Pumpkin-inspired Recipes to Share this Fall

Every year, when the seasons transition from summer to fall, pumpkin flavors infiltrate all of our favorite foods and drinks: seemingly overnight!

Rather than grab a pumpkin spice latte and call it a day, we decided to try and find some of the best pumpkin-inspired recipes that actually use the fruit we normally keep around as seasonal décor. Below we’ve listed out a few of our new favorites for really sinking into autumn, and we think that you and your household’s holiday guests will appreciate them, too!

Pumpkin Bread

It’s an old stand-by, but pumpkin bread is one of those items that helps kick off fall with the right combination of comfort and taste. Whether you like to spice things up and include nuts and raisins, or leave it plain so as to really savor the pumpkin and cinnamon notes, there’s no denying that this is one treat everyone should get a sample of this fall.

Pumpkin Polenta

Traditionally an Italian form of porridge, polenta is a grain dish that’s perfect as a side or a breakfast option. With a touch of pumpkin puree thrown into the mix, your guests can have a fresh take on this classic culinary delight, and a taste of the season to top it all off! There are plenty of delicious polenta recipes out there to use as baselines, but this pumpkin sage polenta combination is one of the best we’ve found for beginners and experienced cooks alike.

Pumpkin Pasta

We know what you’re thinking; what could pumpkins possibly have to do with pasta? But the answer is simple! Pumpkin’s versatility and richness can add a whole new layer to your favorite pasta dishes. You can incorporate this element in a number of ways; slices of pumpkin cooked with other vegetables, or a pumpkin puree simmered into the sauce are our favorites.

Pumpkin Soup

Here in southeastern North Carolina, it can take a little longer for a really distinct fall chill to settle into the atmosphere. So in the meantime, you might want to try a soup that gives you that cozy, warm feeling in your bones without being too rich and heavy for days when the sunshine keeps our climate mild. Most recipes call for chicken broth and olive oil, which helps achieve this balance between savory and light, but the amount of pumpkin versus heavy cream (or coconut milk if you’re trying to watch your dairy) can really make the difference in density.

Pumpkin Biscuits

Any local will tell you that a southern meal just isn’t complete without a serving of biscuits to compliment the other dishes. This fall, bring some healthier and seasonally appropriate offerings to the table! Pumpkin puree, along with some Greek yogurt, means that the amount of butter that would typically go into the mixture before baking is significantly reduced. And while that might immediately turn off some die-hard lovers of rich, hearty biscuits, this recipe we found promises the same flaky texture and buttery taste, with the added benefit of that distinct hint of autumn flavor from the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie

It’s a time-honored tradition, and everyone has a favorite recipe that’s practically become a necessary fixture of every holiday gathering. Whether you make your own pumpkin pie or have a bakery you trust above anyone else to create the best one when you need it, very few would deny that it’s one of the best ways to indulge in a sweet treat and enjoy the pumpkin flavor while it’s in vogue.

While you heat up your oven, or prep your shopping list so that you know precisely what you need to give one of these scrumptious recipes a try, stay tuned to our blog for more tips to make the most of the season!


Collecting Supplies for Hurricane Florence Victims

Supplies are being collected and will be distributed to those still in need – primarily those in outlying communities and counties, many of whom are still experiencing severe flooding events. Our agents and staff will make deliveries to areas that are hardest hit.

We continue to think about – and work to support – our neighbors in Southeastern North Carolina. Please consider dropping off any of the items listed below at any of our office locations.

