Category Archives: Blog

Conditioned Crawlspaces

During the summer, the Outer Banks are filled with sunshine and family fun.  But it’s also the season we crank up the air conditioning and our utility bills skyrocket. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects warmer temperatures this summer and the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts an increased use of electricity for air conditioning.  So what’s a vacation homeowner to do?

The Coastal Cottage Company recommends researching conditioned, unvented crawlspaces as a option for improving energy efficiency. 

Despite the popularity of vented crawlspaces, many building professionals recognize that a conditioned, unvented crawlspace is the best option for homes in particularly warm and humid climates.  A conditioned crawlspace is constructed and insulated so that it is part of the conditioned space of the house.  

Conditioned Crawlspace
Image courtesy of Environmental Protection Agency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Outer Banks’ summer air can increase moisture in crawlspaces.  Given the region’s high humidity, that moisture may not dry out and could cause condensation on cooler crawlspace surfaces such as floor joints, foundation walls, and air-conditioning ducts.  According to Peak Energy, this can lead to mold growth and dry rot.

Conditioned Crawlspace
In 2002, Advanced Energy studied a group of 12 houses in North Carolina. The 8 homes that had unvented crawl spaces had relative humidity that stayed less than 60% all summer.

According to the Building Science Corporation, benefits of conditioned crawlspaces include:

  • More efficient cooling and, thus, lower energy costs.
  • Decreased condensation and, thus, lower likelihood of mold growth.
  • Improved structural integrity due to less moisture.
  • Lower maintenance.

So when planning your Outer Banks vacation home, consider chatting with the Coastal Cottage Company about a conditioned crawlspace!

Blog by Jessica T. Smith

The U.S. Life-Saving Service

The Coastal Cottage Company announces a new feature on our blog: Throwback Thursdays! Each month, we hope you’ll enjoy stepping back into 400 years of Outer Banks’ history.  

Since the 16th century, over 3,000 ships have sunk off the coast of North Carolina, including early colonial ships and German U-boats from World War II.  This treacherous coastline, known as “The Graveyard of the Atlantic,” has certainly kept search and rescue teams busy.  At one time, 24 life-saving stations dotted the North Carolina coast and the surfmen of the U.S. Life-Saving Service (USLSS) were the region’s first responders.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Outer Banks were sparsely populated, so ship crews in need of assistance were unlikely to receive any.  But, according to Dr. Dennis Noble, an increase in maritime trade made it necessary to establish search and rescue services along the eastern seaboard.  So in 1848, the U.S. federal government appropriated funds for rescue stations which were originally run like volunteer fire departments.

U.S. Life-Saving Service
Pea Island Life-Saving Station, 1917. Image courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

According to the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site, the first USLSS crewmen were actually Postal Service employees with no real training in life-saving!  Consequently, early on, numerous lives were lost during rescues that might have been saved otherwise.  But by 1874, funds were provided to begin building Life-Saving Stations in North Carolina and train a larger crew of surfmen.

U.S. Life-Saving Service
Life Boat and First African American Crew. Image courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The first stations were designed for practicality rather than aesthetics:

“They were made built of wood without much reference to architectural effect, but designed to withstand the tempest.”¹

The stations were constructed using a method called timber framing which was developed in the Northeast to endure the worst weather conditions.  In addition to sleeping quarters and a “day room,” these stations featured an open platform lookout tower and a flagstaff for signaling. 

U.S. Life-Saving Service
Kitty Hawk Life-Saving Station. Image courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

After many daring rescues, the surfmen gained notoriety and were called “soldiers of the surf” and “storm warriors” by admiring journalists.²  So who were these courageous men?  Before entering the U.S. Life-Saving Service, most were fishermen or mariners.  They could be no older than forty-five and had to be physically fit and adept at rowing.  The number of men composing a crew was determined by the number of oars needed to pull the largest boat at the station, which typically ranged from six to eight.  During daylight, surfmen scanned the water from the lookout tower; while at night, or when the weather was poor, the surfmen performed beach patrols.

