Category Archives: Frisco

Key items to consider when buying an Outer Banks property

OBX Coastal Houses

How much do you want to invest? This factor is a great starting point.  A realtor can provide you a list of availability in the price range you are considering.  They can also give you information on the property tax based on the last billing period.  A discussion with your property insurance carrier is a good idea.  This way you can get a good picture of the primary annual costs associated with owning the property.  Be aware that wind & hail coverage and flood are often separate policies.

How will you pay for it?  Both your financing options, and your tax considerations (discussed below) are impacted by your planned use of the property.  If you are financing the purchase the decision to treat the home as a second home vs a vacation rental property determines the financing options available to you.  Generally financing institutions offer lower interest rates for second homes as compared to vacation rental homes.  We suggest that you discuss these options and implications with a trusted financial advisor.

Tax considerations are extremely important.  If you plan to rent the house, and your personal use is less than 15 days or 10% of the time rented, you can deduct the costs of maintenance and repair of the property, insurance, taxes, rental management fees, advertising and mortgage interest from the rental income you earn on the property.  You are also allowed to take depreciation expense against the rental income.  It is always a good idea to discuss major financial transactions with your tax advisor prior to making your final decision.

Do you plan to eventually retire to this home?  This is important because it may make a difference in what you are looking for in the home.  For example, storage is not as important of an issue as with a purely rental or vacation property as it would be for a future retirement home.

Are you interested in renting the property to offset costs?  In order to maximize your rental return it would be advisable to consult with a rental company in order to identify what amenities renters most desire that match your needs as well, along with past rental performance to make sure that you will make enough to offset costs. If past rental performance data is not available, make sure to ask a rental company for a rental projection of what the house will make yearly in rental income.

What activities are you most interested in when vacationing at the beach?  Our communities are highly diversified.   If relative seclusion is high on your list, the 4 wheel drive communities of Carova and Swan Beach are great for this.  If you want the convenience of nearby shopping and entertainment, the more populated communities may be more your style.  Explore the various communities to determine which best suites the needs and desires of you and your family.  After that you are ready to actively search for that perfect get-a-way you have dreamed about! To make the search a little easier, we have added some helpful information about each town located on the Outer Banks.  Happy hunting!

Corolla

Corolla, NC is known for its large sandy beaches, proximity to four-wheel drive areas and the home to wild Spanish Mustangs that roam the area’s beaches make for some of the most beautiful scenery North Carolina has to offer.  This community offers peaceful tranquility while only being minutes away from shopping and restaurants. Outdoor activities are abundant while offering alternative activities in town. Corolla is also home to many historical locations including the Whalehead Club and its neighbor, the Currituck Lighthouse.

Corolla offers the ideal combination of nature, activities and amenities. The wildlife trails and easy access to the sound creates the ultimate experience for nature lovers and avid paddlers.

Currituck Lighthouse, Corolla, NC

Watersports are abundant in Corolla. No matter if you enjoy kayaking, SUP, surfing, jet skis or any other water activity, Corolla is the perfect spot to enjoy fun in the sun. Purchase a kite and watch it soar high in the sky with Corolla’s beach winds.

Corolla’s shopping and restaurants are second to none. Each boutique offers something different and exciting including clothing, home goods and souvenirs. There is a wide variety of restaurants in Corolla including seafood, BBQ and cultural restaurants. No palate will be displeased in Corolla.

Corolla offers fun and relaxation for everyone in the family. No matter what your preference, Corolla offers a rewarding location for a new home.

Duck

Duck, NC offers access to highly rated beaches while maintaining its small-town charm. The small town offers easy access to the beach for ocean fun or the sound for leisurely activities. Bike paths throughout the town offer a wide area to safely bike from your home to town. There are great community events, such as markets, wine tastings and live music. Duck offers a great combination of seaside living with the small town feel.

There is always an activity in the town of Duck. Festivals, events, bands and parades are a regular occurrence in town. Duck is the perfect community for those who wish to walk to and from or bike. Everything needed for the home and for outdoor fun are within an easy walking distance.

Duck, NC sunset

The town has built and maintained a beautiful boardwalk on the soundside which is enjoyed by all. The boardwalk gives you access to soundside shops and restaurants. The shopping and restaurants are second to none in Duck. Offering a wide variety of entrees, Duck’s restaurants have received national recognition. The small mom and pop shops in Duck help bring the hometown feel to the area while offering boutique merchandise.

If you love the outdoors, Duck offers one of the best accesses to the beach and sound. No matter your watersport of choice, Duck can provide an excellent location. Windsurfers enjoy the steady breezes from the ocean, while parasailing occurs on the soundside.

The culmination of all the great amenities of Duck makes it easy to see why so many wish to live and vacation in the town. Duck provides a great new adventure along with small town beach life that so many desire.

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk offers nature and the beach town atmosphere all in one. Many local Outer Banks residents call this town home. The town itself has worked hard to maintain a balance between urban development and maintaining its beautiful nature. Offering fun beaches, small shops, restaurants and a nature preserve, Kitty Hawk can make the perfect Outer Banks home location.

Kitty Hawk offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Many local artisans call Kitty Hawk home, opening shops on the main highway and on the beach road in converted homes. The merchandise captivates the essence of the Outer Banks and makes a great addition to any home. There are also many award-winning restaurants for all ages. Nightlife is abundant in many spots for adults to visit including wine bars and restaurants.

