Carolina Plantations Real Estate Blog

Residential Construction Codes in High Wind Zones, Brunswick County Homes

So many folks come to the area to discover the Master Planned Communities and Plantations in Brunswick County.  One the of the most important things that we can help with is giving you a general understanding of how North Carolina Residential Construction Codes go above and beyond to ensure that you home on the coast is “more than tolerant” to the visiting winds that sometimes blesses our coast.
The agents at Carolina Plantations, especially if it is new home construction, like to point out what the area builders do to meet and exceed the North Carolina Residential Construction Codes.  We do point out the obvious as well as additional features by some of the select builders in the Master Planned Communities and Plantations.  We are not licensed contractors, but do appreciate building and design excellence in new homes. 
Here are the major topics in North Carolina Residential Construction Codes to be aware of while looking at homes in our area.  We try our best to point out a few, but the builders we work with in the area are the experts, so we let them get into the details, including:
1. Design Pressure for Doors and Windows and Garage Doors.
2. Foundation Wall Footings, Pier Footings for elevated homes.
3. Wall and Foundation Anchorage.
4. Wall Construction and Exterior Load Barring Walls
5. Structural Bracing
6. Masonry Wall Construction.
7. Roof Tie Down.
8. Framing
9. Roof Lines and Roof Sheathing.
We also encourage you to do your research or visit Here.
The agents at Carolina Plantations are here to guide you to the best Master Planned Communities and Plantations in Brunswick County.  We have access to the area’s best builders and want you to meet them as we work on designing your future retirement home.  Please call us at 910-755-7557 so we can tour the area’s best built homes. 

Marina Living at Bald Head Island

Having over 10,000 acres of untouched beaches, over 12,000 of pristine land to roam and live, these unique real estate opportunities at Bald Head Island offer an array of lifestyles as well as living situations.

Whether you want a second home, or this is your retirement destination, Bald Head Island is the cream of the crop in Brunswick County.  Homes that are designed with coastal architecture are nestled in maritime forests, subtropical haven of palms, and an open site that has unspoiled waterviews.

One of the popular choices for folks is marina living.  The marina at Bald Head Island not only hosts a protective basin with deep water slips, but an array of amenities that are only steps away from the homes that surround this picturesque setting.  The Harbour Villages at Bald Head Island will host the white picket fence, smaller less maintenance style of living.  Homesites maybe small, but the views and the homes are grand! 

Access around the basin can be by foot, bike or golf cart.  The island does not host automobiles.  Wake up, stretch, and walk out your door to Shopping, dining, and access to your boat.  This is the absolute pinnacle of marina living.  An added bonus is having direct beach access on the north side of the village.

The Homes are influenced with coastal touches, including an undertone of Carribbean influences, like oversized plantation shutters, open breezeways and broad sweeping porches. Most of the homes here will have a view of the marina, marsh, and even the Atlantic Ocean.  This is Carolina living at its finest. 

Whether you are seeking an existing home or a homesite to build your ideal coastal nest, we have access to Bald Head Island’s most premier real estate opportunities.  We will show you how to make the passage from Southport to Bald Head Island.  We invite you to Contact Carolina Plantations (910)755-7557.

Lifestyles of the Lanai—Brunswick Forest Real Estate

One thing that many, if not all of the retirees discover about retiring in the Carolina’s is that lifestyle is a major contributor of How you will live. You are probably wondering what this means?  Retiring in the south gives you and your family many reasons to brag to your friends up north, but one of the main reasons Brunswick County is a top destination for retirement is the climate.   

You will discover as you explore real estate in Brunswick County, including the master planned community of Brunswick Forest that much of the outdoors and this favorable climate is brought into the design and function of the homes.  One popular feature of these southern architecturally influenced homes in the Lanai.  Many of the homes you will see in the popular community of Brunswick Forest will have the Lanai addition on the rear of the home as a focal point of the home design which will allow for this improved year round lifestyle of entertaining, dining and just relaxing.

The Lanai is best describe as an enclosed back porch area that will host open space, with the focal point being a gourmet kitchen.  This kitchen is everyone’s favorite feature, consisting of a mini refrigerator, sink, and stove top burners, grill and professional grade hood for ventilation.  The Lanai in these homes at Brunswick Forest are every weekend chef’s dream.  

