Attention Buyers – Wire Fraud Alert

Wire Fraud is becoming a more frequent issue for today’s homebuyers. Buyers are tricked into wiring their down payment or remainder of closing expenses to fraudulent accounts set up by criminals that have spoofed emails in order to make them look professional and make the recipient believe they are legit. These losses are often not covered by the bank since most wires go overseas and are impossible to recover! There have been victims who have lost six-figure sums and had to terminate the transaction on their dream home due to this type of fraud. This nightmare scenario has earned the name “business email compromise scam” and rightfully so.  This type of scam targets businesses that deal with individuals, such as those involved in a pending real estate transaction. The criminals behind these scams are able to trick homebuyers in a variety of ways, most of which do not require advanced technology or technological knowledge to perform. The criminals infiltrate real estate agents or attorneys emails with malware and then are able to monitor emails between client and professional regarding upcoming closing costs.

Once the scammer is able to send legitimate looking emails on behalf of the real estate professional, they request a sudden change on payment plans. These changes in payments plans often include the buyer wiring money to off-shore accounts, likely to never be recovered.   Email compromising scams in real estate are on the rise, according to cyber security professionals that reported a drastic 14 times increase since the past year alone. With this in mind, it is increasingly important home buyers are aware of the steps they can take to prevent this from happening to them. First, being vigilant and aware of these types of scams is important, as well as verifying any suspicious activity associated with a home purchase.

Second, the importance of voice verification is stressed. This means clients and real estate professionals provide voice verification to back up any requests involving e-signing and divulging financial information of any kind. Another important step in prevention is involving your bank. Most banks will honor you request to not allow wire transfers without a voice verification from the account owner. It is important when dealing with wire transfers that there is a note put in place that allows for steps to be taken before wire transfers can be completed. Lastly, be on the lookout for emails requesting that you take immediate action. Approach these emails with caution and suspicion by confirming requested action with a known phone number.  Home buying should be a rewarding process for all parties involved. By staying educated and alert we can ensure that everyone has a positive home buying experience!


Dream Home on the Water For Sale in Coveted Hampstead Area

We are excited to present this beautiful home for sale located in Hampstead, North Carolina. Listed by Dawn Berard, REALTOR/Broker with Sold Buy the Sea Realty.


$595,000  |  3 Bedrooms  |  4 Bathrooms  |  2 Car Garage  |  3,504 Sq. Ft.


 655 Hughes Road Hampstead, NC 28443


This beautifully crafted home was designed with every detail in mind. Local contractor, and one of Sold Buy the Sea Realty’s preferred builders Phillip Bruce, spared no expense in building this immaculate home on the water. Located in Washington Acres, one of Hampstead’s most coveted sub-divisions, this home leaves nothing left to want.  Experience life best lived on the water with access to a boat dock, ramp, and slip, allowing for plenty of room for your water craft. Delight in fishing that awaits you just 5 mins away by boat at the Intracoastal Waterway, or cast off your own private dock that never has less than 4 feet of water!  After a long day of playing on the water, pick between the balcony, deck, patio, or even the porch to unwind and catch a view of a Carolina sunset. A large yard and canal water frontage offers plenty of opportunity to enjoy wildlife visits from birds, deer, fish, and even catch some shrimp off your dock for dinner! This property was designed with a bright open floor plan with plenty of windows allowing for natural light to warm and enliven every room. There is also hardwood and tile flooring throughout. The ceilings are intricate cathedral and trey style. The kitchen includes custom Thomasville cabinets, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and archways.  With so much to offer, this home begs to be enjoyed with friends and family, which is why the in-law suite is the perfect addition to this home, and is complete with their own refrigerator, mounted flat screens, and washer/dryer. With so much care and detail put into this home, it truly is a must see!


Sold Buy the Sea Realty organizes Cross Creek Craft Beer & BBQ Bash Fundraiser

Hurricane Florence ripped through coastal Carolina communities in September devastating cities, neighborhoods, and a countless number of homes. The Cross Creek community in Hampstead North Carolina was not exempt from this destruction that left at least 70 families displaced. In fact, Cross Creek’s many residents and their dozens of homes may have bared the worst of the storm’s aftermath as flooding had become one of many concerns for these residents. Not only did the rising flood waters cause residents to gut and abandon their homes and prized possessions, but the water itself turned deadly as a combination of washed out sewage lines and toxic chemicals from garages spilled into the flood waters and entered homes. Amid such destruction and devastation, the power of community and togetherness has never been more vital to restoration and recovery.

With that in mind Sold Buy the Sea Realty, community volunteers, and sponsors organized the Cross Creek Craft Beer & BBQ Bash fundraiser hosted by Leaf & Barrel Provision Co. During the event, the local craft brews were pouring steady, and the delicious BBQ was enjoyed by all. Leaf & Barrel was packed with members of the community looking to have some fun and connect with the community while helping Cross Creek residents.  Some of the festivities included a live DJ for entertainment, T-shirts for sale, a raffle, and a silent auction to name a few. The wonderful success of the event can be contributed to the incredible donations and volunteers that include but are not limited to, Aquesta Bank, Kixx Builders, Inc. Kixx Outfitters, The Tailg8tr Grill, Topsail and South Topsail Elementary Schools Bake Sale, Phillip Bruce NC General Contractor, Spencer Jarnagin Inspections, SunBelt Rentals and the Czepiel Family. As well as donations from P&L Palms, Piggly Wiggly, The Health Institute of Hampstead, Wilmington Business Journal, Cumulus Radio Station Group, and of course Leaf & Barrel for hosting and donating a percentage of sales from the day! In total, $12,210.00 was raised during the fundraiser, and the proceeds were donated to the Cross Creek HOA for the benefit of its residents. Together we are not only Carolina strong, but locally strong as well.

Wilmington Real Estate Market Reported Hottest in the Nation

Wilmington’s Real Estate market has always been impressive in comparison to other U.S. cities, but now it has a new title to declare within the Real Estate Industry.  According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the nations premier Real Estate database, awarded the port city as having the most “new comers” to the area in the third quarter of this year, giving rise to the hottest Real Estate market in the county to be exact! This may not come to a surprise to local residents, what with the beautiful climate, abundance of pristine beaches, water activities, and historic downtown. It seems that everyone is trying to claim their own slice of paradise. There truly is no better time to make the move you have been dreaming of and Sold Buy the Sea Realty is here to ensure a smooth and effortless transition! Sold Buy the Sea Realty has contributed greatly to making Wilmington the hottest market in the nation. Whether you are a local seeking a change of neighborhood, or looking to relocate altogether, Sold Buy the Sea Realty and our professional team of Realtors are more than happy to assist anyone interested. It seems opportunity is knocking for home buyers, re-locaters, and Real Estate professionals!


New Agent – Kelly Stegall

We are pleased to announce our newest agent, Kelly Stegall!

Pelican Reef Poker Run – Broker Luncheon


Join us on Friday, August 10th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM for the Pelican Reef Poker Run in Hampstead! Lunch will be provided! Visit ALL 5 homes to pick up your poker cards to have a chance to win a YETI COOLER or CASH! Best poker hand wins.

Sponsored by Kristian Siemon at Angel Oak Home Loans!

WINNER will be announced afterwards at 108 Killdeer Drive!




Dune Tops Coastal Cottages – Wilmington NC

Dune Tops is one of Wilmington‘s newest communities just steps away from Beau Rivage Golf and Resort!

Coastal Craftsmen style homes FEATURING expansive open concept with high ceilings, wood floors throughout, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, custom solid wood cabinets, 1st-floor master bedroom, and spectacular tile shower. Screened porch to let the coastal breezes in, privacy fencing across the back, entire yard is sodded, craftsman trim, metal roof and shake accents to finish the look!