ITEMS IN NEED:

  • Clothes (new)
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Canned goods
  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Pet food
  • Pet litter
  • Diapers
  • Baby food and formula
  • Toiletries

Please drop these off at any of our office locations below no later than Wednesday, October 3rd:

Corporate Office:  1902 Eastwood Road | Wilmington, NC 28403
Lumina 1:  1900 Eastwood Road, Suite 38 | Wilmington, NC 28403
Lumina 2:  1900 Eastwood Road, Suite 15 | Wilmington, NC 28403
Carolina Beach:  1025 North Lake Park Boulevard | Carolina Beach, NC 28428
Barclay Pointe:  1406 Barclay Pointe Drive, Suite 902 | Wilmington, NC 28412
Downtown:  228 North Front Street, Suite 101 | Wilmington, NC 28411
Leland:  497 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 107 | Leland, NC 28451
Ocean Isle Beach:  119 Causeway Drive | Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Porters Neck:  8262 Market Street, Suite 106 | Wilmington, NC 28411
Topsail:  116-C Shore Drive | Surf City, NC 28445
Wrightsville Beach:  523 Causeway Drive | Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

Thank you for your kindness and generosity.


Hurricane Florence Recovery Tips and Helpful Info

Helpful Tips

  1. File with FEMA and get your FEMA number ASAP! You will need it for everything. Call 1-800-621-3362 or go to http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ to begin applying.
  2. File a claim with BOTH your homeowner’s and flood insurance. Even though it’s a flood, homeowners will cover some wind damage and most of them will give you money for “loss of use” if you can’t live in your house.
  3. File for Disaster Assistance. ANYONE in the affected areas may get assistance. Click Here to Complete Form
  4. File for Disaster Unemployment. If you can’t live in your house or go to work because your work is closed or flooded, this applies to you. You must file an application for benefits by October 17, 2018. That’s a 30-day window. If YOU don’t think you are eligible, think again. Self employed and small business owners who lost income due to the storm qualify! Individuals who are unable to reach their jobs or self employment locations due to the storm qualify! DUA is funded entirely by the federal government, and you must first file for regular unemployment insurance. If an individual is determined ineligible for regular unemployment insurance, or has exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits, a DUA claim can then be filed. To file an unemployment insurance claim related to the disaster, call 1-866-795-8877 or visit: https://des.nc.gov/des
  5. Get rental assistance. FEMA and SBA provide rental assistance to help pay for a place to live until you can get back into your house or find a new one.
  6. If you need repairs, rental assistance, want to buy a house, apply for an SBA loan. Although it is called the SBA, it is for homeowners too. Renters, as well as homeowners, may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged or destroyed in the disaster. The SBA can approve a loan for the repair or replacement of a home up to $200,000. Survivors may apply insurance settlements to their disaster loan.
  7. Check local businesses for specials and discounts for people in the affected areas. Businesses will offer everything from half price pizza to furniture and clothing specials. If you have been resisting joining Facebook or don’t really use it much – now is the time to start a new bad habit! The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce is posting all kinds of businesses that are offering help. Tons of people are sharing discounts.
  8. Call all of your bill collectors and notify them that you are in the affected area and/or that your house flooded. Most will delay your bill due dates. This includes your mortgage company, cable, electricity, water, credit card companies, phone etc.

*Tips and information compiled by Brunswick County Association of REALTORS®.


Community Recovery Resource Center opens Friday in New Hanover County

New Hanover County will open a Community Recovery Resource Center on Friday, September 28 at Independence Mall to assist residents of New Hanover County and surrounding areas as they recover from Hurricane Florence.

The Community Recovery Resource Center will house federal, state, and local agencies that are providing relief services including:

  • Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Department of Social Services will be administering disaster food stamps at this location for New Hanover County residents beginning Friday. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri), 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (Wed), and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sat). More details are available here.
  • FEMA Disaster Recovery Center: FEMA representatives will be on site to help area residents apply for FEMA assistance, check a FEMA application status, apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and more. Details about FEMA’s Disaster Recover Center can be found here. Services begin Friday; open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (Mon-Sat), and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Sun).
  • Supply Distribution Center: The Salvation Army, in coordination with New Hanover County, will be distributing supplies to residents, including clean-up kits, food boxes, and infant items. Based on need, the public can come to the resource center to receive vouchers before picking up supplies from the distribution center beginning Friday. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week until further notice.
  • Multi-Agency Resources: Multiple non-profit and community organizations will be set up in the resource center beginning on Friday, to offer help, resources, and assistance to residents in the Cape Fear region. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week until further notice.

