Key Terms Every New Home Buyer Should Know

Embarking on the journey to purchase a new home is an exciting venture, but navigating the real estate landscape can sometimes feel like learning a new language. To empower and guide new home buyers, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with key terms that play a pivotal role in the home-buying process. In this guide, we’ll decode the essential terminology to ensure you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions and navigate the real estate market with confidence.


   – Definition: A loan obtained from a financial institution to purchase a home. The property itself serves as collateral for the loan.

   – Insight: Understanding different mortgage types, interest rates, and terms is crucial for determining your budget and repayment plan.

Down Payment

   – Definition: The initial upfront payment made by the buyer when purchasing a home. It is usually a percentage of the property’s total price.

   – Insight: The down payment affects your mortgage amount and monthly payments, so knowing how much you can afford is essential.

Closing Costs

   – Definition: Additional fees and expenses associated with finalizing a real estate transaction. These can include legal fees, appraisal costs, and title insurance.

   – Insight: Being aware of closing costs helps you budget effectively and avoids surprises during the closing process.


   – Definition: An account held by a third party (usually an escrow company) where funds are kept until all conditions of a real estate transaction are met.

   – Insight: Escrow ensures a secure and transparent exchange of funds, providing protection for both the buyer and seller.


   – Definition: A professional assessment of a property’s value conducted by a licensed appraiser.

   – Insight: Appraisals help determine the fair market value of a home, influencing the loan amount a lender is willing to provide.

Home Inspection

   – Definition: A thorough examination of a property’s condition, typically conducted by a licensed home inspector.

   – Insight: A home inspection reveals potential issues with the property, allowing buyers to negotiate repairs or adjustments before closing.

Title Insurance

   – Definition: A policy that protects the buyer and lender from potential legal issues regarding the property’s title.

   – Insight: Title insurance ensures a clear and undisputed ownership history of the property.


   – Definition: A lender’s written commitment to provide a home loan, based on a thorough assessment of the buyer’s financial situation.

   – Insight: Being pre-approved strengthens your negotiating position and streamlines the home-buying process.

Closing Disclosure

   – Definition: A document outlining the final terms of the mortgage loan, including closing costs and other details, provided to the buyer three days before closing.

   – Insight: Reviewing the closing disclosure helps ensure accuracy and transparency in the final stages of the transaction.


    – Definition: A condition specified in a purchase agreement that must be met for the sale to proceed. Common contingencies include home inspections and financing.

    – Insight: Contingencies protect the buyer’s interests and provide opportunities to renegotiate terms based on inspection results or financing issues.

Understanding these key terms will empower you to make informed decisions and navigate the intricate world of real estate with confidence. Whether you’re deciphering mortgage options, negotiating closing costs, or evaluating a property’s condition, a solid understanding of these terms is your key to a successful and rewarding home-buying experience. Contact us today and we can help you as you embark on your journey as a new home buyer.

5 Ways to Make Your Bedroom a Luxurious Sanctuary

Transforming your bedroom into a luxurious sanctuary doesn’t necessarily require a hefty budget. By incorporating a few thoughtful touches and design elements, you can elevate the ambiance and create a space that feels indulgent and inviting. Here are five ways to make your bedroom more luxurious:

Sumptuous Bedding: Upgrade your bedding to instantly add a touch of opulence to your bedroom. Invest in high-quality, soft linens with a high thread count for a luxurious feel. Consider layering your bed with plush pillows, a cozy duvet, and a stylish throw blanket to create a visually rich and inviting focal point.

Accent Lighting: Introduce elegant and strategic lighting to enhance the overall atmosphere. Consider bedside table lamps with soft, warm hues to create a cozy ambiance. A statement chandelier or pendant light can add a touch of glamour to the room. Smartly placed accent lighting can highlight key features, adding a sense of sophistication.

