Tag Archives: homebuying

So you’ve decided to buy a home or condominium on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast— now what? The process can feel overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before or have been out of the market for quite some time. But don’t worry! As your local real estate experts in Coastal Carolina, Gena Gilbert Real Estate will walk you through every step of the way to avoid any worries or uncertainties that buyers commonly experience.

Below are three key steps to buying a home in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Havelock, Newport, Emerald Isle and the surrounding areas:

1. Find a real estate agent
Buying a new home on the Crystal Coast is a major financial decision and likely one of the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life! Don’t entrust the search to just anyone. Find a real estate agent that you feel comfortable with and one you can trust. We have an excellent track record of helping buyers in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Havelock, Newport, Emerald Isle and would be glad to assist you!

2. Find a lender
Before you can purchase a home in Coastal Carolina, you will need to meet with a lender to get pre-approved or to determine how much you are able to afford in a property. If you don’t already have a lender in mind, your real estate agent would be glad to provide recommendations so you can start off this major financial move on the right foot!

3. Make a wish list
When buying a home, it’s important to determine what you need versus what you want. You may want marble countertops, but do you really need them? Things you need may include a reasonable commute time or yard for your pets, even a specific number of bedrooms to accommodate your family. Make a list of these necessary items before you begin your home search to streamline the process and rule out any homes that don’t fit.

If you’re ready to make the move to a new home in Coastal Carolina, but have a few questions to clear up first, do not hesitate to give us a call! We’ve helped numbers buyers find their dream homes and we’re here to help you too!

We look forward to hearing from you!

3 Steps to Take Before Buying a Crystal Coast NC Condo or Home

beach-339495_960_720It’s a new year on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast and for many, that signals a fresh start in terms of homes. Perhaps you’ve been thinking of selling your current property in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or are ready to purchase your first home or vacation home in Coastal Carolina— no matter which scenario, there are a few steps to take to ensure you’re on the right track!

Below are three important milestones to tackle before buying a home on the Crystal Coast:

Set up a down payment fund
If you’re not planning to sell a current property you own to use toward your down payment, it is wise to set up a down payment fund. This is commonly seen as one of the biggest obstacles to homeownership, so why not automate it to ensure it happens every month? If you never see the money, you won’t be tempted to spend it elsewhere and can put it directly toward your new home!

Keep your credit clean
Before you buy a home in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding communities, you will want to make sure your credit is well-groomed. Now is not the time to fall behind on bills or other debt payments like credit cards or auto loans. Lenders will like to see that you are able to pay down debts before approving you for a mortgage.

Stick to a budget
Living on a budget will allow you to save more toward your down payment and future Crystal Coast NC home. Make a budget, writing out your monthly expenses and income, and identify where you can cut back. Perhaps cutting out your gym membership in favor of working out at home will allow you to put that money into your down payment fund! Every little change will help you reach your dream home faster!

Ready to make the leap and purchase your piece of the Coastal Carolina dream? Do not hesitate to contact Gena Gilbert Real Estate with any questions about the local market, available properties or the buying process!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for a Crystal Coast NC Home This Winter

traffic-cone-1027881_960_720Despite what many believe about the winter season, opportunities still abound when the temperatures dip below their usual along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast! Both sellers and buyers are constantly motivated to move, no matter the time of year, and continue to browse homes online via their smartphones, tablets or computers— even in the winter! But if you’re shopping for a home in Coastal Carolina this winter, that doesn’t mean it’s always smooth sailing. Below are a few mistakes you’ll want to watch out for along the way.

Don’t acquire too much holiday debt
Tis the season for gift giving and holiday shopping, however it’s important that you don’t get too carried away! Avoid taking out new lines of credit this time of year and racking up debt on current credit cards. If you must put your purchases on credit cards, make sure you’re careful to pay them down or off right away! Even those with good credit can drastically change their debt-to-income ratio (a factor lenders look at when determining your eligibility for a mortgage) in a short time.

Look past the winter drab
While homes do tend to show their best during the holiday season, the winter months can tend to dull typically bright greenery, flowers and landscaping. If you come across a Crystal Coast NC home with a lawn not looking its best, do look past it. It is wise to envision what the property may look like during the spring and summer to make sure you’re not skipping over a great home!

Don’t make a lowball offer
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean lowball offers are a must. In order to determine if you may be able to score a deal on a home in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport, you’ll need to consider how long the home has been on the market, its location, condition and many other factors. Remember that inventory is lower, while buyer demand remains high, so your lowball offer may be tossed right out the window.

Give Gena Gilbert Real Estate a call today if you’re ready to call Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport the surrounding communities your home! We can provide more information about the current real estate market, available homes and steps to take to ensure homebuyer success!

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!

