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Top Reasons to Live in Wilmington, NC

From affordable seaside homes to a relaxed, yet active beach lifestyle, people across the country are discovering the lure of living on the North Carolina Coast. For those of you still pondering a move, we are highlighting the top reasons to live in Wilmington NC and surrounding areas.

DOG & BEER LOVER PARADISE:
Home to Wilmington are many dog-friendly establishments and walking trails as well as unique beer and wine shops, including Cape Fear Wine, Wilmington Brewing Company, Flytrap Brewing and Waterline Brewing Co.

PRISTINE COASTAL BEACHES:
Unlike most beach towns, Wilmington boasts an assortment of beaches close to one another, each with their own local flare. Choose from Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Oak Island, Southport, Topsail Island and Masonboro Island. Whether you’re in the mood for boardwalks, fishing, swimming, sunbathing or nature walks, the Wilmington area has you covered.

SEASIDE LIVING THAT’S AFFORDABLE
Wilmington and Leland have been featured on the “Best Places to Live” lists for the last 10 years. Although Wilmington has seen a boom since 2015, both cities are still considered up-and-coming and thus are still very affordable compared to other coastal towns.

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
The year-round warm climate and access to the water makes for a very active, healthy lifestyle. You’ll find locals outside enjoying nature around the clock, whether they’re running the Wrightsville Beach Loop, surfing, boating or paddle boarding on any body of water or enjoying a stroll on the waterfront Riverwalk in Downtown Wilmington.

WARMER CLIMATE YEAR-ROUND
The Wilmington weather is fairly mild throughout the year, allowing locals to escape the extreme temperatures of winter.

ELEGANT DINING ON THE WATER: (On the rivers, Intercoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean)
Smell the salty air or watch the sunset while noshing on fresh, local seafood atop terrific outdoor patios around the city. Bluewater Grill, Dockside, Pilot House Restaurant, Fish House Grill and Smoke on the Water are just a few local favorites.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
As a historical coastal town established in 1542, Wilmington has an array of captivating visitor attractions for kids and adults:

  • Battleship North Carolina: Envision what it was like for the crew during World War II aboard the Battleship North Carolina docked in Downtown Wilmington.
  • NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher: Discover aquatic wildlife at free daily dive shows and animal encounters. Explore more with behind-the-scenes tours, outdoor adventures and kid friendly camps. From touching stingrays and climbing the adventure reef to talking with expert shark divers and looking alligators in the eyes, there is something for everyone at Fort Fisher!
  • Tregembo Animal Park: Experience 100+ species of animals, including bears, tigers, lions, birds, reptiles and more.
  • Airlie Gardens: Airlie Gardens, a premiere garden of the coastal South, features 67 acres of walking paths, formal gardens, seasonal blooms, mighty live oaks, historic structures, and contemporary sculpture.
  • Poplar Grove Plantation: Tour the Manor and grounds at Poplar Grove, formerly a sweet potato and peanut plantation that’s one of the last remaining plantations open to the public in southeastern North Carolina.

DREAM HOMES AT AN AFFORABLE PRICE – FOR NOW!
As many are discovering the lure of Wilmington and surrounding growing communities, many are buying and/or building their dream homes now. Prices are predicted to skyrocket as people continue to discover this hidden gem of a coastal town.

As a longstanding home builder in Wilmington and surrounding areas, we have a variety of new and established neighborhoods throughout historic Wilmington and up-and-coming Leland. We have available homesites for you to choose the ideal location for your new home or you can choose from a plethora of quick move-in ready homes.

We build new homes in the following communities throughout Wilmington and Leland:

ESTABLISHED NEIGHBORHOODS:

Lanvale Forest (NEW PHASE SELLING!)
Lanvale Forest is nestled in the heart of north Brunswick County only minutes from Downtown Wilmington. The community offers a pool and pool/bath house, sidewalks and street lights. Leland is a new, up and coming area that gives residents the convenience of proximity to Wilmington while choosing from a variety of beaches in either Brunswick or New Hanover County. Enjoy Leland and it’s exciting activities such as, the annual Town of Leland Founder’s Day Celebration on the second Saturday of September at Founders Park.

Model Home: 4505 Combs Forest Court Leland, NC 28451
homes for sale in leland, nc

Clay Crossing (FINAL OPPORTUNITIES!)
A quaint twenty-one lot community perfectly situated off Darden Road between Middle Sound Loop Road and Wendover Lane in Wilmington.

Clay Crossing features our European elevation floor plans, giving the neighborhood a unique look. Just minutes from the intracoastal waterway, the new Ogden Market Place, local restaurants, Pages Creek Park Preserve, and beaches!

Clay Crossing is in the Ogden Elementary school district!

