House Features That Moms Love

by seacoast_ashley 13. May 2015 08:06

 


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My family is planning our next move. We are listing our house, and have started dreaming about what our next house will be like. As a mom to small children, I find myself looking for certain features in a home.


My biggest “dream feature” would be close proximity to my own Mom. This is something that will not change anytime soon. We will most likely live hours apart for many more years. To make up for the fact that there is a long drive between us, I would love to have an in-law suite. I am hoping that this will not be too hard to find, as double master suites seems to be an option that many homebuilders are now offering. Having a comfortable place for my Mom would hopefully encourage her to come for longer periods of time! Mom is the best babysitter, counselor, and friend I have, so more time with her is always a plus.


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School districts are a huge factor in the homes that I will consider. Not only the schools, but the kid-friendly activities that are near the house, and kid-focused amenities that a neighborhood has to offer. Before having children these types of things were completely off my radar. Now, as I look at homes and neighborhoods it is the one thing that I can not overlook. It is my Number One priority. All moms want the best for their children, and want a safe place to send their kids. It is a huge bonus if the house and neighborhood are not near any busy roads. When summer days are stretching longer and longer and my nerves are growing thinner and thinner I want the kids to be able to play outside! Nothing can change a bad attitude like a quick dose of sunshine.


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Now that the kids are safe, let's move on to the next thing that a Mom-approved house might offer. It is storage. Moms want storage and lots of it. I don’t know very many moms that are able to totally conquer clutter. Toys breed while we sleep at night! If you walk into a house with kids and don’t see toys I will guarantee you that there is a closet somewhere that is stocked, stacked, and stuffed with them. That closet probably has a broken door from the hip bump needed for Mom to get it to shut. My next house will have storage galore! I want closets, cabinets, and attics. Throw in a dedicated laundry room for the piles currently residing on the bathroom floor and I am one happy Mama.


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A Mom-approved home will function flawlessly. The ability to multi-task and schedule is one of our most powerful attributes. We want our homes to offer a functionality that enables us to multi-task with ease. I want to be able to cook while watching the puppet show happening on the couch. The functionality of an open floor plan is so very appealing. I do know that as the kids grow I may want more walls...to separate myself from angry teens, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.


At the end of the day, even a superhero needs rest. Moms need to take a little time to reflect and re-energize. The last and quite possibly the most important thing that a Mom-friendly house will have (the thing that I try to envision in every single potential new home I tour) is the Mom Retreat. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be separated from the rest of the house, though that would be awesome. It just has to be MY space. It is a space that I will decorate totally for ME. A space where I may or may not allow kids to play. It is a space that will nurture me and provide moments of peace and solitude.

Some of my mom friends are looking for huge tubs to soak away stress. Some of them are looking for gardening spaces. Some of them just want a bay window so that they can watch the world grow. It doesn’t matter what kind of space moms are looking for: we need it. Moms need to care for themselves to be able to care for everyone else!


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What features did I leave off the list that you think are Mom necessities? Is there any feature in your own home that has made life with kids a little easier? Let me know!

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https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


All Homes pictured above are current listings of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty. If you would like additional photographs, information, or homes tours please visit our website!

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/








Robots in the Home?

by seacoast_ashley 4. May 2015 16:31


How do you feel about the idea of having robots in your home? I’m not talking about the ones that a child left laying in the hallway, but rather an actual robot with an actual job to do? Many of us have tried and either loved or hated robots in the past.


My first venture into robots for the home was the Roomba robot that vacuums. http://www.irobot.com/For-the-Home/Vacuum-Cleaning/Roomba.aspx

I loved Roomba until my anxious dog decided that there was room for only one thing, namely her, under the dining room table. Sure, the Roomba didn’t do the job quite as well as I do with the stand up vac, but it did allow me to go for longer times between actual vacuuming. Now there are also a variety of floor cleaning robots that mop, this could be a total game changer in my house, and I look forward to trying one...as soon as the price drops a little on them.

http://www.irobot.com/For-the-Home/Floor-Mopping/Braava.aspx

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For cat owners there is the Litter-Robot. Yes, a robot that scoops out the used cat litter and stores it in a baggie for you to dispose of. http://www.litter-robot.com/litter-robot.aspx?id=13 It is a little pricey, but if you really really hate scooping the litter box you might just find a way to buy one! If you go on vacation there is the automatic pet feeder.


