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Wilmington Weekly Update - Changes to 4th of July Parking and Yard Debris Pickup

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Our weekly round-up of news stories making their way around Wilmington, North Carolina.

Instagram of the Week:

 

In Case You Missed It

Due to construction on the Third Street Bridge in Wilmington, parking for the Independence Day celebration has changed. Officials urge people to park on the side of downtown closest to where they live in order to make exiting as easy as possible. You can see a map of where police will be directing people on WECT.  

The City of Wilmington has updated their regulations for yard debris pickup. They include how much can be placed, the size of limbs, the delivery, and placement of debris. See the details on Port City Daily.

City officials broke ground on Sawmill Point, a brand new development of upscale residential apartments on Nutt Street. Once completed, the apartment complex will have 280 units, an outdoor swimming pool, fitness and yoga center, and access to a 42-slip marina nearby. Learn more on Port City Daily.

Wave Transit has just introduced two compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) “green” buses to their fleet. The buses cost Wave more upfront, but will be cheaper and more beneficial to the environment in the long run. They don’t emit carbon dioxide and the fuel costs less than half of the diesel of the other buses. Learn more at Star News Online.

Just in time for the 4th of July, Uber has expanded from Wilmington to area beach towns. Customers can now request rides in Oak Island, Wrightsville Beach, and Carolina Beach. Learn more at Star News Online.

Battleship Blast in Wilmington NCComing Up

Starting tonight, there are 10 places in the Greater Wilmington area to see fireworks. Wherever you are – Calabash, Southport, Ocean Isle, Surf City, Carolina Beach, Holly Ridge, Jacksonville, and, of course, Wilmington. See a full list at Star News Online.

How Long is the Average Commute in Wilmington?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

One of the top factors that contributes to choosing a home to purchase is how near it is to the buyer’s workplace. Wilmington is a metro area with a population over 260,000. It’s a beautiful area, but traffic can be a concern, especially when a buyer wants to purchase along the water, but works further inside the county.

A study from the U.S. Census Bureau can give a buyer an idea of what to expect of commute times in the Wilmington area. There’s a database users can search to find out the average commute time for a number of metro areas. Here are the results for Wilmington:

Wilmington NC Commute Times

Wilmington NC Commute Times 

Wilmington falls below both the mean commute time for all metro areas, as well as the mean population. The average commute time is 23 minutes, which is faster than the national average. Additionally, the method of commuting – driving alone, carpooling, or public transportation – doesn’t make a huge difference on the commute time. It’s important to remember that public transportation isn’t available everywhere, so that segment of data probably only reflects the areas that are covered. Still, the commute times don’t vary by much.  

Of course, the best way to find out how long a commute will be is to take a test drive during peak hours. This should be done prior to making an offer on a home, and always part of measures taken during the Due Diligence Period. If the commute is too long, this will provide a buyer plenty of safety net for avoiding any loss of earnest money.

Visitors may be happy to know that our listing pages display a Walk Score for each property, so buyers know how close it is to certain amenities and businesses. If you have any questions about community locations in the Wilmington area, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

 

5 Inspiring Wood Decks

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

5 Inspiring Wood DecksAs we stated in our list of outdoor renovation projects with a high return on investment (ROI), you won’t get as much money back with the installation of a vinyl deck as compared to a wood deck. A wood deck has an average ROI of 80.5%. A vinyl deck is closer to 70%. Are you concerned that a wood deck won’t be as awe inspiring as a vinyl one? Here are 5 beautiful examples of wood decks!

Brittany Fleming’s Deck on a Budget

When Designer Brittany Fleming remodeled her ranch home, she wanted to add her own design flair. The Luke Phillips swing bed was her inspiration, which eventually led to a fully covered sitting area on her back yard deck. A metal roof and fans help keep visitors cool, while hanging window frames, a chevron rug, and pillows add a chic look. If you like coastal design, you’ll also want to check out the interior on Mobile Bay.

Brittan Fleming's Deck - Mobile Bay

Built-In Planters from This Old House

Adding built-ins to a wood deck is a great way to leave an impression on visitors. This Old House has a great gallery of design ideas and his two-tiered deck with built-in planters is one of our favorite. The planters, which line the back of a sitting area, is a wonderful way to add color to a large deck, while keeping it clear of pots that may eventually leave rings or get in the way of people walking. See the whole gallery on This Old House.

