Coastal North Carolina Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 3, 2021

Do I need a Realtor : New home Construction

I am having my next home custom-built, do I need an agent? or I am buying a new construction home, do I need an agent?

The answer a resounding YES!

You may be asking but why, what is their role in new home construction?

Your agent is YOUR advocate throughout the home building process.

Your real estate professional can help you navigate and understand the ins and outs of the home construction process.

They help you to understand the materials, the timeline, the documents. They can help you stay on budget, help with decisions like upgrades and finishes, they can help with negotiations, and help deal with any roadblocks or obstacles that can popup during the process. 

They are there to help you!

Feb. 10, 2021

Selling In A Sellers Market

If you are thinking about selling your home, now might be a good time! The market currently favors sellers because of the increased demand and the low inventory of houses on the market, leading to fierce competition among buyers. Part of what is driving this seller's market is that there is 43% less inventory on the market as compared to the market last year.

What does this mean for you as a seller?

Your home can sell twice as fast as it would have last year.

In January 2020 houses were on the market an average of 43 days, in January 2021 the average was just 21 days! Houses are also seeing more showings, the rate of showings has increased 47.2% since January 2020! 

You may end up with more than one offer.

In January 2020 the average number of offers per house was about 2.3, in January 2021 that average jumped to 3.7 offers! 

You may end up selling your house for more.

The median sales price is up 14.1%! In January 2020 the median price was $266,300, which has jumped to $303,900 in January 2021.

 

*Data provided by ShowingTime, Realtor.com, and NAR

 

Feb. 3, 2021

Making Homeownership Dreams Come True in 2021

If you’re dreaming of buying a home this year, start by connecting with a local real estate professional to understand what goes into the process. With a trusted advisor at your side, you can then begin to answer the questions below to set yourself up for homebuying success.

 

1. How Can I Better Understand the Process, and How Much Can I Afford?

The process of buying a home is not one to enter into lightly. You need to decide on key things like how long you plan on living in an area, school districts you prefer, what kind of commute works for you, and how much you can afford to spend.

Keep in mind, before you start the process to purchase a home, you’ll also need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will evaluate several factors connected to your financial track record, one of which is your credit history. They’ll want to see how well you’ve been able to minimize past debts, so make sure you’ve been paying your student loans, credit cards, and car loans on time. If your financial situation has changed recently, be sure to discuss that with your lender as well. Most agents have loan officers they trust and will provide referrals for you.

 

2. How Much Do I Need for a Down Payment?

In addition to knowing how much you can afford on a monthly mortgage payment, understanding how much you’ll need for a down payment is another critical step. Thankfully, there are many different options and resources in the market to potentially reduce the amount you may think you need to put down.

If you’re concerned about saving for a down payment, start small and be consistent. A little bit each month goes a long way. Jumpstart your savings by automatically adding a portion of your monthly paycheck into a separate savings account or house fund.

Before you know it, you’ll have enough for a down payment if you’re disciplined and thoughtful about your process.

 

3. Saving Takes Time: Practice Living on a Budget

As tempting as it is to pass the extra time you may be spending at home these days with a little retail therapy, putting that extra money toward your down payment will help accelerate your path to homeownership. It’s the little things that count, so start trying to live on a slightly tighter budget if you aren’t doing so already. A budget will allow you to save more for your down payment and help you pay down other debts to improve your credit score.

While you don’t need to cut all of the extras out of your current lifestyle, making smarter choices and limiting your spending in areas where you can slim down will make a big difference.

 

Bottom Line

If homeownership is on your dream list this year, take a good look at what you can prioritize to help you get there. To determine the steps you should take to start the process, connect with a local real estate professional today.

Jan. 27, 2021

The Benefits of Owning a Home Instead of Renting

In today’s housing market, there are clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, the chance to build your net worth, and appreciating home values, just to name a few. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to think about how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of homeownership and how preparing for them now can steer you in the direction of greater financial security and savings.

