5 Things to Do This Fall in Wilmington, NC

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

While summer may be winding down, Wilmington is just getting warmed up!  Summer seems to have been cut short this year with entertainment and travel options being so limited and it is safe to say that everyone is ready for a break from online learning and being cooped up working from home right now.  Luckily, Wilmington is the perfect spot to have some fun this fall!   With some of your favorite summer activities available well into the autumn months, and fun festive activities coming up too, fall is the new summer in Wilmington!

If staying at home for the last few months has left you craving both delicious meals from your favorite restaurants and a change of scenery, you are in luck!  Even during the shutdown, our appetite for Wilmington’s best downtown restaurants remained strong, thus Downtown Alive was born!  Downtown streets turn into an open-air pedestrian walkway featuring a variety of sidewalk cafés and retail stores that expand into the streets to safely serve customers and allow diners to enjoy our restaurants responsibly. Four blocks in downtown Wilmington are closed to vehicles four days a week at designated times.

Want to combine some local history (home schooling for the win!) and spooky season fun?  Well, then hop aboard the Battleship North Carolina and prepare for a spooktacular experience! Voted one of the Top 25 Halloween picks of all time by Syfy network’s “Ghost Hunters“, this self-guided tour is both scary and social distance safe! 

Afraid that the kids will have to miss out on rocking their favorite costumes this year? Have no fear, downtown Wilmington has an opportunity for them!  Dress up the children (and yourself!) for an entertaining evening where even the horses show up in costume! Hop on a Halloween Ghost Trolley Ride where costumed drivers tell ghost stories tailored for young children. Enjoy a fun ride through the Historic District in downtown Wilmington!

Halloween fun isn’t just for the kids either! The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is brewing up a spine-tingling virtual trivia game night for the 21 and older crowd. Daring participants can take part in wild and wicked trivia delivered virtually during “Game Night Untamed,” facing the eerie aspects of the animal world and even some guest appearances from the animals themselves. Individuals or teams of friends and family take on the virtual crowd. Costumed participants may receive bonus points!

3 Things You’ll Find in Our McAdams Homes Kitchens

The kitchen is the most important room in your home because it is the center of your family’s day-to-day living. Your day most likely begins in your kitchen with a cup of coffee or energizing breakfast to start your day. You deserve to begin every day in a tranquil environment. You prepare meals for your family in your kitchen and probably even eat in your kitchen. Your family and guests often gather in the kitchen to socialize, eat, and cook together. Your kitchen is a bonding area that not only ties your home together, it ties your loved ones together. It’s also the first thing a prospective buyer considers if you are likely to sell your home in the future.

If the kitchen is the most important room in the house, it stands to reason that a good deal of attention should be spend on its design. Today’s open-plan designs reflect a desire for the kitchen to be more than just a place for cooking and eating. Here are a three must haves that are included in all of our McAdams Homes kitchens: 

Stainless steel appliances:  At McAdams Homes, we pride ourselves in providing the absolute best for our homebuyers and we believe that when it comes to appliances, stainless steel is the best!  They are the perfect touch to make your kitchen look modern, sleek and trendy. Not only that, stainless steel is incredibly durable. It fights off rust, fire and heat which makes it top-choice for those who want an appliance that will last and not show wear and tear.  If your goal is to have an appliance that lasts as long as possible on the inside and out, then stainless steel is where it’s at!

Granite Countertops:  Watch any home improvement or real estate television show, and you’ll notice that the first thing consumers ask for in a kitchen are granite countertops.  It is easy to understand why granite has remained the top countertop choice over the years. It is one of the hardest materials; it is durable, easy to maintain and is available in a wide array of colors and textures. From subtle white granites to dark black granites, and everything in between, there is natural granite to complement every design style.  Tried and true and beautiful too, that’s what we are aiming for at McAdams Homes.

