We are Not Normal!

Please do not expect the Brokers/Realtors at Carolina Plantations to be anything like other Brokers/Realtors you’ve dealt with in the past. It’s just not fair to the other Brokers at all.

carolina plantations brokers and realtors

In the Fall of 2006, the real estate conditions in Coastal North Carolina were as ripe as a sun-laden peach basking in the Carolina sun for weeks. There were numerous successful large communities (referred to as ‘plantations’ up and down the east coast and the southern states) selling every parcel of land they could develop. For a bullseye was forming over Brunswick County as more and more Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern & New England retirees were discovering our well-kept secret.

Carolina Plantations Real Estate opened in March of 2007 to assist those considering Brunswick County as a place to retire. Doug saw a need for a company almost solely focused on helping future retirees with a daunting task – and that is, where to retire to? We opened serving a focused market, and while that is not particularly unusual for real estate companies. We are a group of realtors aiming almost strictly at retirees is. Fourteen years later, we are one of the Top 10 real estate companies in our area, and we have helped thousands of clients find their dream homes. We are by far the #1 Team in North Carolina, assisting the people in determining if our area meets their retirement needs.

The Difference of Carolina Plantations

So, this is where the differences begin. And, of course, we are aware that other real estate firms might be large enough to offer future retirees something that Carolina Plantations cannot. However, there are far more factors in our favor because we specialize in one thing – assisting people with their search for a place to retire to.

One thing we will not do is waste your valuable time. We are not going to open the front doors of countless homes until you cry, “Uncle”. We employ “The Martini Theory” with every client we interact with, as this is critical knowledge for our Buyers. The top part of the martini glass is for you to find an AREA that needs your needs. Whether it’s for health, beaches, culture, shopping, and more, we can help. Once you have found an area, you are comfortable with, selecting a community that matches your requirements is next. The third and final component of the Martini Theory is finding a home for you.

The Advantages of Working with a Broker from Carolina Plantations

  • We can go in and out of any community in Southeastern North Carolina
  • We can show you everything for sale, including New, Spec Homes, Resales, Foreclosures & more
  • We specialize in selling homesites and assisting our clients through the building process
  • We will take you on a tour of our area(s). Why look at homes if you don’t like the area?
  • We are funny. Finding a place to retire to for the rest of your lives should be enjoyable!
  • We represent YOU. Many developers and building agents represent their employers, not you

We have no idea if you’re going to like Coastal North Carolina, but there is no better way to get a good sampling of it than spending time with the #1 company assisting retirees. We at Carolina Plantations look forward to helping you find your perfect dream home and visiting the area

Inventory

What’s the number one subject today in real estate? Inventory, err um, the lack thereof. It seems that everyone can talk about it at the water cooler, tennis courts, or cafes. So, does “inventory” affect you? Yes, if you are a Buyer or Seller. And for the sake of discussion, we will focus here on those of you who are Buyers or about to become Buyers and how you might be able to circumvent inventory issues.

In the past two years, the team at Carolina Plantations has nearly doubled our number of listings. It has been a concerted effort as everyone on the team must send out a quarterly newsletter. Most of our Brokers send out postcards and or marketing material to targeted communities. This effort has yielded many happy clients on both sides of the transactions. Buyers love us because we know of upcoming inventory, and Sellers love us because they do not have to vacuum their homes and clean the entire house daily or weekly for months on end.

The majority of good homes listed at fair prices on the southernmost coast of North Carolina sell within 1-2 days, and in many cases, have multiple offers and bidding wars. FYI, it’s an excellent time to be a Seller providing you don’t have to turn around and find yourself bidding on a house – for any quick profits you earned could be eliminated.

Here are three issues to keep in mind as you look for a Buyer’s Agent in today’s fiercely competitive real estate market below.

#1 Working with Agencies That Have (Access to) New Listings

Say you are interested in a Palm Tree Plantation community and want to buy an existing home. You contact your local Realtor named Bob to assist you with your search, and he is willing to help. However, there is little to no inventory of homes there, and Bob doesn’t know anyone at PTP because he has never sold a house there. Again, Bob is a nice guy willing to help but, can he help you?

So, instead of selecting Bob, you research Palm Tree Plantation and find a Realtor named Sally, who sells 30-40 homes a year in PTP. You contact her, and she agrees to assist you in your search. You provide her with the parameters of what you want your home to look like, and while there is no inventory of homes that matches your requirements, Sally is already making calls and checking in with clients of hers to see if anyone is thinking of selling soon.