The enclosed area can be utilized as mentioned year round.  The screens which run the entire height of the floor to the ceiling of this rear enclosed area have removable plexi-glass so you can use the kitchen and entertainment space in the winter (about 3-4 weeks is about the time that it may be too cold).  Many families add flat screen TV’s, sound systems and even hide-away bedding, so their guests can live the lifestyle for just the visit.  When you incorporate the Lanai in the homes at Brunswick Forest, you may hardly ever use the main kitchen in the home again!

There are several villages within Brunswick Forest that have the Lanai’s as standard features in the design of the homes.  These homes will have undertones of Floridian design as well as coastal cottages, so this feature naturally fits the design of these homes.  As far as customizing this mini kitchen, well, that is a function of your goals and budget.  

To learn more about the homes that feature homes with Lanai’s at Brunswick Forest, contact Carolina Plantation’s, the top selling real estate office in Brunswick Forest at (910)755-7557.

(Image Credit:

Know Who and What Your Agent Represents

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission mandates that ALL licensed brokers disclose their “agency.”  What does this mean?  Each firm, including Carolina Plantations and all of its associates or “brokers” must disclose to you who they represent.  This is simply an interpretation of “keeping the best interests in mind” of the customer who has committed themselves to your firm and its goals that are specific for that client per the obligations.

Types of Agencies

  • Buyers Agent: Representation and the commitment to the “buyers” best interests are to be top priority.  “Duties to the Buyer” include loyalty, commitment, provide all material facts and use reasonable care and diligence for the decision process. 
  • Sellers Agent:  if you are selling you home, you will want to ensure that your agent has the same commitment to your goals, to sell your home, to provide the exceptional service and provide the most accurate information about your property. They must promote your best interests.
  • Dual Agent:  Meaning that the agent will do it best to represent both parties, acknowledge and disclose all information to both parties, so loyalty is to both the buyer and the seller.  This could be a situation where the firm holds the listing, and another agent in the firm represents you.  This still can work for both the seller and the buyer alike.

Real Estate AgentAll licensed brokers MUST disclose their agency relations prior to collecting information about your goals that may affect the condition of the purchase or the listing of the property.  It is imperative that you understand the commitment of your agent prior to exploring Brunswick County and all of its great real estate opportunities.

We at Carolina Plantations host both “buyers agents” and “sellers agents” in the transactions.  Many of you all looking to explore the many Master Planned Communities and Plantations will be teamed up with our expert buyers agents.  Please contact us at 910-755-7557 to learn more about buying and selling real estate in Brunswick County.

We invite you to preview the North Carolina Real Estate Commissions, ‘Working with Agents” Document.

Home Owners Association Benefits

Retiring in the Carolina’s has so many advantages that will add to your retirement lifestyle.  There is a common advantage for you in that most all of the Master Planned Communities and Plantations have Home Owners Associations.   These associations that will provide many benefits and services that give you more freedom with your time.

Home Owners Associations are a governing entity that sets up many of the structures for the Master Planned Community and Plantations including:

  • Building and Restoration Guidelines
  • Governing Regulations for community
  • Activities and Amenity Management
  • Maintenance and community upkeep

Now, do not think that your Master Planned Community and Plantation H.O.A is an organization that will be monitoring every move you make in the neighborhood, this is not true!  It is instilled to provide consistency with the design of homes, community upkeep and consistency to operations and activities that actually help increase the value of the neighborhood, value of your home and ultimately adds value to your lifestyle.

Again, we would like to focus on the lifestyle aspect of this topic.  The Home Owners Association will set up most, if not all the activities in your community.   Typically, there  is an annual cost for this benefit and what it delivers.  The fees are broken up into monthly or quarterly payments.  Many retirees do insist on the active retirement lifestyles that Home Owners Association sponsor and endorse.  Such activities will include the Amenity Center, pool, exercise facilities and all associated activities, i.e. yoga, Zumba, cooking clubs, outdoor clubs, and overall the structure for you to focus on discovering new activities and to establish new and lasting friendships. 

