Seller // Patsy Van Ouwerkerk

In the past, Grace represented us on the purchase of two homes and most recently on the sale of our home. She is extremely professional and her communication was excellent – by phone, text, and email. this was especially important because we were in a different state for several weeks after accepting the offer.

Seller // John H.

Sue has been great. A few years back she helped my father sell some property and she did great with him too which is why I wanted to use Sue again. She was on it since day one. She always answered my questions, she was very fast to respond, and I never felt out of the loop. I would highly recommend her and I hope to recommend her in the future. She’s a great real estate agent and a great person.

Thank you,

John Hatfield

Buyer // Peter O’Brian

Initially, I considered NOT engaging a realtor for the transaction and approached Grace as a friend. After giving it further consideration, I felt it made sense to engage a professional.

This turned out to be the best decision I made. Her input, suggestions, and efforts LITERALLY saved me a considerable sum of money.

She handled every little detail from the initial contact to the final closing. The sale would not have likely occurred without her efforts!

Buyers // George and Susan W.

We have bought and sold 16 homes in our 51 years of marriage and by far Susan was the best realtor we’ve ever worked with. She did above and beyond the call of duty – very professional and a joy to work with. Thank you Susan!!


Shawn Heiser was one of the original agents to sign up with Sold Buy the Sea Realty back when the company started. This is what Shawn had to share about working with us during our company meeting back in July 2019.

We are so happy to have created a business where Shawn, and all our agents, are free to put family first. Sadly, Shawn passed away on March 5, 2020 – but his family is still our family and we continue to find ways to support his wife Kim. Would you like to help? If you can please donate or share the GoFundMe we have set up as one way to support Kim during this very difficult time —

Looking for a Real Estate company that is truly a family? Contact Dawn Berard ( or Laurie Stuhrcke ( our Broker’s-In-Charge. Or CLICK HERE to learn more.

This is not a Housing Crisis: here are three reasons why…

In times of uncertainty, one of the best things we can do to ease our fears is to educate ourselves with research, facts, and data. Digging into past experiences by reviewing historical trends and understanding the peaks and valleys of what’s come before us is one of the many ways we can confidently evaluate any situation. With concerns of a global recession on everyone’s minds today, it’s important to take an objective look at what has transpired over the years and how the housing market has successfully weathered these storms.

1. The Market Today Is Vastly Different from 2008

We all remember 2008. This is not 2008. Today’s market conditions are far from the time when housing was a key factor that triggered a recession. From easy-to-access mortgages to skyrocketing home price appreciation, a surplus of inventory, excessive equity-tapping, and more – we’re not where we were 12 years ago. None of those factors are in play today. Rest assured, housing is not a catalyst that could spiral us back to that time or place.

According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, if there is a recession:

“It will be different than the Great Recession. Things unraveled pretty quickly, and then the recovery was pretty slow. I would expect this to be milder. There’s no dysfunction in the banking system, we don’t have many households who are overleveraged with their mortgage payments and are potentially in trouble.”

In addition, the Goldman Sachs GDP Forecast released this week indicates that although there is no growth anticipated immediately, gains are forecasted heading into the second half of this year and getting even stronger in early 2021.
Both of these expert sources indicate this is a momentary event in time, not a collapse of the financial industry. It is a drop that will rebound quickly, a stark difference to the crash of 2008 that failed to get back to a sense of normal for almost four years. Although it poses plenty of near-term financial challenges, a potential recession this year is not a repeat of the long-term housing market crash we remember all too well.

2. A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

Next, take a look at the past five recessions in U.S. history. Home values actually appreciated in three of them. It is true that they sank by almost 20% during the last recession, but as we’ve identified above, 2008 presented different circumstances. In the four previous recessions, home values depreciated only once (by less than 2%). In the other three, residential real estate values increased by 3.5%, 6.1%, and 6.6% (see below):

3. We Can Be Confident About What We Know

Concerns about the global impact COVID-19 will have on the economy are real. And they’re scary, as the health and wellness of our friends, families, and loved ones are high on everyone’s emotional radar.

According to Bloomberg,

“Several economists made clear that the extent of the economic wreckage will depend on factors such as how long the virus lasts, whether governments will loosen fiscal policy enough and can markets avoid freezing up.”

That said, we can be confident that, while we don’t know the exact impact the virus will have on the housing market, we do know that housing isn’t the driver.

The reasons we move – marriage, children, job changes, retirement, etc. – are steadfast parts of life. As noted in a recent piece in the New York Times, “Everyone needs someplace to live.” That won’t change.

Bottom Line

Concerns about a recession are real, but housing isn’t the driver. If you have questions about what it means for your family’s home buying or selling plans, reach out to a local real estate professional to discuss your needs.

Resource: Keeping Current Matters

Buying a Home: 10 steps you should know!

Congratulation!  You probably landed here because you are thinking about buying a new home! And we would love to help. Wondering what the process is? Here is a simplified checklist of the 10 steps to buying a home:

  1. Save for your down payment
    • Create a budget and do some research. There are some low down payment options available. This may be the time to talk with a mortgage lender like Kristian Siemon, from Angel Oak Home Loans, who can help you find the best course for you based on your needs. You can connect with Kristian here: Connecting with a mortgage lender early in the process will help make the whole process feel much easier.
  2. Know your credit score
    • Learn your score, and see if you can raise it by cleaning up your outstanding debts.
  3. Get Pre-Approved
    • Talk to your mortgage lender and find out what you can afford. Being pre-approved will set you up as a serious buyer, and help you find a house you can afford.
  4. Find a Realtor
    • Contact a local Realtor. All of our Realtors are here to help serve you. They are not just here to help you find your dream home, but they will also help take you through the complete process of buying a home. You can reach out to any of our agents to get started. Not sure who might be a good fit for you? Give our office a call and we would love to connect you with the Realtor who will best serve your needs! Find out more about all of our Realtor/Brokers here:
  5. Find a home
    • This part can be so much fun, but it can also take a bit of time. Remember your Realtor is a pro at this! They will help you find the best home for you and your family on your budget.
  6. Make an offer
    • Once you find the best home for your needs your Realtor will help you through the next step of submitting an offer and the bunch of paperwork that comes next.
  7. Home inspection
    • When buying a new home your Realtor will probably recommend a home inspection. This process helps to determine if there are any issues with the home that may need to be addressed before you close on the house.
  8. Have a home appraisal
    • Again your Realtor and lender will help with this part of the process. The appraisal will ensure that the property is worth the price you are prepared to pay.
  9. Closing Day
    • Closing day is the day when it all becomes official, and you get the keys to your new house. This is when you sign the final paperwork for your loan and other documents.
  10. Time to move!
    • Congratulations! Now that you have the keys to your new house you can move in and make your new house a home!

In Memory of Shawn M Heiser

With shock and sadness, we are sharing that Shawn Heiser, our beloved friend, and colleague, passed away on March 5, 2020. 

For any of you who knew Shawn, you knew he was a dedicated friend and Realtor. In addition to being our colleague, Shawn was an avid animal rescuer, friend to everyone he met, served our county as a Reconnaissance Marine and Team Leader and then as a police officer in Burns, Oregon. As most of you also know, Shawn was a devoted husband to his beloved wife Kim. Shawn was by Kim’s side every step of her difficult and lengthy battle with Lyme disease.

Because of Shawn’s military service to our country and resulting in Gulf War Syndrome, he was recently denied life insurance. We are reaching out to you, our Realtor community, our friends, and anyone touched by Shawn’s selfless acts of service to pitch in and help Kim, their furry ‘son’ Zeke, and cats. Our goal is to help Kim pay off the mortgage on the home Shawn was so happy to purchase with her.

Shawn was there for so many of us when we needed it, so helping the love of his life is the best way we have to honor him. You can donate to help Kim here:

Even if you aren’t able to help with a donation at this time, please help support Kim by sharing the link with your network. Cards and messages of condolence for Kim can be sent to our office at 5004 Oleander Drive, Wilmington NC 28403 or emailed to 

307 Lightning Bug – New ATS Construction in Summerhouse on Everett Bay

307 Lightning Bug, Holly Ridge

Ready NOW for immediate occupancy!! Motivated Seller! ATS Construction are local, hands-on builders with superior craftsmanship and personal attention to every detail.

This amazing home backs up to a pond and offers 4 bedrooms (4th bedroom is bonus room), 3 full bathrooms, vaulted ceiling in living room and trey ceiling in master, open floor plan, huge kitchen including 42” solid maple cabinets with tiered design and crown molding, hardwood floors in living areas, stainless steel appliances, formal dining room off kitchen with very nice trim, custom tile shower in master with glass door, granite counters, tile floors in bath and laundry room. It also includes a relaxing screened porch, full irrigation system and sodded front yard.

This coastal cottage offers is truly a custom home at a below-market spec price!

Home is situated on a nice street in the resort community of Summerhouse which offers 6 Lakes, an amazing resort-style swimming pool, open-air pavilion, a 10,000 sq. ft clubhouse with a billiard room. Fitness Center, multiple picnic areas and nature parks complete with fire pits, 2 Tennis Courts, a playground, and 9 miles of walking/running trails. HOA Dues for this spectacular community are less than $75 a month!

All only minutes to restaurants, shopping, and the beach. Just a short drive to an International airport, downtown Wilmington, NC with a thriving art and film scene and the University of North Carolina!

To learn more about this amazing listing give Dawn Berard a call today to schedule your personal tour of this amazing house and luxury community!

910-228-8879 |

Garage Storage Solutions

Looking for extra storage in your house? The Wilmington, NC area offers some great small housing options with historic homes and seaside cottages.


Sometimes these small houses offer great character, can be light on storage space. But here are 5 great storage solutions you can find by looking no further than your garage! Your garage can be the perfect place for some additional storage when you are tight on space.

Garage door with bicycle

Here are 5 great storage solutions for your garage, allowing you to make the most of what can sometimes be underutilized space.

  • Garage Shelving

    Shelving is one of the easiest ways to add storage, and the good news is that you have many options when it comes to shelving systems – most of which are easy to assemble and install. One good tip when it comes to loading up your shelves is to put your heaviest items on the bottom. This helps lower the center of gravity on the shelves. Keeping your heaviest items on the bottom also allows for easier access. Garage shelving systems can be found at most home improvement stores.

  • Shelving Bins

    Plastic storage bins offer a lot of flexibility and can be found in a variety of sizes. Storage bins can help to organize and protect your items as well, making them a smart option. you can find storage bins at a variety of retailers – including most home improvement stores and online

  • Ceiling Storage

    Ceiling storage allows you to make to the most of space that might otherwise go unused. Ceiling storage also allows you to continue to use your garage space for your vehicles in addition to storage. Ceiling storage units are mounted from the ceiling and can be used for a wide variety of items. This solution may take some time and expertise to install, but the additional storage space makes it well worth it.

  • Peg Boards

    Pegboard storage is great for those odds and ends that can end up cluttering your garage space, like bicycles or yard equipment. Once you have installed a peg board on your garage wall, you can install a variety of racks that allow you to hang any number of items. Pegboard storage is great for its versatility.

  • Wall Mounted Storage Cabinets

    Wall mounted storage can help not only with keeping the space organized but also with keeping your garage looking neat and clean. Wall mounted storage also allows for storage of a variety of items, in a variety of sizes. This solution may require professional installation but can be well worth the investment if it helps to provide you with the necessary storage you are looking for.


Finding the right storage solution for your garage will help you keep the space organized and neat, allowing you to make use of the space you have.


Resource: Masterson, Kara. “S5 Space-Saving Garage Storage Hacks” RISMedia’ 23 Apr. 2019.

Welcome to Wilmington: Newcomers’ guide to living in the Historic District

WILMINGTON — Downtown Wilmington is known for its historic feel, with brick paved streets and old southern mansions, there is an appeal for new residents to make the decision to move to one of Wilmington’s historic districts. But unlike other places in and around Wilmington, the city’s historic districts have strict regulations dictating what can and cannot be built here.

Leading the charge in preserving the city’s historic districts is the city’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).

“The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is a nine-member board appointed by the City Council to ‘promote, enhance and preserve the character of the Wilmington historic districts.’ The HPC hears and decides requests for Certificates of Appropriateness in accordance with the adopted Wilmington Design Guidelines for Historic Districts and Landmarks,” according to the City of Wilmington’s website.

So what does this mean for homeowners? Well, any exterior changes, be it fencing or a new roof must be approved by the city before installation takes place.

