Seared Sea Scallops with Brown Butter Caper Sauce

What You’ll Need
• 6 Tbsp (3 ounces) unsalted butter
• 2 Tbsp canola oil, or other high smoke point oil
• 1 pound sea scallops (about a dozen)*
• 3/4 cup dry white wine
• 2 Tbsp capers, drained
• 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Brown the butter. Cut up the butter into pieces (a tablespoon each or so) and place in a stainless steel saucepan. Melt the butter on medium heat. Allow the butter to foam up and recede. Watch carefully. After a few minutes, the milk solids will form and sink to the bottom.

Once the milk solids begin to turn caramel-colored brown, the butter will have a lovely nutty aroma. Remove from heat and pour the browned butter into a separate bowl to stop the cooking. (Pay attention. If you wait too long, you’ll have blackened butter, not browned butter.) Set aside.

Remove the “foot” of the scallop from each scallop. (The foot is a small tough piece of meat that attaches the scallop to the shell.) Pat dry the scallops.

Heat the oil in a cast iron pan or hard-anodized aluminum sauté pan on high heat. When the oil is shimmery hot (not quite smoking hot, but close), pat dry the scallops again and carefully place them in the pan, flat side down. (If the oil gets so hot that it does begin to smoke, remove the pan from the heat, and turn down the heat a notch before returning the pan to the burner.) You may need to work in batches so you don’t crowd the pan.

Once you’ve placed the scallops in the pan, do not move them. Allow them to sear. Once you can see that the edges of the scallops touching the pan have browned, use tongs to turn the scallops over and sear the other side. Depending on the size of the scallops and the heat of your burner, this should take 3 to 4 minutes per side. Once both sides are browned, remove the scallops to a warm plate, and turn off the burner.

Pour out the remaining oil from the pan, leaving any browned bits in the pan. Add the white wine to the pan and return the pan to the burner on high heat. Let the wine boil and reduce until you have 2 tablespoons of liquid left in the pan. Then turn off the heat, add the capers, lemon zest, and browned butter to the pan. Swirl to combine.

Place scallops on serving plates and pour sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Download the recipe here!

Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 25 Minutes: Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 3 to 4
Recipe Courtesy of Simply Recipes

Luxury Portfolio Spotlight


Stunning newly completed Vista del Mar Residence set on its own charming cove with spectacular views over North Sound. The property comprises a spacious 1.1-acre oceanfront lot with close to 200′ of frontage and a large canal front lot directly opposite of 0.51 acres with 180′ of frontage ideal for a boathouse, large dock, guest house, and other amenities.  The 8,500 sf± main residence boasts five en suite bedrooms, four to the second floor and spacious master suite wing to the ground floor incorporating his and her walk-in closets and an impressive master bathroom in classical design, attractively clad in Carrara white marble as are all bathrooms throughout the property.

The home’s exterior fits comfortably into Vista del Mar’s classic Spanish Colonial aesthetic, presenting impressive façades to both the road and oceanfront sides of the property, juxtaposing strikingly with the home’s clean, contemporary, white interiors, which offer the buyer a wide range of options for personalizing and customizing all spaces.  The ground floor space is divided into a number of formal and more casual living and dining areas and is ideal for relaxed family living, formal dinners or larger indoor and poolside parties, taking full advantage of the large alfresco covered patio, pool deck, and large cabana bar and kitchen area with its own bathroom, shower, and steam room, all situated around a large infinity edge pool and hot tub.  More Details


Designed to take advantage of the views, the home offers spacious reception areas, five luxurious bedroom suites, sweeping glass staircase, two lifts, plus garaging for 15 cars with service lift allowing for direct access to the kitchen. With state-of-the-art finishes, gas fireplaces, outdoor metal shutters, top-notch security, an exhilarating lifestyle awaits the select few.   More Details




This elegant and sophisticated estate, with its attention to every detail, is a unique and breathtaking home within the private and exclusive gated community of Tahiti Beach in CocoPlum. Included in this masterpiece are soaring double height ceilings in the living room that showcase prized works of arts, double height ceilings in the dining room that seats 12+, Den/Library with custom built-in wood shelves. The Chef’s kitchen with eat-in countertops and an adjacent breakfast nook has Wolf gas ovens with 6 burners, double glass refrigerator/freezer, and a full butler?s pantry. Award winning designed movie screening room with built-in bar and beverage center, a 2500-bottle glass wine cellar with 3 temperature controlled zones, massive family room featuring a saltwater fish tank, and backlit onyx full bar. Poker/Card room has direct access to an incredible outdoor living space with covered patio that accommodates multiple seating areas and leads to a gorgeous pool and boat dock, home gym with sauna, and health bar.  More Details