When relocating to a new area or a new community from your “hometown,” many worry that they will have difficulty in discovering and meeting new friends.  This is not the case with resources like the Home Owners Association.  These associations are structured to allow you to meet, greet and learn at YOUR PACE, there is never any pressures from this resource to participate.  Typically, your Amenity Center will have a staff managing the activities. They will provide a list of activities and descriptions of all the activities you wish to join.  As we visit each community, Carolina Plantations makes a habit of visiting these resources so you can see firsthand all the benefits at each community.

When you are exploring Real Estate opportunities in Brunswick County with us, we will visit all of the resources in the Home Owners Associations.  This is going to be part of that “Martini Theory” we talk about in your decision in which Master Planned Community and Plantation you will choose to live in.

Contact us at 910-755-7557 to learn more about the benefits of our communities that have Home Owners Associations providing endless resources for your new Carolina lifestyle.

Great Golf Lifestyle at Magnolia Greens.

We seem to always come back to coastal Carolina’s top pastime for retiree’s, golf.  Brunswick County hosts some of the best courses in the Grand Strand area.  One of our most golfer friendly makes home to the established Master Planned Community and Plantation of Magnolia Greens.

Magnolia Greens


Magnolia Greens hosts 27 holes of fun, friendly grand-strand golf.  The Championship course, which is the first 18 holes at Magnolia Greens is a Par 72 Course that was designed by Tom Jackson.  This course has been well established and set with Bermuda grass fairways with the greens hosting Championship Bermuda.  The course is not only fun, but tremendously scenic and green with fantastic landscaping.  This course hosts five sets of tees, so makes for great play no matter what your level.  Don’t be fooled by its forgiveness in play, there are several hazards that will come out and get you.  The water hazards and bunkers are well placed so that the experience golfer can concentrate on placement and precision. This course has hosted the PGA Tour Qualifying rounds. 

The homes along this course are nestled among mature trees with rolling topography.  All homes have great architecture appointments, designed to invite you to preview and appreciate the homes from the greens.  In the fall, the homes are highlighted by the array of foliage colors that reflect our warm autumn golf season.

Tom Jackson continued to put his signature in the additional nine at Magnolia Greens.  The course again was designed to cover a spectrum of golf talents, the front tees make the course forgiving and fun, the back tees make you bring your “A-Game” to the course.

Many of the homeowners at Magnolia Greens are so proud and love to host guests on their home course.  They jump in their golf carts, set the slow cooker, golf and come back to the smell of a great dinner, and the car remained in the garage!  What a lifestyle Magnolia Greens offers.

To preview the fine homes of Magnolia Greens and to get in a round, contact us at Carolina Plantation at 910-755-7557, we’d be happy to make the arrangements.

Outdoor Gardening at Ocean Ridge Plantation

Nestled just off Highway 17 south in Sunset Beach, NC, you will find one of the most prestigious master planned communities in Brunswick County, NC.  Hosting 72 holes of championship golf courses with the completion of the 5th course soon, you will definitely build an appetite from all this golf activity.


Some of your fellow golf fanatic residents may also be members of the Gardening and harvest club at Ocean Ridge Plantation.  This community host over 300 acres of natural preservations and a portion of this has been designated as the Community Gardens of Ocean Ridge PlantationOn the site, a restored farmhouse is used as the epicenter to the gardens.  The planting areas around the farm house are tilled and irrigated to help the plants flourish during the heat of the summer.

The gardens at Ocean Ridge Plantation allow the owners to develop their own gardens with herbs, vegetables and flowers.   Owners have planted other herbs and flowers including,

  • Local white potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Green and Red Peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Various flowers and fruit baring trees

The growing season in the area really is 3 seasons long.  You will be able to plant winter vegetables as well so when your golf game is complete, you can zip over to the gardens to get your spinach for your soup or salads.

To preview this unique amenity at Ocean Ridge Plantation, contact us at Carolina Plantations at (910) 755-7557.  There are several neighborhoods with existing, ready to move in homes available in walking distance to this preservation. 

Discover Leland NC

Just minutes from Historic downtown Wilmington, NC and on the banks of the Cape Fear River is the emerging town of Leland, NC.  This town has the full time population at just under 15,000 residents.  Leland is the northern most town in Brunswick County and hosts several of the newest Master Planned Communities and Plantations in the Wilmington area.


