On Bald Head Island we have a few expressions. One is, "Relax. You're on turtle time." Another is "Summer is a state of mind." Lately, with winter weather gripping most of the country, flu season kicking into high gear, and the government shutdown dragging on, we can't help but daydream of warmer weather and easing tensions. Summer will, as they say, "be here before you know it." In that spirit of optimism and anticipation, we wanted to reflect back on 2018, with its challenges and achievements, but more importantly look ahead to the exciting real estate opportunities 2019 presents.
In the fall of last year, we were proud to announce the promotion of Ken Mowbray from Sales Manager to Sales Director for Bald Head Island Limited. Ken has worked for the company since 2002, and his vast knowledge of the island and its real estate offerings have made for a seamless management transition both for Limited’s customers and employees. During the first eight months of 2018, Bald Head Island was on pace to have its best real estate sales year in recent memory. Despite a slow fourth quarter due to Hurricane Florence’s mid-September arrival, islandwide real estate sales volume ended the year at almost 90% of the volume seen in the prior year.
Since the storm, Bald Head Island continues to show its resiliency and capacity to regenerate. Numerous homes listed for sale were pulled off the market this fall for needed repairs, and much work is still underway. As renovations to homes are completed, we expect spring and summer to be busy listing seasons, with upgraded properties marrying favorably with pent-up consumer demand. Along with reinvestment by individual owners to improve their properties, the Bald Head Island Club is set to unveil an incredible Aquatics Complex and oceanview restaurant, Horizons, this spring. The Club's new amenity promises to be a hub for families to gather together and represents a forwarding-looking move by the Club Board to provide an exceptional experience for members and their guests. With so much investment in the island's infrastructure and properties, it's easy to be optimistic about real estate sales in 2019.
On the development front, construction in the Southern Living Inspired Community continues at a steady pace, with more plans slated for release this year. Additionally, a new Southern Living Inspired Home in the neighborhood will open for public tours this fall in Cape Fear Station. Many folks have been asking when the next Roast & Toast on the Coast, our three-day Southern Living Inspired Event weekend, will take place. We've already started planning for the best event yet, so save the date November 8-10. Our food, beverage and entertainment lineup will follow soon.
Finally, be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday, April 20 during Easter Weekend for an Open House at the Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales office. We'll be serving wine, beer and appetizers and be available to answer any questions you may have about island real estate in a fun and relaxed setting (details to follow soon). In the meantime, we invite you to view a comprehensive database of all island properties for sale, stop by our office at 4 Marina Wynd near the ferry landing, or simply email us at email@example.com or call us at 800-888-3707. We look forward to answering your questions and sharing our "summer state of mind" with you.
Love it or find it annoying, The 12 Days of Christmas is a seasonal staple. In the holiday spirit, we gave it our own little lighthearted spin, inspired by things we who work here get to experience daily.
What a gift that is!
We sincerely wish you and your loved ones all the joys of the season, and health and happiness in the new year.
The 12 Days of Bald Head Island
On the first day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
A lighthouse beside the sea.
On the second day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Two turtle nests
And a lighthouse beside the sea.
On the third day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Three blue herons
On the fourth day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Four calling gulls
On the fifth day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Five golden suns
On the sixth day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Six golfers playing
On the seventh day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Seven kids a swimming
On the eighth day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Eight deer sightings
On the ninth day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Nine foxes hiding
On the tenth day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Ten dolphins leaping
On the eleventh day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Eleven ships a sailing
On the twelfth day at Bald Head, my true love gave to me
Twelve ospreys soaring
The name itself, Island Life, conjures up images of sandy beaches and palm trees, the scent of the ocean, and the feel of salt on your skin. It’s no surprise that the immensely popular network HGTV found Bald Head Island a fitting subject for two episodes of their aptly named hit show.
The episodes feature two families: a couple from Wisconsin that is planning to spend about six months of the year on Bald Head Island, and a North Carolina couple whose island home is a vacation getaway for family and friends.
Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales agent Stephanie Blake was given the opportunity to participate in the production of both episodes, which filmed for two weeks in July of 2018. She described the entire process as delightful and said she especially enjoyed the camaraderie that developed during filming, including growing closer to the homeowners and getting to know the crew.
“The production crew was absolutely incredible,” she said. “They were 100% professional and made it easy and comfortable for all involved.”
Stephanie said much like nearly everyone who visits the island, the film crew appeared smitten by Bald Head Island. “They were captivated by the novelty of being on an island with no cars and riding around on golf carts,” she said. “They also enjoyed meeting the islanders and the history buffs were enamored with the pirate lore and Old Baldy Lighthouse,” explained Stephanie.
Unlike most of HGTV’s other shows, “Island Life” doesn’t just feature houses; it highlights the homes’ location, as well. “It was great that we shot all the areas of the island and the different environments,” said Stephanie. “Bald Head Island has so much to offer, and these shows will present a snapshot of the entire island.”
Stephanie says coming to work on Bald Head Island is a dream come true, and she loves sharing this special place with her family and friends. While she is excited about the exposure the show will bring to the island, she described a paradox that many islanders feel.
“There’s a thin, fine line between wanting to keep the island as a hidden gem,” she said, “and wanting to give it the recognition it deserves. That’s a delicate balance.”
Mark your calendars for episodes 11 and 12 of season 14.
Celebrating nature’s wonders is just part of life on Bald Head Island.
So in January of 2011, when Claude and Melissa Pope, proprietors of The Maritime Market, started a monthly gathering to salute the setting of the sun and the rise of the full moon, it was an instant hit.
Naturally, the start time and size of the crowd vary depending on the season, but there are always plenty of enthusiastic revelers to let out a collective howl as the full moon rises out of the Atlantic Ocean. Fortuitously, November’s full moon falls of the day after Thanksgiving, guaranteeing a large, enthusiastic group.
Island Hardware and Atlantic Realty Professional are the generous cosponsors of this month’s event, and the Maritime Market’s Chef Marc will provide a huge pot of his famous soup. All are welcome and asked to BYOB, as well as an appetizer to share. Peter McArthur will provide the musical accompaniment, playing ancient Celtic tunes on the bagpipe as the moon breaks the horizon.
Please join us on Friday, November 23, 2018 from 4:30-6:30 pm at East Beach, Access 39. Sunset: 5:04 pm. Moonrise: 5:49 pm.
What better way to continue the holiday of eating, fellowship and gratitude than to gather on East Beach at sunset? We hope to see you there!
Do you dream of owning a place on Bald Head Island, but question how often you would be able to use it? Or perhaps it’s just not the right time for that size investment.
Maybe it’s time to discover the joy of sharing.
At The Hammocks on Bald Head Island, you can enjoy fractional ownership in a beautiful home, for a fraction of the cost and commitment. And while the investment is less, the benefits are numerous:
An intimate enclave of lovely vacation homes, The Hammocks is conveniently located on Earl of Craven Court off Stede Bonnet Wynd, a short cart ride from the ocean and just behind the Bald Head Island Club. Two- and three-bedroom Hammocks homes, both new and resale, are available through Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales. Learn more here and view available listings.
Originally from Maryland, Stephanie first came to the area in 2014, when her husband was transferred from Charleston to Southport with the U.S. Coast Guard. She began working for Bald Head Island Limited in the membership office at the Shoals Club and transitioned to real estate sales the next year.
Stephanie said she didn’t know about Bald Head Island prior to moving to the area, but “quickly became enamored with it.”
“I love that every day is different, and I get to experience the various island environments,” she said of her work. “From the marsh to the beach to the maritime forest to Harbour Village, there is something for everyone here. It’s not a one-dimensional island.”
Stephanie said her approach to client service is to listen carefully and pay attention to their wants and needs. “There needs to be a level of trust when I’m working with a buyer or seller,” she said, “and I take that trust very seriously.”
