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.

Expectations

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.

Step-by-step

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

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

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.


Absorption Reports – 2nd Quarter 2017

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 3.32 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 5.86 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 4.61 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


Our History Here: Landfall

Unless you’ve lived in the area for a very long time, you probably don’t remember the days before Landfall. Once upon a time, the 2,200 acres that make up Wilmington’s first gated community were one large tract of woods bordered by what is known today as Eastwood Road, Military Cutoff Road, the Intracoastal Waterway, and Howe Creek.

Formerly known as Pembroke Jones Park, or Pembroke Park, Landfall’s earliest known owner was Pembroke Jones (1858-1919), a millionaire rice broker and railroad investor known for such a lavish lifestyle that he and his wife Sarah were thought by many to be the inspiration for the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses.” Used originally as a hunting preserve, the property was home to a large mansion, or lodge, constructed in 1909 and the site of legendary gatherings with friends and other prominent members of local society.

After Jones’ death 10 years later, the lodge sat abandoned for more than three decades before being destroyed by fire in 1955. A stone gazebo at the center of a restored garden is among the few remaining traces of the famous complex. Jones’ son-in-law, architect John Russell Pope, designed this enduring tribute to the property’s past and later created the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Jane Pope, architect Pope’s daughter and Jones’ granddaughter, eventually inherited the Pembroke Park property. Her husband Anthony B. Akers – a New York lawyer, real estate developer, and former U.S. ambassador to New Zealand – founded Landfall Development Co. during the 1970s and first proposed the idea of transforming the rural property into a residential community. The name paid tribute to the belief that Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano had landed on or near the site during his 1524 voyage up the Atlantic Seaboard for King Francis I of France. The vessel that you see in the Landfall logo represents Verrazano’s ship off the coast.

Akers’ sudden death in 1976 put the Landfall project on hold, but plans were revived a few years later by Landfall Associates, a partnership of the Weyerhaeuser Co., Chapel Hill developer J.P. Goforth (who would go on to build Landfall Shopping Center), and Frank Hawkins Kenan (1912-1996), a Durham businessman and philanthropist with strong family ties to the Wilmington area. New Hanover County officials approved the project in 1984, with construction well under way in 1986. The first clubhouse opened in May 1989, followed by two complete golf courses, a sports center, and a non-denominational chapel. By 1992, lots on Landfall were selling for $60,000, with home prices ranging from $225,000 to $1.2 million.

Many considered this premier residential neighborhood to be a game changer for the local real estate industry as well as the makeup of Wilmington’s population.

“When Landfall was starting in the mid-1980s, some of my agents worried that it would hurt values of other homes, like on Wrightsville Beach,” Jim Wallace, president of Intracoastal Realty, said in a 2012 Greater Wilmington Business Journal article. “But the exact opposite happened. It was a terrific plan, and it has developed a terrific brand in an unusual setting, with a buffer of Wrightsville Beach on one side and Figure Eight Island on the other. It actually raised property values outside Landfall and brought new people here from all over.

“At first, you know, as a gated community, a lot of local folks took a wait-and-see attitude because it was a new upscale community with people from the Northeast,” he added. “But that’s changed, and it’s the high-end portion of our county, at the top of three key areas: downtown, then the (New Hanover Regional) hospital area, and then the Landfall corridor.”

These days, Landfall encompasses more than 2,000 houses and lots with home prices starting at $369,900 and going up to $4.9 million, according to a recent real estate listing search. There are 29 miles of private roads winding around mature trees and immaculate landscaping, complementing an eclectic array of award-winning architecture. Some of the homes afford stunning views of both Wrightsville Beach and the natural marshes that comprise 320 acres of conservation land.

The community is active in philanthropy through the nonprofit Landfall Foundation, which was established in September 1995 when Kenan made an initial investment of $50,000. After residents raised another $50,000, his family matched that with another $50,000 donation. Since then, Landfall Foundation has awarded nearly $3.9 million to hundreds of local charities.

Now that you know Landfall’s past, let Intracoastal Realty help you make this exclusive 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.


Choose Home Renovations That Yield the Highest Returns, Not the Flashiest Looks

It’s nearly impossible to flip through your channel guide without seeing a show about home improvement. Even the least motivated among us in the Wilmington NC real estate market might get the inspiration to jazz up their digs after seeing these impressive before and after images. The renovation fever is highly contagious, too. Americans are projected to spend a near-record $317 billion on home improvement this year, according to Consumer Reports.

