Shake Your Groove Thang

What can help keep us from aging to some degree, is exercise. Lord knows that if you retire and become a bonbon-eating CSI & Yellowstone-binger, it won’t be long before you need to address some health issues, right? So, to delay or minimize the inevitable, you must get your butt off the couch and start regular exercise.

When our parents and grandparents retired, what exercise options did they have? Maybe it was Walking, swimming, tennis, golf, and fishing. Today, more opportunities have been significantly increased and improved. Here are some of the most popular activities for retirees but remember that many are available in active retirement communities.

Water Sports

Older Retired women all in a pool doing water aerobics with a pool noodle
  • Water aerobics is a popular fitness activity that is in many retirements’ communities
  • Lap swimming is another popular form of exercise for both the young and old
  • Other water sports are water volleyball, joining a swim team, snorkeling, and scuba diving
  • There is also kayaking, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, sea kites, surfing, etc.

Hardcourt Sports

A group of older couples and friends playing pickleball together on a hard court
  • Tennis has been around for ages, and you have all levels available. plus, there are many local leagues
  • Pickleball has taken America by storm! Enjoy indoor/outdoor year-round and many leagues
  • Other hardcourt sports include paddleball, squash, ping-pong, bocce ball and badminton

Fitness Classes

Older Couples dancing in a building

If your retirement community has a fitness center, it will likely coordinate numerous fitness classes for the residents. They could include aerobics, Jazzercize, tai chi, step aerobics, spin classes, Zumba, Pilates, kickboxing, hot yoga, pole dancing, cross-training, and more.

Foot Sports

four men walking on a golf course one holding a golf bag with golf clubs in it
  • The most requested amenity in a retirement community is not a golf course or pool. It is a sidewalk or walking trail!
  • Many folks love to walk, run, or wog (a combination of walking and jogging)
  • Hiking is also an excellent activity for people of all ages, as is birdwatching and fishing
  • Dancing? Did someone say dancing? Whether it’s the jitterbug, Shagging, polka, or line dancing, there is hardly a more fun exercise. Get out on the dance floor now or join a dance club and take some boogie-woogie dance lessons!

Mind Sports

Older Men and Women Playing a game of cards outside all smiling

Today’s list of mind sports is ever-increasing, and many can be done solo or in a group. These activities are critical for aging seniors, for if you don’t use your brain matter, it honestly will turn to mush. Choices include Bunco, mahjong, bridge, poker, canasta, sudoku, Scrabble, jigsaw puzzles, etc.

League Sports

You don’t have to exercise alone these days! There are many ways to join a local club in the area with access to team sports – excellent exercise and a great social venue. They include tennis, golf, walking, running, hiking, softball, baseball, and pickleball. If you don’t plan on exercising in your retirement years, you are almost certainly reducing your time remaining on this planet. Exercise is not only great for your body but great for your mind as well.

Ready to get started on that retirement dream home to the coast of North Carolina? Carolina Plantations can help that dream come true. Plenty of communities have so many different things to do that you’ll forget you retired!

Average Rainfall

Upon graduating from The University of Tennessee without honors, Doug’s first job was working for Duracell Batteries. He moved across the Smokies from Knoxville to Greenville, and his territory was northern SC and western NC. He had a lot of clients in Asheville, and he distinctly remembers that he encountered rain during his first nine business trips there. Right there and then, Doug knew he’d never call Asheville home, for who likes to live in a rainforest?

Left side picture shows a flooded road due to rainfall. Right side of the Picture shows a lake/dam that has receded due to a drought.

Rainy days are the opposite of sunny days, and Doug’s yet to uncover a client that said they wanted to move to an area where there were more rainy, cloudy days or snowy days. Just hasn’t happened.

Drought Conditions

On the other side of the spectrum, though, are drought conditions. For 40 years, Doug has enjoyed traveling out to Las Vegas occasionally and remembers going to Lake Mead 30+ years ago, walking down to the marina on the lake. There you’d feed carp/catfish by the thousands and see the variety of houses and power boats. However, if you were to attempt to go to that marina now, it is a ¼ mile journey further from where it used to be. How wild is that?!

