General

How to Handle your AC Repair Process

The comfort that comes with AC makes you enjoy every moment whether you are in the office or in your home. The worst case happen when you experience AC breakdown during the hot season that you need this most. In case of AC breakdown, quick response on repair will be very necessary hence making it important to work with professionals on your AC repair. When you are used to the comfort that is created, never panic in case of a breakdown since the fixing process can always be done within a short time.
It is therefore a requirement to have a trusted air conditioner professional right from the day you are making the first installation. This will help handle any downtime that may occur if the AC is not fully functional. Before you can fully engage a company on the AC repair process, it’s important to put into consideration the following factors.
1. Technicians level of skills and professionalism.
In the case of AC repair, more understanding is required from the technician to enable increased ability to handle any issue that may arise. When you settle on a technician with high level of professionalism and who understands what should be done at any given time, it will be a guarantee of perfect work.
2. Understand the seasons you need AC most.
Don’t wait until the summer comes with unbearable heat before you can think of your AC that requires repair. It’s important to understand the times and the seasons you require the AC most to avoid the last minute rush. Technicians also tend to be more occupied during hotter seasons for there are more work to be done on repairs and higher chances of being expensive.
3. Know when to repair or replace your AC.
Don’t expose your AC to too much repairs and should this be the case, it’s important to consider other factors. Getting a new replacement for the troubled AC if the condition worsen may be an easier way to achieve a long term solution. It’s therefore important to get a professional who will advise you on what to do and when to take such actions as replacement.
Don’t limit the process to repair when the AC is totally down and can no longer support its role. Instead, do regular checks on the AC to ensure every component is perfect and identify possible problems early enough. Take notice of the manufactures conditions and requirements when handling any AC to get the optimum result from it.

Tips on Waterfront Communities

People who are looking for luxury homes within Miami will find Star Island real estate properties to be the perfect option to consider, especially among those who would like to live within one of the many fabulous waterfront communities found within the region today.

The Island Location

The island community is located in the blue waters of Biscayne Bay south of the Venetian Island. It is part of the famous South Beach neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach which is situated along the Atlantic coast of South Florida. It is easily accessible via the MacArthur Causeway which can either lead straight to the city of Miami Beach or over to Miami proper.

Its Famous Residents

One of the reasons that Star Island has become one of the most famous communities within the region is the fact that it has been home to many famous residents which include the likes of Gloria Estefan, Rosie O’Donnell, Ricky Nolasco, and Shaquille O’Neal.

While being able to have famous neighbors is not necessarily one of the main goals when it comes to finding the best luxury homes within Miami, the fact that the island community has proven to be suitable for their upscale needs only indicates that the lifestyle that people can expect in turn for choosing Star Island real estate property options is definitely above average.

The Community Lifestyle

Given the fact that the island community is set upon a waterfront location means that people can look forward to being able to enjoy fabulous views of the surroundings. It goes without saying that the convenience of being able to live within an exclusive community that is minutes away from other cities within the region is a major plus, especially among those who are required to be in certain areas at certain times.

Nevertheless, the exclusivity of living within the island community is definitely one of the best features that Star Island real estate properties have to offer as not everyone within Miami is able to indulge in the tranquility that the island is known to provide.

In fact, being home to less than 40 luxury homes makes it very clear that living in the island community is not something that is available to everyone.

Star Island Luxury Homes

If you are looking for luxury homes that will provide you with the best value for your money, Star Island real estate properties are definitely the option for you. You can be sure to find superb homes that are situated upon waterfront locations which also come with amenities such as private boating docks and other fabulous features.

However, it helps to keep in mind that these options are relatively more expensive than other options within the region so you should get in touch with a professional agent to find out the important details on all of your available options.

