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Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

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How Do I Find Out if My North Carolina Home Was a Meth Lab?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

How To Find Out If A Home Was a Meth LabHonestly, I hate that I even had to type that title, but the fact is that homes used as methamphetamine labs have been getting a lot of coverage in the past few years due to the lingering health effects they can have on people who move into them after the home has been fixed up. Many toxic drugs are used to create meth and they can’t be contained. They seep into every wall, piece of wood, foot of carpet, length of drapery…even the exterior ground. No room in the home is safe and exposure can lead to respiratory issues, skin burns, cancer, birth defects, and death, just to name a few. It’s scary, but only a little over half of the states in America require disclosure during a sale and those laws differ from state-to-state (only about 17 states require landlords to tell tenants). Some states don’t even require disclosure if the home has been “decontaminated”, but there isn’t a national standard by which decontamination is determined so a house in one state may have more lingering chemicals than another and still be considered safe.

Luckily, in North Carolina, homeowners and real estate agents are required to disclose if a home has been used as a meth lab, even if it’s been decontaminated. The catch, obviously, is that if they don’t know, they can’t disclose and the law protects them if the new homeowners discover after the sale that the home was a meth lab, unless you can prove they knew otherwise. So, it’s recommended you do your research before you buy a home. Hey, that’s what the Due Diligence Period is for, right?

So, how do you know if your home was a meth lab? You can start by searching the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Clandestine Laboratory Register, which lists contaminated properties state-by-state as reported by law enforcement officials. You can also search the Department of Justice seizures database. It’s not as well organized, but it lists where drugs were recovered. Finally, talk with neighbors if you suspect something amiss with property. Most will share if they saw wrongdoings or questionable behavior.  

Thankfully, we haven’t had any issues concerning clients and meth labs in Wilmington, but noting activity on our website, there are still plenty of people who are concerned. Hopefully, this answers some of your questions!

For more information, visit this North Carolina Public Health Meth FAQ.

Meghan Riley

Featured Community: Mallory Creek Plantation, Winnabow

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Located on River Road SE (133) in Winnabow, just outside Leland on the way to Southport, is the developing community of Mallory Creek Plantation. Three single family home communities have already been completed and four more are in the building process, so there’s a nice mix of resale and new homes available for purchase. The developers have done a wonderful job giving each sub-community its own character through the featured home plans. If you need a specific style or feature, you’ll likely find it here.

There are multiple builders in Mallory Creek Plantation – American Homesmith, Howard Builders, Terry F. Turner – but most of the homes built there are done by Stevens Fine Homes. They have an excellent history of providing energy efficient, well-built homes. They make sure to go above and beyond building codes to help home owners save on their monthly energy bills. So, if you’re buying new construction or one of their resales, you can feel confident you are purchasing a good home.

Cove Landing and The Grove feature single-family brick homes with 3 bedrooms, 2-3.5 baths, bonus rooms, and 2 car garages. The open floor plans range from 1,420-2,332 sq.ft.. South Brook and The Pines feature Craftsman and European style two-story homes with 3-6 bedrooms, 2.5-4 baths, 2 car garages, and floor plans that range from 1,950-4,014 sq.ft.. Depending on the plan and features, homes range from the $170's up into the $300's. You can buy homes already built or choose the lot, plan, colors, finishes, etc. You have plenty of options to choose from!

There’s also a new townhome community at Mallory Creek called Tyler’s Cove. Built by Terry F. Turner, they are 2 and 3 bedroom one-story townhomes. Each has an open floor plan, 1 car garage, screened porch, and patio. They are a great option if you’re looking for low maintenance living.

View Homes for Sale in Mallory Creek Plantation

Mallory Creek Swimming PoolMallory Creek Plantation’s amenities are excellent. The community has a competition sized swimming pool, low country club house with a kitchen (available by reservation), playground, and walking trails. Sidewalks and streetlights provide safe paths for walking, and the utilities are all underground. Plus, the Brunswick River Park (boat ramp, playgrounds, and picnic areas) is just down the road and Historic Downtown Wilmington is only 10 minutes away over the Cape Fear River, so there is plenty to do!