March 2019 Local Events

Lemetrius at Tails Piano Bar
Fri 9 PM · Tails Piano Bar · Wilmington, NC
Mateja w/ Reddenhollow 3/1/19
Fri 8:30 PM · Bourgie Nights · Wilmington, NC
Mardi Gras Casino Night & Auction
Fri 6:30 PM · Country Club of Landfall · Wilmington, NC
Touch Tank Feeding
Fri 11 AM · Museum of Coastal Carolina · Ocean Isle Beach, NC

8Th Annual Step Up for Soldiers Backyard BBQ Cook-Off
Sat 11 AM · Carolina Beach Lake
Mardi Gras Casino Night at the Mansion
Sat 7 PM · The Bellamy Mansion Museum · Wilmington, NC
AACA Cape Fear Chapter 47th Annual Spring Show
Sat 9 AM · Wilmington, NC · Wilmington, NC
Mardi Gras at The Cotton Exchange
Sat 12 PM · The Cotton Exchange · Wilmington, NC
47th Annual Cape Fear Chapter Show
Sat 9 AM · Mayfaire Town Center · Wilmington, NC

5K/1 Mile Tinted Turtle Trot
Sun 10 AM · Mike Chappel Park · Carolina Beach, NC
Illuminate Carolina Beach
Sun 11 AM · Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront · Carolina Beach, NC

Painted Library Totes
Mon 5:30 PM · New Hanover County Northeast Branch Library · Wilmington, NC
Cinematique Presents: “Mary Queen of Scots”
Mon 7 PM · Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. · Wilmington, NC
Bird Steward Program at Wrightsville Beach
Mon 7 PM · Halyburton Park · Wilmington, NC

4th Annual Fat Tuesday Celebration
Tue 7 PM · Waterline Brewing Company · Wilmington, NC

ILm Local Makers & Growers Farmer Market at Waterline Brewing Co
Wed 5 PM · Waterline Brewing Company · Wilmington, NC
Pantana Bob’s & The Embers feat. Craig Woolard
Thu 7:30 PM · Pantana Bob’s Wilmington · Wilmington, NC
The Great Storm
Thu 10 AM · 1415 S 17th St · Wilmington, NC

Marathon Madness Glow 5K and 1 Mile Run
Fri 6 PM · NHRMC Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness · Wilmington, NC
Chris Gethard at Dead Crow (Special Event)
Fri 7 PM · Dead Crow Comedy · Wilmington, NC
Marathon Madness Glow 5K and 1 Mile Run
Fri 6 PM · NHRMC Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness · Wilmington, NC

Cape Fear Beer & Wine Festival
Sat 12 PM · Cape Fear Beer and Wine Festival · Wilmington, NC
2019 NHRMC Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness Half and Full
Sat 6:40 AM · NHRMC Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness · Wilmington, NC
Oak Island Mardi Gras Festival & Parade
Sat 1 PM · Middleton Park, Oak Island Nc · Oak Island, NC
Bark in the Park
Sat 10 AM · Leland, Town Hall, Municipal Park · Leland, NC
Coastal Highland Games
Sat 8 AM

Wilmington Dessert Market
Sun 12 PM · Waterline Brewing Co. · Wilmington, NC
Dog Wash Fundraiser
Sun 10 AM · Unleashed of Wilmington · Wilmington, NC
Suwannee River Spring Break Kayaking
Mar 10 – Mar 16 · UNCW Seahawk Adventures · Wilmington, NC

Cha Cha Classes – March 11 – 25, 2019
Mon 7 PM · The Studio Collective · Wilmington, NC
Open Mics at the Juggling Gypsy
Mon 9 PM · The Juggling Gypsy Cafe · Wilmington, NC
Couponing Class
Mon 10 AM · Martin Luther King Center · Wilmington, NC

90’s Night!
Mar 12 – Mar 13 · Coach’s Neighborhood Grill – Wilmington NC · Wilmington, NC
Sean Gerard, Chris Frisina, & Jeffrey Martin at Modern Legend
Tue 8 PM · Modern Legend · Wilmington, NC
Private Art Lessons
Tue 11 AM · Hot Mess Studios · Wilmington, NC
The Dirtball of Kottonmouth Kings at The Calico Room
Wed 7 PM · The Calico Room · Wilmington, NC
Airlie Gardens Monthly Bird Walk
Wed 8 AM · Airlie Gardens · Wilmington, NC

Mickey Mouse at Kickback Jack’s
Thu 6 PM · Kickback Jack’s Wilmington · Wilmington, NC
Solo at Bill’s Front Porch
Thu 6:30 PM · Bill’s Front Porch · Wilmington, NC

St. Practice Day 2019 Bar Crawl
Fri 6 PM · The Husk Downtown Wilmington · Wilmington, NC
Anthony Devito at Dead Crow Comedy
Fri 7 PM · Dead Crow Comedy · Wilmington, NC