U.S. Life-Saving Service
Jesse Ward, Captain of the Kill Devil Hills Station, 1899. Image Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

But changes in maritime technology at the turn of the century meant life for the surfmen would change.  According to Dr. Dennis Noble, the development of steam-power and more reliable navigation technology meant ships were less likely to run ashore.  The U.S. Life-Saving Service was designed to bring in sailboats and was not equipped to rescue boats powered by steam and gasoline engines.  Thus, Congress decided in 1915 that it was time to combine the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Coast Guard was born.

During the 44 years the U.S. Life-Saving Service was in operation, 28,121 vessels and 178,741 persons used their services and only 1,455 individuals lost their lives.³  The U.S. Coast Guard is built upon the strong foundation established by the Life-Saving Service allowing current servicemen and women to “always be ready.”

An exhibit about the Coast Guard in North Carolina opened in March at the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo.  The exhibit, titled “A Heritage of Heroes,” tells the story of the Coast Guard through the decades and ways that North Carolinians have served.  The exhibit continues through December 31, 2015.

We hope you’ll stay tuned for the next installment of The Coastal Cottage Company’s “Throwback Thursday” to learn more about the Outer Banks’ rich heritage.

 Blog by Jessica T. Smith

The Currituck Club

Corolla, NC is known for its breathtaking ocean views, lush wetlands, and pristine shoreline enjoyed by wild Spanish mustangs. What you might not know is that amidst this natural paradise is an award-winning golf course and gated community with endless amenities.

The Currituck Club, originally built in 1857, was one of the first hunt clubs in the Outer Banks.  During that time, the Outer Banks were revered waterfowl hunting grounds popular with wealthy industrialists from the north and east coast.  Today, the Currituck Club is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and stands on a 15-acre Audubon Society Cooperative Sanctuary.

The same landscape that attracted 19th century steel and railway magnates also appealed to Rees Jones, 1995 Golf World Architect of the Year.  He designed an 18-hole golf course that blends seamlessly into the coastal terrain, which includes sand dunes, maritime forests, and the Currituck Sound.

“At The Currituck Club, Rees Jones has brought to life his philosophy of golf course design – to create an environment for the game of golf that is challenging, fair and aesthetically pleasing, using as his canvas the type of land where golf began.”¹

The championship course was rated one of the “10 Best New Places You Can Play” by Golf magazine and one of the “Top 25 Courses in North Carolina” by Golf Digest

Image courtesy of Club Corp

While golfers will find the Currituck Club heavenly, there is so much more to enjoy!  Take a leisurely bike ride, play a rousing game of tennis, or watch a movie on the big screen at the pool.  The Club offers amenities to entertain any vacationer, including five pools, seven tennis courts, fitness center, lawn games like bocce, and beach valet service.

Residents will also find daily living relaxed and easy with many conveniences. A Harris Teeter Grocery Store is located within the neighborhood, along with restaurants and retail shops.  A complimentary trolley will even pick you up at the foot of your driveway to take you to the beach!

Currituck Club Pool Deck
Image courtesy of Village Realty OBX

So whether your ideal vacation is jam-packed full of activity or simply enjoying a book on the beach, the Currituck Club’s blend of Outer Banks’ history, unspoiled landscape, and modern comforts has everything you’re looking for.

See what the Coastal Cottage Company could build for you and come home to the Currituck Club!

Click here for home plans!



Blog by Jessica T. Smith


Whalehead Club

The Whalehead Club

BUILDING WHALEHEAD  Given its popularity, it’s hard to believe the Outer Banks were once almost deserted, serving as a secluded retreat for the country’s affluent conservationists and small game hunters, including G. W. Vanderbilt, J. P. Morgan, and William Rockefeller.  Edward Collings Knight, Jr., a devout waterfowl hunter and wealthy industrialist, was one such outdoorsman.  A resident of Philadelphia and Middletown, Rhode Island, he fell in love with Corolla and purchased a 4.5 mile section of oceanfront property on which he and his new bride built a magnificent home.  They spent most of the early-1920’s building their winter retreat with architectural features that reflected a variety of styles including Pennsylvania farmhouse, French-Canadian country, Arts and Crafts, and Art Nouveau.  The 21,000 square foot home boasted five chimneys, a copper-shingled roof, cork floors, and a pump system that provided the main house with electricity and running water (the first home in the area to boast such amenities).  They called their property Corolla Island.

