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Review of Wilmington, North Carolina


Two Very Enthusiastic Paws Up!
Star Rating - 12/31/2018
Update- we have been living in Wilmington for almost a year now... so here it is, the paws-itive and the negative. We stayed through Hurricane Florence, we helped our community rebuild, and we have learned a thing or two along the way...

1) The Restaurants Here are a Hazard. Really.

We adopted Miss Charlotte Anne (a husky mix) after her family could no longer care for her. Miss Charlie had learned that many of the local coffee shops and restaurants keep biscuits on standby. She will now drag us, raining or otherwise, to every place that she knows has a cookie. Particular hazards of note include Fork N Cork, Bourbon Street (check out the Bloody Mary’s!) and Elijah’s- slightly more upscale and on the Boardwalk, a great place to watch the sunsets.

2) The Kindness and Compassion of the People Here Will Shock You

It was my first day with Coldwell Banker Seacoast Advantage when we realized that there were close to zero overflow shelters prepared for animals, and Florence was about to make landfall. I appealed, and CBSA reached out directly to other agents, and donated -YES DONTATED- buildings to serve as distribution centers and shelters. Those efforts resulted in more than $44,000 being raised for Pender Humane Society and more than $150,000 of product being distributed to the local community at our location on Blue Clay Road

3) Drive Bye Brownies

If you think staying away from downtown will help your waistline, think again. In Carolina Heights, where we live, our front door has more than once been the location of a Drive By Brownie Incident. Neighbors will drive by, leave brownies on your front porch... they will knock at your door with chocolate covered pretzels... and if you work from home, this is an issue

4) Wilmington Is Changing

The Riverfront is undergoing extensive redevelopment. A Port City, there are houseboat communities are on the horizon and multiple luxury condo developments are going up. So, too, are the newer communities with amenities including pools, tennis courts and golf clubs.

Price wise, the value is still unbeatable. We paid under $400k for a 3000 sf home with a bed and breakfast license... (translation: we have guests overnight on Airbnb and include a map to the local diner!) this house would have been twice as much in Raleigh, three times as much in New Orleans and four times as much in DC.

Across Market Street, historic bungalows can still be had for under $300k, some of the more up and coming areas (still walkable to downtown) include renovated cottages for under $200k. Fixer uppers under $100k are not out of the question.

It took us four spreadsheets, three months of research and weeks upon weeks of travel to find our city. With cosy wine bars, cute cafes and a creative welcoming community, we couldn’t be happier. As with all places, stay local (ie in the community you are considering) before you make an offer. Walk the block, meet the neighbors... no place will be perfect and there is an uptick in traffic during the summer months.

Most importantly, be warned that Wilmington is big on animal rescue- chances are, with in a year, your house will have added a furry friend or two.


Samira | Wilmington, NC
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2 Replies


Thanks for your detailed and humorous review. My wife and I are close to our last move with an eye on retiring in 7-10 years. We live in NJ now so I'm wondering where you moved from and your ages.
Daniel | Belle Mead, NJ | Report Abuse

My husband & I are planning on retiring to Wilmington. I love your story & would love to talk to you. I’ll add Carolina Heights to my list of neighborhoods to check out. I’m coming down next week to look at neighborhoods where we can meet people & socialize. We’re very excited.
Leslie | Newport News, VA | Report Abuse
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