A Guide for First-time Home Sellers

When you don’t know what to expect, selling your first home can quickly evolve into a convoluted and frustrating process, even with a knowledgeable realtor on your side. The experts here at Intracoastal Realty have come up with a few helpful hints to walk you through the process, so you can confidently move forward with the sale.

Meet with a trusted real estate agent.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but this first step to selling your home is the most important one. When you find and meet with a capable real estate agent, he or she will be able to assess your home and neighborhood, help you establish your needs and some realistic goals for the sale, and navigate the showing and closure process. You’ll probably also do a walk-through of the house to familiarize the agent with its physical attributes, as well as find a few tweaks to make in order to show off the place in the best possible light.

Set expectations, but remember to be flexible.

Just like you have items that are non-negotiable, so does each potential buyer that crosses the threshold of your home. When the residence is ready to be shown, discuss with your real estate agent potential compromising points, and outline very clearly what you absolutely cannot bend on before you assess the first offer.

Keep track.

In the lucky event that you receive multiple offers on your house, it would benefit you to have some sort of filing system so as not to confuse one buyer from another. This is also a handy way to compare and contrast offers with your real estate agent, so that when you’re ready to make the final call, you can easily glance at the profiles and pull out the pros and cons of each.

A clean home is a happy one.

Even after the initial showings have occurred, and after you have an offer or two for consideration, keep your house up to showcase standards. The nature of selling a home involves plenty of risk; your buyer’s credit may not be up to par with their chosen lender, he or she may suddenly back out of the deal, or your reason for moving may throw a wrench in the plans. To hopefully put off any unforeseen complications in obtaining another buyer – or keeping the one you have – maintain a tidy household to the very last day of your residence.

Plan accordingly.

As was already mentioned, there are countless ways that the eventual sale of your home could deviate from your carefully laid plan. But, with a skilled real estate agent on your side, you can be sure to include a few fallbacks and contingency courses of action in your general outline. It will also be helpful to plan out any major changes you want to make to improve your home’s appearance such as fresh paint, more intensive lawn work, or furniture rearrangement prior to opening your home to buyers.

Be prepared to offer extra features.  

It’s easy to claim that there are things you could do without in your current house: appliances, curtains, and other interior decorations to name a few. But when someone makes an offer that includes something you might have planned on taking with you after the sale, it’s time to make a decision regarding what you will and won’t miss. Just remember that at this point, it’s about being reasonable and rational, not necessarily emotionally invested. If someone requests the inclusion of appliances, consider the benefits and costs before refusing. By conceding a little, you might just gain a lot in the sale.

The main thing to keep in mind when you’re ready for a move and need to sell your house is that in spite of the stress that often comes with the process, it’s still an exciting change for you and yours to experience! By putting yourself in the hands of a capable and trusted real estate agent, you’ll also take some of the pressure off and gain a valuable resource to see you through the sale. If you’re ready to sell your house on North Carolina’s coast, contact us today!

Setting the Stage

When trying to sell your home, you want to make sure its best features are on display without going over-the-top or downplaying anything that could sway a potential buyer. Obviously, the exterior of a house is easier to show off in spring or summer, when the sun is out and your grass is a pleasant shade of green. But even when winter is still keeping the plant life to a minimum, the experts here at Intracoastal Realty have a few ideas to combat any lingering winter chill.

Keep everything accessible

There’s a reason the term is “spring cleaning.” But, in order to put your house’s best foot forward and get it sold, you might have to bust out the gardening gloves a little earlier than planned. The very first impression you can give is of your home’s exterior, so make it a memorable one – and in a good way, too. Clear the walkways, establish comfortable paths between shrubs and other plant life that will be returning in the spring, and in the case of snow or ice, be sure to shovel the sidewalk and steps when a potential buyer is coming over.

Timing is everything

Some homeowners like to spruce up the outdoors with some decorative lighting, even before and after the major holiday season. You can use this to your advantage if you’re trying to sell your house when the branches are more than likely bare. Strands of twinkling lights and strategically placed adornments can fill up the empty space left once the leaves fall, and go a long way in making your home look and feel warm and comforting, even when the temperatures outside say otherwise.   

