Network Wilmington Real Estate News

March 27, 2024

HOA Managers vs. Property Managers: What’s the Difference?

An HOA Manager meeting with clients

 

Homeowners association managers and property managers seem similar on the surface, and the uninitiated may not be able to differentiate their roles. However, the two have very distinct functions and responsibilities.

This guide delves into the most significant differences between HOA and property managers.

 

HOA Managers vs Property Managers

Homeowners association managers, as the name implies, handle the everyday activities of an HOA, which is a private community that oversees specific developments and neighborhoods.

In contrast, property managers are individuals tasked to supervise the daily operations of residential or commercial real estate.

Both are tasked with managing properties but in very different contexts. Read on for their specific tasks and responsibilities.

 

Responsibilities of HOA Managers

All HOAs have codified sets of rules and regulations to be enforced within their communities. They also elect officers, including a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, to maintain order.

However, HOA officers aren’t compensated for their duties. Some of them may get an honorarium, depending on their HOA bylaws. Still, it’s not a full-time job, and the tasks may become overwhelming.

HOA officers can hire an HOA manager to ensure the system runs smoothly. HOA managers are responsible for the following:

 

Enforce Rules and Regulations

Homeowners associations have strict bylaws that enumerate the rules and regulations for those living within the community. The HOA manager will make sure all of these are followed and impose sanctions for those who don’t.

One common example is that homeowners must ensure their yard is well-manicured and meets all outlined regulations. If not, the HOA manager will send a letter asking the homeowner to make the needed changes or pay a fine.

 

Manage Finances

HOAs collect homeowners' fees to effectively maintain and improve the neighborhood. The HOA manager will track these payments, properly account for all expenses, and record all transactions involving HOA funds.

HOA managers also prepare the annual budget and regularly report to the board regarding the financial health of the association.

 

Take Care of Maintenance and Repair Requests

One of the advantages of having an HOA in a community is that homeowners have a direct line for maintenance and repairs. The HOA manager must have an organized list of suppliers and services to immediately deploy when a homeowner calls for maintenance or repair work.

 

Handle Complaints and Disputes

HOA managers also receive complaints and disputes within the community. While they don’t have the power to make the decisions to resolve these issues, they can set a dialogue or schedule a hearing with the HOA board.

 

 

Schedule Meetings

HOA board members need to meet regularly, and it is the manager’s responsibility to set a schedule and agenda and disseminate these details.

Some HOA meetings include the whole community or at least a significant percentage of them. This is when resolutions or amendments to HOA bylaws are discussed and voted on, and they can only be considered legitimate if a quorum is achieved. For these types of gatherings, the HOA manager must ensure everybody is informed well in advance that their attendance is paramount.

 

 

Responsibilities of a Property Manager

Real estate investors and owners with tenants often task third parties to take care of everyday operations for their residential, commercial, or even industrial properties. For this, they hire an experienced property manager.

What are their specific tasks?

 

Collect and Deposit Rent

Investors purchase properties and rent them out to earn money. Understandably, collecting and depositing rent from tenants is a property manager’s most important responsibility.

For buildings with multiple tenants, the property manager must have an organized list of the amount due and the payment schedule of each one. They must present monthly rent payment reports to the property owner and discuss rent issues or disputes.

 

Handle Maintenance Requests

Property managers also receive requests for maintenance and repair. They must have service personnel or a company on call to ensure these services are rendered immediately to the tenants who need them.

 

Follow Landlord-Tenant Laws and Regulations

Property owners may find it difficult to keep track of the ever-changing provisions of local landlord-tenant laws and regulations. The property manager will ensure continued compliance even as these rules change and that all tenants are accommodated based on their existing rights.

 

Show Vacant Properties

Aside from managing the needs of existing tenants, property managers are also tasked with showing potential renters vacant properties they may be interested in. The manager showcases these spaces on the owner’s behalf and plays a significant role in completing a sale or taking on a new tenant.

 

Conclusion

Do you need a HOA manager or a property manager? Now that the responsibilities are clear, you can easily determine which one you need to manage your community or property.

For HOA management in North Carolina, Network Real Estate is the perfect partner specializing in personal service not just to the HOA Board of Directors but to the residents of your community. Contact us today for all of your HOA management needs!
Posted in HOA Management
Feb. 28, 2024

The Perks of Investing in Southeast NC Real Estate

Aerial photo of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

 

Forget Wall Street – the real gold rush is happening on the shores of Southeast North Carolina. From vibrant historic towns to secluded beachfront havens, coastal NC offers a treasure trove of investment opportunities nestled amidst breathtaking beauty. Intrigued? Dive in and discover why savvy investors are flocking to this sun-kissed haven.

Why Invest in Southeast NC Real Estate

Between New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender County, there’s a lot to love about southeast North Carolina.

You’ll no-doubt turn a profit. 

Sure, it's a seller's market, but homes here are still a steal compared to other coasts. Plus, rents are skyrocketing thanks to year-round vacationers and college crowds. So, you’ll quickly recover your initial investment and start earning the big bucks. 

We have some of the least crowded coasts in the U.S.