Luxurious Textures: Incorporate rich textures into your bedroom decor. Velvet or faux fur throws, plush area rugs, and upholstered furniture can introduce a tactile and luxurious feel. Choose a color palette that exudes tranquility and sophistication, creating a cohesive and inviting space.

Customized Storage Solutions: Streamline the look of your bedroom by investing in customized storage solutions. Built-in wardrobes, stylish dressers, and well-designed closet organization can add a sense of order and sophistication. Keep the bedroom clutter-free, allowing the luxurious elements to take center stage.

Art and Personalized Decor: Elevate your bedroom’s aesthetic with carefully curated art and personalized decor. Select pieces that resonate with you on a personal level, whether it’s a statement art piece, framed photographs, or meaningful artifacts. The presence of unique and thoughtful decor adds a layer of individuality and luxury to the space.

Remember, luxury is not solely defined by expense; it’s about thoughtful curation and attention to detail. By incorporating these five elements into your bedroom, you can create a haven that exudes opulence and comfort, making it the perfect retreat at the end of each day. With a keen eye for design and a touch of creativity, you can transform your bedroom into a luxurious sanctuary without breaking the bank.

Rejuvenate Your Home: New Year’s Resolutions for a Fresh Start

As the New Year approaches, the air buzzes with promises of change and personal growth. Resolutions abound, focusing on self-improvement and transformative goals. Yet, amidst aspirations for individual betterment, the place we call home often stands neglected in our resolutions. This year, let’s not overlook the sanctuary where we spend most of our time. Embrace a fresh start for your home with these achievable resolutions that promise to breathe new life into your living space.

1. Develop a Long-Term Plan:

Crafting a plan is key to achieving lasting changes in your home. Create a comprehensive list of tasks necessary to maintain an organized living space. Regularly revisit and update this list to ensure steady progress in meeting your home improvement goals.

2. Methodical Room-by-Room Cleaning:

The onset of the New Year marks a perfect time to engage in a thorough cleaning spree. Begin by tidying up after the holiday festivities—put away decorations, clear fallen tree needles, and refresh spaces after celebratory gatherings. Extend this momentum to conduct a deep-clean throughout your home, starting with high-traffic areas. Employ a regimen of vacuuming, scrubbing, and refreshing to rejuvenate your living spaces. Consider scheduling quarterly deep-cleaning sessions to maintain a consistently fresh environment.

3. Streamline and Purge Unnecessary Items:

Cleaning is not just about tidying up—it’s also an opportunity to declutter. Initiate a systematic approach by combing through each room, identifying items that have gathered dust or remained unused for an extended period. Be discerning and create distinct piles for discarding and donating. This purge will not only reduce clutter but also provide a sense of fulfillment in contributing to those who can benefit from your surplus belongings.

4. Reduce Energy Consumption:

Contribute to a more sustainable future by minimizing energy usage within your home. You need not embark on major investments like solar panels or electric cars to make a difference. Simple practices can significantly shrink your carbon footprint and lower utility bills. Adopt habits like turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, practicing water conservation by turning off taps while brushing teeth, and unplugging infrequently used appliances. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient LED bulbs and installing low-flow showerheads. Adjust heating and cooling settings to conserve energy without sacrificing comfort—lowering the thermostat at night and using extra blankets can maintain warmth without excessive energy consumption.

As you embark on the journey of self-improvement and growth in the New Year, extend your aspirations to your home. By implementing these achievable resolutions, you can revitalize your living space, creating an environment that fosters tranquility, efficiency, and sustainability. Embrace the opportunity for a fresh start and make your home a sanctuary that mirrors the positive changes you aspire to achieve in your life.

Contact us today to get started on your new home journey.

Rethinking Homeownership: Unlocking the Power of Equity for Financial Growth

Owning a home remains an integral part of the quintessential “American dream,” offering a gateway to stability and a means of building intergenerational wealth. The emotional and financial benefits of homeownership are evident, presenting an opportunity not only for long-term security but also as a potent tool for enhancing net worth and cultivating wealth over time. At the heart of this financial advantage lies the concept of equity—a pivotal factor that can substantially augment one’s financial standing.

