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"2015 Sales Team of the Year"

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OPEN HOUSE: 501 Scarlet Court

by "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

Stop by for a tour of this home and have all your questions answered. Every Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage open house you visit gets you entered in Coast In & Win for the chance to win $500!

501 Scarlet CourtSunday, July 31
501 Scarlet court

Hampsetad, NC 28443
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Realtor Kathy Bush will be hosting an open house this weekend at our listing located in Pecan Grove Plantation!

Property Details:
Gorgeous 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath custom home located on a cul-de-sac lot in popular Pecan Grove Plantation! Featuring a lovely rocking chair front porch and a convenient open floor plan, this home has a lot to offer. The great room boasts a fireplace flanked by built-ins and a spacious kitchen with granite countertops, a hop-up bar, and breakfast area. The large 1st floor master suite includes a Jacuzzi tub, separate shower, and his/her closets and vanities. On the 2nd floor are 3 bedrooms, a bonus room, and family room. Other features include a mud room, screened porch, central vacuum, tons of storage, and an encapsulated crawl space with a dehumidifier. Pecan Grove has some incredible amenities, including a clubhouse, fitness center, pool, boat ramp, boat storage area, tennis courts, playgrounds, and multiple day docks. 1-year home warranty included!

Click here for a map, more details, and pictures!

Easy Gardening with Kids

by Hannah from Happy Vikings

Easy Gardening with KidsTeaching kids to grow things is like eating chocolate cake for dinner. It’s sweet and you want to do it every day of the week. Besides, there is something soul nourishing about growing plants. Maybe it’s just the magic of nature, but something touches my heart whenever I put a seed or a plant in the ground and watch it flourish. That something multiplies when I watch my child learn to nurture and grow plants.

When gardening with kids, it’s important to let your agenda go and let them get dirty. Remember: it doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to be theirs. My ultimate goal is to teach my boys to love to learn and continually seek new experiences. Personally, I like to pack as much learning as I can into projects like this one. Nels is three and isn’t in any kind of structured school but he definitely benefits from conversation and picks up information super fast. I like to use big words when explaining things to him (like “photosynthesis” and “chlorophyll”) and though he might not be able to pronounce them yet, he understands the idea. Don’t be afraid to use big words, you’ll be amazed how quickly your kid’s vocabulary will increase, just by listening to you use your own vocabulary.

For our gardening project, we kept it very simple. Nels is three, and this is his first ever plant of his very own. When we were shopping for the plants, he inevitably first picked out azaleas, a beautiful but high maintenance house plant that hates hot weather. It gets up to 100 degrees here in the summer, so to avoid the impending disappointment when the plant will surely die, I talked him into daisies instead. Sweet and simple. Like chocolate cake.

Step 1: Gather your supplies. We got some potting soil out of the raised beds in the back yard, a jar and some pretty rocks, a flower pot and of course, the flowers. I don’t own any gardening gloves and we didn’t use a trowel, since I like to encourage Nels to get his hands dirty occasionally.

Supplies - Easy Gardening with Kids

We are constantly learning to find ways to be generous, so the jar will be for us to keep as decoration for the front stoop, and the blue pot will be given to a friend.

Step 2: Dump the white rocks in the bottom of the glass jar. Nels experimented with dropping the rocks in one-by-one, but quickly got bored and we decided it would be best to just dump them in all at once. Plus it made a delightful sound.

Add Rocks - Easy Gardening with Kids

Step 3: Fill part way with dirt. Most kids love to play in the dirt. If your little one is really enjoying themselves, make this step a good, long playtime. My kid prefers to keep his hands clean. I encouraged him to put his hands in the soil and asked him to describe what it felt like, then when he was done we washed his hands and I did the rest of the dirty work.

Add Dirt - Easy Gardening with Kids

Step 4: Set the flowers in the jar and top up with dirt. Here we took a few minutes to learn about the different parts of the flower and what they are for. The roots for soaking up water and nutrients, the leaves for soaking up sunlight and converting it to chlorophyll through photosynthesis (there are those big words!), the stems to hold the buds which eventually turn into flowers that give pollen and nectar to feed the bees and butterflies. Nels was very intrigued during the entire conversation and he asked a lot of questions. It was a totally new idea to him, and I could practically see the information being soaked into his brain.