This 9-home quaint coastal cottage neighborhood is located only 5 miles from Downtown Wilmington, Island Beaches, restaurants, shipping, medical, and seconds away from the 1st tee, swimming pool and tennis courts all offered to Dune Tops residents at a discounted rate with initiation fees waived!

No detail is overlooked! Act now and choose everything inside and out! These are introductory prices during the presell stages of the first few homes. Upgraded packages available which includes gourmet kitchen with gas stove, hood vent, built in microwave, tile backsplash, hardwood in master bedroom, wainscoting in dining area, upgraded moldings and trim throughout, recessed lighting in dining room, arched door casing in living room, acrylic sunroom instead of screened porch, and fully fenced backyard. Price will increase as construction gets underway!

Contact Dawn Berard or Graham King today for more details!


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Furry Client Looking For New Home

Meet Tucker!

HI! I am one and a half years old and was rescued but my original Mama couldn’t keep me. I have been passed around by nice people trying to help, but need some stability! I am about 60 lbs and am neutered, up to date on my shots, housebroken and I even know 4 commands! I do have a lot of energy, but that is to be expected from a young Labrador mix. I promise to love you forever if you give me a chance… I can fetch, I LOVE the water, am GREAT with other dogs and kids. I’m not even afraid of fireworks and I come with my own crate! Please give my foster Mom Grace a call at 910-352-6256 if you would like to meet me! Thank you for reading




Rent Prices Continue to Rise

The Port City’s rent prices are continuing to increase and caused Wilmington to jump its national ranking based on the year-over-year rental price growth. Based on a report prepared by Apartment List, Wilmington is currently ranked #40 for year-over-year rent growth of 3.4 percent. This increase in rent prices outpaced the national average, which was 1.5 percent and also higher than traditionally high-rent markets like San Francisco and New York.

The increasing cost to rent leads to concerns that many local residents wont be able to afford to live in the region. The biggest issue that we are facing is a lack of affordable housing in our area, causing residents to pay more than 30 percent of their gross incoming on housing, creating a cost-burden. The city of Wilmington and New Hanover County officials are taking action to address this issue and to try to identity ways to encourage more affordable housing.

With rent prices increasing, the debate on whether to BUY or RENT is revisited. Contact one of our Real Estate Professionals today to go over what the best decision is for YOU! (910) 367-2965

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New Agent – Ashley Ferri

Sold Buy the Sea Realty is pleased to announce our newest agent, Ashley Ferri!

(252) 229-6029


WELCOME, Ashley! We are excited to have you on our team!

Rise of the Pub Sheds

Backyard sheds are common among most homeowners with large backyards, most of which are used for storage, but there is a growing trend of pub-sheds!

Whats a pub-shed? Glad you asked…

Pub-sheds are sheds that are redesigned into your own miniature bar in your backyard! What better way to calm your nerves after a long day’s work than a cold, refreshing beverage just steps away from your own home!


Even if your budget does not allow for your Million Dollar backyard paradise, pub shed projects can be done inexpensively! Just requires some handyman skills and creativity!

Looking for more insight or a vendor to help with your projects? Call us today! (910) 367-2965

Start your home project today!


Mortgage Rates Are On The Rise!

Since 2011 and the financial crisis, mortgage rates have jumped to their highest level, averaging 4.61% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage from 4.55% last week, according to data released last Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. Interest rates in late 2012 bottomed out at 3.31% and have been as low as 3.99% as recently as January.  This spike this year has been quicker than many economists predicted as a surging economy, the prospect of wage gains and a steep rise in prices for commodities such as lumber and gas.

The concern among economist is that higher rates will prompt homeowners to keep their low-rate mortgages rather than trade up for better properties. As rates approach 5%, the risk of the phenomenon known as rate lock grows, economists said. Even a small increase of one percentage point can cause a reduction in home sales of 7% to 8%, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. The recent increases in home prices and mortgage rates could especially hurt first-time and moderate-income borrowers.

To put into perspective, what might seem like a small increase in mortgages rates can have significant effects on your monthly payments. A 4% rate on a $250,000 loan translates to a monthly payment of $1,194, according to LendingTree Inc. At 5%, this monthly payment would go up to $1,342, excluding taxes and insurance.

Mortgage purchase applications fell 2% in the week ended May 11, the fourth straight weekly decrease, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. While in a typical market buyers can simply choose to buy a smaller, less expensive home, that is a challenge in today’s market because inventories are near all-time lows. With the lack of affordable homes on the market, this gives buyers less wiggle room. Mortgage refinancing activity has also slowed dramatically. The pool of homeowners who would qualify for and benefit from a refi has shrunk by roughly 46% so far this year, according to mortgage-data and technology firm Black Knight Inc.

All of this could prompt lenders to ease credit standards to try to increase the volume of loans to new borrowers. Standards are still currently high, but lenders should be cautious about easing them so late in the cycle, especially since that could spur more demand in a market already suffering from tight supply, stated by Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “If we get additional loosening of underwriting its just going to gin up price pressures, and this is where we have to be careful,” he said.

Looking for more details or have questions?
Call us at 910-367-2965 or see below!
Sellers Guide
Buyers Guide
Financial Calculators
What is my home worth?


Kusisto, Laura, and Christina Rexrode. “The Era of Low Mortgage Rates Is Over>.”®,, 18 May 2018,

7 Home Remodeling Projects With Top-Dollar Returns

Not all home improvements are created equal! Your home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot. But the home itself? Perfect isn’t the adjective you would use… but you knew that moving in, and are now ready to start making it right!

But where do you begin? Because while any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, not all add as much home equity as you might expect!

Here are the best seven home remodeling projects with equity-building results:

  1. Upgraded Landscaping – This one might be a bit of a surprise but can make all the difference! If you have some imperfect parts, adding a little color and touch of hardscaping can be dramatic and an immediate equity-booster!
  2. New Roof – Measuring rainfall from the indoors isn’t cool, considering it is what is between you and the elements, getting a new roof is a no-brainer why it would add equity to your home.
  3. Hardwood Floors – This type of flooring is a timeless classic, so installing or refinishing your hardwood will never be a regret.
  4. Patio or Deck – If your home is your castle, then your yard is your kingdom. After giving your yard a much-needed makeover, you need a place to watch over your handiwork!
  5. New Garage Door – There are tons of options for garage doors, so replacing your one with a garage door with a new finish or window insets will add tons of curb appeal!
  6. Insulation – Insulation is tucked out of sight, so it’s often out of mind until you are wearing your winter jacket indoors! An investment in new insulation or adding to the previous one will not only bring a return on your investment but also save money on heating and cost expenses!
  7. New Siding – With the new vinyl siding, there are several different types and colors available, so pick and choose to add some charm to your house. Plus you never have to paint again!

In a survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), “quality” was one of the most important traits that home buyers focused on when house hunting. By upgrading or adding any of these options, it will help appreciate the value of your home, while creating the perception of quality!

Looking for more insight or a vendor to help with your improvements? Call us today! (910) 367-2965


Arntson, Anne. “7 Home Remodeling Projects With Top-Dollar Returns.” Houselogic, HouseLogic, 11 Dec. 2017,

Million Dollar Homes in Wilmington NC

If you had $1,000,000, what would you do with it? Would you buy a house? If so, where would you buy?

Depending on where you are looking, one million dollars could buy you the dream home you have always wanted or a small 1 bedroom home. Areas like San Francisco or Boston have extremely expensive Real Estate Markets, where this amount of money would just get you started, but for other locations, you could own the mansion you’ve dreamed about. The Wilmington Real Estate Market has been strong for many years, however homes for a million dollars and up are still exclusive and luxurious. So you might ask yourself, what affects the value of a home? Why can I purchase a mansion for 1 million dollars in Wilmington, NC, but only get a small 1 bedroom home in San Francisco? Let’s break down the main factors that affect a home’s value.

