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Wilmington NC Real Estate

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Open Houses: Plantation Landing, Providence, and Princeton Place

by Meghan Riley, Wilmington NC Real Estate

Stop by for a tour of these homes 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!

8804 Tilbury Dr - Sagewood - Plantation Landing

Saturday and Sunday, January 14th and 15th
8804 Tilbury Drive

Wilmington, NC 28411
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Realtors Patti Santomassi and Kerri Lord will be hosting open houses this weekend at our new listing located in Sagewood at Plantation Landing!

Property Details:

Charming 4 bedroom, 3 bath home in the lovely community of Sagewood at Plantation landing! Featuring a welcoming front porch and a convenient open floor plan, this home has a lot to offer! The great room features vaulted ceilings and a gas fireplace flanked by windows. At the heart of the home is a spacious kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a breakfast area and formal dining room. Just off the kitchen is a keeping room complete with a fireplace for coziness and warmth. The 1st floor master suite includes walk-in closets that sit on either side of the passage to the attached bathroom, which boasts matching vanities, a separate shower, and a Jacuzzi tub. Also on 1st floor is a guest bedroom. On the 2nd floor are 2 bedrooms, and a bonus room. Other features include fresh exterior paint, tons of walk-in storage space and rear deck overlooking private backyard. Community amenities include a beautiful clubhouse, tennis courts, 2 swimming pool and walking and biking trails. Home warranty is included for added peace of mind.

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


310 Lockerby Ln 

Saturday and Sunday, January 14th and 15th
310 Lockerby Lane
Wilmington, NC 28411
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Realtors Cindy Perkins and Rachel Belch will be hosting open houses this weekend at our listing in Princeton Place!

Property Details:
Spacious 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home with 2,798 sq.ft. of heated living space, a low maintenance brick exterior, and a large screened porch! Located on a cul-de-sac in Princeton Place off Middle Sound Loop Road, this home is minutes to Mayfaire, Wrightsville Beach and the new Ogden Plaza featuring Publix. It’s also located in the Ogden Elementary, Noble Middle, and Laney High School district. This split-bedroom home features a gas log fireplace, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, new travertine tile in the kitchen, and recently stained and refinished hardwood floors. In addition to the formal dining room, there’s a large breakfast area off of the kitchen. On the first floor are 3 bedrooms, including the master, which features a jetted tub, separate shower, walk-in closet, trey ceiling, and picture window overlooking the private back yard. The 4th bedroom is the finished room over the garage. It includes two closets and a full bath. Schedule a showing today!

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

3417 Whimsy Way

Saturday, January 14th
3417 Whimsy Way
Wilmington, NC 28411
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Realtor Mena Brock will be hosting an open house this weekend at our listing in Providence!

Property Details:
Gorgeous, one-of-a-kind home in the heart of Middle Sound Loop! Mature wooded landscapes and serene water views provide beautiful surroundings and privacy. Located in the community of Providence, this tucked-away, custom-built home features 4,000 square feet of living space, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and an attached 2 car garage. The open and bright great room boasts tongue and groove vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, and breathtaking views of Providence Lake. The large first-floor master suite includes a Jacuzzi tub, separate shower, walk-in closet, and dual vanities. Also located on the first floor are 2 additional bedrooms, a home office, and sunroom. Take the spiral staircase up to the second floor to find an additional office/study area, a game room, and a huge bonus room (could be used as a 4th bedroom or playroom). Enjoy entertaining outdoors or simply connecting with the gentle sounds of nature. This sanctuary is a must-see! 1-year home warranty included for added peace of mind.

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

Can't attend, but want a personal tour? Give us a call at 910-202-2546!

Tuesday Tally from The Grove, Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, Wilmington NC Real Estate

Melanie Cameron presents this week's Tuesday Tally from The Grove, a brand new community off Myrtle Grove Road in Wilmington, NC. This Southern Homebuilders community has just 25 homesites and is already seeing plenty of interest. Learn what's planned for The Grove and stick around to the end to hear how the Wilmington real estate market is performing for the week of 1/10/17.

Featured Community: Scotts Hill Village, Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, Wilmington NC Real Estate

If you follow our blog, you’ve probably noticed that we get really excited about new communities and that’s no different for this beauty popping up in Scotts Hill, just past the Porters Neck area heading towards Hampstead. Appropriately named Scotts Hill Village, this water access community is in the early stages of selling. Spec homes are going up, and they’re starting to take reservations. So, if you want a leg-up on choosing your lot, this is the time to do it.

