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Wilmington NC Real Estate and Wrightsville Beach Home Sales Blog

Ed Wagenseller


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RiverLights - Community and Real Estate Info

by Ed Wagenseller and Fritts Causby

Slated to open for home sales in the summer of 2016, RiverLights is certain to become one of Wilmington, North Carolina’s favorite new neighborhoods. Part of the reason for this is that the community will offer a variety of amenities when it is complete. Nestled alongside the beautiful Cape Fear River, RiverLights will feature a 30-acre lake with a nearby recreational center, a mixed-use commercial area, and an activated Marina Village with a dock master and a 112-slip marina.

Aligned with Wilmington’s emphasis on maintaining an active lifestyle, this brand-new community will offer a boardwalk by the river, an event lawn and miles of trails for walking and biking. There will also be a crab dock, many fine shops and restaurants, and numerous work/live opportunities. The biking trails will eventually connect the neighborhood to the city’s vibrant downtown area and the famed Cross City Trail—a fact that has everyone in town excited.

RiverLights is a community with three miles of river frontage that is being constructed by Newland Communities, the largest private developer of planned residential and urban mixed-use communities in the United States. With a 40-year track record of success, they have excelled by developing neighborhoods that include a range of homes and amenities, designed to fit the tastes and preferences of many demographics.

Keeping that in mind, RiverLights will feature a mix of townhomes, detached single-family homes, and a 55+ senior community. It will encompass more than 1,400 acres and approximately 2,700 homes when it’s done.

To say that everyone is enthusiastic about the impact that RiverLights will have on Wilmington and the regional economy is a bit of an understatement. For more information, or to find a home in RiverLights, give me a call at 910-279-4663 or send an email to ewagenseller@gmail.com.

Much of this information was pulled from the Newland Communities’ website. 

Low Interest Rates and Strong Buying Power=A Window of Opportunity

by Ed Wagenseller and Fritts Causby

For my friends and family who enjoy talking Real Estate with me, it may sound like I am beating a dead horse. What can I say? It’s hard for me to pull it back sometimes, and this is especially true considering there is a real sense of urgency for people to capitalize on the current market conditions.

Simply put, money is cheap right now and it’s never going to be cheaper. Yes, there is a possibility that interest rates could fall again. Nobody can predict the future with absolute certainty, but most economists tend to agree that interest rates will begin to rise next year and continue to increase through the end of the decade. 

What that means for the buyer, seller or investor is that the window of opportunity to cash in on these unprecedented market conditions could be closing. 

Many of my buyers have been discouraged about the fact that prices have gone up. It’s true, prices have increased nearly 20% since last year, but as one of my mortgage broker friends is fond of saying, “It’s not the prices that matter; it’s the interest rates and the payment.” 

His logic makes sense after considering that each time an interest rate is increased by a quarter of a point, it represents an additional $9,518 in payments over the life of the loan. To put it another way, every time the rate goes up by 0.25%, it means that the buyer will need to have an additional 3% in income to qualify for the same loan amount. 

I don’t know about you, but I think interest rates will rise faster than wages, unfortunately. Looking at historical trends will more than likely support that theory. 

There is a strong sense of urgency right now for buyers. The idea that anyone who has been sitting on the fence should immediately go shopping for a home has been the subject of a lot of discussion.

What is often overlooked is the opportunity that this extremely favorable market environment also represents for sellers. Since most people already know that interest rates are at historic lows, it’s also a great time to sell a home.  

Inventory levels are very low right now as a result of the sense of urgency that buyers have been feeling. People recognize that it is a great time to buy right now, even though there has been a substantial increase in prices year-over-year. 

Low inventory levels equal short market times and high sale prices for sellers. There’s no question that the time to act is now, whether you’re considering a move in order to downsize and cash out some equity or your goal is to move into a dream home on the waterfront. 

Should I say it again? The time to act is now. Right NOW. Now!

Sorry to belabor the point, but I got into this business to help people and I firmly believe that the purchase and sale of Real Estate is one of the best ways to build wealth. Sharing my knowledge about the sense of urgency that people should feel right now is something that I look at as a responsibility. 