Stephanie also pointed to the team approach as a significant benefit for her clients. “Working with Doug and Garrett means our clients get three times the knowledge and experience,” she explained.
As Stephanie puts it, the Blakes live “just across the pond” from Bald Head Island in Southport. She said they are “not yet” property owners on the island, but are very interested in purchasing property.
My husband wants a house on the marsh and I want one on the beach,” she laughed, “so we will have to work that out.”
Doug first came to Bald Head Island in 1993, and has lived on the island full time since 1998. He and his wife Jane, who is a past executive director of Old Baldy Foundation, live on West Bald Head Wynd. Doug says the home is technically second row, but offers unobstructed views of the mouth of the Cape Fear River and the ocean beyond.
In 2001, Doug went to work for Bald Head Island Limited, leaving behind a successful career in medical device packaging, sales and marketing. He hasn’t looked back.
“I love this job because I really enjoy helping people,” said Doug. “It’s wonderful helping people experience what my wife and I have found on Bald Head Island. It’s a way of life that is special and unique. I love showing off my hometown.”
Like Stephanie, Doug said listening is central to helping people find the perfect island home. “The more I can listen and learn, the better I can help them,” he summarized.
Throughout the years, Doug has consistently been a top-producing agent on the island, and especially enjoys being part of a very successful, client-focused team with Stephanie and Garrett.
Beyond his passion for the island is his heart for volunteer work, especially related to flying. A licensed pilot, Doug volunteers with Pilots n Paws, flying rescue animals from kill shelters to their adoptive or foster homes. He also works with SouthWings, taking scientists and officials over areas of particular environmental concern, and with Young Eagles, a program that allows children 8-18 to discover the thrill of flight.
To speak with either of these agents about island real estate, call 800-888-3707.
Every fall along the East Coast, cruisers in crafts of all shapes and sizes make their way south under sail or power, headed to warmer climates for the winter. For most, the journey is just as pleasurable as reaching the final destination, as the trip may stretch for weeks or even months with many delightful stops along the way.
Bald Head Island, it is often said, may be the most delightful of all.
Closer to the Gulf Stream than the Mainstream
Located just two miles from where the Intracoastal Waterway brings mariners to the popular seaside town of Southport, NC, Bald Head Island is a renowned vacation destination for those seeking to combine stunning, natural beauty with the comfort of exceptional amenities.
Cruisers who venture here simply follow handy navigational aids marking a deep-water shipping channel to Bald Head Island’s handsome, well-protected harbor. Recalling the ambience of traditional seafaring villages, the surrounding Harbour Village is populated by lovely homes and inns, casual restaurants, various shops, plus a welcoming, full-service marina.
Also serving as homeport to the Bald Head Island Yacht Club, the marina offers dockside access to showers, laundry facilities, a ship’s store, fuel and electricity, as well as all this remarkable island has to offer.
No Cars, No Cares
Among the most beloved features of Bald Head Island is the absence of cars. Visitors and residents arrive and depart by passenger ferry or private boat only, and travel the island’s breathtaking roads by golf cart, bicycle or on foot. This creates an easy, carefree environment that many boaters say is exactly why they went cruising in the first place. Conveniently, golf carts and bicycles may be rented just steps from the marina.
Bald Head Island’s numerous beaches are world renowned for their beauty and pristine shoreline, and the championship golf course is highly rated by Links magazine and other industry experts. Marina guests may also purchase temporary membership in The Bald Head Island Club and The Shoals Club, with full use of the luxurious amenities of each.
In addition to the dining and shopping options, Bald Head Island has a full-service grocery store, a lush day spa and too many outdoor excursion opportunities to list here. Suffice it to say, from SUP to kayaking, fishing to crabbing, nature walks to environmental science programs, you’ll find plenty to satisfy your urge to explore on the island’s 12,000 acres— 10,000 of which are unspoiled beach, marsh and maritime forest preserves.
