Downtown Swansboro

Downtown Swansboro

We have lived in the Swansboro area for almost 3 years now and have yet to cruise the streets of downtown. I know, shame on us. So this weekend, we decided to cruise on through downtown Swansboro to see what was there. It did not disappoint.

We started off our epic journey climbing to the top of Bake Bottle Brew to check out the scenery, which you can see is AMAZING. Sadly, we did not partake in the brew because we were backpacking our new little nugget. Strictly a family adventure.

We have yet to eat at Yana’s, a very homey Elvis Presley-themed family eatery. Their crowds were out the door this weekend. But, we have been meaning to pop into the BORO cafe and try their tasty items. A friend of ours mentioned they had some of the best food in Swansboro. And they did not disappoint. My husband and I scooted Jett into the quaint establishment and somehow found the self-control to bypass the pastry counter.

Our waitress, Alice, was so excited to share with us that we came on a great day. On Saturdays and Sundays, the BORO serves brunch. These words to me are HEAVEN. Who doesn’t like breakfast in the afternoon? Apparently, my husband was not as excited as I, being that he ordered the flat-bread.

 

Seafood Crepes


-Lobster

-Shrimp

-Spinach

-Hollandaise

Flat Bread


-Chicken

-Coconut

-Curry

-Mango

-Pineapple

A Few Facts About Swansboro

Founded in 1783, the “Friendly City by the Sea” offers a quaint, historic downtown district overlooking the water, numerous opportunities for coastal recreation, and a progressive town government that works to balance high-quality community growth with conservation of the community’s natural and historic resources.

Swansboro boasts a beautiful small harbor adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway and is only three miles from coastal recreational facilities in the Croatan National Forest. Swansboro is also the home of Hammocks Beach State Park and its unspoiled beaches.

Swansboro’s unique village atmosphere offers the opportunity to enjoy the community’s heritage while shopping in an area alive with restaurants, boutiques, gift shops, nightlife, and family-friendly, waterside parks.

Driving on the beach is great way to transport your beach gear.

Beach Driving in NC | Get some sand on your tires!

Beach driving in NC
Get some sand on your tires!

…And on your floor mats…and on your seats…and in your soul


Mimi and Clarissa (me!)

– Clarissa G., Marketing Coordinator

There’s something to be said for taking your 4 wheel drive vehicle off the asphalt and onto the sand. Although I’ve lived on the coast since 2002, I’ve never owned a 4 wheel drive vehicle or been graciously toted out there by a friend. As I turned 30 last month, there are many things I’m trying to cross off my bucket list this year in hopes that I’ll feel particularly accomplished.

Myself and 2 other members of the marketing team, Janesa and Mimi, got especially lucky this week at work and were given the opportunity to cross one off of the items on my bucket list WHILE on the clock. (Our job rocks, right?!)

    Here’s a visual of “The Point” on Google

    It’s the Western tip of Bogue Banks, in the town of Emerald Isle


    As part of our spring marketing plan, we want to start using more video content to share the sounds and sights of the sea with all of our landlocked friends and fans. I was especially excited when Facebook updated and released the “Live” video streaming for admins of Pages. Translation: This means we can run out to the beach with our phones and stream LIVE video of the beach onto the Bluewater Facebook fan pages. We have been waiting on this for MONTHS. **I know, I know, “months” doesn’t sound like long. But when we really want to share something awesome and technologically cool like a live stream of the waves roaring and 80° sunshine with our fans in Ohio who got snow last week, MONTHS feel like FOREVER.

    Since the weather was PRIME – our legitimately 80°+ day this year – we decided to head out as a team to shoot some video and post a live stream for all of our fans. On the way out, Mark (our friendly welcome desk dude) offered to take it one step further and chauffeur us out onto the sand in his Jeep. We were elated! We loaded up the beach chairs and brown bag lunches and headed straight for the Point. Beach driving season ends April 30, so he was happy to get in one more dose of sand on the ‘ole Jeep.

    We started the stream right as we entered at the driving access between Carousel and Almond House at the Point and headed across the wide stretch of sand toward the water.



    CAN I JUST TELL YOU.

    I was shocked at how close to the water he drove!

    He explained that it’s actually safer to drive on the sand closer to the water because it’s more packed and firm, and that the soft sand further up toward the dunes is where you’re more likely to get stuck. Makes sense, but it was still crazy to be driving at the water’s edge. I may have been holding my handle a little tight at first. We drove all of the way down to the western tip and then turned around and drove back along the beach to just past the access at Channel Drive and Inlet Drive and pulled over to park.

