Onslow County Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

 

Here 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!

Jan. 22, 2020

Types of Closing Costs

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 6, 2020

Homeowners Insurance: What You Need To Know

 

If you’re a new homeowner and are having trouble making heads or tails of homeowners insurance, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a J.D. Power survey, 

only 48 percent of customers fully understand their policy.

 

Here's everything you need to know before making a decision on your homeowners insurance policy.

https://cover.com/blog/homeowners-insurance/

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 1, 2020

How To Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection Goes Wrong

1. Ask for a credit for the work to be done

The sellers are on their way out. If the property is moving toward closing, they’re likely packing and dreaming of their life post-sale. The last thing they want to do is repair work on their old home. They may not approach the work with the same conscientiousness that you, as the new owner, would. They may not even treat the work as a high priority.

If you take a cash-back credit at close of escrow, you can use that money to complete the project yourself. Chances are you may do a better job than the seller, too.

Finally, if you get the credit, there will be less back-and-forth to confirm that the seller correctly made the repairs.

2. Think ‘big picture’

If you know you want to renovate a bathroom within a few years, then you likely won’t care that a little bit of its floor is damaged, that there’s a leaky faucet, or that the tiles need caulking. These things will get fixed during your future renovation.

However, the repairs are still up for negotiation. Asking the seller for a credit to fix these issues will help offset some of your closing costs.

3. Keep your plans to yourself

A good listing agent will walk the property inspection with you, your agent and the inspector. Revealing your comfort level with the home or your intentions, in the presence of the listing agent, could come back to haunt you in further discussions or negotiations.

If they sense you are uneasy with the inspection, they’ll be more willing to relay that to the seller. Conversely, if you spend two hours measuring the spaces and picking paint colors, you lose negotiation power.

If you mention you’re planning a gut renovation of the kitchen, the sellers will certainly hear about it. And they’re going to be less likely to offer you a credit back to repair some of the kitchen cabinets.

Eyes wide open

A word of caution: You should never complete the original contract assuming that you can and will negotiate the price down more after the inspection. It will come back to bite you, particularly in a competitive market.

If the property inspection comes back flawless, there’s nothing to negotiate. If you attempt to negotiate anyway — to recoup what you lost in the initial contract negotiations — you risk alienating the sellers and possibly giving them an incentive to move on to the next buyer.

You need to go into escrow with your eyes wide open. A real estate transaction is never a done deal until the money changes hands and the deed is transferred. Stay on your toes. Otherwise, you may risk losing out on further viable negotiation opportunities, which could lead to buyer’s remorse.

https://www.zillow.com/blog/negotiating-after-home-inspection-140771/

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 1, 2020

what you need to know when considering a newly constructed home.

Here's what you need to know when considering a newly constructed home. 

1. What kind of new construction home do you want? 

You can buy a brand-new home in one of three ways: buying a house already built on spec; having a semi-custom home built as part of a development (you can choose from a set palette of finishes and upgrades); or having a purely custom home designed and built to your specifications.

2. Research your builders and neighbors. 

When buying in a new subdivision, consider working with a buyer's agent who knows the area well, can set up home tours and walk you through the closing process. Your agent will also have knowledge and references on home builders in your area. 

3. Know what's standard and what will cost extra. 

Get a feature sheet on the line of homes you're interested in and read them very carefully, then compare feature to feature. Find out what comes with the base home price.

4. Get an Inspection and Home Warranty

Once you decide to buy a new home, make your sales contract contingent on a final home inspection by a professional you hire. ALWAYS protect yourself with warranties.

Posted in Buyers
Jan. 1, 2020

8 Things Buyers Notice as Soon as they Walk In

 

8 Things Buyers Notice as Soon as they Walk In 

 

Buyers notice everything – good and bad. From the moment they walk in the front door, they are trying to determine if this is the right home for them and their family. If you have your home listed for sale, paying attention to what the buyers notice can mean the difference between an offer and a missed opportunity. 

  1. Light – A bright home is inviting. Make sure you fill your home with lots of natural light or a soft evening glow. 

2.  Smell–Nothing is less inviting than a strong odor.  Even candles and air fresheners can be overwhelming. Less is more and make sure nothing unpleasant is lingering. 

3.  Space– Remove any unneeded furniture and offer a spacious home which flows. 

4.  Ceilings–Of course you can’t make your ceilings higher, but make sure they are free from water stains because buyers will look up. 

5.  Pictures and Personal Items– Remove personalization as much as possible so the buyers can imagine their family in the home. 

6.  Outdated Furnishings and Fixtures – If your home is filled with hand-me-downs, consider a professional stager. Old wallpaper or outdated paint colors should be replaced as well. 

