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The Cameron Team

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

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In Case You Missed It

City officials presented the results of a survey of Wilmington area residents of what they want done with 6+ acres along the Cape Fear Riverfront near the PPD Building downtown. Top results included a lawn area and concert venue, as well as a splash pad for kids, a garden, sculptures, and a natural habitat. The City of Wilmington will now move forward creating a plan with these recommendations. See an aerial of the location and the features at the bottom of the list on Port City Daily.

New Hanover County commissioners denied the permit request for a cell tower on Murrayville Road. Local residents spoke out about the eyesore and the permit was voted down 4 to 1. Learn more at Port City Daily.

The New Hanover County School Board decided this week to name the new school Porters Neck Elementary School. Unless there is major objection over the course of the next 6 months, this will become the official name. Learn more at Star News Online.

Ironclad Brewery is now open on N. Second Street in Wilmington. 99% of their beer will be created at their downtown location, which is an upfitted historic building. Ironaclad is an example of Wilmington’s new movement to attract microbrewers. Learn more at Port City Daily.

Antique Car ShowComing Up

The 43rd Annual Cape Fear Chapter Antique Automobile Show is happening this Saturday, March 7 at Independence Mall in Wilmington, NC. The show is open to vehicles 25 years and older. Judging begins at noon and the awards ceremony is at 3pm. Learn more at the chapter’s website.

Meghan Riley

VIDEO: Are You Relocating to the Wilmington Area?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Buyer's Agent Kellye Brill of The Cameron Team shares some of the other services that we offer as Coldwell Banker real estate agents that you may not be aware of, including help relocating to and away from the Wilmington area.

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



10 Commonly Missed Areas When Cleaning Your Home

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

10 Commonly Missed Areas When Cleaning Your HomeGetting ready to sell? You want to make sure your home is in tip-top shape, and that includes a deep cleaning. A dirty home can be a real turn-off to potential buyers, especially if allergies are a concern. A good clean is the cheapest, most effective way to improve how buyers view your home and, whatever you do, don’t underestimate what a buyer will notice. What has become commonplace for you, may stand out like a sore thumb to them.

To help you prepare for cleaning day, here’s a list of 10 commonly overlooked areas.  

  1. On top of ceiling fan blades. Buyers will be checking out all fixtures to determine their condition. Dirty ceiling fan blades can make a room look dingy.
  2. Inside light fixtures. After a while, bugs and dust can make their way inside light fixtures creating shadows and dimming light when they fixture is turn on. This can cast an ugly shadow on a room, not to mention that the buyers will see the dirt and bugs when they look directly at the light.
  3. In and around air vents. They’re one of those home features we learn to ignore, especially if they’re ceiling vents, but they gather dust and dirt (and tiny toys) easily.
  4. Windowsills. Blinds won’t hide windowsills from buyers, who will be looking at windows to determine their condition.
  5. On top of door frames. Like most things just out of eyesight, the top of door frames gather dust. If you’re on the short side, you probably won’t notice it, but taller buyers will. If your door has grooves in it, they too could use a wipe-down.
  6. Inside appliances. Buyers will looking at all appliances that remain with the home. That includes inside the oven, built-in microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator (if you’ve decided to leave it).
  7. In sliding door frames. If your home has a sliding door between the living areas and back yard, make sure you clean in the spaces that appear when the door is open, because buyers will look down when they walk through it.
  8. Light switch covers. Some of the dirtiest features of a home are the light switch covers. They’re some of the first things people touch when they enter a room, so they collect dirt, germs, and grime. The build-up is so gradual, you may not even realize how bad it is until you clean them.
  9. In and around sink drains. Food, hair, toothpaste, and makeup can collect in a home’s drains. This not only leaves gross chunks and residue, but it can slow down the flow of water and emit an odor. Clean them with some drain cleaner. There’s also a type of dishwashing soap that cleans your drains and makes them smell like fresh cucumbers.
  10. Front and back door mats. Though they may not come with the house, door mats can definitely set a level of expectation for the home. Make sure they’re clean. If they’re looking worn, it’s probably a good idea to invest in new ones, especially the one located at the main entrance.

Remember, how well the home is presented is a direct reflection of how well it’s been cared for over the years. The cleaner the home, the better chance of receiving an offer on it. Taking the time to make sure it looks the best it can will only benefit you, the seller.

Have a question about listing your Wilmington area home for sale? Give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

Meghan Riley

Monday Market Update - The Importance of Using a Real Estate Professional

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market Update

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend and for those of you still under a blanket of snow... our warm thoughts are with you.  Hang in there, Spring will be here before you know it.

I was reading a blog on Keeping Current Matters this morning discussing the importance of using a real estate professional.  It's no suprise that a HUGE number of homebuyers are beginning their home search online.  In fact, NAR reported that 92% of all buyers used the internet in their home search.    However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder's agent.  Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom they didn't know. 

According to the study, buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they actually end up buying (53%) or negotiate the terms of the sales and price (31%) or understand the process (63%).

