Category Archives: Buyers Info

Smart Homes: The Real Deal for Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

OBX Smart Home Technology

The Internet of Things (IOT) has been discussed for years; the connection and control of all kinds of devices through the internet.  It is now easier than ever to employ home automation in your Outer Banks home using a smart phone or tablet.

Vacation rental properties are an ideal application for home automation.  Precisely due to the distance most owners are from their property, the Internet of Things provides peace of mind that the property is safe and secure by being able to monitor the property remotely. 

Now, more than ever, technology can help remote owners’ manager their vacation rental as a VRBO without the use of a dedicated Property Manager.  As a home owner, there are many systems and platforms available to use to manage and monitor your home systems.  

OBX Smart Home Features

If your home is professionally managed by a Property Management Company, you will typically have to use most, if not all of the systems they use to allow them to manage all the properties from a central console.  If you do not use a Property Management Company then you have more home automation devices to choose from. Nevertheless, even if your property is actively managed by a company, they can’t be everywhere all the time.  Security and remote monitoring of your vacation property is a key benefit of these systems.  If you use VRBO, Airbnb or other vacation hosting services to rent to guests, being able to control the home remotely provides a key advantage.  You can adjust the thermostat right before the guests’ arrival, welcoming them to a warm or cool home while also saving energy.

Home automation can help your vacation rental stand out among the competition.  Guests that don’t have automated devices in their home are curious to try out the technology and are likely to choose your home over an unconnected alternative. 

There are several categories of home automation useful to the owner who manages their own property.  Many of these are also useful to an owner occupied home.  If you plan to automate several areas then you must select devices compatible with each other and connected to a hub, like Wink Hub2 or Apple’s HomeKit platform that provides voice control through Siri.

Keyless Entry – Smart Locks

A keyless entry system is essential.  Your guests will appreciate not having to stop and pick up keys.  You will appreciate the simplicity of generating a code rather than arranging delivery of keys for an afterhours check-in.  Many of these systems work with wifi, so you should have reliable internet to avoid any Snafus (or a backup key for emergencies).  A keyless entry system also allows you to control entry for cleaners, maintenance technicians and any other service personnel.  Many will also create a log showing entry and exits.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats will save you money.  One of the leading products available at big box stores is Nest.  These systems are designed to achieve the preferred temperature in the most efficient manner.  You can set a range of values allowed to provide comfort to guests without exceeded a reasonable temperature.  These systems allow you to turn down the setting when the home is not occupied and turn it up to welcome guests before their arrival.  Many systems will monitor the humidity levels and allow you to check the status of the system remotely.  No longer will you wonder if the cleaner remembered to re-set the thermostat once they finished cleaning.  They can also prompt you to perform maintenance like changing filters. 

Sensors

Sensors are used to monitor a range of conditions.  For example, a sensor on a doors or windows can trigger when left open to turn off the HVAC for heating or cooling.  How often do renters leave the door open with the A/C running full blast?  Often enough that installing a sensor to tell the thermostat to turn off after x minutes of the door being left open can save a significant amount of money.

Sensors can also be used to detect flooding or freezing conditions and will then alert you to the condition of the home after a storm or other event.

Some of these devices will also allow you to monitor noise levels, air quality and listen for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.  This could alert homeowners that guests were smoking in the home or having a loud party.

OBX Smart Home Features

Smart Lighting

One advantage to smart lighting is being able to turn the lights on for guests who are arriving late.  These systems also allow guests to control the intensity, direction, pattern and color of the lighting.  One “gee wiz” feature is the ability to sync lighting to music. 

Home Security

Home security systems allow you to protect your home while it is vacant.  Crime and break-ins are more likely to happen during the off-season and having a security system can provide tremendous peace of mind to homeowners.  These systems usually require a hub and can also notify you when there is a fire, carbon monoxide leak, flood and other issues.

Video

Vacation home owners who rent their property should use caution when implementing video.  Many guests would object to being videoed while using the pool and other spaces.  Front-entry cameras are best for playing it safe.  State laws vary, but most have some type of “video voyeurism” laws ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. One option is to remove the cameras during the rental season and re-install during the off season.  In most instances, you won’t have to deal with any trouble over a Front-Entry IP Camera.

More Devices

The smart home or home automation trend is quickly gaining traction.  New devices are coming to market every day with no end in sight.  Chances are, there is already a device out there to meet your need.

Smart switches can allow you to turn just about anything you plug into them to be “smart”.  You will have to use IFTTT (If this, then that) to create the automation script for items plugged in.

There are smart devices for cooking, like the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker or the Char-broil digital electric smoker to the Perfect Bake Pro.

There are devices for cleaning.  Robot vacuums have been around for a while but now provide prospects with quite the selection, including some that will even mop your floor. There are sprinkler controllers, even lawn mowers.

Increasingly, when shopping for replacement items for your home like garage doors, smoke detectors, or flood lights, you will be confronted with smart home options at almost the same price point as their non-smart counterparts.  As the technology advances and artificial intelligence is integrated, our devices will learn to adapt to our needs and learn about their environment for even more efficient operation.

Interested in a smart home but don’t know how to get started?  Don’t hesitate to contact your Outer Banks Boutique Real Estate Team at Eillu to discuss your needs and explore your alternatives.  All Homes by Eillu are built with the latest Smart Home Technology. We incorporate energy efficiency and smart home technology with timeless style for a home that will remain comfortable and elegant for decades to come. With the help of accomplished designers, engineers and an experienced construction team, we continue to develop and build the most desired homes in the Outer Banks. Exquisite style and taste are apparent in each home, distinctively designed and built with the care our clients deserve. All our homes are provided with construction warranties to give our customer “peace of mind” with their most important investment.


7 Reasons to Choose Granite Countertops for Your Home

                                    7 reasons to choose granite countertops

Granite is a premium building material that stands out for its long-lasting beauty. When installed as countertops or flooring, granite provides distinction few other materials are able to. Their classic elegance exudes distinction in the kitchen and bathroom, and matched with outstanding durability, the granite countertops you select might be the last countertops your home will ever need.7 reasons to choose granite countertops

Granite countertops take a high-quality home to the next level visually and often become the centerpiece of the room. 

Installing granite countertops is a big decision for homeowners to consider, as the project is more expensive than it would be if other materials were used, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Granite is the highest quality stone material you can choose for your countertops, bottom line. Deriving from hot magma, granite is one of the strongest and hardest natural materials, second only to diamonds. Here are a few reasons why it would be wise to make the investment in granite countertops for your home:

  1. Granite is forever, or close to it at least

Although granite itself is expensive and the extensive labor involved in installing it can sometimes cost 3 times as much as the countertop itself in some cases, it is worth the one-time cost as you will likely never have to replace your countertops again. With that said, make sure you enjoy the granite pattern you choose, because you could potentially be looking at it for decades to come.

7 reasons to choose granite countertops

  1. Adds Value to Your Home

When comparing, granite may be more expensive than other materials, but when you consider its longevity and durability, it costs less over time. Also—the high cost of installing a granite countertop in your home is actually offset due to the fact that the countertop itself, which does not depreciate over time, actually adds overall value to your home, making granite countertops a cost-effective investment for homeowners.

