Realtor Jessica Edwards to Walk the Red Carpet at This Weekend's Oscars

by seacoast_ashley 26. February 2014 08:16

Jessica Riffle Edwards RealtorJessica Edwards, a 32-year-old REALTOR with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, keeps pinching herself to make sure it’s real. She’s going to this weekend’s Oscar awards in Los Angeles, courtesy of Coldwell Banker Corporate!

Since 2011, Edwards has served as an ambassador for the corporate office as the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Consumer Specialist. In this position, she has spoken at seminars and conferences throughout the US about her maverick marketing strategies that utilize video blogs, social media and other technologies. In addition, Edwards is often interviewed by national media outlets such as CNBC, USA Today, Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal on real estate trends and marketing.

“Jessica is an extraordinary agent with a tireless enthusiasm for creative marketing” said Tim Milam, president of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. “She and her team closed $23 million in sales in 2013 and we credit her success to her professionalism, dedication and marketing strategies. We are very proud of Jessica and thrilled she is being honored with this opportunity to represent our office and the entire Coldwell Banker brand at the Oscars.”

Coldwell Banker Corporate is airing a :30 commercial during the Oscars telecast and as an advertiser perk, was given two tickets to the ceremony. Rather than send an executive, Coldwell Banker has taken a page from Edward’s own playbook and decided to use this as a unique marketing opportunity, with Jessica as the star. Edwards and Coldwell Banker will create a series of five behind-the-scenes videos and release them to the media throughout the day and evening on Sunday, March 2.

“I first caught the attention of the corporate office with my use of video blogs to generate attention for my listings and for my own personal brand,” said Edwards. “In 2009, I started creating video blogs from a dash cam in my car on a wide variety of real estate topics and then in 2012, I created a couple of music videos that generated a great deal of attention both online and off. I’m honored to represent Coldwell Banker at the Oscars and very grateful for the opportunity.”

Edwards, who will be accompanied by her sister-in-law Harriett Mills of Raleigh, will enjoy the entire red carpet treatment in Tinsel Town from Friday, February 28 through Monday, March 3, including pre- and post-Oscar parties, dressing fittings with personal stylist, hair, makeup, jewelry – the works.

To prepare her wardrobe, Edwards has teamed up with Monkees at Lumina Station, a women’s retailer widely know for its extraordinary fashions and luxury brands. Monkees has created a weekend wardrobe for Edwards worthy of an Oscar award in costume design. And much like fashion designers cater to celebrities, Monkees has styled Edwards with multiple looks that will take her from morning to night, including shoes and accessories. In addition to Monkees, Reeds Jewelers of Wilmington is supplying a variety of fine jewelry for Edward’s use on the red carpet and throughout the weekend.

The dress Edwards will wear to the Oscar ceremony itself is to be determined. She will meet with a private stylist in Los Angeles on Saturday, who will have a variety of designer dresses for her to choose from.

The dress selection process, of course, will be videotaped and is one of five planned for the series. Other videos will include a visit to the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame; getting the day started on Sunday morning; styling of hair and makeup; and the limo ride to the Oscars ceremony, complete with champagne toast.

During the trip, Edwards will use the hashtag #yourhome to send updates on the company’s Twitter feed (@Coldwell Banker) and Facebook page.

Meghan Riley

Seller Tip: Don’t Forget These Items for the Day of Closing

by seacoast_ashley 23. February 2014 05:20

In North Carolina, home sellers aren’t required to be present at the attorney’s office on the day of closing. Most of their paperwork is done ahead of time. However, on the day of closing or the day before, they need to sign-off on the HUD form, which shows all the details of how the funds are being paid. They can stop by the attorney’s office once the form is prepared or sign the required documents remotely (depending on transaction requirements). Even Keys for Home Closingthough they aren’t required to be at closing, sellers still need to prepare some items for the buyers to receive the day of closing.

If you’re selling your North Carolina home, it’s important to make note to put the following items aside before you move out of the property.

  1. House Keys. Make sure you collect all of your extra house keys, including those for the front door, back door, garage door, and any interior doors that may have locks.
  2. Garage Door Openers. Don’t drive off without leaving the garage door opener that’s in your vehicle in the home. These can be difficult to replace, especially on older devices.
  3. Mail Box Key. If you live in a condo complex, you have a key for accessing the mail box assigned to your unit. These can be very expensive to replace - $60 to $80. If you don’t provide a key, you’ll likely be asked to pay for a new one.
  4. Pool Card. Communities with swimming pools often give residents access cards to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the club house and pool. If you have one, make sure the new owners get it.

