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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 964

Can I Close Early On My New Home?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Can I Close Early On My New Home?Buying a home is an exciting experience. A move is always preceded by a need for something, like more space, more amenities, more features, or a more convenient location. There are so many possibilities awaiting you in your new home, so it’s expected that you want to be reaping the benefits as soon as possible. You may even want to push to close early to make it happen. Believe me, we love to see closings go so well that they happen early; however, you may not be able to do so. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Underwriting. It takes 30-45 days, depending on the type of loan, to get the underwriting portion completed. What exactly happens in underwriting? The underwriter is the person who has the final say on if you should receive the loan or not. They look into your credit history (more so than the loan officer), order an appraisal on the house, evaluate the results of the appraisal, and calculate your risk level, including verifying your employment and obtaining any additional info they need. This all takes time, especially when they’re working on more than one loan at a time.
  2. The Sellers. If the home is occupied, the sellers need time to pack, arrange for other housing, and move. This means they’re also relying on other people’s schedules and it will likely take a month to work it all out.
  3. Repairs. If you had a home inspection and requested repairs, the sellers need time to have those repairs made. The size of those repairs, available materials, and the contractor’s/handyman’s schedule determine how long it will take to get them completed. You want these repairs to be made prior to closing, because any breach of contract afterwards will cost more money and legal counsel.
  4. Title Problems. Your real estate attorney will do a title search on the property. If any defects – unreleased liens, fraud, forgery, co-owners, missing heirs, conflicting wills, etc. – are found, that may hold up the closing. The proper people will have to be contacted, paperwork filled out, etc.

Every contract and property has its own special circumstances that need to be addressed. Your Realtor will be able to explain the expected timeline for closing based on those circumstances. If all is going smoothly, it could be possible to move up your closing, but that should be discussed with your Realtor, who knows the ins and outs of the real estate process.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the greater Wilmington area, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page!

Monday Market Update - Know What You Can Afford

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateHappy Monday!

Hoping your weekend was fantastic!  A little cool around here but the pollen is falling so Spring is here!

With mortgage interest rates remaining extremely low, many first time buyers are making the choice to purchase a home now instead of gambling on waiting.  If you are a first time buyer or if you know of someone thinking about purchasing their first home, here are some tips that just might help with the home purchase process.

First Time Home Buyers:  Know What You Can Afford

The hardest part of the home buying process is figuring out what is affordable.  Some first-time buyers rely on the amount the bank is willing to lend.  Others use a lender's mortgage calculator to crunch a couple of numbers.  However, banks are often willing to lend much more than you can afford, and mortgage calculators don't always tell you the whole story.  To learn how much you can afford, start with the basics.

How Much Can you Pay Each Month?

Rather than focusing on the purchase price or lender offers, decide how much you can spend on a mortgage payment each month.  A common rule of thumb is that your mortgage payment should be between 25-30% of your income.  In truth, 30 percent is too high for many people.  The only reliable way to determine what you can afford is by adding all of your monthly bills and expenses.  Make sure to get estimates of what your new utilities will cost based on the size of the home you plan to purchase.  For area specific rates, consult local service providers or your real estate agent.

Remember to include cost of living changes as well.  Even over small distances, the price of gas, groceries and other necessities can change dramatically.  Long-term savings is another overlooked cost.  Do not make the mistake of assuming that future wage increases will allow you to save money later on.  It is a good idea to plan for savings right from the start.  Once you are comfortable with your estimates, you can start looking at the other costs that factor into mortgage payments.

Striking the Right Balance with Your Down Payment

The next step of the process is to determine how much you can put down on a home.  Save as much as you can, but make sure to set aside some money for appraisals, inspections, closing costs and moving expenses.  If you can save enough to put down 20%, you will be much more attractive to lenders.  Additionally, loan producrs with a 20% down payment requirement are easier to obtain if your credit is less than perfect.

