This blog primarily focuses on Wilmington, North Carolina, but there are several nearby towns that also make up this community. We thought we would shine the spotlight on these neighboring towns, particularly for those potential home buyers from out of the area who might not be familiar with them.
Also referred to as "LA" or "over the bridge" by locals, Leland has exploded in popularity in recent years. Located in Brunswick County just across the Cape Fear River (about 5 minutes) from Downtown Wilmington, many new home communities have been built there recently. The population growth has also led to several new commercial centers. Check out Waterford, Magnolia Greens, Compass Pointe, Brunswick Forest, and Ashton Place if you are considering a home in Leland. This town is also quickly becoming known for it's plentiful and impressive golf courses, many of which are open to the public.
About 20 minutes from Downtown Wilmington, Castle Hayne offers Southern country living at its best, with easy access to everything the greater Wilmington area has to offer. Real estate is typically more affordable in Castle Hayne, and it's easier to find a property with a few acres to call your own than it is in much of the rest of New Hanover County. If you would like to look at homes in Castle Hayne take a look at Apple Valley, Runnymeade, or Prince George Estate subdivisions, or one of the many more rural properties that dot this beautiful countryside.
Farmland and fishing shacks are making way for new homes to accommodate the rapid growth in Hampstead, north of Wilmington in Pender County. Though it is changing this town is not losing sight of its history or its charm. Excellent schools, award winning golf, and the waterfront draw people from all over to settle here. The newly built US-140 bypass provides a fast connection from Hampstead to Downtown Wilmington - making it only a 26 minute drive. (It's also only 10 minutes down 17 to the north end of Wilmington.) There are many Hampstead neighborhoods to consider but make note of Harbour Village, Belvedere Plantaion, or Deerfield Estates for majestic waterfront properties, or Olde Point, Eagles Watch, or Castle Bay for nice, single family homes.
Arguably the most well known of the area beaches, Wrightsville is hugely popular among locals and vacationers. This is never more clear than when attempting to find a parking spot on a sunny 4th of July! As is the case with most beach properties, Wrightsville Beach real estate is pricey (at the time of this writing most listed for sale started at over $1 million), but it's easy to understand why when you see that gorgeous ocean, boats crusing by on the Intracoastal Waterway, or spend some time hanging out on N Lumina Ave or walking "the loop." Wilmington is just across the ICW from the island, and as lucky UNC-Wilmington students are well aware Wrightsville Beach is only 10 minutes from campus.
More on Wrightsville Beach real estate >
Pleasure Island (Carolina Beach & Kure Beach)
Farther south is picturesque Pleasure Island. Family friendly, and popular among outdoor sports enthusiasts the island encompasses the towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher. There are still some great real estate values on Pleasure Island bringing beach living within reach for many who might not have thought it was possible. Though it is a favorite vacation destination the island doesn't shut down for the off-season, and has a vibrant local community. Pleasure Island is 20 minutes from Downtown Wilmington, and 13 from the "Monkey Junction" area (set to become part of Wilmington through annexation.)
More on Carolina Beach | More on Kure Beach >
Figure Eight Island
Technically a gated community within Wilmington, Figure Eight Island is the ultimate secluded and luxurious getaway, set just north of Wrightsville Beach. With stunning properties priced in the $1 - $5 million range Figure Eight Island real estate is out of reach for many, but it's fun just to dream about life on this private island. 30 minutes from Downtown and 15 from the Northern part of Wilmington, Figure Eight is a reasonable commute for you top executives out there.
The farthest from Wilmington of the nearby towns we're looking at Topsail Island (which includes Topsail Beach, Surf City, and North Topsail Beach) is about an hour from downtown, and located further up the coast than Figure Eight. The quaint, family oriented beach towns are popular among military families stationed at nearby Camp Legeune in Jacksonville. Oysters harvested from Stump Sound off Topsail are locally famous and have many eagerly awaiting the months with "R"s. Real estate ranging from classic beach cottages to towering multi-unit properties and upscale waterfront homes can be surprisingly affordable on Topsail Island.