Possibly the coolest thing about the North Carolina coast is its beautiful barrier islands. These small islands between mainland NC and the great Atlantic literally CANNOT become overcrowded…at least not safely. Some islands in Brunswick County don’t even allow cars! As a result, we boast some of the most peaceful, natural beaches you can find on the east coast – particularly in Brunswick and Pender County. And locals intend to keep it that way! 

You’ll love the area’s historic charm.

In New Hanover County – Wilmington to be exact – history buffs will adore historic downtown Wilmington. Visitors enjoy strolling along the 230+ blocks of Victorian and colonial era homes and perusing the wide array of local shops, restaurants, cafés, shops, markets, and art galleries along the Cape Fear River. Many vacationers also find their way out to Southport (in Brunswick County). The sweet little harbor town features more Victorian homes and a delightful downtown district with antique shops, boutiques, and more! Then, you’ll only find more 18th and 19th century homes to the north in Pender County.

Adventure awaits in southeast NC.

We have the beach. We have the Cape Fear River. We have the Intracoastal Waterway. With all of these natural features, southeast NC is the ideal destination for outdoor adventures. Visitors and residents alike enjoy kayaking, boating, fishing, surfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, hiking, biking, and even just walking along the beach or on one of the area’s many nature trails. And it helps, of course, that the temperatures are mild and comfortable all year round, only just barely touching the high 30s and 40s each winter.

Welcome to foodie paradise.

From craft breweries and local dives to fancy restaurants and sweet shops, our coastal towns tantalize every taste bud. Plus, farmers markets, festivals, and live music keep the calendar packed with good times.

We have an airport.

Travel to and from southeast NC couldn’t be easier, with Wilmington International Airport (ILM) positioned exactly halfway between New York and Miami. Offering 17 nonstop flights to other airports across the country, vacationers can fly directly to ILM from as far east as Dallas, TX and as far north as Minneapolis, MN. 

The economy is thriving…and it’s not stopping anytime soon!

Demand for southeast NC real estate is competitive in part because our economy is doing so well. In fact, Brunswick County is currently ranked the fastest-growing county in the entire state (and the 7th fastest-growing in the U.S.). In 2022, Pender County saw the most business growth of any North Carolina county. And New Hanover County boasts a population over 120,000 and has a 2021-2022 GDP growth of $7,543 million. Yet, despite all this economic growth, we still maintain a small town vibe, making our coasts the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation. 

 

Network Real Estate | Southeast NC Real Estate

Exploring your real estate options in southeast North Carolina? Our experienced agents can help you find a home that’ll make your investment dream a sandy reality.

 

Call us at 910-395-4100 to start your search today.

 

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Posted in Investors
Jan. 19, 2024

What Can an HOA Manager Do For You?

HOA Manager

 

Feeling buried under mounds of HOA paperwork? Drowning in a sea of landscaping issues and resident squabbles? Let's face it, managing a Homeowners Association as a volunteer can be overwhelming, to say the least! Keeping your community in tip-top shape while juggling endless volunteer hours can feel like juggling chainsaws on a tightrope.

 

But hey, what if you didn't have to do it alone?

 

This is where an HOA Manager comes in! Your personal champion of curb appeal and community engagement, an HOA Manager can take the weight off your shoulders and inject your HOA with a potent dose of organization, financial savvy, and conflict-resolution magic.

 

Ready to trade chaos for calm? Read on to discover how an HOA management company can transform your community from a juggling act to a well-oiled machine!

 

Benefits of Hiring An HOA Manager

 

1. Third-Party Financial Management

An HOA Manager takes the sting out of collecting overdue fees or announcing payment increases. 

 

Those awkward silences with your neighbor? Poof – gone! Replaced by a neutral third party who can handle those conversations without anyone turning pink or getting angry. Members can relax knowing the entity taking and managing their money has zero conflict of interest. 

 

However, an HOA Manager’s financial capabilities extend beyond collection duty. When it comes time to create a new budget, they’ll swoop in to save the day with their extensive budgeting experience.

 

2. Common Area Maintenance

Everyone in your neighborhood might agree that maintaining the visual appeal of amenities and common spaces is important. But actually accomplishing this is a whole other story. 

 

Deciding precisely how (and when) to tackle certain issues, locating quality vendors and contractors, and scheduling repairs and remodels – it all takes time that, let’s be honest, volunteers just don’t have.

 

Well, this is the kind of thing an HOA Manager can do in their sleep! We’re talking landscaping, pool maintenance, or even cleaning up downed branches after a big storm. An experienced HOA Manager will have vendor connections with contractors for just about anything. Plus, they can negotiate contracts with vendors so you know you’re getting the very best deal.

 

3. Local Vendor Connections

Not only will an HOA Manager handle the hiring and communication with service vendors, but they’ll likely come equipped with a list of reputable vendor partners.

 

No need to waste time and money on vendors who may just end up disappointing!

 

Your HOA Manager may even be able to score you a discounted price as a result of their strong working relationship with a vendor.