Model Home Address: 404 Middle Grove Ln at Darden Rd, Wilmington, NC 28411

New Homes in Leland NC

Cameron Trace
Cameron Trace is in a quiet, private part of Wilmington yet has easy access to I40 / College and N. Market offering privacy and convenience! There are several ponds in the community, the largest of which is over 3 acres. Cameron Trace will have approximately 120 single family homes. The exterior elevations will showcase the McKee Homes’ unique coastal characteristics and most homesites will allow for an optional 3rd car garage.

Model Home: 1621 Flushing Drive Wilmington, NC 28411

homes in wilmington nc

Hanover Reserve (NEW PHASE SELLING!)
Location and value are the biggest draws to Hanover Reserve. It offers the opportunity to be in Wilmington with easy access to everything in town, great beaches and parks.

Hanover Reserve is convenient to Ogden Park, one of Wilmington’s largest and most complete parks, with playgrounds, picnic areas, lighted playing fields and tennis courts, perfect for youth leagues.

Model Home: 1353 Eastbourne Drive Wilmington, NC 28411
buy a home in wilmington nc

NEW NEIGBHORHOODS

Bellaport
Bellaport is a new single family home community just minutes away from Carolina Beach, NC. It is convenient to shopping, restaurants, and the beach! Historic Wilmington is also a quick trip to visit. Enjoy the quiet surroundings of the Cape Fear River and Snows Cut Park on River Road as you watch boats sail by.

Model Home: 131 Bellaport Lane, Wilmington NC 28412

build a home in wilmington nc

Courtyards at Mallory Retreat
The Courtyards at Mallory Retreat is a new phase of the established Mallory Creek Plantation community in Brunswick County near Leland, NC. This community features a natural setting with wooded areas and ponds and is only 15 minutes from Wilmington with its historic downtown and access to some of the best beaches the area has to offer.

The Courtyards at Mallory Retreat will showcase our single-story Epcon floorplans designed with minimal stairs for easy access between indoor and outdoor areas, wider interior doorways and open areas perfect for entertaining.

Address: Salter Path at Mallory Creek Drive, Leland, NC 28479

Homes in Leland NC

If you choose Wilmington as your new home, we look forward to calling you “neighbor” and welcoming you to town!

Whether you choose to buy a resale home or build a new home, we’re here to answer any questions about real estate in Wilmington, the home buying process in general and our available new homes in Wilmington and Leland. We know moving to a new city, like Wilmington, can be overwhelming and we’re happy to help ease the transition however we can!

Please feel free to reach out to one of our friendly and knowledgeable New Home Experts through the form below or call us at: 910-672-7296.

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The Stress-Free Guide: Hosting Your First Thanksgiving in Your New Home

Thanksgiving every year is a holiday families look forward to. But this year is extra special … you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving in your brand-new home. We know you’ll want to make this year even more memorable than usual without the added stress of doing “more.”

Try our helpful tips for creating a day that’s extraordinary yet easy for you and your family!

 

TIP 1: Plan ahead. Fail to plan, plan to … be stressed!

Get organized early and you’ll fly through the holiday with ease. Start here:

  • Create a menu & grocery list of all ingredients and supplies:
    • Include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to provide options for those that don’t drink or aren’t of age
    • Look up the grocery store’s current promotions & coupons to save as much as you can
    • Don’t forget non-food items:
      • Festive napkins
      • Appetizer plates
      • Table cloth
      • Tables and chairs
    • Create a guest list and send invites well in advance
      Most families plan ahead for the holidays. Get the word out that you are hosting and encourage people to RSVP as soon as possible. As a nice gesture, create a mail-delivered or specially-designed online invite to show your closest friends and relatives that you would really enjoy their company!
    • Prepare a schedule for the weeks leading up to dinner. Assign roles to different family members to help with the prep.
    • Think about logistics: Where will you set up tables? Where will the guests sit? Where will the food be served – on the dinner table or buffet-style in the kitchen? Will you have a separate help-yourself bar? Are you serving appetizers prior to dinner? Where should you designate the kids-only area? Do you need to acquire more tables and chairs? Will sports or music be playing? If yes to music, create a festive playlist that would appeal to everyone’s tastes.

TIP 2: Decide on your decorations.

Since you’re fresh off a new home build, your dream home is likely to look like just that … a dream. That means you just need to spruce it up with a few seasonal staples, and they don’t even need to be fancy or expensive!

