A dolphin sighting in Morehead City.

Dolphin Sighting

Dolphin Sighting in Morehead City


While inhaling our coconut and shrimp curry soup from Sanitary we moseyed our way out to their deck that overlooks the waterfront like we do every year. But this time we got a treat. TWO DOLPHINS playing in the sunset. That was my first dolphin sighting so close. What a special night!

My husband and I were lucky enough to rent out the little one to some friends and have a date night in Morehead City. Now this wasn’t just any night, it was the annual Bites and Blues and we scored tickets. Now let me explain this to you. Bites and Blues is an amazing foodie paradise that happens every year. Local eateries come together and station themselves about downtown Morehead City NC and prepare small bites for hundreds of ticket holder.

You ticket is literally a map of all the restaurants that will be in attendance equipped with check boxes to mark where you have been. You also have a best bite of the night vote ticket stub at the bottom.

Restaurants in participation this year include places like:

Fat Fellas (reigning champs)

Tight Lines — mahi bite with lump crab

Happy Cakes (mmmmmmm……Oreo explosion- an Oreo inside a cookies and cream cupcake with cookies and cream frosting)

Promise Land — Brisket

Sanitary — coconut and shrimp curry

Rudy Ducks — seviche

Red Fish Grill — glazed mahi

Beaufort Olive Oil — the most creative salad I’ve ever tasted

Dank Burrito — jalapeno hush puppies

The Boathouse — smoked brisket with collard greens and homemade barbecue sauce

La Perla –(a new authentic spanish cuisine joint tucked away on 20th st. they had mufungo, which my husband and I hadn’t had since our honeymoon. It is Yuca, plantains and meaty goodness. A must try.)

Southern Bread Bakery (also a new establishment- very tasty macaroons)

And so many more places.





Guys we were waddling back to our car by the end of the night. And this is no big feat. Derrick is a NC State football alum that can put you to shame in a food eating competition. Needless to say we got our money’s worth.


To the right:

We are devouring our Fat Fellas Plates

a rib, hush puppy, amazing mash potatoes and southern sweet tea to complete the bite 🙂

= 2 happy campers

FAQ about hurricane florence recovery

Hurricane Florence Recovery FAQ

FAQ about hurricane florence recovery

Hurricane Florence Recovery FAQ: Guests and Homeowners

We know you have questions, so we’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked hurricane recovery questions from guests and homeowners. Our staff members and the Towns are working hard on our island’s recovery and ensuring we answer any questions you may have regarding Hurricane Florence recovery.

Guest FAQ on Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence Recovery FAQ from our Guests

1. When will your offices be open? – Our offices are now open at this time, 8:30 am to 5 pm daily

2. When will the curfew be lifted?There is no curfew at this time

3. How can I file a claim with Red Sky Travel lnsurance?If you purchased travel insurance for your stay – you may contact RedSky about your travel insurance claim or call them (866) 889-7409

4. Why will no one answer the phone? – Our phone lines are extremely busy during this time. Our staff is working very hard to answer all calls and return messages. Thanks for your patience!

5. When will we be updated about our vacation? – Bluewater will continue communicating with you via email and the website to keep you updated.

6. Why does the link to my rental property say “not rentable?” – If the status of your rental property says “not rentable,” – it could be due to damages, flooding, or power outages preventing access to the property.

7. Are there restaurants and groceries stores open? – The main grocery stores, Publix and Food Lion are open and fully stocked. There are limited restaurants open at this time and only serving limited menus. Please be aware some businesses are only accepting cash at this time due to power and internet outages.

8. Are gas stations open and gas readily available? – The majority of gas stations are open with gas readily available. Please be aware that some gas stations suffered damage on the island and are closed until further notice.

9. How are the beach accesses? – You can reach the beach; however, there has been erosion from the ocean during Hurricane Florence. Please note that some public and private walkways to the beach have suffered damage. Be cautious while using beach accesses.

10. If the property rented does not have beach access, does this make it non-rentable, and can I be moved or refunded? – If the dwelling is safe and uninhabitable, but the beach access is unavailable, this does not warrant the property as uninhabitable. No refund or move is provided. Guests will be asked to sign a waiver agreeing not to use that access and will use the nearby public access.