Over the past 16 years I’ve focused on being a trusted advisor to my clients. Credibility has been one of my main goals and I like to think that’s been a major factor in the success that I’ve been able to achieve. For information about available properties in Wilmington or a free estimate about your home’s current market value, please contact me at 910-279-4663 or ewagenseller@gmail.com.

Why Should I Hire a Realtor?

by Ed Wagenseller and Fritts Causby

“I’m smart and well educated. See that deck over there? I did that myself. How about my website? Check that out lately? I did all of that myself too. Yep. Sorry, but I’m not willing to pay a Realtor for something I can do myself.” 

Hearing comments like these from a potential seller is definitely not uncommon for me. With a wealth of information available online and communication technology making it so much easier to get people together, people are questioning the value that a Realtor brings to the table more than ever.

First off I have to point out that the commissions included in listing agreements allow the listing agent to pay for advertising, pictures, measurements of the house, bills, food, association fees, car payments and more, as well as provide reasonable compensation for the buyer’s agent. 

An important point to remember is that all fees are negotiable. Just because an agent says that, “I have to charge six percent out of the transaction, that’s one of our policies,” doesn’t make it true. 

One of the strongest points on behalf of hiring a Realtor is that, simply put, it’s smarter and more reasonable to work with a specialist.  When it’s time to re-wire the house, fix some rusty pipes in the crawl space, or develop an investment plan for retirement, do you do things yourself or hire the cheapest person you can find? 

The answer should be “No,” unless the goal is to experience added headaches, learn things the hard way, and end up spending more money in the long run.  Buying and selling Real Estate can be extremely complex and there are many opportunities to make costly mistakes. 

Considering that a Real Estate transaction is typically one of the biggest investments a person will ever make, it makes sense to work with a seasoned professional who understands all of the regulations and red tape. This is why four out of five homes sold annually in the U.S. go through a real estate agent.

Realtors showcase their value in a transaction by performing a variety of roles:

  • Marketing Manager—To deliver a short market time and a high sale price, a comprehensive marketing strategy needs to be developed. Successful strategies include sharing information through the local MLS, promoting the home to other agents, placing ads, both in print and online, featuring the home on the broker’s website, developing fact sheets, installing a yard sign, and planning and conducting open houses. A sales associate can handle calls, schedule appointments and show the home for you, which is especially convenient if you live out of the area. 
  • Transaction Coordinator—Acting as a single point of contact, Realtors manage the entire transaction including coordinating inspections, keeping in touch with the other agent, managing the documentation for the loan process or following up on the progress of the buyer’s loan, monitoring deadlines associated with contingencies, providing applicable paperwork, estimating closing costs, and helping prepare for a smooth and successful closing. 
  • Local Property Expert—Realtors help buyers identify houses that meet their needs and provide an insider’s perspective about local schools, property values and neighborhood amenities. For sellers, agents determine a realistic price based on comparable sales, local market conditions and motivation to sell, in addition to advising sellers on how to present the property in the most attractive light possible.
  • Skilled Negotiator—Buyers and sellers alike will realize a benefit from working with a strong advocate during the negotiating process. A Realtor can help you objectively evaluate an offer, then work to negotiate a favorable contract. During the process, he or she will review the contract and obligations before you sign, explain how everything works, and ensure that the terms and conditions are in your best interests.

Aside from the convenience of having a Realtor handle each aspect of the transaction, one of the most important reasons for hiring an agent is that a variety of legal issues can arise during and after a transaction. The number of Real Estate-related claims and lawsuits is always increasing, with the majority of the claims being filed against home sellers. An experienced and knowledgeable agent can help you minimize the risk of facing a lawsuit. 

For the majority of my 13-year career I’ve worked to clarify some of the misconceptions about Real Estate agents, while showcasing the value that a qualified professional brings to the transaction. Instead of acting as a salesperson, I’ve focused on being a trusted advisor to my clients, often encouraging them to hold off on purchasing or take their home off the market if conditions didn’t seem favorable. 

For a free estimate about your home’s current market value or information about available properties in the Wilmington area, please contact me at 910-279-4663 or ewagenseller@gmail.com.  

