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Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

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Construction at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course is scheduled to begin this month after a contract was finally put into place to update the course that was originally built in the 1920’s. Tuesday, City Council approved the $1.19 project being executed by Duininck Golf Inc. of Prinsburg, Minnesota. All 18 greens, bunkers, and putting green will be updated, but fees will increase in 2015. Learn more at Port City Daily.

Freeman Park has a new, longer ramp leading out onto the sand. The popular summer destination is often backed up at the entrance with vehicles entering the beach, less experienced drivers getting stuck not far from the start. Town officials hope the ramp will alleviate some of that congestion. See a picture at Port City Daily.

Venus FlytrapsVenus Flytrap poaching has increased drastically in the past 3 years. The carnivorous plant, native to our area, can go for $7-$8 in-store. On the black market, a plant can go for $30-$40. Thieves raid protected gardens and wild patches on private property to steal these plants and there are only about 35,000 left in the wild. Recently, three thieves were arrested for trying to steal 300 plants, because a bystander saw suspicious activity and reported it. To help protect these threatened plants, it’s important that all residents remain diligent in reporting strange activity. Learn more at WWAY.

Coming Up

The 7th Annual Port City’s Top Comic stand-up comedy competition is happening this Friday at The Reel Café in Downtown Wilmington. Twelve local and regional comedians will compete for three spots in the first of four preliminary rounds, which occur April 18-19 and 25-26 with the finals happening on May 4 at City Stage. Audience members vote for their top 3 favorite performers and the three with the most votes move on to the next round. Get tickets ($8 each) and learn more at their website.

Meghan Riley

Monday Market Update - April 14, 2014

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the fantastic weather and all the festivities around the Azalea Festival.  The weather couldn't have been better.

Stats for March are in and we are starting to see the effects of the Spring market.  Our sold units and average sold price for March are better than last month and better than last month.  The average sold price for March, $225,050, was up .9% from last month and up 1.5% from last year.  Our listing inventory increased by 67 units and currently stands at 3,845 units which equates to a 7.7 month supply of inventory.  Our average days on the market decreased slightly to 132 days and the 30 year fixed rate dropped slightly to 4.34%.   The average list price of $360,753 is up $7,541 from last month.   Our current year to date average sold price stands at $223,236, which is down 4% from year end, 2013.  I think as the year progresses, the average sold price should definitely increase. 

The selling season is in full swing so if you've considered buying or selling, don't delay.  As prices and interest rates increase, so does the "cost" of home ownership.

Melanie Cameron

7 Improvements That You Think Add Value To Your Home - But Really Don't

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

When it comes time to make home improvements, most Wilmington home owners like to choose projects that increase the value of their home. But just because a feature costs a lot of money or seems cool, it doesn’t mean it will add value to a home. Matter of fact, it can be quite the opposite. Here are 7 things you may think add value to your home, but really don’t:

  1. Wall-to-wall Carpet Does Not Add ValueWall-to-Wall Carpet – You may think investing in all new carpet will raise the value of your home, but in reality the costs can be hard to recoup. Carpet can be expensive to install and it comes with the risk of choosing a style that buyers won’t like. Likewise, if a buyer is faced with the choice of hardwoods or carpet, they’ll usually choose hardwoods due to the look of it, as well as issues with allergens and pets. If carpet is a common feature in comparable properties and the current flooring has stains that won’t come out with a deep clean, you can consider replacing it, but try to do it on a room-by-room basis.
  2. Swimming Pools – The North Carolina climate is great for swimming pools, but the issue is that buyers either love them or hate them. While it’s fun to be able to use a swimming pool, the upkeep can be considered demanding for some people and above-ground pools (that can be easily removed compared to in-ground pools) can be a visual turn-off for buyers. If you are considering adding a pool to your home, make sure you’re doing it for purely your own enjoyment and not to add value.
  3. Replacement Projects – Spending hundreds to thousands of dollars to replace the HVAC, water heater, insulation, etc., you may think you should get money back, over and above the normal sale price. After all, that’s a lot of money out of pocket. However, don’t expect the investment to convert into a monetary payback…at least, not in the way you think. A new HVAC will improve the salability of your home and likely put it higher on a buyer’s list than other comparable homes, but you won’t recoup 100% of the cost for replacing features that should automatically be included in the home. One exception may be if the home was bought at auction for a steal and you’re flipping the home.
  4. High-Quality Materials – As is the case with many aspects of real estate, choices of upgrades should be made in relation to the community and style of home. Putting granite countertops in a $150,000 1970’s home is not going to raise the value of the house if the kitchen cabinets are the same flat-faced cabinets from the time of build and the bathrooms are still an avocado green. It also won’t pay off if the standard for the community is laminate counters. Buyers are likelier to spend money on more square-footage in the same neighborhood than fancier materials.
  5. Special Purpose Rooms – The idea of a home theater or dance studio may seem like a fun idea to some, but the inflexibility in use can be a turn-off for buyers. If they don’t share the need to have a special purpose room, they may see it as an extra investment – something they need to pay to fix, which they’ll likely factor into their offer price. If you see yourself staying in the home for years to come, then by all means add a special purpose room for your own enjoyment, but be ready to deal with the consequences when it’s time to sell.
  6. A New Roof – Buyers are less concerned with the visual appearance of a home’s roof than the fact that it may have leaks. So, as long as there are no physical issues with the roof, don’t put money into adding a new roof before you list it on the market.
  7. Extensive Landscaping Does Not Add ValueExtensive Landscaping – When upgrading your home’s landscape, it’s important to find a happy middle ground. No landscaping can be an absolute turn-off to buyers. However, garden beds overflowing with plants will only appeal to true hobby gardeners, which is only a fraction of buyers. Likewise, ponds, while relaxing to sit around, will turn off buyers who don’t want to deal with the upkeep (kind of like swimming pools). If you’re just sprucing up the yard to sell it, the best approach to landscaping is to keep it simple and work with what you have when you can. Seed missing patches of the yard, pressure wash the current walkway or add a new one, and trim the current bushes or plant some low-maintenance shrubs that provide a show of color in the spring. Remember, less is more, unless “less” is just dirt.

