Real Estate Information

The Cameron Team's Blog

The Cameron Team

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 988

Wilmington Weekly Update - Riverwalk Repairs and New Student Housing

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

New Hanover County has agreed to handle the recycling services for the City of Wilmington. The agreement is for an 8 year term and would save money for city customers. The cost for the city was due to double at the end of its deal with Waste Management. Learn more at Port City Daily.  

A Texas developer has proposed a 118-unit student housing complex for South Kerr Avenue near Randall Parkway. The complex would include multi-bedroom cottages and duplexes. Learn more at Wilmington Business Journal.

The City of Wilmington approved funding to complete repairs of the Riverwalk in front of the Brooks Building, which has been closed for some time now due to an unsafe platform. There was a disagreement between the city and the building’s owners over who was responsible for the repairs, but they have now come to an agreement and construction will last 8-10 months. Learn more at Star News Online.

The official numbers for the North Carolina Azalea Festival are in. Reports show that is attracted 300,000 visitors total with about 10,000 at each concert. This shows growth over last year’s event. Learn more at Wilmington Business Journal.

A Denny’s is coming to South College Road in the building where Two Guys’ Grille once existed. Renovations will be made to the building to add additional seating and a private conference room with a TV, WiFi, and video conferencing. Learn more at Wilmington Business Journal.

chickens and coopComing Up

The 4th Annual Coastal Cluck Coop Tour is a free tour of New Hanover County chicken coops with the donation of a nonperishable food item for Mother Hubbard's Kitchen. The event happens this Saturday, April 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Maps and descriptions on Facebook at Coastal Cluck Coops.

6 Key Terms for Buying Green in Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

6  Key Terms for Buying Green in WilmingtonIt’s no secret that the way we live has a direct impact on the Earth. Many great improvements have been made to homes in the past 15 years to help reduce the owner’s carbon footprint and the destruction of important Earth assets. However, buyers don’t always know what features to look for when purchasing a home. So, we’ve put together a handy list of key terms.

  1. Energy Star. You’ve probably seen this a lot on appliances. It’s a way for the U.S. Government to identify electronics that meet certain standards for energy efficiency. But did you know the U.S. Energy Department also has Energy Star ratings for windows and doors, ceiling fans, and heating and cooling? By purchasing products that are Energy Star rated, you could lower your monthly utility bills significantly.
  2. LEED for Homes. U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has established a rating system for homes with a low energy impact called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Homes and communities can receive LEED ratings. Homes can be considered Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. This is based on points, with the minimum being 40. You may see this listed on a builder’s website.
  3. Certified Green Professional/Master Certified Green Professional. If you’re trying to choose a builder, renovator, or other industry professional, this is one designation that you should look for. It’s awarded by the National Association of Home Builders when an individual has completed a course or courses on incorporating green building methods at a reasonable cost. Does it mean that a builder won’t create an energy efficient home if they aren’t certified? No, but it does provide some reassurance to the home buyer.
  4. Energy Wise/ecoSelect/Optik Energy. Some local builders, like Stevens Fine Homes and H&H Homes, like to go the extra mile and have their energy efficient homes verified by an independent third party. Many of the building standards of today help to improve energy use, but builders like to go above and beyond to remain competitive.
  5. Low-Impact. Usually used in reference to the development of communities to best manage stormwater runoff and maintain water quality. It includes conserving onsite natural features like native plants and trees. If mature trees are an important feature for you, low-impact communities are a good place to look for a new home. The most recent low-impact community in the Wilmington area is River Bluffs.
  6. Sustainable Community. The exact definition of a sustainable community depends on the developer, but it’s often used in conjunction with “eco-friendly” and includes green building standards and certifications. However, sustainable communities usually take it to the next elvel by including features like community composting and recycling, rainwater barrels, natural walking trails, etc. For a local sustainable development, take a look at Tonbo Meadows, a townhome community.

For more “green” terms, visit the Carolina Living glossary. Also, check out our Buyer Tips for more information on choosing home features. If you have any questions about buying an eco-friendly home in the Wilmington area, give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page. If you aren’t sure what your current home’s energy rating is, Duke Energy provides a free home audit, which could qualify you for more free services.  

How Many Homes Can a Buyer Make an Offer on Simultaneously?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

How Many Homes Can a Buyer Make an Offer on Simultaneously? We’ve seen it before. A buyer finds a home they like, but it’s a foreclosure or short sale. They make an offer on it, but it takes days or months to get a response from the bank. So, they keep looking and find another home they like. It’s not as perfect as the first one, but it’s a normal resale listing with a typical seller. The buyer wants to put in an offer on this second home, but can they?

Yes. Technically, in North Carolina they can submit an offer on any number of homes and terminate/withdraw their offers on whichever properties they like the least. But SHOULD they? This is really a question of ethics.

What if they found out the same day that both offers were accepted? Is it fair to either seller to get their hopes up or make them go through the process of negotiating/preparing legal documents when the buyers are basically testing the waters?

What if it was two normal home listings with typical sellers? Again, is it fair to get either of their hopes up?

What if one of the homes was part of a multiple offer situation? Is it fair to the other buyers, who may want the home more than them?

There are a lot of what if’s, but when a buyer is thinking of making more than one offer on a home, it’s recommended they ask themselves, “Would I want this done to me?” If the second home is one they want more, they should put an offer in on it and withdraw the offer on the other listing. They should also terminate/withdraw it as soon as possible. Waiting until the due diligence period is over would mean losing earnest money. It also wouldn’t be fair to the sellers, who have been forced to pause marketing. When a home is put under contract and then put back active on the market, it may be viewed negatively by buyers and agents, because it makes them question what is wrong with the home that the deal would fall through.   

When two homes are being considered, it’s better procedure to make a solid offer on one home and, if necessary, include contingencies on it being accepted. A good real estate agent can advise the buyer on how long they expect a seller to take accepting or declining the offer, or a contingency can include a timeframe for deciding. If the home is a short sale and the buyer can’t wait a few months to purchase, they should find a different home to make an offer on. It will prevent issues down the road.

Do you have questions about buying a home in the Wilmington area? Give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

Monday Market Update - Freddie Mac Reveals Signs of Optimism

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateHappy Monday!  Hope you have had a great weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead.  The local market continues to show strong signs of improvement and it appears that trend is throughout most of the US.  I read an interesting article this morning from the KCM Blog. Here's an overview of what they said.

The April 2015 US Economic and Housing Market Outlook from Freddie Mac revealed signs of optimism about the 2015 real estate market. In their report, Freddie Mac shared, "For the remainder of the year we should see a resumption of solid economic growth and acceleration in housing activity.  With Spring upon us, housing markets are poised to accelerate and we expect the best year for home sales since 2007.  Depsite harsh winter weather to start the year, home sales through February are only off from the 2013 pace by 7,000 sales. Pending home sales were up 3.1% in February to the highest level since June 2013.  This marked the 4th consecutive month for rising pending home sales showing positive momentum in general for the housing market."

Freddie Mac goes on to predict that "By the end of the Spring buying season in June, we should be well above the pace of home sales in any year since 2007.  We are as optimistic about trends in  housing markets moving forward as we have ever been since the depths of the Great Recession." Freddie Mac is anticipating that property values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.  With regard to interest rates,  Freddie Mac, suggested that interest rates would only increase slightly,ending the year around 4.3%.  But it should be noted that that's .75% higher than where we are right now.

BOTTOM LINE:  It's a great time to buy and sell.  If we can help you or anyone you know, please give us a call.  We appreciate it more than you'll ever know.  Thanks and have a great week!

The Listing Agent's Expenses

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

The Listing Agent's ExpensesWhen you decide to sell your Wilmington area home, you have an important decision to make upfront – do you want to sell it yourself or hire an agent? Some homeowners scoff at the idea of paying a commission to a real estate agent. They aren’t sure that agents deserve that large a portion of the sale price. There's a misconception that the money we make is mostly take-home pay, but it's not. Real estate agents work under 1099s. That means we're independent contractors and absorb all costs of running our businesses. What are those costs? Here’s a basic breakdown:

