6 Things to Look For in a New Home

6 Things to Look For in a New Home

If you’re getting ready to start looking for a new home (or your first home) there are some basic things you’ll want to look for. At Sloane Realty we offer a large assortment of homes and more are coming onto the market every day at this time of the year. Never settle for less than what you want in a home.

Purchasing real estate is one of the most financially sound things you can do. We realize that buying a new home can feel intimidating when it is your first time. It is understandable that you’d want to make the best decision possible. Below are six of the top things to look for in a new home that can help with your decision.

Efficient HVAC System
Because heating and cooling count for a large percentage of a home’s monthly operating costs you’ll want to make sure a home comes with a newer HVAC system. An outdated heating and air conditioning system will drive up your bills in short order. Make sure the HVAC system is one of the newer efficient models and has been well maintained.

A Layout That Works
Decorating a home is easy and relatively inexpensive, but large renovations like knocking down walls or adding rooms can be quite expensive. It is better to buy a home that already has a layout that works for you and your family. Pay attention to how one space flows into another, ceiling height, number of rooms and the amount of natural light.

The Roof is in Good Condition
Many homebuyers forget to check out this important home feature. A damaged roof can indicate water damage and mold problems elsewhere in the home. A professional home inspection will provide you with important information you need to know about structural and roofing issues. Keep in mind that you can get a home that needs a new roof at a reduced amount and still have the seller contribute funds at closing for a roof replacement.

Upgraded Plumbing
Old homes can possess a lot of charm, but if you are considering buying a piece of vintage real estate, make sure the plumbing has been updated. Old metal pipes can leak or might be corroding and adding visible sediment to the water supply.

A Great Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home. Even if you don’t plan to spend a lot of time there, you will want to make sure the kitchen adds value to the home for when the day comes that you put the house back on the market. Renovating a kitchen can be costly, so it is better to start out with a kitchen you know you can live with and enjoy.

How Many Bathrooms
Adding a bathroom is not cheap. Don’t settle for a home that lacks the right number of bathrooms to match your family’s needs. Two bathrooms at a minimum are ideal.

Follow these tips and we think it will streamline the house shopping experience for you. If you want to look at properties and are in need of a Realtor, don’t hesitate to contact us at Sloane Realty. We’re happy to help.

 

 

Buying Your First Starter Home

When you transition from renting to owning your own home it opens up a wide range of opportunities in your life. Sad but true is that it also requires some sacrifices. It’s important to decide up front whether the first house you shop for is one that you want to live in for your whole life or if it’s more of a starter home.

While you may be wary about giving up too many amenities for a home you can afford, try to remember that some demands will cost you more than you should invest in a place you will only be staying for a few years. Following are six things you might need to sacrifice when buying your first home. Prepare yourself now, and you will feel less anxiety during the actual house hunting process.

Buying Your First Starter Home 1. Large Yard – If you’ve been living in an apartment for several years, it’s only natural to dream of a house with a big yard for you to enjoy. Unfortunately, most starter homes are built on relatively small lots. Property is expensive, so to get a house with a big yard you may have to sacrifice major interior amenities. Consider if you’re able to assume the responsibilities associated with owning a large plot of land. Between routinely mowing the lawn and maintaining plants and trees, many young homeowners find a big yard is actually more trouble than it’s worth.

Buying Your First Starter Home2. New Appliances – You should never rule out a house just because you walk in and see an ancient dishwasher or refrigerator. While almost all first-time home buyers dream of finding a place with brand new stainless steel appliances, the truth is that the benefits of those machines are mostly cosmetic. A white fridge will keep your food just as cold as the stainless steel version, and you may be able to get a better deal on a house because it has older appliances.

Buying Your First Starter Home3. Master Bathroom – Everyone wants a home with an en suite master bathroom attached to the bedroom because of the added convenience and privacy. However, most people looking for starter homes are either single adults or childless couples. If you don’t have kids yet, then there’s no real reason why you will need a master bathroom. Most couples can survive just fine sharing one bathroom in a home, especially when it affects the sale price significantly.

