Network Wilmington Real Estate News

Aug. 30, 2018

What Is HOA Management?

 

What's The Role Of The HOA?

The HOA, or Home Owners Association, is responsible for a variety of activities in the specific neighborhoods & developments it oversees. These activities include:

  • Providing shared services.
  • Collecting dues.
  • Overseeing the maintenance of common areas.
  • Administering a reserve fund, which is used for major expenses.
  • Paying bills with the dues.
  • Enforcing the rules of the community & disputes between residents.

 

What Are The Struggles Of The HOA?

The HOA of any given community is usually run by members of that same community. These leaders are usually elected through a democratic voting process by residents of the community. Because of this, it can be difficult for a new resident to make an impact on their community - if that is something they're interested in doing.

There are also struggles when it comes to being an elected official in the HOA. For instance, you will be doing a lot of work for the community along with attending frequent meetings, all without getting paid for it. This is the reason that many communities choose to outsource their HOA to a professional third-party management company, such as ours.

 

What Does An HOA Manager Do?

HOA management companies like ours simply help a communities Home Owners Association fulfill its many duties. If they decide to go all in with the management company, all they'll need to do from there is maintain a board of decision-makers.

The board may also choose to take calls from the community members & handle disputes between them. Besides that, the HOA management company will fulfill all the other duties mentioned above, taking a huge load off the shoulders of the HOA itself.

 

What Does HOA Management Cost?

The amount that an HOA board will pay to the management company is most commonly calculated based on how many doors or houses they'll be managing, and they'll charge a flat fee for each. Hiring an HOA Manager often saves the board money as opposed to doing it themselves.

That's because the professional managers will have lower cost vendors than they'd be able to get for themselves. Either way, hiring a management company is often the only way for an HOA board to fulfill all their duties.

 


Tips For Home Buyers

 

1) Go to an HOA meeting before you buy.

Sitting in on an actual meeting can tell you all that you need to know about how the community is run, and you'll also get a good gauge on your potential neighbors.

 

2) Figure out what fees you'll need to pay.

There are a variety of things that can impact your fees. For instance:

  • How much goes into the HOA's reserve fund.
  • The annual increase in overall fees, which is common.
  • The things that may or may not be included in the HOA service, such as trash pickup & cable.

 

3) Learn the rules of your HOA.

Specifically, you should find the rules regarding what happens when you don't pay your dues on time. In some cases, the HOA can actually foreclose on your property if this happens for a certain amount of time. Make sure to read the fine print of your HOA's rules & regulations for things like this.

 

4) Check your ego.

If you're not the kind of person who likes abiding by common rules and getting penalized for not following those rules - living in an area with an HOA may not be the choice for you.

 

5) Make sure the home you're interested in buying is in compliance with the HOA rules already.

It would be a shame to move into a place only to find that you're going to have to do immediate renovations in order to comply with your HOA. This compliance breakers often take the form of specific landscaping choices, as well as outside decor options such as the color of your front door.

 


If you're an HOA looking for professional management services, learn more here. If you're a potential home buyer, talk to one of our friendly agents today!

Posted in HOA Management
Aug. 21, 2018

Top Destinations In Carolina Beach, NC For Senior Vacations

If you're like most, there are a few avenues you go down when trying to plan your next vacation: asking friends for recommendations, hiring a Professional Vacation Planner, reading a vacation guide, or simply making it up as you go along.

All of these options have their benefits and limitations. Specifically:

  • Your friends might not share the same idea of "fun" as you & your loved ones.
  • A Vacation Planner can be expensive.
  • There may not be a good Vacation Guide for the place you're planning to visit.
  • Leaving it to chance runs a high risk of disappointment.

So, I've written this article to address those issues - and to put you on the pathway to the most perfect vacation you've ever had in Carolina Beach, NC. Scroll to the bottom for a Map to all the locations mentioned.

First thing's first - what are you looking to get out of your vacation?

*Click on your choice to be taken directly to that section.

Relaxation

Adventure

 

 

Relaxation

1) Lounge on the beach.

You didn't expect to see a Carolina Beach Vacation Guide that didn't mention the beach, did you? Get there early, or come later in the afternoon to avoid the major crowds while you relax and soak up some rays.

