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    Archive for June 2006

    Carolina Designs Realty Sales Broker, Gray Berryman, is quoted in The Virginian-Pilot Coast’s section on Outer Banks Living.  The article’s headline, “Sellers urged to forget myths and focus on reality” dispels misconceptions of the current conditions of the real estate market on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The arena is now driven by the buyer and what used to work when selling property is not necessarily going to work in today’s market.  That is how real estate is; it is cyclic and depends on so many variables from the state of the economy to the war in Iraq.  But, for now, sellers and sales agents alike must take a different approach to list property for sale than say what they may have done just one year earlier.  How long will it stay like this?  There is no way of knowing.  According to Berryman, “In the past when you put a house on the market, if it was overpriced when values were increasing 20 percent a year, the market would catch up.  Today, they’re not appreciating at the same rate, so that process will take much longer.”

    We all want to play the blame game when things don’t go as planned – in the selling market, the agent who is employed by the seller to find a buyer ready, willing and able to buy may end up being the scapegoat if the process drags on.  Berryman states, “People will blame the agent when houses don’t sell.  And there are certainly cases where agents can do more, but there are two things that sell a house:  price and exposure.  If the house is listed on MLS and priced right, it will sell.

    Everyone should have one! Locals and Vacationers alike!  What is it?  A standing invitation to meet at said time at said location every Sunday.  Who is it?  8 of the best girlfriends you would want to hang out with on the beach every Sunday.  From those with kids, to those without. From the nearly 40 to the forever 29!  Why?  Why not?!

    If the sun is shining when our sleepy eyes open, it is off to the Outer Banks beach we go and the earlier the better. The first one there sets up for the day, making sure the spot that has been picked is big enough for all the people that will make their presence made throughout the day. Once everyone is accounted for and we have taken in some of the sun’s rays, we head over to Chili Peppers for Sunday Brunch and Make Your Own Bloody Mary’s. We take our time here; relishing in each other’s company and enjoying the great food. We also revel at our expectant mother-to-be as she orders a second helping of the grits, knowing full well that she also wants seconds of the french toast. Before heading back to our “compound”, we stop off to get waters (remember that mom-to-be) and some beers and prepare to waste the day away.

    This is OUR day. Our day to be together without boyfriends, husbands, or children (even though all are welcome).  Our day to catch up with each other and talk about what has happened over the past week. 

    Our day to laugh and just kick back. Looking out over the blue ocean Atlantic, it is our day to remember why we all moved here in the first place, and why so many people spend their family vacations with us here on the Outer Banks. I can only hope that during their week’s stay, our vacationing guests have a week’s worth of Sunday Fundays!!!!

    By month’s end through mid-August, the Outer Banks Illuminations Summer Arts Festival, a performance series of the North Carolina School of the Arts, will open its ninth annual summer season on the Roanoke Island Festival Park stages.  Students perform Tuesday through Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. in the pavilion for a mere $5 donation. You’ll see dance, jazz, classical music, film, and drama.

    There is a huge grassed area in front of the pavilion with a back drop of the Roanoke sound and has the ability to seat up to 3,500 people.  You may be entertained sitting on a blanket enjoying a picnic dinner or bring folding chairs if you wish.  For more information, please call 252.475.1506.

    In addition, students from the North Carolina School of the Arts will have music, dance and drama performances for the NCSA Performance Festival’s Afternoon Classics at 2:00 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday in The Art Gallery.

    Beginning June 27th through June 30th, the first of six productions for the Summer Children’s Performance Series will feature “Bathtub Pirates” at Roanoke Island Festival Park beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Film Theatre. For more information on these events, call 252-475-1500.

    National Clean Beaches Week is scheduled for Friday, June 29th through Wednesday, July 5th this year.  If you will be vacationing or happen to be in the area during this time, you may want to participate in the week’s activities.  There will be a sandcastle contest on June 29th, a volleyball tournament on July 2nd, and a horseshoe tournament scheduled for July 3rd.  Other activities will be announced.  To volunteer during any or all of these events, contact Charlotte at the Dare County Parks and Recreation by calling 252-475-5920.  Come out and enjoy the fun while supporting a good cause – keeping the Outer Banks beaches clean.

    Carolina Designs Realty proudly announces that Meredith Olinger has joined our reservations staff.  As a lifetime native of the Outer Banks, Meredith’s knowledge of the area is invaluable.  She also brings with her a strong background in the mortgage and real estate industry and holds a North Carolina Broker’s license.  We welcome Meredith to our team!