If you aren’t sure a project will add value to your Wilmington area home, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’d be happy to advise you on the best possible course of action.

Meghan Riley

Be Inspired by Color!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

North Carolina Official Wildflower Carolina Lily

Thinking about redoing a room in your home? Want to spice up a weekend DIY? Need to spark some inner creativity? Color can make a huge difference in your home projects. They set the tone for your property, affect your daily moods, and can even make a room look smaller or larger. But it can be difficult to know where to even start when trying to pick out a palette. The good thing is that you never know where you might get some inspiration.

We at The Cameron Team like to look at the Wilmington area and North Carolina in general for color ideas. Come over to our Pinterest board and follow our weekly color pins.  You may just find the perfect color for your next project!

Not on Pinterest? We also post our color palettes to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google Plus.

Meghan Riley

How Much Will Waiting to Buy a Home Cost Me?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Right now, interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are averaging about 4.5%, but experts are expecting interest rates to climb over 5% this year. .5% may not seem like a big number, but it can make a large difference over the course of time. Take a look at our infographic below.

How Much Will Waiting to Buy a Home Cost You?

Meghan Riley

Sitegeist App Helps You Make Better Home Buying Decisions

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

As Wilmington REALTORS®, we are bound to the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity laws (FHEO), which means we cannot discriminate against any person during the real estate process.

Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics  states:

"REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

We understand how big a home purchase is. After all, a home is not an investment you can easily liquidate. So, you want to know you’re making the right purchase. Doing so, you probably want to know about crime, schools, religious centers, etc. However, we’re not allowed to share that information or our own opinion on an area, because it could be seen as steering and discriminating under FHEO laws.

But there’s good news for you! We live in the information age, which means software and web developers are getting more and more creative with how they access and share public information. A new mobile app called Sitegeist can make discovering information about a neighborhood easier while you’re on the go. It reads your current location and then feeds your phone information about local people, housing, fun, weather, and historical data.

Sitegeist PeopleSitegeist HousingSitegeist FunSitegeist WeatherSitegeist Historical

Download it: Apple | Android

 

Not finding all the information you want? Check out our Recommended Links page for more sources.

Wilmington Weekly Update - Wilmington Hammerheads, VetToCEO, and more!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Instagram of the Week:

In Case You Missed It

John Panaccione, CEO of Wilmington-based software company LogicBay, has founded VetToCEO, a non-profit program to help veterans realize their entrepreneurial potential. Panaccione is a former 82nd Airborne paratrooper, so he knows what it’s like to leave the service and enter civilian life. His non-profit provides online programs to verified veterans and transitioning military members who need help making their ideas into solid businesses. Learn more at Port City Daily.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center held its 6th Annual Extravaganza Egg Hunt for adults with disabilities. Over 100 people participated. Funding cuts have decreased the amount of support and activities for adults with disabilities in the Wilmington area, so the community center hopes to continue increasing events and provide them on a weekly basis. Learn more at WWAY.

Wilmington Hammerheads LogoThe 2014 USL PRO regular season has begun for the Wilmington Hammerheads FC. This year, they have new owners, a new logo, new uniforms, and a new office. To the disappointment of fans, their season opener on April 5 was a tie. Their next game is April 12 against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium. See their full schedule at their website.

Coming Up

Lots going on this week and weekend with the North Carolina Azalea Festival, including a street fair, coin show, fireworks, parade, and home tour. See the whole schedule on their website.

Meghan Riley

Monday Market Update - April 8, 2014

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

Happy Monday!  Well, Spring is finally here and so is the pollen!  I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the weather.  A special congratulations and good luck to the Universities of Connecticut and Kentucky for making it to the Finals of the NCAA tournament.  Best of luck to you both tonight.

