Holden Beach: 910-842-8686
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A Few Things to Think About When You Are Purchasing a Vacation Home

08/31/2019 in home buying

Summer may be coming to an end soon but that doesn’t mean that your vacations to the North Carolina coast has to. Having a vacation home in the area is not only a good investment but can be a wonderful thing for your family. We at Remax at the Beach can help your family find the perfect beach vacation home in the area. The housing market these days are wonderful as you may see lower property taxes and perfect climate year-round. Let’s look below at a few things that you can think about when you’re purchasing your own vacation home. 

Be Sure to Research


One thing that we always recommend to our clients is to make sure that you do a little research before diving into purchasing a vacation home. For many families that are interested in purchasing a home in the area, they don’t always do the research beforehand. This can not only cause a little more stress than you think it would and we want to make sure that the search for your home is seamless. Some of the things that you will want to check out is where you’d like to be in the area, what is your budget and is the area kid friendly. These few things can be a game changer for your family’s needs now and for other families in the future.

Where Do You Want to Be? 

Finding the perfect location for your vacation home is totally up to you. We understand that this can be a very difficult decision to make and we too would like to help you find the right home too. Do you want to be close to the beach or would you want to be a little further from it? Another thing you can see is if you can rent the home during the off-season time and will it be profitable. Many families who purchase a vacation home, do rent their homes out year-round and so you will definitely want to see if that option is good for you. Either way, finding the perfect home in the perfect location is just what your family is looking for.

How Big You Want the Home


Another big factor that you will want to decide on is how big do you want the home. If this is your first vacation home, then we suggest that you go with a smaller home to start out with. The reason for this is that we don’t want to see you end up with a larger home that is too expensive or too large for your family. If you happen to see that later down the road you need a larger vacation home, then you can get one. And of course, another major factor in purchasing a smaller vacation home is that you definitely don’t want to be cleaning it the entire time you are down there. Smaller homes are more quaint and cozier, and we know that you will enjoy being away from life back home.

We understand that this process can be stressful for any family whether it be their first vacation home or their second, so we want to help you out. Allow one of our qualified agents help you and your family find the best vacation home on the North Carolina coast. We at Remax at the beach hope to help your family finding your dream vacation home today!

Don't Make These First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

01/31/2019 in home buying

Have you made the decision that now is the time to buy your first home in the Sunset Beach area? Buying your first home can bring a high level of uncertainty and stress. There are many steps when buying a home and many first time buyers are unaware of what steps they need to take when buying their first home. Unfortunately, many first time home buyers who are unaware of the home buying process and can make some mistakes. These mistakes can often cost them thousands of dollars, frustration and possibly not being able to purchase their first dream home. We understand that it is important when you buy your first home that you understand what the most common first-time home buyer mistakes are and how to avoid them. 


Not Having a Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

The first mistake that any first time home buyer can make is not getting “pre-approved” for a mortgage. As you prepared to purchase your first home you may hear the word “pre-qualification” being thrown around. You need to know there is a difference between a mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification. A mortgage pre-approval is an in-depth look at your (the buyers) financial by a mortgage lender or bank in order to see the likelihood of getting a mortgage. A pre-approval will normally require the buyer to provide documents such as their tax returns, recent pay stubs and bank statements. A mortgage pre-qualification is just a general look at the buyers financials by a mortgage lender or bank to determine of the likelihood of getting a mortgage. A mortgage pre-approval will place you the buyer in the best light of the seller because the changes for you to get a mortgage is actually granted is greater. 

Not Hiring a Buyers Agent

The most important person that you will be relying on for guidance in purchasing your first home is a real estate agent. There are many reasons on why you should use a real estate agent when buying a home and the worst first time homebuyer mistakes is not using one. We always recommend that you do not use the same agent as the home seller is using. This can be a conflict of interest and can become very complicated to deal with. Also hiring a friend, family member or the very first agent you encounter can be a recipe for disaster. While a friend or family member may be a competent and a successful agent, it’s not always the case. Since you are purchasing your first home this is a big deal and you want to have an agent who is guiding you through the process and not choosing what they think is the perfect home for you. 

