Tuesday, December 23, 2014

7th Annual Cold Stroke Classic

Maybe if you've been really good this year, Santa will surprise you with a new standup paddleboard! Then there will be no excuse for not entering the season's premier watersport competition, the Cold Stroke Classic! With a cash purse of $1,250 for elite athletes and $5,000 in prizes for recreational paddlers, it's an enticing event!

Join watersports enthusiasts on Saturday, January 17th for the 7th Annual Cold Stroke Classic. The Blockade Runner Beach Resort is graciously hosting the event, and is looking forward to welcoming SUP participants from up and down the Eastern Seaboard. The headlining sponsor is local business, Coastal Urge.

The race will offer two options: a Recreational Division and an Elite Division. For both divisions the board lengths are:

  • Men's and Women's 12'6" and Under
  • Men's Only 14'

Registration for the 3.5-mile long Rec Division is $55 and $25 for kids 14 and under. For the 7-mile Elite course, paddlers can register for $75.

On the morning of the 17th, participants will convene at 9:30 am at the Blockade Runner for a pre-race meeting to discuss the course and safety. The race will begin at 10 am sharp. Please note that all paddlers must either wear a PFD during the event or have one that is accessible with their onboard gear.

Racers will put in on the Banks Channel side of the resort. From there, they will head slightly south before heading west towards Seapath Towers and the Intracoastal Waterway, where they will then turn sharply to the right, and head north. The 3.5-mile course continues, passing under the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge, then eastward by Channel Walk. The home stretch turns back to the south and passes under two more bridges. The race ends back where it started at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. See a map of the course, and registration details here: http://www.coldstrokeclassic.com/race---event-info.html

Proceeds from the event will benefit the organization, SUP Cleanup. Founded in 2009 by the owners of Coastal Urge, it is an international nonprofit whose goal is to, "rid the oceans, beaches and spoil island of trash and debris that washes up or gets left behind." The group cleans areas that are only accessible by boat or SUP.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas for New Coastal Homeowners

Is someone who is new to the area or the coastal lifestyle on your holiday gift list? This is the perfect time to introduce them to a few items that will enhance their new surroundings!

  • Oyster knives - Having their very own for whenever an invitation to an oyster roast presents itself will be appreciated!
  • Beach Toys - No, not pails and shovels-instead focus on the big kids and shop for things like boogie boards, snorkels, Frisbees, Corn-Hole sets, and a Bocce set.
  • Binoculars - New coastal residents are often shocked to discover the stunning views of nature and wildlife that are accessible just from their deck or kitchen window. Why not make it easier for them to observe those migrating dolphins, spectacular sunrises or far away sailing ships?
  • Tees from WB Merchants - They will feel like long time locals with apparel from such iconic stops as Robert's Grocery, Vito's Pizza, and Motts Channel Seafood!
  • Seafood Cookbooks - Even for the most accomplished home chefs, seafood cookery can be a challenge. Providing the new homeowners with a little guidance in the form of a cookbook or two could also be extremely beneficial for the giver, later on down the road! Here are a few suggestions: Seaboard to Sideboard (Wilmington Junior League), Mariner's Menu-30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas (N.C. Sea Grant), and The Coastal Living Cookbook.
  • More Culinary Ideas - A shrimp peeler, stainless steel fish spatula, shellfish crackers, and a gift bag filled with seafood seasonings like Old Bay and cocktail sauce.
  • Shoe rack, mat and brush - Help them keep the sand outside where it belongs with a de-sanding station. You might want to include a pair of unsex house slippers with this one.
  • Guidebooks - Introduce the new locals to topics they may be curious about, such as history, seashell and wildlife identification and coastal preservation. Audubon guides are good choices along with books from Wilmington natives, Susan Taylor Block and Anne Russell.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Could Wintertime be the Best Time to Shop for Coastal Property?

The winter months are typically the slowest time of year for real estate sales. Even if your name is not Jack Frost or Elsa, they may be the best time to shop for a home, especially a place at the beach! Because the crowds are gone, listings are a bit more accessible. Also, sellers who listed properties in the spring and summer who have yet to see a serious buyer may be more interested in price negotiations. You never know until you try! Another excellent motivator for anyone considering a home purchase right now, coastal or otherwise, is the fact that 30 year mortgage rates are still hovering around 4.0 percent.

In fact as most of us were recovering from Thanksgiving, planning our Black Friday, Holiday Flotilla and Cyber Monday strategies, the Associated Press was looking into 30-year mortgage rates. According to their story, for the last week of November, rates went down for the third week in a row, from 3.99 percent to 3.97 percent.