Wilmington NC Swimming Pool Contractor

by Ed Wagenseller

Kahili's Pools is Wilmington NC's Premiere Swimming Pool Installation Company.  A Family owned and operated business where no attention to detail is spared.  They specialize in the installation and maintenance of Luxury Swimming Pools (Fiberglass) distributed by Viking.  Kahili's Pools of Wilmington NC offers the Best Swimming Pool Warranties on their Swimming Pools, Labor and equipment. Some of their products and services include:

-  Installation

-  Swimming Pool Service

-  Swim Spa's

-  Hydro Spa's

- Swimming Pool Design (3D Cad Program let's you see your Pool in your own backyard before you purchase)

- Full Backyard design

Give Reid with Kahili's, Swimming Pools of Wilmington NC, a call for more information!



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Anchors Bend, Waterfront and Boating Community, Wilmington NC

by Ed Wagenseller

Anchors Bend, Waterfront and Boating Community, Wilmington NC - Located in North Wilmington's Charming Middlesound area, Anchors Bend offers custom homes of superior quality and a great location as it is just a short walk to the Intracoastal Waterway and Anchors Bend Yacht Club.  This Waterfront and Boating community is only a 4 mile drive away from Wrightsville Beach and 1 mile drive by boat, making it a boater's haven and a nature lover's paradise.

Anchors Bend in Wilmington North Carolina has a community marina with deep water boat slips, access to the intracoastal waterway, 47 acres of natural open space, 12 acres of wetlands, scenic nature trails, a fitness club, a recreational club, swimming pools, community parks and more.

A Boating and Waterfront community set apart by its commitment to architectural elegance, Anchors Bend is for those who recognize and appreciate cutting-edge style and dream of the coastal way of life.  Enjoy the mild year-round climate in the Wilmington's premiere Waterfront and Boating Community, Anchors Bend!


Wrightsville Beach - Always a Great Investment

by Ed Wagenseller

 Wrightsville Beach Sunrise

Wrightsville Beach began as a community of family and friends on a small barrier island in southeastern North Carolina. Since the late 1800's, generations have come to Wrightsville Beach to enjoy the inviting waters, soothing sands, and picturesque surroundings. With plenty of beautiful oceanfront Real Estate, the Vacation Rentals market on Wrightsville Beach is strong. Wrightsville Beach vacation rentals typically stay booked throughout the season.

Wrightsville Beach Vacation

Today, the Wrightsville Beach Real Estate market is considered to be one of the best investments on the coast of North Carolina.  With its white sand beaches, crystal blue water, and bountiful seafood, Wrightsville Beach has a lot to offer. It's oceanfront properties and oceanfront real estate continue to soar as investments. Wrightsville Beach rentals are a hot destination for beach goers from all over the country and the world.

The average year-round population in Wrightsville Beach is 3,000 residents, but it surges in the summer months to 14,000 overnight visitors, and 40,000 that come for the day.

Since its incorporation in 1899, residents, local lawmakers, and staff of Wrightsville Beach have worked hard to maintain the family beach atmosphere that has appealed to so many generations and inspired so many memories and dreams. This tradition continues to encourage people to come and enjoy the hospitality and charm of the Town of Wrightsville Beach.



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Effective Solutions for Avoiding Foreclosure

by Ed Wagenseller

Distressed Property owners - You are not alone!  Before you walk away, educate yourself.  They are many options available to distressed property owners at present.

The current U.S. housing market and national financial crisis has caused untold stress and heartache for many American families. Foreclosure is one of the most devastating financial challenges that a family can face and one that many times can be avoided. The options available to Wilmington-area residents for foreclosure are many. Following is a brief explanation of these solutions, including their benefits and drawbacks:

A reinstatement is the simplest solution for a foreclosure, however it is often the most difficult. The homeowner simply requests the total amount owed to the mortgage company to date and pays it. This solution does not require the lender's approval and will 'reinstate' a mortgage up to the day before the final foreclosure sale.

  • Benefit: Does not require the mortgage company or lender's approval.
  • Drawback: Requires that a homeowner be able to pay all back payments, fines and fees.

Forbearance or Repayment Plan
A forbearance or repayment plan involves the homeowner negotiating with the mortgage company to allow them to repay back payments over a period of time. The homeowner typically makes their current mortgage payment in addition to a portion of the back payments they owe.

