a year to accomplish).

    • Ease of purchase. Although the process of buying a foreclosed property may present some additional wrinkles compared with buying a traditional home, the challenges pale in comparison with arranging the purchase of pre-foreclosure and auction sales. 

      With a short sale (a type of pre-foreclosure sale), you must not only negotiate with the seller, but also with the seller's lender(s), who can reject your negotiated deal with the seller if it does not meet the lender's requirements. In addition, the process can take many more weeks, sometimes months, to accomplish compared with a traditional home sale. In fact, many attempts at short sales never reach the settlement/closing table.

      Foreclosure auction sales present their own challenges, with bidding procedures that vary by location. In some states, bidders must bring to the auction the full amount of their bid in cash or a cashier's check. In other states, bidders must have a substantial cash deposit on auction day and be able to arrange financing for the remainder within a short period of time - sometimes as little as 24 hours -- or forfeit the deposit. In addition, a thorough knowledge of the local auction process is essential to winning an auction bid, which is why novices are seldom able to win over seasoned professionals at foreclosure auctions.

    • Redemption issues. Lenders may not put foreclosed homes on the market until the state's mandatory "right of redemption" period has expired. Not all states mandate a redemption period, but in states where they do exist they allow a specified amount of time for the foreclosed homeowner to buy back the property after it sells at auction. 

      If you purchase a home at auction, you may be in the position of having to turn it back over to the foreclosed homeowner who is able to reclaim it by buying it back from you. The buy-back price could simply be your costs of purchasing the property, not necessarily reimbursement for any improvements you make afterward - depending on how the state law is written. In addition, if a redemption period still applies to the home after you purchase it, you would be prevented from selling the home until the redemption period expires - which could be up to a year in some states.
    • Call us and we will walk you through the process.  Now is a great time to buy investment property in the area.
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