At Home With Topsail

Welcome to our blog, At Home With Topsail! Here we will discuss the history of Topsail Island, the real estate market and  area happenings around Topsail Island. Please feel free to comment, we love to discuss Topsail with you!!!!


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Jan. 13, 2015

Topsail Island Memes - Topsail Island NC


Just a collection of Topsail Island Memes for nothing more than fun! Please feel free to share with your friends through social media, email or how ever ya like to share!!

Check Back Often, We are adding this all the time!!


Capt. Picard - Topsail Island NC


Most Interesting Man in the World - Topsail Island

Posted in Fun Topsail Stuff
Jan. 12, 2015

Topsail Island Area to Host Fireball Run


Topsail Island has exciting news coming from the Topsail Island Chamber of Commerce! The Topsail Island area will host the "Fireball Run - Space Race" in September 2015. The Fireball run is describe as an action packed trivia based car rally with the teammates as the pawns and America has the game board.

The Fireball Run - Space Race starts in Hartford, CT and ends in the Florida Space Coast Fireball Run Space Race Topsail Island NC(Cape Caniveral/Cocoa Beach). There is no other perfect Fireball Run for Topsail Island since the rocket technology of today owes some credit to Topsail Island and Operation Bumblebee in the 1950s testing rockets on our beaches. Here is a promotional video about the Fireball Run - Space Race.

Contestants and guests of the Fireball Run will include but not be limited to Astronauts from the United States, Brazil and India along with several large corporation owners, politicians and some celebrities.

We are currently awaiting the actual schedule of local events which will include a reception among other things.

Proceeds raised for the non profit event will go to Child Resue Network for missing children.

We will post more information as soon as its available but go ahead and count Topsail Island in for the Space Race!!

Jan. 9, 2015

Vacation Rental Topsail Island Case Study #1

Topsail Island Vacation Rental Property Management Case Study


All of our case studies are from actual homes or properties we have managed to show our track record.




Owners of a tidal creek lot on N. New River Drive in Surf City decided to build a vacation rental property.




  1. The home was located on the waterway side of N. New River Drive. This meant it was less desirable for families since they had to cross the main road and several secondary roads to get to the beach access.

  2. The home was completely unfurnished since it was new construction.

  3. The home had no notoriety in the vacation rental market.

  4. The home must produce income for it’s expenses and turn a profit afterwards.



Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. was contacted by the owners a few weeks before the home’s Certificate of Occupancy was issued to project pricing, offer furnishing recommendations and begin crafting a marketing plan.


Several months later the home was furnished. Lewis Realty Associates, Inc photographer shot the home using exposure fusion techniques, crafted a 360 x 360 degree virtual tour and produced a video of the home complete with aerial videography. Aerial shots showed home in connection with short walk to beach access as well.  Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. then added the property into it’s vacation rental marketing program which included over 16 vacation rental websites at no extra charge to the owners.


Being in the winter time or off season, Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. secured a seasonal tenant that earned extra revenue for the home instead of allowing it to sit empty during the off season.


The seasonal tenant left in the second week of June and the vacation rental bookings began two days after the latter tenant’s departure. The home was continually booked throughout the season back to back, week after week. Much of the fall season the home had tenants as well.


Techniques Used:

  1. Broad Internet Advertising To Reach Potential Tenants.

  2. Professional Photography To Highlight the Home.

  3. Professional Videography To Provide Potential Tenants a Virtual Experience Before Booking.

  4. Calculated Rates To Out Book Competition.

  5. Leveraging the Established Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. Brand

  6. Leveraging two different type of rental setups (vacation and seasonal rental).


The first season results were:


Nights Available To Rent: 320 Nights.

Nights Booked: 265

Occupancy Rate: 83% for the year.

Jan. 8, 2015

Beth Dudley, Waterfront Realtor Joins Lewis Realty Team


Lewis Realty Associates, Inc is pleased to announce that Beth Dudley has joined the Lewis Realty Sales Team currently located at 809 Roland Avenue in Surf City, NC.


Beth Dudley has well over a decade of real estate sales experience in the Topsail Island market and has called Topsail Island her second home since birth.Beth Dudley, Broker with Lewis Realty Associates, Inc.

Beth, a graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, began her real estate career soon after. Beth brings vast experience in the local market having served as a Broker in Charge for a franchise company formerly located in Topsail Island not to mention the multitude of buyers and sellers she has represented. 

Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. President, Chris Rackley stated, "I had always been interested in having Beth join our team. Late this fall the opportunity finally presented itself! Beth brings vast local and coastal knowledge, the drive to succeed and a loyal following of clients. Our team gladly welcomed Beth with open arms."

If you are looking for a waterfront specialist with knowledge of island real estate, Beth deserves a call from you.

Beth can be reached at 910.470.5481 . 