Spacious layout:  Anyone who loves to cook knows that the layout of your kitchen is incredibly important. Trying to maneuver around a small kitchen can be stressful, especially if you have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen (like when the kitchen suddenly doubles as a virtual classroom/home office).  Everything about home design is dependent on the way a space is laid out. Even if a room is large, the layout can make it seem smaller and vice versa. When it comes to kitchens, there are lots of popular layout types and we offer options and alternatives to customize all of our floorplans and make them the best possible fit for your family.

Low Interest Rates = More Buying Power

If spending more time at home lately has you wishing for extra elbow room, a different floor plan, a bigger kitchen, or any other particular housing feature; you’re not alone! Many Americans are looking into the possibility of purchasing homes that have room for a home office, fitness studio or rec room; others long for a back yard, or even just a fresh start. While aspiring homebuyers may have different motivations, they do share a common advantage thanks to today’s historically low interest rates equal increased buying power!

Low interest rates are a big advantage when purchasing a home.  Your interest rate affects the total amount that you’ll ultimately pay for your home. However, it also has a more immediate impact on your buying power.

Mortgage interest is the cost of taking out a loan.  It is the amount a lender charges for taking out a loan to purchase a residential property.  Interest is a percentage of the loan amount and is added on to the total cost of the home.  With a higher rate, you’ll pay more interest over the life of your loan, which increases the total cost of your home purchase. On the other hand, securing a lower interest rate will reduce the cost of borrowing and the total amount of interest that you’ll pay, enabling you to pay less for your home.

Buying power, refers to your ability to get value for your money. Interest rates have a huge impact on that.  With a home loan, the cost of paying interest is factored into your monthly mortgage payment, and it can have a major effect on your housing budget.  For example, 2 homebuyers can be looking to purchase a home at the same price but with 2 different interest rates and end up with completely different outcomes.  If the first homebuyer has a higher interest rate, they will pay more interest and their monthly mortgage rate will be higher.  If the second buyer locks in a lower rate, their payments will be lower as they will owe less interest. 

If both buyers are looking to pay the same monthly mortgage payment, the second buyer will be able to afford more house for the same monthly payment.  The first buyer will be paying more in interest and will therefore, have less to spend on the actual home.

You may not think that a single point makes a big difference, but in fact, according to My Mortgage Insider, a one percent rise in your interest rate will reduce your buying power by a whopping ten percent!  So seize the day, now is a great time to buy and our McAdams Homes at The Landing at Lewis Creek are calling to you!

5 Home Design Trends Emerging from the Pandemic

The pandemic has influenced so many areas of our lives these past few months. It’s not surprising that it’s also affecting the design of our homes! Our homes have served as not only our safe havens; but also offices, classrooms, gyms and entertainment opportunities! It makes sense that the current home design trends are adapting to our new normal just like we are.

Since we are spending most of our time at home, there is more time to devote to sprucing up our outdoor space and even getting a chance to enjoy our front porches and backyards! Front porch sitting and connecting with our neighbors is making a comeback, from a distance of course! People are sprucing up their porches with rocking chairs and outdoor décor now more than ever. Potted plants and new light fixtures are decorating many a front stoop right now. Backyards are getting just as much attention too now that much of our entertainment is of the at-home variety! Homeowners are investing in outdoor furnishings and décor to make their space more cozy and convenient. Hammocks and water features are being added as well as fire pits and twinkly lights to set the tone for entertaining!

Folks are working and learning remotely in unprecedented numbers right now and the need for more space is something we are all feeling! Small closets are being converted to a work space for mom and desks are being stashed in corners so children can have their own learning space. Trying to blend all of these new changes into your current living space can be a challenge. The home office may become as crucial to new home design plans as the kitchen at this rate!

In addition to home offices, finding space to get our exercise on has become important too! Home fitness has been in our lives for decades – but it’s taken on a new role since the pandemic closed gyms around the world. Whether it’s a yoga class on Zoom or making room for a Peleton, many of us are trying to find ways to exercise effectively within four walls. Garages are being converted into home gyms and fitness equipment is being stashed under beds and in the only closets not currently being used as office space!
Since space is at a premium, storage options are extra important right now. After all, we need somewhere to hide our hordes of toilet paper and hand sanitizer! Extra shelving and built in storage areas are definitely trending at the moment as well as new additions with built in functional and multipurpose spaces.

