Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!


June 10, 2024

Coastal Curb Appeal

We know a well-maintained home along the Carolina coasts makes a lasting impression. First impressions mean everything when selling your coastal property - and that's where curb appeal comes in, transforming your house from ordinary to "oh wow!"

A beautiful low-maintenance garden plays a starring role in creating that coastal "wow" factor. Here are some easy tips for turning your yard into a showstopper:

  • Go Native with Salt-Tolerant Plants: Choose flowering natives like blanket flower, coreopsis and seaside goldenrod that thrive in coastal conditions. Salt-spray resistant plants like oleander, yucca and lantana add texture.
  • Enhance with Tropical Touches: Vibrant bougainvillea, hibiscus and birds of paradise give a lush, tropical flair fitting for Carolina shores. Use cold-hardy varieties in colder beach towns.
  • Create Drifts of Colorful Beds: Mass plantings of zinnias, petunias and sunpatiens provide eye-catching swaths of seasonal color. Complement with salt-tolerant ornamental grasses.
  • Frame with Well-Pruned Palms & Windswept Trees: Iconic palm trees and sculptural crape myrtles create a classic coastal vibe. Carefully prune to show off their forms.
  • Use Permeable Pathways: Crushed oyster shell, stone or pervious pavers for walkways allow water drainage in storm-prone areas. Edge with drought-tolerant groundcovers.
  • Accent with Coastal Décor: Add charm with nautical accents like painted buoys, driftwood sculptures and seashell pathways or mulches.

A beautiful low-maintenance garden plays a starring role in creating that coastal "wow" factor - day and night! To transform that day garden into a night time show stopper - consider: 

  • Complement with salt-tolerant ornamental grasses that sway gracefully in evening breezes.
  • Illuminate with Low-Voltage Landscape Lighting:
  • Extend your garden's appeal after sunset with well-placed lighting. Highlight stately palms or ornamental trees with uplighting. Line pathways with solar path lighting for ambient glow. Use a warm bulb to cast a relaxing ambiance.
  • Add Night-Blooming Florals: Embrace the evening hours with plants like night-blooming jasmine, angel's trumpets and moonflowers that release their fragrance after dusk.
  • Use permeable pathways: Crushed oyster shell, stone or pervious pavers add texture visible day and night.
  • Create Subtle Luminance: Intersperse plantings with solar stake lights to uplight certain areas. Or, incorporate glow-in-the-dark pebbles or stepping stones along paths for gentle illumination.
  • Add charm with nautical accents like painted buoys, driftwood sculptures and seashell pathways or mulches that glisten in the moonlight.

Remember, durable low-voltage landscape lighting will withstand coastal conditions while extending the evening enjoyment of your open-air oasis. Let your yard shine from sunrise to sundown!



Let your local nursery guide you to the perfect coastal-themed garden!


At McNeely Real Estate, we take exterior photos showing your home at day and at night to showcase the way your beautiful coastal property looks at all hours. Our listings highlight those stunning curb appeal features and night-time ambiance that make your outdoor living spaces glow.


With careful planning for year-round interest and smart lighting, your coastal garden will make a striking impression on buyers and guests alike. Let your local nursery guide you to the perfect combination of plants and decorative elements to create a true seaside paradise.



Posted in Great Tips
Dec. 15, 2023

Tips for Home Selling in Winter

Winter may not be the most opportune time to list your home for sale, but here are a few tips that can help your home stand out:

1) Make sure the temperature inside the home is warm and comfortable. If your thermostat has a timer, set it to turn on in advance of a showing and then turn back down once the showing is over. 

2) Keep rooms adequately lit. We want buyers to be impressed and welcome when entering each room. If you live in your home full time, leave lights on prior to the showing appointment, so that when the buyer arrives, the come into a brightly lit home.

3) Landscaping may not look its very best during the winter months, but you can keep the yard clear of debris and make sure that walkways are swept.

4) Offer a cozy setting. Keeping the interior of the home clutter free and well organized allows a buyer to imagine themselves and their belongings inside.

Although winter is outside of our selling season, many buyers begin their search online. Made significant changes to the interior or exterior? Let us know! We'll arrange a new photo-shoot and let the buying public know.


Posted in Selling Advice
Nov. 1, 2023

5 Tips for Buying a Home

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

Posted in Buying Advice
Oct. 5, 2023

When Moving to the NC and SC Carolina Coast

Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.

Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.

Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.

Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.

Posted in Great Tips