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How to Make the Most of a North Carolina Vacation Home

North Carolina Real Estate Oak Island Southport

There are a lot of great reasons to buy a vacation home in North Carolina. These homes are the perfect getaway for your family. They can be a great source of income if you employ them as rental properties. You can even make a significant profit on them down the line if you decide to sell.

You can make the most of your vacation home by first determining how you intend to use it. If you’re going to rent it out, you may need to approach things differently than if you are going to keep it for just you and your family.

So, let’s take a closer look at some effective ways to ensure your NC vacation home provides the kind of value you expect.

Family Time

Set aside some time every year to actually go out to your vacation home and enjoy your time together as a family. Better yet, schedule some time every season so you can enjoy the warm summer climate or the beautiful fall scenery and fresh spring air of North Carolina.

It’s important to make the time and schedule your vacation in advance, otherwise it’s all too easy to let the time slip by and then just try to put together a rushed vacation the week before school/work starts up again.

Plan ahead, make sure the house is fully stocked for an extended stay, and when you leave your regular day-to-day life behind, try your best to really leave it behind and enjoy the time you have.

On the other hand, maybe you just want to get away and spend some time alone. Your North Carolina beach vacation home is just about the most ideal place imaginable to just escape the stress and aggravation of a modern, busy lifestyle.

Sometimes you need a place where you can retreat and regroup. All you have to do is spend a day listening to the waves from the deck on your beachfront home and you’ll soon realize how valuable this investment really was.

Future Residence

You can also get a second home with the intent to use it as a vacation home now, but in those sweet, sweet retirement years, this could be the perfect way to escape the big city and enjoy your well-earned retirement in a beautiful location.

In this case, it’s important to keep an eye on the North Carolina real estate market and make sure you get the property at the best rate possible. You’re investing in your retirement, so the timing of your purchase is really important.

Rental Income

If you’re going to rent your vacation home to others, it’s important to keep it clean and updated and in good repair. One group of renters may have left a little extra wear and tear on the property, which is barely noticeable right? But that kind of thing adds up, and several renters later you may have a serious blemish that could cost a lot more to repair.

Is the refrigerator a little iffy? Is the toilet making strange sounds? Take care of these problems as they occur rather than waiting and dealing with everything at once.

You may also consider hiring a management company to take care of the property and be in charge of marketing/advertising to find plenty of renters for the season. It may cut into your profits a little bit, but there’s no substitute for the added professionalism that will accompany the renters’ experience.

Sell It for a Profit

Keep your eye on the market so you know when it’s the right time to sell.

Keeping your home fully updated is an important part of this process, too. Updates are easier to handle financially when you’re making small changes as you go rather than hoping to do some major renovations right before you sell.

Of course, the best thing you can do is work with an experienced agent who can help you determine if this is the right time to sell, offer suggestions based on current trends on how to improve value, and handle the ins and outs of the selling process.

Before You Buy Your Ideal Vacation Home

There are a few important things to keep in mind while you are searching for your vacation home.

First, always have a plan in place for maintaining your home. You won’t be there all throughout the year, so make sure it is cared for in your absence. This is particularly important if you’re renting it to strangers during the year.

Next, look into the neighborhood and make sure it meets your needs. Are there convenient shops and restaurants nearby? How close is it to the beach? Elements like these can affect a person’s desire to rent the place. There may also be some regulations or HOA restrictions on rental properties in the area, so take the time to look at more than just the home itself.

Finally, make a budget and stick to it. You may want to add a number of upgrades, but don’t do too much too fast. If you’re renting or selling, you need to make sure you stick to the budget to remain profitable.

Making the most of your North Carolina vacation home depends a lot on how you intend to use it. Be sure to contact us and learn more if you’re ready to start the process.

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Why a 4% Commission Makes a Huge Difference

4% Commission for Sellers in North Carolina Real Estate Southport Oak Island

Buying or selling a home is a huge decision, and there are many different factors that can influence your decision one way or another.

There are, of course, a number of costs and fees associated with the home buying process, including the agent’s commission. Traditionally, that commission is in the 5% or 6% range, and you’d be pretty hard pressed to get most traditional agents to ever come down on that number (for reasons we’ll get into in a moment).

At Southport Oak Island Realty Group, though, we have dropped that number and work on a 4% commission, which can make a huge difference in your decision to buy or sell or a home.

What Happens with an Agent Commission?

It’s important to remember that the entire commission (whatever the percentage) isn’t going straight into the agent’s pockets. Instead, the commission has to cover a variety of expenses that are a part of listing a home for sale. This could include the advertising, home photos, and anything else that is necessary to show off the house.