  1. One-of-a-Kind Design

Your options are nearly limitless. One of the best qualities of granite is that no two pieces are exactly the same, providing your home with a unique, one-of-a-kind design, as well as a sleek, luminous appearance. 7 reasons to choose granite countertopsGranite is comprised of a many different minerals that give each countertop slab a unique and attractive appearance. For example, granite high in feldspar will have rich red or pink highlights. Mica produces brown or black veining while quartz gives pink, white or black hues to the stone. The variations throughout the stone are considered desirable since they give the slab character and differentiate it from others. Granite has a rich beauty that few other countertops materials can match.

  1. Extremely Sanitary

Granite countertops are one of the most sanitary surfaces you can choose for your kitchen as they are waterproof and therefore bacteria and mold contamination is not a problem. Their extremely non-porous surface is the perfect countertop for a kitchen, where many cross-contamination problems can occur.

  1. It Can Take the Heat

Granite is an ingenious rock that is formed at extreme conditions under the earth’s crust. This makes it one of the hardest materials that can easily withstand the heat of your hot pots and pans (up to 900°F), is virtually impervious to water when sealed and can easily sustain the wear and tear of everyday use in the kitchen without losing its luster. 7 reasons to choose granite countertopsIt is also not easily scratched, blistered or cracked, making it a durable choice for one of the most high-traffic areas of the home that will keep the shine and richness for years to come.

  1. Easy to Clean

 The non-porous, slick surface of granite makes it an easy surface to clean up just about any spill. Granite countertops are very easy to maintain. The likelihood of needing to be repaired or resurfaced is low. Sealers have come a long way over the years and many will last decades before needing to be reapplied. Simply use warm water and mild detergent to easily clean granite countertops. For harder to remove stains there are specific granite cleaners that can be purchased, just be sure they are right for your type of countertop. Sealing is always recommended for granite countertops, as it will help to prevent any staining in the future.

  1. Economical Alternative

Oftentimes homeowners want the look of a particular countertop but would rather enjoy the benefits provided by another. A great example of this is marble. Marble is a classically beautiful stone that is highly sought after for upscale kitchens and bathrooms. However, marble is much softer than granite, so it can be damaged more easily. However, that doesn’t have to stop you from having that beautiful ‘marble look’. As an added bonus, granite that looks like marble has a lower price tag and requires less maintenance, so you get more for your money.

Whether you’re interested in purchasing a new home or remodeling, granite offers you unparalleled beauty, permanence, uniqueness and adds true value to your home.

What better way to express yourself and enjoy the lifestyle you have longed for than owning a new home on the Outer Banks? Let us guide you through the process to smooth the path to your new dream home!

Here is a list of all new available Homes By Eillu featuring granite countertops:

846 Golden Bluff Way, Corolla, NC

1257 Crystal Lake Court, Corolla, NC

853 Seascape Court, Corolla, NC

1085 Hampton Street, Corolla, NC

864 Ivory Court, Corolla, NC

1011B Cruz Bay Lane, Corolla, NC

 

For more information or to purchase your very own granite-instilled dream home, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Eillu, your Outer Banks Boutique Real Estate Team. We are happy to help you on your journey to the house of your dreams!

Buying a home is a major endeavor and enjoying a successful real estate transaction requires knowledge and experience. Here at Eillu, we understand your perspective and are committed to helping you achieve your goals.

 


Key items to consider when buying an Outer Banks property

OBX Coastal Houses

How much do you want to invest? This factor is a great starting point.  A realtor can provide you a list of availability in the price range you are considering.  They can also give you information on the property tax based on the last billing period.  A discussion with your property insurance carrier is a good idea.  This way you can get a good picture of the primary annual costs associated with owning the property.  Be aware that wind & hail coverage and flood are often separate policies.

How will you pay for it?  Both your financing options, and your tax considerations (discussed below) are impacted by your planned use of the property.  If you are financing the purchase the decision to treat the home as a second home vs a vacation rental property determines the financing options available to you.  Generally financing institutions offer lower interest rates for second homes as compared to vacation rental homes.  We suggest that you discuss these options and implications with a trusted financial advisor.

Tax considerations are extremely important.  If you plan to rent the house, and your personal use is less than 15 days or 10% of the time rented, you can deduct the costs of maintenance and repair of the property, insurance, taxes, rental management fees, advertising and mortgage interest from the rental income you earn on the property.  You are also allowed to take depreciation expense against the rental income.  It is always a good idea to discuss major financial transactions with your tax advisor prior to making your final decision.

Do you plan to eventually retire to this home?  This is important because it may make a difference in what you are looking for in the home.  For example, storage is not as important of an issue as with a purely rental or vacation property as it would be for a future retirement home.

Are you interested in renting the property to offset costs?  In order to maximize your rental return it would be advisable to consult with a rental company in order to identify what amenities renters most desire that match your needs as well, along with past rental performance to make sure that you will make enough to offset costs. If past rental performance data is not available, make sure to ask a rental company for a rental projection of what the house will make yearly in rental income.

What activities are you most interested in when vacationing at the beach?  Our communities are highly diversified.   If relative seclusion is high on your list, the 4 wheel drive communities of Carova and Swan Beach are great for this.  If you want the convenience of nearby shopping and entertainment, the more populated communities may be more your style.  Explore the various communities to determine which best suites the needs and desires of you and your family.  After that you are ready to actively search for that perfect get-a-way you have dreamed about! To make the search a little easier, we have added some helpful information about each town located on the Outer Banks.  Happy hunting!

Corolla

Corolla, NC is known for its large sandy beaches, proximity to four-wheel drive areas and the home to wild Spanish Mustangs that roam the area’s beaches make for some of the most beautiful scenery North Carolina has to offer.  This community offers peaceful tranquility while only being minutes away from shopping and restaurants. Outdoor activities are abundant while offering alternative activities in town. Corolla is also home to many historical locations including the Whalehead Club and its neighbor, the Currituck Lighthouse.

Corolla offers the ideal combination of nature, activities and amenities. The wildlife trails and easy access to the sound creates the ultimate experience for nature lovers and avid paddlers.

Currituck Lighthouse, Corolla, NC

Watersports are abundant in Corolla. No matter if you enjoy kayaking, SUP, surfing, jet skis or any other water activity, Corolla is the perfect spot to enjoy fun in the sun. Purchase a kite and watch it soar high in the sky with Corolla’s beach winds.

Corolla’s shopping and restaurants are second to none. Each boutique offers something different and exciting including clothing, home goods and souvenirs. There is a wide variety of restaurants in Corolla including seafood, BBQ and cultural restaurants. No palate will be displeased in Corolla.

Corolla offers fun and relaxation for everyone in the family. No matter what your preference, Corolla offers a rewarding location for a new home.

Duck

Duck, NC offers access to highly rated beaches while maintaining its small-town charm. The small town offers easy access to the beach for ocean fun or the sound for leisurely activities. Bike paths throughout the town offer a wide area to safely bike from your home to town. There are great community events, such as markets, wine tastings and live music. Duck offers a great combination of seaside living with the small town feel.

There is always an activity in the town of Duck. Festivals, events, bands and parades are a regular occurrence in town. Duck is the perfect community for those who wish to walk to and from or bike. Everything needed for the home and for outdoor fun are within an easy walking distance.