Understanding Equity:

Equity signifies the disparity between the amount you owe on your home and its current market value. It encapsulates the accrued value resulting from factors like price appreciation and the gradual repayment of the mortgage principal. This value, essentially your ownership stake in the property, can grow silently and steadily, often without homeowners noticing, especially in a burgeoning sellers’ market.

Harnessing the Power of Equity in Today’s Market:

In the current real estate landscape characterized by low housing inventory and surging demand, home values are on an upward trajectory. This trend translates into a significant upsurge in homeowners’ equity—a remarkable benefit. The escalating value of this investment not only bolsters financial stability but also broadens the spectrum of financial possibilities, enabling homeowners to achieve diverse life goals.

The appreciation of this asset amplifies financial flexibility, providing a platform to leverage equity for endeavors beyond homeownership. Whether it’s pursuing higher education, funding entrepreneurial ventures, or planning for retirement, the burgeoning equity serves as a powerful asset that can be tapped into for various purposes.

The Relevance of Equity for Prospective Homebuyers:

For those contemplating homeownership, comprehending the potential of equity underscores why investing in a property is a meaningful endeavor. The allure of accumulating equity over time, contributing to your net worth and facilitating future financial ambitions, reaffirms the value of owning a home.

Embracing Future Equity Growth:

If you feel you’ve missed out on the recent uptick in equity gains, rest assured—industry experts project substantial growth potential in homeowners’ equity over the coming years. Despite market fluctuations, the prospects for appreciable equity growth remain promising, making homeownership a compelling avenue for future financial prosperity.

As homeownership continues to be a cornerstone of financial stability and wealth accumulation, understanding and leveraging equity can redefine your financial landscape. The burgeoning equity in your home is a dynamic asset poised to propel you towards achieving your aspirations, from securing your family’s future to realizing personal milestones. Whether you’re an existing homeowner or aspire to step into the realm of property ownership, recognizing the power of equity is pivotal in embarking on a journey towards long-term financial growth and prosperity.

Contact us today to get started on your new home journey and start building your household wealth.

NC Folktales and Mysteries: The Ghost Ship Caroll A. Deering

North Carolina has a rich tradition of folklore, and it encompasses a variety of magical legends and unexplained natural phenomena – and today we look back at the the Caroll A. Deering, a five-masted commercial schooner, that has etched its place in maritime lore. Sailing in the early 1920s, this vessel embarked on its final voyage, disappearing under puzzling circumstances that continue to baffle historians and spark imaginations to this day.

The Caroll A. Deering set sail from Norfolk, Virginia, in August 1920, bound for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to load a cargo of coal. The ship was manned by Captain William Merritt and a crew of experienced sailors. However, upon reaching its destination and loading the coal, the captain fell ill, and the first mate, Willis B. Wormell, took over the command.

What ensued was a sequence of strange events. In Barbados, the ship’s crew was spotted behaving oddly, as if under duress or coercion. The vessel, sailing without its captain due to his illness, continued its journey northward.

The Deering was later sighted by passing ships near the Cape Lookout lightship in North Carolina on January 28, 1921. Concerns were raised when the crew of a passing steamer observed the Deering’s crew milling about on deck in an unusual manner. The captain of the passing ship attempted communication but received no response, signaling that something was amiss.

Several days later, the Caroll A. Deering ran aground off the coast of Cape Hatteras. When the authorities investigated, they found the ship deserted. All personal belongings, navigational equipment, and the ship’s papers were missing. The crew had vanished without a trace, leaving behind a ghost ship eerily abandoned.

Numerous theories emerged to explain the mysterious disappearance of the crew of the Caroll A. Deering. Some suggested piracy, mutiny, or an attack by rum-runners. Others proposed the involvement of foreign powers or sabotage related to tensions following World War I. The absence of clear evidence compounded the mystery, allowing speculation to flourish.

