Introducing our new NC 12 Realty Blog Writer – Diane Lea

Hi, Folks.  I’m Diane Lea, friend and Buxton neighbor of Carla and Trafton Reynolds.  My career for the past 20 years has been marketing historic real estate with North Carolina Estates, a boutique Triangle real estate firm.  I met Trafton and Carla many years ago when they were working in the Triangle region.  Little did I know then that we would all be happily relocated to Hatteras Island and share the wonderful lifestyle of the Outer Banks. My love of the Outer Banks can be traced to my childhood as a Florida native growing up fishing and shelling on the beaches of the east and west coasts of the state.  My grandfather was a skilled fisherman whose favorite location was the old mangroves around Naples and Marco.  I often watched him cast his handmade plugs just where he intuited the fish would be.  My parents’ interest was in trolling the Gulf Stream for Mahi Mahi off Miami or dropping a line for the wary grouper off the coast of the Florida Keys.  So, when my husband Jim and I moved to Chapel Hill, while he completed a graduate degree from UNC-CH and then remained to pursue a career in the Department of Family Medicine, the first place we wanted to see was the Outer Banks.  One Thanksgiving we took my parents to Buxton and picnicked on the beach at the base of the Hatteras Light.  Another time, we drove from Chapel Hill in time to see the snow geese take flight at dawn. My work in historic preservation stems from a seminar I took from noted preservationist Bob Stipe at the UNC Institute of Government.  From that start, I went on to be the second president of the Chapel Hill Preservation Society.  I joined a city and regional planning firm where I specialized in conducting architectural and historic surveys in many towns and communities across North Carolina. One of those surveys took me to Ocracoke Island, where I felt I was back in the Old Florida of my youth. When I joined my real estate firm and obtained a listing to market two historic properties on Ocracoke Island, I was introduced to surf fishing on the Point by my colleague and friend Harry Branch. In Buxton I met my wonderful friends Kim Mosher and Kevin McCabe and learned about the Flowers Ridge neighborhood.  Husband Jim and I met home builder Archibald Morse and soon we were building our home in the ‘hood. Though I cite historic real estate as my primary occupation, I have written extensively on all facets of life in North Carolina. I researched and wrote the history for five historic survey books, including one on Hyde County.  In 2000 I became the Design Editor for a regional magazine, METRO Magazine, based in Raleigh.  Because of my background in historic preservation, I was able to incorporate articles on historic Tarboro, the Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station, and three homes on Hatteras Island. Now I’m happy to be writing a blog to describe my life and love of Hatteras Island for my friends Trafton and Carla. I look forward to sharing my work with you.  

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