Wilmington NC Real Estate Blog

Buddy Blake Team Launches New Website

We are pleased and proud to announce the release of our newest and improved website for homes and real estate in the Wilmington and surrounding area.  Unlike past websites, this new website is not just branded to get prospective buyers to call our team but also designed to let the online consumer search area homes for themselves without having to speak to an agent until they are ready to.  The website is based on the newest IDX technology and a cooperative effort with our local MLS board to provide the best and most up-to-date information possible.   

I would like to thank Morgan Carey and his team at RealEstateWebmasters.com for their incredible efforts and perfect service. 

I would love to get any and all feedback, comments and suggestions possible... please just email me at buddy@buddyblake.com OR just complete the comments form below.

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Monday Morning Coffee | Dec 29, 2008

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

~ Henry David Thoreau

BUILD YOUR OWN!

"Follow the yellow brick road," sang Dorothy and her unusual entourage in The Wizard of Oz, as they marched toward the Emerald City. The road was clear and their direction set. What they didn't know was that the good witch and the joyful munchkins had sent them down a road leading to a wanna-be fake wizard behind a curtain.

Have you ever had friends or family direct you to take a "yellow brick road" of their imagining? If you blindly followed their advice, you may have ended up in your own Emerald City of disappointment. The truth is that you have the power to create and follow a yellow brick road of your own, one that leads to the realization of your dreams.

The hard part is that YOU must also lay the paving stones of that road. You must first decide on a destination, and then be certain that each brick faces in that direction. Along the way, you may be distracted by winged monkeys or a wicked witch of your own making. If you succumb to those distractions, you may look back to find that your paving stones are uneven and...

Wilmington NC AGAIN on HGTV House Hunters

We had the pleasure of working with Pie Town Productions and HGTV to host Wilmington NC Homes & Real Estate on the extremely popular HGTV show "House Hunters" and it will be running again soon.  Our Wilmington episode has been one of the most popular episodes and has run more than 20 times so far.  You can wait to see it on HGTV or you can view it on our website by visiting our dedicated HGTV House Hunters page on our website....

FOR RENT: 3 Bedroom Home With Fenced Yard

Lovely three bedroom two bath home in Saratoga Place, in the Ogden are of Wilmington. Freshly painted and has applicances plus a nice sized fenced yard.

  • Owner(s) are NC Real Estate Brokers
  • Home may be purchased for $169,900, but would prefer to lease
  • For information about renting and/or buying please call (910) 395-1000.
For More Information, Maps and Pictures CLICK HERE
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Incredible Eco-Friendly Home Now Available!

1713 S. Stillwood | Leland, NC 28451

This home is the epitome of luxurious comfort with environmental sensitivity. 

Eco-friendly and absolutely gorgeous 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home with no details overlooked! A few of the numerous unique green features of this new construction home include 15 solar panels, geo-thermal heat pump, Icynene insulation, non toxic interior paint, pervious driveway, airtight doors & windows, and a Trek deck in the back made of recycled plastic. This home is even oriented on the site to maximize the summer shade & winter sun.

The stunning kitchen showcases Silestone counters, stainless GE Profile appliances, & a tile backsplash. The welcoming living room boasts a beautiful gas fireplace flanked by built-ins and is wired for both surround sound & a flat screen tv. Other details are arched doorways, Caribbean Heart Pine flooring & wide baseboards throughout, a formal dining room, a laundry room with a sink, & 2 master suites (1 up & 1 down). The downstairs master bath has dual vanities, Silestone counters, Jacuzzi tub, & separate cultured marble shower. The upstairs master has a vaulted ceiling & a marble bathroom sink. 3rd bedroom also has its own full bath. Additional upstairs sitting area includes a wetbar with a sink & small fridge.

Take in the outdoors by relaxing in the sunroom or enjoy nature's breeze on the wrap around front porch. Both are detailed with Mahogany ceilings made from managed forests. A covered walkway, with the same Mahogany ceiling, leads to the 2 car detached garage.

Community amenities include Fitness Center, Tennis, Pool, Bike & Walking Trails, Sidewalks, Clubhouse, Garden Center, & a golf course opening in the fall.

1 year membership to the golf course is being provided in the purchase!

Contact our team for more information on this incredible home or to schedule a time...

Monday Morning Coffee

"Too many of us are hung up on what we don't have, can't have, or won't ever have. We spend too much energy being down, when we could use that same energy - if not less of it - doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do."     ~ Terry McMillan


SPREAD THE TABLE!

Here we are in the midst of the holiday rush - buying gifts, attending parties, decorating, sending cards, and preparing for the feast of the season. We're doing all this for whom?

