Fun Places to Go In and Around Wilmington on Your Dogs’ Day Off

by seacoast_ashley 24. March 2015 03:47


Empie Park

This is my favorite pooch place in Wilmington. The dog park is large and located right near the front of Empie. Two acres are divided up by chain fencing to separate the dogs by size. There is one area specifically for dogs under 20 pounds. The park is well-maintained. Empie is a great park for humans too! It boasts one of the best playgrounds, tennis courts, walking trails, and picnic areas. As Wilmington’s first off-leash park Empie has proven to be a huge success. There are always furry friends enjoying the dog park.

This is the link with the list of rules for Empie Dog Park (and I believe all New Hanover Dog parks):

Ogden Dog Park

Another dog park that satisfies both human and dog friends is Ogden Dog Park. Ogden Park is on the newer side. The only complaint that regulars have is the sand in the dog area. Some dogs have gotten sand spurs in their paws, and we know that cleaning sand out of dog fur is a never ending process.  But, as a human living at the coast, I have come to know two things quite well...sand and sand spurs! Ogden park offers a great walking trail, good playground for the kids, and covered picnic areas. Ogden Park is currently raising money for a new skate park! As the Ogden area grows I expect that this park will gain popularity pretty fast.

Hugh Macrae Dog Park

Hugh Macrae Dog Park is set up much the same as Ogden and Empie. There are both small and large dog areas. Because Hugh Macrae is so large and popular with Wilmington residents, this dog park tends to be a bit busier than the others. If you are looking to meet a human dog-loving friend, this might be the park for you. With the larger crowds here, it is important to watch your dog a little more closely. This park does have more grass than Ogden Dog Park, so there is a slightly lower risk of sand spurs.


Oak Island

The beach at Oak Island is not a dog park, but is a great place for you and your dog to run! Oak Island allows for leashed pets on the beach year round. They do require a leash from March 15 - October 15 (peak tourist season). A day trip to Oak Island is easily accomplished as there is ample free parking on the island, most beach accesses are equipped with waste baggies and waste receptacles, and it is only 30 minutes away from downtown Wilmington. I often find it easier to shoot down to Oak Island than to battle parking at Wrightsville. Bonus, I get to take my dog!

Abbey Nature Preserve at Poplar Grove

If you are looking to exercise yourself as well as your pooch, the Abbey Trails might be the thing to do. The trails are dog-friendly and are often used by pet owners. The trail is 2.4 miles long with a beautiful pond located at its end. You will want to bring your pets water, etc. with you. This trail is easy to hike but will most likely take over an hour. At my last visit there were no rules posted. Many people have dogs off-leash, so be aware that you may have overly excited company! You may want to check the Poplar Grove calendar (its located Some events are extremely popular and people often take to the trail while visiting Poplar Grove.

Where do you like to take your dog? Visit us on Facebook and let us know!

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My Top 5 Secondhand Stores in Wilmington, North Carolina

by seacoast_ashley 13. March 2015 04:39

I recently wrote a blog on furniture that I regretted selling. This got me thinking about the ways that I have replaced the items that I regretted letting go of. Every single piece has been replaced by something found in a thrift / consignment / vintage store. Thrifting is an addiction for me, and luckily Wilmington, North Carolina has some great spots for finding a deal. Listed below are my favorite five. Please leave your favorites on our Facebook page.


1. The Eclectic, etc.

831 South Kerr Ave. Wilmington, NC 28403

This store has an amazing array of vintage pieces. The prices are low. One of the nicest things about The Eclectic, etc is that the whole store is broken into “shops” that are stocked by different dealers. This gives the store a unique flea market feel. They have lots of great midcentury pieces.

2. The Ivy Cottage

3020 Market St. Wilmington, NC 28403

The Ivy cottage has been a Wilmington, NC staple since 1998. The Ivy Cottage is huge. It consists of 3 large buildings bursting with beautiful consignment items. They even have a jewelry counter! If I am looking for a truly unique gift, I head to this place. I have purchased anything from furniture, to artwork, to a jar of local honey at the Ivy Cottage.

3. Tin & Oak

709 N. Fourth Street Wilmington, NC 28401

The Tin and Oak is one of the new secondhand stores to open shop in Wilmington. It opened last year in the revitalized area of Fourth Street downtown (The Brooklyn Arts District). It is not a huge shop but is packed with quality items at amazing prices. Seriously, amazing prices! The Tin and Oak lists many of their items on Facebook and Craigslist, and often have “deals of the day.” I have seen beautiful furniture listed for as low as $49! Have you ever been into a secondhand store with a whole wall of clean beautiful throw pillows in every color? They have it!

4. Home Again Fine Consignments

1115 Military Cutoff Road Wilmington, NC 28405

Home Again Fine Consignments are just what the name implies. They are a large consignment store with flawless pieces. Everything in the store could pass as new. Most of the items in the store fit nicely in a coastal decor. If I am looking for a big piece of furniture that feels new, I head to Home Again.

5. GFC Drop-off and Donation Store

1745 Sir Tyler Drive Wilmington, NC 28405

Although finding a great piece of furniture in this store might be difficult as their supply constantly fluctuates, finding great home accessories is easy. The new GFC store is located right across the street from the Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage building. This is especially dangerous for me as I work in the Coldwell Banker building. It opened just a few short weeks ago so supply is up and the building is very clean. Some of my recent scores were a cast iron skillet and a like new karate suit for my son. Another advantage? You could potentially find a new house and a new coffee maker for your new house with a couple of short steps across the parking lot!


Share your thrift finds! Where do you like to shop? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

If you Instagram follow us there to see some of our favorite finds

And, if you need a new house to go with all of your thrifty finds check out our listings here

What is the No. 1 Tip for Home Buyers?

by seacoast_ashley 20. August 2014 05:33

What is the No. 1 Tip for Home Buyers? Our very own Wilmington agent, Jessica Edwards shares her advice via Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC!




Seller Tip: Don’t Forget These Items for the Day of Closing

by seacoast_ashley 23. February 2014 05:20

In North Carolina, home sellers aren’t required to be present at the attorney’s office on the day of closing. Most of their paperwork is done ahead of time. However, on the day of closing or the day before, they need to sign-off on the HUD form, which shows all the details of how the funds are being paid. They can stop by the attorney’s office once the form is prepared or sign the required documents remotely (depending on transaction requirements). Even Keys for Home Closingthough they aren’t required to be at closing, sellers still need to prepare some items for the buyers to receive the day of closing.

If you’re selling your North Carolina home, it’s important to make note to put the following items aside before you move out of the property.

  1. House Keys. Make sure you collect all of your extra house keys, including those for the front door, back door, garage door, and any interior doors that may have locks.
  2. Garage Door Openers. Don’t drive off without leaving the garage door opener that’s in your vehicle in the home. These can be difficult to replace, especially on older devices.
  3. Mail Box Key. If you live in a condo complex, you have a key for accessing the mail box assigned to your unit. These can be very expensive to replace - $60 to $80. If you don’t provide a key, you’ll likely be asked to pay for a new one.
  4. Pool Card. Communities with swimming pools often give residents access cards to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the club house and pool. If you have one, make sure the new owners get it.

Prior to closing, you need to make arrangements with your Sea Coast agent on where to leave these items. You don't want to be scrambling to find them the day of closing. The keys need to be given to the buyers after the purchase papers are signed. Items such as garage door openers and pool cards can be left in the home, but the agents need to be made aware of this so there’s no confusion or hold-up on the day of closing.

Have questions about the day of closing? Ask your Sea Coast Agent. Don’t have an agent? Find one today!

Meghan Riley

Buyer Tip: Change the Locks After Closing

by seacoast_ashley 16. February 2014 10:50

Change Locks on HomeAfter months of looking at homes in Southeastern North Carolina, making an offer on your favorite, doing your due diligence, and (finally!) signing the purchase papers at the closing table, you have a new home! Now, you’re ready to move in and make it all your own! You’ve got paint colors in mind, new furniture to assemble, pictures to hang, dishes to unpack…But don’t let your excitement get away from you. You still have one very important thing to do – change the locks!

It’s very important that you install all new locks on your new home. Most sellers won’t try to enter a home after they’ve sold it, but not everyone can be trusted. You have to take into consideration that they may have given a key to someone else at some point during their ownership – a neighbor, a contractor, babysitter, etc. You just never know who might have ill-intentions. So, it’s best to change the locks the day of move-in. After all, you don’t want to be always wondering, “what if?”