What Expenses to Factor in on Home Ownership

Many first time home buyers will forget to factor in the additional expenses of home ownership. It’s important that you realize to factor in any additional expenses that come with owning a home. You may be wondering what those additional expenses may be but we can tell you they are monthly utilities, refuse, homeowners insurance and general maintenance. To help you with factoring in the additional expense we recommend creating a spreadsheet with your estimated home ownership costs. Creating a monthly budget will help you ensure that you don’t purchase a home you can’t afford and keep on track for being able to afford your new home. 

Online Home Value Estimates

As a first time home buyer you may struggle on how to determine how much to offer for the home once you find one you love. One way to embarrass yourself when making an offer is to believe the home values you may see online. It’s likely you have seen different websites online that will give you an estimate on what the house is worth, but many are just calculated using an algorithm. We have seen many of the estimates online either be too high for what the home is really worth or too low. 

The only true way to find out what the home is worth is to have an appraisal done on the home when you purchase it. Then you will know that you are making a fair offer on your dream home. Having an experienced real estate agent will help you with making a fair offer on the home as well so you will be able to purchase your dream home. 

Foregoing the Home Inspection

When you are in the first stages of buying your first home one of the most important steps in the process is the inspection phase. Skipping the home inspection is one of the worse first time home buyers mistakes and here is why. There are a ton of reasons that will make you want to skip the home inspection even if it’s on a new home, but it can help save you time and money in the long run. Having an inspection done on your prospective home can protect you from a home that may need a lot of home repairs. The home inspector can also see if there is structural issues or mold present in the home. These are just a few red flags that you want to watch for when purchasing a home and may help you save thousands of dollars just by doing a home inspection. 

Buying your first home is a very exciting event and time but it’s important that you don’t let your excitement get in the way of these common mistakes. As you are going through the process of buying a home, and you have any questions then to please allow us to answer them for you during the process of finding the perfect home. We at Remax at the Beach want to help you find your perfect dream home and want this process to go as smooth as it can in being first time home buyers. 

5 Reasons Why You Must Buy A Home

10/21/2018 in home buying

While many have thought of renting a home for their family, we at Remax at the Beach can tell you 5 Reasons Why You Must Buy a Home! From putting your own personalization into your living spaces to turning it for a profit when you sell it. There are many reasons why many first-time home buyers can't wait to find a house and make it their into their home. Let's look at why you must buy your own home in Holden Beach!


Your Own Rules

Unlike when you are renting a home or apartment, you can make your own rules for your home. When you rent a home, you are unable to do what you want to the house such as changing the wall colors to hosting parties in the backyard. When you own a home, you can plant that big garden, fence in the backyard or adopt a few pets. There is no one telling you otherwise of what you can and can't do to your home. You are in complete control of what happens to your home. 


Tax Deductions

When owning your home, you can say it's like an investment. While that doesn't mean that you can reap the financial rewards up front, you can still take advantage of the home benefits later on. Did you know that the IRS allows homeowners to deduct their mortgage interest, property taxes and capital gains each year from their taxes? That does seem to help all those who have homes and are wanting to purchase a home. You definitely can't do that when you rent a house. Instead the actual homeowner gets to reap the rewards while you live in their home. Buying your own home means that instead of paying rent to someone else, you can reap the rewards year after year in your home. 


Customize Your Home

Another reason why you must own your home is that you can customize it to make it your own. If you'd like to set up the bonus room as a home theater with high-tech equipment, you can. Whether you'd like to paint the living room a bright color or wanting to redo the kitchen, it's totally up to you. Owning your home gives you the freedom to do just about anything you want to. Plus, if you want to add some other high-tech gadgets like a digital thermometer or install a home security system, there is no one stopping you. Have fun with customizing it the way you want your home to look like. 


Put Down Roots

When you purchase a home, that means that you can settle down and put down roots in the area. Many families are always looking to settle down and purchase a home in a good area. Find a neighborhood that you'd love, you would like to see your kids grow up in. If you need help finding the right neighborhood, we would be more than happy to assist you and your family with that. We know where all the best family neighborhoods are in the Holden Beach area. 