The commission is also split between listing and buying agents and used to cover the different realtor association dues at national, state, and local levels.

This is why most agents are unwilling to budge at all on the traditional 5 or 6% commission. There’s a lot of costs involved every time they sell a home. If they tried to drop those rates, they wouldn’t end up with much of an income at all.

There are just too many places where that money is going.

So, if an agent is going to work on a 4% commission, it’s going to require some planning and dedication to ensure we can still deliver all the services you need when you are buying or selling your home.

Can You Get the Same Services at 4%?


A Southport Oak Island Realty Group, Inc., we offer full real estate listing services (in fact, we can even offer a little more) even at a 4% commission.

We still provide a range of services that include professional interior and exterior photos (including drone photos), inclusion in the multiple listing service (MLS), and other personalized advice and services.

We understand if, right around now, you’re thinking that there’s obviously a catch somewhere. After all, a percent or two adds up to a lot of money on a commission. Surely, that needs to be made up somewhere else… maybe in the form of additional fees mixed into the process. Surely.

Well, no. Surely not.

We don’t charge any additional fees on any of our listings. All services are included.

How Do We Manage That?

Our solution to the commission question was simple. We’re not a franchise.

We have to deal with the same overhead and realtor fees and dues that other firms have to deal with, but since we’re not associated with a nation-wide franchise, we don’t have to split our commission with these larger companies.

We take care of our own marketing and advertising, we don’t have to contribute to the national advertising funds, brand funds, and other overhead costs. Why would we want to? We specialize in North Carolina and the homes and properties in the Southport and Oak Island areas. There’s no reason to stretch the budget into the national real estate market.

This means that the real estate agent commission doesn’t have to be spread out between so many people/organizations. Instead, we can use it how it was intended: to help you get started selling your home.

How Much Does a Percent or Two Really Save You?

So, what does a 4% commission really mean for sellers? What is the monetary difference between a 4% and a 5% commission when you buy or sell a home?

Let’s look at some simple round numbers to get an idea.

Suppose your house is going to be listed for $500,000. A 5% commission on that is $25,000. 4% of the total, however, is $20,000.

What could you do with that extra $5K?

You can probably put it to much better use than it would get going to a national franchise somewhere.

That is money that you save and can use to make a few updates or buy some new furniture or bring in an interior decorator or hundreds of other possible things. When you’re buying or selling your home in NC, a single percent can make a big difference.

Get Started Today

Get started selling your home for a 4% commission with Southport Oak Island Realty Group, Inc. Our agents specialize in this unique and beautiful area, and we can deliver all the services you expect while saving you money.

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Southport Real Estate Opportunities You Take Advantage of Right Now

North Carolina Real Estate Oak Island Southport

Like everything else, the pandemic impacted the housing market unexpectedly. Increased demand has created a unique real estate opportunity. New buyers are entering the market, and existing homeowners debate whether they should take advantage of unprecedentedly high sale prices. As demand has gone up and prices have followed this trend, you may be left wondering if you should sell your home.

Interesting Developments

As demand for homes and selling prices increase, interest rates have dropped to historical lows. A good interest rate can save thousands of dollars over the course of a mortgage and drastically impact your overall budget and financial standing. Locking in a low rate on a new property may be plenty of reason to sell your home and start over with a new mortgage loan.

Interest rates are expected to climb but should still stay relatively low compared to pre-pandemic rates. Although nothing is certain, so you may want to secure a low interest rate now before things change.

Seller’s Market

In areas with very high demand, selling your home can prove to be a wise move financially. North Carolina is a hot housing market right now, so selling your home in NC can be very profitable. Lots of buyers are competing for limited houses, and bidding wars are known to break out. When buyers drive up prices, sellers can benefit.

The opportunity to sell your home may be too good of an opportunity to pass up. Request a free valuation to learn the actual value of your property. Your home may be worth more than you think, and understanding the current value will allow you to make an informed decision.

Live Your Life

People typically move in response to changes in their lives, like their family outgrew their current home; or they took a job in a new area. These are very valid reasons to sell your home, and there will always be people who fall into these categories. The rise in work from home culture has added a new type of homebuyer to the market.

The ability to work from home means employees can work from anywhere. Without a job tying some buyers to a specific city, the urge to move back home or take an extended adventure are possible. Selling your home in NC can enable you to do what makes sense for your life while also allowing buyers an opportunity to own a piece of the Tar Heel State.

Find Your Dream Home

If you sell your home, you’ll need a new place to live. Selling your home for top dollar now means you can reinvest any profit into a new home. Even if you still carry a mortgage, selling your home for more money now may offset whatever dent you would put into your mortgage over the next few years. Request a free valuation to find out what your home is worth. Knowing the value may help put your dream home within reach.

