Website Quality Certification Earned

– Designation signifies excellence in corporate website. –

(Wilmington, NC) February 22, 2011 – Intracoastal Realty has earned the Website Quality Certification (WQC), presented by Leading Real Estate Companies® of the World to member companies that have demonstrated excellence in website design, functionality, and execution.

Every aspect of the site,, was reviewed to ensure exacting standards were met in six key areas, ranging from design and content to human interactivity to search engine optimization. The WQC was introduced in 2009 to recognize and encourage superior websites among Leading Real Estate Companies of the World’s 600 member firms. Intracoastal Realty is one of 111 applicants to earn the 2010 WQC designation.

“With over 90 percent of people using the Internet in their home search, it is essential for any successful real estate firm to have an engaging, informative and easy-to-use website,” notes Pam O’Connor, president/CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. “By earning the Website Quality Certification, Intracoastal Realty has demonstrated that it provides vital online resources to home buyers and sellers.”

2010-9-Leading RE Logo

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® ( is the largest network of top independent local and regional brand-name brokerage firms in the residential sector of real estate. The 600 firms affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) are represented by 5,000 offices and 150,000 associates in more than 30 countries worldwide. The organization’s leadership is demonstrated by the fact that its affiliates comprise six of the top 10 real estate companies in the country. Collectively, LeadingRE affiliates produced nearly 1 million home sales valued at $250 billion in the U.S. in 2009. In addition, LeadingRE affiliates hold the Number One position in terms of sales or volume in more of the top markets than any other organization.

Intracoastal Rocked the MAX! Awards

Intracoastal Realty Rocked the Home Builder Association’s MAX! Awards.

The MAX! Awards are about Marketing Achievement Excellence- recognizing the best in media marketing and advertising tools that promote new home sales. The MAX! Awards are presented annually.

Awards given at this years MAX! awards include: Marketer of the year, Lender of the year, Top Sales Team, Top sales Duo, Top Sales Person, and New Home Sales Manager. Winners of these awards are member of the Sales and Marketing Council and based on work done in 2010. Congratulations to the following WINNERS, and thank you to Jim Wallace for being there to support his team! This year the ceremony was sponsored by Wells Fargo and was held February 17th at the River Room in downtown Wilmington.

Kasey Valente – Marketer of the Year

Keith Beatty – Sales Team of the Year

Jimmy Hopkins – Salesperson of the Year

Melisa Gallison – Sales Manager of the Year


Short Sales – Intracoastal Realty

Residential Short Sales in Today’s Market

By Chris Livengood, VP of Sales for Intracoastal Realty

One of the consequences of our recent economy and the real estate bubble of 2002 to 2006 has been the significant increase in individuals who can no longer afford their current property. Because they have borrowed heavily against the collateral of their property, they now owe more than their property is valued in today’s market. This has led to a significant increase in foreclosure and short sale properties. In fact, 20 percent of all Realtor- assisted sales in New Hanover County in 2010 were in these two categories, the equivalent of one in five transactions.

Steve Harney, who was recently recognized by Inman News as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate, was in Wilmington last week to speak at Intracoastal’s annual meeting of its Realtors. He shared information from CoreLogic, which reported that North Carolina has 9.7 months of inventory in distressed properties categories, including property on the market as well as those coming to market.

These results place North Carolina 35th on a list of states that is topped by Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida, all of which have more than 20 months of distressed property supply.

The foreclosure category is probably best understood by the general marketplace. A foreclosure results in a lender taking possession of collateral when a borrower is unable to make their monthly loan obligations.

The short sale process is, until recently, a term that very few had heard. A short sale is simply a situation that occurs when the amount owed to a mortgage lender is more than the market value of the property. An example would be a property purchased in 2005 for $200,000; in 2011, the property is worth $175,000 and will not cover the 100 percent mortgage of $200,000 that was borrowed in 2005. In others words it is “short.” There are three ways a homeowner can address the short sale situation.

One, they can wait for housing prices to recover and resolve the short position. Historically, housing has been a long-term investment with the average person moving only once every seven years. Time often cures market fluctuations. Two, a property owner can sell the property “short” and pay the balanced owed using other assets such as a stock portfolio. We see this happen often when an owner wants to take advantage of the current reduced market prices and upgrade their property. Third, a property owner can sell the property “short” and ask the mortgage lender to participate in the loss of value. As you can imagine, the mortgage lender is a reluctant participant in selling short; although, depending on the personal situation of the borrower, it may be a preferable choice to a foreclosure process. Again, the foreclosure process involves the lender taking ownership of the property. I have yet to meet a lender who wants to own the collateral, the house, for which they made a loan.

If you are a property owner in this third category and need to sell your property as a short sale, one of the best first steps you can take is to employ a Realtor who has experience in short sales. Be very frank with them about your situation.