We tell ourselves it's for the ones we love. We want to make them happy, fill them with joy, and make their world bright. We want to make everything perfect for them at this special time of year.

In a way, that's like preparing the holiday feast for those who matter most to us, then eating it for them and commenting on how tasty it was. Truth is - we can't "make them" do anything, we can only spread the table before them.

Whether they choose to consume the feast, or be happy doing it, is their choice - not ours. We can give the presents, offer our own good holiday spirit, or bake the cookies, but we cannot "make" anything happen.

Epictetus once said, "Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. If you think that you have free rein over things that are naturally beyond your control, or if you attempt to adopt the affairs of others as your own, your pursuits will be thwarted and you will become a frustrated, anxious, and fault-finding person."

Why not take a little of the pressure off yourself this holiday season? Feel free to give whatever gifts, energy, creativity, or love you have to offer, but let go of the desire to control the outcome. The gifts that will make the most difference are those that arise from the heart with no expectation of reward.

My wish for you is the joy and freedom that...

Buddy Blake Team Just Ranked #4 In World

Parsippany, NJ - December 20, 2008     Buddy Blake of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty located in Wilmington, NC has been awared and recognized as one of the top REALTORS in the World.  Buddy and his team are on pace to sel over 250 homes for 2008 which is an incredible accomplishment in a market that has been nothing short of "challenging".  

Buddy's market is extremely challenging in the fact that it truly depends on the North Eastern USA markets to fuel buyers for Wilmington.  Wilmingtn, while growing every year, has become one of the top 7 destinations for people to move to.  With its warmer climate, beaches, diverse population, education and still having actual seasons of the year (unlike Florida)... Wilmington is continuing to thrive.  Wilmington has one of the largest and most in-demand Convention Centers under construction, as well as hundreds of millioins of dollars of infastructure improvement provided by the State and Federal government.  Everyone has come to realize the unchallenged beauty of life along the North Carolina Coast.

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New Website Launch

Our team is getting ready to launch a brand new website and look for 2009.  While 2008 was a very challenging year everywhere, our team was able to sale over 250 homes!  Much of our success is due to our incredible team members and our internet marketing, even while most agents and/or companies were cutting back. 

As a registered user of buddyblake.com, I wanted to get your input on our new (still finalizing the developerment etc) site that will launch very soon.  Instead of the typical agent branding we have decided to make it as buyer friendly as possible.  We had nearly 1 million visitors in 2008 visit our site and over 87 % were buyers and nealry 70% of those were out of area buyers, so we just want to make it as user friendly as possible.

If you have time please email me (or post a comment) any feedback, comments and suggestions you might have.  The "under development" Beta site is located at http://www.buddyblake.com

Thanks you for your time and we look forward to working with you and your family in the future.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Buddy

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Take Care When Indulging This Holiday Season

RISMEDIA, Dec. 20, 2008-(MCT)-Not to be a Grinch about it, but we’re amid the most dangerous six weeks of the year, diet-wise. Nutritionists say the average American will gain five to 15 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. And before Valentine’s Day, will break his or her resolution to lose it.
Thanksgiving was the most dangerous day. We’re allowed-almost expected-to nibble and sip all morning, eat too much and drink too much at dinner, doze off over the game on TV, then wake up an hour later with an insane craving for a 450-calorie turkey sandwich with mayo, stuffing and cranberry sauce. And a diet soda.

It’s an axiom: There’s nothing like a big meal to make you hungry later.

There are two ways to deal with this:

First, we will give you the usual tips on doing holiday meals and parties the way your mother always told you-with moderation.

“There’s a lot you can do,” says Sabrina Candelaria, a registered dietitian at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Her advice:

- If you’re a guest, offer to bring a low-calorie dish.
- If you’re the host, offer bubbly instead of high-calorie mixed drinks, or soda...

Testimonial for Zulima Smith

Zulima Smith was in a word, excellent. As first time home buyers my husband and I were new to Wilmington, just out of school, and new parents. We had no idea what to expect when it came to buying a house or any real idea about the town. Zulima took the work out of the entire process. Not only did she work one hundred and ten percent to satisfy our needs she went out of her way to answer any questions that we had day or night. She was always available and gave great insight and candid answers. This did not stop either. I find myself still calling her with questions and I always get immediate answers. I would refer her to anyone buying a house! She was professional, honest, hardworking and just a fun person to work with....

