A Native Topsail Island Treasure

Coastal Treasures from the Topsail Island Treasure Coast is brought to you by Treasure Realty, the trusted local experts for real estate, vacation rentals, and long-term rentals. Today’s blog features our very own Ana Scott.

A native of Sneads Ferry, Ana has been with Treasure Realty since 2007. During her time with the real estate firm, she has been involved in vacation rentals, long-term rentals, sales, and a popular television show!

A Native and a Treasure: Ana Scott

Written by Pat Fontana

Ana Scott Broker / Realtor with Treasure Realty

Growing up here, Ana came to love the beauty of the ocean as well as the culturally rich history of Sneads Ferry and the surrounding areas in Onslow and Pender counties. She says she also loves “how it brings so many people to it,” and especially that “all of them find a peace and have an awe of the coast.”

Celebrating her birthday in February, Ana is also excited about Treasure Realty’s celebration of its 30-year anniversary. She says she “always thought that Treasure Realty was a well-oiled machine” and the fact that it is faith-based was a large appeal to her. She is proud to align herself “with a company that’s not the least bit afraid to say they are serving God.”

Ana began her career, after graduating from the Carolina School of Broadcasting, with the NBC News Channel in Charlotte. She soon returned “home” to Sneads Ferry and launched her real estate career with Treasure Realty. She says she will stay in real estate “forever,” adding that it “makes me feel good that someone trusts me enough to help make such an important decision.”

Trust is a huge factor in real estate for Ana and for the rest of the Treasure Realty team. She feels the firm has built a reputation of trust in the community, in large part due to its focus on faith. Ana says they’ve also provided a “good foundation for the next generation of Treasure Realty, people who can help see the next 30 years through.”

HGTV recently reached out to Ana with a desire to feature her and some of her buyers on its show, “Island Life.” She has appeared on the show twice and has been asked to do another episode. She says she does not feel like a tv star, but that she does enjoy “making others feel better about themselves.”

Ana says she has been told she can talk to anyone, but she also listens well to those who need to be heard. She also has been told that she is “able to help others work through their problems by providing honest and thoughtful solutions.”

In her spare time, she enjoys spin class, yoga, paddle boarding, and, especially “being a mom, helping my mom, being a wife to and traveling with my husband.” To her, sit down family dinner time with her husband and daughter is a time to “reconnect and stay in tune with each other’s lives.”

As she celebrates a milestone birthday and the 30th anniversary of Treasure Realty, Ana says she is looking forward to her next decade, as a “part of my life where I’m more secure than I’ve ever been in my work and in my life.” As she cherishes the respect she has gained from “providing my guidance and assistance in helping others make such a huge decision on finding a primary home, a second home, or an investment property,” she is eager to reap the benefits of everything she’s learned so far.

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A Topsail Island Marine Wife Life

Coastal Treasures from the Topsail Island Treasure Coast is brought to you by Treasure Realty, the trusted local experts for real estate, vacation rentals, and long-term rentals. This Valentine’s Day featured blog comes from Heather Sekela of Treasure Realty, a marine wife for life on Topsail Island.

Heather has been a Marine wife for nearly 24 years. After her husband retired, they settled in the Camp Lejeune-Topsail Island area. She joined the Treasure Realty team in 2010 and earned her real estate license in 2014. Today she wears a lot of hats in the organization including administration and marketing. She continues to enjoy, learn and grow in many areas of the real estate industry.


By Heather Sekela

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I hardly had any military connections or even knowledge about military life. Aside from my Grampa’s brief (and one-time only!) talk about his service in World War II, the military was a foreign and far away concept for me. When I’d dream about finding my future husband, I never imagined the topic “I’ve enlisted in the Marine Corps” being discussed on our first date. And if I’m being honest, it really didn’t affect me in any way at this point. I mean, it was our first date.

Then 5 months later when he left for boot camp, I realized I didn’t want to live without him.

So, flash forward a bit. We married and packed up all my meager belongings into a U-Haul, towing our car behind us and began our adventure to Jacksonville, NC. Yes, the 21 hour drive here was an adventure in itself! Story for another time.