  1. The Real Estate Firm. Every firm – Coldwell Banker, Re\Max, Keller Williams, Network, etc. – have their own commission plans. Most agents start out at 50/50 split. So, if a listing agent sells a $150,000 house listed at the market’s typical 6% commission, which is then split in half with the buyer’s agent, the agent will make about $2,250. Volume and agent experience usually increases this amount.
  2. Photographs. Other agents may take their own photographs, but we have all of ours professionally done, because we believe your online ad is your home’s first showing.
  3. Measuring. We have a professional measurer come in and record your home’s dimensions in order to prevent discrepancies.
  4. Marketing Materials. Signs, flyers, postcards, booklets, etc, You, the homeowner, don’t pay for these items. We do. It’s part of our efforts to get the home sold.
  5. Marketing Tools. Virtual tours, text-for-info, etc. We want to stay on top of interested buyers, so we use a variety of tools to help us reach them. These cost us money on a monthly and per-property basis.
  6. Online Enhancements. Your home listing, thanks to an agreement through our real estate firm, will be syndicated to the top real estate websites, but this is a basic listing. We often pay for the enhanced versions of these websites, in order to gain as much control over the information shared as possible and to have our listings featured.
  7. Online Advertising. In multiple different formats, we pay to advertise your listing on social media and other websites. 90% of home searches start online, and it’s not always on the typical real estate websites.
  8. Time and Gas. Our job requires a lot of time and travelling for tasks, including: meeting the photographer/measurer, putting up the sign and lockbox, delivering marketing materials, speaking about your home at sales meetings, turning on lights for showings, and meeting handymen/inspectors/etc. during contract stages. If we have a conflict at any point, we have to pay a qualified person to do it for us. We also spend a considerable amount of time negotiating, filling out paperwork, arranging open houses, and making sure everything gets signed.
  9. Association Fees, License Fees, Required Continuing Education, E&O Insurance, etc. – You’d be surprised at how costly it can be to pay everything we need to access the Multiple Listing Service and be considered legal. A portion of every closing helps to pay for this.
  10. General Upkeep of Our Business. Website fees, hardware, e-mail, signs, advertising, business cards, vehicle maintenance, networking events, document systems, etc. Maintaining a presence in the local community and online are just as important for our clients as it is for us. Real estate is a business that relies a lot on networking and word-of-mouth for exposure, and, increasingly, technology.

As you can see, we put a lot into presenting and advertising our listings. Many of our payments happen upfront, because they’re for listing and marketing services. We don’t get paid until the listing sells, so if the listing doesn’t sell, we’re out that money. That’s why we are always perfecting our marketing plan. We only want to use what works. All finances aside, we remain Realtors, because we love the satisfaction we feel when our clients are happy.

Have a question about anything above or want to learn more about our seller services? Give us a call at (910) 202-2546!

OPEN HOUSE: 521 Goldeneye Court, Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

This open house has been CANCELLED. The home is now Under Contract.

Stop by for a tour of this home and have all your questions answered. Also, don’t forget that every Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage open house you visit gets you entered in Coast In & Win for the chance to win $500!

521 Goldeneye Court - Bayshore EstatesSaturday, April 18
521 Goldeneye Court
Wilmington, NC 28411
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Realtor David Leinwand will be hosting an open house this weekend at our listing located in Bayshore Estates.

Property Details:
This charming home features 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths PLUS a bonus room and home office. Uniquely located on a corner lot on 3 cul-de-sacs (low traffic), the home has a side-entry 2 car garage to help maintain the uniformity of the home’s exterior. Hardwood floors are located throughout the main living area and the home boasts a split-bedroom floor plan for added privacy. Other features include an eat-in kitchen with a built-in ice maker, formal dining room, gas log fireplace in the living room, and a master suite containing a Jacuzzi tub, separate shower, walk-in closet, and double vanity. All rooms are large and there’s new carpet in the bedrooms. At the rear of the home is a large fenced back yard with a shed, oversized deck with roofed pergola, and huge brick paver patio connected to the deck and driveway via a brick paver sidewalk. This home is in a GREAT location! The Bayshore community includes boat ramp access for all residents. For added peace of mind, sellers are including a 1-year home warranty.

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

 

 

 

Meghan Riley

Wilmington Weekly Update - Local Improvements Underway and a New UNCW Chancellor

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

Third Street, between Brunswick and Campbell streets, is now closed and will remain closed for one year. Crews will begin replacing the Third Street Bridge, which is structurally sound, but no longer meets traffic demands. Be sure to adjust your route accordingly as the NCDOT will be rerouting traffic over the Isabel Holmes Bridge and back over the Cape Fear Bridge. Learn more at Port City Daily.

Fundraising has begun for urgent repairs needed for the U.S.S. North Carolina, which currently serves as the state’s memorial to those who served and died in WWII. It’s in desperate need of hull repairs. The ship currently operates on $3 million a year and receives no state or national funding. $17 million is needed to complete the repairs. To learn more, including how to donate, visit Port City Daily.

Wilmington was once again named a top retirement destination by the magazine Where to Retire, this time in “8 Coastal Camelots in the Carolinas” in the May/June 2015 issue. The list also include, Southport, Sunset Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, as well as Murrells Inlet, Georgetown and Beaufort in South Carolina. Learn more at Port City Daily.

A project is underway to reduce flooding in the Lincoln Forest neighborhood between Oleander Drive and Independence Boulevard. Crews are grating ditches along Sweetbriar Road and Gillette Drive. Learn more at Star News Online.

UNCW has chosen a new chancellor - Jose "Zito" Sartarelli. He’s currently the Dean of West Virginia University’s School of Business and Economics. Saratarelli will be bringing both corporate and teaching experience to his new role, which he assumes July 1. Learn more about his plans and goals at Wilmington Business Journal.

