Tuesday, October 26, 2010

8 Tips for Finding Your New Home

Article From BuyAndSell.HouseLogic.com

By: G. M. Filisko

Published: February 10, 2010

A solid game plan can help you narrow your homebuying search to find the best home for you.

House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you'll zoom in on the home you want at the best price.

These eight tips will guide you through a smart homebuying process.

1. Know thyself
Understand the type of home that suits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A ranch or a multistory home? If you're leaning toward a fixer-upper, are you truly handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?

2. Research before you look
List the features you most want in a home and identify which are necessities and which are extras. Identify three to four neighborhoods you'd like to live in based on commute time, schools, recreation, crime, and price. Then hop onto REALTOR.com to get a feel for the homes available in your price range in your favorite neighborhoods. Use the results to prioritize your wants and needs so you can add in and weed out properties from the inventory you'd like to view.

3. Get your finances in order
Generally, lenders say you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Create a budget so you know how much you're comfortable spending each month on housing. Don't wait until you've found a home and made an offer to investigate financing.

Gather your financial records and meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter spelling out how much you're eligible to borrow. The lender won't necessarily consider the extra fees you'll pay when you purchase or your plans to begin a family or purchase a new car, so shop in a price range you're comfortable with. Also, presenting an offer contingent on financing will make your bid less attractive to sellers.

4. Set a moving timeline
Do you have blemishes on your credit that will take time to clear up? If you already own, have you sold your current home? If not, you'll need to factor in the time needed to sell. If you rent, when is your lease up? Do you expect interest rates to jump anytime soon? All these factors will affect your buying, closing, and moving timelines.

5. Think long term
Your future plans may dictate the type of home you'll buy. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in the home for five to 10 years? With a starter, you may need to adjust your expectations. If you plan to nest, be sure your priority list helps you identify a home you'll still love years from now.

6. Work with a REALTOR®
Ask people you trust for referrals to a real estate professional they trust. Interview agents to determine which have expertise in the neighborhoods and type of homes you're interested in. Because homebuying triggers many emotions, consider whether an agent's style meshes with your personality.

Also ask if the agent specializes in buyer representation. Unlike listing agents, whose first duty is to the seller, buyers' reps work only for you even though they're typically paid by the seller. Finally, check whether agents are REALTORS®, which means they're members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. NAR has been a champion of homeownership rights for more than a century.

7. Be realistic
It's OK to be picky about the home and neighborhood you want, but don't be close-minded, unrealistic, or blinded by minor imperfections. If you insist on living in a cul-de-sac, you may miss out on great homes on streets that are just as quiet and secluded.

On the flip side, don't be so swayed by a "wow" feature that you forget about other issues-like noise levels-that can have a big impact on your quality of life. Use your priority list to evaluate each property, remembering there's no such thing as the perfect home.

8. Limit the opinions you solicit
It's natural to seek reassurance when making a big financial decision. But you know that saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. If you need a second opinion, select one or two people. But remain true to your list of wants and needs so the final decision is based on criteria you've identified as important.

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me www.KenKeegan.com

Colonial Heritage Day scheduled at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson

Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site is holding its annual Colonial Heritage Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23.
Costumed spinners, weavers, blacksmiths and cooks will be on hand to depict aspects of life in a colonial port, while a few malcontents might take a turn in the stocks and pillory.

Interpretive stations with hands-on activities include stenciling, candle-dipping, doll making, militia drilling and Colonial toys and games. This year, local area artists will be on site to display, demonstrate and sell their wares. Brunswick Town is located off N.C. 133 near Orton Plantation. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information call 371-6613 or go to www.nc

Original Article

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me www.KenKeegan.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Habitat House Photos

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me http://www.kenkeegan.com/

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Sponsors Habitat House

The Sea Coast family has been hard at work each weekend working on it's fourth Habitat for Humanity home, named the Barbara Birkenheuer House in honor of the retiring director of Habitat Cape Fear.

Ken Keegan (Left), Builder Ralph Apa (right)

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me http://www.kenkeegan.com/

Friday, October 15, 2010

Realtors' Letters Add Special Touch to Honor Flight

Coldwell Banker Sea Realty associate Russ May just returned from accompanying World War II veterans to see the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. The trip was made possible by Honor Flight Southeastern North Carolina.

Honor Flight is an amazing all-volunteer effort dedicated to demonstrating respect and admiration for surviving World War II veterans by flying them at no cost to Washington, DC to see the World War II Memorial. The Memorial was completed in 2004.

The majority of the veterans are in their 80's and some needed a little special help navigating the airport and finding their way around Washington's monuments. As a Guardian on the trip, Russ May helped veterans have a safe and comfortable journey.

