Community & Area Real Estate News

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!

Feb. 21, 2024

Local Home Search Websites VS National Sites

Looking for a new home can be an overwhelming experience. With so many websites out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, local realtor websites are a great resource for finding homes in your area. Let’s explore how to use local realtor home search websites and what advantages they have over larger house search sites.

 

Finding Your Home

Local realtor websites make it easy to search for houses in your area. Simply type in your desired location into the website’s search bar, and you will be able to see all of the available homes in that area. You can also narrow down your results by price, size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, etc. This makes it easy to find the perfect house that fits within your budget and meets all of your needs.

 

Evaluating Houses

Once you have found some potential houses on a local realtor website, you can then evaluate them further. These sites usually provide detailed information about each house such as square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc., as well as pictures of the interior and exterior of the home. Some sites even provide virtual tours so you can get a better feel for what each house is like before visiting in person. This makes it much easier to decide which houses are worth viewing in person and which ones don’t meet your needs or budget requirements.

 

Advantages Over Larger House Search Sites

Local realtor websites offer several advantages over larger house search sites such as Zillow or Trulia. For one thing, these sites are updated more frequently since they are connected directly to a local real estate agent who has access to all of the latest listings in their area. This means that you will always have up-to-date information about homes in your area when using a local site instead of relying on outdated listings from larger search engines. Additionally, these websites often have more detailed information about each property than larger search engines do since they are connected directly to an agent who is familiar with the properties listed on their site.

 

 

Overall, local realtor home search websites offer many advantages over larger house search sites like Zillow or Trulia when looking for a new home in your area. They make it easy to find potential houses thanks to their detailed searches and virtual tours; plus they offer more up-to-date information about homes than large national listing services do due to the direct connection between agents and listings on these sites. If you’re looking for a new home, consider exploring local realtor home search websites first!

Posted in Helpful Tidbits
Feb. 7, 2024

Avoid Short Term Rental Home Mistakes

The short-term rental market has exploded since the Covid-19

pandemic. As America’s workforce raced home, people realized that they

could work from anywhere. Coupled with the desire to isolate oneself

and family from other people during vacations, created a strong demand for

short-term rental properties. As the trend boomed, large and small investors jumped

into the stream and bought properties to market as short-term rentals.

Owning a short-term rental can be a great investment. In addition to the incremental

income, the home appreciates in value, and the owner may even find time

to use the property themselves. But owning this kind of rental isn’t as easy

as putting a lockbox on the door and washing the sheets. Before investing

in a short-term rental, consider these 5 things.

1. Local Zoning and HOA Rules – This may seem obvious, yet every

year people buy homes intending to use it as a short-term rental only to find

that the local authorities prohibit that kind of rental. Often, one must rent the

home for 30+ days as part of an HOA or local zoning law.

2. Property Management – The wrong property management company

can cost the homeowner time and money. Bad reviews, property damage,

and mismanaged funds are just a few of the problems caused by the wrong

manager.

3. Property Condition – While it’s important to buy a home the owner can

handle, simple cosmetic changes are easy to fix for a home in the right

location.

4. Personal Taste – One of the biggest mistakes investors make is to buy

what they like, instead of the right property for a short-term rental. They

should consider why someone would come to a short-term rental in that area and find a

property that appeals to that.

5. Part-Time Manager – Regardless of how handy the owner is, owning a

vacation rental is a full-time job and should be managed by a professional

management company.

Renters of short-term rentals are choosing the privacy and intimacy that a

short-term rental offers, but they expect to have hotel-quality service. This is a high bar

and before buying a home to use as a short-term rental, investors need to carefully

consider all the aspects of this kind of ownership.

Posted in Helpful Tidbits
Jan. 24, 2024

Pushy Real Estate Agents

No one likes a pushy salesman! It’s even worse when you are buying a

big-ticket item. You want to take your time and make sure you are making

the right decision. Consider how many “buy your new car 100% online”

options there are these days. No one wants to walk onto a car lot. It’s just

annoying.

Buying a house is typically the largest purchase one makes in a lifetime.