In addition, on Friday, September 28 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the NC Department of Insurance will host an Insurance Camp where residents can get information, file claims, and ask questions of insurance carriers. Numerous insurance companies as well as the Department of Insurance will be on hand to assist.

To access the Community Recovery Resource Center, the public should enter the Independence Mall parking lot from Independence Boulevard and follow directional signage to the entrance between Ruby Tuesday’s and the former Sears store. This outside entrance will be marked with signage, and is to the left of the main mall entrance. Independence Mall is also located on Wave Transit’s fixed bus routes.

Information about the Community Recovery Resource Center is available at EmergencyNHC.com.

Public Hotline: 910-798-6800


Coastal Management Offers Emergency CAMA General Permit for Hurricane Recovery

Property owners that need to replace docks, piers, bulkheads, or similar structures damaged by the hurricane along sounds, rivers and creeks may be authorized to do so more quickly through an emergency general permit offered by the NC Division of Coastal Management.

The emergency permit expedites the approval process for rebuilding these structures that meet state standards. The emergency permit may also be used for dune reconstruction and maintenance dredging of existing channels.

Link: https://deq.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2018/09/20/coastal-management-offers-emergency-cama-general-permit-hurricane


Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey wants all North Carolinians to be educated and up-to-date as we recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence. Visit www.NCHurriClaims.com for information or call the Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212.

There are also a number of national and state charitable organizations that are doing their part to help the people of North Carolina to recover from this disaster. The Department understands that charitable contributions are often personal, and everyone gives in their own way. However, if you are looking to see how you can help those affected by the disaster, below are links to some of the organizations that are on the ground in North Carolina helping our fellow citizens:

Questions About Insurance?  Call the N.C. Department of Insurance consumer hotline at 855-408-1212 (toll free).

Questions About Flood Insurance?  Call the National Flood Insurance Program at 888-379-9531 (toll free).


Where the Heart Is: How to Cope with the Emotional Aspects of Selling Your Home

Crown molding, those pencil marks in the doorframe of your kitchen denoting a child’s growing height, the nick in the wall from when you tried to rearrange your piano’s placement in the den: a home comprises all of these memories and more when you’ve owned it for a few years.

It isn’t always easy to pack and move, especially when you get to reminiscing about all that’s happened in your home, but you aren’t alone. Because the purchase of a house is as much an emotional investment as it is a financial one, many sellers experience some difficulty in picking up their roots and moving on after the last of the paperwork is signed, even if they’re relocating for a positive reason. But there are a few ways you can help you and your family feel more at ease with change, and therefore more open to starting over in a new home.

Making space

When you make a house your own, you end up pouring a lot of yourself into the framework: your personal tastes, family memorabilia, and even moods. As you start to pack your belongings and plan out your move, take a few moments to pick your favorite decorating choices in your current house that you want to carry over in the new one. You don’t have to recreate every room as it was, but sometimes incorporating a few characteristics can help you ease into an unfamiliar setting more comfortably. And, if you can visualize your personal items in their new homes, it stands to reason that you can picture yourself there, too.

Photographic memories

If you’ve lived somewhere for a significant amount of time, you’ve probably taken pictures of countless get-togethers, holidays, and the day-to-day moments that happened there. When the thought of leaving the actual house behind starts to wear you down, take some time to gather all of those snapshots and put them somewhere safe. This can mean arranging them in a photo album, or scanning them to a laptop, or as simple as placing them in a labeled shoebox; as long as you have them at the ready, you can always revisit your former home and those happy occasions.

Compare and contrast

And if fond memories aren’t helping to make the transition from one home to the next any easier, consider comparing the benefits and drawbacks of each to give you a little perspective. Is there a room that’s always felt small, that maybe has a larger counterpart in your new house? Perhaps you don’t get very much natural light in your living room, but you’re looking forward to a different set-up after the move. Making the moving process easier for everyone is a matter of focusing on these positive changes instead of dwelling on the aspects of your house that you will miss.

