Grilled Watermelon, Feta, and Basil Salad

Recipe Courtesy of

Sweet juicy watermelon paired with salty feta, fresh basil, and tart lime juice is a refreshing and easy to make summer salad. Amazingly simple, this healthy summer treat is sure to please friends and family on warm evenings or casual events.


  • 1 whole mini/baby watermelon
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Balsamic reduction for drizzling, I used the one in
    this recipe or you can buy pre-made at Trader Joe’s


  1. Cut the watermelon into 1 inch thick slabs and lightly brush them with olive oil.
  2. Place the slabs of watermelon cut side down onto a heated grill and grill for
    about 2-3 minutes per side or until marked and warm.
  3. Remove from the grill and cut off the rind, then cut into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Toss the grilled watermelon with the basil, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
  5. Gently fold in the cubed feta being careful not to break it up.
  6. Drizzle the salad with the balsamic reduction before serving.

Cucumber Dill Summer Salad

Recipe courtesy of

Fresh local herbs and crisp cucumbers are now in abundance, and we want to share this perfect low-calorie side dish. Amazingly simple, this healthy summer salad is sure to please friends and family on warm evenings or casual events. Put a spin on it and add 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks. You’ll be glad you did!


  • 1 pound mixed cucumbers like English cucumbers, cocktail cucumbers and garden cucumbers, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • ½ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh dill leaves, chopped
  • Optional: 8 oz. Mozzarella


Combine the sliced cucumbers in a colander set inside a medium size bowl and sprinkle with the salt and sugar. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour. Drain the cucumbers. Add the onion, vinegars, water and dill. Serve or refrigerate. The cucumbers will become more pickled as they sit.

Local Grand Oak Estate, Iconic New York Penthouse and a Georgian-inspired Beach Front Home

As our partnership with Luxury Portfolio allows, Intracoastal Realty’s listings are often featured on We often spotlight outstanding listings around the world and become enamored with the many features, outdoor spaces, and interior design and decor of these lavish properties. This month the properties listed showcase spectacular views in exceptional locations! We hope you enjoy learning more about these three extraordinary custom homes.

Grand Oaks is a 2.8 acre estate located on the ICW and constructed with exceptional quality. The residence, with over 6,300 sqft., rests under a canopy of majestic oaks. The four bedroom home has undergone major remodeling in 2004 with the finest quality products available. With marble and wood flooring of heart pine, maple and cherry, exquisite moldings and attention to every detail, this home is for family, friends and grand entertaining. A walk down the lawn to the bridge over to the deeded island with oyster pit, water and electricity and your private pier on the ICW. The pier has slips and lifts to accommodate an array of water craft. This is a setting rarely found with a home of exquisite taste.

PROPERTY FEATURES INCLUDE: Waterfront, 3 Fireplace(s), Security System, Central cooling, Forced AIr Geo Thermal Heat Pump, Irrigation System; Shutters – Board/Hurricane; Thermal Doors; Thermal Windows

INTERIOR FEATURES INCLUDE: Blinds/Shades; Ceiling Fan(s); Gas Logs; Security System; Smoke Detectors; Sprinkler System; Walk-In Closet; Wet Bar; Whirlpool

BUILT IN: 1992

See it!

This iconic award-winning Meier duplex Penthouse stuns all who enter with its brilliant Hudson River views and double height great room. This showplace boasts four split bedrooms with en suite marble bathrooms, walk in closets and a stunning wraparound terrace. The apartment has been painstakingly designed by master architect Richard Meier and flows gracefully from room to room and up the naturally lit frosted glass staircase, leading to the master bedroom suite. The signature south-facing Meier designed chef’s kitchen is styled with sleek white cabinetry, solid white Corian counter tops, Gaggenau and Sub-Zero appliances.

This full service West Village boutique condominium building boasts an indoor fifty-foot infinity lap pool, gym, sauna, cinema screening room and resident lounge. A private climate-controlled wine storage unit and three large private storage bins are included with the purchase of the Penthouse.

AMENITIES INCLUDE: health club, Pool

BUILT IN: 2004


See it!

