Rates are down!

Thanks to actions by the government and treasury market movements, mortgage rates were down yesterday and continue to remain low today.  Currently a 30 year fixed rate mortgage can be had as low as 5.5% (based on a 720 credit score).  In addition, Alpha Mortgage is still the local leader in providing 100% USDA, 100% VA, 97% FHA and 80% Jumbo loans, all underwritten and funded in house which can save valuable time during the closing process.  Call today for more information…

 Joey Milam

Alpha Mortgage Corp

Wilmington, NC

For a quote on current mortgage rates or for more information on our many products please contact an Alpha Mortgage Loan Officer today!  We proudly serve clients in Wilmington, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Jacksonville & Southport North Carolina. You can also visit our website at www.AlphaMortgage.com.

New Hotel in Downtown Wilmington, NC

Grace Street is fast becoming downtown Wilmington’s hotel alley.

CN Hotels, a Greensboro-based developer, officially announced Wednesday plans to build a seven-story, 125-room Courtyard by Marriott at the corner of Second and Grace Streets. That’s just up the road from another 160-room hotel planned near the corner of Third and Grace.

Mitul Patel, a partner in CN Hotels, said the company expects to break ground during the second-quarter of 2009 and plans to start accepting guests in summer 2010 – an opening that will coincide perfectly with the opening of the Wilmington Convention Center. The hotel also will include a bistro with a bar, an outdoor pool and meeting rooms. Parking will be provided at the county parking deck across the street.

Downtown Wilmington has boomed with hotel a Continue reading

Number of first time homebuyers increasing!

According to the survey, which was released at the 2008 Realtors Conference & Expo, the number of first-time buyers rose to 41 percent from 39 percent of all transactions in 2007.

“First-time buyers are much more flexible in entering the market because they aren’t concerned about selling an existing home,” National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. Continue reading

No economic stabilization without housing recovery!

The National Association of Realtors® has stepped up its challenge to lawmakers encouraging them to take new, decisive actions to address the continuing problems in the housing industry, as well as the ongoing economic crisis.

“Our members see firsthand the impact that an unstable housing market is having on communities all across this great country,” said Richard F. Gaylord, NAR president. “The U.S. Treasury and Congress need to work together to ensure that the American people – not Wall Street and large banks – benefit from the economic recovery plan.”

NAR sent a letter last week to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson calling on him to refocus the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s efforts on restoring strength to the mortgage-backed securities market, which would help lower mortgage rates for all home buyers and for those who need to refinance. Continue reading

Wilmington retiree proclaimed a knight

He doesn’t have a suit of armor, he doesn’t carry a sword, and you don’t have to call him “Sir.” Nevertheless, Thomas H. Van Arsdale of Wilmington is a real, live, honest-to-goodness knight – and he has the medal and parchment to prove it.

Van Arsdale became an official knight of grace in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in an investiture ceremony Nov. 8 at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Since Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is the “sovereign head” of the order, Van Arsdale’s new title officially was published in The London Gazette, the British court’s official journal of record. He received his knighthood in Her Majesty’s name from the head of the order’s priory, or chapter, for the United States.

“Well, my wife calls me a knight-mare,” Van Arsdale joked. Continue reading

New breed of investor looks to housing market

Falling prices and rampant foreclosures are not the stuff of healthy housing markets. But to some real estate investors, the dismal market can signal that it is time to invest.

So what if cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas have regularly appeared on RealtyTrac’s list of top 10 foreclosure markets quarter after quarter? Or if the National Association of Realtors is reporting that more than one-third of all existing homes for sale in America are “distressed,” meaning they’re in foreclosure or approaching it?

To some investors, the persistent price declines and prolonged sales downturn signal something positive: The possibility of future profits.

Just ask Christopher Yates, president of CM Yates Real Estate Investment. Yates, who is based in Colorado, has invested in residential real estate since 2003. He bought a Las Vegas home for $226,000 in 2003 and sold it about a year later for $370,000, making a tidy profit. He’s avoided Las Vegas since 2005, but is now planning a return — by way of Phoenix, another hard-hit market.

“It’s time,” he says. “The Las Vegas area is really landlocked, and prices have to go back up eventually.”

A house in Las Vegas similar to the one he sold for $370,000 three years ago now fetches just $200,000, he says, happily. Because the rental market in Las Vegas is relatively healthy, it’s possible for him to buy a house like that now with a sizable cash down payment and operate it profitably as a rental. Had prices not fallen, this wouldn’t be possible. Continue reading

Get Healthy: Seminars to focus on living well

The Cape Fear Coalition for Healthy Aging will hold an event Nov. 13 for seniors to learn about health and wellness topics.

The free Living Well Extravaganza is scheduled for 4-8 p.m. at the New Hanover County Senior Center, 222 S. College Road.

Professionals will be on hand 4-5 p.m. to answer individuals’ questions about Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage and to help attendees sign up for their appropriate plans. Those who want help are asked to bring their medications and personal information.

Sessions are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and cover a number of issues, including balancing load for caregivers, Medicare and Social Security updates for 2009, diet and exercise and active seniors. Continue reading