Duck, NC sunset

The town has built and maintained a beautiful boardwalk on the soundside which is enjoyed by all. The boardwalk gives you access to soundside shops and restaurants. The shopping and restaurants are second to none in Duck. Offering a wide variety of entrees, Duck’s restaurants have received national recognition. The small mom and pop shops in Duck help bring the hometown feel to the area while offering boutique merchandise.

If you love the outdoors, Duck offers one of the best accesses to the beach and sound. No matter your watersport of choice, Duck can provide an excellent location. Windsurfers enjoy the steady breezes from the ocean, while parasailing occurs on the soundside.

The culmination of all the great amenities of Duck makes it easy to see why so many wish to live and vacation in the town. Duck provides a great new adventure along with small town beach life that so many desire.

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk offers nature and the beach town atmosphere all in one. Many local Outer Banks residents call this town home. The town itself has worked hard to maintain a balance between urban development and maintaining its beautiful nature. Offering fun beaches, small shops, restaurants and a nature preserve, Kitty Hawk can make the perfect Outer Banks home location.

Kitty Hawk offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Many local artisans call Kitty Hawk home, opening shops on the main highway and on the beach road in converted homes. The merchandise captivates the essence of the Outer Banks and makes a great addition to any home. There are also many award-winning restaurants for all ages. Nightlife is abundant in many spots for adults to visit including wine bars and restaurants.

Kitty Hawk beaches are a short walk from any location in the town and offer fun in the sun for all. Many beach activities are readily available and there are many events held on the beaches of Kitty Hawk for all to enjoy. Dogs are welcomed on a leash and can enjoy the day at the beach with you and your family.

Kitty Hawk offers nature, activities, shops and restaurants that can make you fall in love with the Outer Banks all over again. Homes in this town are perfect for those who enjoy what the Outer Banks has to offer in nature and in shops.

Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills is in the heart of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Centrally located to pristine beaches, watersports, shopping, restaurants and nightlife, Kill Devil Hills offers a prime location on the Outer Banks. Activities abound in Kill Devil Hills from the beach to the sound. The birthplace of aviation, Kill Devil Hills is home to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. This is the location of the Wright Brother’s First Flight in 1903. History meets the beach and makes for an amazing place to own a vacation home or even primary residence.

Kill Devil Hills offers a more urban feel including access to many grocery stores, shops, restaurants and a 10-plex movie theater. This town offers great nightlife with many locations and activities to choose from.

Wright Brothers Monument, Kill Devil Hills, NC

No matter the location in Kill Devil Hills, there is still easy access to the beach and sound, plus an abundance of fishing piers. Surf fishing is extremely popular in Kill Devil Hills. If you are looking for fun off the beach, check out of the many putt-putt courses and go-kart tracks in the area.

The continuously growing Bay Drive area is a prized possession for the town and community members of Kill Devil Hills. Bay Drive enables those to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Albemarle Sound. Bay Drive is located just north of the Wright Brothers National Memorial and runs along the scenic Kitty Hawk Bay. The area features multiple sound side gazebos and a bike path that is perfect for sunset cruises unlike anywhere else!

Nags Head

Nags Head is centrally located on the Outer Banks between the Northern Beaches and Hatteras Island. Its location provides access to great activities, adventure and attractions. Nags Head provides easy access to the beach and sound while providing the modern amenities needed. As one of the oldest towns on the Outer Banks, the rich history and beautiful nature of Nags Head does not disappoint.

Nature and history collide at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Jockeys Ridge is the largest living sand dune on the east coast. Jockey’s Ridge is known for its great wind and makes the perfect place to fly a kite. For the more adventurous, hang gliding lessons are also offered at the ridge.

For anglers, Nags head is one of the best places on the Outer Banks and the east coast to fish. Nags Head has many piers for fishing use as well as Oregon Inlet that gives access to the Atlantic for fisherman. Deep sea fishing charters are very popular in Nags Head. Learn about the wildlife of the Outer Banks at Jennette’s Pier.

Nags-Head-NC-aerial-view-beach-sound-Jockeys-Ridge

The beaches are ranked nationally and water activities are a favorite. Many surf competitions are held in Nags Head every year because of the beaches above average east coast waves. It is also a great place for kiteboarders.

Nags Head also offers great shopping and restaurants. Many restaurants in Nags Head have been open over thirty years and are still run by the original Outer Banks families. Golfers will also enjoy Nags Head for its popular golf courses. Nags Head offers a variety of fun for the entire family. Home owners enjoy the proximity to activities and necessities while still enjoying the pristine nature that makes Nags Head a top vacation destination.

Hatteras Island

Home to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the stomping grounds of pirates from centuries past, Hatteras Island offers true coastal southern charm. The island is made up of a variety of villages including Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Kinnakeet, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras Village. Each village has its own unique style, but they all make it exceptionally easy to take in the natural beauty of the Outer Banks.

No other part of the Outer Banks makes it so easy to enjoy our windswept coastline. With much of Hatteras Island surrounded by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, finding your very own spot on the beach or soundside is as easy as parking your car and running over the dunes. Fishermen and water sports enthusiasts love visiting Hatteras Island due to its excellent inshore fishing, Gulf Stream accessibility, and quality waves that are common to the area.

Hatteras Island Highway 12 OBX

Rodanthe

Rodanthe, located on the easternmost point of Hatteras Island, was first occupied by local natives as far back as 500 AD. Rodanthe was originally called “Chicamacomico,” after the Native Americans. The town’s most famous attraction, the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, still retains the original name. The colonists from the “Lost Colony,” were believed to have landed on Hatteras Island before moving to Roanoke Island and then disappearing.

The geography and topography of Rodanthe makes it a world class destination for all kinds of watersports. On the sound side, stand-up paddle boarders, kayakers, windsurfers and sailors enjoy the large shallow water and prevailing winds. Surfers from all over the world flock to this area as a premier surf destination.

Rodanthe was the setting of Nicholas Sparks novel and subsequent movie, “Nights in Rodanthe” which portions were filmed on the island. The house, “Serendipity” used in the movie, has since been located about a mile south. It was the northeastern most house in Rodanthe. After the movie was completed, the house was damaged and condemned after a nor’easter storm in November 2009. The house was saved from demolition by a private businessman, Ben Huss, from Newton, North Carolina, and moved less than one mile south.

Rodanthe is one of the seven villages that make up Hatteras Island. If you enjoy nature and quiet peaceful living, look no further!

Avon

Avon, also known early on as Kinnakeet, an Algonquian Native American word meaning something that is mixed or several settlements bunched into one. The earliest settlers were the Native Americans. The town officially changed to be Avon in 1883 when the Post Office was opened.

Avon retains its small town charm while having the conveniences of modern life. Avon has the islands only chain grocery store and two fast food restaurants. Vacationers also enjoy the restaurants that satisfy every palate, a Spa, fishing pier and mini-golf course to provide enough entertainment without spoiling the remote island vibe.

The Avon pier is great to introduce the family to the joys of fishing or just to take a stroll and be entertained by others hauling in their catch.

Similar to the other villages of Hatteras Island, the water sports activities on the ocean and sound are top notch for lasting memories. Relocating or purchasing a vacation home in Avon is an ideal choice to please every member of your family or traveler.