As to why the city is so determined to preserve its history, Wilmington spokeswoman Malissa Talbert said, “Wilmington has one of the state’s largest historic districts, which was established to help protect and maintain the unique historic fabric of our city. The structures within these districts preserve our history for our residents and draw thousands of visitors to our city each year. The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is appointed by the Wilmington City Council to promote, enhance and preserve the character of the Wilmington historic districts.”

There are two main types of historic districts in Wilmington, the National Register Historic District, and a Local Historic District.

As shown on the map, the majority of the historic districts are National Register districts with the locations just east of the Central Business District considered Local Historic Districts.

Both districts have their own requirements for home modifications. But for those failing to get city approval, fixing the problem can get cumbersome and expensive fast.


In order to make any changes to a historic district home, owners are required, in general, to get what is known as a certificate of appropriateness.

According to the City of Wilmington, “A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is required before any building or structure, significant landscape feature or above-ground utility structure can be erected, altered, relocated or demolished. These types of changes must be reviewed and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission in order to obtain a COA.”

Items that would require a COA include:

  • Decks and swimming pools
  • Lighting
  • Roofs
  • Windows and doors
  • Painting masonry
  • Exterior siding and decorative woodwork
  • Porches and entrances
  • Architectural metals
  • New construction—residential and commercial
  • Additions
  • Storefronts
  • Relocation of buildings and structures
  • Demolitions
  • Major landscaping
  • Fences and walls less than 3 feet high 6 feet high or higher on corner lots
  • Garages and other accessory structures
  • New building and parking lots

For more minor changes to the exterior of properties in these districts, the city’s historic planning staff can issue COA administrative bypasses.

These items include:

    • Storm doors
    • Storm windows
    • Fences (except on corner lots)
    • Shutters or blinds
    • Temporary handicap facilities
    • Primer/paint colors
    • Garage doors
    • Signs
    • Roofing material
    • Awnings
    • Utilitarian garden sheds
    • Minor exterior alterations
    • Rear yard decks


  • Brick walkways, paths, driveways and patios
  • Removal of asbestos siding
  • Restoration of original features
  • Minor landscaping
  • Extension of a Certificate of Appropriateness for six months


Living in a historic district comes with its own set of rules as well as possible consequences if these rules are broken. As many members of the community have found out, going around the Historic Preservation Committee can become costly.

The city’s code enforcement is always on the lookout for potential violations of historic codes but also responds to resident complaints.

On most any meeting agenda for the HPC, you are likely to find after-the-fact requests for approval. This means residents have already completed some sort of modification without permission and is now requesting the committee’s approval.

It can be a risky venture though.

If the committee fails to approve the already made changes, homeowners are responsible to bring their additions up to code — even if that means undoing all the work that was already completed.

If the HPC does decide modifications made to a property are not in line with city ordinances, the only remedy property owners can seek is through the city’s Board of Adjustment — but appealing an HPC decision is not cheap or a quick process.

The City’s historic appeal will continue to attract new residents to the area, but new residents wanting to move into a historic home or district should be aware of the potential challenges and regulations they will face.


Praats, Michael. “Welcome to Wilmington: Newcomers’ guide to living in the Historic District(s)” 27 Mar. 2019.

WELCOME Kim Burchett!

It is a pleasure to introduce and officially welcome our newest member to the Sold Buy the Sea Realty family Kim Burchett! Kim is joining us all the way from Florida and brings lots of expertise with her! Welcome aboard Kim!


Getting Ready to Downsize? Factors to Consider

As you age, you may decide that less is more. When you downsize your home, there can be less to pay for, less to take care of and less to worry about. Although the decision sounds simple, there is a lot to consider before you put your current home on the market.




Depending on where you live and where you intend to live, it may not be financially possible to relocate. For instance, you may have a large house in the Midwest, but a desire to move to a smaller property with an ocean view. There’s a chance you won’t make enough money from the sale of your house to buy a new home without the help of a mortgage.

If you’ve lived in your home for some time and are looking for a newer house, you may not be able to afford the home of your dreams without financing. Even if an even swap is possible between your current and new homes, there may be association fees or higher property taxes that exceed your budget. Be sure that you know the financial details well in advance of the move.


Family Size


As you age and children leave the nest, you may think that you no longer need as much room. But what if the children come home again? The Pew Research Center found that in 2016, 15 percent of millennials were living in their parents’ home. This is nearly double the number of people of the same age group living in their parents’ home in 1964. The job market, college debt and the rising cost of living all contribute to this change. Keep in mind that it may not just be your children moving home—they may also bring their partners and their children.




Location is important for more than just resale value. If you want to travel, or if you want to be easily accessible to friends and relatives, you probably want to live in a town near an airport. Also, give great consideration to the community that you’re interested in moving into. Choose a community that has the resources that are important to you; these may include houses of worship, community centers or public transportation.

If you’re considering a gated community, look into the services offered. You’ll likely want to continue doing activities you enjoy and maybe even find new hobbies. If you love gardening, don’t move to an association that won’t let you plant outside. If you’re a fan of woodworking, some associations have hobby rooms with tools available for you to use. If you’re a card shark, it might be hard to find people to play cards with during the day if most people in your neighborhood are younger and at work.


Layout of the Home


There’s a lot to be said for a two-level house, including privacy and the small dose of exercise one gets from going up and down a flight of stairs. But what seems a minor inconvenience when you’re 55 years old might be a major difficulty when you turn 70. If you decide to get a home with more than one level, choose one with a bathroom on the same floor as your bedroom. Or, look into whether the home can be outfitted with assistive devices, like chair lifts.

Other things to consider include easy access to a washer and dryer, outdoor access and parking.


What You’ll Take With You


If you’re moving from the home where you raised a family, you’ll likely have many things to contend with. You may need to decide what you can live without. Sure, you can take pictures and all of your children’s middle school awards, but are you prepared to let go of other cherished belongings if you move to a smaller home? Give thought to whether you can truly downsize your life and still feel at home.

Finally, realize that if you haven’t found exactly the right setup for your lifestyle, you can always move again. After all, if a home is a person’s castle, shouldn’t you be happy in yours?


If you think you are ready to downsize check out these amazing NEW CONSTRUCTION homes that may be a downsize that fits all of your needs!


Kupka, Nancy, Ph.D., RN. “Getting Ready to Downsize? Factors to Consider” RISMedia’ 4 April. 2018.

