“I’m looking for a rental… but my move-in date isn’t for a few months.”

“I’m looking for a rental… but my move-in date isn’t for a few months.”

We’ve all been there, trying to get a jumpstart on finding and securing a rental before a busy season or personal deadline. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find and secure a rental a few months out. Property managers likely do not yet know if their tenants are planning on renewing or terminating their lease, or may be unsure of the property owner’s plans (such as moving back into the property or putting the property on sale).

As property managers, we get several rental inquiries around this time of year and know how disappointing it is to hear, “We can’t help you until it gets closer to your move in date.” While we can’t provide a definite list of what we will have available, we can usually provide a list of what may be available, so that potential renters can begin to get an idea of different neighborhoods and rental prices. Since we get a few early inquiries, we’ve compiled a list of some tips for those looking to get a headstart on their rental search and have detailed our own rental process for potential renters.

  • Know your budget.
    Sit down and thoroughly examine your income and spending patterns each month to set a budget for rent. Pick a budget for monthly rent that you will be able to pay comfortably each month.
  • Decide what neighborhoods will work best for you to live in.
    Will you be commuting to school or work? Will you have a car or be taking public transportation? Will you be spending a lot of time downtown? When you are looking at rentals, fully consider where it would be convenient for you to live based on where you spend most of your time.
  • Finalize your roommate situation.
    There’s nothing worse than a last minute roommate change but unfortunately, they do happen! Be sure that you and your potential roommates discuss expectations and rooming situations prior to applying for a rental. If there is an individual who seems on the fence about renting with you or your other roommates, have a backup plan if they change their mind.
  • Check your credit score.
    We have a full post on checking and managing your credit score here! Your credit score will be an important factor in the approval of your rental application, so be sure you are aware of your score and work on building your credit prior to submitting applications.
  • If you have furry friends, look into pet policies and restrictions.
    Several property management groups or apartments have certain rules or restrictions when it comes to pets, so it is important to ask about pet policies prior to submitting an application. It will be helpful to have a copy of your pet’s medical history and any references handy during your application process as well.

Looking to move in a few months? Check out our tips on what to include in your budget and how to prepare for applications.

  • Organize the documents will you need for your application.
    Most rental properties will require you to include proof of income and rental history in your application. Be sure to gather financial documents, any written recommendations, and contact information for your workplace and previous landlords/property managers.
  • Keep additional costs in mind.
    Don’t forget to factor in the cost of applications, movers or rental trucks, and utilities! Update your budget as necessary to make sure that it allows for all the costs associated with moving, not just the cost of rent!

Dianne Perry & Company is looking forward to busy spring and summer rental season! While we do not have a final list of available rentals, we would be happy to give you a starting point with rentals that may become available. Give our office a call at 910-332-0736 or email us!

Our Rental Process

We try to make our rental process as painless as possible! Many of our rentals utilize a Rently box, which a lockbox that allows potential renters to view the property on their own at any time, by calling the number listed on the lockbox or signing up on the Rently website to receive an entry pin. (Rently has a $1.00 registration fee).

If a property does not have a Rently box, or if you would like to come by our office, we will have keys that can be checked out with a valid photo ID and refundable $20.00 deposit.

If you like a rental and would like to apply, our rental application can be completed online through our website. We have a $60.00 application fee per person, which is non-refundable regardless of whether or not the application is approved. (If you are not approved for a property, or if another applicant is selected, you do not have to submit another application if you are interested in another property we are listing – we will simply use the same application.)

Once approved, our rental deposit is typically equal to one month’s rent, however, this can vary in certain circumstances.

Our pet deposit is typically $200.00, however, this can vary and not all properties are pet-friendly.


Looking for a rental right away? Check out our current listings!

Your Complete Guide to Holiday Events in Wilmington NC

Your Complete Guide to Holiday Events in Wilmington NC

The holiday season is upon us and we’re looking forward to a month of cheer! Below is your complete  guide to holiday events in Wilmington NC!

bread & lights gingerbread & lantern festival

Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, presents bread & lights gingerbread & lantern festival featuring a display of gingerbread creations by all ages as well as artist-made lanterns.