Good communication is the key to resolving the situation with your mortgage lender. Your Realtor can assist you in your efforts to communicate with your lender and market your property to secure a buyer. Most lenders require two things to begin the process: a letter of hardship and a personal financial statement. The letter of hardship is a simple statement that relates your current position, a recap of the personal situations that created an unexpected hardship, and the reasons that you are currently unable to meet your mortgage obligation. Remember, from the lender’s perspective this is a simple business decision, not personal. The lender will need the facts in order to make an intelligent business decision. The personal financial statement shows your assets minus your liabilities to equal a net worth. In a situation where your net worth is positive, the mortgage lender will ask that you cover the short position, in whole or in part, with the sale of other assets. In a situation where your net worth is negative, the mortgage lender is forced into a position of participating in the loss.

Probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of the short sale process is: Who does the property owner talk to? As a property owner, make that call to the lender, ask for a manager and ask that manager to connect you to an asset management manager. If you don’t tell your story to the right decision maker, you will be delaying the process significantly.

Be frank in your communication and be patient; this can be a long process. Typically a lender will not make a final decision until the seller has provided the personal information mentioned above, an offer to purchase from a buyer, and a lender-ordered appraisal to confirm the current market price of the property. With the sheer volume of requests lenders are getting, it is not unusual for a lender to take from two to six months to make their decision.

Remember, a property owner needs a buyer to complete the short sale process. There are a number of compelling reasons for buyers to buy in this market: great selection, reduced prices, and historically low mortgage interest rates. So if you need to sell, start today and take advantage of a buyer’s market.

When it comes to negotiating a settlement of your balance owed, you must do this personally or employ the services of an attorney for representation. A legal opinion is also recommended to explain the short-term and long-term (and tax) consequences of short selling.

Area Events: Carolina Beach in February & March

Check out the area events for Carolina Beach for the months of February and March!

The 7th Annual Polar Plunge  is just around the corner. They will be at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and Gazebo Area for The Plunge to Support Special Olympics New Hanover County.

Please join them on Saturday, February 19th in the big tent starting at 11:00 am and be ready to take the Plunge at 3:00 pm. They will have entertainment and other activities throughout the day. Please go to the registration page for online individual and team registration:

7th Annual Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s LoTideRun on March 19, 2011.

For more information call (330) 417-0144.

15th Annual Pleasure Island Chowder Cook-off on April 16, 2011.
For more information call (910) 458-8434.

Kure Beach Annual Street Fair at Joe Eakes Park on April 30, 2011.
For more information call (910) 458-2816

Miss Pleasure Island Beauty Pageant on April 2, 2011.
For more information call (910) 798-6405

Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market every Saturday from May 14th to September 3rd at Carolina Beach Lake.

For more information call (910) 431-8122

Free Summer Movie Series every Sunday from May 29th  – September 4th at Carolina Beach Lake
For more information call (910) 458-8434

Real Estate and Weather – Last week there were 22 new listings and 9 under contract on Pleasure Island. The weather has been cold, but things are heating up.  The weekend high is 56 and sunny. Next week is looking good with all sunny days and several days with a high of 60 degrees.  Come out and enjoy the fresh air!

For more information on Pleasure Island go to

Valentine’s Events In and Around Town


Do you need some ideas for Cupid’s Big day? Planning ahead can go a long way, especially since there are so many activities going on this weekend around the Port City. From river cruises and aquarium dinners to wine tastings and music you are sure to find a plan.  This is a great time to show your support of area businesses hosting these events. Check out your area’s Valentine’s Events here:

Romantic Valentine Carriage Ride  February 11-14
Treat your sweetheart to a moonlight carriage ride for two. Surprise him or her with a red rose, a box of chocolates, and your private French evening coach. By private reservation only. Call Springbrook Farms for pricing at 910-251-8889 or email.
Location: Downtown Wilmington

Hold Your Honey Tight Fright Night Massacre Tour  February  10- 14 The tours will include all the misguided and tragic love stories. Ghost Walk will be Feb 10 through Feb 12 and the Pub Crawl Feb 12 & Feb 14. The first 30 guests each night receive a special treat. Call 910-794-1866 for reservations.
Location: Downtown Wilmington

Valentine’s Day Cruises  February 11-14 The Love Boat will soon be taking another tour in Wrightsville Beach! Come relax and enjoy the sights of Wrightsville Beach from the water, aboard the M/V Shamrock. Make this Valentine’s Day memorable as you explore the scenery of Masonboro Island and the Wrightsville Beach Harbor. The Valentine’s Day cruises are $25 per person and include select beverages. In addition to the Feb 14th cruises, the Shamrock will be availbale for reservation from Feb 11-14 from 11am to 4pm.
SPECIAL DEAL!!! The first 10 couples (married 45 years or more) can cruise for free on the 12pm Valentine’s Day cruise. The catch, these couples will be asked for marriage advice in return for their free ticket! Call Capt Joe Abbate at 910-200-4002.
Location: Wrightsville Beach, Scenic Tours @ Banks Channel across from Blockade Runner Resort

