Network Wilmington Real Estate News

Dec. 11, 2017

Things To Do In Carolina Beach Christmas 2017

Believe it or not, the fun at the beach never stops. This year, Carolina Beach has a ton of fun activities for you and your family to do that are sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

The more-than 6,000 year-round residents of Carolina Beach have really come together this year to create a charming experience you're not soon to forget. That's why your family needs to check out the Island this Christmas season!

Christmas Flotilla

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
6:00 P.M.
Carolina Beach Boat Basin
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

The yearly Christmas Flotilla offers charming and uniquely lit boats for your family's viewing pleasure. These designs, created by hard working Carolina Beach locals, are truly one of a kind. Check out the Flotilla at the Carolina Beach Boat Basin on December 2nd - you won't regret it!

Christmas Parade

Friday, December 1st, 2017
7:30 P.M.
Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

The Carolina Beach Christmas Parade will have a variety of entertainment including festive floats, live bands, & of course - Santa Clause! The parade, a CB yearly tradition, is the unofficial kick-off for the Christmas season. Get your holiday started with a bang this December 1st on Lake Park Blvd!

Christmas By The Sea

December 9, 2017 - December 16, 2017
Carolina Beach Boardwalk
Atlanta Avenue
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

When you visit Christmas By The Sea you & your family will get to visit Santa's Workshop, listen to local storytellers, watch a live Nativity Scene, participate in Christmas Caroling, and many more holiday activities.

This is truly a one-stop-shop for Christmas in Carolina Beach. I mean, where else could you fit in all these Holiday activities in a single day? That's why you need to head on down to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk anytime from December 9th until December 16th.

Santa By The Sea

December 16, 2017 - December 17, 2017
9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher
900 Loggerhead Road
Kure Beach, NC 28449

When you visit Santa By The Sea, you and your family can chat with Santa & his favorite helper Penguin. You'll even get to see Santa dive with Sharks, Eels, and Sheldon the Sea Turtle!

At the Aquarium, Humans aren't the only animals who like getting into the Christmas spirit. Really, where else would you see Santa swimming with the Sharks? That's why you need to check out Santa By The Sea at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher anytime from December 16th until December 17th.

Cape Fear Festival Of Trees

November 20, 2017 - December 31, 2017
9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher
900 Loggerhead Road
Kure Beach, NC 28449

When you visit the Cape Fear Festival Of Trees, you and your family will get to walk through a traditionally charming & elegant Winter Wonderland.

The Christmas trees, decorated by local Carolina Beach businesses & residents, offer a perfect way to get everyone in your family in the Christmas spirit. That's why you need to check out the Cape Fear Festival Of Trees at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher anytime from November 20th until December 31st.

Island Of Lights Festival

November 24, 2017 - December 31, 2017
Carolina Beach Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

At the Island Of Lights Festival, you'll get to see a large variety of nightly lighted displays around Carolina Beach Lake, as well as local businesses and homes.

This is the number one way that Carolina Beach residents & businesses show their spirit, making it perfect for you and your family to drive around & catch the Christmas bug. That's why you need to check out the Island Of Lights Festival all over Carolina Beach from November 24th until December 31st.

If you need a place for you and your family to stay while you're in the area, check out our Carolina Beach Rentals today!

Posted in Local Events
Oct. 30, 2017

Things To Do In Carolina Beach NC

Recommendations From A Local

Having lived in the area for over 10 years, there are a few recommendations I didn't find on any lists - which you absolutely must check out while you're in Carolina Beach!

*Scroll to the bottom of this post for a Map of all locations mentioned.

Carolina Beach Farmer's Market

400 S Lake Park Blvd,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Pop's Diner

109 N Lake Park Blvd,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-7377

Fort Fisher State Park

1000 Loggerhead Rd,
Kure Beach, NC 28449
(910) 458-5798


Popular Stops

Here are the Top 10 most commonly recommended things to do in Carolina Beach, NC.