 

4. Support for the HOA Board

Although an HOA Manager can’t (and shouldn’t) make community decisions FOR you, they can act as a moderator during board meetings and help members come to a peaceable agreement. Once consensus has been reached, they’ll implement new decisions and inform everyone in the neighborhood. And prior to the board meeting, they’ll do the footwork to collect all the necessary documents and resident input.

 

5. Rule Enforcement

Board regulations aren’t any good if they’re never actually upheld. Serving as your eyes and ears within the community, your HOA Manager can ensure all policies are clearly defined, well-understood, and consistently obeyed across the neighborhood. 

 

Even better…when someone breaks the rules? No need for you to be the bad cop. This is one party your HOA Manager loves to crash (fairly and professionally, of course).

 

6. Community Development

Emergencies don't wait for office hours. But it’s unreasonable to expect volunteers to be waiting by the phone at all times, ready to tackle a neighborhood emergency at a moment’s notice. 

 

But that’s not the case with an HOA management company. 

 

Your HOA Manager is your always-on-call point of contact, ready to handle urgent maintenance issues, distribute info, and keep everyone in the loop.

 

Additionally, an HOA Manager will take on the responsibility of dispersing information about upcoming events, fee changes, or other notices – Via email, newsletter, door-to-door flyers, or community forums. Ultimately, they can help you guarantee everyone in the neighborhood is engaged and feels heard, creating a stronger sense of belonging within the community.

 

7. Record Keeping

Clean, accurate HOA records are critical for several reasons. Associations must prioritize recording keeping so they can:

 

  • Easily produce records when required
  • Make better, more informed decisions on behalf of the community
  • Justify spending
  • Monitor and analyze progress
  • And evaluate the financial status of the association over time

 

Your HOA Manager can help keep track of all the essential details: income, expenses, insurance payments, utility payments, property values, resales, you name it! And they’ll hold on to these records so you always know where the info’s being kept – which isn’t necessarily the case when records are passed between volunteers.

 

8. Legal Counsel

Neighborhoods with Homeowners Associations must ensure they’re abiding by all applicable state and federal laws. But more often than not, volunteers either don’t have adequate legal knowledge or lack the time necessary to become an HOA law expert. But this is familiar territory for an HOA Manager. They already know everything there is to know about lawfully running an HOA in North Carolina!

 

Network Real Estate | We Offer HOA Management Services!

At Network Real Estate, our services extend far beyond that of a mere real estate agency. For decades, our team has provided reliable HOA management services for neighborhoods all over southeast NC – from Wilmington to Hampstead to Leland and everywhere in between. 

 

Looking for an HOA Manager you can count on? Call us at 910-395-4100 to learn more today!

 

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Posted in HOA Management
Dec. 21, 2023

Leland, NC Real Estate Market Trends: A Year in Review

Real Estate Market Trends

 

With more than 1,300 homes sold in the last year, the Leland, NC real estate market remained competitive throughout 2023. Now, as we launch into 2024, we’re seeing some significant trends buyers and sellers should pay close attention to. Let’s dive in!

Still a Seller’s Market

The current median sale price of Leland, North Carolina homes falls somewhere between the high 300s and low 400s – only slightly below where we started back in January 2023. The average buyer is now paying upwards of $210 per square foot (and even more for highly coveted 4-bedroom homes).

 

With demand still exceeding supply (particularly for 2 to 4-bedroom homes), the market is still technically a seller’s market. 

 

However, the market is on the brink of turning neutral – favoring neither sellers nor buyers. We’ve seen a nearly 40% drop in total Leland home sales since January. If you’re planning to sell your home in Leland, consider taking action sooner than later, as this seller’s market won’t last much longer.

Steady Market Availability

Supply had a rocky start in 2023 but eventually steadied. From a modest 86 listings in January to a whopping 300+ in March, the market found its rhythm, remaining somewhat consistent throughout the year.

Increased “Days-on-Market”

After the frenzy of previous years, Leland homes now linger for about 50+ days. This change of pace signals a more balanced market on the horizon.

Leland Population Growth

Among the fastest growing towns in North Carolina, Leland’s population has increased over 28% since the last census in 2020. Expanding at a rate of 8.58%, the town’s 2023 population sits at around 39,623.

Who’s Moving to Leland?

Most new Lelanders come from up northeast, primarily from Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The town has also received an influx of new residents from Los Angeles. And, of course, we saw a good number in-state movers coming from Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro. 

 

According to the latest ACS (American Community Survey) through the Census Bureau, the demographic breakdown of Leland residents is as follows: 

  • White: 83.22%
  • Black or African American: 10.04%
  • Two or more races: 4.71%
  • Other race: 1.04%
  • Asian: 0.65%
  • Native American: 0.33%

Furthermore, seniors make up a solid third of the adult population, solidifying Leland's reputation as a retirement haven.

Network Real Estate | Leland, NC Real Estate

Looking to buy or sell in Leland, North Carolina? Our experienced agents will help you navigate the ever-changing real estate scene and ultimately make decisions that are in your financial best interest.

 

Call us at 910-395-4100 to connect with an agent today.

 

And hey, want more insights?

 

Read more:

Posted in Investors
Nov. 14, 2023

Culture Comparison: New Hanover, Brunswick, & Pender County

Culture Comparison: New Hanover, Brunswick, & Pender County

 

If you’re looking to move to southeast North Carolina, you’ve probably come across three main counties: New Hanover County, Brunswick County, and Pender County.

