The Martini Theory Part 3: Your Dream Home

When the team at Carolina Plantations first explains the Martini Theory to people, we know there is often a gasp or two when we describe the third and last piece of the search. After you find the Area that meets your lifestyle requirements and a Community that matches your interests, the easiest part of your search is finding that well-soaked olive or your Dream Home! (and, now gasp!)

We cannot begin to tell you how many people invert their search requirements and wind up unhappy until they undo the damage. If you think your search is about a beautiful home, the chances are strong that you will not find happiness. Let Doug put it to you this way: If he gave you the perfect Dream Home in the world that you simply adored, but you didn’t like your community, and there was nothing outside the gate for 45 miles, would you ultimately be happy?

We are the only real estate company in the world that makes your search a cerebral search. Houses can be filled with emotion. However, introducing logic to give serious consideration to the Area and Community forces you to focus on what makes retirement successful.

In coastal North Carolina, approximately 70% of our clients build their Dream Home. Why? Well, for several reasons, with the first being that time is generally on your side. The bulk of our clients find the Area and Community they want to retire to a year or more before retiring. They purchase a homesite and then spend the next year or so working on floorplans with builders, as time is on their side. Secondly, many people we work with have dreamed about the perfect home for decades, and resales are often someone else’s dream, not theirs.

The market here for new homes and resale homes are both strong, as neither option is perfect for everyone. Building a home is not only time consuming, but there is a lot of time required on both part of the Buyers with regards to making selections, doing walkthrough inspections, etc. And with the real estate market hot right now throughout a good portion of the states, some people just want to move once – which also tends to favor the resale market.

The opportunity though to sit down with a professional interior designer in a showroom full of beautiful granite samples, 30+ cabinet options, almost unlimited hardwood floors/tile/carpet samples, along with rooms full of lighting, plumbing fixtures, appliances, interior, and exterior paint colors and more can be rather exhilarating, can’t it?

Also, most builders will allow you to lengthen or widen a floorplan, bump out a room, add on a screened porch or 3rd bay in the garage, etc. So, if you are thinking of looking for a place to retire, please keep in mind that your Dream Home is the easiest part of your search, for it’s not already built. Instead, we will find someone to build it for you, just the way you want it! Contact one of our outstanding agents here at Carolina Plantations today to get your search started today!

COVID-19’s (Real) Impact on the Real Estate Market in Coastal North Carolina

Nobody saw COVID-19 coming. Not Donald, Joe, the Amazing Kreskin, Gov Cuomo, Bill Maher, or Steve Wynn. And, like a bad dinner guest, it’s still here, and we’ve tried our best as a country to show it out the door.

2020 real estate closings here in Brunswick County were off the charts the first two months of the year, and ends have remained steadfast through April. If COVID-19 had not struck us down, Doug guesses that the area would still be upwards of 20-30% vs. YTD 2019. That would have been an enormous increase.

CAUTION: Interpreting the above numbers is imperative to understanding the real numbers. The numbers in the graph show closings on sales that were made before COVID-19, as in December 2019 – early March 2020. The effect of COVID-19 on our real estate sales will not likely be known until we have our final numbers from the end of June – August, as closings generally take 1-3 months to occur.

What we can offer you is a glimpse of is into the world of Carolina Plantations. Each week we run a Pending Sales Report through the end of the calendar year, and as of today, we have $12.6 million in Pending Sales for 2020. At the same time last year, we had Pending Sales of $14.7 million through the end of 2019 – so our Pending sales are off 16%.

Our closings through YTD are $29m vs. $26m YTD in 2019 – so closings wise, we are up 13%. If you had asked Doug in March when we were closing down the country what our Pending Sales would be today, he would have probably hoped that they were in the $5-7m range. Instead, they are $12.6m, which quite honestly, is astonishing – and Doug is serious about that. So, if our amazing sales team continues to be strong even amid a true global pandemic, who the heck is buying real estate here now?

Here are some examples:

  • Linda & Tom from Long Island is purchasing a transitional home sight unseen. They know the area and community they are buying in because they own a homesite there, and they trust their Realtor!
  • Diane & Steve live in Leland and are helping their daughter, SIL, and two children living in New Jersey purchase a home here. The family is moving from a 700’ condo to a 2400 ‘ new home. Woohoo!
  • Mark lives in Grand Junction, Colorado, and has wanted to move to the east coast for years and is building a new home here to fulfill his dream.
  • Paulette lives in Michigan and has a sister in Charlotte & Wilmington. She is a widow and is under contract on a home here on the coast. She is moving to a community that offers a lot of social interaction and clubs.
  • Jan and Doug are initially from CA and NJ, respectively, and currently live in Colorado. They visited Coastal NC last year and fell in love with the area. They are recently under contract on a home near the beach.
  • Robin & Dwayne live in North Carolina and have been looking near the coast for a year as they love the beach and family nearby. They closed on their home last month and are living the dream!
  • Tammy and Steve are from Winston Salem, NC, and for years have been looking for a vacation condo at the beach for their families to enjoy on long weekends. With COVID-19, they thought the time was right and are under contract, having won a competitive bid situation.

One additional set of matrices that we monitor are our YTD total leads received and how many of our customized Coastal Guide Books we have send out. (A CGB is custom made for each client and is chock full of great information on beaches, weather, dining, shopping, medical services, entertainment, etc.) And if by any chance you are wondering if this “small business” is going to make it through this pandemic, we believe our numbers should diminish those fears…!

So, is it a good time to Sell, Buy, or Ponder real estate? Yes, Yes, and Yes! The key for our firm though, is has COVID-19 affected the markets to sell homes (primarily up north)? From what we are hearing from our friends in Boston, NJ, NY, VA, MD, and elsewhere, is that demand, in general, remains stable for well-priced homes. Coastal NC has long been a trickle-down real estate economy ever since we began building communities here to retire to, so what happens in the areas mentioned above affects our market for sure.

If Coastal North Carolina is on your radar, contact one of the professionals on our team so that they can provide you an overview of life here on the coast. We hope that you and your family will find the perfect home, whether it’s a vacation home or your permanent residence here on the coast!