Carolina Beach State Park

1010 State Park Road,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-8206

Carolina Beach Boardwalk

Carolina Beach Ave S,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-8434

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

101 G Cape Fear Blvd,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 232-1592

Nature & Wildlife Tours

1010 State Park Road,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-8206

Eco Tours

1010 State Park Road,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 612-3297

Kayaking & Canoeing

220 Annie Drive,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-9171

Room Escape Games

100 N Lake Park Blvd, 2nd Floor,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 707-3948

Freeman Park

1800 Canal Dr,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-4614

Carolina Beach Fishing Pier

1800 Carolina Beach Ave N,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-5518

Good Hops Brewing

811 Harper Ave,
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(706) 713-1594


Posted in Local Events
Oct. 16, 2017

Downtown Wilmington Restaurants

Downtown Wilmington Restaurants

 *See below for Map of all locations.

The Basics

319 N Front St
(910) 343-1050

It's often the simplest meals that when done right can truly be like food for the soul. That's the promise that The Basics makes with their menu, and boy - do they deliver! This is a must-visit for any lovers of gourmet soul food out there.

Paddy's Hollow Restaurant and Pub

10 Walnut St The Cotton Exchange
(910) 762-4354

Here's a truly unique location for you to try the next time you're downtown. Paddy's Hollow is designed to look like an old-school Victorian Pub, and they really hit their mark. You'll feel like you've been transported to another era as you sip your brew & grub on their delicious Shepard's Pie.

Copper Penny

109 Chestnut St
(910) 762-1373

Known for their relaxed & charming atmosphere, Copper Penny is the perfect place to grab lunch with some good company. They offer a large variety of sandwiches, appetizers, & of course - beers.

The German Cafe

316 Nutt St The Cotton Exchange Building, Lower Level, Facing the Hilton
(910) 763-5523

This Downtown Wilmington gem has been operating out of the same location in The Cotton Exchange for 32 years, and that's no coincidence. They serve authentic Old World German dishes such as Jager Schnitzel, Wiener Schnitzel, & potato pancakes.

Port City Java

300 N Front St Ste E2
(910) 251-8809

If you're a coffee lover like me, you know the difference between Coffee coming from freshly roasted beans vs. the alternative. That's why you need to visit Port City Java. They roast their beans 5 days a week, guaranteeing a fresh cup every time.

Caprice Bistro

10 Market St
(910) 815-0810

This Bistro is a must-visit for any true Foodies out there. Serving everything from Beef Bourguignon (beef braised in red wine sauce, lardon, onions, & mushrooms) to Escargots Petits Gris (tender escargot sautéed w/garlic in Roquefort cream), you won't find this eclectic selection anywhere else.

Kilwin's Ice Cream & Candy

16 Market St between Front and 2nd
(910) 772-1298

If you're in the mood for some of the world's best Mackinac Island Fudge or homemade Ice Cream, then Kilwin's can't be beaten. This is the perfect place to take your kids, as they'll get to see the Fudge & Ice Cream making process play out right before their eyes.

The Scoop Sandwich and Ice Cream Shop

365 N Front St
(910) 399-4818

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs anyone? This local favorite is so much more than your average Ice Cream Shop. Take a break from your shopping at the Cotton Exchange & grab one of their famous milkshakes - your mouth will thank you.

Front Street Brewery

9 N Front St
(910) 251-1935

You won't find a better Whiskey selection than that of Front Street Brewery anywhere in the state of NC. In fact, they have more than 360 bottles to date, with more being added regularly. Not to mention their 25+ gourmet burgers & sandwiches.

Chops Deli

130 N Front St Suite 101
(910) 399-6503

Chops Deli has consistently ranked in Top 10 lists for having the best Sandwiches & Soup in Wilmington. At this Delicatessen, you'll find that they use only the highest quality ingredients - quickly proving why they've earned their great reputation.


Posted in Local Events
Oct. 3, 2017

Dog Friendly Beaches NC

"It really doesn't get much better than this," I thought a few days ago as I threw the neon yellow tennis ball down the beach for Deuce, my Golden Retriever to fetch. If you're reading this article, I'm guessing you've had a similar thought at some point in the past.