Moving somewhere new can get stressful, and it’s easy to miss a place you’ve been for some time, but the team here at Intracoastal Realty encourages you to think positively about your new experiences! Stay tuned to our blog for more tips, or contact our offices to find out more about selling your home with our agents.


Seasonal Tips for Home Staging in the Fall

In southeastern North Carolina, summer warmth and sunshine lingers well into September, giving us more opportunities to take advantage of our close proximity to the sand and surf. But after Labor Day, homes and businesses still tend to begin making the transition to autumnal décor, and pumpkin spice flavor starts cropping up in every tasty treat imaginable – hotter temperatures or no, fall is definitely on the way!

When you put your house on the market around this time of year, you want to make sure that your home is ready to meet the scrutiny of potential buyers relocating to the area with fall weather on the brain. Since selling in the off-season is highly recommended, your team of real estate agents and experts have a few pointers for staging your home for successful fall viewings!

Subtle hints

A little can go a long way, especially since your potential buyers will obviously be able to see that our coastal region doesn’t dive straight into chillier temperatures and crisp autumn days. Instead of overwhelming them with too much fall-themed décor, take the subtle route. Light candles with hints of cinnamon and pine needles, or add a warm-toned throw to your living room setup. You don’t have to constantly keep a fire blazing in your fireplace, or douse every room with the scent of fallen leaves and campfires; just create a welcoming, cozy atmosphere that your buyers can easily see themselves hunkering down into when the real cold weather moves in on the region.

Outer appearances

When you’re trying to show your home during the fall season, it doesn’t really work out well if your front yard still looks as though summer is in full swing. That being said, we don’t want anyone to feel as though they need to level their lawn just to sell the house! We recommend instead making use of colorful flowers and bushes that convey vitality, while downplaying the green grass that you’ll probably still be enjoying later on in the month. Mums, burning bush, and witch-hazels are just a few examples of plants you can integrate into your outdoor scene to coax fall into the mix.

Transitioning seasons

As you set up your home to emulate a warm, fall atmosphere, remember that a steady transition from one season to the next can be a welcome sight for buyers coming to view the house. Remember that the process of buying a home can be just as stressful – if not sometimes more so – than selling one, so bombarding them with Halloween paraphernalia and strongly scented potpourri probably won’t help endear them to your house. Instead, start switching up colors and outdoor plants now, then move into more noticeable changes as you get closer to the official start of fall.

There are plenty of ways to help make each season compliment the many aspects of your home, and autumn is no exception! As you incorporate some of these practices into your style and routine, be sure to add a personal flare for you and your family to enjoy until it’s time to pack it all away and move to your next residence. And for more helpful seller’s tips, be sure to stay tuned to Intracoastal Realty’s blog updates!


5 Myths About Owning a Home

The white picket fence, a spacious backyard, a place to call your own: for many, owning a home is the goal, one of the mile markers of success. But with it comes a significant amount of responsibility, which can also turn others off from the idea of committing to a place of residence for longer than the duration of a lease.

If you’re debating whether or not to begin the process of becoming a homeowner, and find yourself getting bogged down in all of the warnings against or urges to buy as soon as possible, check out a few myths our real estate team can debunk, and hopefully make deciding one way or another easier for you.

All improvement projects add value

One of the first things new homeowners do when they move in is start making the house their own. This is often accomplished not only through personalization and decoration, but also through a few improvement projects like adding new cabinets or shelves, installing new appliances, or even some more extensive endeavors. But not all of these things add the expected value to your home. Before making any design changes to your house, check in with an expert and get a feel for what you can do to not only add value to the home, but also make your time living in it more enjoyable.

Buying is always preferable to renting (or vice versa)

There is no hard and fast rule for which is better between buying or renting a home. The deciding factors come down to personal matters, including financial concerns, roommates, professional opportunities, and so on. When you’re trying to decide what to do about your next house, it’s better to speak first with a trusted professional who can help you assess your circumstances and choose the option that fits most with what suits you best in the long run.