Built-In Planters from This Old House

Hickory Dickory Decks’ Fire Pit Fun

This 1,400 square foot cedar deck was built by Hickory Dickory Decks. It has a spa, deck, gazebo, planter, sitting area, bar, and, best of all, a built in fire-pit; so there’s a little bit of everything. They have many years of experience building decks, so there is a great gallery on their website, which you can see here.

Hickory Dickory Decks’ Fire Pit Fun

Stylish Two-Color Deck from Jambic

Popular among newer homes, two-color decks are characterized by a wood color on the main walkways and white on the railings. This effect can be created with both wood and vinyl decks, so there’s no need to dish out extra money to get it. It’s even great for smaller decks. For even more examples of attractive wood decks, visit Jambic.

Stylish Two-Color Deck from Jambic

This Old House’s Private Oasis

Here’s another great one from This Old House that I stumbled across. Privacy is an important feature for decks, but you don’t always have the lot to achieve it naturally. That’s when it’s time to install a privacy barrier. This wood deck is a good example of how you can do this while keeping the design comfortable and classy looking. Need more home design ideas? You can see 25 of their most popular pins on their website.

This Old House’s Private Oasis

Need a Wilmington area deck designer or builder, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’d be happy to refer you to a reputable professional.

Video: A Peek at Parsley Woods in Wilmington NC

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Kellye Brill, Buyer Specialist with The Cameron Team, gives us a peek at the community of Parsley Woods located off Wrightsville Ave in Wilmington, NC.

View homes for sale in Parsley Woods.

Have a question about this community? Contact Kellye!

Kellye Brill, Broker/REALTOR
910-202-3605  Direct
252-489-0290 Cell
Email Kellye

Video: A Sneak Peek of RiverLights in Wilmington NC

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Melanie Cameron of The Cameron Team gives you a sneak peek at the master planned community of RiverLights, currently in development on River Road in Wilmington, NC.

For more info, contact Melanie! She'll be keeping up with all news for the RiverLights community.

Melanie Cameron
Broker/REALTOR®
(910) 202-2546

Email Melanie


**Images provided courtesy of RiverLights and Newland Communities, and are subject to copyright. Newland Communities has the right to change renderings and community features at any time. The Cameron Team is in no way endorsed by or affiliated with NNP IV Cape Fear River, LLC, Newland Communities or North America Sekisui House and has put together this video as a means for connecting with prospective homebuyers. This not a paid advertisement by Newland, NNP IV Cape Fear River, LLC or NASH.**

Monday Market Update - How Long Does it Take a Home to Sell in Wilmington?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateA survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors® revealed that 45% of homes sold nationwide in May 2015 were on the market for less than a month. This is up from 40% in May 2014. The survey also revealed that short sales were on the market the longest with a median of 131 days. Foreclosed homes sat at a median 56 days. Why do these statistics matter? Because they help create realistic expectations for sellers and help buyers to weigh which home may be better suited to their needs.

Pent up inventory is leading to homes being sold quickly, but not ALL homes. Price, condition, and location still matter. If the home is well prepared and priced according to fair market value, the chances of it selling quickly are higher.

may 2015 dom

While the real estate market is on the brink of becoming a seller’s market, buyers are still out looking for a deal and many head straight to distressed properties – bank owned homes and short sales.  However, many buyers are on a deadline. They may need to be moved before a new job begins or by the time school starts, and foreclosed home or short sale may not fit into that deadline. OR they may be torn between a short sale and a foreclosure. Knowing short sales are taking longer to close may be the fact they need to know in order to choose the foreclosure...Then again, it may not. It all depends on the buyer.

But how do these stats compare to sales in Greater Wilmington? 31.8% of the homes sold in May 2015 were on the market for less than a month, up from 21% in May 2014. Just like the national numbers, short sales spent the longest time on the market with a median 307 days; however, this stat was greatly skewed thanks to two properties that were on the market for close to two years. They appeared to be special situations. Matter-of-fact, the median days for April 2015 were 234. On the other end of the spectrum, foreclosed homes were on the market a median of 73 days.

Overall, we’re a bit behind the national numbers, but the national numbers include a wide variety of markets. Those hit the hardest in the recession are making some of the biggest comebacks. Locally, we’re seeing significant improvements over last year’s numbers and that’s what matters the most.

If you’d like to track your home’s value, we have an automated service at WilmingtonHomeValuesOnline.com, which considers the general features of your property. If you’re seriously considering listing, give us a call! We’d be happy to take a closer look at your home and comparable solds to give you an idea of what your time on the market may look like.  