Kitty Hawk beaches are a short walk from any location in the town and offer fun in the sun for all. Many beach activities are readily available and there are many events held on the beaches of Kitty Hawk for all to enjoy. Dogs are welcomed on a leash and can enjoy the day at the beach with you and your family.

Kitty Hawk offers nature, activities, shops and restaurants that can make you fall in love with the Outer Banks all over again. Homes in this town are perfect for those who enjoy what the Outer Banks has to offer in nature and in shops.

Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills is in the heart of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Centrally located to pristine beaches, watersports, shopping, restaurants and nightlife, Kill Devil Hills offers a prime location on the Outer Banks. Activities abound in Kill Devil Hills from the beach to the sound. The birthplace of aviation, Kill Devil Hills is home to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. This is the location of the Wright Brother’s First Flight in 1903. History meets the beach and makes for an amazing place to own a vacation home or even primary residence.

Kill Devil Hills offers a more urban feel including access to many grocery stores, shops, restaurants and a 10-plex movie theater. This town offers great nightlife with many locations and activities to choose from.

Wright Brothers Monument, Kill Devil Hills, NC

No matter the location in Kill Devil Hills, there is still easy access to the beach and sound, plus an abundance of fishing piers. Surf fishing is extremely popular in Kill Devil Hills. If you are looking for fun off the beach, check out of the many putt-putt courses and go-kart tracks in the area.

The continuously growing Bay Drive area is a prized possession for the town and community members of Kill Devil Hills. Bay Drive enables those to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Albemarle Sound. Bay Drive is located just north of the Wright Brothers National Memorial and runs along the scenic Kitty Hawk Bay. The area features multiple sound side gazebos and a bike path that is perfect for sunset cruises unlike anywhere else!

Nags Head

Nags Head is centrally located on the Outer Banks between the Northern Beaches and Hatteras Island. Its location provides access to great activities, adventure and attractions. Nags Head provides easy access to the beach and sound while providing the modern amenities needed. As one of the oldest towns on the Outer Banks, the rich history and beautiful nature of Nags Head does not disappoint.

Nature and history collide at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Jockeys Ridge is the largest living sand dune on the east coast. Jockey’s Ridge is known for its great wind and makes the perfect place to fly a kite. For the more adventurous, hang gliding lessons are also offered at the ridge.

For anglers, Nags head is one of the best places on the Outer Banks and the east coast to fish. Nags Head has many piers for fishing use as well as Oregon Inlet that gives access to the Atlantic for fisherman. Deep sea fishing charters are very popular in Nags Head. Learn about the wildlife of the Outer Banks at Jennette’s Pier.

Nags-Head-NC-aerial-view-beach-sound-Jockeys-Ridge

The beaches are ranked nationally and water activities are a favorite. Many surf competitions are held in Nags Head every year because of the beaches above average east coast waves. It is also a great place for kiteboarders.

Nags Head also offers great shopping and restaurants. Many restaurants in Nags Head have been open over thirty years and are still run by the original Outer Banks families. Golfers will also enjoy Nags Head for its popular golf courses. Nags Head offers a variety of fun for the entire family. Home owners enjoy the proximity to activities and necessities while still enjoying the pristine nature that makes Nags Head a top vacation destination.

Hatteras Island

Home to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the stomping grounds of pirates from centuries past, Hatteras Island offers true coastal southern charm. The island is made up of a variety of villages including Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Kinnakeet, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras Village. Each village has its own unique style, but they all make it exceptionally easy to take in the natural beauty of the Outer Banks.

No other part of the Outer Banks makes it so easy to enjoy our windswept coastline. With much of Hatteras Island surrounded by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, finding your very own spot on the beach or soundside is as easy as parking your car and running over the dunes. Fishermen and water sports enthusiasts love visiting Hatteras Island due to its excellent inshore fishing, Gulf Stream accessibility, and quality waves that are common to the area.

Hatteras Island Highway 12 OBX

Rodanthe

Rodanthe, located on the easternmost point of Hatteras Island, was first occupied by local natives as far back as 500 AD. Rodanthe was originally called “Chicamacomico,” after the Native Americans. The town’s most famous attraction, the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, still retains the original name. The colonists from the “Lost Colony,” were believed to have landed on Hatteras Island before moving to Roanoke Island and then disappearing.

The geography and topography of Rodanthe makes it a world class destination for all kinds of watersports. On the sound side, stand-up paddle boarders, kayakers, windsurfers and sailors enjoy the large shallow water and prevailing winds. Surfers from all over the world flock to this area as a premier surf destination.

Rodanthe was the setting of Nicholas Sparks novel and subsequent movie, “Nights in Rodanthe” which portions were filmed on the island. The house, “Serendipity” used in the movie, has since been located about a mile south. It was the northeastern most house in Rodanthe. After the movie was completed, the house was damaged and condemned after a nor’easter storm in November 2009. The house was saved from demolition by a private businessman, Ben Huss, from Newton, North Carolina, and moved less than one mile south.

Rodanthe is one of the seven villages that make up Hatteras Island. If you enjoy nature and quiet peaceful living, look no further!

Avon

Avon, also known early on as Kinnakeet, an Algonquian Native American word meaning something that is mixed or several settlements bunched into one. The earliest settlers were the Native Americans. The town officially changed to be Avon in 1883 when the Post Office was opened.