"A very important and emotional part of the return trip is 'mail call' when the veterans are surprised to receive letters from their families and friends expressing their thanks and gratitude for the veterans' service," said May. A day and a half before the most recent Honor Flight trip, May found out that some of the veterans wouldn't be receiving letters and that it was too late to contact their families again.

"It would be a shame for these individuals to sit empty handed while their fellow veterans receive a package of mail," he wrote in an email to associates and staff in Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty's Wilmington, NC office. "If you have a moment to write a generic note to a WWII veteran, I'll make sure it gets in the right hands."

Overnight, Russ May's mailbox was filled with 54 letters expressing heartfelt gratitude. Even though the letters were addressed to perfect strangers, the writers shared personal stories of lost loved ones, family members who served during wartime, and respect for the military. "Having seen the emotion in the faces of veterans in past flights, I know your thoughts, prayers, and blessings will be warmly received, richly deserved, and much appreciated," May told his colleagues.

Russ May is one of several Realtors at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty that have volunteered with Honor Flight Southeastern North Carolina. The October 13, 2010 trip was the third Honor Flight made possible by Honor Flight Southeastern North Carolina. Veterans had beautiful weather for their trip to Washington, DC. A crowd of several hundred well-wishers decked out in red, white, and blue greeted the veterans when they returned to Wilmington International Airport Wednesday evening.

For more information about Honor Flight of Southeastern North Carolina, please visit http://www.honorflightsenc.org/.

To learn more about the national Honor Flight organization, log on to http://www.honorflight.org/.
Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me http://www.kenkeegan.com/

Get a private look at Orton Plantation

The N.C. Coastal Land Trust will host “A Private Look at Orton/A Taste of Carolina History” from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, in the gardens of Orton Plantation. Guests will stop at six stations for talks on the history of Orton Plantation and enjoy a special Southern dish.

Only 100 tickets will be sold for $100 each. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Nancy Preston at nancy@coastallandtrust.org or call 790-4524.

Tickets may also be purchased on the Land Trust website, http://www.coastallandtrust.org/.

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me http://www.kenkeegan.com/

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Groundbreaking to be held for Brunswick hospice

 A groundbreaking ceremony for the Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCareCenter Brunswick County will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at the 900 block of Old Ocean Highway in Bolivia.
The event, open to the public, will take place on 7.35 acres donated by Louie Lewis and will feature keynote speaker Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.

Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCareCenter is a nonprofit agency that provides health care and comfort to people with life-limiting illness; support and counseling to families; and education to the community in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties. Since 1980, the organization has served more than 20,000 patients.

For more information, call 796-7961 or go to www.hospice

andlifecarecenter.org.Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me http://www.kenkeegan.com/

Wilmington International Airport registers record month

Last month’s rainfall wasn’t the only record set in the Port City.

The economy might still be struggling, but it was the best September ever for the Wilmington International Airport – and even the record-setting monsoon couldn’t derail the momentum.

The airport saw 73,072 passengers use its terminal, which is more than even during the booming years of last decade.

The previous September high was 67,724 passengers set in 2007.

The highest one-month total this year was 81,445 in July, which is historically the airport’s busiest month.

Executive Director Jon Rosborough credits last month’s strong passenger showing to more business travelers, the airport’s bread-and-butter business, rediscovering their wings as the economy slowly rebounds.

Having Allegiant Air flying to Orlando for over a year now also has helped, along with US Airways and Delta adding bigger planes on some of their flights.

All together, Rosborough said, the airport now offers 8,000 more seats than it did in September 2009.

A new marketing campaign and competitive airfares, which might keep a few folks from driving up Interstate 40 or down U.S. 17 to the Raleigh-Durham or Myrtle Beach airports respectively, haven’t hurt either.

And the boom times might be continuing.

Rosborough said numbers for the first 11 days of October show passenger numbers up 10 percent over the same period last year.

For the year, Wilmington is just a hair behind the numbers for 2009 and 2008, although ahead of 2007’s passenger figures.

Full Article

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me http://www.kenkeegan.com/

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wooden boats on display in Southport

The N.C. Maritime Museum at Southport will hold the Southport Wooden Boat Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Old Yacht Basin in Southport.

See Southport’s wooden work and pleasure boats, learn about net making, woodworking and the history of the crafts. The event will include activities, demonstrations and displays for all ages.

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me http://www.kenkeegan.com/

Brunswick Arts Council announces show winners


The Brunswick Arts Council held its 10th Annual Fall Show and artists’ reception recently at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash.
Best of Show was awarded to Claire Barthold of North Myrtle Beach for her oil painting titled “Marissa’s Journey.” Betty Garbarino of Supply won first place in the 2D category for her watercolor painting “She’s Bored.” First place in the 3D category went to Jeffrey Davies of Leland for his wood sculpture “Box.”
Original Article

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker (910) 523-0903 mobile Email Me http://www.kenkeegan.com/