    Here comes my favorite part.

    We lifted the back of the jeep up for shade and proceeded to dip our pasty April legs in the water and eat lunch in the sunshine. By this time there were more than a hundred people watching the live stream. I was so excited!! There were lots of other 4 wheel drive wielding beach lovers (and dogs!) taking advantage of the sun by laying out, fishing, playing cornhole.

    When the tide started coming closer and closer to the jeep, we decided it was time to head back to the office. We had shot videos, taken photos and completed two live streams on the real estate and vacation rentals Facebook pages. Mark took us on one more loop up to see the Coast Guard station from the waterside on the way back (again, something I had never seen!) and showed us the inlets that form and fill in as the tide rises. It was really cool to know that we were driving somewhere that would be under water within a few hours. We passed folks who had tethered their boat and were sitting in the sun with a cooler and a set of cornhole boards, just passing the afternoon. We found out later it was actually one of our co-workers! I guess we know where the cool kids work, eh?


    I know that driving on the beach isn’t a huge thing to most folks who live here, but to me it was something new and exciting that I have always wanted to try. It seems to epitomize the “island life” and to a former Ohioan like myself, nothing’s better than the island life.



    Want to test your 4WD vehicle on the beach?  

    Click HERE for EI’s beach driving policy.


    Check out the full tour

    Stay tuned to our Facebook pages to catch the next live stream


    Flood Insurance in NC

    Flood Insurance, Do I Really Need it?

    Flood Insurance in NC

    Why buy Flood Insurance? CLICK HERE to learn from the experts and listen to a real-life survival story.

    The flood season is here, and with one out of every 5 homes not covered by flood insurance, we want to give you the facts. The most active flood periods are from October through March, affecting all regions in the United States.

    FEMA updates flood risk zones regularly, so be conscious of what your home’s risk is. But, note that there are still risks of flooding, even if you do not fall in a “high-risk” area. You can check where your home falls on the risk map here.

    If you have flood insurance, know what your policy covers. Some policies do not replace personal items. And others do not cover high-value items if they are stored in the basement. Make sure you are familiar with the clauses within your Flood Policy.

    For more information about flooding or quick insurance facts, visit FloodSmart.gov

    Contact Bluewater Insurance if you would like to add or change your flood insurance.

     

    Home Improvements with the Most Bang for your Buck

    Home Improvements with the most Bang for your Buck

    The Perfect Home Improvements

    • New paint job
    • Freshly maintained landscaping
    • Remodeled and/or upgraded interior
    • Deck and/or patio addition
    • Additional bedroom or bathroom
    • Go Green
    • Addition to the garage
    When selling a home adding to the square footage allows the appraiser to make “higher adjustments” to the total worth of your home.
    Consider, most projects do not earn dollar for dollar what you put into your home. On average home improvement will make 20 to 30 cents on the dollar.

    When considering refinancing, these  changes will benefit you the most

    • Additional bedroom or bathroom
    • Addition to the garage
    • Kitchen remodeling and upgrades
    • Improvement that expands the “use” of the home – think outdoor living and beyond

    New Paint and Carpet

    • The home begins at your front door! Try to spice up the color and make sure everything is in working order, the doorbell, handles are not loose, and rid of cobwebs.
    • Touch up any paint imperfections throughout your house
    • Freshly paint your walls, if you have bold bright colors that may not appeal to the masses try looking into warm designer neutrals to give the feeling of cozy comfort.
    • 94% of real estate professionals recommend spending a few dollars on your floors. They appeal to buyers and boost the overall cleanliness of your home.
    *Spending $600 to $900 can see up to double their return in value.

    Landscaping – One of the top 3 investments that bring the biggest return

    $400-$500 can return 4 times this amount – 2007 Broker Survey Overgrown trees and bushes create an unwelcoming dark appearance to your home’s image.
    Your curb appeal is the first thing potential buyers notice when searching for a new home, even when they visit without an agent and do a drive-by. What is considered going green? Energy savings add an estimated 20 times the annual savings to the value of your home value- Appraisal Journal This includes: replacing old windows with more efficient models Upgrading appliances to eco-friendly options, possibly including solar panels or solar can lighting, and replacing your heating/air conditioning systems Solar Power Water heaters can save as much as 80% on water heating bills Inexpensive
    Upgrade Options Apply Fresh Caulking throughout your home Replacing or Upgrading hardware on cabinets and doors Replacing faucets Just keep in mind, once a buyer sees one thing out of place they will be prone to look for every other thing they can find that may or may not have an issue. So be prepared and change/upgrade/remove any questionable items within your home, whether that be rickety stairs, blue carpet, or 1970s wallpaper. Remember the appraisal process is most heavily determined by homes similar to yours that sell. Any additions you have made to your house will be considered after the base selling price is figured.