7.  Dirty, Grimy Rooms–Most important, clean everything thoroughly.  Nothing is less appealing than a dirty home. 

8.  Ignored Maintenance – If you’ve let the trim rot, what else have you ignored?  These are buyer’s thoughts as they walk through your home.

Posted in Buyers
Nov. 6, 2019

Determining the Right Paint Finish

 

Determining the Right Paint Finish

 

Paint is one of the easiest ways to change the feel of a room – or even a home. A fresh coat of paint in a trendy color can update a room in an instant. Choosing the color is only one aspect of picking the right paint; the finish or sheen is also important to the look and feel of the space. 

 

Flat Finish 

Flat finishes is exactly like it sounds – flat. There is no sheen at all. Today’s matte finishes reflect rich tones and are much more luxurious than the dull finishes of the past. Use for: 

·      Ceilings

·      Dining Rooms 

·      Formal Living Rooms 

·      Adult Bedrooms 

 

Satin Finish 

Satin finishes have just a slight sheen. These finishes reflect the light softly and provide a richer look and feel than flat paint. These are better for high traffic locations than flat. 

·      Halls

·      Baseboards

·      Family Rooms 

·      Children’s Bedrooms 

 

Semi-Gloss

Semi-gloss provides even more shine. These paints can make a room seem larger by providing a slight gleam from the painted surfaces. Easy to clean, a semi-gloss paint works well in areas frequently cleaned. 

·      Kitchens

·      Bathrooms

·      Closet Doors and Cabinets 

·      Stair Rails and Banisters 

 

Gloss 

 

A high gloss paint is the brightest available. These paints bring out the truest color of the paint and provide a durable finish for areas you wish to highlight. A high gloss paint works well for accents. 

·      Wood Trim 

·      Doors

·      Furniture 

 

Each of these types of finishes has variations as well. Today’s paints are more luxurious with deep, rich pigments and more durable elements. Choosing the right color and finish can bring freshness and modernity to any room or home. 

Posted in Sellers
Nov. 5, 2019

8 Things Buyers Notice as Soon as they Walk In

 

 

8 Things Buyers Notice as Soon as they Walk In 

 

 

Buyers notice everything – good and bad. From the moment they walk in the front door, they are trying to determine if this is the right home for them and their family. If you have your home listed for sale, paying attention to what the buyers notice can mean the difference between an offer and a missed opportunity. 

 

1.    Light – A bright home is inviting. Make sure you fill your home with lots of natural light or a soft evening glow. 

 

2.  Smell–Nothing is less inviting than a strong odor.  Even candles and air fresheners can be overwhelming. Less is more and make sure nothing unpleasant is lingering. 

 

3.  Space– Remove any unneeded furniture and offer a spacious home which flows. 

 

4.  Ceilings–Of course you can’t make your ceilings higher, but make sure they are free from water stains because buyers will look up. 

 

5.  Pictures and Personal Items– Remove personalization as much as possible so the buyers can imagine their family in the home. 

 

6.  Outdated Furnishings and Fixtures – If your home is filled with hand-me-downs, consider a professional stager. Old wallpaper or outdated paint colors should be replaced as well. 

 

7.  Dirty, Grimy Rooms–Most important, clean everything thoroughly.  Nothing is less appealing than a dirty home. 

 

8.  Ignored Maintenance – If you’ve let the trim rot, what else have you ignored?  These are buyer’s thoughts as they walk through your home.

Posted in Sellers
Sept. 11, 2019

10 BROWSER EXTENSIONS THAT CAN SAVE YOU MONEY EVERY TIME YOU SHOP ONLINE

VRG Online Shopping

When shopping online, it can be tough to know if you’re getting the best deal possible without checking other websites for price comparisons and promo codes—unless you use technology to your advantage. Here are 11 browser plugins that promise to save you money every time you fill up that digital shopping cart.

1. HONEY

Honey automatically searches the web for promo codes and coupons as you shop around. The extension works with over 30,000 retailers and compares prices across multiple websites and merchants, including Amazon. The plugin even lets you know when product prices will drop.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Microsoft Edge, Apple’s Safari

2. AMAZON ASSISTANT

If you’re an avid Amazon shopper, then you should consider installing the Amazon Assistant browser add-on. It not only compares prices for products found on the website, but it also alerts you about Amazon deals and discounts via push notifications. You can also manage or share your wish lists, while staying up-to-date on your orders and deliveries.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari

3. GUMDROP BY GOODSHOP

Goodshop is a coupon search engine that looks for the best deals that will save you the most money on your purchases. As a bonus, Gumdrop by Goodshop donates a portion of most of your transactions to the charity or school of your choice, from over 114,000 nonprofits and schools.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari

4. INVISIBLE HAND

If you’re planning a big trip, Invisible Hand will help you find the lowest prices on flights, hotels, and rental cars across almost 600 airlines and nearly 700 retailers. The extension will also let you know about cheaper deals from other websites and services across the Internet.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari

5. PRICEBLINK

Not only does PriceBlink scour the Internet to find you the best coupons, it also lets you compare prices across thousands of websites, read customer reviews, and create a wishlist for items you’d like to buy in the future. It even adds shipping costs and sales tax to your total purchases, so you can see how much you’re spending on the entire transaction before you buy, not just the product itself. The extension works for online retailers in the U.S. and the UK.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari

6. THE CAMELIZER

Are you a frequent Amazon.com, NewEgg, or BestBuy.com shopper? The Camelizer price tracker can help you save money by providing the entire price history on any products and also alert you when the price drops. The add-on even works internationally, including in Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and China.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari

7. EBATES

Want to receive cash back from more than 2500 online retailers? The “Cash Back Button” from Ebates lets users get cash back directly from the store’s website. It keeps track of all savings and how much you’ve earned, so you can decide when to cash out. It also searches for the best coupons and promo codes to use for all of your transactions.

Available for: Google Chrome

8. SWAGBUCKS

Swagbucks offers up a chance to earn rewards by doing things you would normally do online anyway, like watch videos, shop, and search for product information. You can then redeem your rewards for gift cards from a variety of vendors like Walmart, Amazon, or Paypal.

Available for: Google Chrome, Safari

9. COUPONCABIN SIDEKICK

When you’re about to check out, CouponCabin Sidekick goes to work looking for any available coupons to use for your purchases. It promises to work with over 18,000 online retailers and gives users the chance to earn up to 10 percent cash back. The plugin even offers $2 for free, just for adding it to your browser.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari

10. FAKESPOT

With FakeSpot, you’ll never wonder if a product is too good to be true again. The extension detects bogus customer reviews and alerts you about which write-ups can be trusted and which are pure fiction.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari

Posted in shopping
Aug. 20, 2019

5 Amazon Hacks Every Prime Member Should Know

 

Amazon Hacks

 

 

1. Automatically check other retailers and find coupon codes with Wikibuy or Honey

 

 

Wikibuy and Honey are a browser extensions that check other retailers for the exact product you’re shopping for on Amazon and notifies you instantly if it finds a better price. It also automatically finds and applies coupons and discounts on thousands of sites like Target, Nike & Macy’s.

 

2. Get free 2-hour delivery on alcohol with Prime Now

 

 

Did you know that you can order alcohol through Prime Now in some cities? Even better, it’s free to do AND it arrives in 2 hours. Plus, you can also order other grocery items while you’re at it, including products from Whole Foods.

 

3. Free photo Storage with Amazon Prime

 

 

Tired of seeing this notification? Use your Amazon Prime membership to get an unlimited amount of photo storage with access on any device. If you upload photos online, this feature will easily pay for half your Amazon Prime membership.

 

4. Turn your pre-paid gift cards into Amazon gift cards

 

 

Have a bunch of old prepaid debit cards laying around? Log into Amazon and navigate to the Gift Card page. Enter your prepaid card balance and contact information. Wait a couple hours for processing, and voila, you now have an Amazon gift card in your inbox.

 

5. Get 2% back when you reload an Amazon gift card

 

 

You can get 2% back on your gift card with every reload using your checking account. Anticipating a big purchase through Amazon? Do this first to save a few bucks.

 

Whether you hack Amazon prices with Wikibuy or store your photos with Amazon Prime, these tricks are sure to keep your Amazon addiction healthy.

Posted in Shopping
April 3, 2019

Your Tax Refund Is The Key To Homeownership!

Your Tax Refund Is The Key To Homeownership!

According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $3,143 this year when filing their taxes. This is down slightly from the average refund of $3,436 last year.

 

Tax refunds are often thought of as ‘extra money’ that can be used toward larger goals. For anyone looking to buy a home in 2019, this can be a great jump start toward a down payment!

 

The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state.

 

 

Many first-time buyers believe that a 20% down payment is required to qualify for a mortgage. Programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Maeall allow for down payments as low as 3%Veterans Affairs Loansallow many veterans to purchase a home with 0% down.

 

If you started your down payment savings with your tax refund check this year, how close would you be to a 3% down payment?

 

The map below shows what percentage of a 3% down payment is covered by the average tax refund by taking into account the median price of homes sold by state.

 

 

The darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership! For those in Oklahoma looking to purchase their first homes, their tax refund could potentially get them 85% closer to that dream!

 

Bottom Line

 

Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task. But the more you know about what’s required, the more prepared you can be to make the best decision for you and your family! This tax season, your refund could be your key to homeownership!

Posted in Buyers