Robots have invaded our outside space as well. There is the Robomow. This is a robotic lawn mower. You can read more about them here http://usa.robomow.com/explore-robomow/. Even the gutters are getting a helping hand from robots. The iRobot Looj is comes with a remote that allows the user to just point and shoot and the little Looj will do its job! My husband has now left to look for a Looj. http://www.irobot.com/for-the-home/outdoor-maintenance/looj.aspx


There are pool cleaning robots, alarm clock robots, smartphone robots, robotic animals for kids (or people who can’t deal with the litter box even if a robot is scooping it).

As a kid, I remember thinking that the cartoon The Jetsons was just one flying car away from becoming total reality. We aren't quite there yet, but I do see robots creeping more and more into our everyday existence.

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Soon Amazon’s Echo will begin showing up in homes. The release date on Amazon is July 8, 2015, and you must request an invitation to buy one. http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/will-echo-game-changer-homes/

Echo is a voice activated computer, much like Siri is to iPhone users. Echo is simply there to scour the Internet and find the answers to questions for its owners. Sorry kids, Echo isn’t going to do your homework - or will it? Will she roll through the kitchen with a plate of freshly baked cookies that she baked in a slot on her chest? No. Will she find the recipe for the cookies? Maybe. Will I still ask for an Echo for my birthday? Absolutely. I am almost 100% positive that Echo will decrease the amount of times that I am asked to spell something from my first grader. http://www.amazon.com/oc/echo/ref_=ods_dp_ae

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Smart homes (though not entirely robot reliant) are all the rage. The Nest thermostat is evidence of that. https://nest.com/thermostat/life-with-nest-thermostat/ I am seeing Nest in more and more homes and it was even suggested that I install one as a selling point when listing my house on the real estate market. Buyers are aware that a change is occurring. Here is a great list of 25 Smart Technologies that Matter Most to Home Buyers http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/selling-a-smart-home/


A few days after the completion of this blog post (I thought) Tesla made a huge announcement. Tesla unveiled a home battery system. Yes, a battery that powers your entire home! The battery is charged with the use of solar panels. This may be a huge game changer in the energy sector. The battery is called Powerwall and is reported that it will cost around $3000. Tesla is taking reservations for the system, which should be delivered sometime in the summer of 2015. You can read more about the Powerwall here http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall


Are you an open and willing participant in the robot, smart homes, tech tech everywhere movement that is happening? Do you believe that a change is occurring at all, or are all of the adults just attempting to create another Jetson fantasy that is still decades away? Let us know what you think! And, if you have tried any of the products listed above please give me your take on them! You can communicate with us via Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


Via Twitter at

@InsideSeaCoast


If you are looking for a home that has smart features or if you are looking for a regular house with regular features you can find them all here!

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/

Fun Things to do in Wilmington this Weekend

by seacoast_ashley 1. May 2015 03:46


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1.Parade of Homes

75+ homes in Pender, Brunswick, and New Hanover county will be open for viewing in the 29th annual Parade of Homes. This event is a great chance for buyers to see some of the new homes in our area, and get the opportunity to see what makes each of the local homebuilders unique. This event is free. Homes are open Sat. and Sun. from noon until 5pm each day.

http://wilmingtonparadeofhomes.com/


2. Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series

The summer concert series at Airlie Gardens kicks off Friday from 6:00-8:00pm. Enjoy music in the stunning setting of Airlie Gardens, surrounded by the beauty that is Eastern NC. Tickets are $9/Adults, $2/Children (4yrs-12yrs), Free/Children under

http://airliegardens.org/airlie-events/summer-concert-series-jack-jack-180/

 