However, if you can't save that much, don't be discouraged,  There are plenty of ways to buy a home with little to no down payment.  However, your interest rates may be a little higher, and you will have to pay private mortgage insurance.

What is Private Mortgage Insurance?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is what lenders use to protect themselves from risky borrowers.  If you put down less than 20%, you will probably have to pay PMI every month as part of your mortgage payment.  As your down payment decreases, PMI rates go up.  Speak to a reputable lender to learn what you can expect.  Make sure you ask how long you will need to pay PMI.  Some loans, such as those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, will require you to pay PMI for the life of the loan.  Other products will allow you to cancel PMI after you have paid enough towards the principal balance.

Bottom line, be an educated buyer and don't buy more than you can comfortably afford.  Fortunately, The Cameron Team can help you navigate through this entire process.  Just let us know when you are ready to get started.  We are a team of professionals with extensive knowledge of the local market, the lending industry and most importantly, helping people! 

Have an awesome week and thanks always for your continued business and referrals!

The Best Places to Get Ice Cream in Wilmington

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

The Best Places for Ice Cream in Wilmington NCThe weather is heating up, so this week, I posed to the social media world this question:

Where is the best place in Wilmington to get ice cream?

Here are the places that were suggested:

Fuzzy Peach

This is actually frozen yogurt, but it’s the “Choose Your Own Adventure” of frozen treats. In addition to the staples (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla), they have unconventional flavors like snickerdoodle and pistachio. Plus, they have non-fat and low-sugar flavors, and sorbet. Once you choose your base flavor(s), you can pile it high with candy, fruit, and syrup. Prices are based on weight. There are four Fuzzy Peach locations in Wilmington – UNCW, Downtown, Porters Neck, and Monkey Junction.  


Located in Mayfaire, Brrrberry is another frozen yogurt place similar to Fuzzy Peach; however, they also serve dairy-free and no-sugar-added flavors. They have a warming station, in case you want a hot brownie under your froyo and they change out their flavors often, so there’s usually something new to try.


Located in The Forum across from Mayfaire, family-owned Boombalatti’s has a wide range of homemade unique flavors (Chocolate Cream Pie, Cinnamon Oatmeal, etc.) and traditional sundaes, but be forewarned – they don’t let you taste test. However, reviews say that it’s totally worth it to get their 4 scoop sampler.


This is a chain, but all their ice cream is made fresh every day. They have 150 flavors, but each store makes only 24 each day. You can go on their website, mark your favorites, and you’ll get notified when they’re made. Bruster’s is located on 17th Street in Wilmington.

Cold Stone Creamery

Located in Mayfaire, Cold Stone is also a chain, but their ice cream is made fresh every day and stocked full of “stuff”. You can order their signature creations or have your own made on their frozen granite stone. They also have sundaes and “Hot Stone Desserts”, which is ice cream served on various baked goods.

Carolina Beach Creamery

They make all their own ice cream and reviews on their customer service are great, but their Facebook page says they permanently closed in Fall 2014.

Did we miss your favorite? Share it in the comments below.

OPEN HOUSES: 521 Goldeneye and 1501 Misty Oak

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Stop by for a tour of these homes and have all your questions answered. Also, don’t forget that every Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage open house you visit gets you entered in Coast In & Win for the chance to win $500!

521 Goldeneye Court - Bayshore EstatesSaturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29
521 Goldeneye Court
Wilmington, NC 28411
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Realtors Robert Howell (Saturday) and Kellye Brill (Sunday) will be hosting open houses this weekend at our listing located in Bayshore Estates.

