Moving with Pets

Moving day has arrived! If you’ve played your cards right, you’re all set. The truck is here, all of your boxes are packed and ready to go, and you’ve done a once-over to make sure you didn’t forget to do anything else on your to-do list before you leave.

While we know this day can be full of stress as well as excitement for you and the human members of your family, your furry friend is probably feeling just as amped up by all of the activity disrupting his or her home. To make sure that everyone in the household is able to relocate from one house to the next with ease, we’ve put together a few of our best tips for moving with pets. With any luck, they’ll help you all make it to your new adventure without incident!

Consult the experts

Have a chat with your current vet prior to moving day for a few pointers from an expert. Most vets will be able to tell you all about possible complications pets can experience with the stress of moving, relaxation methods you can employ to keep your four-legged friend calm throughout the process, and even acclimation techniques for after you’ve arrived. When you have all the information, you can better prepare for a smoother transition for every member of your family.

Put together an overnight kit

As you pack up the house, single out the items you’re more likely to need for your pet and put them all together in an easily accessed kit. Ensure that everyone in the house knows about this care package of sorts, and store it somewhere you won’t forget or that would be hard to reach in case of an emergency. This pack might include any medications your pet is on, treats, favorite toys, a blanket, and anything else that you could need to be able to retrieve at a moment’s notice.

Prepare a safe zone

During the process of packing the car or truck, and then again when it’s time to unpack, keep your pet in a quiet, safe location out of the fray. Not only will this make it easier on you to get things done, knowing where your pet is and that he or she won’t be roaming about, but doing so means that your favorite companion is out of harm’s way. In the chaos of rearranging furniture and carrying heavy boxes into your new home, pets who are underfoot can get stepped on or otherwise injured accidentally. And if you have a pet that is strictly indoors, you can eliminate the risk of letting him or her outside during all of the trips in and out.

Moving day doesn’t have to be quite as stressful where your pets are concerned! And with a reliable real estate agency on your side, you have representatives who are willing to streamline the paperwork and other processes so you can focus on the finer details – like remembering where you packed your playful puppy’s second favorite ball.


Planning Renovations in the New Year

When 2019 rolls around in a few days, tons of us will be putting our resolutions into action, and hopefully sticking with them throughout the year! Have you thought of what you want to accomplish?

Here at Intracoastal Realty, we make it part of our business to see your dreams come to a reality by helping you find and buy your ideal home, or sell the one you have so you and your family can move on to better and brighter opportunities. But what if your goal isn’t to move, but to refurbish your current house so that it becomes the home you’ve always wanted? This usually means that it’s time to start planning your renovations and home improvement projects, and whether you plan to do them yourself or to hire a professional, it’s going to take some planning for everything to turn out just the way you want it.

What are we doing?

Renovations, minor or otherwise, can take a lot of time and resources, so it’s key to first focus on what exactly it is that you want to have done to your house. Maybe you’ve got a fence that badly needs replacing, or perhaps you’ve always wanted a spectacular garden tub in your master bath. No matter the project, it’s best to sit down and figure out at least the main aspects of what needs to be done, what rooms will be involved, who you’ll need to call, and who or what will be affected by any inconveniences that will arise from the construction period.

What do we have?

The next most important aspects of a home renovation project are going to be in the details. What kind of budget are you prepared to set aside for the venture? If you don’t think you’ll have enough at present, you may need to break out the calendar and decide when you could comfortably put up the financial resources you need to get the work done. In that plan, go ahead and have a few places bookmarked in case this particular project takes you out of the house for a few days for safety or comfort concerns and how long those arrangements will be feasible if they do come up.

When is this going to happen? 

As is always the case with a major home improvement project, timing is everything. If it involves the outdoors or a sensitive system in the house, you may need to plan out the project due to environmental and weather concerns. Or, personal factors like a school schedule for the kids may come into play and affect when this renovation will be doable. So while you plan your budget and the parameters of the construction involved, be sure to keep an eye on dates and have a general idea for when you’d like to cross things off your to-do list, all while allowing a little wiggle room for any unexpected setbacks.

If you’re ready to take a step forward in your home improvement plans this year, make sure you’re off to a solid start! And if you decide instead that 2019 is the year you move someplace new, contact Intracoastal Realty for your buying or selling needs.


Benefits to Employing a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Unless you’re an expert in the field, you would normally call a professional to fix any malfunctioning systems in your home, like plumbing or electrical work. Wouldn’t you want the same level of care and expertise when it came time to sell?

Whatever your reasons for wanting to sell your house, it never hurts to seek a professional opinion. After all, this is one of your greatest investments! When you move on to a new adventure, you’ll want an experienced real estate agent to help you close one chapter of your homeownership history and begin the next.

Getting a second opinion

Just like with any other aspect of homeownership and maintaining your property, you want to make sure you always have the most informed person on the case when you’re selling your home. Most often, that means hiring a seasoned real estate agent to give you feedback and to add a professional point-of-view during every major decision you’ll have to make. At the end of the day, you’ll be looking at the sale in terms of what works for you in the moment, but an agent will be able to see the bigger picture because he or she has seen similar situations time and again. With an informed second opinion to supplement your own, the sale of your house should go over as smoothly as possible, with everyone’s best interests at heart.