Honestly, folks, we have no clue what Las Vegas will do for fresh water in years or decades. The metro area was going at 5,000 people per month a year back, and to the best of our knowledge, all these new housing developments and gargantuan resort hotels suck up a lot of water daily. Imagine moving to your retirement dream home only to find out you cannot plant grass, shrubs, or flowers. That is happening in Las Vegas as they scramble to salvage the water they have left.

Plenty of Rainfall

If you live on the east coast, you probably take water for granted. Seldom do we have water restrictions, but when we have them, our yards turn brown, and the Mrs. Kravitz personalities tend to come out as some folks like to run and tell town officials which neighbors are disobeying the water rules. Keeping our yards green takes up much of our water usage, followed by showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and dish cleaning. Long gone are the days when many people drank water straight out of the tap, as we have been conditioned to drink natural spring water in plastic bottles, which are strangulating our planet.

Table showing the average rainfall throughout the United States.

Rainfall can be a nuisance, but it is the absolute lifeblood of every square mile. When looking for that perfect Dream Home, don’t just assume that water will always be able to flow freely from each faucet. Research the abundance and quality of water before you settle in for the long haul.

Making Your Interior Selections in Your Dream Home

For 16 years, Carolina Plantations have been helping our clients navigate the prisms of retirement. While the ultimate goal is to find your Dream Home, so much else must be addressed before finding your forever home. However, once you get there, and especially if it is a home to be built to your specifications (which 60% of our clients opt for,) how do you know what selection to choose?

Two different interior designs of kitchens, one is an upscale kitchen with a different color island and the other is more neutral coloring

A few interior designers disagree with Doug’s thoughts on beginning to make selections for a new home, so that they can skip this article. Owning a custom home design company for 15 years and having helped dozens and dozens of clients successfully select their interior and exterior selections, he thinks he has a pretty good handle on providing “suggestions” on this subject.

Design Selections

The room you begin your selections in is the kitchen, for this is the most expensive room in the home and where many of us spend a lot of time. When you factor in the cost of all appliances, cabinets, plumbing features, lighting options, countertops, backsplashes, and more, the average kitchen will run between $50,000 – $75,000. Upgraded kitchens will run $75,000 – $150,000, and opulent kitchens will be $150,000 and above. So, where do we start?

The Flooring

Think about it, when you are in the kitchen, dining area, or living room, you see a lot of floors. You don’t typically see countertops, cabinets, or backsplashes as you drift out of the kitchen. So, starting with your floor is just a natural decision. Our first suggestion is to determine whether you want a light, medium or dark floor. Then you need to select the material you desire, as in natural wood, engineered wood, tile (ceramic or porcelain,) LVP (luxury vinyl plank), or whatever the latest craze is. And FYI, most people select a medium floor covering as light or dark can often show dirt very quickly. Lastly, you need to choose what color floor you like the best. Today a gray/brown medium combo is the most popular color. However, there are plenty of colors to select from.

The Cabinets

Once you select your floor, you can use that sample to hold up against the myriad of cabinets. Your first task is determining if you want to blend the two or have a mild/medium/stark contrast. If, by chance, you are not aware of this, for years, the cabinet used on the island is typically a darker color cabinet than the rest of your cabinets. And here is well, you need to consider the tone of your cabinets, as in light/medium/dark. Then you select the cabinet material – such as natural wood, engineered wood, wood with glass, etc. Lastly, choose the color you feel best matches/contrasts the flooring, and don’t forget that you can have your cabinets painted or stained with your favorite color.

A Little Tip: If you move to coastal NC, 95% of our clients opt for lighter cabinets, as they provide an authentic seaside feel. Very seldom do you see red cherry; for a while, that is beautiful, but it’s more for cold country.