We've probably also shared another experience, this one on the opposite end of the spectrum. In my nearly 10 years living in this area, I've had to turn my car around multiple times at the sight of a "No Pets Allowed" sign. That's a depressing affair for both Deuce & I, and it's exactly why I wrote this article. Without further ado, here are the best dog friendly beaches in NC.

1. Are dogs allowed on Carolina Beach?

During the off-season, from October 1st to March 31st, dogs are allowed on Carolina Beach all day. That comes with the stipulation that your dog is on a leash at all times, and that you have some sort of container to clean up after them on your person.

When the Summer weather rolls back around, lasting from April 1st through September 30th, pet laws are slightly more strict on Carolina Beach. All the previous rules still apply, but at this time you can only take your pet out onto the beach between 5 PM and 9 AM.

2. Are dogs allowed on Kure Beach?

Presumably, because Kure Beach & Carolina Beach are direct neighbors, they share all the same laws when it comes to being pet friendly - so refer to the information above.

3. Are dogs allowed on Wrightsville Beach?

Like the previous two beaches, you can have your leashed dog on Wrightsville Beach at any time during the off-season (October 1st to March 31st). They have the same law requiring you to keep a waste disposal container with you at all times.

Unlike Carolina & Kure Beach, Wrightsville doesn't allow pets at any time during their peak Summer season (April 1st through September 30th).

4. Are dogs allowed on the beach at Fort Fisher?

Fort Fisher might be the most pet friendly area on our list. That's because you're allowed to bring your favorite dog/s at any time year-round - and they don't have to be on a leash! They still require waste cleanup bags, but they're provided at the beach for easy access.

5. Are dogs allowed on Ocean Isle Beach?

The laws of Ocean Isle (and many of the other Brunswick beaches) fall somewhere on the spectrum between the laws of Carolina Beach & Fort Fisher. That's because leashed dogs are allowed on the beach throughout the year at all times of the day - except from Memorial Day to Labor Day, where they're only allowed from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Those are the best dog friendly beaches in NC. Now you'll never run into another oppressive "No Pets Allowed" sign, and I know your pooch will thank you for that!  Also check out this post we wrote a while back for more dog friendly places in Wilmington NC.

Posted in Vacation Rentals
Aug. 11, 2017

5 Important Reasons to Use a Realtor

Whether you're buying or selling a home, it's important to hire a professional to assist you with each step of the process. Unfortunately, many different mistakes can be made with the transaction that takes place if you don't have several years of experience in the real estate industry. Here are a few important reasons that you'll want to use the services of a professional realtor.

1. Neighborhood Knowledge

Real estate agents are extremely knowledgeable about different neighborhoods and can help you to determine the right price for the home you want to sell. You may be aware that a house down the street was listed for $300,000, but you may not know that it sold for less after several months of the market. 

2. Negotiation Skills

Realtors are skilled and experienced in negotiating to ensure that you get more money for your home or obtain a great deal on a house that you make an offer on. Realtors are trained professionals who are capable of delivering the buyer's offer in the best light and creating a good relationship with the seller. They will also keep all of the information confidential and will have your best interest in mind.

3. Turbocharged Searching Power

Although you may have the ability to find multiple listings in the local area when shopping for a new home, realtors are capable of getting more results due to advanced tools that they have available. The realtor can find listings that may not be advertised and can also direct you to a property that is in your price range, which will allow you to have more options that are available.

4. Professional Networking

Realtors are connected to other professionals in the industry who can provide you with different resources that make it easier to buy or sell. You can have access to an extensive list of vendors that offer competitive pricing and won't want to ruin their reputation with the realtor after they're hired. You'll easily be connected to handymen or inspectors that are available locally and have established a good reputation.

5. They Follow a Strict Code of Ethics

Realtors are licensed and belong to the National Association of Realtors, which requires them to be held to a higher standard. They are required to follow a strict code of ethics to ensure that they are honest and have your best interest in mind when providing their services.


Posted in Buying a Home
July 26, 2017

Pros and Cons of Buying a Distressed Property

Every home buyer wants a deal, but when the price of a piece of real estate gets too low, there’s a reason. It’s time to stop, take a breath, and let that tingling Spidey sense go to work. There’s a good chance you’re standing on top of a short sale implemented by an owner desperate to avoid foreclosure. That doesn’t mean you should automatically walk away. Just realize you’re advancing into a minefield and should take care before signing on the dotted line. Consider the following pros and cons of buying a distressed property to prevent getting burned.