What to Expect from a Homeowners Association in Coastal Carolina

house-purchase-1019764_960_720If you are planning to buy a condominium, townhouse or single-family home in a community with shared common areas like a swimming pool, you may find that your new house is maintained by a homeowners association or HOA. These associations typically help your home and community run as smoothly as possible and look its best at all times— handling everything from landscaping to maintenance issues. But what exactly do you have to expect from an HOA if you’re new to them?

HOA Fees
In order to cover the costs of maintenance in the community, HOAs will collect either monthly or yearly fees from everyone who lives in their borders. For some homeowners of single-family homes these fees can range from $200 to $300 per month or can be lower depending on the size of your home, the type of property and the specific amenities provided to you. It’s also important to keep in mind that HOAs commonly collect a little more than necessary to cover maintenance costs to build up a reserve should any repairs like a leaky roof arise throughout the year.

HOA Rules
Homeowners associations are run by boards of homeowners who live within the community. These board members are usually elected by the rest of the community’s homeowners and hold regular meetings to discuss issues and make decisions for the better of the community. Given that the HOA is watched over by this board, they will also ensure that homeowners follow a set of established rules— for instance, if you can have pets or if you can install specific landscaping features. Each homeowner will be given a copy of these upon move-in and typically sign a contract that states they agree to follow them.

HOA Rule Violations
If you violate the rules we mentioned above in an HOA in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas, you could risk being evicted, or worse, foreclosed upon. Be sure you always read and abide by your HOA covenants and rules in order to avoid this!

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to share the details surrounding HOAs, from fees to rules and everything in between. If you have questions about buying a  condominium, townhouse or single-family home in a homeowners association on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, do not hesitate to give us a call!

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

speech-bubble-1423321_960_720When you decide to buy a home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, you are inundated with advice and suggestions from friends and family about where to live, when to buy and how much is the right amount to pay for a specific property. Buyers can quickly become overwhelmed on their journey to homeownership in Coastal Carolina— that’s why it’s important to research the facts and figures for yourself ahead of time!

Be sure to answer these three questions on your own before purchasing a home in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, or Newport:

Why am I buying a home?
Buyers tend to easily forget what their goal is in purchasing a home on the Crystal Coast. Is it for access to more space? More bedrooms? To avoid paying rent? A new study found that the major reasons people buy a home in fact has little to do with money, but instead, it’s about finding a nice place to raise their children, access to great schools, a safe place for family to live, more space and unlimited control of the space.

Where are home values going?
Your timeline for buying a home on the Crystal Coast should reflect where home values are headed. In the case of today’s real estate market, home values are only going up from here! In fact, waiting to buy the same home one year from now will cost you significantly more than if you took the steps to purchase the home now! Even the latest Home Price Index by CoreLogic has predicted home values will rise by 5.3 percent over the next year.

Where are mortgage rates going?
A similar question, but equally as important to the North Carolina homebuyer! It’s absolutely key to look at more than just the price of a home in Coastal Carolina when preparing to buy— mortgage rates play a crucial role! Rates have been hovering around historic lows for most of the year, remaining under 4 percent. Rates are not expected to dip much lower and will undoubtedly begin to rise as we head toward the end of the year.

Are you ready to buy a home in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas this year? Give Gena Gilbert Real Estate a call!

What to Do After Moving into a New Home or Condo on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

house-1407562_960_720Tis the season for moving into a new home or condominium on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast! The hustle and bustle of moving all of your belongings into a new home and trying to settle in can be quite the challenge— in fact, you are bound to forget something! Many homeowners tend to look over the following essential steps after moving into a new property and as your local real estate expertsGena Gilbert Real Estate is here to remind you!

Jot the following down onto your to-do list and you will ensure a much smoother and stress-free settling-in process after the big move:

Change your locks
Think about all of the people you’ve given a key to over the years— from neighbors to friends to family and beyond. You never know who has a key to your home! After you’ve moved into your new home in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas, call a locksmith or install new deadbolts yourself.

Look for leaks
The last thing you want as a new homeowner in Coastal Carolina is a leaky faucet, toilet or shower. Your home inspector will typically do this prior to your purchasing the home, but it is always wise to check again. Watch for signs of water after flushing toilets, showering, running the kitchen sink and be sure to check around the water heater.

Find the circuit breakers
In case of a power outage, you will want to know where the circuit breakers and your main water shut-off valve are. You will even want to know where these are when doing something as simple as changing a lightbulb or swapping out fixtures.

Clean out the cabinets
Take the time to clean out the kitchen and bathrooms cabinets after you move in. Oftentimes, you will find residue from cleaning products, food, toiletries or even evidence of critters. If you do find that you may have an animal problem, you will want to know about it as soon as possible so you can identify a plan!

If you have questions about buying a new home on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina this year or selling your current home, do not hesitate to give us a call!