Scotts Hill Village Entrance

Scotts Hill Village is a 226 homesite community with 6 builders – 70 West, American Homesmith, Hardison Building Co., Ellison Building Co., Bill Clark Homes (Legacy), and Herrington Classic Homes. Plans range from the low $400s to upper $500s and 2,000 to 4,200 square-feet. Lot sizes vary with many sitting at .22 acres, but some stretching 2 acres or more. Best of all, many lots back up to green spaces and water features, so home owners will have nice outdoor areas to enjoy from their patios and porches.


Scotts Hill Village - Street

Having multiple home builders in Scotts Hill Village means there’s something for everyone, including a variety of elevations. All homes in the community are designed to fit either a coastal, low country, or plantation style. Front load and side load garages, stone accents, lap cypress, beaded edge clapboard, fiber cement, shingles, shakes, gables, curved roofs, dormers, front porches, decorative accents, tongue and groove ceilings, and square tapered columns are just some of the features you’ll see. Some even have optional features, like wrap-around porches (if you really want a true Southern look), and color schemes will fit a “historic” palette reflecting earth tones and grays.

Scotts Hill Village - Spec Home

Floor plans range from 3 to 4 bedrooms and 2 to 4 baths, and include a kitchen, dining room, laundry room, family room, and master suite. Plans may also include a study, game room, pocket office, breakfast nook, morning room, great room, mud room, bonus room, storage room, and screened porch. Many of the designs embody the popular open concept, but there are more traditional choices, if preferred. Optional add-on features include gourmet kitchens, luxury baths, sunrooms, bonus rooms, screened porches, built-ins, coffered ceilings, trey ceilings, laundry cabinetry, and finished third floors. Of course, these differ from plan to plan and builder to builder, and many cosmetic touches, like paint colors and fixtures, can be chosen by the buyer.

Scotts Hill Village - Spec Home

Careful thought is being given to the vegetation and landscaping surrounding each home built in Scotts Hill Village, because the developers feel that it contributes greatly to the feel of the community. The hardscaping – walkway, paths, patios, decks, driveways, etc. - will consist of natural materials, such as stone, brick, and wood. Included plants, shrubbery, and ornamental trees will be acclimated to our coastal environment. Mulch and other ground cover will also be a natural material, and all accent pieces, like pergolas and trellises, will be made of wood in an effort to maintain harmony with the surrounding areas.

Scotts Hill Village - Spec Home

Scotts Hill Grove will be home to a selection of excellent amenities, including a swimming pool, club house, winding hiking trails, community spaces, and a kayak and canoe launch. Located where Foy Creek and Futch Creek merge, residents will have access to the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s also a hop and a skip from the farmers’ market at Poplar Grove and the Scotts Hill Medical Parks where the New Hanover Redional Medical Center SurgiCenter and separate emergency room are located.

Scotts Hill Village - Street

This beautiful community is located outside of the Wilmington city limits, so there are no city taxes. There is a monthly homeowners association fee, which covers maintenance of all of the amenities, the common areas, management fee, sidewalks, and streetlights. Water and sewer are provided by Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and electricity is provided by Duke Energy.

Currently, in the MLS there is a small selection of homes for sale in Scotts Hill Village. It’s important to note there are many lots and plans to choose from. If you’d like to schedule a showing or receive copies of the home plans, tax information, utility cost estimations, community renderings, and current inventory, give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our contact page. We’re happy to answer your questions about this community and others in the Wilmington area (New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender County).

4 Things In Your Home to Break Up With Before Valentine's Day

by Meghan Riley, Wilmington NC Real Estate

Does your home no longer have you saying “I love you”? Is the lack of space making you feel torn in two? Then, take heart…Here are 4 things in your home to finally break up with before Valentine’s Day:

1. Knickknacks

If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone blind to all the knickknacks lying around your home. You see, I have kids, which means I somehow collect these things. They end up being shuffled from one place to another, because I keep saying to myself, “I’ll do it later”, “I may need this,” or “I don’t want an argument.” But the truth is – and I’m working on conditioning my habits to align better with this – you’re making yourself unhappy a little bit at a time by letting them take up space.

knickknack

Just think of all the times you’ve grumbled at the knickknacks after you’ve had to push them aside to find whatever you’re really looking for. I do it when I walk across my living room and step on a fast food toy that’s barely been played with (family loves to give these to us), or when I’m searching through my office supplies drawer trying to find a working pen. I always think, “later.” But there won’t be a “later” unless I make time to do it, and the kids probably won’t even notice the toys are gone, because they’re into something else. Why keep grumbling? That’s a little bit of negativity you inflict on your mood every day and that can build up.

