Seasonal Tips for Home Staging in the Fall

In southeastern North Carolina, summer warmth and sunshine lingers well into September, giving us more opportunities to take advantage of our close proximity to the sand and surf. But after Labor Day, homes and businesses still tend to begin making the transition to autumnal décor, and pumpkin spice flavor starts cropping up in every tasty treat imaginable – hotter temperatures or no, fall is definitely on the way!

When you put your house on the market around this time of year, you want to make sure that your home is ready to meet the scrutiny of potential buyers relocating to the area with fall weather on the brain. Since selling in the off-season is highly recommended, your team of real estate agents and experts have a few pointers for staging your home for successful fall viewings!

Subtle hints

A little can go a long way, especially since your potential buyers will obviously be able to see that our coastal region doesn’t dive straight into chillier temperatures and crisp autumn days. Instead of overwhelming them with too much fall-themed décor, take the subtle route. Light candles with hints of cinnamon and pine needles, or add a warm-toned throw to your living room setup. You don’t have to constantly keep a fire blazing in your fireplace, or douse every room with the scent of fallen leaves and campfires; just create a welcoming, cozy atmosphere that your buyers can easily see themselves hunkering down into when the real cold weather moves in on the region.

Outer appearances

When you’re trying to show your home during the fall season, it doesn’t really work out well if your front yard still looks as though summer is in full swing. That being said, we don’t want anyone to feel as though they need to level their lawn just to sell the house! We recommend instead making use of colorful flowers and bushes that convey vitality, while downplaying the green grass that you’ll probably still be enjoying later on in the month. Mums, burning bush, and witch-hazels are just a few examples of plants you can integrate into your outdoor scene to coax fall into the mix.

Transitioning seasons

As you set up your home to emulate a warm, fall atmosphere, remember that a steady transition from one season to the next can be a welcome sight for buyers coming to view the house. Remember that the process of buying a home can be just as stressful – if not sometimes more so – than selling one, so bombarding them with Halloween paraphernalia and strongly scented potpourri probably won’t help endear them to your house. Instead, start switching up colors and outdoor plants now, then move into more noticeable changes as you get closer to the official start of fall.

There are plenty of ways to help make each season compliment the many aspects of your home, and autumn is no exception! As you incorporate some of these practices into your style and routine, be sure to add a personal flare for you and your family to enjoy until it’s time to pack it all away and move to your next residence. And for more helpful seller’s tips, be sure to stay tuned to Intracoastal Realty’s blog updates!


5 Myths About Owning a Home

The white picket fence, a spacious backyard, a place to call your own: for many, owning a home is the goal, one of the mile markers of success. But with it comes a significant amount of responsibility, which can also turn others off from the idea of committing to a place of residence for longer than the duration of a lease.

If you’re debating whether or not to begin the process of becoming a homeowner, and find yourself getting bogged down in all of the warnings against or urges to buy as soon as possible, check out a few myths our real estate team can debunk, and hopefully make deciding one way or another easier for you.

All improvement projects add value

One of the first things new homeowners do when they move in is start making the house their own. This is often accomplished not only through personalization and decoration, but also through a few improvement projects like adding new cabinets or shelves, installing new appliances, or even some more extensive endeavors. But not all of these things add the expected value to your home. Before making any design changes to your house, check in with an expert and get a feel for what you can do to not only add value to the home, but also make your time living in it more enjoyable.

Buying is always preferable to renting (or vice versa)

There is no hard and fast rule for which is better between buying or renting a home. The deciding factors come down to personal matters, including financial concerns, roommates, professional opportunities, and so on. When you’re trying to decide what to do about your next house, it’s better to speak first with a trusted professional who can help you assess your circumstances and choose the option that fits most with what suits you best in the long run.

New homes don’t need any work done to them 

While we’d all like to think that a brand new house is perfect just the way it is, this unfortunately is not always the case. Sometimes, the fact is that though you love the house as a whole, there are aesthetic aspects you want to rearrange or scrap altogether to make it feel more like home. In other cases, the alterations could be of a more functional nature, making your day-to-day easier. It all comes down to weighing the cost of the work alongside the purchasing price, and deciding if it’s worth the additional investment or if you’d be better off continuing your search.

You can make any changes once the house is yours

When the keys are in your hand and all of the paperwork has been signed, the house is yours with which you may do whatever you like, whenever you want: right? Actually, there are some projects that might need to be put on hold until you obtain the proper permits, even if you plan on doing the work by yourself. Consult with your local officials before you kick off any major renovations.