11. If I don’t have travel insurance and the property cannot be rented, do I get a refund? – If the property is deemed uninhabitable, Bluewater will need to process a full refund and block the property from rentals until repairs are completed, and the property is cleared as safe and habitable. We will be working with the individual property owners to coordinate these refunds.

12. What documentation will be needed to file with RedSky Insurance? – An email was sent out to guests with travel insurance with information on material needed for filing a claim based on your period of stay.

13. Are roads in North Carolina closed? – For road closures and updates, please visit the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

 

FAQ from Homeowners on Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence Recovery FAQ from our Homeowners

1. I have renters that are scheduled for a vacation this week. Has our unit been checked yet? – Please use the link provided in your email to check the status of your property.

2. What is the status of our property? – Please use the link provided in your email to check the status of our assessment. If you have any questions about your status, please call our maintenance department at (252) 354-6128.

3. What do I need to do if my home has damage? – 

  • Call your insurance company to make a claim.
  • Begin working with your insurance company to schedule an assessment and line up contractors to work on your property.
  • Call and schedule third-party vendors or contractors to complete repairs needed to your property.

4. Can you coordinate vendors for repairs to my property? – Currently, we do not have the manpower or resources to organize any work at the rental properties. The only work we are currently capable of coordinating on your behalf is lining up water extraction and temporary roof-tarping for homes that are deemed hazardous. If your property is on that list – you will be contacted by email from our Maintenance Department with the details of those arrangements. All bills from vendors will be sent directly to you.

Banner for dogs dig the crystal coast

Dogs Dig the Crystal Coast

Banner for dogs dig the crystal coast

Dogs Dig the Crystal Coast

Our beautiful Crystal Coast is a pet-friendly beach paradise. We’re sharing a few reasons dogs dig the Crystal Coast, and we have no doubt your dog will too! 

Dogs Dig the Crystal Coast and Emerald  Isle

Nearly every dog that crosses the bridge ends up loving the beach just as much as their humans do. They can run, play, and roll to their heart’s content in the sand. They can watch gulls and pelicans, and sandpipers skirt the shoreline for hours. They will probably con you into more table scraps than usual since it’s their vacation, too much like children asking for ice cream for breakfast and open-ended bedtimes. They can run, jump and splash into the water or laze in the umbrella’s shade while you soak up the rays.

We love your dogs so much that we even have a whole category in our annual photo contest dedicated to dogs. We get so many photos every year, and without fail, some of our most favorite shots are those that feature furry family members. They seem to embody fun, adventure, and the idea of the “entire family” coming on vacation together.

The Crystal Coast is Welcoming to Dogs

The Crystal Coast itself is more than happy to host your pups. Just make sure they stay on a leash (just in case those gulls look a little too tasty, or that terrier a few towels down gets extra friendly) and always clean up after any …ahem, evidence… they might leave on the sand.

dog on the beach chasing a seagull

Of course, always remember that what is HOT to you is even hotter to them, so take them back inside for breaks in the air conditioning as often as you can. (Hey, you get a cool break, too!)

keep your pets cool on the beach

Bring a bowl and stick some water bottles in the cooler to be sure you always have fresh cold water available. From experience, I only pour out what my little baby behemoth is going to drink because it inevitably gets sand in the bowl about 3 seconds after it’s poured out, and the diva can only drink clean water. She’s a little spoiled. Shocking, I know.

A Vast Array of Pet-Friendly Places to Dine on the Crystal Coast

Another reason dogs dig the Crystal Coast is the wide variety of places that are pet-friendly. For example, take your pup out on the town to the dog-friendly Backstreet Pub for a cold drink.

The Backstreet Pub has been called the friendliest, funkiest little bar from Maine to Venezuela. Housed in a century-old former bakery, it is famous among sailors who course the intercoastal waterways and who have covered the walls with nautical memorabilia. But the Backstreet is also a local hangout. For fishermen and writers, waitresses and tugboat captains, retired spies, deep sea divers, and just about anyone looking for a cold beer, fine wine and some decent conversation. And, perhaps, a game of cribbage.

You can also bring your dog to The Dockhouse in Beaufort for dinner on the patio.

The Dock House Restaurant was established in 1978. The Dock House, as the locals call it, has been serving the folks in Beaufort, North Carolina on the beautiful waterfront overlooking Taylor’s Creek for over 30 years. The Dock House is a well-known spot for listening to live music in Carteret County. Check out our music calendar for events on our boardwalk or in our newly renovated upstairs lounge. If you are looking for a cool place to eat you’ve found the spot. Dine inside or out on our patio overlooking the wild ponies on Carrot Island and the Rachel Carlson Reserve across Taylor’s Creek.

