Acquiring a Permanent Vacation Destination

Transitioning Snowbirds

Growing up in Northeast Pennsylvania, the summer provided the opportunity to make our family’s annual pilgrimage to the shore. We enjoyed all the great things about the Jersey shore (Atlantic City, Wildwood, Ocean City, and Cape May) that make it a wonderful vacation spot. After a brief vacation, we returned home to once again wait for next summer’s event.

Realizing the unique culture a beach community affords, my wife and I plotted our strategy to live in a pleasant beach community with cultural activities. So we waited until our kids were finished with college and embarked on acquiring a secondary home in a beach community. Since the Jersey Shore real estate was/is generally expensive with limited year-round weather, we looked at emerging areas with improved weather year-round. During vacations we periodically visited North Carolina (Wilmington) where we had family. This led to our first property acquisition in 2003, followed by our second acquisition in 2005.

The property values were and are still quite reasonable in contrast to popular shore points in Jersey. Couple that with mild winters and you get the best location between Jersey and Florida. One of the key elements of affordability was renting our beach property as a weekly/monthly rental. Rentals covered a significant portion of the mortgage and additionally allowed vacation travel expenses along with standard deductions for interest/depreciation and taxes. Presently, the top 100 market analysts are projecting real estate will appreciate by about 4 percent every year for the next 5 years. This will sweeten your investment as you build equity while simultaneously enjoying the property.

Oh, by the way, the second vacation home we flipped and paid off our kid’s college educational expenses. Then in 2011, we finally made the transition to Kure Beach, North Carolina as a permanent residence.

As snowbirds familiar with the Wilmington area since 1987, we have seen the area grow and develop into a great residential setting with wonderful beach activities. If you ever wanted to pick a great location to find a secondary home or retirement beach home, Intracoastal Realty has the resources to make a smooth the transition to a vacation destination or equivalently full-time residence. This is a place where you can be sure your grandkids will visit. Sun, sand, and surf bring out the surfers, boaters, swimmers, kayakers, sun bathers and cyclists.

Article By:

Ed Thear (see profile)
Broker/REALTOR with Intracoastal Realty

Area Events May – June 2014

Area Happenings Now through June 2014

Check out the Area Events near you for the months of May – June!

5/23: Music on the Town Concert, Wilmington         

5/23: Concerts on the Coast, Ocean Isle Beach

5/24: Annual Orange Street ArtsFest, Wilmington

5/25: Movie at the Lake, Carolina Beach

5/30: Music on the Town Concert, Wilmington

5/30: Concerts on the Coast, Ocean Isle Beach

5/30-31: Fisherman’s Post Inshore Challenge, Ocean Isle Beach

5/31: Riverfront Arts Festival, Belville, NC

6/6: Concerts on the Coast, Ocean Isle Beach

6/8: Boogie in the Park, Kure Beach

6/8: Movie by the Lake, Carolina Beach

6/8: 6th Annual Port City Music Festival, Wilmington

6/13: Kure Beach Summer Concert Series, Kure Beach

6/13: Concerts on the Coast, Ocean Isle Beach

6/13: Music on the Town Concert, Wilmington

6/14: Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market, Carolina Beach

6/15: Movie at the Lake, Carolina Beach

6/15: Boogie in the Park, Kure Beach

6/20: Music on the Town Concert, Wilmington

6/20: Concerts on the Coast, Ocean Isle Beach

6/20: Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series, Wilmington

6/20-22: Jolly Mon King Classic, Ocean Isle Beach

6/27: Kure Beach Summer Concert Series, Kure Beach

6/27: Concerts on the Coast, Ocean Isle Beach

6/27: Music on the Town Concert, Wilmington

6/28: Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market, Carolina Beach

6/28: NC 4th of July Festival Freedom Run, Southport

6/28-7/4: NC Fourth of July Festival, Southport

6/29: Boogie in the Park, Kure Beach

6/29: Movie at the Lake, Carolina Beach

Featured Listing Friday: 6422 Westport Drive

Join us for a tour of this week’s Featured Listing Friday located at 6422 Westport Drive in Wilmington, NC listed by Vance Young.

Located in Wilmington’s prestigious Shandy neighborhood off Greenville Loop, this low country inspired residence is perfectly sited under stately oaks with intracoastal waterway views and a 30′ boat slip. Over 6200 square feet of quality appointments, elegant moldings and hardwood floors provide a comfortable family home for entertaining and casual day to day living. Six bedrooms compliment the large living areas and fabulous outdoor living areas including a screened porch sure to be the envy of the neighborhood.

April 2014 Top Agents and Producers Club

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Intracoastal Realty Announces Top Agents and Producers Club

Intracoastal Realty recently announced their top performers for the month of April. Vance Young won Closed Volume Team of the Month with $7.8M in sales and Lee Crouch won Closed Volume Agent of the Month with $2.4M in sales.  Vance Young won Listing Team of the Month with $14.3M in new listings and Lee Crouch won Listing Agent of the Month with $4.6M in new listings.  Buzzy Northen won Under Contract Volume Team of the Month with $7.5M in contracts and Mark Bodford won Under Contract Volume Agent of the Month with $3.4M in contracts. 

Wilmington – Lumina Station Office: Top selling team was Carla Lewis. Top under contract team was Buzzy Northen. Top listing team was Keith Beatty. Top selling and under contract agent was Marcello Caliva.  Top listing agent was Ashley Garner.

