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If I Get a Home Warranty, Do I Need to Get An Inspection?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

If I Get a Home Warranty, Do I Need to Get An Inspection?Your offer has been accepted and you’re now in the Due Diligence Period. This is when all of the digging begins – inspections, surveys, appraisals, title searches, HOA research, etc. This includes the home inspection, which is a close look at all the major systems of the house to make sure there’s nothing wrong with them. The results can be as small as a leaky faucet or as large as a foundation crack. The cost of a home inspection depends on the size of the home, but averages at $400.

“But, wait! The home I have a contract on is being sold with a warranty. Won’t that cover everything?”

As much as we would love for you to save some money, the answer is no. Here’s why the home warranty does not replace a home inspection:

1. If you’re financing the home purchase, there’s a chance that the lender requires a home inspection. You or your Realtor should verify the loan requirements with the lender to make sure that you aren’t doing anything that will disqualify you from being approved, like not getting a home inspection.

2. A home warranty usually has a dollar limit. If the HVAC in the home dies and the replacement costs $5,000, the warranty may only cover about $1,500 of it. As the home owner, you’ll be responsible for the rest.

3. An upfront service fee still exists. Depending on the package chosen by you or the seller, your service fee could be $75 or $100. This is often a fraction of what you’ll pay for a regular service call, but the fact is are still paying out money to fix an issue that could have been caught by the home inspection and resolved prior to closing.

4. Not everything is covered by a home warranty. Most home sellers offer the basic plan, sometimes the extended HVAC coverage. Don’t misunderstand, the basic coverage is great for handling many common issues that arise in the first year of homeownership and can greatly reduce your upfront costs. However, warranty packages often require add-ons for more unique home features, like a swimming pool or water softener. If you’re concerned about the warranty’s coverage, you can always request a brochure prior to closing.

A home warranty is definitely a nice perk as 7 out 10 homes have an appliance or system break within the first year of ownership. However, it does not replace the home inspection. An inspection will catch needed repairs that aren’t covered by a home warranty, allowing you to have them resolved by the seller before the home is closed on. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for repairs out-of-pocket when you discover them after the purchase is finalized.

Want to see an example home warranty brochure? We have one from 2-10 Home Warranty that you can view right on our website. It will show you the services offered, cost limits, service fees, and exceptions.

Have a question about buying a home in the Wilmington area? Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

 

More Parking Meters Coming to Carolina Beach

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Parking MeterLast night, the Carolina Beach Town Council voted to purchase and install 115 new parking meters on the town’s main drag, Lake Park Boulevard, from Harper Avenue to Fayetteville Avenue. Current parking on that stretch has a 2-hour limit, but beachgoers haven’t been abiding by the ordinance. Last year, 25 meters were placed on the 100 block of Cape Fear Boulevard and the town council found it improved the turnover rate for nearby businesses, discouraged all-day parking, and provided extra revenue for the town.

There will be 26 businesses affected by the new meters. Those opposing the meters have expressed concerns that their private parking lots will become a target for beachgoers. The town responded that those parking lots already have signs warning that the owners have the right to tow, but they will work with individual business owners to come up with the best solutions for them. The town is also working to pave a beach parking lot that became inaccessible last year due to flooding.

Meters will be installed by April 1.

To learn more about the parking meter project, including parking costs, visit Port City Daily.

Why Do I Need a Survey? The Home Already Has a Fence.

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Why Do I Need a Survey? The Home Already Has a Fence.As a home buyer, you have the right to have a home inspection and land survey completed prior to the home being closed on. This helps you to know exactly what you’re investing in and could potentially save you thousands of dollars. Most buyers want a home inspection, because it will tell them if there’s anything majorly wrong with the home that may hurt their ability to live in the home. However, unless they plan on making improvements to the property, like a detached building or fence, buyers will opt-out of a survey. We understand buyers want to save money, but we encourage everyone to get a survey.

One common question we get is, “Why do I need a survey? The home already has a fence.” This question is based on the assumption that previous owners did their duty and had a survey of their own completed prior to building the fence. However, unless the sellers produced a survey during the contract period, no one can guarantee that it was done.