Prior to closing, you need to make arrangements with your Sea Coast agent on where to leave these items. You don't want to be scrambling to find them the day of closing. The keys need to be given to the buyers after the purchase papers are signed. Items such as garage door openers and pool cards can be left in the home, but the agents need to be made aware of this so there’s no confusion or hold-up on the day of closing.

Have questions about the day of closing? Ask your Sea Coast Agent. Don’t have an agent? Find one today!

Meghan Riley

Exciting Things Are Happening at Brunswick Forest!

by seacoast_ashley 23. February 2014 04:02

There are some exciting things planned for Brunswick Forest in Leland, North Carolina, in 2014! We wanted to share some that are happening right now, so you have the most recent information for your home search, as well as the opportunity to enjoy all that Brunswick Forest has to offer.

Meadow Park

Single Family Homes of Meadow Park in Brunswick Forest

Construction has begun on the newest phase of Meadow Park in Brunswick Forest. The new single-family homes are coastal inspired bungalows and feature cool, breezy exterior color palettes, two-car garages, and shingle and metal roofs. Their designs reflect the growing social trend of front porch living with relaxing sitting areas overlooking the front yard. Additionally, there’s green spaces for neighborhood enjoyment throughout Meadow Park, which also has trails, a Bark Park (for your furry friends), a rain garden, and picnic table area. The new homes start around $300k.

2014 Ideal HomesSpring 2014 Ideal Homes

Ideal-Living Magazine is the go-to resource for resort and retirement living. They provide information to help retirees locate the best communities for their ideal lifestyle. Each season, they feature what they have determined to be an “Ideal Home” in an “Ideal Community”. For this spring, they have selected, not one, but two homes in Brunswick Forest as their Ideal Home citing a “wealth of amenities” and “diverse real estate offerings” as some of their reasons for choosing the community.

Brunswick Forest will be hosting tours of these homes, as well as joining Logan Homes and Bill Clark Homes as seminar hosts at the Winter 2014 Ideal-Living Resort & Retirement Expos. You can see the chosen homes at the Ideal-Living website.

New Swimming Pool

Construction has started on the newest amenity located in Brunswick Forest – Hammock Pool. This new swimming pool is located next to Hammock Lake in the Shelmore neighborhood. It is scheduled to be swimmable in 2014.

Have questions about Brunswick Forest? Make sure you ask your Sea Coast agent. Don’t have an agent? Find one today!

Meghan Riley

 

Buyer Tip: Change the Locks After Closing

by seacoast_ashley 16. February 2014 10:50

Change Locks on HomeAfter months of looking at homes in Southeastern North Carolina, making an offer on your favorite, doing your due diligence, and (finally!) signing the purchase papers at the closing table, you have a new home! Now, you’re ready to move in and make it all your own! You’ve got paint colors in mind, new furniture to assemble, pictures to hang, dishes to unpack…But don’t let your excitement get away from you. You still have one very important thing to do – change the locks!

It’s very important that you install all new locks on your new home. Most sellers won’t try to enter a home after they’ve sold it, but not everyone can be trusted. You have to take into consideration that they may have given a key to someone else at some point during their ownership – a neighbor, a contractor, babysitter, etc. You just never know who might have ill-intentions. So, it’s best to change the locks the day of move-in. After all, you don’t want to be always wondering, “what if?”

If changing the locks is one hassle you don’t want to have to deal with on the day of move-in, hire a locksmith. Your Sea Coast agent can refer you to a reputable one. Don’t have an agent? Find one today!

Meghan Riley

How Do I Dispose of Storm Debris in Southeastern NC?

by seacoast_ashley 16. February 2014 10:11

Wilmington NC Ice StormWhen Southeastern North Carolina is hit by a tropical storm, hurricane, or ice storm, like we saw this past week, there can be a lot of debris left over, especially when there hasn’t been a storm in the past few years to help clean out the trees. It’s important this debris is cleaned up, because it can block water drainage and attract unwelcome animals, like rats and raccoons. The county and/or city will send out crews to clean up roadways and public areas, but it’s the responsibility of property owners to clean up their debris. Depending on the location of the property, owners have different options for getting rid of yard waste, like limbs and leaves.

If the property is located in a rural area, it’s likely that the county or town will not provide a pick-up. Pender County, Brunswick County and the Town of Leland are not currently planning to provide curb-side pick-up. However, the landfills located in each county will accept deliveries of yard waste within their posted hours. They will only accept yard waste from properties located in the selective county.