Play to your strengths

Let’s face it: every house has its flaws. The advantage to selling yours in wintertime, though, is that if it’s a matter of a small yard or otherwise awkward terrain, you can go ahead and address these drawbacks openly with potential buyers while still having plenty of room without encroaching foliage to point out the positives. Take a walk around the property with your real estate agent and take stock of the pros and cons, then discuss the best ways to present them to those that come for a viewing of the house. With the right agent, any interested parties will promptly get both sides of the story, without you truly risking the sale in favor of disclosure.

No matter the time of year, putting a house on the market is always going to be a challenge. With experienced agents like those at Intracoastal Realty, you can be sure that you have someone to walk you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started!

5 Ways to Fight the Winter Blues

Even at the beaches in North Carolina, the dead of winter can sometimes feel endless and just a little dry. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything you could do to bring back some color in your home! When it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors and a touch too dreary to properly dream of summer sunshine, we’ve got a few tricks you can use to rejuvenate your personal environment.

Bring the outside in

It may seem too simple, but try bringing a few houseplants in to make up for the lack of color outside. There are some varieties that are nice and easy to maintain on a daily basis, so you don’t even need to worry about letting them get out of hand or dying before spring makes a reappearance.

Lighten the mood

Use natural lighting and sheer curtains to encourage a transition back into stronger sunlight. Not only does this move make use of the limits of winter days, but it’ll save you a few bucks on your energy bill in the long run.

Brighten things up… literally

Swap out bulbs for when the days do grow dark, and you might even trick yourself into thinking the elongated daylight hours are back! Your home will be well-lit, and you can begin to condition yourself and your housemates to be ready for those drawn-out summer days before daylight savings time.

Swap out darker decor

Use white or light-colored furniture and fabrics to chase away the winter shadows. The paler tones will complement the lighting in other parts of the room (like your new light bulbs and more accessible windows).

Channel your inner artist

Fresh paint can transform a room, and if winter has you down, then perhaps it’s time to reintroduce parts of your home to spring and summer! Take a day (the weather has you inside already, right?) and thoroughly clean everything, paint, then step back and admire. And, when you own your own home, you can always change your mind and remodel the place come summertime.

With these and more, you and your home will be on your way out of the winter blues in no time! Keep up-to-date with our blog for more homeowner tips and news, or contact us if you’re ready to make your move to one of North Carolina’s coastal communities.

Cookie Cutter vs Character: Pros and Cons of Moving into an Older House

Whether it’s your first time buying a home or the tenth, there’s a lot to consider in regards to what you’re looking for in a house and the surrounding area. That’s why having a realty agency you can depend on is so important – new areas can be difficult to navigate, and you want a local expert guiding you on location considerations and issues you might need to be aware of for the future.

What an agent can’t help decide is what you prefer as far as style is concerned. One big question our clients typically voice is whether they should peruse newer or older houses on their search. There are benefits and drawbacks to both, so it usually comes down to a matter of personal preference and the willingness to put in extra work should an aged home have some complications down the road, but we’ve compiled a few general things to think about before you purchase your next home.

Following a pattern

With many recently-built houses and those found in new subdivisions, we often find that they follow a pattern with their neighbors in terms of design and color. The downside to this is of course a lack of character and individuality – at least until you get to decorating! – but the positives include a modern look, innovative layouts, and often some eco-friendly features.


Older homes have a lot of character; sometimes this is great, but often this is realtor-speak for “temperamental.” And while a few home improvement projects might ward you off from buying a house with several years on it, for some people it might be perfect! If you’re good with your hands and love a challenge to fill up your Saturday mornings, you might consider braving the potential work ahead and signing that dotted line.

A long and happy life

Along with the wear and tear, a longer life adds personality and sentimental value to a home. It may be new to you, but many houses contain subtle reminders that they’ve seen some amount of time pass: a worn-in fireplace, retro-patterned kitchen tiles. And as long as the previous owner took good care of the house, then these details are more endearing than detrimental to the overall value.

A clean slate

If you’re more attuned to chic spaces and modern color schemes, then a newer house is just the thing! We often associate a brand new home with a clean slate of our own, so if you want to start from scratch and really make the property yours then we suggest browsing through listings of houses built in the last couple of years and going from there in making your decision.