New is always better

While we all might fantasize about that shiny new dishwasher or a house that’s never been lived in by anyone else, the fact of the matter is that there’s nothing wrong with buying a house with some history. When you begin to shop for your home, try not to limit yourself to newly built residences; not only will you possibly save yourself money by looking to gently used homes and appliances, but you might find something you like much better because it has character.

It’s a big step, but taking ownership of a home can be one of the best investment opportunities when approached in the right way. If you think this is the next move for you, contact our offices and speak with our expert real estate team to find out more!


5 Ways to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Whether you’re a newcomer to coastal North Carolina or a long-time local, preparing for the region’s annual hurricane season is an imperative part of living here comfortably. As a general rule, the Atlantic hurricane season begins in early June and carries through November, but the majority of our state’s storms tend to hit shores in August and September.

Are you ready? If not, don’t worry! Intracoastal Realty is well-versed in battening down the hatches and making sure homes are fortified against the incoming storms.

Start with a little insurance  

When you’re busy gearing up for a summer storm, one of the last things you’ll want to have to keep on your mind will be what your insurance policy says about flood damage. But some homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover damage or loss from flooding, which means you and your home are at risk of sustaining wreckage that will cost a small fortune and a lot of your time in order to fix it. Contact your agent ahead of time to review your policy and its limitations, and ensure you’re adequately covered.

Evaluate your home

You should always look out for the health of your home, regardless of the season. But when you know a storm is on the horizon, make sure you’ve had your place of residence recently inspected and evaluated for major structural weak spots or existing damage that could be exacerbated with the pressure of heavy winds and rain. The last thing you want to have to worry about in the wake of a hurricane is seeing to the repairs that might have been avoided.

Put in some elbow grease ahead of time

After you’ve had your home looked at to identify potential issues, go ahead and repair or fortify what you can so that the likelihood of having to manage large amounts of storm damage in the aftermath is minimal. Just make sure that you clean up all of your tools and materials afterward, so as not to add to the debris that hurricane winds can easily stir up and circulate.

Call for back-up

In the event that your home does sustain a significant amount of damage, you’ll want to be certain that you’re ready to work with insurance companies, contractors, and any other service specialist to put your house back to rights. To do this with as little fanfare as possible, back up all of the necessary documentation – deeds, records of previous repairs or home modifications, insurance – to a secure server. You could even invest in an account with something as easy to use as Google Docs.

Keep tools of the trade handy

Regardless of whether or not you’ll be at home or elsewhere during the worst of a hurricane, there are certain items that it never hurts to have on hand and at the ready in case of an emergency. Having them all together and easily accessible makes it that much easier for you to address concerns as they come. So, before any hurricane warnings even come through on your local weather channel, have a backpack or duffel bag full of essentials like flashlights, extra batteries, first aid supplies, and universal tools within reach.

When you and the rest of your household are prepared for inclement weather, it’s easier than ever to enjoy the rest of late summer in coastal North Carolina. Hurricane season can vary in terms of severity, but being prepared means that you don’t have to scramble if a storm does roll in off the water. Stay tuned to our blog for more helpful tips on acclimating yourself to our region!


Absorption Reports: 2nd Quarter 2018

Absorption rate, also referred to as “inventory levels” or “months of supply”, gives you an idea of the number of months it will take for the current inventory to be sold out based on the last 12 months of sales.

Housing prices stabilize when supply and demand come closer together. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of supply is “normal”. Less than 5 months of supply will result in APPRECIATING home prices, while 7 months or more of supply will result in DEPRECIATING home prices.  New Hanover County is showing a total of 2.8 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 4.2 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 4.9 months (peaked at 22.1 months in 2009).  As you can see from the three county charts below, inventory levels vary by price segment.  Take a look at the absorption reports for a better idea of where your house stands in the market, and contact an Intracoastal Realty agent to learn about the supply and demand for your specific neighborhood.

New Hanover County

 


Brunswick County

 


Pender County


Intracoastal Realty’s Keith Beatty Team Earns National Ranking in U.S. REAL Trends ‘The Thousand’ List

Congratulations to the Keith Beatty Team for once again earning a spot on the list of “The Thousand Top Real Estate Teams” in the United States. It’s the fourth consecutive year Keith and his team have made the list, as determined by REAL Trends and advertised in The Wall Street Journal.

Keith attributes his success to diversity — with his team, with the properties they represent and the creative ways they market those properties. “We don’t chase a single price point or category of real estate, our team members don’t come from similar backgrounds, and our marketing is robust, but wide-ranging,” he says.