If you'd like to see a home for sale in Mallory Creek Plantation or have questions about the different communities, 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

What the New FICO Score Formula Means for Wilmington Home Buyers

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Fico Score 9 Home BuyersYou may have heard last week that FICO has rolled out a new formula for determining credit scores. This formula is called FICO® Score 9 and its main purpose is to differentiate medical debt from non-medical debt.

Have you ever been rushed to the hospital with an emergency only to find out that your stay won’t be covered by your insurance? You suddenly have thousands of dollars of medical debt – debt that was accumulated not from neglect or poor management, but circumstances outside your control. Medical debt is also often sent to collections, not because a person can’t pay, but because of insurance billing problems. The people who developed FICO® Score 9 realize that not all debt is created equal and are trying to provide some perspective on that in the form of numbers by putting less weight on medical debt.

If your only debt is medical collections, the FICO® Score 9 press release states that your median score will go up 25 points. This is about equal to the amount that a U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report stated last year was the difference between scores of people with medical and non-medical debt of the same amount. The USCFP believed that people with medical debt were being overpenalized. You can learn more about that and see industry insider perspectives here.

FICO® Score 9 also implements a new way to analyze people with limited credit history. Instead of scoring on a black and white scale that says a person did or did not repay a debt, it quantifies debt and classifies it into different degrees to better determine the chances of a person repaying a debt. This helps the lender better understand a home buyer’s expected behavior and may help the buyer qualify for more options.

It’s important to know that the new formula won’t be established overnight. You won’t be able to sign on to your favorite credit report site tomorrow and see your new score. FICO® Score 9 is expected to be fully available to home lenders by the end of the year, but they aren’t required to adopt it. They reserve the right to test it to see if it provides a more reliable prediction of consumer behavior than FICO® Score 8. So, you may not see it in use until the second quarter of 2015. Still, many in the finance industry see it as a step in the right direction for credit scores. A few expect no real change. But only time will tell!

Are you thinking of buying a Wilmington area home? Want a referral for a reputable lender? Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

Melanie Cameron

Wilmington Weekly Update - Updates to NHCS Reassignment Policies, UMX Zoning, 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

Slice of Life, which recently took over the Masonic Hall building in Historic Downtown Wilmington, has proposed an open-air addition to their building. After seeing renderings of the concept, which they determined to be too suburban, the Historic Preservation Committee was ready to deny Slice of Life’s request. However, they agreed on a continuance that would allow Slice of Life to develop a plan that would be more in line with what they would allow. Read more at Port City Daily.

If you live in Barnard’s Landing, Silva Terra, and Silver Lake, or along Bald Eagle Lane, good news concerning your home insurance may be in order. New fire hydrants are being installed! Your home’s proximity to a fire hydrant can have a direct affect on your home insurance rates. Check out the article on Port City Daily to see if it applies to you.

Pooch Plunge Wilmington NCNew Hanover County Schools changed the requirements for school reassignments for the 2014-2015 school year. They also released the results of the Read to Achieve summer program that was established to help nonqualifying third graders get promoted to fourth grade. Read about the latest school board meeting on Star News Online.

An expansion of the recently established Urban Mixed-use zoning, which is already in use in older parts of Wilmington, has been approved for expansion. Under the expansion, landowners with tracts 5 acres or larger can ask for their property to be rezoned to UMX. The property needs to be within city limits and the owner will need to have some sort of conceptual plan to get it approved. Learn more at Star News Online.

The City of Wilmington pool schedule has changed. All but the Northside Splashpad will be closed weekdays. The new hours are noon to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday through the end of the season. The city also scheduled Legion Stadium’s Pooch Plunge. See all the dates and times on Port City Daily.

Coming Up

This Saturday night, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach is hosting the Glow in the Shark Sleepover, a new neon night of fun specially geared to tweens. By the light of the jellies, children ages 10 to 13 get to learn about marine science (bioluminescence), meet aquarium animals, and play games supervised by trained staff. Dinner, snacks and breakfast will be provided. The event runs from 6pm Saturday to 9am Sunday. Preregistration is required as space is limited Tickets are $65. Learn more at the aquarium’s website.

Meghan Riley

Who Pays for the Oil in the Fuel Tank?

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

Who Pays for the Oil in the Fuel Tank at Closing?A Wilmington area home goes under contract. The fuel tank attached to the home still has oil in it. Come the day of closing, who pays for that oil?