When we pulled into town, I think my jaw literally dropped. (Sound familiar to anyone?) 🙂 This was a far cry from the suburbs I was accustomed to in Illinois! Yes, I had visited the area once before we married, but it didn’t truly “sink-in” what life might be like to actually live here until we arrived in that U-Haul.

This was 1996, by the way. There were tons of wooded areas, not an incredible variety of restaurants or shopping like I was used to, and more barber and tattoo shops in such a small area than I ever would have thought. From Jacksonville to Wilmington was primarily a two-lane highway with some stoplights. We don’t have stoplights on a highway in Illinois. All I could think to myself was, “Oh my goodness. Where has he brought me?!”

I learned very quickly that military life is just one of those things that any person cannot fully understand unless they’ve lived it. There is definitely a special and unique camaraderie among Marines and their families like no other.

Later I’d learn that camaraderie extended to military troops and their families in general, not only Marines, and not only Active Duty…Retired military and their families have a wealth of experience, understanding and knowledge like no other. They all become family. Or I suppose the new term is they become “your tribe.”

Friendships and bonds grow fast and hard when you have only your military family nearby. You rely upon your new friends to help you discover your newest hometown and what the area has to offer. Your tribe points you in the right direction for whatever you may be looking for in your area based upon their experiences. Yes, I know it’s not 1996 anymore and there’s the internet now to help search for anything your heart desires. But really … is there anything better than firsthand experience from a member of your tribe?

Photo from the Military Times

If you are a military wife as well, you don’t know me (yet!), but consider for a moment that I’m a member of your tribe. I know military life challenges and celebrations alike. I know it’s not easy, yet there are perks to the military life, too … don’t lose sight of that!

For now, I want to share just a little bit of what I’ve learned of the Camp Lejeune area. I learned that the coastal area of North Carolina is absolutely gorgeous. There are plenty of family friendly things to do, places to go, and people to see.

Wherever the military takes you, keep an open mind, talk to people at your new duty station, and discover the beautiful uniqueness of the area in ways you may never have imagined.

In 1996, I never would have dreamed of living permanently anywhere other than the suburbs of Illinois. Yet, here I am. A retired Marine’s wife, with firm roots now planted near the beautiful Topsail Island beaches. I only wish I had discovered this place sooner!

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Topsail Time, Talent, and Treasures

Coastal Treasures from the Topsail Island Treasure Coast is brought to you by Treasure Realty, the trusted local experts for real estate, vacation rentals, and long-term rentals. Today’s feature is about some of the ways to give back to Topsail through our giving of time, talent, and treasure.

“Treasures of Time and Talent” by Pat Fontana

Treasures abound in our Topsail Island and mainland communities! One of the many reasons our residents and visitors enjoy this area so much is because we have so many good people doing good things here.

Giving back to the sea

Volunteers dedicated to our beloved sea turtles staff the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City, with a focus on helping injured turtles and educating the public about their life at sea. The island is not only an awesome place for people to live, it’s also a turtle sanctuary!

The turtle hospital, as it is affectionately known in this area, works for the “rescue, care, and release of sick and injured sea turtles, public education regarding the plight of sea turtles and the threat of their extinction, and learning opportunities for students of biology, wildlife conservation, and veterinary medicine from around the world.” You’ll probably meet some of the Turtle Patrol volunteers early on summer mornings, as they look for new nests of baby turtles that are common along the beach from mid-May through August.

Giving back to the island

The Greater Topsail Island’s history is a fascinating story that continues to be told, thanks to the good works of the Historical Society of Topsail Island. The society is “dedicated to the collection, preservation and promotion of the history of the Greater Topsail Island area” with the motto, “Preserving the Past, Enjoying the Present, Building the Future.”

A fascinating piece of our local history is housed in the Assembly Building, now owned by the Historical Society. The unique and historic Assembly Building, with its beautiful island setting, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located on the sound front at Topsail Beach. The building’s Missiles & More Museum highlights the government’s secret missile operation conducted on Topsail Island in the mid-1940s!