In addition to affordable mortgage rates, the winter slow down may enable area home buyers to get more for their money. Along with motivated sellers, this is a busy time of year for impending moves or career changes. Most folks tend to put house hunting on hold for the holidays. However, a favorable combination of factors can trigger new listings that won't last until the busy spring and summer seasons. Another plus is that a wintertime home buy may include tax benefits in the form of under publicized deductions (consult a tax professional).

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in or around Wrightsville Beach, Landfall, or Figure Eight Island, please call 910-265-6998.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to Give Your Listing the Wow Factor - Even in Winter

The winter months are often considered the off-season for home sales. Many hopeful homebuyers choose to bide their time until spring or summer. It happens this way for several reasons. Folks are often very busy during the holidays and resolve to get their ducks in a row after New Year's Day.

After January, chilly weather and tax time may also force potential buyers to put their plans on hold. Fortunately, there are always interested buyers looking for the perfect property in our area. Here are a few tips for bringing out the best in your listing even with Jack Frost around!

  • Prior to putting up outdoor holiday decorations, make sure to tidy up all of your property's landscaped areas and exterior. Rake, mow, blow, wash windows and pressure wash if needed.
  • Inside, before putting up the tree and decorating, make the place sparkle with a thorough deep cleaning. It's a tough balance to achieve this time of year, but try to get rid of most personal items and clutter. When a home is closed up on cold, dreary days, an excessive amount of stuff can overshadow its true appeal.
  • Avoid heavy window treatments. Achieve that easy breezy coastal feel with unobstructed windows that will create an openness especially if your home boasts any impressive coastal views.
  • No one can look at property when they are freezing and uncomfortable-so keep the place toasty warm. A good rule of thumb is to maintain a temperature somewhere between 70 and 75 degrees. 
  • On those unseasonably warm days, fling open a few windows and doors and air things out. Because beach sand and pet hair can be a problem, remember to keep carpets vacuumed and pet areas tidy. Also, be sure to change the heating and air conditioning system filters regularly.
  • By now we are all familiar with the ways enticing scents add to a listing's appeal. Avoid the temptation to overdo it with scented candles and air fresheners-keep it real! Instead of a heavily perfumed candle, fill the air with aroma of cinnamon oatmeal cookies, mulled cider, or rich, hot cocoa. Prospective buyers will likely enjoy a warming treat and appreciate how inviting your home is.
  • Create intimate settings and unexpected retreats throughout the residence. You can also incorporate the power of suggestion with a seasonal twist. For example: a bright bowl of citrus fruit or luscious holiday cake on a pedestal stand in the kitchen, a lit fire, stacks of books and woven throws in the living room, plush towels, robes, and rugs in the bath, an inviting reading nook in a window seat, or an elegant table set for a romantic dinner for two in the dining room.
  • After the holidays, and no later than January 1st, remove all of the holiday décor and replace it with a few welcoming touches. Need ideas? How about: wintertime blooms like bulbs and pansies, a new front door mat, mailbox flag or a DIY bird sanctuary with feeders and a bird bath?

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Wrightsville Beach Holiday Flotilla is Coming

 Can You Believe It's Been 31 Years? The Flotilla is Coming!

What began in 1983 as a charming small-scale affair has become a holiday mainstay. Repeatedly chosen by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the "Top 20" must see events, the flotilla and festivities surrounding it continue to evolve and improve. Always held the Saturday evening following Thanksgiving, the Wrightsville Beach Holiday Flotilla is the perfect way to kick off the holidays!

One of the best things about it is that you don't even have to be a boat owner to enjoy all of the fun! The Atlantic Marine Holiday Launch Party officially kicks off this year's flotilla on Friday, November 28th at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. For just $25 you can rub elbows with this year's flotilla boat captains plus enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, and live music by The Craig Woolard Band. The fun starts at 7 pm-and ticket information is here: www.ncholidayflotilla.org

On Saturday, don't miss the Festival in the Park, which takes place from 10 am until 4 pm. There are loads of activities for the kids, including a coloring contest, giant inflatables, plus the Arab Shriner Choo-choo. It also attracts some of the finest and most unique artisans and crafts people from around the region. And…the festival is an ideal place to pick up one-of-a-kind holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. Because there are always several food vendors on hand, there is no need to worry about lunch!

The real fun gets underway at 6pm with the star of the show-a fleet of amazing, decorated boats of all shapes and sizes, including commercial vessels, sailboats and pleasure craft. Each year the participants aim to out bedazzle last year's winners and so far so good! At 7:30 pm, the boat parade is followed by an unforgettable fireworks display-what a way to bring in the holiday season!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

10th Annual Turkey Trot in Wrightsville Beach

Want to know how to get a head start on those Thanksgiving calories and support a great cause in the process? Make plans to attend to the 10th Annual Turkey Trot! The fun takes place on Thanksgiving Day around the Wrightsville Beach Loop and all proceeds benefit Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity.

