A Shore Thing
Craig Worton of the Compass RE Beach to Bay Team specializes in helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate dreams in Avalon and Stone Harbor.
by Lindsey Getz

Craig Worton has made some of his best memories down the Jersey Shore. Now, as a Realtor with the Compass RE Beach to Bay Team, he gains tremendous satisfaction from helping others do the same.
Worton’s passion for the shore began early in life. He started visiting Avalon regularly in his college years, and he worked as a lifeguard in Stone Harbor during the summer. He loved the relaxed lifestyle and the sense of promise that came with each day. Upon graduation, however, he traded his lifeguard uniform for a suit and tie to become a CPA with the Big Four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. He then transitioned into a role as a headhunter and subsequently found his footing in the commercial real estate business. 
Even though his work often took him to locations far removed from the sun, sand, and surf of the New Jersey coast, the beach never stopped calling to him. 
Today, Worton lives with family on Avalon’s Princeton Harbor. He is considered an expert and a go-to resource for anyone looking to buy, sell, or rent a home in Avalon. As part of the sought-after Compass RE Beach to Bay Team, Worton specializes in helping people find their dream homes in Avalon and Stone Harbor, from beachside to bayside. His background in finance has been a significant differentiator for all clients. 
“There are different financial scenarios that we can consider in order to make a deal work,” Worton says. “We’re then able to build a financial model for clients to show them what type of home they can get into and what the return will be. We can also look at whether it might be stretching it to go for a more expensive home but then rent it out for a portion of the summer.”
Worton has owned and rented homes on the island since 1998. His expertise extends far beyond what it takes to effectively buy or sell a home. As someone who has personally developed nine homes on the island, he has an intimate understanding of the construction process from beginning to end. Such knowledge has been instrumental for prospective clients who may be interested in purchasing land on which to build a dream home down the shore.
“When clients get paired with an agent who doesn’t have a strong understanding of the potential pitfalls of building, it does them a real disservice,” he adds. “There are also many players to interact with, like architects, designers, attorneys, and even experts with the Department of Environmental Protection. It can be overwhelming to navigate if you’re not supported by your agent.” 
No matter the scenario, Worton can help protect clients by making sure they have dotted every I and crossed every T during the decision-making process.
“There is a lot to know and a lot of factors that should be considered,” Worton explains. “For example, there can be a number of potential legal issues with waterfront development, which can make it really complicated. I believe it is important that I help keep clients in the know so there aren’t any negative surprises later. There’s nothing worse than people ending up in a bad situation because nobody advised them otherwise.” 
It should come as no surprise that Worton possesses in-depth knowledge of Avalon’s many neighborhoods. Every area has its positives and negatives, and Worton knows them all. In other words, he ensures that clients have considered every aspect of a potential move so they can make the most informed decisions for their family.
He believes in taking a consultative approach to working with clients. By getting to know clients on a personal level, he can understand their unique wants, needs, and long-term goals. Matching each client to his or her dream home is far more complex than simply choosing a house or a plot of land that looks appealing from the street. He wants to know how a client will use the property, how much time they intend to spend there throughout the year, and if they plan on renting it out, among other factors. Such fact-finding is a vital aspect of the search process.
Interest in shore living has intensified since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic—and the heightened interest isn’t likely to wane anytime soon. More than ever, people are looking for a shore home to serve as a sanctuary of sorts. For anyone whose primary residence is in the Philadelphia area or even New York, desirable shore towns such as Avalon and Stone Harbor are far enough away to make people feel as though they live at a destination removed from the demands and stressors of the so-called “real world.” 
The increased demand has, however, created a significant downside: reduced inventory. In a seller’s market, buyers have fewer available homes from which to choose, with higher prices for any homes that are available. Worton believes part of the problem stems from the fact that people have been hesitant or unable to travel. As travel opens back up, he expects more listings to become available.
No matter which way the market turns, it behooves a buyer or seller to work with an agent who belongs to the community. Worton’s connections enable him to keep his finger on the community’s pulse. As a result, he can take swift action on a client’s behalf when a good option becomes available.
“I pride myself on strong relationships with other brokers in town and treating them all fairly,” he adds. “When I am looking for something for my clients, I know I can reach out and they will share what they think may be of interest.” 
Worton and the rest of the Compass RE Beach to Bay Team share an undeniable passion for Avalon. More importantly, they are driven by a desire to help clients achieve their end goal—whether it’s a buyer seeking their own slice of heaven near the sand and surf, or a seller trying to get the best possible deal so they can invest in an even grander shore home farther down the coast. 
For more information on the Compass RE Beach to Bay Team, call (609) 967-9600 or visit avalonshorehomes.com.
Photography by Kelly Czupkiewicz, courtesy of Compass RE Beach to Bay Team
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, December 2021.