There have been instances where property owners have learned that their fences encroached on their neighbor’s property after the sale has already sale occurred. This was discovered after they or their neighbor had a survey completed. The property owners then had to pay to have the fences moved. In one particular case reported on Realtor.com, a buyer discovered that three neighbors had built their fences over the back of the contracted property by over 10 feet. The buyer refused to close until the fences were moved and the neighbors sued saying they had a right to the property. The seller was not protected because he didn’t order a survey, so he had to pay court costs to resolve the matter, a price much higher than the cost of a survey.

A land survey can also tell you if a property has an easement, which is a non-owner right to the property. Easements may be a municipal’s right to run water pipes under your property or the electrical company’s right to run lines across it. Utility easements are pretty common and the companies rarely do not record them properly; however, an easement can also be a private agreement between neighbors to allow a driveway or some other access. Private agreements aren’t always formally registered and you may find that your neighbor’s driveway is on your property without any written agreement. That’s one legal issue you’ll want to tie up prior to closing.

It can also be in your best interests to know exactly where your lot lines are if the property borders public property or the community has a homeowners association. HOAs, counties, and cities have all been known to make improvements that occasionally encroach on private property. While it’s usually to improve the infrastructure and repair drainage issues, if a secondary issue arises, a survey can back up your argument for aid.

So, next time your Realtor asks if you want a survey completed, make sure you say, “Yes!” For more information about surveys, including the cost and services included with the survey, contact your Realtor. If you’re thinking of buying in the Wilmington area and do not have a Realtor, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

15 Cleaning Tools for People Who Hate to Clean

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Do you dread cleaning, because the work seems tedious or you just can’t seem to get the results you want? We understand. We’ve been there. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some cleaning tools to make chores more fun and you more efficient, so you can get done quicker and enjoy yourself while doing so.

Bathroom

Shower, Tub, and Tile Power Scrubber Brush

Shower Tub and Tile Power Scrubber Brush by Drill Brush

Scrubbing grout and tile can be tedious, but there’s one common household tool that can reduce the elbow grease required – an electric drill. The folks at Drill Brush have invented a line of drill attachments for everything from wheel buffing to scrubbing tile and grout, like the kit pictured. There are also scouring pads for scrubbing smooth surfaces, so make sure you check out the whole line. You may find something more fitting for your specific bathroom setup.

Scotch-Brite Dishwand and Refill Combo Pack

Scotch-Brite Dishwand and Refill Combo Pack

No, this isn’t in the wrong category. It is, indeed, intended for use in the bathroom. This product is for those of you who like to take a preventative approach to cleaning. All you have to do is fill it with ½ dish soap and ½ vinegar, shake, and hang it in the shower on a hook. Next time you’re in there enjoying 5 extra minutes of hot water (Come on, you know you do!), use the scrubber to touch up your bath tile. You’ll find yourself having to do a full shower scrub less frequently.

Rain-X Original Glass Treatment

Rain-X

Want your glass shower doors to continue looking nice? Spray on Rain-X ever 3 months! This will make the water bead and prevent soap scum build-up. Just make sure that you apply in a well-ventilated area and give it some time to air out, because there will be a strong alcohol smell.

OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set

OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set

Need to get into the nooks and crannies of your bathroom (or kitchen) sink? Try this Deep Clean Brush Set from OXO Good Grips. There are two sizes of brushes that are good for getting around faucets and in shower door tracks. The smaller brush has a wiper blade for cleaning out around drains and in other crevices. These brushes are durable and sure beat using an old toothbrush.