RESTORING WHALEHEAD  Tragically, the Knights did not get to enjoy their getaway for long. Both passed away in 1936 and the property served a number of less luxurious purposes, including a bunker for the U.S. Coast Guard and a rocket fuel test site for the U.S. Government.  In 1940, the property was renamed the Whalehead Club by its new owner, a Washington, D.C. businessman.  During this time, Whalehead slipped into disrepair.  Thankfully, by 1994, Currituck County was able to purchase the 39-acres which included the home, lighthouse, and waterfront.  The county embarked on an extensive renovation to restore the property to its former grandeur.  

The Whalehead Club - Corolla, NC
Image courtesy of Zach Frailey, Uprooted Photographer

EXPLORING WHALEHEAD  Today, visitors see the home much as it was during the Knights’ residency.  Admire the elegant woodwork, ornamental cornices, Tiffany lighting, and cheerful rooms painted in salmon, leafy green, and robin’s egg blue.  Marvel at the Steinway & Sons piano in the drawing room, the diesel motor and 2,200-gallon pumping system in the boathouse, and the vintage Otis elevator.  See if you catch sight of the Art Nouveau door handles shaped like ducks!  Then, with a picnic basket in tow, walk across the footbridge and head out to the waterfront or visit the Currituck Lighthouse.  With 39 acres to explore, you’ll want to stay the entire day!

Visit the Whalehead Club, Corolla - NC
Image courtesy of Bill Dickinson, Sky Noir

It’s clear why the Whalehead Club has become an integral part of the Outer Banks and a staple attraction for vacationers.  You’re transported back to a time of lavishness and luxury, as if stepping into the pages of The Great Gatsby, all while enjoying the natural beauty of the property.

Whalehead averages 16,000 visitors annually, offering a variety of tours and year-round special events.  Please visit for more information.

Interested in building your own Corolla getaway?  These Coastal Cottage Company projects may be the inspiration you’re looking for:  
Green Cottage 
Mace Cottage

– blog by Jessica T. Smith



Ocean Lakes – Corolla, NC

Ocean Lakes – Corolla, NC

Home Packages starting at $478,400 

Ocean Lakes – Corolla, NC

Ocean Lakes is an oceanfront community located at the north end of Ocean Sands in Corolla, NC. Ocean Lakes was planned for homeowners and vacationers alike seeking an array of amenities to complement the natural environment of the Outer Banks. This oceanfront outer banks community boasts over 580 feet of beachfront with stable dunes, Oceanfront and Oceanside home sites, central water and sewage, a stocked fishing lake, private beach access, Olympic size outdoor pool and community tennis courts.

Ocean Lakes is the newest development within the Ocean Sands community and the home sites are selling fast. With over half of the lots sold, now is the time to grab up a great deal before they are gone. Click the home site map below for a larger view. 


The Coastal Cottage Company provides unique custom home packages designed specifically for the Ocean Lakes community starting at $478,400.00. In addition, if you don’t see a home package that’s right for you, simply let us know and we will custom design a build package specifically for your home site for free. Below are a few of the custom home packages we offer.   






ocean-lakes-corolla-nc-standard features

  • Pella Windows & Exterior Doors
  • Lennox 40″ Gas Fireplace
  • CertainTeed Asphalt Roofing – 30yr/130mph
  • Galvalume Raised Seam Metal Roofing (where applicable)
  • James Hardie ColorPlus Fiber-cement Siding & Trim
  • Kohler or eq. Plumbing Fixtures
  • Rinnai On-Demand Tankless Water Heater
  • Trane 14-SEER HVAC Systems
  • Solid Core Interior Cottage Doors
  • Coastal Cottage Interior Trim package
  • Custom Marsh Cabinetry with Dovetail Drawers
  • Granite Counters in Kitchen, Vanities and Wetbars
  • Hardwood Flooring in Living, Dining, Kitchen, Stairs and Halls
  • Ceramic Tile in all Baths & Custom Showers
  • Stainless Steel Appliances