 

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Photo courtesy http://www.bellamymansion.org/

3. Wilmington Wine and Food Festival

Wilmington’s 3rd annual Wine and Food Fest featuring some of Wilmington’s top chefs and culinary experts. This festival benefits The Bellamy Mansion Museum and Nourish NC. Sample wines and beers paired with amazing food. Sounds like you can’t go wrong with this one!

http://www.wilmingtonwineandfood.com/

4. Cape Fear Habitat Re-Store Upscale Resale

Treasures galore at the UpScale ReSale benefitting Habitat for Humanity. Find unique creations by local designers working with ReStore finds. Friday evening kicks off the event with a preview sip, see, and sale. Saturday continues the fun with a sale open to the general public.

http://www.capefearhabitat.org/

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Photo courtesy http://www.capefearriverwatch.org/gallery/photos

5. LakeFest Kayak Race at Greenfield Lake

A family friendly event with the Cape Fear River Watch. The festival should be lots of fun with kayak races, educational eco-tours, animals, arts and crafts, face painting and more! Enjoy all that Greenfield Lake has to offer!

http://www.capefearriverwatch.org/education/lakefest-2015



With spring in Full swing our area is bustling with things to do! Here are a few more of the events happening around our area, and links for information.


Southport Naturefest

http://stateportpilot.com/news/article_d1d2b224-c5a6-11e4-9255-fb7bbee9cea4.html

Fundraiser - Kentucky Derby Party at Poplar Grove

http://www.poplargrove.org/events/kentucky-derby-party/

Topsail Island Surf and Pier Fishing Challenge

http://fishermanspost.com/tournaments/topsail-island-spring-surf-fishing-challenge

Boogie in the Park at Kure Beach

http://www.visitkurebeachnc.com/events-calendar/boogie-in-the-park-presents-uncle-hairy/

Cape Fear Comedy Festival

https://capefearcomedy.com/


***AND AS ALWAYS - VISIT ANY OF OUR OPEN HOUSES THIS WEEKEND TO BE ENTERED TO WIN $500 IN OUR COAST IN AND WIN***

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/property/property-list.asp?VAR_SearchType=openhouse&VAR_MapStatus=LISTMAP

Ode to Realtors - What My Realtor Needs to Know

by seacoast_ashley 28. April 2015 08:34

There are moments, some huge and some just tiny snapshots, that mold my view of the places that I have called home. Some places were short-lived but still hold a snippet in my memory; some places are still in my life and fill my memory with family, happiness, sadness, smells, and sounds.


My current home is the one that seems to be taking up the most space in my brain. This home has seen my first years of marriage, first “adult” jobs, babies being carefully carried over the threshold. There have been old pets living out last days, and new pets exploring a yard for the first time. Children have taken first baths, taken first steps, and learned to dribble and shoot basketballs here.

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My family has grown, and is often the case with many sellers, I am having a hard time imagining making memories in a new house. I have narrowed down the wish list to things that my family will need in the future. Our little ones will not want to share a bedroom forever, and so we added an extra bedroom as a must. Our family will not always want to be in the same room, on the same couch, sharing the same blanket. A house with not quite so much of an “open floor-plan” was added to the must haves.


Whatever a seller’s reasons are for selling, most of the time it is not a rash decision, but rather one that involves replaying the memories of what made a house a home a thousand times over. There is the acceptance that at the sale of the house means that the memories of that place will stop layering in the mind and heart.


Here comes the great part! After the sale of our house we will begin looking for a new memory maker. We will excitedly begin imagining ourselves planting a garden in unfamiliar soil, or soaking in an amazing tub that we currently do not have, we will picture shutting the door to the kitchen! Adventure awaits!


Real estate brokers play a bigger factor in our lives than we ever really take time to think about. How do we choose our Realtor? These are the people that are often choosing the homes that they think would fit us and our families. These are the people that can visualize the future for us when we are unable to. Choosing a Realtor is way more important than I previously thought.


I realized very early on that I really needed to trust and like my agent. I needed to know that this person would understand that leaving our current home would be a BIG deal for us. That the whole experience was not just rooted in money. I also need a realtor that understands that I am making a decision for five people. All five people will be calling the next place home for quite some time. And, I want all five people to be able to build incredible memories in a place that they love.


To be able to convey to my realtor what this move is about, I need to define the word “home” for myself and each of my family members. For myself, home is a place where I can cook for and take care of my family, and a place that I can find space that allows me to calm down when poop, or throw-up, or a vast array of other liquid items hit the fan. For my husband, home would be a place that he is able to explore his surroundings, encourage our children to get dirty, spread his messes without fear, and pursue his artistic endeavors. For my kids this home will need to be a place that they feel safe, a place that allows them to grow both closer and away from each other, and a place that they will be able to make lifelong friendships.


My Realtor holds a huge amount of responsibility. The trust that we have for our real estate agent is immeasurable. We know that this person will guide us into the next phase of our lives. We trust that they will be educated, and will know where we can save some money. They will know the legalities, the way to fill out forms, our best options for everything from home inspectors to loan officers. We trust that they will be personable and kind and truly love what they do because we will surely need them to be excited on the days that we are not.  We trust that they will know where to find what it is we are looking for, and if they can’t find it, or if  it doesn’t exist that they will guide us in a way that opens our eyes to different possibilities.


This piece started as an Ode to Home and ended up as an Ode to Realtors! Home and realtors...like peanut butter and jelly!


Moving is a huge deal filled with lots of emotions. Why are you buying or selling? What kinds of traits are you looking for in your realtor? Tell us on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


With well over 400 Agents, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is the largest Real Estate Firm in Eastern NC, If You need a Realtor I would highly urge you to look here

http://www.seacoastrealty.com


Realtor.com article on What to Consider When Choosing a Realtor

http://www.realtor.com/advice/designations-understand/


Nice Article on Choosing the Right Listing Agent

http://www.frontdoor.com/real-estate/how-to-choose-a-great-listing-agent


Questions to ask Potential Realtors

http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/questions-ask-when-choosing-realtor

10 Things to do in Eastern NC This Weekend!

by seacoast_ashley 23. April 2015 15:21

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As the weekend approaches our coast is gearing up for activities galore! Whether you have guests in town, or are visiting our area you will surely find something fun! Here are 10 things to do on the NC coast this weekend!


1. 2015 Parade of Homes

If you are exploring your home buying options here in the Cape Fear, or just love to look at beautiful homes then this is the activity for you! Over 70 homes will be on display this year. See some of the options offered up by our local homebuilders. The event runs for two weekends April 25-26 and then again from May 1-2. Homes are open for viewing from 12pm-5pm. For more details visit

http://wilmingtonparadeofhomes.com/event-information/


2. Southport Paint the Town Plein Air Paint Out

The town of Southport will be hosting the Plein Air Paint Out. Both beginner and seasoned artists alike will be practicing the art of plein air painting (painting in the outdoors). Visitors will be able to meander the quaint town of Southport, have the chance to speak with the artists, and the opportunity to purchase paintings on site. The event runs from 9am-5pm April24 - April25.For more details, check out the Star News article

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150421/articles/150419797


3. Celebrate the Flytrap!

The NC Coastal Land Trust sponsored event Flytrap Frolic will be held Saturday from 9am-1pm at 3800 Canterbury Road. This is a freeevent with activities the whole family can enjoy. After treating the kids to a carnivorous plant lesson, drop them with the sitter and head out to one of Wilmington’s newest watering holes. Head to  Flytrap Brewery for live music and dinner from the Vittles Food Truck. Cheers to our region and the unique plants that grow here! http://www.coastallandtrust.org/Flytrap  