The Countertops

Finally, you select the surface you will see for decades on top of your cabinets. Like flooring, you need to think about how the extremes of light and dark will affect your kitchen, for too light or too dark, and you could be cleaning your kitchen 24/7 for the rest of your life. Granite and Quartz are the two most popular options for material today, and movement is another variable you need to consider. A little movement might be traditional marble, where the slight gray colors almost blend in with the white background. On the other hand, more countertops today accentuate dramatic colors and movement. Lastly is color, which should be easy since you already have selected the flooring and cabinet colors. Most showrooms have an excellent array of countertop selections.

The Backsplash

Doug thinks backsplashes are the most considerable pain in the butt of everything you must select inside a home. You know you want a backsplash (versus dull paint that collects spaghetti sauce droplets), but between the material, color, and patterns, selecting the perfect backsplash can be overwhelming. Doug’s two cents is to be a bit bolder than your gut tells you; however, within reason, an ugly backsplash can ruin a $200,000 kitchen.

You Paint Color(s)

Unlike your other selections, you have a finite number of choices to choose from, but there is no limit when it comes to painting. If you thumb through the Benjamin Moore color chart, we believe there are over 50 variations of yellow to select from. Therefore, no matter what your other selections look like, there will always be a paint color to match!

White Cabinets in first picture on left with a colorful and bold backsplash, middle picture is a quartz countertop with white cabinets and last picture is blue cabinets with light wood flooring

Other Selections

Once you’ve got these five out of the way, the rest are relatively easy to select on your interior selections, which include but are not limited to:

  • Plumbing Fixtures – faucets, faucet handles, sinks, toilets, etc.
  • Appliances – stove, oven, dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, wine fridge, washer & dryer, etc.
  • Lighting Fixtures – chandeliers, can lights, mirror lights, pendant lights, light switches, etc.
  • Cabinet Hardware – don’t select something boring, be bold! There is so much to choose from.
Picture on left shows hardware for cabinets, middle picture shows blue light fixtures and right picture shows faucet handles with running water

Your exterior selections are a lot simpler because you are dealing with only a few options – shingle color and material, paint color(s) for houses and shutters, stone, or brick accents, stamped concrete options, light fixtures, etc.

Making your selections is a process that can be overwhelming; however, if you take a step-by-step approach to it, you will minimize your stress levels significantly. One must remember that this is probably the last and perhaps only home you will ever customize precisely to your liking, and what you select is a true reflection of you, so take your time, have fun, and enjoy the process!

Building Boom in Full Stride

home on left is only the frame of a new home and the home on the right is one that is finished and ready to move in.

If anyone says that they predicted our current real estate market correctly two years ago when Covid was spreading faster than a forest fire, we’d love to meet them. If we can go back to April/May of 2020 and be objective, we must be able to recall our country’s state, rightfully? Everything was closed, and scientists were scrambling to understand this virus. Our red-hot economy was tumbling, and nobody had any conclusive answers on the pandemic.

As people began leaving significant cities in droves, the burbs became hot hot hot – with many Baby Boomers deciding to take advantage of the prices increases and retire a bit early. This created a significant trickle-down effect on real estate in Coastal North Carolina. We were already experiencing a voracious retirement market here, but our inventory of new and resale homes was depleted in no time at all.

Carolina Plantations opened in March of 2007, and for years Doug has been touting that probably 60-70% of our client’s “build” their dream home down here. Why, you ask? Because our clients have the time and want their homes to build to their specifications, not someone else. However, when the pandemic struck, and home building prices shot through the roof (get it?), we figured that home building would slow down. Au contraire, it didn’t.

Even with the building costs up 20-30%, give or take, people are still opting to build as much today as they were two years ago. What is driving this is the lack of inventory of resale and new spec homes on the market. What we do have, though, is a supply of homesites that are just sitting there waiting for our clients to come along and place a home on them. Mind you, some of the communities are void of new or resale homesites while other communities are flush.

