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 An outdated heating and air conditioning system will drive up your bills in short order.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!

 

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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!

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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.

Why Right Now is a Great Time to Shop for Brunswick County Real Estate

This is the most beautiful time of year to be looking at our large number of Brunswick County homes for sale. Many of these homes are decorated for the holidays and it adds to the appeal when buyers tour the property. It’s easier to picture your own holidays spent living there when you experience the holidays there first hand.

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There is a beautiful assortment of holiday themes in the homes we’ve seen and if you have a home on the market we suggest you may want to have it professionally decorated for the holidays. It could very well be the difference in whether your property sells at this time of year or not.

If you’re in the market for a new home and would like to tour some properties, give us a call at 910-579-1808 and we’ll make arrangements to get together to look at some homes.

During this time of year the spirit of Christmas surrounds us all. Be sure to go out and take part in as many local events taking place over the holidays as you can.

From all of us at Sloane Realty, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

We Have Plenty of Affordable Vacation Rentals in Ocean Isle Beach

When you’re looking for the best rate on vacation rentals in Ocean Isle Beach check out our many affordable accommodations. We have a vast assortment of condos, villas, and single family homes that will provide you with all the comforts you would want when you’re away from home. With our many pet friendly homes, homes with pools, linen ready homes, and the many comfortable winter rentals we still have available you’re sure to find exactly the type of home you’re looking for. You simplywon’t find a better price on such a large number of Ocean Isle Beach vacation rentals as we have right here at Sloane Realty. Give us a call at 866-931-5201 if we can assist you with finding that perfect vacation rental.

Two of our most popular events are coming up this month. The 31st North Carolina Oyster Festival will be held October 19-20 in front of the Museum of Coastal Carolina from Sat. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event features live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, festival food, a road race, kid’s area and an Oyster Stew Cook-off. Festival goers can also enjoy watching the shuckers compete for the title of 2013 North Carolina Oyster Shucking Champion. $5.00 / Children 8 & Under Free.

 

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The second and equally popular event is the North Carolina Festival by the Sea being held October 26-27, 2013. This 2-day event kicks off with a parade down the Holden Beach causeway at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Arts and Crafts vendors are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. There will be a horseshoe tournament and a sand castle building contest. Children enjoy face painting, huge kites flying overhead and children’s rides and amusements. Live musical entertainment begins at 10 a.m. both days at Holden Beach’s new pavilion. Free admission and free parking.

We hope to see you there!

Baby Boomers are Relocating to Calabash NC

As baby boomers reach retirement age an increasing number of them are considering relocating to North Carolina. This generation unlike the ones that came before them do not want to retire to Florida where it’s too hot and over populated. Not when North Carolina has so much more to offer them. With the beautiful coast on one side and the mountains on the other, what’s not to love about North Carolina!

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The small quaint fishing village of Calabash, NC, is appealing to an increasing number of baby boomers. It could be because of the central location or the beautiful weather or maybe it’s all the golf courses that are in close proximity to Calabash that appeals to them. But we know that it’s the low prices on Calabash NC real estate and the affordable cost of living that the area provides that has them settling in to stay.

The Calabash NC real estate that we can show you has the features that babyboomers are interested in for their post-retirement homes. Features such as single level living, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances in upscale kitchens with granite countertops and outdoor patios and screened in porches for easy entertaining when the family comes to visit.

When you’re considering a move to coastal North Carolina, look us up at Sloane Realty. We can meet with you and show you properties that are exactly what you’ve been hoping for. Give us a call at 910-579-1144.

Where to Find Great Deals on Oak Island NC Real Estate

For anyone hoping to relocate to Oak Island, North Carolina, our professionals at Sloane Realty can find you some great deals on Oak Island NC real estate currently on the market. Whether you’re looking for your first home, a retirement home, or something in between like a vacation home to enjoy at your leisure, we have an assortment of properties that would superbly meet your needs.

OakIsland

This beach cottage is located on Tranquil Harbor on Oak Island. You can just imagine what living in a place with a name like that would be like! With two bedrooms and two bathrooms it’s a manageable size for anyone. If you’re in search of a one story home, this is it! Act fast because Oak Island NC real estate never hangs around for long before someone buys it.

The Pirates Are Coming Festival will be held on nearby Bald Head Island beginning at 4:30 p.m. on August 2 and run through August 4. The pirates are coming and taking over the island for several days of unbridled revelry, with proceeds benefiting the Old Baldy Foundation. Events and activities include a Pirate Invasion, Pirate Block Party, sword fights, gun powder, pirate encampments, pirate parade and pirate costume contest, pirate schools, Duck Race, Silent Auction and more! Call 910-457-7481 for more information.

Another must-do event is the Port City Ribfest taking place at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington from August 9-10, 2013. Don’t miss it!

Where to Stay in Ocean Isle Beach

When you’re planning a vacation and you’re looking for comfortable accommodations that are affordable and won’t sink your ship, take a look at what only we have to offer you at Sloane Realty. We have some Ocean Isle Beach condo rentals that sit oceanfront and will provide you with phenomenal coastline views. This close, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the aromatherapy that only the ocean salt air can provide.

porchIn an oceanfront rental you’ll practically be able to roll out of bed and onto the beach, you’re just that close. But we don’t recommend it. Proper attire is usually shorts or a swimsuit rather than your pajamas. You’ll be able to wake to the sound of the waves crashing to shore then enjoy a leisurely breakfast on your deck or patio before heading off for a long walk or run down the beach. It’s a fitness plan designed by Mother Nature herself and it works!

You really have to experience it firsthand in order to know how lovely and well-appointed our Ocean Isle Beach condo rentals truly are. If you love to cook, you’ll like knowing our rentals provide you with your own kitchen where you can prepare a simple breakfast or a full-on gourmet meal for dinner. Take it up a notch and plan a romantic dinner on the beach complete with candlelight. Remember, you’re on vacation and anything goes!