Burning the debris is also an option for rural areas, but it should always be done according to local and community guidelines and avoided if there is a burn ban in place. The county government offices can help owners learn how, when, and if they can burn. Instructions may also be found on their websites.

Some counties provide pick-up for more urban areas, especially when they’re located near larger cities. Onslow County is working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to remove debris from certain areas within county limits. New Hanover County will be picking up storm debris in the areas not incorporated into the City of Wilmington. They have not posted the pick-up schedule yet, but it will be available on their website this coming week.

When communities are located within the city limits of larger cities like Wilmington or Jacksonville, the city will usually provide pick-up. The City of Wilmington is currently focusing on public roadways and suspending regular yard waste pick-up for a week to make sure everyone can travel safely and give homeowners time to clean up their yards. Yard waste is picked-up the same day as trash. Smaller waste, like pine cones and leaves, need to be bagged, but limbs can be loose. Limbs should be no longer than 4 feet long and 6 inches thick. Large piles will be flagged for pick-up at another time.

If a community has a homeowners association (HOA), they may have an additional plan for debris disposal in the neighborhood. If it’s not addressed in the restrictive covenants, it’s important homeowners contact the HOA prior to making other arrangements. Debris removal may already be included in the monthly HOA fees and owners could save themselves some time, money, and energy.

Property owners can find out more information about storm debris removal by contacting their city, town, and county offices. Have general questions about the weather in Southeastern North Carolina? Ask your Sea Coast agent. Don’t have an agent? Find one today.

Meghan Riley

February 2014 Coast In & Win Open House Weekend

by seacoast_ashley 13. February 2014 03:38

Open House Weekend Real Estate Coast In & Win

Have you heard about our “Coast In & Win Open House Weekend”? Here’s how it works:

Enter To Win $500 Cash

Attend any of our open houses during our “Coast In & Win Open House Weekend” (every THIRD weekend of each month) to be entered to win a drawing each month.  One lucky winner will take home $500! This is open to ALL of our open houses, from Southport to Jacksonville and everywhere in between. 

money

Our open houses range from oceanfront homes in Carolina Beach and Oak Island, to sprawling ranches in Hampstead and Jacksonville. Here at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, we’ve got a home for everyone!

Some of our previous "Coast In & Win Open House Weekend" winners include Cindy & Monte Wagner, Tommy & Marty Younts, Anthony Craig, Rick Pearce and Lisa Brown.

YOU could be next! Come find your dream home with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage!

(Oh, and don't forget to follow us on TwitterFacebook and Google+ to stay updated in real time!)

Official Rules for Coast In & Win Promotion

1. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. Drawing will be held and the winner announced on the following Thursday after each Promotion (the “Promotion”) at the offices of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage – 1001 Military Cutoff Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 – at or about 2:30 EST.

3. Drawing is open to all individuals who are residents of the U.S., are 18 years of age or older and who are registered in the Promotion. Employees and Agents of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotions agencies involved in the promotion and their immediate family members and persons residing in the same household are not eligible.

4. You must be registered in the Promotion no later than 5:00 P.M. on the date of the Promotion to be eligible. For the purpose of registration and winning, each individual date of the Promotion shall be deemed a separate event so that registration for a prior promotion will not automatically register for the current or future promotions.

5. Only one entry per family per promotional property per promotional date. Registrants must provide either a daytime telephone number or email address to qualify for the prize drawing. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for lost, late, misdirected or incorrect entries, for malfunction of electronic equipment, computer hardware or software, problems related to transfer of registration information or other technical problems. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be returned.

6. Winner will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries actually received. The drawing will be conducted by Sponsor or its designee, under the supervision of Sponsor, the judge of the Promotion, whose decisions are final and binding in all respects. The winner will be announced at or about 2:30 p.m. EST. Winner will be notified by either telephone number or email address (or both) provided on form by winner. Initial notification will be deemed to have occurred at the time of any one or more of the following: a) 12 hours have passed after initial email transmission and Sponsor has received no delivery failure notifications from Winner’s email provider; b) time of voice message on any recording device used by Winner at phone number provided. Winner has seven (7) calendar days from initial notification attempt by Sponsor to accept prize. Acknowledgement of notification by Winner is deemed to have occurred when Winner notifies the Sponsor’s contest administrator at 910.799.3435

7. Winner will be required to appear in person at Sponsor’s corporate office (1001 Military Cutoff Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405) to accept prize and to sign an affidavit of eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (except where prohibited) within ten (10) calendar days of prize notification but before receipt of prize or risk forfeiture of the prize. Winner agrees to be available for photography purposes at time of prize acceptance. Winner is responsible for all travel expenses incurred in appearing to accept prize. If winner is 18 or older, as required, but a minor in his or state of residence, winner’s parent or legal guardian must sign all required documents.