Monday through Sunday, running until Sunday, December 6th. Mondays – Sundays, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.
Admission is $6 to $12.
For more information visit the Cameron Art Museum website.

The Christmas Train & Light Spectacular

Enjoy a fantastic display of lights and toy trains and enjoy an appearance from Santa each night!

Fridays and Saturdays through December 26th, 6PM to 8PM.
Admission is $5.00 per person.
For more information, visit the Wilmington Railroad Museum website.

Wilmington Railroad Museum
505 Nutt Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Greenfield Tree Lighting (& Movie Night featuring Elf!)

Watch the tree light up, participate in an elf costume contest and catch a live screening of Elf at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. Santa will be visiting after the lighting ceremony and will have gifts for the first 500 children! Concessions will also be available for purchase during the film.

Thursday, December 3rd at 6:00 PM.
Admission is free.
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
1941 Amphitheater Drive
Wilmington, NC 28401

Enchanted Airlie

Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC, presents Enchanted Airlie,  where visitors can take a self-guided tour through the gardens that are featuring festive lights and holiday displays. Santa Claus will be making an appearance and guests can also enjoy food and beverages from local vendors.

December 4th-6th, 10th-13th, 16th-22nd. Viewing times are 5pm-7pm.
Various ticket options are available. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Airlie Gardens website.

Airlie Gardens
300 Airlie Road
Wilmington, NC 28403

Island of Lights Christmas Parade

Enjoy festive floats and gain some holiday cheer from the annual Island of Lights parade in Carolina Beach. The parade runs from Atlanta Avenue up Lake Park Boulevard to the Federal Point Plaza.

Friday, December 4, 2015  at 7:30 PM.
For more information, visit the Pleasure Island website.

Carolina Beach
Atlanta Avenue and South Lake Park Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla

Boats and lights! Get into the Christmas spirit by the water with wonderfully lit boats. The boats cruise from Snow’s Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back.

Saturday, December 5th, at 6PM.
For more information, visit the Pleasure Island website.

Carolina Beach Yacht Basin and Marina
216 Canal Drive
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Christmas by the Sea

Celebrate the holiday season by the sea on the Carolina Beach boardwalk. Enjoy hot chocolate at the Welcome Center, a fire pit with story telling, caroling, holiday themed movies at the Gazebo, puppet shows, and arts & crafts.

Saturday, December 5th, 12th, and 19th, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
Admission is free.
For more information, visit the event page.

Carolina Beach Boardwalk
Cape Fear Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

13th Annual Holiday Parade

Enjoy the 13th Annual Holiday Parade in downtown Wilmington filled with floats and fun! The parade begins at North Front and Walnut Streets and moves south on Front Street, ending at Church Street. View the parade route here.

Sunday, December 6th at 4:55PM.
Admission is free.
For more information, visit the event website.

North Front Street and Walnut
Wilmington, NC 28401

5th Annual Chanukkah Menorah Lighting

Oak Island’s 5th Annual Chanukkah Menorah Lighting at Middleton Park (next to Town Hall) features Rabbi Paul from the Temple of Israel and music.

Sunday, December 6, 2015, at 4PM.
Admission is free.

Middleton Park
4700 East Oak Island Drive
Oak Island, NC 28465

Pet Photo Night with Santa

Let fluffy and spot share their wishlist with Santa and get a great photo op.

Sunday, December 6th from 6PM to 8PM.
For more information, visit the Independence Mall website.

Independence Mall
3500 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403

A Christmas Stroll Through the Past

Join the Burgwin-Wright House, Bellamy Mansion Museum and St. James Episcopal Church as they stroll through the past with period decorations, costumed interpreters, entertainment and refreshments! Enjoy a trolley ride or a candlelit stroll through Downtown Wilmington as you go from one location to another!

Saturday, December 12th, 4PM to 7PM.
Admission is $20 for adults. Children 15 and under are free.
For more information, visit the event website.