Make Money When You Sell

It is a known fact that the longer you live in your home, the more equity you will build. And finding a home in a new neighborhood today can help with your homes equity later on. Doing home projects will also help build equity in your home, so do that project you found on Pinterest. Earning money back after your initial investment in your home can go a long way. When it is the right time to sell your home, we'd be more than happy to help you sell it. 


Homeownership can be a rewarding experience especially if you have the right resources and realtor. If you are considering purchasing your first home in Holden Beach, please give us a call and let's talk about what your plans are. We hope that we can help you and your family find your first home before the holiday season!


Buying Your Future Retirement Home Now

04/26/2018 in home buying

When you’re in the market for a property to invest in you might want to think further into the future to your retirement years. A home purchased now can be in income producing investment property for you until you're ready to retire -- no matter how far off that may be. More people than not relocate when they retire. Often it's to a warmer climate like coastal North Carolina. 

Retirement Homes in Holden Beach

At Re/Max at the Beach in Holden Beach NC we have a large assortment of properties that would make perfect vacation rentals now as well as be perfectly suited as your home in the future. We can show you these properties before they appear on the real estate websites. That means with us in your corner we can show you homes before others even know they’re up for sale! What’s not to love about that?

As the leading Holden Beach realtors in North Carolina we want to work with you not for you. Unlike other real estate agencies, we listen carefully when you tell us your requirements for a beach property. We keep that in mind until our mission is complete and we’ve found you that perfect property. All of our agents are dedicated to providing you with exceptional service. We’re here when you need us and are happy to show you properties that work around your schedule.

Retirement Homes in Holden Beach

When it comes to finding that perfect beach property to turn into your retirement home someday, you will find it faster with our real estate agency. We’re very knowledgeable of the area and have the experience to find the exact home you’re looking for. Our reputation for outstanding customer service will reassure you that you’re in good hands.

Whether you’re looking for that beach property, rental property or a home you want to move into right away, our experienced real estate team can meet as well as exceed your expectations!

Give Re/Max at the Beach a call at 910-842-8686 and let us show you how we can help you find that beach retreat to turn into your future retirement home.


Consider These Benefits of Buying vs. Renting Your Next Home

01/15/2018 in home buying

If you are presently renting a home you may not realize the huge advantages of owning your own home. Most first time buyers are nervous about taking the steps to purchase that first home and many think they can't afford it. In today's market, there are great financing options for first time buyers and at Re/Max At the Beach we can help you find the perfect home that you can afford. 


When you pay rent to someone else you’re only paying for 30 days of having a roof over your head. But when you own a home your payments are being invested into something you own. Consider a mortgage payment a long term investment in your very own piece of real estate. Rental rates often increase every year and in the blink of an eye you can be asked to vacation. But when you buy your own home, you can rely on consistent payments with a fixed-rate loan to your mortgage lender that come with no surprises.

Buying a home provides you with the stability of not having to move again. You’ll have the freedom to make the home yours by painting the living room a color that matches your favorite couch. You can replace the vanity in the bathroom or hang your new television on the wall -- all without having to ask permission. Buying your own home also means you can get that dog for your children that they've always wanted.

If you think you don't have the time to care for and maintain a house then why not consider a condo or townhouse. Although you pay a low monthly association fee, most if not all of the exterior maintenance is covered. Some condo associations come with benefits such as a community pool, tennis courts and parks or common acreage. This is a logical step if you’re concerned about the responsibilities of being a homeowner.

Are you unsure if you can afford a home? There are many loan programs with low interest rates currently available. At Re/Max At the Beach we can assist you with locating a lender and get the ball rolling for you to find that dream home to call your own.

Our team has the experience and knowledge to guide you through the home buying process. Give us a call today at 910-842-8686 and let us help you stop renting and become a home owner!



What is a Foreclosure Property?

10/09/2017 in home buying

A foreclosure property is a property that a bank or other mortgage lender owns. It is also referred to a REO home – Real Estate Owned property.

It’s important to understand the benefits and challenges of foreclosure properties before beginning the process of purchasing one.

How does a home become a foreclosure property?

When a homeowner is unable to make their mortgage payments on a home, the bank or other mortgage-lender takes possession of the property. There are steps that take place before the home reaches the foreclosure status.