To that point, among his current 188 listings are a $10,000 single family lot in River Landing, a $239,000 new home in Castle Hayne, a $540,000 condo in downtown Wilmington and a $3.95 million estate on the Intracoastal Waterway.

But, it’s not the properties, it’s the people that make the Keith-machine work. “Together, our agents have a significant sphere of influence. They are different ages, come from different parts of the country and have different backgrounds. It assures we anticipate and meet the needs of our equally diverse clients,” Keith says.

Properties and people aren’t the only things that gather around Keith.  So do awards.  Over the decades he’s worked with Intracoastal, he’s earned many.  But it’s the disco ball he won from Dancing with the Stars to benefit St. Mary School that is a particular point of pride. “I worked my hardest for that!”


How to Prep for Moving Day

The boxes are packed (mostly), closets and drawers have been swept for anything that can be thrown away or donated, and everything else is waiting for you in your new home elsewhere; it must be moving day!

But as exciting as it is to leave one home and embrace a whole new experience, there is at least one aspect of the process that tends to fill every homeowner with some measure of dread: moving day. Before the stress of a lost family heirloom or box full of broken glasses comes crashing in on your exciting new start, take a breather and check out a few hints the staff at Intracoastal Realty have put together to help you prep for moving day.

Keep everyone in the loop

The best step you can take to prevent a chaotic moving day is to make sure everyone is in on the plan. Whether it entails confirming the route to get to the new house, figuring out who is riding with whom, or simply teaming up to do one last sweep of the old house before you all leave, it’s important that everyone is on the same page before the big day.

Do as much as you can in advance

The early bird gets the worm; or, in the case of moving, the early bird stands less of a chance of having to do damage control. The more you can do in advance – start packing the items you know won’t be needed between now and the day you move into your new home, set up forwarding addresses, find the right school for the kids – the more you can focus on the tasks at hand when you’re loading up the moving van.

Establish a schedule

Even something like packing up your belongings can be structured into a schedule of sorts to help make things easier on you. If you’re using a moving company, be sure to have a clear idea of when the movers will arrive, how long they expect to take, and by when you have to be on the road in order to make good time on your drive. With a clear outline and deadlines for every step of the way, you can make moving day a simple matter of putting boxes on a truck.

Level the playing field

On the day of, accidents could still happen, and through no one’s fault, something could come up and deter your moving day progress. That’s why it helps to have a plan in place for some of the instances that make you the most nervous. It may not stop you from accidentally leaving something sentimental behind, or prevent damage befalling your favorite end table, but solid contingency plans can go a long way in bringing you peace of mind.

While we can’t guarantee your moving day will go off without a hitch, we do think you’ll find these tips to be helpful stepping stones as you get closer and closer to settling into your new home. If you’re ready to relocate, contact Intracoastal Realty to find out more about getting started with us!


Summer Home Care Tips

With warmer temperatures, longer days, and some extra helping hands available once school lets out, summer puts itself forward as the prime season for home improvement projects!

But where to begin? After you take stock of all that you want to accomplish before fall rolls into southeastern North Carolina, it’s important to prioritize and be sure your summer to-dos don’t clash with any other seasonal concerns, like weather conditions. We’ve come up with a few tasks that are generally summer-friendly that you can check off your list with relative ease!

Reclaim your porches

While you have some solid sunny days, it’s a great time to spruce up your porches and make them more welcoming! Winter can give any exterior woodwork a bit of a beating with dry cold and wintry precipitation; summer doesn’t come without its own challenges, but it does give you the opportunity to do some sanding, painting, and general repair on minor damage sustained on your home’s entry points.

Create the perfect patio  

The outdoors are meant to be enjoyed in the height of summer, and if you’re the proud owner of a generous lawn then it’s easier than ever to create a gathering place of your own! Take summertime climates as your motivation to look into finding the perfect patio furniture or lounging options. Or, if you already have a space set up but know that it needs some attention to make it comfortable again, set aside a day to make any necessary repairs and get back to enjoying your backyard oasis.

Get a fresh coat of paint

Outside painting projects take the backseat in chillier winter months, and can often get put off when spring showers pass through on a regular basis. But during the summer, you have an excellent opportunity to break out the brushes and touch up any faded or chipped spots on your house’s façade, the fence, and any other problematic areas. Just check your weather forecast ahead of time for rain or hefty humidity levels before you begin!