Reasons to Buy a Distressed Property

The best evidence in favor of buying a distressed property is obvious. The price. It’s what got your nose twitching in the first place. The reason it’s so low, however, is the owner has neither the money nor time to put into the house to fetch a higher price. If he or she is not desperate yet, they’re two steps away. Whether you’re looking to live in the place or fix it up to rent out, you sit in the proverbial catbird seat on the deal as long as you retain the power to walk away. Unless the place was built on a dioxin dump or constructed from lead and asbestos, there’s a good chance you could plow some money into it and sell for a profit. 

Reasons to Avoid a Distressed Property

You have basically one reason in favor of buying a distressed property. Every other reason warns you against it. This is not to say you should walk away from the idea, but be sure you calculate everything that could go wrong. If you find yourself at a creative deficit, watch the 1986 movie “The Money Pit” with Tom Hanks. A distressed property’s condition might be worse than you realize at first glance. Thus the reason it is termed “distressed.” Unless you’re qualified to do the work yourself, you’ll pay (perhaps a lot) for contractors and materials to bring it up to snuff. Electrical and plumbing issues can run into serious money.

Other downsides to a short sale are the little chance the homeowner will foot any of the rehab bills, and it’s possible you won’t be able to have an inspector give it the once over before you buy. You literally could be purchasing a property almost sight unseen. A final drawback is trying to get a lender’s approval for the purchase. It isn’t unusual for this kind of real estate to not meet minimum lending guidelines.

The Bottom Line

If this is your first experience with buying a distressed property, tread carefully. People can and do successfully this kind of transaction every day, but the ones who manage it successfully have a team of reliable contractors in place to do the work and trusted real estate and legal minds to close the deal. Educate yourself on the potential pitfalls, don’t get in a hurry, and you might be just the buyer to turn a money pit around.
Posted in Buying a Home
July 12, 2017

4 Reasons To Sell Your Home In 2017

The time is now to sell your home
If you are still not sure if selling your home this year is a smart financial move, there are several reasons to take the plunge and go for a change in your address.

Money is cheap and people have jobs

Even though mortgage rates have risen slightly since last October, many of the most popular mortgage loans remain at historically low rates. Most market experts agree that mortgage rates will remain around the 4 percent level at least for the short term before they begin to inch up, maybe towards the end of the year.

Why are low mortgage rates important to you as a seller? Simply put, the lower mortgage rates are, the cheaper money is to borrow. When mortgage rates are low, more buyers are enticed into the real estate market, meaning you'll have more offers for your home, which could drive up its price.

Unemployment rates have also been decreasing and wages have been rising in recent months, meaning that more people than ever before can afford to buy a home. 

A case of supply and demand

The number of homes available for sale has declined by 54 percent since 2007, and there were only about 1.85 million homes available for sale across the entire country as of last November. For sellers, this means a couple of things. There is less competition in the market and the forces of economics are clearly coming into play in real estate.

The less of something there is, the more valuable it becomes – everyone knows that's old-fashioned supply and demand. For home sellers, it means that their property will sell for more now when there are fewer homes available to purchase.

The buying impulse is back

When the real estate market collapsed a decade ago, the pool of buyers dried up. That has now changed, as many buyers are realizing now is the time to purchase their own slice of the American dream. Many have realized that as rental prices have increased, it is now actually saving them money (and netting them equity) to buy a home rather than rent.

Many millennials who have put off starting families and buying homes are feeling more confident in the economy and are entering the real estate market for the first tie as well, meaning that sellers have an even greater pool of buyers for their homes.

Home values have increased

Home values increased by 6.8 percent from November of 2015 to November of 2016, to an average of $234,900. This marked the 57th month of a year over year increase in home values, meaning that sellers are benefiting from the price increase.

Many homeowners who found themselves upside down in their mortgages due to the real estate collapse can now sell their homes and make a profit, rather than having to absorb a loss.