According to section 2 (“FIXTURES”) of the North Carolina Offer to Purchase, there are a number of items “included in the Purchase Price free of liens”. These include “fuel tank(s) whether attached or buried and including contents, if any, as of Settlement”. If the fuel tank is leased, it should be written into the contract as an exception, because it’s not technically owned by the home owner and cannot be sold.

Owned or leased, the home owner has the right to exclude the contents and ask for the buyer to pay for them, but that doesn’t guarantee they will agree to such terms. Resolving an issue of “floating oil”, so to speak, can be tricky and it may put a kink in negotiations, so it’s imperative for the home owner to determine how important it is to them to recoup that fuel. Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Have more questions about this? Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

Meghan Riley

Monday Market Update - August 18, 2014

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

Monday Market Update - The Cameron TeamHappy Monday!  Back from vacation and at it full force.  A special shout out to my Team Members for keeping everything under control while I was gone!  Love you guys!  Well, schools following the traditional calendar start back next week.  I can't believe the summer has gone by so fast.  It's been a great one but there are still a lot of warm weather days ahead....

Numbers for July are in and the market continues to show good numbers in our area.   The average sold price for July was $254,522 which was a 1.5% improvement from June and a 4.5% improvement over last year at this time.  Looking at the year after year average sold prices, we saw a decline in the yearly average sales price from 2008 through 2012.   It was not until last year, 2013, that we saw a slight improvement and we are on pace this year to also see an improvement.   Our pending index stands at 1,135 units... pretty impressive!

Our listing inventory has increased by 46 units and is currently at 4,251 which equates to a 6.6 month supply of homes.  The average days on the market stayed the same as it was in June, 125 days.  The 30 year fixed rate has also remained stable.  For July, it averaged 4.14% with an average of .7 points. The average list price for July was down slightly from last month to $351,352,  The list to sale price ratio is still pretty good and is at 96.2%.Melanie Cameron

As we head into Fall, listing inventory tends to drop as do the number of buyers looking.  The ever optimist that I am though is quick to point out that, while the quantity of buyers is less in the Fall/Winter months, the quality tends to be better.  Why, you ask?  My thought is that buyers that are looking at homes in the Fall (especially towards October and through the holidays) are serious buyers and must HAVE to move.  Likewise, with less inventory, the good ones are going to go fast so if you're considering putting your home on the market, let's talk strategy sooner rather than later.

Have a great week and thanks as always for considering The Cameron Team for all your real estate needs.

Should I Have My Home Inspected Before I List It?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Should I Have My Home Inspected Before I ListIf you’re getting ready to sell your Wilmington area home, you may be wondering if you should have a home inspection done before you list. In Wilmington, many home sellers choose not to, but the choice should really be made on a case-by-case basis. While it may not be needed for some homes, it could be beneficial for others. Here are some points to consider:

Why You Would Want to Get a Pre-Inspection

  1. A pre-inspection gives you a good dose of reality. It will give you a clearer understanding of the condition of a home, which can affect the list price and how you market the home. This is especially important if you never lived in the home, because other family members lived there or it was used as a rental. If your main goal is to get the home sold, an inspection can help you get it prepared to compete against other homes on the market. If you don’t need to sell right now, this may be the information you need to decide if you want to wait or go ahead and list.
  2. A pre-inspection can reduce your time on the market. If a buyer feels that a home has more repairs than they are comfortable with handling, they will terminate the contract, which means you’ve wasted days or months on the market. It also creates a stigma with the home. Future buyers will want to know why the contract was terminated and will be hesitant to put in an offer. A pre-inspection allows you to make repairs before you list the home reducing the amount of work that may turn buyers away.
  3. A pre-inspection creates peace of mind in buyers. If you’ve already taken the time to get an inspection and address repairs, it shows buyers that you are serious about selling and respect the risks they’re taking buying a new home. It’s bound to grab the attention of buyers as an additional marketing tool (and you can further that affect by including a home warranty).
  4. A pre-inspection can create a smoother transaction. By eliminating repairs prior to a purchase contract, you get rid of potential big surprises that often lead to additional negotiating, unexpected costs, and a postponed closing.