Registration may be done online until this Sunday 11/23 or in-person on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 27th. Sign in is at 7:30 am with an 8:30 start. As part of this year's activities, there is a certified 5K and a 1-mile walk. 5k racers have until Sunday, 11/23 to register online for $35 and then up until the 27th for an entry fee of $45. Children 5 and under are free and 1-mile walkers may participate for a $15 donation.

Since it began 10 years ago, the WB Turkey Trot has gained a tremendous following. Over the years, businesses, friends, service groups, neighbors and families have gathered for a morning of silly, good-natured competition. Along with supporting a great cause and getting in a little fresh air and exercise, it is also the best place around to see some crazy hats and variations on the Turkey costume theme! It has also become a Thanksgiving tradition for many. For more information and to register, please use this link: http://www.wilmingtonturkeytrot.com/

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Spruce Ups for Your Coastal Property

Whether you are anxious to add curb appeal for a potential sale, or just ready to say “bye-bye” to summer and “hello fall”, here are some easy ways to do it:

-Go ahead and uproot those tired out summer annuals. Pansies and mums are in season and will breathe new life into outdoor containers and borders.

-Mow (maybe for the last time this year!) and sweep or blow all of your outdoor areas, including decks, porches and patios. Clean, uncluttered spaces say, “fall fresh!”

-Pile on some pumpkins. Although they may eventually become jack-o-lanterns, a few bright orange pumpkins artfully placed make for a cheery, welcoming display. Try arranging a few up the steps or with some pots of mums on an inexpensive bale of hay for an instant outdoor focal point. There are some amazing looking heirloom varieties in all shapes and colors. Look for these heirloom types locally: Lumina-bright orange, Pokemon-orange and white striped, Yokohama-bluish black, and Polar Bear-white.

-Since “fall is for planting” now is the time to make your landscape more interesting by introducing some new plants, bulbs, trees or shrubs. How about adding a few colors with Japanese maples or painted ferns? Does your property get enough sun for a fruit or nut tree?

Call or stop by the Arboretum and the local agricultural extension service for suggestions and how-tos: 910-798-7660

-Summer showers and humid weather can leave a coastal property looking dingy. It is also encourages mold and mildew to set in. That’s why fall is the ideal time to give your home’s exterior a good scrub or pressure wash. Many homeowners are surprised how having a place pressure washed often makes it look like it’s been freshly painted!

-Get artsy and install a water garden, sculpture, gate or arbor. Such things will give your home character and make it unique.

-Retire that flip-flop doormat and replace with one that reflects the season.

-Add a fall wreath to the front door for an instant attention grabber.

When your place is looking its best, you’ll feel good about taking time out for some favorite fall activities, like fishing, football in the park, beach combing and sharpening up those oyster knives!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

4th Annual N.C. Surf to Sound Challenge

Calling all Stand Up Paddleboard enthusiasts~some big names in the SUP world are headed to Wrightsville Beach soon! The N.C. Surf to Sound Challenge is set for Friday, October 31st through Sunday, November 2nd.

SUPers flock to Wrightsville Beach for the unique barrier island geography that is ideal for establishing a variety of challenging race-courses, both open ocean and inland waters. Amateur competitors will have the opportunity to rub paddles with other SUP athletes who are ranked nationally and internationally. There will be divisions for novice, intermediate and elite SUPers. They will be able to test their skills on one or more of the four courses. The most impressive is undoubtedly the 20-mile open ocean course that will have paddlers circumnavigating the waters off the beach strand and back around through the scenic areas along the inlet and Banks Channel.

The fact that the event’s kickoff coincides with Halloween only doubles the fun! Friday afternoon’s schedule includes hands-on skill clinics for all levels and a special spooky storytime complete with s’mores for the younger paddlers.

Although the Wrightsville Beach area enjoys mild weather throughout the year, late fall can throw some curves in the way of shifty winds, choppy water, and occasional precipitation. All of the elite competitors know that making it around the ocean buoy that marks the 6.5-mile mark is one of the biggest hurdles on the open water course. Elite SUPers from far and wide are expected to attend, including two crowd favorites.

Folks are looking forward to the return of Larry Cain, who is the three-time men’s champion in the 14-foot elite division. Event organizers also announced that Jessica Rando will be back this year. Rando is a Canadian Pan-Am Games Olympic level paddler and 12-foot elite division competitor and will be on hand to race and lead a few Friday afternoon clinics.