While it might be tempting to start knocking down walls and breaking out the paint all in the name of making your home look more modern and eye-catching, bear in mind that some of the most savvy improvements you can make are not quite as glamorous as what you’ll see on TV. Remodeling magazine compares the average cost for 29 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale. This cost vs. value analysis can help you decide what will give you the highest return on investment when the time comes to sell your house, and it’s not always the flashy renovations that yield the most financially. Below are the top five national mid-range projects in terms of cost vs. value for 2017, according to Remodeling.

Attic insulation (fiberglass)
Cost recouped: 107.7%
The project calls for a professional remodeler to air-seal a 35×30 attic floor to address any air leakage from conditioned space to unconditioned space. Then the expert would add fiberglass loosefill insulation, placing it on top of the existing insulation if present. Fiberglass loosefill would be applied until thickness equating with R-30 insulation value is reached.

Entry door replacement (steel)
Cost recouped: 90.7%
Remove the existing 3-0/6-8 entry door and jambs and replace with new 20-gauge steel unit, including a clear dual-pane half-glass panel, jambs, and an aluminum threshold with a composite stop. The door is factory-finished with the same color on both sides. Exterior brick-mold and 2.5-inch interior colonial or ranch casings in poplar or equal prefinished should match the door color. Replace the existing lockset with a new bored lock in brass or antique-brass finish.

Manufactured stone veneer
Cost recouped: 89.4%
Remove a 300-square-foot continuous band of existing vinyl siding from the bottom third of the street-facing façade, beginning at the garage, continuing around the main entry, and ending at the corner of the side addition. Replace with adhered manufactured stone veneer, including 36 linear feet of sills, 40 linear feet of corners, and one address block. Installation includes two separate layers of water-resistant barrier laid over bare sheathing, corrosion-resistant lath and fasteners, and nominal ½-inch-thick mortar scratch coat and setting bed. Outline the archway using an 8×10-inch keystone and a soldier course of flats on either side.

Minor kitchen remodel
Cost recouped: 80.2%
In a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops, leave cabinet boxes in place but replace fronts with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts, including new hardware. Replace combination cooktop/oven range and slide-in refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. Replace laminate countertops; install mid-priced sink and faucet. Repaint trim, add wall covering, and remove and replace resilient flooring.

Garage door replacement
Cost recouped: 76.9%
Remove and dispose of the existing 16×7-foot garage door and tracks. Install a new four-section garage door on new galvanized steel tracks; reuse the existing motorized opener. The new door is uninsulated, single-layer, embossed steel with two coats of baked-on paint, galvanized steel hinges, and nylon rollers. It has a 10-year limited warranty.

Looking to spend a little more? Below are the top five national upscale projects in terms of cost vs. value for 2017, according to Remodeling.

Garage door replacement
Cost recouped: 85.0%
Remove and dispose of the existing 16×7-foot garage door and tracks. Install a new four-section garage door on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks; reuse the existing motorized opener. The new door is high-tensile-strength steel with two coats of factory-applied paint and foam insulated to minimum R-12 with thermal seals between pinch-resistant panels. Windows in the top panel are ½-inch insulated glass. Hardware includes galvanized steel hinges and ball-bearing urethane rollers. There is a lifetime warranty.

Entry door replacement (fiberglass)
Cost recouped: 77.8%
Remove the existing 3-0/6-8 entry door and jambs and replace with a new fiberglass unit with simulated wood grain, stained the same color on both sides. There would also be a dual-pane, decorative half-glass panel with zinc caming, PVC-wrapped exterior trim in a color to match the existing trim, and 2.5-inch interior colonial or ranch casings in hardwood stained to match the door. Replace the existing lockset with a mortise lock with a lever handle and integrated deadbolt in oil-rubbed bronze or satin-nickel finish.

Window replacement (vinyl)
Cost recouped: 73.9%
Replace 10 existing 3×5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite vinyl windows. There should be a simulated wood-grain interior finish and custom-color exterior finish. Trim the exterior to match what exists; do not disturb the existing interior trim.

Window replacement (wood)
Cost recouped: 73.0%
Replace 10 existing 3×5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite wood windows. There should be an interior finish of stained hardwood and exterior finish of custom-color aluminum cladding. Trim the exterior to match what exists; do not disturb the existing interior trim.