http://www.flytrapbrewing.com/home.html

4. The Star Party at Carolina Beach State Park

Star gaze on April 24 from 7:00pm-10:30pm. Telescopes will be set up for viewing our beautiful night sky, and astronomy related activities will be available for all to enjoy. This is a state wide event happening all along our coast. You might also be interested in the event happening in Jacksonville. In the event of rain the event will be held the following night April 25. To learn more about the event or to find a Star Party closer to you, visit

http://www.ncsciencefestival.org/2015_event/ssp2015-carolinabeach/


5. The Carolina Cup

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Head out to Wrightsville beach this weekend to catch the tail end of the Carolina Cup! This weeklong event will wind up on Saturday. Wrightsville Beach is one of the premiere locations for SUP (Stand-up Paddling). There are sure to be some amazing sites and most likely include a ride home filled with plans for buying your first SUP. Events will be in full swing April 24 - April 25. For information about this event

http://wrightsvillebeachpaddleclub.com/


6. Earth Day Celebration at Hugh MacRae Park

Celebrate our Earth with your family in a beautiful setting. This annual event will be held April 25 from 12pm-6pm. The event is free to attend. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. This is a family friendly FUN event. The offerings include live music, a kids zone, and exhibitors galore! This event is designed to honor our Earth, educate, and inspire eco action!

http://www.wilmingtonearthday.com/celebrate_2015.html#more


7. Wilmington Riverfront Farmers Market

Yay! The market is back until November. Stroll downtown, maybe catch a yummy breakfast at The Dixie Grill, then head down to the Riverfront to scoop up plenty of fresh local foods, flowers, and crafts. This is a nice place to meet the people in your community and explore the amazing things that our farmers grow! The market is open April 25 from 8am-1pm.

http://www.wilmingtondowntown.com/events/farmers-market


8. Coastal Cluck Coop Tour

April 25 from 10am-3pm visitors will be able to tour the many cool coops of Wilmington chicken owners! The event is free with a donation of non-perishables for Mother Hubbard’s Kitchen. If you have been thinking about owning and raising your own chickens, or just want to see some of the coops around town then this is the event for you. Coop owners will answer questions and educate the public on raising chickens. Many of the stops on the tour will be selling various chicken or farm related products, think fresh local eggs! For more information about the tour check out their Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coastal-Cluck-Coops/218543004885713


9. Walking Tour of Historic Churches in Wilmington

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Wilmington has some of the most beautiful churches in the state. This is a chance to take a 2 1/2 hour long tour of seven of the historic churches located downtown. The tour starts at the Latimer House at 1:30pm April 26. What a great way to meet people, explore some amazing sites, and get your exercise in!

http://www.hslcr.org/

10. Coast in and Win!

While out and about exploring our area stop in at one of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage’s open houses on Sat or Sun. By stopping in and viewing the house you will be entered into the monthly drawing for $500! Pretty easy way to pay for all of those weekend activities!

 

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/property/property-list.asp?VAR_SearchType=openhouse&VAR_MapStatus=LISTMAP

Meet Sheri McDermott and Tom T. Cat

by seacoast_ashley 17. April 2015 04:09

Meet Sheri McDermott and Tom T. Cat


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When I moved into my current home, the previous owners left behind a couple of small items. These things seemed to be left as “welcome home,” gifts. A few extra light bulbs, a can of touch up paint, and a new houseplant were greatly appreciated.


When various Realtors took potential buyers to a home on the market, they began to realize that the sellers left behind another type of “gift.” It was their cat! Can you imagine packing your dishes in the u-haul, packing the sheets, packing the toiletries, and then leaving your cat? I can’t, and neither could Sheri McDermott.


Sheri has been a full time Realtor since 2006. She is an avid beach lover, and is lucky to live just five minutes from her Surf City office. She is also lucky to have found a lifelong family member in Tom T. Cat. Compassion is a trait that good Realtors have. Oftentimes, circumstances surrounding the buying or selling of homes are not great. Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is glad to have a person unwilling to turn a blind eye to an abandoned animal. This is Tom’s story.