As the event’s official host, The Blockade Runner Beach Resort is also the namesake of a new race course. The 9-mile stretch, called the “Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship”, is located between the Atlantic Ocean and Banks Channel. Intermediate paddlers are looking forward to testing their skills on the 4-mile Harbor Island Outer Loop, which takes them on a scenic, yet demanding trek through Banks Channel, Motts Channel, the Intratcoastal Waterway and Lees Cut. The kids’ race is set for Saturday at 11;30 am on the Blockade Runner’s soundside beach course.

All in all, this event promises to deliver plenty of fun and excitement for all ages! One more activity to look forward to is the east coast premiere of filmmaker Brent Deal's H2MexicO, named 2014 Movie of the Year by SUP The Mag. For more information, including diagrams of the courses and registration forms, please visit the official website here: https://paddleguru.com/races/SurftoSound2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Featured Listing: 2514 N Lumina Ave Unit 2-C, Wrightsville Beach

Great opportunity in Wrightsville Beach, NC to own an oceanfront condo in Wrightsville Dunes

This 3 bedroom, 2 bath ergonomic floorplan is located on the 2nd level within the northern most building at Wrightsville Dunes. Oceanfront living area opens via sliders to covered oceanfront balcony offering sweeping views of the Atlantic. Updated condo interior is move-in ready featuring beach friendly low maintenance ceramic tiled flooring, top shelf kitchen pkg, neutral palette. 

Oceanfront master suite with private bath. Guest bedrooms take advantage of beautiful views overlooking the ever-changing colors of tidal marsh. Wrightsville Dunes amenity pkg is second to none providing: elevator service, owner beach locker, two oceanfront swimming pools, tennis, ample parking, and private ocean access. Condo conveys furnished with few exceptions.

For more information or to see, contact Hardee Hunt and Williams at 910-256-6998.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

12 North Channel Dr. in Wrightsville Beach, NC for Sale

A four bedroom sound front home is for sale in Wrightsville Beach, NC by Hardee Hunt and Williams Real Estate. The luxury property at 12 North Channel Dr. is an amazing opportunity for sound front, coastal living with expansive water views, private pier and designer touches throughout.

Wrightsville Beach, N.C. September 3, 2014 — 12 North Channel Dr. in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina (MLS# 510119) is a well appointed sound front home is situated on Harbor Island in Wrightsville Beach. The location and features of this home allow year round water access and the best of the beach lifestyle. The private pier features  a unique dock arrangement with multiple wet-slips, a 10,000Lb capacity boat lift, a large sun deck, as well as a skiff/jetski launch. After a day of boating, paddle boarding, or simply summing on the dock - return to relax inside this stylish and spectacular coastal home.

Take a video tour of the home and property: http://youtu.be/qNlHcz9VUb8

The 3500 sq. foot home itself features 4 bedrooms and 4 full baths. Designer touches throughout  include beach friendly hardwood flooring, a neutral coastal palette, high end finishes, and gourmet kitchen enhanced by butcher block counters. Spectacular sound front views and waterfront decks are accessible from every level.

The open flowing living, dining, kitchen level floor plan is excellent for entertaining. You and your guests will enjoy the sizable waterfront master suite which includes a large lounge/office space along with a detail oriented top shelf master bath. Located on a quiet stretch of the island this is perfect for primary, secondary, or investment rental ownership.

Hardee Hunt and Williams is a boutique real estate company with a focus on Wrightsville Beach real estate, Landfall properties, and Figure Eight Island.  The agents operate as a team and know every inch of the island community. They have the knowledge, connections, and real estate experience needed to match sellers with the right buyers and to help buyers find the Landfall or beach property ideal for them.

To learn more about 12 North Channel Dr., please visit http://www.hardeehuntandwilliams.com/listings/PropListing.asp?frm=bysearch&type=RA,%20CT&featured=1&page=5  For more details about Hardee Hunt and Williams or to learn more about Wrightsville Beach Real Estate, please visit http://www.HardeeHuntandWilliams.com.


Ace Cofer
Hardee Hunt and Williams
602 Causeway Drive
Wrightsville Beach, N.C. 28408

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer's Almost Over - Don't Miss Your Chance to…

Think back to that first day of summer. Were you full of plans, hopes, and expectations? Perhaps this was the summer that you were going to finally learn how to surf, sail, or finally find a shark's tooth. Maybe you had hoped to run the entire Loop, paddle across to Masonboro or track down your dream house? Chances are, you still can!