 

1. You Won’t Always Have a Monthly Housing Payment

Personal finance advisor Dave Ramsey explains: “Every payment brings you closer to owning the house. When you pay your rent, that money is spent. Gone. Bye. Not returning. But when you pay your mortgage, you work toward full ownership.” As a homeowner, you can eventually eliminate the monthly payment you make on your house. That’s a huge win and a big factor in how homeownership can drive stability and savings in your life. As soon as you buy a home, your monthly housing costs begin to work for you as forced savings in the form of equity.

 

2. Homeownership Is a Tax Break

One thing people who have never owned a home don’t always think about are the tax advantages of homeownership. According to Dave Ramsey, “You do have tax advantages. Many of the costs of owning a home – like property taxes – are tax deductible. And if you’re paying off a mortgage, you’ll get to count your mortgage interest as a deduction when you file your tax return.” Whether you’re living in your first home or your fifth, it’s a huge financial advantage to have some tax relief tied to the interest you pay each year.

 

3. Monthly Housing Costs Are Predictablet

A third benefit is the fact that monthly costs start to become more predictable with homeownership, something that doesn’t happen if you’re renting. Your monthly costs are most likely based on a fixed-rate mortgage, which allows you to budget your finances over a longer period of time. Rental prices have been skyrocketing since 2012, and with today’s low mortgage rates, it’s a great time to get more for your money when purchasing a home. If you want to lock-in your monthly payment at a low rate and have a solid understanding of what you’re going to spend in your mortgage payment each month, buying a home may be your best bet.

 

So, if you’re ready to be a homeowner, give one of our agents a call today!

Jan. 20, 2021

Homeownership: 6 Benefits

Over the past year, our homes have become an integral part of our lives more than ever. They’re much more than the houses we live in. They’re our workplaces, virtual schools, and safe havens that provide shelter, stability, and protection through the evolving health crisis. Today, 65.8% of Americans are fortunate enough to call their homes their own.

As we continue to think about the future, our goals for the year, and what we want to achieve well beyond 2021, it’s a great time to look at the benefits of owning a home. Below are some highlights and quotes on the benefits of homeownership shared by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). From feel-good motivations to economic and social impacts on the local community, these items may give you a reason to believe homeownership stretches well beyond your financial investment.

 

Non-Financial Benefits

Owning a home brings a sense of happiness, satisfaction, and pride.

Pride of Ownership: It feels good to have a place that’s truly your own, especially since you can customize it to your liking. “The personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment achieved through homeownership can enhance psychological health, happiness and well-being for homeowners and those around them.”

Civic Participation: Homeownership creates stability, a sense of community, and increases civic engagement. It’s a way to add to the strength of your local area and drive value into your neighborhood.

Financial Benefits

Buying a home is also an investment in your financial future.

Net Worth: Homeownership builds your net worth. Today, the median household net worth of all homeowners is $254,900, while the median net worth of renters is only $6,270.

Financial Security: Equity, appreciation, and more predictable monthly housing expenses are huge financial benefits of owning a home. Homeownership is truly the best way to improve your long-term financial position.

Economic Benefits

Homeownership is even a local economic driver.

Housing-Related Spending: An economic force throughout our nation, housing-related expenses accounted for more than one-sixth of the country’s economic activity over the past three decades.

Entrepreneurship: Homeownership is also a form of forced savings that can provide entrepreneurial opportunities. “Owning a home enables new entrepreneurs to obtain access to credit to start or expand a business and generate new jobs by using their home as collateral for small business loans.”

Bottom Line

The benefits of homeownership go well beyond the basics. Homeownership is truly a way to build financial freedom, find greater satisfaction and happiness, and make a substantial impact in your community. If owning a home is part of your dream this year, contact a local real estate professional to begin the home buying process today.

Jan. 13, 2021

4 Reasons Home Buyers are Looking in 2021

According to many experts, the real estate market is expected to continue growing in 2021, and it’s largely driven by the lasting impact the pandemic is having on our lifestyles. As many of us spend extra time at home, we’re reevaluating what “home” means and what we may need in one going forward.