8. Prize: each Promotion event will award a prize of Five Hundred Dollars and no cents ($500.00). Odds of winning depend upon number of eligible entries received. Taxes, fees and all other expenses are the sole responsibility of the winner. Prize is not transferable. No prize substitution, except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. If prize become unavailable, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to award a prize of equal or greater value. Winner will be issued a 1099 tax form the value of the prize.

9. By accepting a prize, winner agrees: (i) to be bound by these Official Rules; (ii) that the decisions of the judges are final and binding; (iii) to use winner’s entry, name, likeness, photograph and any statements regarding the Promotion’s giveaways and prizes attributed to the winner for editorial, public relations, promotional and advertising purposes on behalf of Sponsor in all media worldwide, except if winner is a resident of Tennessee or otherwise prohibited by law and (iv) to release Sponsor, their parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, the service agencies and independent contractors of any of the above organizations and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents, including advertising and promotional agencies, from any and all liability, loss or damage arising out of their participation in the Promotion and with respect to the awarding, receipt, possession, use and/or misuse of any prize. Sponsor reserves the right to modify, suspend or terminate the Promotion, in its sole discretion, for any reason whatsoever including but not limited to, in the event it becomes infected by a computer virus or is otherwise technically impaired or in the event of any fraud by a participant or any other party. Subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. This Promotion is governed by the laws of the State of North Carolina, with venue in New Hanover County, North Carolina, and all claims must be resolved in the state and federal courts of Wilmington, North Carolina.

10. For winner’s name, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for receipt not later than 10 calendar days after the award of any individual Promotion to:

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage
1001 Military Cutoff Ste 101
Wilmington, NC 28405
Attn: David Benford

11. Sponsored by Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, 1001 Military Cutoff Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405

12. These Official Rules are available at www.SeaCoastRealty.com

Meghan Riley

What Determines My Home’s Value?

by seacoast_ashley 11. February 2014 06:55

North Carolina Home ValueWhat determines my home’s value?...This is a common question that Realtors® receive from sellers. Often, sellers confuse a home’s tax assessed value (what they see on their tax bill) with the fair market value, the amount a home will sell for when the property has been exposed to a reasonable amount of buyers in a competitive market for a reasonable amount of time. In actuality, the tax value is based on a formula used by county tax assessors. They take what they believe is the fair market value of your home, multiply it by a percent decided upon by local legislation, and that’s the tax value. In New Hanover County, property is taxed at 100% of fair market value; however, in other counties, it may be 70% or 80%.

Now, you may be wondering, if it’s taxed at 100%, why isn’t the tax value and market value the same? Because property isn’t evaluated every year. In New Hanover County, it’s evaluated every 6 years. North Carolina requires at least 8 years. A lot can change in that span of time and your true fair market value could change as early as 6 months depending on how homes are selling in your area.

The fair market value of your home is determined by similar homes sold within the past year, preferably within the past 6 months. The more recent the sale, the better. When choosing comparable homes, real estate agents look for homes with similar:

  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Heated Square-footage
  • Heating/Cooling Systems
  • Garage Spaces
  • Lot Sizes
  • Home Styles
  • Locations

They want more than one comparable, because the last sale may have incalculable factors, like the property being in distress or the buyer feeling so emotionally tied to the property that they were willing to pay more than fair market value.

Real estate agents also take into consideration current listings and existing home upgrades. For example, a home with wood floors could ask for more than a home with laminate. While you would think that more valuable building materials would add value to a home, that’s not always the case. If you upgrade your home with materials that don’t fit with others in the neighborhood, there may not be a buyer who is willing to pay more and you could be throwing away money.

If you are trying to figure out what to list your home at, it’s important to go by the fair market value of your home and not the tax assessed value. Your Sea Coast agent is the best person for determining the most competitive listing price for your home, and they can do this with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Don’t have an agent, find one today.

What are Seller Concessions?

by seacoast_ashley 2. February 2014 06:16

Seller ConcessionsWhen a buyer purchases a home with a mortgage, they are required to pay a certain amount of closing costs on top of the actual purchase price of the home. Some buyers discover during their home hunt that they have enough money saved for a down payment, but not for the closing costs. Rather than wait to save more money to purchase a home, they’ll request the seller to pay these closing costs. This monetary contribution is called a seller concession or seller contribution and is only applied to closing costs.

