Category Archives: Home Seller Tips

March often signals the beginning of spring here on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, but it’s also a time of preparation for another highly anticipated season— tax season! Homeowners in Coastal Carolina are entitled to several deductions that can help you save greatly on your overall tax bill this year, so be sure to make certain you’re taking what you can when filling out your return!

Go over your tax return with a fine toothed comb this year and double check that you’ve taken the following deductions before sending it off!

Private mortgage insurance
For those that did not make a 20 percent down payment, lenders likely required a private mortgage insurance (PMI) to be added into their mortgage payment. This does indeed increase your overall payments each month, but looking on the bright side, you can deduct your PMI as long as your adjusted gross income is less than $100,000.

Energy efficient upgrades
If you’ve made any updates to your NC home such as new insulation, windows, doors, skylights, solar panels, solar water heaters or the like, you may be eligible for this energy efficient deduction. However, note that for certain items like furnaces, there is a lifetime cap of $500, so if you’ve used this up in the past, you will not be able to deduct any more.

Mortgage interest
For loans up to $1 million, homeowners can deduct all of the interest paid on their mortgage. You do need to itemize deductions in order to take it, but keep in mind it’s often worth it to write off everything you’ve paid in interest for the previous year. For instance, on a $300,000 fixed-rate 30-year loan with a 4 percent interest rate, you would be able to deduct over $10,000.

Spring is a full season for homeowners in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Havelock, Newport, Emerald Isle and the surrounding areas, especially if you plan to sell in the near future! Give Gena Gilbert Real Estate a call today for more information about how you can take advantage of the current market this spring!

We’re here to help!

Your Crystal Coast NC Home Maintenance To-Do List for March

clover-445255_960_720March is here and as we gear up for the official start of spring here on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, there are a few maintenance tasks you will want to complete around your home. From cleaning the gutters to tending to your yard and flowers, preparing for the spring season now will allow you to relax and enjoy later!

Below are four tasks for your to-do list this month:

Clean the gutters
Clogged gutters can cause major issues both inside your home and out if left unattended. Take the time to remove any debris like leaves, sticks and dirt that may have accumulated there over the past several months. After you’ve finished, flush water through to ensure all clogs are gone and water can flow through freely.

Clean your A/C exterior
Your A/C condenser, like your gutters, can become home to dirt, dust and debris if not cleaned regularly. Find the unit outside of your Crystal Coast home and spray with a garden hose to remove the debris. Be careful if pressure washing as you could bend or damage the exterior of the A/C unit.

Prune and prep your yard
If you have rose bushes in your yard, now is when you’ll want to begin pruning them for the most beautiful blooms as the season progresses. Remove sticks, branches and rocks from the yard or garden beds and if you find any dead or diseased buds on your floral bushes, remove them to avoid spreading to the others.

Clean the siding
Dirt and grime can shorten the life of your home‘s siding, not to mention dull its appearance. Use a pressure washer to quickly remove the build-up and get your home look spic and span for the spring— or potential buyers if you’re ready to sell.

March is a great month to take care of the above tasks at your North Carolina home, but also to consider selling and beginning your home search if you’re interested in moving to a new property in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Havelock, or Newport.

Give Gena Gilbert Real Estate a call today with any questions!

3 Reasons to Sell Your Morehead City NC Home Before Spring

crocus-318293_960_720You might be dreaming of warmer weather and the official beginning of spring here on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, but if there is one thing that’s great about this time of year, it’s the opportunity to sell your home! Sure, you can list your home at any time of year in Coastal Carolina, but this window before spring officially begins and the market heats up, presents homeowners with an edge.

Below are three reasons why you should list your Crystal Coast NC home before spring:

Demand is strong
While many areas of the country are faced with lower inventory right now, that does not mean buyers are not looking for properties. In fact, buyer demand is still high and home sales as a result as increasing rapidly! Listing your property now allows you to benefit from the current buyers who are ready to call your house their new home.

