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Featured Community: Middle Pointe Village, Hampstead

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Located off Sloop Point Road in Hampstead, North Carolina, is a small, private community called Middle Pointe Village that’s sure to please buyers looking for a water access community on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW). With a private dock and boat ramp, residents of Middle Pointe Village are able to enjoy the beauty of the local waters. Boaters can travel down the ICWW to Topsail Beach and Surf City, or explore the wildlife of the nearby creeks. There’s also a gazebo for enjoying the gorgeous sunrises over the water.

Sample Middle Pointe Village HomeMiddle Pointe Village consists of mid-priced homes, many with custom details, including extensive trim, stately columns, built-in shelving, wood inlays, crowned cabinets, solid surface countertops, marble, trey ceilings, etc. Most of the homes here are of the Traditional style with formal dining rooms, home offices, family rooms, and first-floor master suites. Three to five bedroom home are the norm with a minimum of three baths. Some homes include additional quarters (in-law suites) and views of the marsh front, and all are located on large lots ranging from just over half an acre to almost two acres.

View Homes for Sale in Middle Pointe Village.

Middle Pointe Village Boat Ramp and DockThe community falls within the award winning Topsail School District (view school report cards here) and the Kiwanis Park (playground, baseball fields, tennis courts, football field, and soccer field) is located just up Sloop Point Road. In addition to the growing business district of Hampstead, the shopping and restaurants of Surf City are just 15 minutes away and even more options are available 30 minutes away in Wilmington. So, there’s a lot about the area to enjoy.

If you’d like to know more about Middle Pointe Village or are interested in seeing one of the homes listed for sale, give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page!

Meghan Riley

6 Signs You've Hired the Wrong Real Estate Agent

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

6 Signs You've Hired the Wrong Real Estate AgentI’m going to preface this blog with the fact that there are many GREAT real estate agents in the Wilmington area. We’ve had the pleasure of working with some very professional individuals and teams on both the listing and selling side of closing transactions. However, I’m constantly watching what other real estate agents, both locally and in other parts of the country are doing, and there are people (just as there are in every field) that have left me shaking my head, and I hate to see home owners suffer due to a lack of knowledge. So...

If you’re thinking of hiring a real estate agent or you already have (this is not a solicitation for your listing), here are 6 signs you’ve hired the wrong agent.

  1. They’ve offered no advice for preparing your home for sale. If the agent hasn’t given you any tips on staging, pricing, or addressing the negative features of your home (no property is perfect!), they may be afraid to anger you and/or lack the leadership skills needed to guide you through the selling process. Remember, a good agent might not always tell you what you want to hear, but they will tell you the truth and that’s what gets homes sold.
  2. Your home’s description in the MLS is written in all caps, has poor punctuation, or is only a few sentences long. If the agent can’t take the time to write a description pointing out your home’s best features, they either don’t have enough experience to understand the role of the description in marketing your home online or they don’t care. Either way, they’re doing you a disservice.
  3. The pictures of your home were taken with a smartphone. Cameras on smartphones are improving with each new generation of devices, but a professional knows that interior photos just don’t come out as clear or bright as pictures taken with a regular camera. Smartphones don’t function as well in low light conditions and the raw images regular cameras produce are of better quality. Also, many agents who use their smartphones to take photos don’t know how to use the included features or setup the shot to get the highest quality photos they can, so the home turns out looking dark and dingy. Pictures sell homes. They should be one of your listing agent’s biggest priorities.
  4. After the home is listed, they rarely answer your phone calls. This is a big red flag! The job of the agent is to work WITH you to sell your home. If you can’t call them with your concerns or to ask questions, how can you trust they are going to help you make the best decision when you’re presented with an offer?
  5.  You Google their name and they’re nowhere on the first (or second…or third...or fourth) page. 90% of home buyers conduct their search online. Yes, the number one priority is getting your home, not necessarily your agent, found online, but it doesn’t take much to get a profile indexed in a search engine. If they have no web presence, it’s likely they don’t take the trends of buyers seriously and won’t put much into marketing to them.
  6. They don’t provide any samples of their marketing for your home. Your agent won’t be able to provide proof for every bit of marketing they do as some of it is done in-house and by word-of-mouth, but they should provide you some guidance on how to find your home online, as well as samples of the flyers and mailings they do. If you see nothing, you may want to question how much marketing they’ve actually done, because some agents think putting the home in the MLS is all the marketing they need to do. That’s like saying, “If you build it, they will come.” “They” won’t. I can promise you that.