So, stop pushing the knickknacks aside, and make time to get rid of them now. You’ll thank yourself next time you go searching for a must-have item.

2. Guilt Keepers

Have your family members given you things – furniture, art, dishes, etc. – that you just aren’t very fond of? Have you kept them for the sheer fact that you’d feel guilty if they ever saw you got rid of them? I know, I’ve faced this issue. I call them Guilt Keepers and they create sticky, sticky situations.

family heirlooms

Over the years, there have been some family “heirlooms” that I’ve loved and others that I knew I’d never be happy using. When I bought my first house and started decorating, I kept everything, which makes sense, because young first-time buyers often don’t have much in the way of household items. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that my environment directly affects my happiness and all these extra things that were not my style were muddling my Zen. So, I started giving them to people who really wanted or needed them. And you know what I found? No one really cared, because they were basically loading their stuff off on me and the one person who panicked at first when they heard I was getting rid of certain things (*cough* my sister *cough*), ended up giving away all the same stuff later on.

Of course, I’ll never get rid of the really special things, like my grandfather’s pocket watch or my mother’s paintings, but I won’t ever feel tied down by the Guilt Keepers again. You shouldn’t either, because these things are just taking up space and muddling your Zen, as well.

3. Extra Appliances

It’s time we talk about that ice cream maker you bought. Sounded like fun, right? You used it twice and now it’s just taking up space in your pantry. Oh, it wasn’t an ice cream maker? It was a _insert countertop appliance_?

Juicer, blender, food processor, rice cooker, fryer, waffle maker, George Foreman grill…Let’s face it, most people go through a stage where they want to get busy in the kitchen and but a countertop appliance that seems like a great idea for cutting cooking time or making more creative recipes. Some people stick with it. Most don’t. So then they end up with a practically brand new contraption hogging storage space somewhere in the kitchen. Sound familiar?

blender

You don’t have to throw out extra appliances. There are multiple options for getting rid of them. Sell them online, give them to a family member with an itching for the kitchen, or find a poor college student without many options. Nothing need go to waste. Just don’t sacrifice your storage for daydreams of what may be.

4. Old Electronics and Cables

This is an argument I have with my significant other every time I start deep cleaning the house. He loves to keep old electronics, you know, just in case. Just in case of what exactly, I’m not so sure. But it isn’t just electronics. About 80% of it is cables and cords. Bags and bags of cables. It doesn’t matter that we’ve upgraded to the newest and best, he still wants to keep that A/V system from the ‘90s that has the malfunctioning speakers, even if we’ve already planned to go wireless or built-in when we finally buy a new house. Just…don’t.

This is Bill...

Unless you’re planning on using the electronics and cables within the year, donate them to a school, library, or church. They need them much more than you do and chances are that the technology will change twice over by the time you get around to using them…or, as we have found, we can buy something better for cheaper than what it cost to originally buy the outdated electronics. Something to keep in mind!

Have you done all this and still not willing to say, “Be Mine”? Let us help you find the home with the key to your heart. Give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page. We’ll come up with a great plan for selling your current home, and we guarantee it will leave you with the warm fuzzies of a 1980’s Rom-Com. And if we leave you quoting John Cusack in Say Anything...:

I Gave Her My Heart and She Gave Me a Pen

"She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen."

You can fire us any time before an offer is received.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

4 Things In Your Home to Break Up With Before Valentine's Day

Coming Soon! The Grove Neighborhood in Wilmington, NC

by Meghan Riley, Wilmington NC Real Estate

The Grove Entrance Sign

Just off Myrtle Grove Road, 1 mile north of Deer Crossing, is a brand new 25 homesite community called The Grove. Southern Homebuilders is the primary builder in this community and offering quality built homes – just as they have in Compass Pointe, Brunswick Forest, and The Glenn (to name a few). They’ve been in the business for over 40 years and have a commitment to exceptional quality that will surely be seen in this new community.