Avon retains its small town charm while having the conveniences of modern life. Avon has the islands only chain grocery store and two fast food restaurants. Vacationers also enjoy the restaurants that satisfy every palate, a Spa, fishing pier and mini-golf course to provide enough entertainment without spoiling the remote island vibe.

The Avon pier is great to introduce the family to the joys of fishing or just to take a stroll and be entertained by others hauling in their catch.

Similar to the other villages of Hatteras Island, the water sports activities on the ocean and sound are top notch for lasting memories. Relocating or purchasing a vacation home in Avon is an ideal choice to please every member of your family or traveler.

Frisco

Located at the southern end of Hatteras Island, the small town of Frisco, NC is perfect for those who seek a quiet beach get away place. At the northern end of town are Buxton and Frisco Woods, perfect for the hiker or jogger who likes the treed canopy of the maritime forest. At the southern end, the island narrows and it is possible to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset from the deck of your beach house.

Frisco was one of the last areas of the Outer Banks to be developed for tourism. Eventually visitors were drawn to the area’s quaint village atmosphere, seclusion, its miles of beaches, and its unique maritime forest. Frisco has a character all its own.  It is the perfect destination for someone who wants to enjoy the wide open and uncrowded beaches.  While Frisco is a great place to find peace and solitude, it also has many family friendly attractions.

 

No matter where you choose to purchase your Outer Banks property, you can have peace of mind in knowing that each Outer Banks town will allow you to experience the beaches and laid back lifestyle that makes the OBX so attractive!  For more information on purchasing a vacation home or relocating to the Outer Banks, contact Eillu.  We are experts on the Outer Banks and are ready to help with your Outer Banks real estate needs.
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August 2017 Outer Banks Real Estate Outlook and Current Statistics

August 2017 Outer Banks Real Estate Outlook and Current Statistics

The Outer Banks Association of Realtors released the August 2017 MLS Statistical Report – you can get the full report here.

Real estate sales for August 2017 in the Outer Banks dipped to 156 units, after July’s sales of 178 units. Under contract fell by 1% to 419 units compared to July’s 422 units. The average home price increased by 4% compared to 2016. Over the last 5 years the median home price has increase by 23% with most of the increase over the past two years. Some highlights from this month’s report follows.

Overall Market

Residential inventory decreased by 8% compared to last year, following last month’s 10% drop. Active inventory is 1513 units. The quantity sold increased by 11% following last month’s 13% increase; with volume sold up by 16% following last month’s 18% increase; compared to year to date sales last year.

Lots and land quantity sold increased by 8%. The average sale price for lots fell by 21% and while the median price increased by 3%. Inventory is down by 11% compared to last year.

Commercial unit sales are down by 20% following last month’s decrease of 21%. Only 16 commercial units were sold compared to 20 last year. The average and median sale prices have little relevance with such a small sample and appear skewed from a large sale last year. Commercial inventory is down 16% compared to last year with only 63 units active on the market.

Distressed Property

There were 19 residential short sale units sold, only 1 more than the 18 units sold last month. However, this is down 17% from last year when there were 23 short sales. The average sale price decreased by 11%. The median sale price increased by 7%.

Sales for bank owned properties increased from 54 units to 57 units compared to last year. Bank Owned unit sales increased by 6%. The average sale price for Bank Owned property fell by 15% compared to last year; while the median decreased by 3%.

Overall, the quantity of distressed property sold fell by 1% compared to the same period in 2016. The average price decreased by 12% and the median increased by 3%. Total volume sold is down by 17% compared to last year.

The effect distressed real estate will have on the overall Outer Banks market will continue to diminish as foreclosure and short sale inventory is depleted and the market returns to pre-recessionary levels of distressed real estate. Overall distressed sales account for only 2% of total residential sales.

Residential

Single family unit sales increased by 12% a bit lower than the 14% increase reported last month, with 1,118 units compared to last year 996 units. The volume sold increased 16% with the average sale increase by 4% and the median sale price increased by 1%.

Condos unit sales increased by 16%, following last month’s increase of 18%; compared to last year. August condo unit sales were 140 compared to 120 a year ago. The volume sold increase by 14% following last month’s 15% increase. Median sale prices for condos increased by 8% compared to last year. Average sale prices fell by 1%, compared to last year. Unlike many other markets, the Outer Banks did not see an oversupply of condo construction during the boom years and current demand for condos has been strong in 2017.

Residential land unit sales increased by 5% YOY; a sharp decrease from the 19% increase reported in July. The average sale price fell by 12% while the median increased by 1% compared to last year.

Overall Days on the Market for the all residential properties is down by 23% compared to last year at 151 versus 197. More interesting is for the 643 properties listed and sold since Jan 2017, the average DOM is only 45 days. Outer Banks properties are selling much faster; especially new inventory.

New Construction building permits are down by 23% 170 compared to 220 last years. This follows July’s decrease of 15%. Building permit value decreased by 14%.

Outer Banks Town Statistics

The August 2017 median sale prices for the towns in the Outer Banks and the percent change compared to 2016 appear below:

Aug 2017 Median Price changes in OBX towns from 2016

Aug 2017 data table median prices in OBX town and YTD percent change

Corolla experienced the largest percentage gain of 12% compared to 2016. The next highest YTD increase was Hatteras Island at 7%; this is unchanged from June and July.

The Outer Banks real estate market is on track for a solid sales year. OBXMLS reports 419 units are listed as under contract at the end of August. September is a great time to visit the Outer Banks and view real estate as the crowds have reduced and the weather is the best!