If you want to avoid agent remorse, read 12 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Any Real Estate Agent. If you’re thinking of listing your Wilmington area home for sale, we’d be happy to answer all of your questions about listing and marketing. Give us a call at 910.202.2546!

 

Wilmington Weekly Update - A Fire Department Merger, New NHRMC Hospitality House, and more!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

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

Instagram of the Week:

 

| Morning Glow | Bringing warmth to a frozen planet. #SunriseIlm #nothingisordinary #letlifein

A photo posted by Andrew $mith (@asmithlife) on Nov 11, 2014 at 4:39am PST

 

In Case You Missed It

Crews will be repaving 17th Street between Dawson and Dock St. until sometime around December 2nd. The only exception will be November 27 (Thanksgiving).  Repaving will require lane closures, so motorists are urged to use alternate routes and obey speed limits. Parking will also be restricted on that stretch. For a map, see Port City Daily.

The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are considering merging their fire departments. Emergency Services Consulting International recently analyzed how the two departments function and determined it would be the best course of action for greater efficiency to combine them. However, the city would like more information, like who will be making decisions and who will be paying for everything before they agree to the merger. Learn more at Star News Online.

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center is holding an open house today for their brand new State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Family House on Physicians Drive. The $4.1 million hospitality building will provide low-cost stay options for families of patients in the hospital. It has nearly twice as many rooms as the current hospitality building and will be officially open in December. Learn more at Port City Daily.

A protest has been filed with the New Hanover County Board of Elections against votes cast in the Williston Precinct. John Christian Anderson wrote the protest claiming questionable behavior by the precinct’s chief judge, poor monitoring of the voting booths, and a delay in reported votes. Learn more at Star News Online.

Pumpkin RollsComing Up

Forget Black Friday! Get a head start on your holiday shopping at St. Mark’s Arts and Craft Show. There will be over 50 vendors peddling handcrafted jewelry, holiday wreaths, floral arrangements, ornaments & decorations, wood turning, doll clothing, Irish gifts, crocheted & hand-knit items, pottery, candles, and more! It runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. While you're there, check out Mary Kay's Pumpkin Rolls. They are delicious! Full details are located at What’s on Wilmington.

Meghan Riley

6 Lessons That Home Sellers Can Learn from Star Wars

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Lesson Home Sellers Can Learn from Star WarsWith the announcement that filming of the new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” has finished filming and rumors we may see the first trailer in the next 5-6 months, it’s hard for fans not to feel excited. But did you know there are some good lessons for home sellers to learn from the Star Wars universe? Here are a few I noticed.

1. First Impressions are Important

Obi-Wan: [in reference to the Death Star] "That's no moon. It's a space station."
Han Solo: "It's too big to be a space station."
Luke: "I have a very bad feeling about this."

What first impression is your home giving? Did you know it only takes 15 seconds for a buyer to form an opinion of your home? That’s pretty much the walk from their car to your front door. That says a lot about curb appeal!

So, is your curb appeal saying “well maintained”, “greatness lies inside”, or “we blow up entire planets for a living”? If it’s the latter, we have some talking to do. For tips on preparing your home for sale, visit our seller pages!

2. Let the Professionals Do the Work

Luke Skywalker: [on first seeing the Millenium Falcon] What a piece of junk!
Han Solo: She'll make point five past lightspeed. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a bet during the Cloud City Sabacc Tournament. Afterwards, he started adding his own enhancements to the ship. The jammer that Solo installed was so powerful that the first time the unit was tested, it disrupted the information relays inside the Falcon itself just as an Imperial ship was launching. Luckily, it made the Falcon shut down making it unnoticeable to the Imperial ship. This was just one instance when Solo’s “special modifications” put him in a bind.

