A TOURIST IN MY OWN TOWN: THE BEST BURGERS, AT LEAST ACCORDING TO HER DAD

Who knows what would happen if you blind folded Emily. You know make her take a taste test and give her honest opinion. Maybe she’d change her mind if she was exposed to a burger from Winnies and PT’s, the Frontier or any dozen plus bars and taverns in town that have their own local menu. Who knows what she would say. But ask her, with her eyes wide open, and there is no competition. For her Merrit’s is the best burger in town. “My dad used to take me here as a kid,” she tells me as we pull up to the drive-in off of Carolina Beach Road. “I grew up in Bolivia and to me going to Wilmington automatically meant going to Merrit’s.” Emily Watson is 38-years-old now. She moved to Virginia with her husband and kids in 2012. Five years later her dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. … [Read more...]

July was Best Month in Luxury Home Sales since the Housing Market Crash

Wilmington, NC- July 2018 was the third best month ever recorded for luxury home sales in the tri-county area, and the best month since prior to the housing market crash in the fall of 2008. New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender, each saw a year to year increase in the number of units and in the total dollar volume of luxury home sales. And each county saw a huge increase in the total dollar volume of luxury homes sales. That figure went up by $13 million in New Hanover County alone, it doubled in Pender County, and in Brunswick County, it increased by more than 700%. In New Hanover County 9 high-end homes closed in the month of July, up from 8 in July of 2017. Brunswick went from 1 in July of 2017 to 6 in July of 2018. And in Pender County the number of closed homes went from 1 last … [Read more...]

TOP 10 MOST EXPENSIVE HOMES IN TRI-COUNTY AREA

If you click on the address it will take you directly to each home's official listing page, where you can see interior pictures and learn more about the property. 10) 310 Beach N Road Wilmington $3,975,000                9) 25 Sounds Point Rd, Wilmington $4,395,000             8) 1121 Pembroke Jones Dr Wilmington  $4,700,000             7) 32 Saltmeadow Rd Wilmington $4,795,000         6) 1100 PEMBROKE JONES, WILMINGTON $4,950,000 5) 407 Bradley Creek Pt Rd,Wilmington $4,950,000     4) 49 Pipers Neck RD, Wilmington … [Read more...]

WILMINGTON LANDMARK ONE OF NEW LUXURY LISTINGS FOR JUNE

WILMINGTON, NC - One of the most recognizable homes in downtown Wilmington is now on the market. The Graystone Inn, located at 100 South 3rdStreet, is a massive 15,000 square foot home with 12 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms. The asking price is $2,500,000.                                 (Photo Courtesy of B. Bentor Landmark Southebys Realty) The bed and breakfast was built in 1905 as the private home of Elizabeth Bridgers. At the time of the construction, Mrs. Bridgers was the widow of Preston Bridgers, who was the son of Robert Rufus Bridgers, the founder of Wilmington/Weldon Railroad Company. Since it was transformed into a bed and breakfast in 1982, the home has been featured in a number of movies and television shows and, according to published reports, has hosted notable guests … [Read more...]

LUXURY HOUSING MARKET HITS A MAY SPEED BUMP

Wilmington, NC- After one of the most successful Aprils ever, the luxury housing market in the tri-county area slowed down considerably in the month of May. Sales of homes valued at $1 million or more dropped by 33%  from May of 2017 to May of this year. The biggest decrease took place in New Hanover County where sales fell by $5 million. In 2017, a total of 14 luxury homes sold in the county for a combined price of $22.3 million. This May, only 10 homes sold for a combined $17.3 million. In Brunswick County the numbers fell by half. In May of 2017, a total of 6 homes sold for $8.6 million.  Compare that to this year with 3 homes selling for $4.3 million. Only Pender County saw an increase in total value. The home at 230 N. Anderson Boulevard in Topsail Beach sold for $2,165,000. … [Read more...]

THINKING ABOUT BUYING IN HAMPSTEAD? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Hampstead has become a popular choice for people who want to move to the Cape Fear region. You can get more home for your money, the taxes are lower, and parents love the school district. Last year, Pender County had the 5th highest growth rate in the state. It saw a population increase of 13.2% and much of that growth is in the unincorporated town of Hampstead. The center of Hampstead is only 25 miles away from downtown Wilmington. But depending on the time of day and the traffic, the trip can take anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour. The irony is that because of the quick travel on I-140  Downtown Wilmington may be more accessible to people in Hampstead than working in an office in the Northern part of Wilmington… where the only way to get to it is thru the heavy … [Read more...]

SPRING BRINGS A LOT OF HEAT TO THE LUXURY HOUSING MARKET

Wilmington, NC- The luxury housing market in New Hanover County had its best  April in more than a dozen years. A total of 10 homes valued at $1 million or more sold in the past month for a combined value of         $15,159,000. This is the strongest April showing since 2006 when 11 homes sold for $18.1 million. In addition, April 2018 had 5 other homes that went under contract for a combined total of $7.3 million. Those transactions are expected to  close now and early June.   April proved to a more sluggish month for neighboring counties. No luxury homes sold in Pender County and only one closed in Brunswick County. The property at 208 Row Boat Road on Bald Head Island went under contract in early April for $1,895,000 and closed  on the 23rd. Both New Hanover and … [Read more...]

THE FATAL FOUR MISTAKES THAT FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS MAKE

Okay, we’re down to the Final Four. This weekend Nova, Kansas, Michigan and little Loyola will battle it out. So we are using basketball to come up with our own final four of sorts. What we’ve done here is to create a list of the top four mistakes that first time home buyers keep making over and over again. If you can avoid these fatal errors then homeownership can be a real blessing… but fall into one of these traps and it can also prove to be a nightmare. It was hard cutting the list down to just four. There are several important missteps that also need to be quickly mentioned: forgetting to make the first mortgage payment, buying more house than you can afford, making a major purchase (like a car) prior to getting a home loan or being either too eager to close or too indecisive to … [Read more...]

Local Luxury Market Boomed in 2017

WILMINGTON, NC – Luxury home sales in the tri-county area boomed in 2017 producing the best sales numbers in a decade. A total of 149 homes sold for more than $1 million each in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender in 2017. That compares to 99 high-end homes sales in 2016. Total dollar volume topped $248 million, almost a 56% increase over 2016. Last year’s luxury sales were the highest they’ve been since 2007. Of note were the 12 ultra-luxury homes, with selling prices of $3 million or more, which sold last year. That compares to only four similar sales in 2016 and represents the highest number since 2007 when 16 homes with price tags exceeding $3M sold. The most expensive properties to sell in each of the counties this past year were: New Hanover: 226 Beach Road North, … [Read more...]

Tax Refunds Give Buyers Extra Cash to Buy First Home

WILMINGTON, NC - If you’ve been toying with the idea of buying your first home, now is the time to get serious. There are several factors that make the first quarter of 2018 the perfect time for home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, to make the move. At the top of the list is tax refunds. According to the IRS, the average American received a tax refund of $2,763 for 2016 taxes filed. That’s extra cash buyers can use to help cover closing costs, which are often seen as a hurdle to purchasing a home. “Tax refunds are often seen as an opportunity to make a splurge purchase, but for those wanting to increase their net worth, it’s a chance to do so by buying a home. That’s means you stop making your landlord richer and start building your own wealth. Every mortgage payment is … [Read more...]