We know it can be stressful to relocate you and your family to an unfamiliar place, so here at Intracoastal Realty we try to make the process as seamless as possible with our local expertise and friendly, efficient agents. Contact us for more tips or to get started on finding your new (or new to you) home today!

New Year, New Home?

By this time in January, most people have gotten a decent start on all of the resolutions they vowed to keep in the year to come. Among all of your aspirations and plans, did you think to consider a long-term goal of moving into your dream house? If you begin the process soon, and team up with a capable realty agency like Intracoastal Realty for some professional assistance, you shouldn’t be too far away from getting settled.


As with any achievable goal, setting your sights on a new house should begin with establishing reasonable expectations. Maybe instead of aiming for a 2018 move, you decide to take it easy on your budget and your schedule and make this the year you prepare yourself and your current home for a change of pace in 2019. If you know you’ll need to relocate for a job or a new education program, you might resolve to look for a new home only within certain areas so as to ease your daily commute.


The key to executing any long-term change is to set milestones for yourself. They keep you on track and focused, while also giving you little accomplishments to celebrate. When it comes to buying a home, you’ll want to have a checklist of sorts for budgeting, paperwork, and everything in between. Luckily, we can help you with all of that!

Stay positive

Depending on the circumstances, your timeline, and what you require in a house, the process to find and purchase a new residence that fits you and your family can be a long one. The very best advice we can give for jumping into the next few steps is to remember to stay positive, even when there are setbacks or difficulties. Here at Intracoastal Realty, we work with you to try and minimalize complications, and to sort through them as they come.

If 2018 is your year to land a new home, let us guide you through the ins and outs of the housing market here on North Carolina’s coast! Contact Intracoastal Realty to get started on your resolution today.

How to Make the Most of the Off-Season

For any local in a beach town, the slightest reprieve afforded by cooler weather can be refreshing, even if it does mark a lull in tourist season. And though North Carolina’s coast never truly suffers from persistent chills, January is a slower time of year for visitors.

So while traffic doesn’t lengthen your commute quite as much, and the breezes on the beach pick up, what is a local to do? The experts here at Intracoastal Realty have a few tips for how to spend the quieter months!

Home improvement

With the weather being less intense than it can get in the summer months, now is a great time to take advantage and tackle a few pet projects. The main thing you’ll have to keep in mind as you plan your next task for the house’s exterior is whether or not the necessary materials will stand up to the chance of rain. If not, make the necessary preparations for fixing something indoors or reorganizing your space to make being inside that much more enjoyable.

Take in the scenery

In the summer, many of our wonderful tourist attractions are crowded hotspots that any good local knows how to navigate around on his or her daily commute. While this might be a less popular time for vacations, you can always play tourist for a day and see the sights you might not get to enjoy at other times of year. There are plenty of places right in your backyard, and we have a few favorite suggestions that you might appreciate!

Play in the sand

Despite the realities of the typical winter season, our area can enjoy some fairly mild weather until spring returns. While the beaches are less populated and the temperatures aren’t keeping you away, take the opportunity to enjoy them! Be mindful of seasonal parking and other local limitations, and bring an extra jacket just in case of an unexpected chill. If nothing else, it’s a great way to cut the monotony of a routine and get your toes in the sand, even for just a little while.

Don’t let wintertime paces get you down – there’s so much to enjoy about North Carolina’s coast at all times of the year! For more information or suggestions for passing the time until the summer sun reappears, stay tuned to our blog and local happenings. And if you or a loved one is considering relocating to our coastal communities, contact us to get started and experience the exceptional!

Honoring Intracoastal Realty Veterans

To those in uniform currently serving, and to those who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.  Thank you for your service to our country so that we can enjoy our freedoms.

Intracoastal Realty is a special “family” with people of many backgrounds and interests.  As we honor all Veterans on November 11th (federal holiday this year is November 10th), we would like to recognize agents and staff at Intracoastal Realty who have served our country.

Tracel Wilt, U.S. Army.  Sales Agent at the Wilmington Lumina 1 office.  Tracel is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.