The Grove - Streetscape

Home plans in The Grove have multiple elevations (exteriors) to choose from and can include brick siding with cementitious shake or plank gable accents, vinyl soffits, covered porches with tile flooring, and exterior electrical outlets. The homes will be built on raised block and concrete foundations with standard 2” x 4” wall framing, sheetrock walls, and smooth finish ceilings. Insulation will be R-13 for the walls, R-30 for the ceiling, and R-19 for flex room floors. Exterior doors will be made of fiberglass and the windows will be vinyl tilt-in with double-pane glass, grilles, and screens.

The Grove - New Home

Interior home features include a gas log fireplace with granite surround; a 50-gallon water heater; stainless-steel Moen faucet and stainless steel under-mount sink in the kitchen; brushed-nickel Moen bath fixtures and ceramic tile shower with 2 showerheads in the master bath; an “Americast” tub with tile in the guest bathrooms; an energy-efficient 15-SEER heat pump and central air with digital thermostat; hardwood flooring in the main living areas, carpet in the bedrooms, and ceramic tile in the bathrooms and laundry room; granite kitchen countertops and KitchenAid appliances; illuminated trey ceilings and/or coffered ceilings; a 4-zone audio system with iPod dock; crown molding and baseboard; and more! Some plans have different features and allowances than others, and may even include optional flex spaces.

The Grove - New Home 2

Floor plans currently range from 2,100 – 2,500 sq.ft. with 3 bedrooms and 3-3.5 baths. They are open concept with the front entrance opening into a foyer that then leads to a great room with an attached kitchen. Additional rooms, besides the bedrooms, include a study, laundry room, and dining room. We have the most recent floor plans available upon request.

The Grove - Side of Home and Homesite

Home prices have not been announced yet. They expect to have them available in the next few weeks. It’s also important to note that sales in this community are just now launching and home plans can change at the discretion of Southern Homebuilders. So, if you’re interested, it’s important to request the most recent information packet.

We are happy to send you more information on The Grove or any other new construction community in the greater Wilmington area, just give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

Tuesday Tally from Anchors Bend, Wilmington

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

Melanie Cameron presents this week's Tuesday Tally from the community of Anchors Bend in Wilmington, North Carolina. Learn all about this community and see how the Wilmington real estate market is performing for the week of 1/3/17.

8 Ways to Encourage Hygge and Happiness in Your Home

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

Having less “stuff” might not singularly hold the secret to happiness, but focusing more on experiences and less on things can greatly improve your overall mental health and well-being. And experiences don’t have to be expeditions or once-in-a-lifetime trips. They can be everyday moments. The trick is not taking them for granted and Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is one way to do that.

Hygge is a Danish word with no singular English partner. Translated, it means to take pleasure in making everyday moments joyful, special, or beautiful. Denmark has been called the Happiest Nation in the World, even after having some of the highest taxes in the world, and many people attribute it to hygge, the Danes’ ability to recognize the importance of simple moments. They take pleasure in what others may skip over or deem a chore, like setting the dinner table or making a cup of coffee. Unlike Americans, they don’t rush through or even skip meals on a regular basis, because taking a break to nourish the body and bond with others over food is important to a person’s well-being. Simply, they live in the moment.

Since Denmark began its reign as the Happiest Nation, hygge has become a trending movement, not just as a mindframe, but as a method of homemaking. Creating an environment to encourage small moments is key. Hygge is frequently used as a blanket term for coziness, as that is an effective approach for creating an intimate and relaxed atmosphere that encourages enjoying time with others (being social is important in hygge). In Denmark, hygge is everything that you need to embrace the season and bring warmth to a long, cold winter. If you want to create more opportunities for applying hygge, consider including these things in your home:

1. Lit Candles.

Not only does the warm glow create an intimate setting, the scent from the candles sets a tone, as well. For optimal enjoyment, try to pick a candle fit for the season – vanilla in winter, florals in spring, citrus in summer, and apples in fall.

Candles on Mantel

2. Roaring Fires.

Who doesn’t think a fire is cozy?

Fireplace and Book

3. Sheepskin Rugs.

They don’t have to be real. Faux works just as well. It’s all about softness, warmth, and fibers that hug your toes.

Sheepskin Rug

4. A Coffee/Tea Bar.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Even just a coffee machine, and a 3-tier pedestal with coffee mugs and all fixings will work. It’s a welcoming feature for visitors and enhances the enjoyment of your own daily moments. Visit A Shade of Teal to see how to set up a coffee bar.

Coffe Bar

5. White Twinkling Lights

Because winter is long and dark in Denmark, lighting is very important in home decorating. You can add charm and create a nice ambiance by saving your Christmas lights to decorate with year-round, or by investing in some fairy lights.