 

 

2) Stroll down the Boardwalk.

The next thing you'll want to do for a relaxing trip is to walk along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, as it was ranked among the top 10 in the country by Food & Wine Magazine. There you'll find plenty of things to keep you full & busy, including fresh fudge, homemade donuts, and a Ferris Wheel.

 

 

3) Visit the NC Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

If experiencing the wonders of the underwater world (without even getting wet) sounds more like your cup of tea, then the Aquarium is the perfect choice for you. You'll see everything from sea turtles to sharks, rays, and eels.

 

 

4) Read on your porch.

At the end of the day, you're here to relax. And if you're the kind of person who enjoys winding down with a good book, there's nothing better than sitting on the porch of your vacation rental with a cup of coffee and your favorite read. Check out some of our options below:

 

 

Adventure

1) Take a Fishing Charter.

If you're in for a real adventure on your next vacation, there's nothing like taking a Fishing Charter. Plus, if you catch something, you'll be able to bring it home to cook for your family. Either way, you're sure to come home with a memorable "Fish Tale".

 

 

2) Hike through the Carolina Beach State Park.

If you're more of the woodsy type, a beautiful hike through the Carolina Beach State Park is certain to delight. You can go it alone, or schedule a tour guide to take you through.

 

 


Looking for a place to stay in Carolina Beach during your vacation? Contact one of our friendly agents below today!

Posted in Vacation Rentals
July 24, 2018

Reasons To Buy A Home In Carolina Beach In 2018

1. Golf Carts!

As of January 1, 2018 - you can legally drive your golf cart down any road with a speed limit 35 and under. If you know Carolina Beach, that's almost all the main roads.

That means you can essentially get anywhere you need to on the island without even using a car - and how cool is that?

2. New Restaurants

The Squeeze Steak and Seafood

Carolina Beach locals will undoubtedly know (and probably love) Pop's Diner. Well, the man behind this town staple, Ralph "Pops" Roof has done it again!

This time, he's focusing on steaks & seafood, along with a large variety of other items. Check out the menu here.

 

Soul Flavor Kitchen & Bar

For the true foodies out there - how about a new restaurant that prepares everything in-house? I'm talking everything - right down to the syrups & bitters that they use for their cocktails!

Aside from the drinks, they serve all sorts of Southern comfort food, including homemade soups, fresh seafood, brisket, and black bean chili. Their signature dish is "Nana Maria's Paella": a delicious mix of seafood in a vegetable and saffron tomato broth. Check out the menu here.

 

Crush and Grind

You've been to a coffee shop before. You've also probably been to a bottle shop. But, have you ever been to a cafe' that seamlessly blends the two? That's exactly what you can do when you visit Crush and Grind in Carolina Beach.

Taste delicious cold brew coffee, made from their own "secret recipe", and grab some local beer or wine while you're there. Check them out here.


 

Interested in buying a home in Carolina Beach in 2018? Reach out to one of our friendly agents today!

Posted in New Home Sales
July 17, 2018

Top 5 Places To Stay In Carolina Beach For Independence Day 2018

 

Looking for something to do for Independence Day 2018 (August 15th)? Then you're going to want to check out Carolina Beach, NC.

And while you're here - you're going to need a place to stay. Luckily, we wrote this article to give you an inside scoop into the top 5 places to stay in Carolina Beach for Independence Day 2018.

First off, why choose to stay in Carolina Beach, when Independence Day only lasts for a day? That's easy - because it doesn't! Okay, technically it does, but not in Carolina Beach.

That's because we've got enough activities going on to easily fill up a few days here with you and your family.

Just to name a few:

 

Painted Man: Fireworks By The Sea & Boardwalk Blast

Bring your entire family for a night of music and fireworks, featuring the area band Painted Man. This Soul, R&B, and Dance Music band can't be missed!

Date: August 23, 2018
Location: (Boardwalk at the Gazebo) Cape Fear Blvd & Carolina Beach Ave North Carolina Beach, NC 28428
Contact: (910) 458-8434
Time: Music: 6:30 PM, Fireworks: 9:00 PM
Cost: FREE
More Info

 

Nu-Blu Concert

If you like American Roots or Country music, then you can't miss the Nu-Blu concert. Don't forget to play around at the Kure Beach Ocean Front Park while you're there!