Wrightsville Beach Office: Top selling, under contract, and listing team Vance Young.  Top selling agent and listing agent was Lee Crouch.  Top under contract agent was Mark Bodford.

Carolina Beach Office: Top selling agent and under contract agent was Joyce Barnwell. Top listing agent was April McDavid.

Oak Island Office: Top selling and under contract agent was Renee Yost.  Top listing  agent was Cathy Riddle.

Ocean Isle Beach Office: Top selling and under contract agent was Bob Williams.  Top listing agent was Linda Register.

New Homes & General Brokerage: Top listing and under contract team was Jimmy Hopkins.  Top selling and under contract agent was Nicole Valentine. Top listing agent was Clay Draughon.

Joining the Multi-Million Dollar Club with at least $3M in closed volume through April 2014 is: Bobby Brandon, Lee Crouch, Renee Yost, Jane Dodd, Marcello Caliva, Sandra McNeil, Susan Lacy, Alexander Koonce, and Cathy Riddle.

Featured Listing Friday: 2615 N Lumina Avenue

Is a quiet waterfront setting with panoramic views of the marsh, sound, inlet and ocean what brings you peace? Then join us for a tour of 2615 N Lumina Avenue in Wrightsville Beach, NC for this week’s Featured Listing Friday from Michelle Clark.

As the last home on the north end of Wrightsville you can watch birds of all kinds all day from one of your many porches. Expansive views offer so much privacy, yet you’re only steps away from cooling off in the ocean. Many windows offer excellent natural light & water views from every room. Wet bar & wine refrigerator off the kitchen & near the upper porch are ideal for entertaining family & friends inside or out. Another gathering space w/wet bar on the bedroom level is perfect if you need extra space for guests or kids to spend time. Generous sized rooms & private baths for each bedroom allow everyone to be comfortable. Property features 5 beds, 5.5 baths, nearly 4000 sf, central vac, outdoor shower, cedar shake exterior, elevator, hardwoods, stainless appliances, laundry room & 2 car garage. Great primary residence, 2nd home, or rental property. Sold furnished, with few exceptions.

Featured Listing Friday: 7 Sounds Point Road

This week’s Featured Listing Friday takes us to 7 Sounds Point Road on the private Figure Eight Island in Wilmington, NC.  Listed by Cindy Southerland, this is an extraordinary home in a prime location.  Take the tour below.

Extraordinary waterfront home on Figure Eight Island. Designed by BMS Architects and custom built in 2002 with every attention to detail. See and hear the ocean and enjoy gorgeous sunsets and endless views. 7500 sq ft boasts gourmet kitchen, custom cabinetry, inlaid flooring and exquisite mouldings throughout. 5 bedrooms, with full baths. Elevator to all floors. Water views from every room. Tiled ground level features generous storage with entertainment area, extensive views of water and private dock. 3200 sq ft of decks for outdoor entertaining, 140 ft sound frontage. Bulkheaded with pier, floating dock and electric boat lift. Entire house generator. Professionally landscaped yard with elegant evening lighting. Unique opportunity for island living at its finest. Furniture negotiable. Yacht Club Warrant included.

For more information on this listing, click here.

Tips to Improve Credit Score and Save on Mortgage Interest

Having good credit is essential to getting a mortgage and getting one at the lowest rate.

You know you should use credit cards wisely, but did you know that closing an account is not one of the things to do to improve credit score? It is good for credit history to keep an old card and use it rarely – just pay it off right away. Don’t max cards out – keep your ratio of balances to credit limits lower than 30% ideally, and don’t charge up huge amounts even if you do pay them off.  It is absolutely essential to always pay on time, but if you do have one “oops,” call customer service and ask for a “goodwill” adjustment based on your good record. An installment loan like an auto loan is good for your credit, and by all means, keep student loans paid up.

Don’t open any new accounts when you start thinking about buying a house. Stop and think whether opening any kind of credit card or line of credit will cause the bank or retailer to check your credit.  That might be a ding against your score. Also do not open new accounts after going under contract, even if you need furniture or a refrigerator for the new house. The underwriter will be re-checking up to time of closing and this could hold up closing or increase your interest rate.

There are 3 agencies which keep track of all credit scores: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and your mortgage banker will check all three. Lenders will use a borrower’s middle score as an indicator. You can write ahead of time to each credit agency and get a full report or call 1-877-322-8228. Check your credit scores by going online to, NOT

Check all 3 reports for errors and outstanding account balances that you believe have been paid.  Call or write to the creditors if necessary to ask to correct errors. Write to the credit agencies to explain the errors and try to get the problems cleaned up. You don’t need to pay to have this done unless you really are too busy. A credit score above 700 is preferable, but 600 may be acceptable with some lenders if you pay a little more in interest. With conventional loans a score of 740+ gets you a preferred rate, 740-720 will get you the regular rate, and it gets a bit worse each 20 points below that.

If you’ve had a major credit issue such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale, repossession or a judgment, it is vital to work to reestablish some credit after the event as soon as possible. Credit scores will improve after 6-12 months with no late payments. A big difference can be seen after 24 months, so go ahead and talk to a mortgage lender by then. Remember, people who rent rarely establish as much wealth as people who own homes!

Ask your bank or mortgage company if you have any other questions. If you need a couple of mortgage banker recommendations, your real estate agent will provide some contacts.

Article by:

Woods,-Linda-CasualLinda Woods
Intracoastal Realty