Property Details:
This charming home features 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths PLUS a bonus room and home office. Uniquely located on a corner lot on 3 cul-de-sacs (low traffic), the home has a side-entry 2 car garage to help maintain the uniformity of the home’s exterior. Hardwood floors are located throughout the main living area and the home boasts a split-bedroom floor plan for added privacy. Other features include an eat-in kitchen with a built-in ice maker, formal dining room, gas log fireplace in the living room, and a master suite containing a Jacuzzi tub, separate shower, walk-in closet, and double vanity. All rooms are large and there’s new carpet in the bedrooms. At the rear of the home is a large fenced back yard with a shed, oversized deck with roofed pergola, and huge brick paver patio connected to the deck and driveway via a brick paver sidewalk. This home is in a GREAT location! The Bayshore community includes boat ramp access for all residents. For added peace of mind, sellers are including a 1-year home warranty.

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

1501 Misty Oak - Daniels TraceSunday, March 29
1501 Misty Oak Lane
Wilmington, NC 28411
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Realtor David Leinwand will be hosting an open house this weekend at our listing located in Daniels Trace.

Property Details:
Located in Daniels Trace, a quaint community of only 32 properties, this 3 bedroom, 2 bath brick home is positioned on a large corner lot with a fenced in back yard and lots of trees. Boasting a low maintenance exterior with vinyl accents and a HOA-maintained front lawn, it features a 1,356 square-foot split-bedroom floorplan for added privacy and an attached 2 car garage with attic storage accessible via a pull-down staircase. Other features include hardwood floors and a vaulted ceiling in the living room, an eat-in kitchen with tile flooring, and a master suite with a double vanity, walk-in closet, and garden tub. All appliances remain, including the washer, dryer and fridge. At the rear of the home is an oversized patio with bench seating, which is the perfect place to barbeque or enjoy a cool drink. Seller is including a 1-year home warranty for added peace of mind. Best of all, this home is USDA eligible with 100% financing!

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


Meghan Riley

Wilmington Weekly Update - Azalea Festival Home Tour Tickets On Sale and Freedom Walk Named!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

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

Instagram of the Week:

And she's going in!! #yayspring

A photo posted by Danielle Richardet (@danielle_richardet) on Mar 24, 2015 at 12:08pm PDT



In Case You Missed It

Community owned natural food business Tidal Creek Co-op is considering moving from their Oleander Drive location to downtown Wilmington. The desire to move has developed with the establishment of nearby groceries that also have specialty foods sections. Downtown is in need of a grocery and Tidal Creek believes, with lower rent and better parking, they could fill the niche. Learn more at Port City Daily.

This year’s Azalea Festival Home Tour will be focused on showing Wilmington’s varied architectural styles. There will be 9 homes and 1 church included with styles ranging from English Cotswold to Greek revival. The tour happens April 11-12 and tickets are on sale now. Learn more at Port City Daily.

The City of Wilmington’s downtown ‘freedom walk’ has been named after Thomas and Willie E. Jervay. These two freedom fighters founded and ran the local Wilmington Journal, and constantly fought discrimination. They were active in the black community and with multiple national organizations. Learn more at Port City Daily.

A possible wrench has been thrown into the plans for the Ogden Market Place. Residents of the area and the county planning committee are concerned about the number of trees on the property that would be destroyed, and propose a smaller development more like Lumina Station. However, the developer does not appear to be conceding with rumors of a voluntary annexation to the city. Learn more at Star News Online.

According to a study of 289 metro areas, Wilmington ranked No. 17 as a business-friendly environment for women. The average number of business owned by women averaged 8 out of 100 for all of the metro areas, but Wilmington was even higher with 15 out of 100. They also ranked high in education. See all the stats and metrics at Star News Online.

woman dancingComing Up

This Saturday, March 27th, and Sunday, March 28th, is the Wilmington Dance Festival at City Stage. This celebration of dance is hosted by the Dance Cooperative, a nonprofit nurturing the dance community by providing affordable classes, rehearsal space and performance opportunities for those under-served artistically, culturally, and economically in the greater Wilmington area. The Wilmington Dance Festival will feature local dancers and choreographers, as well as guest dancer Melissa Pihos, who is Currently with the Van Dyke Dance Group and John Gamble Dance Theatre. Tickets are $15-$18. Learn more at What’s On Wilmington.