Here are 4 reasons people are reconsidering where they live and why they’re expecting to buy a home this year. 

1. Record-Low Mortgage Interest Rates

In 2020, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage hit a record low 16 times, continuing to fall further below 3%. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed interest rate today is 2.65%. Many wonder how low these rates will go and how long they’ll last. Len Keifer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, advises:

“If you’ve found a home that fits your needs at a price you can afford, it might be better to act now rather than wait for future rate declines that may never come and a future that likely holds very tight inventory.”

This sense of urgency is driving many to buy this year.

2. Working from Home

Remote work is a new normal for many businesses, and it’s lasting longer than most expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore and they can get more for their money by moving a little further outside of the city limits. David Mele, President at Homes.com, says: 

“The surge in the work-from-home population has rewritten the playbook for many homebuying and rental decisions, from when and where to relocate, to what people are looking for in their next residence.”

The reality is, for some people, working remotely in their current home is challenging, especially when there may be other options available.

3. More Outdoor Space

Another new priority for homeowners is having more usable outdoor space. Being at home is driving those in some areas to seek less densely populated neighborhoods so they have more room to stretch their legs. In addition, those living in apartments and townhomes are often looking for extra square footage, both inside and out.

According to the State of Home Spending report by HomeAdvisor, of the households surveyed, almost half reported spending 27% more on outdoor living over the past year. This is a trend that’s expected to grow in 2021 and beyond.

4. Avoiding Renovations

It’s recently come to light that many homeowners would also rather buy a new home than go through the process of fixing up the one they have. According to the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 44% of homebuyers purchased a new home to “avoid renovations or problems with the plumbing or electricity.”

Depending on what needs to be addressed, today’s high buyer demand may make it possible to skip some renovations before selling. Many of these homeowners have prioritized buying over renovating for convenience and potential cost savings.

Bottom Line

It’s clear that homeownership needs are changing. As a result, Americans are expected to move in record numbers this year. If you’re trying to decide if now is the right time to buy a home, contact a local real estate professional today to discuss your options.

Jan. 6, 2021

Wilmington Tops United Van Line Study for Inbound Moves in 2020

Thinking about moving to Wilmington, NC? According to the results of a recent study released by United Van Lines Wilmington is the number one city for inbound moves in 2020!! We can't help but think that we were ahead of the curve and agree that Wilmington is a great place to live!

The top ten cities for inbound moves according to the the study, which has been conducted by the moving company since 1977 and tracks the migration patterns in the US are:

  1. Wilmington, NC
  2. Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
  3. Boise, ID
  4. Huntsville, AL
  5. Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL
  6. Knoxville, TN
  7. Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, FL
  8. Austin-Sand Marcos, TX
  9. Nashville, TN
  10. Fort Collins-Loveland, CO

While the 10 ten areas that have seen residents leave are:

  1. Nassau-Suffolk, NY
  2. Bergen-Passaic, NJ
  3. Trenton, NJ
  4. New York, NY
  5. Newark, NJ
  6. Chicago, IL
  7. Bremerton, WA
  8. Bridgeport, CT
  9. Middlesex, NJ
  10. Lake, IL

Ready to pack your bags and see what makes Wilmington such a great place to live? Give us a call today!

Dec. 30, 2020

Housing Market Forecast: What's ahead in 2021

While 2020 has faced its fair share of ups and downs, we know one thing to be true: the real estate market not only met expert predictions, it surpassed them, breaking records along the way.

With that in mind, there’s one big glaring question right now: will the housing market in 2021 follow the same trajectory or are we facing a possible downturn?

Let’s take a deep dive into what leading real estate experts are projecting for 2021 so you have the knowledge and confidence you need to succeed in the new year.

If you have any questions about buying or selling this year reach out we would love to help!

Dec. 23, 2020

House feeling too small?

It may seem hard to imagine that the home you’re in today – whether it’s your starter home or just one you’ve fallen in love with along the way – might not be your forever home.