  1. Location: One of the most influential factors in value. Most of the time, homes that are in popular/dense cities, waterfront/beachfront, or located in historical areas, will generally have a higher asking price.
  2. Land: When you buy a home, you are not only buying the home but also the land it sits on. A general rule of thumb is that the property itself usually makes up about a fourth of the total value of a particular home. In essence, if you buy a home for $1,000,000, then the value of the land should be around $250,000.
  3. Size: There is a definite relation between the size of a home and the value. Typically you will see two different sizes, the living area and the total area. The living area is considering the interior of the home that is heated. The total area is the total square footage of the home, which includes a garage or porch or portion of the property that isn’t considering living area.
  4. Age: This factor can affect the value both directly and indirectly. An older home doesn’t necessarily mean that the home isn’t worth as much. Many homes are actually purchased specifically because of their age.
  5. Home features: Believe it or not, but the layout and design of a home’s kitchen plays a key role in the desirability of a home. In most million-dollar properties, you will see high-end appliances with custom cabinetry and granite counters. However, other features like a large master suite with a custom bathroom create attraction.

This is only a shortened list of the factors that affect home value, but if you would like to know more about valuation or Wilmington’s Real Estate Market, give us a call today at (910) 367-2965!


View All Million Dollar Homes in Wilmington NC

Meticulously Maintained Home for Sale | 118 Porch Swing Way

We are excited to present this beautiful home for sale located in Holly Ridge, North Carolina. Listed by Dawn Berard, REALTOR/Broker with Sold Buy the Sea Realty.

$244,000  |  3 Bedrooms  |  2.5 Bathrooms  |  2 Car Garage  |  2,239 Sq. Ft.

MLS # 100101545

This meticulously maintained home at 118 Porch Swing Way features craftsman style, stone-accented pillars that line the front patio, overlooking the custom landscaping, full privacy fenced backyard with raised garden beds, patio for grilling and mature trees.

Walk into an open floor plan with fireplace, tons of natural light, beautiful kitchen that offers upgraded appliances, granite counters, flush mount speakers in the ceiling with auxiliary port, wine cabinets, recessed lighting, enormous raised bar top on island, and formal dining area.

On the second floor, you will find wide hallways to lead you to 3 great sized bedrooms, including the master with features a tile shower and expansive closet space! A stairway then brings you to the third floor finished bonus room that is perfect for a home gym, office or media room!

All this tucked on a private “nook” off the main road in The Neighborhoods of Holly Ridge with sidewalks, street lights, a picnic area, and book exchange. Conveniently located halfway between Jacksonville and Wilmington. This prime location allows for a short commute to Stone Bay, Courthouse Bay, Camp Lejeune’s Sneads Ferry gate, and MCAS New River!


Contact Dawn Berard today to schedule a showing at (910) 228-8879!


View All of Dawn Berard’s Listings

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New Agent – Tish Lloyd

Sold Buy the Sea Realty is pleased to announce our newest agent, Tish Lloyd!


WELCOME, Tish! We are excited to have you on our team!


Beautiful Custom Built Home for Sale | 551 Pinnacle Parkway

New home for sale located in Hampstead, North Carolina. Listed by Dawn Berard, REALTOR/Broker with Sold Buy the Sea Realty.

$339,900  |  4 Bedrooms  |  3 Bathrooms  |  2 Car Garage  |  2,243 Sq. Ft.

MLS # 100098898

This beautiful, custom built home at 551 Pinnacle Parkway is located in the south-after Hampstead neighborhood Pinnacle Estates. This friendly community is tucked away yet close to everything. It is situated in the much desired “Topsail” school district, and only a short trip to gorgeous beaches, historic towns, and best restaurants in Coastal Carolina!

From the moment you enter this home, you feel how well built this brick and vinyl shake home is. Enter the large foyer with extra wide hall to the great room with fireplace and built-ins in one direction with a wonderfully placed dining room/office on the opposite side. The kitchen was completely customized with drawers, bread box, glass doors, gas stove, built in, granite counter tops, and a close attention to every detail. Wood floors throughout kitchen and living area. The breakfast nook overlooks the screened in porch, which opens to a gorgeous paver patio. The backyard includes mature landscaping, a solid built shed/workshop with water and electricity, full irrigation system, and spectacular plantings.


The master bedroom is truly a sanctuary! It includes vaulted ceilings, custom closet with built-ins and full-length mirror, and an enormous bathroom with tile shower and tub. The bonus room is the 4th bedroom with a large dormer adding tons of natural light and two large walk-in floored storage areas. Bedrooms two and three are located on the lower level and are separated from the master for privacy and tranquillity. This home has been impeccably maintained inside and out by the owner who built it. This home includes blinds and curtains in most rooms, as well as underground propane tank to fuel fireplace and stove, oversized garage, cabinets in laundry room, water softener, and many more extra custom features!


Don’t miss this opportunity! Contact Dawn Berard, Realtor, today to schedule a showing at (910) 228-8879!



View All of Dawn Berard’s Listings

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How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Selling your home is a HUGE financial decision. Once you have decided to sell your home, the next question is how do I find the best real estate agent to handle my transaction. Some sellers that are trying to save a couple extra pennies consider trying to sell their home themselves, also known as FSBO (For Sale by Owner). But in most cases, these individuals end up hiring an agent at the end of the day when they figure out that it’s not as simple as just putting a for sale sign in the front yard!

Acquiring an experienced, local real estate agent carries a lot of weight. They will be able to create and implement a sales and marketing plan, then be able to leverage their skill set to close the deal when the time comes. Most importantly, your agent should have professional integrity to represent their client’s best interest.

So without further ado, here are some tips to use when selecting a real estate agent:

  • Acquire an agent that is familiar with your neighborhood and area. They would already know the housing marketing in that area and be able to familiarize themselves with the current market and inventory available.
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH! Look to see if there are agents that are currently selling or have already sold in your neighborhood. Ask your neighbors for possible recommendations. Go online and read some reviews. A good place to start would be!
  • Be cautious when considering hiring a friend or relative. Just because someone you know has an active real estate license, does not mean they are your best bet. Real estate transactions can be stressful and a huge decision so at the end of the day you want to hire the most qualified candidate to represent you.
  • Make sure your agent you are interviewing has done their research. Do not just hire the agent who suggests the highest listing price. You should always take into account their experience, past sales history and personality. Your agent should be able to back their price suggestions with local data.
  • Locate an agent who knows how to get the job done. There is a large percentage of real estate agents who are only part-time or view real estate as a hobby. And then they are some whose only use of their license is to represent themselves in a transaction and only use it occasionally. While these are options, consider an agent whose loyalty lies in their real estate career and is able to offer you full-service representation.

Selling a home is hard work with many hours spent on each and every detail that makeup getting a home on the market at the right price and at the right time to the right buyers. I hope this article helps you in your search for the right Realtor!

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Best Restaurants in Wilmington NC

As a local Real Estate firm, our goal is to provide you with the most up to date and useful information on the Wilmington area! One factor that we have found is important to our clients is the surroundings, which included restaurants. So we wanted to share what we thought were the best local restaurants. After combining our local knowledge with a little bit of research, here is what we came up with:

NeMa Burger & Pizza Lounge

Caprice Bistro


  • Cuisines: Asian, Thai, Vietnamese, Vegetarian-Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Location: 7 Wayne Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403
  • Lunch Menu | Dinner Menu | Wine List

Cape Fear Seafood Company

  • Cuisines: American, Seafood, Vegetarian-Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Location: 5226 S College Rd Ste 5, Wilmington, NC 28412
  • Menu/Drinks

Genki Sushi

Front Street Brewery:

Fish Bites

  • Cuisines: American, Seafood, Vegetarian-Friendly, Gluten Free Options
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Location: 6132 Carolina Beach Rd Ste 11, Wilmington, NC 28412
  • Menu | Specials | Fish Market

Copper Penny

  • Cuisines: American, Bar, Pub, Vegetarian-Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Location: 109 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC 28401
  • Complete Menu


  • Cuisines: Spanish, Caribbean, Latin, Seafood, Central American, Vegetarian-Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Location: 7210 Wrightsville Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403
  • Tapas | Lunch Menu | Dinner Menu | Drink Menu

Circa 1922

Each of these restaurants has unique features that together create a great atmosphere that every resident or newcomer should experience. The quality of the food and service are outstanding for each and every one of these restaurants. This is only a short list of all the amazing restaurants in Wilmington and was very difficult to narrow it down. If you have any restaurants that you know about and love, feel free to let us know and we will consider adding them to this list! Thank you for taking the time for reading our list of what we believe are some of the top restaurants in Wilmington, NC!