503 Market Street
Wilmington NC 28401

Wilmington Ballet Company Presents: The Nutcracker

Wilmington Ballet Company presents The Nutcracker  at the Cape Fear Community College Humanities & Fine Arts Center in downtown Wilmington, NC. The event features Master of Ceremonies WWAY news anchor Daniel Seamans and stars Keaton Thomas, a Marine Corps Prior Active Duty Captain, as the beloved Nutcracker. Robin Dale Robertson portrays the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer while the role of Clara is danced by Sydney Jones, a 10th grader at Laney High School and student at the Wilmington School of Ballet. Professional guest dancers include Stacey Slichter of North Atlanta Dance Theater as Sugar Plum Fairy and Adam Schiffer of Carolina Ballet as the Cavalier.

Saturday, December 19 & Sunday, December 20 at 3pm.
Admission is $35 per person.
For tickets and more information, visit the Cape Fear Community College website.

CFCC Humanities & Fine Arts Center
200 Hanover Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Where to Shop Local in Wilmington NC

Where to Shop Small in Wilmington, NC


Can you believe that it is December already? While we can’t believe it, we are also incredibly excited to start our holiday decorating and shopping.

We love the shop small movement, which was created to encourage shoppers to support their local businesses. In Wilmington, we have so many fantastic small stores and shops that offer perfect holiday gifts. Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite local Wilmington vendors and businesses.


Our Favorite Vendors in Wilmington, NC

Rick and his team at Alfagraphics do such a phenomenal job and offer several print services including business cards, brochures, invitations and digital and traditional marketing materials.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Randy and the team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing are fantastic for plumbing repairs and hot water heater installations.

Kenny Fowler Heating & Air
We don’t know what we’d do without Kenny. Enough said!

Grant Brand Instrument Repair
Faith and Josh are the best in town for musical instrument repairs.

Luxe Home Interiors
There is always something amazing to find at Luxe and the friendly staff always makes our visits a great experience.

Seagate Baptists Church

Brad Southerland, Insurance Sales at Senn Dunn


Some of Our Favorite Stores and Services in Wilmington, NC:

Carter Kayte

Island Passage

Shoe Soultique

New River Pottery

Black Cat Shoppe

Cape Fear Spice Merchants

We’re lucky to have several great hair salons in Wilmington, NC! Here are some of our staff favorites:

N Salo Salon

The Rockin Roller Salon

Beauty Bar Boutique


10 Tips to Make Your Move Easier

10 Tips to Make Your Move Easier | Dianne Perry & Company Blog
Are you moving soon? While I have yet to meet anyone who describes moving as fun, ending up in your dream home or in a great new city always makes the process rewarding. Packing boxes and moving furniture can be tedious, so below are 10 tips to make your move easier!

1. Set a budget for moving!
First, set a budget for your move. Are you going to use movers? If so, remember that you may need to factor in the cost of gas and tips for the movers. Call local companies for a quote so you can get a ballpark idea of the cost. Most companies will have you fill out a list of items and furniture in your home to provide a more accurate quote.If you are looking to just rent a truck, you will also want to call in advance for a quote. Many companies have busy moving weekends and require a reservation. If you wait until the last minute, you may also be quoted a higher rate.Moving can have unexpected costs (like bubble wrap, new home items, and pizza) so set aside funds prior to moving and allow for some flexibility to your budget.

2. Talk with your family or roommates about your moving plan.When you make your reservation, be it for movers or just a truck rental, it is a good idea to try and also plan the following:

  • The amount of time you will need to take off from work, if applicable.
  • Who will be driving the truck rental and who will drive your family or personal vehicle.
  • What route you will take to your new home. Some trucks have to avoid certain roads and/or parkways.
  • What time you plan to leave and what time you plan to arrive.
  • How you will transport your furry friends (if you have them).
  • The amount of time you will need prior to moving and the day of moving. Don’t forget to factor in time for cleaning your rental or home prior to leaving for your new place!


