Melanie at Blue Point
Area Info, Tuesday Tally

Tuesday Tally from Blue Point, Wilmington

Melanie Cameron presents this week’s Tuesday Tally from the custom home community of Blue Point off Porters Neck Road in Wilmington, NC. Learn what this community has to offer and stick around to the end to see how the Wilmington real estate market is faring for the week of 3/28/17.

Melanie Cameron at Northchase
Area Info, Tuesday Tally

Tuesday Tally from Northchase, Wilmington

Melanie Cameron presents this week’s Tuesday Tally from the established community of Northchase in Wilmington. Learn what this community has to offer and stick around to the end to see how the Wilmington real estate market is performing for the week of 3/21/17.

Area Info, Attractions

Wilmington Community Gardens

Community gardens are a great way to enjoy the pleasure of communing with nature and growing your own food. They provide people in urban areas with a plot for growing and others, who may be more fortunate in the area of land, to bond with other gardeners. Many of Wilmington’s community gardens exist in the downtown area, where building and planning hasn’t really allowed for extensive green spaces. Over the past few years, the City of Wilmington has become more garden-friendly, permitting the building of community gardens in city parks.

Planting Seeds

Below is a list of public community gardens in Wilmington. These are gardens that welcome the public to participate. For many, it’s area neighbors that maintain and harvest the plots, the excess being donated to local food banks. There are other community style gardens ran by churches and private organizations, but they’re only open to their members, so we have not included those here. They can be viewed at the North Carolina Community Gardens Directory.

Each community garden has its own manager and set of rules. Some may be first come, first served. Others may require you to be vetted before you’re allowed to participate. They may even require a yearly or monthly fee to help pay for amenities onsite. Each garden has a limited number of plots. 10-30 plots is common, but some may be less than 10. It’s important to call the manager to see how it works.

Public Gardens

Annie Nixon Community Garden

Location: 904 Dock St.

Plants: Vegetables & Herbs

Type: Public

Managed by: Wilmington Green – 910-240-4929


Castle Street Community Garden

Location: 317 Castle St

Plants: Vegetables & Herbs

Type: Private Land – Public/Neighborhood Garden

Managed by: Kathryn Sisler – 908-670-1590


Portia Mills Hines Park

Location: 400 N. 10th Street

Plants: Vegetables & Flowers

Type: Public

Managed by: Do you know? Leave a comment!


The Strong Roots Community Garden

Location: 1125 North 4th Street

Plants: Vegetables & Herbs

Type: Public

Managed by: Savanna Mitchell – 828-817-0048


Third and Wooster Community Garden

Location: 718 South 3rd St.

Plants: Vegetables & Herbs

Type: Youth Garden

Managed by: Wilmington Green – 910-240-4929


Watering the Garden

A few of the schools in New Hanover County have gardens. They provide a calming learning experience and provide food for kids who may be lacking proper nutrition. Parents may find this information interesting when choosing a school. For the public, it’s important to know that these gardens are for staff and students only, and access may be determined by class enrollment.

Schools with Gardens (Serves Students and Staff Only)

Bellamy Elementary School Garden

Location: 70 Sanders Road

Plants: Vegetables

School website: Bellamy Elementary School


Island Montessori Charter School

Location: 6339 Carolina Beach Road

Plants: Vegetables, Fruits, Flowers, & Herbs

School website: Island Montessori Charter School


Snipes Academy School Garden

Location: 2150 Chestnut St

Plants: Vegetables & Fruits

School website: Snipes Academy of Arts and Design


The Gardens at Wrightsboro Elementary

Location: 1-65 Sheridan Drive

Plants: Vegetables & Fruits

School website: Wrightsboro Elementary School


Do you know of a community garden that isn’t listed here? Please share it in the comments. Also, let us know if you’ve participated in any of the Wilmington area community gardens. We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Is your neighborhood interested in starting a community garden for non-commercial use on city-owned land, like a neighborhood park? You can apply here. For New Hanover County properties outside of the City of Wilmington, you can direct all questions to NHC Parks & Gardens.

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Home Seller Tips

Tax Value Vs. Market Value – The Difference

If they haven’t already, New Hanover County homeowners should be receiving their 2017 tax revaluations, the first since 2012. The delivery of the revaluations makes this a good time to touch upon a topic that we’ve discussed in the past – a home’s tax value vs. its market value. Do you know the difference?

When it comes time to list their home for sale, many owners are surprised to see that the listing price is not the same as the property’s tax value or tax assessed value (TAV). When a government (county, municipality, city, etc.) levies property taxes, it’s based upon a tax assessed value determined by an assessor. The tax assessor does not usually enter the home, but does visit the property and compares data from past years. The end result is usually a percentage of the total market value; however, there are occasions where the tax assessed value is more than the market value. The reason why can vary from location to location, but in New Hanover County it may be linked to when the home was assessed.