Less competition
It is no secret that the spring and summer months are known as the “busy seasons” in real estate. Many homeowners believe spring and summer are the best times to sell, therefore they will wait until the officially beginning to list. What that means for you now as a Coastal Carolina homeowner is that there is less competition in the current market— don’t wait too long or your home could be lost in the crowd!

Process will be quicker
The length of time it takes to get from contract to closing fluctuates depending on the time of year, changing regulations and the housing market itself. Selling your home now before the busy season begins could award you a shorter closing process than if you decided to wait until next month to get the ball rolling.

Ready to sell your home and move on just in time for spring and summer in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Havelock, or Newport? Give Gena Gilbert Real Estate a call today!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Moving Checklist for Atlantic Beach, Beaufort NC Homebuyers

hand-truck-564238_960_720This time of year may seem busy with all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but the truth is, it’s also a great time to move! Homebuyer demand is still high along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast and home sellers have an opportunity to sell their properties and move on just in time for the new year. But that doesn’t mean you can simply pack your bags and make sure everything gets onto the moving truck.

There are many parties you will need to inform of your move to a new home in Coastal Carolina and Gena Gilbert Real Estate has included the most important below:

Post Office
When you move homes in North Carolina, you will want your mail to follow! Notifying the appropriate postal services should be one of your top priorities as you begin to prepare for your move. You will simply fill out a change of address card and soon your mail will be forwarded to your new address. Keep in mind that these cards are typically valid for up to a year, so you can capture any pieces of mail that may still show up on your old doorstep.

Utilities
You likely have bills and services tied to your current home in Coastal Carolina, so it’s time to inform the necessary companies—gas, electric, water, cable, to name a few—about your move. Make sure the utilities at your current home will be disconnected on the day of your move and those at your new home will be connected either prior to or on moving day as well.

The IRS
Just as you filled out a change of address card for the post office, you will need to do the same with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They will want an updated address to send your tax return and other important documents throughout the year.

The DMV
If you’re moving to the Crystal Coast from a different state, now is the time to head down to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to have your address updated on your license. You often have 10 to 30 days to do so, depending on the state’s requirements.

Ready to list your Crystal Coast NC home and begin your search for your dream home in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport the surrounding communities? Give Gena Gilbert Real Estate a call today!

We look forward to hearing from you!

No matter if you’ve lived in your Coastal Carolina home for years or are a new homeowner having just purchased a property in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas, security remains as important as ever. One small move like forgetting to close the garage door, changing the locks after you’ve moved in or not switching on the porch light when you leave, can leave you at risk no matter where you live.

But not to worry! Gena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to share three must-do’s for keeping your Crystal Coast NC home as safe as can be this fall and throughout the year!

Get to know your neighbors
Haven’t met your neighbors yet? Now is the time! Crystal Coast homeowners should consider getting involved in neighborhood watch programs, especially if you live in a community with a homeowners’ association, talk to those that live around you about local crime or reports of anything suspicious. Nothing to report? Great! But keep a list of your neighbors’ numbers handy in case you need to give them a call in a hurry! It also doesn’t hurt to have them watch over your home if you go out of town.

Get serious about prevention 
Never leave expensive packaging—from a TV, for instance—on the curb or by your trash cans, close your curtains at night and when you’re out of the house, don’t leave valuables visible through windows, lock all doors and garages and keep tabs of everyone who has a key to your Coastal Carolina home. There are many safety precautions you can take to give you peace of mind and keep your home’s security under control.

Install a security system
You don’t need to call on an expensive security system company to install cameras or automated locks for you. Although, if you feel that is your best option, that will do the trick! Homeowners in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding areas can pick up a system at a local hardware store and install themselves to keep costs low. It is also wise to place a security system sign in your yard to keep burglars away.

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is here to answer any questions you have about the local real estate market, as well as improving your home to sell this year! Give us a call today!

Staging your North Carolina home is an important aspect of the selling process. After all, a well-staged home can help to attract Crystal Coast NC buyers, highlight your home’s best features and allow you to sell much faster than if you’d done little to no prep work. But when it comes to staging in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas, there is a certain style that piques buyer interest more than others— Coastal Carolina style!

