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September
12

Homes come in all different ages. Here's how to determine if you should buy an older or newer house.

If you're looking for a new home, it's important to look at a variety of properties before you make a final decision. Whether you're drawn to new homes with the latest amenities or old homes with charm and character, advice from our real estate agents can help you find the right home for you.

If you want bells and whistles, updated style, country charm, and waterfront views, you'll find all of them in Southport homes for sale. However, an important thing to consider is the age of the home. Let's take a look at some pros and cons of buying new homes vs. old homes that may impact your lifestyle and finances.

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August
10

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.

April
4

Buying your first house is a huge milestone. Here's how you can help prevent issues coming up during the process.

You've been shopping among Southport homes for sale, and you've got a home in your sights. Maybe this is your first home, and you're not sure about the ins and outs of buying. Our real estate agents have some valuable advice for first-time buyers, so read on.

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November
24

Last month, Brunswick County's residential real estate market saw its first significant drop in monthly sales volume and increase in inventory so far this year. Total sales volume in October was down 19.5% compared to 2020. The only other month with a drop in total sales volume so far this year is August, which saw a slight 0.7% decrease. The market also saw 135 new listings in October.

"While our market remains ahead of last year's record pace, sales volume was down slightly in October compared to 2020," said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh. "Even though some national experts think the market may be in the early stages of a cool-down, Brunswick County's market remains consistent. Prices are up, and homes are selling quickly. We expect our market to remain strong moving into Winter."

Brunswick County saw $210,450,000 in total sales volume in October 2021, a 19.5% decrease from last October's $261,340,000, with luxury sales contributing almost $36,000,000. There were 23 sales in excess of $1 million last month, with the highest being $2.75 million. New listings dropped 6.0% compared to last October, from 662 to 622. The number of units sold decreased 27.3%, from 670 to 487, but pending sales are up 24% over last month. Homes are averaging 30 days on the market, and homes listed below $299,000 are spending 15 days or less on the market. The average sales price increased from $390,062 to $432,131, a 10.8% increase fueled by strong luxury home sales.

The market's year-to-date numbers remain ahead of last year's pace. Total sales volume is up 29.4% compared to 2020, increasing from $1,743,563,000 to $2,255,559,429. Average sales prices are 19.7% higher than 2020, jumping from $328,943 to $393,703. The number of units sold through October is up 10.6%, from 5,175 to 5,723. New listings increased 4.2%, from 6,060 to 6,316.

Brunswick County

New Listings

  • October 2021: 622
  • October 2020: 662
  • Increase/Decrease: -6.0%

Units Sold

  • October 2021: 487
  • October 2020: 670
  • Increase/Decrease: -27.3%

Average Sales Price

  • October 2021: $432,131
  • October 2020: $390,062
  • Increase/Decrease: +10.8%

Median Sales Price

  • October 2021: $343,168
  • October 2020: $311,500
  • Increase/Decrease: +10.2%

Total Sales Volume

  • October 2021: $210,450,000
  • October 2020: $261,340,000
  • Increase/Decrease: -19.5%

Bladen County

New Listings

  • October 2021: 9
  • October 2020: 9
  • Increase/Decrease: 0.0%

Units Sold

  • October 2021: 18
  • October 2020: 12
  • Increase/Decrease: +50.0%

Average Sales Price

  • October 2021: $188,289
  • October 2020: $134,058
  • Increase/Decrease: +40.5%

Total Sales Volume

  • October 2021: $3,390,000
  • October 2020: $1,610,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +110.6%

Columbus County

New Listings

  • October 2021: 37
  • October 2020: 30
  • Increase/Decrease: +23.3%

Units Sold

  • October 2021: 29
  • October 2020: 23
  • Increase/Decrease: +26.1%

Average Sales Price

  • October 2021: $192,366
  • October 2020: $152,230
  • Increase/Decrease: +26.4%

Total Sales Volume

  • October 2021: $5,580,000
  • October 2020: $3,500,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +59.4%

Source: The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR)  http://www.bcarnc.com

December
28

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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September
28

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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March
23

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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December
2

Saving for a Down Payment

Saving up for a down payment on one of our beautiful Southport homes for sale is quite a feat, especially during the holiday season. With gifts to buy and end-of-year bills on the horizon, saving for your down payment can be tough during the holidays. Here are a few tips from our REALTORS® to help you spend and save wisely.

  • Estimate your Down Payment Range
    To get a good idea of a firm down payment estimate, you need to first determine the price range for your home and your monthly mortgage payments. Once you've discovered a down payment range meeting your financial needs, you'll know exactly how much you need to save.