  • OPTIONAL; Residential Elevator (if applicable)
  • OPTIONAL; Swimming Pool & Patio
  • OPTIONAL; Pool & Yard Fencing
  • OPTIONAL; Hot Tub – Spa
  • OPTIONAL; Landscaping
  • SITE SPECIFIC; Site Prep, Fill and Clearing not included – (optional)
  • SITE SPECIFIC; Septic System and/or fees not included – (optional)

**NOTE: Pricing and Specifications updated January 1, 2015 – Pricing and Terms subject to change without notice. Building site not included in price. Site Prep and Septic Requirements are priced according to building site and location requirements. Optional items are priced separately.**

 –The Coastal Cottage Company – Outer Banks Custom Builders 

                    Call us today to learn more  (252) 573-9342



Geotechnical Soil Testing


I worked for an international engineering and consulting firm for 19 years and we rarely touched a job without first hiring a Geotechnical (soils) engineer to perform thorough geotechnical soil testing which most often included soil borings. 

What is a Geo-Technical Engineer? A Geotechnical engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the analysis, design and construction of foundations, slopes, retaining structures, embankments, tunnels, levees, wharves, landfills and other systems that are made of or are supported by soil or rock. 

What is a Soil Boring? A soil boring is used to collect a soil sample for a geotechnical engineer to analyze.  It typically consists of drilling exploratory holes in the earth from which a core sample can be taken. The core samples, as shown in the picture below, provide a visual analysis of the soil layers present beneath the grounds surface. geotechnical soil testingThese soil borings typically vary in number and depth depending on the type of project, structure and local geology.  Based on the results of these borings, and other soil analysis, the geotechnical engineer would provide a report to the structural engineers. The reports often include recommendations like the soil’s expected bearing capacity (weight it could safely support), groundwater level, different types of soil strata at varying depths, likely amount of expected short term and long term settlement, soil behavior during an earthquake, etc.  

The Structural Engineer. The structural engineer would then collaborate with the geotech to select the best foundation type such as a shallow slab on grade mat/raft foundation, continuous strip footing or a deeper piling, pier or caisson foundation.  Oftentimes, the top portion of the soil would need to be removed (typically because it contained higher quantities of organic matter) and replaced with a more rigorous media (rock/gravel) capable of supporting larger loads with less settlement.  

While geotechnical engineers are oftentimes not utilized for residential foundation soil analysis and recommendations, it’s never a bad idea to employ one. A geotechnical engineer can provide valuable information for a relatively low fee and save you lots of potential heartache and unnecessary expenses in the future.

geotechnical soil testingShould I hire a Geo-technical Engineer for my Outer Banks property?  Many areas along the Outer Banks have layers of peat or other organic matter hidden beneath the sand at varying depths and in varying thicknesses.  Quantities of this organic matter vary by location.  As the weight of a structure presses down on these organic strata over time, varying degrees of settlement are likely to occur.  The settlement of these layers beneath the earth can wreak havoc on a homes foundation and in turn the home built upon the foundation.  In addition, building on fill or piles partially embedded in fill or a peat layer can have the same deleterious effects. While not required, it is a good idea to have a geotechnical soil testing done on your property prior to new construction. 

Take care when developing your foundation plan. Care should be taken to make sure that any fill placed on the lot is not considered part of the pile embedment depth.  New or recently-placed fill is subject to increased settlement.  Pile size is also an important factor.  Eight inch diameter round pilings are common in the Outer Banks but vary in size, especially the tips.  Eight inch pile tips should be close to eight inches.  Anything less and the bearing capacity of the pile will be reduced.

–blog by Barrett Crook – Kitty Hawk Engineering.


Invest in the Outer Banks

Why the Outer Banks? As one of the largest and most mature vacation rental markets in the United States, the Outer Banks continues to draw people to its beaches every year.  It’s natural beauty, wide sandy beaches, family attractions and laid back lifestyle makes the area a top hit for vacationers every year.  For all the same reasons, owning a piece of paradise is an attractive idea and as many smart Outer Banks homeowners have found out, it can also be a lucrative one as well.  Prices on the Outer Banks are typically more affordable than other areas along the Mid Atlantic and Northeast Coast.  That coupled with the fact that homes on the Outer Banks typically produce very high rental income, it is easy to see the value in owning Outer Banks property. 

outer-banks-investment-homeShould I time the market? Timing is important.  When you buy and when you sell can impact your bottom line.  Buyers today should be looking at the long term value of real estate.  Look at your real estate investment from a long term perspective realizing that over time, values trend upward.  Everyone knows what happened with real estate across the country over the last 10 years.  The Outer Banks was no exception.  But those days are behind us and the strength of the market has returned.  Should you time the market?  Yes and the time is now! 

Outer Banks information overload?  The right real estate agent can help you! There has never been a time in the history of real estate when buyers had access to so much information.  With the help of the internet, we now all have access to an amazing amount of information.  It really makes things easy….right?  It certainly has its advantages but organizing all of that information so that you can make the right buying decision is complicated.  The Outer Banks real estate market encompasses over 100 miles of coastline, multiple counties, more than 15 towns and hundreds of communities.  All of these areas are different, have different rules and regulations, different building codes, different beaches and water influences.  How your property will perform, in terms of rental and its long term value can be different in all of these areas.  Pick the right real estate agent.  Make sure they are experienced and have a proven track record.  Information is easy to obtain.  Experienced advice and local knowledge is harder to find, but just as important.  The right real estate agent can help you use all of this information to make the decision that is right for you.

corolla-wild-horse-investmentA diverse real estate market. The Outer Banks has what you are looking for.  No matter what your wish list includes, it can be found here.  Looking for the highest ROI?   We have that with properties that produce amazing rental income.  Looking for a 2nd home and a place to get away from it all?  We have that and can even get you a water view to go with it!  Looking to re-locate to the area?  We have wonderful year round communities, great schools, amenities, water activities and so much more!  

–blog by Brad Beacham, Coldwell Banker-Seaside Realty

Invest in the Outer Banks

quality outer banks home builder

Choosing a Quality Outer Banks Builder


Building a home on the Outer Banks can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience. Choosing a quality home builder for your project is paramount to it’s success, so be sure to take time to do your homework. Here are a few things to help find the Outer Banks builder that’s right for you? 

THE RIGHT FIT: Find a quality outer banks home builder that’s right for you and your project. The Outer Banks is home to many residential contractors and home builders. Some contractors specialize in a particular style, size or price range while others build a broad range of homes. Some companies are large and some small. Some have in house design teams and others outsource the design. Start by defining your projects size, style and budget. Decide if you need a professional in-house design team that will follow the project through completion. Then determine if you want to use a large corporate company or a small hands on contractor. Defining your projects needs is key to finding an Outer Banks builder that best suits your project. 

quality outer banks home builderCUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Find out what previous customers have to say. Above all, talking to previous customers is one of the most important steps when choosing your Outer Banks home builder. The information you can obtain from a previous customer is invaluable. A trustworthy builder will proudly, and without hesitation, provide you with testimonials and references. If you didn’t receive a list of  references from your potential builder be sure to ask for them. A satisfied or dissatisfied customer will enjoy sharing their building experience with you so don’t hesitate to contact them. 

EXPERIENCE: Don’t confuse experience for quality and visa versa. You cannot discount experience as it is one of the most important attributes in construction. However, experience does not make a quality Outer Banks builder. Not every experienced architect is a quality architect. Not every experienced doctor is a quality doctor. And not every experienced home builder is a quality home builder. Fact is, every home building company, including the top quality firms, once built their first home. Most new or start-up companies are founded by highly experienced and qualified builders, so don’t be quick to discount them. Instead look for strong overall experience within the company as well of signs of quality construction when evaluating experience. 

TRUST AND COMMITMENT: Building a home is a balancing act between the design, the construction and the budget. It is imperative you partner with a builder who is committed to your project and one that you trust unequivocally. The relationship you form with your Outer Banks builder will be paramount for the projects success. With home construction lasting from 6-18 months, it is crucial to develop not only a professional relationship with your builder but a personal one as well. A great relationship with a builder who is committed to you, the design and the quality of your home will pay dividends in the end. 

quality outer banks home builderQUALITY AND DETAIL: A well built-quality home becomes quite apparent if you know what to look for. Take some time to tour a few homes that the company has built. Be sure to look at both new and older homes. Most new homes look great at first glance but viewing older homes gives an idea of how they hold up to the test of time. Look for quality and detail in every aspect of the home. What products are being used? What brand cabinetry and counters are in the homes? What type of doors are being used and  how do they fit? Look at the miters and joints on the trim? How is the outside detailed and what products are used? Look at the appliances, toilets, tubs, plumbing fixtures and lighting, are they reputable brands? Don’t get caught up by the look of the home, dig into whats underneath the presentation, that’s were you will determine the quality.