So if you’re traveling along the Carolina coast by boat, or just a local weekend cruiser, don’t miss this beautiful barrier island paradise. We’re standing by on VHF channel 16, ready to welcome you ashore.
Stop On By
For information on rates, visit the Bald Head Island Marina web site. You can even download a map of the marina showing slip lengths and numbers.
To reserve a slip in advance, call 910.457.7380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final remaining slips for sale in the Bald Head Island Marina have just been released for sale. To inquire about a slip purchase and membership in the Bald Head Island Yacht Club, call 800-888-3707.
BALD HEAD ISLAND MARINA DETAILS
Editor's Note: Roast & Toast on the Coast has been canceled for 2018 due to Hurricane Florence.
Bald Head Island Limited and Southern Living magazine join forces again to present “Roast & Toast on the Coast,” a Southern Living Inspired Event Weekend on Bald Head Island, NC, centered around fine wine, craft beer, live music and the best of Southern food.
“Roast & Toast on the Coast celebrates everything we love about living in the South,” said Jeff Leonard, executive director of sales for Bald Head Island Limited. “You can tour beautiful homes, sample delicious food and drink, and enjoy incredible live music under the stars. It's a good time for a great cause, with a portion of event proceeds benefiting Old Baldy Lighthouse.”
The long weekend kicks off with a family-friendly oyster roast at the Bald Head Island Club. While the menu is centered around oysters and seafood, there will be many other options for non-seafood eaters.
Visit open houses in the Southern Living Inspired Community at Cape Fear Station to get fresh design ideas. Then enjoy a late afternoon on The Common at Cape Fear Station with wine, beer, a silent auction, and an incredible dinner presented by acclaimed pitmaster Matt Register of Southern Smoke BBQ. After dinner, kick back and enjoy a special bluegrass concert under the stars by regional favorites Massive Grass.
Cap off the weekend with a lavish Southern brunch at the Bald Head Island Club.
All events are family friendly and are sold a la carte or are bundled to be a great value. A portion of event proceeds benefit Old Baldy Lighthouse. No tickets are sold at the door, and last year's events sold out a week prior to the events. Book your tickets now at www.RoastToastCoast.com. Editor's Note: Roast & Toast on the Coast has been canceled for 2018 due to Hurricane Florence.
Fall visitors to Bald Head Island can tour Cape Fear Station, recently named the Southern Living Inspired Community of the Year by Southern Living magazine.
“Southern Living Inspired Communities are neighborhoods marked by charm, taste and Southern spirit that embody a distinctive pride of place. Since becoming a Southern Living Inspired Community, Cape Fear Station on Bald Head Island has exceeded our expectations on all fronts,” said Kristen Bryan, marketing director for Meredith, the magazine's parent company.
The neighborhood is located a short walk to the Atlantic Ocean, just above Cape Fear. About a dozen families have homes completed or underway in the development. Home prices range from around $750,000 to over $1 million. Recently, Bald Head Island Limited, LLC, the community's developer, announced that construction of a new Inspired Home would begin in the neighborhood this fall and be open for tours next summer.
“We're seeing excitement surrounding our recent release of larger estate properties in the second phase of the neighborhood,” said Chad Paul, CEO for Bald Head Island Limited.
About Bald Head Island
Bald Head Island is a boat-accessed community located two miles off the coast of Southport, NC. Transportation on the island is restricted to golf carts, bicycles and pedestrian traffic. Of the island’s 12,000 acres, 10,000 acres of beaches, salt marsh and maritime forest are protected and will remain undeveloped. To learn more about the Southern Living Inspired Community at Cape Fear Station, visit www.BHIRealEstate.com/InspiredCommunity.
On Bald Head Island, we’re celebrating the holiday devoted to workers by playing hard all weekend.
The action starts on Friday, August 31, with activities that range from sidewalk sales to open houses, and from guided kayaking trips to sunset sailing excursions.