Gated Tropical Georgian-inspired Ocean-to-Intracoastal estate sited high above the dune on 150+/- ft. of beach frontage originally built by prestigious Mark Timothy Luxury Homes and Interiors by Marc Michaels. Glamorous high styled Interiors with all major rooms facing the ocean. Exercise room could be 6th bedroom. Outdoor entertainment is enjoyed at the resort-style pool/spa and indoor-outdoor lanai with professional wet bar. Boat dockage on Intracoastal. Shown by appointment only.

BUILT IN: 2012


See it!

June 2017 Area Events

5/1 – 9/11: Waterfront Market – Ocean Isle Beach

6/1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast: – Cape Fear Blvd & Carolina Beach Ave N

6/1: 98.3 & Huka Entertainment Presents Delta Rae – Throne Theater / Market Street

6/2 – 10/7: Carolina Beach Farmers Market – Carolina Beach Lake Park

6/2, 16: Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series – Airlie Gardens

6/2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Downtown Sundown Concert Series – Riverfront Park

6/2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Ocean Isle Summer Concert Series – across from the Museum of Coastal Carolina

6/3, 10, 17, 24: Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace – Riverfront Park/ 5 N Water St.

6/3, 10, 17, 24: Shallotte Farmers Market – Mulberry Park

6/3: 32nd Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival – Boardwalk Downtown Carolina beach

6/4, 11, 18, 25: Free Movie Night – Carolina Beach Lake Park

6/4: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

6/2, 9, 16, 23: Oak Island Summer Concert Series – Middleton Park Soccer Field

6/5, 12, 19, 26: Ocean Isle Beach Turtle Talks – The Museum of Coastal Carolina

6/7, 14: Sunset Beach Concert Series – The Village Park on Queen Anne, Sunset Beach

6/7-25: Jesus Christ Superstar / Opera House Theatre Company – Thalian Hall

6/8, 10, 16, 29: Southport Summer Concert Series – Franklin Square & Garrison Lawn

6/10: Shovels & Rope – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

6/11: Sleeping Beauty Ballet – CFCC The Wilson Center

6/17: Oakdale Cemetery Angel Walking Tour – Oakdale Cemetery

6/23: Whoopi Goldberg – CFCC / The Wilson Center

6/23: Fourth Friday Gallery Nights – Downtown Wilmington

6/4, 18: Kure Beach: Boogie in the Park Concert Series – Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

6/8: Jazz at the Mansion Concert Series – Bellamy Mansion

6/9, 23: Free Summer Concerts at Fort Fisher – Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area

6/ 15, 22, 29: WECT Sounds of Summer Concerts in the Park –  Wrightsville Beach Park

6/16: Huka Entertainment: Reel Big Fish + The Expendables – The Throne Theater

6/16-18: Airpower History Tour – Air Wilmington

6/23-25: Cape Fear Blues Festival – Various Venues in Wilmington

6/23-24: The Children’s Museum MUD DAY – 116 Orange Street, Wilmington

6/24: Carolina Beach Double Sprint Triathlon – Carolina Beach

6/25: The Pointer Sisters – CFCC / The Wilson Center

6/30: Travis Tritt – CFCC / The Wilson Center

Intracoastal HomeSpotter App Makes It Easier in Today’s Real Estate Market

Technology has been a game changer in basically every industry you can imagine, and real estate is certainly no exception. Buyers and sellers have more data at their fingertips than ever, thanks to those ubiquitous smart phones that we all rely upon on a daily basis. Many people look to apps for the information they need in the process of buying and seling a home. This helps educate real estate clients but does not replace the personal service that goes along with having an agent to help navigate the waters.

“While adapting to consumers’ technological needs is a primary goal of Intracoastal Realty, there will always be a need for a market-savvy real estate expert to guide you through the legal aspects of the transaction process,” said Lake Slacum, vice president of marketing for Intracoastal Realty.

Intracoastal Realty has been working to deliver digital solutions to its customers for many years. In the Wilmington NC real estate market, many look to the Intracoastal HomeSpotter App, the area’s most accurate and complete home search app, to help them stay informed about what’s happening locally in the industry. The app, which was launched in November 2014, was the result of careful planning.

“We had been looking at real estate app technology for years,” Slacum said. “We waited for the right solution to come along before investing in the technology. The solutions available years ago were not quite up to par with what we wanted to offer our clients and the home-buying consumer.

