new custom home builder wilmington ncThe legends are back! The Landfall Foundation’s Legends of Tennis Celebrity Tournament kicks off this Friday and Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to be a sponsor of the action packed event. American tennis superstar Lindsay Davenport will be headlining this year’s tournament, which helps fund grant programs for local non-profits in the Wilmington, NC area as well as the UNC-Wilmington Tennis Team. Other players participating include Rennae Stubbs, Jimmy Arias and Luke Jensen. Click here for more information and good luck to this year’s players!

If you’re a New Hanover County resident, you’re in luck! The following events are completely free for you to enjoy year-round. Stay tuned to our blog for more attractions in and around Wilmington, NC, including those that are discounted or free for designated days of the year for New Hanover County residents.

  • Federal Point History Center: Free admission, but admission may apply for special events and tours. 1121 North Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach, NC. Open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm.
  • Fort Fisher State Historic Site: Free admission, however donations are welcome. Highway 421, Kure Beach, NC. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am-5pm.
  • Hannah Block Historic USO and Community Arts Center: Free admission to tour the lobby, but admission applies for special events and rentals. 2nd and Orange Streets, Wilmington, NC. Open Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.
  • New Hanover County Arboretum: Free admission, however donations are welcome. Admission may apply for special events. 6206 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, NC. Open every day from 8am-5pm.
  • New Hanover County Senior Resource Center: Free admission for NHC residents ages 55+, but admission may apply for special events and workshops. 2222 South College Rd., Wilmington, NC. Open Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm.
  • North Carolina Military History Museum: Fort Fisher Military Recreation Area on Riverfront Road near Kure Beach. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-4pm.
  • Wrightsville Beach Museum of History: Free admission, however donations are welcome. Charges may apply for special events. 303 West Salisbury St., Wrightsville Beach, NC. Open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-4pm, Saturday from 12pm-5pm and Sunday from 1pm-5pm.

If you take advantage of any of these attractions, let us know how you enjoyed it on Facebook or Twitter!

Photo courtesy of intracoastalrealty.com

“The Angelique” built by Wilmington, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes was featured in the following article on Houzz.com!

Exterior Panel Shutters Cover All the Bases

If you’re looking to up the curb appeal of your home, consider dressing your windows with traditional exterior panel shutters. Originally designed hundreds of years ago as a functional window dressing for privacy and security, the paneled shutter still protects homes from weather, though in many cases these days the primary purpose may be for ornamentation.

Designed in all shapes, sizes and panel configurations, shutters can be mounted on operable shutter hinges or directly alongside the window. Choosing the design and color of panel shutters is much like choosing a door style. Select a panel layout and color that excite you, fit your home’s architecture and offer pizzazz and curb appeal.

Walnut-colored operable composite raised-panel shutters look beautiful with this home’s dark brown windows and washed and aged tumbled-brick exterior.

Click the link below to visit the Mark Johnson Custom Homes Houzz page!

MJCH Houzz Page

Landfall home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share an article published in Raleigh’s News and Observer about a recent interview with our designer, Eddie Rider with Eddie Rider Designs. The interview focused on decorating secrets and features a bathroom in a home we built in the Landfall community.

The master bath has mosaic floor tile with black and white marble under a freestanding tub. A little retro feel with some modern sprinkled in for flavor.

10 Questions:

Five words that best describe your approach to design: Warm, coordinated, balanced, realistic, inviting.

Best decor bargain you’ve ever scored: Some very old leather books I found at a London flea market.

Best use of black and white: In a recent bathroom and kitchen new construction project. The kitchen has sharp white cabinets with polished nickel hardware, absolute black honed countertops with a polished, beveled carrara tile backsplash. Ebony floors complete the look. The master bath has a mosaic floor tile with black-and-white marble under a freestanding tub. A little retro feel with some modern sprinkled in for flavor.

Recliner: yes or no? No. No. No. If it looks like a recliner, then no. If you’re going for style and form, then no.

What’s your hardware store must-have? Furniture marker for those little accidents.

Favorite shelter magazine: Architectural Digest.

Every dining room should have: Wood floors and area rug.

Low-cost way to dress a transitional mantel: Candles with holders.

Biggest design no-no: Too many prints/patterns/textures, with too many colors.

My best tip for do-it-yourself designers: Take one primary print fabric and use it for your color palette throughout the room; then, carry one of the colors to the next space.

St. James, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers an article courtesy of RealtyTimes.com that gives tips on do-it-yourself projects that can instantly increase the value of your home.

It seems when it comes to home values, a little elbow grease can go a long way, according to a recent nationwide study by HomeGain.

The study surveyed 500 real estate agents throughout the nation to learn the top 10 low-cost, do-it-yourself improvements that help increase the likelihood a home would sell.