LICENSED AND INSURED: Be sure your dealing with a licensed and insured general contractor. North Carolina requires a residential contractors license for home construction and  any construction project over thirty thousand dollars, so be sure to ask your contractor for his/her license number. You can check online with the NC Board of General Contractors at Be sure to check the license type, status and validity. In addition to a valid license, be sure your builder is insured. Workman’s Compensation, General Liability Insurance and Builders Risk are the typical insurances which should be present throughout a typical building project. Discuss this with your potential Outer Banks builder and be sure the insurances are in place during the building process.  

WARRANTY SERVICE: One of the advantages of building a new home on the Outer Banks verses buying one is the warranty. A new home and everything within it, including all fixtures and appliances, should be warrantied for a minimum of one year. Some builders offer extended warranties and others handle extended service plans. Be sure to look for a structural warranty of 10 years or more. A builder who can offer this type of warranty stands behind his/her work and is willing to back it up.  Ask previous clients about prompt warranty service. Was the service handled quickly and professionally or were the warranty items put on the back burner? Issues will arise in home construction, its just a fact, but how the issues are handled by the builder is key. 

Lastly, you are entering into a long term commitment with your  builder. Be sure you take the time to ask the right questions, check references and look for signs of quality and outstanding character. Doing your homework and choosing the right builder for your new home will make the entire process more enjoyable and run smoother for both you and your builder.  

–blog by Michael K. York, The Coastal Cottage Company

 quality outer banks home builder


Finding the Motivation


Finding the sellers motivation is key to making an acceptable offer. Loosely defined, motivation is “a force or influence that causes someone to do something”. Some days I’m highly “motivated” to wake up and get right to the gym for an intense workout comprised of equal parts cardio exercise and strength training. Other days that “force” is missing from my being and I may decide to “phone it in” at the gym with a shorter session (or perhaps not make the trip at all).

Motivation is a critical component of real estate sales affecting both buyers and sellers. A seller who’s accepted a job transfer and needs to be in a distant city by month’s end may be motivated very differently than one who’s decided that they simply wish to downsize now that retirement is close at hand.

The coastal communities of eastern North Carolina have a heavy concentration of homes used by their owners as second or “vacation” properties. Other property owners in the area may have purchased real estate speculatively as an investment, or with a plan to use it in some way that never materialized. When these owners make a decision to bring a property to market their motivation can be extremely different than would be the case if they were selling their primary residence.

Preconceived Buyer Notions; Some buyers with whom I’ve worked have come to the area with preconceived notions of their bargaining power when finding and negotiating to purchase a property. Perhaps they got a great deal on another home in a different market or they’ve heard (sometimes from unrelated sources) that they should expect sellers to accept just about anything thrown their way. The truth of the matter is that each market is different and what may be happening in one market isn’t necessarily what you’ll find in another.

outer-banks-motivation-sellers-real-estateSeller Concessions; While market conditions may still favor buyers in certain segments of real estate sales within Dare and Currituck Counties the scale may not be tipped as far to one side as you think. A review of Outer Banks Association of REALTORS MLS statistics tells an interesting story. For the period between January 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014, sales of single family homes (all dual county areas/all sizes) indicates that the sellers of those properties achieved 93.95% to 95.92% of their asking price on average. Would you have expected larger concessions from sellers? I often refer to this list vs. sale price ratio as Numerical Motivation.