Investigations conducted by the U.S. government failed to provide concrete answers. The FBI, Coast Guard, and various agencies probed the case, yet no definitive conclusion was reached. The disappearance of the Deering’s crew remains a baffling maritime riddle, with no closure to this day.

The story of the Caroll A. Deering stands as an enduring maritime enigma, a ghost ship lost to the annals of history. Its disappearance remains an unsolved puzzle, shrouded in mystery and intrigue. As time passes, the ghostly tale of this abandoned vessel continues to evoke fascination, inviting us to delve into the realms of speculation and wonder about the fate of the crew who vanished without a trace on that chilling January day in 1921.

Looking for another adventure? Contact us today to get started on your new home journey.

Garden Calendar – December Checklist

As the calendar flips to December, gardeners in Zone 8 find themselves embracing the winter months. While the chill might slow some garden activities, there’s still plenty to do and enjoy in the garden. While December might mean cooler temperatures, it doesn’t mean your gardening journey has to halt. Our mild winter temperatures, offer an opportunity to keep the gardening spirit alive even during the colder months. Below are some tips and tricks for gardeners to continue to nurture your garden, prepare for the upcoming season, and relish the beauty of the winter garden. Embrace the unique opportunities this season offers and stay connected to nature as you tend to your garden during December.

Protect Tender Plants and Wildlife. Zone 8 often experiences frost, so it’s crucial to protect delicate plants from freezing temperatures. Cover them with frost cloth or mulch to insulate and shield them from the cold. Support local wildlife by providing food and water sources. Bird feeders and clean water baths can attract birds that help control pests in the garden.

Mulch and Compost. Apply a thick layer of mulch around plants to conserve soil moisture and protect roots from freezing temperatures. Also, continue composting to enrich the soil for spring planting.

Pruning and Maintenance. December is an excellent time for pruning dormant trees and shrubs. Remove dead or damaged branches to encourage healthy growth when spring arrives. Also, check for pests and diseases and treat as needed. Use this downtime to clean and maintain gardening tools. Sharpen blades, oil moving parts, and store them properly to ensure they’re in top condition for the upcoming seasons.

Plan for Spring. Use this time to plan your spring garden. Research and select seeds or plants you want to grow. Consider crop rotation and companion planting to optimize space and prevent soil depletion.

Indoor Gardening. For those missing the feel of gardening during the colder months, consider indoor gardening. Grow herbs, microgreens, or houseplants to satisfy your gardening urge and brighten up your home.

Relax and Enjoy the Garden’s Tranquility. Winter gardens have their own unique charm. Take time to appreciate the quiet beauty of your garden during the colder months, with frosted landscapes and evergreen plants adding a touch of serenity.

The Perfect Backyard. If you are ready to get your hands dirty. McAdams  Contact us today to get started on your new home journey and get to planting.

Navigating the Roads Safely: A Guide to Electric Bike Safety

Wilmington has no shortage of natural beauty. And we think that one of the best ways to see the numerous picturesque sights of our area is on bike. As the popularity of electric bikes continues to surge, so does the importance of understanding and promoting electric bike safety. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to the world of e-bikes, prioritizing safety is paramount. In this guide, we’ll explore key tips and practices to ensure a secure and enjoyable electric biking experience.

Wear the Right Gear: Just like traditional bicycles, wearing the right safety gear is essential for e-bike riders. A helmet is a must, and riders should also consider additional protective gear such as knee and elbow pads, especially when riding at higher speeds.

Regular Maintenance Checks: Keep your e-bike in top condition by conducting regular maintenance checks. Ensure that brakes, tires, lights, and the electrical system are functioning correctly. Regular maintenance not only enhances safety but also extends the lifespan of your electric bike.