Bob Caulder, U.S. Army. Sales Agent at the Ocean Isle Beach office.  Bob served 8 years (4 active and 4 inactive) and was stationed at Fort Dix, NJ for basic training; Fort Gordon, GA for AIT training; Fort Bragg, NC for compassionate reassignment; and Berlin, Germany, which earned him the Berlin Occupation Medal.  Bob was E-5 promotable who served in the Vietnam era.


Tom Adam, U.S. Army.  Manager at the Wilmington Lumina 1 office.  Tom served 3 years at various bases in the USA and also served in Korea.


Eddie Lawler, U.S. Navy.  Sales Agent at the Wilmington Lumina 1 office.  Eddie served for 4 years (1966-1969) on NAS Oceana VA85 in Virginia Beach; USS Kitty Hawk – VA85; USS America – VA85; and USS Constellation – VA85.  Eddie was AE2 Vietnam.


Chet Sechrest, U.S. Army.  Sales Agent at the Leland office.  Chet served for 27 years and 9 months at Hunter Army Airfield 1/75 Ranger Battalion; Ft. Devens, MA 10th Special Forces Group; Panzer Kaserne Germany; Ft Bragg 3rd Special Forces Group; and Ft Meade, MD Asymmetric Warfare Group.  Chet retired as Sergeant Major, has been to Iraq three times, and has been to 30 other countries around the world.


Hamilton Hicks, U.S. Marines.  Sales Agent at the Lumina 1 office.  “Ham” is a former mayor or Wilmington who served in USA, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, Philippines, and Vietnam waters.  Ham is a Retired Senior Officer.


Larry Sims, U.S. Marines.  Sales Agent at the Ocean Isle Beach office.  Larry served 5 years (1964-1968) and was stationed at Parris Island, Camp LeJeune, Norfolk, and Southeast Asia (Vietnam).  Larry was an E5 Sergeant.


Gus Franklin, U.S. Navy.  Sales Agent at the Wrightsville Beach office.  Gus served 5 years (1970-1974) and was stationed at Norfolk and Newport.  Gus ranked as a Lieutenant.


Seth Parmelee, U.S. Army.  Sales Agent at the Leland office.  Seth was stationed at Vilseck, Germany, FOB Scunion in Iraq, and Fort Hood.  Seth was a Specialist, Iraq OIF 2 04-05.


Ed Sullivan, U.S. Navy.  Sales Agent at the Wilmington Lumina 2 office.  Ed attended the US Naval Academy and served for 14 years (1982-1995).  He was stationed in Pensacola FL, Norfolk VA, and in Washington DC at the Pentagon – Bureau of Naval Personnel.  Ed was a Lieutenant, Navy Pilot in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.


Tim Knapp, U.S. Navy.  Maintenance and Housekeeping Manager at the Vacation Rentals division of Intracoastal Realty.


Jim O’Daniell, Sr, U.S. Air Force.  Sales Agent at the Porters Neck office.  Jim served 22 years (1954-1975) and was stationed in Iceland, India, Vietnam, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, New York, and North Carolina.  Jim’s rank was Chief Master Sergeant E-9, Vietnam, 1965-1966, Hq. First Air Force: 1966-1969, Hq. Air Defense Command: 1970-1973.  He was the youngest Tech Sergeant E-6 in the United States Air Force 1959. Retired USAF 1975 at Ft. Fisher AFS NC.


Jeff Whitfield, U.S. Navy.  Sales Agent at the Wilmington Lumina 2 office.  Jeff was stationed in Virginia, Maine, Portugal, Spain, and Iceland and was attached to Patrol Squadron 44.


Jeff Broos, U.S. Air Force.  Sales Agent at the Wilmington Lumina 1 office.  Jeff served 7 years (1969-1975) and was stationed in Southern California and Southeast Asia.  Jeff was a pilot and Captain in the Vietnam War.


Debbi Snyder, U.S. Army.  Sales Agent in the Wilmington Lumina 2 office.  Debbi served 15 years (1986-2000) and was stationed at Fort Indiantown Gap PA, Fort Dix NJ, Fort Bragg NC, and Ashley PA Reserve Unit.   Debbi was a member of the University of Scranton ROTC, Military Police, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.