Many needs have changed in 2020, and it’s okay to admit if your house no longer fits your lifestyle. If you’re now working remotely, facilitating virtual school, trying to exercise at home, or simply just spending more time in your own four walls, you may be bursting at the seams in your current house.

According to the latest Home Price Insights from CoreLogic, prices have appreciated 7.3% year-over-year. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that inventory has dropped 22% from one year ago.

These two statistics are directly related to one another. As inventory has decreased and demand has increased, prices have been driven up.

This is great news if you own a home and you’re thinking about selling. The equity in your house has likely risen as prices have increased. Even better is the fact that there’s a large pool of buyers out there searching for the American dream, and your home may be high on their wish list.

Bottom Line

If you think you’ve outgrown your current home, reach out to a real estate professional to discuss local market conditions and determine if now is the best time for you to sell. 

Dec. 16, 2020

FAQ - Realtor Facts

Q: What is a Realtor?

A: A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® who is required to abide by a strict Code of Ethics. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS® and misuse of the term is a trademark violation. To become a REALTOR® a person who holds a real estate license may join their local REALTOR® Association which makes them automatically a member of the State and National Associations.

Q: What does NOT need to be disclosed when selling your home in NC?

If your home has polybutylene pipes.

The square footage of your home (but if you do disclose, you are liable for the accuracy of the square footage). Also, if your home is listed in MLS, the local Multiple Listing Service may require square footage disclosure and then your agent is responsible for accurate measurement.

If your home has hard coat stucco siding.

If your home has asbestos siding, so long as it’s not friable.

If your home has hardboard siding.

If your home has pressure treated lumber.

If you are behind on mortgage payments (so long as no notice of foreclosure has been filed or you are not in a short sale situation).

If anyone with AIDS/HIV is living in the home or has died in the home from the illness. (Do not ever discuss AIDS/HIV, as this is covered under federal handicapped protection.)

If anyone has died in the home, in general, or was killed in the home (but if asked, you cannotlie).

If registered sex offenders live in the neighborhood.

If your home is haunted.

If your home has aluminum wiring.

If your home was partially destroyed by fire or flood, so long as it was repaired and remodeled to code.

If your home has received multiple offers to purchase.

Don’t forget that your agent is prohibited from discussing or providing any information about your neighborhood and area with respect to racial, religious, ethnic, social components.

In general, the overall rules to follow are:

If you disclose something, the information must be accurate or you may be held liable.

If you are specifically asked about something, you cannot give a false answer.

Q: What is a “material fact”?

 

A: One of the most difficult concepts for many homeowners to grasp is that of “material fact.” In its broadest sense a material fact may be said to be any fact that is important or relevant to the issue at hand. Because this is such a broad definition, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission has provided guidelines regarding what facts the Commission generally will consider to be material in most real estate transactions.

No matter who an agent represents in a transaction, the types of facts described below are material facts and must be disclosed to all parties with whom the agent deals if the agent is aware of such facts or should reasonably be aware of such facts.

Facts about the property itself.

Any significant property defect or abnormality Some examples are: a structural defect, a malfunctioning system, a leaking roof or a drainage or flooding problem.

Facts that relate directly to the property.

These are typically external factors that affect the use, desirability or value of a property. Examples are a pending zoning change, the existence of restrictive covenants, plans to widen an adjacent street, or plans to build a shopping center on an adjacent property.

Facts that relate directly to the ability of a principal to complete the transaction.

Any fact that might adversely affect the ability of a principal party to the transaction (buyer or seller) to consummate the transaction. Examples are the buyer’s inability to qualify for a loan and to close on the home purchase without first selling the currently-owned home, a seller’s inability to convey clear title due to the commencement of a foreclosure proceeding against the seller.

Facts that are known to be of special importance to a party.

There are many facts relating in some way to a property which normally would not inherently be considered “material,” but because they are known to be of special interest or importance to a party, they become a material fact. Example: The fact that a residential property may not be used for a home business due to zoning or restrictive covenants normally would not be a material fact; however, if an agent working with a buyer knows that the buyer wants to operate a home business, then the issue of whether the home can be used as such becomes a material fact.