Posted in Company News
Dec. 30, 2014

NC State Insurance Caps Topsail Island Rates for 2015

NC State Insurance Commission Caps Topsail Island Rates for 2015



This is not insurance advice. Lewis Realty Associates, Inc are not licensed for insurance brokerage or advice. This is only our interpretation of a press release. Contact your insurance provider for more information.


Earlier in 2014, home owner insurance companies submitted a request to raise home owner insurance in North Carolina (including Topsail Island) as much as 25.6% on average North Carolina Map(coastal properties were as much as 35%). This would no doubt have been a determent to the real estate and rental market in all of North Carolina. In Topsail Island, it would have resulted in slower sales and higher rents; not a good thing for the state economy or the general public.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance headed by Wayne Goodwin must approve rate changes to better serve the public interest by providing a check and balance on rates.

On December 19, 2014, the commission denied the rate increase request by the insurance companies and instead mandated a 0% overall statewide rate change. This is slightly misleading because it appears to be figured on the state's average. Topsail Island would have seen as much as a 35% increase but rather will see approx 5.6% reduction. 

Topsail Island has always been one of the more affordable beaches for both sales and rentals. This change in insurance rates should help keep that trend going.


Sources -



Chris Rackley 910.328.5211- Lewis Realty Associates, Inc.- President/Broker in Charge

Dec. 18, 2014

December Holiday Events Remaining Topsail Island, NC


Here is a list of the remaining holiday events as of 12/18/2014 in the Topsail Island, NC area. Topsail is always a special place but especially sure during the Christmas season!


  • Soundside Park - Every evening, Soundside Park in Surf City is all lite up for the seasonSoundside Park At Christmas with a large 2 story Christmas Tree! Bring the kids out for a stroll down the boardwalk and look at all the pretty lights!
  • Holly Ridge Children's Christmas Party - December 20th at 11am, Every child gets a gift, Santa will be there in all his holiday glamour, cupcakes and pizza served.  At Holly Ridge Park, All Completely Free!!
  • Dolphin Dip - Surf City, NC - Jan 1, 2015, Charity Swim Event Fundraiser with all proceeds going to Ocean Cure. Annual Event and this year may be a record breaker nationally!


Chris Rackley 910.328.5211- Lewis Realty Associates, Inc.- President/Broker in Charge




July 21, 2014

Lewis Realty Acquires Bryson & Associates | Topsail Island Real Estate News

Lewis Realty Associates, Inc is pleased to announce that it has acquired Bryson & Associates, Inc, a local owned and very reputable real estate company.


The former Bryson and Associates, Inc was a family business started by the late Sterling Bryson over 31 years ago and soon on board was his sister, Sterleen Bryson. Bryson and Associates, Inc was and will always be known for professional service that helped the Bryson family to build a very loyal following and make many friends over the years. 


"When the opportunity to purchase Bryson & Associates, Inc was given, it excited me to combine two very similar companies into one. We Chris Rackley, President of Lewis Realty Associates, Inc.believe this acquisition will allow our clients access to even more technology and exposure. Vacationers should benefit as well as we will now have one of the larger inventories in the area. " said Lewis Realty President, Chris Rackley. Rackley also further added that "The Brysons have an impeccable reputation for honesty and that has always been one of Lewis Realty Assoc. Inc's core values."

Sterleen Bryson plans to associate her real estate license with Lewis Realty Associates, Inc but plans to enjoy her new found retirement with travel and some relaxation. Please congratulate Sterleen if you bump into her on the island . . she has reached the goal of us all!

Lewis Realty will be maintaining a presence at the former Bryson location for at least the next few years. Until the fall of 2014, the former Bryson inventory of vacation rentals will be handled from the Bryson office location at 809 Roland Ave, Surf City. After the fall, Lewis Realty will open a real estate sales office at the location and handle the companies vacation rental inventory from it's main office at 320 N. New River Dr in Surf City. 

For the loyal clients of Bryson and Associates, all phone number and web addresses will remain live and in full use. Bryson's clients can also expect equal service for all their real estate needs. Rackley said, "We made an
easy decision to retain the Bryson staff as it clearly was evident they have been providing their clients great service over the years. We are excited to have them on our team!".

Lewis Realty Associates, Inc., one of the oldest real estate firms on the island, currently manages vacation and long term rentals and offers real estate sales services. 

Lewis Realty believes that our core values of Honesty, Local Knowledge with Experience and Technology will always bring great service and success to our clients.

Lewis Realty now has a combined team experience of over 300 years; more than any other real estate company in the Greater Topsail Island Market (closest competitor was 114 years).  Lewis Realty Associates, Inc also held the top spot before the acquisition with 226 years.


We Know Topsail Island . . We Have Been Here Over Fifty Years.