#2 Working with Brokers Who Are Connected

Once again, your focus is on Palm Tree Plantation. You contact Marcia, a relatively new Broker in the area, to help you with your search. You ask her if she knows of any upcoming listing in PTP, and she doesn’t because she has no clients in PTP, plus she doesn’t know any Brokers to call there. Marcia’s ability to help you has been severely compromised. Yes, she can add your email address to a portal that shoots you all new listings, but more often than not, if a listing makes it to MLS, the clock is ticking, and you better get an offer in soon if you want o to have a chance.

Conversely, you make a call or two to find a seasoned Broker in the area, one that knows most, if not all, of the local Brokers. Randy has been selling in the area for 15 years and knows PTP well, and has lots of friends in the industry. Randy is not only willing to assist you in your search but probably more capable than a Broker with little to no contacts in the industry.

#3 Seriously Consider Building Your Dream Home

Since Carolina Plantations opened in 2008, probably 70% of our clients looking to retire to Brunswick County have built their Dream Home. Why? Because they can wind up with a home exactly how they want it and on the homesite that also meets their requirements (as in, backing up to nature, in a cul-de-sac, backyard facing south, near the clubhouse/pool, overlooking water, etc.)

Yes, prices of lumber have spiked due to COVID; however, in keeping the big picture in mind, many builders here still change $150-$200’ to build a wonderful home. Compared to other markets we have personally witnessed across the states, that is a bargain. The most significant impact COVID has had though on our new home market is lead times. A year ago, builders would typically quote 6-8 months from groundbreaking to completion, and now you are looking at more like 12+ months.

In essence, do some research before you randomly select a real estate broker to assist you with your search, as not all Brokers are created equal. You will need one that has good contacts within the resale market and can introduce you to builders if you decide to go in that direction. Carolina Plantations looks forward to helping you find your dream home that you can retire in here on the coast of North Carolina!

Caution: Closely Monitor Your Real Estate Market

Recently, Doug has read two articles that talk about a potential factor that will more than likely contribute to a slowdown in our national economy – the housing market. Trust us, we are not a naysayer at all, but there is some pretty strong logic to what lies ahead for much of the country.

The “Baby Boomers” are defined as people born between 1946 and 1964. Doug is a Baby Boomer and gust what? He is one of the 74.6 million Baby Boomers born in the post war era. Today, the population of BBs are down approximately 10 million. However, if you take into consideration immigration to the US during those years, we could still be looking at about 75 million Baby Boomers here in the states.

As a group, our wealth is staggering, and our buying power almost immeasurable. We are saving and hard workers, and many have paid off their full-time residences. We invest in the stock market (and other securities) and about 10,000 of us are retiring every day.

Should You Sell Your Home Now?

However, there is a glitch. The generations behind us are not nearly as diligent as we are and the percentage of homeowners are amongst those generations is lower than ours. In essence, there may not be enough of them to purchase all our homes when we put them on the market to retire. This is what economists are concerned about, and if it comes to fruition, will certainly sound the alarms for an economic slowdown here in the states.

The good news is that we should still have another good 3-7 years of Baby Boomers selling their homes for a fair market price and retiring preferable somewhere warmer, and purchasing a less expensive home. Although Doug still likes to quote a client of his from New Jersey who years ago said to his friends, “My wife and I are downsizing to a bigger home!!”

One factor though that could be exacerbating this market trend are the new tax laws up north that are limiting the amount of annual interest from you home mortgage that can be deducted. Due to these new rules and others that are being enacted, home ownership may not be as attractive as in decades past, so the results to home buyers in these states is a coin flip, for now.

How We Can Help

Our team of 10 Brokers has worked with tens of thousands of clients in our real estate careers. We know that timing a market, whether it be a stock market, housing market, futures market, etc., is nearly impossible to do a lay person. What we have been fortunate to see though over the years are people taking advantage of the old adage of “Selling High and Buying Low.” Imagine after 25 years you finally get around to cleaning up your house and yard to near new condition and whoah Nellie, there’s nobody knocking on your door to see your beautiful home? Said it ain’t so, Joe!!

So, today’s food for thought is passing along to you what some other folks have done:

  • Sell NOW, Rent, then Purchase – Take advantage of a strong market in your community, sell for a good profit, rent something in your area until you can retire. Then you can come south and purchase your Dream Home.
  • Retire Now, Sell Now and Move Now! If your home can bring you a profit that is nearly too good to pass up now, then factor that into your financial retirement plan and you might be telling your co-workers Adios as you take that sack of unmarked $100s from the sale of your home and head to warmer and greener pastures, wherever that might be.

Just don’t be that person who knows the market so well that you are the last in your neighborhood to place that “For Sale” Sign up in the yard. Keep in mind that the choice really is yours and walk away with guaranteed cash vs giving your home away. A little bit of jostling & inconvenience for 6-12 months might have everything to do with your successful retirement. Allow us at Carolina Plantations help you find your dream home here on the North Carolina Coast!