 

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Tom was abandoned by his "family." Realtors would show the home, and he would try to get back  into the house. They posted his photo on Facebook. Finally he tried to get into a Realtors car!  After a week of watching the events unfold on Facebook,  and knowing a full-grown cat would not be adopted in time, I finally caved. I asked the address of the home. I went to pick him up, and there he was waiting on the porch! I put him in a cat carrier and he howled the entire drive home....ironic that he now loves car rides!!!!


Tom loves to garden with me. He greets us everyday when we come home from work, and loves my car so much! I take him for rides to the ICWW & back home.


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Tom was obviously an animal that loved his home. He was so fortunate that Sheri was able to give him a permanent one. We wish him an easy ride for the rest of his life!


If you or someone that you know is in a situation that leaves no choice but to give up a pet, we urge you to contact you local rescue organizations.

http://www.adoptapet.com/


https://www.aspca.org/

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/


http://dog.rescueshelter.com/northcarolina

http://www.adoptapet.com/


We love a good adoption story! Please share yours with us on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty

Taxes and the Aftermath!

by seacoast_ashley 16. April 2015 03:54

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On April 15th whether you were happy, neutral, or upset by your 2014 tax filing one thing was for sure; you were impacted. Every year millions of dollars are given or received. Millions of people feel the responsibility of living in the greatest nation in the world.


Homeowners experience a greater impact. As homeowners we have extra taxes, extra credits, extra ways in which we are tied to our government. Oftentimes we blindly pay or receive, because at the end of the day it is what it is. For many the money we pay is deducted from paychecks or rolled into monthly mortgage payments. It is money that we never see in the physical sense. It is money that we never feel in our hands, and never fork over to the pizza delivery person, so we don’t think about it.


Tax day forces us to think about that money, even if only to sign our tax filings. For my family April is often a time that we reevaluate our spending habits of past year and vow that this year we will be wiser, more learned, and thus more active in our own government and the choices that it makes.


This year I followed through on my education. One of the first things that I did, after guidance of an extremely knowledgeable realtor, was to check out the website http://www.nchomeownersalliance.org/. North Carolina Homeowners Alliance is an organization with a super simple website that allows me to read up on what is happening in the General Assembly with regards to homeowner’s rights. The best part is that I am able, with a couple of clicks, to add my name to petitions that end up straight in the hands of the people that I have voted to speak for me and my family.


I got fired up by reading some of the posts and have vowed to remain an active part of the decisions that are made on my behalf. This is not a post aimed at politics in the Republican / Democrat sense. It is a post emphasizing that knowledge is power.


What websites, organizations, actions help you to feel more connected with your government and finances? Share with us

 

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty

So Much Good #2015RAD

by seacoast_ashley 10. April 2015 04:41

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It is no secret that real estate agents like people. It is ingrained in them to like to talk, share, listen, and observe. Real estate agents are extremely social creatures. When my family has dinner out or spends a weekend exploring our town it is often an agent that we end up talking to at the table beside ours or on a walking trail at the park. Agents are movers and shakers. They are the people about town.


Last week our agents (over 100 of them) participated in Realtor Action Day. Agents from many offices and many different real estate companies gathered to perform different services for the benefit of our community. There were projects such as building 18 community garden beds at Devon Park United Methodist Church. These beds will be used to grow fresh foods for the community surrounding the church. In just 2 hours, an empty space was transformed to a working garden space.

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Many Realtors headed out to the beach to plant sea oats. For visitors to our area, it is often questioned why we need to plant sea oats? The answer is pretty simple and one that locals can give quite quickly. The sea oats prevent erosion of our beautiful beaches. More sea oats equal more sand and protection. Sea oats have extensive root systems that oftentimes are the “glue” holding sand dunes together.


There were crews of Realtors cleaning our local Azalea Festival parade route, crews picking up trash and pinecones in one of our beautiful parks, there were crews crews everywhere! Every person that helped that day had one goal, to better the best community in the world!