    Another welcome addition to the Carolina Designs team is Cliff Piatt, who has joined our maintenance staff.  Also a long time resident on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Cliff has extensive knowledge working on maintenance issues of rental homes.  In addition to Cliff’s schedule with Carolina Designs Realty, he also runs a company that provides power washing services and has CPO certification to service pools and spas.

    Elizabeth City is just a short drive away from the Outer Banks and its home to one of the regions best dirt racing tracks – Elizabeth City MX.  Kids and adults of all ages can learn to ride a motocross bike at this well known track.

    For more info goto www.ecmx.comŠ

    Outer Banks town of Duck, NC makes MSN Top Family Beaches list by the Discovery’s Travel Channel editorial staff:

    Stretching for 130 miles along the Atlantic coast, North Carolina’s Outer Banks are a skinny strip of barrier islands whose hallmark high, sandy dunes front frothy surf on one side and a gentle sound on the other. While droves of tourists head here in summer, some areas have managed to keep their claim on quaint and quiet longer than others—perhaps none more so than Duck, an upscale community along the northern Outer Banks. Duck’s relative solitude and its vast array of neatly constructed rental homes make it ideal for families. There are no hotels or motels in Duck proper, so to stay here you’ll have to either rent a vacation home, snag a spot at the one B&B, or head to a nearby town for lodging. While Duck would never make the list for top spring break party spots, boredom is hardly a threat here. The beach is the main attraction and Duck’s wide swaths of sand are nothing to scoff at. Oceanside, respectable surf is ideal for boogie boarding, body surfing and swimming, while the sound offers up a perfect playground for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts who require calmer waters. And if you tire of all that, there are many attractions within a short drive.”

    To view the article on the web site, visit

    We are looking forward to coming back to #239 again.  The home was fabulous!  We enjoyed every minute of our stay.  Although we’ve been coming to the Outer Banks for many years, this was the first time we rented through Carolina Designs and you were wonderful to deal with, both before our arrival and during our stay.  Everyone was friendly and helpful.  When we called for service on Sunday on our toilet, the plumber was there in about a half hour and fixed the problem quickly and correctly.  We enjoyed the little amenities also – the soap, toilet tissue, dish detergents, and coffee.  The house itself had everything anyone could want.  It was truly a relaxing, enjoyable week and my only regret was that it went by too quickly!”  

    “Looking forward to staying with you again next year.”

    Barbara Peles

    Continuing to be THE SOURCE for Outer Banks Premier Vacation Homes, since June 1st, pre-reservations have been taken for 2007 reservations right from the Carolina Designs Realty web site!  It is now possible for the guest to pay the pre-reservation fee via credit card right then and there.

    All of our vacation rental homes that are available for any week that has already passed this year may be pre-reserved for next year.  Availability for these vacation rental homes can be determined using several different types of searches.  Once the home is chosen, the reservation can be made with a pre-reservation fee.  The reservation is contingent upon the home returning to our rental program and the homeowner opening the week to rentals.  There is no rate information provided.  Email addresses are collected for each reservation as a required field.  As in the past, guests find this service very beneficial and are well traveled.  We are taking many pre-reservations over the phone as well.

    At the General Assembly’s last session, authorization to use the North Carolina Aquarium’s receipts as well as increase the entry fee by $1 secured the funding necessary for the reconstruction of Jennette’s Pier, located in Nags Head on the Outer Banks.

    It was determined that the current owners of the pier, the North Carolina Aquarium Society, would transfer ownership to the State.  The Aquarium would then receive a long-term lease for the use of the pier and facilities.  Approximately $18 million in revenue bonds will be issued by the Aquarium Society to assist with the reconstruction project, as well as an expansion to the Roanoke Island Aquarium and storm water management.  The State would still have all responsibility for future maintenance.  Both the Aquarium Society and the North Carolina Aquarium will be in charge of educational programs, conservation, research and the management of the property.

    The pier will be made of concrete and be extended to its original length of 582 feet.  “Our focus is an interactive, family-style pier with a wide variety of educational opportunities and workshops for students and visitors alike coming to the Outer Banks”, explains Neal Conoley, director of the North Carolina Aquarium Society.  Included in the reconstruction plans for the facility will be an active weather station, a museum, housing opportunities for visiting students, as well as a million-gallon shark tank.