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Lori Smith's Hometown Team Blog

Lori Smith's Hometown Team

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The Best Eats in Jacksonville

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

Are you ready to find some great food in Jacksonville? You don’t have to look far, because there’s a lot of outstanding restaurants in Jacksonville.  TripAdvisor.com has rated the best places to eat in the city, and it’s quite a list! Here’s a few off the top that you’ll definitely want to try soon.

The Kettle Diner

The perfect place in Jacksonville to get a good breakfast.  Nothing fancy, just straight up good food. And even when they’re busy, their efficient and friendly staff make sure you don’t have to wait long for a table.

Carolina Ale House

If it’s mouth-watering burgers and craft beer you’re in the mood for, the Carolina Ale House brings all that along with a fun sports environment. And of course you’ll find all of your favorites, like nachos, sandwiches, baby back ribs, chicken tenders, and more.

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom

Pizza and beer – the perfect food combo.  And Old Chicago Pizza is where you’re going to find the best pizza and beer in Jacksonville.  With thin crust and deep dish selections, along with hand-tossed chicken wings and mouthwatering bites and starters, you’ll indulge your taste buds the moment you start eating.

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

Are you ready to buy your first home? If you’re planning to buy your first home in Jacksonville, you need to make sure you really are ready.  But if you cover the bases, you can increase your chance of success.  There are 3 steps we’ll consider that take a lot of first-time buyers by surprise and don’t realize they need to take before even considering buying a home.

Review Your Finances

Before you get your heart set on buying a home, you have to count the cost.  Can you afford it in the first place?  How is your credit? Do you have a savings account?  You should have at least 3-6 months of emergency savings for living expenses. Also look at your current monthly expenses to see where a mortgage payment will fit in your budget. Also look at transportation costs in the area where you want to move to.

Get Pre-Approved

Make sure you can get a mortgage before you start looking for a home, unless you have all the cash up front. Meet with lenders to see what your mortgage options are. Many sellers won’t even entertain an offer unless you are already pre-approved. Lenders can also look at programs that might help with down-payment assistance.

Find an Agent

Now that you’ve done some financial homework, you need to work with a real estate professional who can guide you through the rest of the process.  Choose a team that has all the resources to make the buying process go as smoothly as possible.

Lori Smith’s Hometown Team can help you find the perfect first home. Call us at (910)389-7407 to see how we can help you realize your dream of owning a home in Jacksonville.

It's Time to Explore Jacksonville's Parks

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

Spring has come at last to Jacksonville, and it’s time to get outside and get the most out of Jacksonville’s terrific parks! Jacksonville parks have all the amenities you need to enjoy the great outdoors in Jacksonville. There’s playgrounds, picnic areas, grills, basketball courts, shelter areas for gathering with friends, and more. Here’s a few parks you might want to check out soon.

Riverwalk Crossing Park & LP Willngham Park

Located on the New River in the historic district, this park is home to a number of annual events such as the New River Festival & Palooza, Winterfest, Oktoberfest, and National Night Out.  And the rest of the year it’s an ideal place to relax and enjoy the view of the water.

Jacksonville Commons & Richard Ray All American Park

This area features an array of ball fields, skate and BMX park, tennis courts, basketball courts, and several play areas, among other amenities. The annual Running with the Law 5K is also held here, along with other sports events and the Jacksonville Jamboree.

Neighborhood Parks

Sprinkled among Jacksonville are a number of neighborhood parks, each with their unique features. You find places for the children to play, sports fields, and just a quiet place to relax and enjoy nature. Neighborhood parks include Branchwood Park, Georgetown Park, and Sherwood Forrest, among others.

Check Out Our Top Homes in North Topsail

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

Out top featured homes for sale in North Topsail offer the best in waterfront living, whether it be a beach house or a more traditional Cape Cod style. Take a look at these great features!

5 Osprey Circle, North Topsail Beach

Located in the exclusive “Osprey” neighborhood, this Cape Cod style home comes with a host of custom features.  Enjoy the amazing views of the water off your private back deck.  And take a few minutes’ walk to the Topsail Island beach to take in a glorious sunrise. All this and fully furnished, ready to move in now!

Visit the property detail page for more info and photos.

105 Scotch Bonnet Circle Drive, North Topsail Beach

If the beach house style is more your thing, then this is what you’ve been waiting for!  The first floor features the owner's suite with a covered deck, two closets, double sinks and full bath, as well as two additional bedrooms, a full bath and laundry closet. And enjoy the beautiful views from the decks on all floors.

Visit the property detail page for more info and photos.

For more outstanding properties, visit our Featured Property page.

Have Fun in Jacksonville

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

Spring is here and it’s time to get out and have some fun in Jacksonville.  And you don’t have to drop a lot of money to have fun here.  Jacksonville has plenty of free or cheap things to do for the whole family.  Here’s a few top picks.

Richard Ray All American Park

If you want to go for a relaxing hike or take the dog out for a stroll.  And there’s a playground for the kids as well.

Spirited Art

Want to learn the basics of painting? Then this is ideal place to start! You’ll receive step-by-step instruction to help you create your own masterpieces. 

Equine Country

Whether you’re a beginning horse rider or been around the ranch for a while, you’ll want to visit Equine County. They offer lessons and full service horse boarding and training.