We are definitely seeing an increase in activity since things have warmed up around here.  I think that trend will continue as it continues to warm up and our neighbors to the North start to thaw out from this winter.  I95 South is probably looking pretty good to them right now.

I read an interesting article today about the price vs. cost of a home.  Sellers are obviously looking at the "short term price" of their home, meaning where prices are now and where they are headed in the next 6 months.  Likewise, buyers should be concerned about the "long term cost" of a home.  Real estate experts are expecting values to increase as much as 8% by the end of 2015 and interest rates are expected to climb as well.  If you're considering a purchase, you really need to take into account the "cost" of buying now vs. waiting.  For example, a $250,000 home bought today with an interest rate of 4.41% has a monthly P&I payment of $1,253.38.  If interest rates were to increase to 5.7% and that same home is now worth $270,000, your payments would now be $1,567.08.  That's a monthly payment difference of $313.70.  That's a HUGE difference. 

If you're considering a move, let us help you navigate the waters of a purchase.   We're here to help to you make the best decisions.  Give us a call.

Melanie Cameron

Wilmington Weekly Update - Trolley Pub Pedi-Cab, Wilmington Fashion Week, and more!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Instagram of the Week:

In Case You Missed It

Pedi-cab company Trolley Pub wants to bring pedal-powered tours of eateries and bars to Downtown Wilmington. For a fee of $30, passengers get a two-hour tour, which they power, and can bring their own beer and wine for the trip. Such tours already exist in other Downtown Wilmington Trolleymajor cities in North Carolina, but Trolley Pub faces the roadblock of Wilmington’s public consumption ordinance. Learn more at Port City Daily.

The Downtown Trolley route has been changed. Wave Transit cited next year’s Third Street Bridge replacement as the reasoning behind the new route. The trolley is free and stops every 20 minutes in 10 Downtown Wilmington locations. See the new route on Port City Daily.

The study of the impact North Carolina film incentives have on the state was released this week. It was discovered that for every $1.00 of credit, $9.11 was spent and $1.52 tax revenue was generated. $164 million was spent in North Carolina businesses and helped to maintain 4,259 jobs. Learn more at The Wilmywood Daily.

Coming Up

The Wilmington Fashion Weekend starts this Thursday, April 3, and runs through Sunday, April 6 at Battleship Park. It features emerging designers, local talent, accessory workshops, and local boutiques. There are also some special access events – themed parties and events sponsored by local boutiques. Learn more at the Wilmington Fashion Weekend website.

Meghan Riley

Great Wilmington Area Summer Camps

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Summer CampsLocal camp registrations are beginning to open up, so it’s time to choose a Wilmington area summer camp for your child. There are so many to choose from. Here are some of our favorites!

Wrightsville Beach Surf Camp

5-day Surf Camps are available from June through August for ages 7 and up. WBSC offers their kids camps at Wrightsville Beach and Figure 8 Island. There’s a 2:1 ratio of instructors to students and each student receives personalized instruction. It doesn’t matter if they’re beginners or already have experience surfing, the instructors will help them reach a new level of skill while putting safety first. Also note that WBSC also has family camps, as well as safety certification courses and boogie boarding camps for the kids. Learn more.

YMCA’s Camp High Hopes

Camp High Hopes is designed for children between the ages of 5-12 and is held at the Market Street YMCA. Activities include crafts, sports, exploration, wildlife education, games, and more centered on the theme of the week. Staff members have prior camp experience and are there, not only for safety, but to help develop your child’s character – caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, etc. Learn more.

CHEMystery Forensics Camp 

UNCW offers forensics camps for three different age groups during the summer. Ages 6-7, 8-10, and 11-15. CHEMystery allows 6-7 year-olds to solve a whodunit mystery using hands-on forensic science. They learn how to document a crime scene, gather clues, and test evidence. Participants can attend this camp for an afternoon of fun or combine with UNCW’s other chemistry camp, Positively Reactive, to have a whole day of science fun. Learn more.

Marine Quest

UNCW offers multiple half-day and full-day programs that allow children of all age groups to explore local marshes, discover local marine life, and learn how biologists track different animals. Activities include visiting the bird sanctuary, NC Aquarium, and Center for Marine Science, as well as seining, dip netting, fishing, and shallow water snorkeling. Learn more.

Camp Wilmywood

At Camp Wilmywood, kids learn multiple aspects of film, including acting, voice skills, improv skills, scene work, and on-camera techniques. They produce and create a short film for submission to the Cucalorus Film Festival, as well as a music video based around the kids’ favorite radio song. Plus, there is a showcase performance on the last day of camp. Learn more.

There really is something for everyone, from arts and crafts to sports. Check out the StarNew’s annual database of summer camps and search by your child’s interest.

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

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