Giving back to the arts

Sneads Ferry is home to a treasure of theatre, directed and performed by volunteers. The Sneads Ferry Community Theatre puts on several productions each year, including a Readers Theatre production and a Main Stage production. Performing in Sneads Ferry since 2002, the volunteer group is “dedicated to providing theatre that entertains and enriches our community.” The actors and other volunteers share a love for the theatre as well as a love for their community.

Giving back to others

When others are in need, our community treasures are there to help. Share the Table in Hampstead has been feeding Pender and Onslow County residents since 2010. The organization, staffed by volunteers, hosts a free community meal, a food bank, and a summer backpack program. The kindness and generosity of residents and visitors enabled Share the Table to distribute 350,326 pounds of food in 2019.

Service organizations such as Surf City Rotary Club, Topsail Island Kiwanis Club, Coastal Pender Rotary Club, and the Kiwanis Club of Hampstead are also dedicated to helping others in our area. These long-established groups are focused on providing humanitarian services and serving the children in their communities. The Hampstead Kiwanis Park is a beautiful 82-acre treasure that was made possible by volunteers and the “generous spirit of the people in Hampstead.”

Good people doing good things

At Treasure Realty, we are proud of the work being done in our community for the theatre, for the island and the sea, and for others throughout the area. Many of our own staff contribute to these great causes, by giving of their time, talent, and treasure. As part of our continuing 30th anniversary celebration, we’ll be featuring some of these Treasure Realty team members and highlighting some of the way the company is giving back to our Island communities in upcoming posts!

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6 Tips to Understanding Your Home’s Market Value

Coastal Treasures from the Topsail Island Treasure Coast is brought to you by Treasure Realty, the trusted local experts for real estate, vacation rentals, and long-term rentals.

Image from GrateLife

6 Tips to Understanding Your Home’s Market Value

By Ty Pennington written for GrateLife, a division of Guaranteed Rate

Everybody wants to know what their home is worth. How much they can get for it, borrow against it, or cash out for retirement. It’s natural to have an emotional attachment to your home, all the memories you’ve created and DIY projects you’ve completed all add to the sentimental value of your home. However, buyers won’t pay a premium for the built-ins your husband made, or the ornate wallpaper that you love so dearly. Remember selling a home is a business transaction and emotion should play as little of a role in the process as possible. That’s why real estate agents are so important. They’re objective and the good ones have their finger on the pulse of what today’s buyers expect in each price point. Before calling your local agent to list your house for sale, read my six tips to understand how your market value is determined.

Age and condition

When your house was built, and the condition it’s in, definitely make a difference when you’re setting a price relative to similar houses in your area.
Occasionally, this can be tricky.  A house built in 1920, totally remodeled in 2001, essentially has a younger age.  So make sure you’re clear on the details of comparable sales (your real estate agent is the best source for the most current market data).

Square footage

Size matters. Homebuyers always want to know how many square-feet a house is, but sometimes, older homes may not list the most accurate square footage. For instance, a finished basement in a typical bungalow is great useful space, but should you count it in the overall square footage? Yes. Finished basements, attics, sun rooms, enclosed porches should always be added to your overall square footage. It’s all about how much livable space there is under one roof. Some real estate agents will have floor plans made to help market a home. That will also provide a good estimate of your overall square footage. Remember, the appraiser will always measure and give the formal square footage which may differ from your floor plans or even from what’s recorded with your county assessor.


Needless to say, this has a significant impact on your home’s value. For example, let’s say your house backs up to a lake while a similar house in your area has no lake access. Your house will be more valuable due to its lake access. The quality of the school district, as well as, proximity to highways, parks, coffee shops, restaurants and retail stores are other factors that affect value. While proximity is ideal, being too close is a detriment. If you house is next to train tracks or an airport, don’t be surprised if your home hasn’t appreciated as fast as your buddy’s house which may be in the same neighborhood but further from those detractors.


