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Wilmington NC real estate

Blog about Wilmington NC real estate

By Kay Baker Associates | Broker in Wilmington, NC
  • Today's Homes Are Built And Modified "Eco"nomically

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wilmington, Investment Properties in Wilmington, Home Ownership in Wilmington  |  September 17, 2014 12:50 PM  |  44 views  |  1 comment

    As energy prices increase and the nation searches for cheaper renewable resources, the housing industry has been improving the way it builds and remodels homes. Today's homes and building materials are more environmentally responsible than ever--conserving resources, using recycled materials and building for longevity.

    The National Association of Home Builders reports the following "green" innovations. Be sure to look for them if you're shopping for a new home or consider installing them if you're remodeling or repairing a home you already own.

    • More-durable roof coverings
    • such as steel and fiber-cement
    • More and better insulation
    • in walls and attics, conserving energy, lowering utility bills and reducing pollution related to energy production
    • OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and laminated fiberboard
    • made from smaller younger trees, replacing plywood on roofs and board sheathing in walls, both made from larger, older trees
    • Greater use of carpet, sheet vinyl and laminates
    • rather than wood flooring that taxes lumber supplies
    • Foundation insulation
    • to reduce energy loss while providing more-comfortable floors
    • Insulated exterior doors and windows with insulating and low-E glass
    • to keep homes more comfortable and energy efficient
    • Vinyl siding and fiber cement siding
    • , reducing the use of cedar, redwood and other wood products
    • High-efficiency heating, cooling, and water-heating equipment
    • to cut energy consumption
    • Water-saving appliances and plumbing fixtures
    • to reduce water use. They also require less energy to heat water
    • Factory-built components
    • , such as trusses and pre-hung doors, resulting in more-economical use of materials than cutting wood on the job site
    • Recycled plastic "lumber"
    • instead of weather-resistant woods (e.g., redwood) for decks, porches, trim and fencing
    • High-efficiency refrigerators
    • that use less energy and operate using refrigerants that have less potential impact on the ozone layer
    • Passive solar designs
    • using the sun's "free" energy to help heat homes
    • Xeriscaping
    • , which employs native plants that can thrive with little or no extra watering
    • Tree preservation
    • around homes to provide shade, reducing summer energy costs.
  • How To Figure Out The Value of Donated Items

    Posted Under: General Area in Wilmington, Home Selling in Wilmington, Home Ownership in Wilmington  |  April 28, 2014 8:13 AM  |  425 views  |  No comments

    Have you started cleaning out your garage, basement and closets in preparation for selling your home? Chances are you'll be sending some of your accumulated stuff off to charity. Don't forget to get an itemized receipt so you can deduct your donations on your tax return.

    IRS Publication 561, "Determining the Value of Donated Property," discusses how to calculate the fair market value of donations such as clothing, collections, books and cars. To view the publication online, go to http://ftp.fedworld.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p561.pdf. And be sure to consult a tax professional if you have any questions when itemizing your deductions.

    Do you have any questions about selling your home? We would be happy to answer them. No obligation, no pressure -- just lots of useful information. We promise!

    P.S. We'd like to provide you with some information right now. It's our FREE special report that every home seller needs to see, HOME SELLER: How To Put Your Sale On The Fast Track. It's yours instantly -- simply click the link.
    For more seller information and to view the Wilmington NC real estate market we invite you to visit https://www.cbbaker.com

  • You're About To Lose Your Mortgage Interest Deduction. | Help Save It NOW!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wilmington, Home Selling in Wilmington, Home Ownership in Wilmington  |  May 31, 2013 9:22 AM  |  396 views  |  No comments
    Join us in trying to keep the American dream of owning a home, a reality. 

    Tax Reform Should Not Make Middle Class Families Pay More!

    mockupsite6_splash2_03The North Carolina Senate tax reform plan calls for 170 new service taxes.   And it eliminates the home mortgage and property tax deductions for North Carolina homeowners.  Efforts to eliminate the mortgage interest and property tax deductions will hurt our recovering economy, will lower home values and threaten new job creation.

    Eliminating the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction—and adding over 100 new service taxes— isn’t tax reform, it just makes families pay more.

    Tax reform should not make middle class families pay more– contact your elected official now! 

    Get the full facts here......