“Research led me to a company out of Minnesota that was producing a top-notch real estate app solution that was bug-free, effective, and fast,” he added. “Even though our website has been mobile-responsive, meaning it scales to any device, for years, we still wanted to provide a mobile-specific solution for those who prefer to use apps during their real estate search. With mobile usage increasing significantly year after year, it just made sense.”

The Intracoastal HomeSpotter App’s easy-to-use search functionality displays a map that the user can toggle back and forth between satellite view and map view. There is also a filter to further refine your search by price, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, square footage, and more, plus users can save their favorite properties into a folder for later viewing and reference. The most cutting-edge feature, however, is the HomeSpotter technology. Pressing the HomeSpotter button engages the user’s GPS location and produces nearby properties on the screen in a radar-like fashion.

“This is a great feature that can be used in communities that don’t allow for-sale signs or when cruising in a boat along the Intracoastal Waterway to see which homes are for sale,” Slacum said. “It is state-of-the-art, game-changing technology that no one else in the market currently has. The consumers who download the app are always amazed. It almost always evokes a ‘wow’ or ‘awesome’ when the consumer starts using it.”

Buyers and sellers can both benefit from the Intracoastal HomeSpotter App. Its ease of use and design to work on a mobile device while on the go make it a convenient tool for those searching for a home, it receives a few thousand user sessions each day to increase visibility for those selling, and the information is updated several times daily from the Multiple Listing Service. “This gives us an advantage over some of the national apps, which are notorious for frequently being inaccurate with listings that are not on the market,” Slacum said.

Even those not interested in buying or selling right away will find the Intracoastal HomeSpotter App helpful. It has the ability to display sold properties, so if you want to know what price the homes in your neighborhood are going for, all you have to do it select the “sold” option in the Filter section under Status. “There is no other app like it in the marketplace,” Slacum said. “Not even the big-named national real estate portals have the bells and whistles that the Intracoastal HomeSpotter App has.”

The Intracoastal HomeSpotter App is one component of the technology available to Intracoastal Realty clients. In addition to its websites, there is a paperless transaction program that allows completion and execution of all documents electronically.

“We have the perfect tools to help the consumer find areas and properties of interest and make the process of buying and selling them go more smoothly,” Slacum said. “We are constantly updating these platforms with new features and functionality.”

Check out all the available real estate technology, including the Intracoastal HomeSpotter App, and when you’re ready for some personalized service, Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 13 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.

What to Know When Buying on the Water

By Judy Royal

Many people dream their whole lives of living on the water. Who wouldn’t want the serenity of looking out your window to enjoy the ultimate view, not to mention having a body of water and its recreational opportunities right outside your door? Buying waterfront property is not only an investment; it’s a lifestyle. Especially in Southeastern North Carolina where the ocean calls so many to its edge, waterfront living is the pinnacle of real estate goals for lots of buyers. But there are many special considerations that go along with owning a waterfront piece of paradise. Educate yourself so you know exactly what to expect as you embark on acquiring your own waterfront property in the Wilmington NC real estate market.

Look into loans

It’s no secret that you will likely pay a premium to have the waterfront lifestyle that you’ve been working toward for many years. Because a home on the water is typically more expensive than a similar home in a standard neighborhood, you will probably need a bigger loan. Jumbo mortgages, which take longer to obtain than a regular home loan and are given by lenders to only the most qualified buyers, are one of the routes you may expect to go when buying a waterfront home. Start loan shopping early to be sure you can qualify and to allow plenty of time for the process.

Calculate hidden costs

The price you pay for your waterfront home is just the beginning. Perhaps more than any other type of property, there are many hidden costs associated with ownership of this type. In addition to the possibility of a homeowners association, which you will find in many other standard neighborhoods, a waterfront home is likely to come with much higher insurance and maintenance expenses. Especially in a coastal environment where hurricanes and flooding are common threats, waterfront homes often come with hefty insurance premiums due to the increased risk of damage from natural disasters. Maintenance costs are also likely to be more than what you’d pay for a similar home in another environment due to increased wear and tear and the need for special features such as storm shutters. Be sure to calculate all of these costs well into the future so you can protect your investment.