With Labor Day just weeks away, it's time to get busy. The good news is that there are still scores of awesome things to do until summer's official end. There's the Monday Farmers Market, Tuesday yoga at the park, free concerts, birding tours, the Blockade Runner's Thursday night sunset SUP series, Sunday music at Bluewater, surf contests and more.

Check out the What's on Wilmington calendar and make the most of what's left of summer. There is also a good list of things to do in Wilmington and the area beaches at WilmingtonNC.com including information on area attractions, road trip ideas, tours, and outdoor activities.

The new Coastal Federation headquarters has its own calendar of events and the activities are fun as well as educational. One of their most popular new programs is a coastal cooking class. The one for August is: Cruising, Clamming, and Chowder-read about it here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=zt44nadab&oeidk=a07e9hjxcvrce517ff5

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Home Maintenance Tips for Coastal Homeowners

As any homeowner knows, the job of maintaining a property is ongoing. This is especially true when it comes to homes along the coast. All of those qualities that make the location so special: the salt air, gentle breezes and abundant sunshine, can also cause quite a bit of wear and tear! To ensure that your coastal property is properly maintained, please review our easy checklist:

  • Conduct an annual inspection of the HVAC system and change the filters regularly. Keep the air fresh and dust-free by keeping the returns clean. 
  • With beach properties, keeping surfaces looking their best can be tricky due to the salt air. Cross-ventilation is wonderful on those days when the AC can be turned off. However, there is always a little moisture in the air, so be sure to periodically wipe down all surfaces, windows, and doors
  • Each year, preferably before hurricane season, check the seals in all of your home's windows and doors. If your place has any weather stripping, check it as well.
  • Keep a broom and dustpan handy. Beach sand is rough on both hardwood floors and carpet. Since most vacuums were not made to handle massive amounts of sand, sweep up the areas around entrances, porches, walkways, and decks, before vacuuming.
  • Make a thorough inspection for signs of any rot, mildew or excess moisture. Areas of concern are crawl spaces, foundations, basements, rooflines, and attics. If you locate the source of a leak, have it repaired immediately! Warmer, drier summer weather allows areas that may have held moisture to dry out. They will be much easier to repair or replace now.
  • Since most beach homes are light in color, they can really get dingy fast! Pressure washing is an easy way to remove months of dirt and salt water residue plus stop mold and mildew in their tracks. It is also an easy, affordable and quick way to spruce up decks, rails, porches, driveways, and patios. Pressure washing takes the drudgery out of cleaning outdoor furniture, and it's the basic first step to take before any painting, staining, or sealing. 
  • For coastal homeowners, sealing decks should be an annual to-do. Salt air, salt water and the brutal sun are tough on any exposed woodwork, especially decks. This is one of those annual to-dos that pays off by extending the lifetime of your investment!
  • Periodically inspect your home's exterior from top to bottom. Look for missing shingles, damaged siding, and anything that needs attention. Catching issues early is often the key to avoiding bigger, expensive headaches later on down the road. Be sure to check around the foundation to make sure there are no problems with moisture. 
  • Keep plantings, shrubs, and trees under control with regular pruning. Remove any large trees that could pose a threat to your home in hurricane force winds. 

If you are considering buying a home in or around Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, we're here to help. Give us a call today at 910-256-6998 or check out current listings online.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life Along the North End of Wrightsville Beach

We are often asked, "Which end of the beach is the best?" Of course, our answer is "Both ends and everywhere in between!" The mid-section of the island and blocks that extend towards the south end are often viewed as where the action is. It is true, that the area along Lumina Avenue and Waynick Boulevard is a hub of activity. Here is where to find shops and restaurants, and the island's only grocery store. In just one block, it is possible to grab lunch, stock up on sunscreen, replace your worn out flip flops or board shorts and come back later for a fabulous dinner, cold beer or irresistible cone of homemade ice cream. Those blocks also encompass a stretch of everyone's favorite place to exercise, see and be seen: The Loop. The ever-changing backdrop provided by the boaters, sailors and stand-up paddle boarders along Banks Channel is also a great source of free entertainment.

Then there are those who regard the beach as a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily routine. They only want to park the car, unload the groceries, and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Wrightsville Beach. One of the best spots for accomplishing this is the north end of the island. Aside from the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort and the Shell Island Resort, there is no commercial activity. Larger homes with lovingly landscaped yards also give this area more of a traditional neighborhood feel.