Grand Middle Sound Home with 30 Foot Boatslip FOR SALE SOON

COMING SOON

1902 Masons Bluff Court  |  Wilmington |  NC  |  28411

Lovely custom designed and built home in hard to get Mason's Bluff, a high bluff neighborhood on the ICWW across from Masons Inlet.  The home has a gourmet stainless kitchen with gas stove, extensive cabinet and prep surfaces /areas.  Large Walk in pantry, formal dining room , incredible sunroom, large covered porche, third level screen porch overlooking the waterway, private sun deck off the master suite.  In-law area with full bath and its on hvac system and access.  Two car garage, plus a Two space carport with ceiling fans, lights, TV, Speakers, half bath and more.   An ideal family gathering area, rain or shine.

Home was custom designed and engineered to handle our coatal winds, and an expansive storm shield system is also in place.  There is a 50 year metal roof on the house, gutters and more.  Extensive landscaping, water stream/pond, fenced backyard and more.

Best of all you can walk down to the dock and get on your boat anytime you want, or just go down to the gazebo for a cocktail or to relax. 

1327887590

To View This Home Now Click Here

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Mortgage rates fall; unemployment data still weak

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mortgage rates are falling as this week's dramatic action by the Federal Reserve provides a boost to the dismal housing market, but the nation's unemployment rolls are stuck at historically high levels amid a deepening recession.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac on Thursday reported that rates had fallen to the lowest level on records dating back to 1971. Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 5.19 percent, down from the year's previous low of 5.47 percent, set last week.

Jobs data from the government, while better than expected, was still sobering. The Labor Department on Thursday said its tally of initial jobless benefit claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 554,000 from an upwardly revised figure of 575,000 the previous week. The new tally was slightly below economists' expectations of 558,000 claims.

Another slight improvement was seen in the number of people who continue to receive jobless benefits, which declined to 4.38 million from 4.43 million the previous week. Economists expected a slight increase to 4.45 million.

Still, claims remain near the highest level since 1982, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.

And the cuts continue. Water treatment and storage systems maker Pentair Inc. said Thursday that it will cut more than 10 percent of its work force, or about 1,600 jobs, due to a faster-than-expected drop-off in demand and consumer spending. One day earlier, hard drive maker Western Digital Corp., managed-care company Aetna Inc., and Newell Rubbermaid Inc., maker of products including Rubbermaid storage containers and Sharpie pens, announced mass job cuts.

Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama is laying the groundwork for a giant economic stimulus package, worth possibly $850 billion over two years, which Democratic congressional leaders say could be passed within two weeks of Obama taking office.

The Federal Reserve, aiming to free up lending and jolt the economy back to life,...

Housing Inventory Shrinks in Many Markets

The glut of homes listed for sale continues to shrink gradually in many metropolitan areas.

In November, the supply of homes available for sale in 29 major metropolitan areas was down 3.6% from a month earlier, according to figures compiled by ZipRealty Inc., a real-estate brokerage firm based in Emeryville, Calif. The ZipRealty data cover all single-family homes, condominiums and town houses listed on local multiple-listing services in the 29 metro areas where the firm operates.


On a national basis, home inventories typically decline modestly in November from October. Over the past 25 years, the average decrease in November has been 1.9%, according to Zelman & Associates, a research firm.

The November inventory in ZipRealty's 29 metro areas was down about 10% from a year earlier.

Nationwide, about 4.2 million previously occupied homes were listed for sale at the end of October, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is enough to last about 10 months at the current sales rate, the trade group says. The housing market is considered roughly in balance between supply and demand when the inventory is around six months.

These inventory data don't capture the entire supply. Newly constructed housing and foreclosed homes, a big part of the supply, aren't always included in Realtors' multiple-listing services. In addition, many people have taken their homes off the market in the hope they can get a better price later. Those homes will come back on the market eventually.

"Sellers appear to have finally gotten the message that if you don't have to sell, don't put your house on the market right now," says Patrick Lashinsky, Zip's chief executive officer.

The Zip data don't cover New York City. But Miller Samuel Inc., an appraisal firm there, says there were 9,348 cooperative apartments and condominiums on the market in Manhattan at the end of November, up 4.7% from October and up 38% from November 2007.

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‘The Buyers are Returning’

Sales are picking up in markets where prices are deflated, but the business is different than it was before the bubble burst, observers say.The housing market in deflated markets--like Arizona, California, Florida, and Nebraska--are beginning to show signs of a rebound. Lawrence Yun, National Association of REALTORS® chief economist, said the rebound is an indicator that buyers are returning to the market.
http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2008121602?OpenDocument...

Fed Cuts Key Rate to a Record Low

The Federal Reserve entered a new era yesterday, lowering its benchmark interest rate virtually to zero and declaring that it would now fight the recession by pumping out vast amounts of money to businesses and consumers through an expanding array of new lending programs.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/17/business/economy/17fed.html?th&emc=th

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Topsail Island Real Estate Offers Slice Of Paradise

One of the great secrets in North Carolina is the permanent livability of the area, especially Topsail Island real estate. The southeastern side is coastal and promises one of the highest quality areas of community and lifestyle. The beaches are pristine and uncrowded, safe from the crowds who inadvertently destroy the land and surroundings. Another great reason to join the locale is the image of “paradise” the residents use to describe themselves. Do some research into Topsail Island homes and you’ll find affordability, accessibility, and a lifestyle people want and need....