Seller Motivation; These moderate seller concessions of list price (or numerical motivation) figures in Dare and Currituck Counties could be attributed to several things. The first of those may likely be that sellers and their agents are carefully studying the market to determine an initial list price that is based on high quality comparable sales. As a result, buyers are generally agreeing with those values and finding comfort that the price they’ve negotiated is fair. Another reason for the close margins is most surely attributed to the motivation of many sellers in these coastal communities. More often than not, I encounter sellers who want to sell but do not necessarily need to sell. As a result, they enjoy the luxury of time and can scrutinize each offer as it’s presented. These sellers are less likely to jump on the first horse that comes down the trail. Instead they may patiently negotiate with the buyer until both parties achieve a meeting of the minds or step away from the table.

outer-banks-motivation-sellersNumerical Motivation; If you’re a buyer seeking a home in this marketplace ask your real estate professional to provide you with Numerical Motivation figures for both the community in which you’re looking as well as the type/size of home you hope to buy in that same community. Understanding nuances of a marketplace will help you prepare for the day when you say to your agent “I’m ready to make an offer”!

–blog provided by Wm. Allan Rodgers, Jr GRI, SRS – Broker Associate – CENTURY 21 Nachman Realty and Ocean to Sky Realty


choosing interior paint colors

Choosing Paint Colors

A certified interior designer shares her secrets… 

The ever intimidating job of choosing paint colors can be overwhelming.  However, selecting paint for your home can be a stress free experience when you have confidence about your choices. Below are my tips I use when choosing the right paint for your home as well as your personality. 

LIGHTING: It is very important to know the type of lighting in the room you will be painting. Keep this in mind while shopping for colors.  A paint color will look very different in fluorescent lighting vs. natural lighting vs. incandescent lighting.  Make sure you take your paint chip options home with you and look at them in the space you are painting because the lights at the store will not be anything like the lights you have at home.

EMOTION: Color plays a huge part in our psychology and how we feel in a space.  Remember that the color you select will elicit different emotions.  Think about how you want to feel in that space once it is painted.  Want to feel relaxed and peaceful?  You should go with a cooler or a lighter color.  Or, if you want to feel energized and excited, you can go with a brighter color in a warm tone or a darker color.


choosing interior paint colorsCONTINUITY: When selecting paint colors, think of the home as a whole.  If you are painting the dining room that is adjoining the kitchen, the color of the kitchen will affect how the color of the dining room appears.  When colors are placed next to each other, they make each look different than when alone.  In the image at right, the blue box in the center is the same color but it looks much brighter and more crisp when placed inside an orange box (its complimentary color) than inside a blue box.  

TRIM: What color to paint that pesky trim?  Typically, the best choice is white.  I know it sounds boring but it’s true. 

CEILING: So, you have picked your wall color but now what color do you paint the ceiling?  A good rule to follow is to take the wall color and add 50% white.  You will get a color that is much less dark and will compliment the wall color.  Colors on ceilings always appear darker than the walls. 

choosing outer banks paint colorsCOMBINING COLORS: You want to go with more than one color, as many people do, but how do you know what will look good together?  The best thing you can do is consult the color wheel.  Colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel will always complement each other and make the colors appear true to their hue and appear clean and crisp.

SMALL ROOMS: Small spaces can be made to look bigger with the use of light colors.  

PAINT vs. FURNISHINGS: Always pick your paint color LAST!  This may sound crazy if you are moving into a new house, BUT, there are a million and one paint colors out there but you may only find one sofa that you love.  Choose all the furnishings and accessories and then pick your paint color.  It will ensure that everything matches.

QUALIFYING COLORS: When you bring your paint chip home to see how it will look in the space, do not hold it up against the wall you want to paint.  This will only distort the color of the paint chip.  Instead, hold the paint chip against the sofa or cabinetry to get a better feel of how it will look in the space.

OWN IT: The most important tip that I have is to pick the color that you love and then as scary as this sounds, go one shade darker.  The natural tendency is to go lighter but this will look washed out if you go too light.  You are picking out a color and you want it to look like a color on the wall, not just a version of white.  Don’t be afraid!

Oh, and one last tip…Buy the expensive paint and the good paint brush and roller.  Just do it.  You will save yourself time and hassle and a possible trip back to the store.  You will thank me later.  

I’ve spilled all my secrets on selecting paint color.  Follow these guidelines and you will have a space that you love.  Now, go out into the world of home improvement stores with confidence that you will pick the perfect paint!

 –blog provided by Amy Hilliker Klebitz – Certified Interior Designer

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