    Cape Lookout National Seashore

    Exploring with the Locals: Cape Lookout National Seashore

    The Cape Lookout National Seashore consists of 56 miles of beautifully undeveloped coastline stretching in barrier islands from Ocracoke to Beaufort Inlet. Visiting these pristine sands is a great way to immerse yourself in the history and breathtaking scenery here. Bring your family (even your dog!) and come explore the Cape Lookout Seashore together!

    Spending a few hours

    Stop by the Harkers Island Visitor Center where you can explore the exhibits, watch the park film, walk the nature trails and more. At the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, you can soak up the sun and salt water on the beach, venture into the Keeper’s Quarters museum and climb to the top of the lighthouse for spectacular sweeping views of the coast from 160 feet in the air. On Shackleford Banks, you’ll find a sheller’s delight; conchs, sand dollars, whelks and even the state shell – the Scotch Bonnet! It’s also a great spot to relax and watch for wild banker ponies. In Portsmouth Village, take a step back in time with a guided tour of the village, the Salter House and Visitor Center.


    Playing the whole day

    With an entire day, you can plan an extended trip such as a short kayaking session or a private ferry tour of the seashore. You will have ample time to search for horses on Shackleford Banks and explore down to the point of Cape Lookout. Along the way you’ll see a variety of shorebirds, find a treasure trove of seashells and you’ll want to watch for dolphins and whales along the way.

    Ferry Services

    Hammocks Beach State Park

    Swansboro (910) 326-4881

    Shackleford Banks & Cape Lookout

    Island Ferry Adventures | Beaufort

    (252) 728-7555

    Lookout Cruises | Beaufort

    (252) 504-SAIL

    Outer Banks Ferry | Beaufort

    (252) 728-4129

    Calico Jacks Ferry | Harkers Island

    (252) 728-3575

    Harkers Island Fishing Center

    (252) 728-3907

    Island Ferry Adventures | Harkers Island

    (252) 728-6181

    Local Yokel Ferry and Tours | Harkers Island

    (252) 728-2759

    #1 Real Estate Office in Carteret County Again!

    We Did it Again!

    Our highly effective agents at Bluewater took the 2013 Real Estate market by storm. Bluewater Real Estate has been one of the top producing firms with the highest volume of sales each year over the last 11 years, 2013 was no different, making us the #1 real estate office in Carteret County. Our highly skilled and knowledgeable agents- some who have been with our company more than 25 years, are continuously awarded as Top Producers in both volume and sales on the Crystal Coast. As a family owned Real Estate Company, we are proud to be the one firm that continuously drives results on the Crystal Coast, producing a little over $1Billion dollars in Real Estate sales in the last 10 years. This year we were awarded with both 2013 Office Top Dollar  Production Award for  Highest value of closed sales and 2013 Office Top Unit Production Award for Highest number of closed units. These prestigious awards is a true testament of our agent’s dedication to their clients and priority to serve Carteret County.

     Our Emerald Isle Office has been awarded with the following 2013 Awards by the Carteret County Board of Realtors

      2013 Office Top Dollar  Production Award for  Highest value of closed sales 

    2013 Office Top Unit Production Award for Highest number of closed units

    Thank you for your continued support and for the confidence that you have placed in us. We work as one team with a common purpose – to provide best-in-class service to our clients. As we continue to build a stronger partnership together, we fully recognize that your support and the continued trust that you have placed in us is the foundation of our success. You are at the center of everything we do and we will work tirelessly towards ensuring that we meet and exceed your expectations for years to come. 

    Celebrating a year at The Nautical Club

    Nautical Club Anniversary

    On April 25, 2013, Bluewater Real Estate along with hundreds of Carteret County Chamber members and local businesses joined at The Nautical Club’s Grand Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting as we embarked as the exclusive listing agency, marketing the last 68 condos of this community. As we approach our one year mark, we have successfully closed 55 condos with only 13 remaining available for purchase.