Our goal is to help our buyers and sellers analyze the information and stats available so that they can make the best, most informed decision for their family's biggest financial decision.   Sometimes, the information we share is not what buyers or sellers want to hear.  But we can guarantee you this... it will be the truth.  Our clients are an extension of our family and we treat you as such.  If you're thinking about buying or selling, give us a call.  You'll be glad you did!  We GUARANTEE it!

Have a great week, don't forget to "SPRING" forward this coming weekend and as always, remember The Cameron Team for all your real estate needs.

Melanie Cameron

Featured Community: Cypress Island, Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Cypress Island is a townhome and single-family home community located in the 28409 zip code of Wilmington, North Carolina, right off River Road. But don’t let the address fool you. Cypress Island is half a mile from Carolina Beach town limits and 6 minutes from the public beach. So, it’s in a great location!

The community features a swimming pool, golf course, club house, walking trail, and tennis courts. The homeowner association fee also includes trash removal and yard maintenance (to be verified by buyer). The landscaping is mature and traffic is kept to a minimum with carefully placed cul-de-sacs.

Homes in Cypress Island are located in the school districts for Carolina Beach Elementary, Anderson Elementary, Murray Middle School, and Ashley High School. You can view the more recent test scores for these schools at the NC School Report Card website.

Cypress Island Swimming PoolThere are about 220 homes in Cypress Island, which was developed in the late 1990s. Homes were built as late as 2005 and floor plans range from 1,200 to 2,800 square-feet. Home styles lean toward low-maintenance designs, including single-floor townhomes, two-story townhomes, patio homes, and brick ranches.  In 2014, sale prices ranged from $120k to $260k. Many of the homes back up to either the golf course, a wooded buffer, or a large pond, so buyers can choose from added privacy and nice views.

View Homes for Sale in Cypress Island.

If you’d like to know more about Cypress Island 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

VIDEO: FREE 3 Hour Staging Consultation

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team


When you list your Wilmington area home with The Cameron Team, you will receive a FREE 3 hour staging consultation with Carolina Sold By Design. For more information, contact Melanie Cameron at:

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

Email Melanie

Buyers, Are the Home Sellers Watching Your Showing?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Buyers, Are the Home Sellers Watching Your Showing?People in general are much more tech savvy than they’ve been in the past. Thanks to technology becoming increasingly user friendly, it’s become easy for the Average Joe to set up cameras and recording devices in their homes…nanny cams, web cams, baby monitors, video game console cameras, surveillance cameras, SmartThings…all of these products and similar provide homeowners with a way to see within their home when they’re not present, whether it’s live streaming or a recording. This has put buyers in a strange position. Now, more than ever, it’s important for buyers to watch what they say – they may be recorded!

Now, I’m not saying that every seller that can is recording showings, but how will anyone know if they are? If a seller were to overhear on a camera that a buyer is really in love with their home, it would put the buyer at a disadvantage and could unfairly affect negotiating. The seller may feel inclined to counter at a higher than normal price in an effort to price gouge the buyer. Of course, by trying to take advantage of the situation, the seller will likely sabotage their own sale, but that’s an afterthought.

Is it legal for sellers to record showings? First of all, I AM NOT A LAWYER. You should ALWAYS consult an attorney before doing anything questionable. However, this is what I’ve found in my own research. It’s legal for homeowners to install security cameras in their homes. The catch is that homeowners cannot legally record conversations unless they are part of the conversation. North Carolina is a “one party consent” state, which means it is illegal to record a conversation without consent of at least one party and that party can be YOU. This prevents illegal snooping. Also, knowledge = consent (Read: “State-by-State Recording Laws”). If a person is warned that they’re being recorded and continue speaking, they are automatically consenting to the recording. Because the homeowner is not in the home, they are technically not part of the conversation and cannot record the conversation between buyers and real estate agents showing their home.

If you do see cameras running during a showing, keep in mind that the purpose isn’t always to get a one-up on negotiations. Sometimes it’s just about making sure that nothing goes missing and private drawers aren’t rifled through during a showing. Some sellers also feel it’s their chance to get unfiltered feedback on their home, which would allow them to pinpoint the negative features killing their home sale (Read: “Home sellers recording would-be buyers”). Of course, in our case, one could argue that agents have plenty of opportunity to provide that sort of feedback through the forms emailed by our central showing service.

All that aside, here’s some advice…

BUYERS: If you are at all interested in a home, keep your comments to yourself until you’re back in the car or sitting with your agent in another location. You can’t always tell when a camera is present or if it’s recording audio.

SELLERS: If you have cameras in your home, turn off the camera or audio feature, or you could face some serious legal repercussions. Agents have learned to recognize many camera products or, as one commenter on this post said, their buyers knew they were being recorded because they had the same nanny cams.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the Wilmington area, give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or message us through our Contact page. We’d be happy to discuss your options.

Meghan Riley

OPEN HOUSE: 1410 Bexley Drive, Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

1410 Bexley DriveSunday, March 1
1410 Bexley Drive
Wilmington, NC 28412
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Realtor David Leinwand will be hosting an open house this weekend at our listing located in Bexley. Stop by for a tour of the home and have all your questions answered. Also, don’t forget that every weekend is now a Coast In & Win Weekend, so you can enter to win $500 at every Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage open house.