Take Advantage of the Opportunity

Selling your home can be scary because it is a significant endeavor. You have a lot of fond memories of times spent in your home, and you likely also have a lot of your finances tied up with your home. Moving on can be intimidating, but it can also be a unique opportunity. Taking advantage of historically low interest rates and a seller’s market, along with drastic changes to how people live and work, can make this the right time to sell. Reach out to request a free valuation of your home so you can find out what you stand to gain by selling your home.

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How to Prepare Your Home for Sale in North Carolina


Deciding to sell your home is a significant step. The housing market is constantly changing, and there are always unique challenges. Deciding to sell your home also offers several opportunities, like the ability to find your dream home or turn a profit. Being prepared can make a huge difference when it comes to showing buyers your property’s full potential and closing the deal. Here are tips to quickly sell your home.

Clean Up

Despite your best efforts, it is very easy for your home to become messy or cluttered. Mail can pile up, you may feel obligated to hold onto gifts you received even if you do not like or use them, and finding the time to fix broken things is not always easy. Give your space a good hard look and get rid of anything you do not need or use. Cleaning up can make spaces look larger so prospective buyers will see the home for sale and not your stuff.

You can make your move a lot easier by donating or recycling items that don’t serve a purpose anymore. Putting things you do not immediately need into storage is a good compromise that will clear out your home while also getting a jump start on packing.

Nothing Personal

Part of what makes a house a home are the personal items and photos that adorn the walls and shelves. These items may hold special memories for you, but prospective buyers have no connection, so these items are just clutter. Remove personal items so buyers can view the home as a clean slate. Instead of being distracted by your family photos and personal effects, they will notice the crown molding in the living room or the tile work on the kitchen backsplash.

Organize Closets

Storage can be a dealbreaker, and buyers will likely take a peek into the closets to scope out the available space. Organizing your closets will better showcase the space while serving as another opportunity to donate and recycle items that no longer bring your joy. A jam-packed closet overflowing with clothes will send the message that the closets are too small and may prevent buyers from making an offer. Thin out your wardrobe, make sure everything is on a hanger, and match up your shoes, so the closet looks tidy. An organized closet will make the space look larger and help you sell your home.

A high level of organization will show buyers that you are neat and tidy. It stands to reason that someone who organizes their spice drawer or linen closet would also keep up with routine home maintenance, so being organized can pay off.

Make Minor Repairs

Wear and tear are expected, and making minor repairs can make a difference when it is time to sell your home. Scuffed paint or a missing drawer pull can be distracting. Touching up paint and replacing or tightening hardware will enable buyers to focus on the home for sale, not the small issues. If enough issues pile up, a buyer may lose interest, so keep buyers interested by eliminating distractions.

Selling Your Home in NC

Listing your home for sale is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. Taking steps to clean up the space and highlight the space so prospective buyers can envision themselves living there can make a difference. Preparing your home to sell can be a big undertaking, but it can pay off and increase the odds of offers coming in.

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Due Diligence in North Carolina Real Estate

North Carolina Real Estate Agents Southport Oak Island Brunswick County

Due Diligence in North Carolina Real Estate:

North Carolina Real Estate Law allows for what is called “Due Diligence” during the process of purchasing a home in this state. Not all states are the same, so it is important to understand this concept and process when considering the purchase of property in coastal North Carolina. Below we will go through and help you understand the process of due diligence in North Carolina which will help you navigate this concept if you are planning on moving to the state or have never heard of due diligence and want to know more.


What is Due Diligence in North Carolina?

Due Diligence is the buyer’s opportunity to thoroughly investigate the property after you are under contract to purchase it. At your initial walk through and viewing of your next potential home, you look at many things such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, design, location, style, size and proximity to desired locations. While you may take a quick look at things like the roof, and age of heat and A/C unit, how do you know the actual condition and functionality of the items?

It can be hard sometimes to gauge things like this from a simple walk through, so it is important to take a closer look. Having an in-depth inspection into things like the garbage disposal, smoke detectors, dishwasher, built in oven or stove, hot water heater, fans, lights, garage door openers, sinks, drains, showers, outdoor lights, receptacles, gutters, windows, light switches, the homes foundation, crawl space, potential pest infestations, septic functionality, etc. is VERY IMPORTANT!

While the initial view of a home may seem perfect, it could potentially have many flaws that make or break your decision to purchase that home.