Now you feel like your own agent is pushing you to make a decision. It may

feel stressful, but a good buyer’s agent is pushing you for your own good

while protecting your interests along the way.

The fact is that the real estate market moves very quickly, and the right

homes sell fast. If you approach buying real estate in a leisurely manner,

you will lose out on great opportunities. Your “pushy” agent is trying to put

you in the best position to capitalize on these opportunities when they

appear:

· They push you to get a pre-approval.

· They push you to see new listings quickly.

· They push you to write an offer if you like a home.

You don’t want to miss out on a great house. Your agent will craft the offer

and subsequent agreement to include plenty of contingencies that will allow

you to cancel the transaction if you need/want to, but you need to make

quick decisions to make sure you have that option.

Your “pushy” agent is there to help you move through the process,

correctly. At times, this also means quickly. Your pushy agent is really just

trying to help you!

Posted in Helpful Tidbits
Jan. 10, 2024

Winter Vacation in Emerald Isle

Escape to paradise this winter! Get ready for an unforgettable getaway on the gorgeous coast of Emerald Isle, NC. Whether you're looking for beachfront luxury or a cozy condo rental - there's something to make everyone smile in these stunning coastal surroundings. 

Take your vacation down south and explore Emerald Isle, NC! With Bogue Banks providing plenty of outdoor activities - from fishing and kayaking to simply enjoying some stunning views in seclusion – it's sure to be an unforgettable experience. 

From October through March, North Carolina inlets offer some of the best oysters you'll ever taste - especially during winter! North Carolina’s inlets give oysters a unique flavor; a flavor you must try!

Meanwhile, if your four-legged family member wants to come too? Fret not – many beachside (and rental) spots welcome pets with open arms. So don't forget to do your research on laws and regulations before you embark...it’s going to be one memorable getaway for both humans AND pets alike!

Plus, you'll get all these perks with fewer people around than during peak season. So pack those bags now before everyone else catches on because this little-known secret is one worth discovering.

Dec. 21, 2023

Buying a Fixer Upper

Purchasing a fixer-upper property can be an exciting and rewarding

experience. HGTV is filled with programs of amateurs knocking down walls

and tiling bathroom floors. The fact is that this is much harder than it looks

and before diving headfirst into this kind of project, it’s critical to consider

whether you are prepared for the venture.

1. Financial Planning – The first step in buying a fixer-upper home is to

establish a realistic budget. Include the purchase price, repair costs, and

any expected expenses for renovation or restoration. Once you have

created a “known” list, then add extra for unexpected issues that will arise. Something unexpected always happens!

2. Time and Effort – Renovating a fixer-upper takes time and effort,

even if you hire a general contractor to oversee the project. Consider the

overall scope of the project and evaluate your skills and level of time

commitment.

3. Structural Condition – Before making an offer, thoroughly inspect

the property’s structure and foundation. Recognize the impact of any issues

uncovered and make sure to budget for the proper corrections.

4. Real Estate Market and Location – Even a beautiful home in a

terrible area is a bad investment. Consider such factors as property values,

market trends, and the potential for future appreciation. Work with a

financial planner to make sure the investment fits your long-term goals.

5. Legal Considerations – Before writing the offer, familiarize yourself

with local building codes, permit requirements, and zoning regulations.

Ensure the changes you anticipate align with local requirements.

 

Purchasing a fixer-upper home can be a wonderful investment and

worthwhile project. By evaluating your budget, time commitment, property

condition, and potential appreciation, you can be sure to choose the right

situation for your goals and experience.

Posted in Helpful Tidbits
Dec. 12, 2023

Discovering the Sweet Side of Purple Honey in NC

Have you ever heard of purple honey? This unique type of honey has been creating a buzz in the world of foodies and health enthusiasts alike. Purple honey is not a food trend or a gimmick, but rather a natural phenomenon that occurs when bees pollinate certain plants. In this article, we will explore what purple honey is, where it comes from, and why it’s making headlines. Purple honey can be found in the Sandhills of North Carolina.

What is Purple Honey?