New homes don’t need any work done to them 

While we’d all like to think that a brand new house is perfect just the way it is, this unfortunately is not always the case. Sometimes, the fact is that though you love the house as a whole, there are aesthetic aspects you want to rearrange or scrap altogether to make it feel more like home. In other cases, the alterations could be of a more functional nature, making your day-to-day easier. It all comes down to weighing the cost of the work alongside the purchasing price, and deciding if it’s worth the additional investment or if you’d be better off continuing your search.

You can make any changes once the house is yours

When the keys are in your hand and all of the paperwork has been signed, the house is yours with which you may do whatever you like, whenever you want: right? Actually, there are some projects that might need to be put on hold until you obtain the proper permits, even if you plan on doing the work by yourself. Consult with your local officials before you kick off any major renovations.

New is always better

While we all might fantasize about that shiny new dishwasher or a house that’s never been lived in by anyone else, the fact of the matter is that there’s nothing wrong with buying a house with some history. When you begin to shop for your home, try not to limit yourself to newly built residences; not only will you possibly save yourself money by looking to gently used homes and appliances, but you might find something you like much better because it has character.

It’s a big step, but taking ownership of a home can be one of the best investment opportunities when approached in the right way. If you think this is the next move for you, contact our offices and speak with our expert real estate team to find out more!


5 Ways to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Whether you’re a newcomer to coastal North Carolina or a long-time local, preparing for the region’s annual hurricane season is an imperative part of living here comfortably. As a general rule, the Atlantic hurricane season begins in early June and carries through November, but the majority of our state’s storms tend to hit shores in August and September.

Are you ready? If not, don’t worry! Intracoastal Realty is well-versed in battening down the hatches and making sure homes are fortified against the incoming storms.

Start with a little insurance  

When you’re busy gearing up for a summer storm, one of the last things you’ll want to have to keep on your mind will be what your insurance policy says about flood damage. But some homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover damage or loss from flooding, which means you and your home are at risk of sustaining wreckage that will cost a small fortune and a lot of your time in order to fix it. Contact your agent ahead of time to review your policy and its limitations, and ensure you’re adequately covered.

Evaluate your home

You should always look out for the health of your home, regardless of the season. But when you know a storm is on the horizon, make sure you’ve had your place of residence recently inspected and evaluated for major structural weak spots or existing damage that could be exacerbated with the pressure of heavy winds and rain. The last thing you want to have to worry about in the wake of a hurricane is seeing to the repairs that might have been avoided.

Put in some elbow grease ahead of time

After you’ve had your home looked at to identify potential issues, go ahead and repair or fortify what you can so that the likelihood of having to manage large amounts of storm damage in the aftermath is minimal. Just make sure that you clean up all of your tools and materials afterward, so as not to add to the debris that hurricane winds can easily stir up and circulate.

Call for back-up

In the event that your home does sustain a significant amount of damage, you’ll want to be certain that you’re ready to work with insurance companies, contractors, and any other service specialist to put your house back to rights. To do this with as little fanfare as possible, back up all of the necessary documentation – deeds, records of previous repairs or home modifications, insurance – to a secure server. You could even invest in an account with something as easy to use as Google Docs.

Keep tools of the trade handy

Regardless of whether or not you’ll be at home or elsewhere during the worst of a hurricane, there are certain items that it never hurts to have on hand and at the ready in case of an emergency. Having them all together and easily accessible makes it that much easier for you to address concerns as they come. So, before any hurricane warnings even come through on your local weather channel, have a backpack or duffel bag full of essentials like flashlights, extra batteries, first aid supplies, and universal tools within reach.

When you and the rest of your household are prepared for inclement weather, it’s easier than ever to enjoy the rest of late summer in coastal North Carolina. Hurricane season can vary in terms of severity, but being prepared means that you don’t have to scramble if a storm does roll in off the water. Stay tuned to our blog for more helpful tips on acclimating yourself to our region!


