Five New Year’s Resolutions for Home Buyers

It’s about a month late, but it’s still January, right?  So with the new year upon us, I thought it might be a good opportunity to list five New Year’s resolutions for home buyers.  Sure, we focus on Wilmington, Leland and the southeastern portion of North Carolina, but these homebuying New Year’s resolutions are pertinent to anyone who has been working on or is planning to buy a home.

Homebuying Resolution #1: Make a significant downpayment.

There are reasons to make a significant downpayment when buying a home, the most obvious of which is that the more you put down up front, the more you’ll save in the long run.  Let’s take a look at some numbers.

You’re looking at a $250,000 house.  If you were able to put nothing down on it with current (as of this writing) interest rates, a 30 year fixed mortgage payment (with taxes, insurance and all that fun stuff) would be $1774.  If you were able to save up and make a 20% downpayment, you’d instead be looking at $1319.  That’s a savings of $5460 a year.  To put it in more impressive terms, that’s a savings of $163,800 over the life of the mortgage.

Of course, not everyone can realistically make a 20% downpayment.  However, even a 5% downpayment under the same conditions could save you over $74,500 over the years.  So if you’re looking to buy a home, try to put as many pennies as you can into that initial downpayment.

Homebuying Resolution #2: Get your credit in order.

Unless you are planning to buy your home with cash, which, let’s face it, very few of us can do, you’re going to need a loan, and your loan will be determined by you credit score.  To get a good loan, you’re going to need to get your credit score above 700 in order to get the best possible interest rate.  Some lenders even want to see a score of 720 or more.  So what can you do to help get your credit up there?

The best way to do it is to pay all your bills in full on time.  And while some people are tempted to cut up their credit cards after taking care of any outstanding issues, that’s actually not the best thing to do to keep your score up.  You should have several open and active lines of credit at any time.  You don’t need to max them out; in fact you should probably not use more than 20% of what’s available to you.  Just remember the first part of this resolution: Pay everything off in full every month.

Homebuying Resolution #3: Get the best loan you can.

You’ve saved up your money for a nice, large downpayment and you’ve got that credit score above 700.  What do you do now?  Now you go out and get a home loan.  Don’t take the first loan you find though.  Make sure to call around and talk to different lenders in order to get the best interest rate you can.  It doesn’t end at interest rates though.  You’ll want to ask about any other fees, whether there’s a prepayment penalty, points, mortgage insurance and so forth.  You might want to seek the help of a professional once you have all your information together.

And that brings us to…

Homebuying Resolution #4: Use the best real estate professionals you can find.

Real estate is big business, and there are a lot of different people involved in real estate transactions.  There are the buyers and sellers and real estate agents, of course, but then you’ve also got the mortgage company, appraisers and lawyers, at least.  Purchasing a home is a big deal, so you want to make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the best, most competent real estate professionals you can.

How do you find those people?

A lot of people rely on word of mouth.  If your parents or your friends bought a house not too long ago and raved about their lender, they might be someone good to talk to, right?  The answer is “yes” with an asterisk.  The footnote should be that you can start with people who were recommended to you, but you should also do some of your own research.  Check out online reviews or sources like the Better Business Bureau to get more insight about the people who will be helping you move into your home.

Of course, if you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home in Wilmington, Leland or the surrounding areas of southeastern North Carolina (especially if you’re looking at short sales), look no further than Nilesh Jethwa and Associates.  Give us a call at 910-622-0319.

Homebuying Resolution #5: Do it for yourself.

One thing to remember is that YOU are buying this house.  YOU are going to live in it.  Friends and family sometimes think they know what you should do and apply pressure for you to settle or to live somewhere that might not be your first choice.  They might have your best interests at heart, but remember that this is your house and your investment, so you need to be happy with where you end up.


