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!
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.
Each year, we award education scholarships to deserving students at Brunswick Community College, Cape Fear Community College, and UNCW (25 years & Counting! )
Intracoastal Realty has a rich involvement with many charitable organizations through its managers, agents and staff members, to serve our community by way of helping others. Including:
ACCESS of Wilmington
American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Red Cross
Arts Council of Wilmington
Art in Wilmington
Ashley Eagles Athletic Booster
Bellamy Mansion Museum Boys & Girls Club of Coastal Carolina
Brunswick Community College
Cameron Art Museum
Cape Fear Blue Water Fishing Club
Cape Fear Community College
Cape Fear Community College Foundation
Cape Fear Council- Boy Scouts
Cape Fear Habitat for HumanityCape Fear Home Builders Parade of Homes
Cape Fear Jazz Society
Cape Fear Literacy Council
Cape Fear Museum
Cape Fear Rugby Club
Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation
Carolina Canines for Service
Center for the Visually Impaired
Children’s Museum of Wilmington
Chi Omega’s 11th Annual Golf Tournament Coastal Christian High School
Coastal Horizons Center
Committee of 100: WID
Communities in Schools of Cape Fear Community Boys & Girls Club
Community United Effort
Cucalorus – 2016 Supporting Sponsorship
Disability Resource Center
Domestic Violence Shelter DREAMS of Wilmington
East Coast Got-Em-On Classic
Family Services of the Lower Cape Fear
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Girl Scout Troop 957
Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington
Good Shepherd Center
Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Greater Wilmington Sports Hall
Guardian Ad Litem
Hanover Lions Club
Historic Wilmington Foundation
Hoggard Athletics & Theatre Departments JC Rowe, PK
JDRF- Hope Gala, FUND A CURE
Junior Achievement Spring Classic
Kids Making It, Inc.
Leland Area Rotary Club – L.A. Golf Classic
Leukemia & Lymphoma Regatta Cup
Lower Cape Fear Historical Society
Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter
Lump To Laughter, Inc.
March of Dimes
Masonboro Island Preservation
Morris Animal Foundation
New Hanover County Schools
New Hanover Partnership
New Hanover Regional Medical Foundation
NC Association of the Deaf
NC Holiday Flotilla
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust
Oak Island Lions Club
Phoenix Employment Services Luncheon
Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce
Pleasure Island Soccer Association
Port City Soccer Club
Relay for Life
Reel Housewives of Topsail Island
Rotary of South Brunswick
SMART START of New Hanover County
Special Olympics Annual Fund
Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber
St. Marks Odyssey of the Mind Challenge
Supper Optimist Club Wilmington
Trinity Children Incorporated
University of NC at Wilmington
USO North Carolina, Inc – Golf Tournamnet
Welcome Home Angel
Willie Stargell Foundation
Wilmington Central Rotary Club
Wilmington Housing Authority
Wilmington Women’s Club
Wilmington Realtors Foundation
Wrightsville Beach Fire Department
Wrightsville Beach Foundation
Wrightsville Beach Museum – 20th Lumina
Wrightsville Beach Police Officer’s Ball
Wrightsville United Methodist Church
YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear
When you purchased your home, you more than likely did so with lots of emotion, which is very normal. For example, you looked at homes with your real estate agent and narrowed it down to the two homes you like the best. Your kids probably ran through the house selecting which room would be theirs. You might have liked the backyard because that is where your family dog would get to play and be safe. You might have even like the kitchen space because it is large enough to have friends over and spend fun times together. Or this might have been the area of town that you had always wanted to live, etc.
These are all examples of emotions playing into the buying process. But now you are selling that same home. Once again, you are facing surfacing emotions. Hopefully, you have had a lot of great memories in the home you have spent so many years in and it might be a little hard for you to leave it. But a word of caution, when selling you should put your emotions to the side. It is now a business decision, and it all comes down to money.
Letting emotions get in the way is NOT a smart business decision. For example, you have negotiated with the buyer back and forth, and finally received the price you want. Now you and the buyer are fighting over the ten-year-old curtains in the home. You had it in your mind that you wanted to take the curtains with you, but this could be a deal breaker. As part of the negotiations, the buyer is asking for your grill, and you have your heels dug in NO. This minor conflict is the only thing that is stopping you from selling your home, obtaining the price you want and moving to the area in which you want to live. You could lose the entire deal over a $500 gas grill.
These are all examples of making an emotional decision verses a business decision. I have seen deals lost when emotions get in the way. I have seen deals go south over curtains and grills. Once the buyer has walked, the seller realizes what a bad decisions they have made and what it cost them in “winning the fight” (emotions). So remember, when selling, it’s all business!