On a clear, Carolina blue sky day, the beach strand at the north end of Wrightsville Beach offers unparalleled views of Figure Eight and Topsail Island. This is also where savvy seashell collectors come to see what bounty Mason's Inlet and the Atlantic have delivered overnight. Like the rest of Wrightsville, the pristine ocean water provides hours of enjoyment for those who like to swim, fish, surf, skim board, SUP, or just wade along the water's edge. Of course, since it is far from the crowds, it is also one of the best places to catch up on your summer reading.

Naturalists and bird watchers have been flocking to the north end for years. Although the beach side is gorgeous, the north end's vast expanse of marsh grass that extends towards the Intracoastal Waterway is breathtaking in its own right. Here is the site of the 300-acre Mason Inlet Waterbird Management Area. Although it is a designated protected nesting site, lucky visitors have several excellent vantage points from which to observe shorebirds in their natural habitat. There is also path that starts at the informational kiosk and directs visitors across the dunes to the beach. According to the N.C. Birding Trail website, "Along the way visitors will see typical barrier island dune and swale plants in their natural setting. During summer, colonial waterbirds and shorebirds nest within the dunes and forage along the inlet shoreline."

Are you curious about the Mason Inlet bird sanctuary? Here is more information:

Evenings at the north end are exceptional-here is where the sea meets the sky and there's nothing like it! It is the perfect place for a full moon picnic…or if that requires too much effort-no worries. There's no need to drive into town. Both the Shell Island Resort and the Holiday Inn SunSpree have outstanding full-service restaurants, and from the north end-they're within walking distance.

If life at the north end sounds appealing, there are multiple listings to choose from, plus units for sale in a number of condo communities. Here are a few current listings for properties located at the north end of Wrightsville Beach:

These are just a handful of listings! In addition to Wrightsville Beach, we also have properties in several surrounding coastal communities, including Figure Eight Island. Click here to see more: http://www.hardeehuntandwilliams.com/listings/PropListings.asp

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Move Over Guys - The Wahines Are On Their Way!

We're excited to help spread the word that once again, Wrightsville Beach will be the venue for the Wahine Classic. As one of the longest standing female surf contests on the Eastern Seaboard, the Wahine Classic draws competitors of all ages from all over!

The action is set for Friday August 15th through Sunday the 17th. Over 100 female surfers will converge onto the scene and go head to head in these divisions: shortboard, longboard, and standup paddle board. For those surfers who are trying the contest scene for the first time, this year there will be two Novice categories. The first heats each day are set for 8 am. Access 38 at the south end of the island is where to grab a ringside seat and witness maneuvers from some of the most talented female surfers around.

One of the most popular competition categories is the "Teeny Weeny Wahine". It has become a contest mainstay and has been a great way for hundreds of enthusiastic surfing parents to introduce the sport to their young daughters.

This year's co-chairs are Jo Pickett of Crystal South Surf Camp and Jack Viorel, of Indo Jax Surf School and Charities. Both are proud parents of young ladies who have grown up participating in the Wahine Classic. In addition to being a driving force in the local surf community, Pickett has coached the East Coast Surfing Association's elite female division. This role has put her in touch with the most capable female surfers in the area. "The idea is to bring all girls to the playing field," Pickett says. "The developing ones learn from the most accomplished."

Viorel moved his family from northern California to Wilmington several years ago. The former elementary school teacher immediately began a variety of community outreach charity surf camps that have become an institution among local surfers and volunteer supporters. His daughter, Gabby began surfing at age 4. Today at 11, she is eager to compete against the Wahines in the 12 and under division. Viorel observes, "Having an all female contest like this is a real platform to dive into surfing. There's a competitive edge to it but it's a community event."

Make plans to attend this family friendly and very entertaining event! Why not pack a picnic and make a day of it? For anyone interested in learning more or obtaining an entry form, here is the official website link:

Be sure also to visit the facebook page for the latest information on the Wahine Classic: https://www.facebook.com/events/578233268962886/

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hurricane Season is Here. Be Prepared

Living in a breathtakingly beautiful coastal area should not be taken for granted, especially during this time of year. Of course summer and early fall are ideal times to enjoy all that the Cape Fear Coast has to offer. However, in addition to lining up all of the essentials, such as beach chairs, coolers, sunscreen, fishing gear, and all those toys, there's one more item to add to the list: Hurricane Preparedness Kit.

June 1st through November 30th, is recognized as the official Atlantic hurricane season. According to meteorologists and historical data, this is the time of year when tropical cyclones are the most likely to form. Known here as hurricanes, these are rapidly rotating storm systems marked by a low-pressure system, high winds, and heavy rains. In order to be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph.

Some of the most devastating storms in recent years have occurred during the months of September and October (Katrina and Sandy). However, our coast has seen some pretty significant ones in July and August (Bertha '96 and Bonnie '98). What this should tell us is that, like the Boy Scouts - it's time to "Be Prepared."

