Beach area News and Views with a little fishing too.

The ICW has many interesting sights like this to gorgeous mansions: 

Wish you were here. Well the weather has been fantastic. There have been quite a few days when the ocean has been calm too. Busy as usual. November means there is the possibility of a frost over the next few months. Still the roses and other flowers are pretty as this is written and temps mostly in the high 70s. This is the festival season and October has several near by. NC produces about 1/2 the sweet potatoes raised in the US and Tabor City has the Sweet Potato Festival. Ocean Isle Beach Oyster Festival and Festival By the Sea at Holden Beach are two you surely do not want to miss. This year is the 1st we went to the Pecan Festival at Whiteville but certainly will not be the last. That is a tiny sample of the fall festivals and there is something going on all year in the area. It was great to see friends from PA too. I sold them an investment home a few years ago. They came down in October to celebrate their anniversary and spent time on the beach. October is a great month to visit ~ prior to moving here my daughter vacationed in October. The weather is usually good, the ocean is still warm, prices are lower, and fewer tourists as all schools have started.

Happy Veterans Day! This a special day for me. Although I think of my dad every day, this day makes me wonder just what he went through at both Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. Friends from HS and guys in my unit that were lost in Nam receive a prayer. To the lucky ones like me that made it home ~ Welcome! To all the active duty, be safe and God speed. A huge Thank you to all veterans!

Interest Rates continue to fluctuate in a fairly tight range. Most feel rates will not rise much in the near future but no guarantees. The info that follows was received late October from a regional lender. 30 year conventional 4%, 20 year 3.5%, 15 year 3.15% ~ FHA (3.5% down) VA and USDA ( 0 down with these) are all at 3.5% ~ 30 year jumbo loans are only .25% above conventional.

Thank you brother Tom, owner of ProTackle for sending 2 new rods. Those 2 Ugly Stick Tigers are fantastic. Anyone needing ANY fishing equipment should contact him at or 724 734 3452. Christmas is almost here. No one beats Tom’s prices or service.

Foreclosures ~ By now everyone has heard foreclosures have dropped tremendously AND simply because a listing is in foreclosure does not always make it a great deal. All these listings are still active and were listed in the last 3 months. Also, there are additional listings that are older and not in the most requested areas. NC listings include detached homes as well as condos and townhomes. Only 15 listings were found ranging in price from $19,900 to $859,000. Check them out at . For SC the 1st listings are for detached homes. Only 22 were found ranging in price from $39,000 to $769,900. They can be found at . The last group of listings are of condos and townhomes. Only 26 listings were found ranging from $39,900 to $385,000. They can be found at . If you wish searches of areas not covered or an updated search, just call or email.

Happy Thanksgiving. We all have much to be thankful for. Take a moment and count your blessing.

Need a special gift for Christmas or any occasion? Check out to have something special made for the special people in your life.

A checklist for snowbirds visiting for the winter. Jim Giuffre of National Home Inspections sent suggestions so you find your northern home as you left it.

Winterizing Your House

Now that the cooler weather is here, you’re probably not going to visit that
cabin up north, and you may be leaving your home in a colder climate for a
destination in a warmer one. That means preparing your cabin or house for cold
weather between Oct. 30 and April 15. Here’s a handy checklist:

  • Remove all food to prevent pests and rodents from invading your cabin or home.
  • Remove all bottles, cans etc., that could burst if they freeze.
  • Unplug ALL appliances. Don’t forget the microwave, stereo and televisions. If you unplug the fridge,
    make sure to completely empty the fridge and freezer, and wedge them open.
  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl space and attic and insulate around outdoor water pipes and faucets
    that you use for irrigation.
  • Seal air leaks that allow cold air into your garage and house where pipes may be located, especially
    around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.
  • Shut off the water main and thoroughly drain water out of pipes. Use an air compressor to blow excess
    water from the pipes. Close the tub and sink drains.
  • To prevent the water in the toilet trap from evaporating and allowing sewer gasses to enter the house,
    lift the toilet seats and cover all toilet bowls with plastic cling wrap.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and empty pipes leading to outside faucets.
  • Shut off the electricity or pilot light on the water heater and drain the water heater into a floor
  • Turn off the pilot lights and gas on stoves and fireplaces.
  • Keep the heat on at a low setting — 55 to 60 degrees — to prevent pipes from cracking and leaking.
    Give the house or cabin a good cleaning to deter pests and rodents.
  • Dispose of all flammable items, such as oily rags.
  • Close flues and dampers.
  • Store all outdoor furniture  in a shed or garage.
  • Make sure all points of entry are locked up tight, and don’t leave any valuables in the home.

Arrange for a neighbor or a home watch service to check on the home regularly. Don’t forget to take care of mail and other regular deliveries.

Trends in Real Estate  Last time the information came from Horry/Georgetown SC Counties. This time it comes about Brunswick County NC. I am a licensed real estate broker in both Carolinas. There are currently 5377 active residential listings in the county. Over the past year there have been approximately the same number of active listings. Only 3 months during the end of 2013 did the number drop slightly under 5000. Currently we have slightly more than a 16 month inventory. During October there were 570 new listings and listings sold. The average listed price was $239K and average sold price was $181K. Average days on market was 252. The average price per sq ft was $137. The relatively small number of sales (326) can be impacted by few extremely high or low priced sales. If you desire information on a specific town or area of Brunswick County just let me know. Often the information is available for individual communities too.

Fishing/boating  October was a great month to put your favorite fish in the boat or and on the table. Most fish freeze well if properly taken care of. The Spanish mackerel headed south early this year. They are the smaller tasty mackerel ~ the larger king mackerel are still here and have moved in closer to shore. They are a dark flesh fish with a taste too strong for many pallets. Some bluefish are still around, but also have a dark strong taste. Bull redfish, some to 30 or 40 inches are in the inlets. They are ready to move offshore to spawn and although fun to catch are too big to keep. Smaller redfish will remain inside the inlets over winter and do provide a tasty meal. Speckled trout will also remain inside. Large flounder head to the offshore reefs to spawn in water warmer than the shallows inside the inlets but there will be some of those to catch too.  I was out a few days ago and as far as could be seen there was a casino boat, a couple shrimp boats and many porpoises. That is a strong indication the tourist season is over. There will be a little more activity on weekends but there are fish to catch! The curtains are up on my boat now. Waiting until it gets cold makes them near impossible to get installed. These keep me toasty while fishing during the cooler NC months. Nothing like a trip on the ICW just to go to lunch at a restaurant on the water too.



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