Let Us Help You

The team at Carolina Plantations has been working hand in hand with a myriad of builders in Coastal North Carolina for 15 years. We know where the homesites are and which builders might be the best to help you build your dream retirement home. Contact us today, and let’s get this party started!

Call us at 910-755-7557 or send an email over to Doug at We have long-standing relationships with the following leading builders in Coastal North Carolina. Don’t get outbid on a home or ten, BUILD your retirement home!!

Different builders in the area

Finding You a Solution

Many moons ago, Doug coined “The Martini Theory.” It’s a simple analogy for a place to retire:

  1. Top of Glass: Find the right AREA.
  2. Middle of Glass: Find the right COMMUNITY.
  3. Bottom of Glass or Well Soaked Olive: Find your DREAM HOME.

Tens of thousands of people have been introduced to this catchy analysis, and one thing that was always a given about the theory was finding your DREAM HOME. If you found the right area and community, one of the professional Brokers at Carolina Plantations would always find you a home.

That is not as quickly said as done today, but approximately 70% of our clients built a new home in years past. Why? Because after living in homes where there was no pantry, the laundry room was in the basement, the rooms were choppy, and the bathrooms & closets were minuscule. Therefore, the building has been the overwhelming choice of people migrating to Coastal NC for nearly three decades.

Two homes, one home on left in the process of being built with a construction worker and home on the right is gray with being brand new

A lot has changed in our landscape today with regards to building:

  • Most of our large developers have sold out their inventory of homesites.
  • Building costs have skyrocketed, mainly in part to supply issues and Covid.
  • Trained labor is limited in our area, so builders can only build “X” number of homes a year.

St. James Plantation, one of the oldest gated communities laden with amenities, has SOLD OUT of its inventory of over 6,000 homesites. Only resale homes or homesites remain. At Brunswick Forest, there is just a tiny handful of homesites remaining, but new homes are popping up. Compass Pointe is expecting a new crop of homesites within the next few months, but it has been slim pickings there since last summer. And at River Bluffs, they too have new homesites coming down the road but not anytime soon.

The number of inquiries at Carolina Plantations continues to set annual records, as many people have been itching to sell their homes up north in the congested and colder climates and move to the sunny and warm coast of North Carolina. We are fighting a daily supply and demand situation as we’ve never seen before, yet the fantastic team at Carolina Plantations keeps finding solutions.

Our company sales are almost equal yearly versus the 2021 year to date; however, our pending sales are nearly 40% more. This is almost inexplicable, ladies & gentlemen, for our top developers are virtual without new products to sell. So, just how are we keeping pace with last year?

Expanding our Search Criteria

Instead of limiting oneself to just one town or one or two communities, our Brokers are as well versed as any local real estate firm within a 50-mile radius. This is very beneficial to our clients because we are not limited by town borders or only a small handful of beautiful communities.

map showing of coastal brunswick county nc showing new communities

We Work with Local Builders Extensively

Even though building material costs have gone up significantly across the country, building a new home in Coastal NC is still a bargain compared to where most clients live. With homesite inventory dwindling, builders are being more creative and finding new/er communities to put up spec homes, for if they don’t have land to build on, they will go out of business. And for 15 years, no real estate firm has guided more people through the building process with our local builders than the team at Carolina Plantations.

Increased Listings and Teamwork

In addition to our monthly Carolina Dreamin’ eNewsletter, each of our Brokers sends out a quarterly newsletter. This helps us stay in contact with our potential Buyers and previous Buyers, who often sell their homes, condos, and homesites. Possibly knowing about inventory coming on the market provides us with a valuable “heads up,” so to speak.

We probably have over 50 people in the queue to purchase. We have seen a nice increase in inventory in specific areas or markets recently, making solutions possible again. And as we all know, life and real estate are cyclical, so be sure to have the best trained and most responsive real estate Broker fighting for you, for if you don’t, you will receive rejection after rejection – and that isn’t fun, is it?

Realtor Copyright © 2023 Carolina Plantations. All Rights Reserved. Website Design by InterCoastal Net Designs