Buying Your First Starter Home4. Updated Kitchen and Bathrooms – Similar to new appliances, updated kitchens and bathrooms are mostly cosmetic and you probably will not find an affordable starter home with granite countertops and rain shower-heads. It’s common knowledge among realtors that kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms in the house to redo, which means that sellers aren’t likely to put the money into refinishing them in a starter home. It’s important for first-time buyers to focus on functionality over appearance. As long as everything in the bathroom works, you can live with it for a few years.

Buying Your First Starter Home5. School District – If you don’t have kids (or even if you do have very young children), you shouldn’t worry too much about finding a home in a good school district. Desirable school systems make housing prices skyrocket, so you should only put that extra money into a house if you know you’ll be living there when your children begin their education. For many buyers, it’s better to buy a cheaper starter home now and work on saving money so that you can afford to move into a good school district when it comes time for your little one to enter kindergarten.

Buying Your First Starter Home6. Move-In-Ready – So many first-time home buyers are scared of doing any sort of renovations on their starter homes. For this reason, some people rule out perfectly good properties just because they don’t like the color of the walls or the type of flooring. As long as your house is structurally sound, you can change any cosmetic issues — and many fixes cost next to nothing when compared to the overall price of a home. Do your best to look past anything that can be easily changed, and you may be able to find a diamond in the rough.

 

When you’re ready to look at properties, give us a call at Sloane Realty. We’d be happy to help you find your first starter home!

 

Our Ocean Isle Beach North Carolina Rentals are #1

When you choose Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, as your vacation destination you’ll want accommodations that will provide you with more than just the basics of home. The Ocean Isle North Carolina rentals that Sloane Realty has provide accommodations just like that. They also allow you to venture to the beach at your own leisure while enjoying the beauty of the amazing coastline.

Our Ocean Isle North Carolina Rentals are #1

The best way to thoroughly enjoy these spectacular surroundings is by staying in our spacious Ocean Isle North Carolina rentals that sit oceanfront and provide you with an unimpeded view of the ocean. You can start your day with breakfast on the deck watching the sun rise and end your day relaxing on the deck as the setting sun casts a radiant glow over the water. Watch as the magnificent waves make their way towards the shore, and then retire until the next day when you get to do it all again.

Our Ocean Isle North Carolina Rentals are #1

Ocean Isle Beach is a town designed for family fun along the gorgeous Atlantic coast. Stretching seven miles long and sitting on North Carolina’s southern coastline, this island provides the perfect family beach environment for making memories. Whether this is your first visit or it’s an annual trip to the coast, you’re sure to be awestruck by the sheer beauty that is Ocean Isle Beach.

Our Ocean Isle North Carolina Rentals are #1

The pristine, sandy beaches that run along the island are the perfect place for a stroll or a run along the water’s edge. The beaches have low traffic flow, do not have bright lights, and are generally an all-around great family area. The island has some of the best swimming conditions on the North Carolina coast due to the gentle surf that typically does not have strong currents and a water temperature that averages about 10 degrees warmer than the beaches of the Outer Banks region.

Come check out our Ocean Isle North Carolina rentals. We know you’ll be delighted by what you find.

 

This Year Why Not Show Your Home Some Love on Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to love and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Have you considered that your home needs love, too? A home that is cared for and appreciated will give back to you tenfold. Take advantage of this time of the year to show your home some love in the following ways and just watch how it lights up your life!

It's The Time of Year to Show Your Home Some Love
1. Flowers: We’re not talking about the kind you plant outdoors though that kind is wonderful and keeps on giving. Why not pick up an inexpensive bouquet or potted plant at the grocery store or flower shop and place in the middle of your living room. It will surely brighten up not just your home but your spirits as well.

2. Bathrooms: With a brand new shower curtain it’s an easy, quick, and inexpensive way to rejuvenate your bathroom as well as the whole experience of bathing.

3. Countertops: A normal scrubbing will make your countertops look good, but a bit of extra care will make them look great. Whether laminate, granite, marble or stainless steel, there are great products on the market to maintain the countertop material in your kitchen at a higher level.