For more information on buying and selling homes, go to www.BobbyBrandon.com. Bobby’s Team can provide expert advice and insight into current homes and land for sale in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender County.
Craig Stinson smiles and gives a little head shake. We have been discussing his project, Arts In Wilmington, and veered into a conversation about what the arts can or can’t do to heal societal ills. It’s oddly refreshing to hear someone actually put forth the idea that one visit to an inner-city school by a dance troupe for a master class might not be the missing element in eliminating prejudice from the world. Maybe “ars gratia artis” (“art for art’s sake”) is the point.
But back to Craig Stinson.
He’s a quiet man with a big smile. More so, he seems genuinely interested in collaborative work and listens attentively to other people’s ideas. Stinson started Arts in Wilmington as a newsletter in February of 2014.
“I just thought it would be fun to send out a newsletter every week with arts events happening,” he says. “I literally had five people the first issue. Two were me, one was my wife,” he says with a smile. “I’m almost at 1,400 subscribers now—by word of mouth.”
So, is Stinson making a living from this? No, he sells real estate by day.
“I just want people to know about the broad spectrum of stuff happening in Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover countiesm” Stinson tells. “Wilmington has one of the best arts scenes for an area this size, and it’s all so community-driven, which I love.”
Stinson has embarked on an interesting journey back to home. He moved away a little over two decades ago and in the meantime worked in arts administration in Washington D.C. and South Carolina. He cites the museum studies concentration at George Washington University as the motivator for persuing his degree there. He also worked with The Smithsonian, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Library of Congress, The Alamo …
“Really?” I interrupt him. “The Alamo? Was your office in the fort?”
He nods and gives me a surprised look.
This segued to South Carolina where he worked as program director for eight years at the South Carolina Arts Commission. “But I wanted to be home—I always wanted to get back to Wilmington,” he explains.
Stinson popped up on my radar about the time he started the newsletter. He was working in the Cucalorus office and we seemed to orbit each other. Then he started organizing networking events with Arts in Wilmington.
“There’s a lot of activity in Wilmington,” he says. “People hear of each other but sometimes they don’t know each other. We started the meetups so people could make that happen.”
Stinson rotates the location of the meetups monthly. He has utilized Flytrap Brewery on 4th Street and TheatreNOW on 10th Street, as well as art galleries like Eclipse at Blue Moon on Racine Drive and Spectrum Art and Jewelry at The Forum.
“Every time we have people come who have said, ‘I’ve never been in here,’” he notes. “They meet the owners, artists, performers. I think a lot of getting people involved is giving them a reference for the amenities in town.”
He says people then have a relationship with a venue and its location, including knowing where to park. It might sound minor, but it can actually be a pretty major hurdle for a business or venue.
About a month ago Stinson sent a notice seeking nominations for the first Arts in Wilmington Awards. My main inquiry for him was knowing how his newsletters and awards are any different from The Arts Council of WIlmington and New Hanover County. “I don’t give grants,” Stinson says. When Stinson decided to start the awards, rather than reinventing the wheel, he pretty much copied a model he has seen work: The South Carolina Arts Council’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Awards. “I want it to be as transparent as possible, [with judging that] has solid credentials behind it,” he explains.
Six categories will be covered in the awards: Arts in Education, Organization, Government, Business/Foundation, Individual, and Individual Artist. Stinson has tapped people from Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, and DC to judge the nominations. “The plan is to have them reviewed by people outside of the area—who have really solid arts administration backgrounds and people who are not in Wilmington.”
Stinson is quick to point out the categories are open to interpretation. In “Government,” for example, a juror could be someone who is an elected official, or works in government or for a municipality. The “Individual” category presents questions about advocacy for arts, volunteering, fundraising, and arts administration. “They cast a wide net in very specific areas,” he notes.
Outside of joy of recognition for winning an award, Stinson says highlighting exceptional individuals and businesses leads to awareness beyond Wilmington. “Ultimately the arts serve as an ambassador for the town itself,” he says. “From my perspective, it’s an issue of awareness and recognition. [W]e’ve had a long history of community theatre and visual arts. Wilmington has always been an arts city.”
Stinson constantly hears from colleagues in other parts of the country who are surprised at how much happens in Wilmington. His job as a real estate agent makes him think about why people would move here. He says obvious reasons like climate and proximity to the beach and having a cool downtown are one. “But arts is one component of that,” he notes.As we veer toward a conversation about how to measure economic value of the arts in a community, Stinson surprises me again.