Frisco

Located at the southern end of Hatteras Island, the small town of Frisco, NC is perfect for those who seek a quiet beach get away place. At the northern end of town are Buxton and Frisco Woods, perfect for the hiker or jogger who likes the treed canopy of the maritime forest. At the southern end, the island narrows and it is possible to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset from the deck of your beach house.

Frisco was one of the last areas of the Outer Banks to be developed for tourism. Eventually visitors were drawn to the area’s quaint village atmosphere, seclusion, its miles of beaches, and its unique maritime forest. Frisco has a character all its own.  It is the perfect destination for someone who wants to enjoy the wide open and uncrowded beaches.  While Frisco is a great place to find peace and solitude, it also has many family friendly attractions.

 

No matter where you choose to purchase your Outer Banks property, you can have peace of mind in knowing that each Outer Banks town will allow you to experience the beaches and laid back lifestyle that makes the OBX so attractive!  For more information on purchasing a vacation home or relocating to the Outer Banks, contact Eillu.  We are experts on the Outer Banks and are ready to help with your Outer Banks real estate needs.
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How to Buy and Customize a New Home Without the Hassle and Expense of Multiple Closings

New home construction outer banks corolla

Homes by Eillu has several new homes under construction in desirable Outer Banks neighborhoods

These Corolla listings in Monteray Shores, Corolla Light, Soundfront at Corolla Bay and Villages at Ocean Hill, are in demand by vacationers and are enjoyed by second homeowners.  If you act now, there is time for you to customize the homes and select the finishes you prefer.

These homes are fully funded by the developer.  This means there is only one closing after the home is complete.  This will save you money and it also allows you to avoid the stress that many buyers frequently feel during the custom home buying process.

Lot Loan

Buyers of a custom home will frequently select and purchase a lot.  The purchase of the lot can be financed with a loan. 

From a lenders point of view, this loan will be riskier and will tend to have a higher interest rate.  These loans are considered non-conforming loans and the bank can’t sell the loan on the secondary market. Corolla New Homes by Eillu

It is more difficult for buyers to qualify for a land loan than for a mortgage and the terms can sometimes be onerous.  Once the home is completed, the land loan amount can be included in the amount of the mortgage.

Homes by Eillu does NOT require our buyers to obtain a loan for the lot or land.  We already own the home site and fund all cost of construction while building your new home. 

Construction Loan

A construction loan is usually obtained by the buyer to begin construction for a new home.  This is a short term loan used to fund the project with disbursements as the project progresses.  Buyers typically pay interest on the loan over the course of the building, but the entire balance including principal is due when the home is complete. 

Typically, the construction loan balance is incorporated into the final mortgage loan once the home is completed.  This ‘interest only’ construction loan is cash out of the pocket of the buyer while the building progresses.  If the amount is not rolled into the mortgage then the buyer will be paying closing costs for both loans.

At Homes by Eillu, we do NOT require buyers to take out a construction loan.  This adds up to thousands in savings for the buyer. 

Earnest Money

A custom home builder usually requires a higher earnest money deposit than typically required for a resale home.  They do this to share some of the risk with the buyer.  A buyer may select some finishes that do not have wide appeal and would make it more difficult to sell to another buyer should the deal fall through.

At Homes by Eillu, we require a 5% earnest money deposit at the time of signing the contract for purchase and another 5% deposit once the roof is complete. 

The buyer should have a loan approval letter at the time of signing the contract for purchase and a commitment letter from the lender within 30 days.

One Loan – One Closing

At Homes by Eillu we believe in making your new home purchase simple, stress free and an enjoyable process.  Once your home is complete and a certificate of occupancy is issued, only one purchase money mortgage is used to finance the home.  This saves buyers Corolla New Homes by Eilluthousands of dollars in cost.  Only one closing means there are no duplicate loan application fees and other transaction costs.  It makes the entire process more efficient without the extra burden of scheduling draws and arduous paperwork for the buyer and the builder.

Customize Your Way

We currently have several homes under construction.  The earlier you act, the greater the opportunity to customize the home with your selections.  The process is very simple.  You can also visit one of our completed homes, to visualize some of the finishes and to inspect the quality construction methods employed.  See completed home pictures here.

Select Quality Products

The New Construction signed contract includes an attachment with the specifications for your new home.  Some items, like the 50 year Corolla New Homes by Eilluwarranty LP siding with sofit and facia and Pella windows and doors, are included in the specifications.  Roofs are  CertainTeed Architecture Shingles.  Even the paint is specified to PPG (Pittsburg Paint & Glass) rather than a builder’s grade paint that will likely need to be re-painted too soon.  All are quality products to produce a quality home.

Other suggested finishes and products include granite counters, LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), Viking Vinyl pool (12×24) and Whirlpool stainless steel appliances.  A buyer can simply select a color palate, bath and related fixtures and use all the specified products for a unified and well-designed home that will remain in style for decades. 

Substitute Finishes with Allowances

Alternatively, a buyer can customize the home to uniquely reflect their personal style with the allowance program.  Each allowance category has a dollar value and product substitutions that cost over the allowance will have the difference added to the final cost of the home and are paid at closing.  Any items selected that are below the allowance appear as a credit at closing.  The allowance categories are:

  • Vinyl Tile
  • Carpet
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Appliances
  • Lighting
  • Granite
  • Cabinets
  • Landscaping

Homes by Eillu include state of the art smart home technology.  This package works together with a hub to efficiency and easily control all connected devices.  The smart devices include:

  • Wired and wireless internet (for better streaming)
  • Alexa voice controlled assistant
  • WiFi Thermostats
  • Front Entry Camera
  • Door locks
  • 2 Wifi lights
  • Leak detectors
  • Indoor and outdoor speakers (Pre-wire)

Plus, when you are away from home, many of the devices are controlled and send alerts to your smart phone so you can monitor your beach home from a distance.  This is a huge benefit in the Outer Banks where many homes are used as second homes or vacation homes.  Imagine being able to control the temperature of your Living Room in the Outer Banks from your permanent home!

Also, all of our homes include a 1 Year Builders Warranty and a 2 Year (years 2 & 3) CHOICE New Home Warranty to ensure worry free enjoyment of your new home for years to come.

Currently, all of our new homes are centrally located in Corolla.  We have homes in several established communities; like Village at Ocean Hill, Monteray Shores, Soundfront at Corolla Bay and Corolla Light.  Each of these communities is sought after by vacationers for their abundant amenities, proximity to the Sound and the Ocean.  All are close to shopping, restaurants and local attractions. Our fun beach homes are perfect for a second home or vacation rental.

Homes by Eillu has many new home packages available.  Call today to schedule an appointment to view a completed home or visit our next project. 

New Homes in Outer Banks


10 Sensational Reasons You’ll Love Relocating to the Outer Banks, North Carolina

10 Reason to relocate to OBX

The Outer Banks, North Carolina is one of the best places to relocate to and to live. The area consists of beautiful beaches, sounds, and nature, a vast history, key attractions, and more. The barrier island community has a lot to offer, so consider relocating to this area of North Carolina! Check out the list below for 10 of the many reasons to love the area.