Bowlarena

How about an evening at the bowling alley?  This full service 32 lane alley offers league bowing, along with a pro shop, bar, and game room.

Send Your Children to the Best Schools in Jacksonville

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

No doubt if you have children in school, you want them to have the best education.  So if you plan on buying a home in Jacksonville, then you want to know where the best schools are. Greatschools.org has compared the schools in Jacksonville to come up with a list of the best ones, based on factors such as test scores and parent reviews. Here’s a list of the top 4 schools in Jacksonville, along with a link to search for homes for sale near those schools.

New Bridge Middle
401 New Bridge St Jacksonville, NC 28540
Find Homes for Sale Near New Bridge Middle

Jacksonville High
1021 Henderson Dr Jacksonville, NC 28540
Find Homes for Sale Near Jacksonville High

Morton Elementary
485 Old 30 Rd Jacksonville, NC 28546
Find Homes for Sale Near Morton Elementary

Hunters Creek Elementary
3450 Hunters Trail Jacksonville, NC 28546
Find Homes for Sale Near Hunters Creek Elementary

3D Virtual Tours Coming to Hometown Team Website

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

Loris Smith’s Hometown Team is excited to present 3D Interactive tours on our website! These 3D tours are brought to you by a company called Matterport, which allows us to create these amazing interactive tours of our listings. You can even view them using virtual reality glasses! If you’re a buyer, this gives you an unprecedented view of homes being listed on our website. If you’re a home seller, this gives you the confidence that we have the cutting edge technology to represent your home.

Here’s our first 3D tour at 1115 Westmoreland Drive, Jacksonville.  We’ll be posting more 3D tours on our website as they are available.  We look forward to offering this amazing new feature to our clients!

Find the Ideal Home in Sneads Ferry

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

Are looking for a great community to buy a home in North Carolina that’s near Camp Lejeune? Sneads Ferry might just be the ideal place for what you’re looking for!

Sneads Ferry has a lot of things that make it a great community.  You can find plenty of places to shop, especially for surfing supplies Topsail souvenirs, tackle, beach supplies – just about anything you need for beachside living.

And you don’t need to look far for great food. If you’re in the mood for chicken wings and maybe an evening of karaoke, then Rick's Restaurant & Sports Bar is the place to go.  There’s also great riverside dining at Riverview Café.  Or for great bagels and sandwiches, try Minervini's New York Bagel Co.

You can also play or relax at Sneads Ferry’s parks like Fulcher's Landing, Stump Sound Park, and Mills family Campground.

Search for homes for sale in Sneads Ferry now and find your new home in North Carolina’s coast.

Here are some great homes for sale right now in Sneads Ferry!


How Long Do Most Families Stay in Their Home?

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

The NAR keeps track of many aspects of homeownership and one of those aspects that has changed dramatically is how long a family stays in a home.  Between 1985 – 2008, the average time a family lived in a home was 6 years.  But since then, the average increased sharply to almost nine years.

Why was there such an increase? During the housing crisis, many homeowners were in a negative equity situation, as their homes were worth less than the mortgage. Now that the economy has improves and home prices rising over the last several years, 93.7% of homes with a mortgage are now in a positive equity situation. So homeowners are in a much better position financially. 

What does this all mean for the housing market in Jacksonville, as well as the rest of the country? It may be that a large portion of homeowners are in a house that’s not the best for their circumstances. These home owners are ready to find a home better suited for them.

If you’re ready to find a new home in Jacksonville, then you’ve come to the right place.  Lori Smith’s Hometown Team are ready to help you find a new home that specifically fits your needs.  Call us today at 910-389-7407 to see how we can help.

Get Ready to Sell Your Home Today!

by Lori Smith's Hometown Team

If you’re thinking about selling your home in Jacksonville soon, then there’s a number of things you need to consider to make sure you sell your home as fast as possible and get the most money. You need to make sure your home is ready to sell before it hits the market. Here’s a few things you can do.

Get Storage

If you think decluttering your home means packing the closets, think again. Buyers will often check storage spaces, and seeing clutter in overstuffed closets will not make a great impression. The general rule is to store a third of your possessions. As they say, less is more.

Staging

Make sure your home is clean and presentable. If you can hire a professional to stage your home, that’s the best way to go. But if you don’t have the money to do that, then have a friend or relative stand at the curb or walk through the house with a fresh perspective to advise on what needs to be cleaned or organized.

Depersonalize

A prospective home buyer needs to see your home as their home. If you have personal photos hanging on all the walls, that’s hard for them to do. Sure your kids are cute. But it’s not their kids.

Lighten Up

When you leave the house for a showing, make sure to turn on all the lights and open the windows. Use the highest watt bulbs you can. Also fresh paint will liven up the house, preferably neutral colors.

Curb Appeal

What’s the first thing a buyer will see when viewing your home? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that it’s your yard and front porch. Clean up the yard as much as you can and trim the hedges. Pressure wash the walkways and house if you can. Paint the trim and shutters. Everything helps make that perfect first impression.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 160

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Contact Information

Photo of Lori Smith Real Estate
Lori Smith
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage
2355 Western Blvd. Ste. 300
Jacksonville NC 28546
Office Phone: (910) 389-7407
Fax: (910) 455-1032

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