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!

2020: The Flip Side

Remember when we listened to 45’s? The hit song was usually on the “A” side while the lesser known song was on the “B” side. A partial list of some of the breakthrough “B” sides though include Maggie May, I Am The Walrus, Ruby Tuesday, Silver Springs, Strawberry Fields and Unchained Melody.

Opening a real estate company in 2007 was a bit of an auspicious event. The real estate markets and stock markets were tilting helplessly towards an abysmal 2008. Somehow, Carolina Plantations was able to post sales in excess of $2,000,000 in 2007, and despite the horrific impact on real estate values the following year, the team here has managed to best it’s previous years’ sales for 13 straight years. Then COVID-19 happened.

For years prior to opening up Doug’s first company, when he would see a Realtor’s business card that displayed “Million Dollar Producer” on it, well, he just assumed that this person was some kind of extra-terrestrial alien rockstar.

It pleases Doug to announce that every Carolina Plantations Broker was a Multi-Million Dollar Producer in 2020! It would have been easy to throw in the towel when this pandemic started, however more and more clients contacted us for help – help in escaping the overcrowded and cold areas that they lived in. The Covid Exodus was – and is – real, and will continue through the end of 2021 for sure.

Doug’s thoughts on making it 14 straight years in a row where we increased our company sales vs. the previous year was tossed out the window in the spring, for with a good part of the country in lockdown, how could we sell real estate? Au contraire monsieur, au contraire.

In 2019, we finished ahead of 2018 by over $3,000,000, for total sales of $75,863,083. It was close, but the team pulled through with a very strong Q4. So, with expectations for another record seriously dashed, the amazing team of Realtors at Carolina Plantations continued forward with their business plans and before we knew it, we were tracking in the right direction. Therefore, Doug is tremendously to present you with our final sales number for 2020:

$103,047,764

So, while the “A” side this year was COVID-19, the surprising “B” side was the residual effect from the massive Covid Exodus we saw. The team kept the hammer down and helped countless number of wonderful people find a new beginning here in Coastal North Carolina.

Here’s a 2019/2020 comparative look at some of the most popular communities in Brunswick County:

(Please keep in mind that these #s are strictly MLS sales and do not include significant numbers custom to new construction hoes in each community.)

The above numbers are encouraging, for several of the communities listed were struggling in 2018 and 2019 to find a stable footing. With an average increase in home sales at 51%, it is one of the best times in the past several years to consider listing your home.

Carolina Plantations is the #1 team of professional retirement experts on the east coast, and we’d be more than happy to stop by your home and discuss your current estimated selling value. We will also share with you staging tips that will help your home show well for all your showings. In essence: we need good inventory!!

Contact Doug today at Doug@CarolinaPlantations.com and one or more of us will more than happy to schedule an appointment with you. This is what we do, and nobody does it better.

And, to those of you who have trusted the amazing team of professional Realtors at Carolina Plantations, THANK YOU for your continued support. To those of you on the fence about whether Coastal NC might be in your future, no other firm on the planet is better equipped to answer all of your questions and, provide you with the information you need to make educated decisions.

Happy New Year!!!

The Symbolism of Christmas Trees & Wreathes

Wow – having been immersed with Christmas wreathes and Christmas trees for many, many decades, Doug ashamedly really never knew what either of them represented. He feels so, so inadequate.

At the beginning of the 16th century, the Germans were the first to bring evergreens into their homes during the season of Christmas, as they were very plentiful in northern and eastern Europe. Evergreens, which survived harsh winters, were known as a symbol for strength and resilience plus, were looked upon as a symbol of hope.

Soon the trees were trimmed so as to have three distinct corners, which represented the holy trinity – the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The tree trimming was also essential to many homeowners as their homes were rather modest in size.

In European tradition, nothing was wasted for in those days, the remaining tree limbs were woven into a circle, or later to be known as a wreath. Forming a circle symbolized eternal life, which analogy is often related to our round wedding rings. In a way though, we guess there is some irony here as we tend to live in a throwaway culture, yet the wreath and its humble beginnings began by not throwing Evergreen limbs away.

So, the next time that you see a Christmas wreath or Christmas tree, don’t just think of them as front door decorations and a place to hide gifts under! If you’re still looking for your dream home here on the coast of North Carolina, we at Carolina Plantations are here to help you find it!

Correct Placement of Your Dishwasher in Your Home

One would think that it doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out where to place a dishwasher in a kitchen, correct? Well, you may want to pay attention to the next ten kitchens you visit because Rocket Scientists and Architects sometimes don’t have a lick of common sense.

In many of today’s kitchens, the uses of an island have become increasingly popular. The reason is that open floorplans rule the kitchen world, and to accomplish this, one needs an island, as this is the gateway to the living area of the home. A harmful byproduct of this current trend is that the dishwashers get placed in places they don’t belong to. Allow us to share an example of where NOT to put your dishwasher.

Some Einstein felt that the dishwasher would look cool on this island. And while it might look cool, it is functionally obsolete, for the distance from the dishwasher to the cabinets where you store all of your dishes, plates, silverware, pots, and pans is a good 8 ft away. Now, not that we all don’t need some forced exercise in our lives now and then, this location will get old fast, for many of us grew up with a dishwasher right next to the cabinets we store our stuff in, right?

Conversely, here is the same kitchen design but with one subtle yet significant change: moving the dishwasher from the island to the back wall under the cabinets. Aaaahh, another of life’s major issues, has been solved in the name of convenience.

If you have someone draw your plans from scratch or customize a home you have walked through, be certain YOU think about your lifestyle in that floorplan. Be careful not to fall for trends or what appears to be cool just so your builder or home designer can win some kind of Avant-garde award for the most attractive yet functionally screwed-up home in your community.

Think your way through the rooms you will spend a lot of time in and remember that functionality is more important than aesthetic appeal. And next month, we will explore the many fascinating options of where to place your toothbrush…just kidding! If you’re looking for your next dream home with a dream kitchen, allow us at Carolina Plantations to help you out.