It’s no surprise that we have become incredibly concerned with disinfecting and cleanliness. Our answer…mud rooms!! A space where jackets and shoes can be left so outside germs don’t come in and where cleaning supplies can be stored. Even some folks are adding an extra handing washing station or sanitizer dispenser in their mud rooms.

Features to Look for in a Home as a First Time Home Buyer

You’re on the hunt for a new home and it’s important to know what features are most important when it comes to resale value down the road.  At McAdams Homes, we know what new homeowners are looking for and we make sure that all of our homes come with those key features.

At the top of the list is a laundry space.  Who doesn’t appreciate the convenience of being able to hide that pile of clean clothes that needs folding from your last minute visitors?!  Not only that, but having a space for ironing and storage is a huge bonus!  And, according to the National Association of Home Builders’, 91% of home buyers want a laundry room or space. 

At times like these when we are spending more time at home and in our own backyards, it is more important than ever to have an outdoor living space that you and your family can enjoy.  That is why all of our homes offer a patio or screened in porch option.  With so many incredible decorating ideas and outdoor features now available, you can easily and affordably make your backyard unique and a place you and your guests to enjoy all while increasing your home’s value at the same time.  

The weather out on the patio is hot so come on in and settle under the ceiling fan!  85% of homebuyers desire ceiling fans in the home but if that isn’t enough motivation to have a few installed, they can also help lower cooling costs.  Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that helps cool the people sitting in the room. Homeowners should be able to raise the thermostat level by four degrees without a reduction in comfort while the fan is in use, according to Energy.gov.  That’s a win-win in our opinion!

 Among the top 5 most desired features (and a must on our list), is the walk in closet.  This feature is so important to us and our clients that we don’t limit walk in closets to just the master bedrooms in our plans. We aim to please and as far as we are concerned, it’s walk in closets for everyone! 

Our homes have so many amazing features that it is hard to narrow down to just a few of our favorite features but, you don’t even have to take our word for it.  Here is a testimonial from another of our satisfied customers:

“McAdams Homes and the Landing at Lewis Creek is everything we were looking for. As first time home buyers we were already nervous and didn’t plan on looking into a new build, but when we saw everything McAdams had to offer there was no question about it. Everyone involved was beyond helpful from start to finish, the location is perfect, and the homes are just absolutely beautiful. Our family is beyond happy here at the Landing at Lewis Creek.” — Sarah G.

Beat the Summer Heat with these Cost Saving Techniques for Cooling Your Home

“It’s a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do.” –Walter Winchell

Is the heat getting to you? Staying comfortable through the summer often comes at a price. If your energy bills have your blood pressure rising faster than the mercury in the thermometer, don’t miss these tips on maximizing comfort and minimizing expense this summer.

TIP #1: Switch to CFL or LED Bulbs. Light your home using the same amount of light for less money! An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills AND start cooling your home faster. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save around $45 each year.

TIP #2: Do Things By Hand. Hanging clothes out to dry and doing the dishes by hand will save you money by not running the appliances, but also by not heating up your home with all the heat they produce while in use. So break out the clothespins and rubber gloves and keep cool!

TIP #3: Get Creative with Cooking. The kids may be home from school this year but, that doesn’t mean that they have to have a hot lunch every day! Using the oven or stovetop increases the temperature of the room several degrees and your A/C will have to work overtime to compensate. Sounds like an excuse to eat PBJ’s and smoothies! Now is the perfect time to take your culinary skills outside as well, fire up the grill and leave the heat outside where it belongs.

TIP #4: Unplug! Another quick fix that we often overlook is to turn off our electronics and appliances when they are not in use. As your computer sits idle, it is still sucking up electricity and producing heat. Even your lamps and other small appliances are contributing to your energy usage and the heat in your home even when you aren’t using them.