Talk to neighbors

Getting to know people who live in a community where you are thinking about buying is a good idea regardless of the type of neighborhood you are considering, but when it comes to waterfront this is a crucial thing to do. Potential neighbors can give you insight about safety, privacy, erosion, what to expect during hurricane season, how crowded the area will be during various seasons of the year, and more. A few conversations may help you decide whether a community will be the right one for you. Doing a little homework now can save you from experiencing some unwelcome surprises down the line when you’re already locked into a loan.

Examine the property

No matter how much you love a home, when you’re buying on the waterfront be sure you consider the land just as much as or more than the structure. After all, you can change a house but not the location. What’s water access like? Are you near a public walkway that might create lots of pedestrian traffic and noise? Where does your land end and public property begin? Is the area good for swimming? How do the tides affect your property? The latter is especially important if you live in a boating community where low water levels restrict the times in which you can use your watercraft. It’s a good idea to look at a survey of the land and a plot map, and talk to your real estate agent and possibly a real estate attorney to be completely clear about what you are actually buying.

Know the rules

If you’re planning to add a dock, seawall, or other feature to your waterfront property, find out what that will entail. You may have to deal with government agencies that have strict rules about what can be done, especially if there are any wetlands on your property. Also find out if there are any restrictions on the use of jet skis and other watercraft if that’s something you plan to enjoy on a regular basis.

Consider a waterfront specialist

Some real estate agents have special qualifications that make them a great choice for those looking to buy on the waterfront. It may be a good idea to look for those who specialize in waterfront transactions so they can share their expertise about the ins and outs of the process.

Are you ready for a waterfront home of your own? If you want to stop dreaming and find out if life really is better on the water, Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 13 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.

Tortoise and Hare Invade Real Estate Market

By Jim Busby, Broker/REALTOR® with Intracoastal Realty

Reflecting on the trend in the market over the past 10 years, I am reminded of our old friend Aesop with his story of the Tortoise and the Hare. To lay the groundwork for this “fable-listic” tale let’s cite a few facts:

10 Years Ago – In July 2006, the value of homes in the US reached an all-time high driven by a combination of factors including irresponsible lending practices, speculative buying and “flipping” of houses for short-term profit, and good old-fashioned greed. This “too good to last” bubble burst shortly thereafter and on a national basis, the collective value of homes dropped by an average 27% over the ensuing 5 years. Along with this drop came a number of defaults and foreclosures, throwing the market into further disarray and severely impacting the net worth and lifestyle of many Americans while shattering the American Dream of home ownership. For my purposes, this time of the market represents the “Hare” portion of the story, with exciting but unsustainable activity.

Today – It was only recently – the first quarter of 2017 – when the value of homes recovered to the peak values of 2006. This recovery involved slow and steady progress driven by fundamentals including higher employment, low mortgage rates, a compelling opportunity to “buy vs. rent”, and an overall improving economic tide that “lifted all boats”. While not as frenetic – or perhaps as exciting — as the mid-2000s period, this most recent upturn in the market was “come by honestly”, and should be more sustainable and longer lasting, as our friend the Tortoise would have it.

Current View of Local Market – Although values are back to their all-time high, do not feel like you have missed out on the market. In fact, because things have settled into a more orderly trend, there is a reasonable expectation that you would be buying into a more rational and predictable market.

Pricing – As noted above, prices have recovered to previous highs, and in the most recent report on the local market from Cape Fear Realtors Association, the median price increased 4.44% over the past 12 months to $201,025. In terms of unit volume – or number of houses sold – the total of 1160 homes was a 10-year high. We are officially in a “seller’s market” which means there are more people on the buyer’s side than on the seller’s side. According to the basic law of supply and demand, this has started forcing prices higher as buyers compete for a limited number of houses. As part of this equation, the supply of homes in New Hanover County has dropped from a 5.1 month supply in February 2016 to 3.69 months in February 2017. We generally look at a 4-5 month supply as providing a balanced market between buyers and sellers. A related statistic is “days on market” or DOM for a listed house before it sells, which decreases as an active market competes for limited inventory. This figure decreased from 109 DOM in February 2016 to 94 DOM in February 2017.

Interest Rates – Despite several up-ticks in the past year, interest rates are still near historical lows making home ownership very affordable. As of this writing on May 3rd, the 30 year conventional rate was 4.17% which should be a strong “call to action” for anyone still sitting on the fencepost on a purchase decision.


