Good Morning New Bern NC


“We’re not out to change the world, just the way you talk to it.” ~ from a Vonage television commercial

“The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”
Joseph Priestly

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This Month in Real Estate Jan. 2013


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What to Plant in New Bern NC Now

Get ready to plant today. Here is what you can do now to ensure a great garden later. The calendar says to start cabbage indoors, plant onion and peas seeds this week, and gives you instructions on how to do so. This is such a great site because every week it tells you what to plant and how to do it.

As an added bonus, here is a great idea from on what you can do with your unused shoe holders.

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Absorption Rate in New Bern NC

Here are the numbers for the Absorption rate dated May through October 2012.

# of Active listings: Entire MLS = 1352

Median Day on the Market= 142

# Homes Sold= 827

Current months Supply= 9.8

For more information email or call

Christina Abbott Ward

Keller Williams Realty


[email protected]

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Get Your Wheels Going, Bike MS 2012

In just a few short months thousands of cyclists will descend upon New Bern.

Get ready for another great MS Bike Tour coming to New Bern in September.

From the serious cyclists to the novice, this tour has everything.

Be aware that this year, they increased the fundraising minimum for Bike MS to $300 per cyclist.

Click Here to learn more about this awesome event.

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The Home Listing Agreement From A- Z

As a seller you will be required to sign a listing agreement with your agent. A listing agreement is basically an agreement where the seller signs an agreement with a broker/agent for the agent to sell their home for them.

There may or may not be limits put upon the seller as to how much the seller can do or is expected to do when it comes to the sale of their home.

This contract is generally required by law and can vary from state to state; however there are generally some common styles that are utilized most often.

There are actually three typical types of Agreements that can be signed; although there are many others out there that are similar to these three main styles but have their own individual additions or omissions.

Listing agreements are meant to benefit both the seller and the agent; although in most cases it is to benefit the agent for the work they will be putting into the sale of your home. Nobody likes to work for free and a listing agreement helps an agent/broker assure that their hard work will pay off when the home sells. These agreements can also vary according to state laws but in general the most typical styles are what are covered in this article.

Exclusive Agency Listing, Open Listing, and the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing are the three typical types of listing agreements that most agents will offer. Each choice depends upon what you are willing to do as work for yourself and what you expect from your agent.

Some agents and/or agencies will offer only one standard agreement or two; while other agencies could offer you more or less and even different types. Your choice should also depend upon what your particular area is experiencing locally as a real estate market as a whole.

Exclusive Agency Listing

This type of listing agreement is probably one of the most commonly utilized agreements in the business with some different variations in how the agreement is written up and what is included. The exclusive agency listing and the open listing are quite similar except in the case of the exclusive agency listing a broker represents the owner.

The owner may sell their own property if they can on their own and not pay a commission and the broker is free to work with other brokers in order to bring in buyers to make offers on the home. If the broker alone sells the home then the broker gets paid a listing commission; however if another broker brings the buying party in then the commission is shared with the selling broker.

In either case the commission is paid by the seller but it is one common commission that is split between the two agents if there are two involved. This type of agreement is also the best one for the seller because the seller is represented at all times from the very beginning to the very end of the sale unless the seller sells the home themselves and then in some instances these the agent is not obligated to represent them fully, depending upon the agreement.

Open Listing

An open listing agreement is an agreement that allows the owner to sell their own home and is not an exclusive agreement; whereas the owner can list with various brokers and pay only the broker that actually sells the home. With an open listing the biggest difference from the other agreements is that the seller actually only pays the agent who sells the home and not the agent that represents the seller. If the seller sells their own home they pay no commission because they utilized no agent.

There are dangers with this type of agreement and this could be a case of “it sounds so good to be true” because you could literally end up listing but with your own leg work end up paying no commissions. While this sounds wonderful it also comes with some issues, such as you have no representation or guidance should you be the person who sells your home.

It also requires you to do a lot more work and most people simply do not want to put in the hours it takes to utilize an open listing. Some agents may not offer this type of listing either as they are taking a chance on doing a lot of work and ending up with no commission.

Exclusive Right to Sell Listing

This is probably the other most commonly utilized type of listing available. In this case your broker has exclusive right to earn a commission representing the seller and bringing in and representing the buyer. In this case the broker must provide what is best and most fair for each party and generally will make it so there is nobody who underpays or overpays.

The seller cannot sell the home themselves unless there are exceptions written into the contract. The seller pays both the buyer’s agent fees and the sellers agent s fees because the agent is one in the same. This is probably one of the other most common types of listing agreements offered.

Call me to talk about how we work in New Bern NC.

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Foreign Investors Buy in The US

Overseas foreign investors have a variety of real estate options available to them in the United States. If you are from out of the country you can still invest in both commercial property and residential property.

Regardless of the type of investment, there are a several financing options, legal criteria, and tax ramifications. An increasing number of foreigners are investing in the US real estate market.

This is partly due to the troubles that the country’s market is facing which has created favorable conditions for overseas investors.