    Tax Reform Facts
    Help Get the Facts Out! arrow
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  • I Wanna Bee... A Good Neighbor | Volunteer OP! Help Repair Homes In Need.

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Wilmington, In My Neighborhood in Wilmington, Home Ownership in Wilmington  |  May 7, 2013 8:41 AM  |  342 views  |  1 comment
    Perfect volunteer opportunity.  Register at www.wrar.com and help Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry. 


  • Just Got A Offer To Purchase on Your Home? What to Expect Next....

    Posted Under: General Area in Wilmington, Home Selling in Wilmington, Home Ownership in Wilmington  |  May 6, 2013 11:20 AM  |  316 views  |  No comments

    Got a contract on your home? Congratulations!  Here are a couple of things that you can expect before you sit down at the settlement table and how you should prepare.

    Once you've signed a sales contract with a buyer, many things have to be accomplished before the terms of that contract are fulfilled at settlement. Quite a few of these details will be handled by the buyers, their real estate agent and their lender. You can count on us to coordinate all the players along the way. You’ll have to make your home, and perhaps yourself, available for the appraisal, home inspection and pest inspection.

    Settlement Date

    An offer to purchase a home typically includes a settlement date. Remember that this is an estimated date for settlement. Many things can crop up to cause delays:
    • Problems with the buyer's credit history that must be explained.
    • Delays in processing loan paperwork.
    • Delays in the property's appraisal.
    • Inspections and/or repairs that must be completed before settlement.
    • Liens against the property that need to be resolved.
    • Personal problems (such as a death in the family) that lead to rescheduling.
    A settlement delay does not necessarily mean the transaction is falling apart. Many problems can be straightened out in a day or so, and most transactions do go to settlement eventually. The key is to remain flexible and available to deal with any problems that arise.


    Anything you can do to improve your home's inspection report is worth handling before the inspection occurs. If you did a good job preparing your home for sale before you put it on the market -- tightening door knobs, unsticking windows, fixing leaky faucets -- you're almost all set. Now you just need to go back through your home to make sure nothing else went awry in the interim. Take a few minutes to make sure your furnace has a clean filter and that all light fixtures have working bulbs.

    Despite your best efforts, a professional inspector may find problems with your home you've never been aware of. If your contract says you're responsible for them, be sure to schedule repairs as quickly as possible so as not to delay settlement. If the buyer has the legal option to walk away after the inspection, we may need to renegotiate the contract at a different price or with different terms.


    Your buyer's lenders will want your property surveyed to ensure against boundary-line encroachments. For example, if a neighbor's fence or shed is found to be over your property line, it will be your responsibility to make sure it's disassembled and moved back to where it belongs. The same holds true if your fence or other structure crosses into a neighbor's yard.

    Moving Out

    In many cases, the settlement date is also the occupancy date for the buyer. It's your responsibility to have your possessions moved out of the house by the occupancy date your sales contract specifies. In addition, most contracts require that the property be cleaned before it is transferred. You'll have to make arrangement to clean it yourself or have a professional do the job after your possessions have been removed.


    Just before the settlement meeting (perhaps the evening before if the settlement is scheduled early in the morning), your buyer and his or her agent will do a "walk through" of your home to check its condition. During this last-minute inspection, the buyer will look to ensure that all repairs have been made as agreed upon and that no new problems have developed. If the home is supposed to be empty and clean, the buyer will want to ensure that it is.


    If all goes well, you'll be relieved to sit down at the settlement table with the buyer and finalize the sale of your home. You'll have lots of paperwork to sign, which the settlement officer will explain as you go along. This is no time to be sheepish if you have any questions. Once settlement is complete, it is difficult to undo what's been signed and dated by all parties involved.

    If for some reason you are unable to attend the settlement meeting, you'll need to make arrangements ahead of time, giving Power Of Attorney (POA) to someone who can sign paperwork for you. Sometimes, we are asked to take on this responsibility, but you can designate anyone to represent you. Note that if your spouse's name is on the deed and mortgage, he or she will need to attend settlement or give POA to you or someone else.

    What Happens If Your Sales Contract Fails?

    Home-sale contracts don't always go to settlement. Keeping the security deposit or earnest money that came with the contract (and went into an escrow account) is one way you could be compensated if the contract collapses.

    Do you have a right to the earnest money? That depends on how clearly you and the buyer spelled out, in the contract, what would happen with the money if the contract fell through.