Extending the Tax Credit Wilmington NC

This is the latest I have on the extended tax credit for first time homebuyers. The House of Representatives has approved legislation that would extend and expand the credit. The House vote comes after the Senate voted yes on Monday night, and while there is more work to be done, word has it that an agreed upon bill should reach President Obama for his signature by the end of this week 11/6/09. Under the proposal, individuals with income up to $125,000 a year and couples earning up to $225,000 would be eligible for the credit. The extension would cover homes under contract by April 30th and closed by June 30th, 2010. The Tax credit will be expanded to non-first time homebuyers as well. There are a few tweaks for non-first time homebuyers – the credit is reduced from $8,000 to $6,500, and they must have owned a home for at least five of the past eight years.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan called on Congress to approve three important measures to improve housing and the housing market for Americans: extension of the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit for a limited period, extension of higher loan limits for home mortgages, and secure funding for the Housing Trust Fund. “We welcome efforts taken by Congress to extend the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit for a limited period. This credit has brought new families into the housing market and contributed to three consecutive months of rising home prices nationwide,” said Secretaries Geithner and Donovan.

Remember this is not final, and even if it is approved, it could contain further changes.

If you would like additional information on buying a home please contact me directly.  Click here!

Post by Nilesh Jethwa  Wilmington and Leland Real Estate

Wilmington, NC; $8,000 Homerbuyer Tax Credit Downpayment

Home builders and Realtors cheered in Washington last week when HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that FHA will allow lenders and government agencies to “monetize” the $8,000 federal homebuyer tax credit, providing purchasers with downpayment cash upfront, available at closing, rather than waiting for the IRS to mail them a tax credit check. ….

Click here for more information Click here!

Posted by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington and Leland NC

Nilesh Jethwa is a local REALTOR in Wilmington and Leland NC. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please Click here!

Creative ways to buy a home in Wilmington, NC




If your credit situation is less than ideal, here are a few options for purchasing a new home:


1.       Research and speak with your real estate agent and lender about local, state, and national down payment programs that may be able to cover part or all of your down payment if you



2.       Arrange financing through the seller for part of or for the entire purchase price.



3.       Find a shared equity partner for your home.  A family member, friend, or third party-investor buys a portion of the home and shares any appreciation when the home is sold.



4.       Secure a loan from a family member or ask a family member to cosign on your home loan.



5.       Lease with the option to buy, which will allow you to rent for a period while you collect enough for a down payment. You will likely be able to apply part or all of the rent paid to the final purchase price.


6.       If you have good income and low debt, apply for a second short-term mortgage to allow for a higher down payment.


To learn more on how to Improve Your Credit Score Please Click Here!


Posted by: Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington and Leland NC Real Estate



Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent in Wilmington and Leland NC. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please click here! Don’t forget to ask for his Custom Home Buying Package!!






Moving: How to Perpare for a move

Moving: Preparing for Move to Wilmington or Leland, NC….


Moving should be an exciting time – you’re off to a new apartment, your first home, maybe moving up to a larger home. But for many people, moving turns into a stressful, aggravating experience. It doesn’t have to be that way. Some advance planning, a little research and the right attitude can combine to make your next move the best one ever.

Wilmington NC moving
Wilmington NC moving

Organization is key to a successful move, so lists are your friends. Keep track of all the details that need to be tended to, especially things that might fall through the cracks, like taking back your cable box. Include everything from renting a moving truck to forwarding your mail, and start doing anything on the list that can be tackled early. As you plan, keep in mind that many truck rental companies will give you a discounted rate if you move mid-week and mid-month instead of at peak times.

Speaking of getting a jump on things, start packing now. You can find all the supplies you need, such as boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape and more at truck rental outlets like Budget Truck Rental. The experts there can help you figure out how many and what types of boxes you’ll need to protect your possessions. Whether you’re moving in a few months or in a few weeks, you should be packing things you know you can live without for a while. This allows you to pack with care, and mark the boxes so you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for when you get to your new place. Leaving packing until the last minute is one of the biggest sources of stress for people who are moving.