Ranking in the top five are: clean & de-clutter, lighten & brighten, repair electrical & plumbing, landscaping, and home staging. But how much benefit can you really expect to get from each of these home improvement categories?

According to the study, the top home improvement (since 2003) continues to be to clean and de-clutter your home. It may cost you about $400 to make the most of this home improvement but sellers who make the financial commitment can benefit by seeing a “returning value of just over $2,000 to the home’s sale price”. That’s a 403 percent return on investment (ROI).

Coming in at the number two spot is lightening and brightening your home. This makes perfect sense. If a home is dark and difficult to view, many buyers won’t spend even minutes in it. Buyers want to be able to explore the home, seeing every detail. Also, homes that are dark often convey a dreary tone and may give buyers the suspicion that there may be hidden damages in the home.

Interestingly, home staging fell to the number five spot. In the 2011, study it ranked third. However, for this year, do-it-yourself tasks such as repairing electrical and plumbing issues, and maintaining landscape, ranked higher, respectively.

“In a buyer’s market, sellers need to dress their homes for success before putting them on the market,” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain.

It could be a sign of the times, that do-it-yourself home improvement projects are creating greater ROI. With many homes falling into foreclosure or being put on the market as a short sale, there is lots of inventory that is lacking a little tender loving care.

Sellers who are listing their home on the market should take a close look at the competition and then, as I’ve written in previous columns, see their home through the eyes of a potential buyer. In other words, check out its flaws and fix those issues.

Remember, buyers don’t have a history with your home. They’re not necessarily attached and willing to overlook the downside of your property.

Create a do-it-yourself task list and target those areas that need some work. Then bring in the experts to do the maintenance and repairs that need professional care. Investing a little more into increasing the potential sale of your home can mean not only more money but also a faster sale.

Rounding out the top 10 on the HomeGain.com National Home Improvements study are, shampoo or replace carpets, repair floors, paint interior walls, update kitchen & bathroom, and paint the exterior of the home.

Article courtesy of: Phoebe Chongchua, RealtyTimes.com

Entryway Impressions

March 19th, 2012

We all know that it only takes a few seconds to make a long lasting impression. Wilmington new home builder, Mark Johnson Custom Homes, would like to share with our readers and article courtesy of RealtyTimes.com that gives tips on how to make the entryway of your home one that will leave a positive impression on your guests.

Homeowners who have decided to stay put as well as sellers looking for ways to impress should pay close attention to the look and feel of their entryways.

We all know the power first impressions has over our society. We make snap-judgements of books, homes, and people in the first few moments of meeting. This makes it even more important for homeowners to get entry-ways looking their best.

According to a recent national home valuation study conducted by Therma-Tru, even the simple update of installing a new entryway door can increase the perceived value of a home by more than $24,000 on average!

When it comes to entry doors, the sky is the limit these days. Manufacturers know the power of a showstopping door. This is why, according to Therma-Tru, “manufacturers offer a wide array of choices for entryways incorporating decorative glass doorlites, sidelites and transoms. These choices allow homeowners to create a custom look for the home while making a statement about the homeowner’s personal sense of style.”

More and more homeowners are choosing to stay in their homes to wait out the down market. Home prices have fallen across much of the nation. This has amped up remodeling across the nation.

Decorative glass entry doors are a great way to bring light into your entryway as well as add a spark of class to the exterior of your home.

Aside from updating your front door, a great tip for your entryway is to keep it organized. If you’re not careful, your entryway can be come a dumping ground for keys, phones, paperwork, bags, coats, and other often used items. The key it to have a place for everything.

Invest in a suitable entry table that can house a docking port for phones as well as a hidden area for keys.

If your entryway has a coat closet be sure that it is cleared out to make room for daily use and for guest coats. Put in a shoe rack or bin for shoes, boots, and umbrellas. There shouldn’t be anything cluttering up your space.

Add a few warm touches to this space by including an entry rug, which can also reduce slippage on tile floors. Place a warm lamp and some simple artwork on top of the entry table. Think about first impressions when you choose colors and styles. This space should make guests or prospective buyers feel warm and welcome!

If you’re looking for a simple way to capitalize on your home’s first impression, then consider adding a touch of class with some decorative glass as well as organizing your space.

Article written by: Carla Hill, RealtyTimes.com

The Nest Thermostat

January 31st, 2012

NestWilmington home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers a brand new innovative product that we’ve recently installed in a custom home.

It’s a thermostat called Nest from iPod inventor Tony Fadell’s new start-up, Nest Labs. And like Apple, Nest Labs has taken something you use every day and made it simple and delightful to use.

Nest operates with the same genius wheel user interface as the original iPod, with a digital screen in its center. It connects to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control it remotely via an iPhone app or the Web. And its stylish design made of brushed stainless steel is a showpiece.

