#ShineOnLocal | Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods

Rise and shine with a FREE small hot or iced drip coffee at Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods on Friday, June 25, 9 am – 11 am. Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods is a cozy coffee spot in downtown Wilmington. Not only do they serve Counter Culture Coffee based out of Durham, NC they also sell a variety of beers, wines, and tasty bites to compliment your beverage of choice.

We got to catch up with Bespoke Assistant Manager and Events Coordinator Julia Rothenberger to learn how this unique coffee spot got started and hear some of her recommendations when you get the chance to pop in for a fresh brew.

What is the owners/founders of Bespoke background?

Julia Rothenberger: Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods was founded by Chris Batten who was born and raised in Wilmington. From an early age, Chris was working for local surf shops where he was able to learn about management and merchandising while receiving mentorship. Later he ventured out to open his first restaurant downtown with his brother but eventually returned to the surf industry some years later. Chris conceptualized and ran his own surf shop called Annex Surf Supply which featured a small coffee and pour over bar. The Annex really showcased brand storytelling in a unique way and was distinguished in its field being voted one of the top 25 surf boutiques in the country. When he stepped down from there, he went back towards downtown Wilmington to open Bespoke in 2015!

What inspired Chris to open Bepsoke Coffee & Dry Goods?

Julia Rothenberger: Bespoke really started out as a branding experiment in visuals and vibe that the owner Chris mashed together through incorporating his own personal style with his years of travel. The mission within opening a coffee shop downtown was always to serve that community and provide a space where anyone could feel welcomed. The customer foundation is evidently strong from the past 6 years of organic growth. Apart from Bespoke, Chris is also the Creative Director for one of the largest vertical cannabis brands on the east coast and is in the process of opening a new healthy grab-n-go grocery concept at Wrightsville Beach that will be heavily anchored in branding and marketing visuals as well.

What makes Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods so unique?

Julia Rothenberger: The definition of Bespoke is a custom-made craft good. We not only strive to deliver a product that is unique and enjoyable, but also to create a distinct and memorable environment. Bespoke is unique because of the people that fill it! We focus on allowing our customers to feel accepted as they are.

What drink would you recommend for anyone new to Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods?

Julia Rothenberger: I would recommend one of our seasonal lattes (we serve Counter Culture beans) or one of our Reshi teas! We have an excellent tea menu (hot or iced) and have really enjoyed working alongside Reshi to pick out some unique blends. 

What’s your favorite drink?

Julia Rothenberger: One of my favorite drinks that we offer is an Orange and Vanilla Espresso Tonic! Using Fever Tree tonic water is the key… if you are a fan of sparkling water- give it a try! I also love a good Honey and Oat milk iced Latte on a summer afternoon.

What’s one of the wildest drinks you’ve seen ordered?

Julia Rothenberger: We get some crazy requests….but the wildest might have to be an orange juice with espresso in it.

What’s your favorite part about living in the Wilmington area?

Julia Rothenberger: One of my favorite parts about being in Wilmington would be the community. I’ve heard someone say before that Wilmington feels like a really big small town!

Those new to Wilmington, what’s something they must do or try?

Julia Rothenberger: I’d recommend walking along the Riverwalk downtown to discover new shops/restaurants or to walk down 2nd or 3rd street to view some beautiful historic homes and gardens!

Shine On Local Event Details:

Pop into Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods located at 202 Princess Street Wilmington, NC 28401 from 9 am – 11 am on Friday, June 25 for a FREE small hot or iced drip coffee compliments of Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @bespokecoffeenc on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit.

*Limited to one free small coffee per person


Staff Spotlight | Helen Gainer

Helen Gainer is our Lead Reservationist at Intracoastal Vacation Rentals. Helen has been with the Intracoastal family for over six years. In her role, she has helped families plan vacations of a lifetime and is a great source when it comes to the Wilmington area on where to explore and things to do while you’re here.