John LithgowComing Up

Are you a fan of Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner John Lithgow? He will be at UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium on April 17th presenting Stories by Heart. This show intertwines stories from his own life with two tales read to him and his siblings when they were children -- Uncle Fred Flits By by P. G. Wodehouse and The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs. It’s sure to be heartwarming and touching. Tickets are $45-$65. Learn more at the UNCW website.

Monday Market Update - Spring Market Started With a Bang!

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

Happy Monday!  Hoping you had a wonderful weekend.  This weather has been GREAT!... Just like the local real estate market.

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateThe Spring market has definitely started off with a bang as I expected.   Our average sold price for March jumped 11.1% in one month from February 2015.    In March, the average sold price was $247,019.  And that wasn't the only thing on the rise.  The number of sold units increased from February by 123 units (27.2%) and when compared to  March 2014, we were up 72 units (14.3%).  As expected, our listing inventory starts to increase this time of year.   Inventory has increased by 119 units from last month and there are currently 3,940 single family homes for sale in our MLS.   This equates to a 6.8 month supply of inventory.  Our pending index is currently at 1,308 units which is the highest we've seen at this point in time in several years.  Our current average list price  is at $358,935.

Our average days on the market decreased slightly to 124 days and the average list to sale price ratio for March was 96.6% which is slightly better than the 96% we saw for 2014 year end.  30 year fixed mortgage rates for March averaged 3.66%... this is INCREDIBLE and the market remains a great opportunity to buy (and sell).

If you are considering taking advantage of this great market whether buying, selling or both... The Cameron Team remains steadfastly ready to help you.  Just give us a call and we'll get you moving!

Have a fantastic week and as always, thanks for your continued support, friendship, and business.  We couldn't do it without you. 

New Waterfront Community Helms Port Now Selling!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Helms Port Clubhouse Under ConstructionHelms Port, the newest waterfront gated community from Logan Homes, is now selling! Located in Wilmington off Masonboro Loop Road, this 159 exclusive home community will include top notch amenities, including a 75-slip marina, a 4,500 sq.ft. resort style club, and a resort style pool overlooking the sound. There will also be a private beach, outdoor fire pits, resident gathering areas, and a kayak launch. Plus, there will be plenty of places to walk and enjoy the views! See the community renderings in the Helms Port brochure from Logan Homes and note the picture of the clubhouse under construction (Source: the Helms Port FB page).

The development will include two sub-communities – Saylor’s Haven and Kathryn’s Retreat. Saylor’s Haven has homes starting in the $400s. Plans will include low country coastal cottages with a cool, breezy color palette, professional lawn maintenance, and curb appeal. Kathryn’s Retreat has homes starting in the $500s. Home plans include luxury features, porches, sunrooms, spacious master suites, pond views, low maintenance living, and a pretty streetscape. Plus, Logan Homes is developing the lots to maintain mature trees.

View homes for sale in Helms Port.

Interested in learning more about Helms Port? The community is already proving to be a hit. Reservations are going quickly! Give us a call at (910) 202-2546!

Homes with F.R.O.G.s for Sale in Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

FROG in 8117 TilburyIt’s always nice to have flexible space in your home to customize to your needs. In the North and Midwest, you will often find this in the form of a basement. However, in our neck of the woods, the East Coast, you will rarely find a basement due to how close we are to sea level. That’s why bonus rooms and finished rooms over the garage (F.R.O.G.s) have become popular here.  

Home offices, dens, sunrooms, and some bedrooms can be flexible in use, but smaller homes made to be more affordable don’t often have space in the floor plan for extra rooms. However, builders will take advantage of the empty space over the garage by adding a room where there will usually just be attic space. F.R.O.G.s do appear in larger, costlier homes, but their inclusion in smaller homes carries a different weight.

There are many homes with F.R.O.G.s for sale in Wilmington. They can be accessible by a separate staircase or attached to a second floor located over the main portion of the home. They usually have knee walls (short walls about 3 feet high that meet a sloping ceiling), which have little doors leading to attic eave storage. Depending on the size of the room, there may also be a close or attached bath.

Are you interested in purchasing a home with a F.R.O.G.? We can help you narrow your search! Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’re happy to help.

Also…Knee walls, roof angles, and window placement can make decorating a FROG a challenge. We’ve created a board on Pinterest specifically for helping you utilize ever square-foot of space in FROGs and nooks. Take a look! People have shared some great ideas – Fun F.R.O.G.s and Nooks.

Fun FROGs and Nooks

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 988

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Contact Information

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