Date: August 19, 2018
Location: (Kure Beach Ocean Front Park) 105 Atlantic Avenue Kure Beach, NC 28449
Contact: (910) 707-2015
Time: 5 PM - 7 PM
Cost: FREE
More Info

 

Zion Roots: Fireworks By The Sea & Boardwalk Blast

Here's another night for everyone's favorite - music & fireworks! This time, with the funk, pop, & reggae band Zion Roots.

Date: August 16, 2018
Location: (Boardwalk at the Gazebo)
Cape Fear Blvd & Carolina Beach Ave North Carolina Beach, NC 28428
Contact: (910) 458-8434
Time: Music: 6:30 PM, Fireworks: 9 PM
Cost: FREE
More Info

 


Okay, so you've decided to come on down to our sunny beach town for Independence Day 2018 - now you just need a place to stay. Never fear, here are our top 5 recommended Carolina Beach Vacation Rentals.

 

1) Sunshine House

  • Oceanfront
  • Internet Access
  • Four bedrooms upstairs & One on the lower level.
  • Only 4 blocks from the Carolina Beach Pier.

 

2) Peach House A

  • Oceanfront
  • Internet Access
  • 4 Bedrooms and 4.5 Baths
  • Only a short walk from the Carolina Beach Boardwalk & Carolina Beach Lake.

 

3) Luna Sea

  • Oceanfront
  • Internet Access
  • 4 Bedrooms & 2 Baths
  • Located on the Southern end of the island, near the boardwalk and downtown.

 

4) Waterview Condo

  • Oceanview
  • Internet Access
  • 3 Bedrooms & 3.5 Baths
  • Located across the street from Carolina Beach Lake.

 

5) Sun Skipper # 10-E

  • Oceanview
  • Internet Access
  • 3 bedrooms and 2 full Baths.
  • Located near the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier.

Looking for a place to stay in Carolina Beach for Independence Day 2018? Contact one of our friendly agents below today!

Posted in Vacation Rentals
June 15, 2018

Should I Replace the Roof Before I Sell?

There are many things to consider when thinking about whether or not to replace the roof on your house before you sell it. It could be the difference between someone buying your house or skipping to the next option. Here, you will find a list of the things to consider before replacing your roof: 

1. Is the house 100% yours? 

If you are the sole owner of your house and you don't need to pay off a large mortgage, perhaps you could leave the old roof on. If you chose to replace the roof, you would be lucky to get the same amount back which you paid for the roof. 

2. Is your roof in good shape? 

A lot of people are looking for a house that is in good condition when they buy it so they don't have to spend a lot of money on repairs soon after they buy. Sure, there are those who are looking for a fixer-upper, but there are more people looking for less problems. If your roof is not in good shape, and could lead to a large financial burden in the near future for a potential buyer, maybe you should consider replacing it. 

3. Are you the only person trying to sell a house where you live? 

If there are a lot of houses being sold around you, that means you have to compete with the other people who are trying to sell their houses. Potential buyers will choose a house with a new roof over a house with an old roof. 

4. Do you have house insurance that could help you pay for replacing the roof? 

If your roof on your house has been damaged by a storm or other disaster, it wouldn't hurt to file a claim to see if your insurance will foot part of the bill for replacing your roof. That way, even if you need to replace the roof, you can still come out with a nice profit. 

All in all, potential buyers like looking at the for sale sign and reading "Look! New Roof!" That looks more attractive than a house with old shingles. It's just a matter of seeing how it will benefit you in the short and long terms.

If you do decide to replace your roof make sure you contact a reputable roofing company.
Posted in Selling Your Home
June 14, 2018

Celebrating Father's Day 2018 In Wilmington NC

Sunday, June 19 - Fathers Day

So, your Dad's going to be in town for Father's Day & you don't have anything to do besides sit around the house watching TV? Never fear - if you live near Wilmington, NC, I've come up with more activities for you to do this weekend than you could possibly fit in! (Unless you take that as a challenge, in which case - go for it!)

Here's what we've got going on in Wilmington, NC during Father's Day Weekend of 2018.