How Long Should It Take My Home to Sell?

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

How Long Should It Take My Home to Sell?If you’re getting ready to put your Wilmington home on the market, you’re probably wondering how long it’s going to take your home to sell. Between preparations, an unpredictable showing schedule, and financial factors, selling a home can be a stressful process. It’s not unreasonable to want it over as quickly as possible. So, what is the answer? Will it be days, weeks, or months?

The answer is different for every property. Location, condition, and price are the main determinants. The more popular the location, the better the condition, and the more competitive the price, the quicker a home will sell. However, there are certain stats that can help give a ballpark number of days.

Our local multiple listing service (and many others) allow the local real estate board to track how quickly homes are selling and at which price. Each county, city, and community have average days on the market (ADOM). The more specific the area, the more accurate the estimate.

For example, the ADOM for the greater Wilmington area (New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties) in February was 127 days. However, for the community of Meadowbrook in Wilmington, it was 57 days. But keep in mind, there’s a wide range here, because the minimum was 6 days and the maximum was 101 days. So, this is where price and condition comes into play.

Your Realtor will be able to share the ADOM for the area your home is located. They should also advise you on what needs to be done to compete with other similar homes on the market, but you have the final say on what your home is priced at and what improvements (repairs, updates, and staging) you make before listing. Your real estate agent is there to help you make an informed decision.

If you are considering selling your Wilmington area home, we’d love to sit down and talk about your options and our marketing plan. We’ll do a comparative market analysis to show you how other similar homes are selling, including the ADOM. Give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page. If you’d like a ballpark estimate of your home’s current market value, you can also try our automated system at

Meghan Riley

Monday Market Update - Indicators Pointing Toward Rising Interest Rates!

by Melanie Cameron, The Cameron Team

The Cameron Team's Monday Market UpdateHappy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying the slight hints of Spring we are experiencing.  A HUGE shout out to all the runners in yesterday's Quintile's Full and Half Marathon.  What a show of sportsmanship and athleticism and a great event very well organized with some AWESOME volunteers!  I completed my 3rd Half marathon yesterday with some great friends so if you see me wearing my medal....don't judge!  I fought hard for that one!

We are keeping a VERY close eye on interest rates as all indicators are pointing to them rising soon.  So if you've been considering a home purchase, now is the time to act.  Mortgage interest rates dipped to 3.78% this week, just in time for the Spring market. 

For people who are in the process of buying a house, our best advice is to lock in your rate now.  "This is the last call before the bar closes at these historically low levels."  said Jonathan Smoke, Chief Econommist at

Currently, rates are low, but they are expected to rise.  On Wednesday the Federal Reserve issued its first warning that rates will increase in the near term, because the economy has stabilized.  The FED has been propping up the economy by keeping rates at zero since late 2008, when the housing market collapsed.  Now that employment is up, gas prices are low, and consumers are feeling more confident about the future, interest rates are sure to rise.  Observers expect the FED action to happen as early as June.

"From here, rates should go up more than down, which means affordability declines,"  Smoke said.  "It also means that navigation mortgage choices becomes simulatneously more important, but also more complex as higher rates would cause qualifications to be harder and some options will fall off the table."

It goes to reason that as interest rates increase, affordability decreases.   If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options, we're happy to help.  Give us a call for a consultation... We're here to help you make the BEST decisions for you and your family! 

Have a great week and as always, thanks for your continued support and business.  We appreciate it more than you'll ever know!

Melanie Cameron

Some of Our Favorite Wilmington Home Decor Artists

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Handmade Home Decor in WilmingtonAt The Cameron Team, we believe it’s important to support local businesses. They are the foundation of Wilmington’s economy. Most new jobs are provided by local businesses and 70 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the community through paid wages and nonprofit donations. For big box stores, it’s only 30 cents. If everyone spent just $64 more per year locally, the economic impact would equate to 200,000 new jobs. So, next time you’re thinking of buying, consider buying locally.

