Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Waterfront Home

Think selling a waterfront home is a no-brainer? Think again.

We’ve covered general tips for selling a house before, what about selling a waterfront home? While selling a waterfront home has similarities to selling a house say, in the suburbs, there are distinct differences that need to be accounted for. Though waterfront homes are a coveted item for buyers, they don’t just sell themselves. Learn what missteps to avoid (and correct) here!

1. Choosing the Wrong Agent

You’re going to need an agent on your side for this, specifically, one with experience selling and dealing with waterfront homes. Though appraisals aren’t necessarily a must for every home getting ready to enter the market, they are extremely valuable for waterfront homes, particularly because the value of waterfront homes differs so vastly from one home to the next based on their location, amenities and so forth. In light of the overall price of the home and the associated costs that tag along with selling, appraisals should be considered money very well spent.

Agents should conduct a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) in order to determine the value (and, subsequently, the asking price) of the home. Factors that should be included in this assessment include:

  • Location (naturally)
  • Waterfront size, or the size of the body of water that the property is located on/near.
  • Amenities of the property, such as docks, beaches, etc.
  • Frontage, the land the bridges the property and the water, or the general amount of land surrounding the property. Agents need to consider the amount of frontage, as well as its condition. Is it available for recreational use? Is it even and easy to traverse, or steep and sloped?

2. Pricing Too High

Waterfront homes will almost always possess a higher value than your average landlocked home. This does not automatically garner an astronomical listing price though! The factors mentioned above will do much to determine what a fair asking price should be, in conjunction with a recent appraisal. People are generally more willing to spend more on waterfront properties, but they also expect a certain amount of amenities and property requirements before doing so. When selling your waterfront home, make sure it lives up to the listing price. If all your property has to offer is a view of the water, it should not be listed alongside the likes of houses with private beaches and docks. Again, appraisals do much to determine the right price from the get-go.

3. Neglecting “Water” Appeal

You’re probably familiar with the term “curb appeal,” and that still applies to waterfront homes. Additionally, however, is “water appeal,” the view of the house from the water. While investing in a clean, tidy house by view of the street is a must, so is investing a picturesque view from the water. Other elements to pay heed to are:

  • The condition of docks. Are docks covered in green film? Or are they bright and clean? Are they safe? Do they look inviting?
  • “Pristine” shores. Whether it’s just seaweed or literal garbage, both “clutter” shores (And one is bad for the environment, a major no-no when trying to sell your waterfront home!) Make sure shores aren’t littered with big debris that would deter potential buyers.
  • Water access. How accessible is the water from your home? Do you have a dock? Can you launch a boat from it? Is the water deep enough? Is there a place for new buyers to lounge or fish?
  • Waterfront visibility. This is a big one. Almost all buyers looking for a waterfront home are envisioning themselves waking up to the view — but can they actually see the water from the house? Make sure overgrown shrubs are kept at bay and windows are crystal clear!

4. Lackluster Marketing

An experienced agent will do more than just sell the house, they’ll sell the lifestyle! A waterfront home is a lifestyle, so missing this detail is a major mistake. Listings should include all amenities, whether physical (like docks) or activity-based (such as the fact that the home is conducive to backyard water skiing, for example). They should include descriptions of the view, and the natural beauty. Better yet — they should include pictures of said natural beauty.

Waterfront homes should feature photography or videos of both the home’s interior and exterior, as well as the surrounding property, so that potential buyers, especially those that may be searching for their dream waterfront home from afar, can better visualize all that the property has to offer. Listings should also be advertised via a variety of platforms. A sign in the frontyard won’t cut it, and neither will a solitary listing. In order to get all eyes on your waterfront home, agents should employ multiple strategies via social media, housing web platforms and more.

5. Skipping Important Details

It’s not exactly surprising that waterfront homes can be more susceptible to the elements, and that means flooding. If your waterfront house needs flood insurance, this is a detail that needs to be conveyed early on in the process, and not at the final moment before everyone signs paperwork. Flood insurance on a waterfront home can drastically change the mortgage payments that buyers can expect, so waiting can lead to either lost buyers or major delays at the time of closing. Buyers also need to be made aware of circumstances such as whether or not the property has a holding tank, septic tank or access to public sewers. If the home uses a tank, buyers need to know when it was last pumped.

Selling a waterfront home certainly has its advantages, being as desirable as they are among buyers, and with these tips, selling yours should be relatively stress free!

Looking for a helping hand to sell your waterfront home? Drop us a line or give us a call at (800) 533-1840. Being so close to the coast, we have lots of experience in this area!