Where are you from? How long have you lived here? Tell us a little more about yourself.

Helen Gainer: I was born in Cebu City, Philippines and moved to Wilmington, North Carolina when I was 10 yrs old. I attended Topsail Middle and Topsail High School. Moved to Raleigh, NC and graduated from Broughton High School. After attending various colleges and traveling the world, I ended back in Wilmington, NC where I met my wonderful husband, Kent. Happily married for 11 years now and sharing our love for traveling the world together. Our favorite hobbies are traveling the world and being adventurous whether in the US or international, we are happy at best when we are making memories together.

When did you start Intracoastal Realty? What is one of the highlights of your career? Why have you enjoyed working here?

Helen Gainer: I began working at Intracoastal Vacation Rentals in October 2015 as a Reservationist. Now as a Lead Reservationist, I love what I do and helping clients create lasting memories with their family and friends. The best part of helping clients build their vacation is sharing my love for Wilmington and all our beaches. Sometimes I take for granted of where I live, but I am reminded everyday I go to work that I live in a beautiful place and it’s rated #3 on top places to visit in North Carolina.

I am honored and grateful to be working for Intracoastal Realty so I can share my love for this town and why everyone should come and visit here. The perks for working for Intracoastal Realty are the people I get to work with everyday and they throw the best parties for their employees. The company really shows their employees a really good time. I have been to a few of these events and they all have been such great memories.

Helen Gainer’s Local Recommendations

Favorite Beach: My two favorite beaches are Wrightsville Beach and Kure Beach, because I like that it is more residential and less hotels on the beach.

Favorite Restaurant: I am a foodie and I love all genres of food, but if I were to pick my top three, I would say Heironymous Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Osteria Cicchetti, and Ceviche’s.

A must do while in Wilmington: During the summer months I highly recommend you rent a SUP board and go down the Intracoastal Waterway in Wrightsville Beach to watch the sunset. In the fall, I recommend riding a bike around Wrightsville Beach and the historic downtown area in Wilmington. For winter, I recommend walking the beach to see the sunrise and you will find lots of sand dollars along the north end part of Wrightsville Beach.

It is quite a blessing to work and live at the beach everyday!


What Goes Up – Goes Up Further

Nick Churton of Intracoastal Realty’s London office – via Mayfair International Realty – looks to a genius to make some sense of the current international real estate market and offer some pointers for the future.

What Isaac Newton, who formulated the laws of gravity in the middle of the 17th century, would have made of the current gravity-defying real estate market is anyone’s guess. But, no doubt, like most people he would have been flummoxed.

Even a genius like Newton, who worked from home during the plague of 1665/66, would have had difficulty making any sense of this market. Despite a global killer pandemic, tens of millions of people out of work, nations in lockdown, travel halted and national treasuries handing out trillions in support of businesses, jobs and mortgages, the real estate market booms. It should, by any calculation, have plummeted like an apple from a tree. Instead, the market didn’t fall; it held itself in suspended animation for a while before surging upwards.

By any estimation the market should at least have mirrored the slowdown experienced after the great recession of 2008. But from the Antipodes to the Americas, and from Europe to the Far East, residential property prices in many countries are soaring. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it’s the fastest year-over-year growth in the past two decades.

But perhaps we can learn something from Newton, whose third law stated that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Covid made homeowners and homebuyers react by moving from cities and buying larger homes in less crowded areas where they could work from home. At the same time interest rate cuts kept mortgage repayments manageable and vaccines have generated confidence.

It wasn’t long ago that real estate professionals were preparing for the worst. Now the market, which is experiencing low inventory levels, is seeing increasing values with selling prices often well exceeding their asking prices.

Whilst most pandemic market activity has been in domestic markets, the international market has also been defying gravity. Despite travel restrictions, international buyers have been buying property sight unseen. Many homebuyers have been re-evaluating their lives or bringing forward plans to buy an overseas bolthole or permanent home. But this is just the tip of the iceberg; once travel opens up the signs are that there will be a super-surge of demand and activity from international buyers.

