Tag Archives: north carolina

No matter if you’ve lived in your Coastal Carolina home for years or are a new homeowner having just purchased a property in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas, security remains as important as ever. One small move like forgetting to close the garage door, changing the locks after you’ve moved in or not switching on the porch light when you leave, can leave you at risk no matter where you live.

But not to worry! Gena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to share three must-do’s for keeping your Crystal Coast NC home as safe as can be this fall and throughout the year!

Get to know your neighbors
Haven’t met your neighbors yet? Now is the time! Crystal Coast homeowners should consider getting involved in neighborhood watch programs, especially if you live in a community with a homeowners’ association, talk to those that live around you about local crime or reports of anything suspicious. Nothing to report? Great! But keep a list of your neighbors’ numbers handy in case you need to give them a call in a hurry! It also doesn’t hurt to have them watch over your home if you go out of town.

Get serious about prevention 
Never leave expensive packaging—from a TV, for instance—on the curb or by your trash cans, close your curtains at night and when you’re out of the house, don’t leave valuables visible through windows, lock all doors and garages and keep tabs of everyone who has a key to your Coastal Carolina home. There are many safety precautions you can take to give you peace of mind and keep your home’s security under control.

Install a security system
You don’t need to call on an expensive security system company to install cameras or automated locks for you. Although, if you feel that is your best option, that will do the trick! Homeowners in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding areas can pick up a system at a local hardware store and install themselves to keep costs low. It is also wise to place a security system sign in your yard to keep burglars away.

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is here to answer any questions you have about the local real estate market, as well as improving your home to sell this year! Give us a call today!

What to Do This Halloween on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

pumpkins-1572864_960_720Halloween is just a few weeks away here on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast! It’s time to start carving pumpkins, filling your candy bowls, preparing for trick-or-treaters and maybe even decorating your home with spooky gear. What’s more, you’ll want to break out your pencils and begin filling your calendar with all of the fun Halloween events happening in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas.

Below are three fun events coming up during Halloween week on the Crystal Coast!

Howling Hayride at Fort Macon
October 22, 2016; 6:30 PM
Fort Macon State Park
Atlantic Beach, NC

Join the fall fun with a hayride and night hike at Fort Macon State Park! The hayride takes off from the visitor center and continues to the bathhouse, before the 1 mile night hike back along the Elliott Coues Nature Trail.

Trick-or-Treat Under the Sea
October 26-27, 2016
North Carolina Aquarium
Pine Knoll Shores, NC

Visit the North Carolina Aquarium for sightings of ghosts and goblins, and of course, goodies galore! Kids can collect candy from the various booths among the exhibits and participate in Halloween activities. Tickets will be sold from 4:30 to 7:30 on the days of the event.

Halloween Carnival Trunk or Treat 
October 28, 2016; 6 PM to 8 PM
7500 Emerald Drive
Emerald Isle, NC

What a perfect way to celebrate Halloween! Sponsored by Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Department, Trunk or Treat includes face painting, a cake walk, photo booth, glow in the dark mural and more! Admission to the carnival is two bags of candy per child.

Do not hesitate to reach out to Gena Gilbert Real Estate with any questions about buying or selling a home this year in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas. We look forward to hearing from you!

Effectively Downsizing to a Coastal North Carolina Home

box-1605164_960_720There are a multitude of reasons for downsizing to a new home in Coastal North Carolina. Perhaps your children are all grown up and moved out, you’ve retired, your home is just too big for your needs, you’d like a smaller monthly payment or you’d like to relocate— no matter your situation, downsizing can be achieved successfully with the right amount of preparation and research.

It can feel like an overwhelming transition, especially if you’ve been in your home for a number of years, but we are here to reassure you. So where do you start? Below are a few important steps for downsizing to a home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast and of course, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Gena Gilbert Real Estate!

Take inventory
As the name suggests, downsizing may require you to pare down your belongings. Begin by taking inventory of everything you have, making either a written column or pile for those things you need to donate or toss. It may also be easier to keep a spreadsheet! Be sure to keep your new home’s size and floor plan in mind as you go through your possessions. Everything you are taking should have a home!

Draw the floor plan
We mentioned above that it is important to keep your new home’s floor plan in mind as you decide what to take, so why not draw it up yourself? Keeping tabs on dimensions of the rooms, doors and hallways can be helpful when determining if your current furniture will fit or if you are ordering new, you know which size will work best.