If you’re a handy person and have done a lot of the work around your home to keep it maintained, that’s great! Just know that anything done without a permit when one was required could get you in trouble with the county, the extent of which fully depends on the circumstances. Also, any repairs requested during the due diligence should be done by a professional. This isn’t just for the buyer’s peace of mind, but to cover you, as well. You don’t want to be held liable for repairs that were not done correctly. If the professional makes the mistake, they are the ones who will have to correct it.

3. Being Caught Off-Guard Could Cost You a Hand and a…

On Cloud City, Luke Skywalker is caught off-guard by a trap set by Darth Vader. He enters into the epic duel that will eventually lead to the loss of his hand and the revelation that Vader is his father. It isn’t the news about his father that leads him to lose his hand, but rather his belief that he knows all he needs to in order to defeat Vader when, in fact, Vader is holding back revealing the extent of his abilities the whole time.

As a home seller, it’s important you aren’t caught off-guard by any “traps” set by your home…figuratively speaking, of course. You may have made it a priority to maintain your home’s condition throughout the time you owned it, but you just never know when something may break. Ordering a home warranty when you list the property will help to alleviate the costs of repairs for yourself and the buyers. 2-10 Home Warranty will cover your home without any upfront payments as long as your home is listed. If something breaks, rather than paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for the repairs, you pay a small deductible. This is covered in more detail in their brochure.

4. Don’t Let Your Emotions Rule You or You May End Up Going to the Dark Side

Chancellor Palpatine convinced Anakin Skywalker to give in to the dark side of the force by telling him about a Sith Lord who could stop people from dying. This is exactly what he wanted to hear - that it could help him save his wife, Amidala, from dying, as he had seen in his visions. Instead, his very act of giving into the dark side led to the death of his wife in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now, we’re not saying you’re going to become an evil Sith Lord, but we highly suggest you don’t believe everything you’re told. Some agents will tell you exactly what you want to hear in order to get you to list your home with them, but when it comes time to produce results, you may find there aren’t many. So, make sure you’re asking the right questions and requesting testimonials before you hire anyone. A good agent might not tell you what you want to hear, but they’ll tell you the truth.

By the way, the original headline for this section was “Do Your Research or You May End Up Kissing Your Sister”. Yeah, not quite the same effect.

5. Do or Do Not, There is No Try

During his training of Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda provides one of the most famous quotes from the Star Wars Trilogy – “Do or do not. There is not try.” His intent is to teach Luke to commit himself completely to his training. “Trying” is committing to an excuse before he fails or succeeds. He either raises his ship into the air or he doesn’t.

When you list your home for sale, you need to fully commit to it. Sellers that don’t want to take the time to work on the presentation of their home or frequently decline showings will not see the offers that other comparable homes do. If your home doesn’t look maintained, buyers will undervalue it. If you often decline showings, not only will you possibly be turning away your buyer, but Realtors will deem you difficult to work with and may choose not to add you to their clients’ list of homes. Then, your home will sit on the market for months and that also can hurt the sale of your home, because Realtors and buyers will see the history of your home, question the reasons for it not selling, and probably avoid it, even if you take it off the market for a few weeks. You truly need to give it your all from the first day of listing or you might as well not list.

We know potential selling price is a big driving force for homeowners. If you aren’t sure what other homes are selling for in your neighborhood, you can find out on our home values website (it’s automated and free) or you can call us and we’ll do a Comparative Market Analysis, which is your most accurate choice.

