Office History


Southern Coast Real Estate offers its clients local expertise grounded in more than half a century of Topsail Island history. Owner Sue Medlin Smith is a lifelong resident of the island, and comes from one of the original handful of local families to lay the foundation and architecture of what is known today as Surf City, Topsail Beach, and North Topsail Beach.

Sue’s family has always been an intricate part of Surf City’s growth and progress. The family’s connection to Topsail Island began in 1949, when a man visited her parents’ store in Nash County. His description of the island convinced her father, Charlie Medlin, to see Topsail for himself. He built an oceanfront cottage on the island soon afterward, and then opened Coastal Ice & Seafood Co. in 1952. In addition to running multiple businesses, Mr. Charlie was active in local civic organizations and served on the Surf City Board of Commissioners and the Pender County Board of Education.

The family also stamped their place in Surf City’s culture and history by owning and running Barnacle Bill’s Pier, which included a tackle shop and a seafood grill. Mrs. Bettie Medlin, Sue’s mother, was a key part in the family’s business and community successes. One of the first upscale restaurants on the island was Dine Ashore, which was owned and operated by Charlie and Bettie. Sue took over as executive chef in 1986, revamping the menu and décor to make the restaurant a favored destination of both seasonal residents from across the country and year-round locals alike.

Sue’s heritage and lifelong connection to Topsail Island and the Wilmington area give her an unparalleled understanding of this unique community. There is no real estate agent more qualified to find you the perfect home in this area.

Please visit our listing page to view the properties we have available or contact us if you have any questions.