If you have been thinking about an Outer Banks vacation home purchase, second home purchase or permanent home, now is the time to act. Purchasing power will decrease once the anticipated mortgage rates increase. Smart buyers and investors will lock in rates now before the increase.

Buy with Eillu and save more with our buyers rewards plan.

If you have considered selling your Outer Banks home, now may be the best time. The lower inventory levels will allow your property to be seen with less competition. The strong demand will sell your home with fewer days on the market. Our 1.5% listing commission will save you thousands of dollars!

The rental market continues to be strong to provide income from the investment and enjoyment for the family for years to come.

The Outer Banks continues to be named a top beach destination every year. Beach nourishment has recently been completed for a large portion of Dare County beaches and will ensure strong future appreciation for real estate.

Schedule an appointment today to find your vacation rental property, second home or investment property.

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Top Tips for Buying a Vacation Home in the Outer Banks

Outer Banks Vacation Home - its time

Have you considered buying your very own vacation home in the Outer Banks?  Perhaps, you have visited the OBX every year for decades and want to buy a home to enjoy with your family and friends before retiring to the area.  Maybe you just want to diversify your investment portfolio with real estate and maximize the rental income.  There are many vacation rental homes on the market that have positive cash flow.  Plus, the homes are likely to appreciate at a higher rate now that the recession is over and the market has picked up. Read the tips below to find the perfect vacation home for your family and your circumstances.

Can you get to the home easily?

Generally, your vacation home should be within 3 hours drive from your permanent residence.  This makes it convenient to travel to the home with little notice.  It also makes it more likely that you will use the home for your own pleasure.  Alternatively, scheduling commercial flights and ground transportation to arrive to the Outer Banks from across the US can be more time consuming and more complex than just jumping in the car.

The Outer Banks does have a General Aviation airport in Manteo, as well as several landing strips.  Air Charter Service directly to the area has recently been initiated which can be an option to Owners who live further away.  Also, flying to the area can be a viable option for a private pilot; but check ahead for availability of overnight parking of the aircraft.

How Much Can You Afford

Use our mortgage calculator to begin the process of budgeting for the vacation home and determining how much you can afford.  Generally, you will need to put down 20% and your total monthly expenses for houses and cars (debt) should be less than 36% of your income. Insurance and taxes are in addition to the mortgage amount and must also be factored in as well. 

Ideally, even though the vacation home will generate income and cover your expenses; life always throws surprises.  You should have cash flow and reserves to cover the cost of surprise repairs or replacement for an appliance that breaks.  It is far better to overestimate what the potential repair and maintenance cost may be then to get in a pinch and be short.  Your Eillu Agent can help with costs estimates based on performance of like homes in the Outer Banks. 

Get Pre-approval

Once you have completed your estimates, it is time to validate them and get pre-approved from a local lender.  Local Outer Banks lenders are knowledgeable about the area and are familiar with the issues that arise with coastal properties more than a familiar lender near your permanent home.

Who will use the Vacation Home?

Even if you intend to use the vacation home as a second home with occasional use for family and friends, it is a good idea to have a local contact who is able to check the property for you in the off season, be available for emergencies and perform any needed assessments after a storm.

If you intend to rent out your vacation home, there are more options than ever today about how to manage your vacation rental.  The Outer Banks has dozens of professional Property Management firms that specialize in vacation home rentals.  These firms can handle everything from reservations, payment disbursement, maintenance, emergency calls, cleaning and respond to guest inquiries.  It will cost you about 15% of the gross for their services, plus any fees for additional services. 

At the other end of the spectrum, you can use services such as VRBO or Airbnb to manage the reservations for your vacation home and secure the remaining services locally as needed.  Of course, this puts the responsibility on you to make sure there is a cleaner scheduled, pool / hot tub technician scheduled and the guest has their keys or working keyless entry code.  In addition, having a handyman or maintenance tech for any calls should also be planned for in advance. 

There are also hybrid choices where both VRBO and Property Management services can be combined at a lower commission rate. 

Managing a vacation home can be a wonderful rewarding experience but can also be challenging.  You should carefully consider how much time you have to dedicate to the endeavor before deciding which direction to go.

Vacation Home Location

Deciding where on the Outer Banks to invest is very important.  While the entire strip of Barrier Island is lovely, each neighborhood has a distinct vibe that may not be obvious at first sight.  Our guide to selecting neighborhoods will help you evaluate all the factors.  Also, you can read about each of the Outer Banks towns here.

On the one hand, if you intend to rent the home, you want to have strong demand for vacation rentals.  Corolla is a lovely resort area with great rental demand.  You truly feel like you are in a special place during the summer.  However, the year round population is rather limited and it can be isolating to be there during the winter.  As you can see, if you plan to eventually retire to the home, then this may be more difficult to satisfy all the criteria for both.  Obviously, a 7BR oceanfront home, while lovely to vacation at, may not be ideal for retirement with only a couple living there.  We at Eillu are here to help you find the perfect home to satisfy all your criteria.

The Outer Banks provides lots of choices for your vacation rental location.  Waterfront locations include the Atlantic Ocean and the sound.  In some places, the island may only be a mile wide between them. 

Generally, vacation rental homes on the oceanfront or oceanside have greater demand than soundfront or soundside locations.  Many soundside locations are considered a maritime forest and are wooded with fewer manicured yards.  Oceanfront locations have more sparse vegetation and can be impacted with blowing sand to require more frequent painting and upkeep.