TIP #5: Change Your Filters. Remember to clean or replace your HVAC filter monthly during summer months. When filters are dirty, the cooling system has to work harder to push air through the ducts, which increases energy costs and increases the risk of malfunction. Taking care of this simple maintenance task could save you loads of money in repair costs and help ensure that your staying cool!

Our Favorite Wilmington, NC Parks

“It’s very important to take care of yourself. Everyone’s lives are so busy. Take at least an hour a day to recharge and do whatever makes you better. For grown-ups, whether it’s a spa, sitting in a park with a book, or coffee, take time for yourself.” – Ana Ivanovic

Now more than ever, it is important to take care of ourselves and luckily for us, we live in the perfect area for enjoying the outdoors and recharging in paradise.  We have so many great parks that it’s hard to choose our favorite, but we have narrowed it down to our top three!

 Wrightsville Beach Park is one of our favorites for fun in the sun by the beach.  Surrounded by water and with incredible views, Wrightsville Beach Park is enjoyable for everyone in the family.  The elaborate playground area provides activities for all age ranges and even a handicap accessible swing with wheelchair access.  There is a basketball court, 3 volleyball pits, soccer fields and even tennis and pickleball courts!   Need a break from the heat?  Walk over to the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History and get a dose of local history…and some a/c!  With plenty of amenities including public restrooms and vending machines, spending a day at Wrightsville beach is a walk in the park!

“You can’t tell a kid that it’s time to exercise; that’s a turn off…you have to say, “Let’s go to the park and have some fun! Then you get them to do some running, play on the swings, practice on the balance beam, and basically get a full workout disguised as play.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Having trouble getting your children motivated to get out and get some exercise?  Well, we have the answer for you…and it’s at Ogden Park!

Fun is not just limited to the amazing playground, there is entertainment for all ages.  Get your own exercise in on the one mile walking trail and exercise station while the kids (and sporty adults) make use of the tennis courts, baseball fields, soccer/football fields and a state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot skate park!  Even the family dog will get his steps in for the day at the off-leash dog park.

Recently transformed from Castle Hayne Park into Northern Regional Park, this is our favorite spot for disc golf.  And with a nationally recognized 18 hole disc-golf course, who could blame us?  The park also features two picnic shelters with electricity- each seating 45 people and perfect for birthday parties or family reunions.  The multi-age playground is great for children of all skill levels.  Prefer Pickleball to disc golf?  Well, you’re in luck!  There are 6 lighted pickleball courts!  Not to mention a baseball practice field and four lighted multi-purpose fields.  No wonder it made the top 3 list! 

Top 4 Reasons to Live at The Landing at Lewis Creek

There are so many great reasons to live at The Landing at Lewis Creek that narrowing it down to just four seems nearly impossible, but we’ll try! 

First and foremost, quality construction!  A high-quality outcome matters because from start to finish, managing quality can improve every aspect of the home, from the investment given by the team members involved in the project, to the overall safety of the job site, to the craftsmanship in the finished product.  We pride ourselves in the quality of our work and the satisfaction of our customers.

High up on most everyone’s list is, of course, affordable pricing!  At The Landing at Lewis Creek, we are proud to offer families the ability to live a coastal life at an affordable price!  Our Mc Adams’ single-family homes start under $300k!!

What is quality construction and affordability without Safety?  Nothing if you ask us!  At The Landing at Lewis Creek, we know that the health and safety of your family is of the utmost importance; especially in these times.  We want all of our residents to rest assured that we share that sentiment.  With that in mind, we are excited to announce the completion of the new stoplight for our neighborhood.  No more stress of crossing multiple lanes of traffic as you come and go from the community!

And finally, location, location, location!  The Landing at Lewis Creek is perfectly located off of Gordon Road and is convenient to all of the best things about Wilmington!  Shopping, beaches, restaurants, Ogden Park, Smith Creek Park, downtown, schools and children’s activities and access to I-40. What more could you ask for?!