There are plenty more places to enjoy with your dog.  See all our Pet-Friendly related posts to plan your adventures.

Pet-friendly Homemade Beach Treats 

I like to give my dog a cool treat when we plan a day at the beach – either freezing a water/broth mixture or some homemade pup cream. Sometimes even though I know she’s hot, she’s too excited to drink. This way, I know she’s getting something cool to beat the heat. The heat here is real, and when its hot outside and the humidity is high, you can never have enough cool drinks and treats for everyone in your party, two or four-legged.

homemade dog treats for the beach

You’ll need: Dixie cups, bone-shaped treats, 32 oz. plain yogurt, 1 cup of peanut butter, and 2 ripe bananas (plus any special add-ins you’d like, such as blueberries, bacon, or shredded cheese)

Directions: Blend yogurt, peanut butter, and bananas in a food processor or mixer. Place dixie cups on a cookie sheet and fill half full with yogurt mixture. Stick a bone in the middle, leave enough hanging out to be a “handle,” and freeze until solid. Just pop the paper off, and you’ve got a pup-sicle!

You can also spoon this into a KONG toy and freeze it to take to the beach as a toy to keep your dog busy and cool. – Authored by Clarissa, Bluewater Marketing Coordinator

Dogs on the Crystal Coast

Bring your dog to the beach for a barking good time. Beach vacations are meant to be enjoyed by everyone in the family when you vacation Crystal Coast-style! Explore our dog-friendly, dog-stay-free vacation rentals and book your next Crystal Coast beach vacation today! 

While you’re here, snap a picture and share it on social media by tagging us with #BluewaterNC. We love seeing happy pups on the beach! 

SAVE FOR LATER

Emerald Isle Best NC Beach Town

Emerald Isle Voted Best Beach in North Carolina!

Emerald Isle Best NC Beach Town

Celebrating Emerald Isle – Voted Best Beach in North Carolina

In a recent poll from USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards – Emerald Isle was voted the best beach in North Carolina. This is a great achievement and recognizes our coastal town’s beauty and serenity. It’s clear to see that locals take pride in keeping their beach clean, with organizations like the Surfrider Foundation organizing monthly ‘Beach Sweeps’ to pick up litter and spread the word to visitors about ‘Leaving Only Footprints.’

Points of Interest While Visiting Emerald Isle

The beach is obviously a hot spot for travelers and residents alike, but there are plenty of other amenities to take advantage of – whether you’re here for a week or a lifetime.

The 12-mile Multi-Use Path is a great way for families to get around town without loading up the car. For those dedicated individuals who can’t miss a run- it’s also a great way to burn some calories.  Even if you’re just cruising on a bike to a local restaurant or walking to your favorite bar- there’s always a reason to take advantage of the bike path!

The multiple access points to the marshlands and Intracoastal Waterway also make Emerald Isle a great destination for water sports enthusiasts. With the state’s largest public boat ramp, boaters can spend a relaxing day on the water without the hassle of wondering if a parking spot will be available for their trailer. If you prefer a more laid-back experience on the water- kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding are very popular and easy to rent. You can even schedule a guided tour if you’d prefer to be joined by someone with some local knowledge and experience.

For those searching for kid-friendly options, the Jean Preston Memorial Playground is adjacent to the NC Wildlife Boat Ramp at 6800 Emerald Drive. As an all-inclusive playground, specialized equipment is designed for all types of children, including those with disabilities.

Atlantic Beach Ranked Fourth Best Beach in North Carolina

EI isn’t the only Crystal Coast community recognized for its beauty; Atlantic Beach was ranked fourth best beach in the same poll. With a town-sanctioned skate park, mini-golf course, and children’s splash pad, Atlantic Beach has an abundance of fun offerings for the whole family! You can also check out the new hot spots at The Circle or explore the history and walking trials at Fort Macon.

We’re proud to have an office presence in both of these beautiful North Carolina beach communities – Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle. If you’re interested in relocating to or investing in a property at one of the top beaches in North Carolina or a surrounding area- come see us, and we’ll be happy to work with you!