Submitting Creative Bids During the Spring Market Frenzy

It’s that time of year again. The spring market is in full swing and crowds of buyers are fighting over their dream house—or at least the closest thing to it, considering this year’s nationwide inventory shortage isn’t leaving many options. So, what does that mean? For the most part, higher prices, more competition and a whole lot of bids.

Listings in good condition tend to get multiple offers this time of year, and buyers are putting forth their strongest submissions—cash offers, over-asking, fast closings, no contingencies, etc. But creativity is the name of the game in this year’s competitive market. Buyers are inspired to win over the seller’s emotional side. Here are the latest home-buying trends for beating out the competition in a swarming spring market:


Love Letters


While they’ve been around for a while, they’re getting a lot more popular, being used by buyers as a last-ditch effort to win via the seller’s emotional attachment to the home. Most letters talk about favorite design choices the seller incorporated, plans to raise the family and proclamations that the home is “the one” after a long and tough home search.

With so many letters delivered, buyers can’t risk being disingenuous. Oversharing or being too emotional can backfire. It’s best to get an idea of what type of person the seller is—emotional or data-driven—and what type of activities and hobbies they have in common before typing up or writing a letter.

If the sellers lived in the home for years and brought up their family in it, buyers can have their own kids craft letters on colorful paper with sloppy crayon-writing to tie in that connection. Or if the seller is an animal lover, buyers can talk about how the yard is a perfect place for their dog to run around. Including photos with the letter can make the process even more personal.

Letters usually tell the seller that the buyer is serious and willing to take care of the home. But some sellers may only focus on the numbers and terms. It’s a toss-up, but it doesn’t hurt to try.


Buyer-Crafted Videos


These are a little newer, emerging after YouTube’s digital push into vlogging, or video blogging. While they can come off as cheesy, they are a little more personal than handwritten letters, because sellers will feel like the potential buyer is talking directly to them.

And if buyers are feeling gutsy, and the seller has a more creative personality, this can be the perfect place to showcase unique talents while sharing their love for the home. Can the buyer sing? A quirky, original song about the home may just be the winning ticket. Does the buyer play the ukulele? It could be a fun twist that breaks the ice. Or maybe just a sit-down video with the buyers—talking directly into the camera to make it more conversational—is the winning choice.

According to REALTOR® Magazine, a couple recently won a bid on their dream home by making a music video to “Our House,” which just so happened to be the song the sellers sang to each other when they first lit the fireplace in their home. The connection instantly won the sellers over, beating out another offer that was $20,000 over the buyers’ submission.

The options are endless and it’s more important than ever to stand apart from the crowd.

Agents, what’s the most creative way one of your buyers won a bidding war?


Dominguez, Liz. “Submitting Creative Bids During the Spring Market Frenzy” RISMedia’ 26 Mar. 2018.


Looking to start the buying process and put in some offers of your own? Check out our agent page to find an experience buyers agent to help!

Spring Maintenance Tasks for Your Rental Property

In some locations across the country, March snowfalls are breaking records, so it’s strange to already be talking about spring. But the “spring forward” time change and the Spring equinox remind us that the flowers will start blooming soon! This seasonal change means more than just fresh rain, new flowers and renewal. As a property owner, it’s also time to consider spring maintenance activities for your real estate investment.

Seasonal maintenance may be a chore, but routine inspections and proactive upkeep will keep your costs down and ensure that your rental property does not require preventable expensive repairs.

As the old adage goes, spring usually brings showers. You can prepare for this extra moisture by completing some of these simple tasks:


Roof inspection


Check out the interior walls and ceilings for signs of water stains, cracks and settling of foundation walls. During an exterior roof inspection, you should be looking for curled or missing shingles; rusted and pitted flashing; and cracked caulk around pipe collars, skylights and other roof penetrations. Last winter, many in the Northwest experienced ice dams due to the extended cold weather. This can cause significant damage to a home. It’s always a good idea to double-check for any lasting impacts from a rough winter season.


Eradicate moisture


Remind your tenants to check for mold that can build up in the winter from interior humidity. Heavy rains may cause small puddles or dampness in the basement or attic. It will soon begin to smell musty. You may need to install a dehumidifier to dry it out before mold develops.


Clean the gutters


A debris-clogged gutter can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Most people use a sturdy extension ladder and scoop out the gunk into a bucket. There are tools at home improvement stores that allow you to accomplish removal from the ground. If winter storms have left debris in the downspout gooseneck, force it out with a garden hose.


Clean recessed foundation vents


Just like gutters, vents can become catch-alls for leaves, twigs and assorted debris. Clean the vents by hand or with a shop vacuum.

Of course, there is always landscaping to do in springtime. Common tasks include lawn aeration, overseeding, fertilization and pruning of shrubs. Early spring is also a great time for pruning flowering trees and fruit trees since they will start budding soon. Despite our best efforts in the fall, there are usually some leftover leaves to finish cleaning up, as well.

Taking extra care of the exterior of your property as the seasons change can help prevent structural damage, save energy and keep the property’s systems running properly. While some maintenance tasks must be completed seasonally, don’t forget about your annual tasks, as well. Maintenance, cleaning, servicing and landscaping guarantees that your property remains in good shape and your investment is protected for the coming years.


Want to get a jumpstart on your Spring home maintenance checklist? Check out these Preferred Vendors to help!


Lanscaping: Local Roots Landscaping | Nick Morris or Ben Zak |Nick 910-616-9662|Ben 910-617-0447


Painting: Riptide Painters | Tim Berg | 910-617-9342


Pressure Washing: Amy Check | | 910-632-0045


Roofing: T&J Roofing | Waterproofing-Leaks-Painting | 910-274-3151 |


Siding & Gutters: Quality Exteriors | John Tartaglione | 910-367-2964


Daggett, Brentnie. “Spring Maintenance Tasks for Your Rental Property” RISMedia’ 7 Mar. 2018.

Sold Buy the Sea Realty’s Hampstead Grand Opening!

You are invited! Please join us to unveil our new Hampstead office location Friday, February 22nd! This Grand Opening BBQ will have entertainment and pig picking fun for the whole family! We hope to see everyone there!


No photo description available.

4 Cost-Effective Ways to Raise Your Home’s Value

If you’re looking to raise the value of your home, especially for resale purposes, you’ve undoubtedly heard all sorts of ideas that will get the job done, many of which may be too expensive or too difficult for you to handle at the moment. Many require a large chunk of change, and while they may very well give you a return on your investment, you may not have this kind of money lying around.