4. Cabinetry: If your stained or painted wood cabinets have seen better days, give them a facelift. A fresh coat of paint or a different color will affect the look of your kitchen in a positive way.

5. Artwork: Art can transform a room in an instant. Choose artwork that appeals to your taste, complements your existing décor and speaks to you on some level.

6. Furnaces: It’s easy to keep buying replaceable fiberglass furnace filters, but if you really want to treat your HVAC system well, consider stepping up to a model that improves air quality and energy efficiency.

7. Closets: While it may take some serious effort, putting your closets in order will not only make you feel better, but will also make your life easier. Take it over the top with a fresh coast of bright white paint. You’ll be glad you did every time you open the door.

8. Carpeting: Hire a professional to steam clean your carpeting. While a carpet may look clean enough, a thorough conditioning not only removes dirt, but also redistributes the pile, making the carpet appear new again.

9. Walls: Whether you’re painting an entire room or just one wall, a fresh coat of paint is always a super idea. For the price of a can of paint, it’s one of the easiest home improvement projects you can tackle that will have a big impact.

10. Entry: Take the time to decorate the entrance to your home so that when you arrive home it gives you a pleasant feeling and relaxes you. It doesn’t take much to decorate with something simple and nice to look at.

What You Should Know About Credit Reports

Your credit score is one of the most valuable things you own but it can quickly turn itself around and work against you. A low credit score will directly affect your ability to borrow money and may get you rejected for that mortgage loan you applied for. With a low score you may get your loan but at a higher interest rate because the lender sees you as a high risk. A credit report will show you what your score is, good or bad. It’s very important to know what it is as this could prevent you from buying your dream home!
 
Things to Know About Credit Reports
Many people either don’t understand the ins and outs of their credit score or they have inaccurate information about what it is. If you are about to start your search for real estate, you should prepare ahead of time and work to increase your credit score. The following information should pave the way for you to do that.

1. Credit reports aren’t always accurate. Many have errors or mistakes — 80 percent, actually. Regularly check your credit report. Everyday we hear about thousands of credit cards being compromised through the hacking of large retailers’ security and payment systems.

If your personal information gets compromised, a thief will open up financial accounts in your name. However, they will not pay the bills, and this will ruin your credit. Those unpaid bills will be reported to the credit agencies and will affect your ability to buy a car, rent a home, purchase real estate or even find a job. It pays to keep a close eye on your credit scores and your credit card accounts then report any suspicious charges immediately.

2. Pulling your credit score may lower it.
A “soft” pull is done yourself for personal reasons; it will have zero effect. A “hard inquiry” is when a lender pulls it up for loan approval. It will have a negative impact, but small. Multiple hard inquiries within a 14 day period many not impact your score but spread over a longer period it definitely will.

3. A higher income does not equal a higher credit score. Income is not relevant to credit score; paying bills on time (or not) is what matters as is the amount of debt you’re carrying.

4. Credit scores and credit reports are not the same. Credit reports are just one piece of the equation. Many factors go into calculating your credit score. What matters is making sure the three large credit bureaus have similar information and scores. The three big credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian and Transunion. You can get one free credit report a year from each. Take advantage of this to protect yourself and stay current with your score.

5. Debt settlement will not remove debt from your credit report. Debt settlement doesn’t fix bad credit. Late payments, bad information and other smears remain for up to seven years following the first “infraction” date.

Perfect Credit Score 800+6. Cash-only payments will not help you build credit. You can’t build good credit unless you use credit, and use it wisely. Get a couple small loans or credit cards and pay them off as you use them.

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

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

9. Dispute inaccurate information to remove it from your credit report. You can dispute only errors. A valid dispute will result in deletion of inaccurate information. Disputing negative, but accurate, information will be a waste of your time.

10. Missed payments will affect your credit score. Any missed or late payment can be reported to a credit bureau and probably will be, thus affecting your credit score negatively. There is no undoing this once it’s done.