Using a middle-man 

Let’s face it – not all of us are meant to go head-to-head in a bidding war, or to negotiate with the best. Selling your house doesn’t always look like this, but it can come close! Having a trained real estate agent in your corner can only benefit you in this arena. When you hire the best, you don’t have to shoulder the responsibility of the back-and-forth that sometimes ensues; instead you get to share that task with someone who’s been educated in the best methods of resolving potential conflict.

Accessing insider information

If real estate isn’t your area of expertise, selling your home by yourself can seem daunting. There’s a learning curve involved, and while you’re fielding property questions, buyers’ requests, and legal documents, you can’t always accommodate without missing out on the best deal for you and your house. Luckily, your real estate agent is a wealth of information, and just waiting to answer your questions and lend you a hand! When you have all the insider information at your disposal, it just makes sense to let the real estate agent do what he or she does best, so you can focus on your own to-do list along the way.

Whether you’re ready to begin the selling process, or need a bit longer to consider, the highly qualified Intracoastal Realty team is here to help! Contact us to find out what our real estate agents can do for you.


Where the Heart Is: How to Cope with the Emotional Aspects of Selling Your Home

Crown molding, those pencil marks in the doorframe of your kitchen denoting a child’s growing height, the nick in the wall from when you tried to rearrange your piano’s placement in the den: a home comprises all of these memories and more when you’ve owned it for a few years.

It isn’t always easy to pack and move, especially when you get to reminiscing about all that’s happened in your home, but you aren’t alone. Because the purchase of a house is as much an emotional investment as it is a financial one, many sellers experience some difficulty in picking up their roots and moving on after the last of the paperwork is signed, even if they’re relocating for a positive reason. But there are a few ways you can help you and your family feel more at ease with change, and therefore more open to starting over in a new home.

Making space

When you make a house your own, you end up pouring a lot of yourself into the framework: your personal tastes, family memorabilia, and even moods. As you start to pack your belongings and plan out your move, take a few moments to pick your favorite decorating choices in your current house that you want to carry over in the new one. You don’t have to recreate every room as it was, but sometimes incorporating a few characteristics can help you ease into an unfamiliar setting more comfortably. And, if you can visualize your personal items in their new homes, it stands to reason that you can picture yourself there, too.

Photographic memories

If you’ve lived somewhere for a significant amount of time, you’ve probably taken pictures of countless get-togethers, holidays, and the day-to-day moments that happened there. When the thought of leaving the actual house behind starts to wear you down, take some time to gather all of those snapshots and put them somewhere safe. This can mean arranging them in a photo album, or scanning them to a laptop, or as simple as placing them in a labeled shoebox; as long as you have them at the ready, you can always revisit your former home and those happy occasions.

Compare and contrast

And if fond memories aren’t helping to make the transition from one home to the next any easier, consider comparing the benefits and drawbacks of each to give you a little perspective. Is there a room that’s always felt small, that maybe has a larger counterpart in your new house? Perhaps you don’t get very much natural light in your living room, but you’re looking forward to a different set-up after the move. Making the moving process easier for everyone is a matter of focusing on these positive changes instead of dwelling on the aspects of your house that you will miss.

Moving somewhere new can get stressful, and it’s easy to miss a place you’ve been for some time, but the team here at Intracoastal Realty encourages you to think positively about your new experiences! Stay tuned to our blog for more tips, or contact our offices to find out more about selling your home with our agents.


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!


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!


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!


House Flipping Tips and Tricks

You’ve heard the success story: a worn-down eyesore, an optimistic buyer, and a quick transformation followed by an even faster sale. Flipping houses can be a lucrative occupation, but it certainly isn’t an easy feat. If you’re interested in trying your hand in the market, you’ll want to keep a few insider tips in mind.

Don’t go it alone

From buying, to the renovations, and then to the actual sale of your project, it helps to have some experienced professionals on your side to help streamline the process. And if you’ve never tried to flip a house before, it’s even more important to have a helping hand or two at your disposal. Build your team by talking to real estate agents, contractors, and other seasoned homeowners you can trust to point you in the right direction.

Shop wisely

While it’s always incredible to watch a run-down property be remodeled into a functioning home again, be sure that you can put your money where your mouth is and that you don’t purchase too ambitiously. Before buying a house to flip, make a sound budget that you can easily stick to throughout the renovations. That way, you’ll know from the beginning how much you have to allot to the purchase itself and any costs incurred afterward.

Check your expectations

When the remodeling is done and you put the newly-decorated home back on the market, remember that the idea is to engage in a quick sale, not haggle over every nickel and dime. The success of house flipping lies in the ability to close each deal efficiently. As such, you probably won’t make very much off the first few sales. Don’t get discouraged! If you find that flipping houses is something you enjoy, keep a record of your successes and setbacks so that each time there are fewer surprises and more to gain!

Timing is everything

The housing market is in constant flux, so above all else, remember to be patient and time your purchases and sales accordingly! At this stage, an experienced real estate agent is your best bet in learning the ropes and optimal times for buying and selling property in your area. Flipping a house is only possible when the conditions are right for buyers, so you’ll need to catch those waves as they come.