If changing the locks is one hassle you don’t want to have to deal with on the day of move-in, hire a locksmith. Your Sea Coast agent can refer you to a reputable one. Don’t have an agent? Find one today!

Meghan Riley

Answering the Two Most Common Home-Selling Questions

by seacoast_ashley 5. September 2011 02:19

When you are getting ready to sell your home, it’s common to have many questions. A qualified real estate agent can help you to answer many of the questions you have about the process of selling your home.

But, before you even begin the process of selling your home, it may help to know the answers to the two most common home-selling questions from a Sea Coast Realty real estate professional:

How do I know what my house is worth?

Every homeowner entering the process of trying to sell their home wants to know how much their house is worth. They don’t want to under-price their home, but they also don’t want to get stuck because they have over-priced their home. A real estate agent will tell you there is no magic number to price your home at. There are a variety of variables that need to be considered.

When selling your home, the price will consist of the overall condition of your property, how much competition you have in the area, and the average price range of Jacksonville, NC homes for sale in your area. The goal is to make your home one of the best conditioned and best priced in your specific sub-division.

How long will it take to sell my home?

Every home owner wants to know how long the process will take. Having a home on the market for a long period of time has a lot of drawbacks for both the buyer and the real estate agent. However, any real estate agent will tell you there is no magic number for this, either.

The speed in which your home will sell rests on a variety of factors. If your home is priced in the mid-range, it may sell faster than a home that is more on the high-end of the spectrum. It will also depend on the area your home is located in and the condition of your home. The more cooperative you are in the selling process, the easier it will be for your real estate agent to sell your Jacksonville or Wilmington, NC real estate.

Looking for a qualified real estate agent to help answer the rest of your home-selling questions? Contact Sea Coast Realty today.

First Steps to Approaching a Home Loan

by seacoast_ashley 29. August 2011 02:57

While you may think being approved for a loan is one of the last steps in the home-buying process, any real estate agent will tell you that is not true. It is necessary for you to assess your specific situation before you begin shopping seriously for Jacksonville, NC homes for sale.

It is the job of a mortgage broker to tell you how much you can afford to spend on a home. There are several ways they go about evaluating this information. A mortgage broker or lender will better determine how much you can afford to spend by assessing:

  • Credit issues

  • Income (salary, bonuses, commissions)

  • Tax returns

  • Assets

  • Employment history

Helping you determine the range of money you are qualified to borrow will help you and your real estate agent get a better idea of the price range you can shop in. It will not be beneficial for you to look at homes that are outside of your price range, because it will only make the homes in your price range seem less desirable.

Your real estate agent will also benefit from finding out your exact price range before you start shopping. They will be able to start immediately finding houses that suit your tastes and your price range so you can find your dream Wilmington, NC real estate faster than you had hoped.

Ask friends for a solid reference and only meet a mortgage broker or lender that you feel comfortable with. Often times, people see the mortgage lender as the bad guy, when in reality it is their number one priority to help you find a home that you can afford.

Want to learn more about taking the first steps to approaching your home loan? Watch this Sea Coast Realty video from Chris Hutchens, an Alpha Mortgage professional.

When you’re ready to start the search for your Jacksonville, NC new home, contact the real estate professionals at Sea Coast Realty.

How Realtors Improve the Home-Buying Experience

by seacoast_ashley 15. August 2011 02:46

The number one goal of a trained Realtor is to improve the home-buying experience for a buyer and a seller.

If you are an inexperienced home-buyer, why wouldn't you want the guidance and support of a trained professional with years of experience? There are so many aspects that go into the home-buying process that you may not be aware of or fully understand.

A professional real estate agent can help you understand and narrow your options, while also helping you to negotiate the best deal. A professional real estate agent can also:

Determine your buying power

A real estate agent can help you identify how much you can afford to spend on a home. Taking into consideration your borrowing capacity and available financial reserves, a real estate agent can help you narrow your selection and find a home that suits your means.

Access additional resources to find your home

Real estate agents have access to Jacksonville or Wilmington, NC real estate that may not be actively advertised on the market. Your agent could have access to a variety of properties that you didn't even know were out there.