*These stats were pulled from the Wilmington Association of Realtors (WRAR) Multiple Listing Service the date of this blog.

Family-Friendly Places in Wilmington for Getting Out of the Heat

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Family-Friendly Places in Wilmington for Getting Out of the HeatWe love summer. We love the beach. We love boating. We love the boardwalks. We love everything that means enjoying the outdoors. But sometimes the heat and humidity reaches a point where you just need a break. Luckily, Wilmington has plenty of opportunities to get out of the sun while still enjoying a fun activity. Here’s our top 10, in no particular order.

  1. DefyGravity. Need to get active, but don’t want to face the heat? Spend a few hours at DefyGravity Trampoline Park on Market Street. This is a new addition to the Wilmington area and it’s been a big hit so far. It’s a 23,000 square-foot facility filled with trampolines, foam pits, and dodgeball cages. There are competitive sports to partake in, as well as fitness classes. There are timeframes reserved for certain age groups. 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. are for kids 6 and under only. For additional schedules, visit their website.
  2. Cape Fear Museum. If you’re looking to enrich your knowledge of local history, take a tour of the Cape Fear Museum. There are some permanent exhibits about our area, including one specifically about Michael Jordan, as well as exhibits that are changed out on a regular basis, so there’s always something new. They also have interactive exhibits and hands-on programs for kids and families. For a full schedule and info on their current exhibits, visit their website.
  3. Cameron Art Museum. It’s not just art on display! The CAM has many scheduled events, including live concerts and classes, plus there are nature trails, a history path with markers, and an excellent café. So, when you visit to view the art (some of which is interactive), make sure you take a look around and have lunch!
  4. Cape Fear Games. Do you love board and card games? Cape Fear Games on Oleander Dr. has tables setup, so people can stop in and play. Bring friends or make new ones! There are scheduled tournaments, so be sure to check their website before visiting.
  5. Jungle Rapids. This family fun park has indoor and outdoor features, but the main reason it’s on this list is the indoor arcade, laser tag, rock wall, and play area. It’s best suited for families and kids. There’s a little bit of everything to keep you entertained.
  6. Thalian Hall. Be transported to another place and time with one of the many productions performed at Thalian Hall. The schedule is constantly changing, so there’s always something new. Performances include musicals, plays, children’s theater, symphonies, quartets, choruses, opera, etc. Additionally, they show Cinematique films. See the full schedule on their website.
  7. Cardinal Lanes. There are two locations for Cardinal Lanes, Market Street and Shipyard Blvd. The prices are always reasonable and the staff’s friendly. There’s also a snack bar daily and Rock N’ Bowl on the weekend. Kids love the bowling alley and it’s always a blast, even if you aren’t the best bowler.
  8. Power of Play. Located on Gordon Rd., Power of Play is like an inside playground. There are a number of playsets, just like you would see at the park, plus dress-up and play stations (doctor’s office, farm, café, grocery, etc. They have something for kids 1-11 years-old and they only charge for children (a day pass), not adults.
  9. New Hanover County Library. The NHC Library has done an amazing job at providing a diverse schedule of events from story time to crafts to mom-only events to the chance to meet local heroes (firefighters, policeman, etc.). There’s always something happening at each branch. At the main branch, there’s a room made especially for children. It’s called Story Space and has interactive features for children to create their own stories. Plus, there’s plenty to read!
  10. The Ice House. Really want to get out of the heat? Visit The Ice House Indoor Ice Rink for public skating or to watch a hockey game. They offer lessons and skate rentals, so no need to own your own.

Of course, there are many other places to visit. If you have a favorite, we welcome you to leave it in the comments below. You may have an undiscovered gem!

Wilmington Weekly Update - New Curbside Electronics Pick-up

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Our weekly round-up of news stories making their way around Wilmington, North Carolina.

Instagram of the Week:

Local honey? Why yes it is and in two pound jars thanks to Shaken Creek Farms in Burgaw, NC

A photo posted by Sven, Chris, Andrew (@portcityproduce) on Jun 23, 2015 at 11:20am PDT

 

In Case You Missed It

The Wilmington YMCA will be reopening its gymnasium and pool in early July. These once busy facilities were forced to close after a fire in February. In anticipation of the event, a makeshift locker room has been installed, but will only be accessible from outside. Crews are working hard to push for the reopening, because of the stress it has put on summer programs. Learn more at Port City Daily.