May 15, 2014

I <3 Topsail & Selfie Contest Update

We just wanted to do a short update and offer some recommendations for our two Photo Contests (I <3 Topsail & the new Selfie Contest) for the summer of 2014 (both have prices of a free off season condo weekend).


The Selfie Contest is the first of this kind of photo contest that we have put on. We have noticed that some individuals may have clicked the wrong contest or did not understand the "trendy" term of a "selfie".


A "Selfie" is a photo in which the person in the photo or someone in their group that is in the photo holds the camera out and snaps a picture. It is not when someone stands away and snaps a photo unless they too are in the photo. Here are a couple famous "selfies":





Some of the photos in the selfies contest appear to not be actual selfies . . and we have had some contestants point this out to us.

In order to be fair to all, we are going to remove those photos from the selfie contest. We may or may not be able to notify everyone that they have been removed. So if you see that you photo has been removed from the contest, please add it to the 4th Annual I <3 Topsail Photo contest for the same kind of prize as it would fit better there.


We are also going to set up the Selfie Contest to allow us to approve all entries before they are officially submitted so we can ensure that we keep this contest fair as possible.


A helpful pointer for either contest, be sure to share your entry among friends so they vote for it. We don't judge the photo, it is whoever has the highest number of votes at the end of the contest.


Here is a helpful little screen shot showing which tab you should click to access the two different contests we are running right now.




Thanks to all that are playing in the contest past and present.

Posted in Company News
April 30, 2014

Lewis Realty & Topsail Home Tour - Topsail Island NC

The Topsail Island Association of Realtors are holding their 1st Annual Topsail Island home tour on May 3, 2014 between 10 and 4.


This tour is sure to be great whether you are in the market or just enjoy the beauty of homes! The home tour was originally projected to have 50 homes although the Association now reports that over 80 homes in the area have been added!

Best yet, visitors to at least 5 homes are registered for a drawing at the reception for several prizes including a $500 Carnival Cruise Certificate, 1 Week in Williamsburg, VA, a fishing charter among other items.

The reception will be held at the association office at 13775 Hwy 50, Suite 402 from 5 to 7 pm with refreshments and of course the prize drawing.


Lewis Realty entered 8 homes in the home tour to help support the first annual tour in hopes of many more to come in the future.


Lewis Realty will also be raffling off a free off season condo weekend to the visitors to the homes we have in the tour.


Here are the homes:

161 Old Village Lane, North Topsail Beach (Waterfront)

163 Old Village Lane, North Topsail Beach (Waterfront

108 S. Permuda Wynd, North Topsail Beach (Ocean View)

106 Sea Oaks Ct, North Topsail Beach (Water View)

3522 Island Drive, North Topsail Beach (Oceanfront)

1117 S. Topsail Drive, Surf City (2nd Row)

2007 N. Shore Drive, Surf City (Water View)

126 Big Hammock Point Road, Sneads Ferry (Waterfront)

105A Thrasher Ct, Hampstead (Town Home)

View the homes here that Lewis Realty has entered.


We look forward to seeing you on the tour!!!

Chris Rackley

Chris Rackley 910.328.5211- Lewis Realty Associates, Inc.- President/Broker in Charge


March 14, 2014

Senate Approves House Bill 3370 - Flood Insurance Bill

As an update to our original blog post concerning the flood insurance changes due to the Biggert-Waters Act, we are happy to report that the Senate has passed the house bill 3370 which amends the latter act. This not only affected Topsail Island but affected the nation, even inland areas!

The senate choose to accept the house bill with a 72 to 22 vote on Thursday March 13, 2014. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law soon.


So what does this mean for the law of the land when it comes to Flood Insurance and the NFIP?

  1. The original law had a premium increase trigger on the sale of the property. The new bill repeals this trigger on primary homes, second homes and businesses by allowing the new owner to assume the policy at the old rate (policy follows property not owner). It also allows for refunds to those who paid the increased premiums after the original law was passed.

  2. It also repeals Sec 207 by restoring grandfathering of properties in flood zones and restores a rate phase on new flood maps.

  3. The bill does have some rate increases to help the NFIP become sustainable though.  For homes built before 1975 (generally Pre-Firm)there will not be a 5% floor and 18% ceiling on increases (reduced from 25%). If built after 1975 (generally Post-Firm), an 18% ceiling will be in effect reduced from a 20% average.

  4. A $25 offset will be charged on all NFIP primary homes and $250 on businesses and second homes. 


Although rates will not be as they were before the summer of 2012 this a welcomed changed backed by the National Association of Realtors.

As we are not insurance agents, please speak with your insurance agent, we are only passing along what we understand.


Source ->


Chris Rackley

Chris Rackley 910.328.5211- Lewis Realty Associates, Inc.- President/Broker in Charge