3. If your travel time will take multiple days, purchase a lock for your truck or trucks to keep your personal items secure.

10 Tips to Make Your Move Easier | Dianne Perry & Company Blog


4. If you have to take any furniture apart, put nails and screws into a small plastic bag with a post-it note enclosed inside that notes what item it goes with. It may also be helpful to take photos while de-assembling furniture to remember how to reassemble. 


5. Use garbage bags and rubber bands to quickly pack up your closet. Tie your hangers at the top while your clothes are still hanging and then cover with a garbage bag and tie at the top. I used this trick when moving recently and it definitely saved some time when unpacking my closet!


 6Label your boxes! Label what room each box is going t0 and note the contents where you may need to. (I.e. “Kitchen: plates and cups” and “Kitchen: pots and pans”. You will probably want to get your dining ware out first!). Label the sides AND the tops of the boxes so that you can quickly see the what the contents hold from any angle.


7. Create a “First Day” moving box or boxes. Keep this box in your car or right at the end of the truck for quick access. Fill the box (or boxes) with everything you will need for the first 24 hours. This will usually include snacks, paper plates and utensils, towels, shower curtain and bath and hygiene products. You may also want to pack coffee and your coffee maker in these first day boxes, or know where the nearest coffee shop is near your new home! If you have pets, be sure that you have their supplies easily accessible as well.


8. You may want to pack your first day essentials in a clear plastic container so there is no chance of it getting shuffled with the other boxes. 


9. Each individual who is moving should also create an overnight bag. This should include a pair or two of clothes, any medications, personal documents and cell phone chargers!


10. Remember to breathe! Moving isn’t easy and takes time! Remember that it will all get done and don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to get everything perfect right away.


How To Boost Your Mood At Home

You unlock your door and take a huge sigh as you enter your home. There are some dishes left in the sink, mail scattered across the countertops and to do lists and post-its swallowing your desk. Instead of being a welcoming oasis after a long day at work, it is just more stress. Does this scene sound familiar? You’re certainly not alone, but there are plenty of good ways (and some scientific ways!) to make your home more relaxing. Below we’re sharing the science of home decor and a few of our personal tips for relaxation at home.

  • Contain the mess. While we can all agree this is usually easier said than done, keeping a tidy home will help you feel more organized and relaxed. Try making a schedule for cleaning or complete chores as soon as you get home to get them out of the way. If organization is a recurring problem, look to Pinterest or Home Decor sites for home organization ideas.
  • Add a scent. Adding a scent to your space can reduce stress and even lift your mood. If you’re worried about candles, essential oils and diffusers are a great alternative. Lavender and vanilla are great scents for relaxation, but we recommend searching for a scent that appeals most to you.
  • Fresh air. When possible, opening the window is a great way to improve the circulation in your home and clean out any unwanted scents. Plus, we can’t think of anything better than sitting by a refreshing breeze.


Do you have any tips for decorating or relaxation? Share them in the comments! We would love to hear them!

Five Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

1. Know Your Numbers!

One of the best ways to improve your credit is to be aware of your credit score! Several websites, apps, and even certain credit card companies will provide free credit information. Here are some of our favorite resources for checking credit scores:

  • Mint
    Mint is a free app that allows you to monitor your balance and transactions on debit and credit cards and provides your credit score through Equifax. Plus, it has bill reminders and high spending alerts so you can stay up to date on payment deadlines and your money flow.
  • AnnualCreditReport.com
    Annual Credit Report provides a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, so you can get a complete look at your credit. 
  • CreditKarma.com
    You probably know CreditKarma from one of their many commercials, but Credit Karma does allow you access to your free Equifax and TransUnion credit score and also features several handy financial tools. Once you check your score, you can sign up for email alerts when your credit score has been updated. The site also allows you to set financial goals and will show you how long it will take to pay off your debt with their debt repayment calculator.