Why would a seller agree to pay concessions? It’s really an accounting game as no cash actually exchanges hands. The concession is added onto the purchase price of the home. If the home costs $200,000 and the closing costs are $8,000, the purchase price becomes $208,000. Then, the $8,000 concession is deducted from the seller net proceeds on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and given back to the buyer. But the seller concessions must be agreed upon at the time the contract is signed, because adding them in later can be a hassle.

Why wouldn’t the seller agree to pay concessions? The appraisal may not compensate for the extra money. Without the concessions, the home would have to appraise at $200,000. With the concessions, it would have to appraise at $208,000. If it doesn’t appraise that high, the deal falls apart. The lender will not loan for more than the home is appraised at. That’s why it’s important to not ask for seller concessions unless you are sure it has a chance of appraising at the elevated contract price.

It’s also important to note that some loan programs have limits on the amount of concessions a seller can pay. Currently, FHA will allow the seller to contribute up to 6% of the price, VA will allow up to 4% of the price, and conventional will allow up to 3%. USDA has no cap. But this may change. Always verify with your mortgage consultant how much the seller can contribute before finalizing an offer.

If you have any questions about seller concessions, ask your Sea Coast agent. Don’t have an agent, find one today.

Meghan Riley

What is Included in the Closing Costs?

by seacoast_ashley 2. February 2014 05:34

When you obtain a mortgage, you need to pay fees - charged by lenders and third parties – related to the purchase of the home. These fees are called closing costs and are included on top of the cost of the home and down payment.

Closing Costs - House Calculator

Here is a list of common closings costs:

  • Credit Report Processing Fee
  • Loan Origination Fee (for processing loan paperwork)
  • Costs of Inspections (Termite, Home, etc.)
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Survey Fee
  • Property Taxes
  • Private Mortgage Insurance
  • Prepaid Interest
  • Prepaid Insurance
  • Discount Points
  • Title Insurance
  • Title Search
  • Escrow Deposit
  • Notary Fee
  • Courier Fee
  • Wire Fee
  • Underwriting Fees
  • Government Recording Fees

Closing costs typically run about 2-4% of the purchase price. So, if you purchase a home for $300,000, closing costs will run between $6,000-$12,000.

Within 3 days of applying for a loan, lenders are required by law to give borrowers a Good Faith Estimate (GFE). The GFE will list all of your closing costs, but these may change by the time of closing. Legally, they are allowed to change by 10%, so it’s important you take that into account when budgeting your purchase.

Before you sign the papers on your home, you will receive a HUD form that lists all of the fees to be paid. If the closing costs are higher than you expected and can afford, you can walk away from the deal. But, be warned, you will likely lose money, especially your earnest money.

If you are concerned about paying extra out of pocket for the closing costs, there are mortgage programs that do not require you to pay them. In this case, the lender will either raise the interest rate or fold the costs into the total purchase price of the home. Make sure you discuss this with your mortgage consultant.

If you have any questions about closing costs, ask your Sea Coast agent or mortgage consultant. Don’t have an agent, find one today.

Meghan Riley

What is Earnest Money?

by seacoast_ashley 26. January 2014 07:31

Writing Earnest Money CheckWhen a home is under contract, it’s removed from the market. This is good for the buyer, because it gives them time to do their inspections and due diligence without the threat of another buyer snatching the home out from under them. However, it can hurt how well a home sells by preventing other buyers from seeing it; therefore, a frivolous buyer can be a waste of time and money for a seller. When you sign a contract to buy a home, you make a deposit on that home. This is called an “earnest money deposit”, because it shows you are earnest or serious about buying the home. Many sellers won’t accept an offer without a deposit.

Depending on demand and the price of the home, earnest money can be up to 3% of the contract price. In Southeastern North Carolina, $1,000 to $2,000 is quite common, but your real estate agent will advise you on the most appropriate amount. Once the due diligence period is over, the earnest money is applied to your down payment and closing costs.

When you make an offer on a home, the earnest money is included in the contract, but the check is not deposited until the offer is accepted. The listing brokerage or closing attorney holds the money in their escrow account until the due diligence period is over or the buyer terminates their offer according to the guidelines outlined in the contract. If the buyer does not follow these guidelines and the contract falls through, the seller will receive the earnest money; however, if the buyer follows the guidelines and terminates the contract, the earnest money is returned to them.

Have questions about the earnest money check? Ask your Sea Coast agent. Don’t have an agent, find one today.

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