Designing Your Dream Home

I can remember it like yesterday, but it was 11 years ago. I was working with a couple from the DC area and we were looking at homesite T2-8 on Heatherwood Court in Winding River Plantation. My clients were having trouble visualizing a home sitting on this vacant lot, so I had them turn their backs to the property and look directly across the street at a brand new home. I put my arms up as to frame the home and said “take a mental picture of this home and simply turn slowly towards T2-8 behind you”. The couple both put up their arms, took a mental picture of the home and moved around 180 degrees and placed the image of the home on the homesite.

The wife said that this was very helpful but the husband quizzically said ‘but where’s the driveway?” Wow! I turned him back around 180 degrees and said that it is still on the left side of the home. Apparently he could move the home across the street but not the driveway.

It is not uncommon nor should it be embarrassing that one or both people in a relationship do not possess good visualization skills, so in late 2007 when a client from Ocean Ridge Plantation called me to introduce this truly amazing and wonderful company called Plan View Design, I made a beeline over to their office here in Shallotte. I sat in front of this 45” monitor and saw CAD drawings come to life in full color 3D. My jaw slammed on the desk as I felt as I was the first one to discover/invent the internet!

 

Plan View Design quickly became the leading custom home design firm in Brunswick County as not only homeowners were delighted to employ such a tool but, many local builders also saw the numerous advantages to working with 3D Designs. A year later I had the opportunity to purchase the company and PVD has designed over 200 custom built homes in Southeastern NC since.

Clients/Builders quickly learn that they can request changes to the structure, materials, paint colors and so on both inside/outside the home and typically get them returned the next day. According to Haley Wilson, VP of Plan View Design, “homeowners often don’t know what floor plan will work for them until after we combine a survey of their property, a set of their HOA building guidelines, budget, personal lifestyle and personal selections (granite, paint colors, flooring, lighting, materials, etc.). Once the first draft is completed, PVD clients are provided a downloadable viewer to see their plans from the comfort of their own home and/or office.

Local builders that have worked with PVD include Ernie Crews, Blue Sky Building Company, Barker & Canady, Mark Saunders Luxury Homes, Sacchetti Construction, Ward Construction, Whitney Blair, Homes of Distinction, Plantation Building Corporation, Bill Clark Homes and more. Communities where you can find PVD homes include Ocean Ridge Plantation, Landfall, Sea Trail, Rivers Edge, SeaScape, St James Plantation, Brunswick Forest, River Landing, Waterford, Winding River Plantation, RiverSea Plantation and throughout Brunswick County beaches.

In addition to seeing your home from every possible angle before the first shovel is in the ground, homeowners are encouraged to seek bids from several builders as America’s free enterprise system will save you Ten$ of Thousand$ of Dollar$. “If you don’t go out for bids, how will you know if you are getting a good price,” according to Doug Terhune, owner of Plan View Design.

If you have a homesite and/or are considering acquiring a homesite, Plan View Design can design your home anywhere in the world, so please visit www.PlanViewDesign.com and take our virtual tour on the bottom of the home page plus, please view our Gallery of Homes and see if you can detect which is 3D and which is real! Contact Haley Wilson, CPBD (Certified Professional Building Designer) for ALL of your design needs, as PVD is a full service custom home design firm. (local builders build homes from our plans) We share the new Carolina Plantations Real Estate building on Hwy 17 in Shallotte right next to The Golden Corral restaurant. 4660 East Coast Lane Shallotte, NC 28470 910 754-9999

Eliminate. Eliminate. Eliminate.

In every job we accept, we learn at least one thing. Right/Wrong, Good/Bad – as long as our brain is still sending impulses to the rest of our bodies, we must be learning something at work. Perhaps not everyday nor as often as we wish, but learning happens. In fact, I feel very comfortable that I would not be alone by stating that I learned more about how “not” to manage people and a company from my previous employers than learning the correct way to manage. Sound familiar anyone?