Here are four budget-friendly ways to raise your home’s value and increase its future resale value at the same time:


Change Out Doors and Windows

Not only can your doors and windows be easily seen from the outside of your home, thus impacting curb appeal, but they also significantly impact your home’s interior. Consider energy-efficient windows that keep heating and cooling costs down and also fit the design of your home. For outside doors, try steel or fiberglass doors that keep energy costs low and improve home security.


Add Space

If possible, find a way to increase space in your home. This could be as easy as adding a patio or deck for outdoor entertaining or finishing off a basement. If you have the space and the funds, consider adding an additional room, which can be a huge boon for homebuyers who need an extra bedroom or bonus room.


Modernize Plumbing

Little leaks and plumbing issues can cost you a great deal on your home value, especially if you’re actively trying to sell your home. Hire a professional plumber to address your pipes and drains and to change out plumbing fixtures for a modernized appearance. If your water heater is getting old, consider purchasing a new one at the same time.


Use Paint Wisely

Paint can do a great deal to modernize a home and improve its value for a very low initial cost. Paint walls a neutral color, and spiff up kitchen and bathroom cabinets with a new color. Many older cabinets can be salvaged with a quick sanding, a coat of primer and a new color.

Not every renovation or remodel has to cost a great deal of money to be a wise investment. Instead, as you can see above, there are many small, easy changes that will still yield great results. If you truly want to raise your home’s value, consider changing part of the aesthetic of your home or modernizing your windows, doors or plumbing.


Looking to start some home improvement ideas yourself but not sure where to start or who to call? Check out Sold Buy the Sea Realty’s complete list of Preferred Vendors in the area. This list of trusted resources has been compiled throughout the years of working as a Real Estate company in the Cape Fear area!


Somers, Dixie. “4 Cost-Effective Ways to Raise Your Home’s Value” RISMedia’ 20 Mar. 2018.

By the Numbers: The 10 Fastest-Growing States

One hallmark of a hot housing market? An influx of new residents. In the past year, 10 areas attracted newcomers in record waves, according to Census population statistics:


  1. Nevada

Growth in Population: +2.1 percent (3.03 million)

  1. Idaho

Growth in Population: +2.1 percent (1.75 million)

  1. Utah

Growth in Population: +1.9 percent (3.16 million)

  1. Arizona

Growth in Population: +1.7 percent (7.17 million)

  1. Florida

Growth in Population: +1.5 percent (21.3 million)

  1. Washington

Growth in Population: +1.5 percent (7.54 million)

  1. Colorado

Growth in Population: +1.4 percent (5.7 million)

  1. Texas

Growth in Population: +1.3 percent (28.7 million)

  1. South Carolina

Growth in Population: +1.3 percent (5.08 million)

  1. North Carolina

Growth in Population: +1.1 percent (10.39 million)


With the addition of close to 62,000 people (accounting for births and new residents), Nevada is the fastest-growing, relatively, Census estimates show. According to a separate study by United Van Lines, The Silver State had the fourth-highest inbound moves in 2018—and in its biggest city, Las Vegas, home prices are up 12 percent year-over-year.

Idaho, at No. 2, grew by roughly 35,000. According to the study by United Van Lines, it had even more inbound moves than Nevada, at the third-highest of the states.

Meanwhile, No. 3 Utah is home to Salt Lake City, which is one of the best cities for millennials, according to a LendingTree ranking. If millennials are moving there, chances are, there are affordable homes and job opportunities—characteristics of an in-demand market.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau











With North Carolina making the top ten list of Fastest Growing States it’s fair to say we have a HOT housing market matched with great opportunities!  Check out Sold Buy the Sea Realty’s Residential Advanced Property Search to join in on the move!


De Vita, Suzanne. “By the Numbers:The 10 Fastest Growing States” RISMedia’ 30 Jan. 2019

Congratulations Ashley Ferri On Your First Closing!

Congratulations to our agent Ashley Ferri who had her first closing today! I am sure there will be many more wonderful homes being brought to the closing table!

For those looking to sell or buy contact Ashley Ferri (252) 229-6029 today!


428 Royal Tern Drive- Motivated Seller and Major Price Reduction!


428 Royal Tern Drive Hampstead, NC 28443


Solid Home, zero damage from Hurricane Florence! Price reduced, buyer agents commission increased, and a motivated seller!


Amazing custom home on a gorgeous lot in a sought-after neighborhood close to beaches, shopping, restaurants, and award-winning schools. w/mature trees, ponds, saltwater front pier & trails!


Walk in to a two-story foyer and a bright open layout. One of the fireplaces welcomes you into the living room and study with sliders to the deck. Walk to the left for a great oversized formal dining room separated by a partial wall to allow formal setting while still letting light shine right in. Huge kitchen with access to the laundry room and enormous garage with 9’ doors! and so much extra space you could make a whole new room or hang out up the full-sized steps. Currently used for unlimited storage but the possibilities are endless.


Downstairs also features a grand master suite with a second fireplace for those romantic evenings, huge master bathroom with handicapped accessible shower. Upstairs are two rooms that could both be consider a master based on size! Jack and Jill bathroom shared with the sitting area upstairs. More storage too! Closets and storage is amazing in this home! Home is impeccably maintained with new HVAC (2016), Water softener included too! Roof has been replaced and yard professionally landscaped with full irrigation, great deck and firepit out back!


Aside from the amazing yard, there is a lot next door that will never be built on and is cleared and maintained by the neighborhood! Wired for a generator with custom cut plywood with fasteners in case of inclement weather. Inside and out you will not find a better built home with a layout like this! Perfect for families with kids that want a space to call their own. Ready for new family now. Pelican Reef is considered one of the top elite gated neighborhoods in Hampstead offering: pool, fitness center, clubhouse, community pier to fish or crab or relax, boat storage, kayak launch the list goes on and on in this premiere gated community. Close to everything including Topsail beaches, Wilmington, Camp LeJeune, Jacksonville.


MLS: 100120799   Contact listing agent Dawn Berard (910) 228-8879 for more information.   

Relocating: What Renters Look for in a New Neighborhood

Nowadays, we’re seeing larger cities—like Los Angeles, Calif., and Washington, D.C.—take a backseat to smaller up-and-comers, such as Omaha, Neb., and Dallas, Texas.

From 2011 to 2016, Dallas’ GDP rose a whopping 26.6 percent, and Omaha consistently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S.

