Average Rainfall

Upon graduating from The University of Tennessee without honors, Doug’s first job was working for Duracell Batteries. He moved across the Smokies from Knoxville to Greenville, and his territory was northern SC and western NC. He had a lot of clients in Asheville, and he distinctly remembers that he encountered rain during his first nine business trips there. Right there and then, Doug knew he’d never call Asheville home, for who likes to live in a rainforest?

Left side picture shows a flooded road due to rainfall. Right side of the Picture shows a lake/dam that has receded due to a drought.

Rainy days are the opposite of sunny days, and Doug’s yet to uncover a client that said they wanted to move to an area where there were more rainy, cloudy days or snowy days. Just hasn’t happened.

Drought Conditions

On the other side of the spectrum, though, are drought conditions. For 40 years, Doug has enjoyed traveling out to Las Vegas occasionally and remembers going to Lake Mead 30+ years ago, walking down to the marina on the lake. There you’d feed carp/catfish by the thousands and see the variety of houses and power boats. However, if you were to attempt to go to that marina now, it is a ¼ mile journey further from where it used to be. How wild is that?!

Honestly, folks, we have no clue what Las Vegas will do for fresh water in years or decades. The metro area was going at 5,000 people per month a year back, and to the best of our knowledge, all these new housing developments and gargantuan resort hotels suck up a lot of water daily. Imagine moving to your retirement dream home only to find out you cannot plant grass, shrubs, or flowers. That is happening in Las Vegas as they scramble to salvage the water they have left.

Plenty of Rainfall

If you live on the east coast, you probably take water for granted. Seldom do we have water restrictions, but when we have them, our yards turn brown, and the Mrs. Kravitz personalities tend to come out as some folks like to run and tell town officials which neighbors are disobeying the water rules. Keeping our yards green takes up much of our water usage, followed by showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and dish cleaning. Long gone are the days when many people drank water straight out of the tap, as we have been conditioned to drink natural spring water in plastic bottles, which are strangulating our planet.

Table showing the average rainfall throughout the United States.

Rainfall can be a nuisance, but it is the absolute lifeblood of every square mile. When looking for that perfect Dream Home, don’t just assume that water will always be able to flow freely from each faucet. Research the abundance and quality of water before you settle in for the long haul.

Minimizing Your Economic Footprint

Showing two feet with dollar signs in them one labeled today and the other retirement

So, are you thinking about retiring, or do you already have? Well, unless you recently won the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot, the money is probably somewhat important to you. Since Doug is heading into retirement, he wanted to share some tips on how he’s doing his best to streamline his expenses.


Do you need two homes? Do you need a home over 3000 sq. feet after the kids have all moved out (hopefully!?) Reducing your number of homes or the size of each home can save oodles and oodles of money. We are talking taxes, insurance, electric, gas, water, maintenance, landscaping, and more.


Doug recently attempted to reduce his monthly bill for his Wi-Fi and cable at his downtown Wilmington residence. Ouch. The Wi-Fi was $75 a month, and the cable was $140 a month, for $215 a month. And with all the traveling that Doug has been doing lately, this is a pretty hefty sum of money to pay for those services. So, we recommend you look for alternative sources for your Wi-Fi and cable services.

As for your phone, there seem to be a lot of options for saving money, but due to the nature of the real estate, Doug cannot afford to miss phone calls or not have good service 24/7, so he is married to Verizon, and their high rates. They are currently the #1 preferred carrier in Coastal North Carolina. But one can save money on their phone service if you shop around and compare services.


As we approach retirement, reducing our costs can sometimes mean making sacrifices. Doug purchased a Mercedes Benz GLE 450 AMG several years ago as an ego scratcher. This was a secondary vehicle, with his Buick being the workhorse. He recently had to replace the four tires on his Mercedes, costing $2700. And to make matters worse, they only had 14,000 miles on them as they are very soft racing tires. Double ouch!

So, Doug got smart and traded in the AMG for a more economical MB (with tires that get 55,000 miles), and he is going to sell his Buick. This will not only reduce the cost of his insurance and taxes. Plus, since it is a new vehicle, there should be no worries about additional maintenance costs for 3+ years because of the new car warranty. As we all know, while an older car is typically paid off, the maintenance fees can eat you alive.


Home insurance, car insurance, supplemental insurance to Medicare, dental insurance, and the list can go on and on. It is essential to find excellent coverage on all the above, but with the right deductibles, because one can spend a lot of money just on deductibles from one year to the next.

Home Improvements

If you are about to retire and live in your “forever home,” you need to plan on it being your residence for at least another twenty years. That would put most of us in our early to mid-80s; if all goes well, you may be to sit down and budget for what kind of costs your new home will incur over the next 20 years. Items could include a new roof, HVAC, water heater, possibly new siding, replacement of windows (especially if you live in cold weather), new appliances, new carpeting, indoor/outdoor painting, electrical or electrical or plumbing work, etc.