What makes Nest stand out from other programmable thermostats is that it learns your behavioral patterns and creates a temperature-setting schedule from them. Nest has six sensors that can determine things like when you’re away from home. People with more than one thermostat in one home can use more than one Nest and they’ll all communicate with one another, though each can be adjusted to different temperatures. People with multiple homes can put all of their Nests on the same account.

Nest can get automatic software updates that the company says will let it do things in the future like adjusting temperatures according to current local weather and showing how much money temperature adjustments will save on utility bills.

Iron Man 3 Lands in Wilmington

November 1st, 2011

St. James Plantation home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers an article courtesy of WECT.com announcing Marvel Studios’ recent decision to film Iron Man 3 in Wilmington. The movie is expected to produce hundreds of jobs for crew members and drive $80 million into North Carolina’s economy.

Governor Beverly Perdue was in Wilmington to make an economic development announcement. Iron Man 3 will officially be filmed at EUE/Screen Gems in Wilmington for the majority of the production.

The film, starring Robert Downey Jr., is expected to attract other stars like Scarlett Johansson and Don Cheadle, according to industry reports.

“We aggressively pursued this piece of business,” said EUE/Screen Gems Co-Owner and COO Chris Cooney. “We negotiated hard, and it paid off.”

Cooney said people thought they were crazy to build one of the largest sound stages in the world during a down economy.

“We constructed that space envisioning a motion picture of the caliber and size of this one,” explained Cooney.  “This film is a game changer – not only for our studios, but for the entire state of North Carolina.”

According to EUE Screen Gems Executive Vice President Bill Vassar, the Marvel executives were enticed to Wilmington by the 25 percent NC film incentive; the size, scope and capabilities of the Wilmington studio lot; and the seasoned local crew base.

“We are as close to a Los Angeles studio as you can get without being in California,” said Vassar.  “We offer Marvel what they need, and they were amazed to find it in North Carolina.”

Vassar said Marvel choose Wilmington to produce Iron Man 3 because the area has a large local crew with experience handling five productions simultaneously.

“This is a special group of people who learned their craft at the knee of their fathers and mothers,” explained Vassar.  “You don’t see this outside of Los Angeles or New York City.”

Vassar assured that the production of Iron Man 3 will not preclude the booking of other simultaneous projects despite it being the largest production to come to Wilmington.

“We will still have stages, offices and production support available to host pilots, series and other films right now,” said Vassar.

The motion picture will take offices in Wilmington in early 2012.

U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan applauded news that Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 film will film in Wilmington, NC.  She provided the following statement:

I am focused like a laser on creating jobs in North Carolina, and I am so pleased that Iron Man 3 will soon begin shooting in Wilmington,” said Hagan. “When studios choose to produce their films in North Carolina it means jobs in our state – both jobs related to filming and jobs for the restaurants, hotels, and small businesses in the community. This important decision by Marvel Studios is further evidence of the rich resources North Carolina has to offer America’s film industry – resources in people, locations and expertise.  This film will have an economic impact of $80 million in North Carolina and create hundreds of jobs. Iron Man 3 will be just the newest example of ‘Made in North Carolina’ quality.

N.C. Senator Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover) responded Thursday to the news that a historically-large movie project – “Iron Man 3” – will be filmed in Wilmington with the following statement:

There is no better place for this project than Wilmington, and for months I’ve worked with colleagues in the North Carolina Senate and the executive branch to bring it here,” Goolsby said. “I’m thrilled to see the film incentives we approved in the state budget – the budget Gov. Perdue vetoed – being used to create new jobs and boost our local economy. This is an exciting day for North Carolina.

Article courtesy of: WECT.com

Easy to Make Jar-o’-Lanterns

October 20th, 2011

Wilmington, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers a creative Halloween decoration idea from Southern Living Magazine.

We’re officially declaring Mason jars the ultimate multipurpose item. (Sorry, duct tape.) Southerners use them for everything from storing bacon grease to serving sweet tea. And now: as jack-o’-lanterns.

To create your own, paint jars of assorted sizes in desired color of acrylic paint. (One to two coats will do; paint that’s too thick will impede that lantern glow.) Add ghoulish features with black paint or permanent marker, and then spray with a clear glaze for a glossy finish. Pop in battery-powered LED lights and you have one jarringly spooky—and simple!—display.

Courtesy of: Southernliving.com

2011 Cape Fear Heart Walk

October 13th, 2011

Wilmington, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is a team sponsor of the 2011 Cape Fear Heart Walk which will take place October 15th on the campus of UNCW. The event raises money for research and education efforts of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Our team hopes to see you there!

Cape Fear Heart Walk

Saturday, October 15, 2011 | Event Goal -$175,000

Campus of UNCW – Wilmington, NC | Registration at 9 am | Walk Begins at 10 am

Click Here to Make a Donation