If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, contact Intracoastal Realty and get connected with some of the most knowledgeable agents in the coastal North Carolina area!

 

 

 


What to Expect from Your First Home Inspection

You’re putting a house on the market for the first time, and your to-do list is probably about a mile long. One of the most important items – and a step that needs to happen sooner rather than later – is scheduling a professional inspection of your home.

Just like during the process of purchasing your next home, it’s important to know as much as possible regarding the condition of the house before you put it on the market. With a quality inspection, you can get all of the knowledge you need to work with potential buyers and settle on a fair deal for everyone.

Timing and involvement 

When you schedule a home inspection, you’ll want to go ahead and account for roughly 2-3 hours of walk-through time. It’s recommended that you stay nearby to answer any questions that might come up, and the best inspectors don’t mind if you follow along and ask some of your own as they arise. As the inspection progresses, he or she will be making enough notes to answer some preliminary questions about possible repairs and alterations, but remember that the more detailed report will be delivered soon – sometimes by the end of the business day depending on the time of your appointment. 

The report

The typical inspection report will give you a rundown of what about your house is up to current standards and what potential issues the inspector caught. The amount of detail really depends on the condition of the house; if, for example, it’s practically brand new, you probably won’t have as many damages and weakened areas to address. Older houses, those that have been through rougher weather, or the residences that were not cared for in years previous typically have more notes and ideas for improvement included in the report. The results tend to be broken down by sections of the house, such as the basement, attic, roof, crawlspace, the plumbing work, and the ventilation system. 

Next steps

As the seller, you don’t technically have to make any of the repairs suggested in the inspector’s report. However, the chances of your house selling for a desired price are higher if you do. Essentially, it all boils down to the severity of the renovations and what price range you’re hoping for with your buyer. Sometimes, your realtor can negotiate with the buyer not to include the repairs, but to drop down the asking price instead. If you’re unwilling to fix the problems before you vacate the house, this is an option to bring up with your agent from the beginning.

Putting your house on the market for the first time can be daunting, but when you have a trustworthy real estate agent on your side, the workload decreases exponentially! If you’re ready to sell your coastal home, contact us and get started today.


A Guide for First-time Home Sellers

When you don’t know what to expect, selling your first home can quickly evolve into a convoluted and frustrating process, even with a knowledgeable realtor on your side. The experts here at Intracoastal Realty have come up with a few helpful hints to walk you through the process, so you can confidently move forward with the sale.

Meet with a trusted real estate agent.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but this first step to selling your home is the most important one. When you find and meet with a capable real estate agent, he or she will be able to assess your home and neighborhood, help you establish your needs and some realistic goals for the sale, and navigate the showing and closure process. You’ll probably also do a walk-through of the house to familiarize the agent with its physical attributes, as well as find a few tweaks to make in order to show off the place in the best possible light.

Set expectations, but remember to be flexible.

Just like you have items that are non-negotiable, so does each potential buyer that crosses the threshold of your home. When the residence is ready to be shown, discuss with your real estate agent potential compromising points, and outline very clearly what you absolutely cannot bend on before you assess the first offer.

Keep track.

In the lucky event that you receive multiple offers on your house, it would benefit you to have some sort of filing system so as not to confuse one buyer from another. This is also a handy way to compare and contrast offers with your real estate agent, so that when you’re ready to make the final call, you can easily glance at the profiles and pull out the pros and cons of each.

A clean home is a happy one.

Even after the initial showings have occurred, and after you have an offer or two for consideration, keep your house up to showcase standards. The nature of selling a home involves plenty of risk; your buyer’s credit may not be up to par with their chosen lender, he or she may suddenly back out of the deal, or your reason for moving may throw a wrench in the plans. To hopefully put off any unforeseen complications in obtaining another buyer – or keeping the one you have – maintain a tidy household to the very last day of your residence.

Plan accordingly.

As was already mentioned, there are countless ways that the eventual sale of your home could deviate from your carefully laid plan. But, with a skilled real estate agent on your side, you can be sure to include a few fallbacks and contingency courses of action in your general outline. It will also be helpful to plan out any major changes you want to make to improve your home’s appearance such as fresh paint, more intensive lawn work, or furniture rearrangement prior to opening your home to buyers.

Be prepared to offer extra features.  

It’s easy to claim that there are things you could do without in your current house: appliances, curtains, and other interior decorations to name a few. But when someone makes an offer that includes something you might have planned on taking with you after the sale, it’s time to make a decision regarding what you will and won’t miss. Just remember that at this point, it’s about being reasonable and rational, not necessarily emotionally invested. If someone requests the inclusion of appliances, consider the benefits and costs before refusing. By conceding a little, you might just gain a lot in the sale.

The main thing to keep in mind when you’re ready for a move and need to sell your house is that in spite of the stress that often comes with the process, it’s still an exciting change for you and yours to experience! By putting yourself in the hands of a capable and trusted real estate agent, you’ll also take some of the pressure off and gain a valuable resource to see you through the sale. If you’re ready to sell your house on North Carolina’s coast, contact us today!