Absorption Reports: 1st Quarter 2018

Absorption rate, also referred to as “inventory levels” or “months of supply”, gives you an idea of the number of months it will take for the current inventory to be sold out based on the last 12 months of sales.

Housing prices stabilize when supply and demand come closer together. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of supply is “normal”. Less than 5 months of supply will result in APPRECIATING home prices, while 7 months or more of supply will result in DEPRECIATING home prices.  New Hanover County is showing a total of 2.5 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 4.53 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 3.65 months (peaked at 22.1 months in 2009).  As you can see from the three county charts below, inventory levels vary by price segment.  Take a look at the absorption reports for a better idea of where your house stands in the market:

New Hanover County


Brunswick County


Pender County

House Flipping Tips and Tricks

You’ve heard the success story: a worn-down eyesore, an optimistic buyer, and a quick transformation followed by an even faster sale. Flipping houses can be a lucrative occupation, but it certainly isn’t an easy feat. If you’re interested in trying your hand in the market, you’ll want to keep a few insider tips in mind.

Don’t go it alone

From buying, to the renovations, and then to the actual sale of your project, it helps to have some experienced professionals on your side to help streamline the process. And if you’ve never tried to flip a house before, it’s even more important to have a helping hand or two at your disposal. Build your team by talking to real estate agents, contractors, and other seasoned homeowners you can trust to point you in the right direction.

Shop wisely

While it’s always incredible to watch a run-down property be remodeled into a functioning home again, be sure that you can put your money where your mouth is and that you don’t purchase too ambitiously. Before buying a house to flip, make a sound budget that you can easily stick to throughout the renovations. That way, you’ll know from the beginning how much you have to allot to the purchase itself and any costs incurred afterward.

Check your expectations

When the remodeling is done and you put the newly-decorated home back on the market, remember that the idea is to engage in a quick sale, not haggle over every nickel and dime. The success of house flipping lies in the ability to close each deal efficiently. As such, you probably won’t make very much off the first few sales. Don’t get discouraged! If you find that flipping houses is something you enjoy, keep a record of your successes and setbacks so that each time there are fewer surprises and more to gain!

Timing is everything

The housing market is in constant flux, so above all else, remember to be patient and time your purchases and sales accordingly! At this stage, an experienced real estate agent is your best bet in learning the ropes and optimal times for buying and selling property in your area. Flipping a house is only possible when the conditions are right for buyers, so you’ll need to catch those waves as they come.

If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, contact Intracoastal Realty and get connected with some of the most knowledgeable agents in the coastal North Carolina area!




Ocean Views in Playa Tamarindo, Swiss Modern Masterpiece and Rancho La Zaca in Los Olivos

Our partnership with Luxury Portfolio allows, Intracoastal Realty’s listings are often featured on LuxuryPortfolio.com. 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 stunning architecture and exceptional interior and exterior design in exceptional locations! We hope you enjoy learning more about these three extraordinary homes.


Amazing panoramic ocean views from this three-level home conveniently located in a private, gated development on the road Into Tamarindo. Before the hustle and bustle of the beach downtown area, yet walking distance to the Automercado Mall, this home offers many opportunities for the lifestyle you have dreamed of. With three suites in the main home, a one-bedroom casita overlooking the sea in the front, and a one-bedroom caretaker’s casita streetside, the home provides a spacious opportunity for a large family, or for a lucrative rental investment. With views overlooking both Playa Tamarindo and Playa Grande from atop the gently rolling hill on the way into Tamarindo Heights, the living room opens up to a large inviting pool and patio area. European windows and sliding doors with UV coating are just a few of the many quality design features. With floors of natural stone and beautiful wooden cabinetry throughout, the home is extremely well constructed with an entry level garage on the main level with an elevator that reaches the second and third level.

The second level from the garage is the ocean view living and dining area with separate kitchen furnished with stainless steel European appliances. Also on this floor is a laundry room, pantry, and huge guest bathroom with a library room which could also be a bedroom. On the next level are three master suites, two of which have an amazing ocean view, huge walk-in closets and granite and marble bathrooms. Between these suites is an additional ocean view living room area with a large flat screen TV. Take a walk down a path toward the sea, and you will find a very lovely and private ocean view casita with balcony. This home is perfect also for a small spa operation with the private casita and double living areas. 24-hour security and gated entry, plus a neighborhood that is quiet and boasting many lovely large upscale homes, makes this a wonderful choice to be near the very popular Tamarindo Beach.

BUILT IN: 2013


See it!