Charming Home for Sale – 80 Bridle Way SE Leland NC

$174,000 |  3 Bedrooms  |  2 Bathrooms  |  1,566 Sq. Ft.

Charming two-story home for sale in the Snee Farm community, which is located in Leland, North Carolina. This home sits on a 0.57-acre lot with tons of privacy and new deck overlooking the expansive backyard. There are no HOA dues required. 80 Bridle Way SE features a first-floor master. Only a short car ride to Wilmington and Leland shopping.

The kitchen has updated appliances including stainless dishwasher, built in microwave, range, and refrigerator. The carpets have recently been replaced. The washer and dryer are included in the sale.

Detached single car garage in backyard allows for a workshop and/or extra storage. Seller just renewed Termite Bond for a 10-year term! Current tenants in place are flexible and willing to move out at any time upon contract.

Amazing Deal! Seller is motivated! Call Dawn Berard, Realtor, at (910) 228-8879 to set up an appointment!


View all of Dawn’s listings!

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The Best House-Cleaning Schedule to Wipe Out Clutter!

Got Clutter? WE GOT AN IDEA!


Here is how you can kill clutter in only 5 minutes a day!


MONDAY: Clean out a drawer or cabinet

  TUESDAY: Throw something out

    WEDNESDAY: Recycle loose papers

      THURSDAY: Declutter one spot

        FRIDAY: De-gross the fridge

          SATURDAY: Organize the entryway

            SUNDAY: Enjoy the order!


HouseLogic. “The Best House-Cleaning Schedule to Wipe Out Clutter.” Houselogic, HouseLogic, 4 Dec. 2017,

New Construction | 208 Twining Rose Lane

$287,300  |  3 Bedrooms  |  2 Bathrooms  |  2 Car Garage  |  2,050 Sq. Ft. 

This beautiful home at 208 Twining Rose Lane was built by our local, hands-on builder ATS Construction of the Carolinas! This open floor plan includes 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a huge bonus room above the 2 car garage. The living area has vaulted ceilings and 5″ hand-scraped hickory hardwood. The master suite has trey ceilings and custom tile shower with glass door. The kitchen has 42″ wood cabinets with tiered designed and crown molding, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances! This is the lowest priced home in the neighborhood, so DON’T miss this opportunity while it lasts!

This coastal cottage is situated on a great street in the resort community of Summerhouse! This community has so much to offer including:

  • 6 Lakes
  • Amazing resort style swimming pool
  • Open air pavilion
  • 10,000 Sq. Ft. Clubhouse with Billiard room
  • Fitness center
  • Picnic areas
  • Nature parks complete with fire pits
  • 2 Tennis courts
  • Playground
  • 9 Miles of walking/running trails
  • Day Dock

HOA dues for this spectacular community are less than $75 a month! Summerhouse on Everett Bay is in a very private area, but also only minutes away from restaurants, shopping, and the beach!


For more information on this home or community, please give Dawn Berard, Realtor, a call today at (910) 228-8879!


 View all of our company’s listings!

Why Hire A Buyers Agent?

So why should you hire a buyer’s agent to represent you? That’s easy! Here are several reasons:

  • Local Knowledge
  • Investment Purposes
  • Has relationships with other Agents
  • Local resources
  • Schedule Showings
  • Emotional Control
  • Experience
  • Negotiations
  • Financial Strategies
  • Communication

At Sold Buy the Sea Realty, our number one goal is to provide exceptional service to all of our clients. We are here to help guide and advise you during the whole home buying process, whether it’s your first home purchase or your last!

One of the biggest financial moves of your life will be buying a home! There will be times of stress – and that’s where we come in! We want to make this process as easy and nonstressful for you as possible. Call us today to start your home search and let us find you the perfect home!

Waterfront Home For Sale | 655 Hughes Rd. Hampstead NC

$574,900  |  3 Bedrooms  |  4 Bathrooms  |  2 Car Garage  |  3,504 Sq. Ft.

This stunning waterfront home at 655 Hughes Road is located on a half-acre lot with 117 feet of waterfront. This home overlooks a huge backyard, canal, and wildlife galore! The Washington Acres neighborhood includes a community boat ramp with easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway! This home has a very bright and open floor plan with tons of windows for awesome views, hardwood and tile flooring throughout the house, and cathedral and trey ceilings! The kitchen includes custom Thomasville cabinets, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and archways!

Walk into dual vanities, a garden tub, tile walk-in shower in the master bathroom! Looking to watch the sunrise early morning before work? Not a problem with 970 feet of decks off every bedroom to sit and relax in the morning while drinking your cup of coffee!


Don’t miss this opportunity! Our seller is motivated, so make us of offer today! For more information, give Dawn Berard, Realtor, a call at (910) 228-8879.



Click HERE to view all of our company’s listings!

Clever Ways to Fool Burglars Into Thinking You’re Home!

Whether its the eight hours a day that your working or the eight days in a dreamy resort on a beach, allowing your biggest investment to fend for itself can be stressful! And it is a legit concern; when your home looks empty, break-ins happen.

You could deter burglars by never leaving your house again… OR you could do the next thing and just make it look like someone is there all the time. Here is how!

  • Light Up a Room (Through an App!)
    • Your parents may still rely on their lighting timers, that turn on at dusk and off at dawn! That old-fashion way still works, but apps are way more fun. They not only turn your lights on and off, but can do so randomly for a more realistic effect, and can be done from almost anywhere in the world! You can replace your current wall switches with these wireless ones and “talk” to your lights from a distance!
  • Fake a TV Binge
    • Nothing says we are home like the colorful glare of a television in the window. There are small FakeTV gadgets that will project light onto a curtain, and that’s exactly what it will portray to all those who pass by! These devices just plug into an adapter and can either work on a timer or with a light sensor. And the best part about it, these devices are very inexpensive.
  • Changes Up Your Shades Remotely
    • Leaving your window shades down when you leave is almost like putting out a “Gone Fishin” sign! Check out wireless options to throw some shades on the go. These systems allow shades to go up and down at your command. However, the pricing ranges from about $300 to $500 a window.
  • Make Some NOISE
    • Burglars can changes plans in a hurry at the first sound of life inside a home. So one option when you are just gone for the day is a noise app, for example, Sleep and Noise Sounds that can play on a homebound phone, tablet, or computer. With noises like vacuuming and a boiling kettle, it can deter a thief who cracks open a window.
  • Make Them Ring And Run
    • Burglars will often ring your doorbell, and if no one answers, then that is their cue that the house is empty and they can proceed. NOT SO FAST! Now you can answer the door with the Ring Video Doorbell. If someone pushes the doorbell, you can talk to them through an app on your phone. Whether it be a nosey neighbor or a stranger danger, you can say, “I’m in the attic” while you really on the beach. They’ll never know. And even if they don’t believe you, they know they are being watched!
  • Try a No-Tech TECHNIQUE
    • Not everything requires a gizmo. Here are ways to up your home security without downloading a single app:
      • Hire a house sitter
      • Ask friends, family, or neighbors to drop in on your property occasionally
      • If there’s snow, have a neighbor walk up and down the path to your door. If it’s hot out, ask them to keep your plants looking fresh with regular waterings. And don’t forget to bring them a nice gift from your getaway!
      • Invite a neighbor or friend to keep a car parked in your driveway
      • Install a fake security camera for as low as $8
      • Get a dog! While you are at work or running errands, nothing deters the bad guys and gals away like a barking, sloberry security guard!