To see who else made the list, you can view the Top 10 rankings at – Best North Carolina Beach 2018  

What’s your favorite Crystal Coast Beach? Let us know in the comments.

Fort Macon Summer Concerts

Summer Concerts in the Fort

Fort Macon summer concerts are a great way to enjoy some local music while exploring a piece of history. Every Friday during the summer you can find local bands performing in the fort. Locals and vacationers both enjoy these relaxing events. Many bring food and drinks to enjoy during the performances. Be sure to check out the below schedule and find the perfect evening to explore the fort and enjoy some music.


All concerts are free although donations are welcomed to help maintain the fort. Currently donations are being used for repairs due to Hurricane Florence in 2018.

Doors open early for picnickers. Just in case it rains the concerts will be held inside the Visitor Center at the Fort. Don’t forget to bring folding chairs or a blanket to relax on and enjoy the music!

FRIDAYS — 6:30 to 8 PM

Jun 28     Telluride, Beach, Bluegrass, Country
Jul 12       Saltwater Gold, Favorite dance music
Jul 26       Fab – The Band, Beach, Classic Motown
Aug  2       Wild Honey, Country Rock & Blues

2303 East Fort Macon Road Atlantic Beach, NC 28512

Seashell Guide on the North Carolina coast

Shelling on the Crystal Coast

The beach at sunrise takes on a different personality, with quiet, peaceful sounds, beachcombers searching for the perfect shells, the warming sun shining on small traces of sea glass and shells rolling in the surf just waiting to be found. If you time the tide right – you can find beautiful shells and sea treasures. Spending the morning walking through the cool, wet sand and listening to the faint bird chirps through the roar of the ocean to some, seems like a fantasy. For the lucky vacationers to the Crystal Coast or our permanent residents that call our beaches home – this is part of their morning routine. The towns along Bogue Banks, knows for their shells, all offer pristine beaches and lush coastline for those early birds looking to hit the beach before the island wakens. Beach-goers that will be joining you in the early morning hours are usually those hunting for shells!

What are the best spots to hunt for shells? Collectors say that Hammocks Beach State Park and Cape Lookout National Seashore are two of the top shelling beaches in our area! If hitting the beach at low tide is not your style, you can visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC, where they have over 1,000 seashells on display.

Scotch Bonnet
This is an important find – it’s our state shell! Look for the trademark pattern and a curled outer edge.

Mole Crabs (or Sand Fleas)
Dig into the sand just at the water line and you’re sure to find some of these guys. You can scoop up a handful of sand with one in it and watch them move quickly to hide. They move and burrow backwards into the sand! They make great bait for pompano and sheepshead.

Coquina Clams
These tiny shells can sometimes be found still paired! Try stirring up the sand in a tidepool and watching quietly. Many times you’ll find a live one and see it burrow itself back down into the sand. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, and can be very tiny. They are also known as “Angel’s Wings.”

Sand Dollars
Venturing out to barrier islands and the Cape Lookout Seashore will reward more sand dollar finds! You may find some still “alive” with a velvety brownish-green exterior. Put those ones back, only collect ones that are sun-bleached white.

Scallops
These fan-shaped beauties come in a variety of patterns in bright oranges, pinks and browns. You can sometimes find a pair, but it’s more rare!

Whelk Shells and Egg Cases
You’ll find three varieties here: the Lightening Whelk, the Knobbed Whelk and the Channel Whelk. Their egg cases are long, spriral chains of pods, and are a neat find!

Sea Glass
These rare pieces of glass are naturally weathered by the churning ocean and sand, giving the glass a “frosted” look with smooth edges. Blue and purple pieces are some of the rarest finds!

Olives
These shells are easy to find since they dwell in the shallow waters. They are easily recognizable since they have a polished look, they also come in various patterns and sizes.

Seashell Finds from the Crystal Coast

    Swansboro touch a truck event

    Swansboro 2018 Touch a Truck

    Touch a Truck in Swansboro, NC happens every year and is a FREE event you won’t want to miss. Trucks, Bubbles, Games, Giveaways, and all kinds of child-friendly activities.

    My 10-month-old was more than visually stimulated and EXHAUSTED by the time we walked to the Mexican restaurant next to the park for lunch. And my two-year-old did EVERYTHING. He was so excited to be out on such a beautiful day and see excavators up close and play on the playground in Swansboro. The Touch a Truck event is a must-do and hands down the best family fun during the Spring in Swansboro, NC.