Add Daisies - Easy Gardening with Kids

Step 5: Water and enjoy! We gave the flowers some water and placed our new arrangement prominently on the front stoop, for all our visitors to enjoy. Nels was a very proud boy after all that hard work!

Happy Nels - Easy Gardening with Kids

Now go, plant something with your kid and nourish your soul! And then eat chocolate cake for dinner, because life is so, so short and we all need some sweetness every day.

Hannah - Easy Gardening with KidsHannah is owner and author at happyvikings.net, where she blogs about simple living with a side of nerd. She is the wife of her very own happy viking and mother to two big boys. 

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Tuesday Tally - Pecan Grove Plantation

by "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

Melanie Cameron presents this week's Tuesday Tally from Pecan Grove Plantation in Hampstead, NC. Learn more about this beautiful waterfront community and get your Wilmington real estate market update for the week of 7/26/16.

New Construction Upgrades to Invest In

by Meghan Riley, "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

New Construction Upgrades to Invest In and Others to SkipWhen you’re building new construction on a budget, it’s important to be choosy about which upgrades you commit to. While the perfect scenario would allow you to select every upgrade you love, that’s not always possible. But how do you narrow down your list? Here are some upgrades we suggest you investigate at the time of building and our reasoning behind them.

Structural Elements

Thinking about expanding your family in the future or expect to need more space later on for other needs? Don’t hold back on the floor plan with a renovation in mind later. Adding on a room, closet, or garage can be more expensive on an established house than during a fresh build. The addition may also end up looking out of place, depending on your home’s design and materials, which could lower the market value.

Kitchen Cabinets

Choose the highest quality cabinets that you can afford and will be satisfied with. Kitchen cabinets are expensive to replace later on and tearing up the kitchen can be very disruptive for your household. It’s best to get this room’s bones exactly the way you want it before moving in. Hardware and other cosmetic details can be upgraded later.

Counters

Just as kitchen cabinets can be difficult and disruptive to upgrade later, so can counters. They can be problematic to cut and frustrating to fit just perfect, which could lead to additional costs later on. Paying extra for granite or another higher-quality countertop upfront definitely pays off in the long run. Luckily, many builders nowadays will offer deals on granite upgrades.

multi-head shower plumbingBathtubs and Showers

I’ve known many plumbers in my time and there’s one thing that I’ve heard them gripe about on more than one occasion – moving plumbing, especially if the home is on a slab. Tearing up a slab, tearing out a wall, trying to fit in extra pipe – it’s not fun! It can also be expensive. So, if you want a separate shower or spa tub, or another design requiring extra piping, try to get it done during the build. Even if you don’t have the upgraded fixtures put in right away, verify with the contractor that the current piping will be able to handle the extras.

Electrical Outlets and Light Fixtures         

Electrical is another upgrade that can be difficult to implement later on, because it can involve ripping out drywall and facing structural roadblocks that will prevent your ideal installation. While it’s easy to upgrade electrical plates, pendant lights, chandeliers, ceiling fans, etc., you should still make sure that you get the optimal number of electrical outlets (interior/exterior) and light fixtures (especially recessed) during building. The same can be said if you need any cable or specialty wiring installed in the home. Prevent the extra hassle down the road.

Flooring

Not all flooring is created equal, and the flooring you choose depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle, but it’s a good idea to get your ideal flooring in the main living areas installed during the build. Bedrooms and baths are easier to upgrade later than the areas of your home that will get the most traffic. So, if you can, invest in flooring upfront.

Paint

While paint is one of the easier fixes to make, it can pay off to invest in high-quality paint right off the bat, especially if you have an active home. High quality paint is easy to wash, fade resistant, and longer lasting. The less frequent you have to paint, the less hassle there is. No moving furniture. No paying a painter. No begging friends or family members to lend a hand. It’s a relatively cheap and worthwhile upgrade compared to others.