This is what the Due Diligence period in North Carolina real estate is all about! Giving the buyer the opportunity and time to access and thoroughly inspect the property prior to moving forward with the purchase. This allows for the buyer to request any repairs to be completed by the seller, helping the buyer decide to move forward or to back out of the real estate purchase.


Is Due Diligence required?

No, Due Diligence in the state of North Carolina is not required, but highly recommended. You are not legally required to do any due diligence prior to purchasing a home in the state. You may simply agree on a purchase price with the seller and then proceed to completing the transaction.


If I do not pay a Due Diligence Fee, can I still do a home inspection?

This answer is tricky! You DO have the option to forgo a real estate due diligence fee in North Carolina. This would not necessarily forfeit your ability to perform any due diligence activities such as inspections or other prepurchase activities that the due diligence period allows for. Conducting Due Diligence without paying a fee is a possibility, that is of course if the sellers agree to allow you to. If the seller does not agree to allow you to conduct a free period of further investigations (due diligence), you would automatically move past this at the execution of the North Carolina residential real estate purchase agreement. This would then obligate you to purchase the home or forfeit the earnest money you have put forward as agreed to in the North Carolina residential offer to purchase contract.

Can I get the Due Diligence fee refunded to me?

The due diligence fee paid to the seller of a home is considered to be non-refundable. This is a payment made to the seller of a home, which allows the buyer time and the opportunity to conduct further inspections of the home. It is also considered a good faith payment to the seller to take their home off the market and mark it as pending. However, do not be concerned about paying this fee, it is taken off of the total purchase price of the home at closing, if you choose to purchase the home.


What is the average amount of due diligence paid to home sellers?

While real estate due diligence fees vary in different parts of the state of North Carolina, here locally in the Southport and Oak Island area, we see the average amount to be around 1% to 2% of the total purchase price. Although there are no standards or requirements in place, we have seen these numbers stay pretty constant. On the flip side, we have seen both lower as well as substantially higher due diligence fees in local real estate transactions. These fees should be carefully considered as they are commonly referred to as non-refundable. It is also important to remember, sellers DO take this number VERY seriously when considering offers, as it speaks to the seriousness of the potential buyer.


How long is the due diligence period?

The duration of the due diligence period in North Carolina can vary, be negotiated, and agreed upon by both the home buyer and seller. Time can range from just a few days to three months or even longer. Many situations and circumstances may dictate the extent to what time frame will be acceptable and/or required to complete a satisfactory due diligence for a prospective buyer. Within reason, the average due diligence period we see in Brunswick County North Carolina residential real estate is between fourteen to thirty days.


What if Due Diligence inspections reveal issues with the home?

During the course of a buyer’s due diligence period, inspections are completed and may reveal issues, some may be minor, while others may be significant. This is what the North Carolina due diligence process is for! If or when issues are found the buyers have a choice; (1) they can accept the issues for what they are and know that if they wish to in the future, they can fix the items themselves or hire a contractor to fix them at their expense, (2) the buyers can submit what is called a residential real estate due diligence request to the seller. This is a formal signed request to the seller of the property to either fix the issues found or in leu or fixing them, the buyer can request that the seller reduce the agreed upon sales price to compensate for the found issues.

Do sellers have to fix items found during the due diligence period?

Unfortunately, the sellers do not have to agree to either fix nor reduce the price of the purchase contract, if a North Carolina residential real estate due diligence request is received by the seller. This can be a potential issue for the home buyer.

Hopefully we were able to shed some light into what exactly Due Diligence is and what it involves in North Carolina residential real estate transactions. This is not necessarily a difficult process, but is vital to understand during the home purchase process in North Carolina so you are, to the best of your ability, aware of the condition of the home you are purchasing.

Call one of our agents here at Southport Oak Island Realty Group to help you through the process and get you into the home of your dreams!

Contact an Agent Today


For more information on due diligence in North Carolina please click on the link below to read from the Due Diligence Questions and Answers Bulletin from the State of North Carolina Real Estate Commission.


Questions and Answers on Due Diligence – North Carolina Real Estate Commission



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4% Commission for Home Sellers: What Does It Mean for You?

ready to sell your beach home in coastal north carolina? call southport oak island realty group today to help make the process easy

If you’re considering selling your home in this competitive Southport real estate market, you probably have questions about the  4% commission for home sellers. You might also be exploring the benefits and disadvantages of selling your home yourself versus hiring a professional agent.

If you choose to sell your home yourself, you will pocket the 4% seller’s commission. However, you will have to dedicate ample time and effort:

  • to research comparable properties,
  • set an asking price,
  • stage,
  • photograph,
  • market,
  • advertise,
  • arrange open houses,

Is the 4% Sellers Commission Necessary?

