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Buying your first home isn't always easy. Here are the tips you need to get started.

Last year's real estate market with rising mortgage rates made home ownership difficult for first-time buyers. As we head into 2023, our real estate agents have some tips for first-time buyers to make getting into a new home much easier. If you're planning to buy a home this year, pay close attention to these 6 valuable tips that will ensure success.

  1. Maintain Good Credit
    If you're planning to look for Southport homes for sale, it's not the time to apply for a new credit card, line of credit, or personal loan. When you apply for a mortgage loan, the first thing lenders do is pull your credit report to check your credit score, payment history, late payments, and debt-to-income ratio. Any applications for new credit can have a negative impact on your loan approval. This is the time to pay your bills on time and avoid adding any more debt.

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Just bought a home? Here are the home improvement projects you need to look out for.

There's a unique form of satisfaction that comes with owning and maintaining your own home. But as you're preparing to become a homeowner for the first time, all that maintenance can feel more intimidating than inspiring.

Our real estate agents are here to help with that. Read on to learn about the most important maintenance tasks that all first-time homeowners should take on as they're moving into their new residences.

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Sometimes a pending home purchase doesn't go according to plan. Here's why.

With rising mortgage rates, high home prices, and a shortage of inventory, buyers and sellers are facing issues. Home buyers are up against bidding wars and all-cash buyers, and sellers are seeing offers that fall through. Our real estate agents realize that today's market is challenging, and we have some tips to help you navigate the hurdles.

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Moving in is exciting, but don't rush in! Here are the most common mistakes you want to avoid.

Moving always brings its fair share of challenges, but if you plan ahead and do your homework, you might be surprised by how smoothly the whole process can go. As always, our real estate agents are here to help.

Some of the most common and potentially disastrous moving mistakes are the ones that are made on move-in day. If you've already found the perfect Southport home for sale and are getting ready to move into your new home, these are the biggest mistakes to avoid:

  • Procrastinating
    If you're the type who always waited until the night before a test to start studying, take note. Moving is not fun if you wait until the last minute! By the time you get to moving day, everything should already be boxed, packed, and ready to go. If you've rented a moving van or truck, it's also a good idea to get as much stuff as possible loaded up the day before the actual move.

    Ditching All Your Furniture
    We understand the appeal of moving into a new home and making it a fresh start. But while it can be tempting to kick all your old furniture to the curb and start fresh, you might want to hang onto a few things. Even if you have to rent a larger vehicle or pay your movers more, you'll still save some money. You might also be surprised how a new space breathes life into some of your old furnishings.

  • Not Matching Furnishings to Architecture
    Of course, if you're moving into a new home that has a radically different architectural style than your old one, not all of your furniture will fit in. Matching decor to architecture is an important way to make your space feel natural and balanced. If, for example, you're moving into a breezy beach house in Southport, you might find that sleek, modernist furniture clashes with the whole vibe.

  • Forgetting to Make Arrangements for Pets
    Moving is stressful for humans, so just think of how your four-legged friends must feel! It's always a good idea to make arrangements for your pets on moving day, like boarding them of having them temporarily stay with a relative while you get settled. That way, they'll be less stressed and won't get underfoot while you're moving in. When you're ready for your pets to join you, make sure their favorite toys and blankets are out and ready!

  • Not Packing a 'Day One' Box
    Pack a separate box with all the essentials you'll need on your first day in your new home, and take it in the car with you. Its precise contents will be different for everyone, but be sure to include basic toiletries, washcloths and towels, electronics and chargers, a few snacks, and a change of clothes for everyone. You don't want to have to wait for the movers to arrive just so you can brush your teeth or take a shower.

  • Not Checking the Weather
    You can't control the weather, but you can plan for it. Do your best to plan your move on a sunny day, but check the forecast religiously as you approach the big day, just in case the weather changes. If rain threatens, take precautions to keep everything from getting soaked as you move (trash bags, tarps, and towels are your best friends)!

Contact us today for more information on moving into your new home in Southport, NC. And if you're still on the hunt for that perfect home to call your own, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way.


Buying a home typically requires some upfront costs. Here's how much you'll need to put aside.

You want to become a homeowner, but you're not sure if you have enough money saved to buy a house.

It's important to understand the costs associated with buying a home to understand how much money you need to save. Our real estate agents suggest considering the following costs when calculating how much you need to save:

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February 15, 2022 -  Brunswick County Association of Realtors

Brunswick County's residential real estate market saw fewer homes sold in January due to inventory being at an all-time low. Total sales volume was only down 1.5% thanks to higher average sale prices, which were fueled by the low inventory, strong demand, and strong luxury sales.

"As usual, January came with broken resolutions, bad weather and fewer homes sold," said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh. "Inventory is extremely low, which makes it harder for buyers to find the right home. Working with a professional REALTOR® who can help them navigate this competitive market is a must for homebuyers. The market is positioned to remain in a seller's market for the foreseeable future."

Brunswick County saw $161,440,000 in total sales volume in January 2022, a 1.5% decrease from last January's $163,890,000. New listings dropped 29.9%, from 552 to 387, and the number of units sold was down 17.4%, from 465 to 384. Active listings decreased 40.8% compared to January of 2021, from 1122 to a 12-month low of 664. The absorption rate, which is the amount of time it would take to sell all available inventory, is at an all-time low of 40 days. The average sales price increased 19.3%, from $352,452 to $420,409. In January of 2022 there were 11 sales in excess of $1 million, with two sales in excess of $2 million. Additionally, 26% of all homes sold in January went for more than $500,000.