Below are three important tips for staging your home along the Crystal Coast to create the perfect Coastal Carolina vibes:

Keep things simple
Your Coastal Carolina home should feel like an oasis, like you’re on vacation every day of the year— or if this is your second home, at least during the days that you spend there. Keep the decor simple, choose one color palette to remain consistent throughout the entire home and if you must add touches of drama or bold pops of color, try stripes on the drapery or a single accent wall in your chosen hue.

Allow in ample light 
With the beautiful weather that is common in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, and Newport, you will want to continue the trend indoors! Avoid dark blinds or shades in your home’s living spaces and kitchen and allow in as much light as possible. Buyers in today’s real estate market are looking for bright, open, airy spaces and dark rooms may just turn them away. Make sure to clean all windows and swap out any dim light bulbs with new.

Bring in outside elements
Creating the perfect Coastal Carolina home can easily be achieved by bringing in traditional beach elements found outdoors, like sand and shells. These natural elements can be displayed in a decorative vase or bowl or even inside a hollow glass lamp base. But remember the above mantra of keeping it simple! You will want to incorporate these accents—like artwork or picture frames in beach themes—intermittently to avoid turning your home into a gift shop.

You can count on these great tips and more for selling your home on the Crystal Coast with Gena Gilbert Real Estate on your side! Give us a call today for more information about the current real estate market, home selling strategies and available properties in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding areas.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Effectively Downsizing to a Coastal North Carolina Home

box-1605164_960_720There are a multitude of reasons for downsizing to a new home in Coastal North Carolina. Perhaps your children are all grown up and moved out, you’ve retired, your home is just too big for your needs, you’d like a smaller monthly payment or you’d like to relocate— no matter your situation, downsizing can be achieved successfully with the right amount of preparation and research.

It can feel like an overwhelming transition, especially if you’ve been in your home for a number of years, but we are here to reassure you. So where do you start? Below are a few important steps for downsizing to a home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast and of course, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Gena Gilbert Real Estate!

Take inventory
As the name suggests, downsizing may require you to pare down your belongings. Begin by taking inventory of everything you have, making either a written column or pile for those things you need to donate or toss. It may also be easier to keep a spreadsheet! Be sure to keep your new home’s size and floor plan in mind as you go through your possessions. Everything you are taking should have a home!

Draw the floor plan
We mentioned above that it is important to keep your new home’s floor plan in mind as you decide what to take, so why not draw it up yourself? Keeping tabs on dimensions of the rooms, doors and hallways can be helpful when determining if your current furniture will fit or if you are ordering new, you know which size will work best.

Consider the location
If you are moving to a condominium by the beach, for instance, you will likely not need all of your yard maintenance tools, like a lawn mower or hedge trimmer. Typically condominiums are ruled by an HOA, or homeowners association, and maintenance and upkeep will already be arranged. It is also wise to consider the costs of moving certain items to your new home— in some cases, it may be better just to sell the item than pay to have it hauled to the new property.

Start early and stay organized 
The key to any successful move is to start early and stay organized. Start packing early to avoid tossing items in a rush, label all of your boxes to ensure they get to their proper location, and don’t look back if you’ve decided to let an item go. It will only make downsizing easier if you plan well in advance of your move date.

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is here to help with your home search this year and provide a list of available properties in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas that meet your needs, wants and budget. Give us a call today!

Why You Should Sell Your Coastal North Carolina Home Now

beach-house-2-12338922016 is already being called the best year for housing in a decade and this spring is no exception. Buyer traffic has drastically increased in Coastal North Carolina and with the market’s lower inventory, listing your home now might be the best decision you can possibly make! Spring and summer are typically busy seasons for local real estate, but below are three reasons why now is an exceptionally great time to sell.

The timing is right
Not only does the beautiful spring scenery make for excellent (and intriguing!) listing photos in Beaufort, Newport, Havelock, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Emerald Isle and the surrounding communities, but the season tends to spark an influx of buyers in the local market. Buyers are ready to get the closing process started so they can be moved in to enjoy the summer on the Crystal Coast and take their time settling in over the next few months.