Each town or community also provides background character to your vacation rental.  A “resort” community may have abundant community amenities but few year round residents as neighbors or friends.  In some areas, shopping and restaurants close for the winter months or after the fringe season.  In other locations, more businesses stay open year round to provide services to you or your guest in the off-season and provide potential rental income over the holidays.  It is always a good idea to visit the area you would like to purchase a vacation home in each season to see how the area differs through the seasons. 

Even if you have been visiting the Outer Banks on vacation for years, make sure to view the other areas before deciding where to invest.  Many families have come to the same beach town (and even the same house) year after year and never venture further. 

At the north end, there are areas, like Carova, where the homes must be accessed by 4 wheel drive that provide utmost privacy.  Carova also is home to the wild horses often seen frolicking on the beach that may be perfect backdrop for the “escape” you seek.  

Corolla is well known as a high end resort area and is perfect for summer vacations but becomes isolated in the winter.  Further south are more year round communities like Duck and Southern Shores, with both sound and oceanfront locations.  Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head are in the thick of things year round and have more shopping and restaurant options open.   

Manteo has a unique character all of its own, a quaint small town on an island (Roanoke Island), but with fewer vacation home rentals.  Finally, Hatteras Island and Ocracoke can be more isolated in the winter or after a major storm event and Ocracoke requires traveling on a ferry to get access.   Each area has its advantages but you must consider them all to know what is best for you and your investment goals.

Tax Implications

Everyone’s tax situation is different.  While your vacation home can be rented out and used as a business investment where your expenses are deducted, your financial advisor can be more specific to your exact situation.  Vacation home owners can use the property for two weeks a year and still maximize the tax advantages, like depreciation on the home and the furnishings.

The Outer Banks rental market continues to be strong to provide income from the investment and enjoyment for the family for years to come. The Outer Banks has been named a top beach destination every year.  For more information on buying Outer Banks Real Estate or to learn more about the Outer Banks in general, please contact us and check out our blog.

infographic map with cost and ratings for vacation destinations from Maine to Florida


53205 Sparrow Court, Frisco, NC 27936

Located in Frisco, NC this uniquely located home features ocean, sound and lighthouse views.  The 2,068 square foot home has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths and 1 half bath.  The home is only 3 lots from the beach with a convenient beach access.

The ample decks maximize the views and provide a relaxing venue for the hot tub and gazing at the stars.  The home backs up to Billy Mitchell Airport which is a small general aviation airport with only a few flights each day.  This means there is no additional development here and is an excellent area for viewing area wildlife.  Cool evenings are cozy with the gas fireplace.

The home has a cargo lift (400lbs) to make it easy to get luggage and groceries to the top level.  

This lovely home is listed for $429,000.  Watch the video below or  read more.


Vacation Destinations Compared – Where is The Perfect Location for Your Vacation Home?

From Maine to Florida where is the best place to buy a vacation home, second home or investment property?

Once the coastal lifestyle gets under your skin it never lets go.  I have spent a lot of time at the beach and on the water.  I was blessed as a child to spend summers at the beach and boating at Delaware beaches and bays.  Later, I lived in New Jersey by the shore and visited all beaches in the state as part of my business.  On various random trips, I have visited other beaches on the west coast and east coast. 

I moved to the Outer Banks almost 20 years ago and never regretted it.  Back then and now, the Outer Banks offered the most bang for the buck.  At the time, I could have moved anywhere.  I visited and researched both east coast and west coast destinations.  The west coast was far too expensive to get anything on the water.  Ditto Long Island.  Other destinations appeared “run down” or tired.  Over development in other locations detracted from why I like living at the beach.

What I have learned is every beach location has its own vibe.  While the Outer Banks has an overall laid back vibe, each town over the 100 plus miles has its own layer on top.  Carova is remote and adventurous spirits gather there.  Corolla and Duck appeal to more affluent travelers and buyers.  Nags Head is for traditionalist.  Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills is centrally located for all the action.  Hatteras retains its fishing heritage.  Each of these distinct layers give each town its own flavor or personality. 

Today, there are more tools and information about destinations than 20 years ago.  These tools are useful to screen locations and eliminate ones that don’t match your needs or criteria.  Use the charts and data I compiled below, to screen vacation locations to zero in on a place that is perfect for your family.  Check out: What to Consider When Buying Your First Vacation Home .

infographic map with cost and areavibe ratings for vacation destinations from Maine to Florida      outer-banks-mustang-reunion-celebration

 

Median Costs for Vacation Homes from Maine to Florida

Owning a vacation home is a large financial commitment.  Every market has a variety of price ranges that homes sell for.  The median cost of homes for 42 popular destinations from Maine to Florida are shown in the chart below.  They are listed from the most expensive to least expensive.

median cost for homes in vacation destinations from Maine to Florida

Cost per Sq Ft for Vacation Homes from Maine to Florida

Of course, the cost of the home you select will depend of what size you need.  The Outer Banks market has everything from 1 bedroom condos up to 14 bedrooms and higher.  You can select a cozy retreat or a mega-house with enough room for the whole extended family.  The cost per square foot is a good indicator of what you will need to spend in each destination.

cost per sq ft in vacation destinations from Maine to Florida

Days on Market for Vacation Homes from Maine to Florida

The days on market is a measurement of the age of a real estate listing. The statistic is defined as the total number of days the listing is on the active market before either an offer is accepted or the agreement between real estate broker and seller ends.  In a buyers’ market, days on market tends to be higher and the reverse is true for a sellers market. 

days on market for homes in vacation destinations from Maine to Florida

Cost of Living at Vacation Destinations from Maine to Florida

Purchasing the vacation home is only the first step.  The cost of living in the area is going to impact how much it costs to maintain the home, utilities, and other services.  The base of 100 for the index is the average and values above 100 are area that are more costly to maintain same standard of living and vice versa.

cost of living for vacation destinations from Maine to Florida

There are a lot of things to consider to find the perfect vacation home, second home or investment property.  Read our 10 Reasons to own a vacation home in the Outer Banks or How to Select the Best Outer Banks Neighborhood for Investment, Retirement or for You and Your Family to Enjoy to learn why I consider this place so very special. 