Be Mindful of Speed: Electric bikes can reach higher speeds than traditional bicycles. It’s crucial to be mindful of your speed, especially when sharing the road with pedestrians or other cyclists. Adjust your speed based on the environment and adhere to local speed limits.

Stay Visible: Enhance your visibility, especially during low-light conditions. Equip your e-bike with front and rear lights, reflectors, and brightly colored clothing. Making yourself visible to motorists and other road users reduces the risk of accidents.

Use Bike Lanes and Dedicated Paths: Whenever possible, ride in designated bike lanes or on dedicated bike paths. This minimizes the interaction with motorized traffic, reducing the risk of collisions and providing a safer environment for e-bike riders.

Follow Traffic Rules Adhere to traffic rules and signals, just like any other vehicle on the road. Signal your turns, obey traffic signals, and be predictable in your movements. Respecting traffic rules enhances overall road safety for everyone.

Be Cautious at Intersections: Intersections are high-risk areas for accidents. Exercise caution, check for oncoming traffic, and make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you. Always yield the right of way when required.

Educate Yourself on E-Bike Features: Understand the features and capabilities of your electric bike. Familiarize yourself with the different power modes, braking systems, and any additional safety features your e-bike may have.

Stay Sober: Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs your ability to operate an e-bike safely. Stay sober and alert while riding to make informed decisions and react quickly to potential hazards. 

Electric bikes offer an eco-friendly and efficient means of transportation, but safety should always be a top priority. By following these guidelines and adopting a proactive approach to safety, riders can confidently navigate the roads and trails on their electric bikes, enjoying the many benefits of this innovative mode of transport. Remember, a safe ride is a happy ride! Contact us today to get started on your new home journey and let your electric bike adventures begin. 

Gratitude at Home: Why Homeowners are Thankful for Their Sanctuaries

Homeownership is not merely a financial investment; it’s a profound and emotional connection to a space that encapsulates memories, security, and a sense of belonging. Now is an opportune time to reflect on the reasons why homeowners express deep gratitude for the roofs over their heads. From the cherished moments shared within the walls to the sense of stability that home provides, here’s a closer look at why homeowners are genuinely thankful for their homes.

A Shelter for Precious Memories:

One of the most poignant reasons homeowners’ express gratitude for their homes is the wealth of memories created within those walls. From the laughter echoing through the living room during family game nights to the aroma of holiday meals wafting from the kitchen, homes become the canvas upon which life’s most cherished moments are painted. These spaces witness the growth of families, the milestones of individuals, and the bonds that tie loved ones together.

A Haven of Comfort and Security:

Home is synonymous with comfort and security. It is a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the outside world—a sanctuary where individuals can retreat and rejuvenate. The physical and emotional security that a home provides is immeasurable, offering a sense of stability that is foundational to personal well-being. 

The Pride of Ownership:

Owning a home is a significant achievement and a source of pride for many. The process of homeownership, from the search for the perfect property to the joy of making it uniquely one’s own, instills a sense of accomplishment. Homeowners take pride in maintaining and improving their properties, turning them into personalized expressions of their tastes and values.

Community and Belonging:

A home is not just a physical structure; it is an integral part of a larger community. Homeowners often form connections with their neighbors, contributing to the creation of a supportive and nurturing environment. Whether it’s a wave across the fence or a neighborhood gathering, the sense of belonging to a community enhances the overall experience of homeownership.

Financial Investment and Future Security:

While the emotional aspects of homeownership are paramount, there’s also a practical side that fosters gratitude. Real estate is a valuable asset that can appreciate over time, providing a potential financial benefit. For many homeowners, the property represents a long-term investment and a means of building wealth, offering a sense of financial security for the future.

Homeownership embodies a unique blend of emotional and practical benefits that inspire genuine appreciation. In the tapestry of life, a home is not just a dwelling; it’s a testament to the enduring values of family, community, and the pursuit of a place to call one’s own.

Contact us today to get started on your new home journey and start building your household wealth.