We look forward to hearing from you!

3 Things to Research Before Buying A Home or Condo in Coastal Carolina

home-1353389_960_720Purchasing a home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is an exciting process, but the steps involved can become overwhelming— especially if you’ve been out of the market for some time. However, as your local real estate experts in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding areasGena Gilbert Real Estate can help you stay organized so there is nothing you’re missing as you get ready to sign your name on the line!

There is a good amount of research home buyers in Coastal Carolina can do to ensure they are getting the home they think they are and we’ve included a few of those important tasks below. Before you close the deal on a home or condo on the Crystal Coast, here are three things worth looking into:

The home inspection
This is one of the essentials when buying a home in North Carolina! A home inspection gives buyers peace of mind, knowing that there is nothing structurally or otherwise wrong with the property prior to purchasing. Home inspectors will look for issues that will cost buyers money to repair or replace— including the foundation, operating systems like HVAC, roofing and more.

Condo or HOA fees
If you will be buying a condo or a Coastal Carolina home within an association, take the time to review their conditions, restrictions and any other rules affecting homeowners. Some of these rules might include which color you can paint your home, adding a deck or other exterior features, even landscaping styles. It is always a wise decision to go over these ahead of time as if you’re not aware, you could ultimately face a fine.

Title search
Conducting a title search on the home you intend to buy ensure that no one else holds a claim to the property or that a creditor hasn’t placed a lien on the home for outstanding debts. This title search will show that you are allowed to assume the title outright and will have no problems down the road— or if something does arise, you are able to resolve it with the seller prior to the sale.

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to answer any questions you have regarding the process of buying a home in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding areas this year! Do not hesitate to give us a call!

We look forward to hearing from you!

5 Steps to Buy A Home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

unique-3-1209058Tis the season to buy a home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast! Many homebuyers will jump into the real estate market this season to purchase a new home, condominium or vacation property— however, not all of them are aware of the necessary steps. As your local experts in Coastal CarolinaGena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to walk you through the process of preparing to buy a home!

Consider the following five steps as you begin your home buying journey this spring in Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Newport, Havelock, Emerald Isle, Morehead City and the surrounding areas of North Carolina:

Research your credit score
It is wise to comb through your credit history and score before you begin searching for homes on the Crystal Coast. If errors are found, these can take months to fully correct and as your lender will be looking into your history and score, you don’t want any setbacks in the mortgage process down the road!

Gather the documents
It never hurts to be prepared! Gather all of the necessary documents now— W-2 forms, proof of employment, income tax returns and bank statements to verify your income and savings.

Call on the professionals
If you haven’t already, contact your real estate agent to begin the process of finding your dream home. You will also want to get in touch with a lender—or your real estate agent can recommend one—to determine your budget and how much home you can afford.

Research mortgage options
When you meet with your lender, you will want to go over mortgage options and which might be the best for you and your goals. You will also find out the type of mortgage you qualify for.

Get pre-approved
After you’ve determined that you can qualify for a mortgage, your lender can provide a pre-approval letter. This shows sellers in Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Newport, Havelock, Emerald Isle and Morehead City that you are a serious buyer and also gives you an idea of how much you are able to borrow.

If you have questions about buying a home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, do not hesitate to give us a call! We can provide a list of available properties and helpful tips for finding your perfect property!

Signs It’s Time to Purchase A New Home in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport NC

moving-tools-1-1529669There are numerous reasons to purchase a home or condominium on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast this year— some of the strongest being low mortgage rates, home prices and the rising costs of rent. However, there are certain signs you can recognize in your own life (even in your current property!) that will lead you down the path of purchasing a new home.

The busy spring buying season is on the horizon in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding communities of North Carolina, so peek through our list of reasons to move a new home below before the competition sets in!

Your children have moved
If you’ve reached the point in life where your kids have all grown up and moved out, why waste money on extra space you don’t need? Downsizing to a smaller home in Coastal Carolina will not only save you money on your mortgage payment every month, but also on utilities, cleaning time and upkeep!

You need more storage
One of the most popular reasons homebuyers jump into the real estate market is due to a lack of storage space! Contrary to the reason above, you may be finding that your home simply does not provide enough space for your belongings and that’s reason enough to move on!

You’re ready for a fresh start
Does living the good life in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas of North Carolina sound appealing to you? You might just be ready for a fresh start, in a new community, in a new home. Gena Gilbert Real Estate is here to help you make that a reality!

Your home is in need of repair
For some homeowners in Coastal Carolina, moving to a new home is actually less expensive than taking care of all of the necessary repairs in their current home. If you’ve already put in the sweat equity, it might be time to purchase a home that requires less maintenance!

Gena Gilbert Real Estate has years of experience in assisting buyers with finding the right home at the right price! Give us a call today for more information about available properties on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast!