A listing represented by Lynne Galloway with The Mitchell-Lewis Group of Intracoastal Realty has been selected as a finalist in the HGTV Ultimate House Hunt 2019. The Ultimate House Hunt is a month-long online promotion held each year on HGTV.com, featuring extraordinary homes for sale in eight categories: Amazing Kitchens, Big City Digs, Countryside Retreats, Curb Appeal, Homes with a History, Modern Masterpieces, Outdoor Escapes and Waterfront Homes.
All featured homes are represented by members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Luxury Portfolio International®. This is the eighth consecutive year HGTV has aligned exclusively with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Luxury Portfolio International® for the popular awards, which run from June 12 through July 17. Last year’s promotion was the most popular in the award’s history.
The Intracoastal Realty listing was selected by HGTV’s editors as a finalist in the Waterfront Homes category.
The home is located on Banks Channel in Wrightsville Beach. From the eco-friendly features like on-demand hot water heater and solar panels to the A-series windows and doors, Mukulungu tropical hardwood decking, multiple storage areas, and open living area of the exterior to the refined finishes of the interior featuring Wolfe and Miele appliances, Hansgrohe plumbing fixtures, Haiku fans, tongue-and-groove poplar walls w/vaulted poplar ceilings, and custom walk-in closets, this home checks every imaginable design or function box.
“As an affiliate of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Intracoastal Realty is often presented with incredible marketing opportunites,” said Lake Slacum, Intracoastal Realty’s Vice President of Marketing. “We are excited for the sellers of this wonderful property, and for the national exposure that the listing – and our region – will receive as a result of this promotion.”
Consumers have the opportunity to tour the 92 homes selected as finalists by viewing photo galleries on HGTV.com and can then cast a vote for their favorite properties. A winner will be chosen in each category based on the highest number of votes received, and an overall favorite will be awarded for the listing receiving the most votes.
The winning homes will receive editorial exposure on HGTV.com, as well as the prestige of being selected as fan favorites. Additional properties will be featured in the Global Homes gallery, boasting homes from ten different countries or territories around the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
How did hurricane Florence affect your crawl space? Here’s what to look out for in your crawl space…
Even though Hurricane Florence passed through our area several months ago, many homeowners are still feeling its lingering effects without knowing it. We are Crawlspace Medic, experts when it comes to the area underneath your home. We exist because 60% of the air you breathe in your home comes from your crawl space. Here are 7 important factors we inspect for daily that can affect the health of your home.
High Wood Moisture Content
Wood moisture content is one way for you to know if there is an issue with the structural components of your home. Wood moisture content is the percentage of water in the wood framing supporting your house. Proper wood moisture content should be 5%-15%. Anything outside of this range can potentially cause issues, sometimes major. Once your moisture reading reaches over 15% it is likely you have fungus, mold, or mildew. When the moisture readings get to 20% or higher, you can almost guarantee fungus or mold is forming in your crawl space. You can get a wood moisture reader from your local home improvement store for around $50 or call your local crawl space repair company.
Signs of Fungus and Mold
Fungus and mold are easy to spot even though they come in all different shapes and sizes. Fungus and mold grow on the wood under your home slowly eating away at the structure of the wood. They can often look like black spots, white spots, or discoloration of the wood. Two of the major things that cause a large amount of the structural repairs we perform are wood rot and wood decay, both created by fungus. The only consistent solution to fungus and mold is to fix the problem of high moisture with a crawl space dehumidifier.
Streaming insulation is exactly what it sounds like, long strips of insulation falling from the space between your floor joists. Streaming insulation can happen in several different ways: animals, moisture accumulation, or simply age. If left untreated, insulation will often fall to the floor of your crawl space, rot from excess moisture, and leave you no choice but to replace it. If you have noticed your heating and cooling bills are a bit higher than usual, you may want to call a professional to check your insulation.
Often we like to tell people to trust their nose. If your crawl space smells stale, rotten, musty, or damp, you likely have a problem. Several things can put off a strong smell; standing water, mold and fungus, dead animals, or even a broken pipe. It can often be hard to locate the source of the scent, so we always recommend calling your local crawl space professional.
Weak and Damaged Wood
Weak and damaged wood is something you have to get under your house and actually check for. You can visually inspect the structural timber for discoloration and cracks, but the absolute best process checking for wood rot is to poke a piece of wood with a screwdriver. If it sounds hollow or the screwdriver can punch a hole you likely have a problem. Structural problems can often be hard to diagnose. If you think you have a problem, we highly recommend talking with a crawl space professional.
Water in Ductwork
During the recent hurricane and also in times of heavy rain, you may get flooding in your crawl space. If your ductwork hangs low, then it is very likely you have water in your duct lines. You need to physically check all lines for water. Water in lines will make them heavy, and you may even be able to hear it sloshing. If left unattended, water in your ductwork will cause rot and mold. You could unknowingly be releasing fungus and mold into your house every time you use your heat or AC.
Standing water in a crawl space is often a sign that there is a bigger problem, usually: flooding, improper grading, plumbing leak, high water table, or water intrusion from a foundation wall. Many of these can be solved with some version of a drain system, but leaving standing water is never a good idea. Standing water will raise the humidity level in your crawl space, leading to higher wood moisture content and many other things that can harm your home’s health. When you see an area under or near your house with standing water, call a professional to explore the best way to remove the standing water.
We see all of these problems on an almost daily basis, and we understand it can be scary and confusing to find the right solution. That being said, if you see the start of a problem, please reach out to a professional who can offer a proper solution and ensure you have a healthy crawl space and home. In almost every case, prevention (in the form of early treatment) is more cost-effective than repairing a problem that has been ignored. Please feel free to call us any time with questions or to schedule a checkup.
Disclaimer: The content, views, and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and are to be used for informational purposes only. Intracoastal Realty makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information in this blog.
Moving day has arrived! If you’ve played your cards right, you’re all set. The truck is here, all of your boxes are packed and ready to go, and you’ve done a once-over to make sure you didn’t forget to do anything else on your to-do list before you leave.
While we know this day can be full of stress as well as excitement for you and the human members of your family, your furry friend is probably feeling just as amped up by all of the activity disrupting his or her home. To make sure that everyone in the household is able to relocate from one house to the next with ease, we’ve put together a few of our best tips for moving with pets. With any luck, they’ll help you all make it to your new adventure without incident!
Consult the experts
Have a chat with your current vet prior to moving day for a few pointers from an expert. Most vets will be able to tell you all about possible complications pets can experience with the stress of moving, relaxation methods you can employ to keep your four-legged friend calm throughout the process, and even acclimation techniques for after you’ve arrived. When you have all the information, you can better prepare for a smoother transition for every member of your family.
Put together an overnight kit
As you pack up the house, single out the items you’re more likely to need for your pet and put them all together in an easily accessed kit. Ensure that everyone in the house knows about this care package of sorts, and store it somewhere you won’t forget or that would be hard to reach in case of an emergency. This pack might include any medications your pet is on, treats, favorite toys, a blanket, and anything else that you could need to be able to retrieve at a moment’s notice.
Prepare a safe zone
During the process of packing the car or truck, and then again when it’s time to unpack, keep your pet in a quiet, safe location out of the fray. Not only will this make it easier on you to get things done, knowing where your pet is and that he or she won’t be roaming about, but doing so means that your favorite companion is out of harm’s way. In the chaos of rearranging furniture and carrying heavy boxes into your new home, pets who are underfoot can get stepped on or otherwise injured accidentally. And if you have a pet that is strictly indoors, you can eliminate the risk of letting him or her outside during all of the trips in and out.
Moving day doesn’t have to be quite as stressful where your pets are concerned! And with a reliable real estate agency on your side, you have representatives who are willing to streamline the paperwork and other processes so you can focus on the finer details – like remembering where you packed your playful puppy’s second favorite ball.
“Happy New Year,” with its focus on personal resolutions, often translates to “Happy New You.” Among the top annual resolutions, according to multiple surveys, is “learn a new skill.”
At Intracoastal Realty, our training team makes this a continued focus, inspiring agents, both new and experienced, with opportunities to keep skills fresh, up-to-date and ready for what lies ahead.