Why You May Want to Skip a Pre-Inspection

  1. A pre-inspection is an additional cost. If your home isn’t very old or hasn’t had many issues, the possibility of facing surprises when the buyers do their own inspection may be low. So, the additional cost may not be warranted. This is probably the most popular reason for not getting a pre-inspection.
  2. If an issue is revealed, you need to disclose it. Of course, if you’re getting a pre-inspection, you’re probably already planning on making repairs. But, if you find you can’t make all of the repairs, you need to disclose any that you weren’t able to complete. This may hurt your ability to sell, because buyers will be hesitant to take that first step of making an offer. It may also drastically lower their offer price.
  3. A pre-inspection doesn’t eliminate the buyer’s home inspection. If your intention is to speed up the sale, the pre-inspection won’t shorten the buyer’s Due Diligence Period. The buyer can choose to trust your home inspection and not get one of their own, but the Due Diligence Period also includes all efforts by the lender to finalize funding, as well as any additional inspections (pest, sewer, septic, chimney, etc.), land surveys, and research into anything that will affect the intended use of the property (HOA restrictions, improvement projects, zoning, etc.). At the most, it will eliminate the chance of surprise repairs that may lengthen the closing timetable.
  4. Not everything wrong with a home may be caught with a home inspection. Home inspectors aren’t perfect, nobody is, so there’s always the chance that something will be overlooked. They’re also limited on how thoroughly they can inspect a home. For example, inspectors will not make holes in walls to inspect pipes or wiring, and are not required to climb on top of roofs to inspect. So, if an interior pipe has degraded so much that it starts to leak while the home is listed, that’s not something that could have been prevented with a home inspection.

As you can see, a pre-inspection isn’t for everyone and can actually be more detrimental for a sale. However, if your home has been rife with issues or time is nearing the end of the predicted lifespan for the original building materials, it may be a good idea to consider a pre-inspection. It could save you time and money, which are often the same thing when your home is on the market.

Have questions about pre-inspections or listing your Wilmington area home? Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

Meghan Riley

Buying Advice from Real Buyers

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Buying Advice from Real Buyers - The Cameron TeamThis month, I invited a wonderful group of bloggers from MyBlogU to answer some questions about their home buying experiences. The result was some really good first-hand advice, not from us, the Realtors, but from the perspective of people who have already bought.

Now, keep in mind that these bloggers hail from across the world, but I think you'll notice that there are some common themes no matter where you buy. Also note that these are not past clients of The Cameron Team. These are just folks who were friendly enough to share their experiences.

Questions we’ve been discussing:

Q. If you financed your purchase, is there anything you would have done differently concerning your mortgage or down payment?

 

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

My mortgage was an endowment one, where the linked insurance police paid off the mortgage and left a lump sum over as well. It worked out fine for me, but I would still choose a repayment mortgage another time so I have all of the proceeds of the insurance policy to actually spend

A. ModestMoney

I definitely didn't take the time to shop around for the best rate enough.  I made the mistake of relying on only pitting a mortgage broker against my regular bank.  The mortgage broker sensed I was just comparison shopping and tried being aggressive about only giving better rates if I were to commit.  Meanwhile my bank probably realized that I wasn't mentioning rates from many other banks which was likely a greenlight to be firm on their rates too.  

Q. What was the most difficult part of the home buying process?

 

A. Navneet (Plan Ahead and Research Market well)

To find a right location in the city was the difficult part. I needed to explore all available areas to find good flats. The more you spread out from the city, the more flat rates go down, but traveling time increases to the office and other places where you travel frequently. The cost of travel would be high.

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

The most difficult part for me was dealing with the sellers who were crazy, kept threatening to pull out at every obstacle, and this after we had agreed to their full (inflated) asking price. They made it difficult to see the house a second time, made the moving in day almost impossible and delayed at every opportunity

A. Sandy (Writer and IT Project Manager)

There are several things that I found difficult about the process, but the biggest thing was being patient! It takes time for everything; from searching for homes, to applying for loans and getting prequalified, to the "final" paperwork, inspections, communications with banks and realtors...it is a process that most first-time buyers are unprepared for when they start. The most difficult part for me was patience.

Q. What were you the most concerned about when choosing a home? Number of bedrooms? Location? Community amenities? etc.

 

A. Navneet (Plan Ahead and Research Market well)

I was concerned about amenities and location - location was my priority and then amenities to the new flat. Having a flat away from the city center, market, shopping malls, better schools...I would be traveling all the time to these places. Having flats away from city central adds your cost of traveling, increases expenses for round trip to city.