  • The beaches. The Outer Banks is commonly known for its beautiful beaches. From Carova to the north, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills toward the center, and Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island to the south, the Outer Banks has great beaches to enjoy. Have beach days during the summer and go for walks as the sun rises in the fall. The Outer Banks attracts millions of visitors every year, especially for its beaches for swimming, surfing, and relaxing.

 

  • There is a variety of lighthouses such as the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo, and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Hatteras Island. These lighthouses have all played unique roles in the history of the area and are popular sites to visit. They are beautiful to see and fun to visit.

 

  • Small-town communities. The Outer Banks has many small communities and neighborhoods located throughout it. You can get to know your neighbors well and be a part of a supportive and friendly community by living in the Outer Banks. There are many community events and festivals to enjoy throughout the year too.

 

  • Outdoor activities. The sounds, such as Currituck Sound and Pamlico Sound, along the Outer Banks are beautiful sites to see. The Outer Banks has the best sunsets on the sound and is a fun place for boating as well. Many people also enjoy trying watersports, such as jet skiing, paddleboarding, and kayaking, on the sounds. Other outdoor activities include walking along nature trails, seeing wild horses in Carova, dolphin watching, biking in neighborhoods, and climbing Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

 

  • The Outer Banks has a range of job opportunities available, mostly in the tourism, hospitality, real estate, construction, and fishing industries.  

 

  • Art and festivals. There are many art galleries and art and music festivals to see throughout the area. You can visit galleries to see unique local art and listen to live music during festivals such as the Shallowbag Shag Beach Music Festival in Manteo and the Duck Jazz Festival in Duck.

 

  • Historic sites. Kitty Hawk is known throughout the world for being First in Flight after the Wright Brothers made the first successful flight in Kitty Hawk more than 100 years ago. The first English-born child in the Americas, Virginia Dare, was born in Roanoke Island. The Outer Banks is full of a rich history, and millions of people come annually to see these key sites in our nation’s history.

 

  • The Outer Banks is a great fishing location throughout the year. There are many types of fishing to try from surf fishing and charter fishing to pier fishing and kayak fishing.

 

  • Low real estate taxes. The area has very low real estate property taxes, and this is a great incentive to find property along the Outer Banks.

 

  • The Outer Banks is home to some of the best schools in the state. From Kitty Hawk Elementary School and First Flight High School to Manteo Elementary School and Cape Hatteras Secondary School, there are many educational opportunities on the Outer Banks.

The Outer Banks is an exciting place to relocate to for an enjoyable and beautiful environment. For more information on relocating to the Outer Banks and on Outer Banks real estate, contact Eillu. We are experts on the Outer Banks and are ready to help with your Outer Banks real estate needs.

OBX relocation guide


Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring Deserves a Place in Your New Home or Remodel

semi soundfront similar Kitchen

Selecting flooring for your Outer Banks home should be a balance toward beauty and practicality.  One wants to have beautiful floors but they should also be easy to take care of so you can get the most enjoyment out of your vacation home.  Frequently guests may not take precautions to preserve hard wood or laminate floors by tracking sand in or leaving wet towels around.  You want your guest to enjoy their time in your home without having to worry about fussy building materials.

The LifeProof luxury vinyl tile delivers on both beauty and practicality.  If you have ever wished for life proof flooring, your wish has come true.  While “lifeproof” is also the brand name that Homes by Eillu uses, the tough product looks great, is easy to install and stands up to the wear and tear in even heavy traffic areas.  It is ideal for homes with pets and children where messes can be an everyday occurrence.

Homes by Eillu has installed these luxury vinyl tiles on several homes we have developed in exclusive Corolla, NC Communities.  Potential buyers have responded favorably and often times believe the floors to be wood.  The owners of our new homes, have appreciated how well the floors have performed and how easy they are to care for – even years after installation.

848 Golden Bluff Way - game room wet bar

The product is water proof so it is great for bathroom and kitchen installations where requiring water proof flooring is a necessity.  It is also ideal for a basement or game room applications near a pool area; where visitors will often track in water and wet bathing suits.  I would also recommend it for the laundry room flooring, where in the event of a leak or accident, the flooring will not be ruined.

Residential installations come with a lifetime warranty.  The lifetime warranty means you may tire of it or styles may change before the product wears out. 

Removing the product in the future is simple.  The planks lock together and are installed without glue or any adhesive.  You simply just lift and un-snap to remove.

Each plank is about 7mm thick with the foam underlayment backing included with each plank.  The flooring snaps together with a tongue and grove that hides any seams.  It is easy enough for a DIY person to install but some have commented that you need to get the feel of the angle to snap the product together. 

The floor “floats” over existing floor coverings like tile, cement or plywood.  So, for remodeling projects, the old floor does not have to be removed.  This saves time and money weather you are doing it yourself or have hired a professional for your remodeling project.

Home Depot carries this brand of flooring and there are several colors and finishes to choose from.  There are wooden oak colored finishes in warm tones and weathered gray tones.  There are also stone finishes to choose from.  Some finishes are available in store and some require ordering online.

The flooring is manufactured into planks that are 47.6 inches long and either multi-width or 8.7 inches wide.  The cost is from $2.79 to $2.99 per square foot; a box will cover between 19 to 20 sf.  The stone finish is available in 16 inch width by 32 inch lengths. 

There is a closed-cell foamed PVC core that is lightweight and easy to handle but strong and rigid once installed.  PVC is polyvinyl chloride which is usually used in commercial or institutional settings with high traffic. 

The flooring is a breeze to maintain and only requires a simple sweeping, vacuuming or a damp mop to keep it looking good.  The material is treated with an inhibitor to resist stain and odor causing mold or mildew both on the vinyl top layer and the foam underlayment. 

The wood graining in the product has a warm and realistic look.  The foam underlayment makes it softer to walk on and quieter when walked upon. 

Luxury vinyl tile has a texture that mimics wood or stone with deeper embossing to provide a very realistic look and feel.  The polyurethane top layer provides protection from scratching or gouging.  The embossing and texture on the tile provides traction and is not slippery in damp conditions.

Some color selections are included below:

luxury vinyl tile color selections luxury vinyl tile color selections

 

There are several manufacturers of luxury vinyl tile.  The colors, textures and design for each will vary as well as the price for each. 

You can see the diverse patterns, colors, textures available with luxury vinyl tile on this Pinterest page.  You can select a quality product by picking one made with a thicker layer of materials. 

Luxury vinyl flooring is more forgiving then laminate flooring.  Laminate flooring is very susceptible to damage from water, humidity and higher moisture content.  So, vinyl is better suited for kitchen and bathroom applications where water or spills are likely to happen.

Luxury vinyl flooring is also more forgiving in a remodeling environment where the subfloor may not be perfectly smooth.  In these applications, laminate flooring may break or crack while vinyl will be more flexible.

Homes by Eillu is proud to provide our buyers with high quality products and the most generous warranties for our new homes and the products within.  We have tested and sourced products to provide utility for the long term.  Your primary home or vacation home should be a place to relax and not have to worry about unnecessary maintenance. 

infographic map with cost and ratings for vacation destinations from Maine to Florida


November 2017 Outer Banks Real Estate Outlook and Current Statistics

November 2017 OBX Real Estate Outlook and Current Statistics

The Outer Banks Association of Realtors released the November 2017 MLS Statistical Report – you can get the full report here.

