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.


What to Know When Buying on the Water

By Judy Royal

Many people dream their whole lives of living on the water. Who wouldn’t want the serenity of looking out your window to enjoy the ultimate view, not to mention having a body of water and its recreational opportunities right outside your door? Buying waterfront property is not only an investment; it’s a lifestyle. Especially in Southeastern North Carolina where the ocean calls so many to its edge, waterfront living is the pinnacle of real estate goals for lots of buyers. But there are many special considerations that go along with owning a waterfront piece of paradise. Educate yourself so you know exactly what to expect as you embark on acquiring your own waterfront property in the Wilmington NC real estate market.

Look into loans

It’s no secret that you will likely pay a premium to have the waterfront lifestyle that you’ve been working toward for many years. Because a home on the water is typically more expensive than a similar home in a standard neighborhood, you will probably need a bigger loan. Jumbo mortgages, which take longer to obtain than a regular home loan and are given by lenders to only the most qualified buyers, are one of the routes you may expect to go when buying a waterfront home. Start loan shopping early to be sure you can qualify and to allow plenty of time for the process.

Calculate hidden costs

The price you pay for your waterfront home is just the beginning. Perhaps more than any other type of property, there are many hidden costs associated with ownership of this type. In addition to the possibility of a homeowners association, which you will find in many other standard neighborhoods, a waterfront home is likely to come with much higher insurance and maintenance expenses. Especially in a coastal environment where hurricanes and flooding are common threats, waterfront homes often come with hefty insurance premiums due to the increased risk of damage from natural disasters. Maintenance costs are also likely to be more than what you’d pay for a similar home in another environment due to increased wear and tear and the need for special features such as storm shutters. Be sure to calculate all of these costs well into the future so you can protect your investment.

Talk to neighbors

Getting to know people who live in a community where you are thinking about buying is a good idea regardless of the type of neighborhood you are considering, but when it comes to waterfront this is a crucial thing to do. Potential neighbors can give you insight about safety, privacy, erosion, what to expect during hurricane season, how crowded the area will be during various seasons of the year, and more. A few conversations may help you decide whether a community will be the right one for you. Doing a little homework now can save you from experiencing some unwelcome surprises down the line when you’re already locked into a loan.

Examine the property

No matter how much you love a home, when you’re buying on the waterfront be sure you consider the land just as much as or more than the structure. After all, you can change a house but not the location. What’s water access like? Are you near a public walkway that might create lots of pedestrian traffic and noise? Where does your land end and public property begin? Is the area good for swimming? How do the tides affect your property? The latter is especially important if you live in a boating community where low water levels restrict the times in which you can use your watercraft. It’s a good idea to look at a survey of the land and a plot map, and talk to your real estate agent and possibly a real estate attorney to be completely clear about what you are actually buying.

Know the rules

If you’re planning to add a dock, seawall, or other feature to your waterfront property, find out what that will entail. You may have to deal with government agencies that have strict rules about what can be done, especially if there are any wetlands on your property. Also find out if there are any restrictions on the use of jet skis and other watercraft if that’s something you plan to enjoy on a regular basis.

Consider a waterfront specialist

Some real estate agents have special qualifications that make them a great choice for those looking to buy on the waterfront. It may be a good idea to look for those who specialize in waterfront transactions so they can share their expertise about the ins and outs of the process.

Are you ready for a waterfront home of your own? If you want to stop dreaming and find out if life really is better on the water, 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.


New Construction or Existing Home? For Many Buyers, That Is the Question

By Judy Royal

So you’ve decided it’s time to buy a home in Southeastern North Carolina. There are so many decisions to make when it comes to the Wilmington NC real estate market. Chief among them is whether you want to start from scratch or find something already built. While there are a lot of really great reasons to opt for new construction, the process also has its share of drawbacks. Be sure to do plenty of research when deciding what is best for you and your family. The following are some things to consider:

Choose a builder

If you decide on new construction, your next decision will be whether you want to hire a custom builder or a higher-volume builder, also known as a production builder. A production builder constructs a community of homes based on a library of floor plans, each with limited personalization options. A custom builder can create a one-of-a-kind home that offers a greater range of design choices, albeit at a typically higher price and time commitment than a production home. While a production builder will likely offer you the opportunity to upgrade finishes and make other personal touches, the sky is the limit when it comes to a custom-built home. Want a feeding area for your dogs built into the lower kitchen cabinetry? How about a four-car garage? Anything you’ve ever wanted in a home is a possibility when you build a custom home. Obviously, all of these choices will not be possible if you buy an existing home.