At the end of 2001, I made a bold personal decision to leave a 20 year career in Industrial Automation and jump into real estate – an industry that had long piqued my interest. My first boss in the business was an ear to ear grinner from the Bay State that provided me the basic platform of information needed to be successful in this arena. Dan Shattuck was one of those rare bosses whose teachings were actually valuable and had practical use.

My first gig was at Winding River Plantation in Brunswick County, NC. Our sales office, which was several attached mobile homes with a teal colored metal roof, is still located on the corner of Hwy 211 and Zion Hill Road. Dan had been with the Blue Green Corporation for about seven years and had recently relocated from a project at Fairfield Glade in Tennessee. Dan liked to teach and well, I needed to learn, so it proved to be a good combination.

Something Dan shared with me 11 years ago still rings very true today, and that is when people come down to Brunswick County to visit St. James, Sea Trail, Ocean Ridge, Brunswick Plantation, Winding River Plantation, Rivers Edge, Crow Creek, Brunswick Forest, etc., they are actually coming down to eliminate. In addition to eliminating communities/plantations, many of our clients have other destinations to preview such as Charleston, Asheville, Florida, Hilton Head, and so on. Dan explained that on someone’s first visit down, your #1 goal was to make sure you are on their list for their second visit down!

Whether it is a conscious thought or not, people are eliminating as they tour each area, home and community. And this is a good thing because if you don’t eliminate the possibilities, your search for that perfect community to retire to will stall.

 

So if you have yet to set out on your journey to find retirement utopia, do yourself a huge favor and write down a list of destinations and communities that are in the running. At the end of every day of your search, eliminate something. Could be just a home style, a community or a particular town, but make progress and you will be grateful as every strike of the pen gets you one step closer to the rest of your life!

Trickle Down Economy

Don’t worry; Carolina Dreamin’ is not going political! Trickle Down Economy is an original concept from Carolina Plantations Real Estate, located in beautiful Shallotte, NC. “Trickle Down Economics” was a phrase first used by humorist Will Rogers during the Great Depression, who laid the framework of money at the top trickling its way down to the needy.  And of course during the 80s we all remember that President Reagan made this pretty much a household phrase.

Brunswick County, NC is located just south of Wilmington and north of Myrtle Beach. We have five wonderful islands – Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island and Bald Head Island. Up until the early 80s, that was about all that there was here. Then some bright developers began to carve out these large sprawling communities on the mainland so that Carolinians could have an alternative to beach homes while also offering a place to possibly retire to. Some of the early ones were Sea Trail, Brick Landing, Briarwood and Lockwood Folly.

The second wave of plantations were introduced in the early to mid 90s, and included icons such as St. James Plantation, Ocean Ridge Plantation, Winding River Plantation and Magnolia Greens. But something was different about this gated group as they began marketing to points north of the Mason Dixon. Yes everyone, I am talking Yankees! Yankees, right here in our back yards! Imagine that?

One firm that deserves special credit to the north’s eyes being opened to the great opportunities here in Southeastern NC is RPI Media in Wilmington. The president of RPI is a friend of mine and he branded the name “LiveSouth” and created the LiveSouth Real Estate Expos, which were held annually in New Jersey, Long Island, DC, Greenwich, Boston and other rotating cities. These shows introduced Southern Hospitality to the Northern ways of life and helped many discover a hidden paradise here on the coast of North Carolina.

In order for these plantations to sell homesites and Dream Homes to be constructed, they needed lots of people looking. When growing up in NJ I remember someone saying that you have to throw a lot of spaghetti at the wall for some to stick, and well, the marketing arms of these communities brought in more spaghetti than they knew what to do with!

Brunswick County is a Trickle Down Economy. When people up north retire, inherit money, cash in stocks and sell their homes, a right good many of them head our way. It’s not like the faucet here today is on full blast like years of past here but, eventually the Coastal Carolinas receive their fair share of “Trickle”. 