A Guide for First Time Homebuyers in Wilmington NC


If you’ve been considering purchasing a home recently, now may be the ideal time to take that step, particularly if you’re a first time home buyer! The housing market landscape has made some improvements over the past few years, and, with a little strategizing, buyers have the opportunity to land the home they’ve been dreaming of at a great rate. Read on to gain some key insights and tips for buying your first home in Wilmington NC!

Shop Around

First thing’s first: we’re sure you’re familiar with the saying, but before buying a house, you have to first determine “how much house” you can afford, which is why we recommend getting pre-approved for a home loan before the search begins. The housing market trend thus far has been pretty bright for home buyers in recent years. Mortgage rates are remaining low, right around 3 to 4 percent, though they are expected to rise to an approximate 4.65 percent by the end of the year, so the sooner you can get your ducks in a row, the better!

When looking for your mortgage, make sure to consider all of your options, which may or may not be the typical 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. Learn more about the various loan options that are available. Investigate what your local banks have to offer! The City of Wilmington actually partners with local banks in its Home Ownership Pool (HOP) in an attempt to provide long-term housing to people with steady income, but generally modest means. There are some requirements, but also some enticing perks!

We also suggest that buyers check out our preferred lender, TowneBank Mortgage, if you’re looking for a place to start your mortgage search. No matter which lender you go with, make sure to check out options from at least three different lenders to secure financing that best suits your needs.

Be Ready

Start formulating your ideal home buying/moving scenario. If you’re a first time homebuyer, the process of transitioning into your new home should be fairly simple. You might have to break your lease early, but you’re not burdened with the task of selling or renting your current home. Go ahead and plan for this step now. Contact your landlord to find out the stipulations of breaking your lease. If you’re moving from out of state, or from out of town, familiarize yourself with living costs in your soon-to-be hometown. If you don’t already have a job lined up, start looking. Plan trips to get acquainted with the area and your ideal neighborhood. There are a wide variety of houses for sale in Wilmington NC to choose from, in different neighborhoods with different amenities. Learn where you’ll fit in best.

Additionally, if you’ve already gotten pre-approved for a home loan, that’s great! But you also need to factor in closing costs and fees to get an accurate idea of how much money you’re really working with. You can get a general snapshot of what to expect here, referring to a closing costs calculator for an estimate, or by contacting a REALTOR® to help guide you through the home buying process and the fees that you can expect to incur.

Cut to the Chase

Negotiating the cost on a home isn’t your typical Craigslist haggle. While negotiating is not uncommon or out-of-the-question, home sellers generally prefer that you put your best offer first. If you try to lowball the seller, there’s a chance that they may not give you an opportunity to bid again. If you want to leave a little wiggle room, you can include an escalator clause in your offer to increase your bid a certain amount over a competitor’s, but here, again, it’s generally best to just put your best foot forward.

We recommend that buyers protect their offer with contingencies, such as a financing/mortgage contingency to allow yourself time to close on your loan or ensure that you receive approval on your loan amount (this is where getting pre-approved can help to speed things up). Other important contingencies include a home inspection contingency and an appraisal contingency to secure a fair price for the house, as well as safeguard against a home with damage or need for repairs.

Prepare for Change

“The best-laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.” Not to hit you with another common saying, but this one really holds some water here! Be prepared for change. Be prepared to go back to the drawing board and forge a new plan. Or, better yet, have backup plans in place!

Figure out what your next course of action will be if your initial financing falls through, or your offer on your “dream” home doesn’t take. Or, it could be that multiple visits to your prospective new home reveal flaws or loud neighbors or bad traffic, and you need to go back to shopping around. What will you do if your movers cancel? What will you do if your move is held up by your buyer’s need to move out of the house first? What will you do if closing is delayed and you have to reschedule your original move? Whatever the scenario, be ready to change your plans and move in the best direction for your goals, financing and future. This is a long-term investment; there’s no benefit to rushing and getting yourself into a home that isn’t right for you.

Expect Delays

This year, due to new regulations in mortgage lending that went into effect in October of 2015, closings have experienced some delays. In most cases, delays are relatively minor, taking an approximate three to eight additional days. In other cases, delays took up to 20 days. These new regulations, referred to as TRID, (TILARESPA Integrated Disclosure) are designed to benefit you, as the buyer, in clarifying total costs and generally ensuring fewer errors in the closing process. However, as with any change to a complex system, the change isn’t making the smoothest of transitions. There’s really nothing that buyers can due to curtail these details, but it’s important to know that your closing might be affected and plan accordingly.

Furthermore, if you are: self-employed, recently jobless, will be changing jobs in the move, or have commission-based income, you may also experience delays or challenges in receiving financing and closing on a mortgage. Don’t be discouraged! Just realize that financing might be more difficult to lock down right away or, especially if you are recently jobless, you may have to shelf your plans for purchasing a new home temporarily, until your income is more definite again.