Grand entrance (fiberglass)
Cost recouped: 70.1%
Remove the existing 3-0/6-8 entry door and cut and reframe the opening for a 12-36-12 entrance door with dual sidelights. Move the double-gang electrical box with two switches. The fiberglass door blank should match the upscale entry, including color, threshold, lockset, and decorative half-glass; sidelights should match the door. The PVC-wrapped exterior trim color should match the existing trim; wider interior colonial or ranch casings (3.5-inch to cover new jack studs) in hardwood should be stained to match the door. All work should be completed in one day.

For information on all 29 projects and their cost vs. value comparison at resale in various individual U.S. markets for 2002-2017, visit www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2017.

Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or rent, Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 13 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.


Sellers Celebrating Quick Sales in Booming Real Estate Market

In our last post, we looked at what’s been happening lately in the Southeastern North Carolina real estate market from the perspective of buyers, who are seeing lots of competition – and subsequent frustration – when making offers on the limited supply of available properties. On the flip side, however, sellers are seeing lightning-fast, full-price offers on their properties, some even experiencing multiple offers above their asking price. Here are some examples of recent satisfied Intracoastal Realty sellers:

  • Last year, houses in Rivers Edge near the corner of Independence Boulevard and River Road were taking several months to sell. When 2017 rolled around, things changed quickly. Natasha Moffitt put her three-bedroom home on the market in April, and in less than 24 hours the first person to look at it had made a full-price offer. “After the first of the year, all of a sudden the market picked up and people were going crazy,” Moffitt said. “I knew it would go quickly based on what had sold around us recently, but I figured it would be within a week or two. I didn’t expect it to be the very first person who looked at it.”
  • Earlier this year, Vicki Brocklebank was looking to sell a vacation home in Brunswick County’s Ocean Isle Beach, where the market has been a little slower to heat up, and in the $700,000 price range, which has also been much cooler than homes below $500,000. To her surprise, an offer close to the asking price came in for the five-bedroom, waterfront home within about a week, and soon they were under contract. “We were not expecting it to sell that quickly,” she said. “It caught us off guard, really.”

The same possible obstacles for buyers that we outlined last week are going to work swimmingly in your favor if you’re selling. First and foremost, there is a low inventory of available homes in the current real estate market. To put home inventory into perspective locally, for the first quarter of 2017 in New Hanover County there were 3.0 months of supply. That is the lowest figure since the first quarter of 2006. Inventory in New Hanover County hit a high peak of 22.6 months in the second quarter of 2009 and has been steadily declining since then. It finally dipped below 5 months in the fourth quarter of 2014, and the sellers’ market has been heating up ever since. The lowest supply figures, all 3 months or less, are for homes less than $100,000 up to $319,999. The figures jump over 5 months for homes in the $320,000-$349,999 range, dip again below 5 months for those in the $350,000-$499,000 range, and then jump above 6 months for $500,000 and beyond.

Outlying counties have a little more available inventory, with first quarter 2017 supply figures at 6.1 months for Brunswick and 4.7 months for Pender.

A normal market, with a supply of homes that meets buyer demand, occurs with 5-6 months of supply. Anything above 6 months of supply is considered a buyers’ market, with the supply of homes exceeding buyer demand and sellers pricing properties competitively for a quick sale. Anything below 5 months of supply represents a sellers’ market, with the buyer demand outpacing the supply of homes.

Other factors that are currently on a seller’s side: There’s a good chance you will get a full-price offer or even higher for your property, and prospective buyers will likely be willing to compromise a lot more on various aspects of the contract, including earnest money deposit, closing date, contingencies, and closing costs, knowing they will be competing with many other interested parties.

All of this adds up to record-breaking local home sales statistics. In a recent announcement, Cape Fear Realtors said home sales in its market, which involves members mainly in New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick counties, were up nearly 19 percent, from 814 homes in May 2016 to 968 in May this year. The May 2017 total was the highest recorded for the month since CFR began keeping track in 1998, according to the CFR database. The average sale price in May hit a nine-year high of $274,150 last month, 5.6 percent higher than May last year, the CFR release said. Year to date, the number of units sold increased by 19.7 percent compared to the same period last year, the average sales price was up 4.4 percent, the total sales volume was up 25.21 percent, and average days on the market dropped 13 percent to 89 days.

Even though sellers are in the driver’s seat now, it’s still important to find an experienced real estate agent who can help you price your home profitably yet competitively, help you get your home ready for showings, and connect you with serious buyers.

As far as any other advice for sellers? “Be ready to move,” Moffitt said.

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, good timing is on your side right now as the tides have turned to offer profitable returns on your property investment. Let Intracoastal Realty help you take advantage of the bustling sellers’ market Southeastern North Carolina is experiencing. 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.