Getting Ready

  • During storm season, pay a little extra attention to weather reports and the 5-day outlook. Again, being prepared for what may be ahead is critical.
  • Should a hurricane be predicted, have a plan, including where you will go and the route you will take. Pet owners must also plan accordingly and be aware that most shelters do not accept pets.
  • Gas up vehicles and charge electronics, such as phones and laptops
  • Whether you think you will evacuate or stay, make sure that your home, its contents and all of your important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, insurance papers, passports, drivers licenses and financial information is secure. Also consider using an external hard drive and memory cards to download sensitive documents and information stored in your computer.
  • Again, regardless of whether you choose to evacuate or stay on your property, you will need to gather together a few key items. Be aware that homeowners allowed to return after a hurricane are likely to be faced with power outages and limited access to food and water. So, well before the storm, collect the things you will need. It is best to have them all organized, high and dry in one spot, such as in a rubber maid or other type of waterproof container.

Hurricane Kit

  • Flashlights, batteries, candles, lanterns, fuel, lighters, matches
  • Battery-operated radio and/or TV
  • Containers of water-enough to last 5 to 7 days
  • Canned and other non-perishable food and beverages for at least 3 days
  • Utensils and paper products for food
  • Manual can opener
  • Pet food-kitty litter
  • Medications, prescriptions
  • Hygiene products, diapers, wipes, toiletries
  • Paper products, trash bags
  • First aid kit- Be aware that the most common injuries after a hurricane involve cuts, scrapes, and bee stings
  • Extra clothing, include raincoats and warm weather outer wear depending on the time of year
  • If you plan to use a generator, have fuel on hand

***Be aware to take all of the necessary precautions when using gas or kerosene lamps, candles, and generators.

Before the storm:

  • Compile a list of all important phone numbers, such as your property insurance company, utility offices, physician, local TV and radio stations, tree removal services, and the local emergency management office.
  • Make sure basic tools for tree removal, such as saws and chainsaws are in good working order and accessible.
  • Have any dead limbs or trees removed from your property. Consider taking out trees that would pose a threat to your home should they snap and break in a storm.
  • Be aware of which outside objects need to be secured in case of a hurricane. Have a plan for where boats, wave runners, outdoor furniture, bird feeders, planters, and grills will be stowed.
  • If you do not have storm shutters, have plywood cut for your home's windows. Predrill the holes for easy installation and make sure to label which pieces fit which windows.

For more ideas on how to be as prepared as possible visit this site:


Thankfully, for the 2014, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near-normal or below-normal season!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wrightsvillle Beach Parking - $2.50 Per Hour

If you're preparing to visit Wrightsville Beach this weekend, keep in mind that the cost of parking went up to to $2.50 per hour this year. It may seem a little pricey but many consider a fun-filled day at Wrightsville Beach priceless. Compared to dinner and a movie, it is certainly a bargain! To keep things in perspective, please note that a portion of the parking fees go directly to beach renourishment.

The island community's Mayor Pro Tem, Darryl Mills, acknowledged the price increase and noted, "The amount we've been setting aside is really nothing compared to the cost of the project and I see this as a way to start generating funds." As a result of the increase, a day pass has increased from $12 to $15, and a weekly pass is now $75. Paid parking hours are from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. The good news is that new meters were installed this year that accommodate credit and debit cards. Now that is a welcome change compared to digging through your pockets and glove compartments for the other kind of change!

More on Wrightsville Beach Parking:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wrightsville Beach 4th of July Events & Activities

Since this great American holiday falls on a Friday this year, it pays to plan ahead! Although there are some wonderful events taking place on the island to celebrate the fourth, there are also some pretty awesome events going on across the bridge and beyond! So, get your picnic/cookout supplies ready and don't forget that sunscreen. Here's a look at what's on tap:

Thursday July 3rd

Here along Wrightsville Beach, easing into a long weekend will be a breeze with two low-key activities. At 6:30 pm, you can head to the park for WECT TV's Sounds of Summer Concert Series, and rock out with the band, The Fury. Bring a picnic and folding chairs for this free evening of music.

Meanwhile, over at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, those looking for an active way to get the fourth underway will want to check out the Sunset SUP Series. The series takes place every Thursday and includes a 10-minute standup paddleboard lesson. Paddlers will take a different course each week depending on the current weather conditions. For details, please call the resort at: 910-256-2251.