    Side note: Did you see those little ones in the bubble machine. I was so happy Jett was happy with just running through up to his knees. HA!

    From the town –

    The Swansboro Parks and Recreation Department will host its 7th Annual Touch a Truck event on April 18, 2020, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Swansboro Municipal Park (830 Main St Ext.) Touch a Truck. This event provides a unique opportunity for those young and young at heart to explore, climb, touch, learn what the trucks do, how they work, and how they benefit our community. This is your chance to climb in, take a seat behind the steering wheel and imagine being the driver of a fire engine, ambulance, bobcat, and many, many more! Bring out the entire family for a day of fun and hands-on vehicle exploration. We will have TapSnap on-site for photos!
     
     

    Bring your vehicle to the event:

     
     
    Do you or your company have a unique vehicle that you would like to share with the community at the Touch a Truck event? If so, contact the Swansboro Parks and Recreation Department for more information. (910) 326-2600.

    local dining on the crystal coast

    Local Dining on the Coast

    local dining on the crystal coast

    Local Dining on the Coast

    As a coastal girl born and bred in Carteret County, I have a salty palette and know a thing or two about local dining on the coast; where to go and where to avoid. Our seaport community offers up so many options for treating our taste buds. I generally get to dine out with some friends of mine once a month, and we always choose a locally-owned restaurant, of course!

    Pictured: Lauren, Shawna, Allison & Me at Front Street Grille in Beaufort

    Pictured: Lauren, Shawna, Allison, and Me at Front Street Grille in Beaufort

     

    Dine Like Locals

    Allison, Lauren, Shawna, and I have known one another since birth, so this time together is always filled with laughter remembering some story of the time I did this or that time you did that. We are now Moms, juggling our home and professional lives. When we gather, it’s as if the stars have aligned and we have never missed a beat.

    What I remember most is riding my bike all over Beaufort as a kid. We would ride bikes from our neighborhoods and get together at Famous Pizza (RIP) in the Beaufort Square Shopping Center on Saturday to have the best pizza buffet any 12-year-old girl has ever had. We would laugh and carry on about stuff that 12-year-old girls find funny. I can’t remember, but I’m sure Allison could tell you everything we talked about. She never forgets anything! After lunch, we would go to Rose’s for the latest single tape (I’m an 80’s child). The point of this is that we have been dining in Beaufort and beyond since we were 12, and we know where the food is fresh and where the food is good. We’re basically honorary Food Critics.

    Happy Cakes

    Allison is a property manager at Bluewater in the Atlantic Beach office. She is as smart as they come and procrastination isn’t really her style, it’s mine. For example, it’s April 21st, and I’m just writing my first blog post for the month. Allison and I may be different as night and day we still fight over which is better HoHo’s (gross) or Swiss Cake Rolls (delish), but we do share a love for Happy Cakes Oreo Overload and Cookie Dough cupcakes. Take our advice and have one while you’re here. You won’t regret it. Happy Cakes makes its cupcakes each day with no leftovers. There’s a calendar of flavors of the month so you can decide which day you want to swing in for your taste of choice.

    Island Grille

    dining out at Island Grille

    Pictured: Me and my sweet husband, Benji at Island Grille for our Anniversary.

    If you’re here on a Tuesday you MUST go to Island Grille in Atlantic Beach. Located on Money Island Drive, it’s a small establishment so make reservations. The Buy One, Get One special is a long-standing favorite. You can order the fresh catch special and the Filet stuffed with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked bacon, and fresh basil, finished with a roasted red pepper cream sauce, chef’s potatoes and vegetable or my favorite the Seafood Trio which is cold water lobster meat, lump crab and sea scallops with Roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts and fresh baby spinach tossed in a basil cream sauce over linguini with shaved parmesan. Do yourself a favor and go there.

    Front Street Grille

    Sunset view from Front Street Grille

    Sunset view from Front Street Grille at Still Water.

