With the recent declaration from our government officials to limit the sale of food and beverages in NC to Carry-Out, Drive-Through and Delivery services only, we wanted to help spread the word about what local establishments are still open and ready for your business here in the Topsail area. We have linked to their business Facebook pages below so you can check for any updates to their offering and hours.
The list below was complied based on publicly available information. If you know of other businesses that are open but not listed below, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us through Facebook to let us know so we can add them too!
It is on all our minds – COVID19 or Coronavirus. We are asked daily can I still come to Topsail Island on our vacation? Is it safe to come? What is your company’s response?
Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. has been very proactive with this situation, scaling back social interactions in our business and community and enhancing our already quality housekeeping procedures for all our Topsail vacation rental properties.
The CDC’s guidance is that the virus does not transmit as well from surfaces although still possible. It does however transmit very effectively from person to person.
In order to help ensure the safety of our guests, their family, our staff and housekeeping teams we added several new procedures to our housekeeping checklists.
Extended Disinfection – Per the CDC guidelines – we are now disinfecting with approved CDC chemicals any “touch” surfaces. The CDC has guidelines on the brand and type of chemical used and the chemical’s duration on the surface to properly disinfect.
Per CDC guidelines – each property is “aired” out. We open all windows while cleaning.
As before – bedding is either brought by the guest or rented through a third party linen service. The third party rental service we recommend and can add any time to your reservation uses commercial washers and dryers with high heat along with approved disinfecting laundry chemicals.
Each guest is notified to tell us if they have traveled to identified outbreak area, are not feeling well or experiencing a fever. They are also asked if they experienced any illness while in the property. This helps us to know if further precautions are needed to help ensure safety for the guests coming afterwards.
There may not be a better time to come on down to Topsail Island. Our population is small, our air is clean and our beaches are miles and miles long.
We hope this situation ends soon and we look forward to having you on the island soon.
Lewis Realty has teamed up with Topsail Island’s very own Ecological Marine Adventures to offer a discounts to all booked guests for the 2020 summer season! As special treat we will also be featuring fun and informational articles from the EMA staff here on our Lewis Realty Blog!
What is Ecological Marine Adventures you ask? Well, they are Topsail Island’s small marine science center with a pure and simple mission: conservation education. EMA teaches kids (of all ages, even those crazy adults!) about the ocean. They do this through hands-on experiences, like field exploration, experiments, data collection, touch tanks, aquarium work, logbooks and more.
Guests with confirmed reservations will receive a discount code valid for 10% off activities at Ecological Marine Adventures!! The code can be used to book ghost crab hunts, SUP and science classes, camps, etc. **The code can not be used for EMA’s SCUBA camps, merchandise, and their aquarium entry fee.
For more information ask your reservationist today!
Your Property Should Have It’s Own Bank Account. Why? This makes it easier to track your income and expenses throughout the year and at tax time.
Insurance, Insurance, Insurance. Why? We all know that you usually must insure your Topsail property against hazards such as fire, wind or flood. But another important insurance is liability insurance. This helps to protect you if someone was injured at the property while renting it. Lewis Realty requires this type of insurance on any property we manage. It just makes sense in the litigious world we live and work in.
LLC Or Not?We feel LLCs may provide another hurdle to protect your other assets if there was a liability issue on your Topsail vacation property. It also may provide you with some tax incentives. Be sure to check with your attorney and accountant before taking the plunge though. They know your current situation and can make sure it is a better fit.
Writeoffs. Adding to the recommendation of having a bank account just for the vacation rental property you can utilize this account to track your expenses. Taking in account that rental property usually generates passive income you can leverage many of the expenses you encounter with the property to help decrease the overall gross thus saving money at tax time. Another footnote is that passive income does not count against Social Security. So if you are planning or are receiving social security, a vacation rental property can provide a great additional source of income. Again please talk to your accountant!
Upgrades and Repairs. If it comes time to replace the roof, siding or windows take the time to explore all the different kinds of products and installations out there. For example, most metal roofs last 50 years. They also perform better in the winds we receive here at Topsail. They are more some what more expense than a traditional shingle roof but once you calculate the cost of repairs and loss of income in a failure a metal roof looks attractive. There are also different types of siding and windows for the coastal environment to explore. Also don’t forget that there are small items like outside light fixtures that corrode in the salt here on the island. When changing them out – go composite.
Flooring. Nothing hurts your feelings more than coming to your vacation property on Topsail and seeing a stain on the carpet. Many times the stains will reappear in a few weeks after spot treatment. Beat the chance for stains and wear & tear by looking at other floor products like tile or LVT. LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile offer many colors with some even looking like wood. The flooring itself usually shows no wear and tear and is waterproof. This keeps your Topsail vacation property looking it’s best thus keeping a consistent income.
Safety First. – Make sure your property is as safe as possible for your guests. For example, it is now required when changing a defective smoke detector you must use a new one with a 10 year battery. We assist our owners in keeping up with new laws or ways to help ensure safety like our annual deck inspections.
Make Sure You Have Professional Photography. Most every guest starts online. Competition is stiff. Make sure your property stands out with the best possible photography available. We handle this for all our owners. We have trained staff photographers that utilize wide angle lens and HDR (High Dynamic Resolution) to make sure the guests see the beautiful room and view through the windows.
Use Rental Agreements. All of our guests sign the same vacation rental agreement written in accordance with the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act that protects both the vacation rental owners and the guests.
Pay your Accommodations Tax. Onslow and Pender County charge a percentage on the base rent of vacation rentals. This tax must be paid and filed correctly or it will result in an avalanche of tax burden. We collect these taxes and report to the counties for all our owners to give you peace of mind.
Televisions and Technology. This day of age guests expect televisions (flat panel HD Smart TVs) in each bedroom and living area. Ideally you will have cable to all of these as many guests have not cut the cord and stream only. It is also a neccessity to have a fast, stable wifi connection for the guests to utilize with the growing number of wifi enabled devices.
Just Think Like A Guest. The vacation rental world is driven on reviews. When updating, upgrading or making changes in your property think about what the guest would want. It is not a bad idea to go a bit overboard with this thinking. It will help to ensure you get plenty of good reviews which in turn increase your bottom line.
This event has grown over the years in to fun filled weekend for Jeep owners, lovers and anyone who just enjoys a good time! This year the event sold out ahead of kick off with 150 registered Jeeps participating!!
Lewis Realty owner/ president, Chris Rackley, showed off his Jeep Skills on the obstacle course during Sundays event. The poor camera man couldn’t escape the mud fast enough!
check out some of the great photos our team was about to capture throughout the weekend: