Learn More About

Welcome back, !

Click here to update your information


Welcome back, !

Click here to update your information



23 April . 2024

Living the Life on Botany Bay

While the name may be misleading for those unfamiliar, living along the Cape Fear River is nothing short of splendid. The impressive array of recreational opportunities makes it a great place for anyone who craves adventure; the bountiful wildlife and impeccable views make it a veritable playground for nature lovers. For those who want to capture all Cape Fear River has to offer, there's no finer place to call home than a community right on its picturesque marshy banks—and there's no community quite like Riverlights.

Situated just outside Wilmington's historic downtown, Riverlights is a jewel that for over six years has been refining the idea of what a social community can be. Residents don't have to venture far to find anything they may want or need—with the Marina Village just a stone's throw away that offers everything from nibbles to a challenging indoor golfing experience. 

“Living in Riverlights is like being on vacation,” says Holly Perez, a real estate broker and blissfully happy resident of the community. So happy, in fact, that when the Perez family had outgrown their original home in Riverlights and they knew they were ready to build something new, they couldn't fathom leaving the community they had come to love.

“We wanted more entertaining space and a house to make our forever home,” says Perez. “We knew we wanted to build a new home but could not imagine leaving the neighborhood.” The first step was choosing the dream property. Riverlights hosts many model homes designed by a handful of builder partners for prospective residents, and it didn't take too long for the Perez family to find what their hearts had been longing for.

That is when the two Hollys met. Holly Overton, Vice President and Sales Manager for Charter Building Group, had the distinct pleasure of introducing the Perez family to the Oak Hill plan—a plan based on Charter Building Group's home that was crowned the 2022 HGTV Smart Home, a design the experts at HGTV.com called “stunning” and a “grand waterside escape.” This is undoubtedly a point of tremendous pride for Charter Building Group. “[The home] caught their eye and [Holly] knew she could really put her touch on this plan,” says Overton.

Choosing the home's plan was only the beginning, as they needed a property on which to build. Ms. Overton and her team had one in mind, a unique slice of serenity on Botany Bay, enveloped with lush greenery and the perfect spot for sunsets over Cape Fear River. “We knew it would have a wow factor with the right home and orientation. [The Perez family] was instantly attracted to the Botany Bay property and shared our vision for creating something special,” says Overton.

Something special is one way to describe the Perez family's home on Botany Bay, but most may agree to take it a step further and call it something extraordinary. 

“We looked at several layouts, but when Ms. Overton presented the Oak Hill plan, we knew it was the one. We were able to make a few minor adjustments to tailor it to our needs and style,” says Perez. 

As soon as it set in that her dream home was going to become a reality, Perez decided to take to Instagram to immortalize the process. “Before we began construction, I started @LifeOnBotanyBay to document our building journey. I have enjoyed seeing the progress and sharing our experiences,” says Perez. Hundreds of people have been tuning in to gain inspiration, watch the room transformations and, frankly, catch the amusing antics that often pop up with any large project.

The home is definitely Instagram-worthy. Every corner of the property and every nook and cranny of the home epitomizes relaxed luxury. The allure of the property's natural beauty could have been diminished by the wrong choices for the home's exterior. But between Perez's keen eye and the talented team at Charter Building Group, every decision was made thoughtfully to ensure the home and its surroundings worked together instead of competing.

“My design style is earthy and eclectic. I wanted to create a warm, inviting home full of character. For the exterior, we chose salt finish patios, tabby concrete, gas lanterns, and copper accents, which add charm and texture,” says Perez. 

The home's semi-wrap-around porch provides the perfect place for a morning cup of coffee, while the upstairs covered balcony is the perfect spot for a glass of wine as the sun dips below the tranquil waters of Cape Fear River in the distance. Even the garage hints at luxury, with the addition of a dedicated golf cart storage so the family can properly house their preferred means of cruising around to the many shopping and entertainment opportunities within Riverlights. 

Another thing that sets the Perez home apart from other coastal-area homes, is the color palette. 

“The exterior and grounds are so beautiful you don't need a lot of color inside. Ms. Perez recognized that and kept it very neutral,” says Overton, who noted the Perez family pivoted away from the quintessential beachy color scheme one might have expected. “We joked and asked what color is this going to be? Holly would laugh, and she would say it's not going to be a color, it is going to be neutral.” Bright whites throughout the home act as a canvas for all the blues and greens captured in the home's large windows and oversized sliding glass door, while arches throughout and an all-black office area provide plenty of drama while remaining neutral.

There's also no shortage of personal touches throughout the home, especially in the kitchen. No detail was spared, from the brass hardware to the handpicked marble countertops. Notably, though, hidden appliances were a must for Perez. 

“This was one feature we knew we wanted in our new home. I love the clean look paneled appliances offer,” Perez says, emphatically stating she couldn't be happier with how the project turned out.

But the home's personality hardly ends there. The Perez family wouldn't dream of leaving out their precious four-legged babies. 

“One of my favorite spaces in the house is the dog room. They of course had to have an arch too,” says Perez on her Instagram. A lavish little apartment for the family's beloved Yorkshire terrier, Arthur, and their miniature schnauzer, Old Man, can be found under the staircase—and of course, the pups occasionally make adorable guest appearances in her popular posts. 

It's impossible to follow Perez's online journey in perfecting this already exquisite home without longing for something similar. If you are thinking of joining the happy residents of Riverlights in living like you're always on vacation, there is no better time to start making dreams happen than right now. The waterfront properties in Riverlights are a hidden gem; the sunsets are mesmerizing. 

To learn more about river-view and lake-view lot opportunities, you are invited to visit Charter Building Group's Decorated Model Home in Riverlights located at 1001 Trisail Terrace. See the bountiful amenities Riverlights has to offer by visiting RiverlightsLiving.com. To follow along as Perez creates the home of her family's dreams, you can follow her on Instagram @LifeOnBotanyBay.

Source: Life on Botany Bay | Wilmington NC Magazine