Magnolia Greens Golf and Plantation and Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest are just two of the area’s top ranked links and well respected in the Grand Strand area.  These courses not only host the golf, but also have been developed to encompass the golfing lifestyle.  Both host the area’s most active adult and Master Planned Communities and Plantations with endless amenities.  The Leland area is soon to host yet another great golf course at Compass Point.

With several of the most popular Master Planned Communities and Plantations, many retail centers have also been developed.  Shopping, medical, banking and most all of your commercial needs are found just minutes from your home in Leland.  Two major shopping centers have all the provisions needed, The Shopping Villages at Brunswick Forest and Waterford Shopping Center will provide the best options for your tastes.   Take your golf chart to these shopping destinations.

The county tax basis is also a major attraction for those looking to retire in southeastern NC.  Brunswick County is still one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina and boasts a fair tax rate of only .44 per $100 and the city of Leland is at .15 per $100.  This is one of the major attractions for those who do relocate to Leland.  The other major attraction are the county beaches.  The Brunswick County Beaches are some of the best in the Carolina’s.  Each island has its own personality and attractions and range in travel time less than 20 to 30 minutes from the epicenter of Leland. 

There are so many reasons why we invite you to discover Leland and the Wilmington area.  Contact us at Carolina Plantations, 910-755-7557 to discover the coasts most active town of Leland.

Holden Beach Real Estate

Seeking your Ideal second home in Brunswick County?  We encourage you to contact us at Carolina Plantations to learn more about the area’s most popular “family beach community” of Holden Beach.

Holden Beach

Holden Beach is just a stones’ throw from Shallotte, NC.  So everything you may need is just minutes from this pristine barrier island.  Holden Beach is actually a south facing beach, which means you get sunrises and sunsets.  Being a south-facing beach also means that the ocean is less rough than our east facing beaches.  This makes for a great day or weekend at your beach. 

The island is one of the few in southern NC that does not have a draw-bridge or swinging bridge, so this means no traffic back-ups to get to your beach home.  The bridge rises high over the Intracoastal Waterway, providing great views of the waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.  The island also hosts a navigable inlet that will give any boater quick access to the Atlantic Ocean.

The main street on Holden Beach stretches almost the entire length of the island, so you will have easy access to the quaint shops and restaurants on the island from the east to the west end.  Also, the town of Holden Beach has established community center, a public fishing pier and pavilion for entertainment.

Loggerhead turtles make their nests on this island, which is free of high-rises, neon-lights and that commercial boardwalk feel.  This makes it ideal as a favorite for the family looking to purchase a second home.

Homes, townhomes and condos are available for purchase on the island.  Our team has been representing real estate on this island, and are very educated on all the benefits for the ideal coastal lifestyle.  Contact us at (910) 755-7557 to take a look at Holden Beach and its endless opportunities.

HarborWalk, Condo Living at St. James Plantation

Brunswick County hosts some of the finest Master Planned Communities and Plantations in the Carolina’s. We write aboutSt. James Plantation frequently, well because it has so much to offer its residents and guests.

One of the more popular choices for destination living in a great planned community like St. James Plantation is that amenities are endless.  This 81-holes of golf, a marina facility that is second to none in the Southport area.  Clubs and associations provide so many opportunities to make retirement living active as you want it to be. 

Having all these choices of activities will make you reconsider, as so many have in their retirement goals.  What do I mean, you’re asking? Well, many retirees come to the communities with the idea that living in a single family home is what they want.  Well, after discovering how well the condos are in the village of HarborWalk at St. James Plantation, you may reconsider.

HarborWalk at St. James Plantation is just a few steps away from their marina and waterfront market and shops. There are several floor plans to choose from with these condos.  Customization is flexible so you can add that gourmet kitchen you always wanted.

The Spacious condo’s range from 1800 -2000 square feet.  The homes at HarborWalk at St. James Plantation also have access to a pool house and pool.  There are ground floor flat plans that includes 3 bedroom, 2 full bathes.  The upper level homes include open loft space with great views of the waterfront and marina.

Contact Carolina Plantations at (910)755-7557 to have a guided presentation to the available flats in HarborWalk at St. James Plantation.  

