Furniture: Sell It, Donate It – But, Don’t Bring It!

Furniture: Sell It, Donate It - But, Don't Bring It!

You’ve done it! You sold your home of 30-something years and are moving south to your Dream Home, as your retirement has officially begun!! But wait, what about all your furniture and worldly possessions? The transition from a home you have dwelled in for decades to a new/newer home can be…well, quite traumatic. The amount of work that needs to occur is almost mindboggling, as before you can do anything, you must trudge through all that “schtuff” you have been collecting for ions.

What’s the Goal?

As a homeowner who is ready to make the move from the cold winters of the North to the warm climate of the south. This includes consolidating your worldly possessions down to three tubs and yes, we said 3 tubs!

Furniture: Sell It, Donate It - But, Don't Bring It!

Yes, Doug said it, get rid of Grandma’s needlepoint chair that she made by hand in 1915. And why bring that cedar chest that has sat in the attic for 27 years that’s full of various junk from your husband’s childhood? As for you men, do you really need to bring 35 pieces of yard equipment with you to your new home when all your yardwork is included in your POA fees?

What’s the Reality?

Here is the harsh reality of a big move like this. If something has been in your attic for the past couple to 30 or 40 years, you will pay for it to be moved to its next storage area. Why would you do that if you don’t plan on using it when you move to your new home? And, not just furniture mind you – but this includes doll collections, wooden golf clubs, roller skates, wooden nickels, etc.

Oh, and no we didn’t forget about you ladies during this move. If your current furniture goes nicely in your traditional New England house w/bold colors, why do you think it will look good in a brand-new Low Country Coastal home w/a pastel motif?! In an effort to get Doug’s personal home on the market ready for sale, he recently held an estate sale. He sold many items at about 10% of what he paid for them years ago because the cost to move something like a king bed suite to a storage unit would have been more expensive to do so. Doug would have had to pay for the unit every month and who knows for how long? Plus, it was his goal to have only 3 tubs and no storage unit to deal with!

Be Ready to Move

As you get your home ready to sell, make a list of all your furniture and identify what your plans are for each piece. If you absolutely positively must, and we mean must, bring it with you to North Carolina, that is fine. But if you think it might go in the attic once you move here then let it go. You can either sell it, bring it to a consignment shop, donate it to Goodwill or give it to the kids or a family member. We do suggest that you have it gone before the Mayflower Moving Truck gets to your home to load up the truck!

For what it is worth, when any team member from Carolina Plantations lists a home, we set an appointment with the homeowner to essentially stage the home. What does that mean? Simple, anything you do not use on a daily basis is moved into the basement, attic or garage, for it is our goal to make your home look and feel as spacious as possible.

Why It’s Important to Minimize Your Things

Therefore, with that in mind, that is almost the same litmus test for what furniture makes it on the truck, if in fact it will match the decorum of your new/newer home down south.

Furniture: Sell It, Donate It - But, Don't Bring It!

Taking the emotion out of furniture sometimes is not easy. We know for many that selling Grandma Gertrude’s dining room set is almost an unconscionable act of treason. But, does an 80-year-old dark cherry Queen Anne dining table really belong in a beautiful new Low Country cottage style home here in the south?? Yes, we understand that it can be difficult to get rid of the furniture that you’ve had for year. But have no fear because within a 3-hour drive from Wilmington is many furniture stores located in Hickory, NC.

Lastly, we often encounter clients that insist that their new home has tons of room for storage, and we often ask “why”? If you have family heirlooms your conscience cannot bare to see depart the family, then give them to the kids or your siblings now, as storing them in your 120-degree attic here doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?? If you are still searching for your forever home located on the coast of North Carolina we can help you today!

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!

Your Top 10 Priorities

In 1999 I sold my home north of Boston and came to Wilmington with a fistful of hot cash. I had owned five homes up till my move to North Carolina and all had been in planned communities. This time though I was bound and determined to break the mold. I was headed to the warm sands of Wrightsville Beach and nothing was going to stop me.

The first home my Realtor showed me was about 7 homes from the beach. Wow – imagine being able to hear the roar of the Atlantic at night from your bedroom window? However, on closer review, the house was in shambles and still had shag carpet from the 70s. Nothing in the house was new and fresh like I was accustomed to plus the price was about $150,000 over my pain level. So off we went to look at a condo on the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). Bingo! l love boats and I was going to make this work. Well, that was until I realized the condo consisted of only one bedroom which was stuck in a loft whose only access was a small spiral staircase. Oh, and did I mention the entire square footage was 587’?

Eventually I built a new custom built home in a very nice community that was about 10 minutes from Wrightsville Beach but, at least I did give the beach a try, albeit an unsuccessful one at that. It was then that I learned a valuable lesson on priorities and expectations of real estate.

Moving is without a doubt one of the most exciting yet terrifying experiences one encounters in their lives. Often though moving enables dreams to come true, be it a bigger home, newer home, closer to the beach or family, etc. And whether you consciously create a list of priorities for your new place or not, you have them, I promise.

For fun, I thought I would attempt to show how women’s priorities often change as well as men’s priorities both before and after their first trip south. Keep in mind that while I am using generalities here, there is more truth to what I print than one might initially think!


And here is what a guy’s view of moving south looks like before and after his first trip south.


When I entered Real Estate many years ago, I learned of a bit of a controversial phrase that has been kicked around for years – “Buyers are Liars”. I take exception to this fable because Buyer’s often do not have all the information they need to make a well informed decision as they begin their search. However, once they do have this information, they quite often change their minds. This is not lying mind you, this is just the natural flow of processing information.

A good example is that a couple could come down and be very focused on living on the water. However, after a week of scouring the area, several communities and numerous homes, they abandon their search for water views in exchange for a brand new home in a very friendly golf course community. This happens every day of the week here and is no surprise to those of us in the industry of making dreams come true!

If you have not begun your search, have some fun and write down your Top 10 Priorities for your eventual move south. Put it somewhere you will be able to find it in a year or so and once you find your ideal location/community/home, pull it out to compare with your original priorities. Our team of professionals have been doing this for years and we know that in order for our clients to make well informed decisions that they require significant information.

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