 

While each region features both beach and river communities with thriving tourist economies, there are significant differences in lifestyle and culture. Read on to learn which county best fits your personality and style.

 

New Hanover County Culture 

Charming historic downtown

New Hanover County isn’t only known for its big beachy vibes. Wilmington, NC is also home to a delightful historic downtown district along the Cape Fear River. With over 230 blocks of classic architecture, the National Register Historic District is one of the most memorable across the South. Streets lined with Victorian and colonial era homes blend seamlessly into a 2-mile stretch of shops, restaurants, cafés, shops, markets, and art galleries – all against a beautiful river backdrop.

Events & activities for everyone

The area attracts a wide range of people – from surfers and beach bums to foodies and beer enthusiasts. Wrightsville Beach boasts some of the best surfing spots along the east coast. With its nationally recognized oceanfront boardwalk, Carolina Beach is a super family-friendly living and vacation destination. The area is sprinkled with a full menu of craft breweries and restaurants of all kinds. And there is ALWAYS something on the calendar, whether you want to stroll a farmer’s market or festival, listen to live music, or participate in one of the area’s many seasonal events.

Thriving economy

With a population over 120,000 and a 2021-2022 GDP growth of $7,543 million, New Hanover County is among North Carolina’s most flourishing counties. And this is no surprise, considering the number of new businesses that pop up in the area each month. Yet, the county also has the 9th lowest property tax rate of any county in the state. This – along with the area’s affordable housing options – makes New Hanover County an attractive place to call home.

Education opportunities

New Hanover County is a happening place, but residents aren’t only here to have fun. Between the University of North Carolina – Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College, locals and out-of-staters have plenty of quality higher education opportunities. Plus, New Hanover County Schools is also ranked the 18th best school district in all of North Carolina.

 

Brunswick County Culture

Private, serene beaches

If you’ve never visited a barrier island, you’re in for a treat here along the southernmost coast of North Carolina. Brunswick County beaches are unique in that they are often two-sided – with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other. The Brunswick County island life is a bit more peaceful than the beach experience you get up in New Hanover County. In some Brunswick County towns, you aren’t even allowed to drive a car!

Retirement potential

The privacy of island living is one of the key reasons Brunswick County is one of the state’s most desirable retirement destinations. In fact, 34% of the population is 65 years or older. Brunswick County is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering activities ranging from fishing and kayaking to golfing and nature walks. And although the area gets its fair share of visitors, the tourism scene feels relatively calm. 

Impressive population growth

Brunswick County has been breaking state records – currently ranked as the fastest-growing county across North Carolina (and the seventh fastest-growing in the US). Between 2021 and 2022, the population rose by a whopping 5.7% – now sitting above 153,000. Why the intense growth, you ask? Between the area’s breathtaking beaches and its recent economic development, more and more people are discovering the treasure that is Brunswick County every day.

Increasing economic opportunities

The economic development of Brunswick County isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Many people and organizations are taking advantage of the valuable opportunity to invest in the area’s growth. Several large companies – like Epsilon Advanced Materials and Industrial Reliability and Repair, LLC – will bring hundreds of new, well-paying manufacturing jobs to the area in the near future.

 

Pender County Culture

Natural beauty

Like Brunswick County, the coastland in Pender County is secluded, serene, and ideally suited for avid outdoorsmen and women. It’s beaches, rivers, woodlands, trails, and parks – along with the area’s mild year-long temperatures – give nature-lovers tons of excuses to get outside for leisure, sport, and play. 

Rapid business growth.

According to SmartAsset, Pender County saw the greatest business growth (9.4%) of any North Carolina county in 2022. And the county’s economic development is only going to continue rising as local organizations continue to offer valuable local incentives and resources for businesses that want to grow in the area.

Agricultural hub

Unlike the other two counties, Pender County also boasts a major agriculture scene. The primary crop? Blueberries! The region’s flat land and moist, well-drained soil make it ideal for cultivating the tasty berries. You’ll also catch Pender County farmers growing sweet potatoes, strawberries, tobacco, soybeans, peanuts, corn, and grapes. 

Quieter Lifestyle

Not only is Pender County peaceful and serene, but locals intend to keep it that way. So, while there is PLENTY to do around the county each week, high-rise buildings are not allowed and the county works hard to preserve its natural ecosystem. This makes the county particularly attractive to retirees and families who are looking for something a little more low-key.

 

Network Real Estate | Southeast NC Real Estate

Exploring your real estate options in southeast North Carolina? Our experienced agents can help you find a home that fits your unique lifestyle.

 

Call us at 910-395-4100 to start your search today.

 

READ MORE: 

Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 6, 2023

The Pros & Cons of Gated Communities

The entrance to a gated community

 

Southeastern NC has some seriously beautiful gated communities. With luxurious homes, golf courses, and waterfront views, the secluded communities sprinkled across the Wilmington area are ANYTHING but ordinary.

 

But are gated communities really worth the cost? 

 

What makes them so special, anyway?