Freed, Stacey. “6 Near-Genius Ways to Fool Burglars Into Thinking You’re Home.”Houselogic, HouseLogic, 16 Nov. 2017,

Ways to Light Up Your Home for Halloween!

If you are someone who likes a lot of spooky lights for your Halloween display but are scared about all the expenses that are involved, here are some clever ways to keep cost low and light up your neighborhood!

  • Try using floodlights with compact fluorescent lights. A 20-watt CFL floodlight is as bright as a 100-watt incandescent, but uses one-fifth the energy! They come in many colors, are weatherproof, and only cost about $10.
  • Paper window silhouettes help keep the fun quotient high but the cash outlay low. Make cutouts from black paper, stick them on your windows, and back them with a translucent shade or sheet. Turn up the background lights to create a whole-house luminary!
  • Put a smile on your driveway with a rainbow made of plastic pumpkins. Stakes on either side of the driveway are all that is required to anchor your rainbow. Attach your pumpkins using zip ties and use a string of Christmas lights as your lightning. 
  • Looking for a place to stage your Halloween Scarecrow? Second-story displays give everybody the creeps! Stash a ghoul or two on the upper-level balcony and add some dramatic uplighting. 
  • Repurpose your Christmas light displays for Halloween! Turn Santa’s elves into ghosts, and candy canes into snakes!
  • If you don’t have the DIY chops or the time to pull off something epic, a store-bought inflatable with built-in lightning will instantly boost your Halloween curb appeal! 
  • Homemade eyeball string lights can be hung from your front entry and will have trick-or-treaters double taking when they see them! This can easily be made by using Christmas lights and ping pong balls. You simply color in eyes with sharpies on the ping pong balls then install a light in each ball!
  • To add to your eyeball string lights, another low-cost idea would be to get toilet paper rolls and cut out a pair of fanciful eyes and light them up with glow sticks. Strategically place them in your bushes and trees, giving you an “I’m watching you” touch of creepiness.
  • Give your house a full Halloween treatment by blending interior and exterior lighting. Orange curtains, sparkly lights, and cat-eye shades in the upstairs windows mix with colored exterior landscaping lights and some holiday string lights on the outside. 
  • Set up your Halloween lightning without having to worry about extension cords and power outlets. A string of LED lights can operate on 3 AA batteries and will burn steadily for 15 days straight. Switch over to the “twinkle” setting and they will go for 30 days! A 23-foot-long strand (around 100 lights) cost about $24.
  • Can’t decide on a color scheme for your Halloween extravaganza? Try a monochromatic look — one color makes everything appear dreamlike! Try LED bulbs to use less energy and save utility expenses! 
  • Use a hollow porcelain baby’s head. Light it up with a battery-powered LED tealight that flickers for an extra dose of weird. Great as a centerpiece for a Halloween dinner party!


Riha, John. “12 Clever Ways to Light Up Your Home for Halloween: Scary Good Savings.”Houselogic, 31 Oct. 2017,

Brewery Proposed For Wilmington’s Soda Pop District

The preliminary development plans have been submitted to the city of Wilmington to open a 9,000-square-foot microbrewery at 1002 Princess Street. Ethan Hall, the owner of Tidewater Brewing Company, is looking to add this proposed brewery as part of a redevelopment of the area known as the Soda Pop District. This proposal will be reviewed at a Technical Review Committee meeting on November 2. Jim McFarland, developer and owner of Osprey Lands LLC, purchased several of these buildings in this district over the past two years and said he does not foresee any issues with the plan’s approval. In addition to the brewery, McFarland said two restaurants are planned for the district, for details of which are soon to be finalized!


Maurer, Jessica. “Brewery Proposed for Wilmington’s Soda Pop District.” WilmingtonBiz, 19 Oct. 2017,

Sawmill to Add Wrightsboro Eatery!

The owners of the local Sawmill Restaurants are set to open a Wrightsboro location to serve as both a cafe and catering hub. With locations in Hampstead and Monkey Junction, this new expansion will allow the local business to grow and better serve their customers. Sawmill is a favorite for many locals and current Sawmill restaurants will still handle smaller scale events and pick-up orders but are looking to have this new facility dedicated to catering, which will allow the company to successfully accommodate multiple orders and events in the same day! Wrightsboro Eatery is set to open this November!


Maurer, Jessica. “Sawmill to Add Wrightsboro Eatery, Expand Catering.” WilmingtonBiz, 4 Oct. 2017,

ILM Adds Direct Flight to Dallas for Holidays

According to the Wilmington Business Journal, Wilmington’s International Airport has announced a direct flight to Dallas that will start later this year but will just be for the holidays. American Airlines notified the airport officials with their new holiday service that added a daily nonstop flight between Wilmington International Airport and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport from December 23 to January 7.


O’Neal, Christina Haley. “ILM to Add Flights to Dallas for Holidays.” WilmingtonBiz, Wilmington Business Journal, 26 Sept. 2017,

5 Plants You Almost Never Have to Water!

Every plant needs water, however, the drought-resistant varieties only require dainty sips once they are established, making them perfect for low-rainfall areas and low-energy gardeners!

  1. California Lilac: This beautiful shrub flowers in late winter/early spring, emits a lovely fragrance, and shows flowers that run from white to purple. These flowers grow best on dry, sloping land or in front of any structure that protects them from wind. They also prefer well-drained soil, and they don’t do well in clay.
  2. Deer Grass: This type of plan is usually found in many desert gardens. Deer grass is a spiky and dependable ornamental. It loves full sun, but also will grow in a little shade. Water every three days until established. After the first year, water only every three weeks.
  3. Salvia, Heatwave Series: These dependable perennials were developed in Australia to withstand extreme weather. As a bonus, they bloom spring through fall, to the delight of hummingbirds and butterflies. Colors include white, pink, and salmon.
  4. Dusty Miller: This low-growing perennial is known for its silver-gray foliage, looks good as a ground cover, and thrives in containers stuffed with annuals. It hates standing around with wet roots, so plant it in soil that drains well.
  5. Tickweed: These yellow perennials add a burst of sunshine to any garden or border. More than 100 species are long-blooming and low-maintenance. They range from long and leggy to small and mounded. Also, they are easy to divide, creating more plants season after season.


Gordon, Lisa Kaplan. “5 Plants You (Almost) Never Have to Water.” Houselogic, HouseLogic, 28 June 2017,

Curb Appeal Projects to Add Value to Your Home

Some of us find ourselves spending so much time on projects inside our home, that our front yards start screaming for a bit of attention! You know your yard has tons of potential, but where do you begin? Below are four projects that add tons of curb appeal, where any money invested is likely to pay you back much more.

  1. Add or Replace a Few Design Basics
    • Every few years, you closets get full, replacing your old clothes with new pieces to ramp up your wardrobe. Why not do the same with your yard? Your yard needs a basic makeover so it has some good, classic, value-boosting “bones” to build on! A few basic landscaping designs that can be used include a winding flagstone walkway, stone planters, flowering shrubs, deciduous trees, and quality mulch. You can’t go wrong with this type of investment! The median cost for this makeover is around $4,000, but can recoup around $5,000 in value!
  2. Add Color and Texture in the Right Places
    • This is sometimes referred to as “softscaping” but is basically adding plants in a designed, intentional way that makes your yard interesting to look at year-round. This type of project usually includes five trees, 25 shrubs, 60 perennials, natural edging, and boulder accents. Not only could these add better physical appearance and property value but also can be an energy saver!
  3. Build a Deck or Patio if You Don’t Have One
    • If you find yourself spending sunny days admiring the great outdoors from indoors, it may be time for a change and to finally build that deck or patio you have been dreaming of! A patio costs on average about $6,000 and a wooden deck cost on average about $9,000, but both recoup 102% at a minimum! Plus, how can you put a price on all those evening cookouts and Sunday brunches!?
  4. Heap Loads of Love on Your Lawn
    • At first, this may sound a bit ridiculous, but if you are looking to sell in the next year of so, this is highly recommended! It is the easiest of the four projects to do and the return on the investment tends to be around 300%! The lawn maintenance is simple, all you need to do is fertilize, aerate, weed, and rake. The annual cost averages at around $300. Every year, you’ll reap the benefits of a lush, barefoot-friendly yard. This is a no brainer!


