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!!!

Don’t Be A Half Back!

Famous Halfbacks: Frank Gifford/New York Giants, Mercury Morris/Miami Dolphins, John Kuhn/Green Bay Packers, Sally and Bob Simpson/NJ/FL/NC

In the game of football, a Halfback is a player that lines up behind or to the side of the Quarterback. Quite often, it is an unglamorous position as blocking is often the forte of the HB, while the Fullback or Tailback follows the blocking of the HB and the offensive line. There are a handful of famous HBs but, a whole lot more Tailbacks and Fullbacks, as they typically score many touchdowns.
In the world of Real Estate, a halfback is a person/s that lives up north and moves to Florida, but soon realizes that Florida is not for them. So, what do they do? They move halfway back home, which would put them somewhere in the Carolinas. With its tremendous population explosion, year-round oppressive heat, traffic and congestion just about everywhere you turn, halfbacks are significantly increasing in numbers in our area.

Moving to North Carolina

Take a look below at an excerpt from a report put out by Carolina Demography and the University of North Carolina. Notice the top states where people are exiting and landing in North Carolina. Florida is at the top of the list, and it is safe to say that a large portion of those people were originally from up north, the Midwest of Mid-Atlantic states.
Most people moving to North Carolina in 2017 moved here from elsewhere within the United States: 314,000 or 85% of all in-migrants to NC.

Top states were:

  • Florida (32,000)
  • Virginia (29,000)
  • South Carolina (27,000)
  • New York (27,000)
  • California (20,000)
Why is becoming a Halfback statistic bad? Well for one, MONEY – lots and lots of money to be more specific. Moving is just a horrible and costly experience, but imagine moving after 30-40 years to a place you really don’t wind up liking? Talk about a HUGE mistake – OMG!! And if you move/retire to a place you don’t really like, all you are doing is delaying your well earned and long-awaited retirement, right?

Do Your Research

Research is your best friend when it comes to selecting a place to retire to. Reach out to your friends that have already retired and quiz them about their choice/s in depth. Visit areas that fit your lifestyle vs. cool, trendy places that you read about somewhere. Visit areas that are of interest to you in terms of weather, beaches, mountains, sports, culture, etc.
At Carolina Plantations, every day we employ “The Martini Theory” – which is a simple analogy of your search. The top part of a martini glass, called The Area, is also the largest and most important aspect of your search. Before you find a community or house that you fall in love with, be sure that you find an area that supports your active lifestyle, for what is outside your community is more important than what is inside your community.

Dream Home on the Coast of NC

Once you have selected the area, the community is the next step, or middle of the martini glass. Here is where you make sure that you are surrounded by people of similar interests and that there are plenty of activities to do that are in line with your interests.
The easiest part of your search is that well-soaked olive on the bottom of the glass, known as “your Dream Home.” There are tons of great homes everywhere and if by chance you don’t find one – have it built to your specifications – which is far more affordable than you think.
The team at Carolina Plantations has helped many Halfbacks, but quite honestly – we’d be a lot more happy if we could stop you and others from making that first costly step of moving to the Sunshine State, just like Sally and Bob Simmons (above picture) did recently.  And FYI, just because you might have an Uncle Bob and Aunt Jean that live in Florida, that is absolutely no reason that you need to live there!
Moral of The Story: Stop in and visit with us on your way to Florida – you’ll be glad you did!

How Much Traffic is in Your Future?

How Much Traffic is in Your Future?

Do you think it would be safe to say that most American’s do not enjoy traffic? Granted some have to endure it for their jobs or personal reasons but, does anyone get in the car and go join in a traffic jam because there’s nothing good on TV? For the most part, we believe happiness is a choice. You wake up and if you want to be happy, you do everything within your power to do so. Traffic is also a choice, as you either live near it and deal with it, learn to schedule your time life around it, or reside where the traffic is minimal.

Don’t Let Traffic Get You Down

If you let it, traffic can pretty much run ruin your life, for if every time you want to leave your home you need to consider the traffic patterns outside your driveway and beyond, you are a traffic prisoner. And let’s face the facts about traffic & health – has any doctor ever said that heavy traffic reduces your stress levels?

When it comes time to move, especially for retirement, how much emphasis should be placed on traffic around your home and/or town? If you enjoy traffic, well, be sure Atlanta, Miami and Tampa are on your list! However, if you are normal…,shouldn’t you research traffic patterns of where you will spend your golden years?

Where Do You Want to Be

In a few days, Doug will be turning 62, and for the past couple of years, he has considered buying or renting a home in Florida – primarily for January ad February. Those two months are typically our slowest and being able to go deep sea fishing regularly, and play the horses and dogs, and visit a casino – well, Florida does offer some things we don’t have in Coastal North Carolina.

However, there is this thing called traffic, which no matter how attractive parts of the Sunshine State can be early in the year, they just aren’t attractive enough to endure the rising blood pressure received from that mass of vehicles on just about every highway and byway. Nope, just can’t do it.

How Much Traffic is in Your Future?