Either way, be sure to do your homework when it comes to choosing the right builder for you. Check review websites, state licensing boards, and local court records for complaints, disciplinary actions, and lawsuits. Talk to previous customers to get a firsthand account of their experiences.

Know the community

Drive through neighborhoods to get a feel for an area. Find out crime rates. Research schools. Talk to other homeowners. Determine how long your work commute will be. Find out how many more homes will be built around you. If your entire community is new, you may be living amid ongoing construction for many months. When it comes to determining the community that you will call home for many years, you really can’t be too diligent. Be sure you will be comfortable making a life wherever you choose.

Time your move

Are you looking to pack your bags and put out your new welcome mat sooner rather than later? Then a newly constructed home may not be for you. Expect to wait several months or more for a home that is not yet under construction. Your move can happen much more quickly if you buy an existing home, so think about what your ideal time frame is. If you have one home on the market while you’re building another, you will have to make arrangements for a temporary place to live if the sale happens before you’re able to get into your new place.

Pick a landscape

Do you want mature trees that will shade your home in the summertime? New communities might not be able to offer this if existing foliage was not salvaged in the development process. It could take years for new landscaping to grow into itself, so decide how important this feature is to you.

Behold the Bells and Whistles

In a new home, you will likely have “smart” technology options that allow you to automate Internet, cable, speakers, an alarm system, etc. Also, new homes often use more eco-friendly paints and building materials, which can improve indoor air quality. An existing home, depending on its age, is much less likely to include all of these modern perks.

Estimate Your Bills

A newly constructed home will have new appliances, systems, insulation, and windows, which are more energy-efficient than what you’ll find in most older residences. This could mean a significant savings in your utility bills and more money in your pocket each month. If you are buying an existing home, it’s a good idea to ask the seller what you might expect to pay for your utility bills. An inefficient home, even with a much lower sales price, can cost you much more in the long run than one that is using modern processes to run optimally.

Think About Maintenance

Maintenance costs associated with an existing home can affect your budget significantly. A newly built home, with its untouched appliances, HVAC system, roof, etc. – requires much less upkeep than an aging residence and will allow you to better predict the monthly costs of home ownership. Thanks to warranties on your new items, you may not have to pay for any major repairs for several years.

Whether you’re seeking to buy a lot on which to build your dream home or something ready and waiting for you to move in, 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 12 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.


Luxury Portfolio Spotlight: Celebrating the South with Pinnacle Properties from Wrightsville Beach to South Africa

As our partnership with Luxury Portfolio allows, Intracoastal Realty’s listings are often featured on LuxuryPortfolio.com. We often spotlight outstanding listings around the world and become enamored with the many features, outdoor spaces, and interior design and decor of these lavish properties. This month is no exception. We bring in 2017 by celebrating the South and have opted to share three extraordinary custom homes with you.

wrightsville-beachOne of a kind home with every imaginable feature beautifully incorporated with rich mahogany details throughout. Constructed with steel and concrete to withstand over 130 mph winds. Amenities and features are numerous and exquisite. For a detailed list of amenities contact Intracoastal Realty agents, Jeff Hovis and Deb Hayes.

True professional chef’s kitchen, full in home spa, stunning master suite encompasses the entire north side of the third floor, southern wrap around porch to capture the scents and beauty of the ocean and its expansive views.

Variety of recreation and entertainment areas and facilities to match any enthusiast’s lifestyle. Four garage bays, two outdoor shower/dressing areas, and multiple storage rooms. Home must be seen to be fully appreciated. Sold with adjacent ocean front lot, 20 E. Oxford.

PROPERTY FEATURES INCLUDE: Waterfront, Security System, four-car attached garage, zoned central cooling, heat pump, zoned heating system, irrigation system, security lighting, shutters – hurricane, thermal windows, outdoor shower

INTERIOR FEATURES INCLUDE: 9-foot+ ceilings, blinds/shades, ceiling fan(s), elevator, pantry, security system, smoke detectors, sprinkler system, walk-in shower, walk-in closet, wet bar, whirlpool, sauna

VIEWS INCLUDE: Water, Sunrise

BUILT IN: 2009

APPROXIMATE SQUARE FEET: 7,838 ft.

LOT ACRES: 0.24

See it!

atlantaConstructed of concrete and slate, with windows and doors custom made in the Loire River Valley and installed by French artisans brought to the United States for the project, the level of craftsmanship represents the pinnacle of homebuilding in the American South.

Designed not only to reflect the quality of lifestyle of a forgotten age, this home was also carefully crafted to house a modern family. This is an heirloom home designed to last hundreds of years and represents a seldom available opportunity to secure what is certainly one of the South’s most important residences.

Property Features Include: six-car garage

Approximate Square Feet: 15,172 ft.