Potential sellers should also factor into their decision the impact of the new administration ins Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump is a real estate developer himself and will bring that knowledge to the table as he implements policy decisions that could impact the housing market.
Posted in Selling Your Home
June 14, 2017

The Top 11 Reasons to Hire a Professional Vacation Rental Manager

1. Quicker Screening & Sourcing Of Renters

At Network Realty, our Professional Vacation Managers have a variety of tools at their disposal to help them find & screen potential renters.  It used to be the case that individual property managers could have a great deal of success marketing their properties using the term "by-owner", but those days are a thing of the past.  

Due to the way technology has changed in the last few years, there's no way for an individual manager to compete with the level of distribution a Professional can achieve.  The additional property management fees are quickly offset by the sheer amount of revenue professionals can pull in for your property.  Plus, you won't have to deal with the headache of management.


2. Get More Free Time

The amount of time it takes to manage even a single Vacation Rental property can quickly add up to several hours per week - especially during peak season.  You're in charge of handling everything from housekeeping & maintenance to reservations & guest requests.  

Not to mention - you've got to find people to rent the property in the first place!  Couldn't you find a better use for your time somewhere else?  We know you could.


3. Spend More Time Looking For Other Vacation Rental Investments

When you get back all that free time by using a Professional Property Manager, you can put all your focus back on what put you in this position in the first place - a great investment!  When you think about it, isn't it a win-win situation?  

You'll get all the benefits of owning a Vacation Rental property (passive income, a place to vacation when you need it) without any of the drawbacks (the major time investment).


4. You Can Finally Sleep In

Usually, when you're the property manager of your Vacation Rental, it's your job to do everything.  But you can rest easy when you leave the job to Network Realty.  That's because we'll be the ones watching over your property when a guest has a problem in the middle of the night.  

We have a lot of experience in this area, so you can trust we'll respond to your guests in a timely & respectable manner.


5. No More Tax Headaches

Another time vacuum for individual property managers is staying on top of local & state compliance laws.  We're always keeping track of those changes, so never fear.  We'll even file your sales & lodging taxes!  


6. Handling Customer Requests

Often, individual property managers underestimate how much time they'll have to spend responding to vacation rental customer requests.  But just like any service business, our industry comes with a great deal of required hospitality thrown in.  Lucky for property owners, that's where we shine.  

That means you won't have to take on a whole separate job like you would if you were managing your own property. 


7. We'll Protect Your Property While You're Away

No one wants to feel that they're bound like a prisoner to their Vacation Rental property.  That's why we want to help you by providing all the custom care your renters could hope for - while freeing you up to live your life.  All of this while your property is continually earning passive income for you and your family.


8. Get A Better Bang For Your Buck

The subject of yield management is often a difficult one for individual property owners to get right.  Unless you've had direct experience maximizing rates, occupancy, & gross revenue, it's very difficult to find that sweet spot.  

Our Professional Property Managers can help you by figuring out the perfect balance between how much you can legitimately charge without risking scaring away potential guests.


9. Laying Down The Law

The Vacation Rental Industry, specifically it's regulations & laws, is always changing.  Just like trying to keep up with a sport you only have a slight understanding of, this can be one of the most confusing aspects of "by owner" property management.  

To avoid getting yourself into any potential legal battles, let our highly invested Property Managers take the lead here.


10. We've Got A Team Behind Us

Like we mentioned before, it takes a lot of your free time to respond to maintenance & service requests.  Not to mention, you usually have to find those providers yourself.  That's not the case when you work with a Professional Property Management company.  

We handle all the "behind the scenes" logistics, & already have well-established relationships with our providers.  This means that service requests we send out to our providers are usually processed faster than general requests coming from individuals.


11. Other Connections With Providers

Another benefit of using a Professional Property Management company is the fact that you don't have to be at the beck & call of your guests when maintenance issues arise.  That's because we always schedule routine maintenance on all of our properties.  

That way, they're much less likely to need emergency repairs.  If any emergencies do occur, however, we have a great history with our service providers - so you can trust they'll do the job right the first time.