Yes, bells and whistles make a difference. So if you have a pool, spa or gourmet kitchen, you will be able to set a slightly higher asking price than similar homes that don’t, in most cases. An outdoor pool is a wonderful amenity in Orlando or San Diego, not so much in Chicago. You have to know your market and real estate is local. A gourmet kitchen is also a great addition but again, if you’ve over-improved your home in comparison to those in your neighborhood, you will probably not recoup that investment.

Lot size

The larger the lot your home sits on, the higher your value (in most areas). The rule of thumb in this department is to stay within a .05-acre difference, more or less, when looking at similar homes. If you’re in an area that popular with older residents, a large lot will probably detract from the value because that means more physical labor to maintain it or more money to hire someone to keep the grass cut or snow shoveled. If on the other hand, you’re in a city like Chicago which has a standard city lot size of 25 x 125, and your house is built on a 30-foot lot, by all means, that adds value because it’s rare.

Bedrooms and bathrooms

Nothing seems to matter more to an appraiser than bedroom and bathroom count. The more bedrooms you have, the higher the value. This is why you really need to consult with a real estate agent first. If you’re in a house or condo where you converted a bedroom into your formal dining room, call your contractor and put those walls back up immediately! To be competitive, and get the highest value, you need bedrooms. A 2,500 square-foot one-bedroom house will not appeal to the majority of buyers.

Visit the actual article from GrateLife online; https://gratelife.rate.com/2020/01/21/6-tips-to-understanding-your-homes-market-value/

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A Thirty Year Old Topsail Treasure

Coastal Treasures from the Topsail Island Treasure Coast is brought to you by Treasure Realty, the trusted local experts for real estate, vacation rentals, and long-term rentals. Enjoy today’s featured treasure that is celebrating thirty years serving Topsail Island and the surrounding mainland communities.

From Becoming to Being a Treasure

By Scott Franko

According to Wikipedia, the year 2020 is a leap year, the 2020th year of both the Common Era and the Anno Domini (AD), the 20th year of the 3rd millennium, the 20th year of the 21st century, the 1st year of the new decade, is written as MMXX when using Roman numerals, and has been designated the international year of the nurse and midwife by the World Health Organization.

For Treasure Realty, the year 2020 is significant for a much different reason — thirty years of becoming one of the treasures of Topsail by providing real estate and rental services to the Island and the mainland communities around it.

Richard and Linda Baker

At thirty, the company looks a lot different now compared to its humble beginning that started with a young Richard Baker.  At the age of 26 he began his real estate career on Topsail Island with another agency. Then he opened Treasure Realty in 1990 with his mother, his cousin Tim Baker, and the company’s first two agents.

As the Island itself has grown in fame with national attention and a continual spotlight from the media, Treasure Realty has also grown. Today the company is the overwhelming leader in Topsail Island real estate and ended 2019 as a record-setting year and far outselling the competition.

Topsail Island sales data from TIAR

Treasure Realty invests significantly in technology and marketing to claim a dominant position online. Today over 80,000 people on average visit the company’s website each month and has over 60,000 people following on Facebook and social media.

The marketing at Treasure Realty includes print to digital media.

The team that makes up Treasure Realty has over two hundred years of combined industry experience with firsthand knowledge of the Island and the greater Topsail area. The agents and staff are personable, friendly, and have a passion for helping people.

The team at Treasure Realty.

For Treasure Realty, the past three decades has been quite a journey. And as the company prepared to officially turn 30 years old, it is looking ahead to the next thirty, and beyond.

Yes, there have been plenty of bumps and hardships to endure along the way, some with names like Florence and Fran. But Topsail is still here. Still a treasure. And so is Treasure Realty.

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Celebrating the Holidays on Topsail Island

Whether you live or vacation in the Topsail Island area, you encounter coastal treasures. This year, the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce successfully brought the Island a new one with their 1st Annual Christmas Flotilla and Holiday Market. Enjoy this week’s feature from the Topsail Island Treasure Coast by Treasure Realty, the trusted local expert for real estate and vacation rentals.

