New Chapter, New Home

03 Jul 2024

A change in scenery was just the thing for this newly retired couple

By Brittany Conley  »  Photos by G. Frank Hart

T.S. Eliot once said, “Home is where one starts from.” This can be interpreted in many ways; perhaps some might take it to mean home is where one is born, the childhood home. For Ed and Karyn Hohmann, however, this took a slightly different meaning. Set to go on a rather unique and thorough quest, and with the help of the remarkably talented team at Landfall Realty, it didn’t take them long at all to fall in love with Wilmington.

Virginia natives, Ed and Karyn Hohmann, met and fell in love as they each blossomed in their careers in banking and finance. After the wedding bells came the diapers and the pitter pat of little feet as they had their two children, Keleigh and Kyle. Life happened, moments and memories turned into years, which turned into decades, and before they knew it, they had spent thirty blissful years right outside Washington D.C. 

“We loved the northern Virginia area. We raised our kids there,” says Karyn. She believes wholeheartedly that it was a great place to raise their family, with good schools and job opportunities galore. “But we were pretty much done with the hustle and bustle.”

Once Ed and Karyn decided it was time to retire and spend their time enjoying this part of their lives the way they wanted to, they had to really stop and think about what that would mean. As Ed enjoys golf, being near a course was important. He also wanted to be somewhere rich with historical significance. Both knew they would prefer something with a water view – though they weren’t sure exactly what sort of water they would want – and those things could easily be found in Virginia. But there was one non-negotiable on their list that couldn’t be found unless they moved south: warmer weather. 

“We wanted to leave behind cold winters,” says Karyn.” I didn’t want snow anymore. The weather we wanted was something we could live with year round.” 

Since they had spent their entire married life in a home they truly loved, Karyn and Ed felt a little out of their depth with all the logistics of buying a new home – especially without being certain where that home would be. Deciding on a new city was the logical first step, so Karyn and her husband came up with a plan for how they would make this most important of decisions. They devised a tour of sorts, picking several of the southeast’s most picturesque places and visiting for a few days. 

“If we felt like we might want to come back and live there, we wanted to go back and stay two, maybe three months and live like locals,” says Karyn. “We narrowed it down to North and South Carolina to avoid any weather extremes. We went to Wilmington first, then Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort, Charleston, and even a short trip to Savannah, Georgia.” 

Anyone who has spent time in any of these places may be perplexed at how to narrow down those choices, but narrow they did. And the first place they returned to was where their journey started. There was just something about Wilmington that made them want to dive deeper into what it would be like to make it their permanent home. So, they rented a house in Wrightsville Beach and immersed themselves in the local way of life with the help of Landfall Realty – even though living in the Landfall community wasn’t exactly top priority.

“In our minds, we were still at least two years away from making the move, and at that time we weren’t sure if we would choose Wilmington or Charleston,” says Karyn, who still sounds amazed by the lengths Landfall Realty went to in order to help them figure out where they wanted to be. “[Landfall] helped us understand what each area is like. Did we want to be near the beach, closer to medical facilities, or golf courses? It was great.” 

The Hohmanns didn’t expect the level of service they received from the team at Landfall Realty, especially when they realized they weren’t strictly narrowing their search to the Landfall community. “A lot of people don’t realize we are a full-service agency that is happy to help people buy or sell properties throughout the area,” says Michelle Kelly, Marketing Manager at Landfall Realty. While a gorgeous community, Landfall Realty realized there was a much bigger market that would thrive with their expertise and unparalleled customer service.

It was that customer service that hastened the move for the Hohmanns. “We were at our last house for over thirty years. So, we’re not movers. We don’t do this much,” says Karyn, who admits the process felt daunting. But she knew they were in good hands. “[Landfall Realty] was really helpful in not just helping us with the area, but the nuances of living in a coastal community,” she adds. “Like educating us on flood zones and termite bonds. Hurricane coverage, too. Just stuff that is normal for those who live in the area but not for people who aren’t used to needing those things.”

After they spent a few weeks more in Wilmington, Karyn and Ed didn’t want to leave. Suddenly Charleston wasn’t in the running anymore and, without the need of an additional visit, the Hohmanns found their new hometown…but not their new home. Their timeline was still a couple of years out, as they still had a home back in Virginia they would need to list for sale – not to mention it takes a while to pack up a life.

However, talented as the team at Landfall Realty is, they weren’t going to sit idly by as homes came onto the market that checked off the boxes the Hohmanns had in mind. Instead of waiting two years to find their dream home on the coast, the Landfall team found it in closer to two months. “It was much sooner than we expected, but the home was so perfect, we had to go for it,” says Karyn.

The home Landfall Realty presented was absolutely splendid; custom built by Bell Custom Homes in 2017 in Brunswick Forest. Situated with a view of a pond and the 12th fairway on the illustrious Cape Fear National Golf Course, it was almost as if the place were custom built with the Hohmanns in mind.  Every inch of its 5100 square feet was thoughtfully planned so things like the kitchen cabinetry, for instance, were just as beautiful as they were functional – as was the large walk-in closet in the primary suite, which was especially attractive to Karyn. 

“We love everything about it,” she says. “One of my favorite things is the shape of the house. It’s a curved house with a breezeway that is attached to the garage. Also, when you walk into the house, you can see straight through to a panoramic view of the golf course and woods. It’s like the outside has been brought inside.”

They often enjoy those outside views in their sunroom, with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. “It’s the best place to view the sunrise or sunset, depending on what time of year it is,” she says, adding they chose to bring in the colors found outside their home, which steers away from the traditional beachy-tones one might expect for homes in the area, and creates a more neutral, tranquil space that fits in seamlessly with its surroundings.

“We’re from the DC area, so we’re used to having all the restaurants, shopping, and shows we could want – and we have that now, minus the traffic,” says Karyn, who speaks with such admiration for their new social life. They quickly found a local dinner club with neighbors who eagerly welcomed them to the neighborhood, which really made North Carolina home and made expediting their plans more than worth it. “We promised ourselves we would retire early. We knew we had to do it, or it wouldn’t have been early,” she adds. 

The team at Landfall Realty went above and beyond to help the Hohmanns realize their dreams, and now Ed and Karyn are proud to be on the other side of the welcome wagon, embracing newcomers to the neighborhood. To find out about Landfall Realty and all the ways they can help you on your own journey home, follow them online at and across their social media channels.

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