Purple honey is a rare and unique type of honey that is harvested from bees that have fed on certain types of flowers, such as the bluebottle or the salvia plant. This honey takes on a purple hue due to the natural pigments found in these flowers, which end up in the bees' digestive system. Since bees are selective pollinators, they pick up the pigments from the blooms and carry it back to the hive in their stomachs, where it is then regurgitated as a mixture of enzymes and nectar to form purple honey.

Where does Purple Honey Come From?

Purple honey is found in different parts of the world, including the southeastern United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Wild bluebottle flowers, also known as Echium plantagineum, are commonly found in these regions and are a valuable source of nectar for bees. Other types of flowers, such as salvia or lavender, can also produce purple honey. It is essential to note that purple honey is rarely found in large quantities as it depends on the availability of these plants and the bees' exposure to them.

Why is Purple Honey Special?

Purple honey is not just beautiful to look at, but it also has several health benefits. Purple honey contains high levels of antioxidants and plant pigments that have been linked to reducing inflammation and even improving brain function. The purple color in the honey comes from anthocyanin, a compound known for its antioxidant properties. It is also rich in flavonoids, which have been shown to improve heart health. Purple honey also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it effective in wound healing.

How to Use Purple Honey?

Purple honey can be used in the same way as regular honey. It can be spread over toast, drizzled over oatmeal or plain yogurt, or added to tea or coffee. The natural sweetness of purple honey makes it a great sugar substitute. Since it has a more robust flavor than regular honey, it is best to use it in small amounts.

 

Purple honey is a natural wonder that has gained popularity among foodies and health enthusiasts for its unique taste and health benefits. It is a rare type of honey produced by bees that have fed on specific types of flowers, especially bluebottle flowers. With its abundance of antioxidants and flavonoids, purple honey makes an excellent addition to any diet. Whether it's to sweeten your tea or boost your health, purple honey is worth trying out.

Dec. 12, 2023

Understanding Short Sales: A Guide for Homeowners

To start, let’s get clear on what a short sale is. It’s a situation where the seller owes more on the property than what it’s worth in today’s market. Banks can agree to sell the property for less than what the mortgage balance is, and the difference is sometimes written off, but it can also be the seller’s responsibility to reimburse the bank for the amount forgiven. The process is usually initiated by the homeowner, but sometimes the bank can also take the initiative to list the property as a short sale.

Short sales are more common during economic downturns or in areas where the real estate market has declined. In an approved short sale, the property is sold in the open market to a buyer who is willing to pay a reasonable price, and the transaction is approved by the bank. The bank may forgive a portion of what the homeowner owes in exchange for avoiding the hassle of foreclosure. The buyer benefits from getting a good deal on the property, and the seller avoids having a foreclosure on their permanent record.

One of the most significant benefits of a short sale is avoiding foreclosure. Foreclosure can be devastating for your credit score and your ability to obtain credit in the future. A short sale can be less harmful to your credit score because it’s not considered as negative as a foreclosure. Another significant advantage is that you may be able to purchase another property quicker if you choose to do so.

However, there are also downsides to opting for a bank short sale. For one, it can be a lengthy and complicated process. It can take several months, and even after that, there is no guarantee that the bank will make the sale. It’s also important to understand that the bank may require you to repay the difference between the sale price and the mortgage balance. Finally, there are tax implications associated with short sales, so it’s vital to consult with a tax professional before making any decisions.

In conclusion, short sales can be a viable option for homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to go this route, as it can be a lengthy and complicated process. Remember to consult with a qualified tax professional to understand the potential tax implications. If a short sale seems like the best option, research and prepare yourself by understanding the process and working with an experienced real estate agent to find the right buyer. With the right approach, a short sale can be an excellent way to sell your home and move on from financial difficulties.

Posted in Helpful Tidbits
Dec. 12, 2023

Why Didn’t My House Sell?

There is nothing more frustrating for a seller than to watch houses around

them sell like hotcakes while theirs lingers on the market. Finally, when the

listing expires, they find themselves asking why. Why didn’t my house sell?

In a robust housing market like we’ve had the past few years, the good

news is there are some common reasons why a home doesn’t sell. If you

find yourself in this position, ask yourself these questions, and then correct

them and relist them.