NC Folktales and Mysteries: Fairy Crosses

Folktales, Legends and Mysteries from North Carolina: Fairy Crosses

North Carolina has a rich tradition of folklore, and it encompasses a variety of magical legends and unexplained natural phenomena. Nestled within the majestic landscapes of the North Carolina mountains, a mystical phenomenon has captured the imagination of locals and visitors alike. Hidden among the ancient Appalachian terrain, these enchanting treasures, known as “fairy crosses,” have become the stuff of legends and folklore. 

Fairy crosses are naturally occurring mineral formations that are extremely rare, only existing in five areas of the world. The fairy crosses found in the North Carolina mountains are primarily composed of staurolite, a mineral that crystallizes in distinctive cross shapes. These crosses are formed under immense pressure and heat, resulting in the unique and captivating shapes that have earned them their whimsical name. 

Despite their geological origin, fairy crosses have taken on a rich cultural and folkloric significance in the region. The Cherokee people, the indigenous inhabitants of the Appalachian region, believed that these stones were the earthly remains of the delicate fairies that once danced upon the mountains. According to Cherokee legend, the fairies bestowed the crosses with protective powers, making them powerful talismans. The “little people” were known to play with Cherokee children and help guide them home. However, when the Cherokee people were forced to leave, the fairies remained behind and cried, their tears becoming fairy crosses. 

In Appalachian folklore, fairy crosses are also associated with good luck and protection. It is said that those who possess a fairy cross will be blessed with good fortune and shielded from harm. Families often pass down these cherished stones through generations, reinforcing the belief in their protective qualities.

The quest to find fairy crosses has become a popular activity for locals and tourists alike. The North Carolina mountains, particularly areas around Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway, are known for harboring these elusive treasures. Hiking trails and riverbanks often provide prime locations for those hoping to discover their own piece of fairy magic.

However, it’s essential to approach fairy cross hunting with respect for the environment. Many areas have guidelines for collecting minerals, and it’s crucial to follow them to preserve the natural beauty of these landscapes.

The North Carolina mountains hold more than just breathtaking scenery; they cradle a hidden world of enchantment in the form of fairy crosses. These geological wonders, shaped like delicate crosses, have woven themselves into the cultural fabric of the region, blending science and folklore in a tapestry of magic and mystery. 

Looking for another adventure? Contact us today to get started on your new home journey.

Garden Calendar – November Checklist

By the time November rolls around, the air has cooled, and most gardeners are putting their gardens to bed. Not sure what you should be doing in the garden this month? Keep reading for some essential tips on keeping your garden on track for continued success.

Planning. Now is a good time to reach out to our local N.C. Cooperative Extension at the Arboretum in Wilmington and get your soil tested. Once you have the results, you can amend the soil with what it lacks and give time to the microorganisms to make these nutrients available to plants in time for planting season. 

Now is also a great time to spread manure, rotted sawdust, rotted straw, and shredded leaves over the garden and plow them under; you’ll be surprised at the difference this organic matter will make in the fertility, physical structure, and water-holding capacity of the soil.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to plant your new spring flowering bulbs. This is also the last chance to plant garlic. 

Empty, clean and store planters where they will be dry for the winter. Preferably upside down in a garage or shed. This is important for clay or ceramic pots. Water can freeze and expand causing them to crack. 

Be ready with blankets or sheets for covering lettuce and other half-hardy crops during the first hard freeze. 

Maintaining. Repair shops slow down this time of year so arrange for a tune-up and blade sharpening now. 

Resting. Reward yourself for a job well done in the garden, take some time to relax and enjoy the winter season.  

The Perfect Backyard. If you are ready to get your hands dirty. McAdams Homes offers specially curated communities in the Wilmington area, click here for current incentives. Or if you own a preferred lot, you can choose from our portfolio of floor plans to personalize with numerous design options. Contact us today to get started on your new home journey and get to planting.