But no matter which city renters are looking at, everyone wants a neighborhood within their financial means that is safe and friendly. Here are some of the top things renters look for when moving to a new neighborhood:


Location, Location, Location


neighborhood that is centrally located is on the top of most renters’ lists. At the end of the day, people want to live in an area that’s walking distance from a local market or downtown area. It makes it easier to run down to the local grocers after a hard day’s work for some odds and ends.

Walkability is one of the most desirable aspects of a new neighborhood. Centrally-located neighborhoods earn some brownie points when they also have smooth, paved sidewalks so renters can quickly get to downtown.

Also, we must factor in easy access to transportation, be it a bus stop, train station or bike path. With the average commute time rising from roughly 21 to 26 minutes, renters want to save all the precious time they have.


Urban Living Minus the High Costs


Urban areas are notorious for their high cost of living. Now that most millennials are in the early stages of their careers and some have started families, you can bet several are pulled towards the urban life; however, affordability may be getting in the way.

In which case, more affordable, uptown neighborhoods that are starting to urbanize are a draw. Unlike already-established (and high-end), big-name cities (e.g., New York City), these neighborhoods aren’t nearly as expensive, but still have that urban vibe. For renters wanting a cheaper rent and that downtown feel, it’s the best of both worlds.


Safety Is Always a Priority


It’s safe to say (no pun intended) that safety is at the top of most renters’ lists. Low crime rates are a huge plus to renters who don’t want to worry about who’s around when getting something from the car.

Renters want a neighborhood that passes the walk/run test—they want to feel safe running around the block in the morning, afternoon or night. Areas that can provide this are hot-ticket housing in the real estate industry. (To check neighborhood safety, renters can use online resources such as Trulia.)


Good Local Schools


Another top neighborhood feature on many renters’ lists are good local schools with high graduation rates. It goes without saying that environment is one key factor that plays into human development. Renters want to know that their child’s school (not to mention the surrounding area) is a positive influence. As with safety, you can search a neighborhood’s school ratings on many real estate sites.


It Feels Like Home


Renters want to be able to step into that apartment, condo or house and instantly get that “home” feeling, and a neighborhood definitely plays into that. It could be a neighborhood that has a distinct look, such as streets lined with jacaranda trees, or it could be an area filled with vintage homes.

Yes, the small details—such as gated community living or a waterfront view—will change depending on the renter, but the big-picture takeaways are more or less the same: a neighborhood that is in sync with the renter’s lifestyle.


Lipman, Ashley. “Relocating: What Renters Look for in a New Neighborhood.” RISMedia’ 29 March. 2018,


Looking for a rental in the surrounding areas that will be perfect for your lifestyle? Check out our available rentals or contact our Property Manager Gregory Maley (910) 833-4251 for more information!

Sneak Peek Event

We hope to see everyone at this wonderful event!  Everyone is invited to enjoy some drinks and food and tour these beautiful newly constructed homes!




Study: Northeast and Midwest Lead Nation in Residents Moving Out

Are you thinking of moving out-of-state? If you answered “yes,” there’s a good chance you live in the Northeast or Midwest. According to a national study conducted by United Van Lines, nine of the top 10 states with residents moving to other states are located in those regions, with New Jersey and Illinois taking the top two spots.

The annual study—now in its 42nd iteration—tracks the state-to-state migration patterns of United Van Lines customers. The company found that, over the course of 2018, nearly 70 percent of moves in New Jersey were to other states.


On the other end of the spectrum, Vermont had the most inbound moves out of all 50 states. Some 72.6 percent of moves in Vermont were to other locations within the state. The state is also a clear outlier, as seven of the top 10 states with residents moving inbound are located in the West or the South. Here are those 10 states:


  1. Vermont (72.6 percent)
  2. Oregon (62.4 percent)
  3. Idaho (62.4 percent)
  4. Nevada (61.8 percent)
  5. Arizona (60.2 percent)
  6. South Carolina (59.9 percent)
  7. Washington (58.8 percent)
  8. North Carolina (57 percent)
  9. South Dakota (57 percent)
  10. District of Columbia (56.7 percent)


As mentioned, New Jersey and Illinois lead the nation in residents moving out-of-state at 66.8 and 65.9 percent, respectively. And Connecticut comes in a close third with 62 percent. Here are the 10 states with the most outbound moves:


  1. New Jersey (66.8 percent)
  2. Illinois (65.9 percent)
  3. Connecticut (62 percent)
  4. New York (61.5 percent)
  5. Kansas (58.7 percent)
  6. Ohio (56.5 percent)
  7. Massachusetts (55.7 percent)
  8. Iowa (55.5 percent)
  9. Montana (55 percent)
  10. Michigan (55 percent)


“The data collected by United Van Lines aligns with longer-term migration patterns to Southern and Western states, trends driven by factors like job growth, lower costs of living, state budgetary challenges and more temperate climates,” says Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Also, the National Movers Study revealed that people are most often moving because of a new job opportunity or due to retirement, which may be a key indicator as to why so many folks are relocating to warmer states in the West and South.


Doris, Jameson. “Study: Northeast and Midwest Lead Nation in Residents Moving Out.” RISMedia’ 3 Jan. 2019,


Looking to relocate to Wilmington and surrounding areas? Check out all that the area has to offer, and our buyers guide!

History and Housing: 4 Benefits of Living in a Historic Neighborhood

A better neighborhood comes with a lot of advantages for your family. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a nice place to settle down, neighborhoods with a rich historical background carry many benefits for yourself and for children that grow up there. Here are some of the great things that you may experience by living in an historic neighborhood:


Potentially Lower Crime Rates
Finding a neighborhood that’s safe is important to anyone seeking a new home. Neighborhoods with a rich historical background have clearly been around for a very long time, often resulting in older, lifelong residents that are invested in the maintenance of their neighborhood. Regular maintenance of the streets, as well as implementation of effective crime-prevention programs by the local police, are all something that these folks may have voted for in local elections.


More Educational Opportunities
Another benefit of living in a well-established, historical neighborhood is that the schools tend to be better funded. Generally, residents have been there for a long time, allowing them to build up financial stability that would contribute to taxes that fund public programs like schools, libraries and parks. They may also have local events held to celebrate the heritage of the neighborhood, giving you and your family a peek into history and a greater understanding of what brought about the place you live in now. Live reenactments of historical events, fairs and artistic performances are frequently found in cities that carry their history with them.