Therefore, either do as many as you can now or seriously consider purchasing a new home, as the maintenance costs of a new home versus a 40+-year-old home for the next 20 years will drastically differ. Consolidating, minimizing, cutting down, reducing, making tough choices, eliminating, being thrifty, etc., are ways to ensure that your retirement is not bogged down with unforeseen financial issues. We know everyone experiences unexpected costs as we age, so it is essential to be as streamlined as possible when that does come. If you’re ready to change to Coastal North Carolina, let us help you find your dream retirement home.

Choose Your Neighbors

As we cruise through life, most adults accumulate an inner circle of friends and family. We know that this is hard to believe for some of you, but on occasion, the wife’s inner circle doesn’t always coincide with her husband’s. Wait, how is that even possible?

two couples sharing fun outdoors in their neighborhood

When and if you decide to leave the tundra of New England or the overcrowded and expensive suburbs of cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC, Boston, DC, etc. You can choose some of your future neighbors. How about that?

First, to properly engage in this conversation, we think we all should have a common platform of understanding on levels of friendship. We’d like to provide you with an example. Sally and Bob live in New Jersey, and Bob’s best friend Jeff & his wife, Sarah, live just down the street. For years, Sally has placated Bob and agreed to socialize on many occasions with this couple; however, Sally is not a fan of Jeff and cannot wait to move somewhere warm and sunny sans Jeff.

Therefore, let’s have a little fun and see if we can determine a rating system for friends and family members that you both can agree on (and please keep in mind that this works for single people).


For a couple to be given the prestigious BFF classification (this is Best Friend/Family Forever), both the wife and the husband must be classified as BFFs. This probably narrows the playing field considerably as most couples probably have only 1-3 BFFs in their lives. These are couples you have vacationed with before, supported during a crisis, dined with often, etc.


Good Friends are people you currently see less often than BFFs, which could be due to geographic constrictions, jobs, or other restrictions. Many couples have considerable people that fall into the GF category, be it from work, the neighborhood, church, college, golf, tennis, etc.


Each of you has accumulated lists of friends over the years. You probably only see them occasionally, either by running into them at the store or large functions.


From time to time, Acquaintances could be synonymous with Annoying, for we all have a category of people that you try to avoid in life. This could be from people you work with to those you went to school with and knowledge of them but don’t hang out with often.

OK, so back to Sally and Bob, the couple from Jersey who has decided to retire to Coastal North Carolina. Sally has two BFFs, Barbara and Lisa. Barb is married to Kevin, and Lisa is single. Bob likes all three of them and has no trouble if any or all of them move to Coastal NC. On the other hand, Bob’s best buddy (BFF) is Kevin, who unfortunately annoys the ever-living doo-doo out of Sally. In essence, they are NOT welcome to move to Coastal NC, but if they must, it will NOT be in the same community as Sally and Bob – not if Sally has anything to do about it.

Two different families enjoying time together

Sally and Bob also each have one brother, and because they are family, they both agree that they would be fine if either brother or their respective wives moved to Coastal NC. Oh, and Bob’s mother, Ruth is still alive and living in an assisted living facility; however, she is not welcome to move in with Bob and Sally. However, it is possible that Ruth could move into an assisted living facility in Wilmington to be closer to family.

So, if you are thinking of moving or you’re finding the perfect place to retire to, keep in mind that you have a lot of options with who your future neighbors will be. We at Carolina Plantations are ready to assist you in your search for your dream retirement home today!

Living on H2O

For the past 20 years, Doug has been lucky to live on the water. Brackish water, mind you, which one might not equate with beauty, but when the mighty Atlantic Ocean is pushing and pulling on the body of water in front of your home 24/7, one really ought not to complain.

Currently, Doug lives on the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington. Across the river in Brunswick County, he owned a home on the Shallotte River for 17 years. Doug distinctly remembers looking out at the salt marsh and Shallotte River for my first time and thinking that this kind of looks like the swamps of NJ in Meadowlands’ vicinity – home of the NY Giants. He watched an old Sopranos episode recently, and during the intro, those same infamous NJ swamps, where things get lost pretty quickly, are featured.

Neighbors and very dear friends of his in Rivers Edge extolled a salt marsh and tidal river’s value and beauty. They professed that Doug’s backyard was a continual canvas and from sun up ‘till past sundown, the scenery would never cease changing, and boy were they right! And who’d have thought that 3 miles from the ocean that the tides would be so strong and so drastically different?

Doug’s neighbor, Harry, was a high-ranking Air Force officer who spent a lot of time at sea, and he asked him why in the world he would give up views of the ocean for pictures of the salt marsh. His answer was honest and straightforward, as he pretty much said that “the ocean is considerably more boring and that a salt marsh was/is much more colorful.” After living on the salt marsh for just a few months, Doug began to understand Harry’s viewpoint better.

When you have a view from your home that is hauntingly beautiful, the first thing you do almost every time you come home is head to the porch and peruse the magnificent landscape. And this was true of nighttime as well, as starry nights were as welcome as amazing sunrises. And full moons over the swollen river and marsh? OMG – it was simply magical!