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My most favorite moment came when I visited the Autumn Care nursing home. I had hopped from site to site all morning watching all the good take place, but I was ill prepared for the beauty of people just connecting with people. The moment that touched me so deeply came when I was witness to some elderly women being pampered by some of the volunteers.  What I believe was the craft room at the facility had been transformed into a  “spa” for the morning. The residents waited with the nail polish of their choosing for their turn at having their fingernails painted.


One elderly lady was so excited. She was animated and gestured wildly while telling stories. Everyone sat in rapture of her. I couldn’t help but think that she must have been so fancy as a younger woman. This spa treatment seemed 100% up her alley. I felt so proud watching as my co-workers made human connections and gave someone a reason to smile.


Community is an extension of family. I am grateful for my community. My community supports me both emotionally  and financially, through the jobs that I have worked. The pride that I had for Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage during the 2015 Realtor Action Day was almost palpable. Many friends were made, many environments were beautified, and there was so much good!


We have amazing Realtors here at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. They are people who care. If you are looking to buy or sell your home we would love to share our skills with you!

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/

Meet Shari Cutting and Mulligan!

by seacoast_ashley 7. April 2015 14:56

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Watching someone ride on a running horse’s back always feels romantic to me. But romance sometimes starts in the most unromantic of ways. This is the case for Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage Broker Shari Cutting and her rescue horse Mulligan, aka “Mulli.”


Oftentimes animals, like people, experience both highs and lows. With all of Mulli’s accomplishments, and there were lots, came a down side. He was “past his prime” and had been abandoned by his first owner. Shari ended up loving Mulli to the end. Mulli has an amazing life story that is filled with accomplishment, defeat, and a spirit reawakened by love. We are proud to have a person as passionate, patient, and willing to learn as Shari in our Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage family. This is Mulligan’s story:


Mulli was imported from Ireland as a young horse.  Mulli was a Grand Prix Jumper, a Three Day Event Horse, and a Grand Prix Dressage Horse.  Very few horses ever have the heart or mind to accomplish what he did in his lifetime.  


Mulli was thrown away by his Canadian Investors who purchased him from his breeder and imported him from Ireland.  They stopped paying his board and he was destined for slaughter.  He had a Canadian Attorney who became his Lucky Charm and purchased him for backboard which stopped him from being loaded on a slaughter truck.  


Through series of unfortunate circumstances his Lucky Charm could no longer pay for his expenses.  His only option to avoid being sold at auction was for him to become a lesson horse.  This career did not set well with Mulli and he began to shut down mentally and breakdown physically.


I was invited to meet Mulli and ride him. At our first meeting he stood in his stall with his nose stuck in the corner.  He was thin, had not been shod properly and basically had no reason to live.  The first few rides I realized this horse had a huge heart and he wanted his own person.  I was not looking for a project horse, but was drawn to Mulli for reasons unknown.  I made an offer to purchase Mulli.  I brought Mulli to my farm and started a rehab program and hired a trainer to help me .  During this time period he began to heal mentally and physically.  I fell head over heels in love with this sweet soul and I was able to keep him healthy, pain free and started successfully showing and competing him.  


Mulli was given a second chance and he taught me the art of Dressage through the Grand Prix.  He died suddenly in his mid twenties and he will forever live in my heart.”


Love, patience and mutual respect for family members make our houses our homes. Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is fortunate to have so many team members with open hearts and true understanding of what it is that actually builds a home. Home is love. Do you have an animal that has changed your life or opened your heart? Does your pet make your house your home?


We love these kinds of stories! Please share yours with us on Facebook

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Or, if you are looking for a great house to fill with love visit our website!

www.seacoastrealty.com

Farm Fresh Eastern NC

by seacoast_ashley 31. March 2015 05:55

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Spring is one of my favorite times of year in eastern NC. At the coast, we have a brief period of time before the tourists arrive in droves to enjoy our pretty towns and beaches. We get surprise beach days, where the parking is ample and the weather is warm. We rejoin the community that we had to watch from cold glass windows in the winter and we get outside!