Golf Community that Tops the Ranks in Brunswick County

Brunswick County hosts many of the top ranked golf courses in the Grand Strand area.  A must play has emerged as the Local Journals designate it as the Top Golf Course for 2012 and 2013 in Brunswick County.  This course and Master Planned Community is Lockwood Folly Country Club and Plantation.

This links style course winds its way among salt marshes, waterways and the lovely neighborhood community.  Homesites are estate size, so there is space between the homes along this 18 hole, par 72 William Bird Designed Golf Course.  Whatever your level of golfing maybe, Lockwood Folly Country Club and Plantation will allow you to experience a course loaded with golfing excitement with a coastal influence.

Lockwood Folly Country Club and Plantation is located on the mainland side of the 2 of the area’s top beach destinations of Oak Island and Holden Beach.  The Lockwood Folly Inlet is adjacent to the property, so marina’s and waterfront restaurants are just minutes from the community.  The close beach of Holden Beach is just 6 miles by car, so having beach access year round is just one of the many benefits to making Lockwood Folly Country Club and Plantation an ideal destination for retirement.

The community is mature and established both in its habitat and it homes.  The real estate opportunities are available for those who are looking to move in immediately.  Neighbors are welcoming as this Master Planned Community as the clubs and organizations are very well established, and the enthusiasm of the residents is reflective of the southern hospitality that flourishes in this waterfront community.

To learn more about Lockwood Folly Country Club and Plantation, contact our team at Carolina Plantations at (910)755-7557.

Front Street and the Surrounding Historic District

Downtown Wilmington is minutes away from the area’s finest Master Planned Communities and Plantations in Brunswick County.  Resources of downtown are endless for your use.   Also known as the Port City, downtown Wilmington hosts everything you need in everyday living.  From restaurants, to colleges, to shopping and lodging, downtown hosts it all.

The main corridor of downtown is made up of Front Street and its surrounding streets along the Cape Fear River.  The Historic District hosts nearly 75 restaurants with almost every international flavor.  Most of these restaurants also host great live music and other entertainment.  Front Street is also proud to host Front Street Brewery, a local favorite for more than its award-winning beverages.  Several Coffee houses support the streetscape as well.  The entire length of Front Street is also lined with Historic homes and multifamily mansions, cobblestone and brick roads and driveways.  This area around the Front Street resources maybe another option for your real estate goals as well.

Some of our clients see the potential in coastal-urban living once they experience downtown Wilmington.  Historic homes, renovated homes, homes that need just a little love and care, and even multi-family living townhomes can be a possibility for you.  An evening walk along Water Street and the city boardwalk brings incredible wealth to your lifestyle, great sunsets, great views and access to some great food!

Wilmington International Airport is literally 5 minutes from the historic district.  You can be on a jet and back north to visit family and friends with great ease.  New Hanover County Regional Hospital is also just minutes from the cobblestone streets.  Other great resources are also a stone’s throw away including, The University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Cape Fear Community College (both host life-long learning) Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Mayfaire Town Center.

To learn more about downtown Wilmington and its real estate potential for your family, contact us at Carolina Plantations (910)755-7557. 

Annual Climate in Southeastern NC

Several reasons top the list for those looking to relocate to the southeastern North Carolina coast and topping the list of reasons to relocate to the area is our climate throughout the year.  Yes, it is true when you hear us tell you to leave your snow shovels up north, that you will not need that winter coat, and snow tires,all these things will be a thing of the past.

The climate information gathered here is from 

Here are some weather facts on the Wilmington and Brunswick County area.

·         The average warmest month is July, average temperature runs at 90 degrees.

·         Precipitation is greatest in September, which is the peak of the hurricane season.

·         The last major hurricane to affect the area was Ophelia, which brought heavy rain and sustained winds of a category 2, and prior to that was Hurricane Floyd, in 1999 with winds at 110 mph. Most of the damage from a storm occurs near the beach as a result of flooding


The NC coastal areas will have specific building codes for wind velocities and are well prepared for the tropical storms.  What we are not prepared for is the snow, as you will hear reports, all bread, water, and milk will be gone!  And you will sit back and laugh because it is usually a “dusting.”

You will never winterize your boat or retire your golf clubs.  Gardening is a 3 season blessing here.   You will be able to get tomatoes and herbs through Thanksgiving.  Again, the southern warmth will extend your growing seasons.