  • Create a Budget Around Your Down Payment
    Now that you have a goal, it's time to create a budget to control your spending. Determine when you believe you'll be ready to put an offer in on a home and identify how much you'll need to save each week to meet that timeline.

  • Track Your Bills
    As winter weather moves in, your utility bills will increase. Research your monthly averages from the previous year and strive to keep them the same or lower. If you can, try to reduce your utility consumption.

  • Eliminate Impulse Purchases
    You'd be surprised how much you'll save by drinking and eating out less. Purchase cheaper items at the grocery store and enjoy coffee, meals, and snacks at home without racking up impulse purchases.

  • Use Cash As Much As Possible
    Swiping a credit card is easy and effortless — which means racking up debt or draining your account is just as swift. By using cash as frequently as possible, you can keep track of every dollar you spend. Consider taking out your gift budget in cash, so you know when you've reached your limit.

  • Limit Gift Giving
    While we all want to show our friends and family members, how much we care, it's quality that matters, not quantity. Limit the number of gifts you're hoping to buy and instead focus on getting a small number of presents that are truly meaningful.

  • Shop Sales
    Throughout the holiday season, many shops will have deals in-store and online that will help you save hundreds. A few hours of researching and couponing can help you create an unforgettable holiday without foregoing your strict budget.

  • Get Creative
    Who says a gift needs to be a store-bought item? You can save money and make your presents more meaningful by handcrafting a few gifts for your loved ones. You can also consider engaging in an activity together to create wonderful memories that last longer than any physical gift.

  • Shop Early in the Year
    So many purchases in a short time can strain your finances. Get into the habit of shopping for holiday gifts throughout the year, especially when you find items on sale. This will stretch out your spending and allow you to focus on saving during the holiday season.

  • Save Actively
    The act of not spending money is admirable, but the real difference-maker is how you choose to save it. Get into the habit of actively putting money aside each week in a down payment account. Whether it's a few dollars a day or a few hundred every month, these deliberate savings will snowball into a down payment for your dream home.

For more help buying homes in Southport during the holiday season, contact us.

November
11

Time to Buy Your First Home

You've rented numerous apartments and homes up to this point, but there was always a personal element missing. Perhaps it's time to stop renting and start looking for a more long-term place of residence to call your own. Southport homes for sale offer many luxuries and amenities for your everyday lifestyle, and with several locations to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect place for you. Even though you may not be consciously aware of it, there may be several signs that it's time to buy your own home.

Financial Signs You're Ready to Buy A Home

If you've ever been asked to move because your lease expired or your rent increase was too high, you may have thought about other options. Buying your own home will eliminate this from happening in the future. In some cases, your monthly mortgage may even be less than the amount you've been paying for rent. If you have good credit, you can apply for a loan for the down payment, which is usually around twenty percent. If your family is growing and you don't see relocating in the foreseeable future, then buying may be the best option. Other signs you may be experiencing when deciding on purchasing your own home are:

  • You have a steady stream of monthly income
  • You can afford (and are able) to perform the necessary upkeep and repairs
  • You're just tired of the hassle of renting
  • You want to plan for the long-term

Buying a home is a monumental task to take on, but the signs may already be telling you that it's time to take that next step in doing so.

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August
12

Homebuying Hindrances - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Don't think you can afford to own your own home? Not so fast. There are plenty of people out there who want to buy a home but go into a panic after looking over their finances. So you're definitely not alone.

If there's one thing our REALTORS® believe, it's that home ownership should be within everyone's reach. Watch out for these common myths that keep people from becoming homeowners, and remember not to let them stop you!

  1. You can't afford the down payment
    Worrying about saving for a down payment is one factor that keeps a lot of people from buying a home. It's usually recommended that you pay 20 percent of the home's value upfront, but let's face it—20 percent of even a low-priced home is quite a big chunk of change. 

    Fortunately, it's possible to buy a home with a smaller down payment, and according to the National Association of REALTORS®, 81 percent of American homeowners do just that. The downside of making a smaller down payment is that you end up with a bigger mortgage (and more interest in the long run), but for a lot of new homeowners that's a very worthwhile trade-off.

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July
29

Self-Employed Mortgage Process - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Being your own boss and building your own business is one of the most satisfying things you can ever achieve. When the long hours and hard work pay off, you are most likely going to want to invest the spoils of your labor into one of the many fabulous Southport homes for sale. While you're no doubt eager to start reviewing listings, the first thing you should take care of is securing mortgage pre-approval. For the self-employed, this critical approval is easier when you take the following steps.  

  1. Document Your Income
    It's crucial to document your income and establish that you have sufficient resources to make mortgage payments. To do this, you'll want to provide at least two years of tax returns. It's also a good idea to prepare a profit/loss statements since the lender may ask for this. Further, if you have been self-employed for a few years, you can use your income records and profit/loss statements to establish patterns in your business profile.

    Conversely, if you have been self-employed for less than two years, you can provide one year of W-2s if you worked in the same field as your current enterprise. You should note that when you do this, it's essential that you can show the same amount or greater income from your business when it's compared to the W-2. You should also prepare a quarterly statement for your asset accounts, including all bank accounts, CDs, IRAs, stocks, etc.

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July
1

Final Walk-Through - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Congratulations! You've found the house after looking at many wonderful Southport homes for sale and made it to the final walkthrough. You're about to officially become a homeowner! You're probably excited to get into your new home, but take the time to make sure everything is right before you sign the papers and get the keys. Our REALTORS® recommend you look for these five things on your walkthrough.

  1. Verify repairs. Many people request repairs after a home inspection. Bring along your inspection report so that you can confirm repairs were made and done to your satisfaction. The seller should have provided documentation as well, and you'll need that in case you would have a problem covered under the contractor's warranty policy. Construction debris and materials should have been cleaned up.

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April
29

Home Inspection Report-Margaret Rudd & Associates

Our REALTORS® can't stress enough how important a home inspection is before buying. An inspection can save you a lot of money and some major headaches. But what happens next, especially if the home inspection turned up some serious issues?

The most important thing is not to panic. Home inspection issues might make you think twice about a house, but they shouldn't be an automatic deal breaker. When you get less-than-stellar home inspection results, here's what you need to know about how to proceed. 

Common Inspection Issues

We see a lot of the same inspection issues pop up again and again. If you're looking at Southport homes for sale, keep an eye out for some of these issues and necessary repairs on the inspection report: 

  • Roof damage, from minor leaks and missing shingles to full replacement
  • Electrical problems, including frayed wires, and wiring not being up to code
  • Plumbing issues, like leaking pipes and failing water heaters
  • Termite damage
  • Mold issues
  • Presence of asbestos or lead paint
  • Foundation issues, such as cracking or sinking

    Click Here to Read More...

March
25

Spring Home Bidding-Margaret Rudd & Associates

Buying a home in the spring means more competition among buyers, so being prepared is a must. Getting your finances in order, deciding on a neighborhood, and brushing up on your bidding strategy are key ways to make sure you get the home you want. Making your offer stand out is an absolute must. Our REALTORS® can be a big help during the entire process, but especially when you're making an offer or stuck in a bidding war. Here are some tips to navigate the process.

  1. Make your first offer incredible. Don't go into the process expecting that you'll pay below list price or assuming you can make a low offer then negotiate. There is competition in the spring, so sellers won't necessarily be willing to negotiate. And when there's competition, bidding low is a surefire way to get your bid ignored. Your agent can show you a comparative market analysis from other Southport homes for sale and help structure your offer right the first time.
     
  2. Click Here to Read More...

January
14

Moving to Holden Beach - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Whether you are shopping for Holden Beach homes or have already purchased one, you'll soon be moving. Pulling up stakes and moving to a new home and community is exciting, especially if you will be a first-time homeowner. However, moving is also a complicated and stressful process, and it can be quite easy to forget important details along the way. Knowing about the most common mistakes made by others can help you avoid making them yourself, so here are seven things people often forget to do during a move:

  1. Collect Important Documents – This is a task that should be on your to-do list several weeks before moving. It can take some time to get many documents, such as family medical records, prescription lists, immunization records, school records, and other official documents. Other essential papers to collect and keep track of carefully during a move include insurance policies, tax records, financial records, identification documents, wills, and other essential legal documents.

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January
7

Buy a Home in Southport
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, approximately one-third of homebuyers are purchasing for the first time. Will you be joining those ranks soon? Our REALTORS® offer some valuable tips to streamline the process and help you get the home of your dreams.

  1. Review Your Credit Record
    A good credit score lets lenders know you're a worthwhile risk, and it can also make the difference in obtaining better interest rates. Request copies of your credit record from the Big Three reporting agencies and clean up any errors or misinformation. Don't apply for any other credit during this time to avoid lowering your score.