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

Location is far and away the most important factor. My first house I had to move out from because I was living in the school's catchment area (I was a teacher) and was getting abuse and threats of violence. My second house was not one where you would have been happy having children. The third house was small but perfectly located, similarly 4th and 5th houses. My 6th house had 5 bedrooms but neighbours from Hell and my 7th house (where I still live) only has 3 bedrooms but the perfect neighbours, a field of cows

A. Larry Mai (Founder)

Location location location. Lots of other things can be remedied, but you can't change your location once you're purchased the property. You can remodel your kitchen. You can add another bedroom. If you want amenities, join the Y or your local country club. You can change many things about your house except your address.

The same house in a different town or even in a different part of the same town can have a significantly higher or lower price. In my experience, the key drivers in price related to location are schools and distance to center of town.

A. ModestMoney

For me it was all about size, price and lighting.  Too many condos in my price range were way too small or else they had limited light.  If I'm going to spend much time in my home I don't want to feel like I'm living in a cave.  Location was pretty important too as I was envisioning this as a 7-8 year home and would need to be happy about where I live.

Q. Was there a feature of your home that you thought you needed only to change your mind after you purchased?

 

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

My home has many features, cows, electricity that are essential. It has no mains water, gas or Internet. Lack of broadband is very difficult to live with and I pay 75 euro a month for a limited bandwidth satellite connection. There were no features on my selection list that I changed my mind about

A. Sandy (Writer and IT Project Manager)

Actually, I changed my mind on this one before I purchased my home. A feature I was absolutely looking for was a pool! I live in Florida and wanted a pool more than anything. Being from the Midwest, a pool in Florida just seems natural. But, I learned from my search that there were other much more important things needed for my family in a home than a luxury such as that. Don't get me wrong, I still wish the home I bought had a pool, but my thought now is that if I want one that badly, then I'll put one in myself and have it just like I want it!

Q. Did you learn anything new about home ownership after you purchased?

 

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

I learned what a pain it was living out in the country with a troublesome septic tank, a water supply that had a pH of 5.5 and dial up Internet access. The nastiest surprise came when the banks crashed in 2008 and house prices plummeted, from 500K to 150K in 3 years. Everyone had assumed up to that point that prices could only ever go up

A. Sandy (Writer and IT Project Manager)

I learned that you have to maintain it and keep it up yourself because no one else will! It is not like renting where a landlord will fix the broken toilet or leaky faucet when needed. When owning your own home you must keep up with it, fix things, improve things, and do it all without relying on a landlord to do it for you.

Q. What is the best part of owning your home?

 

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

Owning my own home (along with the bank) means that as long as I pay the mortgage nobody can force me to move out. MY one foray into rental property ended when I was given 2 months notice to move out because the owner wanted to move back in again

A. Sandy (Writer and IT Project Manager)

The best thing about owning my home is that it provides stability and "putting down roots" for my daughter. This was very important to me as I searched for a home as a single mom in a new state.

I also wanted to provide her a "home" that she could enjoy - the backyard, her bedroom, enough space to have a dog...I also like that I can improve my home as I please! I can put a nail, a painted wall, a piece of flooring wherever or however I choose!

A. ModestMoney

Personally I'd have to say simply knowing I don't have to move again anytime soon.  In the past 15 years I've moved way too many times and the actual move is always such a hassle....packing everything, making all the arrangements and then taking the time to get settled.  I definitely won't miss that at all.  Beyond that I'm enjoying the flexibility of making any changes to my home that I want.  Right now I happen to be in the midst of repainting.  It'll be interesting to see how much that transforms my home.

Q. Is there anything not mentioned that you would have done differently?

 

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

If I could have my time over again I would think to check water supply quality (I have a well and the water is so acidic it dissolves copper pipes and brass valves) and Internet access. When you have always had fast broadband it is impossible to imagine anyone not having it, which was why I assumed it would be here

A. Sandy (Writer and IT Project Manager)

I would not have done anything differently. It took me 7 months to find my home and another month to close on it and move in. I'm glad I was picky, I'm glad I held out for my "perfect home" - I knew it the second I walked in and I haven't had any regrets since :-)

Q. Do you have any advice for future buyers?

 

A. Navneet (Plan Ahead and Research Market well)

Explore the market with different insurance providers. Do not rush. If you are buying a new home then prepare a checklist of items it should have and evaluate if the home has all the amenities which you mentioned on your checklist. Explore more about mortgage options. It could save you money if you plan it well.