 

In this blog, we discuss the ins and outs of the Wilmington area’s gated communities and highlight a few of our favorites. 

 

Pros of Gated Communities

Several factors make private gated communities an attractive option for Wilmington homebuyers.

1. Greater Privacy

If you’re looking for a neighborhood that’s quiet and serene, a gated community is a safe bet. With guard booths or cameras enforcing restricted entry, you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to deal with unwanted solicitors or high volumes of neighborhood traffic.

2. Heightened Security

Protected by a wall or fence, gated communities elevate safety and security significantly. Though crime still occurs, the controlled access limits who can get in and stir up trouble. This aspect makes these neighborhoods excellent options for families and retirees.

3. Private Amenities

Private access to the neighborhood swimming pool and gym? Count me in! Gated communities like Landfall and Willow Glen are ideal for golfers, boasting their very own golf courses. Some Wilmington area waterfront communities even assign residents personal boat docks, making it easy to get up and go for a nice fishing trip or cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway. 

4. Enhanced Social Life

When you choose a privatized community, it’s frankly easier to make friends. Oftentimes, gated neighborhoods have community centers that host group events and activities to bring residents together. Furthermore, if a neighborly dispute arises, your Homeowner’s Association (HOA) can help resolve the conflict much quicker and easier than non-HOA neighborhoods can. 

5. Impressive Property Value

Luxurious, exclusive, and in high demand, homes in Wilmington’s gated communities have remarkable value…and that’s not changing anytime soon. HOA regulations ensure all common areas (as well as your neighbor’s yard) remain in tip-top shape all year round.

 

Cons of Gated Communities

Even with all the perks, gated communities aren’t for everyone. There are also a handful of drawbacks.

1. Higher Costs

Higher property value means a higher mortgage. On top of that, the HOA fees can fall anywhere between $100 and $1,000 per month. If you’re on the hunt for a good deal in today’s seller’s market, this may be a bit too expensive. But if budget isn’t a big concern for you, this may not matter all that much. 

2. HOA Regulations & Fees

While your HOA keeps up neighborhood appearances, they don’t do it for free. Not only do associations charge residents a monthly fee, but they limit what you can and can’t do to your property. Want to expand your house or run a home-based business? You may run into some trouble with your HOA. Associations can even dictate how tall you keep your grass, the color you paint your house, and whether or not you can park an RV in your driveway.. =

3. Accessibility Challenges

If you live in a gated community, you’d better have some good patience. With only one or two entrances and exits, you may have to wait in line to get in and out of the complex. Guests may find the guarded entrance a bit inconvenient or intimidating. Feel like ordering in one night? The pizza you ordered might be cold by the time the delivery guy gets past the guard station. Hiring a contractor to work on your house? That’ll be tricky, too!

4. Further From Commercial Hotspots

Gated communities tend to be considerably further away from restaurants and stores than more centrally located neighborhoods. A “quick” bite to eat or trip to the grocery store won’t be all that quick. For some, this is actually a perk. Greater distance from the busy parts of town means less noise and less traffic.

5. Decreased Diversity

Is diversity an important factor in your home search? You’re unlikely to find it in a gated community. Generally attracting people with a similar socioeconomic status, private communities don’t develop quite the same cultural diversity you might find in other Wilmington neighborhoods.

 

Wilmington, NC Gated Communities

Some of our agents’ favorite local gated communities include… 

  • RiverLights – Wilmington’s newest community along the Cape Fear River, RiverLights will include a large collection of townhomes, condos, and single-family homes.
  • Willow Glen (Beau Rivage) – Stunning AND affordable, this community is located amid the beloved Beau Rivage golf course and offers fantastic amenities.
  • Landfall – One of the area’s most high-end neighborhoods, Landfall boasts breathtaking homes, a 45-hole golf course, close proximity to Wrightsville Beach, and more!

 

Network Real Estate | Wilmington, NC REALTORS

Looking for a nice gated community around Wilmington, NC? Our agents can help you find the perfect little private community

 

Call us at 910-395-4100 to start your search today.

 

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Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 8, 2023

Navigating the Wilmington, NC Condo Market: Tips For Buyers

Wilmington, NC Condo Market

 

Even in the current hot real estate market, Wilmington, North Carolina boasts an impressive selection of homes – condos and houses, alike!

 

But there is so little information out there about the Wilmington condo market!

 

That’s where we come in to help! In this blog, we…

  • Define the term “condo”
  • List the benefits and limitations of condo living
  • Describe the Wilmington, NC condo market
  • And provide tips to help you choose your perfect condo

 

What is a Condo?

A condo – short for condominium – is essentially an apartment you can purchase. Many homeowners enjoy the freedom of owning a condo, as they can change their home interior however they please (within reason). There are some limitations. For example, condo owners can’t remove walls or close up windows. And unlike apartment complexes or regular homes, upkeep and maintenance is usually split between residents and the landlord.

 

Is a Condo Right For You?

There are several key benefits of condo living, including… 

  • Greater affordability (especially for first-time home buyers)
  • Plenty of space for singles, couples, or small families
  • Access to apartment-style amenities
  • Easy community development
  • Convenient location options
  • No responsibility for exterior repairs
  • And more!