Southport NC Real Estate Is A Compelling Opportunity

There is a compelling real estate opportunity in the southeast corner of North Carolina. It’s Southport real estateSouthport NC is on the coast but close to Wilmington, their airport, interstates, university and medical facilities. If you or one of your clients is looking for a getaway, vacation home, retirement locale, or relocation destination, I hope you look at Southport. It’s a great coastal community with history, the arts, community events, outdoor activities and recreation, with convenient access to the outlying islands....

Fed slashes key rate to near zero

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- In its latest effort to try and stimulate the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate to a range of between zero percent and 0.25%, and said it expects to keep rates near that unprecedented low level for some time to come.

The central bank typically sets a specific target for its federal funds rate instead of a range. The rate had previously been at 1% and this marks the first time the Fed has cut rates below 1%. Most investors were expecting the Fed to cut rates to either 0.25% or 0.5%.

The federal funds rate is an overnight lending rate used as a benchmark to set rates for a variety of loans, including adjustable rate mortgages, credit cards, home equity lines of credit and business loans. This marks the tenth time it has cut rates in the last 15 months.

Several banks announced they were lowering their prime rate to 3.25% in light of the Fed's decision. Typically, the prime rate is 3 percentage points higher than the fed funds rate. It was 4% before Tuesday's rate cut.

Despite the dramatic nature of the Fed's move, some economists questioned whether it will have much effect on the economy. They said the problem for consumers and businesses right now is not the cost of borrowing, but the availability of credit and the weaker economic fundamentals.

"Lowering rates to this level is purely a psychological move made to send the message that the Fed is committed to righting the sinking economic ship," said Rich Yamarone, director of economic research at Argus Research. He noted the previous rate cuts did little to stop home and auto sales from plunging.

Running out of arrows

There are some concerns that taking the fed funds rate so close to zero leaves the Fed with little room for additional moves if the economy does not start to show signs of improvement soon.

But the Fed said in a statement that it is looking at different steps it can take to stimulate the...

Everett Builders Offers 4.5% 30 Year Mortgage Rate

Don't Wait For The Federal Government | Get 4.5% 30 Year Fixed Rate Now! 

Wilmington, NC -  The President of Everett Builders corporation, in conjunction with Chris Hutchens at Alpha Mortgage Corporation, has agreed to offer a one-time interest rate buy down for qualified buyers on select completed new homes in Courtney Pines, The Willows of Leland and Woodlake.  This buy-down program is to allow buyers to go ahead and make their purchase now and not wait and hope the federal government will offer the much talked about 4.5% 30 year fixed mortgage rates. 

There are only a limited number of homes that qualify for this plan.  There are minimum requirements (ie credit score, down payment etc) that do apply and Everett Builders may cancel this offering at any time before contract execution.  This offer is only valid for new contracts written before January 1st, 2009.

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Obama Taps Donovan to Head HUD in His Administration

RISMEDIA, Dec. 16, 2008-(MCT/RISMedia)-A Harvard-educated architect is Barack Obama’s choice to head his housing agency, one which the president-elect says will play a key role in tackling the mortgage crisis in his administration.

Shaun Donovan will bring “fresh thinking” to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Obama said Saturday, pledging that his nominee will abandon “old ideology and outdated ideas” that have stymied some of the agency’s past efforts.

“We can’t keep throwing money at the problem, hoping for a different result,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “We need to approach the old challenge of affordable housing with new energy, new ideas, and a new, efficient style of leadership.”

Donovan, 42, a former HUD official, is credited with increasing the affordable options in New York as head of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The announcement comes as Obama nears his informal Christmas-week deadline for assembling a Cabinet, a task that largely has been completed. A handful of key nominees is expected in the coming days, including appointees for the departments of Labor and Education.

But the HUD announcement effectively completes the team of advisers whom Obama intends to rely on most heavily to shape his administration’s response to the economic crisis, an agenda dwarfing all others as he prepares to take office in January.

Obama assembled his economic team as one of his first priorities after election, naming his treasury secretary, budget director and economic council director and setting them to work in recent weeks.

In naming Donovan, Obama said he wants his HUD secretary to take a lead role in stemming the tide of foreclosures and increasing the number of families who can remain in their homes amid the crisis.

“This plan will only work with a comprehensive, coordinated federal effort to make...

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