BHI Conservancy will be hopping all weekend long, hosting an amazing lineup of events and activities. Bring the kids to beginner or intermediate fishing demonstrations, let them try their hands at dissecting a squid or dogfish, or have them explore tidal life through activities that include a touch tank. On any given day, you might take part in an introductory nature tour, a reptile roundup, or go birding on Middle Island. In the evenings, the whole family can ride along with the turtle nest patrol, walk the beach in search of turtle hatchings, scout the island for critters as a nocturnal naturalist, or enjoy stargazing and a sweet treat at Cosmos and Cocoa. Check the BHI Conservancy schedule for which activities are offered on which days.
You’ll certainly want to Rock The Dock at the Friday night concert, with beer, wine, snacks and pizza served alongside live music. On Saturday, take to the creek for Paddles and a Picnic, or register for the BHI Club tournament if you’re an ace on the tennis court. By then you’ll surely be hungry, so come say farewell to summer over lunch at Island Passage’s Labor Day cookout, and then extend the goodbye at the “Last Blast” Hawaiian-themed pool party at the BHI Club that evening.
Also on Saturday, September 1, Old Baldy Foundation is sponsoring a “Then and Now Home Tour,” showcasing a through-the-ages look at many of the historic homes on Bald Head Island. The tour, which celebrates 201 years of Old Baldy, will be open all afternoon, from 1 until 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the event. A package that includes round-trip ferry transportation is $40, and available until 5 p.m. on Friday, August 31. All proceeds benefit Old Baldy Foundation. For more information click here.
Sunday starts off with services at 8:30 and 10 a.m. at the Village Chapel. The Shoals Club sprints into the day with a short triathlon, followed by a scavenger hunt and pool party. The Labor Day BBQ at the BHI Club runs from 3 until 7 p.m. with live music, and when you’re ready for the second course, join the fun at the Side Porch Oyster Roast in the Forest Pavilion. There you’ll enjoy more live music, as well as steamed oysters and shrimp, pulled pork barbecue, roasted chicken and a host of sides.
End the day at the Sunset Celebration, sponsored by Riverside Adventure Company and Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales. The whole family will enjoy the phenomenal view, as well as music, juggling, balloons and more. The evening wraps up with s’mores over a bonfire as the sun dramatically sets over the ocean.
Monday morning brings a return home for many visitors, but not before a final birding opportunity from 9-11 a.m.
While the weekend and the traditional summer season come to a close on September 3, there is still plenty of warm weather in the months ahead. In fact, many say the weeks between Labor Day and Thanksgiving are some of the best times to be on the island. It’s prime time of outdoor activities, from fishing to playing golf, and the beaches are even less crowded.
If you can be on the island in the fall, by all means, come enjoy it! And in case you need one more nudge, real estate open houses continue on autumn weekends and off-season rates start in September.
See you soon, and often!
Customers On Board With Mojo’s Plastic Straw Ban
A couple of years ago, Mojos on the Harbor owners John and Andrea Pitera were approached about joining a campaign called Skip the Straw, an initiative whose mission is self explanatory. Concerned environmentalists, they were happy to jump aboard.
“We put up the Skip the Straw logo and encouraged people to forgo straws in our restaurant,” she said. “Unfortunately, it made zero difference.”
Undaunted, the Piteras decided to take a different route. In March of this year, the restaurant completely eliminated plastic straws at Mojos, offering stainless steel ones for purchase instead. The stainless steel straws sell for 50 cents each, which basically covers the cost of the item and shipping.
“I had no idea how it would go, so I ordered 1,500 as a test,” said Andrea. “Those sold out in two months.”
By August 1, Mojo’s had sold close to 6,000 stainless steel straws in the restaurant, replacing a much larger number of plastic straws in the process since many patrons bring their straws with them each time they dine. By contrast, Andrea reported the restaurant used 75,000 straws in the year before the ban.