However, if you’re considering a condo, you should also be aware of the limitations. If you have a pet, need a lot of space, or don’t want to share walls with neighbors, a condo may not be your best bet.

 

Wilmington, NC Condos

Whether you’re looking for a simple, centrally located condo or a luxurious waterfront condo, Wilmington, NC has options for you!

Downtown

Wilmington’s quirky, historic downtown district is home to a wide variety of condominiums. You couldn’t ask for a better location. Condo owners enjoy close proximity to the Cape Fear River boardwalk, delicious restaurants, and local shops. In downtown Wilmington, you can find both spacious, high-end condos and small, cozy options.

Riverfront

A significant portion of downtown Wilmington’s condos also boast waterfront views and direct river access. Just imagine waking up in the morning for a brisk walk along the boardwalk or a leisurely waterfront stroll as the sun sets along the river banks. If you’re looking for a home with great views, you can’t go wrong along the Cape Fear River.

Luxury

You’ll find an array of stylish, upscale condo communities scattered throughout Wilmington – along beautiful River Road, approaching Wrightsville Beach, located centrally along Shipyard Boulevard, and more! Although most condos offer limited space, there are numerous hidden gems across Wilmington that boast more than 1500 square feet of living space, 3+ bedrooms, and 3+ full bathrooms. Many of the condos you’ll find in the area feature updated interiors, fireplaces, and spacious patios.

Affordable

When the real estate market is hot like it is today, buying a home can seem daunting. But when you open your home search to condos, suddenly your price options look a lot more favorable. You can find Wilminton, NC condos for as little as $180K.

Amenities

If you’ve lived in an apartment before, you’ve likely realized the perks of amenities like a community pool or gym. These kinds of amenities are abounding in the Wilmington condo market. 

 

Wilmington, NC Condo Shopping Tips

Below, we’ve listed 5 tips to help you with your condo search.

 

1. Find a good real estate agent.

Be picky! When it comes to buying any kind of new home, you’ll save yourself from big headaches if you choose a quality real estate agent. They should have a strong understanding of the local condo market AND the capacity to provide attentive, personalized service. 

 

2. Think about your lifestyle.

Do you prefer to dine out or cook at home? While some condos are within walking distance of many tasty restaurants, others are centrally located near grocery stores. Some other questions to consider:

  • How important is walkability to you? 
  • Do you want a condo with sweet views?
  • Are you okay parking your car overnight in a parking garage?
  • Do you prefer fewer neighbors (i.e. a quieter community)?
  • Is elevator access an important factor?
  • Do you have a pet?

 

3. Do some research.

Not only should you read reviews of the condo communities you’re looking into, but it’s also a good idea to check out the condos’ pricing history. This will give you an idea of the home’s value and help you decide whether buying is a smart choice.

 

4. Look into HOA fees & rules.

Some condos have homeowners association fees and specifications. Consider whether this is something you can manage or if it is a dealbreaker. Some common HOA rules pertain to the number and kind of pets you can have and your ability to decorate your condo exterior.

 

5. Don’t forget about amenities.

Do you love the idea of lounging around a luxurious pool? Or is easy gym access a non-negotiable for you? The quality of condominium amenities is certainly an important factor when searching for your new home.



Network Real Estate | Wilmington, NC REALTORS

Considering buying a Wilmington, NC condo? Network Real Estate agents have been in the Wilmington condo game for decades. Let us help you evaluate your local condo options!

 

Call us at 910-395-4100 today to start working with one of our dedicated agents.

 

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Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 16, 2023

Why Invest in Brunswick County, NC Real Estate?

Brunswick County beach

 

Demand for coastal real estate is stronger than ever – and especially so in Brunswick County. Unlike other more established coastal regions, the real estate investment opportunities are growing instead of drying up!

 

In this article, we list 9 reasons Brunswick County should be your next real estate investment.

Serene beaches

Brunswick County beaches are some of the most peaceful along the east coast. Some of the county’s beaches and islands are so secluded that you can only reach them by ferry. 

 

Small beach towns without cars? Yes, it’s as sweet as it sounds! 

 

Many Brunswick County towns are barrier islands, surrounded by water on all sides. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and surfing in the Atlantic Ocean on one side. And they can go boating or fishing on the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway on the other side.

Ideal location

In addition to the county’s breathtaking islands and beaches, residents and visitors appreciate close proximity to charming downtown Wilmington, NC and the popular Myrtle Beach, SC. Not only do Wilmington and Myrtle Beach offer an abundance of entertainment and cuisine, but they also each have airports. That means convenient cross-country travel!

Entertainment value

Brunswick County has plenty of entertainment within its county boundaries. Visitors will have a blast perusing local farmer’s markets, watching oceanfront concerts, and attending one of the area’s many festivals. They can get their golf fix on NC’s Brunswick Islands championship courses. Or they can immerse themselves in coastal wildlife – kayaking through the marsh or taking a guided swamp boat tour. 

Food. Food. Food.