Growing numbers of sight-unseen global sales, ultra-competitive bidding on most listings and incidence of gazumping are all sure signs of a property market in boom mode. But let’s give Newton the last word in trying to make sense of what is going on. He said, “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people”.

Nick Churton and Annette Reeve, Mayfair International Realty representatives, run Intracoastal Realty’s London Office and are frequent visitors to the Greater Wilmington area.


#ShineOnLocal | Sunset Slush

If you live in Southeastern NC you know beach season starts a little earlier for us! Our upcoming #ShineOnLocal event will be at Sunset Slush in Ocean Isle Beach. Treat yourself to a beach day and a FREE small Italian ice compliments of Intracoastal Realty on Thursday, May 27, 4 pm – 6 pm.

Get ready for the perfect beach treat! Sunset Slush is known for it’s unique flavors and texture. This smooth tasty treat is available in over 25 flavors or opt to make a custom creation combining all your favorites! Not only does Sunset Slush have multiple locations, you might spot their cart on the beach, or you can even book them for your next special event.

How did Sunset Slush get started?

Devin Sellers: Stephen and Catherine Saia started Sunset Slush as a pushcart vending operation in 2003 and opened their Ocean Isle retail location in 2008. Sunset Slush was the first vendor on Ocean Isle Beach.

What Inspired you to open Sunset Slush?

Devin Sellers: As one of the owners of the Ocean Isle location, I pushed the cart as a high school summer job. My brother Drew graduated college in 2008 when the job market was at its lowest, so my brother and I presented the idea to my parents in December 2009. Our family took a big risk and opened our first Sunset Slush on April 1, 2010 in Holden Beach. Now we own Sunset Slush on every Brunswick County beach and one in Calabash, North Carolina.

What flavor Italian ice would you recommend to anyone new to Sunset Slush?

Devin Sellers: Mango or Strawberry Lemonade

What’s your favorite Italian ice flavor?

Devin Sellers: Everyone’s favorite flavor is different because there simply isn’t a bad flavor on the menu, but mine is the “The Pirate” a combination of mango and black cherry swirled. It’s purple and gold in honor of ECU of where I graduated. Drew’s is Sonic a combination of Cherry and lemon-lime. Susie’s is a creamsicle. 

What’s one of the craziest Italian ice flavor combinations you’ve ever seen?

Devin Sellers: One of our most popular among all ages is our zombie flavor it’s a combination of 10 different fruit flavors blended together.

What’s your favorite part about living in the Ocean Isle area?

Devin Sellers: The beauty of God‘s creation everywhere you look. Small-town community and friendliness even with so many people from so many different places living here. For us it’s home, it’s where we grew up…It’s family, it’s our childhood, it’s where we are raising our children! It’s paradise.

Those new to Ocean Isle, what’s something they must do or try while they are here?

Devin Sellers: Simply take in the magic of driving across the bridge enjoy the breathtaking views, smell the ocean air, listen to the sounds of the ocean, the wildlife, and of course put your feet in the sand with Sunset Slush in your hand from our push cart on the beautiful strand!


Intracoastal Realty Featured Agent | Frank Geraci

Intracoastal Realty agent Frank Geraci always makes sure his client’s needs come first. Frank goes above and beyond to ensure a successful outcome for everyone. On his free time he enjoys creating stained glass pieces and working on other DIY projects around the home.

Tell us a little more about yourself. Where are you from? How long have you lived here?

Frank Geraci: I was born in Chicago where I lived until going to college in Rochester, NY. I graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Printing Science. Along with my career in the printing, packaging, and paper industries, I managed to spend 22 years in the military. I was drafted, became a Commissioned Officer, went to Vietnam, and rounded out my military career in the New Jersey National Guard. I retired as a LTC in the Corps of Engineers. We moved to the Del Webb community in Durham, NC in 2016 and lived there until we found the Riverlights of Del Webb community in Wilmington.