Friday (17th):

 

 

Concerts:

Other Outdoor Activities:

Inside Activities:

Saturday (18th):

 

 

Sunday (19th):

 

 

 


Oh no - you just realized you don't have enough room for your parents to stay with you this weekend! Well, take a deep breath - and reach out to one of our friendly agents today. They'll find the perfect short-term rental for your folks, so they don't disown you.

Posted in Local Events
May 14, 2018

Renovating Your Vacation Rental Condo

As the owner of a vacation rental condo, ROI (return on investment) is the name of the game. I mean, it's the whole reason you bought the property in the first place, right? Okay okay, we know having a place to stay when you're on vacation is a pretty great deal too.

But today we're directly concerned with showing you how to make your rental even more appealing to guests, which will, in turn, increase your bookings & ROI.

So, let's get this party started.

 

 

First off, never undervalue the importance of good pictures. Most of the time, the first impression a potential renter will get of your property will come from the pictures they see of it when they're browsing on a site such as ours.

As you know, first impressions are supremely important, so you really can't afford to mess this part up. When taking the photos, keep in mind that you're not necessarily optimizing for "fanciness". Instead, your goal should be to make the property look as inviting & livable as possible.

Another thing to keep in mind is that every time your property is rented, you can expect it to suffer at least a small amount of damage. This is important to know because no one want's to rent a run-down property.

Unfortunately, most people booking a vacation rental simply don't take care of it the way they would if it was their own home. So, the more often your property is being rented, the more often it will need to be repaired/renovated.

When you're planning out the updates to your property, be sure to take the actual vacation season into account. We always recommend that you get as much of your work done during the off-season when the property is likely to be vacant anyway.

That's because you never want to cut into your heavy-season profits when you'll get the best ROI all year. If you have a lot of repairs to make, it's probably better to segment & then prioritize them based on what you can actually accomplish in a single off-season.

 

 

A quick way to turn potential renters away from your property is by having an outdated TV set. Flat-screen TV's are no longer any more expensive than other types, and the picture quality is far better.

That means there's really nothing that should prevent you from making the switch, besides yourself of course. Renters expect a flat-screen TV these days, so you might as well bite the bullet and get one if you haven't already.

When it comes to choosing which renovations are the most important for you to make, there's no better way to figure it out than to go directly to the source - i.e. renters. They're the ones you're trying to impress in the first place, so getting their opinion can be supremely helpful.

You may not be able to talk to them in person, but you can always ask your rental management company what people are saying, or even read the comments people are making about your property on your rental listing service.

When you're improving your rental, there's something you should focus on before replacing things - and that's repairing them. This might seem like a no-brainer, but we've seen far too many property owners wasting tons of money "keeping up with the Joneses".

Remember that your renters aren't necessarily looking for "fancy" - instead, they're looking for clean & up-to-date. So, make sure you're getting the best ROI possible by focusing on repairing before you replace.

If there's one thing renters complain about the most, it's the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of the vacation rental property. That's because, for whatever reason, many rental property owners are fairly lazy about their cleaning strategy.

That's good for you because it means that you can really stand out from the crowd simply by having the rental thoroughly cleaned after each booking. That will do wonders for your property's reviews, which will lead to recommendations & more bookings.

 

 

To leave you with some actionable tips, here are some specific renovations to consider:

  • Replace the carpet (every 7 years, on average).
  • Remodel the kitchen & bathrooms (new renovations can have an 80% ROI upon selling).
  • Paint the rental (at least every 5 years).
  • Change the lighting fixtures.
  • Updating appliances.
  • Updating furniture.
  • Keep the landscaping looking nice, if your rental has a yard.

 


Interested in listing your vacation rental on our site? Reach out to one of our friendly agents today!

Posted in Vacation Rentals
May 8, 2018

Top 5 Best Neighborhoods In Carolina Beach

So, you've finally made the choice to move to Carolina Beach, NC. First off - congratulations on such a wonderful decision!

But, now you've got one more tough decision to make - which Carolina Beach neighborhood will you live in? Well, with their plethora of charming coastal communities, it's honestly pretty hard to go wrong. To help you out, though, we've put together this post highlighting some of our favorite neighborhoods in Carolina Beach, NC.