The market has improved
As we mentioned above, this year has earned a reputation as real estate‘s best since 2006. Low mortgage rates and lower inventory means many buyers have to compete for what’s available and for Coastal Carolina home sellers, the market is now in your favor.

Buyer demand is soaring
Whether you are planning to sell a single-family home, condominium or waterfront property in Beaufort, Newport, Havelock, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, or Emerald Isle, you have an expanding buyer pool to work with. Buyer demand has been steadily rising over the last few months and is only expected to continue over the summer.

Gena Gilbert Real Estate can walk you through the process of selling your home, from listing to pricing and beyond. Give us a call today for more information on how you can make your home the one buyers are looking for along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast.

We look forward to hearing from you!

3 Crystal Coast NC Projects to Get Your Home Ready for Spring and Summer

deck-1569606The weather is clearly improving here on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast and if you’re a homeowner, that means it’s prime time to inspect and clean up the effects of the past few months. The winter months can wreak havoc on a home in Beaufort, Newport, Havelock, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Emerald Isle and the surrounding communities in terms of allowing dirt and grime to build up on exteriors and walkways, as well as cause you to put important projects on hold.

Below are three projects you should tend to now in order to get your home ready for a beautiful spring and summer in Coastal Carolina:

Clean out the gutters
Like I mentioned above, this is one home projects that you might have put on hold over the past few months and now it’s time to tackle it! With rain, falling leaves and debris, gutters can quickly clog and cause stains or leaking. Head up to the roof to scrub down the gutters as this will keep them clean for the warmer seasons ahead.

Clean exterior lights
The spring and summer months on the Crystal Coast are excellent for relaxing outdoors and entertaining, but what will light the way? Take a look at your exterior lights as they’ve likely acquired a few bugs and water marks. After you’ve given them a cleaning, you may even notice how much brighter your outdoor spaces seem!

Seal your deck
Your deck is another feature of your home or condominium in Coastal Carolina that may have been forgotten about. Decks do indeed get dirty, just like the rest of your home’s exterior, and need to be cleaned to keep them in tip-top shape. Use a power washer or hard-bristled brush and soap to clean any stains or markings and then seal the deck to protect it from rain.

This spring and summer will be a wonderful time for both weather and real estate in Coastal Carolina! Feel free to reach out to Gena Gilbert Real Estate with any questions you have about buying or selling a home in Beaufort, Newport, Havelock, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Emerald Isle and the surrounding communities!

We look forward to hearing from you!

3 Factors That Will Affect Your Crystal Coast NC Home Value

coin-1416997The spring season will bring a wave of both home buyers and sellers to the real estate market on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. In fact, “For Sale” signs will start popping up in front of Coastal Carolina properties as early as March 1! But that doesn’t mean simply listing your home will get you top dollar for your property in Atlantic Beach, Newport, Beaufort, Morehead City and the surrounding areas.

The following three factors will have a major impact on the amount you’re able to sell your Crystal Coast NC home for this year:

Location, location, location
Does your Coastal Carolina home or condominium have a beautiful waterfront view? How about beach access? The location of your property is one of the deciding factors of home value. Waterfront homes will net higher sales prices than those that are say, situated near a busy highway or far from shopping and entertainment.

Outdated renovations
Even if you have updated your home since you’ve purchased it, outdated home features like wall-to-wall carpeting and wood paneling can bring down its value. However, that doesn’t mean you need to take on a major renovation to sell your home for what you believe it’s worth. Simple projects like painting and staging can do wonders, but it’s always wise to ask your agent!

Number of beds and baths
Location is important on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, but the number of bedrooms and bathrooms are also highly ranked! For instance, homes in Atlantic Beach, Newport, Beaufort, Morehead City and Havelock with one bedroom as opposed to two will typically sell for a lower amount. Even a desirable address does not always help homes with just one bathroom!

Our experienced agents on the Gena Gilbert Real Estate team are here to answer any questions you have about selling your home, as well as your home value and the local real estate market!

Give us a call today!