    The next suggestion is Front Street Grille at Still Water in Beaufort. It’s waterfront. Do you really need more information than that or will waterfront work for you? Outdoor dining and COVERED outdoor dining, how’s that? They have indoor dining year-round as well. The sunsets at this place are Zen-like. Trust me on this. I have lived on the water my whole life, sunsets still take me away. Front Street Grille is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday and offers a Sunday brunch as well as dinner. The night we went ordered the Black Angus Cheeseburger which has smoked bacon, pimento cheese, onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato, parmesan truffle fries. Us southern girls love some pimento cheese. It was marvelous, you must try this! FSG also has the Rhum Bar. You can have cocktails at sunset to accompany your very own Zen moment. 

    curb appeal, capitalize on curb appeal, curb appeal for your home

    Capitalizing on Curb Appeal

    curb appeal, capitalize on curb appeal, curb appeal for your home

    If you’re looking to add some real wow factor to your home, consider capitalizing on curb appeal. Spending time making the outside of your home more appealing will take your home’s curb appeal to a whole other level. Your home will turn heads and be the envy of the neighborhood. 

    In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how you can start capitalizing on curb appeal.

    Start With The Big Picture Vision

    If you’ve been planning any major renovations to your outdoor areas, now is a great time to get started. With warmer weather on the horizon, you’ll be motivated to get it done before the heat of the Summer comes around. Whether you’re looking to add a retaining wall, clean up your driveway, or just add a few flower beds- there’s no better time than the Spring to get started on these outdoor projects.

    When we say focus on the big stuff, these are projects that can take at least a day to complete, and anything you might need a few extra hands to help out with. When it comes to a few certain areas, you’re much better off consulting with a professional who has the skills and tools required to get the job done right. These include large tree removal, a custom driveway or paved walkway installation, and landscape lighting. Although you may find yourself paying a little more for these services, the return on your investment can go a long way when it comes time to sell your home- not to mention the cost of having something go wrong if you were to handle it yourself.

    Sometimes, a routine day in the yard is all you need to spruce up the outside of your home. Before you get started, make sure you have all your materials squared away and in proper working condition. If you’re in need of any tools or machines, in particular, make a list of what’s needed and then inventory your gardening supplies (flowers, fertilizer, pine straw, mulch, etc..) It’s easier to grab everything you need at once at the end of the day than get frustrated and have to head out into town right during the middle of your project. Also, make sure you have plenty of cold drinks to last you through the day, and of course, a few adult beverages to enjoy when you finish up and enjoy the rewards of the work you just put in.

    Don’t Be Afraid To Get Down and Dirty

    It should be fully expected that when cleaning up your yard, you’re going to work up a sweat, but you also might need to dress accordingly for your clothes to accumulate some dirt. Start your focus with any flower beds you might have where weeds have built up over the months, or plants are just not living their best life. Think about what type of plants would be best designed for space, and what fits your budget at the time to make the best decision for your flower beds. Palm trees are a pretty common occurrence among high-end homes throughout The Crystal Coast and can make for a great low-maintenance addition to an empty yard.

    Pine straw is a popular feature in most flower beds along the coast- it’s cheap, easy to lay down, and lasts a decent amount of time. Depending on your existing structure, mulch could always be an option- and rocks may not be the cheapest option, but probably is the easiest to maintain. Anything you can do to avoid exposed sand/dirt will go a long way in keeping your property clean and presentable at first glance. Grass can be difficult and expensive to grow right along the beach, but a healthy mixture of dirt, sod, and consistent water can help do the trick.

    This is also a great time to focus on any pests you might have lingering around your homestead. Fire ants and moles are two of the most annoying and damaging animals to most yards in our area, but the local hardware stores are usually stocked with plenty of ways to prevent these nuisances from calling your home theirs as well. Deer are pretty prevalent in our coastal community as well, and can wreak havoc on your freshly planted flower beds- For that reason, it’s usually recommended to keep potted flowers on your porch or deck (Hanging plants is also a great option if you’re front entrance allows it). You can also choose the plants that help to deter deer.

    Finding the Right Way to Deter Deer

    Perennial “Deer Deterrent” Plants

    • Aster
    • Fern
    • Black-eyed Susan
    • Iris
    • Lamb’s ears
    • Lavender
    • Lupine
    • Mint
    • Phlox
    • Oleander
    • Fountaingrass
    • Rosemary
    • Salvia
    • Thyme
    • Verbena
    • Veronica

    Deer Deterring Trees

    • Cedar
    • False Cypress
    • Hackberry
    • Hawthorn
    • Japanese Maple
    • Magnolia
    • Oak
    • Palm trees