  • Go out in nature to grab holly or berries.
  • Get a couple bouquets of flowers and mix and match them throughout the house (Trader Joes has fabulous floral finds that are budget friendly). The best fall flowers are Snakeroot, Sweet Alyssum, Goldenrod, Helenium (comes in red, orange or yellow), Pansy and Purple Fountain Grass. Mums are also a pretty touch to the front porch.
  • Mini pumpkins and gourds in a variety of colors and sizes to sprinkle on the dinner table, entry way bench, bathroom vanity and living room side tables.
  • Small and large bowls of season fruits for an extra aesthetic “pop”

TIP 3:Prep the high-traffic rooms beforehand.

Begin the day with a clean kitchen, as well as empty dishwasher and trash cans (don’t forget the small bathroom ones). Remove breakable items and fragile furniture so they aren’t ruined by hyper children or red wine sipping guests. Double line your trash cans so when one bag fills up, you can easily move to the next. Make room in your hallway closet for guest’s shoes and coats.

 

TIP 4: Prepare for overnight guests:

For the planned overnight guests and the ones that may have indulged a little too much in your bloody mary bar … follow the below check-list to ensure they have a hotel-like stay:

  • Make guest beds with fresh linens
  • Set out large towels and washcloths on the beds
  • Stock the guest bathrooms with necessities. Grab a few mason jars and fill with q-tips, cotton balls, face wash toothpaste and extra tooth brushes, mouthwash and any other consumable your guest might need during their stay.

TIP 5: Get your stash of cleaning supplies ready to go …

Thanksgiving never goes by without a spill or two! For all-natural home cleaning remedies, be sure to read our previous blog. Here’s a quick guide though:

    • Coffee splatters: White vinegar
    • Red wine spots: White wine (believe it or not)
    • All other major food and drink slips: Tide to Go or baking soda in warm water

TIP 6: Cook in Advance:

Don’t bring on unnecessary stress for yourself by cooking everything on Thanksgiving Day. When creating your menu, make sure to include a timeline for yourself, too. Outline which dishes can be made ahead of time and which ones need to be cooked the day of. For a quick reference, foods that can be pre-made:

  • Casseroles
  • Chopped veggies (slice and bag, but don’t cook)
  • Stuffing, rice or any pasta-based concoctions
  • Salads

Rule of thumb: Almost everything can be pre-made besides the turkey or meat of choice. The rest can be prepped, so it’s ready to be popped in the oven or on the stove top.

TIP 7: Set the table as well as the appetizer and drink area a few days before.

Taking care of smaller tasks, like setting the table, will lessen your load leading up to the “big day.”

A little word to the wise: When planning a seating chart, place yourself closes to the kitchen and seat lefties at the corners, so they’ll be able to eat without hitting their neighbor. Have a “grown ups” table and a “kids-only” table and use place cards to make people feel special (and to avoid any confusion come dinner time).

If you’re providing a drink and/or appetizer bar, neatly line up wine, beer and cocktail glasses, lay out cocktail napkins, appetizer plates and serving china (or dishes). Serving and regular utensils can be placed in a decorative basket for easy organization.

TIP 8: Set-Up a Kid-Focused Area/Room

Well all know that parents enjoy their mingle time on holidays. To make sure the kids are taken care of and enjoying themselves too, designate a specific room or area that’s in sight and outfit it with toys, games, crafts and other activities. Mom and Dad will thank you.

TIP 9: Add a nice holiday scent to your home.

Light candles or add air freshers to the main rooms that your guests will be enjoying themselves: the bathrooms, kitchen and living room. Pumpkin Spice, Apple Cinnamon, Pine Needles or Fireside Smores are the best fragrances for the Fall season.

Not settled in your dream home yet, but would love to enjoy the holidays in it? It’s your lucky day. Our Year-End Savings promotion is going through the end of the year: put a contract on a new home and get up to $5,000 in closing costs plus a “Move-In Package” complete with a FREE Whirlpool washer, dryer and refrigerator!

Give one of our friendly new home specialists a call today (910- 672-7491) or fill out the form below to ask any questions and/or schedule a tour.

From the McKee Homes family to yours, we wish you a magical Thanksgiving season!

 

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8 Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make When Building a Home

Today we’re giving you the 8 biggest mistakes that we see home buyers make when deciding to build a home in hopes that you don’t make the same errors. The phrase “hindsight is 20-20” should never be used when referring to your new home build. Just saying.

MISTAKE #1: Being your own general contractor

A lot of homeowners see a general contractor as just a project “supervisor,” and therefore think they are qualified to be said contractor.

Yes, the contractor’s job is to oversee the home build, which includes but isn’t limited to gathering bids, identifying and sourcing sub-contractors, overseeing timeline and budget, and making sure that progress is being made. What you don’t consider the contractor’s long-standing authority in the industry and their deep-seeded relationships with sub-contractors (electricians, plumbers, etc.). Because of these trusted connections, sub-contractors want to perform exceptional work for general contractors. If they do, general contractors will continue to enlist them for future jobs, thus keeping the sub-contractors in business.

