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Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

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Wilmington Weekly Update - YMCA Kid's Triathlon, PowerHouse Tumblers, 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:

In Case You Missed It

New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield Jr. is the new chairman of the county’s social services board. He was elected to replace Evelyn Bryant, who has led it since 2011. He has been on the board since 2011 and is also a candidate for the U.S. House District 7 seat currently held by Rep. Mike McIntyre. Learn more at Port City Daily.

The CFCC Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises scholarship funds for needy students, has reached record breaking levels with this year’s fundraising. It has gathered over $2 million in private donations. A variety of events help to contribute to the fund, including a race, gold and tennis tournaments, and luncheons. Learn more at Port City Daily.

One of Wilmington’s tumbling groups PowerHouse Tumblers is vying for a spot on America’s Got Talent through a mini competition on the “Today” show. They performed on the morning show this past week and people can go to the show’s website to vote for them. The winners will be announced on America’s Got Talent on July 30th. Learn more about PowerHouse at Star News Online.

Coming Up

Kid's TriathlonThe 12th Annual Wilmington Family YMCA Kid's Triathlon is happening this Saturday, July 26th (registration closes at midnight on July 24th). Proceeds benefit the youth programs at YMCA. There will be different races depending on age group:

Age 5-6: Swim 25 yards, Bike 1 mile, Run 0.5 mile
Age 7-8: Swim 50yd, bike 2 miles, run 0.5 mile
Age 9-10: Swim 100 yd, bike 2 miles, run 1 mile
Age 11-13: Swim 200 yd, bike 3 miles, run 2 miles

There will also be family friendly activities for spectators and finished racers. Learn more at the event registration page.

Meghan Riley

The Cameron Team's Favorite DIY Sprinklers

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

It's summer time, which means fun in the outdoors! If you have kids, you know all about the demand for entertainment, especially during the long days of summer break. But with help from a hose and a bit of ingenuity, having fun doesn't need to be expensive. Here are some of our favorite DIY sprinklers!

The PVC Sprinkler from HomeSpun Threads

PVC Sprinkler from HomeSpun Threads

The Stand Up PVC (KidWash) Sprinkler from 4 Men 1 Lady

The Bottle Sprinkler from Housing a Forest

Bottle Sprinkler from Housing a Forest

The Flower Shower from Event Horizons

The Flower Shower from Event Horizons

The Noodle Sprinkler from Ziggity Zoom

Noodle Sprinkler from Ziggity Zoom

The Kiddie Car Bike Wash from Mom Endeavors

Kiddie Car Wash from Mom Endeavors

Of course, if you don't have kids, you can always adapt the sprinklers for your garden!

6 DIY Sprinkler Ideas

Meghan Riley

Monday Market Update - July 21, 2014

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team Monday Market UpdateHappy Monday!  Hoping you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed this beautiful weather.

I read an article today from "Keeping Current Matters" about how much of a down payment buyers actually need to purchase a home.   A recent survey by Zelman & Associates revealed that 38% of those between the ages of 25-29 years old and 42% of those between the ages of 30-34 years old believe that a minimum of 15% is required as a down payment to purchase a home. A recent questionnaire administered by Freddie Mac showed that over 50% of all respondents thought 20% was required as a down payment.

In reality, a purchaser very well may be able to put down far less.  In fact, according to Freddie Mac, 40% of homebuyers today that are getting a loan are making down payments that are less than 10%.  Since 2010, the number of people putting down less than 10% for conventional loans has grown three fold. So, not only are low down payment programs available, they are actually being used quite regularly.

Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac's VP explained that a buyer "can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5% (sometimes with as little as 3% coming out of their own pockets)".  Qualified borrowers can further reduce the down payment coming out of their own pockets to 3% by lining up gifts from family or grants or loans from non profits or public agencies.

Questions? Comments?  Want us to connect you with a lender?  Just give us a call 910-202-2546 or cameronteam@seacoastrealty.com

Melanie Cameron

Should I Offer an Agent Bonus to Increase Home Showings?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Should I Offer a Buyer's Agent Bonus on My Home Listing? You’re selling your Wilmington area home. It’s been on the market for a few months, but you aren’t getting the amount of showings that you want. You’ve heard about buyer’s agent bonuses, where you offer some kind of gift (a specific dollar amount, an extra percentage of commission, a gift card, etc.) to an agent that brings you a buyer, and you’re wondering if that’s something you should try.