Arntson, Anne. “4 Super-Easy Curb Appeal Projects to Max Out Your Home’s Value.”Houselogic, HouseLogic, 30 Sept. 2017,

6 Things YOU Should Do When Moving Into a New Home!

  1. Change the Locks: When you move into a new house, you never know who else may have a key to your home, so change the locks. This is will help ensure that you are the only person with access. Deadbolts can be purchased for as a little as $10 per lock and are easily installed.
  2. Check for Plumbing Leaks: This task is usually done by your home inspector, but it never hurts to double-check. If leaks are found early on, the cost to fix could be under $20, however, if a leak isn’t fixed, over a long period of time it could become costly.
    • Trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your home. If the reading changes at all, you have a leak.
  3. Steam Clean the Carpets: No one wants to walk into their new home and find a lingering smell. Before your furniture in, steam cleaning your carpets can help eliminate those odors and get your new home off to a fresh start.
  4. Wipe Out Your Cabinets: Another no-brainer before you move in all your dishes and bathroom supplies. Be sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary.
  5. Give Critters the Heave-Ho: This includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests! The most efficient way to get rid of pests is to bring in the big guns and hire a pest removal service. The cost of these services usually ranges from $100 to $300 initially, followed by a monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.
  6. Introduce Yourself to Your Circuit Breaker Box and Main Water Valve: It’s always a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. Keep in mind this will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?” You’ll also want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you ever have a plumbing emergency. This is especially handy if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Reminder, this valve can be located inside or outside of your house.


Craig, Courtney. “6 Things Everyone Should Do When Moving Into a New House.” Houselogic, HouseLogic, 16 Oct. 2017,

Do You Hate Yard Work?

Your yard is meant for fun and creative times, not chores! If you’re looking at your neighbors, who are lounging on their stylish patio, sipping cocktails, and loving life, while you are mowing your lawn and debating whether you have the time and energy to trim the hedges afterward, then you need to reevaluate your situation! Who has time to prep for a patio party when you can’t even keep up with all the regular stuff? Shouldn’t you get to relax on your patio, too?

The answer is YES, you should. It’s just a matter of designing your landscape strategically so it requires less attention from you. Here are a few simple ideas to help:

  • Rocks: The use of rocks for landscaping ideas creates a perfect, versatile tool for creating a low-maintenance outdoor space. The obvious reason being that grass does not grow on rocks. Also, you can use them to create walkways, or group them together to form some sort of decorative arrangement! Rocks can especially help if you have spots in your yard that are constantly wet because they will help the water run off instead of collecting, reducing the amount of mud (and mosquitoes!).
  • Rain Garden: Do you have a depressed corner of your yard where puddles have taken over? You might want to try out a rain garden! This garden is almost like a mini wetland but helps reduce storm-water runoff, and if done correctly they are almost maintenance free because they require no mowing, watering, and very little weeding! This will also help create a prettier focal point for your yard. The idea of this is to slow down rainwater so less of it goes into the sewer system and more is used to nourish all your plant life.
  • Platform Deck: Decks do require some maintenance, but you don’t have to mow them every weekend! And with a platform deck, meaning no steps or railings, is the easiest of them all to build yourself!
  • Tall Grass: Not all grass were created equal. Tall grasses, like switchgrass, muhly, bluestem, and fountaingrass, all grow very quickly and require little to none TLC, nor do they ever required a lawn mower! It is a win-win situation, because not only do they soak up lots of water and provide an organic privacy screen while trimming your mowing time!
  • Pathways: This is where you can be as creative as you want. Creating a decorative pathway will help eliminate the need for lawn care, but also create a more engaging entrance to your home! The most common method for creating a pathway is by using pavers (also called “steppers”) to guide the pathway and filling in the spaces with smaller rocks. If your house is more on the modern side, opt for some rectangular or square pavers.
  • Fake Grass: Some might scrutinize fake grass to be over the line, but the newer faux turf doesn’t make your yard look like a mini putt-putt course, nor does it get so hot it burns your feet like the older versions of fake turf. This is great for an individual or family that has no time on their hands! It doesn’t need to be cut, watered or fertilized, and pets can’t kill it.
  • Mini Forest: This method is only good for places that tend to rain more than shine! Where there are trees there shall be no grass. Just keep in mind that native trees are less maintenance because they’ve adapted to your area already.
  • Objects:  Color is the secret to a stunning yard, but that does not mean you need to plant a garden full of labor-intensive dahlias. It means choosing bright pots, benches, Adirondack chairs, and bird baths – anything that just sits there and looks lively while you start pouring your evening cocktails!

Your options are as numerous! BE CREATIVE


Sowers, Scott. “8 Super Simple Ideas for People Who Hate Yard Work.” Houselogic, HouseLogic, 30 Sept. 2017,

The Most Annoying Things About Summer – And What to Do About Them

Summers should be the stuff dreams are made of long, sunny days and warm nights filled with important questions like, “Ice cream on the porch, or another pint on the patio?”

Summer also comes with bugs, heat, humidity, and other annoyances around the house. So this year, eradicate 13 of the worst irritations of summer before they crush your summer buzz. Here’s how:


#1 Mosquitoes

These ubiquitous party crashers can suck the fun out of any outdoor fiesta.

What to do:

  • Clean your gutters! “That’s often a main, and neglected, breeding site for mosquitoes,” says Chris Enroth, a horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Extension office in Macomb.
  • PLUG IN A FAN. Or install a ceiling fan. “Mosquitoes don’t like flying in high wind,” Enroth says. Cheers for cool breezes sans bug bites!

#2 Doors That Stick

Wooden doors can swell, outgrowing their jambs (what holds doors steady as you open and close them) on humid days, causing an annoyingly sticky situation.

What to do: 

  • Tighten the hinge screws. There’s a chance your door’s just slipped out of alignment.
  • Scale back the weather stripping. If you installed it in the winter to keep out drafts, it could be too thick come summer.
  • Shave down the door. As a last resort, use a planer or sander to trim down the door ever so slightly, concentrating on the area with a visibly worn finish. Seal the newly exposed edge with paint or wood sealant to block out future humidity.

#3 Carpenter Ants and Carpenter Bees

Although named for a helpful trade, both carpenter ants, and carpenter bees often make their nests by burrowing into your home’s wood, which can cause some really pricey damage on top of their annoying presence.

What to do:

  • Keep all exposed wood sealed or painted. Don’t Forget the bottoms of window sills!
  • Direct water away from wood. Gutters and flashing will help keep wood dry, says Bob Boucher, owner of a handyman company in Concord, N.H.
  • Evict existing colonies. Look for sawdust trails to find the entrance, then use a rinsed squeezable ketchup bottle to blow an insecticide dust or boric acid powder into the hole.

#4 AC That Causes You to Freeze in One Room and Sweat in Another

Moving from your first-floor kitchen to a second-floor bedroom shouldn’t require a wardrobe change.

