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.

Should We Have Zigged When We Zagged?

On any given day in the life of an adult, we make approximately 35,000 decisions. Therefore, in a one-year period, an adult makes nearly 12,775,000 decisions. No wonder why Doug goes to bed so early each night – he just made a whole lot of decisions!

With all these decisions to make, it’s easy for us to look back and say “hey, what would have happened if we zigged instead of zagged?” Or, what if we chose this profession over that profession? Or should Doug have attended Harvard vs. University of Tennessee? (Go Vols) Or how about if he chose this family to grow up with versus that family? (just kidding, we all know that Doug made the right decision in life.)

Should We Have Zigged When We Zagged?

Here’s a good example of a zig-or-zag story:

 Back in the mid-90s when Doug was living north of Boston, he and his neighbor Bill and his buddy Ed from Chicago, took a cruise. One evening about halfway through the 7-day cruise and before dinner, they were walking on the Lido deck in search of a cocktail, and as they approached the pool, there was a bar on the left with people and a bar on the right with people. Doug made the decision to go to the one on the right, where they met two sisters from Boston. Twenty or so years later, Bill is still married to one of those sisters and has 3 daughters. Imagine if they had zigged instead of zagged?

Important Decisions

We all make important decisions in our lives.  Some we choose correctly and others, perhaps not so well. But hey, life is too short to have regrets as the incorrect decisions hopefully pave the way for correct decisions down the line, right?

Today, we are all where we are at because we have made billions of well-guided decisions, so let’s take a step back and congratulate each other because there are a lot of places, we could be that are certainly less desirable! Doug means, our lives might be far from perfect however, on the other hand, Los Angeles currently has 59,000 homeless people – not 59,001, agreed?

Choosing ‘where to retire’ is unequivocally one of the last major decisions adults make, so it is imperative that one studies the effects of zigging or zagging, as the implications on your quality of remaining life lie in the ballast. In fact, we think y’all might be surprised how often we meet people who have zigged when they should have zagged and wound up making an expensive mistake. We all know that moving is one of the world’s worst experience and it’s also very costly too!

Best Team on the Coast

To Doug’s knowledge, there is no real estate company in America that is better educated on the area they serve than the team at Carolina Plantations. However, we know you may be checking out other areas, so be sure to find independent Brokers that can help educate you on the area/s you are looking at. Well informed Zigs or Zags will lead you to a happy retirement and if coastal North Carolina is right for you, Team Carolina Plantations wants to assist you on your first retirement move, not your second or third. We hope that you will be able to find your forever home here on our beautiful coast line!

Research, Relax, Fun!

Selecting a place to retire might be seen by many as one heck of a stressful project – and we would tend to agree with that. There are so many facets that one must consider in choosing a new state, area, community and house. This has caused many people just throw in the towel early on in the process and stay put in the same place for the rest of their life. Can we say boooooring!!!
Learning, is the food of life. It has been proven that the adult mind can turn to mush unless it is stimulated on a regular basis. Consider the brain a body, and if you ignore your body, what happens? Correct — it becomes sluggish, lethargic and out of condition. Researching a number of potential locations to retire will stimulate your brain cells and put the 7% of that gray matter we use to some good.


The greatest part about researching is that it’s easy. Just ask questions and poof, there are the answers. The one caveat to researching a topic though is that you need to know which questions to ask, and if you are not familiar enough with the subject, then you might need to call a friend or ask the audience for some assistance.
Every Tuesday at 4pm, our team at Carolina Plantations sits down for a 2-hour sales meeting. With nearly 100% attendance every week, we go around the table and our Brokers contribute information to the team about something they learned in the past week. The information shared is vital for each of us, for if we are going to assist you, our clients, with not only the questions but the answers, we need to be on our game.
Make no mistake about it, there is a lot to take in during your search but, if you apply yourself and partner with people that can provide you with the information you need to make well-educated decisions, you just might find that you will relax more than you anticipated.
During our meetings, subjects run the gamut and with 10 sets of eyes and ears traversing a 70-mile swath of southeastern North Carolina 7 days a week, we might discuss:
* contract issues in depth
* information on new sections opening up in the communities here
* info from a meeting with a builder to better understand their offerings
* new commercial/retail/medical venues coming up
* a mortgage broker briefing on the latest news and offerings
* in house listings and upcoming Open Houses that we should attend
* company and local sales statistics
* restaurant reviews
Quite honestly, the subject list is endless. And, we do this every week so that when we are with our clients, we provide them with the most current and important information available.


You are seeking information, and there is no real estate firm on the planet that is better equipped to provide you with information you are seeking than Carolina Plantations. We will even load you up with information you didn’t even know you needed.  And, quoting Dan, my first boss in real estate — he said, “Doug, most people you are encountering here in Brunswick County are searching multiple areas so, you need to make their experience fun.”
Well, for over 12 years, Team Carolina Plantations has hosted thousands of people who’ve visited coastal North Carolina to see if this area met their retirement requirements, and we’ve shared as many laughs as politicians in DC share barbs on a daily basis!
If you haven’t started your research, then hop to it, and when you want to visit communities such as Ocean Ridge Plantation, St. James, Brunswick Forest, Compass Pointe and all the others, contact a team that can help you with your research. The more you know, the more you will relax, and the more you relax, the better your chances are for having a fun time while finding the perfect place to build your Dream Home.
Just remember to research, relax and have fun!

New Homes vs. Resales

New Homes vs. Resales

At the suggestion of Doug’s good friend/client, let’s see if we can wrap our heads around why probably 75% of our clients build a home vs. purchase a resale. For those grappling with this albeit mini-phenomenon, one must remember that the team at Carolina Plantations #1 goal is to provide you, our clients, with enough information so that you can make educated decisions.

There are three major elements that influence just about everyone’s decision on which direction they move towards w/regards to their Dream Home, providing of course they have completed the first two steps of the Martini Theory – which is to find:

(1) The Area that best serves your interests/needs

(2) Which Community best matches your lifestyle, activities and budget

Since Carolina Plantations focuses predominantly on working with clients that are searching for a place to retire, we will assume that this information is directed at the lion’s share of our client base – future/current retirees.


  • Most of our clients begin to search for a place to retire 1-5 years out, with two years being typical
  • This is significant because unlike almost every other move in your life, you have time on your side and are not scurrying to find a home due to a job change, promotion, etc.
  • Retiring is generally not a spontaneous event, unless of course you are a recipient of a downsizing, golden parachute offer, life-changing event, etc.
  • Most couples, and or, single people have to determine when they pull the plug on 9-5, and when will they put their home on the market. Timing for both of these can be critical
  • Ultimately, many people would love to retire, sell their home for millions, move into a beautiful (new) Dream Home down south that they stole for next to nothing and do all this with only ONE move!


  • Most every client has heard or hears this from our team of Brokers: “Once you determine where you want to live and in which community, we never have any trouble finding you your perfect Dream Home.”
  • The above is a bold, but true statement because building a new home is almost always an option in the (retirement) communities here along the southernmost coast of North Carolina
  • We have communities here where new homes begin in the low to mid $200s, so we can match just about anyone’s budget
  • There are 2,051 new and resale homes (single family, townhomes and condominiums) for sale in Brunswick County TODAY. Yes, inventory is down, however there are still a lot of homes to select from!
  • And, while 2,051 homes is a large number, after you determine what area you wish to live in AND which community best meets your requirements, there may only be 12 homes to select from


  • Many of our clients come to the eventual realization that they are not in a hurry to find, or move into, their Dream (retirement) Home
  • While building a new home can scare the begeebers out of many, it is an option that needs thorough research. After all, 75% of our clients come to this conclusion
  • For the other 25%, there is much comfort in being able to see 100% of the home before closing on it. Kicking the tires can be a rewarding process for many as you are eliminating surprises. The downside is that you might have to settle on a few items that you were hoping for, such as a Walk-In Pantry, Whirlpool Tub, Screened Porch, Granite Countertops, Open Floor plan, etc.
  • The flip side is that when you build a new home, you get to select the size of your kitchen; location of your Master Suite; the interior and exterior (paint) colors; the patterns of your granite or quartz countertops; floor plans, and so on. This way, when folks walk into your home, your touches are throughout, and you take pride in having pulled together a really awesome home!!

One thing that remains quite constant in our real estate niche, is that until you come down and explore the area and some communities with one of our enjoyable and informative Brokers, none of us know what is going to make you happy and fulfill your needs! The best part of that equation for you though is that you have a myriad of choices in finding your Dream Home!

Avoiding A Major Mistake

Public speaking, death and moving are amongst the top life occurrences that people really despise. While two are avoidable and one is well, eminently unavoidable, we think one of the avoidable just might be atop the leaderboard of least favorite things we humans must do on this planet: MOVE.

As we get older, moving tends to grow more cumbersome by the day as we tend to collect more “junk” every time we leave our homes. In fact, Doug heard a comedian years ago state that the only reason we leave our home is to go and seek and collect more junk. And, that the only reason we move is because our current home is too small for all our junk!

Where Do You Want To Retire To

Avoiding a Major Mistake

Doug’s first boss in real estate taught him something very important about people searching for a place to retire. He said, “Doug, what people are subconsciously doing when they visit our community is, they are trying to eliminate our area in their search. For once they have finished eliminating areas and locations, the lone place remaining is where they will probably retire to.”

With that being said, our firm’s Martini Theory simply states that the first and most important step in the search for the ideal place to retire to is to find “the Area” that best suits your needs, such as medical services, dining, weather, shopping, culture, etc.

What Makes Carolina Plantations Different

To Doug’s knowledge, no other real estate company on the planet will spend as much time as we do to show you the area and all the ‘stuff’ we offer. After years of helping other families out we have noticed that if you don’t like the area that you move to, you will more than likely move again.

Imagine for a second that you and your better half have extensively researched a handful of communities/plantations in a geographic area and eventually settled on building your “Dream Home” for the next year, only to find out that after you moved in, the services outside your gate were lacking in every which way? What would you do? Our team at Carolina Plantations have a lofty goal in mind every time we work with clients: to help people avoid moving twice. The best way to avoid the double move is to research the heck out of the area/s you are considering moving to.

In essence, what is outside the entrance to your community is more often than not, more important than what lies inside your community. Of course, you can find a golf course, pool, fitness center and great home anywhere, finding an area that meets your lifestyle is absolutely paramount to the long-term success of your search. Because the coast of North Carolina has really become a popular destination for Northerners and Midwestern’s over the past 3-4 decades, we tend to have a younger group of retirees here. However, in years to come that will begin to shift. Doug mentioned this because of we often say to our clients that they retired up north and now, are coming to North Carolina to BEGIN LIVING.

(Fun Fact: Did you know that NC replaced NJ as the 10th most populated state in 2017?)

Avoiding a Major Mistake

While a move to the coast of North Carolina can be exciting, fun and rewarding, we also understand that it might not be forever. Things change such as health, family, finances, etc., which may force us to reconsider where we live as we enter our later golden years. Many of us who retire still have numerous fun and active years ahead of us. However, the last thing you want to do is go from working directly into a nursing home!!

One thing is for certain though, is that the team at Carolina Plantations has no earthly idea if coastal North Carolina is the right place for you to retire to. What we can promise you though is that by the time you leave, you will have enough facts and information to determine if our area is eliminated – or moved up the ladder – to one of your top choices!