A Christmas Treasure on Topsail Island

By Scott Franko

The holiday season is a time for enjoying special moments. Moments with Topsail Island is one way to make them special — the ocean, the beach, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, a boat ride on the intercoastal, a round of golf, and shopping or eating at our unique local shops and restaurants.

This year, Topsail Island added something new to the holiday experience with its first annual flotilla and market organized and hosted by the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce.

The event took place at Soundside Park in Surf City — a perfect venue for bringing people together in the spirit of the holidays, especially with the new streetscape, lots of additional parking, and of course the bridge that provides gorgeous views of the park, the intercoastal, and the island.

Over fifty vendors participated offering crafts, baked goods, food, drinks and more. A variety of musicians took to the stage of the pavilion that was decorated for the holidays, and the mayor of Surf City gave the official welcome to the inaugural event that was attended by hundreds.

Once the sun fell below the horizon and its golden glow faded to the deeper colors of the night sky, the boats of the flotilla set sail. Traveling from the south end of the Topsail sound waters, they eventually arrived to the delight of the awaiting audience that crowded the edges of the park to see them.

One by one, each boat took its turn twisting, turning, circling and spinning in the water to put on a show as its lights danced and bounced off the water to win the crowd (and the judges) with its creativity, originality, and holiday spirit. And that, they did.

I was there. I witnessed this magical Christmas and holiday moment on Topsail with my wife and my dog. We heard great music. We ate excellent food. We talked with friends and made some new ones. We bought things for ourselves and things that would become gifts for others.

We truly enjoyed yet another new Treasure on Topsail Island. If you were there, you know what I mean. If you were not there, put this on your calendar of things to do when you plan your Christmas holiday on Topsail.

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Thankful, Grateful, and Blessed on Topsail Island

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded how thankful, grateful, and blessed we are.  Today’s blog post reminds us all to take a moment to reflect on all the reasons for giving thanks and allows us to say “thank you” to all the people and families that we’ve been able to serve over the past three decades.

Let Me Count The Ways

By Scott Franko, Marketing Director

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

First penned in 1850 as the 43rd of 44 love sonnets by poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, those two lines are a fitting lead-in for my featured topic—being thankful, grateful, and blessed.

Let’s define “thee” for a moment. For this particular blog post, “thee” represents the people, places, events, and things that are important. And for me, Topsail Island encompasses all four.

If you are reading this, then the odds are that you have a connection to the island as well, and you know how special a place it is. So, for the next few moments, with Topsail as my thee, I shall count the ways.

As one who first vacationed and now lives on Topsail, I love my island and all it provides; sunshine, water, life above and below the sea, solitude or company depending on the day, rest, relaxation, time with my creator, making memories with family and friends, treasures along the shores, toes in the sand, wind-blown hair, friendly people, and the variety of shops, restaurants and businesses that make the Topsail communities.

The Beauty of Topsail Island

As one working for company providing real estate, rentals, and vacation services both on and off the island (with next year being our 30th), I am thankful, grateful, and blessed to work with a truly talented, trusted, caring and expert group of people who also love Topsail, and love helping people.

The Treasure Realty Team

Owning a home on Topsail or close to it does something on the inside that expresses itself through a salt life attitude island demeanor. I moved here from the Midwest. I’ve experienced this transformation.

Vacations on Topsail are unique. All the sudden my island has become your island. You feel as though you own a piece of the beach, even if just for a short time. Worries are left elsewhere as you can just enjoy each moment, each sunrise, each sunset.

What is your thee? Take a moment to think about the ones in your life, then count the ways. Give thanks and praise for them. And if you could, please include Topsail.

In summary, I’ll borrow some of the words from the song I’m Blessed written and sung by Charlie Wilson, a song about simply living a blessed life …

Ask me how I’m doing, I’m blessed, yes
Living every moment, no regrets
Smile up on my face, I’m like oh yes
I’m blessed yes, I’m blessed yes
Ask me how I’m doing, I’m blessed yes
Living every moment no regrets
Smile up on my face, I’m like oh yes
I’m blessed yes, I’m blessed yes, I’m blessed

Treasure Realty is the trusted local expert for real estate and vacation rentals serving Topsail Island and the mainland communities of greater Topsail. We also enjoy sharing our coastal treasures. Be sure to return for more posts from the Treasure Coast and refer a friend to visit us online.

