New Hanover County, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes realizes that many of our clients have homes to sell before they can build a new home or move to our area. Consider these tips when selling your home. 

Home buyers and home sellers have the same goal: an exchange of property. Buyers want to pay as little as possible for the nicest house they can afford; sellers want to earn as much as possible on their property. They may seem like conflicting interests, but they aren’t. Buyers and sellers goals, at bottom, are both about making a fair trade.

For sellers, there are some intangible factors they simply can’t control, like fluctuations in the market in their city or neighborhood, interest rates on mortgages, and the price at which nearby homes are selling for. Sellers can, however, control how their home is presented when their Realtor shows their property to prospective buyers. One of the best ways for home sellers to ensure the sale of their property is to make it attractive to buyers.
Having a pleasant interior design can put buyers at ease and reassure them that your home is well cared for. Buyers don’t easily get excited about purchasing a home that is sloppy, dirty and poorly decorated.

Interior design professional Emily Spreng, who holds degrees in interior design and historic preservation, says working with just two elements of your interior design can reap huge benefits in the overall feel of your home.


“Lighting is one of the most important elements in interior design,” Spreng says. “By changing lighting you can instantly change the mood of a room.”

Whether you’re showing your home day or night, pay close attention to the mood being created by your lighting. In the bedroom, Spreng recommends creating a relaxing, ambient feel by turning off your overhead light and adding lamps with opaque shades to your bedside tables.

For cramped or dim spaces, Spreng says mirrors can make a room feel larger and warmer. “Put a mirror on the opposite wall of yours window to bounce the light around,” she says. By reflecting the sunlight, mirrors create the illusion of a second window.

You should also pay attention to your choice of window dressing to use the daylight you have, Spreng adds. “Use blinds that open and close and go up all the way, so you can let in a little bit of light or a lot—it’s just another way to control your lighting.”


“Your accessories are the cheapest thing to change if you’re working on a budget,” Spreng says.

Accessories are the stuff you put in the room to make it more interesting, things like vases, candlesticks, pottery, flowers and wall hangings. For Spreng, the thing to remember about accessories is: less is more.

“I think the most important thing to remember when accessorizing your home is that one very interesting accessory is better than six or seven knickknacks,” she says. “If you want to emphasize the design of your home, it’s important to remove as much clutter as you can.”

Spreng advises home sellers to focus especially on area rugs, paintings or photos and throw pillows to spruce up a room. “An area rug is probably the best way to warm up a room,” she says, adding that it will bring a room together and make it feel cozy. Paintings and photos are a good way to add color and character to your room, and you can liven up drab furniture with cheap, colorful throw pillows.

An extra tip: if you have a big room with an empty corner, folding screens are a great way to round out the space and bring the focus back into center of the room.

Courtesy of: Drew Johnson,

Green Home TwoWhen Jacksonville, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes tackled their first Green project, a LEED Platinum home in Wilmington, NC, they learned a very valuable lesson: although a client may not specifically ask for Green features, the features of a Green-built home are an obvious benefit. Every homeowner wants to save money on utility bills and live in a safe home to keep their families healthy and comfortable. Online for EcoHome’s Chief Editor Jean Dimeo interviewed Sam Raskin, the national director for Energy Star for Homes, on this very subject and the article was very insightful. Below is an excerpt and to read the complete article, click here!

“’You don’t know someone’s willingness to pay until you have the value proposition in hand,’ Raskin said. Energy Star for Homes provides builders a relatively easy way to offer buyers dwellings that are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC) and that include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20% to 30% more efficient than standard houses. But Energy Star-qualified houses are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to green building. That’s why EPA’s Climate Choice program seeks to accelerate market adoption of cutting-edge technologies.”

432567_0[1]Mark Johnson Custom Homes recently completed a spacious 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom English Tudor style brick home in Marsh Landing Place in Wilmington, NC. The kitchen boasts granite countertops, large center island, stainless steel appliances, built-in microwave, refrigerator and a self-cleaning oven. Hardwood and ceramic tile flooring is throughout the home. The master suite has dual walk-in closets and its own bathroom featuring a tile shower and garden tub.
Additional unique features include a convenient wet bar, wainscoting, crown molding, 9 ft ceilings, built-in shelving, and stone accents inside and out. Elegant French doors in the dining area lead to a back deck overlooking the serene marsh. Marsh Landing Place is a gorgeous neighborhood tucked away in the desirable Ogden area with a pool and clubhouse.
To view the floorplan of this home, click here!

632 Southerland Farm Rd. Great Room 


Once you’ve entered the peaceful retreat of Marsh Landing Place, you’ll never want to leave home, it’s only natural.

 632 Southerland Farm Rd. Kitchen
For more information, visit the websites for Marsh Landing Place or Buddy Blake Real Estate Experts!

Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc is proud to use an environmentally smart option in their Green home in the Landfall Community in Wilmington, NC.

Mohawk Carpet leads innovation in sustainable flooring with SmartStrand® carpet with DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer. In a partnership with DuPont, this carpet exclusively offers fiber made with Bio-PDO™ (the key Sorona® ingredient), which is produced from corn sugar.

By utilizing this new ingredient, 37 percent of Sorona® is being made from renewable resources. This marks the first time that a luxuriously soft carpet offers durability and stain protection, while also making less of an environmental impact.


DuPont™ Sorona® plays a major role in the worldwide objective of a renewable economy and represents a new frontier in sustainability. This carpet is environmentally smart because:

– The production of Sorona® polymer requires 30 percent less energy than the production of an equal amount of nylon.

– Greenhouse gas emissions from the production of Sorona® are 63 percent lower than nylon manufacturing.

– This energy reduction results in approximately one gallon of gasoline saved per every seven square yards of carpet.

The superior stain resistance of SmartStrand® carpet is engineered into the fiber and will never wear or wash off, meaning consumers will never need to retreat the carpet with stain protectors after steam cleaning.

And this engineered-in stain resistance reaches new levels of protection, allowing tough stains such as mustard, red wine, and cherry Kool-Aid® to be removed simply with warm water and a mild detergent, or with Mohawk FloorCare™ Essentials. The fiber even resists discoloration from bleach.

For more information, visit their site.

Courtesy of:

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released the LEED regional credits as part of LEED 2009, the new version of the LEED Green Building Rating System. These LEED credits encourage that specific regional environmental priorities be addressed when it comes to the design, construction and operations of buildings in different geographic locations.

“Because environmental priorities differ among various regions of the country—the challenges in the southeast differ from those in the northwest, for example—regionally specific credits give LEED a way to directly respond to diverse, regionally grounded issues,” says Brendan Owens, vice president of technical development, USGBC. “The inclusion of these regional LEED credits is the Council’s first step toward addressing regional environmental issues.”

With the help of USGBC’s regional councils, chapters and affiliates, credits addressing six specific environmental issues within a region were identified from among the existing LEED credits. In LEED 2009, LEED projects will be able to earn “bonus points” for implementing green building strategies that address the important environmental issues facing their region. A project can be awarded as many as four extra points, with one point each for achieving up to four of the six priority credits.

LEED 2009 is one of the three major components that make up LEED Version 3, the next version of the LEED green building certification program, which launched April 27, 2009. The changes to the LEED rating system reflect the rapid advancements in building science and technology and provides incentives for strategies that have greater positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reductions, among other priorities.

The other components of LEED v3 include a faster, smarter and easier to use LEED Online, the tool for managing the LEED registration and certification process; and a new building certification model administered by the Green Building Certification Institute through a network of internationally recognized independent ISO-accredited certification bodies. To learn more about LEED v3 and to download a region-by-region list of priority credits, visit

Wilmington, NC custom builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc. has taken into account the Southeastern North Carolina regional aspects in their registered LEED home in the gated community of Landfall Country Club. MJCH hopes to continue to build new homes in Wilmington, NC of this caliber and to attain the highest LEED certification as possible.

Courtesy of:

Wilmington, NC – January 29, 2008 – Mark Johnson Custom Homes is proud to recognize Kevin Johnson’s completion of Green Building for Professionals Course. 

“Mark Johnson Custom Homes is constantly looking for the next step in building innovation.  We are elated to take our company to the next level and be able to create sustainable, luxury new homes in Wilmington, NC and the surrounding areas,” said president of MJCH, Mark Johnson.

Completing the Green Professional Builder course solidifies Mark Johnson Custom Homes as a versatile organization that combines high end quality construction with environmentally responsible building. Mark Johnson Custom Homes not only specializes in new Green home construction, but they also make renovations to existing properties. MJCH currently offers a variety of Green Renovation packages to consumers that are looking to update their home.

“Building ‘green’ is a conscious way to keep energy costs down and save water.  With green alterations to your home’s design you are making a concerted effort to keep our planet healthy,” said Kevin Johnson.  Johnson has been with the company for 3 years.

Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc. is a licensed unlimited builder by the State of North Carolina. A family run business, we are members of the National Association of Home Builders, Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.

When you work with us you’ll find dedication to the details –

• A professional and courteous staff
• Web based tools that keep our clients “in the know”
• Detailed planning that eliminates costly mistakes
• Knowledgeable team of trade partners and associates
• Use of the latest technologies

If you are looking for a green builder in Wilmington, NC contact Mark Johnson Custom Homes, (910) 443-5422 or you can fill out the Contact Form on our blog.