Harold Parker, U.S. Army.  Sales Agent in the WIlmington Lumina 1 office.  Harold was stationed at Fort Jackson SC (Basic Training) and Fort Meade MD (HDQ Detachment 68th Medical Group).  Harold was a Specialist 4th Class and attended Personnel Management School at Fort Benjamin in Indiana.  He also served as Administrative Support for training National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA and for the Army Reserve.


Throwback Photos

Chet Sechrest


Chet Sechrest (right) in fatigues


Tracel Wilt at West Point


Our History Here: Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Ocean Isle Beach is a popular vacation destination as well a permanent home to 614 people. The area has endured many ups and downs throughout its rich history, shaping it into the bustling and beautiful town that it is today.

One of four barrier islands in Brunswick County, Ocean Isle Beach is located halfway between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. Stretching 8 miles long, it faces due south, a rarity among East Coast beaches, and is on the same latitude as Los Angeles, Calif., and Damascus, Syria. The first inhabitants arrived in about 10,000 BC and were mostly Cape Fear Indians. Eventually scavenging pirates discovered the area as well, but by the early 1700s the world around what is now Ocean Isle Beach began drastically changing as English settlers arrived to forge a more permanent lifestyle with plantations, including Gause Manor, which was part of the tar and turpentine industry. While many believe fire later took Gause Manor, no one knows exactly what happened to the grand home that President George Washington visited on April 27, 1791.

Ocean Isle Beach pier

The next notable era in Ocean Isle Beach’s history was the age of Prohibition, when it was illegal to produce, transport, or possess liquor. During the 1920s, sailing vessels often smuggled rum and other spirits from the Bahamas, Jamaica and Canada into Brunswick County via Tubbs Inlet. Even today, you may still find liquor bottles scattered in the woods around town from where locals transferred smuggled alcohol into other containers to avoid arrest. The isolation of this area made this nefarious trade big business until Prohibition was repealed on December 5, 1933. Also during the 1920s, the first commercial structure on Ocean Isle Beach, a dance hall/honky tonk near the site of the former Gause Manor, marked the Jazz Age and attracted young flappers from as far away as Whiteville who wanted to dance the Charleston and partake in bootlegged gin.

The geography of Ocean Isle Beach, which was known as Hale Beach prior to 1949, changed dramatically in 1934 with the arrival of the Intracoastal Waterway project. Prior to this, the area was not an island and you could easily walk or drive from the mainland to the ocean. The digging of the manmade inland channel carved a barrier island that was only accessible for boat for the next 16 years.

Modern-day Ocean Isle Beach really started to take shape during the late 1940s, when Odell Williamson began purchasing tracts of land that would lay the foundation for the town. Williamson was elected to the North Carolina legislature in 1947 and from there was able to further spearhead Ocean Isle Beach growth. He and his wife Virginia gave the area the name Ocean Isle Beach in 1949. A year later, he built a four-car ferry over the waterway, which operated until 1959 when a swing bridge was completed. This served the island’s transportation needs until 1986, when the current high-rise bridge was constructed in the same spot.

Hurricane Hazel on October 15, 1954, hampered Ocean Isle Beach’s initial progress. The worst hurricane ever to hit the area, Hazel destroyed all but two of the island’s 41 homes and took the lives of seven people riding out the storm there, including Williamson’s sister, her husband, and young son. Four survived, including Williamson’s niece. Due to the timing of the storm coming ashore during the highest tide of the year, the Atlantic Ocean actually met the Intracoastal Waterway and covered the island entirely in water. An article in Our State magazine offers a harrowing and detailed account of this incident.

Despite this tragic setback, development persevered. Williamson constructed the first fishing pier on the island in 1957 and built the offices for Ocean Isle Beach Realty across the street. To make room for a parking lot at the pier, he moved an old duplex to a new lot and converted it to a private, four-bedroom oceanfront cottage, where Virginia spends her time to this day (Odell passed away on October 3, 2010, at the age of 90).