Architectural Style: French Provincial

Lot Acres: 2

See it!

south-africaRietfontein, the magnificent Karoo stud farm that has been home to sporting legend Gary Player and his family for the past 44 years, has been listed for sale. Champion racehorses have been bred and raised on this farm since 1883 and it has achieved worldwide acclaim for the exceptional quality of its breeding stock.   Designed by Watermeyer & Mason Architects, the master-built homestead pays tribute to the traditions of Karoo building, with interiors by top designer Michele Throssell.

Flowing off the cool entrance courtyard with its oversized skylight and large Koi pond, it features vaulted ceilings and generously proportioned, airy living rooms and bedrooms; a large terrace with lovely views of the surrounding hills; a basement wine cellar; an ultra-modern kitchen with separate pantry, walk-in cold room and breakfast area; an upstairs library/ reading room; a private study with its own lounge area and a luxurious gym. It is air-conditioned throughout.

Outdoors there is a long lap pool; tennis court, enclosed hillside barbeque area with a hot-tub; a private chapel; two guest flats and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom guesthouse with its own pool and entertainment area. And, of course, it has a Gary Player-designed private golf course.

In the business section of the farm, there are 46 stables, eight of them in a special foaling barn; 14 staff houses; tack, equipment and feed storage sheds; two offices and a veterinary treatment room. Grazing and exercise areas include 14 post-and-rail paddocks, several fenced camps and an enclosed oval race-track of about 3000m. The farm also has its own fenced game reserve.  Price excludes VAT.

PROPERTY FEATURES INCLUDE: Ranch, Alarm System, three-car garage, guest parking, air conditioning

VIEWS INCLUDE: Hills

AMENITIES INCLUDE: on golf course, equestrian facilities, Lap Pool

DESIGNED BY: Watermeyer & Mason Architects

ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: Ranch

See it!


Selling Your Home, It’s a Business Decision

Blog Courtesy of Bobby Brandon, Broker/REALTOR® at Intracoastal Realty

Don’t Let Emotions Get in the Way!bobby-brandon-pp

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.

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Thursday Update: Properties Under Contract through 01/07/2016

Written:  $8,233,190    Units:  32
Closed:    $14,075,100  Units:  23
Listings:   $9,791,739    Units:  23

Under Contract

Pam Kittredge Co-Broke 6053 Inland Greens Drive Wilmington $180,000
Co-Broke Alicia Devereaux 1112 Bowfin Lane #1 Carolina Beach $329,000
Jimmy Hopkins Co-Broke 3401 N Kerr Avenue Wilmington $184,500
Drew Mayer Co-Broke 554 Grande Manor Court #204 Wilmington $249,900
Co-Broke Joyce Barnwell 673 Settlers Lane Kure Beach $289,000
Cameron Brand Co-Broke 1051 Lanterns Way Leland $219,000
Co-Broke Sandra McNeil 4629 Pineview Drive Wilmington $199,500
Co-Broke Joseph Dalton 341 Belveder Drive Holly Ridge $185,000
Co-Broke Joy Morgan 151 E Lake Emerald Drive Wilmington $244,900
Eva Elmore Co-Broke 2010 Burnett Avenue Wilmington $150,000
Phil Brady Co-Broke 302 Erinshire Court Wilmington $195,000
Co-Broke Keith Beatty 4308 Eleuthera Lane Wilmington $140,940
Co-Broke Susan Lacy 4230 Lake Avenue Wilmington $139,000
Keith Beatty Co-Broke 1525 Field View Road Wilmington $250,000
Co-Broke Eva Elmore 301 Cores Court Wilmington $250,000
Co-Broke Marcello Caliva 1001 Coleridge Drive Wilmington $159,900
Joy Morgan Co-Broke 5838 White Heron Road Wilmington $389,500
Co-Broke Keith Beatty 4312 Eleuthera Lane Wilmington $140,940
Robi Bennett Co-Broke 1105 Bowfin Lane #2 Carolina Beach $325,000
Co-Broke Lois Potratz 7105 Saybrook Drive Wilmington $388,000
Lois Dixon Gwen Hawley 3121 Dever Court Wilmington $479,000
Argie Franck Co-Broke 218 Avant Drive Wilmington $249,900
Keith Beatty Co-Broke 4316 Eleuthera Lane Wilmington $141,320
Adriana Meakin Co-Broke 6316 Marywood Drive Wilmington $789,000
Co-Broke Angie Pool 5434 Andover Road Wilmington $148,900
Cindy Clayter Kathy Foster 218 McRae Street Wilmington $187,500
Co-Broke Ashley Garner 1115 Swordfish Lane Carolina Beach $89,900