· Did You Stage Your Home? We’re not talking about expensive

services that bring in all new furniture here, but you do need to make your

home attractive. The basic “curb appeal” rule still applies, even in a “seller's

market.”

· Did You Limit Access? When homes are moving quickly, it’s

tempting to assume every home will get multiple offers. But buyers still

want to view the home before making that offer, if your home is difficult to

see, you will lose potential buyers.

· Did You Price Your Home Correctly? Setting the right price is

always important. Even when prices are rising, an unrealistically high listing

price will cause buyers and their agents to ignore the home.

· Did You Hire The Right Agent? Sometimes, it really is the agent’s

fault. The right agent will properly market the home, communicate

frequently, offer advice about price/offers, and make themselves available.

They should be giving feedback throughout the process about adjustments

to ensure that the home is seen and is appealing to potential buyers.

 

If you answered “no” to these questions, then relisting may be a great

option. Make the changes you need to, and then relist the property. 

Posted in Helpful Tidbits
Nov. 7, 2023

Deciding on a vacation home

With a booming housing market for vacation homes, now is the perfect time to invest and secure your dream home in an idyllic location. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful beach retreat or an escape into the mountains, there are numerous options to choose from.

When deciding on a vacation home, it’s important to consider the proximity of the home to attractions and other amenities. For example, if you’re looking for a beach retreat in Florida, consider how far it is from popular beaches, restaurants, and shops.

Location is also important when considering the potential resale value of your vacation home. Homes located near attractive locations or with certain features can help increase its resale value over time.

As you search for your ideal vacation home, make sure to keep in mind the amount of time and effort that will be required to maintain the property. Investing in a vacation home is a long-term commitment, so it’s important to consider factors like landscaping, utilities, and insurance when calculating costs.

Remember, investing in a vacation home is an exciting opportunity to give your family the chance to create memories that will last for generations. With some careful research and planning, you can find the perfect place to escape and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Whether you’re looking for an amenity-rich beachfront property or secluded mountain retreat, there are plenty of options to choose from. Start the search for your ideal vacation home today and get ready to experience a lifetime of wonderful memories!

Don’t forget to work with a qualified real estate agent who can help guide you through the process and provide insight into all the available options in your area. With their help, you can be sure to find the perfect property that matches

Posted in Helpful Tidbits
Oct. 25, 2023

Exploring the White Oak River in Swansboro, NC

Are you looking for a tranquil and serene getaway? The White Oak River in Swansboro, NC is the perfect destination for those seeking to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Located in Carteret County on the southern coast of North Carolina, this peaceful river has something to offer for everyone.

The White Oak River boasts a wide variety of activities and attractions that appeal to both the young and old. Outdoors enthusiasts can explore miles of trails, camp in designated recreation areas, fish, canoe or kayak in the river, or observe wildlife along its banks. Whether it's hiking through lush forests, swimming in crystal clear waters, or simply escaping to its peaceful beauty, a trip to the White Oak River is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

The area around the river also contains plenty of fun activities away from the water. There are numerous shops and restaurants in Swansboro that have something for everyone. History buffs can explore Civil War era battlefields scattered across the region. And, for those looking to explore some of the area's natural beauty, several nearby beaches offer breathtaking views.

No matter what type of adventure you're seeking, a visit to the White Oak River in Swansboro, NC can provide the perfect escape. Whether it's fishing in its tranquil waters, exploring its rich history, or simply enjoying its beautiful scenery, you're sure to have a wonderful and relaxing experience. Make the White Oak River your destination today!

As an added bonus, the White Oak River is also part of the North Carolina Estuarium, a unique interactive natural history and science museum. From the planetarium to live animal exhibits, this center will provide hours of fun for people of all ages. It's a great way to learn about the ecology and wildlife that call this area their home. Plus, the Estuarium offers boat tours that can take you to remote parts of the river and its nearby tributaries.

Whether you're looking for an outdoor getaway or a fun-filled day of learning, the White Oak River has something special in store. Make it your next destination and experience all that this beautiful area has to offer!