Do everything you can to get your credit score as high as it can be then when you’re ready to look at real estate, give us a call at Sloane Realty. We can be reached by calling 866-931-5201.

 

Tips for Relocating to North Carolina with Children

So you’ve made the decision to relocate your family to North Carolina. Congratulations! Winter will never be the same for you again – and that’s a good thing. When your plans involve searching for a new home to purchase you’ll like the North Carolina coastal real estate we have available. Families and retirees alike love this coastal area not just due to the lower cost of living but also because of the more temperate weather than they’re used to. If cold temperatures are something you can ever get used to then this is the place for you.

A Stressed out Child - No More with a North Carolina moveAs exciting as a new home is, the move itself can be stressful if you don’t plan ahead. While moving can be a labor of love for adults, it can can be stressful for children. It’s not easy for them to say goodbye to all of their friends. A long distance move to a new area and a new school where they won’t know anybody, might be more than they’re ready to handle. We have some tips on relocating to offer you that may help things go a bit smoother with the kids.

Talk to Your Kids about the Move

Kids playing on a North Carolina BeachTalk to your kids early on about the family moving to a new area. If you’re fairly certain you’re going to be buying a new home then take the time to gather information of all the advantages to living there and the fun things there will be to do once you become residents.

Use a Map or Globe

Tips for Relocating to North Carolina with ChildrenUse a map or a globe, especially for younger kids, to show them where you live now and where you’ll be moving to. Don’t forget to also point out where other family members live that may not be nearby.

Do Research Online

Tips for Relocating to North Carolina with ChildrenDo research online with your children ahead of time and again after you’re moved in. Let them help you with the Google searches of the area and you might be surprised at what they’ll discover. Assign them a research task like where the family will get their groceries, how close the schools are to where you’ll be living, and where the parks are in the area.

Check out the Local Schools

Tips for Relocating to North Carolina with ChildrenCheck out the schools your children will be once you’ve moved in. Visit the school ahead of time – first on their website and then in person. Don’t make their first visit to their new school on their first day of classes.

Tips for Relocating to North Carolina with ChildrenWe think you’ll find that once your kids begin talking to their friends about their upcoming relocation to North Carolina the input their friends provide will turn things in a good direction. Their friends will be excited for them and are going to want to come and visit — the ocean, water parks and amusement parks, too. In fact, it might be a good idea to mention that early on in the process.

Experience has shown us that once your children start telling their friends all about North Carolina they’ll look forward to the move filled more with excitement than with stress. If you have any questions about the local area or would like to see some properties, just get in touch! Give us a call at Sloane Realty, 800-237-4609.

We look forward to hearing from you today!

The Difference Between a House vs. Home

Have you ever questioned what the difference is between a house and a home? As experts in the field of real estate we are frequently asked this question. A house is what you purchase and a home is what it becomes once you move in and settle down. You’ll often see that we advertise beach homes for sale far more often than houses for sale. That’s because our homes for sale have a way of holding onto the essence of what makes a house a home long after the sellers have moved out. It’s that comfort factor that makes a house get snatched right up.

Whether you call it a house or a home matters little in the home buying process. What does matter is the Realtor you use to find your next home. Give us a call at Sloane Realty 800-237-4609 and we’ll gladly show you around the area.

In the meantime, check out these upcoming events taking place nearby.

BridalShow

The always popular Silver Coast Bridal Show is taking place from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, January 25 at the Silver Coast Winery in Ocean Isle Beach. Meet local wedding vendors and discover more of their services, including catering, photography, officiating, cakes, DJs and entertainment, event rentals, limos, venues, event planners, florists, and more! Let the expertise of local wedding professionals make your wedding day extra special. There will even be a DYI booth to help you create your favorite Pinterest centerpiece. Free admission. 6680 Barbeque Road, Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

Runners

 

The 2nd Annual Beethoven 15k/5k takes place on Sunday, January 25 at 8:15 and 9 a.m. at the Brunswick Forest Fitness Center, 2701 Brunswick Forest Pkwy., Leland, NC. Featuring unique picturesque courses through beautiful Brunswick Forest, snazzy tee-shirts, customized 15K finisher medals, inside bathrooms and locker rooms, and a post-race party at the Fitness Center in the Leland Room with adult beverages, good food, vendors and exhibitors.