Consider the location
If you are moving to a condominium by the beach, for instance, you will likely not need all of your yard maintenance tools, like a lawn mower or hedge trimmer. Typically condominiums are ruled by an HOA, or homeowners association, and maintenance and upkeep will already be arranged. It is also wise to consider the costs of moving certain items to your new home— in some cases, it may be better just to sell the item than pay to have it hauled to the new property.

Start early and stay organized 
The key to any successful move is to start early and stay organized. Start packing early to avoid tossing items in a rush, label all of your boxes to ensure they get to their proper location, and don’t look back if you’ve decided to let an item go. It will only make downsizing easier if you plan well in advance of your move date.

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is here to help with your home search this year and provide a list of available properties in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas that meet your needs, wants and budget. Give us a call today!

Your Crystal Coast NC End of Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

water-815475_960_720There’s no doubt about it— summer is coming to an end here on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Well, the official end of summer, that is. We may have plenty more beautiful weather in store in Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Morehead City and the surrounding areas, but that doesn’t mean your home doesn’t need a little extra attention before fall begins.

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to share a few of the many ways you can make sure your Crystal Coast NC home is in shape for the end of the summer and enjoy smooth sailing as we head into the next season!

Clean your gutters
Gutters filled with debris can cause major problems if not tended to regularly. Remove any limbs, leaves, seeds and brush from your gutters and run the hose through them to confirm they can do their job. If necessary, replace any leaky spots or call a professional to assist you.

Clean and repair windows
As we head into the cooler months, you will want to know if there are any spots in your windows where air can escape. If you find gaps, a simple caulking job can do the trick, but if you find your windows in need of replacement, now is the time to do so.

Inspect and treat your deck
In beautiful Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Morehead City and the surrounding areas, you likely spend a lot of time on your deck or patio. Take the time to remove any buildup of grime or dirt on your deck, cleaning all of the boards as thoroughly as possible and applying a stain or sealant afterwards. If any boards are loose, replace them now so you can continue to enjoy the great weather!

Inspect and repair your roof
Test your roof for any soft spots that may signal future leaks and identify loose shingles that need replacing. Curling shingles are also another sign that your roof needs attention. Replace these now to avoid any major water problems when the fall and winter rains arrive.

Clean your outdoor garbage cans
A change in the seasons can bring out a variety of different animals— many of which may take an interest in your outdoor garbage cans. These animals have a strong sense of smell, so hose off your garbage can’s exterior and give the inside a deep cleaning. After all, animals around your garbage could eventually cause bigger problems in your home!

As always, do not hesitate to contact Gena Gilbert Real Estate with any questions about buying or selling a home in Coastal Carolina! We look forward to hearing from you!

End of Summer Events on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

beach-1230733_960_720With the end of August just around the corner, the summer is officially coming to an end! But that doesn’t mean the beautiful weather, fun outdoor events and laid-back Coastal Carolina vibes are disappearing along with it. North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is lucky to experience excellent temperatures and sunshine well past summer’s official close and must-visit events in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding communities will continue throughout the year!

As your local real estate experts, Gena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to include just a few of these events taking place this month, so you can send summer off with a bang!

Alive at Five Outdoor Concert
August 19, 2016; 5 PM to 8 PM
Jaycee Park, Morehead City NC Waterfront

This outdoor summer concert series will continue into October at the Jaycee Park on the Morehead City Waterfront! The concerts are free to attend and take place from 5 to 8 PM— this week’s band is Liquid Pleasure, followed by North Tower on September 2.

Bird Hike
August 22, 2016; 10 AM
Fort Macon Visitor Center, Atlantic Beach NC

Embark on a morning hike from the Fort Macon Visitor Center to explore which birds are native to the area.

Summer Taste of Core Sound
August 26, 2016; 1 PM to 2 PM
1785 Island Road, Harkers Island NC

The Summer Taste of Core Sound will include a full, local seafood dinner complete with silent auction, raffle and live entertainment. This event is a great way to celebrate the local seafood of the area and how you can prepare it at home!

Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival
August 27, 2016; 11 AM to 5:30 PM
Emerald Isle NC

The Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival returns! It has been 17 years since the last time this festival was held in Emerald Isle, so you won’t want to miss the great lineup in store! Performers include Sammy O’Banion, Spare Change, Hip Pocket, Too Much Sylvia, The Tams and Jim Quick & the Coastline.

Questions about how you can call North Carolina’s Crystal Coast your home? Give Gena Gilbert Real Estate a call today!