Ocean Isle Beach was incorporated in 1959, and Williamson served as the first mayor from 1959-1963. His wife Virginia later served as mayor from 1969-1973 and daughter LaDane from 1973-1987. LaDane, brother DeCarol, and their families both continue to be active in the family business and throughout Ocean Isle Beach, while Virginia also remains involved.

The Williamsons’ vision for a family beach persists today, and Ocean Isle Beach is more vibrant than ever. It holds more than 3,000 residences, including single-family and condos, with a seasonal population peaking at over 25,000.

Do you want to be part of the story of Ocean Isle Beach’s future? Let Intracoastal Realty be your guide. 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.

Our History Here: Leland & Belville

Just a short trip over the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge from downtown Wilmington, the Leland/Belville area has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. New homes abound as available land in New Hanover County becomes increasingly scarce and people are drawn to Brunswick County’s more affordable real estate, slower pace, and proximity to the amenities found in a bigger city. But there is a lot more to the story of Leland/Belville than what you see today. Both have evolved tremendously from their humble, rural beginnings.


Leland’s roots go back to the mid-1890s as a settlement at the crossroads where Village Road crossed the Wilmington, Columbia, and Augusta Railroad. Its name became formalized in late 1897 when Joseph W. Gay and other area citizens petitioned the federal government for a local post office. During this process, a list of three names was submitted as possible monikers for the area covered by the new post office. Leland, the name of Gay’s nephew, Leland Adams, was chosen, and the new post office opened on February 10, 1898, with Gay as postmaster. It was located in a corner of Gay’s General Store.

The Leland area was initially settled at the same time the earliest plantations along the Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers came into existence. Early activity revolved around the post office, the school, two grocery stores, the railroad station, Leland Baptist Church, Leland Methodist Church, and numerous homes. For many years, Leland was one of numerous small, unincorporated communities throughout Brunswick County serving as minor centers of trade throughout the early 20th century.

Due to its location adjacent to the Brunswick River, Leland also served as an early transportation center. By modern standards, the early roads in the area were primitive. There were ferries in place across the Brunswick River and across the Cape Fear River for travelers going north and south. The Brunswick River actually received a bridge in 1890 before the Cape Fear River. The Brunswick River Causeway, across Eagles Island, was always known as a problem area because of the wetness of the soil and swamps between the two rivers. By 1923, the road from the Brunswick River through Leland had been paved and was known as State Road 20.

Finally incorporated in 1989, Town of Leland recently celebrated its 28th birthday during its annual Founders’ Day celebration, held on the second Saturday of September and featuring entertainment, food, a carnival, arts and crafts/business vendors, fireworks, and a salute to veterans. According to Census figures, Leland has grown from a population of 4,123 in 2000 to 18,843 in 2016, due mostly to large neighborhoods of new construction. In July 2015, the Town of Leland moved into its new 40,000-square-foot $9.7 million Town Hall, and that same year the 18,000-square-foot Leland Cultural Arts Center opened.

For those interested in learning more about Leland’s past and present, a few times each year there is an award-winning Leland We Don’t Know program, a two-hour bus tour that takes participants through parts of Leland they may have never seen, including sites from the Town’s early days and some of the area’s newest neighborhoods. It highlights Leland’s history and plans for the future. The next segments are planned for Oct. 3, and although both trips are already full, you can put yourself on a waiting list for either time here.

Popular subdivisions in Leland include Waterford, Magnolia Greens, Brunswick Forest, Compass Point, Jackey’s Creek, Waterberry Plantation, Olde Towne, and Mallory Creek.


Belville borders the Brunswick River and was incorporated in 1977. Its population was 1,186 in 2000 and 2,094 in 2016, according to Census figures.

Prior to incorporation, Belville enjoyed a thriving downtown boosted by traffic from a causeway that connected Wilmington to Brunswick County and passing right through the town’s heart. But in 1977, a new Brunswick River bridge and bypass highway was opened to traffic and the old causeway road was completely abandoned, leading businesses to close their doors and creating a blighted downtown Belville. This continued until 2006, when the town announced a major redevelopment plan. Part of that plan is the Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville, which opened in May 2016. The N.C. Rice Festival is held there each September, and year-round the park provides an opportunity to escape from urban life and connect with nature.