  • Benefit: Allows the homeowner to make back payments over time.
  • Drawback: Requires that a homeowner be in a financial position to pay not only their current mortgage, but also a portion of the back payments owed. Some mortgage companies will require a homeowner to 'qualify' for forbearance.

Mortgage Modification
A mortgage modification involves the reduction of one of the following: the interest rate on the loan, the principal balance of the loan, the term of the loan, or any combination of these. These typically result in a lower payment to the homeowner and a more affordable mortgage.

  • Benefit: Reduces the payment a homeowner is required to make on a monthly basis and may reduce the principal balance of the loan
  • Drawback: Requires that a homeowner 'qualify' for the new payment and will often require full documentation. Lender has to be actively pursuing modifications.

Rent the Property
A homeowner who has a mortgage payment low enough that market rent will allow it to be paid, is able to convert their property to a rental and use the rental income to pay the mortgage.

  • Benefit: Allows homeowner to keep property indefinitely.
  • Drawback: The issues that can arise with a rental property are many, and rent often does not cover the full cost of property ownership and maintenance.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
Also known as a 'friendly foreclosure', a deed in lieu allows the homeowner to return the property to the lender rather than go through the foreclosure process. Lender approval is required for this option, and the homeowner must also vacate the property.

  • Benefit: Many times in a successful deed in lieu, the lender will forego their right to a deficiency judgment.
  • Drawback: Requires that a homeowner vacate the property, and a deed in lieu may be reported to credit bureaus as a foreclosure.

Many have considered and marketed bankruptcy as a 'foreclosure solution,' but this is only true in some states and situations. If the homeowner has non-mortgage debts that cause a shortfall of paying their mortgage payments and a personal bankruptcy will eliminate these debts, this may be a viable solution.

  • Benefit: Does not require lender approval.
  • Drawback: If a homeowner cannot afford their mortgage payment, a bankruptcy will only stall-not stop-the foreclosure process. Bankruptcy can be costly, is damaging to credit scores, and can only be declared once every seven years.

If a homeowner has sufficient equity in their property and their credit is still in good standing, they may be able to refinance their mortgage.

  • Benefit: In some cases, this will lower payments.
  • Drawback: In today's market, a refinance will almost always raise mortgage payments, and is an expensive process.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (military personnel only)
If a member of the military is experiencing financial distress due to deployment, and that person can show that their debt was entered into prior to deployment, they may qualify for relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The American Bar Association has a network of attorneys that will work with servicemembers in relation to qualifying for this relief.

  • Benefit: If qualified, this will lower payments on all consumer debt in addition to mortgage payments.
  • Drawback: Must be active military to qualify.

Sell the Property
Homeowners with sufficient equity can list their property with a qualified agent that understands the foreclosure process in their area.

  • Benefit: Allows homeowner to avoid foreclosure and harvest some of their equity.
  • Drawback: In many cases today, homeowners do not have sufficient equity to sell their property without negotiating a short sale (see next solution).

Short Sale
If a homeowner owes more on their property than it is currently worth, then they can hire a qualified Real Estate agent to market and sell their property through the negotiation of a short sale with their lender. This typically requires the property to be on the market and the homeowner must have a financial hardship to qualify. Hardship can be simply defined as a material change in the financial stability of the homeowner between the date of the home purchase and the date of the short sale negotiation. Acceptable hardships include but are not limited to: mortgage payment increase, job loss, divorce, excessive debt, forced or unplanned relocation, and more.

  • Benefit: A short sale allows the homeowner to avoid foreclosure and salvage some of their credit rating. This also keeps foreclosure off the individual's public record, and in many cases will allow the homeowner to avoid a deficiency judgment. Borrower may qualify for another mortgage in as little as 24 months (as opposed to five years for a foreclosure).
  • Drawback: Short sales can be a trying process in which a homeowner is best served by contracting with a qualified Real Estate agent to guide the way.

This represents only a summary of some of the solutions available to homeowners facing foreclosure. Please call me today for a free confidential evaluation of your individual situation, property value, and possible options.




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