What to Expect from a Homeowners Association in Coastal Carolina

house-purchase-1019764_960_720If you are planning to buy a condominium, townhouse or single-family home in a community with shared common areas like a swimming pool, you may find that your new house is maintained by a homeowners association or HOA. These associations typically help your home and community run as smoothly as possible and look its best at all times— handling everything from landscaping to maintenance issues. But what exactly do you have to expect from an HOA if you’re new to them?

HOA Fees
In order to cover the costs of maintenance in the community, HOAs will collect either monthly or yearly fees from everyone who lives in their borders. For some homeowners of single-family homes these fees can range from $200 to $300 per month or can be lower depending on the size of your home, the type of property and the specific amenities provided to you. It’s also important to keep in mind that HOAs commonly collect a little more than necessary to cover maintenance costs to build up a reserve should any repairs like a leaky roof arise throughout the year.

HOA Rules
Homeowners associations are run by boards of homeowners who live within the community. These board members are usually elected by the rest of the community’s homeowners and hold regular meetings to discuss issues and make decisions for the better of the community. Given that the HOA is watched over by this board, they will also ensure that homeowners follow a set of established rules— for instance, if you can have pets or if you can install specific landscaping features. Each homeowner will be given a copy of these upon move-in and typically sign a contract that states they agree to follow them.

HOA Rule Violations
If you violate the rules we mentioned above in an HOA in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas, you could risk being evicted, or worse, foreclosed upon. Be sure you always read and abide by your HOA covenants and rules in order to avoid this!

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to share the details surrounding HOAs, from fees to rules and everything in between. If you have questions about buying a  condominium, townhouse or single-family home in a homeowners association on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, do not hesitate to give us a call!

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

speech-bubble-1423321_960_720When you decide to buy a home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, you are inundated with advice and suggestions from friends and family about where to live, when to buy and how much is the right amount to pay for a specific property. Buyers can quickly become overwhelmed on their journey to homeownership in Coastal Carolina— that’s why it’s important to research the facts and figures for yourself ahead of time!

Be sure to answer these three questions on your own before purchasing a home in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, or Newport:

Why am I buying a home?
Buyers tend to easily forget what their goal is in purchasing a home on the Crystal Coast. Is it for access to more space? More bedrooms? To avoid paying rent? A new study found that the major reasons people buy a home in fact has little to do with money, but instead, it’s about finding a nice place to raise their children, access to great schools, a safe place for family to live, more space and unlimited control of the space.

Where are home values going?
Your timeline for buying a home on the Crystal Coast should reflect where home values are headed. In the case of today’s real estate market, home values are only going up from here! In fact, waiting to buy the same home one year from now will cost you significantly more than if you took the steps to purchase the home now! Even the latest Home Price Index by CoreLogic has predicted home values will rise by 5.3 percent over the next year.

Where are mortgage rates going?
A similar question, but equally as important to the North Carolina homebuyer! It’s absolutely key to look at more than just the price of a home in Coastal Carolina when preparing to buy— mortgage rates play a crucial role! Rates have been hovering around historic lows for most of the year, remaining under 4 percent. Rates are not expected to dip much lower and will undoubtedly begin to rise as we head toward the end of the year.

Are you ready to buy a home in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas this year? Give Gena Gilbert Real Estate a call!

What to Do After Moving into a New Home or Condo on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

house-1407562_960_720Tis the season for moving into a new home or condominium on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast! The hustle and bustle of moving all of your belongings into a new home and trying to settle in can be quite the challenge— in fact, you are bound to forget something! Many homeowners tend to look over the following essential steps after moving into a new property and as your local real estate expertsGena Gilbert Real Estate is here to remind you!

Jot the following down onto your to-do list and you will ensure a much smoother and stress-free settling-in process after the big move:

Change your locks
Think about all of the people you’ve given a key to over the years— from neighbors to friends to family and beyond. You never know who has a key to your home! After you’ve moved into your new home in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport or the surrounding areas, call a locksmith or install new deadbolts yourself.

Look for leaks
The last thing you want as a new homeowner in Coastal Carolina is a leaky faucet, toilet or shower. Your home inspector will typically do this prior to your purchasing the home, but it is always wise to check again. Watch for signs of water after flushing toilets, showering, running the kitchen sink and be sure to check around the water heater.

Find the circuit breakers
In case of a power outage, you will want to know where the circuit breakers and your main water shut-off valve are. You will even want to know where these are when doing something as simple as changing a lightbulb or swapping out fixtures.