To help, here’s a list of some of our favorite local “handmade” home decor artists.

Coastal Crate

The folks at Coastal Crate make homemade beach-inspired picture frames, furniture, and gifts. Their signature look is recycled wood pallets painted in varying shades of teal, green, and coral. They also like to decorate with fun and inspiriting quotes. However, they will also do custom orders (you can see a Superman headboard on their Facebook page) and in-home parties where you choose the colors. Ready-made pieces are available at High Tide Home and Uptown Market in Wilmington.

Anchor Monogram - Coastal CrateSaltwater Heals Everything - Coastal Crate

The Coral Anchor

If you love shabby-chic, take a look at the homemade décor from The Coral Anchor. This stay-at-home home makes a variety of cutouts, signs, wall art, wreaths, etc. inspired by the ocean. She has many items available on Etsy and will do custom orders. Visit her online shop to learn more.

Sailboat Monogram - The Coral AnchorNorth Carolina Home - The Coral Anchor

Katiemade Crafts

Origami is the ancient Chinese art of paper folding and Katiemade Crafts is bringing it into the nursery. Katie creates homemade crib mobiles. She can do a variety of styles – flowers, stars, sailboats, etc. – in whatever colors you need. She also makes clocks decorated with origami pieces. For more info, visit her Etsy shop.

Origami Flowers - Katiemade CraftsOrigami Stars - Katiemade Crafts

Fighting for Joy

In need of unique, one-of-a-kind accent pillows? Lanise at Fighting for Joy makes hand stamped and screen printed accent pillows. They’re made with the most popular colors for modern interior design and are well-crafted. She also takes custom orders, so you can match your current colors. Visit her shop on Etsy.

Mustard and Teal Pillow - Fighting for JoyThe Sea Calls to Me Pillow - Fighting for Joy

Leen the Graphics Queen

Do you love vinyl wall art? Leen the Graphics Queen should be your go-to source. She prints everything from adorable woodland creatures to quotes to door numbers. The graphics will stick on any clean flat surface – walls, doors, windows, postal boxes, drawers, etc. She even has the fabric re-stickable, non-toxic kind that’s great for kid’s bedrooms. Custom orders are welcome! Learn more at her website.

Welcome Door - Leen the Graphics QueenI love you to the moon - Leen the Graphics Queen

The Project Cottage

Looking for even more nautical themed home décor? The Project Cottage should be your next stop. They have some very classy surfboard coatracks you need to see. They also specialize in themed frames, prints, bottle poppers, key hooks, and pillows. Take a look at their Etsy shop to see all their items.

Surf Board Coat Rack - The Project CottageNautical Wall Art - The Project Cottage

Do you know of any other local artists specializing in home décor? Let us know in the comments below!

Meghan Riley

10 Rustic Accents for Every Home

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

Do you like a touch of rustic? I do. It reminds me of living close to nature, but too much rustic can come off as cheesy in a modern home design. So, I like just enough to remind me of a cabin in the woods or living on a farm. It's best to keep pieces understated and classic, so the decor feels less like decoration and more like a lifestyle.To share what I mean, I drummed up 10 of my favorite ideas for incorporating rustic themes into home decor:


Rustic Coat Hangers

Keys, coats, purses...whatever you like to hang by the door would look lovely on these rustic hand crafted coatracks made from reclaimed barnwood and railroad spikes. The ones pictured were made by Tumbleweed Cabin and are avilable on Etsy.

Picture Frames

Rustic Burlap Picture Frame

Add burlap to a distressed picture frame and you've got an easy way to add the rustic feel to any room of the house. See how The Suburban Urbanist did it at her blog.


Rustic DIY Shelves

Shelving can be a great way to add a bit of rustic to your home decor. The folks over at Seventh House on the Left are sharing the story of how they are renovating and decorating their first home, a 1970's brick ranch (some of our readers may find this relatable). They redid their half bath and installed these shelves, which they made from the bottom up, and have shared the steps on their blog.