6. You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned

Yoda is chock-full of great wisdom. If you watched the clip above, you heard Yoda say, "You must unlearn what you have learned." This is another quote from Luke’s training on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. At this point, Yoda is telling Luke that he needs to relearn his way of thinking. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

If you’ve sold a home in the past (over 2-3 years ago) or are taking advice from a friend or family member who has, one might say you need to unlearn what you have learned, because there have been so many changes. New laws, new technology, and new buyer habits have made selling a home a whole new ball game. There was a time when selling a house only required a 4-6 page contract. A basic contract today is 16 pages or more (even oil rights are covered), and only increases depending on the age of your home and the current state of your finances (if you need to short sale it). Then, add in the fact that 90% of buyers start their home search online and you quickly realize that marketing the home is no longer just placing an ad in the local newspaper or holding an open house.

When sellers list with us, we walk them through the whole process from signing the paperwork to marketing. Here’s a brief overview of our marketing plan.

If you're thinking of selling your Wilmington area home and would like to know more about how we can help you get it sold, give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

Meghan Riley

Monday Market Update - November 17, 2014

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateHappy Monday!  Well, the Holidays are upon us.  I'm starting to see Christmas decorations everywhere and while I usually don't like seeing them before Thanksgiving.... I'm really liking it this year.  Maybe it's because I've actually gotten some shopping done already.  Super excited about that!  I do love this time of year!

Wilmington was recently named by Business Insider as one of the BEST Housing Markets for the next 5 years.  According to the Core Logic Case-Shiller report, home prices in the Wilmington market are expected to rise over 3.9% over the next 5 years. 

This information falls right in line with what I've been telling sellers all year.  Our apprecation and recovery from the downfall of our market has been slow and steady.  In my opinion, that's exactly what it needs to be.   I think that a market that recovers too quickly or appreciates too high and too fast is doomed to repeat the market failures we saw in 2007-2008.  While we all want to see our properties appreciate, I think this slow and steady approach will definitely benefit us in the long term.  In the mean time, take advantage of these still historically low interest rates to refinance if it makes finanicial sense, consider investing in a rental or buy your first home.  Want to discuss your options?  Give us a call anytime!

Have a fantastic week and we look forward to helping you with all your real estate needs!

Melanie Cameron

Don’t Confuse “Added Value” and “Maintenance”

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Added Value vs. Home MaintenanceChoosing a listing price can be challenging for homeowners. They have to identify comparable properties that have recently sold, and decide which features make their home more valuable or less valuable than those identified. This requires knowing recent trends and looking at the properties with an impartial view. Probably one of the most difficult aspects of this task is identifying which investments are just maintenance and which add value to the home.

Every home has the same basic systems (plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning/heating) and features (roof, kitchen appliances, and floors/walls). Replacing or repairing any of these during the course of owning a home is considered maintenance. Some sellers think if they put a few thousand dollars into their home that should be tacked onto the selling price. As nice as it would be to get back every dollar put into a home, it just isn’t possible. However, a well maintained home will usually get sold more quickly and for a higher price than one that hasn’t.

To add value to a home (and potentially raise the listing price), a homeowner needs to add new features and/or upgrade current ones to those that are trendy or more useful. The trick to this is knowing what sellers are looking for. Homeowners also shouldn't renovate “out of their community”, meaning they shouldn't add enhancements that wouldn’t be found in other homes in the community. An owner will never get back their investment if they install luxury features in a mid-range home or mid-range features in a low-range home, because buyers want to live in communities that match the home they're purchasing.

If you’re considering renovating your Wilmington area home and aren’t sure which upgrades will be the most cost effective, give us a call at 910.202.2546. We can take a look at other recently sold homes and draw from our selling experience to help you get the most bang for your buck.

Meghan Riley

What Can You Get for $250,000 in…

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Home features and price differ depending on where you're looking in southeastern North Carolina. Here we look at three cities/towns in our area to find out what features are available for $250,000. Please note that the homes featured here may be slightly below or slightly over $250,000 and are only a few examples of what you may find.