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

Location is everything. You can add bedrooms and redecorate but you cannot move the house. Get the location right! Check the neighbours, knock on their doors when you are looking at a house and make an assessment of their desirability as neighbours. Land is the last biggie; if you have land you can do anything, so make sure it is on a big plot

A. ModestMoney

Watch out for any red flags at all when buying a home.  You don't have to settle for a home if there is any kind of concerns.  With how much you're spending, the risk likely isn't worth it.  You'll just be kicking yourself later.  In my case I should've seen warning signs about potential finance issues of the seller of the first condo that I tried buying.  It turned out that she took money out of her home equity to finance divorce legal fees.  So her bank was unwilling to release the mortgage since the selling price wouldn't cover the mortgage.  On the bright side I should've been more wary about water damage issues with that condo.  In the end I got a much better home, but the first attempt was quite the nightmare.

A. Matthew Anton (web designer / online marketer)

When my wife and I moved into our home it was an adjustment to get used to the smaller size; our parents homes were much larger, with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. We are expecting our first baby girl in October this year, and we thought we could never live here and grow a family, but the reality is, we can.

Realize you are only 6 feet x 4 feet. You can only take up so much room at any one time. As long as there is room to sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom, a home is big enough. The main thing I would not neglect is bathrooms. You need at least 1 full bathroom and a half bath (if multiple people living in the home), otherwise life will be miserable at times.

Main takeaway is to live within your means. We know people that buy homes and can barely afford the mortgage. They aren't impressing anyone, and are just stressing themselves out. A good realtor will certainly help guide you based on your budget, but you should make it clear to them you don't want to see homes out of "X" range. Doing so will create an unhealthy desire for something not obtainable, i.e. don't look at mansions if you can't afford one.

Our home burnt down when I was 12 from a fire, causing us to live in a trailer for 7 months. At first it was a "joke" but soon fell in love with a smaller home, where everyone ate together in the living room, which was right next to the kitchen. You will always find reasons to fill or use a room, but if you aren't sleeping in it, or going to the bathroom in it, it's a communal space. Now we can move into a much larger home now that I run a successful company, but I'm very content here, after assuring myself it was just a starter home. Bunk beds are a kids best friend :). Happy house shopping, and don't let friends, family, or your own egos get in the way of the correct deal/home size for your family.

A. Sandy (Writer and IT Project Manager)

I do have some advice - DON'T SETTLE! Find exactly what you want, where you want, with every feature you want within reason. This is a HUGE purchase, probably the biggest of your life. Spend your money wisely, search until you find "the one", and don't settle because you are simply tired of searching. Your perfect home DOES exist!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their experiences and thank you to the folks at MyBlogU, who provide a great content tool for all us bloggers.

Meghan Riley

Coast In & Win Weekend! – August 2014

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Coldwell Banker Coast In & Win Open House Weekend

Once a month, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is hosting a giveaway for everyone who visits a Sea Coast open house during a specific weekend. August's weekend is this Saturday and Sunday! The giveaway is called "Coast In & Win" (official rules below) and the big prize is $500! All you need to do is visit a "Coast In & Win" open house, fill out the entry form, and wait for the big drawing during the following week.

We have two homes that will be open this weekend.

Saturday, August 16 – 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

504 Wendover Court - Emerald Forest Homes for Sale504 Wendover Court
Wilmington, NC 28411
4BR | 2.5BA | 2454 sq.ft.

Emerald Forest

This Traditional 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with 2-car garage is located on a cul-de-sac lot in Emerald Forest. The spacious 2400-2500 sq.ft. open floor plan features a downstairs home office, extra-large living room with gas log fireplace, hardwood flooring in the kitchen and dining area, and fresh interior paint. Upstairs is the master suite and guest bedrooms, including a large bonus, which is the 4th bedroom. The master suite features a HUGE walk-in closet, double vanity, garden tub, and separate shower. At the rear of the home is a large deck where you’ll enjoy the privacy of a wooded back yard. There’s an irrigation system located in both the front and back, and the exterior has just been pressure washed. The neighborhood has lots of kids (great neighbors!) and is close to Ogden Elementary. Plus, it’s just minutes from the ICWW and local marinas. A generous $4,500 flooring allowance, as well as a 1-year home warranty, are included.