HVAC and Other Systems

Paying extra money to make sure you have a reliable, energy efficient HVAC system will pay off in the long run, especially if you live in the South. It will save you money every month and prevent future repairs and maintenance. That really adds up for homeowners. Similar can be Wainscotingsaid for shingles, hot water heaters, appliances, and insulation. Energy savers mean more money in your pocket. Luckily, we have some very good builders in Southeastern North Carolina that excel energy standards, so they may already be included.

So, what upgrades does this leave not to invest in? Crown molding, wainscoting, fancy light fixtures, high grade faucets, upscale windows or blinds, cabinet hardware, built-in shelves, extra landscaping, a sprinkler system, fence, etc. These are all things that can be added later.

Are we saying you shouldn’t invest in any of them at build? No. If you really want or need them and can afford them, go for it! Otherwise, the key to a good build is investing in the things that can’t easily be changed and that will save you money in the long run.

Have questions about buying new construction in the Wilmington area? Give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our contact page.

 

Tuesday Tally from Port City Marina, Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

Developer Chuck Schoninger shares with Melanie Cameron an update on the riverfront development in Downtown Wilmington, NC. Watch to see pictures and learn more about the future of the Port City Marina, Pier 33 bandshell/concert venue, and restaurants (Blackfinn and Vida). Also, stick around to the very end to get your update on the Wilmington real estate market for the week of 7/19/16.

Music track courtesy of http://www.bensound.com.


Pokémon Go a Headache for Some Homeowners

by Meghan Riley, "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

Pokemon GoIf you haven’t heard of Pokémon Go, you’re either living under a rock or have successfully learned to live off the grid. If the latter is the case, I really hope it’s in a beautiful tropical location with drinks on the beach and a pet parrot named Rad Charlie. That would be awesome. Alas, if you’re reading this, that’s probably not the case.

As someone who does a lot of social media thanks to my job, I’ve seen the cascading waterfall of articles, news reports, blog posts, memes, and general status updates about Pokémon Go. There’s a lot of hostility out there, mostly from people who have never played Pokémon or don’t understand the culture behind it. But there’s also a lot of love.

I admit it, I’m a grown woman, and I play Pokémon Go. Do I trek across Wilmington looking for whatever rare Pokémon I can find? No. But when I’m in a waiting room or walking around my neighborhood, I’ll pull out my phone and see what’s around. Believe me, it’s a good bit of motivation to keep going a tad bit further when all I want to do is plop down all this extra weight I’m carrying for Baby #2.

With that said, I have experience with this game, and I have multiple people in my family who play as well. That’s why so many of the Pokémon Go issues that have arisen have me scratching my head, especially those concerning homeowners.

Trespassing? Players knocking on doors asking to go inside or in the back yard? Hanging out in neighborhood parks all night?

The developer of Pokémon Go, Niantic, has made it possible to walk down the street, just as anyone would walking their dog or taking a jog, and get a multitude of Pokémon. Players can initiate interactions with Pokémon from 50+ feet away. There are a TON of Pokéstops and plenty of gyms to choose from. There’s no need to bother anyone, break laws, or trespass on private property. But why are homeowners having to deal with this?

Lack of self-control and guidance. People are becoming obsessed with catching them all. Why? First, the concept is simple and rewarding, even if it is superficial. Second, the game is free…for the most part. Yes, there is a shop for buying things, but you don’t need to in order to play. Mix those two factors with the fact that most people have a smartphone nowadays and you get the perfect outlet for people trying to deal with all the ugliness that’s been happening in the world (terrorism, politics, death…).

People want to blame Niantic for the negative things that have followed the game, but this isn’t the first augmented-reality massively multiplayer online location-based game. It’s just been the most anticipated and adopted. When Ingress, a similar game, launched, we didn’t see all of these reports of crime and negligence and, guess what, it was created by the same company. But Pokémon has years of users to draw from. It was created in 1995 and has been produced as video games, card games, cartoons, and more, so it has touched many people’s lives. The only argument I can see is that they could have released more detailed instructions for the game instead of making everyone guess its limits.