Wilmington

A new home with paid closing costs, energy efficient features, and community amenities…

107 Northbrook Dr107 Northbrook Dr
Wilmington, NC 28405

4 Bedrooms | 3.5 Baths | 2282 SF
.22 Acres | New Construction
MLS# 509910

$5,000 Seller Paid Closing Costs, restrictions apply. The Mt. Vernon offers 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths and a formal dining room and foyer with hardwood flooring. The kitchen has ample counter and cabinet space and breakfast bar that overlooks breakfast area and large great room. There is also a powder room on the first level. Upstairs you'll find the master suite with walk in closet, double vanity, separate soaking tub, shower and water closet. There are 3 additional bedrooms, 2 full baths and laundry room on the second level. Additional features of this home include stainless steel appliances, 42 inch upgraded kitchen cabinets, recessed can lighting, coach garage lights, flood lights, gas log fireplace with granite surround, finished garage, front stone accent, 9 ft ceilings on the first floor, and hardwood flooring in great room, hall bath, dining room, and kitchen. This home meets Stevens Energy Wise standards for greater energy efficiency and savings. Available Now!

OR an existing home with less square-footage and one less bedroom, but boasting a bonus room, deck, and larger lot in a mature neighborhood.

5000 Crosswinds Dr5000 Crosswinds Dr
Wilmington, NC 28409

3 Bedrooms | 3.5 Baths | 2098 SF
.30 Acres | Built in 1994
MLS# 512625

Designed for today's living. Beautiful corner lot home in a very desirable community location. Open floor plan design with many features. Gorgeous hardwood floors throughout the living areas. Decor paint colors. Huge volume ceiling great room with gas log fireplace. Large kitchen has a bay window dining nook, bar island and upgraded stainless steel appliances. Formal dining with crown and chair moldings. The 1st level master has a trey ceiling, new carpet and an adjoining sitting area. Whirlpool bath and walk-in closet. Matching guest bedrooms. The bonus room has a unique inlay wood floor. Great multi-use area. Attic and eave storage. Private fully fenced backyard. Mature landscape. Close to shopping, schools and beach. Ready for immediate occupancy.

Hampstead

An existing cul-de-sac home with a first floor master suite, library, office, and bonus room…

31 Shinnwood Ct31 Shinnwood Ct
Hampstead, NC 28443

3 Bedrooms | 3.5 Baths | 2224 SF
.37 Acres | Built in 2006
MLS# 507824

Looking for a 2 - story home that offers plenty of room, desirable features, and a great location...this is it! Located on a quiet cul de sac at the back end of Emerald Ridge, it's a perfect home for casual living. Features and upgrades include a very attractive kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances; hardwood floors, ceramic tile, carpet, full sized shed, irrigation system, and a 2 car garage. Additional rooms include a bonus, library and office. The family and pets can enjoy one of the largest back yards in the community, fully fenced in. Emerald Ridge is located in the award winning Topsail School District; and a short convenient distance to local shopping, the Topsail Island beaches, the ICWW, local golf courses; and positioned between Wilmington, Jacksonville, Camp Lejeune and New River MAS. This home has been well maintained by the owner. Seller provides a one year 2-10 Home Warranty. You'll enjoy living in the neighborhood and this home.

OR a slightly larger brand new home with one more bedroom (but one less bath) near the local boat ramp.

Lot 15 Silo Ct15-Lot 15 Silo Ct
Hampstead, NC  28443

4 Bedrooms | 2.5 Baths | 2276 SF
.35 Acres | Built in 2014
MLS# 512364

The desirable Juniper plan is loaded with lots of fine features and finishes! The open floor plan offers a spacious living room with a cozy gas fireplace, lots of windows allowing for natural lighting and a small Office Area off of the living room! The Chef friendly kitchen features lots of storage, granite countertops, tile backsplash, SS appliances, pantry, & is open to breakfast nook with sliding glass door to the rear covered porch. Beautiful wainscoting & a coffered ceiling highlight the formal Dining Room. Upstairs you'll find the generous master suite with raised double vanity, garden tub & separate shower, tile floor & walk-in closet. 3 more BR's, a full bath, & laundry room complete the 2nd floor. Side Load garage, builder warranty, covered rear porch, beautiful trim, exterior stone accents & more! Near public boat ramp, Kiwanis Park & golf. Est Comp 12/30/14 Measurements & sqft are per Builders blueprint, Builder reserves right to make changes to plan during construction.