Have you seen light?  Contact us to see all the management services we provide today!

Posted in Vacation Rentals
June 9, 2017

Important Resolutions New Home Buyers Should Implement

If you are thinking about buying a home, now is a good time for you to analyze your financial habits. While financial planning is always beneficial, it can directly help you if you are planning to make a serious financial commitment like buying a home. Here are some resolutions that you can adopt to keep your finances in check while preparing to purchase a home. 

Pay Attention To Your Credit History 
Potential homeowners try to do everything that they possibly can to improve their credit before they apply for a mortgage. When it comes to approving a mortgage, lenders place a lot of emphasis on the applicant's credit history. You can improve your credit score by paying off your debts. Any positive changes in your credit score will enhance your ability to get favorable terms on your mortgage. Be sure to avoid applying for credit close to the purchasing date of your home. Lenders will look at that as a red flag. 

Pay Down Any Liabilities 
Paying off any financial liabilities before purchasing a home will help lenders see you as a stable when you apply for a mortgage. You will have more financial freedom in regards to paying for moving expenses or furnishing your home. Try to focus on getting rid of the high interest debt first. 

Set Up An Emergency Fund 
Emergencies are always certain to pop up. Setting up an emergency fund is a symbol that you are in good control of your finances, which is especially important as you prepare to purchase a home. Having an emergency fund can stop you from using the finances that are set aside for your home purchase and using them to help with a car repair or surgery. Always make sure that there is money set aside in case home repairs are required. 

Set A Budget 
Budgeting is an important financial tool. When creating a budget, note the increased costs that home ownership may bring. You'll likely have to pay property taxes, homeowners association fees, and even home maintenance charges. Budgeting helps you put money aside so that you will prepared to deal with those charges. 

Use The Budget 
Live within that budget so that you can get a good idea of how everything will work in the future. It is important that you use the budget to see if there are any areas that should be adjusted before you purchase the home. 

Create A Home Buying Fund 
If you have not created a home buying fund, you should do so immediately. Add any extra money to the fund so that you can open up new avenues once you purchase the home. Set aside some money to deal with charges such as private mortgage insurance, closing costs, home inspections, and appraisal fees. 

Get Familiar With Home Maintenance 
Your home will require basic maintenance to remain healthy. If you want to learn about basic home maintenance, attend a workshop, watch online tutorials, or read some books. This will help you save thousands of dollars in maintenance costs in the future.
Posted in Buying a Home
May 31, 2017

New Construction or Existing Home?

When looking for a home, most people have the choice between an existing, already-built home and new construction. There are a lot of reasons to buy a new home, but there also are some drawbacks that you need to consider.

If you are building your home from scratch rather than buying a "spec" or model home, you will have the ability to customize the home to your liking. If you want to be able to design everything in the home, you will need to work with a custom builder. Some of the things you will need to decide are how big the home will be, how many bedrooms and baths it will have and where rooms will go. Keep in mind that going the custom route will increase the cost.

Building a new home can allow you to be a little bit more picky about where you live. Wherever you can find a buildable lot for sale, you can build your home. With whatever area you choose, whether it's a new subdivision or an infill lot inside the city, you want to make sure you do your research to find about schools, crime rates, and other vital information. And you want to make sure you understand all local codes and zoning restrictions to be sure you can build the size and type of home you want.

When building a new home, you have to time your move properly. Remember that whatever building time frame you are given is an estimate and can be affected by weather, the ability of subcontractors and a variety of other factors, so you need to have some flexibility built into your moving plans. If you own another home, you will have to decide whether you want to sell it and live somewhere temporarily while your home is being finished or wait to sell it until after your home is complete.

Ongoing costs
Though building a new home should cut down on your initial maintenance costs, because everything is new and unlikely to break down or fail, there still are ongoing costs of owning a home that apply whether it's new or not. These include things like lawn and landscape care and HVAC maintenance. The good news with a new home is that it should be many years before you have to worry about things such as replacing appliances or fixing your roof.

There are many things to consider when deciding on whether to buy a new home or an existing one. However, the advantages of a new home usually outweigh any drawbacks for most buyers.


Posted in Buying a Home