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Posts Tagged ‘Southport’

House Prices are on the Rise – It’s Time to Buy!

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Home Prices Up 5.67% Across The Country!

Home Prices Up 5.67% Across The Country! [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Across the country, home prices are up by 5.67%.
  • Each state is appreciating at a different rate, however, which is important to realize if you plan on relocating to a different state.
  • Regionally, prices have appreciated year-over-year by as high as 8.15%.

Let the Coastal Realty Connections team help you find your next real estate purchase. Contact us today.  910-279-9398.

Low interest rates – Now is a good time to buy

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Mortgage Rates Remain at Historic Lows


The latest report from Freddie Mac shows that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.61% last week, slightly down from the week before (3.66%), and nearly 20 points lower than a year ago (3.80%).

This is great news for homebuyers who are dealing with rising prices due to a low inventory of homes for sale in many areas of the country. Freddie Mac expressed their optimism for the rates to remain low throughout the spring in a recent blog post:

“We expect mortgage interest rates to stay well under 4% as we head into the heart of the spring homebuying season. We’re predicting it to be the best one in 10 years, which should provide even greater opportunities for first-time homebuyers.”

Below is a chart of the weekly average rates in 2016, according to Freddie Mac.

Mortgage Rates Remain at Historic Lows | Simplifying The Market

Rates have again fallen to historic lows yet many experts still expect them to increase in 2016. One thing we know for sure is that, according to Freddie Mac, current rates are the best they have been since last April.

Sean Becketti, Chief Economist for Freddie Mac recently explained:

“Since the start of February, mortgage rates have varied within a narrow range providing an extended period for house hunters to take advantage of historically low rates.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of buying your first home or moving up to your ultimate dream home, now is a great time to get a sensational rate on your mortgage. Let Coastal Realty Connections put their expertise and excellent customer service to work for you. Contact us today. info@coastalrealtyconnections.com / 910-279-9398.

Could it be a sellers market again?

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Over Half of Americans Planning on Buying in the Next 5 Years

Over Half of Americans Planning on Buying in the Next 5 Years | Simplifying The Market

According to the BMO Harris Bank Home Buying Report, 52% of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years. Americans surveyed for the report said that they would be willing to pay an average of $296,000 for a home and would average a 21% down payment. The report also included other interesting revelations.

Those Looking to Buy

  • 74% of those looking to buy a new home will consult with a real estate agent
  • 59% said they will visit online real estate websites
  • 37% will seek recommendations from friends and family
  • 78% plan to get pre-approved before seriously searching for a home

 Those Who Already Own

  • 75% of current homeowners set a budget before looking for a home, and 16% ended up spending less while 13% went over their budget.
  • 63% of American homeowners spent under six months looking for a new home before they made a purchase.
  • 8% bought their home without participating in an active real estate search – or even any plan to buy at all – because a specific property caught their attention.

The last point is very interesting: Of those who purchased a home, 8% bought “without any plan to buy at all”.  A property caught their attention and they acted on it.

Why Are More People Not Planning Their Next Move?

Why are people that are considering a move not putting their home search to a plan, and instead, buying only when a property catches their attention? An article by Fannie Mae reveals evidence that a large number of homeowners are dramatically underestimating the equity they have in their current home. The report explains that:

“Homeowners may be underestimating their home equity. In particular, if homeowners believe that large down payments are now required to purchase a home, then widespread, large underestimates of their home equity could be deterring them from applying for mortgages, selling their homes, and buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

Let’s meet up to determine the actual equity you have in your house and to take a look at the opportunities that currently exist in the real estate market. This may be the perfect time to move-up, move-down or buy that vacation home your family has always wanted.

Sales Price Versus Appraised Value

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Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank. With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first.
A recent post on “The Home Story”, a site published by Fannie Mae, explained the difference between the price a seller may get for their home and the value an appraiser might assign the property.

The Sales Price

Of course, most sellers want to maximize the value they get for the house. However, the price they set might not be reflective of the other comparable homes in the neighborhood. As the article stated:

“People tend to view their homes emotionally, and that can become quickly apparent when they decide to sell.”

That doesn’t mean that the home won’t necessarily sell for that price.

A seller can set an asking price and actually have a buyer agree to that price. However, that value may not be necessarily in agreement with what most buyers are willing to pay. For example, one person can view a property, determine it is exactly what they are looking for and well worth the asking price, whereas another person could look at the same property and feel the asking price is too high.

Steven Corbin, Director of Valuation in Fannie Mae’s CPM Real Estate division gives an example:

“Someone may have driven by the property countless times, and they really want to live in that house. So in reality they may overbid for that property. This would be a situation where the actions of a specific buyer do not represent the actions of a typical buyer.”