View Map and Additional Pictures

6211 Wrightsville Ave - Wilmington Townhomes for Sale6211 Wrightsville Ave Unit 157
Wilmington, NC 28403
2BR | 2BA | 1398 sq.ft.
Wrightsville Place

Located in a beautiful setting amongst old oak trees, you’ll love the southern charm of Wrightsville Place. Professionally decorated and renovated, this 2 bedroom, 2 bath townhome is located just minutes to Wrightsville Beach, UNCW, and all the shopping and dining that Mayfaire and area merchants have to offer. The open floor plan features vaulted ceilings, a wood burning fireplace, and vibrant gardens off the back deck/patio.  Renovations include new transitional light fixtures throughout, granite vanity tops, and tile flooring in both bathrooms, plus an all new kitchen with honed white Carerra Marble countertops, subway tile backsplash, stainless steel appliances, new shaker style cabinetry and hardware, and a custom concrete open raised bar. The spacious master suite upstairs is a retreat all its own. You’ll meet all your new neighbors at the community pool and will love making this your new HOME!

View Map and Additional Pictures

We hope to see you at one of these great homes!

Official Rules for Coast In & Win Promotion

1. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. Drawing will be held and the winner announced on the following Thursday after each Promotion (the “Promotion”) at the offices of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage – 1001 Military Cutoff Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 – at or about 2:30 EST.

3. Drawing is open to all individuals who are residents of the U.S., are 18 years of age or older and who are registered in the Promotion. Employees and Agents of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotions agencies involved in the promotion and their immediate family members and persons residing in the same household are not eligible.

4. You must be registered in the Promotion no later than 5:00 P.M. on the date of the Promotion to be eligible. For the purpose of registration and winning, each individual date of the Promotion shall be deemed a separate event so that registration for a prior promotion will not automatically register for the current or future promotions.

5. Only one entry per family per promotional property per promotional date. Registrants must provide either a daytime telephone number or email address to quality for the prize drawing. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for lost, late, misdirected or incorrect entries, for malfunction of electronic equipment, computer hardware or software, problems related to transfer of registration information or other technical problems. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be returned.

6. Winner will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries actually received. The drawing will be conducted by Sponsor or its designee, under the supervision of Sponsor, the judge of the Promotion, whose decisions are final and binding in all respects. The winner will be announced at or about 2:30 p.m. EST. Winner will be notified by either telephone number or email address (or both) provided on form by winner. Initial notification will be deemed to have occurred at the time of any one or more of the following: a) 12 hours have passed after initial email transmission and Sponsor has received no delivery failure notifications from Winner’s email provider; b) time of voice message on any recording device used by Winner at phone number provided. Winner has seven (7) calendar days from initial notification attempt by Sponsor to accept prize. Acknowledgement of notification by Winner is deemed to have occurred when Winner notifies the Sponsor’s contest administrator at 910.799.3435

7. Winner will be required to appear in person at Sponsor’s corporate office (1001 Military Cutoff Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405) to accept prize and to sign an affidavit of eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (except where prohibited) within ten (10) calendar days of prize notification but before receipt of prize or risk forfeiture of the prize. Winner agrees to be available for photography purposes at time of prize acceptance. Winner is responsible for all travel expenses incurred in appearing to accept prize. If winner is 18 or older, as required, but a minor in his or state of residence, winner’s parent or legal guardian must sign all required documents.

8. Prize: each Promotion event will award a prize of Five Hundred Dollars and no cents ($500.00). Odds of winning depend upon number of eligible entries received. Taxes, fees and all other expenses are the sole responsibility of the winner. Prize is not transferable. No prize substitution, except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. If prize become unavailable, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to award a prize of equal or greater value. Winner will be issued a 1099 tax form the value of the prize.