Improved Neighborhood Dynamics
Homes for sale in established neighborhoods are often more sought-after because of the ability to form connections with your neighbors. Tight-knit neighborhoods can be safer in general because, if a disaster hits, you’ll be surrounded by friends who know you and will help you through hard times. This can also give you greater peace of mind when allowing your children to play in the neighborhood on their own, because you know the people living in it. With the decreased turnover, you have the opportunity to form lasting friendships with your neighbors, and be a part of a familiar community and culture that’ll really feel like home.


Grand Architecture
An established neighborhood tends to have a higher density of older homes maintained to preserve their historical appearance. Depending on the area and history, these homes are likely to have arching ceilings, pillars, decorative awnings, towers, balconies and other features that will make even a small home feel like something out of a storybook. Living in an artistic structure will remind you on a daily basis of the history of your home and neighborhood, as well as give you greater satisfaction in general in regard to your living situation.

If you’re considering moving to a historically-rich neighborhood, whether alone or with a family in tow, you’ll reap many benefits from the culture and the stability that comes with it. Don’t turn away a home solely based on the year it was built, but rather, consider the possibilities that come with superior architectural design and living in a safe and stable neighborhood.

No matter where you live, your house is only a home if it’s where you love to be.


Belnap, Meghan. “History and Housing: 4 Benefits of Living in an Historic Neighborhood.” RISMedia’ 30 Nov. 2018,


Wilmington’s rich and extensive history has plenty of these advantages to offer for those looking to buy or re-locate to the area! Search for your historic home today!

5 Reasons to Build a New Home

You’re exhausted. It seems like house-hunting will never end and each home you view isn’t how you envisioned it. There aren’t enough bedrooms, or the home just isn’t your style. It’s tough to dole out the big bucks for a place that you just aren’t 100-percent in love with.


However, there’s always another option. You can always build. Building a new home offers an array of options. You can customize it the way you like and plan it to your exact specifications. It gives you the freedom to make it yours—as opposed to building off of someone else’s choices and ideas. Not convinced? Here are our top five reasons why you should build your new home:


You get to choose the neighborhood. Maybe you saw the perfect home, but the neighborhood was anything but ideal. It’s all about location, location, location! For some, location is even more important than what’s actually inside the home itself. When you build your own home, you get to choose the neighborhood. The options are endless, which means you’ll get both the house you like and the ideal neighborhood you want.


It’s brand new, meaning no repairs are needed—at least not anytime soon. Older homes frequently come with their fair share of repairs and necessary upgrades. With all the maintenance, suddenly owning a home can feel like a part-time job. When you build a new home, everything is new. You likely won’t have to pay for repairs or renovations for years to come. This means you’ll actually be able to sit back and relax and enjoy your new digs!


Newer energy-efficient systems will save you money. When it comes to older homes, water and electrical systems often aren’t up to par with the newest technology. Things like air conditioning, heat and water end up costing way more in an older home. In a new home, you can select the most energy-efficient systems. This will help you save money on those monthly bills and in the long run—meaning you can put your money toward other exciting adventures, such as that new car or that vacation you’ve been longing to go on!


You get to select flooring, paint colors, countertops, and more! Building a new home means customization! You get to choose it all—your home, your style. It can be really fun, and it can also help you feel like you have more ownership over your home. You become more immersed in the building and design process, which can, in turn, help you understand your home more and allow you to create a space you truly love.


You create the house layout. Again, it’s all about being able to customize. When building a new home, you get to set things to your exact specifications. Do you want an open-concept home? No problem. Do you have a vision about how the kitchen will be set up? Voice it. Building a new home means you can pick and choose when it comes to the layout of the house and floor plans.


Fung, Jeff. “5 Reasons to Build a New Home.” RISMedia’, 11 Sept. 2018,


Get the home you have always dreamed of. Start the process of building your new home today by checking out Sold Buy the Sea Realty’s list of builders. Also, be sure to check out up and coming neighborhoods to build in!

Avoiding Contractor Scams Post Storm and Year Around

Amid this year’s historic hurricane season, and in the aftermath of two devastating storms, countless homeowners are on the path to rebuild.

For the communities in a hurricane’s wake, there’s a danger to be mindful of: contractor scams.


If a Contractor Knocks…


When disaster strikes, homeowners are often targets, having just bore the brunt of catastrophe and in need of quick repairs. One of the most common contractor cons is unsolicited—someone approaches your door under the guise of help, but asks for cash before completing any work, or to enter your home to “inspect” the premises. They could be looking to make off with your money, or burglarize the home later.

What can you do to ensure you’re not victimized? Ask your REALTOR® for a recommendation, or family or friends. Generally, referrals can be trusted.

Avoid contractors who aren’t licensed, advises the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). A license is required in many states, as well as insurance—ask for copies of each, and confirm them with authorities in your municipality.

Go local if possible, NARI recommends. Contractors in the area are likely to have legitimate local references, and can be assessed more easily than out-of-towners—and, they’ll be aware of building codes and permitting requirements specific to your town.

When comparing estimates, carefully look over the proposals, and avoid immediately signing them. Do costs differ dramatically between professionals? Are any estimates “too good to be true”? Did the contractor pressure you on price? Be on the lookout for these “tells”—they could be an indicator of a scam.

When you decide on a hire, don’t give them a check from your insurer—you could be forfeiting your rights, and/or losing the payout, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). A credit card is safest.

If all else fails, do an online search. Are there complaints lodged against the person? Has the company been in legal trouble? Are they accredited with the BBB, or another credible organization? Be cautious, and do your homework!


De Vita, Suzanne. “Hurricane Season:Avoiding Contractor Scams After Storms.” RISMedia’, 17 Oct.2018,


Stay local and avoid risk of Contractor scams by using Sold Buy the Sea Realty’s list of preferred vendors to complete interior and exterior work and more! This list has been compiled after years of trusted work from experienced vendors that service local surrounding communities!

How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood

Location, location, location. Half of buying a home is all about finding where you want to live. You might’ve found your dream house, but it’s not in your dream neighborhood. So, what should you be watching out for? Here’s how you can find the perfect neighborhood:


Check It Out Online


Ah—the internet. It provides an immense amount of information. It’s easy and entirely accessible for everyone, so you don’t have any excuses not to take advantage of it. Look up what everyone is saying about a neighborhood you’re interested in. Do people actually enjoy living there? What do they like and dislike about it?