When a homeowner falls behind on their mortgage payments the lender gives them the opportunity to put up their home for sale as a "short sale." This means the lender would accept a selling price less than what the homeowner actually owes as payment in full. A short sale is the last attempt to pay off the mortgage and not go into foreclosure.

Where are these properties?

Listings such as short sales and foreclosure properties may be found within the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). When and if an foreclosure property gets placed in the MLS varies according to the plans of the mortgage lender that holds the deed.

Are there super deals to be had?

When purchasing a foreclosure property you may save on the price of the home, but you must remember that the bank will want to get the most they can toward what they are owed by the homeowner. You may pay for your savings in time, effort, and uncertainty. Purchasing a foreclosure property, like a short-sale property, takes longer to “seal the deal” so to speak.

So what’s the risk?

Foreclosure properties offer unique challenges and some financial risk. You may be responsible for extra fees and expenses you hadn’t planned on when purchasing a foreclosed home. For example the home inspection, which is more critical than ever on properties like these. No matter what the findings are the bank and the homeowner will not pay for any repairs or renegotiate the agreed-upon selling price. This means you pay for an inspection and the repairs are your responsibility.

You should also consider the value of your time. Buying a foreclosure property may take longer than a typical home to close. However, since the rise of foreclosures in recent years, banks have learned a lot about how to streamline the process of selling foreclosed homes so the process is faster than it was.

How should we proceed?

Speak to us at ReMax at the Beach about your interest in looking at foreclosure properties. We’d be happy to show you what is available at this time. For some homebuyers, it can be the answer to finding a new home at a great price.


What is a Short Sale?

09/20/2017 in home buying

When you’re shopping for a vacation property you will likely come across terms like Short Sale, ROI, and Foreclosure Property.

A short sale is where the seller has informed the lender they cannot make their mortgage payment, has proven a hardship as to why they are or will be in default, owes more than the home's market value, and has no other assets available that they could liquidate. If the lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed on the mortgage to satisfy the loan, the property can go up for sale in a Short Sale status. This is a process that homeowners and banks agree to in order to avoid foreclosures.

Is a Short Sale a Fast Way to Buy a Home?

In short, the answer is no. A short sale does not happen in a short amount of time. But, if you have patience, access to sound legal advice, and are willing to take on some home repairs, a short sale listing may be your way to pay less on your next home. If you are looking to close on a home in 30 days, this is not an option for you. Any offer placed on this type of listing needs to be accepted not just by the seller, but by the seller's lender too.

The uncertain time frame of a short sale usually works best for buyers who are renting and have flexibility in when they close or a buyer in search of investment properties or second homes.

Other Things to Know About Short Sale Properties

It’s important to have an attorney look at the short sale agreement so you are clear on what you are buying and the process involved.

Our real estate agents can research and find out who holds the title, if a foreclosure notice has been filed, and the balance owed to the lender(s). This will help you when you’re ready to make an offer on the home. Keep in mind that a short sale means the seller's lender is accepting less than what they are owed to release the mortgage, but they want to make as much of their money back as possible. Your agent can send along a list of comparable property sales records that support the price you are offering to pay for the home and help close the deal.

Have Your Own Inspection Done

Since the lender is accepting a loss, they will usually not pay for inspections, repairs or home guarantees on the property. This means you should hire a home inspector yourself. Don’t skip this step! You’re basically buying the home in “as-is” condition and often there are things only a professional home inspector can uncover.

Be prepared to be wait; some lenders can make a decision in two-to-three months, while others may submit offers to committee, which can take longer. Our agents will maintain contact with the lender regarding the status of your offer and keep you informed every step of the way.

A short sale can be an option for a patient buyer hoping to buy an affordable home for sale. Taking on the challenge with an experienced real estate agency like ReMax at the Beach will make the deal go smoothly and as quickly as possible.


What You Should Know About Credit Reports

06/05/2017 in home buying

Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, when it comes to home buying you’re going to need a good credit report if you plan to finance any of it.

Your credit score is one of the most valuable things you own and it can quickly turn into bad news if you’re not careful. A low credit score will affect your ability to borrow money and may get you turned down for a mortgage loan. Alternatively, you may be offered a higher interest rate because the lender sees people with low credit scores as risky investments.