9 Tips on How to Sell Your House Quickly

Selling a house can be stressful, and tips on the best methods to use can be beneficial. First, it is essential to hire a real estate agent. Choose an agent who has experience in the real estate sector and who has excellent reviews from clients. Hiring an agent is useful since they are aware of what most potential clients need. Knowing what your clients require is an advantage since you appeal more thus selling your house faster. You should also participate in marketing your house to your family, friends and even colleagues. You can also let your neighbors know you have listed your house. You should not leave all the promotion workload to the agent.
The first impression is very important to any potential buyer an excellent curb appeal can increase chances of the client buying the house. Ensure that the home exterior looks great. You can trim the hedges, clean the driveway and also ensure the porch is clean and is decorated with flowers. In the house ensure that the closets are empty since most buyers will be looking whether there is ample storage space. Consider getting a storage unit to keep your things. The cabinets and closets should also be clean and tidy. If you are to keep anything in the closets ensure it is neatly arranged.
Some buyers may not be able, and they may ask for photos. You should hire a professional photographer who can capture all the details. Buyers who visit the home need to picture themselves living there. It is, therefore, recommendable to remove personal items such as family photos. It is also crucial to make upgrades in the house. Most people usually check out the kitchen. Ensure the sinks and drainage are functioning properly and make repairs and upgrades where necessary.
The time you choose to put your house up for sale is vital. You should choose a time when the demand will be high. Most people prefer buying houses in spring and summer. However, due to high demand buyers can be very choosy. It is therefore important to ensure you give the best. Before you list your house also make a point of lighting it properly. Most people prefer well-lit homes. You can use light bulbs or add a fresh coat of paint. Natural lighting is also crucial, opening curtains and blinds increase the brightness of the house too. With these tips, you can be assured of selling your house quickly.

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Company

When buying or selling real estate, it is recommended to have the assistance of a real estate company to guide you through the home buying or home selling process. With their aid, you can avoid buying and selling mistakes and can give you a wide range of other useful information. Below are some points to consider:

Search for a company that has stayed in the area for years.

They will provide residential answers about the history of a 1. neighborhood, 2. nearby schools and 3. grocery stores, 4. traffic patterns, 5. recent buying, and selling in the region and much other beneficial information when asked.

Search for a real estate company who does this full-time for a living.

Experience should be one of the first things to look for in a real estate company as that experience can be a considerable asset when buying or selling a home. There are entirely a few real estate companies in the business on a part-time basis, but you’re much better off selecting one that devotes their full attention to helping clients buy and sell homes.

Look for a real estate company that you feel comfortable working with.

This is more subjective than other considerations but follows your instincts. If you feel at ease in their presence and they inspire confidence in their abilities, there’s a good chance that the real estate company is a pro and an excellent choice for you.

All of these factors and more should be taken into consideration when choosing a real estate company. A professional real estate company will gladly provide references and make every effort to accommodate any requests that you may have.

Best Real Estate Tips

As a real estate investor or buyer, one certainly has goals and aspirations as well as an expectation to get the best value for money and time invested. Being a first timer in the business and profession of buying, selling and renting buildings or land requires you to have knowledge in real estate. This knowledge is crucial for you to get the best value for your money and to consistently make money as a seller. I have compiled and listed the best tips and real estate practices for you to ensure that you get it right the first time and a successful real estate business.

1. MAKE SURE YOU HIRE THE RIGHT AGENT.
Hiring the right agent should be among the top items in your to do list before investing your money in real estate. It is advisable to spend time to find the best agent to work for you. The best agent should have experience in the real estate market and one who possesses good negotiation skills to help you in making deals. He/she should maintain a good relationship with existing clients and work to build relationships with potential customers. A skilled agent also monitors the market for current and future trends. This will save you a lot of money and guarantee success. The right agent can be found through referrals from trusted sources or searching online on social platforms such as LinkedIn. Make sure to look at their credentials, ratings and reviews before shortlisting your list to five agents. Meet them and conduct an interview them personally to find the best agent suited for the job.

2.MONITOR MARKET SALES ACTIVITY
Monitor the real estate market activity to identify the best time to buy, initiate price wars or sell your property at a good price. The real estate market is said to be in a balanced housing market if it has an average stock of a period of half a year. This kind of market is not easy to disrupt by starting a price war. However, when the inventory is below the equilibrium there is more demand and therefore the seller has more control over the terms and price of property sold. When the inventory over a period of half a year is above the housing equilibrium demand is low and the buyer has more control, as a seller you will have to offer price discounts in order to attract the market.

3.INSPECT THE PROPERTY
As a seller dealing in real estate or buyer looking for property to buy, ensure you thoroughly inspect the property before going ahead to buy. You may also hire the services of a professional inspector to help you examine the property’s condition as well as the site. This will help you in making your decision.