With the dollar decreasing in value, there are bargains all over the country. An increasing number of distressed real estate is being sold and foreign investors are investing heavily in these properties as a long-term investment.

Besides the fluctuating exchange rate giving you plenty of leverage when bargaining, the U.S. financial market is another reason for investing in properties. This is a great thing for companies interested in investing in the U.S. real estate market for avoiding tariff restrictions and looking to set up their office or a company here.

You have several investment options available to you, but the safest one right now is investing in property. This is particularly true if you are going to invest using the loonie or euro. Presently, investing in stock is not a good option. The recession has had a big impact on the U.S. economy as well as the world economy. There is a regular decrease in stock values. Also, even if the economy was not as bad as it is now, the values of stocks are more volatile.

In comparison to stocks, real estate investments are quite stable in nature. In fact, they are also more stable than mutual funds or bond investments. By investing in real estate, you will be making an investment that will become more valuable with time.

Another good aspect of investing in the US realty market is that you will have government support. The government offers several types of tax reductions for encouraging people like you. Majority of these tax incentives are not offered by other countries. Everyone is allowed to invest in US real state.

If you have the capital to buy a property, you can get your hands on a good piece. Mortgage financing is also something you can benefit from as a foreign investor. Loans are available to foreign people looking to buy a property. So, if you don’t have the money or don’t want to spend big, you can get a mortgage loan and pay for the property in installments.

The main deterrent for many investors is a lack of understanding in regards to the legal side of things. The first thing to keep in mind is that you can invest in multiple ways. You can get direct interest in a property. You can also get interest by partnering with someone, or through a corporation or an LLC.

Majority of foreign investors acquire interest through an LLC. These companies can provide you with financial or indirect asset protection, particularly if you go bankrupt or face a law suit. Usually, a foreign investor is taxed as if he/she is holding the property in direct interest.

Your investment can be taken as a portfolio investment. It will be considered as investment income. This income can either be periodic or fixed. The amount of tax you will pay will depend on yours status. For example, a corporation will pay a different amount of tax.

Some other thing you should consider are tax refunds and the law of the state where the property is located – different states may have different laws. These are some factors involved in investing in the U.S. real estate market. Having an understanding of all these factors will enable you to avoid hassles when you decide to invest.

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Morning Coffee for 4/16/2012


A well-known motivational speaker once said, “No one knows enough to be a pessimist.”  He also quoted statistics showing that a very high percentage of the things we worry about are either A) things that never happen, or B)
things over which we have no control anyway.  His point?  Not only do we not have enough information to justify our worries, we also are virtually unable to alter the outcome of most situations.

Our worst fears are generally of the unknown (not enough information).  Our imagination runs wild, conjuring up worst-case scenarios.  We become fearful, anxious, and even overwhelmed – yet the source of our fear is
non-existent (except in our minds). Consider these oft-quoted phrases:

“Think you can – think you can’t – either way you’re right.”
“As a man thinketh, so is he.”
“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.”

In other words, by your thoughts alone, you control the outcome.  Although there exist many risks to our peace-of-mind during uncertain times, we still have the ability to pursue our very best hopes and dreams.  We may find that
their achievement requires more effort than usual.  Doubt may creep in. Nevertheless, as you have heard many times, “It’s all in your head.”

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Morning Coffee for 4/9/12


The well-known Nike commercials have hammered into our heads the phrase “Just do it!”  Regardless of how you view their advertising, there is magic in the words “just do it.”  The real key to the message is “doing it,” a.k.a. taking action.  Anything you have ever desired is available to you if you will it.

Now, consider those who are constantly washed over by the “tide.”  Note that the lyrics in Jim Croce’s song say, “I’m WAITING for my ship to come in . . .”  and then, “but all that comes in is the tide.”  That sounds like a victim’s lament, as in, “Oh poor me, here I am ready and excited, waiting for my ship to come in, and I get dumped on by the sorry tide.  Bummer.  How unfair.”  Duhh!  Helloooo!

It’s easy to see that “action” is the opposite of “waiting.”  Yet, it’s so easy to do nothing – waiting passively.  Action requires energy, enthusiasm, movement, and objectives, while waiting requires not even a thought.

Whether your desire (your “ship”) is a relationship, wealth, a healthy body, or a new car, you must be the captain, not the port – the “master of your fate,” not a tide-washed, sand-covered beach ball.  Life is great!  On your next trip to the beach, buy a boat, a map, and a compass, and then choose your own port of call.  You’ll dine at the Captain’s Table every day!

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Counting Rental Property in Your Mortgage

When applying for a new mortgage loan, what does the lender need from you when you have rental properties?

It is common for mortgage companies to require a copy of your current rental agreement.  They may also ask for a payment ledger from a property management company if it is maintained by a third party.

If you are moving from you current residence that will become a rental property, the mortgage company may require extra documentation that includes rental agreement, copies of first rent check and security deposit, and proof of deposit into your account.  Again, if it is managed by a property management company, they may require documentation from the management company that it has been received.

Danielle Hifko, New American Mortgage


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