It’s important for sellers to know that it is against the Realtor® Code of Ethics and Fair Housing laws to steer a buyer to or away from a specific listing. Realtors® are here to provide facts and experience so that their clients can make the best decisions for them. However, this hasn’t made the buyer’s agent bonus illegal, because choosing to show a property that fits a client’s search criteria doesn’t necessarily constitute steering, even if it has a bonus. The agent just can’t make any extra effort to convince the client to choose that property over others. If there is a buyer’s agent bonus, according to the Code of Ethics, the agent must reveal it to their client.

As a Realtor®, it is the buyer’s agent’s responsibility to find a home that best suits the needs of their clients. With that said, a buyer’s agent will show a listing if there is a bonus or not, as long as it suits the needed criteria, because they’re in the market to sell a home. Attaching an agent bonus to the listing won’t necessarily provide any additional showings.

Instead of offering an incentive to the buyer’s agent, it would probably better suit you to use that money to make needed repairs on the listing or provide an incentive for the buyers, like paid closing costs, a carpet allowance, painting allowance, home warranty, etc. After all, those sort of perks can be advertised online and in the MLS, and the buyers are the ones who have the final say on which properties they see.

If your Wilmington area home is not yet listed and you're interested in putting it on the market, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’d be happy to share our marketing plan and provide you insight into the fair market value of your home.  

Meghan Riley

Featured Community: Brittany Lakes, Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Brittany Lakes is a lovely community dotted with serene ponds and canals filled with local wildlife and native vegetation. Located in the Ogden area of Wilmington, it’s accessible from Murrayville Road, White Road, and Market Street with I-40 a short drive away. The community consists of two parts – the main division of Brittany Lakes and the sub-division Legacy at Brittany Lakes.

Homes in Brittany Lakes are mostly one-level or one-level with a finished room over the garage. Floor plans range from 1,900 to 3,000 square-feet, and commonly include 3 or 4 bedrooms and 2-car attached garages. Exteriors are all-brick or vinyl with brick accent walls and many homes are pond view or pond front.

View Homes for Sale in Brittany Lakes

View Homes for Sale in Legacy at Brittany Lakes

Brittany Lakes - Wilmington North CarolinaThe community of Brittany Lakes has two separate homeowner associations for their two divisions. Brittany Lakes’ HOA fees cover the maintenance, insurance, etc. of their common areas and amenities, which include a swimming pool and tennis court. Legacy at Brittany Lakes, which does not have community amenities, has HOA fees to cover the insurance, management, etc. of the common areas. We suggest reading the rules and restrictions for each HOA (attainable by your Wilmington real estate agent) prior to closing on a home in either division.

Residents of Brittany Lakes enjoy the short drive to Wrightsville Beach, and shopping, dining, and movies at Mayfaire Town Center.  Ogden Park and the local ice rink, The Ice House, are also just minutes away. Lewis Farms, open in the spring for picking fresh strawberries and blueberries, is located around the corner and schools aren’t far away either. So, the Ogden area has plenty to offer.

If you'd like to see a home for sale in Brittany Woods or Legacy at Brittany Woods, give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page. We'd be happy to help!

Meghan Riley

 

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

Instagram of the Week:

In Case You Missed It

Beloved U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, usually seen docked along the Riverwalk in Downtown Wilmington, will be absent for the next three months while it’s in Maryland receiving a major overhaul. This year is the ship’s 50th year in commission and this is its first major maintenance in 3 years. Learn more at Port City Daily.

Codington Elementary, Castle Hayne Elementary, New Hanover High, and Winter Park Elementary are all getting leadership changes for the coming school year. See who’s new and who’s transferring to other schools at Port City Daily.

The Walmart Supercenter being built in Porters Neck will be completed by June or July of 2015. Foundation work on the site is set to begin in October of this year. Signage is still due to be approved, but that will not affect the construction timetable. Learn more about the development at Star News Online.

Connor and Casey Barth, graduates of Hoggard High and the University of North Carolina, held their annual football kicking camp at Hoggard High School. The event is free and hosted 30 kickers from a wide range of ages. Casey holds the all-time field goal record for the Tar Heels and Connor is the kicker for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Learn more at WWAY TV3.

Ed Zirkle Bellamy Mansion Pooch on the PorchComing Up

Stop by the Bellamy Mansion Museum with your dog for Pooch on the Porch on July 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Get a professional photo of your pooch in front of the elegant backdrop of the historic mansion. Ed Zirkle is the photographer and photos are $75. Visit What’s on Wilmington for contact information for reserving a time slot.

Meghan Riley

Monday Market Update - July 14, 2014

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team Wilmington NC Real EstateHappy Monday!  It's hard to believe that we are already half way through 2014.  It doesn't seem that long ago that we were digging out from winter storms. 