Traffic, by the way, is not indigenous to Florida. A couple of weeks ago, Doug drove down to Kiawah Island to see a dear friend and when he left his office in Shallotte, GPS told him his ETA was 4:30 pm. He left an extra half house in case he ran into traffic in and around Charleston during rush house. Ha – boy did he miscalculate! The bumper to bumper traffic in Mt. Pleasant on the northside of Charleston was nuts. Plus, once he crossed over the high-rise bridge in downtown Charleston, the traffic crawled the next 15 miles to the Kiawah exit. Needless to say, he was way late and, unfortunately had more of the same the next day when Doug drove down to Hilton Head for a good buddy’s surprise 80th birthday.

Traffic on the North Carolina Coast

In 1999, Doug left the northern suburbs of Boston for the warm ocean breezes of Wilmington, NC. Traffic was really non-existent here back then and even with all our growth, our traffic today is nothing compared to so many (southern) cities. He lived in Atlanta during the 80s and have often said that for $5m/year, he wouldn’t move back there because his quality of life is far too important. Here is a list of cities that you will never find him living in full time.

How Much Traffic is in Your Future?

Might visit, but never set up a residence there. If you are wanting to flee from the traffic filled cities and move to a slower paced life, then allow us to help you find a new place. We at Carolina Plantations can help you find your next home that you too can enjoy the North Carolina Coast.

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!

Envisioning Your Retirement

In the movie Caddy Shack, Chevy Chase was playing golf and providing his caddy with some tips when he uttered three divine words of wisdom – “Be the ball.” These infamous words have been repeated on golf courses worldwide for decade’s so, how about if we change up the words to read “Be the retirement”?

To be all knowing of retirement is an endless quest, as there are mountains of information on how to retire successfully. The #1 agreed upon essential element to a successful retirement is financial planning, for without proper resources, it’s off to work we go, and go, and go, or…………

Envisioning Your Retirement

The team at Carolina Plantations Real Estate are the self-anointed and self-proclaimed, #1 Retirement Experts in coastal North Carolina. That is a lot to live up to but hey, we are up for the challenge 24/7! Our knowledge of the retirement process, our area and the many opportunities here on the coast is second to none, so let us help you envision your first day of retirement.

Envisioning Your Retirement

Can You Envision it?

You both wake up early, put on some new exercise clothing & full action sneakers and are off for a brisk walk of 2 miles. You wave to the newspaper kid, milkman leaving the Johnson’s house and those other new retirees walking down your street. You get home and begin preparing a healthy meal of fresh, chilled and sliced New Zealand Kiwis and Costa Rican Papaya, along with organic coffee and natural double organic sugar cane sweetener with a touch of Pasteurized skim milk and of course, a 10 oz. glass of fresh squeezed Florida Orange Juice and, one thin slice of 100% Cracked Whole Wheat bread with a smidge of real Wisconsin Butter. Your local newspaper is on the breakfast table, which is btw, located in your beautiful and fabulous new home where you selected all interior/exterior colors, cabinets, hardwood floors, granite countertops, lighting, appliances, plumbing fixtures, carpeting and so on. (And, why you didn’t follow a career in home design is well, beyond you, right??!)

Playing on the wall mounted 30” TV is your favorite cable news channel, which is indicating that the Dow Futures are UP and gas prices are DOWN. You take your spouses hand, bless the food and continue to say how great it is to be married to him/her and how much you love them, which goes on for a good 1 ½ hours.

Now it’s 7:30am. What the heck are you going to do for the next 12-13 hours??

Just don’t retire, envision your retirement!!

Envision Retirement Now

There are many of you who are reading this blog every month who will probably never leave the home, city or state you are living in now once you retire. Well, that is fine because you too need to plan what the heck you are going to do with your time everyday to fill the void of an 8-10 hour work day and 2 hours of commute time. That’s a lot of time slots and appointments to fill.

So, just what can possibly fill your time? THAT, my friends, is as legitimate of a question that I can ask, and the answers very much vary as to your living circumstances. Those that do decide to stay home and not move, will have to really forage to find many of the options listed below as most are found in active communities focused on (younger minded) retirees.

Envisioning Your Retirement

Retiring is not for the faint of heart. You just might find, like so many before you, that you need to get away just to have a break in your busy schedule! And FYI, it’s not all that unusual for a calendar for a retired couple living in a community geared at active retirees to look like the following:

Envisioning Your Retirement

What do you want your retirement to look like? My suggestion is to write out a sample week of retirement and share it with your loved one so that you both are on the same page. If you are single, heck, you are lucky as you don’t need approval or buy in, do ya??!!!

However, this is a pretty serious exercise that costs nothing and can help you from making a major mistake. For example, if you want to do all the above, you better move somewhere or live somewhere where all of these activities are available, right? And that takes us back to Step #1, The Martini Theory. First, find the Area that best matches your lifestyle (weather, medical, sports, entertainment, shopping, dining, etc.) Second, then determine which community meets your social/demographic needs (activities, fitness, location, people, etc.) Lastly, is the well soaked olive, or your home. This is the EASIEST part of your retirement process as there are plenty of great homes everywhere! Allow us at Carolina Plantations to help you find your next home that you can retire in on the Coast of North Carolina!