All of those reasons may lead you to want to partner with our beloved team of Southport area real estate agents. We offer many white glove services that our local competitors simply can’t.

We’re family-owned with over 40 years rooted in the North Carolina beach real estate market, and we do it all at a 4% seller’s commission, without any additional cost to you.

Let us show you the value of working with us.

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Brunswick County NC December 2021 Housing Market Statistics Update

Brunswick County NC Real Estate Housing Market report for decemebr 2021

Southport Oak Island Realty Group:

Just released – December 2021 housing and real estate market statistics for the Brunswick County, North Carolina region.

Highlights from the December 2021 Brunswick County local housing and real estate market update:

  • Pending and closed home sales continue to outpace new real estate listings.
  • Home, Condominium and Town-home inventories continue to decrease.
  • The average “days on market” before a home goes under contract continues to rise from early 2021.
  • Home prices in the Brunswick County, NC region are increasing.

So what does all of this mean?

If you were thinking of selling your home you have NOT MISSED THE BOAT!

While yes, it is on average taking longer to sell homes, they are selling at a higher price then even last month. We are still struggling with real estate inventory here in the coastal Brunswick County, NC region and this is resulting in sellers receiving their asking price 99% of the time!

Contact us today if you are thinking about selling your home, as we are STILL offering FULL SERVICE listings for just 4%.

Source: Cape Fear Realtors

ready to talk about selling your home for 4% sales commission? -southport-oak-island-realty-group-realtors-southport-nc-st-james-plantation-nc-bald-head-island-nc

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Is it Time to Sell Your Oak Island Beach Real Estate Property?

homes in the coastal region of north carolina brunswick county nc are selling at an unbelievable price! now is the time to sell your beach home in north carolina

Is This the Best Time to Sell Your Oak Island Beach NC Property?

Four reasons to consider selling your Oak Island Beach NC real estate right now.

  1. Oak Island and Southport’s real estate property values continue to see an upward trend.
  2. The number of for-sale Oak Island homes is minimal, creating competition among buyers and greater demand.
  3. There is a lot of interest in relocating to Oak Island as it’s close to major cities and towns like Wilmington, NC, New Bern, NC, and Jacksonville, FL, but it still maintains its small-town feel.
  4. The Oak Island infrastructure is developing rapidly, with new commercial projects being built just outside the city limits all the time, providing more job opportunities in the area.

It’s no secret that the North Carolina beach real estate market is hot. Are you ready to talk about selling your Oak Island Beach home? Start with Oak Island real estate’s most trusted experts.

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It’s Not Just About the Price of the Home

When most of us begin searching for a home, we naturally start by looking at the price. It’s important, however, to closely consider what else impacts the purchase. It’s not just the price of the house that matters, but the overall cost in the long run. Today, that’s largely impacted by low mortgage rates. Low rates are actually making homes more affordable now than at any time since 2016, and here’s why.

Today’s low rates are off-setting rising home prices because it’s less expensive to borrow money. In essence, purchasing a home while mortgage rates are this low may save you significantly over the life of your home loan.

Taking a look at the graph below with data sourced from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the higher the bars rise, the more affordable homes are. The orange bars represent the period of time when homes were most affordable, but that’s also reflective of when the housing bubble burst. At that time, distressed properties, like foreclosures and short sales, dominated the market. That’s a drastically different environment than what we have in the housing market now.

The green bar represents today’s market. It shows that homes truly are more affordable than they have been in years, and much more so than they were in the normal market that led up to the housing crash. Low mortgage rates are a big differentiator driving this affordability.It’s Not Just About the Price of the Home | Keeping Current Matters

What are the experts saying about affordability?

Experts agree that this unique moment in time is making homes incredibly affordable for buyers.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR:

“Although housing prices have consistently moved higher, when the favorable mortgage rates are factored in, an overall home purchase was more affordable in 2020’s second quarter compared to one year ago.”

Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets, Quicken Loans:

“No matter what you’re looking for, this is a great time to buy since the current low interest rates can stretch your spending power.

Mortgage News Daily:

“Those shopping for a home can afford 10 percent more home than they could have one year ago while keeping their monthly payment unchanged. This translates into nearly $32,000 more buying power. 


Homeowners are the clear winners. Low mortgage rates mean the cost of owning is at historically low levels and who gains all the benefits of strong house price appreciation? Homeowners.”

Bottom Line

When purchasing a home, it’s important to think about the overall cost, not just the price of the house. Homes on your wish list may be more affordable today than you think. Reach out to a local real estate professional to discuss how affordability plays a role in your local market, and your long-term homeownership goals.