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Our Treasured Topsail Island Dunes

Whether you live here or just vacation in the Greater Topsail Island area, you encounter our coastal treasures. Treasure Realty is the trusted local expert for real estate and vacation rentals. We also enjoy sharing our coastal treasures.

This week’s blog is dedicated to the treasured dunes that protect Topsail Island, and the vegetation that is vital to that protection. This week’s guest blogger comes from Sea Grant North Carolina Coastwatch and NC State University.

Dune Vegetation

By Spencer Rogers and David Nash with illustrations by David Williams.

Only a few species of plants can adapt to the dunes closest to the ocean and beach, where high levels of salt spray, continuous winds, large amounts of wind- blown sand, and other environmental factors continuously impact these “pioneer zone” species.

Coastal dune plants must be able to survive in soils that are low in nutrients and moisture and have extreme fluctuations in temperature and ocean overwash. Dune species thrive in this harsh environment because they are highly adapted to tolerate the extreme conditions.

Vegetation aids in forming the dune and plays an important role in the coastal dune ecosystem. Plants trap blowing sand, causing the formation of sand dunes and the stabilization of barrier island soils. As the dune field grows, multiple dunes line the beach, providing habitat for animals, birds, amphibians and reptiles.

Salt spray and blowing sand are the two main factors contributing to the zonation of plant species across the barrier island. The highest salt concentrations occur on the beach, gradually decreasing with distance. Dune plants tolerate the highest levels of salt spray and even an occasional overwash by sea water.

Most plants have a low tolerance for burial over their stems and roots. In contrast, dune plants thrive on wind- blown sand deposits, and collect sparse nutrients from the incoming sand, stimulating growth and reproduction. The harsh conditions in the pioneer zone allow the dune vegetation to grow without competition from less tolerant plants.

Inland from the shoreline and behind the shelter of the dunes, the conditions moderate to allow a wider variety of moderately tolerant grasses, shrubs and trees, resulting in distinctive plant zones forming across barrier islands — from the ocean to the estuary. The older dune ridges are farthest from wind-blown sand and salt spray. Plant species with less tolerance for salt spray and other adverse conditions may thrive in the back dune zone, where other plants and dune ridges block the sand and salt spray carried by the wind.

Climate and Native Species

Climate is the primary factor limiting the geographic range of pioneer zone coastal plant species. Along the mid-Atlantic coast, the dunes between the Chesapeake Bay and Cape Lookout are the approximate transition zone for several species.

For example, sea oats prefer the warmer climate found south of this area and appear to be limited in their northern range by cold temperatures. American beachgrass is the dominant pioneer zone species north of the transition zone, tending to die back when stressed by the hot, dry conditions found farther south. Both species are excellent sand trappers and dune stabilizers.

Since local plants take years to evolve, they are usually best adapted to the climate where they were first grown. For example, South Florida sea oats do not adapt as well in the cooler climate of North Carolina as they do in Florida, and American beachgrass from New Jersey is not well suited to North Carolina’s warmer climate.

Therefore, whenever possible, it is always best to obtain dune plants grown from seeds or parent material originating within a 100-mile radius of the beach where they will be planted. Often, however, the need for plants after the worst storms overwhelms local supply capacity, making it necessary to buy stock from farther away.

Whether patching the frontal dune adjacent to a beach cottage or planting several miles of a beach nourishment project, the primary goal is likely to be the same: to trap and stabilize the blowing sand so that it will repair or enhance the storm protection that dunes provide.

The Role of Vegetation in Natural Dune Recovery

Surviving plants slide off the face of the eroded dune as the scarp dries and collapses, where plants take root. Dune recovery following a storm usually evolves in several ways, depending on the remaining topography and severity of the storm.

During typical seasonal fluctuations in the berm width, the seaward edge of the vegetation sends rhizomes a few feet into the back edge of the berm during the growing season, only to get pruned during the season’s worst erosion.