New Hanover County completes revaluations every 4 years and will only look at comparables from the year the assessment was completed. Market values can change year-to-year; so if a home is located in a neighborhood that was selling great the year it was assessed, but sales drop the next two years, the owners could find that their tax assessed value is less than the market value.

Market value or fair market value (FMV) is how much the home is likely to sell for in the current market. It’s determined by looking at other similar homes that have sold in the same area and relies on multiple factors, including number of bedrooms, number of baths, garage size, age of the home, heated square-feet, condition, location, and more. The more features the home has that appeal to buyers, the higher the market value. It’s good ole supply and demand.

Now, to confuse things even more, there is an appraised value. This is a value determined by a state licensed appraiser, and usually comes into play when and if the buyers need to finance their purchase. The appraisal assures the bank that the investment will be sound. Technically, this should be the same as the fair market value. However, appraisers are human beings and, like all human beings, they put their own weight of importance on different values. So, there’s always a chance that the appraised value will come out differently than the pre-determined fair market value. If it’s less than the assumed fair market value, the purchase price will need to be renegotiated to get the bank to approve the loan.

Going back to the delivery of the revaluations in New Hanover County…. Residential properties were scheduled to receive theirs mid-February with commercial properties due to be mailed by March 1. For the past 2.5 years, appraisers have been working to visit all 104,000+ parcels of land in the county. To assure accuracy, home owners were also sent questionnaires. The last evaluation was done in 2012 and is now scheduled to happen every 4 years.

General Real Estate

2016 the Best Year in a Decade for Home Sales

According to the most recent National Association of Realtors® report, 2016 was the best year in a decade for home sales. Nationwide, there were 5.45 million resale homes sold, the highest number since 2006 when 6.48 million homes sold. We saw the same reflected locally. In the Wilmington area, 8,843 homes sold, the highest number since 2005 when 9,347 homes were purchased.

For 2017, we’re already seeing higher contract numbers than the beginning of 2016. In our company alone, year-to-date contracts are up 23% and volume is up 30%. In Wilmington (not including the beaches or anywhere else in New Hanover County), there have been 474 homes sold year-to-date with the average sales price of $259,968. The average home spent 79 days on the market and had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths (rounded), and 1,910 square-feet of living space.

We’re currently seeing low inventory and multiple-offer situations, so it’s important to also take a look at which homes are getting shown to get an idea of where the current market is heading. This data is taken directly from our centralized showing service and is for Wilmington only.

Wilmington Home Showings - 1-1-17 to 2-27-17

If you’d like to see data on another city, town, or community, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’re happy to help you with all your real estate needs!

Clearwater Preserve Example Home
Area Info

Featured Community: Clearwater Preserve, Wilmington

Just off Gordon Road in Wilmington, North Carolina, Clearwater Preserve is one of the newest communities from Logan Homes and H&H Homes. Both reputable builders, Logan and H&H specialize in residential construction that boasts energy efficiency and quality standards that uphold the value of their homes for years to come. They provide base floor plans and custom designs in the Coastal and Southern styles that have grown popular in our area, and work with each buyer to make their new house meet their lifestyle needs.

Clearwater Preserve is a 64 single-family home site community located outside Wilmington city limits, just minutes from I-40 and 15 minutes from Wrightsville Beach. Homes begin in the mid-$200s and range from 1,593 sq. ft. to 3,522 sq. ft. with 2-5 bedrooms and 2.5-4 bathrooms. Both 1 and 2-story floor plans are available.

Some of the interior features include wainscoting, built-ins, stainless steel appliances, granite or quartz kitchen countertops, marble bathroom countertops, chair rail and crown molding, and hardwood and tile flooring. The floor plans are open concept with the standard family room, dining room, and kitchen, with optional bedrooms, studies, flex spaces, and bonus rooms. There are even butler pantries and dog showers for buyers with unique tastes.

Multiple elevations are available for each floor plan. They include standard low-maintenance vinyl siding and optional features, like metal roofs, ornate railings, accent brick, etc. Exterior features also include porches, patios, and professional landscaping. Many homes have 2 car garages.

View homes for sale in Clearwater Preserve.

At the time of this post, Clearwater Preserve is zoned for the Murrayville Elementary School, Trask Middle School, and Laney High School District. However, planned school improvements and redistricting does happen every few years. You can double-check the school locator and see the most recent school report cards here.

Available home options will differ depending on the builder and floor plan. We have builder packets available upon request. Also, Clearwater Preserve will have a homeowners association (HOA). The management company and details are yet to be finalized, but will be announced soon. So, if you’re interested in Clearwater Preserve, give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Compass Pointe - Swimming Pool
Area Info, Community

Featured Community: Compass Pointe, Leland

Have you ever dreamed of living in a resort with a gorgeous swimming pool, full service restaurant, and a fabulous fitness center? How about a championship golf course, tennis courts, and canals for kayaking? If you said yes for any of those, we’ve got the perfect community for you! Driving into Compass Pointe in Leland, NC, is like driving into your own little oasis. It has all the great amenities mentioned above, as well as a fun dog park, luxury clubhouse, beautiful walking trails, basketball courts, and access to local creeks, marshes, and nature preserves.