In June, the market continues to show signs of improvement. The average sold price of $250,662 was up .5% from last year and up 12.4% from last June... a great improvement.   Our listing inventory increased by 41 units in June and currently stands at 4,205 single family homes in our MLS.  With the current pace of sales, that equates to a 6.8  month supply of inventory.   Our pending index as of 7-12-14 was at 1,119 units.  Our average days on the market decreased slightly to 125 days and the 30 yr. fixed rate has stayed stable and averages 4.15% last month.

Our average list price, $357,094 was down slightly in June and our current year to date average sold price is at $236,499.  For the 3rd month in a row, the list to sale price ratio is back over 95%.  For June it was 96.5%.  Our listing inventory typically peaks around this time and starts to slow down heading into the Fall.  If you're considering making a move, we'd love to chat with you.

Melanie Cameron

As always, have a great week and remember The Cameron Team for all your real estate needs.

How Long Do I Have to Wait to Buy After Short Selling My Home?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

How Long Do I Need to Wait to Buy After a Short Sale?If the last home you sold was a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure and you plan on purchasing your next property with a conventional loan, you need to be aware of Fannie Mae's wait time requirements. Currently, the wait time is 2 years with a 20% down payment and clean credit or 4 years with a 10% down payment and clean credit. However, starting August 16, 2014, the wait time will be extended to 4 years. That means you need to get your loan application in before August 16 or you will need to wait 2 more years.

But there is good news. If your short sale was due to extenuating circumstances (the loss of a job and/or wages) and you can provide strong proof, the 4 years may be reduced to 2. Also, the down payment requirements for conventional loans, extenuating circumstances or not, will be reduced to 10% with some loan officers reporting as low as 5%.

Fannie Mae has not released an official announcement. News of these changes came through the updated Desktop Underwriter Release Notes (DU Version 9.1).

Meghan Riley

To fully understand your qualifications, always speak with a mortgage expert. If you’re in need of a trusted mortgage consultant, give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

National Geographic Names Wrightsville Beach One of “The Last Best American Beach Towns"

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

The Last Best American Beach Towns Wrightsville BeachNational Geographic has listed Wrightsville Beach as one of “The Last Best American Beach Towns”. The list was included in Beyond the Guidebook on their website earlier this week and originally appeared in their June/July 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine. It includes just 7 beach towns.

Bruce Schoenfeld, author of the article wrote, “A great beach town must have shores that are spacious, picturesque, relatively uncrowded, and clean. Beyond that, its local culture not only has to service tourism but also transcend it. The town must have a prettiness about it that makes even a stroll to the grocery store an occasion for delight…..Finally, it has to be timeless, meaning that though restaurants come and go and shops get sold, the contours and vistas around them remain recognizable through generations.”

Visit the article to see exactly what Mr. Schoenfeld had to say about why he chose Wrightsville Beach. Of course, we can’t disagree! We love our Wrightsville Beach!

Meghan Riley

Wilmington Weekly Update - Book Rocket, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, and more!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Instagram of the Week:

In Case You Missed It

The New Hanover County website re-launched this week with a new look that makes it more visual, a benefit for smartphones, and easier to navigate. It’s a project that has been in the works for the past year and inner pages have been updated throughout the past few months, but this brings it all together. See the update.

New Hanover County Public Library is 1 of 14 public libraries to be chosen to participate in a preview of the Book Rocket interactive summer reading program that allows parents of pre-K through 6th grade students to track their child’s reading. Book Rocket provides a pre- and post-program assessment to help parents gain a better understanding of their children’s reading abilities. It also provides age appropriate recommended reading lists. Learn more at Port City Daily.

Orlando Jones: UncensoredNew Hanover Regional Medical Center has entered into a services agreement with Carolinas Healthcare System, the largest public healthcare system in North Carolina. This will allow NHRMC to cut expenses by pooling CHS’s larger purchasing budget, which will increase its negotiating powers. Learn more at Star News Online.

Coming Up

Orlando Jones: Uncensored is happening this Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at TheatreNow in Downtown Wilmington. Join the “Sleepy Hollow” and “MADtv” star for a comedic set. He will be performing alongside Alex Scott and local comedian Reid Clark.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the venue’s nonprofit, Theatre Network of Wilmington, Inc. Tickets are $45. Learn more at TheatreNow’s website.

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: 910.202.2875

The Cameron Team - Wilmington North Carolina Real Estate

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: 910.202.2875

Wilmington Homes for Sale Over 3,000 sq.ft. Featured Community - The Sanctuary at Hanover Reserve Find Out When Dogs are Allowed on the Beach