The Eillu team is standing by and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our real estate market or properties available for sale.  Go on vacation, visit us and schedule an appointment today.  One trip is all it took for me.

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Outer Banks Real Estate Total Sales and Volume at Highest Level Since 2005

May 2017 Outer Banks MLS Market Report

The Outer Banks Association of Realtors released the May 2017 MLS Statistical Report – you can get the full report here

Real estate sales in the Outer Banks continued the strong performance with each month since February having record sales numbers.  This month’s total sales (987 units) and volume (over $339 Million) is the highest level since 2005!  Some highlights from this month’s report follows. 

Overall Market

Residential inventory decreased by 11% compared to last year, following last month’s 15% drop.  The average sale price increased by 4% and the median sale price also increased by 4%.  The continued lack of inventory is likely to to put increased pressure on prices.  The quantity sold increased by 18% with volume sold up by 23% compared to last year.

Lots and land quantity sold fell by 6% following last month 10% drop.  The average sale price increased by 7% and the median price increased by 8%. Inventory is down by 14% compared to last year.

Commercial unit sales are down by 7% following last month’s decrease of 27%. Only 13 commercial units were sold compared to 14 last year.  The average and median sale prices have little relevance with such a small sample and appear skewed from a large sale last year.  Commercial inventory is down 8% compared to last year.

Residential

Single family unit sales increased by 19%, or 690 units compared to last year 579 units.  The volume sold increased 23% with the average sale increase by 3% and the median sale price decreased by 1%. 

Condos unit sales increased by 36% compared to last year; 80 units versus 59 last year. The volume sold increase by 41% with median prices increased by a healthy 12%, with the average sale price increasing at 4% compared to last year.

Residential land unit sales fell by 6% following last month’s 13% drop.  The average sale price up by 8% and the median prices up by 9%.

Overall Days on the Market for the all properties is 135 following last months reported 162 days.  However, when looking at only properties listed since Jan 1, 2017, the average Days on the Market is only 57 days.  This is another sign of how the local market has picked up this year.

New Construction building permits are down by 32% compared to last year with permit value down by 47%.

Distressed Property

There were 13 residential short sale units sold which is down 7% from than last year.  The average sale price decreased by 3%.  The median sale price increased by 8%. 

Sales for bank owned properties increased from 34 units to 40 units compared to last year. Bank Owned unit sales increased by 18%.  The average sale price for Bank Owned property fell by 13% compared to last year; while the median increased by 12%. 

Overall, the quantity of distressed property sold increased by 10% compared to the same period in 2016.  The average price decreased by 6% and the median increased by 10%. 

The effect distressed real estate will have on the overall Outer Banks market will continue to diminish as foreclosure and short sale inventory is depleted and the market returns to pre-recessionary levels of distressed real estate.

Outer Banks Town Statistics

The May 2017 median sale prices for the towns in the Outer Banks and the percent change compared to 2016 appear below:

May 2017 Outer Banks Town Sales Statistics

May 2017 Outer Banks Town Sales data table

Corolla experienced the largest percentage gain of 12% compared to 2016.  The next highest YTD increase was Hatteras Island at 8%. 

The Outer Banks real estate market is heating up.  Activity from January to May has been very robust with no signs of slowing down.  OBXMLS reports 461 units are under contract suggesting June sales will also be strong.  This reflects a normal seasonal adjustment from 473 units under contract reported in April.

If you have been thinking about a vacation home purchase, second home purchase or permanent home, now is the time to act.  Purchasing power will decrease once the anticipated mortgage rates increase.  Smart buyers and investors will lock in rates now before the increase. 

Buy with Eillu and save more with our buyers rewards plan.

If you have considered selling your Outer Banks home, now may be the best time.  The lower inventory levels will allow your property to be seen with less competition.  The strong demand will sell your home with fewer days on the market.  Our 1.5% listing commission will save you thousands of dollars!

The rental market continues to be strong to provide income from the investment and enjoyment for the family for years to come.

The Outer Banks continues to be named a top beach destination every year.  Beach nourishment for a large portion of Dare County beaches will ensure strong future appreciation. 

For more information on buying Outer Banks Real Estate, or selling Outer Banks Real Estate or to learn more about the Outer Banks in general, please check out our blog.

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The Economic Impact from Rebuilding Oregon Inlet Bridge in the Outer Banks is a Welcome Boost!

Oregon Inlet Bridge Bonner Bridge Outer Banks

Background

The Oregon Inlet Bridge is the lifeline link for Hatteras and Bodie Islands to the northern portion of the Outer Banks.  Prior to the existing bridge, the only way to access Hatteras Island was by air or ferry.  Ferries could only carry a maximum of 2,000 people per day.  The new bridge opened the area up as a vacation destination and allowed many more people access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore than could be accommodated by the ferry system.  It also changed life for island residents with access to the north for food, medical visits and necessary supplies.