However, the true fault falls on the user. Too many adults don’t know when to stop and withdraw from the augmented reality. They’re incapable of reminding themselves that there will always be another opportunity, another time and place to catch that Pokémon. There’s no need to play while driving or to go on private property. Most importantly, the app can be turned off and returned to later.

It’s also a problem that a massive chunk of users are young people who either lack the parenting or life experiences to know better, like understanding that sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night to hunt in their neighbor’s back yard could get them shot. But this is just another learning curve, sadly one that everyone is being forced to ride out together.

It’s important as a society that we realize this isn’t going to be the last game of this kind. There will be more technological marvels that will push our collective tolerance. There have and always will be people who lack common sense or purposely try to cause trouble for others. That’s part of the human species. Just wait until the virtual reality consoles are released in full force. It’s this same group of people who will face health issues when they can’t stop playing long enough to supplement basic biological needs or try to con others out of money while playing the games. It’s a sad fact, but something we can protect ourselves against if we all admit the threat is there.

As for homeowners, they should be reassured that, like many other fads, interest in this one will die down. Until that happens, they should be proactive. They should think before reacting and call the police if someone is trespassing, including in neighborhood parks, which often close at dusk or a posted time in the Wilmington area. Include the HOA or neighborhood watch in keeping people aware of rules for nearby Pokéstops and hunting. Not everyone may be familiar with how the game works, parents included.

Like every other website, app, and game, there are unintended glitches and consequences when they launch. There’s ALWAYS issues to work out and Niantic will address the serious ones. There’s too much public pressure not to. Pokéstops were determined by a massive algorithm they thought was sufficient for its purpose. They will likely honor requests to have specific locations removed, but it will take time.

Until then, everyone should keep in mind the root of why this game is so popular, even if it’s not something they understand or particularly care for, and remember that it has brought about positive change by making people exercise and visit local landmarks. It’s even brought patrons to local businesses that have Pokéstops or Pokégyms nearby. Nothing too serious has yet happened in Wilmington, but a little bit of understanding could prevent serious problems down the road.

Finally, a little bit of real estate humor to send your way thanks to the folks at The Lighter Side of Real Estate:

The Lighter Side of Real Estate - Pokemon

Melton Oaks in Wilmington, NC

by Meghan Riley, "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

Kellye Brill, Buyer Specialist with The Cameron Team, shares some pictures and info from the new community of Melton Oaks in Wilmington, NC. Want to know more or have questions about buying? Give Kellye a call at (252) 489-0290!


6 DIY Laundry Sorters to Get You Organized

by Meghan Riley, "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

Have piles of sheets dotting the laundry room floor…dirty clothes littering bedrooms…sports attire shoved in the corner? Then, you’re in need of a good laundry sorter. There are many temporary options available for purchase, but a good DIY project can help you to maximize space and keep your home looking nice. Here are 6 of our favorites (plus, check out the bonus at the end):

1. Built-In Laundry Organizer

If you have a tall, skinny space, this built-in laundry organizer from Ashley at Make It & Love It is the perfect DIY project for you. There are complete step-by-step instructions with pictures and a supply list on the blog, so you or your handyman can see exactly what needs to be done.

Built-in Laundry Basket Organizer - Make It Love It 

2. Simple Laundry Basket Shelf

Sometimes all you need is something simple and that’s the case with this DIY laundry basket shelf from Emma Chapman on A Beautiful Mess. It’s made from plywood and there’s a full step-by-step tutorial on the blog to show you how it was done. Plus, it can be painted to match your laundry room’s current décor.

Simple Laundry Basket Shelf - A Beautiful Mess 

3. Pull Out Hampers

Adding new cabinets to your laundry room? Consider installing some pull-out hampers, like these shared on The Sunny Side Up Blog. They stay concealed throughout the day to keep your laundry room looking neat.

Pull Out Hampers - The Sunny Side Up Blog 

4. Laundry Basket Dresser

Creating a central laundry drop-off that’s neat and classy looking can be difficult, especially if you have kids. This DIY project shared by Shanty2Chic is the perfect option for a bedroom hallway or second floor landing. Whitney provides lots of pictures from the project on the blog and you can download free plans.