We would be remiss if we did not mention the flavorful cuisine of southeast North Carolina. Brunswick County’s restaurants will definitely not disappoint. Calabash boasts the best seafood you’ll ever encounter. And there are countless waterfront dining options – along the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, and Cape Fear River. No matter where you eat in Brunswick County, your taste buds will be grateful!

Business growth

Brunswick County is one of the fastest growing counties not only in North Carolina, but across the entire U.S. Businesses are flooding to the area to take advantage of the area’s infrastructure, worker pool, resources, and overall appeal. And more business means more economic growth for the area and more real estate development.

Rapid property development 

The area is growing in more than just an industrial capacity. Every year, more people want to live and vacation in Brunswick County. Development of single-family homes and other properties has skyrocketed. You can bet we’ll see Brunswick County real estate continue to pop up on the market in the years to come.

Small-town feel

Although Brunswick County is growing, it still feels like a small town in many ways. Don’t get me wrong. The area gets its fair share of tourists. But the county and the beaches seem a lot less crowded than neighboring towns like Wrightsville Beach.

Family-friendly

The kid-friendly activities are abounding in Brunswick County – the beach, lighthouses, museums, parks, you name it! Families love renting Brunswick County’s spacious waterfront homes or even staying inland a bit to save money for other activities. 

Affordable options

Ruling out a Brunswick County investment because you think you can’t afford a home on the beach? Some areas of the county – like Leland, Shallotte, and Bolivia – are a little further inland. Therefore, the home prices are a little more affordable. Yet, the homes are close enough to the water to remain in-demand come tourist season.

 

Network Real Estate | Brunswick County, NC Real Estate

Considering a Brunswick County, NC real estate investment? Network Real Estate agents know the area well and can help you keep an eye out for the perfect investment opportunity.

 

Call us at 910-395-4100 today to start working with one of our dedicated agents.

 

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Posted in Investors
July 22, 2023

Budgeting For Your Move: How Much You Should Save

A couple of home buyers looking at their budget for a new home.

 

Being a homeowner is one of life’s most rewarding experiences! But the decision to buy a home should not be taken lightly. The last thing you want is to jeopardize your financial wellbeing by purchasing a home without a sufficient budget.

 

To help you save appropriately, we’ve compiled a list of all the different costs home buyers can expect when they move into a new home.

Costs of Moving & Buying a Home

As a potential home buyer, you need to save up a good chunk of money before you move and close on a home. We have divided your possible costs into 5 categories:

 

  1. Home-buying costs
  2. General moving costs
  3. Professional moving costs
  4. DIY moving costs
  5. Costs AFTER move-in

 

1. Home-buying costs 

 

Earnest Money Deposit – This is one of the first costs you’ll face in the home-buying process. Also called a “good faith deposit,” earnest money can help make your offer more appealing to sellers. This deposit could be as much as 10% of the listing price in a seller’s market, but it generally falls between 1% and 3%.

 

Home Inspection – Before closing on a home, buyers typically get an inspection of the home’s physical condition. Home inspections can cost up to $400.

 

Down Payment – Depending whether you qualify for more specialized loans (like USDA  or first-time home buyer loans), your down payment may fall anywhere between 0% and 20% of the purchase price.

 

Closing Costs – Before you become the legal owner of your new home, you’ll need to pay some fees. Generally between 2% and 5% of your loan amount, closing costs include appraisal and attorney fees, loan origination fees, homeowner’s and title insurance, property taxes, escrow fees, and more.

 

MORE FIRST-TIME WILMINGTON HOME BUYER RESOURCES

 

2. General moving costs 

 

Packing Materials – Don’t forget about the boxes, tape, packing blankets, packing paper, and packing wrap you’ll need. Although you probably can’t calculate a definite cost of packing materials until you are actually boxing up your belongings, you can make a rough estimate of the supplies you’ll need.

 

Vehicle Shipping – Moving to a different state? Shipping your vehicle may make more sense than driving it yourself. This option will generally put you out about $1,500.

 

Personal Travel Expenses – If your new home is a long drive away, you’ll need to think about any necessary gas and overnight accommodations.

 

Storage Expenses – Not traveling with all of your stuff? You can get a storage unit or a storage container for anywhere between 50 bucks and a few hundred dollars. 

 

3. Professional moving costs

 

Standard Moving Fee – Moving companies will charge you a base fee. Movers typically base this fee on the amount of stuff you have, the amount of labor needed to move it, and the length of your journey. Local moves generally cost no more than a couple thousand dollars. But long-distance moves can be much more expensive.

 

Mover’s Insurance – Most professional movers offer mover’s insurance. This policy will come into play if something happens to your stuff during transport.

 

Multi-Day or Time Overage Fees – The more time your move takes, the more you will be charged. If your move spans over the course of two days or lasts longer than originally estimated, you can expect extra fees.

 

4. DIY moving costs

 

Truck Rental – If you are a do-it-yourself kind of mover, you can rent a Penske, U-Haul, or other moving truck for a relatively affordable rate. Just like moving companies, local moves will cost far less than cross-country moves.

 

Fuel – Don’t forget to consider gas expenses when renting a moving truck. Most moving truck companies require you to return your truck with plenty of fuel.