    If, for instance, the contract fails for lack of financing or due to a pre-agreed-upon home inspection problem, the deposit would normally revert back to the buyer. However, if the buyer was unable to get financing because he undermined his creditworthiness (say by purchasing a car just before loan approval), then you might have a right to keep the deposit.

    Contracts that fail because a defect in the property is discovered can be costly. The expense and time needed to fix the problem may delay getting the home back on the market. Added to that, you would receive no compensation.

    It is always safe to get a home inspection on a property you are buying. 
  • Moving on .... House Hunting With Kids....| Wilmington NC real estate

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Wilmington, In My Neighborhood in Wilmington, Home Ownership in Wilmington  |  May 2, 2013 4:37 AM  |  384 views  |  No comments

      Child experts agree it's a good idea to involve the children when a family makes relocation plans. You may have mixed feelings about taking the kids house-hunting, however. (It's hard enough for just two people to decide on a new home!) Here are a few pointers that may help:

    Narrow The Field First

    The kids don't need to visit every potential house on the list. If possible, wait until you've selected two or three serious prospects before bringing the children along. In any case, limit your kid-accompanied tours to three houses or less per day.

    Provide Behavioral Guidelines

    {short description of image} Remind the kids to treat the owners and their property with respect. Make sure the kids stay in the same room with you at all times and that they "keep their hands to themselves."

    If the owners are present, your family members should also keep their thoughts about the house to themselves until after you leave the property. Making positive comments in the presence of the owners could work against you when negotiating the price, while negative comments could spark a hostile reaction, causing the owner to sell to another buyer.

    Make The Kids Your Secretaries

    If they're old enough, your children can each keep a log of the homes you look at, including detailed information about the house -- location, size, types and numbers of rooms, etc. Have them describe they're feelings about the house, too, particularly what they think it would be like to live there.

    Locate The Nearest Playground

    A post-tour trip to the park (or local mall, if you have teenagers) can be a great motivator for good behavior and a nice way to get to know the area. Walking the streets in the neighborhood will also give you and the kids a better feeling for the local lifestyle and whether there are other children the same age as yours in the area.

    Offer Entertainment

    Bring along books or games to help your kids through the "I'm bored" stage. If you'll be driving for extended periods, bring some audio books or favorite music.

    Time Your Tours For Success

    Plan to look at houses early in the day or just after (certainly not during) nap time. Be prepared with snack foods and drinks to keep energy levels up.

    Let Them Know Their Input Counts.

    Although the final decision is yours, your children will feel better about the move if they know you value what they think about their potential new home and neighborhood.

    For all your Wilmington NC real estate needs, please visit www.cbbaker.com
  • Remodeling? Should you DIY it? | Wilmington NC real estate

    Posted Under: Curb Appeal in Wilmington, Remodel & Renovate in Wilmington, Home Ownership in Wilmington  |  April 26, 2013 9:55 AM  |  517 views  |  No comments
    Being Handy Pays Handsomely.
    Most homeowners have a list of things they would like to do to change and improve their homes. But moving those plans off the list and into reality is often prevented by costs, especially for labor. That's why so many homeowners have adopted the "do-it-yourself" approach. Should you? Look for ideas online www.cbbaker.com.

    Don't think you have to be an expert in masonry, carpentry, plumbing and electrical work to make your own home improvements. You can get help from books, magazines, videos, the Internet, or you could take a class with hands-on instruction. A bonus: When you learn to remodel, you'll become a better maintenance person, saving yourself future repair costs.

    If you're just developing your handyperson skills, here are a few tips for getting the job done right at a cost savings:

    • Start with modest projects,
    • especially those with low materials costs (e.g., painting). That way you can afford to redo the project if your first attempt isn't quite up to snuff.
    • Research and plan before diving in.
    • Get the training you need or talk with experts, then outline each step of the process on paper.
    • Buy, borrow or rent the proper tools.
    • Having the right tools when you need them is critical to doing any job efficiently and well.
    • If you lack the skills, patience or time to do the entire project, just do part of it.
    • You can ask contractors for bids that list the cost of each phase of the project, from preparation to finishing, plus materials. You may be able to save a lot by knocking down a wall yourself, removing old flooring or painting a newly installed wall.
    • Work with the professionals.
    • By becoming one of the "crew," you can cut the overall cost of the project and learn a lot in the process.
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