Property Details:
This one-owner 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath home was custom designed around the gorgeous live oak in the front yard and is very well built with steel girders and oversized joists! The home includes a downstairs office, FROG, formal dining room, and Florida room for soaking up sunshine year-round! Bexley is a natural gas community, so the home includes gas hot water heaters and a gas range. The 1st floor master features a whirlpool tub and separate shower. There is a lot of attic storage and the home has the added bonus of a central vacuum system.

The home has a lot to offer, but the back yard oasis will amaze you! A beautiful garden with live oaks and a pond will please your senses, and 2 wired workshops/sheds are great for hobbyists. Both yards are irrigated on a separate well and the back yard has a hot water spigot. A pull-thru garage door is convenient for car washing, mower access, etc. Plus, there is a deck for sitting and grilling out. Both HVAC units were replaced in the last 3 years and the seller is providing a 1-year 2-10 home warranty for added peace of mind. Come enjoy the tree lined streets with sidewalks and be convenient to the hospital, downtown, beaches, shopping and dining!

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

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

Instagram of the Week:

In Case You Missed It

Activity in much of the Greater Wilmington area was put on hold this week as we dealt with uncommon winter weather. View pictures on Star News Online.

Four New Hanover County Sheriff Deputies helped rescue a man in a wheelchair from the second floor of a burning home. Three deputies carried the man outside while another stayed inside to battle the flames with a fire extinguisher. Read more at Port City Daily.

Cape Fear Community College’s chemical technology program is asking for the public to submit water samples in its annual water study. The students will test for over 60 contaminants over the course of 4-6 weeks. The service is free. Learn more a Port City Daily.

Wilmington and New Hanover County administrators announced they are no longer considering consolidating the city and county fire departments. Emergency Services Consulting International studied the departments last year and determined it would be in their best interests to join together, but the city and county managers decided the study didn’t provide proof of a cost savings and actually cited the addition of more paid staff members. Learn more at Star News Online.  

Old Electronics for RecyclingComing Up

Happening February 25 through February 27, Your Computer Friends in Wilmington is hosting an Electronics Recycling event for PCs, fax machines, scanners, phones, cables, stereos, and DVD players. The event is free, except for a $20.00 disposal fee for old CRT monitors and TVs. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Learn more about the recycling event.

Meghan Riley

Understanding Your Credit Score When Buying a Home

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Understanding Your Credit Score When Buying a HomeHow often have you heard that you need to know your credit score? It seems like I can’t watch an hour of television without seeing a commercial for free credit reports. Most people know that credit scores affect the loans we’re able to get, but when we delve deeper into their significance, things get really confusing. So, here’s a basic breakdown of what your credit score truly entails.

Your credit score is actually 3 scores provided by the main credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax® and TransUnion®. The credit scores are based on different algorithms, which are further refined based on what type of credit you’re trying to secure. When you pull your free credit report online, thost aren't necessarily the same numbers your mortgage lender is seeing. The scoring systems most often used by mortgage lenders are:

  • Equifax Beacon 5.0: Scores range from 334 to 818. 
  • Experian/Fair Isaac Risk Model v2: Scores range from 320 to 844. 
  • Trans Union FICO® Risk Score Classic 04: Scores range from 309 to 839.

How each score is factored into your qualification for a mortgage is a secret of the lender’s, but basically, the higher your credit score, the better offers you’ll receive from lenders, because you’re considered to be less of a risk.

Though the formulas for each credit bureau are different, they each take into consideration 5 factors when determining your score (% is approx.):

  1. Payment History: 35%
  2. Amounts Owed: 30%
  3. Length of Credit History: 15%
  4. New Credit: 10%
  5. Types of Credit: 10%

They do not take into account your salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed, employment history, location, and numerous other facts that may lead to discrimination.

The scores are based on the information stored by each bureau. They do not go searching for credit information. Anything in their records is reported to them from corporations and banks. If your score is different at each bureau, it’s because they have different information saved for you. Corporations and banks are not required to report to every single bureau. So one credit line may be reported at one, but not the other.

Specific factors are guaranteed to lower your credit scores, including:

  1. Paying bills late or not at all.
  2. High or maxed out credit lines.
  3. Too many credit inquiries.
  4. Too many credit lines with balances.
  5. Being sent to collections.
  6. Defaulting on a loan.
  7. Bankruptcy.
  8. Foreclosure.

It’s important to periodically check your credit scores and history. Information is not always reported correctly and you could find your scores lowered by misinformation. If you do find that there is incorrect information in your credit history, you will have to dispute it with each bureau. You can find the correct avenue for disputes on their websites:

Experian | Equifax® | TransUnion®

If you apply for a mortgage with a lender and are turned down or offered a package with a high interest rate, your loan officer can advise you on what you need to do to improve your credit score to lower the interest rate and get approved. This may take a few months, but could have a large impact on the amount you pay.

When you’re ready to purchase in the Wilmington area, let us know! We can put you in contact with a reputable local lender, who will help you find the best loan for your circumstances and can answer all your questions about the financial side of buying. Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page! 

 

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