“We’ve had some locals laugh about the number of stainless steel straws they are accumulating at home when they forget to bring them,” said Andrea. She estimated 99.98% of their customers are fine with the ban, and about 30% of those are “wildly enthusiastic.”
The Piteras have placed tent cards on the tables explaining the policy, which Andrea said sparks conversation with almost everyone. “It gets people thinking about plastics and talking about the alarming statistics,” she said. “Every bit of plastic ever made is still on the planet, and we are drowning in it. It’s truly frightening.”
The Piteras considered replacing the plastic straws with paper ones, but Andrea said those don’t hold up, especially with frozen drinks. She also said those that are marketed as biodegradable don’t really degrade, except under a very narrow set of conditions, adding that they are also outrageously expensive.
The word seems to be spreading beyond Bald Head Island. Andrea said two Wilmington restaurants heard about the Mojo’s plastic ban and contacted them about where to buy the stainless steel straws.
Andrea said the plastic straw ban fits very well with Bald Head Island’s overall philosophy of protection and preservation of the natural environment. She is part of an environmental task force on the island whose mission is to look for and implement ways to maintain the ecology of Bald Head Island.
“We know we aren’t saving the world,” said Andrea, “but it’s our small step in getting people to at least think about the use of plastic. Helping educate others can lead to larger change.”
Mojo’s Tent Card Conversation Starter
7 Single-Use Swaps and the Trash YOU can save in one year:
1 bamboo toothbrush = 4 plastic toothbrushes
1 glass floss container = 7 plastic floss containers
1 reusable water bottle = 167 plastic water bottles
1 reusable bag = 170 plastic bags
1 reusable cup = 500 coffee cups
1 metal straw = 540 plastic straws
1 cloth towel = 7,300 paper towels
A Presbyterian minister who served churches in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston and New York for nearly 45 years, Garrett Albertson understands commitment. When he retired from the ministry in 1998, he and his wife Donna looked to fulfill their dream of owning a bed-and-breakfast inn.
“We found Theodosia’s advertised on the Internet,” said Garrett. “Because I knew some Greek, I understood the name meant ‘gift of God.’ We decided to explore it, came down and visited, and wound up owning it.” The Albertsons also purchased a small home in Harbour Village.
As proprietor of the inn and an ordained minister, Garrett met a young couple who wanted to get married on Bald Head Island. After about a year of counseling and planning with them, Garrett married Marc and Shirley at Old Baldy Lighthouse in 2002.
Garrett reported that when it started to rain during the ceremony, some of the guests held umbrellas over the bride and groom. After the service, the newlyweds came back to Theodosia’s where Shirley changed out of her traditional Western wedding dress and into a traditional Chinese wedding dress.
“I believe that was the only time I officiated a wedding where the bride had two wedding dresses,” said Garrett. “It was a good thing, too, because the first one was wet!”
Garrett kept in touch with the Charlotte couple over the years and showed them property from time to time. In May of 2018, sixteen years after their wedding, the couple purchased a home in Flora’s Bluff. Their family had since grown to five, with the birth of three daughters.
“They had looked a long time and rented in various locations on the island,” said Garrett. “They love that part of the island best, so the home was a good fit.”
Around the same time as the wedding, a guest at the inn suggested that Garrett look into adding real estate to his resume. He earned his real estate license in 2001, and in 2003, the Albertsons sold Theodosia’s and moved to Southport, where they still live. Garrett is on staff part-time at Trinity Methodist Church there, and is active in the Bald Head Island Chapel, as well.
While they moved off the island, they never really left it, emphasized Garrett. He has been part of the Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales team since 2007, so he’s on the island five to seven days a week. Donna runs a baking business that supplies desserts to Mojo’s on the Harbor and the Sandpiper Coffee Shop. “Plus, our grandchildren love it, so we are over here often with them,” he said.
Anyway you look at it, Garrett’s history with Bald Head Island reads like a love story, including the happily-ever-after ending.
To learn more about island real estate, please contact Garrett Albertson.
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