There is a costume awards category for athletes wearing Beethoven wigs, carrying musical instruments, or just wearing the costume of your choice. The goal is to strike a balance between athletes looking for a serious 15K or 5K race and those looking to have a fun day and enjoy the race and post race festivities with friends and fellow runners in the 15K or 5K.

The event is a fundraiser for the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and its youth education programs.  Perfect tune-up race for late winter and early spring marathons and half marathons!  Individual and 4-person team entry categories are available. The event offers 5K and 15K races, and 1K, 5K and 15K walks. Price range $35-$50.

How to Shake Up Your Christmas Holiday This Year

This year why not do something different in celebration of the Christmas holiday. Come spend the holidays on the Brunswick Islands off the coast of North Carolina. If you’re coming to just get away and relax, we have plenty of holiday vacation rentals where you can comfortably stay and at an affordable price. But if you’ve been thinking about relocating, why not come to the area and let Sloane Realty show you the coastal properties we have for sale at this time. You’ll be getting double duty out of your holiday vacation and who knows, you just might buy yourself a new house for Christmas!

We’ll list some local activities and events taking place this month so you’ll have something to do between relaxing and looking at homes

SantaInParade

The annual North Carolina Christmas Festival and Parade will be held in Leland on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a tree lighting December 12 at 6 p.m. at the Leland Town Hall Park. The parade is from 10 a.m.-noon, and will follow Village Road from the First Baptist Church to the North Brunswick Shopping Center. Immediately following the parade, the free Christmas Festival will begin and last until 4:30 p.m. There will be food vendors, children’s entertainment, lots of music and dance troupe performances.

TastesOfChristmas

The 2nd Annual 12 Tastes of Christmas will be held Friday, December 12 from 7-10 p.m. at the Brooklyn Arts Center, 516 N. 4th St., Wilmington. This holiday tasting party to benefit adult literacy in the Cape Fear area. The all-inclusive benefit will feature 12 food and drink pairings, music and more – all in the spirit of the season. Tickets are $30 and include food/drink tasters. Cocktail or festive attire encouraged!

BoysChoir

Come experience a Coastal Carolina Christmas on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12-13 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 16 North 16th St., Wilmington. This is a fundraiser to benefit the Wilmington Boys Choir, Samaritan Ministry, and Mother Hubbards Cupboard.

Friday Dec 12: Ceremony of Carols followed by champagne and chocolate reception. Featuring the Wilmington Boys Choir at St. Paul’s and the St. Paul’s Choir, plus…a carol sing-along.

Saturday Dec 13: Christmas Cabaret, an evening of jazz and standards with Grenoldo Frazier. Dinner by the bite, wine pairings, and seasonal cider plus a silent auction. Admission. See more detailed information on www.spechurch.com.

All of us at Sloane Realty would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

 

The Best Coastal Retirement Properties

When it comes to retirement one of the best things about it is the freedom to be able to move to wherever you truly want to live. Many people, after retirement, relocate to a warmer location such as our coastal North Carolina. Here you can play golf year round yet it doesn’t get as incredibly hot as it does further south like Florida, for instance. Moving to this area will provide the added benefits of a lower cost of living, more retirement properties available and more communities we suited to retirees. Some of the best coastal retirement properties that we have are located right here in the coastal Brunswick Islands of North Carolina.

retire to north carolina
 

Holden Beach Retirement Properties

We have Holden Beach homes that include features you’ve earned in your next house such as gourmet kitchens both indoors and out, elevators, hot tubs, whirlpool tubs and master suites with walk-in closets and fireplaces. These homes, many single level, were built with attention to detail and will make a big difference in the quality of your living environment. The manicured landscaping shows pride in ownership to anyone passing. From outside or inside many of these homes you can enjoy the limitless water views of the ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, salt marshes and the Shallotte River. If you’re looking for new a home consider Overlook at Caison’s Creek where luxury townhomes can be found less than a mile from the beach.