Floors

Kyosho EGG Omoshiro RC SUGOI Mop

Kyosho EGG Omoshiro RC SUGOI Mop

Love RC cars? Hate mopping. Problem solved! This remote controlled mop lets you clean without wrestling with a mop handle. It only ships from Japan, and we foresee some issues with height and the little handle on it getting stuck on things, but overall, we imagine this will add an element of fun to your chore list.

e-cloth Flexi-Edge Floor and Wall Duster

e-cloth Flexi-Edge Floor and Wall Duster

A popular feature for custom homes, especially Craftsman Style, is lots of molding – baseboards, chair rail, crown, etc. Keeping up with the dusting can be difficult. You need a tool that will adjust to fit around the grooves and edges. The e-Cloth Flexi-Edge Duster is just that. The fluffy head easily bends into and around tight places and odd angles picking up dust and dirt. Plus, the head can easily be cleaned and reused over and over again. Reviews claim it’s even better than the Swiffer products.

O-Cedar ProMist Microfiber Spray Mop

O-Cedar ProMist Microfiber Spray Mop

You’ve probably seen the Swiffer WetJets that have a canister of cleaning solution, spray jets, and disposable pads for absorption. O-Cedar has a spray mop that’s similar, but is more cost-effective. The canister can be filled with whatever cleaning solution you prefer and the pads are microfiber, meaning they can be washed and reused over a hundred times. Sure beats buying refills!

iRobot Roomba 880

iRobot Roomba 880 Vacuum Cleaning Robot For Pets and Allergies

This high-rated robot will zoom around your home and vacuum your floors for you. It comes with sensors, so you can customize the area it cleans (and keep it from going down steps) and you can program it to run to a schedule that fits your lifestyle. It will work on carpet, tile, and wood, and will dock/undock itself. This particular version has features to prevent tangling, and it has a HEPA-style Filter that traps dirt, dust, and allergens as small as 1 micron. It may not replace a good mopping, but it will cut out some work.

Kitchen

Evriholder Cutlery Cleaner

Evriholder Cutlery Cleaner

This little device is good if you don’t have a dishwasher or get stubborn food stuck on your cutlery. It sticks to the side of your sink and has built-in non-scratch bristles for scrubbing. Just added detergent. Then, stick your forks, spoons, knives, etc. inside, move them around, and your scrub time is cut in half!

Starfiber Microfiber Kitchen Scrubbies

Starfiber Microfiber Kitchen Scrubbies

These donut-shaped scrubbing pads are great for washing dishes. The scrubbing side won’t scratch your pots and pans, and you don’t need to throw them away after a few days of use. Just drop them in the washing machine and reuse!

Living Room/General House

Pure Care Microfiber Duster with Extension Pole

Pure Care Microfiber Duster with Extension Pole

Cleaning dust in high places can be a major pain. Some extension dusters claim to do the job, but end up leaving dust behind or fall apart when you try to use them. The Pure Care Microfiber Duster with Extension Pole has a head on it that will grab dust and dirt. It squeezes into tight places, bends when needed, and is washable; so no paying for refills!

Microfiber Cloths

Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

You may be thinking, “You want me to buy fancy washcloths?” Seriously, once you start using microfiber cloths, you will notice the difference. These are lint-free and streak-free. They absorb 8x their weight in water and dry in half the time of standard cloths. They can be washed over and over again for long-term use, and are great for dusting, washing windows, and general cleaning. They will save you time cleaning by providing better results (no rewashing streaked windows) and will save you money by cutting back on cleaners (some people just use these cloths and water to clean their windows).

Windex Cleaner Window Outdoor All-In-One Kit

Windex Cleaner Window Outdoor All-In-One

Buying cleaning tools you can wash and reuse is always a good idea, but sometimes the means outweighs the cost. The Windex Cleaner Window Outdoor All-In-One Kit is one of those. It comes with an extendable handle and disposable cloths pre-loaded with Windex cleaner. All you need is a hose and you’re good to go to clean the exterior of your windows. The extendable handle lets you get those hard-to-reach windows and the package of refills last a long time. Make note, the key to no streaking is washing the windows in an overcast.

Trash

Bruno SmartCan

Bruno SmartCan

As of the date this blog was posted, Bruno SmartCan is the pre-order stage, and we predict it will be very successful. This smart trash can includes a built-in vacuum, so there’s no need for a dust pan when you sweep. More expensive versions also include smartphone features that tell you when your trash bags are getting low and when it’s trash day. It may not take the trash out for you, but it does have some pretty neat features.

GeniCan

GeniCan

Just like SmartCan, the GeniCan is currently in pre-order, but serves an entirely different purpose. This fancy device scans the goods on food being thrown away, adds it to a virtual shopping list, checks the food against a database of coupons, and notifies you when the trash can is full. It’s not a trash can in itself, but fits most square/rectangle cans. We’re still waiting on a trash can that makes the junk disappear, but this is a great little device to use until then.

Have you found a useful cleaning tool that’s not listed here? Share it in the comments below!

15 Cleaning Tools for People Who Hate to Clean

Why Mortgage Interest Rates Haven't Gone Up Because of the Fed's Increase

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateHappy Monday and hope you had a great weekend.

I have been asked a lot lately about mortgage rates jumping because of the Fed's recent increase in their rates.  Actually, the Fed's increase has had little effect on mortgage rates.  In fact, mortgage rates have continued to decline since the Fed rate increase.  If you are considering buying a home, now is definitely the time to take advantage of the low rates.  Here is an article from Realtor.com that explains our current situation with interest rates.  

"The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates, US stocks are tumbling and new worries about the Chinese economy seem to emerge daily.  So go ahead and buy that house you've been looking at.

Well, not necessarily, But consider: all the worries about China that have battered the US stock market in early 2016 have done the opposite for bonds.  More money pouring into Treasurys has driven mortgage rates to a 2 month low.  A 30- year mortgage slipped to 3.92% in mid- January.

The housing market had already been steadily gaining ground even before the latest drop in rates.  Indeed, it's been one of the strongest parts of the economy over the past year.  Sales of new and previously owned homes are likely to finish 2015 at the highest level since before the Great Recession.

What's more, the number of permits to build additional homes is on track to reach an eight year high.

The final housing numbers for 2015 will start to trickle in this week.

Work on new construction, known as housing starts, is forecast to rise to a 1.19 million annual rate in December from 1.17 million in the prior month.  Starts will top the 1 million mark for the second straight year.

Six years ago, builders were producing fewer than 600,000 new homes a year.

Sales of existing homes, meanwhile, are expected to hit a 5.15 million annual rate in December and finish the year about 25% higher compared to the post-recession low.

Most economists predict new construction and sales will increase again in 2016, aided by a much improved labor market.  Barring, of course, China bringing the rest of the world to a crashing halt.

"The US economy added more than 200,000 jobs per month on average in 2015, and wage growth is picking up."  noted Stuart Hoffman, chief economist of PNC Financial Services.

In the past 3 years, the US has produced 8.2 million new jobs to give more people entering their prime earning years the ability to buy a new home.

The big wild cards are mortgage rates and home prices, both of which could deter buyers.

The Fed raised a key short term rate in December for the first time in nearly a decade, and the central bank is widely expected to push rates even higher in 2016.  Yet so far that hasn't translated into upward pressure on long-term Treasurys  or home mortgages.  Right now investors are more worried about whether a slowing Chinese economy will hurt the rest of the world.

The higher cost of buying a home could act as another repellent.  Prices rose in 2015 to levels last seen shortly before the onset of the Great Recession in late 2007.  

An expected increase in home construction could make it easier for buyers, though.  Permits for new construction  in November, for instance, were almost 20% higher compared to the same month in 2014.  A greater supply of homes for sale would help hold the line on prices. 

While home builders remain optimistic, the same can't be said for American Manufacturers.  Sales and profits have softened over the past year because of a strong dollar, week global economy, and a slump among energy firms that are among the biggest buyers of manufactured goods.

A monthly Philadelphia Federal Reserve report on the state of manufacturing is likely to show an industry still under seige in January."

As always, comments and feedback are welcome.  Have a great week and thanks for remembering The Cameron Team for all your real estate needs.

Video: Don't Use an Out-of-Town Realtor

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team


Thinking about bringing in a Realtor friend from another area to help you buy real estate? Here's why you should probably rethink your plans. Real estate agents are licensed by state, but that doesn't make them a state-wide real estate market expert.

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

Email Melanie

15 Color Palettes Inspired by the Ocean

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

When decorating your home with the ocean in mind, it's easy to pick out blues or teals that are traditional for large bodies of water, but the ocean has a beautiful array of colors. Not only does the location often have an effect on the colors displayed in the water (cold climates usually lean toward darker blues than warm climates), but when you include the surrounding landscape and sea creatures, you get an even larger variety of hues to choose from.

Below are 15 gorgeous color palettes inspired by the ocean. You'll notice that we stuck to above-ground pictures for inspiration. Below water is a whole other world full of a variety of fish and other ocean life with colors that could inspire palettes for weeks-upon-weeks, if not months-upon-months. The ones we've shared are just a fraction of what you may find around the internet, but we hope they'll serve to inspire you to look a little furthey than just teals and blues, though we include those as well.

If you click on the pictures, you will be taken to some of our favorite websites for color inspiration. We encourage you to explore these sites for even more ideas.

Calm Ocean Day - Color Palettes

Calm Ocean Day - Color Palettes

Ocean Teals (Colors by Sherwin-Williams)

Ocean Teals

Rough Ocean - In Color Balance

Rough Ocean - In Color Balance

Stormy Beach Day - Seeds

Stormy Beach Day - Seeds

Serene Ocean Wave - In Color Balance

Serene Ocean Wave - In Color Balance

Ocean Sunrise - Color Palettes

Ocean Sunrise - Color Palettes

Sea Oats (Colors by Sherwin-Williams)

Sea Oats - The Cameron Team

Ocean and Sand - Seeds

Ocean and Sand - Seeds

Tide Pool (Colors by Sherwin-Williams)

Tide Pool - The Cameron Team

Fresh Shells (Colors by Sherwin-Williams)

Fresh Shells - The Cameron Team

Shells - Seeds

Shells - Seeds

Shell (Colors by Sherwin-Williams)

Shell - The Cameron Team

Sea Glass - Completely Coastal

Sea Glass - Completely Coastal

Sea Urchin - Seeds

Sea Urchin - Seeds

Starfish (Colors by Sherwin-Williams)

Starfish - The Cameron Team

If you've found an ocean-inspired color palette that has blown you away, we welcome you to share it in the comments below!

15 Color Palettes Inspired by the Ocean.png

Who pays Who? Hiring a Buyer’s Agent Doesn’t Cost You a Penny!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Who pays Who - Hiring a Buyers AgentReal estate agents work by commission. They’re paid once a home sells. But who pays that commission is probably the biggest source of misconceptions in the home buying process. So, let’s just get it out of the way…

The home seller pays the commission for both the listing and selling (buyer’s) agent. The funds come out of the sale of the house. In Wilmington, the market standard is 6% for a single-family home and that percentage is split between the listing agent and selling (buyer’s) agent. Sometimes that percentage is lower, especially for new construction and land, and other times there may be a bonus or agent incentive included. The amount of commission is always available to the parties involved and it’s against the Realtor’s Code of Ethics to sway a buyer to or from a specific property due to the commission being offered. To do otherwise would result in some very heavy fines and repercussions.

Is there ever a chance that a buyer will have to pay their real estate agent? There’s a very slim chance and it really depends on the buyer’s choices. If they’re dying to purchase a For Sale By Owner and want the added protection of a real estate agent, but the seller is unwilling to cooperate with buyer’s agents, then the buyer will have to pay their agent’s commission.

So, if you’re starting the process of buying a home, don’t hesitate to use a buyer’s agent. It’s in your best interest to have someone experienced helping you make educated decisions throughout the buying process. You may be thinking it’s too early to higher an agent, but consider this:

-They can help you get your finances in order by putting you in contact with lenders that have good reputations and can advise you on the best steps for improving your credit score.

-They can set you up with an accurate home search (not Zillow or Trulia where listings are often excluded and information is incorrect), so you can start narrowing your options and monitoring the market.

-They can even help you with finding a good listing agent if you have another home to sell first.

If you’re more than curious and are ready to move on to your next home, now is the time to get in contact with a buyer’s agent.

If you have questions about buying a home in the Wilmington area or are ready to start interviewing buyer’s agents, we’d love to talk to you. Give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.

You may also be interested in Questions to Ask Any Buyer’s Agent.

10 Red Flags to Look for When Viewing Homes

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

10 Red Flags to Look for When Viewing homesWhile viewing homes for sale, what should you focus on? First, there’s the obvious – Is the home in a good location? Will the layout fit your lifestyle? Is there enough storage? Enough bedrooms? Baths? Sometimes you walk up to a home and instantly know it’s not the one for you. Other times, you need to be a little more discerning and keep an eye out for red flags that may hint toward potential issues. While a home’s layout or fixtures may be exactly what you’ve dreamt about, you also need to make sure the home’s system and structure are up to snuff.

Here are some red flags to keep an eye out for next time you’re viewing homes:

1. Fresh Paint in Only One Area. Many homeowners will do some updating before putting the property on the market. A fresh coat of interior paint is a popular choice, because it’s relatively low-cost and appealing to buyers who want a move-in ready home. However, if you’re walking through a home and see that one area, like a wall or ceiling, was recently painted, chances are that it was to cover something up.

If you are interested in the home, it’s recommended that your Realtor asks the selling agent why the area was painted. You may also need to ask the home inspector to pay special attention to that area while he or she is looking at the home. There may have been a leak or evidence of some other damage there.

2. Cracks in the Walls and Foundation. Homes settle over time and that can cause cracks. However, large cracks or multiple cracks can indicate a serious structural problem that needs to be addressed by an engineer. Cracks can also create avenues for termites and other pests, as well as water, to enter the home. Even more problems could be on the horizon.

A structural engineer can inspect the home and advise you on the best way to fix the issue, if it’s installing reinforcements, raising the house, etc. The home may also need a pest treatment and good cleanup. Depending on the position of the seller, they may pay for this work. It all depends on how badly they need to sell, because it can be a costly fix. Otherwise, you may need to decide if the home is worth the investment.

3. Missing Trim and Finishes. Home updating is very important for maintaining the value of a property, but shoddy work can mean you’ll be spending more money down the line. If you aren’t a plumbing or electrical expert, you may not be able to quickly identify issues, but one way you can get an idea if corners were cut on a project is to look for missing trim and finishes.

People figure that if you can’t immediately see it then it won’t make a difference, but if they’ve left gaps open under the cupboards where bugs can get in or didn’t finish tiling behind the stove, or wasn’t consistent with the molding throughout the house, chances are that they’ve cut corners in the home systems and not just the cosmetic work.

4. Mold. Damp areas in the home – showers, attics, basements, and areas around heating/cooling units – can be centers for mold growth. It can also pop up if a home has plumbing or flooding issues. It comes in all kinds of colors (white to black) and shapes (string-like to resembling dirt). But mold growth isn’t always obvious and if you see signs of it, that may be an indication of a larger hidden colony.

If you see any signs of mold growth, you should reconsider if the home is right for you and your family. Mold can cause health issues, including skin irritation, watery eyes, sneezing, headaches, memory loss, and more. It can be removed, but the process can be tedious and expensive. However, if the home has the perfect layout and location, it may be worth the extra expenses.

5. Odors. Bad smells in a home can a sign of lingering problems and poor maintenance, including mold, pet damage, dirty ducts, etc. That may seem obvious to buyers. What’s not so obvious is that good smells can also be a red flag that there’s something wrong with the home.

A commonly advertised real estate sales tactic is baking a fresh batch of cookies in the home before a showing. The smell elicits good memories that leave a positive impression on the buyer and, hey, that’s not so bad. Who doesn’t love fresh cookies? But other sellers may use plug-in air fresheners to try and cover bad odors. So, if the air fresheners seem to be a little overwhelming, you may want to request a second showing without them.

6. Stains and Burn Marks. A good indication of problems are stains or burn marks on the walls, ceilings, or floors. This is why most owners try to paint over them. However, they’re not always a sign of a current issue. The root cause could have very well been fixed, but it’s important for your Realtor to ask why the marks are present and have them checked out by a home inspector.