Real estate sales in the Outer Banks for November 2017 were 206 units; an increase compared to Nov 2016 from 167 units.

Under contract units decreased by 6% to 390 compared to 413 in October 2017. Compared to Nov 2016 units under contract are up by 5%.

The average home price increased by 4% compared to Nov 2016. The average single family home in the Outer Banks is $401,024. Over the same time period, the average price of condos has fallen by 1%.

The median single family home price is $325,000, this has increased by 5% in 2017 compared to Nov 2016. The median price of condos is $287,440, they have increased by 28% in from Nov 2016.

Some highlights from this month’s report follows.

Overall Market

Residential inventory decreased by 5% in November with lots/land down by 10% and commercial inventory down by 24%. The inventory trend has continued downward for most of this past year.

Active residential inventory is 1452 units. The quantity sold increased by 12% compared to Nov 2016; with volume sold up by 16%. The median sale price increased by 6%.

Lots and land quantity sold increased by 13% from last year. The average sale price for lots fell by 14% while the median price increased by 3%. Land inventory is down by 10% compared to last year.

Commercial unit sales are down by 23%. Only 20 commercial units were sold compared to 26 last year. The average and median sale prices have little relevance with such a small sample and appear skewed from a large sale last year. Commercial inventory is down 24% compared to last year with only 65 units active on the market compared to 85 units last year.

Distressed Property

Distressed sales remain nearly the same as November 2016 with 102 units sold. There were 28 residential short sale units sold, which is exactly the same as this time last year. Average price for short sales fell by 4% but the median price increased by 8% from one year ago.

Sales for bank owned properties increased by 1% from 73 units to 74 this year. The average sale price for Bank Owned property fell by 2% compared to last year; while the median decreased by 4%.

Overall, the quantity of distressed property sold increased by 1% compared to the same period in 2016. The average price decreased by 3% and the median increased by 6%. Total volume sold is up by 1% with 102 units compared to 101 last year.

The effect distressed real estate will have on the overall Outer Banks market will continue to diminish as foreclosure and short sale inventory is depleted and the market returns to pre-recessionary levels of distressed real estate.

Residential

Single family unit sales increased by 14%, with 1563 units compared to last year 1374 units. The volume sold increased 17% with the average sale price and median sale price both increased by 3%.

Condos unit sales increased by 9% compared to last year. November condo unit sales were 179 compared to 164 a year ago. The volume sold increase by 10%. Median sale prices for condos increased by 9% compared to last year. Average sale prices are up by 1%, compared to last year. Unlike many other markets, the Outer Banks did not see an oversupply of condo construction during the boom years and current demand for condos has been strong in 2017.

Residential land unit sales increased by 11% in November. The average sale price fell by 7% while the median price was up slightly at 1% compared to last year.

Overall Days on the Market for the all residential properties is down by 44% in November. Days on the market is 143 versus 254. Upon closer inspection, for the 1062 units sold since Jan. 2017 the average days on the market is a startling 53 days. Outer Banks properties are selling much faster; especially new inventory.

New Construction building permits are down by 14% with 250 units compared to 292 last year. Building permit value decreased by 5%.

Outer Banks Town Statistics

The November 2017 median sale prices for the towns in the Outer Banks and the percent change compared to 2016 appear below:

Nov 2017 Median price change for OBX towns

nov 2017 median price change obx towns table

Corolla experienced the largest percentage gain of 12% compared to 2016. The next highest YTD increase was Hatteras Island at 11%.

The Outer Banks real estate market is on track for a solid sales year. If you have been thinking about an Outer Banks vacation home purchase, second home purchase or permanent home, now is the time to act. Purchasing power will decrease once the anticipated mortgage rates increase. Smart buyers and investors will lock in rates now before the increase. The rental market continues to be strong to provide income from the investment and enjoyment for the family for years to come. Buy now to position the home for the 2018 rental season.

Buy with Eillu and save more with our buyers rewards plan. The Outer Banks continues to be named a top beach destination every year. Beach nourishment has recently been completed for a large portion of Dare County beaches and will ensure strong future appreciation for real estate.

If you have considered selling your Outer Banks home, now may be the best time. The lower inventory levels will allow your property to be seen with less competition. The strong demand will sell your home with fewer days on the market. Our 1.5% listing commission will save you thousands of dollars!

Schedule an appointment today to find your vacation rental property, second home or investment property.

MLS Monthly Outer Banks Market Report


October 2017 Outer Banks Real Estate Market Outlook and Current Statistics

Oct 17 MLS market report - OBX in fall

Overall, single family detached home sales are up 13% and condo sales are up 12% for 2017.

The Outer Banks Association of Realtors released the October 2017 MLS Statistical Report – you can get the full report here.  This months report was delayed and did not include the same detail as the regular reports.  We expect the full report to be available for November 2017.

Real estate sales for October 2017 in the Outer Banks reached 165 units compared to 146 units for the same period in 2016.  Under contract units increased by 30% to 251 units compared to September.  

The median single family home price has increase by 2% in October; while condos have increased by 6% compared to last month. Some highlights from this month’s report follows.

Overall Market

Residential inventory decreased by 8% in October following last month’s 10% decrease; both compared to last year. The inventory trend has continued downward for the past few months. Active residential inventory is 1497 units while last year there were 1621 units.

The quantity sold increased by 11% following last month’s 11% increase; with volume sold up by 16% following the same increase for the last 2 months.

Lots and land quantity sold increased by 6% after last month’s increase of 6%. The average sale price for lots fell by 19% and while the median price increased by 4%. Land inventory is down by 11% compared to last year.

Commercial unit sales are down by 24% following last month’s decrease of 24%. Only 16 commercial units were sold compared to 21 last year. The average and median sale prices have little relevance with such a small sample and appear skewed from a large sale last year. Commercial inventory is down 14% compared to last year with only 64 units active on the market compared to 74 units last year.

Distressed Property

Due to the shortened and delayed report from OBAR, details for distressed sales were not reported.  Overall short sale inventory remained steady at 1% of the active listings. 

Residential

Single family unit sales increased by 13%, the same as reported last month, with 1275 units compared to last year 1130 units. The volume sold increased 17% with the average sale price increase by 4% and the median sale price increased by 2%.

Condos unit sales increased by 12% following last month’s 12% increase compared to last year. October condo unit sales were 151 compared to 135 a year ago. The volume sold increase by 10% following last month’s 10% increase. Median sale prices for condos increased by 5% compared to last year. Average sale prices fell by 1%, compared to last year. Unlike many other markets, the Outer Banks did not see an oversupply of condo construction during the boom years and current demand for condos has been strong in 2017.

Residential land unit sales increased by 8% in October. Considering all land, October had a 10% increase.  This follows several months of increases for lots and land sales.

The average sale price for residential land fell by 9% while the median price increased by 5% compared to last year.  Considering all land, the average sale price fell by 17% while the median price increased by 8%.

Overall Days on the Market for the all residential properties is down to 147 days compared to 162 days this time last year.   The MLS reported than DOM for lots and land sales was also dramatically lower but did not provide specific statistics for comparison.  Outer Banks properties are selling much faster; especially new inventory.