Cathedral ceilings, vast modern design blended in with the natural context: the owner, architect, Francesco Buzzi, achieved his goal of combining the landscape, the cultural context and the local materials harmoniously. The villa, built in 2009, is a masterpiece which has been published many times. Guest apartment with separate entrance. Superb South oriented location with complete peace.

BUILT IN: 2009

See it!


The remarkable Rancho La Zaca, derived from an original 19th century Spanish Land Grant, today comprises 400+/- acres off the storied Foxen Canyon Wine Trail in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. The 25+/- acre Oak Savanna Vineyard is one of the oldest in Santa Barbara County and includes varietals of Chardonnay, Syrah, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo.

The 8,000 +/- square foot main residence was commissioned by actor James Garner in the 1990s and designed by renowned American architect, Hugh Newell Jacobsen. A series of private pavilions, terraces, and courtyards surround an infinity edge pool and fire pit, and embrace unparalleled 360-degree views of undulating vineyards and hills, oak savanna lands, old-growth olive trees, and misty distant mountains.

PROPERTY FEATURES INCLUDE: Ranch, Separate Guest Quarters

BUILT IN: 1998

See it!

A recreational paradise, Rancho la Zaca boasts a world-class sporting clay and shooting range, a well-stocked pond with an artfully lit picnic area, an impressive equestrian facility, a croquet/badminton lawn, and miles of hiking and riding trails.

Separate houses for Ranch and Vineyard managers, complete the package. This magnificent ranch is a warm and welcoming retreat for families, friends, festive gatherings, fond memories, and fun!

PROPERTY FEATURES INCLUDE: Ranch, Separate Guest Quarters

BUILT IN: 1998

See it!

May 2018 Area Events

Plan for FUN at the coast this May! 

Check out Intracoastal’s event calendar spotlight for the best in spring festivals, performances, and outdoor activities. Plan now for warmer weather with lots to see and do in the Coastal Carolinas.

4/29 – 5/1, 5-6: Wilmington Jewish Film Festival

5/5: Humor Me / The Driver is Red – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

5/6: Past Life – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

5/1: RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles – CFCC Wilson Center

5/2-5: Cape Fear Comedy Festival – Various Venues in Downtown Wilmington

5/3: Walker Hayes – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

5/5: Carolina Beach Street Arts Festival –  Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach

5/5: Jam for the Kids – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

5/5: River To Sea Bike Ride – Downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach

5/6: Boogie in the Park Concert Series Kick Off:  Southern Trouble Concert –  Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

5/8: Buddy Guy – Hugh Morton Amphitheater at Greenfield Lake Park

5/10: Jazz at the Mansion – Bellamy Mansion Museum

5/11: Bluegrass Bash – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

5/11: Brandy Carlile – Hugh Morton Amphitheater at Greenfield Lake Park

5/11: Cape Fear Disabled Fishing Tournament –  Kure Beach Fishing Pier

5/12: Family Farm Day – Children’s Museum of Wilmington

5/12: Showboat: Battleship Systems & Design – Battleship North Carolina

5/13: The Illusionists – Live from Broadway – CFCC Wilson Center

5/13: Mother’s Day Dessert Cruise – Wilmington Water Tours

5/15: Jay Leno – CFCC Wilson Center

5/18-20: Wilmington Wine & Food Festival – Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design

5/18-20: Wilmington Greek Festival – St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

5/19: 2018 USA Beach Wrestling Nationals – Carolina Beach, NC

5/19: 5th Annual Crawl for Paws – Carolina Beach, NC

5/19-20: 25th Annual Seaside Soccer Classic – Various New Hanover County Soccer Fields

5/19: Stoked to go out Pier-To-Pier Swim – Crystal Pier to Johnnie Mercer Pier

5/19: Run Sunset Beach – 800 Sunset Blvd. N. Sunset Beach

5/20: Boogie in the Park Concert Series: Signal Fire Concert – Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

5/21 – 9/3: Oak Island Farmer’s Market – Middleton Park Extension

5/24: Paul Taylor Dance Company: American Spirit – CFCC Wilson Center

5/24: Compton-Newbury – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

5/25: Downtown Sundown Outdoor Concert Series – Riverfront Park on Riverwalk

5/25: Ocean Isle Beach Summer Concert Series – Museum of the Coastal Carolinas

5/25: Summer Fireworks by the Sea and Boardwalk Gazebo Music – historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk

5/26: Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market – Carolina Beach Lake