In severe storms — where the dune is not overtopped but a significant volume of sand is removed from the dune — vegetation recovery is usually initiated at one of the three points where remaining vegetation may survive (Figure I and Figure J).

The most severe storms may leave remnants of surviving vegetation near the old vegetation line, initiating the most seaward pioneer plants in the next growing season. The near vertical erosion scarp is highly unstable. In the days to weeks following the storm, the moist sand in the scarp dries, and the scarp gradually collapses, becoming a flatter, more stable slope.

As the scarp collapses, vegetation from the top of the dune is carried with it. Some of the vegetation survives the slide to the toe of the dune, initiating the recovery over the new slope. Remaining vegetation at the top starts the recovery from above.

Therefore, on high dunes, vegetation recovery following storms can begin at three locations: surviving plants on the dune top; plants sliding seaward with the collapsing scarp colonizing the toe of the dune; and sometimes, the old vegetation line, if the erosion isn’t too deep.

After a storm flattens the dune and overwash deposits bury the vegetation, some plants grow through the deposits and initiate dune recovery.

Dune vegetation has the ability to survive varying depths of burial by overwash. Although the plants seem to disappear following a storm, they can pop up out of nowhere at the beginning of the next growing season and initiate the dune recovery. Buried too deep, the vegetation will not survive, and recovery must start farther landward.

Dune plants colonize bare sand primarily by spreading rhizomes or runners from a parent plant. Storms can leave debris deposits or wrack lines that contain a few viable seeds or plant remnants and help jumpstart the dune recovery.

The densest clumps of vegetation trap the most sand and are stimulated to grow denser and spread even faster. As the dune grows in height and vegetation density, the area farther landward begins to be affected. By trapping most of the sand in the first dense vegetation, the sand supply to more inland areas is reduced. As the seaward dune height increases, dunes farther landward lose their sand supply and become more sheltered from the wind speeds necessary to deliver the sand.

Over time, most dune growth — in both width and height — occurs in the seaward direction. During each season, the seaward edge of the dune grows farther seaward, followed by the rising dune crest. In contrast, the landward side of the dune captures very little sand.

In this way, dunes grow from landward to seaward. However, at some point the seaward growth is halted when the vegetation line reaches the landward limit of seasonal berm fluctuations. As the slope of the dune face steepens, future increases in dune height slow considerably. Understanding the way that dunes grow in width and height — and their effect on the growth of more landward dunes — is critical in applying the dune and vegetation management strategies.

Thank you Sea Grant North Carolina Coastwatch and NC State University. We appreciate the dedication and work you continue to do on behalf of the all the treasure coasts of our great state! To read the entire article online you may visit by clicking on this provided link;


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From Fixer Upper to a Topsail Treasure

This week’s treasure from the Topsail Treasure Coast features a complete condo transformation that got the attention of over 4.5 thousand HGTV fans.

“A Condo on Topsail Island Goes Viral”

by Scott Franko, Marketing Director at Treasure Realty

She said she could do it. I didn’t believe her. Well, she did. And today her condo looks like a scene out of coastal lifestyle magazine. But it didn’t start out that way. Not even close.

I just happen to know the owner of this condo. Since I’m married to her, I saw firsthand how many hours of dedication, hard work, and imagination it took to pull off this amazing transformation that was accomplished without breaking the bank account.

The whole process started on a Sunday evening a thousand miles away from Topsail. We had just started looking at properties on the island the week before while there for our annual vacation. We considered homes on the beach, close to the beach, and condos. Since we lived so far away at that time, a condo seemed to be the best option.

After spending a considerable amount of time that week looking at different properties, we left empty handed on a Saturday but with a full tank of aspirations to get ourselves a second home on Topsail Island. Our opportunity came the very next day with a call about a condo that we might be interest in. If your preference is good first impressions, this wasn’t it. But it’s a good thing my wife can see beyond appearances. Instead, she focused on its potential.

The before and after of the main living room.