In the fall of 2019, Doug sold his east-facing backyard home that sat directly on the 18th green of Rivers Edge, and that gazed out over the river and marsh. The hardest part of leaving that home was saying goodbye to such a good friend – the salt marsh, for he spent countless days and nights gazing in its direction. Leaving was difficult as he knew that view would be hard to replace.

All six of the new homes that Doug purchased or built resided in communities out in the burbs, so at the age of 62, he decided to take on the challenge of living downtown in an urban environment. The #1 factor was securing a view of the water, so he traded in his Shallotte River view for a beautiful view of the Cape Fear River, which lies on the northside of downtown Wilmington. As Doug punches away at the keyboard right now, he peers around his monitor and sees a boat speeding down the river. More than likely, it was out fishing at noon on Sunday, and who in the world would have known that 28 miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean would we enjoy such a swiftly moving current and habitual and dramatic tidal change 24/7??

Here, Golfers, Egrets, Blue Herons, Blackbirds, and Purple Martins are replaced with sailboats, massive ships gliding upstream or downstream, tons of people walking along the Riverwalk, Jet Skis, and powerboats. As kids say, “the view doesn’t stink!”

If you have a penchant for living on the water, as in a pond, salt marsh, ICW, ocean, a small lake, or small creek, it would be wise to anticipate a 10-25% premium. If you are looking at oceanfront or OCW, you might be a 25-75% premium, so be sure to save well now!! The bottom line, though, is if you have an H20 dream, do all you can do to chase it, for there is something hopelessly intoxicating about living on the water. We here at Carolina Plantations can help you find your dream home with that beautiful water view from your porch today!

Crash Course for Northerners

Crash Course for Northerners

Doug’s Freshman year at University of Tennessee, a long, long time ago…., and Professor Spivey, his Economics 101 teacher, is being broadcast to about 100 Frosh via 6 TVs in a large classroom. He was very southern and said that he wanted to teach them Yankees a few things. First, he would ask us Yanks to raise our right hands and keep them up. He then would say to the southerners in the class to take note of who these hand raising folks are because hey, how can Prof Spivey know who has their hands raised since he is teaching the class remotely via TV?

Point taken Professor.

Next, he said that he was gonna say something in his East TN dialect and wanted to see if any northerners could figure out what he said. So, Doug’s leader says “Igots fer terse en ma ker” . He repeats and those who are from the land of snow and real pizza look at each other a bit bewildered until Mr. Spivey slowly enunciates “I got four tires on my car”.

For those of you who lives above the Mason Dixon line and are considering a move to the south in your future, we have compiled a few southern phrases and acronyms that might, just might help you navigate your way in these parts. Now, some are related to real estate and some don’t have a dang thing to do with real estate but, y’all just never know if one day you’ll have need for these translations, will ya?

Fun Southern Sayings

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other – A common statement professing that it’s a 50/50 call

Give Me Some Sugar – No, not that kind of sugar, but give me some sweetness, aka a hug, kiss, etc.

OncetUsed in a sentence: Oncet I climbed a tree

Well Bless Your Heart – When said by a southern woman, generally she is referring to you as a dummy

You’re a Hot Mess – Simple translation means that you just aren’t right!

Holler – Nope, the other holler, as in “they live down yonder in the holler”, which is generally a valley or tucked away piece of land down south

He Ain’t Right – While as southern of a statement as you can find, it translates equally into Yankee

Southern Real Estate Sayings

F.R.O.G. – We do not have basements in the south but, we do have FROGs. These are the Finished Rooms Over Garage, otherwise known as Bonus Rooms. (Men often refer to FROGs as their Caves!)

POA – If you move south of the Mason Dixon, it’s a safe bet that the community you live in will have a Property Owners Association – which takes care of amenities, billing, gates, disputes, rules, etc.

ARB – The Architectural Review Board is the group of people that you hand in your home designs to and they hand it back to you and your designer/builder with all kinds of love notes and suggestions at correcting/improving your home

SubdivisionIn the south, this is a community that generally has a pool, two tennis courts and small clubhouse. These communities generally attract young/er families and, some retirees

HOA A Homeowners Association is typically in place when you have condos or townhomes, as this organization oversees the homes themselves (as in shingles, landscaping, painting, etc.)

Plantation – Some Marketing person began this terminology years ago for a community that is chock full of amenities such as golf course/s, pools, tennis courts, fitness center, exercise classes, parties, etc.

Carolina Plantations – Synonymous with the best damn real estate company on the planet that helps people discover all the great Plantations/Communites that we have here in Coastal North Carolina!!

Gated Community – Main focus of a gate is to increase sales. When the developer leaves, usually so do the guards – which are replaced with key fobs (FYI. A 24 hour, 7 Days a week Guard costs the homeowners $100,000 or more per year. Ouch!)

We can only hope that these few sayings above will help you as you transition to the area. If you are still looking for the perfect home and community, allow us at Carolina Plantations to help you out. We can give you all the best details on which community is right for you and your family! We hope to see you soon and we know you’ll be able to catch onto the southern talk in a jiffy.

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