About a month before your move date, reserve your moving truck. The company you choose makes a big difference. With 30,000 trucks nationwide, Budget Truck Rental has locations where you need them, and a great selection of trucks for every size move, whether it’s a 10-foot truck (for studio apartments with one or two rooms), a 16-footer (for three to four rooms) or a 24-foot truck that can haul up to 8 rooms of stuff. They’ll even give you expert tips on loading the truck. The trucks are easier to drive than you might think. All Budget trucks have automatic transmissions, air conditioning and are clean comfortable and well-maintained for safety and reliability.

If you’re moving long-distance and need to tow your car, Budget offers two options: the car carrier, which carries your entire car on a trailer that attaches to the rear of your truck (recommended for four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles); or the tow dolly, which is recommended for front-wheel drive vehicles. The tow dolly lifts the front wheels of the car off the pavement and pulls it behind your truck.

Take care of mail and utilities. Stop by your local post office and fill out the form to forward your mail. You’ll also want to change the address on any magazine subscriptions or other services you receive by mail, such as video rentals. You can take care of most of these changes online. You also need to contact all your utilities, both for the place you’re moving out of and your new place. This includes local and long distance phone, Internet service, gas, electric, water and cable/satellite. Don’t forget to update your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance as well.

Make sure you have a group of friends lined up to help you move. If you have followed your list and have everything packed and ready to go, loading up the truck should be a breeze. If you still have some boxes to pack, your friends can load while you finish up. Be sure to keep the moving crew happy by providing plenty of food and drink. Just save the beer for after the move is complete. Hehe!

If you take care of all these details before your move, all you’ll have to worry about once the boxes are unloaded is finding the perfect spot for your favorite chair. For more moving tips, visit or contact me at www. .




Post by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington/Leland Real Estate


Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent for the Wilmington and Leland area. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please click here. Don’t forget to request a free relocation package.





First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, Wilmington NC

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the final version of the Economic Stimulus Bill – a massive, $787 billionpackage of tax cuts and federal spending. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on this bill later today or over theweekend. Included in the bill is a $8,000 tax credit to first-time home buyers.

To veiw the chart with more details about this tax credit click here.  

Posted By Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington, NC Real Estate 

Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent in Wilmington, NC.To Contact Nilesh Jethwa please Click Here!

Why live in Gated Communities

.Driving down a lush and grassy street, passing by many familiar faces that wave happily at you, pulling into your driveway and being greeted by your dog-what’s not to love about that?

More and more families have been recently flocking to gated communities. The promise of safety, comfort, and close-knit neighborhoods are the main appeal for most, and not without reason. Because of the similar pricing and looks of housing within the confines of each gated communities, families tend to find neighbors with similar values, politics, economic stances, and tastes. Families may be more inclined to move to a location as such for that reason, as it guarantees close proximity to people that are most like them. Kids will have an easier time finding others in their age-group, and will also most likely attend the same schools together.

Most gated societies offer luxurious benefits, such as ponds, lakes, bike and running trails, pools, golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, parks, and clubhouses. It is the modern day throwback to homely communities of decades past, with an emphasis on families and “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality. The secluded aspect of these communities makes heavy and racing traffic less of a concern, and ensures a quieter and safer location for children to play, wonder, and roam.

Additionally, these communities are able to decide together when they want their trash picked up, snow plowed (snow we don’t get snow in Wilmington), security increased, streets cleaned, etc. They usually hold monthly board meetings which help to include most of it’s inhabitants and help keep them satisfied.

Security is a rising concern for many families, and the majority of gated communities have a good amount of security guards and neighborhood watches in place to ensure a certain quality of living. Because these communities are private, it is extremely difficult and rare for them to be penetrated by outsiders. Likewise, door-to-door salesmen and other solicitors will have an especially hard time trying to come through, which is another bonus for families who live within their gates.