Leland

A low maintenance resale with a sunroom, first-floor master suite, and yard maintenance included, all within a golf course community…

1009 Tallgrass Ln1009 Tallgrass Ln
Leland, NC 28451

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 1801 SF
.21 Acres | Built in 2002
MLS# 511791

Beautiful low maintenance home with sunroom and formal dining located on one of the best lots in Holly Glen in Magnolia Greens. This corner lot has a private, well landscaped back yard. Foyer opens to the spacious living room with cathedral ceilings, gas log fireplace, bookshelves, and skylights. The dining room has enough room for your dining table and hutch. Enjoy the low maintenance landscaped back yard from the sunroom. The kitchen features granite counter tops, tile back splash, and tile floors. Master has his and her closets, stand up tile shower, double sinks, and vanity with sitting area. Separate laundry room with cabinets. Water heater replaced 2014. The side loading garage has built in cabinets. Back yard has no grass to mow, but plenty of space to plant or just sit back and enjoy the established landscaping. Low monthly dues include amenities and front and side yard maintenance. Optional 27 hole golf course. Close to shopping, restaurants and health care facilities.

OR new construction with one more bedroom and bath, more square-feet, and a game room, but no golf course.

9045 Gardens Grove Rd9045 Gardens Grove Rd
Leland, NC 28451

4 Bedrooms | 3 Baths | 3187 SF
.17 Acres | New Construction
MLS# 510325

The Nicklaus plan offers over 3,000 square feet of living space in an open floor plan. This home features a formal dining room and large great room. The kitchen overlooks the great room and features a dining nook and raised breakfast bar. The home offers a loft flex space on the second floor and a guest bedroom with full bathroom on the first floor. The master suite offers his and hers walk-in closets, double bowl marble topped vanity, separate soaking tub and shower and a water closet. Additional features of this home include stainless steel appliances, 36 inch upper cabinets, recessed can lighting, two coach lights, laminate wood flooring in great room, hall and dining room, 9 ft ceilings on the first level, finished garage, front stone accent, and a sod and irrigated front and rear yard. This Stevens Fine Home is built to Stevens Energy Wise standards of construction for greater efficiency and savings. *Move in ready*

As you can see, each property has it own set of positive and negative features. You just need to decide which ones mean the most to you.

Note: These homes are not intended to be market value comparables. Our intention is to show you what options are available in a specific price range in an area. All information shown here is as found in the MLS (on the date of publication), which is provided by the listing agent and seller. A true assessment of each home’s condition can only be determined with a home inspection.  

For further information or questions about these properties, speak with your real estate agent or, if you are currently not working with anyone, give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

Meghan Riley

We Will Be Working During The Holidays...Call Us.

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Thanksgiving CenterpieceDo you smell that? That’s the scent of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla…Oh! And turkey, peppermint, and pine!....Glittering decorations, tinkling laughter, and little boxes wrapped up with bows. Yes, it’s the holiday season once again!

November and December can be extremely busy months filled with parties, school events, travelling, and shopping. Some Wilmington Realtors take these months off just so they can focus on getting things done. While we believe it’s important to spend time with family and friends, we won’t be at it 24/7. Doing so would mean abandoning our clients, and we know there’s plenty of time in our schedules to make sure your needs are being met. We want YOU to know that as well. So, please, don’t hesitate to call us!

With that said, it’s still the holiday season and with it comes a few restrictions. Just as you are busy with festivities, so are sellers and buyers (depending on what side of the fence you’re on). It can be difficult to schedule showings for some homes. It may not be an issue right now, but closer to each holiday, some sellers may stop showings to prevent themselves from inconveniencing visiting family and guests. Buyers may also be extremely limited on when they can view homes, but the most serious buyers are the ones asking for showings at this time of year; so, we ask that everyone try to be as flexible and understanding as possible.