Twinkle Lights

6. Basket of Blankets

Make your guests and family feel welcomed by leaving out cozy blankets in a basket. They’ll linger a while creating the perfect opportunity to enjoy time together.

Blanket

7. Outdoor Treasures

One aspect of hygge is embracing the changing seasons. So, decorating with outdoor treasures, like holly, flowers, shells, and branches (things you'd find locally) is encouraged.

Flowers

8. Natural Materials

A connection with nature continues with items purchased as stores. Natural materials, like wood furniture and stone finishes, should be included in every room of your house. A tabletop waterfountain is also an option for making a connection with the outdoors. For more ideas, check out 10 Ways to Bring Natural & Organic Elements Into Your Interiors.

Fireplace and Stone

Hygge can almost be ritualistic. To fully benefit from it, you need to make it a daily habit and really immerse yourself in your actions. If your daily ritual is making yourself an afternoon cup of tea, put down your phone and focus on the act of making the tea, the warmth of the mug, and the aroma it produces. Afterwards, you can get back to working or whatever you were doing prior.

In a way, hygge is a bit like meditation. It forces you to be in the moment. As Americans, we force ourselves to focus on so many things at once that we heighten our stress levels to unhealthy ranges. Focusing on one thing can force us to relax, recenter, and improve our overall well-being.

We hope these tips enrich your life. For more ideas on how to incorporate hygge in your life, check out Hygge House, The Little Book of Hygge, and Hello Hygge.

8 Ways to Encourage Hygge and Happiness in Your Home 

Tuesday Tally - Have a Happy New Year!

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

Melanie Cameron brings you this week's Tuesday Tally from out of town (enjoy that view!). See how the Wilmington real estate market is performing for the last week of 2016. Have a happy New Year!

Tuesday Tally from Cottage Grove, Wilmington

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

Melanie Cameron returns to Cottage Grove in Wilmington, NC, to presents this week's Tuesday Tally. Get an update on this Logan Homes community located off of Middle Sound Loop Rd and hear how the Wilmington real estate market is performing.

CoreLogic Releases Q3 2016 Housing Credit Index Report

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

CoreLogic Housing Credit Index Q3 2016 Report

CoreLogic has released its third quarter Housing Credit Index (HCI) report. This third-party report tracks the change in mortgage lending since 2001, the year when lending standards began to loosen before the dramatic tightening in 2006-2007 as a response to the housing bubble. The HCI gives a general look at how healthy the current mortgage industry is. Here are the key findings:

New Loan Risk

When the housing bubble was created in the early 2000s, much of it was fueled by overly risky loans, like those that required no documentation or were interest-only. In 2013, federal regulators established new guidelines to cut down on this type of lending, including adjustments to the debt-to-income ratio requirements. New tools were also put in place after the recession to increase the accuracy of property valuations. New loan risk, as measured by the HCI, has been down year-over-year and this year’s Q3 2016 report shows a 48 point decrease.

Credit Scores

The average credit score in Q3 2016 was 739. That’s up from last year. The lowest 1% was 624, up from the 490-510 range in 2001, and the number of people with credit scores under 640 dropped more than three-quarters since the same time.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Part of the new lender guidelines established in 2013 included a requirement that said the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio had to be verified with documentation and be no more than 43% of the person’s income. Interestingly, the Q3 2016 HCI report shows that the loans with a DTI of 43% or higher dropped from 25% a year ago to 24%. While this is an improvement, it’s about the same as 2001. The average DTI of all loans dropped from 35.7% to 35.4%.

Loan-to-Value Ratio

The Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio is a representation of the amount of the loan as compared to the total value of the property. The LTV for homebuyers decreased 1% between Q3 2015 and Q3 2016, declining from 86.8% to 85.6%. However, it was still up from 36% in 2001. The share of homebuyers with an LTV greater than or equal to 95% increased by more than one-fourth compared with 2001.

Conclusion

While low-downpayment and high debt-to-income loan products are still available today, there has been a dramatic improvement in loan risk. Q3 2016 loans are among the highest-quality home loans originated since the year 2001. This is good news for homebuyers and homeowners, as it affects the real estate market for both buyers and sellers. CoreLogic predicts that credit risk will remain low in 2017 while mortgage rates and home appreciation (including prices) increase.

Have questions about the real estate market in Wilmington or want the name of a reputable lender? Give us a call at (910)202-2546!