“Some people just know they can take classes or get involved in the theatre scene,” he says. “I think if you package the arts well, the economic implications become obvious. If you start from the economic issue of the arts, to me, it takes away from the intrinsic creative value and bravery that the arts engender They show bravery. People don’t understand how . . . intimidating it would be to get up onstage and put yourselves out there in front of people. That translates into all kinds of other aspects of people’s lives (be it starting businesses). You want to talk about economic development? Talk about people who stand on a stage or create a 2D or 3D piece of work, and put it out there for everybody.”
Stinson says Wilmington could call itself the “live-theatre capital of the East Coast.” He’s right. We have five to seven shows playing any given weekend. “So when you have a concentration of arts or arts activity, it ends up being the vanguard of economic development, in the sense that restaurants and retail pop up around it,” he continues. “Thus, housing values go up and people take pride locally and really reinforces sense of place.”
To nominate someone for an Arts in Wilmington Award, log onto www.artsinwilmington.com. The nomination deadline is April 29.
Arts in Wilmington Meetup
Art in Bloom • 210 Princess Street
March 9, 5:30 p.m. • Free
First 10 people get Art in Bloom T-shirt
For the fall Stress Buster, Intracoastal Realty agents and corporate staff gathered together at 217 S. Lumina Avenue on Wrightsville Beach to unwind and enjoy some amazing BBQ prepared by our very own, Bobby Brandon for a fantatstic Pig Pickin Party!
Bobby began cooking the pig at 3 am for the fall feast and kept us updated and entertained along the way with humorous photos and updates.
We had a great turn out with many agents and staff in attendance, and were joined by some of our friends at TowneBank.
The Intracoastal Realty office in Carolina Beach celebrated the end of summer recently. To reconnect with agents and celebrate the end of summer, the agents from the Carolina Beach office visited The Lazy Pirate, a Carolina Beach favorite, and winner of Wilmington’s Best Wings from the 2014 Access Wilmington and 98.3 The Penguin’s Wilmington’s Best Wings Contest.
The Lazy Pirate is a great place to have fun while living at Carolina Beach or even if you are just visiting. Whether you prefer to relax in a rocking chair on their front porch, enjoy an ocean breeze in their courtyard hammock, play checkers, throw darts, billiards, cornhole, or go out and enjoy their sand volleyball courts or they have 30+ big screen tvs if you are looking to catch your favorite team and snack on their delicious wings.
The Intracoastal Realty agents from Carolina Beach greatly enjoyed themselves with the evening festivities and the camaraderie of the Intracoastal Realty team. The many agents who attended played corn hole, spent some time relaxing, and enjoyed a fun game of volleyball. At the end of the evening, our Carolina Beach agents felt relaxed and ready to kick off the fall season in the Carolina Beach market.
Mark Harrison, a new addition to the Carolina Beach office, said, “Thank you for a great time!! We have a great office.” Those sentiments were echoed across many of the agents who attended the gathering, including Alicia Devereaux, who commented, “I second that! Such a great group. We are very lucky.”
Toni Mims-Bowman, a new agent at Intracoastal Realty, agreed with Mark’s I was telling Brigitte Simone just how lucky we are to work with such a wonderful, and fun group of people. I had an absolute blast last night with all of you, especially sucking at corn hole with Original Toni, and enjoying the view with Mary 😉. A huge thank you to Cynthia Remahl for putting it together! Can’t wait to do it again!
Cynthia Remahl, Sales Manager and Broker In Charge of the Carolina Beach office, was thankful for the evening and commented, “Thank you to our agents who were able to attend and make the End of Summer/Start of Fall social so much fun! A great time had by all with amazing people. I truly feel Blessed every day to work with such a great group of agents and staff.”
“A huge thank you to Cynthia Remahl and Intracoastal Realty for a great time yesterday at The Lazy Pirate! What a great office to be a part of with so many amazing and fun loving friends and teammates! It was a good time kicking off the Fall Season,” remarked Mary Kruszon, Broker/Realtor.
Here are a few photos of the end of season festivities at The Lazy Pirate:
A huge thank you to The Lazy Pirate for a great event and thank you for all members of our Intracoastal Realty team who attended:
Have you every heard of Stoneybrook? If not, you’re missing out on a hidden gem in Wilmington. Enter the winding streets from Middle Sounds Loop Road and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back to a simpler time. A time when people didn’t clear cut lots, neighbors greeted one another and gatherings were tucked away in someone’s private and peaceful yard under the trees. There’s so much to love about this rustic, convenient and friendly neighborhood, including miles of connected neighborhoods for waking and biking and it’s only a quick drive to Mayfaire and Wrightsville beach. Come see for yourself, but “Shhhhhh…”, we want to keep it one of Wilmington’s best kept secrets.
