Okay, we’re down to the Final Four. This weekend Nova, Kansas, Michigan and little Loyola will battle it out. So we are using basketball to come up with our own final four of sorts. What we’ve done here is to create a list of the top four mistakes that first time home buyers keep making over and over again. If you can avoid these fatal errors then homeownership can be a real blessing… but fall into one of these tramps and it can also prove to be a nightmare. It was hard cutting the list down to just four. There are several important missteps that also need to be quickly mentioned: forgetting to make the first mortgage payment, buying more house than you can afford, making a major purchase (like a car) prior to getting a home loan or being either too eager to close or too indecisive to … [Read more...]

Local Luxury Market Boomed in 2017

WILMINGTON, NC – Luxury home sales in the tri-county area boomed in 2017 producing the best sales numbers in a decade. A total of 149 homes sold for more than $1 million each in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender in 2017. That compares to 99 high-end homes sales in 2016. Total dollar volume topped $248 million, almost a 56% increase over 2016. Last year’s luxury sales were the highest they’ve been since 2007. Of note were the 12 ultra-luxury homes, with selling prices of $3 million or more, which sold last year. That compares to only four similar sales in 2016 and represents the highest number since 2007 when 16 homes with price tags exceeding $3M sold. The most expensive properties to sell in each of the counties this past year were: New Hanover: 226 Beach Road North, … [Read more...]

Tax Refunds Give Buyers Extra Cash to Buy First Home

WILMINGTON, NC - If you’ve been toying with the idea of buying your first home, now is the time to get serious. There are several factors that make the first quarter of 2018 the perfect time for home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, to make the move. At the top of the list is tax refunds. According to the IRS, the average American received a tax refund of $2,763 for 2016 taxes filed. That’s extra cash buyers can use to help cover closing costs, which are often seen as a hurdle to purchasing a home. “Tax refunds are often seen as an opportunity to make a splurge purchase, but for those wanting to increase their net worth, it’s a chance to do so by buying a home. That’s means you stop making your landlord richer and start building your own wealth. Every mortgage payment is … [Read more...]

5 Credit Score Misconceptions Homebuyers Should Know the Truth About

Most homebuyers are aware that their credit score is important to their ability to obtain a home loan, but a surprising number of buyers are not sure what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to their credit score. Below, we attempt to dispel some of the more common myths surrounding credit scores.   Misconception 1: Closing My Credit Card Account Will Erase Its History While it would be great to make that late payment just disappear from your credit report, closing your credit card account won’t do that. You closed account can still appear on your credit report for years after you closed it. You could actually hurt your credit score by closing the account because it reduces your availability, therefore increasing your debt-to-income ratio. Additionally, it is better for … [Read more...]

6 Ways to Make Your Move to North Carolina Smoother for Your Kids

So you’ve decided to move to North Carolina! You’ve probably given it a lot of thought, and for whatever reason, you’ve determined it is the best move for your family. But just because it is the best move, doesn’t mean it will be a completely smooth move, especially if you have children. The home you are leaving behind to move to North Carolina may be the only home your children have known. For your older children, the move may mean saying goodbye to lifelong friends. Below are seven suggestions for helping your children make the transition to their new home go more smoothly. Visit your new home and neighborhood If it is possible, bring your children to visit their new city, neighborhood and home prior to moving day. Be sure to point out all the things you think they will love about … [Read more...]

7 Wilmington, NC Real Estate Stats Homebuyers Should Know

As October 2017 came to a close, the median sales price for residential property in Wilmington, NC is up eight percent over this time last year. Whether you are considering purchasing a single-family home, condo or townhome in Wilmington, here are seven real estate statistics from the North Carolina Regional MLS that you may want consider: The number of closed sales of all residential properties is up 1.6 percent, from 3,647 closing through October 2016, to 3,707 through October 2017. The median price of a single-family home in Wilmington increased 5.4 percent to $252,000 for this year, from $239,000 for this time last year. The number of closed sales is up 4 percent from 2,963 single-family home sales closed by the end of October 2016, to 3,084 homes sold through October of … [Read more...]

New Hanover County Sets September Luxury Home Sales Record

  The property at 202 Nun Street, known locally as The Verandas, is one of the 16 new luxury home listings  in New Hanover County to come on the market during September. The home is listed for $2,199,000. Photo © Intracoastal Realty Corp. Used with permission. WILMINGTON, NC – Sales of luxury homes in New Hanover County set an all-time high for the month of September. Eleven homes with a total value of $21.29 million sold. That compares to the next busiest September in 2009 when nine luxury homes totaling $16.42 million sold. While not setting a monthly record, sales of million dollar homes in Brunswick County were also robust. Five properties with a combined value of $6.71 million closed, compared to two properties totaling $2.28 million in September 2016. The trend for … [Read more...]

3 Reasons You’ll Love Living in Wilmington

There are likely several reasons you're considering a move to Wilmington, NC. Perhaps you are seeking a laid back retirement. Maybe you’re moving for work. Maybe you're coming home. Maybe you're just looking for your next adventure. Whatever the reason, the reasons below are just three of the many things folks enjoy most about living in Wilmington.   1. Weather The Cape Fear Region enjoys four distinct seasons, with winter being the shortest and weakest. Though bouts of prolonged chill and wintry precipitation can occur, they're very rare. Bright, crisp afternoons with temperatures in the 50s and 60s are more the norm; you might reach for a sweatshirt for your tee time or bicycle excursion. Winter yields to a lengthy spring early in the calendar year. While the inland … [Read more...]

Overall Luxury Market Holds Steady; $3M+ Sales Boom

WILMINGTON, NC – During August, sales of homes priced at or more than $1 million kept pace with sales a year ago. However, homes priced over the $3 million dollar mark are the big story. From January 1 through August 31, seven properties have sold over the $3M mark in the tri-county area of New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender. With four months to go, 2017 already tops the total annual sales of $3+ million homes for every year in the past decade. (See chart below for historical perspective of annual sales topping $3M.) The last time more homes over $3M sold in a single year was at the peak of the real estate market in 2007. That year, sixteen homes priced at or more than $3M closed. While 2017 is unlikely to surpass that total, there are currently four more similarly priced homes under … [Read more...]

Upper End of Local Luxury Market Suddenly Simmers

    WILMINGTON, NC – After picking up steam in June, activity of homes listed for more than $3 million made a record jump in July. While no homes priced for more than $3 million closed during July, four homes priced between $3.45 - $5 million went under contract.  Also, six new listings came on the market, bringing the total number of active listings with asking prices above $3 million to 29. To put these numbers in perspective, the tri-county area (New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender) has seen an average of 3-4 homes priced more than $3 million sell per year over the past ten years. If all four homes that went under contract during July actually close, they will exceed the yearly average of total homes sold at this price point. The home at 286 Beach Road … [Read more...]