Top 3 Most Popular McAdams Homes Floorplans at The Landing at Lewis Creek

At McAdams Homes, we hope that only thing you struggle with in the home building process with us is choosing which one of our amazing floor plans you like best!  It can be hard to narrow down when all of the options are so great!  Our homes come standard with 9′ ceilings; wood laminate flooring downstairs; stain-resistant carpet in bedrooms, stairway, and second floor; vinyl flooring in laundry and bathrooms; brushed nickel hardware and Moen plumbing fixtures; granite counters, 42″ cabinets, garbage disposal, and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen, and a landscape package that includes irrigation and sod.  As if that isn’t enough, all of the floor plans have 3-5 bedrooms, 2.5-3.5 bathrooms, front-load garages and tons of options!   Among these optional features are: a fireplace,  home office, morning room, bonus room, screened porch, and alternative kitchen and master bathroom layouts. With all these options, it’s time you take a trip over to see our 3 most popular plans at The Landing at Lewis Creek.

The Jackson is a two-story home with 2042 heated square feet.  It has 4 bedrooms and 2 ½  baths. All of the bedrooms are upstairs and feature a large owner’s sweet and bonus room! The master has 2 walk in closets and a tray ceiling. Downstairs is an open floor plan with 9 ft. ceilings and a large pantry. The double car garage has a service door for easy outdoor access.  You can see why it made the top 3 list!

The Lakeview is another fan favorite we can’t get enough of!  Perfect for a small family or those who desire single-level living, this single-story home lives well in the open-concept 1505 heated square feet.  It features 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths and a covered patio. No space was wasted in this plan and it offers the same standard options and upgrades that we provide in our other plans.

The Seaspray is another two-story home with 1915 heated square feet, plus a double car garage.  It features 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths, plus an upstairs loft!  Perfect for a home office or a game room; the possibilities are endless!   The master bedroom is on the first floor, providing privacy and ease of access.  Come check out our McAdams Homes offered at The Landing at Lewis Creek and start your home building dreams today!

Summer Decorating Ideas for Your Home

Summer is the perfect time to give your home a facelift or just spruce it up with a little something festive!  From bold colors to splashy prints, a few easy decor changes can make your home a tropical getaway, perfect for this year’s staycation!

Nothing says aloha to summer like flower prints!  Florals are hot right now. If you’ve been considering incorporating this trendy look into your home, summer is the perfect time to make the leap. From wallpaper to shower curtains to throw pillows, it’s easy to add a pop of nature to any room in your house. Bonus: You won’t have to worry about keeping these flowers alive!

We’ve all finished the last season of Tiger King but that doesn’t mean animal prints have to end!  Channel an African safari and add a few animal print details throughout your home this summer. Some people shy away from this wild design, but as long as you keep it simple with a detailed rug or a fancy throw, you can incorporate it in a myriad of decor styles.

Since most of us won’t be planning any big vacations abroad this year, why not bring a bit of Moroccan inspired décor into your home!?  The sun may be blistering outside, but you can enjoy a desert-inspired look inside in the comfort of your air conditioning. Vibrant colors and mosaic patterns are staples for this style.  We also love Moroccan lanterns; hang them on your porch or sun room for instant exotic flair.

Summer decorating is about more than just the visuals. Tropical and citrusy scents can set the mood for summer in your home. The secret to getting that perfect mix of scents is to choose only a few scents for your home, all in the same product line or brand. Match your candle holders and diffusers to each room for a customized look, even with only one or two scents through your home.

Speaking of smells, who can smell the burgers and barbeque sauce already?!  Chances are you will be doing your fair share of staying at home this summer and it is the perfect time to take advantage of your outdoor space.  For that reason, there is no need to limit your decorating enthusiasm to the indoors.  Bring that energy outside to your porch or outdoor grilling station!  It doesn’t even have to be anything elaborate or expensive!  Admit it–you’ve been to a bar, a restaurant or even a wedding that had string lights everywhere and you loved it. These country fair-inspired globe lights are super easy to install and very on-trend. Hang them on a deck or even from the trees to create a festive and cozy feel.  And, don’t underestimate the power of bright colors!  Add bright and cheerful outdoor pillows and an outdoor rug to complete your outdoor living space.