"With little to no inventory, few new listings, and selling prices continuing to rise, the luxury sales are leading the way for a strong market in 2022. We expect a continuation of the conditions we saw last year," said Walsh.

Brunswick County

New Listings

  • January 2022: 387
  • January 2021: 552
  • Increase/Decrease: -29.9%

Units Sold

  • January 2022: 384
  • January 2021: 465
  • Increase/Decrease: -17.4%

Average Sales Price

  • January 2022: $420,409
  • January 2021: $352,452
  • Increase/Decrease: +19.3%

Median Sales Price

  • January 2022: $335,470
  • January 2021: $289,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +16.1%

Total Sales Volume

  • January 2022: $161,440,000
  • January 2021: $163,890,000
  • Increase/Decrease: -1.5%

Bladen County

New Listings

  • January 2022: 11
  • January 2021: 5
  • Increase/Decrease: +120.0%

Units Sold

  • January 2022: 8
  • January 2021: 6
  • Increase/Decrease: +33.3%

Average Sales Price

  • January 2022: $224,038
  • January 2021: $202,167
  • Increase/Decrease: +10.8%

Total Sales Volume

  • January 2022: $1,790,000
  • January 2021: $1,210,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +47.9%

Columbus County

New Listings

  • January 2022: 23
  • January 2021: 24
  • Increase/Decrease: -4.2%

Units Sold

  • January 2022: 17
  • January 2021: 14
  • Increase/Decrease: +21.4%

Average Sales Price

  • January 2022: $189,618
  • January 2021: $190,321
  • Increase/Decrease: -0.4%

Total Sales Volume

  • January 2022: $3,220,000
  • January 2021: $2,660,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +21.1%

The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is the local association level of the largest trade association in the nation, presently serving its members, which are comprised of REALTORS®, Appraisers and Affiliate Members. For more information, please visit


Southport Homes Near Water

When you buy a home near the water, it can feel like a vacation every day. The smell of the sea, the sound of waves, beauty, serenity, and endless water recreation opportunities – there's nothing like it. However, having a home near the water is unique in many ways, and there are more factors to consider before choosing your dream home. Here are our real estate agents' tips for buying a home near the water.

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Buying a Home

As interest rates hit record lows in recent months, would-be homeowners have been inspired to seek more spacious dwellings, with rooms where parents and kids can have a comfortable space to work or attend class remotely. If you're a first-time homebuyer looking for more space for your family, you may find your dream home among Southport homes for sale. But have you taken the right steps to ensure you're ready to make the deal? Make sure to do these five things before starting your house hunt. 

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Dream Home in Southport

At some point in your house-hunting process, you may begin to wonder if you'll ever find just the right home. But then one day, like magic, there it is...your dream home. A little later, though, doubts set in, and you second guess yourself. Need some help? Our REALTORS® can advise you on discerning when you've found your ideal home among all the Southport homes for sale that you've looked at.

Here are seven signs you have found just the right home for you and your loved ones.

  1. You're willing to overlook flaws.
    You know how you've felt in so many houses when you've encountered flaws. You know they can be repaired or negotiated over, but you're just not willing to do so. In your dream home, however, it's a different story. As the real estate agent points out flaws, you are mentally finding ways to fix them.

  2. It's within your budget.
    Sometimes house hunters get so excited over a home that they forget it's not within the budget they have set themselves, and they start looking for ways to make it happen anyway. It's a bad idea to go over budget; otherwise, you could end up with buyer's remorse when you remember things like property tax, home insurance, closing costs, and renovations. Concentrate on saving as much as you can and then plan on investing that amount in your home, but staying strictly within your means.

  3. It's the right location.
    You have in mind the locations you're willing to live in. Maybe it's about proximity to your job, to schools or amenities, but if the home is in one of your primary choices for location, it's checking an important box. There's not much reason to consider homes that aren't where you want to be.

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Moving Tips

No matter how carefully you plan, moving day can be time-consuming and tiring.

Our real estate agents know nothing beats the excitement of moving into the home of your dreams. After weeks visiting the best Southport homes for sale, getting financing in order, and negotiating a good price, it's not unusual to crash into bed exhausted but accomplished.

The next day, most people start thinking about all the things they forgot.

Even the best-planned move tends to have a few hiccups along the way. There are so many things to take care of that you may simply run out of time. The sooner you catch up with those errands, though, the easier it'll be to enjoy your new property to the utmost.

So, what are the biggest things home buyers forget to do after they move?

Here's our list of the five top culprits:

  1. Make Sure Utilities Are Turned On 
    Water, electricity, internet. While they're working, it's out of sight, out of mind. The problem? Many utility companies take a very long time to start up service in a house that's been vacated before the sale. Be sure you call early – and give the company a "due date" a day or two before you actually plan to be moved in.
  2. Scope Out Smoke Detectors
    Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers are basic safety devices you want to know you can rely on. People easily forget when they last changed alarm batteries, so get it done the first week. Some modern alarms have a diagnostic mode that tells you if the battery is still charged. Fire extinguishers, on the other hand, are often easier to replace than refill.

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