The types of locations vary based on taste, budget, and geographical place. Some of these communities are on waterfronts, while others can be found nestled in the mountains. More expensive ones sport large housing units with plenty of land, while other more affordable options are simply a concentrated neighborhood of modest ramblers and split-level homes.

The uniformed code that these communities enforce oftentimes result in high and increasing value of the homes within. More and more families are seeking a traditional look which strays from the gaudiness of recently built homes, and are willing to pay more for a humble, albeit tasteful home in a gated community.


Posted By Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington, NC Real Estate  Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent in Wilmington, NC. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please click here! Here are a few gated neighborhoods in the Wilmington area Landfall and Waterford of the Carolinas……….

Wilmington, NC 15,000 Tax Credit Update

Last evening the United States Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan amendment, offered by REALTOR® Champions, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) to the Economic Stimulus Bill creating a $15,000 tax credit to individuals who purchase a home in the next year. 

Specifically, the Isakson-Lieberman amendment to the pending economic stimulus bill would provide a direct tax credit to any homebuyer who purchases any home. The amount of the tax credit would be $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less. Purchases must be made within one year of the legislation’s enactment, and the tax credit would not have to be repaid.  The amendment would allow taxpayers to claim the credit on their 2008 income tax return. It also seeks to prevent misuse by only allowing purchases of a principle residence and by recapturing the credit if the home is sold within two years of purchase. The amendment would sunset the current $7,500 housing tax credit on the date of enactment. 

While the final details of the Stimulus Bill are still being debated, this amendment represents a tremendous step forward in NAR’s efforts to stabilize housing markets around the nation.  Because of the efforts of REALTORS®, we expect the final Economic Stimulus Bill will contain several major housing provisions.  We will continue to update you as the bill progresses through the legislative process.  *This is not formally approved, but yet a significant improvement 

Posted by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington, NC Real Estate


Nilesh Jethwa is a Local REALTOR in Wilmington and the Leland area. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please Click Here!

Wilmington, NC 2009 Real Estate Summary

Coming into 2009, there is a lot of promise for this year to be better than 2008. With a new administration in the White House and the Federal Reserve and Treasury department spending hundreds of billions, we have a lot of action moving our economy forward.  Congress has offered assistance to the Auto Industry, Obama has a strong economic stimulus plan, and mortgage rates are at an all time low. With the potential recovery of the credit markets and the amount of housing inventory available, this makes the spring of 2009 a very desirable time to purchase real estate.

Our median sales price for 2008 ($215,000) reflects a small downturn of 6.7% from 2007($230,000) and maintains the same median as 2006 ($215,000). In 2008, we continue to see a small market correction in average sales price; we decreased 6.8% from year end 2007. Just two zip codes had average decreases of 9.6% and 15.7% while three zip codes managed slight decreases of 1.2% to 1.9%. A total of three zip codes had an increase in concessions offered to buyers on the sales price; concessions are now offered in 14% to 25% of the transactions in 2008.

Our market has experienced a decline of 30% in number of homes sold in 2008 compared to 2007. All five zip codes experienced a decline from 20% to 43%. Our list to sales price ratio for 2008 is 95.4% a slight decrease from 96.7% for 2007. Sellers in 28412 got about 96.5% of their asking price while those in 28403 only got 92.7% of their asking price. 2009 can be a good market for our area with an inventory of homes available and interest rates low, this would make a great time to buy.

This is all the more reason for consumers to call a REALTORS now to help them prepare for this opportunity.  REALTORS® have the knowledge, tools, and experience to help buyers and sellers make good, sound decisions with our local market and get the best deal for their clients. Their guidance now more than ever will be critical to the improvement of the real estate market and to making consumers feel confident in purchasing a home. Call your REALTOR® today or visit for more information on using a REALTOR® or to begin searching for homes. You may also obtain current real estate news, and much more.

 Posted by Nilesh Jethwa

Nilesh Jethwa is a Local Real Estate Agent in Wilmington, NC to contact Nilesh please click here! Don’t forget to ask about his Client Appreciation Program.