Google the crime statistics for the area; safety should be top of mind. You don’t want to get stuck in a neighborhood with a high break-in rate—take your safety and security seriously. At the same time, if you have kids, look up schools in the area. What are they rated? Most school systems have a rating scale based off mostly academics. Find out if they’re good options for your children.


Scout It Out


Literally. Do drive-bys, and do them at different times of the day. Get a feel for a certain neighborhood. Is there a soccer field or baseball diamond close by? You’ll want to know before it’s too late whether or not cars will be lined up on your street. Make sure you’re in the know. You don’t want things like that to come up as a surprise after you’ve moved in. Furthermore, check out the traffic patterns in the area. What’s that intersection near the home you’re interested in really like during rush hour?


How Far Is Your Potential Home From Your Job?


This might not matter to some—if you’re near retirement, it might not matter at all!—but a long commute has the potential to become an everyday stressor, one that you don’t need or want. If you take the bus, look up the route and times. If you drive, check out the route during your normal commute times on Google Maps.


Do Your Research on Property Taxes


This could majorly impact your cost of living. Property taxes greatly differ from one region to the next. Do your research and find out what to expect. Don’t let this come as a shock. You want to make sure you can afford the area you want to live in. Be sure to do your due diligence with some good research! Also, take this a step further, and look at other costs of living—think utilities and food prices.

Ensure your perfect home is in your ideal neighborhood. It’s worth taking the time to do research and be sure it’s really what you want.


David, Hakimi. “How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood”. RISMedia’, 11 Dec. 2018,


Looking for your dream neighborhood? Check out Sold Buy the Sea Realty’s preferred neighborhoods!

Welcome to our newest agent Jeff Sanchez


We are very excited to gain such a great agent and build our team! Welcome Jeff!



Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons, and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a “spring market rush” every year. There is no doubt that the “spring market” is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Here are several reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until the spring:


Less Competition


One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.

Simply put, it’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less homes that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but it will also increase the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home.


Serious Buyers Are Out There


Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren’t out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

The fall and winter months are also a great time for a potential buyer to see what a specific neighborhood is like.  Do your neighbors have pumpkins on their front step?  Are there lots of Trick-or-Treaters wandering the neighborhood on Halloween?  Do any of your neighbors have any light displays for the holidays?  There are buyers out there who will look at these types of things when determining whether your home is in the right neighborhood for them or not.


The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge


Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell a home during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn’t have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.


Staging For The Holiday Season


Many sellers believe staging a home is the main reason a home sells.  While staging certainly helps sell homes, some buyers have a difficult time envisioning themselves in a home no matter what you do. However, there are some buyers who can easily be “sold” on a home because it is staged.  Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.


Quicker Transactions


Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.


Hiscock, Kyle. “Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?”. RISMedia’, 6 Nov. 2014,


Whenever you decide to buy or sell a home Sold Buy the Sea Realty is available any time to assist you in the process!



How to Overcome Generational Gaps in Home Selling

For years we have seen Real Estate trends differ with each generation. The baby boomers ditching their large suburban homes for the upbeat and fast paced urban life, while millennials leave behind their small one-bedroom city apartments and say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of city life. Millennials are opening their world up to the possibilities of single-family homes, private yards, and storage space.  Millennials are usually categorized as being born between mid ‘80s and late ‘90s experienced a cultural and social shift, so it is not surprising when their Real Estate needs and wants shifted as well.

Here are some things to take into consideration for baby boomers and others when selling to millennial home buyers.

Millennials are busy

 Today’s younger generation tend to work long hours, and like most, place a great deal of importance on spending their free time with friends and family. With this in mind, they are seeking ready to move in homes that need little to no renovations. Regardless of how irresistible the opportunity may seem, many of today’s young home buyers have no interest in “making it their own”. This is unlike their parents who were more apt to renovations and customizing homes they planned to live in for many years.


Technology is key

Technology is vital to millennials everyday functions and home buying is no exception. The young home buyers of today are quick to grab their smartphones and search through pictures of countless homes all at their fingertips. As such, millennials place a high importance on the visual aspect of a home and the quality of photos. If the buyer isn’t drawn to the photos, they are quick to move onto the next, so be sure to have quality images!


Bigger isn’t Better

In the past it was typical that a large home with over sized closets, formal rooms, and finished basements often conveyed success and were therefore in high demand. However, today is a different story with millennials desiring something smaller and simply done on a smaller tract of land. The younger generation tends to associate a bigger house with more work and maintenance, which can seem daunting to first time home buyers. You may not be able to shrink your home, but if you are motivated seller accounting for this trend your price will need to meet the market.

How to Prevent Common Home Holiday Hazards & Accidents

The holidays are a busy, erratic and altogether crazy time of year for homeowners — entertaining guests, putting up the tree, stringing up lights and cooking for days. With all of the guests and extra work comes the added danger of accidents. Statistics show that more than 12,500 people are rushed to the emergency room every year due to holiday-related injuries. There is also a reported $17 million in holiday-related property damage done.

Fortunately, homeowners can take steps to prepare against these dangers — and avoid a pricey ambulance bill or the need for a visiting family member to rush them to the ER on icy roads. Here are some of the most common causes for holiday-related accidents and how to prevent them:

  1. Christmas trees: We love them, but they can actually hurt us. Christmas trees cause 240 fires a year, so be sure to keep them away from your fireplace and heating sources.
  2. Exterior holiday lights: They help brighten our homes during the holiday season, but we run the risk of hurting ourselves when we hang them. To cut risk of injury, homeowners should consider hiring a handyman to hang their lights for them.
  3. Interior lights: We hang lights on Christmas trees and fireplace mantels — we hang them wherever makes sense, really. Unfortunately, they can cause accidents or shock if they exhaust the power outlet. Have an electrician check your outlets to see whether they can handle the voltage — and be sure not to string more than three light sets on one extension cord, just to be safe.

Learn more on how to keep your Christmas safe and happy in this infographic:


Top Holiday Home Hazards


A home lit up in Wilmington NC for the Holidays

Looking to sell or buy a home in the upcoming new year? Give us a call at (910) 367-2965

Happy Holidays from all of us at Sold Buy the Sea Realty!


HomeAdvisor, “How to Prevent Common Home Holiday Hazards & Accidents” HomeAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, 15 Dec. 2018,


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

View All of Our Company’s Listings

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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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!