When did you start Intracoastal Realty? Why have you enjoyed working here?

Frank Geraci: Although I was previously licensed in New Jersey and worked for Weichert Realtors when we moved to NC; I joined the Weichert Realtors Triangle group. We then moved to Wilmington where there was no Weichert Realtor’s presence here and I found Intracoastal’s company culture, training, and values that made me feel like this is where I belonged!

Frank Geraci’s Local Recommendations

Favorite Local Beach: Kure Beach

Favorite Local Eatery: Depends on the food. Quanta Basta, Smoke On The Water, and Jack Mackerels Island Grill

A must do while in Wilmington or the surrounding area: Take the water tour of the riverfront! Enjoy the local theater group productions…great entertainment venues that make you think you’re at a Broadway production!

Follow Frank Geraci on Social


Absorption Reports – Q1 2021

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

Housing prices stabilize when supply and demand come closer together. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of supply is “normal”. Less than 5 months of supply will result in appreciating home prices (Seller’s Market), while 7 months or more of supply will result in depreciating home prices (Buyer’s Market).

Following the 1st Quarter of 2021, we are seeing an unprecedent low amount of inventory and double-digit appreciation.  New Hanover County is showing a total of 0.7 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 1.2 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 0.8 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. It is a sellers market with an incredible amount of demand from buyers.

Bottom Line: It is a great time to sell!

New Hanover County

Brunswick County

Pender County


Staff Spotlight | Alice Heitchue

Alice Heitchue is one of our talented Graphic Designer and Marketing Coordinators. She has been with the Intracoastal Realty team for over six years and continues to create unique designs and keep our brand fresh for the company and the agents.
Where are you from? How long have you lived here? Tell us a little more about yourself.

Alice Heitchue: I grew up in the golden east of North Carolina, Rocky Mount. Notably, I was part of the Rocky Mount Senior High marching Gryphons, the only marching band in the region to win two back-to-back National Championships. I went on to Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated with a BFA in Design. After college, I began my career as an illustrator for the NC Wildlife Magazine in Raleigh. While in Raleigh, I worked for the Southern Governors Association and an art director for an internet book publisher.

I moved to Wilmington in 1997 to raise my children and enjoy the coastal lifestyle. I worked as a Tasteful Magazine designer and various other freelance endeavors, including the Battleship NC and New Hanover Regional Medical center.

When did you start Intracoastal Realty? What is one of the highlights of your career? Why have you enjoyed working here?

Alice Heitchue: I began working as a designer in the Marketing Department in the spring of 2017. The highlight of my career was receiving the #1 Award for Customer Service. I enjoy working with agents and teams to build their businesses. Their success is my success. It is fantastic to be a part of a winning team.


Alice Heitchue’s Local Recommendations

Favorite Local Beach: Holden Beach

Favorite Local Eatery: Provisions Company in Southport and Holden Beach

A Must Do While in Wilmington or the Surrounding Area: Walking the North End of Wrightsville Beach or Carolina Beach State Park



Intracoastal Realty Featured Agent | Sherri Ingle

Intracoastal Realty agent Sherri Ingle has been with the company for many years and is a leader within the Rising Tide Team. She assists in team training, education, and has created a support system for agents to flourish and grow to become better agents. The market is always changing and Sherri looks for the pattern of change and sharing with clients the pulse of the market.

Sherri grew up in Asheville, NC surrounded by the beauty of the mountains however, in 1989 she headed to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has not looked back!  The ocean pulled like a magnet. In May 1993 Sherri graduated with a major in Communications. In September 1993 she married Gene Ingle and moved west to the foothills of the mountains to Hickory, NC. However, the coast and all it offered drew the two of them back to the beach in 2002. In July of 2008 Sherri began her career.  As the Great Recession began, she had the privilege to grow and learn how to navigate the ever changing waters of the local market. At heart she is a teacher and endeavors to point her clients toward the best decision possible for their personal needs.