We encourage you to visit the area in the prime of the summer and the winter too.  Our agents are prepared to show you the finest Master Planned Communities and Plantations anytime of the year.  Contact Carolina Plantations Real Estate to learn more about the area anytime of the year, 910-755-7557.


The St. James Plantation Lifestyles

When you think about that ideal Carolina lifestyle, just minutes from your front door, most will agree that one planned community hosts the best of the best in lifestyle activities on the Carolina Coast.  This one place is St. James Plantation near Southport, NC.

St. James Plantation hosts dozens and dozens of activities sponsored by various clubs and associations to keep your days and weekends full.  From Bridge, to the motorcycle club, to fishing, shell collecting clubs, the list goes on and on.  The following groups activities are the main organizations and hobby clubs that draw the biggest base and actually have great participation in throughout St. James Plantation.

Golf-   Of course this is one of the most popular lifestyles at the community.  With over 81 holes to play, extravagant clubhouses, this definitely is the anchor of community activities.  The four courses include, The Reserve at St. James Plantation, The Founders Club, The Members Club and the Players Club.  All are great courses for all levels of players.

Tennis-   The courts at St. James Plantation are Har-Tru courts. Nearby, you have an expansive viewing deck and a great tennis shop. A Tennis pro and staff are available for lessons and for setting up activities.  Speaking of activities with this club, St. James Plantation has over 300 members and counting – which means teams, leagues, events and lessons for every season. The Tennis association is also a member of the United States Tennis Association.

Beach Club- St. James by The Sea, the residents’ private beach club that’s perched on the rare, south-facing beach of nearby Oak Island, NC.   Residents have access to the beach year round, including parking, a kitchen area and showers.  Many clubs meet yearly to participate in beach activities.  The Beach club is just a few minutes from the front gates of St. James Plantation.

Fitness- Nothing tops the list for baby-boomers more than fitness and health.  St. James Plantation hosts Indoor swimming, free weights, cardio equipment, great group classes and our state-of-the-art fitness centers are just the beginning. Other activities offered are Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi.  There is also a sauna, steam room and massages offered!  Remember, there are also miles and miles of walking and biking trails available to use year round.  

There is so much to do for your health and fitness at St. James Plantation.  Please contact Carolina Plantations to learn more about all these great benefits and amenities at St. James Plantation. 

Selecting a Homesite

If you are looking at a Master Planned Community, like St. James Plantation, Ocean Ridge Plantation, River’s Edge Plantation, Brunswick Forest or any other wonderful community in the Carolina’s, you will have the opportunity to select a homesite (lot) to purchase.  Never thought of this?? It is a great way to get into your retirement community earlier and capitalize on selection and pricing.

Purchasing a homesite has so many advantages if you have not considered this alternative for your future retirement home.  Many baby-boomers have considered this, instead of looking at an existing home.  What are the advantages in purchasing a homesite?

  1. Buy now, build later, this gives you the time to explore floor plans and talk to designers, like Planview Design. Speaking to a designer allows you to incorporate your families entire wish list into your retirement home.
  2. Allow you to pay down the expense of the retirement home.  Many use home equity lines at low interest rates to purchase a homesite, and capitalize on the tax deductions.  (Consult with a tax professional for additional details).
  3. Select the exact landscape and front yard/backyard setting, i.e. wooded, waterfront or golf front lots.
  4. Proper orientation to sun, i.e. for the gardener, south facing exposure, east facing in the morning for the morning light and warmth, many choose to put the kitchen on the eastside to capitalize on the morning light and warmth.
  5. Privacy, or special wants, like direct access to walking paths, trails, etc.
  6. Worrying about having to sell your existing home first, then not having a home, or forcing you to purchase an existing home that may not be the exact “dream home” that you have work for all these years.
  7. Gets you into the game!

There are so many reasons why purchasing a homesite in a planned community maybe a better decision for your family.  The best way to do this is to explore the communities’ websites and get familiar with the general architecture designs of the homes with that particular area of the community.  Understand what they are looking for, but do not get caught up on the micro’s of home design and building.  Once you have an idea, go and spend your time walking each lot that best fits your wish list of wants for the type of lifestyle you want to have in your retirement living.  Strongly consider purchasing a homesite to move you into that goal of living that Carolina lifestyle.

More Entries