Meet the Team

Buzzy Northen

Buzzy Northen

Buzzy was born and raised in Richmond, Va., graduated from The Virginia Military Institute in 1977, then started a successful career in the brokerage business. He is married to Ellen Tafel from Louisville, Ky and has two daughters, Sarah Brucker and Blair. They have been homeowners at Figure Eight Island since 1987. Buzzy has been actively involved on the Island and with the Yacht Club, serving as it's president from 2004 thru 2007. Buzzy and Ellen moved to Wilmington in the fall of 2012. Together, they joined Intracoastal Realty specializing in Figure Eight and surrounding areas.

Contact Buzzy
(910) 520-0990

Ellen Northen

Ellen Northen

Ellen grew up in Louisville, Kentucky in a very large, very close family. She moved to Richmond, Virginia to marry Buzzy in 1978 and raised 2 daughters, Sarah Bruck and Blair.

They brought their family and friends to the Wilmington area for summers and have had a home on Figure Eight Island for 27 years. Their most wonderful memories have been spent here, so they decided to full-fill their dream and to make it home. Enjoying their careers in Real Estate together, Intracoastal has been like a family and their move here has proved to be a blessing.

They have been very involved in the community of Figure Eight, and enjoy swimming, boating, sailing, biking, lots of golf and spending great time with friends and clients helping to make their dreams come true.

Contact Ellen
(804) 334-2030

Vanessa Rieker

Vanessa Rieker

A native of Lima, Peru, Vanessa lived in Pennsylvania for 11 years before moving to Wilmington, NC with her husband and teammate, Joe and two daughters, Isabella and Chiara. She attended the University of Lima, earning a Business degree before moving on to Spain to get a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Las Palmas. After travelling extensively, Vanessa returned home to Peru for a successful career as a product and business development professional. Her duties included real estate acquisition and interior design for a Swiss pharmaceutical company. Fate would take her to her new home, the United States, of which she became a proud citizen in 2011.

Vanessa worked for years in the Small Business Development Center at Saint Francis University (PA) helping small businesses expand their markets into the international arena; many of her clients are successful exporters now. In Wilmington she has found a new home and passion: helping clients go through two of the most important events in life: selling and buying a home. Vanessa, in her fourth year, has built her business and team through talent, skill and dedication. The Rising Star Award she received for 2013 was truly a sign of things to come. In 2015, Vanessa was selected to become a member of the Buzzy Northen Team, selling Topsail, Figure 8 and Bald Head Islands as well as Wilmington and everything in between. Whether you are buying or selling, residential or commercial, Vanessa and her team will tirelessly work to help make your dreams come true.

Languages: Fluent in English and Spanish. Conversational ability in Italian, Portuguese and French.

"Vanessa Rieker is very courteous, professional, and conscientious. Vanessa works very well with all types of clients and really enjoys working with people. We found that Vanessa will also go that extra mile to complete a task and get the job done well. I would fully recommend Vanessa as a representative for any buyer or seller of real estate." ~ Allen Smith

"Vanessa is very bright, polite, prompt, and insightful. She is willing to do the extra work needed. I would recommend her without hesitation." ~ Mark Kulyk

"We were very pleased with the entire process. It went so smoothly. We would never have been able to do it without you!" ~ Mike and Brenda Benton

Contact Vanessa

Joe Rieker

Joe Rieker

Joe is a Pittsburgh native with a longstanding appreciation for North Carolina's coast and quality of life. His parents first landed in Ocracoke, NC in 1989 when they bought a live-on wooden boat and a family member moved to Wilmington in 1996. In 2012 he finally made Wilmington his home along with his family, joining Intracoastal Realty. In 2015, Joe was selected to become a member of the acclaimed Buzzy Northen Team, selling Topsail, Figure 8 and Bald Head Islands as well as Wilmington and everything in between. Whether you are buying or selling, residential or commercial, Joe and his team will tirelessly work to help make your dreams come true.

Joe spends his time working and enjoying all that the Wilmington Area has to offer with his wife Vanessa and two incredible daughters. Joe is also the founder and captain of the Intracoastal Realty Corporation ice hockey team.

Joe's diverse background includes being 1 of 7 children, a BS in Microbiology from Penn State University, running a family business and twice being elected a City Councilman in Altoona, PA. Joe's success has resulted from listening, understanding clients' needs and advising them honestly and effectively. For those coming from the Northeast, Joe understands because he has made the move. Contact Joe today at 910-442-9688 or

"Joe was so easy to work with and very helpful. He was honest and always there when we wanted to see property even on short notice, giving great guidance along the whole journey. We have already sent friends to him." ~ Al and Dianne

"Joe helped us buy our first home. He was extremely easy to work with. He always listened to what my wife and I had to say and never once did we feel pressured into buying. Joe took what most people believe as a highly stressful situation and turned into a very fun and easy experience. He was a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend using him as your realtor." ~ Chris McConnell

"Joe was unbelievable. He was constantly on top of everything, extremely well knowledge and fun to do business with. I am going to highly recommend him, his wife and intracoastal realty to anyone looking to buy or sell their home." ~ Joseph Stubbs and Adam Davis

"Joe was AMAZING to work with! From Day 1 we felt he had our best interest in mind. He is detail oriented and always kept us informed of the process. We could call any time with questions or concerns, and never felt like we were a bother! He helped us find our dream home and get the best deal possible. The entire process was incredibly smooth due to Joe's efforts! If we ever buy or sell again, Joe is our FIRST call!" ~ William and Amy

Contact Joe