What to do:

  • Check your ductwork. Look for unsealed joints or hire a prop to make sure your ducts are properly sized. Both can affect your system’s ability to deliver conditioned air to each room.
  • Set your whole-house fan to “on.” This continuous circulation will mix the air so no space is too hot or too cold.
  • Direct more cool air upstairs. Look for ductwork dampers in the basement to open during the summer months.


Click HERE to continue reading this article…


Hirt, Amy Howell. “The Most Annoying Things About Summer – And What to Do About Them.” Houselogic. HouseLogic, 01 May 2017. Web. 02 June 2017.

Renting versus Buying a House

Given the hefty upfront cost associated with purchasing a home, most young people begin their independent lives renting. As they build careers, start saving up, and starting their own families, many choose the route of buying a home. On the other end of the age spectrum, homeowners nearing retirement may choose to sell their family homes, downsize, and become renters once again. Whether you are a renter interested in buying a home, or a homeowner wondering whether renting makes more sense at this point of your life, it’s time to evaluate the relative cost, benefits, and drawbacks of owning versus renting your home!

Costs of Buying and Owner Your Home:

  1. Upfront and Closing Cost:
    • Earnest Money
    • Down Payment
    • Home Appraisal
    • Home Inspection
    • Property Taxes
    • First Year’s Homeowners Insurance
    • Other Closing Cost
  2. Recurring Costs:
    • Loan Payments
    • Property Taxes
    • Homeowners Insurance
    • Private Mortgage Insurance
    • Utilities
    • Maintenance
  3. Special or One-Time Cost:
    • Furnishing
    • Moving Cost
    • Repairs
    • Improvements and Renovation Projects

Costs of Renting Your Home:

  1. Upfront Cost:
    • Security Deposit
    • First Month’s Rent
    • Nonrefundable Deposits
    • Moving Costs
  2. Recurring Costs:
    • Monthly Rent
    • Pet Rent
    • Renters Insurance
    • Utilities
    • Laundry

Advantages of Buying:

  1. Building Equity Over Time
  2. Tax Benefits
  3. Potential for Rental Income
  4. More Creative Freedom
  5. Sense of Belonging and Community

Disadvantages of Buying:

  1. Potential for Financial Loss
  2. Responsibility for Maintenance and Repairs
  3. Most Homes Aren’t Sold Furnished
  4. High Upfront Costs

Advantages of Renting:

  1. No Responsibility for Maintenance or Repairs
  2. Relocating is Easier
  3. No Exposure to Real Estate Market
  4. Credit Requirements Generally Less Strict
  5. Some Utilities May Be Included

Disadvantages of Renting:

  1. No Equity Building
  2. No Federal Tax Benefits
  3. Limited Control Over Ongoing Housing Costs
  4. Limited Housing Security

So as you work toward an ultimate decision, keep an open mind. Remember that it is better to wait and make the right decision than rush into a choice you may come to regret. 

Can I Afford That?

One of home buyer’s most frequently asked question is, “Should I talk with a bank before look at homes?” The answer to this question is YES! There are many reasons to talk with a bank and getting pre-approved before looking into your next home. By doing this, it will help you understand exactly how much you can afford. Everyone would love to own a million dollar home, but if you can only afford a $200,000 home then this purchase doesn’t seem financial smart. If you are a first time home buyer, talking with a bank before looking at homes is not only strongly suggested, but prudent!

Another important reason to talk with a bank before starting to look at homes is so you can understand all the costs that are associated with buying a home. There are many home buyers who truly don’t understand the difference between a down payment, pre-paid items, and escrows, which can be explained by any mortgage professional! These mortgage consultants are there to give you advice on the type of financing you should be looking to obtain and whether or not you should request the seller to contribute towards your closing cost, which is also known as seller’s concessions. To summarize, home purchases are no ordinary purchase, ask questions before you start acting!

WECT Article, ” Here We Grow: Wilmington’s real estate explosion”

Wilmington is seeing a lot of new construction when it comes to residential and commercial developments.

For the first time in almost a decade, the housing market is making a comeback.

Glen Harbeck, Director of Planning, Development and Transportation for the city of Wilmington, said he is not surprised.

“We’re coming out of the great recession and we went through about a four year period from about 2008 to 2012, when we had very little, if any development,” he said. “We’ve had pent up demand and the flood gates have kind of opened.”

Harbeck said he’s seeing the most growth in downtown, midtown and River Road.

Click HERE to continue reading…


Weller, Frances. “Here We Grow: Wilmington’s Real Estate Explosion.” News and Weather for Wilmington, NC; – WECT, Weather & Sports Wilmington, NC. WECT TV6, 14 Mar. 2016. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

WBJ Article, “South Front’s Transformation Continues”

Since the community opened nearly five years ago, the owners of South Front Apartments have had a waiting list of people who want to live there.

The development transformed a vacant and dilapidated public housing project on the south side of downtown Wilmington, Nesbitt Courts, into a successful multi-family venture. These days, the same development company is finishing adjacent apartments and commercial space in South Front Phase II, a refurbished former industrial property at 1510 S. Third St.

“Based on the success of the first phase, we wanted to continue the momentum we had here and add some more commercial space. We felt it would make it an even more vibrant community,” said Mark Maynard Jr., co-director of Tribute Investment & Development Inc.

When finished, South Front Phase II will contain 54 apartments: 10 two-bedroom units and 44 lofts and flats. In a recent interview at the site, Maynard said quite a few of the apartments have already been leased, and two are occupied.

Eight one-bedroom apartments are expected to be finished by next week…

Click HERE to read the rest of the article!


Nunn, Cece. “South Front’s Transformation Continues.” WilmingtonBiz. N.p., 2 Jan. 2017. Web. 04 Jan. 2017.

Join us for our First Lunch and Learn of 2017!


Please join us for Sold Buy the Sea’s Realty First Lunch and Learn of 2017! Our goal in 2017 is to grow as a company and for our agents to grow individually. With that in mind we are opening our first lunch and learn of the New Year to agents from other companies. Our space is limited so we can only accommodate the first 20 outside agents. There is no cost and no obligation. We will treat you like we treat our own Sold Buy the Sea Realty Family.

We are excited to announce that in addition to learning some quick and easy ways to create an outstanding listing presentation, our guest speaker will be Lauren Cardwell of Social Media Strategy Group. This free seminar will outline the practical applications in the world of social media! We will discuss audience building techniques, lead capture tools, developing your brand, building a strategy, and growing your real estate business through sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.

Lauren will be raffling off one free hour of personalized consulting/training services to one lucky attendee so be sure to bring your business cards!

Looking forward to a full house on Tuesday, January 10, 2017!

Happy New Year!

What should you expect during the closing process:

The closing process can be tedious and comes prior to unpacking all your furniture in your new home. So what should you expect during this whole process?

  1. Signing the dotted line! This is once a buyer makes an offer, the agent will handle all the negotiations, and  the seller will accept. Now its time to sign your Offer to Purchase!
  2. Double check!  Once everything is signed, its time to set up important appointments. This will including ordering appraisals, while beginning the home inspection process.
  3. Negotiate! Based on the outcome, there may be some room for more negotiating to made before the deal is closed. This is where the seller and buyer’s agents will handle the negotiations, setting any repair requests, and having the necessary addendums signed by both sides.
  4. Hire an attorney! In North Carolina, attorneys will handle various things, for example the title search, the attaining of title insurance from buyers, and handling the closing process.
  5. Utilities! Prior to moving in or out, you will want to switch all the utilities over to the new owners. The buyer will arrange for the utilities to be switched into their name.
  6. MOVE IN! Once every task, every dotted line is signed, and the sale is officially recorded, you can finally start unpacking all those cardboard boxes!

Here at Sold Buy the Sea Realty, we make our clients our priority and we are trained to execute the closing process in an orderly fashion that puts you at ease and in good hands! Give us a call at 910-367-2965 if you are thinking about buying or selling your home!

We’re looking for Motivated Agents to Make 2017 Spectacular!