Jim Busby  |  Email:  |  Phone: 910-443-3992

10 Parks to Visit in Southeastern North Carolina

By Judy Royal

A public parks system is a vital component of a successful community. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, parks and recreation have three values that make them essential services to an area: economic value, health and environmental benefits, and social importance.

While the health, environmental, and social ramifications are somewhat clear, many people don’t realize that parks can have a direct effect on real estate. A Texas A&M review of 25 studies investigating whether parks and open space contributed positively to the values of surrounding properties found that 20 of the 25 studies determined the values of properties closer to parks were higher. “The real estate market consistently demonstrates that many people are willing to pay a larger amount for property located close to parks and open space areas than for a home that does not offer this amenity,” according to the review. In addition, quality parks and recreation are one of the top three reasons that businesses cite in relocation decisions in a number of studies.

If you’re in the market for Wilmington NC real estate, you’ll be glad to know there is no shortage of public recreation space in Southeastern North Carolina. No matter which county or community you’re in, you’ll find plenty of spots to get out and get active. Below you’ll see one example of a great park to visit in each place where Intracoastal Realty has a location.

Hugh MacRae Park, 314 Pine Grove Drive, Wilmington

Offering 98 acres of walking/jogging trails, an all-inclusive playground, a splash pad, a dog park, baseball fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, and a horse ring, Hugh MacRae Park is a popular spot for events and festivals throughout the year.

Wrightsville Beach Park, 1 Bob Sawyer Drive, Wrightsville Beach

Located along the John Nesbitt Loop that circles the town’s heart, Wrightsville Beach Park has 13 acres of tennis courts, basketball courts, athletic fields, sand volleyball courts, playground equipment, and a fitness trail.

Carolina Beach Lake Park, 400 S. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach

Once noted in the The Guinness Book of World Records as the freshwater lake closest to salt water, Carolina Beach Lake is the focal point of its namesake 11-acre park that includes a sheltered picnic area, a playground, four gazebos overlooking the water, kayaks and paddle boats available for rent, and a walking path. In the summer, it serves as the location for a weekly farmers’ market and outdoor movies shown on an inflatable screen, and during the holiday Island of Lights celebration it is decorated in seasonal splendor.

Joe Eakes Park, K Avenue and South 7th Avenue, Kure Beach

You’ll find a children’s playground, a picnic area, a full basketball court, a regulation baseball field, two bocce ball courts, two tennis courts with a practice backboard, and a disc golf course at Joe Eakes Park. There are also picnic tables and the Gurney Hood Barking Lot dog park.

Lowe-White Memorial Park, East Leonard Street and Willis Drive, Southport

Facilities at Lowe-White Memorial Park include a pair of enclosed tennis courts, playground equipment, picnic tables, and the enclosed basketball half-court. There are also walking trails and an overlook structure.

William S. “Bill” Smith Park, 4410 Fish Factory Road SE, Oak Island

Experience 24 acres of athletic fields, a disc golf course, a kayak launch, a picnic shelter, a community use building, and two dog parks, one for small dogs and one for large dogs, at William S. “Bill” Smith Park.

Ocean Isle Beach Park, 6483 Old Georgetown Road SW, Ocean Isle Beach

Ocean Isle Beach Park features 58 acres of tennis courts, two playgrounds, a covered picnic area, a large multipurpose athletic field, and a 300-seat amphitheater.

Leland Community Park, 1490 Village Rd NE, Leland

Come to Leland Community Park to enjoy two baseball fields, two batting cages, three picnic shelters, a playground, two community buildings, and a paved walking path.

Hampstead Kiwanis Park, 586 Sloop Point Loop Road, Hampstead

You’ll find 82 acres of athletic fields, fitness trails, and a picnic area at Hampstead Kiwanis Park, and it’s also the site of events throughout the year, including the annual Easter egg hunt.

Soundside Park, 517 Roland Ave., Surf City

Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, Soundside Park has a playground, boardwalk’s around the sound’s edge, viewing decks, a fishing pier, picnic shelters, and an amphitheater.

Are you ready to call Southeastern North Carolina home so you and your family can explore all of the parks it has to offer? Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 12 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.