Live music with Jenny Pearson at Wrightsville Beach Brewery
Sat 3 PM · Wrightsville Beach Brewery · Wilmington, NC
Wilmington Symphony Pops!
Sat 7:30 PM · Wilson Center – Cape Fear Community College · Wilmington, NC
Bee Bonanza: DIY Native Bee House
Sat 10 AM · Airlie Gardens · Wilmington, NC
St. Paddy’s Day Party
Mar 16 – Mar 17 · Front Street Brewery · Wilmington, NC

NC Symphony-Chopin & Mozart
Sun 7:30 PM · CFCC Humanities and Fine Arts Center · Wilmington, NC
St. Patrick’s Day 2019 at The Dubliner
Sun 10 AM · The Dubliner Irish Pub · Wilmington, NC
CFA Theatre – Oklahoma!
Sun 3 PM · Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. · Wilmington, NC

Spring Book Sale
Mon 4 PM · New Hanover County Public Library – Northeast Branch · Wilmington, NC

Jersey Boys
Tue 7:30 PM · Wilson Center – Cape Fear Community College · Wilmington, NC

WoW! Book Club- March 2019
Wed 6:30 PM · Old Books on Front Street · Wilmington, NC
Music Bingo at The Harp (Wilmington, NC)
Wed 7:30 PM · The Harp Authentic Irish Fine Food and Drink · Wilmington, NC

Adam Crabb in Concert
Fri 7 PM · Pine Valley Baptist Church · Wilmington, NC
Fundraiser: Ashley High Band
Fri 6 PM · Battle House Tactical Laser Tag Wilmington NC · Wilmington, NC

11th Annual paws4people 5K & 1 Mile (part of Paws on Parade)
Sat 9 AM · Greenfield Lake Amphitheater · Wilmington, NC
Walk & Dog Dash
Sat 9 AM · Hugh MacRae Park · Wilmington, NC

The Price is Right Live
Sun 3:30 PM · Wilson Center – Cape Fear Community College · Wilmington, NC

Argentine Tango All Levels
Mon 8 PM · Babs McDance Social Dance Club & Ballroom · Wilmington, NC
Broomtail Bowling “League” First Quarter at Cardinal Lanes
Mon 6:30 PM · Broomtail Craft Brewery · Wilmington, NC

At the Chef’s Table w Chef Bud Taylor of the Bistro at Topsail
Tue 6:30 PM · The Seasoned Gourmet · Wilmington, NC
CAPE FEAR RUGBY OPEN PRACTICE-New & Experienced players welcomed
Tue 6 PM · Flytrap Downs · Wilmington, NC
Bingo at Post 10
Tue 4 PM · American Legion Post 10 Wilmington, NC · Wilmington, NC
Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Tasting
Tue 6 PM · The Crooked Lotus · Sneads Ferry, NC

Murphy’s Celtic Legacy
Thu 7:30 PM · Wilson Center – Cape Fear Community College · Wilmington, NC

Fri 7:30 PM · Wilson Center – Cape Fear Community College · Wilmington, NC

Feather, Fur and Friends Expo
Sat 11 AM · Elks Lodge 532 Wilmington, NC · Wilmington, NC
27th Annual Herb and Garden Fair
Mar 30 – Mar 31 · Farmers Market at Poplar Grove · Wilmington, NC
Run Sunset Beach 2019
Sat 7 AM · Coastal Race Productions · Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Spring Book Sale
Sat 9 AM · New Hanover County Public Library – Northeast Branch · Wilmington, NC

The Infamous Stringdusters at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
Sun 5 PM · 98.3 The Penguin FM · Wilmington, NC

5 Signs That a House on the Market Isn’t Ready for the Sale

If you’ve ever hunted for the perfect house to buy, you know what the process is like. A lot of buyers find themselves viewing tons of places to make sure they’re investing in the right one, and not all of them say, “home sweet home.”

So when you do stumble across your ideal property, it can be difficult to see past all of the good and really address the bad. An experienced real estate agent will help with that, but we’ve got a few dead giveaways for you to keep your eye on while you search for your next home.

Exterior damage

It may not seem like such a big deal at first when you happen to notice a crack in the siding or a minor imperfection on the front porch, but exterior damages like this can point to much larger issues that could affect you much sooner than you think. While you might expect for there to be some evidence of a bad storm or age on the outside of a home, there are a few warning signs to look out for when you’re looking with an eye to buy. Make sure that those cracks haven’t allowed for any decay or rot to ensue beneath the surface, or a build-up of mold. Some damages get worse over time and can eventually reach down until they become structural or foundational issues.