We ended up buying it and two months later went to the closing, got the keys, and opened the door to see it in person for the first time. It was even pinker than it appeared in the photos. I felt my energy begin to drain as we toured room to room while taking a mental inventory of upgrades, paying attention to my wife’s voice energetically detailing her ideas, and remembering to keep a smile on my face.

One room was yellow. Another blue. Some had wallpaper. One floor was linoleum tile, another covered in faded carpet. And the curtains—brown, green, gold, and heavy as they hid the panoramic views of the beach from the north to the south. At least the microwave and dishwasher were new, though one was white and other brushed silver.

The before and after of the kitchen.

That same day we went and purchased paint. A lot of it. I had no idea the price of paint had gone up at the same rate as the cost per barrel of the world’s supply of oil and gasoline that happened to be at market highs.

Then we proceeded to remove wallpaper, prime, paint, fix, rip up floors, counters, cabinets, and update every square inch for the next 127 straight hours before taking a nap, then repeat.

That became the pattern over a handful of months until the day came when it was completely finished. We finally had our own place on Topsail Island! Once refurbished, even the old picnic table became a feature piece of furniture in the dining room surrounded by ocean on the other side of the windows.

The before and after of the dining area.

My wife documented our (her) work and recently shared it as a post on HGTV’s Facebook page. Twenty-four hours later it had reached over 4.5 thousand likes and several hundred comments from people all over the country complimenting or asking questions about materials or methods she used as she turned this condo fixer upper into a Topsail treasure.

The fixer upper completed!

We’ve since relocated and moved full time to Topsail in our home on the mainland side of the intercoastal. But the condo is our special place for family, friends, making memories and enjoying the beach. And apparently many others like it, too. Who would have ever thought that our condo would go viral? Not me.

Find Your Treasure with Treasure Realty Sales and Rentals

Trusted Local Experts Serving Topsail and Mainland Since 1990


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Helping Children in Onslow County and Topsail Island Communities

Here at Treasure Realty, we like to bring attention to generosity when we see it happening. The giving of time, talent, and treasure makes the world a better place. Jones-Onslow EMC is a company doing that here on the treasure coast of Topsail Island.

This week’s guest blogger is Steve Goodson, the VP of Energy Services with JOEMC writing about their partnership with United Way’s CHEW Program for National Co-op Month.

There’s More to October Around Topsail Than Holloween!

When you think of October—pumpkins, Halloween and beautiful fall foliage naturally come to mind. But October is notable for another reason. It’s National Co-op Month! This is the time of year when cooperatives across the country, including Jones-Onslow EMC, celebrate who we are and more importantly, the members we serve.

 Cooperatives are different than other types of businesses. When the market declines to offer a product or service, or does so at a very high price, co-ops intervene to fill the need.

Similar to how JOEMC was built by members who came together to bring electricity to our community, cooperatives are conveners for the common good. Your electric co-op exists to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to you, the members of the co-op. Equally important is our mission to enrich the lives of the members we serve.

We’re committed to helping make our communities a better place to live, work, and raise families by working with various organizations through economic development projects, civic functions, and community-betterment initiatives. At JOEMC, we do more than supply power.

Because we’re local and owned by you, (our members), building communities is core to our mission. That’s why we invest in programs and opportunities that leave a lasting impression on the people that live here. As part of Co-op Month we’re celebrating by putting into action one of the seven Cooperative Principals … Concern for Community.

This month, employees will be participating in the United Way of Onslow County’s CHEW Program by stuffing backpacks for community children to take home over the weekend. YOU can get involved, help, and show YOUR Concern for Community too!

All month long, we’re collecting food items for the CHEW Program at our offices in Jacksonville and Sneads Ferry. Click here to see the food items that we need.

Whether you live here, vacation, or travel through the Greater Topsail Island area, you encounter coastal treasures. Treasure Realty helps you find your treasure home or vacation rental. We also enjoy sharing our area’s coastal treasures.

Find Your Treasure with Treasure Realty Sales and Rentals

Trusted Local Experts Serving Topsail and Mainland Since 1990


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