Like the Town of Leland, the Town of Belville also identified the need for a new Town Hall to house its employees and operations. The $1.4 million building opened this month and ended a decade of renting space after the original Town Hall was condemned.

Popular subdivisions in Belville include Highland Shores, Hawkeswater, and Rice Hope.

Are you looking to be part of the future of Leland and Belville? Intracoastal Realty can help. 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.


Our History Here: Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island, a barrier island south of Wilmington in New Hanover County, includes the municipalities Carolina Beach and Kure Beach as well as the unincorporated areas of Fort Fisher, Wilmington Beach, and Hanby Beach. Snow’s Cut, which connects the Intracoastal Waterway to the Cape Fear River and borders the island on the north, was completed in 1930. Before this, Pleasure Island was a peninsula known as Federal Point. In 1972, the local Chamber of Commerce adopted the name Pleasure Island for use as a branding and marketing tool to combine all the resources of the area.

Carolina Beach

The most populous beach town on Pleasure Island began to take shape in the 1880s when Joseph Winner, a Wilmington merchant, planned the streets and lots for 108 acres of beach property and called it St. Joseph. A street bearing that name runs along the northwestern part of the island and through the original Winner tract.

Although that initial attempt at development was unsuccessful, within less than a decade the area was beginning to draw attention as a resort. Electricity arrived in 1915, and soon expanded highways made the area more accessible to people from other parts of the state. In 1925, the town of Carolina Beach was incorporated. After the Snow’s Cut projected separated the area from the mainland in 1930, a temporary wooden bridge and then later a swing bridge operated until 1962, when the present-day concrete high-rise bridge opened.

Over the years, Carolina Beach arose as a booming beach town with many amenities and attractions, including its famous Boardwalk and several large hotels. The population and popularity grew, even as the area weathered and survived hurricanes, including Category 4 Hazel in October 1954, and a 1940 fire that destroyed two blocks of the Boardwalk.

Carolina Beach went through a period in the 1990s when much of its Boardwalk area was rundown and vacant, attracting adult businesses and cultivating a bad reputation. During the next decade, community efforts to beautify and improve Carolina Beach took shape, and today the beach town is known all over the country for its family-friendly atmosphere and rebuilt, expanded wooden Boardwalk.

One of the most enduring and beloved businesses in town is Britt’s Donut Shop, which opened on the Boardwalk in 1939 and has stuck to the same product, plain glazed doughnuts served hot out of the fryer, since inception. It operates March-September and attracts large crowds who come for a taste of sugar and nostalgia year after year.

Kure Beach

Development here began in the late 1800s when Hans Andersen Kure, a retired sea captain, moved from Denmark and bought large tracts of land in the middle of what is now known as Pleasure Island. Kure Beach was incorporated until 1947. It is known for its large fishing pier, the oldest on the East Coast, which Kure’s son originally built in 1923. Among its most notable modern additions is Ocean Front Park, which opened in 2013 and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It serves as the backdrop for a number of special events throughout the year.

Fort Fisher

Until the last few months of the Civil War, Fort Fisher on the southern end of present-day Pleasure Island kept North Carolina’s port of Wilmington open to blockade runners supplying necessary goods to Confederate armies inland. By 1865, the supply line through Wilmington was the last remaining supply route open to Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. When Fort Fisher fell after a massive federal amphibious assault on January 15, 1865, its defeat helped seal the fate of the Confederacy. Today, you can learn about this history at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, which includes a museum and gift shop, or just enjoy the beach at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area or the wildlife at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Fun fact: Pleasure Island and Bald Head Island, to the south in Brunswick County, are actually joined together since 1999, when shoaling from Hurricane Floyd closed Corncake Inlet. It is possible to walk or bike between the two destinations, especially during low tide.

For more information about the Pleasure Island of yesteryear, visit the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society website or, better yet, stop by to check out the Federal Point History Center’s exhibits and resources, including a gift shop with books and other items for the local history buff. During summer months, Tasting History food tours also provide a glimpse of what the island used to be like while stopping at several Carolina Beach restaurants for tastings.

Now that you know Pleasure Island’s past, let Intracoastal Realty help you make the storied area part of your future. 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.