DIY Laundry Sorter - Shanty2Chic 

5. Bag Laundry Sorters

Looking for an alternative to laundry baskets? The Pin Junkie shared this laundry bag station in her laundry room reveal. They’re reinforced so they stay open when hung making it easy to drop clothing inside. Plus, they can be easily removed and transported to the washer. See where she got the bags on her blog.

Bag Laundry Sorters - The Pin Junkie 

6. Laundry Pedestal

Don’t have much side room, but still want a place to put your laundry baskets? Consider going up! That is raising your washer and dryer. The folks over at Addicted 2 DIY built this laundry pedestal for just $125 (much cheaper than store-bought pedestals) and they’ve provided step-by-step instructions on how to do it yourself.  

DIY Laundry Pedestal - Addicted 2 DIY

As a bonus, here are 15 Free Printables for Your Laundry Room from Little Gold Pixel. For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest board Lasting Laundry Rooms.

Have a great DIY laundry sorter to share? Leave a comment!


6 DIY Laundry Sorters to Get You Organized

Tuesday Tally from Seawatch, Kure Beach

by Beth Anne Linden, "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

Melanie Cameron presents this week's Tuesday Tally from Seawatch in Kure Beach, NC! Learn about this colorful beach community and get the real estate market stats for the week.

Can I Negotiate a Lower Price on New Construction?

by Meghan Riley, "2015 Sales Team of the Year"

Can I Negotiate a Lower Price on New Construction?There are two major types of homes you can buy – resale and new construction. Each comes with its own benefits, expectations, and conditions for the purchase process, and deciding between the two should rest solely on the buyer’s needs and wants. One of the major differences between buying a resale home or buying a new construction home is the negotiation process. Before making an offer on a new construction home, a buyer should have a clear understanding of this, because their own expectations can affect the final sale price.

Before the recession, amazing things were happening in the real estate market. Were they all good? No. Otherwise, the recession probably wouldn’t have happened. What’s really important is to note that the deep plummet the market took during the recession caused a lot of changes and sometimes buyer expectations are still stuck pre-recession when there was a lot more equity and profit to work with.

When the recession occurred, a lot of builders, craftsman, and carpenters either went out of business or were forced to cut their workforce and projects. As the real estate market recovered, new jobs and projects were slowly added, but much of the workforce had already moved on to other careers. This put a cramp in their ability to meet demand as markets started to heat up. To sell homes, they had to greatly cut their prices and their profits, which reduced the income they could invest in new projects. This slowed new construction starts and the recovery of the real estate market.

While the new construction market continues to improve, builders are still taking a strict approach to how they price and sell homes. This is why there is little room to negotiate on the purchase price of a new construction home. They have a specific value per cost of materials assigned for every feature included in the home, and they rarely stray from it. However, this does not mean there aren’t any deals.

Depending on the stage of construction the home is in, changes may be able to be made to the materials and fixtures used in the home, as well as the included features. Opting for a slightly different floor plan, countertop, chandelier, etc. could lower the price of the home while still providing the buyer with the benefits of a brand new home. The builder’s sales rep will be able to provide an explanation of all available options.

Builders also sometimes provide buyer incentives. These are usually contingent upon changes in material costs, profits, and their partners. The incentives may include paying closing costs if a preferred lender is used, providing free upgrades on specific inventory homes, giving gift cards to home stores, paying HOA dues, etc. Some incentives are provided long-term, others are part of monthly promotions. Realtors are usually notified of promotions by the builders, so make sure you ask yours if they know of any current deals.

If you’re interested in buying a home in the Wilmington area, give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page. We’d be happy to discuss your options. We handle both resale and new construction purchases.

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The Cameron Team
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage
1001 Military Cutoff Suite 101
Wilmington NC 28405
Office: 910.202.2546
Toll Free: 800.522.9624
Fax: 910.795.4723

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Wilmington, NC 28405

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