Check out the map below for directions to all of the following neighborhoods


 

1) Carolina Sands

  • Location: Carolina Sands Dr, Carolina Beach, NC 28428
  • Average Selling Price: $254,348
  • Average Square Feet: 1,721 sq. ft.
  • Built Between: 1982 to 2011
  • Special Features: playground, clubhouse w/ full kitchen, community pool, private beach, tennis court.

 

2) Harbour Point

  • Location: Green Turtle Ln, Carolina Beach, NC 28428
  • Average Selling Price: $290,584
  • Average Square Feet: 2,146 sq. ft.
  • Built Between: 1985 to 2010
  • Special Features: townhouse community, boat slips available, pool, clubhouse, dock, marina, community pier, southern porches, upscale interiors.

 

3) Seagrove

  • Location: Spot Ln, Carolina Beach, NC 28428
  • Average Selling Price: $363,041
  • Average Square Feet: 2,400 sq. ft.
  • Built Between: 2003 to 2010
  • Special Features: coastal cottage-style homes, pool, clubhouse, award-winning community design, palm tree lined streets, conservation area within the neighborhood.

 

4) SeaWatch

  • Location: 1401 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428
  • Average Selling Price: $650,000
  • Average Square Feet: 2,464 sq. ft.
  • Special Features: beautiful homes, community pool, tennis court, playground, clubhouse, minutes from Ft. Fisher, palm tree lined streets, private beach access, walking trails.

 

5) Wilmington Beach

  • Location: Wilmington Beach, Carolina Beach, NC 28428
  • Average Selling Price: $300,000
  • Average Square Feet: 2,100 sq. ft.
  • Annexed by Carolina Beach In: 2000
  • Special Features: partially isolated, nestled between Carolina & Kure Beach, central to everything on Pleasure Island.

 


 

Looking for Houses for sale in Carolina Beach NC? Contact one of our friendly agents below today!

 

Posted in Buying a Home
May 7, 2018

Tips For Moving To Carolina Beach, NC

A cool breeze, the sound of ocean waves crashing, & the smell of salty air - it's the beach lifestyle, & it's calling your name loud and clear. Carolina Beach, NC is over one half of the "Pleasure Island" area, which is also made up by the smaller Kure Beach.

If you've never lived at the beach, I can assure you that you're in for some dramatic changes - hopefully for the better. That's why we wrote this article just for you. So you'll have everything you need to know to make an easy, breezy transition to living in Carolina Beach, NC.

Things To Know:

 

Carolina Beach State Park: If you're a nature lover, you're in for a treat - and no, I'm not just talking about the beach itself. That's because CB State Park offers all sorts of other amenities, including camping, kayaking, and hiking - just to name a few.

The Median Income: $60,057

The Average Home Value: $282,800

Over 50% Of The Properties Are Rentals: For property owners, that means the area will clear out during the winter. The only thing better than living at the beach is having it all to yourself!

Abundance Of Bike Paths: Though you can, of course, drive all over the island, our preferred form of transportation has to be by bicycle. That's because there's nothing like experiencing the ocean breeze directly while also getting anywhere you need to go. Pro tip: It's often faster to get around the island by bike than it is by car, because of the slow-paced traffic.

In The Midst Of A Major Renovation: The area is currently undergoing multiple new growth projects, which will bring even more amenities for your convenience.

25 Minute Drive To The Airport: If you're moving to CB and away from the large part of your family, you'll be thrilled to know you're only a short drive from the airport.

Options For Everyone: Whether you're a single retiree or part of a young family of 5, Carolina Beach has the perfect housing option for you. From the lower-priced but amenity-filled condos to the luxurious oceanfront homes - the island truly has something for every budget.

What You'll Need:

 

A Healthy Taste For Seafood: With over 50% of the restaurant's in Carolina Beach serving world-class seafood, you could very easily eat it for every meal - and honestly, why wouldn't you?

A Love For Beach Music: With all our frequent local music festivals & events, beach music will quickly become the soundtrack to your life while living in Carolina Beach.

Layered Clothing: Because of the ocean breeze, the beach is often ~10 degrees cooler than surrounding areas, so you'll want to make sure to keep a jacket on hand at all times.

Bikes Or A Golf Cart For Easy Transportation: Like we mentioned previously, it's often faster to get around CB by bike or golf cart. That's because of the extensive bike paths running all over our island.