5/26-27: Orange Street ArtsFest 2018 – HBHUSO/Community Arts Center

5/27: Fourth Friday Gallery Walk – various galleries in Downtown Wilmington

5/27: Holden Beach Concert Series – Pavilion Jordan Blvd

5/28: Memorial Day Observance – Battleship North Carolina

5/30 – 6/2: 45th Annual Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament – Wrightsville Beach Marina

5/30: Sunset Beach Summer Concert Series – The Village at Sunset Beach

5/31: Summer Fireworks by the Sea and Boardwalk Gazebo Music – historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk

5/31: Wilmington Sharks: Opening Day – 2149 Carolina Beach Road

5/31: CFCC Annual Bridge to Bridge Run – Behind the CFCC Union Station Building- Outdoor Ampitheater

Strawberry Delight

Courtesy of Garden & Gun

May’s recipe is from a new quarterly read, Garden & Gun magazine. The perfect alternative to ice cream without the trouble of churning. Published in the Junior League of Charleston cookbook and adapted by the Lee Brothers this lazy women’s delight serves approximately eight joyfully.


  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved
  • ⅔ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup buttermilk, preferably whole
  • 24 vanilla wafer cookies (about 3 oz.), crumbled to oyster-cracker-size pieces
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3 oz. mini-marshmallows (about 2 cups)


  1. Put the strawberries, ⅓ cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until the syrup is glossy red but still runny. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. You should have 1½ cups fruit and syrup.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with the remaining ⅓ cup sugar and the salt until peaks begin to hold their shape. Fold in half-and-half, buttermilk, cookies, toasted pecans, and marshmallows until evenly combined (the marshmallows will mostly float; that is fine).
  3. Line a 3-quart loaf pan with plastic wrap and pour the cream mixture into it (you can also use two 1½-quart loaf pans and divide the mixture evenly between them). Then pour in the fruit and syrup from one end of the pan to the other, but do not stir (if using two pans, divide the fruit and syrup evenly between them). The syrup and fruit may float on the surface at first but will gradually sink through to the bottom. Lightly cover the loaf pan(s) with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until a cap of crystallized cream has formed about an inch thick, about 2½ hours (or 1¾ hours if using two loaf pans). Use a broad serving spoon to break up the cream and fold the ingredients together, taking special care to lift the strawberry pulp up off the bottom. With the back of the spoon, smooth the surface and return the pan to the freezer for 1½ hours (about 45 minutes if using two pans). Fold again, freeze for another hour, and fold a third time (if using two loaf pans, you might not need to do a third fold). Allow to set for an hour more.
  4. To serve, turn an entire loaf upside down onto an oval platter, surround it with greenery and flowers, and slice off individual portions with a knife—a silver one, if possible—warmed in hot water.

Drawing the Lines: How Redistricting in New Hanover Schools Could Affect Your Move

The boxes are packed, the moving truck is gassed up and ready to go – but what happens once you arrive in your new town? There’s always a lengthy list of to-dos when you move, both before and after you make the trip, but the last thing you want to have to account for is if your child’s school district is going to change after you’ve all gotten settled.

Earlier this year, New Hanover County Schools announced plans to redistrict the four county high schools to avoid overcrowding issues. Laney, New Hanover, Ashley, and Hoggard high schools have all seen a few different drafts of district maps in the last few months, which could make it difficult for incoming residents with students to choose a new home based on educational and social stability for the teens.

But even as the lines shift and change, there are ways to keep your head above water while looking into a new home in the county that will help you prioritize you and your family’s needs.

Stay updated

First and foremost, when you know you’re about to make a move, be sure to periodically tune in to the area’s local news. This will help you not only be knowledgeable when it comes to redistricting and school news, but the other happenings and even current weather patterns of your new town as well. By the time you unload the van, you’ll already have a handle on your environment.

Keep flexible

Searching for a new home can already be stressful and often tedious, especially if it takes a while to find the perfect accommodations. While you and your real estate agent work to find the house that will best suit your needs – including proximity to the best schools – try to be flexible and willing to allow for more than one possibility. If you’re considering the New Hanover County area, you’re in luck as far as schools are concerned!


If you’re concerned about which school your student will attend once you arrive, you can always use the neighborhoods and regions as your guides in searching for a home to buy. Most redistricting is done in sections according to the nearest neighborhoods, so if you already have a particular school in mind, research which streets and complexes are currently included in that institution’s borders and then assess the available homes there. If nothing strikes you from the selection, it may be time to reevaluate your expectations and broaden your horizons.

If you and your students are ready to make the move to our area, contact Intracoastal Realty for local experts and the best selection of homes to suit your needs!