9. By accepting a prize, winner agrees: (i) to be bound by these Official Rules; (ii) that the decisions of the judges are final and binding; (iii) to use winner’s entry, name, likeness, photograph and any statements regarding the Promotion’s giveaways and prizes attributed to the winner for editorial, public relations, promotional and advertising purposes on behalf of Sponsor in all media worldwide, except if winner is a resident of Tennessee or otherwise prohibited by law and (iv) to release Sponsor, their parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, the service agencies and independent contractors of any of the above organizations and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents, including advertising and promotional agencies, from any and all liability, loss or damage arising out of their participation in the Promotion and with respect to the awarding, receipt, possession, use and/or misuse of any prize. Sponsor reserves the right to modify, suspend or terminate the Promotion, in its sole discretion, for any reason whatsoever including but not limited to, in the event it becomes infected by a computer virus or is otherwise technically impaired or in the event of any fraud by a participant or any other party. Subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. This Promotion is governed by the laws of the State of North Carolina, with venue in New Hanover County, North Carolina, and all claims must be resolved in the state and federal courts of Wilmington, North Carolina.

10. For winner’s name, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for receipt not later than 10 calendar days after the award of any individual Promotion to:

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage
1001 Military Cutoff Ste 101
Wilmington, NC 28405
Attn: Alex Paen

11. Sponsored by Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, 1001 Military Cutoff Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405

12. These Official Rules are available at www.SeaCoastRealty.com

Meghan Riley

6 Reasons Why You Should Use a Local Lender

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

6 Reasons to Use a Local LenderWhen choosing a lender for purchasing your home, we want you to choose someone who is going to give you the best rate, best package options, and best service. That’s why we suggest you work with a local lender, someone based in the Greater Wilmington area. You say you’ve checked your rates with an online site like Quicken or Lending Tree and they look pretty good? We won’t argue with you there, but we want you to consider the whole experience of using a lender. There may be some factors you haven’t considered. So, here are the top 6 reasons you should work with a local lender.

  1. Local Lenders Have More to Lose So They’ll Work Harder for You. We’re not saying that there aren’t online lenders that work hard, but online lenders rely a lot on websites for leads. Not all of their leads come from a website, but the ratio is much higher than a local lender who relies more on word of mouth referrals. As a result, their past clients are their lifeline, so they want to do as good a job as possible.
  2. Local Lenders Will Walk You Through Everything. The forms for applying for a loan can be confusing. If you have questions, you can contact the lender and ask them for advice. Online lenders usually have a 1-800 number to call and you may or may not get to talk to them directly. Some local lenders will even look at your credit history and give you pointers on how to raise your score. Most online lenders won’t do that.
  3. Local Lenders Know the Local Market. Not all programs apply to all areas of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender County. They know the boundaries, rules, zoning, and random pockets that exist. They also know the issues specific to our coastal area and can suggest avenues that may better serve your needs.
  4. Local Lenders May Have Access to Exclusive Programs. Some down payment and home buyer assistance programs are only offered to lenders that are located in the state you are buying in. There’s a very good chance that the online lender is located in another state. So, you may want to take that into consideration depending on your buying circumstances.
  5. Local Lenders Could Save You Money. The rates at online sites can look really good when you want to save as much money as possible. However, there are multiple factors involved in calculating the long term costs of a loan and you may end up spending more money than you expect. Local lenders can shop around to find you the best package, not just the best rate.
  6. Local Lenders are More Responsive. We can tell you from experience, closings with online lenders, more often than not, come with added stress and delays. Part of the problem is that they are so hard to communicate with. Many have a 1-800 number for reaching them and that often just leads to a voicemail that may or may not be returned. We’ve worked with some wonderful local lenders that not only communicate well THROUGHOUT the ENTIRE process, but if there’s a problem, the underwriter is just around the corner, and, sometimes, even in the same office. This really helps us to execute the smoothest closings possible.

We value our clients and want them to have the best buying experience possible. That’s why we recommend using a local lender. Of course, we want you to feel that you can make whatever choice is best for you. If you find an online lender that’s going to provide you a great package, we’re happy to work with them to make your closing go as smooth as possible. But if you’d like to get a pre-approval from a local lender, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page and we’ll be happy to pass on the contact details of a local lender that we’ve had a great experience with. Matter of fact, that’s ANOTHER great reason to choose a local lender – we know their track record. Maybe we should make that #7?!

Meghan Riley

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Contact Information

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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