N.C. Regional MLS data shows a spike in home sales in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties, with sales for the month of November being the highest since 2005. Sold Buy the Sea is looking to expand and looking for agents that are sales driven as well as eager to become part of the best local realty team! If you’re new to the business and trying to find the right company or you’ve been with one of the corporate companies and would like a professional environment without the corporate feel, give us a call to talk about bringing your business to ours!

Broker Luncheon!



Please join us for a delicious catered lunch by Elizabeth’s while touring this amazing ICWW front home with private dock in Hampstead. Only $695,900!

Wednesday Dec 14th

11:30am – 1:30pm


1629 Kings Landing, Hampstead, NC 28443



Hosted by:

Dawn Berard, Sold Buy the Sea Realty

910-228-8879 |

& Melanie Welsh and Mark Vernon, On-Q Financial

Daily Habits of Top Real Estate Agents

  1. Plan your day before it starts – take a few minutes the night before and plan you top priorities for the following day. Attack those things first.
  2. Write valuable blog content – “The more quality content you publish, the better chance you have to get found by buyers and sellers. Make blogging a priority and you will see results.” -Anita Clark
  3. Invest in a great website – “You need to spend money to make money. Too many agents don’t invest back into their business. I recommend having a state of the art website” -Bill Gassett
  4. Network and socialize daily – “I’ve had the most success getting new clients by hosting parties at my home. I do several a year, and invite my past clients, neighbors & friends to bring a guest or two with them.” -Wendy Weir
  5. Give to get – When starting out on social media, share & promote the content of other top Realtors. They’ll eventually want to reciprocate and share yours.
  6. Put clients needs first – “Anything that helps my clients immediately goes to the top of my list. If you don’t make your clients happy nothing else matters.” -Paul Sian
  7. Stay up on social media – Understand the importance of social media and blogging in real estate. Doesn’t it make sense to put yourself in front of potential buyers and sellers online? -Kyle Hiscock
  8. Respond quickly to leads – Respond to ALL online leads. you may get the client by default. “Many of my clients were surprised that I was the only one who called them back!” -Debbie Drummond

Agents! Work 4 Days a Week!

4 things you should do….

  • Meeting with buyers, sellers & sphere of influence.
  • Marketing to buyers, sellers & your sphere of influence
  • Calling buyers, sellers & sphere of influence
  • Other- This is what you should have other people doing for you.

Track it all!

Printed Newsletters
These should contain VERY LITTLE about Real Estate.

  • Heart Article- Something that makes others feel warm and fuzzy
  • Family Pics- Show them WHO the newsletter is coming from.
  • Trivia- Who doesn’t like trivia?
  • Comic- Everyone loves a good comic strip

Magical Seller Lead Generation Email

Every 3-4 months we suggest you send a direct offer to your database of buyer leads, seller leads, past clients, COI, etc to invite them to request a free home value report to generate seller inquiries. (See attached email for what to send)

3D Mail Results is another way to get your phone to start ringing.


4 Steps to work less:

  • Monthly Newsletter
  • Sending a card on EVERY holiday and client birthday
  • Emailing Magical Seller Lead Generator
  • Mailing 3D items


When you receive a lead:

  • Call them, what are their needs?
  • Send them a great Sales Letter (Read book by Dan Kennedy)
  • Give a pre list packet

Haitian Rescue Mission

If you have been wanting to get involved in helping Haiti during this devastating time, here is your chance. One of our local agents has opened up his heart to help. Now, it is your time. Remember, there is no amount too small for this cause! They need every penny they can get right now. Click here to visit his Go Fund Me.


Thank you!

Unfinished Room? Don’t let it scare you!


If you are thinking of buying a house and one of the rooms is unfinished, do not walk away just yet. Imagine the possibilities? You are the visionary for what the room will become, not someone else.

Or maybe you are the one that owns the home and that unfinished room lingers in the back of your mind as you avoid working on it. Maybe you need a fresh set of eyes or some help implementing your vision. Call us today for creative tips. 910-367-2965

Maintenance Tips for the End of Summer- Prepare for Fall

Before the leaves begin to fall and the winters chill blows in, it would be a great idea to do some maintenance on your home.


  1. Have the furnace inspected.
  2. Take a look at the roof for damages.
  3. Check for mold.
  4. Make sure gutters are ready for falling leaves.
  5. Look at siding for damages.
  6. Inspect the insulation.
  7. Check your detectors!

These are just a few tips that will get you ready for the fall season. It is better to find small issues before they become a huge issue. For more tips, call us at 910-367-2965!

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License #: 236951
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Sell Your Home in the Fall!

If you think that the spring/summer is the best time to list your home, think again! Although there are more buyers during this time because kids are getting out of school, people still need to buy homes in the “off season” as well. If everyone lists their home in the Summer months, think of how your home will stand out in the Fall. There will be less to choose from therefore making your home more desirable. Here are some tips if you are thinking of listing your home during the fall.


The brilliant leaf colors only look lovely while they are still on the trees. Make sure to keep your yard raked, weeded and trimmed. A clean canvas is more pleasing to the eye allowing more room to the imagination. Their vision of what their flower bed could be in the spring and where they think their couch should go will be easier for them to picture.


If you are still living there while it is listed, before you leave for a showing, turn on all the lights. This will make the home appear larger and more cheerful, avoiding the dungeon feel. When they open the door, you want them to feel cozy. One of the best ways to do that is through their five senses. Brew a fresh pot of Pumpkin Coffee or burn a fall scented candle.

For more tips, call Sold Buy the Sea Realty at 910-367-2965!

New season, new look!

As one season ends and another begins, we often find ourselves reflecting on the past. Sometimes we like what we see in the mirror and other times we do not.


It’s time for a fresh start and exciting new beginnings, wouldn’t you agree? You would be amazed at how satisfying updating a wall color, swapping out the old curtains with new ones or simply hanging beautiful art can be.


If you are not in a position to purchase a new home, then the best way to relieve that desire is to spruce up the one you are currently living in. If you are thinking about selling your home in the future, slowly working on updating the features home buyers now desire will be less painful if they are done in small doses. When you are ready to list or buy, we would love to help.

Call us today. 910-367-2965

First Time Home Buyers

If you are thinking of taking the home buying plunge, there is no reason to be scared. Now is the time to purchase a home. Interest rates are low, home prices are great and you have us on your side! We would love to help you decide if this is the right choice for you. Call us today for more information. 910-367-2965


Custom Built Homes

If you are tired of looking for the perfect home that has everything on your checklist and not having any luck, then maybe it is time to have someone build exactly what you want! You deserve to have the floor plan you desire, the area you prefer and with all those special touches that YOU choose. Call us at 910-367-2965 to learn more about custom built homes in North Carolina.


Our Website

Have you checked out our website? Well, why not? Get on over there and check out our listings! Click on out logo below.

Contact us if you have any questions at 910-367-2965.


New Home Owner? Plant your first tree….NOW

Nothing says I live here until you have dug in some dirt……But First…..


Ensure you have the right tree for where you would like to plant it. If you are looking for shade in the years to come, make sure you choose something that will get big enough to cast those shadows you desire. Does it have enough space to spread its roots? Make sure it is far enough away from buildings.

Don’t forget your soil, as it will impact the life of the tree you plant. If you have a hot, dry yard, stay away from those who prefer moist, cool soil.

Want results and want them now? We all tend to be that way sometimes but remember, a quick growth is not always the best growth. Those saplings tend to loose more branches and die sooner than those that took their time to develop into something strong and beautiful.


After you have decided on the perfect tree, make sure you do not plant the roots to deeply, they may die an early death. Dig wide and shallow!

And remember, trees love Autumn. In the Fall, trees focus all their energy on growing new roots. In the spring, they work on new twigs and leaves.


So, grab a shovel with family and friends, mark it on your calender and enjoy the many years you and it will spend together!