Plan ahead

Though the time to plant something new has passed, you can begin getting your yard ready for any future ideas you get while enjoying the summer sunshine. Take a walk around your property, and make notes of the kinds of improvements you think you’ll want to make and that will be feasible, easy to maintain. Fall is a great time to break ground and prep any major gardening projects for spring, so by the time the leaves start changing you should have the details worked out thanks to your summertime daydreaming!

For more helpful hints and local information, stay tuned to our blog! And if you’re ready to make coastal North Carolina your home, contact Intracoastal Realty and start looking for your dream home.


5 Home Improvement Projects for Summer

With temperatures rising and the kids out of school for the season, summer is a great time to reconnect with each other as well as the outdoors! Here in coastal North Carolina, there are tons of opportunities to enjoy the longer days and summer sunshine, all with a refreshing breeze to keep things cool and comfortable.

One way you can work on your tan is to make some home improvements that winter’s chill kept on the back burner! It may not be an afternoon spent reclined on the sand, but you’ll be glad you took the time to improve your home before the seasons change again.

Lawn Care

In winter, lower temperatures and sometimes even frost or snow can remove taking care of your yard from your to-do list entirely. But once the sun’s back out and rain encourages plants to grow, it’s time to break back out the lawnmower, the weed eater, and your work gloves! Take summertime as an excuse to get out and work up a sweat while you beautify your home.

Patio and Porch Maintenance

It’s the perfect time to bask in the lazy summer warmth, especially if you have a porch or patio to set up as your relaxation hub! But in order for you to get the most out of the experience, you’ll want to make sure it’s well-equipped and in prime condition. Take a moment to check on any stone or woodwork for chips or splits and make the necessary repairs as soon as possible. That way, when you’re ready to unwind, everything is just as it should be.

Clear Out Those Gutters  

Autumn, winter and spring weather can cause a lot of buildup in your house’s gutter system. Before the leaves start to fall again, hop on a ladder and clear out the debris from neighboring trees. Here on the coast, summer can also usher in some rainy periods, so it’s important to know that your house will be protected from any intensive downpours.

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint  

Despite our region’s tendency for summer humidity, it’s still a great time to get outside and touch up any lackluster paint jobs on the exterior of your home or on outdoor furniture. Before you get started, just be sure to check on the upcoming weather forecast in order to choose the best possible day to devote to your efforts. In doing so, the results will be glossy coats of new paint, and you may be able to save yourself some time (and paint) in the future!

Refortify Your Fence

If you have a fenced-in yard, you know that the perimeter occasionally needs to get checked out for weak areas or broken posts. Before your next backyard pool party or barbecue, walk along the fence, both inside and out, to be sure it will hold up through the season. Winter weather can be rough on wooden posts and moisture wears down metal or chain-link fences, so it never hurts to take advantage of warmer weather and sunshine to get it all back up to par.

If you need some help in making these or any other summertime repairs, we’ve got a list of handy local service providers that can help you get started on your home improvement projects. For more local tips and news from the real estate market here in southeastern North Carolina, stay tuned to Intracoastal Realty’s blog!


Luxury Property Spotlight: Asheville, St. Barthelemy, and Cancun

Intracoastal Realty’s luxury listings are featured on LuxuryPortfolio.com, the award-winning website that attracts over 3 million high-net-worth visitors.  We often spotlight outstanding listings from around the world on this blog.  This month’s property selections showcase stunning architecture and exceptional interior and exterior design in exotic locations!  We hope you enjoy learning more about these three extraordinary properties.

VILLA ARTEPEA IN SAINT BARTHELEMY

A remarkable architectural achievement, villa Artepea was designed to fully optimize its environment in the heart of the Domaine de Lurin. Johannes Zingerle’s project  is harmoniously integrated into the land thanks to a bridge, a unique feature in St Barths, a lift and a building set over three levels.  The surrounding nature blends beautifully with the lovely tropical garden, where you can through the stone paths and across the beautiful lawn, smelling the delicate scent of jasmine.

For the design, stone floors and customized wood furnishings provide a natural, mineral atmosphere, where elegance and simplicity prevail.

For the layout, the main floor has a fully open lounge/dining room that extends onto the terrace where you can laze in the sun next to the long emerald pool, facing St Jean bay. The kitchen, a TV lounge and a first bedroom can also be found on this level.

The master bedroom occupies the 1st floor, with a huge sofa facing the panoramic window, a designer desk, and height of luxury is an outdoor bathtub and shower, nestled in an alcove.  The garden level offers two bedrooms and the technical rooms. The villa also has  high-tech equipment, including a home control system and curved flat screen televisions.