In fact, in 1990, a dredge collided with the bridge causing severe damage to the bridge and isolated Hatteras Island residents for almost 6 weeks until it could be repaired.  The bridge also had to be closed for 12 days in December 2013 when it was discovered the sand around the pilings had been scoured out by the currents to a level deemed dangerous for travel across the bridge. Ferries were again put into service around the clock to transport people to and from the island.  The bridge is a vital link for area residents, visitors and the economic vitality of the area.

History

After much controversy and delay, the Oregon Inlet Bridge (also called Herbert C. Bonner Bridge) is finally under construction!  This bridge replacement project began back in 1989, but was delayed many times due to legal challenges.  Most recently, the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association.  The last of these challenges were resolved in August 2015, allowing the rebuilding process to proceed.

The existing 2.4 mile bridge was built in 1963 with an estimate lifespan of 30 years!  The DOT rated the bridge a 4 on a scale of 100; raising residents and visitors concern for the safety of travelers on the bridge.  The original cost of the bridge was $4M and allowed 14,000 to cross both ways each day.

Progress

The replacement bridge will be 2.8 miles long (3.5 miles total with a new roadway leading up to the bridge).  It will cost an estimated $246 Million; and will be opened in the fall 2018 with the project completed by September 2019.  The useful life for the new bridge is vastly longer than the old, at 100 years. 

The Engineers have specified the use of several materials to be able to get the 100 year life out of the new bridge.  It is the only bridge in the state that will use stainless reinforcing steel that has additional protection from salt water corrosion.  The new bridge also uses high durability concrete.  The bridge pilings will be longer and driven deeper into the seabed to resist scouring that is an issue with the current bridge.

The project is split into 2 phases.  Phase I includes building the replacement bridge just to the west of the existing bridge.  Phase II includes permanent solutions for breaches caused by hurricane Irene in 2011 where the existing roadway was washed out.

Construction is expected to reach the 50% mark in Jun/July 2017.  The bridge is constructed in zones; the south end and north end approaches are completed first with the two sections connected in the middle of the navigation zone.  The bridge will have 12′ wide travel lanes and 8′ wide shoulders to improve safety.  The existing bridge is not as wide and has no shoulders.

The bridge is also important to boating traffic.  The navigable conditions at Oregon Inlet are reportedly some of the worst in the country.  The old bridge, with its narrow gap of 130′ between supports, and shifting currents made navigating under the bridge a harrowing experience even for experienced Captains in the area. 

The new bridge will be an improvement for boat Captains.  The high portion of the new bridge will arch for more than a 3,500 feet with seven navigation spans of 300′ each between the supports; allowing boat traffic to safely pass under the bridge.  The current bridge only has one navigational span approximately 150′ wide for boat traffic.

The new bridge visualization video can be viewed here.  Updates on the progress are posted regularly on the Facebook page.

Completion Dates

  • Construction began: Mar 8, 2016
  • Bridge Scheduled to Open: Nov 2018
  • Demolition of Existing Bridge: Nov 2018 to Sept 2019
  • Project Scheduled Completion: Sept 2019

Benefits to Hatteras and Dare County

Demolition of the old bridge includes using a portion of the material as offshore reef sites.  Reefs are a buffer for wind and waves during storm events and help protect the island besides being a habitat for marine life.

At the south end of the bridge, 1,000′ of the bridge will be kept in place and open for pedestrians with an updated rail for safety.  This “pier” should be a scenic draw for vacationers and locals alike.  Fishing will not initially be allowed on the pier.

The new bridge will bring some peace of mind to residents and vacationers alike.  Its economic impact will extend well beyond that.  Currently, Hatteras Island generates 25% of Dare County’s $1.2b economy with sales and occupancy taxes and is 17% of Dare County’s $12.5b tax base.

A 2006 Economic Study concluded Oregon Inlet contributes $862m annually to Dare County, supports 9,851 jobs, provides $43m in tax revenues and $45m economic benefit to the Federal Government.

Boating industry

The local boating industry has suffered while the new bridge was being debated and being challenged.  Since the mid-sixties the un-stabilized inlet caused the loss of 26 vessels, 21 lives and countless damage to vessels.  The shoaling and continued required dredging to keep the single channel open under the old bridge has been a constant struggle and has cause many vessels to relocate to friendlier waters. 

The new bridge, with its seven 300′ wide navigation spans will provide more options for boat Captains to navigate the sometimes erratic inlet.  The wider channels can migrate somewhat without compromising where the vessels have to pass under the bridge.  The new design, with fewer supports, should not need constant dredging to remain open.

The improved navigation under the new bridge will improve the Coast Guards emergency response for Atlantic Ocean rescue missions.  The Coast Guard Station is inside Oregon Inlet and needs to navigate through the channel.  The shoaling under the old bridge impeded response when the channel was impaired or closed.  The Coast Guard responds to about 200 calls annually.

The new bridge is likely to spur activity in related businesses like, commercial fishing, seafood packing, boat building and recreational fishing. 

A 2007 study estimated the recreational fishing contributes $667.4m, about 10k jobs (1,445 for-hire fishing jobs) $261.4 in salary and wages, and $49.3m in state and local taxes.  Dare County was ranked number 1 in number of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses sold with 93,225 in 2007.