 

Moving Equipment – Handling the move yourself can save you some money. But you will probably want to rent some moving blankets and dollies from the moving truck company to make the job easier.

 

5. Costs AFTER move-in

 

Cleaning & Repairs – Your home inspection will be able to give you a good idea what kind of initial repairs you will need to make to your new home. It is also a good idea to set aside some money for things like professional carpet cleaning.

 

Utility Set-Up – If it’s your first time buying a home, you may be surprised how quickly monthly costs build up when you are a homeowner. From waste management to pest control to home security, there are a whole slew of utility expenses you may not be used to if you’ve only ever lived in an apartment.

 

New Furniture & Appliances – You’ll probably have a list of items you want to get for your new home – a fridge, dishwasher, new couch, window treatments, you name it! Determine which items you need to purchase right away (and which ones can wait until you’ve rebuilt your savings post-move).

 

Network Real Estate | Wilmington, NC Real Estate

Need help finding a home in the Wilmington, NC area under your budget? The agents here at Network Real Estate have years of experience under their belts and can help you find some fantastic home options within your price range. 

 

Call us at 910-395-4100 today to start working with one of our dedicated agents.

 

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Posted in Buying a Home
June 20, 2023

Home Loan Assistance Programs in Wilmington, NC

Home buyer calculated home loan and purchase costs

 

Many Wilmington home buyers don’t realize that the city offers several programs designed to help afford to buy a home. While certain programs are intended for first-time buyers, others are open to all home buyers.

 

In this blog, we will describe the local assistance programs available to buyers looking for a home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

 

Wilmington, NC Home Loan Assistance

If you’re interested in buying a home in Wilmington, NC, there are several home loan programs at your fingertips…

 

Home Ownership Pool (HOP)

In cooperation with a handful of local banks, the City of Wilmington offers loan assistance for low-to-moderate income households looking to buy a single-family home within city limits.

 

The program offerings include…

 

  • Up to $25,000 in downpayment assistance
  • 100% financing
  • And 0% interest rate on a specific chunk of the loan

Who is eligible?

To qualify for HOP assistance, you must…

  • Have a minimum credit score of 620
  • Earn below 130% of the area median income
  • Be purchasing a home in Wilmington city limits
  • And undergo the city’s Mandatory Home Buyer Education 

In order to receive HOP assistance, you must also undergo the city’s Mandatory Home Buyer Education.

How to apply

Choose one of the city’s upcoming Home Buyer Education classes, register, and attend. Then, you can fill out an application that will determine your eligibility for the loan assistance.

 

HOP 2GETHER

In addition to its flagship HOP program, the city now offers HOP 2GETHER, a FREE program that provides first-time home buyers with the tools and resources they need for the home buying process.

 

Through the program, participants receive: 

  • Up to $25,000 in downpayment assistance 
  • Free in-person and virtual one-to-one housing counseling
  • Resources and advice pertaining to pre- and post-purchase processes, financial management, credit education, and more
  • Custom tailored counseling according to participant needs
  • And quarterly workshops and homebuyer education

 Previous topics of quarterly HOP 2GETHER workshops include home maintenance, emergency disaster preparedness, homeowners insurance, and working with a real estate agent.

Who is eligible?

Any first-time home buyer (individual or family) who attends the HOP 2GETHER classes and is within the lowest 60% of the Area Median Income should take advantage of the program.

How to apply

To get started with HOP 2GETHER, call the City of Wilmington housing department at 910-341-7836. You will not be able to secure the loan assistance until you’ve completed the entire homebuyer education program.

 

Community Partners Loan Pool (CPLP)

Kingdom CDC, a member of the Community Partners Loan Pool (CPLP) through the NC Housing Finance Agency, offers a remarkable zero-interest, deferred second mortgage option for Wilmington home buyers. 

 

Through the program, home buyers can receive up to 25% or $50,000 (whichever is less) in downpayment assistance.

 

The assistance must be paired with either NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ or USDA Section 502 Loan. The amount of assistance you receive depends on the option you choose.

Who is eligible?

There are certain eligibility requirements for home buyers seeking to take advantage of the CPLP assistance:

  • A minimum credit score of 640
  • Attendance of the City of Wilmington’s Mandatory Home Buyer Education Class (see the HOP section above)
  • Income less than 80% of the New Hanover County median income
  • Qualification for an approved mortgage
  • Home sale price within predetermined limits for the New Hanover County 

Find this year’s income and sale price limits.

How to apply

Similar to the HOP Program, you must attend one of the city’s upcoming Home Buyer Education classes. Then, you can fill out an application that will determine your eligibility for the loan assistance.

 

Learn more about Wilmington Loan Assistance Programs

The best part about these programs? They are stackable! That means you can take advantage of all three programs if you qualify. 

 

To learn more about these programs and browse additional city housing, check out the City of Wilmington Housing page.

 

Network Real Estate | Wilmington, NC Real Estate

Looking for an affordable home in Wilmington, NC on a budget? The agents here at Network Real Estate have years of experience under their belts and can help you find some fantastic home options within your price range. 

 

Call us at 910-395-4100 today to start working with one of our dedicated agents.

 

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Posted in Buying a Home