    Deer Deterring Items for Your Yard

    • Thorny branches
    • Floodlights
    • Hidden fishing lines
    • Sprinklers
    • Reflective surfaces
    • Fences
    • Netting

    Apply Some Pressure and Maybe Some Paint

    One of the most visually satisfying things in the world is seeing all of the dirt and grime that has accumulated over the years vanish from your front porch, steps, and driveway. Pressure Washing is by far the quickest and easiest way to get this dirty job done. Not all power washers are built the same, but chances are – they’ll get the job done. Whether you’re using electricity or gas, it’s essential to exercise caution throughout this process. Depending on how comfortable you feel doing it yourself, it might be in your best interest to pay a professional to take care of this dirty job. Most crews usually have their own portable tank, with plenty of hose length for any job. If your whole house looks a completely different color than its original paint job- it might be time to bite the bullet and have the whole thing done. (If you do choose to take care of it yourself, make sure you’re protecting your feet, eyes, and hands from any misfires). Pro-Tip* The recommended PSI for decks and home exteriors is around 1500, while around 3000 PSI is necessary to get your driveway sparkling again.

    If your front porch is mainly made of wood, chances are you’ll have already made your mind up in the paint vs. stain debate. Re-evaluate your decision to make sure it’s showing the home in its best light, and still in line with your budget. Regardless of what you choose, chances are that you’ll need to redo the process every few years to keep it looking fresh. White paint is great but will show the effects of wear and tear before almost anything else. If your wooden porch is uncovered, adding a stain is probably your best option to keep you and your guests safe in bad weather conditions.

    Your front door should also be a topic of discussion during the curb-appealing process. A unique color can make a home stand out from the crowd and initiate a great start to home showings to potential clients. If you decide to choose something out-of-the-norm, be sure that it flows with the rest of your house in some way or another. Regardless of your decision, be sure to take your time and do the necessary prep work. A few coats should do the trick, and if there’s any leftover paint- use it to cover a few new flowerpots and continue the color trend throughout the entranceway. New doorknobs and locks can also make a big difference on the first impression, especially if they’re sticky or becoming corroded. Keyless entry has been a big trend in the housing market recently, and simply re-programming an entry code can make it that much easier for new buyers to secure their new home after the sale.

    Reduce the Yard Art

    A lot of people living on the coast love to display unique items around their house to showcase their various interests and random things they come across. Derelict boats, bikes, can really make a home stand out among the crowd, but there’s a pretty fine line between adding style to your lawn and creating the illusion of a junkyard.

    Stick with things that have true meaning to you. If you love birds and want to have a birdhouse, feeder, or birdbath outside your front door- do it! These are things that everyone can understand, and with some simple routine maintenance, can add a sense of charm to your coastal cottage. If squirrels get the word and start snacking on your seeds, try and avoid the temptation to erect a squirrel proofing system underneath, and just remove the problem.

    An old wooden boat nicely propped up with colorful flowers on the inside can be the cutest thing a potential buyer has seen throughout their buying process. On the flip-side, a rusty trailer with a mildewed boat and no motor can make a potential buyer say- would we have to pay to move this thing out of here? Keep in mind, that there is absolutely no shame in storing your boat in your driveway or designated space in your yard- it can actually be a great leeway for lookers who might start to get the wheels turning on buying a boat of their own along with your home. Just keep in mind that if you don’t use it, or keep up with it a few times a year- chances are it’s losing value and cluttering up valuable open space around your home.

    Designated areas for activity (sandboxes, swing sets, gardens, cornhole boards & soccer goals) can be a great way for potential buyers to visualize their families enjoying the spaces you’ve created. Just make sure that outdoor amenities are safe and well-kept throughout the year.

    Clean the Screens (and Everything Else While You’re At It)

    Don’t forget to take care of the little things that can make a big difference. You’ll want your home to have a light and airy feel for yourself and guests upon arrival, and having clean windows is crucial to capture that essence. With dirty window screens, sills, and trim is a two-sided issue- it’s definitely not one that you want to overlook. Garage doors, light fixtures, gutters, and any seating areas you have around the front of your home should also be cleaned and painted if necessary.

    If you happen to have a screened porch, you’ll want to make sure that the entire screen system is attached and any holes are patched if possible. The ever-popular Carolina Room windows should be thoroughly cleaned as well, even if the room isn’t visible from the front because it’s a natural gathering space for potential buyers and guests.