Stephanie Fessel, Intracoastal Realty’s director of learning and development, leads all aspects of the company’s training for new agents supporting their efficiency, sustained productivity and use of technology platforms. A former real estate agent herself, Stephanie brings 16 years of real estate training to Intracoastal Realty’s team, blending live and online classrooms, webinars and one-on-one coaching, and facilitating opportunities for collaborative learning and teamwork.
So, what’s on Stephanie’s 2019 Syllabus? A look ahead includes these topics:
• How to build and manage your database
• How to communicate with your sphere of influence
• How to prospect For Sale By Owners and Expired Listings
• How to do Geographical Farming
• How to conduct an effective Open House
• Social Media Best Practices and Strategies
• Enhancing Your Realtor Profiles online
• Generating Testimonials
• Business Planning
• Newly-designed Listing Presentation
• 10 Step Buyer Process
• 10 Step Listing Process
Stephanie is also offering newly revamped New Agent and Veteran Agent sales skills training programs.
“I’m delighted to be part of Intracoastal which is well known for its investment in professional development and continued agent training,” says Stephanie. “The company provides the administrative staff, marketing, technology and everything an agent needs to be successful in the real estate business.”
If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to broaden your real estate skills, then consider joining a team that supports that personal growth. Contact us to learn more about working with Intracoastal Realty.
As one of the most important decisions you can make, buying a home requires you to cover all your bases before you’ll be handed the keys.
It may seem daunting, but with the right professional by your side, the home buying process itself is a simple checklist. In no time at all, you’ll find yourself the proud owner of your very own house! North Carolina’s home buying procedure is fairly straightforward, but every set of circumstances is different. Here at Intracoastal Realty, our agents walk with you every step of the way to make sure you wind up with the ideal home for you and your family.
Contact your realtor
Your real estate agent is key to successfully navigating the home buying process. This is the professional who will help you complete the right paperwork, find and view homes, and eventually negotiate your terms. So when you know that you want to buy a home, whether it’s your first or your fifth, you’ll want to make sure you have reliable support.
Map out your priorities
Even if you haven’t planned out exactly what kind of house you want to live in, there are certain structural or design aspects you know you need or want. To better assist your real estate agent during the search, take the time to articulate what you’re looking for and what features you would most want to have in your home.
Mortgage preapproval is a key component to the house buying process because no matter what you end up purchasing, you’re going to need to have the financial backing to do so. And once you do, you make yourself a strong candidate for the seller to consider in the event of a bidding war on a house.
This is one of the more stressful, yet fun sides to buying a house! Looking through all of your options can feel overwhelming, but using your real estate agent’s knowledge at this point in the process can help you narrow down the available properties to the ones that you’ll be able to picture yourself living in one day.
Look at the facts
Some of the best assets we have as real estate experts are the MLS system and our own market research. And when it comes to your future home, we use those resources to make sure you know as much about the house you want to buy before we present you with any paperwork. As you’re house hunting, check in with your real estate agent and review these statistics so that you’re well acquainted with your potential purchase.
Make an offer
Here comes the fun part: making an offer on the house you want to buy! After making the initial offer to the seller, you and your agent can work together to negotiate any further terms or amendments to the price you’re willing to pay on the home. You can even speak with your agent beforehand and get a general idea of what sorts of compromises you might be presented with during this phase of the home buying process.
If negotiation isn’t your strength, a quality real estate agent will have you covered. Here at Intracoastal Realty, our agents take the guesswork out of navigating this step by acting as your liaison and using years of valuable experience to help you settle on terms that agree with everyone involved.
Check off your to-dos
There are plenty of tasks for you to accomplish before the sale of a home is completed, so be sure to keep a diligent record of inspections, payments, and any other necessary reviews of the property before closing day. That way, by the time you’re ready to sign paperwork, you’ll be able to enjoy the moment without anything else hanging over your head.
If you were preapproved for a mortgage earlier in the process, then this part is simple! As soon as you have the finances to complete the purchase of your next home, it’s just a matter of setting a closing date with the seller and your agents.
Invest in insurance
Title insurance can help save you time and money on the off-chance that the previous owner overlooked some clerical error or mistake in the title for your new home. We always recommend home buyers invest in title insurance to help cover any potential legal expenses and keep the buying process moving along on schedule.