Gene and Sherri have two sons, and a black lab named Pepper. Aside from work, which Sherri loves, she also loves boating, swimming, paddle boarding, walking the loop, reading, teaching Sunday School, and participating in what we affectionately term “forced family fun”!

Sherri’s Local Recommendations

Favorite Local Beach: Wrightsville Beach

Favorite Local Eatery: Tough….depends on my mood. Brasserie, Portland Grille, True Blue, PT’s Grille, David’s Deli, Bridge Tender, Olympia of ILM, Catch, Beer Bario, Grand Cru, Ceviche’s, K 38

A Must Do While In Wilmington or the Surrounding Area: Wrightsville Beach and Airlie Gardens

Follow Sherri Ingle on Social

#ShineOnLocal | Good Hops Brewing

Who doesn’t love a tasty craft beer in a fun setting? Join us on April 22 at Good Hops Brewing in Carolina Beach for good beer, good company, and some fun!

Good Hops Brewing is a neighborhood Tap Room and Beer Garden offering a wide variety of fresh brewed ales, upscale wine, NC cider, local kombucha, and more! Not only do they have amazing beer, but what makes Good Hops even more unique is they are the only brewery in North Carolina with its own disc golf course. That’s right, you can grab an ice-cold brew and hit the chains! Their course includes a free 9-hole par 3 course located on 4 acres of Good Hops Brewing.

What Inspired You Both to Open Good Hops Brewing?

Good Hops was started by husband and wife Richard and Patricia Jones. They were inspired by their son John who they helped in opening sister brewery, Lookout Brewing in Black Mountain, NC. Richard and Patricia wanted to return to the beach and create Good Hops in the same image.

Which Beer Do You Recommend?

Patricia Jones: We have several flagship beers. Donna Golden Ale is our top selling beer and my recommendation if you’re new to craft beer. Favorite seasonal beer is our peach jalapeno that comes out in June.

What is Your Favorite Part of Living in the Wilmington Area?

Patricia Jones: The people and the beaches.

Those New to the Wilmington Area, What Tips Would You Give Them or an Activity They Must Try?

Patricia Jones: Visit the Carolina Beach boardwalk, the number 2 boardwalk in the country and Carolina Beach State Park, home to the Venus fly trap!

Shine On Local Event Details:

Stop by Good Hops Brewing located at 811 Harper Ave. Carolina Beach, NC 28428 from 5 pm – 7 pm on Thursday, April 22 for a complimentary beer courtesy of Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @GoodHopsBrewing on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you drop by. We’ll see you there!

*Limited to one beer per person, must be of legal drinking age 21 and up.


Intracoastal Realty Website Recognized for Excellence

Intracoastal Realty has been awarded the Website Quality Certification (WQC) from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global community of 550 high quality independent real estate firms in 70 countries. The certification was presented in recognition of excellence in website design, content and functionality.

Intracoastal Realty’s website, IntracoastalRealty.com, received high marks in a variety of critical areas relating to website performance, including usability, design, content, interactivity, customer service and mobile responsiveness. The evaluation was conducted by Virtual Results, LLC, a real estate internet and social marketing firm selected by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® to review the websites of participating members.

The specific measurements for the WQC are updated each year to reflect the most current online marketing strategies, as well as evolving consumer preferences. Companies must be re-certified every two years to maintain the certification.

“We are pleased to recognize the companies that earned the WQC this year. The restrictions of this past year have heightened the importance of having a strong web presence and giving home buyers and sellers easy ways to explore homes and communities online. Our WQC companies provide consumers with valuable resources through well-designed websites that offer relevant local content and up-to-the-minute housing information,” said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Paul Boomsma.

Intracoastal Realty is the Southeastern North Carolina representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com). With a global membership that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects more than 550 firms and 135,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions each year. As a member of LeadingRE, Intracoastal Realty provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.