7. Locked Doors. Ideally, all rooms and closets in a home will be left unlocked so a potential buyer can view them. So, what is a person to think when a door is left locked? Oftentimes, it’s because the family pet is being locked up to keep them from causing any issues during the showing. Other times, the owner is either protecting valuables or trying to keep the buyers from seeing something unsightly.

If you’re at a home showing and find a locked door, the good news is that there’s always a second showing. If you’re seriously interested in the home, you can request the door be left unlock. If the sellers need to, they can move the pet or the valuables to another room. If they refuse, then they’re obviously trying to hide something and this may not be the home for you.

8. Signs of Pests. The visual indicators of a pest infestation are varied. They can be fecal remnants from rats, holes from snakes, or chewed wood and mud tunnels from termites. You may not see any signs during a showing, but if you do, it may be a sign that the home hasn’t been well-maintained. Luckily, pest inspections are a common step during the Due Diligence Period of the Offer to Purchase. Once the problem is pinpointed, it can be resolved before the home is closed on. The cost depends on the pest and amount of damage the home has incurred.

9. Bad Grading or Drainage. If the property seems low, there’s no drainage features, or the yard slopes toward the home, that could indicate potential problems with rainwater. This is a very serious issue to have in our neck of the…beach. One bad storm and the home’s yard may suddenly become your new waterfront property.

When there’s a question about grading/drainage, we suggest taking a drive by the home after a rain. Fixing the issue can be as simple as rerouting gutters or as complex as completely redeveloping/hardscaping the yard. That’s where it gets to be expensive.

10. Multiple For Sale Signs. Did you notice a lot of for sale signs on your way to the showing? That may be a red flag that people are not happy living there. It could be a bad HOA, inconsiderate neighbors, crime, declining schools, or an upcoming public improvement that will affect the lifestyle. Make sure you do your due diligence before purchasing or you may be buying into an unfortunate situation.

Most of the red flags and issues listed here can be remedied. You just need to decide if the solution is within your budget or if the seller is willing to incur some costs for the sake of the sale. What this all boils down to is 1) you need to have some healthy expectations when you enter the negotiation process and 2) you should always get a home inspection (at the least). You don’t want to recognize the red flags when it’s too late. You may even save yourself from having to pay for an inspection on a property that has issues beyond what you’re willing to do.

If you have any questions about buying or selling real estate in the Wilmington area, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

What Factors Cause a Home to Sell?

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateHappy Monday!  Wherever you were this past weekend, I hope you were warm and by a cozy fire. Wow, it was cold here.

Even though it's cold outside, the Wilmington market is starting to heat up.  We have definitely seen an increase in showings in January and sells are on the rise too.  

I was at a listing appointment recently and the sellers were asking me what the main factors were that cause a home to sell or not.  I thought this might be a question many were thinking so I thought I'd share my 2 cents worth.

A property is going to sell as a result of 1 or all of the following factors: Price, Condition, and Location.  It all boils down to one of these 3 reasons.  You can't MOVE a property so you are really left with price and condition.  If it's in excellent, move in condition you're definitely more likely to get the highest price the market will allow.  If it needs paint, landscaping and updating, you're going to have to adjust the price accordingly to get it sold.  Think about it, have you ever purchased a property for any reason other than the price, condition or location?

Our goal at The Cameron Team is to get you as much money as possible in the least amount of time.  We want to prepare your home so that it's in the best condition possible to garner you the highest price the market will allow.  Because of that, we offer a FREE staging consultation with a Professional Stager.  She'll go with you room by room and make suggestions to show your home in the best light both online in photos and in person.  If you'd like to discuss your selling options, give me a call at 910-202-2546 and we can set up a time to meet.

Have a great week, stay  warm and remember The Cameron Team for all your real estate needs.

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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

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Our office is located at:
1001 Military Cutoff Suite 101
Wilmington, NC 28405

(910) 202 - 2546
(910) 795 - 4723
cameronteam@seacoastrealty.com

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