Join Forces

Sure, you can try to navigate these waters on your own, but, especially if you are first time homebuyer, you’ll find that no asset is greater throughout the home buying process than having a REALTOR® by your side to guide you. The time for locking down a great mortgage is prime, yes, but the housing market in Wilmington NC is competitive. The demand for homes exceeds the supply, so buyers need to be on their A-game to land the home they’ve been dreaming of at a price they can afford. If you’re serious about buying a house, then you need to be serious about your process to do so. Join forces with a real estate agent!

If you’re a first time homebuyer, or even if you’re more seasoned, Intracoastal Realty is here to answer your questions and be your local resource to acquiring a home in Wilmington NC. Looking to sell your home? We can help with that too. Contact us today!

Luxury Portfolio Spotlight: Modern One-Of-A-Kind, European Inspired Masterpiece and a Collector’s Swiss Villa

As our partnership with Luxury Portfolio allows, Intracoastal Realty’s listings are often featured on We often peruse the other listings around the world and become enamored with a number of the features, the outdoor spaces, and the interior design and decor of these lavish properties. This week, we have opted to share a few of our favorites with you.

Arlington, VA Only

Built in 2015 by Award Winning Sagatov Design+Build, this five bedroom, four full bath, two half bath plus an outdoor shower, combines modern Urban architecture with high level building science and tomorrow’s technology.

Modeled to be energy neutral with a 10KW Photovoltaic Solar Panel Array, this home is extremely technology-oriented with a Control4 Centralized smart home operation and monitoring system in place. Enjoy being able to control for security, HVAC, lighting, audio/visual, and video intercom from the comfort of your couch or from half-way around the world.

Designer finishes make this home stand out from the rest with chevron walnut wood floors, beautiful high-end designer lighting, brick interior walls, a steel wrapped ribbon staircase, gorgeous architectural black framed floor-to-ceiling windows, custom built-ins in every room, stunning entertainer’s kitchen, and beautiful statement bathrooms.

Entertaining is easy with an open main-level floor plan, two-story screened-in porch, roof top deck and 4th level party room with built-in wet bar. Other features include master suite with two walk-in closets and gorgeous master bath, lower level workout room with extensive built-ins, main level office with wall of custom built-ins, large storage areas in the two car garage, back-up battery generator, and beautiful sky-lights.

Located in Cherrydale, home is close to D.C. and walkable to Clarendon, Ballston, and Cherrydale shops. Less than 1 mile to Clarendon and VA Square Metro Stations. Quarter of a mile to Custis Bike Trail and house backs to Cherry Valley Park and Nature Center.

PROPERTY FEATURES INCLUDE: 1 Fireplace(s), detached garage, central air conditioning, Energy Star cooling, central heating, Energy Star heating system, fully finished daylight basement

BUILT IN: 2015


LOT ACRES: 0.127

See it!

San Clementa Only

Situated directly across the street from Casa Pacifica, the former Nixon Western White House in the cherished double-gated community of Cottons Point, this exquisite turnkey estate—offered for sale with all its furnishings and artwork—promises a lifestyle of unparalleled luxury and privacy. With a massive lot spanning about 32,300 square feet, it offers a level of tranquility not often found in coastal Orange County. Along with a total of seven bedrooms, one of which is a self-contained apartment complete with its own sitting area, full bathroom, partial kitchen and separate entrance. The residence features a spacious bonus room, an office, and seven-and-one-half additional bathrooms. Lush, meticulously maintained landscaping creates a stunning backdrop not only for the home itself, but for its expansive grounds, which include a pool and spa plus a private lighted tennis court. With private beach access, this exquisite outdoor living experience rivals that which is found at some of the world’s most exclusive resorts. Five A/C Units, each room individually controlled, closed circuit TV, two laundry rooms, spacious four car garage plus limousine parking.


BUILT IN: 1992


LOT ACRES: 0.7400

See it!

Switzerland Only

This must be one of the very best positions if you are looking for peace, quietness, sun, really outstanding views no interruptions, and a marvelous private park with Mediterranean trees, flowers and flavors. The large villa at the end of a cul-de-sac offers an outstandingly high quality of life, not only for you but also for your car-collection (garage for 10-12 cars).

BUILT IN: 1966


See it!

Love looking at these luxury homes? Take a look at our archive of Luxury Portfolio Spotlight homes.

Congratulations to our Top Producers for May 2016!