Bathroom Towel Hanger

Rustic Bathroom Towel Hanger

This rustic towel hanger is perfect for drying your bath towels and adding some extra shelf space to your bathroom. It's made by Reformed by Leviathan out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and is comprised of a repurposed wood pallet and curtain hanger. It can be purchased on Etsy.

Accent Wall

Rustic Accent Wall

Recycling old pallets by using them to panel an accent wall creates a nice rustic feel. This bathroom project from Many Jean Chic is a great example of that. You can get an idea of how it's done over at BowerPower.

Light Fixtures

Rustic Light Fixtures

These repurposed vintage oil cans add a unique rustic element to this kitchen. I'm not sure if they were bought this way or if they were created by Brooke Wagner Design, the interior designer of this home in Malibu, CA. BWD did a great job and incorporated many great elements throughout the home. Take a look at her website.

Dining Room Table

Rustic Farm Table

This rustic dining room farm table is the perfect size for large families. It's built with fresh wood, but has that charming worn look to it. The creators, Tommy & Ellie, provide step-by-step instructions on how to build it on their blog. However, if you're not very handy, I suggest checking out Old Growth Riverwood in Castle Hayne, NC. They are great at creating furniture from repurposed wood to give it that same genuine rustic feel.

Kitchen Cabinet Handles

Rustic Wrapped Kitchen Handles

This DIY project will add a bit of rustic to your kitchen handles. Take your manufacture grade handles, paint them, and wrap them with twine or jute. This project could also apply to dresser and bathroom hardware. The step-by-step instructions can be seen on House Revivals.


Rustic Mirrors

These darling rustic mirrors are all handmade. Shanty 2 Chic shares the step-by-step instructions for making them, and it's super easy and low-cost! Take a look and make sure you scroll down as there are some other rustic projects that she has completed for the same room. 

Outdoor Lit Wine Barrels

Rustic Lit Wine Barrels

Take the rustic outside with these darling lit wine barrels from Z Wine Guy. They remind me of another smaller scale project involving tin cans.

Do you have a favorite method for creating a rustic feel in the home? Share it in the comments below!

10 Rustic Accents for Every Home

Wilmington Weekly Update - New City Improvements Starting This Week!

by Meghan Riley, The Cameron Team

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

Instagram of the Week:

Our Bradford Pear tree is ready to explode! #spring

A photo posted by Bobby Carroll - Dakno (@rewebcoach) on Mar 17, 2015 at 4:38pm PDT

In Case You Missed It

Smart parking meters are being installed in downtown Wilmington this week. The 460 meters will be located around Front Street and 3 pay stations will be moved to other locations. The $300,000 project is funded by the parking fees. See the schedule for installation and a video on how to use them via Port City Daily.

This year’s Downtown Lifestyle Tour, happening on March 21, will be focused on the Brooklyn Arts District. Thinking of moving downtown? Get an inside look at 12 apartments, townhomes, and historic homes on a self-guided tour that is sure to give you an idea of what the lifestyle is like. Learn more at Port City Daily.

The first project of the transportation bond begins this week. Sidewalks are being added to Dawson Street between Wrightsville Avenue and Oleander Drive. Learn more at Star News Online.

Handmade in North Carolina Brookly Arts Center FlyerNew Hanover County Schools announced the Educators of the Year. Did your favorite teacher make the list? See the full list at Star News Online.

Coming Up

Browse unique gifts and art décor at the Made In NC Handmade Marketplace happening at the Brooklyn Arts Center this Friday and Saturday (March 20-21). There will also be food trucks, a cash bar, coffee shop, raffle, and free parking. The tickets are $5.00 and good for both days. Learn more at the Brooklyn Arts Center website.

Meghan Riley

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 964




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: 910.795.4723