Absorption Reports: 2nd Quarter 2018

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

Housing prices stabilize when supply and demand come closer together. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of supply is “normal”. Less than 5 months of supply will result in APPRECIATING home prices, while 7 months or more of supply will result in DEPRECIATING home prices.  New Hanover County is showing a total of 2.8 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 4.2 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 4.9 months (peaked at 22.1 months in 2009).  As you can see from the three county charts below, inventory levels vary by price segment.  Take a look at the absorption reports for a better idea of where your house stands in the market, and contact an Intracoastal Realty agent to learn about the supply and demand for your specific neighborhood.

New Hanover County

 


Brunswick County

 


Pender County


Intracoastal Realty’s Keith Beatty Team Earns National Ranking in U.S. REAL Trends ‘The Thousand’ List

Congratulations to the Keith Beatty Team for once again earning a spot on the list of “The Thousand Top Real Estate Teams” in the United States. It’s the fourth consecutive year Keith and his team have made the list, as determined by REAL Trends and advertised in The Wall Street Journal.

Keith attributes his success to diversity — with his team, with the properties they represent and the creative ways they market those properties. “We don’t chase a single price point or category of real estate, our team members don’t come from similar backgrounds, and our marketing is robust, but wide-ranging,” he says.

To that point, among his current 188 listings are a $10,000 single family lot in River Landing, a $239,000 new home in Castle Hayne, a $540,000 condo in downtown Wilmington and a $3.95 million estate on the Intracoastal Waterway.

But, it’s not the properties, it’s the people that make the Keith-machine work. “Together, our agents have a significant sphere of influence. They are different ages, come from different parts of the country and have different backgrounds. It assures we anticipate and meet the needs of our equally diverse clients,” Keith says.

Properties and people aren’t the only things that gather around Keith.  So do awards.  Over the decades he’s worked with Intracoastal, he’s earned many.  But it’s the disco ball he won from Dancing with the Stars to benefit St. Mary School that is a particular point of pride. “I worked my hardest for that!”


How to Prep for Moving Day

The boxes are packed (mostly), closets and drawers have been swept for anything that can be thrown away or donated, and everything else is waiting for you in your new home elsewhere; it must be moving day!

But as exciting as it is to leave one home and embrace a whole new experience, there is at least one aspect of the process that tends to fill every homeowner with some measure of dread: moving day. Before the stress of a lost family heirloom or box full of broken glasses comes crashing in on your exciting new start, take a breather and check out a few hints the staff at Intracoastal Realty have put together to help you prep for moving day.

Keep everyone in the loop

The best step you can take to prevent a chaotic moving day is to make sure everyone is in on the plan. Whether it entails confirming the route to get to the new house, figuring out who is riding with whom, or simply teaming up to do one last sweep of the old house before you all leave, it’s important that everyone is on the same page before the big day.

Do as much as you can in advance

The early bird gets the worm; or, in the case of moving, the early bird stands less of a chance of having to do damage control. The more you can do in advance – start packing the items you know won’t be needed between now and the day you move into your new home, set up forwarding addresses, find the right school for the kids – the more you can focus on the tasks at hand when you’re loading up the moving van.

Establish a schedule

Even something like packing up your belongings can be structured into a schedule of sorts to help make things easier on you. If you’re using a moving company, be sure to have a clear idea of when the movers will arrive, how long they expect to take, and by when you have to be on the road in order to make good time on your drive. With a clear outline and deadlines for every step of the way, you can make moving day a simple matter of putting boxes on a truck.

Level the playing field

On the day of, accidents could still happen, and through no one’s fault, something could come up and deter your moving day progress. That’s why it helps to have a plan in place for some of the instances that make you the most nervous. It may not stop you from accidentally leaving something sentimental behind, or prevent damage befalling your favorite end table, but solid contingency plans can go a long way in bringing you peace of mind.

While we can’t guarantee your moving day will go off without a hitch, we do think you’ll find these tips to be helpful stepping stones as you get closer and closer to settling into your new home. If you’re ready to relocate, contact Intracoastal Realty to find out more about getting started with us!