Unfortunately, sub-contractors will be less likely to do quality work (stick to your budget or finish within the agreed-upon time-frame) when working with someone, like a homeowner, whom they’ll never work with again or whom won’t provide any subsequent opportunities for work.

You might see hiring a general contractor as an unnecessary, added expense, but working with a notable, qualified professional will save you time, money and headache in the long run.

MISTAKE #2: Being frugal

Building your home is not a time to cut corners on your budget. When sourcing bids for a builder, beware of outlying low offers. It might sound like music to your ears when a builder promises to build your dream home two months faster and $40,000 less than other builders, but don’t fall for it.

If there’s a significant difference in the timeline or price compared to other bids, the builder is likely just offering what they think will get them the business. The problem lies in the added expenses that will likely ensue as the project progresses due to being excluded in the original offer. The difference in pricing could also hint to the quality of materials this builder is using.

Your home is an investment. Spend your money wisely on the front end so you’re not wasting your money replacing or fixing home features in the future.

MISTAKE #3: Not Covering Your Back

This is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so we recommend being an active participant in the home-building process and overseeing all the details. This means reading, understanding and reviewing all documents with a lawyer, asking for copies of contractor and sub-contractor insurance policies (if the contractor isn’t insured and an employee gets hurt on the job site, the homeowner could be held responsible), and serious deliberation over your floorplan and home feature selections – once construction commences, changes to a home can be very costly.

MISTAKE #4: Not Asking About Incentives

A builder almost always offers some type of incentive program. Before you sign a contract, be sure to ask the builder or New Home Sales Consultant about special offers that can either reduce the final amount you pay out of pocket (either on the home price or closing costs) or add value to the home (discount to the Design Studio, upgraded features or included appliances and/or amenities).

We at McKee Homes make an effort to provide our homebuyers with as many incentives as we can. Through the end of the 2019 year, we are offering $5,000 off closing costs, as well as a ‘Move-In Package’ complete with a free Whirlpool refrigerator, washer and dryer! Get more details on current incentives and available homes included in the special here.

MISTAKE #5: Not taking location into consideration

When considering a home, take into account the following:

  1. Resale value of the home (don’t concentrate on the cheapest lot). Think about your ROI (return on investment) in the long run.
  2. Land viability. Do your homework on things like the water table, terrain, slope, utility providers, etc.
  3. Size of lot. Do you like to be situated close to your neighbors for a close community feel or do you want a more spacious lot for privacy and tranquility?
  4. Convenience to a grocery store or gas station. Depending on who you are, being close to the busy life is important. To other families, a more quiet, private location suits them better.

MISTAKE #6. Having a budget without a buffer

It’s important to establish a budget when building a home. The budget should include a slush fund that takes into consideration unforeseen circumstances and overages, because even with the best-intentioned bid, incidentals will likely still come up.

There’s also a big difference between the base line price and the actual price of the home. A sales consultant will sell you on the base line price of the home, but it’s your job to know that any upgrades to the floorplan or feature selections (sun room, patio, bonus third floor, deluxe kitchen, decorative lighting packages, L-shaped master shower, etc.) will come with a price. Calculate the base line price and your upgrade costs before putting a deposit down.

MISTAKE #7: Assuming your home will sell during your build timeline

Even if you get financing for your new home build before you have sold your current home, there’s always a chance your home won’t sell before the new home is done (your realtor will tell you otherwise!). Depending on the location and economy, there are many factors that could affect the sale of your home: slow market, appraisal problems, buyers lacking financing, etc.).

When developing your Plan B (because you should have one), consider the following options:

  • Move into your new home and rent your old home while it’s still on the market
  • Make both house payments until your old home sells
  • Walk away from the new home and lose your deposit
  • Explore a new realtor with more creative selling approaches

MISTAKE #8. Working with the wrong builder

Before you choose a builder, do your research:

  • Look at their website not only for examples of work, but also who the builder is. Do they give back to the community? What are their values? Do they take the time to respond to their customers on social media? All these factors will give you a glimpse into the character of the builder.
  • Check reviews online (Google, Facebook, Angie’s List)
  • Ask potential builders to provide examples of their work (photos and in person)
  • Tour neighborhoods in which a builder has built and ask people about their experience

 

It’s important to take the time to find the right builder for you (not just based on the timeline and budget they promise). You will be working with them for the duration of the project and will forever be living in the home they build for you. Pick wisely.

If you’re on the fence about building a home and want to make sure you make the right choice regarding a builder, we’re happy to hop on the phone and answer any questions you may have. Simply fill out the form below or give one our friendly, knowledgeable online home specialists a ring at 910-672-7491.