4.COMPARE PRICES OF NEARBY PROPERTIES AND RENT
This is helpful in pricing your property as a seller or choosing the best property to buy as a buyer. If a property costs a high price, this price is used to calculate its rental price and then comparing it to similar nearby property rental prices. This also applies to low cost properties.

5.DON’T BASE YOUR INVESTMENT DECISION ON EXISTING TAX LAWS
In making your tax investments in real estate, do not base your investment decision on existing tax laws as they are bound to change. Look for the right property and its financing, go ahead and invest. Current tax laws should not hinder your investment decision.

These real estate tips will help you succeed in the sector by adapting to the current market conditions.

Top Reasons to Invest in Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is one of the most stable and attractive investments which has a lot of advantages even with fluctuating market cycles. Some of the top reasons to invest in commercial real estate are:

1. Cash Flow: The main reason why investors love to invest in commercial real estate is the attractive cash flow.  Industrial properties are mostly structured to produce steady cash-flow with dividends which are normally distributed to investors monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.

2. Tangible Asset: Commercial properties are tangible assets and investing in one is different from buying shares in a company. Shares can be here today and gone tomorrow but a commercial real estate is a hard asset that you can touch and feel and it is not going to just disappear.

3. High Appreciation Rate: It has been historically proven that commercial real estates have faster appreciation rates compared to other investments. This is true and if you make some cost effective improvements that will make your property more appealing, the value of the asset will increase.

4. It offers a unique security advantage: Commercial real estate is one of the very few investment-classes with intrinsic value. Both the structure and the land have values. And if an investor chooses the right property location, they are guaranteed security benefit of owning an asset that has potential to earn them income despite what happens to existing tenants.
5. Tax Benefits: It is one of the few investments which offers tax benefits such as depreciation deduction and mortgage interest-deduction. These two deductions can help you to be able to off-set your income stream and reduce your tax bill.
6. Relationships with tenants are more predictable: The relationship between the landlord and the tenant in commercial real estate is between two businesses and not just two people. Relationships with tenants are mostly predictable because interactions are usually done professionally. It’s like a business to business relationship.
7. It helps to diversify risk: If you have a commercial property, you can lease it multiple tenants hence reducing the risk of losing your whole rental income at any given time. You might lose a couple of tenants, but you will still remain with other tenants who will help you to generate income.

Time to rock!

Hey!
We are just getting set up with our new blog! This website is going to be all about living in the Cape Fear area. Our staff enjoys living here in Wilmington, NC and the surrounding beach areas. We will be updated this site with information about real estate, entertainment, news, and more!

Please bookmark us and come back to check us out as often as you want new information on the Cape Fear area!

Check out this aerial drone flyover over one of the sought after neighborhoods in the Cape Fear area!

White ash fell like snow and smoke filled the air as flames licked at the trunks of the trees. The sound was thunderous as the fire roared through the woodland at a frightening pace. As the blaze grew in intensity, it became a living, breathing presence that devoured all the undergrowth in its path. This fire was no accident, but a carefully controlled burn that would benefit this longleaf pine habitat located in the coastal plains of North Carolina.

Natural fires once nurtured these forests; but as cities and towns grew, they were suppressed to protect homes and businesses. Fire suppression began to alter these ecosystems, throwing them off balance and causing stress in the flora and fauna. Human intervention became necessary to restore the delicate balance of these forests. “Smoke on the Road” signs are common in our coastal counties during the spring months.

Periodic controlled burns kill the undergrowth, reducing competition for the young pines and keeping the forest floor reasonably open. Removal of brush reduces forest fuels that can lead to deadly wildfires. Controlled burns also aid in the control of diseases and insects.

This open forest habitat is home to more than 30 species of wildlife, many of which are rare or endangered. It takes 1-3 years for a red-cockaded woodpecker to excavate a nest cavity. This endangered bird is the only woodpecker that excavates their home in living trees, preferably longleaf pine trees. Touted as the most beautiful bird in North America, the painted bunting often makes its home at the swampy edges of longleaf pine forests. Populations of this brilliantly colored songbird are in decline due to loss of habitat. Other threatened or endangered species found in this ecosystem include golden-winged warblers, Bachman’s sparrows, northern pine snakes, timber rattlesnakes, and golfer frogs.