A few weeks ago I was at the home of Eileen and Pat Scanlon, who recently moved into their beautiful home in Brunswick Forest that coincidentally was designed by Plan View Design! They held a St. Patrick’s Day party and of the 30 or so guests, I was the only one NOT from Longa Island! What I found interesting though was how many were going on about how hot the market is right now on Longa Island and elsewhere, as home are selling relatively quickly and inventory is dwindling. Gee, do you think Hurricane Sandy, massive snow storms, ridiculously high taxes and traffic out the kazoo have anything to do with this? Hmmmm??! 🙂

Our market here heats up when the market up north heats up, and the trickle seems to be gaining force every day. For example, I have really never tracked the number of monthly leads we receive here at Carolina Plantations but between walk-ins, call-ins and internet leads, we had 150 leads in February! Part of this is attributable to our very visible new location and building on Hwy 17 in Shallotte, which comes with our 35’ illuminated sign that is the biggest real estate sign in North Carolina! So, when you are ready to trickle down or have friends that are considering trickling down, please call Pat, Nancy, Chris, Patty and Doug so we can provide them with the best overall experience available.

Carolina Plantations??

 

Recently while showing homes in one of Brunswick Counties’ finest communities, we ran into some folks that recognized our name badges and they went on to say that they love reading our monthly eNewsletter – Carolina Dreamin’. In fact, one of the women provided positive feedback on the March article concerning my trip to Buffalo in the middle of the winter, and so for a minute I was almost, well, honored that she not only read the article but had near total recall of my little journey.

That all ended when she looked right at me and said “I really love reading Carolina Dreamin’ every month but, just who is Carolina Plantations”?

At the end of 2006, after spending five years between two top local developers and a large general real estate brokerage, I formed Carolina Plantations Real Estate. Although we are a general real estate brokerage like Century 21, Keller Williams, etc., we truly focus on a very specific niche, which is working with folks who are exploring our area for a place to retire and or purchase a second home.

The typical real estate brokerage firm will have a great understanding of the market within a 3-5 mile radius of their office. Agents there know their specific geographic area very well and are dedicated to opening up as many doors as need be till you find the right home/condo/townhome, etc. Ask them however to tell you about or show you real estate 20-30 miles from their comfort zone and well, chances are they might refer you to another firm.

To be considered for a Broker position at CPs, one must obtain knowledge of all the major plantations/communities within a 30-50 mile radius. This is a lot of knowledge, and we are not exaggerating as very few brokerages, if any, can show you homes at Brunswick Plantation in Calabash in the morning, homes in Landfall @ Wrightsville Beach in the afternoon followed by homes at St James and Brunswick Forest tomorrow.

We know that in order to serve our clients proficiently, we need to be able to learn about what is important to them and in essence, prescribe a solution. And for those of you not yet familiar with our almost famous Martini Theory, not only do we know the plantations, but we will point out all the good restaurants, shopping venues, golf courses, medical facilities, culture and more shopping!

To no surprise, the majority of our clients require at least one visit if not two or three visits. And if we could pass this along to you if in fact you are searching for a place to retire or purchase a second home, your goal is simple: Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate! The last area/plantation/home left standing wins!

Nancy, Pat, Chris, Patty and myself thank those of you who are currently working with us or have done so previously. Oh, and we certainly cannot forget Haley Wilson, the most decorated custom home designer in Brunswick County. Haley is the Vice President of our sister company Plan View Design, which is the only firm in Southeastern, NC that designs your Dream Home in full color 3D, utilizing the power of Chief Architect Software. The process is extremely interactive as your feedback is crucial to your finished design plus, you get to see your future residence from the comfort of your own home or office prior to groundbreaking. www.PlanViewDesign.com

In 2012, Carolina Plantations was the 19th largest by volume real estate Company in Brunswick County while Plan View Design was probably the #1 custom home design firm. We sold more real estate in fine communities like Brunswick Plantation, SeaScape, Brunswick Forest, Rivers Edge and RiverSea than any other firm in our area. We did it though by having fun along the way and are always honored to be involved in one of the most important decisions in your life!

2012 In Review

On behalf of the best real estate and custom home design teams on the east coast, Nancy Boston, Pat Coye, Court Terhune, Haley Wilson, Christopher Columbus Creekmore, Patty McGrath and myself Doug Terhune, wish for each of the 30,000+ recipients of our monthly eNewsletter a wonderful 2013!

2012 got off to a slow start for just about everyone in real estate here in Coastal NC, but by April we started clicking on all cylinders and finished with a very strong three quarters. For six years running, Carolina Plantations Real Estate increased our sales vs the previous year. We were very pleased with record sales of $14,032,915 as we welcomed over 100 families! That is an increase of 10% over 2012 and places us as one of the Top 20 Real Estate firms in Brunswick County, NC. Total MLS sales in the county also increased and here are Residential Home Sales in Brunswick County over the past 5 years:

Over the past six years, Carolina Plantations has established itself as the #1 Relocation Specialists in Southeastern North Carolina. Our company philosophy is different from every other firm in Coastal North Carolina, as our clients are almost solely living in points due north of us and are looking to retire or purchase a second home here. We list quite a bit of property but our forte is assisting those that are considering Brunswick County as a second home or place to retire to. In fact, here is how we ranked in a handful of local plantations in 2012.
I would be kidding you if I didn’t say that we are really proud of this accomplishment but more importantly, we are thankful that we had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful clients again this year. And btw, a good portion of them found that Coastal NC worked for them but, a few others found that it didn’t – and that is fine with us because unless you get down here and look, how will you know?

If I were to describe our typical clients, they own snow shovels, have built up considerable equity in their homes, want a fun community with lots of activities, don’t want to spend a lot on memberships, are budgeting between $250,000 – $400,000 for their Dream Home, don’t want to live somewhere remote and are 1-2 years away from pulling the plug on their careers and hopefully selling their homes.

In Southeastern NC, a typical Realtor usually has a small geographic territory (3-5 miles) that they work within. The old adage of working within one’s comfort zone is very apropos here. At Carolina Plantations, our Brokers are extensively trained and continually schooled weekly on understanding ALL options that our clients might throw at us. We must be proficient on ALL of Brunswick County – including intimate knowledge of Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. However, in order for our clients to really experience all their options, they must plan a day or two with us just to learn the lay of the land.

And FYI, our tours of Wilmington and Brunswick County are legendary as we focus on beaches, golf, shopping, dining, medical, entertainment and more shopping! 🙂

In Brunswick County there are over 20 plantations, and for one person/couple to drive in each one of them, meet the onsite sales representatives and spend 3-4 hours looking at homesites and spec homes would honestly take over a week. Our Brokers (who are also Realtors), once they learn about what you are looking for, will immediately reduce the number of plantations in half if not even more. Then when it is time to visit us, in one day we can provide you (for example) with a very thorough and personal tour of St James, Brunswick Forest, Ocean Ridge and Rivers Edge. All the while though we are listening and better understanding your needs, which by the way, often change once you come down and see your options firsthand.

Our business plan, which is continually evolving, looks something like this:

 

To the thousands of you that have already worked with us, we appreciate your faith in us as we are truly honored to have been part of your search. To those of you who have begun or are thinking of beginning your search, we hope that you provide us with that opportunity and we will work hard to gain your trust. (also see www.TheRetirementHandbook.com for tips on retiring)

2012 was a very good year as we reduced our inventories considerably (especially Bank Owned Properties) and welcomed thousands of new families. Therefore, prices will begin moving upwards in 2013 as we have already begun to see this occur in several plantations. Interest rates are still at historic lows (but might not be for long) and the economy continues to expand. 2013 will be a stronger year – so call us today at 910 755-7557 to arrange a visit before we get back to a Seller’s Market!