The Appraised Value (or Market Value)

Fannie Mae explains what they look for when appraising the house:

“When a contract is established on a property, an appraised value is determined by a professional real estate appraiser. The appraiser works on the lender’s behalf to determine that value by taking many factors into consideration, including the neighborhood, the value of properties of similar size and construction, and even such things as the type of fixtures on the premises and layout of the floor plan.”

Corbin adds:

“From a lending perspective, a bank would want to know the probable price a typical buyer would offer for the property. That’s what an appraiser would set as the market value.”

The Challenge when Sales Price and Appraisal Value are Different
If the appraiser comes in with a value that is below the agreed upon sales price, the lending institution might not authorize the mortgage for the full amount a buyer would need to complete the transaction.

Quicken Loans actually releases a Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) that quantifies the difference between what sellers and appraisers believe regarding value. The HPPI represents the difference between appraisers’ and homeowners’ opinions of home values.

Currently, there is approximately a 2% difference between what homeowners believe their home to be worth and what appraisers value that same home. On a $300,000 sale that would be a $6,000 difference. That could be a challenge that might prevent the home sale proceeding to the closing table.

Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters recently commented on this issue:

“The more homeowners are in line with appraisers, the easier it will be to refinance their mortgage and easier for those looking to buy a home. If the two are aligned, it eliminates one of the top stumbling blocks in the mortgage process.”

Bottom Line

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). In a housing market where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values increase rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal. If prices are jumping, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. That is why we suggest that you use an experienced real estate professional to help set your listing price.

Let us help you determine your asking or buying price by contacting us at Coastal Realty Connections.


Source: Reposted from Current Affairs.


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Although National Home Improvement Month is just around the corner. May is fast approaching. Want to get a jump start? The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) advises homeowners of the 10 most important steps to take before the remodeling project starts.

home remodel“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,” says Judy Moze, CR, GCP, NARI National president and president of Handcrafted Homes, Inc. in Roswell, Georgia. “The more knowledgeable and prepared a homeowner is, the more they protect themselves.”

What can a homeowner do to prepare for a remodel? NARI provides a top 10 list of steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.

1. Research your project. Taking time to research projects on the Internet and NARI.org will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.

2. Plan project around the long-term. How long do you plan to stay in your home? How might your family structure change over time? Life can change quickly—these questions should be answered early on to ensure your project will fit your lifestyle long after it’s complete.

3. Set your budget. Deciding on a realistic budget and arranging finances to support your project are essential. This number needs to include everything—the project, products, contingencies, etc. Don’t be afraid to share this with your remodeler; professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it.

4. Use advanced search for professionals. The online world makes it easy to gather information about strangers. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching that person online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. Look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. Check online reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers.

5. Ask the right questions. Time and cost are important, but getting the right information requires the right questions. Ask your professional remodeler about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work.

6. Verify your remodeler. Don’t take their word for it. Check the information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s job site. Make it known that you are checking on him—a true professional considers that as a positive sign to working with a homeowner.

7. Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.

8. Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design.

9. Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.

10. Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected.

As an industry that struggles with a persistent negative perception of remodeling contractors, these tips serve both the industry and consumers in elevating real professionals from the pack.

For more information, visit www.NARI.org.

To learn more about Coastal Realty Connections or get more real estate information, please contact us at info@coastalrealtyconnections.com.

Most affordable NC housing markets

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Coastal Realty Connections

According to Coldwell Banker’s annual Home Listing Report, Ocean Isle Beach costs the most, while Elizabeth City is the most affordable housing market.  The report uses average listing price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home over 2,700 US markets. The report shows that an average home price for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in North Carolina is $232,748. Within our area the beach communities of Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Oak Island, Topsail Beach area, Wilmington and Winnabow all fall above the average.


Waterfront Home Open House September 30

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Open House Wednesday September 30

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Pizza and pasta lunch will be provided

Also enjoy a tasty treat from the  Side Street Bakery

**Register to win 1 of 2 $50 Visa Gift Cards

5952 Dutchman Creek Road

This beautiful, meticulously maintained marsh front home has panoramic views of Dutchman Creek, tidal marshes, ICW and distant Caswell Beach. Architect designed plan with full living quarters, kitchen, dining and master suite on the first level. Direct access to the open deck, spacious screened porch and a relaxing sunroom completes the spa package. Two further bedrooms and bathroom on the upper level create a totally private family or guest area, complete with a study area and ample storage.

MLS# 686658
Listing Agent: Donald Howarth
Cell: 910-279-9398
Email: Donald@coastalrealtyconnections.com

See more about this  home. 

North Carolina Marinas

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Graphic Marina add economy blog (2) In a recent article by the Southport Stateport Pilot‘s Staff Writer Lee Hinnant, he highlights the ways in which marinas contribute to the local economy.

More than just places to tie-up and buy fuel and ice, marinas are substantial contributors to the economy and gateways to some of the nest spots on the Cape Feat coast.