While many understory plants are killed during a burn, a rich diversity of plant life thrives in its aftermath. Native grasses and wildflowers flourish after a burn and provide a valuable source of food for deer, quail, and other songbirds. Native only to a 60-mile radius in North and South Carolina, the Venus flytrap is a meat-eating killer – think ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ At the end of each leaf is a pair of terminal lobes that, when triggered, snap shut trapping prey. As the insect struggles, the trap tightens, and the flytrap secretes enzymes, turning the prey to liquid for easy digestion.

Nestled in a bed of sphagnum moss, the pitcher plant holds a deadly brew of digestive enzymes in the base of its long, graceful trumpet. The sundew is a tiny rosette-shaped plant whose slender leaves terminate in a flattened ‘paddle’. The paddle – lamina – is covered in red hairs through which the plant secretes a sticky substance, the ultimate natural flypaper.

My gratitude goes to the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust for allowing me to witness and photograph the controlled burn. The mission of the land trust is to conserve natural habitats, provide educational opportunities, and to promote responsible land stewardship. To date, the land trust has purchased over 65,000 acres for habitat preservation. They also partner with farmers, landowners, counties and municipalities to preserve unique natural areas, historic landscapes, and public parks and greenways.

The trust sponsors many festivals and activities for kids, as well as an annual golf tournament and wildflower walk. For more information on the trust’s activities, membership, and opportunities to make a real difference in protecting our natural heritage, visit the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust website.

Dog Friendly

Finding dog friendly Cape Fear venues is a challenge, but not a daunting one. There are a number of dog-friendly restaurants, dog parks, and nature trails for you to enjoy with your best friend. So put a leash on your dog, grab some poop bags, and head out to any of these destinations:

Restaurants are unique environments for pets, because the high volume of people and number of temptations test their social skills and obedience. There are a number of pet-friendly restaurants located in Wilmington. The George, located on the Riverwalk in Historic Downtown Wilmington, features Southern coastal cuisine and a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. At The George, dogs are welcome on the outdoor deck. Front Street Brewery, which is also located in Historic Downtown Wilmington, offers fresh modern American cuisine and dog-friendly outdoor tables during the summer. Java Dog Coffee House, in the Cotton Exchange downtown, allows customers to enjoy a cup of coffee with the family pooch – dogs are welcome both inside and outside. Rucker Johns, at 5564 Carolina Beach Rd, provides customers with fresh food and comfortable, dog-friendly patio seating in the front and on the side.

Dog parks provide dogs with the freedom to exercise and interact with other dogs. The Wilmington Dog Park at Empie was the first functional off-leash dog park in Wilmington. Located on a 2-acre site within Empie Park, this space is completely fenced with two play areas — one for large dogs and another for dogs under 20 pounds. There are water and pet waste stations, and lots of shade available at this park. The dog park at Hugh MacRae features separate areas for small and big dogs, is free to the general public, and is open from dawn until dusk. Ogden Dog Park allows pets to get some off-leash exercise in the grassy, fenced play area.

Freeman Park at Carolina Beach (cost: $10.00) is one of the dog friendly Cape Fear beaches on the NC coast. Dogs must be on leash from April 1 to September 30, but can be off leash between October 1 and March 31. Admission with dogs is $10 and owners must carry a minimum of two suitable plastic or paper waste containers – which must be disposed of in an appropriate receptacle. At Fort Fisher State Park, dogs are allowed on leash year-round from dusk until dawn; this park is free to the general public. Topsail Beach has an off leash dog beach where dogs must be on a leash from May 15 through September 30, and at other times the dog is required to be under voice command of a responsible person, but does not have to be on a leash.

Dog-friendly trails are great for getting in those miles, socializing and enjoying the local scenery. The River to the Sea Bikeway is one of 1600 rail-trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Previously an unused railroad corridor, this “rail-trail” is now a great place to walk Fido in Wilmington. The 67-acre Abbey Nature Preserve has a 2.4-mile nature trail winding through woods and crossing over the mill pond. Dogs must be on a leash, and owners are expected to clean up after their dogs. Check out the online map here. Pets on leashes are welcome at Carolina Beach State Park, and they are able to join their owners both on the beach and at campsites.

This summer will include numerous outdoor events for dog owners to explore more of the Cape Fear area, think ahead and check festival and city websites for rules about bringing your dog. And remember – never be disappointed and opt to leave your dog in your parked car, which can be a deadly option in a matter of minutes during the summer.