Many people don't know much about their credit score. If you are planning on buying real estate, you should prepare yourself ahead of time and build up your credit score. The following tips to improve your credit score should be helpful.


1.            Credit reports aren't always accurate.  Regularly check your credit report. Everyday we hear about thousands of credit cards being compromised through the hacking of large retailers' security and payment systems. These breaches can ruin your credit and be a endless headache for you.


If your personal information gets compromised, a thief will open up financial accounts in your name but not pay the bills. Those unpaid bills will work against you and affect your ability to buy a home. Keep a close eye on your credit score and your credit card accounts and report suspicious charges immediately.


2. Pulling your credit score may lower it. A "soft" pull is done yourself for personal reasons; it will have zero effect. A "hard inquiry" is when a lender pulls it up for loan approval. It will have a negative impact, but small.


3. A higher income does not equal a higher credit score. Income is not a relevant factor in establishing your credit score. Paying bills on time (or not) is what matters as well reducing the amount of debt you have.


4. Credit scores and credit reports are not the same. Credit reports are just one piece of the equation. Many factors go into calculating your credit score.  The three big credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian and Transunion, and you can get one free credit report a year from each. Take advantage of this to protect yourself.


5. Debt settlement will not remove debt from your credit report. Debt settlement doesn't fix bad credit. Late payments, bad information and other negatives remain on your record for up to seven years following the first "infraction" date.


6. Cash-only payments does not build credit. You can't build good credit unless you use credit. Get a couple of small loans or credit cards and pay them off as you use them.


7. Closing your credit card accounts will not improve your credit score. Closing a card lowers your amount of disposable income: the ability to pay off other debt. You don't want to lower "credit utilization" by closing out a card.


8. Smart management of your various banking accounts is not reflected in your credit score. These are not reported to credit bureaus and thus have no impact. But smart management usually means you are paying your bills on time.


9. Dispute inaccurate information from your credit report. You can dispute mistakes in your credit report and should. A valid dispute will result in deletion of inaccurate information. A dispute of negative, but accurate, information will be a waste of time.


10. Missed payments will affect your credit score. Any missed or late payment can be reported to a credit bureau and probably will be. Do your best to pay your bills on time.


Follow these guidelines and we think you’ll breeze through any mortgage application process. ReMax at the Beach helps many buyers find the perfect home for them and at a price they can live with. Reach out to us if you’d like us to show you how easy it can be to find a new home and breeze through the mortgage application process.




Critical Things You Should Know About Home Buying

10/05/2016 in home buying

Shopping for a new home can be exciting or nerve racking or both. Choosing your next home is a big decision so it’s important to arm yourself before you ever start looking. There is plenty of real estate for sale around Brunswick County and historical data indicates sales pick up in October.

When you find that perfect home that you can picture your family in for the next 5 to 25 years, it’s a great feeling indeed. But don’t let that feeling sweep you away into automatic mode.

There are critical things you need to keep in mind while continuing through the process of purchasing your home. When you’re working with us at ReMax at the Beach we’ll keep you focused on the end goal but it’s good to keep the following things in mind.

Checklist of Things to Know

___ Confirm that your budget will handle what your new home is going to cost you on a monthly basis.

___ Once you find your home, consider whether your furniture, electronics and appliances will all fit into the new home.

___ Research the local area around the home you’re considering. Understand the economics, climate and other variables that will affect you while living there long term.

___ If you have school age children, check out the local elementary, middle and high schools. Find out how your children will get to school and drive the route yourself.

___ Check out the neighborhood at different times of the day, especially at night. Are there sidewalks? Are the walks and street well lit? Is it a quiet area or are there dogs barking?

___ Evaluate possible repairs or immediate improvements you’d want to make. Include the cost into what you’re offering when you make it.

___ Do a practice drive to work from the new home. Then do it again during the busiest time of the day. Is it a realistic amount of time that you’re willing to drive five days out of every seven, twice a day?

___ Choose a professional home inspector to examine your property prior to purchase. Make your offer contingent on a satisfactory resolution for what they find.

When you’re ready to look at properties. Give us a call at ReMax at the Beach at 910-842-8686. We’ll stay by your side through all the steps of locating, purchasing and closing on your new home. We look forward to hearing from you!