Top Producers Listing Club – May
Listing Agent:  Sarah Harris $6.2M
Listing Agent & Agent Associate: Gwen Hawley $1.6M
Listing Team: Vance Young $10.6M

Top Producers Contract Club – May
Contract Agent:  April Congleton $3.4M
Contract Agent & Agent Associate: Ashley Garner $3.0M
Contract Team: Keith Beatty $15.9M

Top Producers Closed Club – May
Closed Agent:  Joyce Barnwell $2.6M
Closed Agent & Agent Associate:  Lisa Wayne $3.4M
Closed Team: Keith Beatty $8.8M

Other Members of the Producer’s Club with $500K – $999K:
Closed Volume: Sonia Morris, Sandra McNeil, Bob Williams, Sandy Ledbetter, Jimmy Hopkins, Ashley Garner, John Mohr, Bob McCorkle, Jeff Hovis, Lynne Boney, Sarah Burris, Jean Sandlin, Paula Perkins, Susan Keck, Jonathan Barber, Kathy Foster, Rodney Harris, Allen LaCoe, Deb Hays, Pam Kersting, Melony Rice, Connie Parker

Listing Volume:  Jennifer Hensley, Ham Hicks, Lisa Wayne, Rodney Harris, Rainelle Mishoe, Paula Perkins, Mary Kruszon, April McMunn, Allen LaCoe, Diana Holdridge, Brenda Mitwol, Michael Little, Carole Sheffield, Sue Knox, Joyce Nunes

Contract Volume:  Gwen Hawley, Linda Register, Diana Holdridge, Joy Morgan, Jeff Hovis, Lisa Wayne, Cameron Brand, Grace Schroeder, Terri Shindel, Sarah Harris, Jane Dodd, Sue Coupland, Susan Lacy, Melissa Barberich, Connor Coupland, Margery Jordan, Craig Stinson, Brenda Mitwol, Bob McCorkle, Zander Koonce, Susan Walker, Argie Franck, Joe Capellini, Happy Clark, Michael Pirkey, Joey Priest

Featured Recipe: Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers

Enjoy July’s Featured Recipe at your next gathering with family and friends. No time for skewers? Gently toss the ingredients in a salad bowl, or dice the tomato, watermelon, and cheese into small cubes to serve as a fresh relish for grilled meats.

Featured Recipe: Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers

What You’ll Need

  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups 1-inch watermelon cubes (about 1/4 of a 3-lb. watermelon)
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 36 (3-inch) wooden skewers


Gently toss together tomatoes and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill 30 minutes to 1 hour. Thread 1 tomato piece, 1 watermelon cube, and 1 feta cube onto a skewer, and place in a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining skewers. Drizzle with remaining marinade, and serve immediately.

Yield: Makes about 3 dozen skewers    Total time: 1 Hours

Recipe Courtesy of



July Area Events


7/1 and 15: Airlie Gardens Concert Series – Airlie Gardens

7/1, 8, 15, 22, and 29: Downtown Sundown Concert – Princess and Water, Downtown Wilmington

7/1, 8, 15, and 29: Oak Island Summer Concerts – Middleton Park Soccer Field, Oak Island

7/1, 8, 15, 22, and 29: Ocean Isle Beach Concerts – Museum of Coastal Carolina, Ocean Isle Beach

7/1: Southport 4th of July Festival – Southport Waterfront

7/2: Step Up for Soldiers: The Battle for Independence Running Race – Race starts at Henry’s Restaurant

7/2: N.C. Symphony Presents: Stars & Stripes – The Wilson Center

7/3 and 17: Boogie in the Park Series – Ocean Front Park, Kure Beach

7/3, 10, 17, 24 and 31: Holden Beach Concerts – Holden Beach Pavilion, Holden Beach

7/3, 7, 14, 21, and 28: Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast – Boardwalk at the Gazebo, Carolina Beach


7/4: City of Wilmington 4th of July Celebration – North Waterfront Park

7/4: Southport Waterfront Festival Fireworks – Intracoastal Waterfront

7/4, 14, 21 and 28: Shallotte Summerfest Concerts – 123 Mulberry Street Park

7/5, 19 and 26: Calabash Concert Series – Calabash Town Park, Calabash

7/6, 13, 20, and 27: Sunset Beach Concerts – Village Park, Sunset Beach

7/7, 21: Leland Concerts on the Coast – Leland Municipal Park, Leland

7/7:  Yonder Mountain String Band – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

7/7, 14, 21 and 28: WECT Sounds of Summer Concerts in the Park – Wrightsville Beach Park

7/8-10: East Coast “Got-Em-On” Classic King Mackerel Tournament – Carolina Beach Municipal Docks

7/14:  Jazz at the Mansion – A Concert Series – Bellamy Mansion

7/19: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

7/22: Fourth Friday Gallery Walk – Downtown Wilmington

7/23: Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

7/27-8/7: Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tuttle – UNCW Main Stage Theater

7/29: Gregg Allman – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

7/30: Family Fun Night at Airlie Gardens – Airlie Gardens