Assist in the selection process

Realtors have access to a variety of informational resources that can assist you in making a better decision about your future home. Real estate agents have access to facts on zoning, schools, utilities and other valuable information that could help you make a more informed decision.

Help you negotiate

If you are an inexperienced home-buyer, it could be helpful to have a professional on your side. When you have found the Jacksonville, NC home for sale that you want to purchase, you need to ensure you negotiate effectively. A real estate agent can help you negotiate things such as price, financing, terms and date of possession.

Choose a real estate agent you can trust. Contact the professional real estate agents at Sea Coast Realty today.

The Sea Coast Realty Real Estate Academy

by seacoast_ashley 1. August 2011 02:45

Sea Coast Realty goes above and beyond to offer our clients the most experienced and educated real estate professionals. With more than 300 real estate professionals serving our clients, we can only afford to hire the best.

So whether you hope to sell Wilmington, NC homes for sale or Jacksonville, NC real estate, you need to be well prepared.

In an effort to help interested individuals pursue their goal of becoming a licensed real estate agent, Sea Coast Realty offers an educational real estate program. The Sea Coast Real Estate Academy offers pre-licensing classes and post-licensing courses for interested professionals.


Our pre-licensing courses are ideal for someone looking to get their start in real estate. The pre-licensing program consists of 75 hours of instruction in the basic principles and practices of real estate.

Students enrolled in our Southeastern, NC courses can expect to explore diverse topics including:

  • Property ownership

  • Real estate law

  • Finance

  • Brokerage relationships

  • Closings

  • Transfer of title

  • Sales contracts

  • Valuation

  • Taxation

  • Fair housing

With successful completion of our pre-licensing courses, students should be qualified to take the real estate license examination.


Within three years of initial licensure, “provisional” brokers are required to complete 90 hours of post-licensing education. During each of the first three years after initial licensing, a broker must complete one of their three 30 hour post-licensing courses.

Sea Coast Realty offers post-licensing courses in an effort to help “provisional” brokers meet their requirements. Topics in these courses vary and offer instruction at a level beyond what is provided in the pre-licensing courses.

Want to learn more about our Sea Coast Real Estate Academy? Contact Sea Coast Realty today.

Five Relocation Tips for Your Big Move

by seacoast_ashley 27. June 2011 02:50

Being relocated can be stressful. Your family is nervous about being uprooted and you are nervous about starting a new job. Relocating involves more than just a new address; it involves new neighbors, new schools, new coworkers and a new house.

So how can you maintain control when you are treading in unfamiliar territory? Use the following five relocation tips to help you make the most of your relocation to Jacksonville, NC.

  1. Give Your New City a Trial Run – If you’re relocating to Wilmington, NC, you may want to visit the area before you plan your entire move. Take the family for a weekend trip and survey the area. Find restaurants and grocery stores that you will be using. By getting familiar with your new town before you move, your family may feel more comfortable when it actually comes time to relocate.

  1. Accept Help – If family or friends want to help you pack your things or move into your new place, accept. You can’t expect to do everything, and having the support of your loved ones will actually make the move easier on your family.

  1. Use Packing as an Opportunity to Purge – When packing for your big move, give your family a fresh start. Use your packing as an opportunity to get rid of the clutter you have accumulated over the years. Start fresh in your new house without clutter and without the stress of having to find places for all of the stuff you packed, but don’t actually need.

  1. Be Aware of Cost of Living – When moving to a new city, you need to make yourself aware of any changes in your cost of living. If you are relocating to Jacksonville, NC your cost of living may actually decrease depending on where you are moving from. Assess your current financial situation and do research to find out what changes you will experience.

  1. Create a Network – If you have friends or family that have relocated to where you are moving, use it as an opportunity to look them up. Use social networking to find old friends or colleagues that may be living in your new city and get in touch with them. Surround yourself with people you know.

Don’t let the process of relocating to Wilmington, NC get the best of you. Stay strong and embrace the experience for what it is. Moving to a new city gives you the chance to write the next chapter of your life. Don’t dwell on what you’re leaving behind, but on all the opportunities that are waiting for you.

Need help finding a new home? The Realtors at Sea Coast Realty are experts in helping you’re your relocation. Contact us today.


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