Five Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

2. Pay Your Bills on Time.

Paying on time is one of the most important factors of good credit. Late payments and collections often have a negative impact on your credit score. A great way to stay on top of your payment due dates is by setting up calendar alerts ahead of time! It may also be helpful to get emailed statements and bill reminders from your credit card company.

3. Don’t Let Your Balance Get Too High.
High outstanding debt can obstruct a good credit score. Usually a credit card balance over 35% of your limit can begin to hurt your credit score. Be mindful if you’ve racked up some high charges and work to pay off high debt as quickly as possible. It’s also important to pay off your debt rather than move it around. If you have a large balance, make a game plan for paying it off.

Five Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

4. Avoid Applying for and Opening Too Many Accounts.
Applying for or opening too many accounts may negatively impact your credit score. If you have been managing credit for only a short amount of time, don’t rush to open more credit accounts. Only apply for the credit you need and don’t take on more than you can handle. If you’re unsure about what to do, speak with a customer service representative or a financial advisor.

5. Don’t Stop Using Your Credit.
If you have a low credit score, you may be afraid of continuing to use your credit card. However, it is important to work to improve your credit score and show lenders that you are responsible. Just remember to be aware of your spending and to stay on top of your payments.

Wonderful Wilmington

There is so much to do and discover in Wilmington! We love our home sweet home!

Decorating your Rental Home for Halloween

So. You love the Fall. And you really love Halloween. You’ve got boxes of spooky decor tucked into every available space in the house but you’re afraid to display any of it because you’re a renter. Never fear! We’ve got a few tips to help you indulge your love of all things Halloween while avoiding potential damage to your rental.

Tip 1: Focus on items that don’t require nailing down. Go crazy at the pumpkin patch, splurge on mums from one of our local Wilmington nurseries. They’ll add wonderful atmosphere to both the exterior and interior. Set up a tiny graveyard in your front yard and hang spiderwebs from the trees. Don’t forget to add some of those creepy fake ravens and skulls to really give your guests the shivers!

Tip 2: If you have some great stuff that’s just crying out for display on your walls, try some Command hooks. This nifty invention sticks to the wall using an adhesive that, once removed per the instructions, leaves the paint job intact. No nail holes, no sweat come move out. They’re also great for using on the front door to display a wreath.

Tip 3: Create a shape large enough to fit your windows using black poster board. Cut out large jack-o-lantern face in each window size shape. Get creative! Use double-sided tape to hang them in the windows and voila! You’ve just made your home the talk of the street every time you turn the lights on at night.

Tip 4: Use special lighting effects to catch the eye of trick-or-treaters! A black LED floodlight in the front yard, painting your home in an eerie purple glow, flashes of lightening, or neon green mist creeping in your landscaping all go a very long way to making a huge impact without harming your rental.

Check out this page with even more tips: http://budgetdecorating.about.com/od/HalloweenDecorations/a/31-Halloween-Decorating-Ideas.htm

What are some of your tips and ideas for decorating your rental home for Halloween?

Schedule your rent payment online!

You can now make your rent payment online- directly from your bank account! Best of all, this service is free- FREE- it comes at no additional cost to you!

Consider the following benefits of paying your rent online:

Security. Online payments are more secure than mailing a check. You’ll receive an email notification when your payment is made that you can keep for your records. You can even sign up for email reminders that your rent is coming due.

Speed. Online payments post to your account immediately- faster than if you mail a check or use an online bill payment service. It’s even faster that dropping off a check at our office.

Convenience. View your charges and make payments online anytime and from anywhere. No more paper checks, envelopes, stamps, or unnecessary “out of your way” trips to our office to drop off a check. You can even set up a recurring payment so your rent is paid automatically- no more worrying about forgetting to pay your rent on time or dealing with those pesky late fees!

You’ll need to activate your account to use this service, if you haven’t already. Contact our office if you need us to resend your activation email. It contains a link that you’ll need to click so that you can set up your password. Log into https://dianneperryco.appfolio.com/connect to access the Tenant’s Portal so you can start up this wonderful, convenient, free service today.

Did we mention that this service is FREE?!?