Every year my family eagerly awaits the opening of our many local farmers’ markets. We countdown the days until we can visit places such as Lewis Farms and pick strawberries until we collapse at picnic tables with a cone of fresh ice cream. Mmmmmm.....ice cream. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite farmers’ markets and agrarian adventures. To be honest, I will be putting this list on my refrigerator so that I don’t miss visiting any this season. Enjoy!


Poplar Grove Farmers’ Market

Opens April 1st

This farmers’ market is one of my very favorites. It is the perfect place for families. We usually take a long walk on the trails then buy all of our yummy treats. There is a family day scheduled in June. You can find more information about Poplar Grove and their farmers’ market by visiting

http://www.poplargrove.org/farmers-market/


Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market

Opens May 16th

The Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market definitely conveys a bit of an island flare. We love to visit this market if there is time in our schedule to take a quick ocean dip or to boogie to the music that is performed at the market. This market also has a large array of crafts made by local artisans. To see the vendor lists, schedules, etc. visit

http://carolinabeachfarmersmarket.com/


Riverfront Farmers’ Market (downtown Wilmington, NC)

Opens April 4th

This market is the one that my family visits most frequently due to its proximity to our house. Although it has typically been a bit smaller in offerings than the others in previous years, each year it gets bigger. I hope that this market continues to expand. I love picking up gifts for friends and family at the Riverfront market. From pickled peppers, fresh flowers, to local honey I can always find something that makes for a unique gift. Pickled collard greens anyone?

http://www.wilmingtondowntown.com/events/farmers-market


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Eagle Island Fruit and Seafood

Open Year Round

Though Eagle Island is not a farmers’ market it is an amazing place to buy fish, fresh produce, and plants. Eagle Island has a rotating inventory and the best is when they have fresh cakes made by locals in stock. They also serve up a HUGE cup of ice cream for not very huge prices. This place is a true general store. It is the kind of place that I grew up hanging out in with my Pawpaw, and I take my kids here to experience the slower pace of a lot of regulars talking farm out front.  Oh, and if oysters is what you want then you might want to bring the pick-up.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eagle-Island-Fruit-Seafood/146282825406866


Lewis Farms

Opened March 27th

There are a few different Lewis Farms locations. The one that I visit (and love) is the Gordon Road location. I have more Lewis Farms buckets (you get one to fill when you enter) than I do drinking glasses! This place is kid heaven, and it isn’t too bad for parents either. We go to pick strawberries, though they do sell plants and pre-picked veggies. The berries are very reasonably priced, and picking them yourself makes them taste better, I’m pretty sure. Because the berries are planted in long rows on knee high mounds little kids can only go so far. They have a long row to run, and you are usually the only group in your row. This place became a favorite when I had toddlers. After picking berries heading to the picnic tables to enjoy fresh berry ice cream is the best. Sometimes we drive out to Lewis Farms just for the ice cream, it's that good.

http://www.lewisfarms.com/lewis-farm-markets


Greenlands Farmstore

Open year round

Greenlands Farmstore often becomes one of our family stops to or from Oak Island. The farm is located on Midway Road and it opened in 2001. This place has a little bit of everything and you never quite know what you are going to get. There is the farm store which offers  everything from jellies to goat’s milk soap. There is the cafe serving up super yummy sandwiches. There are pony rides and a petting farm. My favorite offering (even though I have not had the chance to explore it) is the Homestead and Jr. Homestead Dinners. These are farm fresh dinners that are scheduled two times a month. There are too many awesome things to list (like hayrides for the kids and s'mores). I will definitely be making room in my summer schedule to experience the farm to fork dinner.

http://www.greenlandsfarmstore.info/homesteaddinners/


There are so many great places in our area for buying (and eating) amazing locally grown farm fresh foods. I will be adding to this list as the season progresses and I have the opportunity to explore more of them. Where should I go? Guide me by commenting on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty

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