Cupid Palooza – A Family Valentine Social February 11 Food. Dancing. Crafts. Fun for ages 2-12 and their parents. Pre-registration recommended. This event recieved support from the NC Arts Council, an agency funded byt the State of NC and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more info contact Oak Island Parks & Recreation Department, 910-278-5518.
Location: Oak Island Parks & Recreation Department 3003 E. Oak Island Drive, Oak Island

Valentine’s in the Long Leaf February 12  2:30p to 4:00p at Halyburton Park, Wilmington, NC.Celebrate this holiday by taking a hike in the woods to discover the many antics animals use to find a valentine, 2:30-4 p.m. Feb. 12. Ages 6 and up. Free.
Location: Halyburton Park

Valentine Cruise aboard Wilmington Fast Cat February 12-13 Chocolate, champagne, and a cruise of the Cape Fear River aboard the first and finest state-of-the-art catamaran to serve Wilmington. Join us Saturday 4pm-6pm or Sunday 2pm-4pm. Departs at 212 S. Water St (between Ann & Orange Sts.) 910-338-3134
Location: Downtown Wilmington Riverwalk

Sweetheart Saturday Dinner Cruise  February 12  Invite your special someone to a three hour Dinner Dance cruise on the scenic Cape Fear River. Enjoy an appetizing buffet aboard NC’s largest Riverboat. $49 per person available by advance sale. Call 910.343.1611 or 800.676.0162 for reservations.
Location: Henrietta III Riverboat, Downtown Wilmington

Wine & Chocolate Pairing  February 12-13 Celebrate Valentine’s Day with award winning wines from Silver Coast Winery & handmade, gourmet truffles by Lake Champlain Chocolates, Burlington, VT. Lake Champlain chocolates produce all-natural, preservative-free chocolates, and supports overall human health and wellness. Five seatings throughout each day beginning at noon with the last seating at 4pm. Pre-paid reservations required, 910-287-2800.  Admission/Fees: $15 per person.
Location: Silver Coast Winery 6680 Barbeque Road Ocean Isle Beach

That’s A Moray! Valentine’s Day Event  February 14 Celebrate each other this Valentine’s Day at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. “That’s A Moray!” is an exclusive evening with limited seating, featuring a candlelit dinner, a souvenir photo and dancing while surrounded by the magic of the ocean. Call 910.458.8257 for more information or reservations.
Location: NC Aquarium @ Fort Fisher

Do Something Different This Valentine’s Day!  February 14  Book a photography session with Picture It Photography Studio. We have hundreds of Valentine’s Day props and locations. All session fees and sheets up to 16×20 are 2 for 1. Call to set up an appointment, (910-762-2616)
Location: Downtown Wilmington

Trivial Pursuit Valentine’s Day Tournament February 14 Test your knowledge with Trivia! Gather your team of friends, neighbors, and family to join the fun at the Senior Resource Center. Door Prize, Giveaways and Prizes for 1st and 2nd place teams. 10:30am to 12:00pm. Special Guest MC, Bill Parilla Of The Use-to-Be’s! Registration Required: Gayle Ginsberg at 798-6402
LOCATION: Senior Resource Center

Passion and Fire  February 18 Tchaikovsky’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Fantasy-Overture, Haydn’s ‘La Passione’ and Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’ Suite. Not to mention Bonnie Thron’s virtuoso performance of Tchaikovsy’s Rococo Vartiations. No shortage of fireworks here! 910-962-3500
Location: UNCW Kenan Auditorium

Real Estate Expert Visits Intracoastal Realty

Local news articles highlight real estate expert Steve Harney’s visit with Intracoastal Realty.

Speaker Shares market insight with Intracoastal Agents
Greater Wilmington Business Journal, February 2, 2011

Distressed real estate to drive area’s prices down
Star News, February 3, 2011

Real estate expert Steve Harney and Intracoastal Realty CEO Jim Wallace discuss the area’s housing market in Wallace’s office. Photo by Paul Stephen

Intracoastal CEO and Nationally-known Expert on TV

Intracoastal CEO and nationally-known CEO recently spoke on television in regards to the housing market.  After several years of a depressed real estate market, the American dream of buying a home may become more obtainable for interested home buyers. Many real estate experts believe North Carolina’s market will rebound in 2011.

Click here to read the full story and to see the video segment that aired on TV by News 14.