We also won’t be negotiating contracts or showing homes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Yes, the title of this blog does say that we will be working during the holidays and we do understand how important it is for you to get your home sold/purchased, but we insist (and we’re sure the other parties do, as well) that everyone has a few days to relax with family and friends. After all, what is life without our loved ones?

We hope to hear from you soon!

The Cameron Team

Melanie, Tammy, Sloan, and Kellye

Meghan Riley

Don’t Forget This When Preparing Your Home for Listing Photos!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Patio Home with Car in DrivewayWe’ve touched on staging your home to sell a lot over the past few years. It’s so important to get your home looking inviting, clean, and open, especially for the day your listing photos are taken. These are images that will be seen time and time again by thousands of potential buyers. They are a major driving force for not just getting views of your home, but people INTO your home. Despite how many times I’ve written or shared information about staging, I’m afraid there is one tidbit of information that I haven’t touched on enough – vehicles in the driveway.

This is basically how the week before photos plays out:

The seller focuses really hard on de-cluttering, and storing away non-essential décor and furniture. They clean the house top to bottom until it shines. They repair glaringly wrong issues with paint and fixtures. They trim the bushes, mow the yard, and put away yard décor. On the day of photos, they make sure counters are cleaned off, dishes are put away, pet paraphernalia is hidden, and everything looks polished. Then, they either head off to work or hang about while the professional photographer does their job.

So, what’s missing? The seller didn’t clear out the driveway. Most families have two cars or more, and one is often left parked in front of the home. If you’re present during photographing, the photographer or real estate agent will usually remind you to move any vehicles present, but sometimes they forget or the homeowners are at work and the vehicle can’t be moved. As a result, the picture of the front of the home (the image we’re required to use as the first picture in the MLS) has a car blocking the view. That can hurt the home’s first impressions.

A car in front of the home blocks buyers from seeing essential features. Just as it’s suggested you remove family photos and excessive décor to help buyers imagine themselves living in the home, you want to remove extra vehicles outside. This also applies to trailers, ATVs, boats, etc. The buyers want to see the curb appeal, how big the home is, what the driveway looks like, what the garage door looks like, and if they can handle any needed repairs. A car can detract from that, so it’s important to remove it from view.

If your pictures have already been taken and you forgot to remove your car, don’t fret. You still have all the interior photos to capture a buyer’s attention. Leaving your car in the driveway is not the biggest mistake a seller can make. That’s still overpricing.  

Are you looking for more information on preparing your home to sell? Check out our Seller Resources! If you’re interested in listing your Wilmington area home for sale, we would be honored if you’d let us tell you a bit about our seller services. Give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

Meghan Riley

What’s Being Built Along Fort Fisher Boulevard?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Fort Fishe AF Recreation AreaIf you’ve visited Kure Beach in the recent past, you may have noticed a stretch of land on Fort Fisher Boulevard that had some military type housing on it. It wasn’t hard to miss, because the houses didn’t match the colorful beach style homes lining the rest of the road. If you don’t know the history of Pleasure Island, you may not realize that it used to be home to the Fort Fisher Air Station, staffed by the Air Force's 701st Radar Squadron, from 1955-88. Funding cuts led to its decommission and the land was repurposed to the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area and became a low-cost vacation option for military personnel, both active and retired. Now, the facility is getting an upgrade.

Eighteen of the military style houses along Fort Fisher Boulevard have been torn down and are being replaced with cottages that match other developments in Kure Beach. These cottages will hold 36 units, doubling the current rentals, and future plans include 18 more. The site also has mobile homes, RV hookups, and camping sites available to the military.

The Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area is 50+ acres sandwiched between the ocean and Cape Fear River. It has many of its own member facilities onsite, including a restaurant, stage, recreation center, and pool. Management hopes to update these facilities in the future, as well. Despite its self-contained services, visitors using the rentals do spend money in the community, so improvements to bring in more vacationers helps the local economy.

The recreation area is a great opportunity for military personnel to spend time with their families, and we’re happy to see enhancements being made!

Meghan Riley

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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