Pre-closing inspection is the last chance to express an opinion about what stays or goes in your house when the current owners vacate it to make room for you and your family. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for damages or any defects that went unnoticed on your first viewing, or that might have been sustained during the move-out process. If you included any repairs or modifications in your terms, be sure to get a status report on those at this time, too.
Close the deal
And you’re done! All that’s left at this point in the home buying process is to sign on the dotted line and make the house you just bought a real home for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.
Ready to find your dream home in coastal North Carolina? Our talented, dedicated real estate agents look forward to working with you! Contact us to get started.
When 2019 rolls around in a few days, tons of us will be putting our resolutions into action, and hopefully sticking with them throughout the year! Have you thought of what you want to accomplish?
Here at Intracoastal Realty, we make it part of our business to see your dreams come to a reality by helping you find and buy your ideal home, or sell the one you have so you and your family can move on to better and brighter opportunities. But what if your goal isn’t to move, but to refurbish your current house so that it becomes the home you’ve always wanted? This usually means that it’s time to start planning your renovations and home improvement projects, and whether you plan to do them yourself or to hire a professional, it’s going to take some planning for everything to turn out just the way you want it.
What are we doing?
Renovations, minor or otherwise, can take a lot of time and resources, so it’s key to first focus on what exactly it is that you want to have done to your house. Maybe you’ve got a fence that badly needs replacing, or perhaps you’ve always wanted a spectacular garden tub in your master bath. No matter the project, it’s best to sit down and figure out at least the main aspects of what needs to be done, what rooms will be involved, who you’ll need to call, and who or what will be affected by any inconveniences that will arise from the construction period.
What do we have?
The next most important aspects of a home renovation project are going to be in the details. What kind of budget are you prepared to set aside for the venture? If you don’t think you’ll have enough at present, you may need to break out the calendar and decide when you could comfortably put up the financial resources you need to get the work done. In that plan, go ahead and have a few places bookmarked in case this particular project takes you out of the house for a few days for safety or comfort concerns and how long those arrangements will be feasible if they do come up.
When is this going to happen?
As is always the case with a major home improvement project, timing is everything. If it involves the outdoors or a sensitive system in the house, you may need to plan out the project due to environmental and weather concerns. Or, personal factors like a school schedule for the kids may come into play and affect when this renovation will be doable. So while you plan your budget and the parameters of the construction involved, be sure to keep an eye on dates and have a general idea for when you’d like to cross things off your to-do list, all while allowing a little wiggle room for any unexpected setbacks.
If you’re ready to take a step forward in your home improvement plans this year, make sure you’re off to a solid start! And if you decide instead that 2019 is the year you move someplace new, contact Intracoastal Realty for your buying or selling needs.
At this time of year, businesses often look back over the past twelve months with a critical lens to measure “what has been accomplished.” For Intracoastal Realty, we also consider where we have made a meaningful impact through community engagement and connections.
In 2018, this reflection calls to mind the number of organizations, programs, fundraisers, and issues that Intracoastal has supported through volunteerism and donations, cash and in-kind alike. Importantly, our generosity reflects our independence, for without franchise fees going to out-of-state corporate entities, our revenues stay local, doing good work and supporting those in need here.
Over the past year or so, over 100 organizations benefitted from Intracoastal Realty’s efforts. Our contributions supported education, medical, and social services. Our agents and staff volunteered with non-profit organizations nearly every day, as board members, event volunteers, and informed advocates.
As a company, our management team and agents also support elementary and higher education with grants to teachers and scholarships for students, respectively. Our Teachers Fund donated $24,430 to elementary educators in New Hanover, Brunswick, Onslow, and Pender counties last year alone. Since its founding by CEO Jim Wallace in 2005, the Teacher’s Fund has granted more than $285,000 benefiting more than 175,000 students.
UNCW, Cape Fear Community College, and Brunswick Community College foundations received $18,500 in scholarships for students during the 2018/19 academic year. And this, too, is an annual gift; our company has provided scholarships to students of higher education for the past 25 years.
We are grateful for the opportunity to give back. But that opportunity is a reflection of our agents’ responsiveness and delight in serving others – and in the continued service our clients allow us to deliver every day.
Happy holidays to all. And thank you for making 2018 a year well worthy of reflection.