Home Sweet Home

April 17th, 2012

Wilmington, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers testimonials from two recent clients whose homes we built in the Landfall community.

“We had a totally positive building experience with Mark Johnson Custom Homes during all phases of building our new home.  Working with a builder when you are living out of state requires frequent and clear communication and a high level of trust, and MJCH more than met our expectations in those areas.  There were no surprises at any time from start to finish, and if any problem came up, Mark was on top of the situation and taking steps to solve the problem at the same time he was notifying us of the matter.  We really never worried about anything because we knew our home was in good hands at all times. After we moved in, MJCH proactively checked on any items he or we felt needed improvement and made sure we were completely satisfied.  We love our new home and are very happy with the quality of its construction, the appearance inside and out, and details of the finishes.  We highly recommend Mark Johnson Custom Homes.  He and his team are incredibly pleasant to work with as well as very professional.”

Mark and Cindy Humphreville


“All our expectations were met. We really enjoyed working with Mark and his team. When we were there on site, the subs that we met were very nice and accommodating. The construction schedule was very helpful, we were able to plan our visits based on this schedule. This is a helpful tool for out of town customers such as us. We also enjoyed and appreciated the pictures. Since we could not be there often, the pictures were a means of watching the progress. If we were to build another home in the Wilmington area we would use MJCH. We would not hesitate recommending MJCH to anyone interested in building a new home. It was a long road from our initial discussions years ago to finishing our new home. We never considered another builder because we felt very comfortable and trusted Mark. We also appreciated his prompt follow up on issues after completion. Thanks for a job well done.”

Dan and Stephanie Verdelli

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.

NEW Spring Lake Plan

January 30th, 2012

Wilmington, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to introduce our readers to the Spring Lake plan designed by Sullivan Design Company. This is an affordable design to build. Contact Mark directly at 910.409.2421 for community specific pricing on your lot or ours.

Spring Lake

A rocking chair front porch is perfect for southern sunsets and adds to the warmth and charm of this 2880sf home. The entry invites you into the comfortable living room with a full wall of windows and a coffered ceiling that compliments the fireplace and bookcases.

The chef’s kitchen is open to the living area and offers an eat-in morning room flooded by natural light. The oversized granite island holds a huge double bowl sink and is lit by hanging pendant lights. The 36″ gas range sets up the space for cooking the perfect meal and will handle entertaining of any scale.

The master suit will easily hold a king sized bed, it’s accompaniments and a sitting area. The master bath has a separate soaking tub and large tiled shower. A linen closet and separate water closet for the toilet complete this luxurious bathroom.

Hardwood floors warm the main living space and keep the open floor plan concept. The main staircase leads to a sitting area and 2 bedrooms that share a full bathroom. There is a second back staircase for access to the bonus room over the garage.

Energy Features include:

  • 2×6 exterior wall construction
  • R24 blown in fiberglass insulation (Bibs)
  • Radiant barrier roof decking to keep attic cooler and reduce demand on HVAC system
  • Attic framed knee walls to include air barrier
  • Recirculating hot water system with a tankless hot water heater

2nd Floor Plan

The Belhaven Plan

January 13th, 2012

Wilmington new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes has recently completed construction on a custom home in Wilmington. Click “The Belhaven” below to take a virtual tour of the beautiful 3,248sf home.

The Belhaven


Moving During The Holidays

November 11th, 2011

The holiday season is quickly approaching and we all know the challenges we sometimes face when juggling multiple activities this time of the year. Wilmington, NC builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers an article courtesy of RealtyTimes.com that gives great tips on how to make moving during the holiday season extra special for your family.

It’s the holiday season! For many readers out there this season is taking on a whole new meaning.

Cold weather, rain, and snow doesn’t keep a good buyer down. There are great deals to be had all year round. Buying doesn’t always happen on schedule. It can take weeks or months to find the perfect house, you may need to move suddenly to follow a new job opportunity, or move to be closer to ailing parents.

Buying happens for a myriad of reasons and during every month of the year. Yet, buying during the holidays can be challenging, especially if you’re a family with lots of traditions or with children.

If you have children, then here are some tips to make a move during the holidays a big deal in a good way!

First, children follow the lead of their parents. If you are depressed about missing out on Aunt Sue’s famous turkey or daily noting the bad luck of buying during the holidays, your children will likely pick up on this. So start by adjustingyour attitude first. Focus on the positive aspects of the move. Try to keep a cheery, upbeat attitude.

Will a child be getting their own room? Will their new room be “awesome”? These can be reasons to celebrate! Talk up all the great new area parks, restaurants, and kid-friendly attractions.

Older children may be a harder sell, especially if you’re moving them away from their school or friends. Do a little research and find out more on area malls, sports teams, or youth groups that your child may be interested in.

Also consider rewarding children especially well for their good behavior during a move. Maybe now is a time for that allowance raise (if it doesn’t seem too much like a bribe), to let them select the new decor for their new room, or to have one extra pizza night this week.

Communication is key for getting through a move, regardless of the season. Have a family meeting to discuss concerns and fears, or have one-on-one talks with each kid to assess their feelings.

Finally, make every attempt to keep traditions alive. This is important for adults and children alike. If your family loves having a fully decorated tree, then you might have to set it up twice this year — once at your current home and then quickly again when you first arrive in your new home.

Boxes and chaos aside, you can still sit down for a fun family dinner or for an evening of singing songs and opening presents. Keep your traditions alive and your move this holiday season will be an easy one!

Article written by: Carla Hill, RealtyTimes.com

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

Sellers: Letting Go

October 27th, 2011

Wilmington home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers an article courtesy of Realtytimes.com that was written to ease the minds of those contemplating the sale of their home in order to build a new one that is just right for them.

The decision to sell your home can come with a mixed bag of emotions. There is uncertainty and fear about how quickly your home will sell and for what dollar amount. There may be guilt about leaving behind family, friends, or neighbors. You may also feel anxiety about what is to come.

A less than stellar market has done little to ease these jitters. Many would-be sellers have even decided to forgo moves for fear that now isn’t the time to sell.

Many others who have made the leap are ruled by emotions of sadness or regret. How does one let go of a home where so many memories were made?

The answer is in the attitude. It’s not about letting go. It’s about moving forward.

In order to let go of the negative feelings you have about the selling process there are a few crucial steps to take.

First, be resolute about your decision. If we allow ourselves to go back and forth between “I should” and “I shouldn’t”, you’ll always have uncertainty. Decide once and for all what is best for your family. Many people make pro and con lists. Others simply go with what feels right.

Second, remember that memories aren’t housed in the walls of your home, they live inside your mind. Those last a lifetime! Plus, take lots of pictures and video to document what life was like in your old home.

Third, talk about your decision. Bottling or resisting emotions can simply make them more pronounced. If you feel anxiety, talk to your spouse, friends, and realtor about it. It helps having a sounding board for fears and questions. Bounce ideas off of them.

Next, be willing to compromise. Today’s sellers are finding tougher conditions. There are lots of homes on the market and that means more competition. Go into the selling process with the mindset that you may have to make certain concessions. Many sellers find they need to lower their price. They may need to pay the buyer’s closing costs. They may also need to move out sooner or later than they anticipated.

Finally, refocus your attention on the fact that you’re moving on to a new phase in life! Many of you will be experiencing moving-up to your dream home. No matter the reason you’re selling, get excited about the changes or opportunities in your life.

Article written by: Carla Hill, Realtytimes.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