Located off U.S. Hwy 74/76 in Brunswick County, Compass Pointe is a gated community close to Leland’s booming commercial areas. It’s also 10 minutes from downtown Wilmington, a cultural center bursting at the seams with award winning restaurants, breweries, theaters, galleries, and concert venues, not to mention a beautiful historic district with homes dating back to the 1700s. For those wanting to dig their toes into the sand or catch some waves, popular Wrightsville Beach is about 30 minutes away or those who enjoy the outdoors can head further into Brunswick County to enjoy some horseback riding. There’s something for everyone!

Compass Pointe Homes

Compass Pointe is one of the most beautiful communities in our area. It’s surrounded and dotted with conservation areas, Audubon preserves, ponds, and canals. Many homesites have views and private back yards, with lot sizes varying from a 1/4 of an acre up to almost a full acre, depending on the type of home. No matter the size, each property is professionally landscaped with lush foliage that blends in well with the surrounding landscape.

There are over 15 sub-communities spanning a wide range of needs and budgets. The community has been in existence since 2009, so over 225 properties have already been built, but there’s still plenty more available. This gives buyers the stability of an existing home community and the power to customize their dream home.

There are 13 builders in Compass Pointe, many of which have built in other communities around the Wilmington area: Horizon Homes, Logan Homes, Firetti Builders, Wilsey Custom Homes, Trusst Builder Group, Plantation Building Corp, The Cottages, Liberty Homes, Southern Homebuilders, Laurel Homes, Legacy Homes by Bill Clark, Hagood Homes, and Jordan Built Signature Homes. They deliver custom and semi-custom homes in the southern styles that serve our area so well – cottages, low country, plantation, etc. They include many of the features popular among buyers today – front porches, coffered ceilings, trey ceilings, open floors plans, wainscoting, built-in shelving, granite, tile backsplashes, screened porches, master suites with separate showers, and bonus rooms. Plus, they try to include materials and features that improve energy efficiency, many providing a third-party guarantee. Between all of the floor plans provided by these builders, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Many plans have optional rooms, features, and elevations, so no two homes are the same.

If you’re looking for something low maintenance, Compass Pointe also has townhomes. Just as much time and attention has been paid to designing these units as the single-family detached houses. They have open floor plans to really maximize the feeling of spaciousness inside and include many of the popular features found in the community’s houses, including covered front porches, foyers, family rooms, dining rooms, master suites, flex rooms, coffered ceilings, trey ceilings, transom windows, built-ins, hardwood flooring, and screened porches. The exterior maintenance and insurance is handled by an association and all of the building owners share the financial responsibility. Further details concerning the rules and regulations of townhomes at Compass Pointe are available upon request.

See homes for sale in Compass Pointe.

The Active Lifestyle

Compass Pointe is truly an active community. There are several scheduled events that happen throughout the month, including pickleball, bocce ball, exercise classes (Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, aerobics, spin, etc.), art classes, tennis, Bible study, canasta, poker, and holiday themed events. These events are a great way to meet new people, and the community is filled with warm, friendly faces, so it’s very hard not to feel welcome.

One of the community’s newest amenities is the Compass Pointe Golf Club. The community has scheduled classes (from beginner to seasoned) and clubs that meet weekly. This 18-hole championship golf course was designed by Rick Robbins, whose designs can be seen throughout the United States and in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. This course has been designed to be both challenging and fun. It includes optional family tees for junior players, older players, and a social experience. It also has an optional 19th hole for settling wagers, a short course, a chipping green, driving range, and practice bunker. Residents of Compass Pointe are welcome to purchase a membership or play as they go. At the time of this post, current Double-Eagle membership packages provide unlimited play for both Compass Pointe and nearby Magnolia Greens Golf Course.

Compass Pointe does have a homeowner’s association that requires an annual fee. It covers maintenance of the clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool, common areas, roads, sidewalks, and tennis courts, as well as security fees, management fees, and common area taxes. More info on the HOA and Compass Pointe’s rules and regulations are available upon request.

Area Schools

At the time of this post, Compass Pointe is zoned for the Lincoln Elementary School, Leland Middle School, and N. Brunswick High School district. However, planned school improvements and redistricting does happen every few years, so schools should always be verified. To learn more about the performance of these schools, you can see the most recent school report cards here.

Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about Compass Pointe, give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page. We can answer questions about this community, as well as many others in the greater Wilmington area. We’ve represented numerous buyers of new construction and can guide you through the buying process. Just let us know how we can help!

*Please note: The builders at Compass Pointe reserve the right to change floor plans, features, and prices at any time. Please feel free to call or email us for an update on the community.