A Stainless Steel Grill: The salty beach air, while relaxing, can cause real rust damage to anything metal. That's why it really pays to get stainless steel outdoor appliances. If not, you'll have to replace them at least every 5 years.

What You Can Leave Behind:

 

Your Aversion To Sand: When you live at the beach, sand will quickly become a familiar enemy - so you might as well go ahead & make friends with it.

Your Fast-paced Attitude: Everything moves slower in a beach town, and we mean everything. So, let that relaxation permeate your whole being - it could be just the change you've been needing.


Looking for Houses for sale in Carolina Beach NC? Contact one of our friendly agents below today!

Posted in Buying a Home
April 24, 2018

Packing Tips For Moving

Are you about to buy a house? Then you're also about to move - ughhh. But it doesn't have to be that way. Actually, when you have all the right systems in place, moving is a breeze.

It's also the perfect shot for you to find that favorite t-shirt of yours, which you just know is hidden underneath something. That's why we put together this comprehensive list of packing tips for moving, which will save you hours (probably days) of time & headaches.


Packing Checklist For Moving

Moving Necessities:

  • Scissors
  • Tissue Paper
  • Packing Paper
  • Moving Boxes In Various Sizes
  • Packing Tape
  • Markers
  • A Utility Knife

Helpful Additions:

  • A Dolly
  • U-Haul Trailer or Truck
  • Some strong friends
  • Towels for padding, as well as wiping things down
  • Cleaning supplies

Simple Packing Hacks

  • Wrap things that could break in tissue paper before packing.
  • Detach loose pieces, so they don't fall off during moving.
  • Take your ink cartridges out of your printer so they don't leak.
  • Make sure your computer files are backed up just in case it gets damaged.
  • Don't ever pack anything highly flammable, such as nail polish remover, matches, or paint.
  • Label EVERY box. Don't expect yourself to simply remember where you put everything.

What To Pack First When Moving

To put it simply: Pack the things you need the least first.

For example, if you're already storing things in a Storage Container for reasons unrelated to moving, pack up those items first (if you're moving to another city). Only you will be able to pick the items that fit the "non-essential" bill, but here are a few suggestions to get your wheels spinning:

  • Art/Decorations
  • DVDs, Books & other entertainment media that you won't need for the duration of the move.
  • Extras of anything (ex. towels, linens, office supplies)
  • Out of season clothing.

On a per box basis: Pack the biggest, heaviest items first, then the smaller items, and fill in the spaces with loosely crumpled packing paper.


Packing Clothes For Moving

  • Sort all the clothing to get rid of all irrelevant, outdated, outgrown, or worn out items.
  • Pre-Pack the clothes you know you won't need months in advance (i.e. Pack out of season clothes).
  • Group clothing by season, as well as by their purpose.
  • You probably have some suitcases lying around that you'll have to move anyway, so be sure to pack them up with clothes so you're not wasting any space.
  • Alternatively, leave all your clothes in your dressers and secure the drawers with stretch wraps.
  • Pack shoes, hats, and accessories separately from the clothes. That's so they don't get damaged or mixed up when moving.

Using Hangars When Moving

When it comes to moving hanging clothes, a Wardrobe Box is your new best friend. These boxes are tall & have a hanging rack on the top. That means you can literally grab everything hanging in your closet and transfer it directly to the packing box without any a headache. Plus when you're unpacking, the process is equally as easy.


Packing Books For Moving

  1. Use paper to line the bottom of the box.
  2. Put the books on their edges (opposite the spine) into the box.
  3. Use crumpled up paper to fill the spaces so the books don't move around.
  4. Close the box with packing tape.
  5. Label the box so you don't forget what's in it.

Packing Tips For Moving Long Distance

  • Padding is key: While you always want to make sure every item in every box is well cushioned, it's absolutely vital for long distance trips.
  • Get movers insurance.
  • Keep personal documents that you'll need with you (drivers license, social security card, passport, etc).
  • Pack your mattress in a box, so it doesn't get damaged.
  • Avoid packing food or liquid.
  • Label every box with your name, not just what's in it.
  • If you're moving into a condo/apartment, make sure you check that they don't have regulations against moving trucks (many do).
Posted in Selling Your Home