This is where newlyweds start their homes.
This is where some newlyweds have their honeymoon, right in their first home.
This is where one mother, juggling the demands of her 7-, 5- and 2-year-olds, gave up trying to find a bigger home elsewhere with an appropriate configuration.
“You just can’t find anything else like this setting anywhere around Wilmington,” said Beth Terry, who with husband, John, a mortgage consultant for Wells Fargo, bought a Stoneybrook home in 2005. “So we figured let’s take the money we would have spent on a Realtor, renovate our home here, open up the downstairs, get all the bedrooms on the second floor, and put in a pool.
“We’ve got hawks out back sitting on the fence, deer on the other side of it and we’re five minutes from Mayfaire,” said Beth, adding that Ogden Elementary is just around the corner. “It dawned on us: why would we go anywhere else.”
Anywhere else but Stoneybrook, where homeowners began raising families in the 1980s in the Ogden-area development tucked inside Middle Sound Loop Road and its name usually is mentioned with the preceding adjective: rustic.
Those who do move on, look back with envy.
“We regret ever leaving,” said Claire Reddick, the Intracoastal Realtor who, with husband, Daniel, put their Stoneybrook home for sale after buying in the Porters Neck area. “Beth did a smart thing by staying and renovating. It’s a unique place. The values have dropped some, as they have elsewhere. It’s different, though, because you can’t replicate it.
“It’s not for everybody, but a special buyer knows the value because it’s so rustic.”
There’s that adjective again.
Claire and Daniel, who owns Redix lifestyle outfitters, had moved in as newlyweds in 2006.
Topping that, Gwen Wells-Loiacono and husband, Richard Loiacono not only bought and built their home in Stoneybrook in 1997, but they also honeymooned in it.
The feisty Wells-Loiacono, co-owner of ReelSistersTalent.Com, raves about raising her children there the past two decades. One of them, Hannah, made her way through Ogden Elementary and later Laney High School and now is in the movies, and recently had a nice role in a music video with Darius Rucker.
As for a recent movie, the mother Gwen reports it this way: “In one scene, Ryan Reynolds got to kiss Hannah.”
As for Stoneybrook, the neighbor Gwen reports it this way: “It’s all custom homes in here, so all of them are different. You’re close to everything but out in the woods. It’s (you guessed it) so rustic.”
There’s also a light touch: One cul-de-sac in the woodsy, er rustic, neighborhood is named Bedrock Court, and one homeowner there has the Flintstones painted on the mail box.
There’s also plenty of good memories.
“I was one of the original homeowners,” said Julie Jackson, who built a home with husband, Jeff, in 1985, but have now returned to their hometown of Goldsboro.
“This was the best neighborhood we ever lived. Almost every weekend we would gather at someone’s house for dinner with everyone contributing to the meal. When it turned warm we would gather in the street and bring our grills out and everyone just hang out cook, eat and play. In the fall and winter someone would have an oyster roast. We would have neighborhood Easter egg hunts, I played the bunny, and during the holidays we would have progressive dinners.”
Beth Terry, with her toddlers in tow, hopes to recreate some of that.
“The kids are sorta time-consuming now,” said Beth. “I heard what it was like back then. We plan to make it like that again.”
Read the full article here and view the Stoneybrook neighborhood photo gallery.
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Each week at our sales meeting we have a “Mystery Agent.” This gives us a chance to learn more about one of our colleagues that we may not have known otherwise.
This agent grew up in a small town in a nearby Southern state and played on a Civil War battlefield at Chicamauga.
This agent worked full to pay for college and received a BBA in Finance from Ga. State Univ. after 7 years of night school.
This agent later took law school classes at night time while still working in a law office during the day.
This agent learned to ski in the North Carolina mountains and later became an avid skier, winning medals for slalom and downhill racing from the NASTAR association at ski slopes out west.
Other hobbies include sailing and scuba diving in the islands.
Once on a business trip to Lima, Peru, this agent determined to go to Machu Piccu. When no colleague would go, this agent went on alone. The trip included a flight on an unknown Peruvian airline across the Andes and a helicopter ride the rest of the way to Machu Piccu.
This agent loves to travel to Italy and has fulfilled a lifelong dream of going on Safari in Africa.
This agent has been with Intracoastal for 9 years.
This agent has served as a Guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children, and is currently serving on the Board of Equalization and Tax Review for New Hanover County.
Can you Guess who this agent is?
Click on the photo for more info about our Mystery Agent Linda Woods