Real Estate Investment

All markets hate uncertainty.  The long delay in replacing the Bonner Bridge created uncertainty for property owners on Hatteras Island.  The uncertainty is over, and property owners will have safe access to the island for the next 100 years.  This will certainly increase real estate and business investment in Hatteras Island.  This portion of the Outer Banks is a fisherman’s paradise and a world class venue for Kiteboarding and other water sports.  The original bridge spurred vacation home investments to this part of the Outer Banks when initially built and the new bridge will make future investors secure.

A wider more open channel at Oregon Inlet is thought to provide an added benefit to reduce flooding.  The inlet would also function as an outlet and flushing valve for the Albemarle/Pamlico Basin, improve water quality and lessen the impact of storms and resulting flooding.

Tourism

Hatteras Island relies on tourism to support the economy.  Most tourist are not aware of the condition of the existing Bonner Bridge, but may have been impacted by when storms washed out other portions of the road.  Phase II of the project should correct these conditions to allow continued access to their vacation rental homes. 

Evacuation

The Outer Banks has been spared from the most severe repercussion of storms and hurricanes but in the event of an evacuation, the ability to get people away from the barrier island becomes imperative and must be completed within 72 hours.  The Bonner Bridge and the other bridges will ensure evacuations can be safely and efficiently operated.

If you are considering a vacation home purchase, second home purchase or permanent home, now is the time to act.  If you have considered selling your Outer Banks home, now may be the best time.  The lower inventory levels will allow your property to be seen with less competition and the strong demand will sell your home with fewer days on the market

The Outer Banks rental market continues to be strong to provide income from the investment and enjoyment for the family for years to come. The Outer Banks continues to be named a top beach destination every year.  For more information on buying Outer Banks Real Estate, or selling Outer Banks Real Estate or to learn more about the Outer Banks in general, please check out our blog.

Eillu listing commission 1.5%      Eillu buyers rewards CTA


53205 Sparrow Court, Frisco front exterior

Dreamcatcher: A Place Where Dreams Really Do Come True – Offered at $399k

 

Frisco, NC is a small hip village known for its kiteboarding and windsurfing culture and its laid back atmosphere.  Located on the southern end of Hatteras Island, it is the epitome of coastal life without crowds of tourists.  Nearby Frisco and Buxton woods provides the maritime forest experience for hiking and viewing nature in all its glory.  While small in size, Frisco has plenty of restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores for vacationers and has many attractions to appeal to visitors.  The nationally recognized Frisco Native American Museum has artifacts and hosts a Powwow in April. 

53205 Sparrow Court, ocean view from deck53205 Sparrow Court, lot location relative to beach

This 2,068 square foot, 4 bedroom 3.5 bath home is ideal as a vacation rental with panoramic ocean and sound views from the 3 levels of decking wrapping the home.  This home is all about the views and even has a view of the famous Hatteras Lighthouse. 

53205 Sparrow Court, Frisco great room

53205 Sparrow Court, Frisco kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reverse floor plan and plentiful windows provides dramatic views from the interior living space, as well.  The top level great room has a large kitchen for the chef, a comfortable living room with gas fireplace and two sitting areas and a dining area to seat 14 people.   There is also a loft area with a futon to maximize the space flexibility and a deck for more breathtaking views.

53205 Sparrow Court, Frisco great room fireplace

53205 Sparrow Court, sound view from deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The home is located 3 lots back from the oceanfront for a short walk to enjoy the beach.  The beach can also be accessed by 4 wheel drive at ramp 49.  The beaches are tranquil and uncrowded even in the summer months.  There is an outdoor shower with warm water to remove the salt and sand from happy beach combers.

Frisco beach view

53205 Sparrow Court, Frisco beach access

 

 

 

 

 

 

The home currently sleeps 8 people.  The bedrooms are located on the second level.  One bedroom has a King bed, 2 have queen sized beds and another has a pyramid bunk.  Two bedrooms have private baths and two bedrooms share a Jack & Jill bath.  Two bedrooms have deck access.

53205 Sparrow Court, Frisco hot tub on deck

53205 Sparrow Court, sound view from deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hot tub is located on the second level deck with views of both the ocean and the sound.  There is no better way to relax, with a cold beverage after enjoying your time on the beach.   You will not run out of ice even with a large crowd and the commercial grade ice maker. 

The hot tub is an excellent location for star gazing since Frisco is rather remote without light pollution.  It is common to see deer and other wild life venturing out and enjoying the miles of open space around the house.

The home has plentiful open space around because it backs up to Billy Mitchell Airport.  The airport is a small general aviation airport with only a few small airplane flights a day.  The airport would provide easy access for a pilot owner and for vacationers who want to avoid the drive and any traffic.

Dreamcatcher exterior Frisco home for sale

There is covered parking for 3 to 4 cars under the house and a 400lbs cargo lift to make it easy to unload groceries and all the vacation essentials.

This homes location is a unique value with the green space surrounding it.  The home is very popular and cited as a favorite for many vacationers who return year after year.  The rental income in 2016 was almost $36k, 2017 was almost $38k.  The Owners personally use the home frequently, so rental income has not been maximized.  

Call today to schedule an appointment to view this terrific property.  There is time to close and make it yours before the 2018 rental season arrives.  Enjoy the full amount of rental income for 2018 without the full year of expenses.


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