Outer Banks Town Statistics

The October 2017 median sale prices for the towns in the Outer Banks and the percent change compared to 2016 was not provided in the delayed report. 

The Outer Banks real estate market is on track for a solid sales year. OBXMLS reports 251 under contract compared to 192 units reported last month.

National Real Estate Trends

The Wall Street Journal reports purchases of newly built single-family homes rose 6.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685k in October from the previous month. Economists had expected sales to fall 6.4% in October to a 624k annual rate so the increase was quite unexpected.  Compared to a year earlier, sales of newly constructed homes increased by 18.7%.  October’s increase for new home sales follows Septembers 14.2% increase.  Click here to view new homes available in the Outer Banks of NC.

November is almost over but the holidays are a great time to visit the Outer Banks and purchase real estate. There are wonderful community events and a small town friendly atmosphere that you won’t experience any where else.  Purchasing at the end of the year provides for some significant tax benefits and provides adequate time to prepare for the summer season.

The crowds are reduced and it is easy to view vacation rental homes or investment properties available for sale.  Even after winter weather sets in, it is warmer with the gulf stream influence and the abundant warm water that surrounds the island.  

If you are lucky, you may get to experience the magic of snow in OBX; it doesn’t last long but makes the island and beach look like something out of a fairy tale.

If you have been thinking about an Outer Banks vacation home purchase, second home purchase or permanent home, now is the time to act. Buy with Eillu and save more with our buyers rewards plan. Schedule an appointment today to find your vacation rental property, second home or investment property.

If you have considered selling your Outer Banks home, now may be the best time. The lower inventory levels will allow your property to be seen with less competition. The strong demand will sell your home with fewer days on the market. Our 1.5% listing commission will save you thousands of dollars!

Eillu free custom market analysis


Blockchain Applications for Real Estate – How “Bitcoin Technology” will Change or Improve Real Estate

Blockchain Applications for Real Estate

Most people have heard about cryptocurrency but few understand it. I must admit, upon first hearing about Bitcoin years ago I was very wary. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remind me of a Ponzi scheme or other scam. It just seemed like voodoo and I thought it was creating money out of thin air.

I think it is a tough pill to swallow when someone changes our concept of money. If money is only virtual can it just disappear?

We have learned to trust banks; but it would not take too much of a disruption for that trust to be shattered. The foundation of money is the exchange of value and people’s perception of value.

The mighty dollar is recognized as a store of value the world over. The US stopped backing up the value of the dollar with gold decades ago. But, it is still the world standard and trusted currency.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Bitcoin was created in 2009 and is perhaps the most well-known of the cryptocurrencies; but there are over 1,000 other digital currencies.

Unlike the Federal Reserve System of centralized control of the banking system and money supply, cryptocurrencies are decentralized and use a blockchain transaction database as a distributed ledger.

There is no single entity, government or financial institution that controls the bitcoin or any cryptocurrency network. So, rather than a single “truth” ledger as used in a centralized system, the distributed system uses several thousands of points or ledgers and “people” (miners) to verify the integrity of the system.

This means it is exponentially more difficult to hack as there are thousands of copies that must agree instead of one central “location” of the data.

Best Explanation of Blockchain Technology

I didn’t truly understand or trust Bitcoin and have ignored it until I began to understand the blockchain concept of a distributed database and the implications it has for verification across many applications and industries.

Removing the “currency” aspect helped me to understand the implications without getting hung up on the money part.

I highly recommend watching the video below. This video by Anders Brownworth, is the simplest and best explanation of blockchain that I have seen to date:

Broad Real Estate Applications and Implications

I don’t know about you but watching the above video was a lightbulb moment for me. Seeing the demo as to how the actual records worked deepened my understand and allowed me to visualize its usage in so many other areas.

While I am not the smartest egg in the basket; if I can grasp the future implications then the really smart people can actually harness them and make them a reality.

The advantages of blockchain techniques are accurate, verifiable and public information.

Consider the current state of the real estate industry where title records are centralized and recorded at the county level. Distributing the information through a blockchain would eliminate any clerical errors and provide a streamlined history of property transactions.

Title insurance is prone to fraudulent targeting but blockchain encryption would improve security. This would also impact the title insurance industry costs and reduce risks.

Escrow could be handled through a blockchain rather than through an Attorney. Blockchain technology could validate property disclosures across many owners and over decades could be saved and easily retrievable. Global real estate markets would become more transparent, lowering risk and increasing liquidity.

Smart contracts are pre-written, stored and replicated with blockchain. They can be used for money, property or anything that can be shared, traded or exchanged.

The contracts are executed and run by the computers in the blockchain without the help of any 3rd party. Therefore, no one person owns the contract or has complete control of it. They enable trust by encryption on a shared ledger where all parties have access to them. They are redundant across the blockchain to prevent loss. They save time and money by eliminating the need for a middleman.

Ethereum is the most prominent public blockchain platform to use smart contracts. Smart contracts will be the future of negotiation; they will self-execute based on a set of instructions that two parties have agreed to. This code logic can include just about any of the- if this, then that – contingencies prevalent in a real estate transaction.

The National Association of Realtors have also explored and written about the potential of blockchains and real estate.

Real Estate Backed Cryptocurrency

In July 2017, REcoin was launched as the first ever cryptocurrency backed by real estate. Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) declared the offering a fraud designed to bilk unsuspecting investors.

A quick search also finds Share Estate, that allows you to invest in commercial real estate all over the world using blockchain. It uses the Ethereum platform and a closed end fund. Share Estate owners will receive SRE tokens that are backed up by real estate assets, share in the net profit of the commercial projects (through rent or eventual sale), able to use the underlying objects like booking a night in a hotel in the fund, the value of tokens will increase over time reflecting the underlying value of the real estate asset and provide voting rights for the holder toward planned project acquisitions.

Make no mistake, cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Witness over 1,574 bitcoin ATM’s installed all over the world by September 2017.

The IRS treats bitcoin as property rather than currency. So, bitcoin is subject to capital gains tax and scholars have agreed that the currency behaves similar to the precious metal markets.

Coinmarketcap.com reported in June 2017 the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies is bigger than 100 billion USD and record high daily volume is larger than 6 billion USD.

REAL (Real Estate Asset Ledger) is another real estate venture using cryptocurrency. It crowdfunds real estate purchases where a group of investors, whom may not even know each other, buy shares similar to a Real Estate Investment Trust. The properties being crowd funded accept REAL Tokens or its in-house cryptocurrency. Pay outs are made in Ether a widely used cryptocurrency.

Streamline Rental Process for Landlords and Tenants

Rentberry is another blockchain related real estate application. It uses a long-term rental application built on consensus blockchain ledger technology. The company’s website describes its services as “a transparent home rental service and a price negotiation platform uniting tenants and landlords. It automates all the standard rental tasks from submitting your personal information, credit reports and custom offers, to e-signing rental agreements and online rental payments.” Rentberry is also an Ethereum based blockchain application.

Rentberry has over 100-thousand users and lists 160-thousand properties in nearly five-thousand cities in the United States.