And elsewhere…on the 3rd

  • Junior Naturalist Program at Halyburton Park - 4099 S. 17th Street-Strolls along the strand will be much more meaningful for the kids after attending the park's Shelling the Shores program. For children 5 to 11, participants will learn how to identify different local seashells, plus take a few home. It begins at 1:30 and ends at 3 pm. There is a $10 fee and pre-registration is a must. Here's the website and phone number: info@halyburtonpark.com - 910-341-0075
  • Cameron Art Museum - 3201 S. 17th Street-Summertime is perfect for an al fresco combo of art and music! The museum's Music in the Courtyard is set for 6:30-8 pm and features the Root Soul Project. Made up of several very talented musicians, the group plays a blend of blues, hip-hop, reggae, and jazz. Admission ranges from $5-$7-Call for details: 910-395-5999 or check the website.
  • Carolina Beach Boardwalk - Cape Fear Blvd. Carolina Beach  -Get the 4th of July party warmed up early with Fireworks by the Sea and Live Music. The festivities start at 6:30 pm with live music from Massive Grass and Southern Trouble. When the sun goes down, it's time to get ready for the fireworks! For directions and more information regarding this free event, just call: 910-458-8434.
  • Legion Stadium - 2221 Carolina Beach Road-Did watching all that World Cup action leave you wanting more? You are in luck, because there will be a pro match between our home team the Wilmington Hammerheads and the Orlando Lions! Be sure and don the team colors-blue and white, before heading to the stadium for the 7:30 pm match! Admission ranges between $8 to $12. Call 910-777-2111 for more info or purchase tickets online here

And here are a few area special events for Friday July 4th:

  • Buck Hardee Field - Legion Sports Complex - 2149 Carolina Beach Rd.-What a way to get the 4th started! Is there any sport more American than baseball? Exactly! The Sharks will go head to head against the Edenton Steamers in this Coastal Plain League game. Tickets are between $5 and $8-children under 6 get in for free. Please use this website for details and directions: http://wilmingtonsharks.com/. First pitch is at 7:05 -There may even be time to take in a few innings and the head downtown for the…
  • Wilmington 4th of July Celebration - Get downtown early to beat the crowds. Along with awesome live music from the 440th Army Band, food vendors, and the chance to see a beautiful sunset, the best fireworks show of the year begins at 9 pm. Avoid hassles and headaches by reviewing traffic info here: http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/community_services/events_permits/special_events/4th_of_july

But wait! There's more:

On Friday, the 4th, there will also be live music at Mayfaire Towne Center and Airlie Gardens. Get the scoop by using these links:

And if you have never been, perhaps this should be the year to load up the family and head to Southport for the official N.C. 4th of July Festival. Did you know it's been going strong for over 200 years? Even if you have been, you won't believe how much the celebration has grown!

Access all of the information you'll need for an unforgettable 4th in lovely Southport: http://www.nc4thofjuly.com/

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

5 Tips for House Hunting While on Vacation

One advantage to house hunting in Wrightsville Beach from out of town is the ability to do so while on vacation. If only all real estate searches came with that option! By arming yourself with a few tools, asking key questions, and becoming a keen observer, you should be able to locate your dream home in record time.

1. Know what you want - Decide which features and components will be the most important to you and your family or partner. Boat slip or screened in porch? Gourmet kitchen or water view? You get the idea!

2. Pack a "House Hunting" toolkit - It's easy to get confused when searching for a home, even on a small island. Bring along a few simple tools to make the process easier, such as a clipboard or notebook, a measuring tape, and a camera. Hopefully those will all fit in the basket of that beach cruiser!

3. Make a checklist - Looking at property for several days can get confusing. "…Which one had that great master bath I loved so much? Was it on the one on North Channel Drive or Shearwater Street?" Even though we will provide you with plenty of information, take the time to write up your own personal checklist for features you are looking for. Also have a page to list the pro's and con's or personal likes and dislikes for each property you'll be considering,

4. Visit the area at different times of day - As a vacationing house hunter, you'll likely be here Saturday to Saturday, which is extremely advantageous. In addition to the surf, sun, and seafood, you'll be able to check out what life is like here 24/7! For places you are interested in, check them out at different times of day to evaluate factors such as traffic patterns, noise levels, walking or driving distances to and from important destinations like the grocery store, library, school, or office.

5. Be patient - A week is a nice chunk of time to devote to a home search. However, things may not fall into place so quickly. Be aware that new listings come in all the time, and after your house hunting holiday, you'll know exactly what you're after!

We hope these tips help you as you plan your house hunting / beach vacation in Wrightsville Beach.  Be sure to call the expert agents at Hardee Hunt and Williams to show you around town!  Call us at  910-256-6998.
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