Recent paint jobs

A fresh coat of paint might seem like a simple attempt to spruce the place up for potential buyers. But sometimes, paint is just concealing things like water damage or otherwise faulty features. And in the case of water damage, paint just seals in the moisture and allows for the perfect place for mold to grow. We recommend a thorough look around each sink, under window sills, and inside drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms. If anything looks warped, or you find any soft sheetrock, you’ll know that buying that house means dealing with the aftermath that the previous homeowner tried to conceal in the interest of getting the sale.

Uneven floors

With all the other aspects of a new home right in front of you, it’s unlikely that you’ll immediately look down at the floorboards. But while you’re getting excited about crown molding and the cozy placement of the fireplace, make sure you take a look under your feet. Uneven floors can indicate issues with the foundation, or the way in which the house settled with time and possibly created deflections underneath. A good rule of thumb is that the older the house, the more important it is to test out that floor before signing any paperwork.

Closed-off rooms

If you arrive at a house that you’re considering, and find that the current owners have closed off rooms and made a request that you not take a look around there, that should raise a red flag. There are circumstances where this could be warranted – if the homeowner has pets, for example, and wants to be sure they aren’t accidentally let out – but it can also indicate issues that might be deal breakers for a buyer. If you notice a room is closed off during your showing, just be sure to clarify that point with your real estate agent at the earliest opportunity.

DIY repairs

Some homeowners are incredibly handy, and can safely fix at least minor things by themselves so as to cut the cost of hiring a professional for the simple job. Others, however, seem to think that they’ve got the skills to handle the problem and wind up making things worse. While you view houses to buy, ask questions about past repairs and anything that catches your eye as a potential home improvement project.

Shopping for a new home doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds, especially when you have someone well-versed in the real estate game to make sure everything is as it should be. If you’re ready to get out there and start looking for your new home in the coastal North Carolina area, contact Intracoastal Realty!

Fall Back in Love with Your Home

Almost all relationships eventually get lulled into a rut, where those involved have to come up with new and creative ways to appreciate one another – so why should it be any different with your beloved home?

At Intracoastal Realty, we understand that sometimes you want a change of scenery. But if moving to a new house isn’t in the cards, then it might be time for a few new projects to renew your love for your house. It’s an ongoing process, and you’ll have to work at it, but we promise the time and attention you put into the place will be worth it.

Find a fresh perspective

Have you ever been told that perhaps you just need to look at things in a new light? We’ve found that when it comes to finding new things to love about your current home, sometimes that’s all it takes. Introduce a fresh perspective when you add a lamp to your living room, swap overhead lighting in your bedroom for a softer touch, or even take the time to install outdoor lights so you can spend more time in the backyard when weather permits. The more you can see and enjoy in your home, the more likely you are to think of it fondly.

Change the tone

If you feel as though your house isn’t giving you the right vibes, changing up the look and feel of some of its rooms with a new coat of paint can go a long way in setting a better tone. Take an afternoon and walk through your home to help you weigh the pros and cons of color choices in some spaces you’d like to say something different than what they are now. The thought behind colors can say a lot; do you want a bolder shade like red or yellow in the kitchen to motivate you to cook at home more often? Maybe you want to take advantage of that tub in your master bath, so you need a nice soothing color like blue or green to help reel you in. After you’ve visualized your new hues, you can set aside a day to tackle the task of painting, then sit back and wait for it to dry. In no time at all, you’ll have the perfect excuse to rearrange some furniture, too!

Clear the air

Who says spring is the only prime time for a deep clean? Sometimes, all you need to fall back in love with your home is to clear out the cobwebs and do a little reorganizing. When our spaces follow a logical order, and we’re not surrounded by clutter, we tend to feel less stressed and more motivated to stay on task and get things done. So if you find yourself getting exasperated often, or feeling unimpressed with where you live, the key may be to show it a little love. Donate the things you never use anymore, take on those home improvement projects you’ve been meaning to get to, and give all your belongings their proper places. We think that by the time you’re done, you’ll have unearthed a newfound appreciation for your house and all its little quirks.

If you’re ready to reconnect with your home’s best features, there’s never a better time to get started! And our expert staff keeps our blog up to date with plenty of home maintenance tips, real estate news, and great local information if you live close by, or plant to move to the area anytime soon. Check it out if you need a little inspiration to fall back in love with your home.

Absorption Reports: 4th 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 (Seller’s Market), while 7 months or more of supply will result in DEPRECIATING home prices (Buyer’s Market).  Each of the counties in our area are at their lowest inventory levels since 2005.  New Hanover County is showing a total of 1.9 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 4.3 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 2.9 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, and contact an Intracoastal Realty agent to learn about the supply and demand for your specific neighborhood.

New Hanover County

Brunswick County

Pender County