    This distinctive sound front retreat features spacious three-bedroom, three-bath condos with endless upgrades. A large welcoming foyer leads to the open waterfront living area, dining, and gourmet kitchen

    finished with granite countertops and bar. Showing off the finest in finishes, all bedrooms feature private baths, walk-in closets, high ceilings, and stunning views.

    The Nautical Club offers a wealth of high-grade appointments –spacious master suites, granite countertops, tiled baths, embellished ceilings, exquisite crown molding, accent lighting, covered ocean view porches, expansive walk-out balconies, and breathtaking views extending from Emerald Isle to Atlantic Beach in both interior and corner condos.

    The Nautical Club boasts community amenities that include a fishing pier, boat ramp, nearby beach access to the Atlantic Ocean, an outdoor swimming pool, fitness facility, game and recreational room along with a conference and event room with incredible views of the sound.

    If you are interested in purchasing one of these beautiful  3 bedroom sound front condos or are simply interested in seeing our tastefully decorated model – we have an agent on duty 7 days a week.

     

    For more information on The Nautical Club condos with prices starting at $255,500 please reach out to one of our Real Estate agents.

     
     

    Meet one of our agents at the seventh-floor model Monday – Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm.

    A bowl of seafood chowder, one of the best local seafood recipes.

    Seafood Recipes to Make While on Vacation

    seafood recipes

    Dining on fresh local seafood is just one of the many perks of visiting the Crystal Coast.  If you prefer to eat-in and prepare meals yourself while on vacation, here are 8  tried-and true seafood recipes for you to enjoy during your stay!  Click on the links below the photographs to view the recipes.

    Are you a chef or do you just enjoy cooking?  Click here to view all our Crystal Coast vacation rentals with upscale gourmet kitchens!

    Sea Scallops in a Bourbon Jalapeno cream Sauce

    1.  Sea Scallops in a Bourbon Jalapeno Cream Sauce | The Blond Cook

    Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

    2.  Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce | Damn Delicious

    Seafood-Chowder

    3.  Seafood Chowder | RecipeGirl

    Carolina Blue Crab Cakes

    4.  Carolina Blue Crab Cakes Recipe | Our State Magazine

    Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

    5.  Mexican Shrimp Cocktail | From Valerie’s Kitchen

    seafood stew

    6.  Seafood Stew | Memento Bracelet

    Spicy Steamed Mussels in Beer

    7.  Spicy Steamed Mussels in Beer | The Beeroness

    Scallop Bisque

    8.  Scallop Bisque | Cooking with Books

    The Tale of Two Cities By The Sea: Morehead City and Beaufort

    The Tale of Two Cities By The Sea

    Don’t miss the chance to explore Beaufort and Morehead City during your stay on the Crystal Coast. These two neighboring waterfront towns are pleasantly unique and exploding with character and history.

    Morehead City

    Endless activities await in the largest town in Carteret County. Go fishing on a charter boat or sit and watch the daily catch arrive at the docks. Adventurous eaters can partake in restaurant-hopping with phenomenal views to sample fresh local seafood appetizers. Absorb our coastal history at The History Place, a museum committed to preserving the culture of The Crystal Coast, or go on an excursion to Sugarloaf Island. Make your way into the many local shops and boutiques, or spend a rainy day crafting your own pottery or painting at one of the local galleries. Get social on the waterfront with live music most weekends, or give your taste buds an adventure by sampling craft beer and aged cheeses.

    Beaufort

    Just across the bridge is one of our most treasured destinations. See for yourself why Beaufort was voted America’s Favorite Small Town by Travel and Leisure. Take a stroll down the Beaufort waterfront for a day of casual shopping, sightseeing and great food. You can also pack your own lunch and take the ferry across Taylor’s Creek to Carrot Island where you can see wild ponies in their natural waterfront habitat. If you’re a foodie, you won’t want to miss out on Hungry Town Tours Bike Culinary Tour and sample some of Beaufort’s finest restaurants.
    Experience a spooky downtown adventure on the Beaufort Ghost Walk while learning of haunted houses and treacherous pirates. While you’re there, pay a visit to the NC Maritime Museum to learn about our maritime history. If you’re an adventurous water enthusiast, be sure to go kayaking, parasailing or take a paddle board lesson. With several guided tours and activities available, you’ll never be short of amusement and rich history on the Beaufort waterfront.