With thriving restaurants, an inn, real estate sales and other businesses, Bald Head Island Marina is like a second village square. Everyone who visits the island passes through, wither on private boats or the large passenger ferries.

At South Harbor Village in Oak Island, the marina helps support two large restaurants and several small businesses overlooking the water. Just up the Intracoastal Waterway at St. James, the marina anchors a market, restaurant and Tiki hut. One of the area’s top seafood restaurants and a motel overlook Blue Water Point Marina. At the heart of it all is Southport Marina. During the past decade, Preston Development has turned what was an aging marina into a first class facility that has garnered numerous awards. There are 10 full-time employees and two part-time workers. Businesses based at Southport Marina include a boat brokerage, a boating club, a boat rental company, a sail supplier and an American Sailing Association-certified sailing academy. Seven charter Companies and Zimmerman Marine Service also call the marina home.

There’s a waiting list for the boat dry stack and manager Hank Whitley said that’s no happy accident. “We’ve put a lot of effort, headache and heartache to do it right,” he said. “It’s a big deal for us and a major revenue stream to bring folks from elsewhere.”

The boaters who stayed at Southport Marina less than a month increased by about 150 last year to more than 1,500. Whitley estimates that one-quarter of the marina’s business is with transients. “We think of ourselves at concierges,” Whitley said. “The biggest thing about the impact is that just about every single one of them want to go out and eat somewhere in town.” The visitors who boat to Southport also need provisions, fuel and marine parts and services.

“It’s the same thing as a hotel,” said Cindy Brochure, tourism director for the City of Southport. “If they like you they will come back.” Brochure said the marina’s awards and favorable mention in publications such as Sail Magazine have helped introduce Southport to many newcomers. “We have big-city amenities in a small town. It’s an economic boost when these people come in.” Brochure called the area marinas “a year around economic development tool” and said her office enjoys handing out information about the community. “It’s like having a stop on the interstate highway” she said.

A 2008 study of the southeastern region of NC stated that marinas employed 783 people and had a secondary economic impact of $305-million in sales.

Real Estate Trend – Mancaves versus Woman Caves

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Southport Real Estate, mangaves, Coastal Realty, Coastal Realty Connections.

Southport Real Estate, mangaves, Coastal Realty, Coastal Realty Connections.

Move over Man Caves, “She Sheds” are taking storm now! Alright ladies, if you’ve just about had it with the man cave trend that’s been taking the industry by storm the last few years, it’s time to put your foot down and demand your very own space. And no, we’re not talking about your bedroom sanctuary that hosts a reading nook where you can go to escape the daily grind and lose yourself in a good book. We’re talking “she sheds.”

It may sound silly, but she sheds are popping up in backyards across the nation as women look outside the confines of their own home for a space that’s all theirs. It’s the (totally acceptable?) grown up version of claiming a space and then posting a ‘no boys allowed’ sign prominently on the door.

Much like pub sheds, “she sheds” are the latest craze in the battle to add a touch of personality to any and every space. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil environment to practice yoga, a quiet space to work on your writing or just a place to get away from the stresses that come with your day-to-day routine, “she sheds” run the gamut from rustic to extravagant.

Need a little inspiration? Check out the pictures that we found on the Lighter Side of Real Estate site and start planning what your “she shed” will look like today!

Lighter Side of Real Estate






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Graphic BHI Terminal Goin BlogContractors have built about 150 feet of Bald Head Island’s terminal groin, an arm-shaped pile of giant rocks designed to trap sand and reduce erosion on South Beach.

Crews are digging a 32- to 40-foot-wide trench in the sand, then placing rock-filled geotextile mattresses on the leveled surface. After that, they’re stacking large boulders on the specially constructed mattress pads.

Work is going slowly because the contractors have to pump water from the excavation and make sure the construction area is perfectly flat and at exactly the correct elevation, said Chris McCall, shoreline protection manager and assistant village manager.

“The terminal groin is moving along,” McCall said. “They are putting the rocks in place.” Orion Marine Group crews place a six-by-20-foot mattress on the construction centerline, then place additional pads on each side of the center mattress.

The mattresses go down first so that the heavy boulders won’t subside into the sand.

McCall said the crew was averaging eight to 10 mattresses a day. They are staging mainland operations just east of American Marine Co. on the Intracoastal Waterway at Oak Island.

When finished, the terminal groin will be 1,300 feet long and reach into the Atlantic about 300 feet. It is designed to capture some, but not all, of the sand that washes by in the longshore current.

Four community-based terminal groins are allowed in North Carolina under a 2011 law. Other beaches seeking to build groins are Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Figure Eight Island.

Construction is expected to wrap up in October. Technicians will monitor the groin’s performance for at least two years before the project engineer decides whether to add another 600 feet to the structure.

Source State Port Pilot