Laney High School unveiled its newly refurbished Michael J. Jordan Gymnasium just in time for the 4th Annual Fred Lynch Invitational Tournament. Rapper/actor Bow Wow emceed the event, which also had three special guests – NBA players and Jordan Brand Athletes Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, and Greg Monroe. Learn more and see a video at WECT.

Beginning in early July, residents of the City of Wilmington will be able to call ahead and schedule curbside pick-up of electronics. In the past, electronics have had to be taken to a recycling facility on U.S. 421. It’s illegal to dump electronics in the landfill due to toxic materials. Learn more at the Star News.

New Hanover County Schools is expanding its free meals program. Through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program, aid can be provided per school, rather than per student. This was all students can participate and no one falls through the cracks; however, the school must meet certain requirements. This provision raises the number of qualified schools to 20, half of those in the county. Learn more, including which schools qualify, at Star News.

High School Musical 2Coming Up

Performance Club Children's Theatre presents High School Musical 2 at the Ruth & Bucky Stein Studio Theatre at Thalian Hall in downtown Wilmington. Join Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan and all the Wildcats as they play, work and rock their way through summer vacation. Starring the Port City's finest young talents. Admission is only $15! Learn more at the Performance Club Kids website.

Monday Market Update - Why You Should Buy Now

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateWell, Happy First week of summer!  I hope all the Father's out there had a wonderful day with family and enjoyed their special day!  Definitely a HOT start to summer and the weather forecast doesn't seem to be much cooler any time soon.  That's ok though!  Remember when it was freezing and we were praying for the hot days of Summer?... you're welcome! :)

I've been telling people for a while now that it's a GREAT time to buy. My 2 main reasons have been that we are seeing prices creep back up and I think interest rates will follow.  I read an article this morning on the Keeping Current Matters Blog that resonated what I've been saying.

According to the KCM Blog:

Summer is here!  The temperature isn't the only thing heating up right now, so too is the housing market! Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, invesetment strategists, and housing market analysts.  Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 11.8% (most pessimitic) and 26.7% (most optimistic).

2. Mortgage Interest Rates are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30 year mortgage have started to inch up, most experts predict they will begin to rise even more over the next 12 months.  The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up approximately three quarters of a percent over the next 12 months.  An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment.  Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a recent paper from the Joing Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

"Households must consume housing whether they own or rent.  Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  That's yet another reason owning often does-as Americans intuit - end up making more financial sense than renting."

4. It's Time to Move On with Your Life

The "cost" of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate.  It appears that both are on the rise. 

But what if they weren't?  Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting.  Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

BOTTOM LINE

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

So there you have it.  If you have any comments, questions or topic suggestions you'd like for me to discuss just contact us.

As always, thank you for your continued support and friendships!  Have a great week and stay cool!

Wilmington Area Dog Parks

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Wilmington Dog ParksWant to get your four-legged pooch outside and socializing? Take him to one of the Wilmington area dog parks! There are a few to choose from depending on your location and they’re all FREE!

North Wilmington

Ogden Park (New Hanover County)
615 Ogden Park Drive
Wilmington, NC 28411

Off-leash area (small dog and large dog) with water and waste stations.
Read the rules.

Central Wilmington

Hugh MacRae Park (New Hanover County)
314 Pine Grove Drive
Wilmington, NC 28409

Off-leash area (small dog and large dog) with water and waste stations.
Read the rules.

Empie Dog Park (City of Wilmington)
3405-A Park Avenue
Wilmington, NC 28403

Off-leash area (small dog and large dog) with water and waste stations.
Read the rules.

Kure Beach

Kure Beach Dog Park (Town of Kure Beach)
K Avenue
Kure Beach, NC 28449

Off-leash area (small dog and large dog) with water and waste stations.
No posted rules online. Assume they are the same as the other parks.

For third-party reviews of these parks, as well as information on pet services and pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, etc., visit Bring Fido.

In addition to dog parks, dogs are allowed on local beaches, but only at certain times of the year. We have a whole blog post dedicated to the Wilmington area beach leash laws. Make sure you check them out before taking your pooch or you may find yourself with a heavy fine.

Throughout the year, there are also pet dedicated events held at local parks, including Pawz in Park, Canines for Service’s Walk & Dog Dash, and Bark in the Park. A good source for local dog news is Dog Living Magazine.

Of course, if you’re thinking of buying in the Wilmington area and would like a pet friendly neighborhood, we are happy to help! Just give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

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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