Clean out the cabinets
Take the time to clean out the kitchen and bathrooms cabinets after you move in. Oftentimes, you will find residue from cleaning products, food, toiletries or even evidence of critters. If you do find that you may have an animal problem, you will want to know about it as soon as possible so you can identify a plan!

If you have questions about buying a new home on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina this year or selling your current home, do not hesitate to give us a call!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Fourth of July Events on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

sparkler-1149641_960_720It’s that time of year again! The Fourth of July is already next weekend and if you’re planning a firework-filled weekend, you can count on Gena Gilbert Real Estate to fill you in on all of the special events on the Crystal Coast! Below is just a sampling of the Independence Day celebrations planned for Coastal Carolina so you can start your long, holiday weekend off with a bang!

Alive at Five Outdoor Concert, July 1, 2016; Jaycee Park on the Morehead City Waterfront, 5 PM to 8 PM. This FREE outdoor concert series features various bands and musical genres all summer long! On July 1, Punch will be performing from 5 PM to 8 PM.

Carteret County Arts and Crafts Coalition Summer Show, July 2-3, 2016; Grounds of the Beaufort Historic Site at 100 Turner Street in Beaufort NC, 10 AM to 5 PM Saturday and 12 PM to 5 PM Sunday. This outdoor arts and craft show only takes place three weekend a year— one of them being Fourth of July weekend! Browse the work of Coastal craftsman and artists and enjoy the summer weather.

Musket Firing Demonstration, July 2-3, 2016; 2303 Fort Macon Road in Atlantic Beach NC, 11 AM and 3 PM. What better way to spend the Fourth of July weekend than a musket firing demonstration, noting the Civil War era musket’s history, loading procedures and firing.

Atlantic Beach Independence Day Weekend Fireworks, July 3, 2016; the Circle in Atlantic Beach NC, 9 PM.

Beaufort July 4th ParadeJuly 4, 2016; Begins on the corner of Gordon and Front Streets, 11 AM. This Beaufort tradition will begin along the waterfront at 11 AM, including pets, wagons, flags, music and more!

Beaufort July 4th FireworksJuly 4, 2016; Grounds at Gallant’s Channel, 6 PM. Enjoy live music, hot dogs and other refreshments at this Fourth of July celebration!

Bogue Inlet Pier FireworksJuly 4, 2016; Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle NC, 9 PM. Starting at 9 PM on July 4, the Bogue Inlet Pier fireworks will begin! They will be visible from Bogue Sound as well as the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.


Contact Gena Gilbert Real Estate will any questions about the Coastal Carolina real estate market, home buying or home selling! We look forward to hearing from you!

3 Things to Research Before Buying A Home or Condo in Coastal Carolina

home-1353389_960_720Purchasing a home on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is an exciting process, but the steps involved can become overwhelming— especially if you’ve been out of the market for some time. However, as your local real estate experts in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding areasGena Gilbert Real Estate can help you stay organized so there is nothing you’re missing as you get ready to sign your name on the line!

There is a good amount of research home buyers in Coastal Carolina can do to ensure they are getting the home they think they are and we’ve included a few of those important tasks below. Before you close the deal on a home or condo on the Crystal Coast, here are three things worth looking into:

The home inspection
This is one of the essentials when buying a home in North Carolina! A home inspection gives buyers peace of mind, knowing that there is nothing structurally or otherwise wrong with the property prior to purchasing. Home inspectors will look for issues that will cost buyers money to repair or replace— including the foundation, operating systems like HVAC, roofing and more.

Condo or HOA fees
If you will be buying a condo or a Coastal Carolina home within an association, take the time to review their conditions, restrictions and any other rules affecting homeowners. Some of these rules might include which color you can paint your home, adding a deck or other exterior features, even landscaping styles. It is always a wise decision to go over these ahead of time as if you’re not aware, you could ultimately face a fine.

Title search
Conducting a title search on the home you intend to buy ensure that no one else holds a claim to the property or that a creditor hasn’t placed a lien on the home for outstanding debts. This title search will show that you are allowed to assume the title outright and will have no problems down the road— or if something does arise, you are able to resolve it with the seller prior to the sale.

Gena Gilbert Real Estate is happy to answer any questions you have regarding the process of buying a home in Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Havelock, Newport and the surrounding areas this year! Do not hesitate to give us a call!

We look forward to hearing from you!