 

retire to north caorlina

Brunswick County Retirement Properties

When you’re ready to retire in comfort this might be the perfect location for you. Homes here include a full range of sizes and prices that anyone in retirement can afford. If it’s luxury you’re wanting, we have that too.An inventory that includes oceanfront home on the Brunswick Islands to homes further inland and close to Wilmington will give you a number of choices to select from. You can be as close to or far from the water as you’d like. No matter where you live in Brunswick County you’ll always be just a short drive from the coast as well as all that the City of Wilmington has to offer.

 

retire to north carolina

Sunset Beach Retirement Properties

As one of the South Brunswick Islands, Sunset Beach is a laid back, friendly beach community offering residents everything that comes to mind when you hear its name. Centrally located between Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach SC you’ll be well situated for easy access to a wealth of entertainment, dining, and amusement venues. For new homes check out Cape Side, a small serene community. Strict architectural review guidelines have been followed to ensure that every home in Cape Side contributes to the overall aesthetic value of the neighborhood which includes well lit and maintained streets.

retire to north carolina
 

Ocean Isle Beach Retirement Properties

The Brunswick Islands area offers over 25 golf courses and miles of pristine shoreline. In this area you’ll be able to choose the perfect retirement home from new and pre-owned homes including single family homes and condominiums. Many retirees find the maintenance-free living that a condo provides to be exactly what they’ve been dreaming of. You may find your perfect lifestyle and dream home among the new homes in The Retreat at Ocean Isle Beach. Another new community, Waterway Cove, is located on the mainland of OIB and we’d be happy to show you homes there as well.

If you’d like to talk with a Realtor at Sloane Realty we’d be happy to set up a time to get together. You can reach us through the Contact Us page here on our website or by calling us at 800-237-4609. We’d love to show you around the community!

5 Most Popular Restaurants in Southport NC

Whether you’re vacationing in an area that’s new to you or you’re relocating to one, there’s a lot to learn about your new community that usually just takes time. But if you’re able to talk with people that live here or visit frequently, you’ll likely find out a lot of information based on their experiences. In the meantime, we know you have to eat so when it comes to dining out, we’re giving you suggestions for some of the most popular restaurants in Southport, North Carolina that you should really check out! Just tell them CB Sloane Realty sent you!

150890494

Fishy Fishy Café is a popular seafood restaurant located at 106 Yacht Basin Drive in Southport. Dine indoors or outdoors, enjoy the live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and check out their Specials going on all the time.

Taylor Cuisine Café & Catering offers sit down restaurant service as well as a catering service for your events. Located at 731 N. Howe Street in Southport. Check them out on Facebook where they’ll occasionally post coupons for discounts on dinner.

Dead End Saloon Fish Factory Grille is a restaurant and bar offering arts and entertainment as well as great food selections. They can be found at 4907 Fish Factory Road in Southport. They have live music, fun dining, and plenty of cook-off’s offering cash prizes!

The Yacht Basin Eatery at 122 Yacht Basin Drive, Southport, is an Italian restaurant offering live music and house specials. They have specialty nights such as Pizza Night, BBQ Weekend, Pasta Night and more.

Loco Jo’s Bar & Grill at 602 N. Howe St., Suite E., in Southport is a Gastropub you’ll want to make at least one stop at. This casual eatery is locally owned and operated and offers Friday night dinner specials that are vast and varied. From Kobe Burgers to Lemon Grass Curry with Shrimp and Softshell Crabs to Crispy Duck, you shall not be disappointed when you dine at Loco Jo’s.

When you’re considering relocating to the Southport area and are visiting to experience the town firsthand, try out any of these restaurants and tell them we sent you. If you’re interested in seeing some of our Southport NC real estate give Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty a call at 910-579-1144 and we’d be happy to show you around during your visit to the area.