Modern and refined, yet still warm and inviting, villa Artepea ideally reflects tropical elegance.

See it!


CASA LYDIA IN CANCUN

Spectacular designer home in Puerto Cancun.  This unique residence of 6512 Sq.ft on a 6000 Sq. ft lot offers three bedrooms, canal front and is a ‘one of a kind’ opportunity for owning a fully furnished ‘turn key’ home. It’s prime location on one of the best spots in this gated community and a well thought out architectural concept gives it great privacy.

It is located inside Cancun’s modern high end gated development ‘’Puerto Cancun’’, one of Mexico’s most exclusive Marinas, which offers residential and commercial amenities. A new spectacular Marina Mall has just opened its doors offering the best international and local stores and many new restaurants and bars offer great food and entertainment around the marina walks. Puerto Cancun is right between Cancun’s famous ‘Hotel Zone’ and Down Town’ in the very best location.

The residence is very well thought out and designed with a lot of luxury details, and furnished with great taste. It’s in ‘’ready to move in’ condition.  The location of this canal home is inside a private gated residential development with 24 hour security control.  The large terrace has a pool and a wooden sun deck and offers a very private outdoor dining area.  A 75 foot dock is right next to the terrace area.

It is definitely worth to take a look at this property if you are looking for a luxury residence in Cancun.

See it!


HISTORIC 1926 HOME IN ASHEVILLE

Historic 1926 home in highly desirable community of Lake View Park.  Restored and renovated while keeping the coveted detailing that make this era’s homes so in demand. Get your daily exercise on the trails or use the non-motorized boat access on Beaver Lake less than a half mile from your door.

Updated mechanicals, including central AC. Historic charm: stone fireplaces, arched doorways and incredible lush, mature landscaping. Conveniences for today’s lifestyle. Stonework by Grove Park Inn masons.

This 3-story home, which features approximately 7,525 square feet, is situated on 1.8 acres of land.

See it!


Breaking Down the Zestimate

When it comes to purchasing a new home, or selling the one in which you currently reside, the initial process can be confusing and overwhelming until you get the assistance of a good real estate professional.  So, it stands to reason that when beginning the process, buyers and sellers might do some preliminary research using a third-party site like Zillow.

Zillow is known for price estimates, both for buyers and renters, as well as providing limited community information for those who have never visited the neighborhood. On the outside, it seems like a handy resource when dipping a toe into the waters of real estate.  However, the property information and price estimates are often inaccurate, which can create major issues for buyers and sellers.  In other words, if you decide to use these big third-party websites, proceed with caution or forgo them altogether and get accurate data from a trusted, local real estate website and resource.

When you need assistance in your pursuit of the perfect home, there are several reasons to turn to an established agency with local knowledge and experienced real estate agents on its side. Otherwise, you may find yourself relying on the Zestimate, a computer-generated estimate that is not always the best measure of a home’s value.  Zillow knows this, and discloses this in small print on their site.

How is the Zestimate made?

As Zillow states, the Zestimate is meant only as an expression of the estimated market value, not an actual appraisal. The site is actually a computer program that automatically generates its report based on what is available to anyone: data and statistics that can be accessed with relative ease by the general public. As such, the program doesn’t take into account the additions you or its previous owner might have added while in residence. This can affect the Zestimate, putting the home at a lower or higher value depending on the extent of repairs or damage.

In Southeastern NC, we’ve seen Zestimates on some properties be off by as much as 45%.  For illustration purposes, evan a 15% margin of error on a $400,000 home results in a difference of $60,000 in value!  Further, the same algorithm to estimate the value of a home in a Detroit suburb is used to estimate the value of a home on the water in our region.  That’s pretty telling, isn’t it?

Even more telling is this article, which features information about the home of Zillow’s founder and CEO.  The day before his home sold for $1.05 million, the Zestimate for his property showed $1.75 million.  Need we say more?

How can your agency help clear the air?

When it comes time to sell or buy a home, don’t always trust that the Zestimate has given your house enough credit for what it’s worth.  Instead, broach the subject with a trusted real estate agent.  He or she can walk you through the criteria in further detail, help you get a professional appraisal and, for sellers, pull a list of comparable properties that have recently sold.  And while Zillow does have access to area information to prep you and your family for relocation, a local real estate agent has the insider knowledge that can never be replaced by statistics alone.

When it comes to your home, whether you’re buying or selling one, it’s important to have all the information available to you. With the help of well-established agencies like Intracoastal Realty, you can be sure you’ll have all you need to get settled. Contact us today to help you with the process!