Current Marketing to Bitcoin Buyers

A Philadelphia Condo community has advertised condos for sale at 795 bitcoins (over $342k at the market exchange rate at the time) to attract the segment and illustrate the validity of the currency.

Currently, the practicality of a total bitcoin transaction doesn’t fly. The title insurance company must comply with the “good funds rule” where money needs to cover all escrow items. A lender will not currently accept bitcoin to pay off a mortgage balance so bitcoin transactions are limited to where a seller owns the property without a mortgage. A transaction where the bitcoin is converted prior to completing the real estate transaction is always possible and has taken place in Texas.

A Dubai apartment complex is also being priced in bitcoin. The $332 million dollar project has two apartment towers and a shopping mail. Prices for a studio apartment started at 27 BTC.

Limiting Factors to Blockchain Adoption

Forbes recently wrote about the roadblocks for blockchain applications in real estate. The roadblocks are very real due to the lack of understanding by most people and entrenched industry incumbents whose entire reason for being would be threatened by the change. As applications using blockchain increase and people become more trusting and knowledgable, the technology will be applied to real estate.

Bitcoin magazine states cryptocurrencies are a significant challenge to central banks ability to influence the price of credit for the whole economy. Cryptocurrencies work without regard to national boundaries or policies.

Fraud and Criminal Use

While cryptocurrencies facilitate person to person exchanges globally, their nature has attracted a “criminal” or underground use from Ransomware hackers requiring payment in the currency to helping dwellers in the black market to evade taxes or launder money.

Unlike currency held in a financial institution, cryptocurrencies are more difficult for governments or law enforcement to seize and are favored by the criminal element to remain anonymous and undetected.

Volatility

Over the last year bitcoin gained value and recognition. On Jan 2, 2017 a bitcoin was worth $985.56; as of Nov 6, 2017 a bitcoin was worth $6778.17. This would be quite a windfall for any real estate transaction defined in bitcoins from earlier in the year. However, like all markets what goes up can also go down.

The volatility of bitcoins, or how much the price changes over time, is much higher than most centralized currencies. Some experts warn that it is the next bubble that will burst.

Conclusion

Fundamentally, blockchain technology has many more applications that will affect our lives in far reaching ways. Cryptocurrencies is just the tip of the iceberg. Cryptocurrencies are in their infancy and will likely go though many changes in the future.

Blockchain technology can be applied even more broadly and has the potential to radically change much of how business and governments operate. Our lives and our jobs will likely be dramatically impacted over the next few years. Changes will not be limited to real estate applications. For this reason, it is important to begin to get a basic understanding of this technology and how it may be applied in the future.

Eillu real estate leverages the best in technology to provide the best service and value to our customers. While we are not advertising our listings in bitcoin, we always stay on top of industry and technological trends to provide first class services.

MLS Monthly Outer Banks Market Report


Outer Banks Home Buying Tips for First Time Home Buyers

first time homebuyer tips for Outer Banks Buyers

Buying your first home is a big step no matter where you decide to purchase.  Often times, there are more questions or doubts then there are answers.  Nailing down all the potential costs can be nerve racking and make your head swim.  After obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage you will have one piece of the financial puzzle but what about insurance costs, repair cost and taxes? 

Expert Help

Rest assured there are professionals here to help you every step of the way.  An Eillu Buyers Agent has walked many buyers, just like you, through the process with satisfying results.  No question is a dumb question and you deserve a truthful answer and expert advice each step along the way. 

Rent vs Buy in the Outer Banks

Renting a home or finding an affordable rental for year round living can be rather difficult in the Outer Banks.  Rental rates, even for year round rentals, tend to be more expensive here. 

Many times, homes can net more income for an owner through a weekly rental program than through a year round rental. 

Sometimes, these home are available for a longer term in the off-season, but require the renter to find other housing in season.  Not only is this inconvenient, but finding available housing during the summer months can be very daunting. 

Perhaps you have experienced this as well.  Here are some other financial reasons for home ownership.

To reap the full financial benefits of home ownership, you should have plans to stay in the home for 5 to 7 years.  This spreads out your cost of purchasing over a longer time period and allows you to build up equity through appreciation.

Pre-approval for Mortgage

Most first time buyers in the Outer Banks are not looking to buy oceanfront property due to the cost.  While millennial home buyers are reportedly skipping buying a starter house and buying a larger home with more amenities for their first purchase. 

Even so, the median value of homes in the Outer Banks is around the $400k mark.  Attractive homes priced below this can get very competitive among buyers; especially homes in the range of $200 to $300k.  All home buyers should get pre-approved prior to embarking on a home search.

Narrow the Search

Buyers usually begin their search online.  It is helpful to actually write down and rank what features and criteria that you are looking for. 

Typically, the criteria will include number of bedrooms, design or style, garage and other amenities, like a pool or hot tub, and the price range you have pre-qualified for.  This is a very personal list and all that matters is what will make you happy in your new home.  An artist, for example, may value the homes orientation, good lighting and a space that can be used as a studio.

The Outer Banks is over 100 mile long chain of Barrier Islands.  Each town or neighborhood has its own character, amenities and vibe

In addition to the Outer Banks, there are towns along the inner banks or on the mainland.  These towns are close enough to the Outer Banks for residents to work or play but typically are lower cost.  It is helpful to narrow your search to a specific location to spot new listings quickly and be able to assess it against your criteria.

If you are considering a condo, neighborhood or development with shared amenities, make sure you budget the cost of Home Owner Association (HOA) fees and consider the quality of the management.  Failure to keep adequate reserves can cause surprise assessments to future homeowners.

Due Diligence

First time home buyers should trust their Eillu Agents and other expert’s advice.  For example, one home may appear to be a perfect fit on a bright summer day but due to a low elevation could be prone to flooding. 

A professional inspection should also be a contingency to the contract and will provide peace of mind to the buyer regarding the condition of major systems.  Make sure you get the best advice during the due diligence period. 

You may have a friend that is handy around the house but that is not the same as a professional home inspector.  Do not take the cheapest option to save money.  You home is a long term commitment and a few hundred dollars spread over time will amount to pennies per day.  It could save you a lot of grief depending on what may be uncovered by the inspection. 

Taking your time to find the right house for you is important so you do not have any regrets.  Make sure you view and tour as many homes as it takes for you to be comfortable with putting an offer on the one that is right for you.

Down Payments and Reserves

First time buyers should keep some funds in reserve after closing.  Using all of ones savings for a 20% down payment rather than have to pay private mortgage insurance can leave buyers strapped when unforeseen events occur. 

In life, unforeseen events always occur.  Keep some savings to be able to repair the car or appliances without having to panic or increase your debt. 

Financing alternatives, like FHA, require a lower down payment and is a good option for first time buyers.  Investigate first time homebuyers programs and government programs for credits and lower down payment requirements that you may qualify for.

Before Closing

Refrain from making any lifestyle changes or making major purchases before closing.  Read this: for specific items not to do after applying for a mortgage

From seasoned veteran to first time home buyer, Eillu is here to help you navigate the home buying process.  With over two decades of experience in the Outer Banks market, we can help you with any questions and guide you every step of the way for a smooth buying experience.  Our exclusive buyers rebate will save you money without sacrificing service.  Schedule an appointment with Eillu today.

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