  2. Click Here to Read More...

November
19

Brunswick Buy a Home Holidays
You probably have a lot of activities on your to-do list this holiday season. Holiday parties, nights out, community events, and shopping are all great ways to spend your time. But during all the festivities and hustle and bustle, don't forget about that one big item on your wish list…a new home! Many buyers just don't think about shopping during the holidays but it really can be a good idea. Our REALTORS® share why.

  1. There's less competition.
    If you've shopped in the spring or summer and had offers repeatedly turned down or gotten stuck in bidding wars, shopping when there's less competition will greatly increase your chances of getting into a home.

  2. Click Here to Read More...

October
8

Buying a House Does Commute Time Matter

Drive Time Shouldn't Be Overlooked

When you're in the market to buy a home, there is a laundry list of things to consider in addition to the house itself.  Real estate insiders advise to add factors like the neighborhood, walkability, schools, and commute time to work.  If you do not work from your home, adding commute time to and from your job should be at the top of your wish list when you're house hunting. When you find a home, make sure your drive time doesn't turn your dream home into a nightmare.  

Our REALTORS® are here with this help for factoring your commute time into your house hunt to find the right home for you and your family.

Why You're Buying a House

Many people opt to purchase a home for increased financial security or lower long-term housing costs. If buying a house increases your commute time, make sure you're not canceling out the benefits of homeownership.

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September
27

Buy Don't Rent
Owning a home, and the freedom that comes with it, remains a crucial part of the American dream, even as more and more Americans find it more difficult to achieve homeownership. Our REALTORS® are here to make that process easier, and if you've been thinking about making the leap to owning your own house, we have several reasons why now might be the right time. 

  1. Renting is more expensive. In the long run, renting may ultimately take away a much larger chunk of your income than buying. What's worse is that at the end of the day you have nothing to show for it; no rental property will ever be yours, no matter how much money you sink into it. And while it is generally assumed that renting is cheaper in the short term, even that is not always the case. Mortgage payments often cost less than monthly rent in many communities. 

  2. Click Here to Read More...

September
7

Saving for Your First Home
Deciding that you want to become a homeowner is a big step that comes with lots of questions. One of the first you'll need to address is how to save for your down payment. Don't worry, you can do this! Our REALTORS® offer these tips to get you started saving today. 

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August
30

Brunswick County NC Relocation
For many visitors, one trip to Brunswick County, North Carolina is more than enough to fall in love with the area. Whether you're moving from across the state or across the country, there's never been a better time to start preparing for life in Brunswick County. There's so much to see, do, and experience, with so many great communities to call home. Our REALTORS® are here to help you prepare, with our guide for relocating to Brunswick County, NC.

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July
18

Buy a House in Seller's Market
You've just found the perfect home.  It's in a great neighborhood, the size is right, and its price is not beyond reach. There is one problem--everybody wants it! This is what a seller's market is like. Otherwise known as a "hot market" it is a situation where there are few highly priced houses in a market flooded by buyers. While this market favors property sellers, it can be a nightmare for home buyers. Our REALTORS® know that you should not give up on your dream home in such a market. All you need is a good strategy to beat the competition. Here are a few tips to navigate the seller's market.

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July
25

Buy a House Home Appraisals
Wouldn't it be nice if buying a home were as simple as purchasing a new pair of shoes? You find a pair you love, you pull out your credit card, and take them home.

Home buying isn't that simple. After you negotiate a deal for a home you love, you need to obtain a mortgage loan from a lender.  One of the most important steps of getting a mortgage is having an appraisal done to confirm the purchase price of the home.

Our REALTORS® believe it's important for our clients to know and understand important home-buying steps. We've prepared this brief guide to tell you what you need to know about appraisals.

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July
5

Credit Score and Mortgage
One of the first things you have to do when buying a home is take an in-depth look at your financial situation. Since most people buying a home have to apply for a mortgage, it is imperative that you know what lenders will be seeing when they investigate your creditworthiness. Getting your credit report and knowing your score will be one of the first steps you want to take. But you might be wondering how much it really matters. The truth is it matters a lot. Here's why.

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April
25

Tax Refund Down Payment
If you've dreamed of buying a home but the down payment is a financial obstacle, now is a good time to take a second look. It's 2018 tax refund time and the average refund this year is approximately $3,000. That could be enough money to help you fulfill your homeownership dream.

Our REALTORS® understand that a down payment can be one of your biggest obstacles to buying a home in North Carolina. It's difficult to meet day-to-day living expenses and save money too. Your income tax refund can give you a reprieve from all that scrimping and saving. Here are a few tips to make it work for you.

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