Category Archives: HOA Info

Outer Banks Home Buying Tips for First Time Home Buyers

first time homebuyer tips for Outer Banks Buyers

Buying your first home is a big step no matter where you decide to purchase.  Often times, there are more questions or doubts then there are answers.  Nailing down all the potential costs can be nerve racking and make your head swim.  After obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage you will have one piece of the financial puzzle but what about insurance costs, repair cost and taxes? 

Expert Help

Rest assured there are professionals here to help you every step of the way.  An Eillu Buyers Agent has walked many buyers, just like you, through the process with satisfying results.  No question is a dumb question and you deserve a truthful answer and expert advice each step along the way. 

Rent vs Buy in the Outer Banks

Renting a home or finding an affordable rental for year round living can be rather difficult in the Outer Banks.  Rental rates, even for year round rentals, tend to be more expensive here. 

Many times, homes can net more income for an owner through a weekly rental program than through a year round rental. 

Sometimes, these home are available for a longer term in the off-season, but require the renter to find other housing in season.  Not only is this inconvenient, but finding available housing during the summer months can be very daunting. 

Perhaps you have experienced this as well.  Here are some other financial reasons for home ownership.

To reap the full financial benefits of home ownership, you should have plans to stay in the home for 5 to 7 years.  This spreads out your cost of purchasing over a longer time period and allows you to build up equity through appreciation.

Pre-approval for Mortgage

Most first time buyers in the Outer Banks are not looking to buy oceanfront property due to the cost.  While millennial home buyers are reportedly skipping buying a starter house and buying a larger home with more amenities for their first purchase. 

Even so, the median value of homes in the Outer Banks is around the $400k mark.  Attractive homes priced below this can get very competitive among buyers; especially homes in the range of $200 to $300k.  All home buyers should get pre-approved prior to embarking on a home search.

Narrow the Search

Buyers usually begin their search online.  It is helpful to actually write down and rank what features and criteria that you are looking for. 

Typically, the criteria will include number of bedrooms, design or style, garage and other amenities, like a pool or hot tub, and the price range you have pre-qualified for.  This is a very personal list and all that matters is what will make you happy in your new home.  An artist, for example, may value the homes orientation, good lighting and a space that can be used as a studio.

The Outer Banks is over 100 mile long chain of Barrier Islands.  Each town or neighborhood has its own character, amenities and vibe

In addition to the Outer Banks, there are towns along the inner banks or on the mainland.  These towns are close enough to the Outer Banks for residents to work or play but typically are lower cost.  It is helpful to narrow your search to a specific location to spot new listings quickly and be able to assess it against your criteria.

If you are considering a condo, neighborhood or development with shared amenities, make sure you budget the cost of Home Owner Association (HOA) fees and consider the quality of the management.  Failure to keep adequate reserves can cause surprise assessments to future homeowners.

Due Diligence

First time home buyers should trust their Eillu Agents and other expert’s advice.  For example, one home may appear to be a perfect fit on a bright summer day but due to a low elevation could be prone to flooding. 

A professional inspection should also be a contingency to the contract and will provide peace of mind to the buyer regarding the condition of major systems.  Make sure you get the best advice during the due diligence period. 

You may have a friend that is handy around the house but that is not the same as a professional home inspector.  Do not take the cheapest option to save money.  You home is a long term commitment and a few hundred dollars spread over time will amount to pennies per day.  It could save you a lot of grief depending on what may be uncovered by the inspection. 

Taking your time to find the right house for you is important so you do not have any regrets.  Make sure you view and tour as many homes as it takes for you to be comfortable with putting an offer on the one that is right for you.

Down Payments and Reserves

First time buyers should keep some funds in reserve after closing.  Using all of ones savings for a 20% down payment rather than have to pay private mortgage insurance can leave buyers strapped when unforeseen events occur. 

In life, unforeseen events always occur.  Keep some savings to be able to repair the car or appliances without having to panic or increase your debt. 

Financing alternatives, like FHA, require a lower down payment and is a good option for first time buyers.  Investigate first time homebuyers programs and government programs for credits and lower down payment requirements that you may qualify for.

Before Closing

Refrain from making any lifestyle changes or making major purchases before closing.  Read this: for specific items not to do after applying for a mortgage

From seasoned veteran to first time home buyer, Eillu is here to help you navigate the home buying process.  With over two decades of experience in the Outer Banks market, we can help you with any questions and guide you every step of the way for a smooth buying experience.  Our exclusive buyers rebate will save you money without sacrificing service.  Schedule an appointment with Eillu today.

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HOA Sticker Shock: How Much Are Association Fees for Popular Outer Banks Communities?

Outer Banks HOA's cost comparison and amenities included

An important consideration for locating your Outer Banks home is the neighborhood or community. The community will impact your quality of life whether it is used as a second home, vacation rental, investment property or your primary home. The neighborhood influences your social interactions, schools your children may attend, shopping availability and recreation facilities. The community also impacts your pocket book.

Many neighborhoods in the Outer Banks are designed as PUD’s or Planned Unit Development. The concept includes common areas, sometimes open space or amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts and gyms available to residents and guests. The home owner is responsible for the care and maintenance of his own property and pays dues to the Home Owner Association (HOA) to maintain the common areas. The shared cost among residents for the community amenities provides an improved life style for each of the residents.

Depending on the HOA governing document or by laws, the association may be able to dictate certain aspects regarding the home owners’ property, like the materials used in construction of the home, paint colors and type of landscaping or hardscape for properties within the PUD. This is to make sure the homes within the community adhere to an agreed upon standard. This structure is believed to enhance property values and prevent surprises after purchase of your home; like when your neighbor decides to paint his house purple.

A portion of the dues each home owner pays is also used to fund reserves. Reserves are used to repair or replace items but are collected in advance to keep HOA fees level. Otherwise, when a roof needs to be replaced each home owner would be assessed a portion of the expense. This additional amount would not be planned by homeowners and could wreak havoc with their individual budgets.

Prior to closing on your real estate purchase, you should read and understand the HOA governing documents to make sure you understand the rules and regulations that you will be expected to abide by. Take the time to look at the common amenities and assess the level of pro-active maintenance and the current condition of the common areas. Read the association minutes to determine if residents have issues with deferred maintenance or if there has been discussions requesting a special assessment. Review the operating budget to make sure adequate reserves are being collected for the age and condition of the assets.

An estimated 54 million Americans live in some 274,000 homeowner associations, condominium communities, cooperatives and other planned developments. Some of the popular communities in the Outer Banks have HOA and various levels of community amenities. Only you can decide if the community is a good fit for you and your real estate needs. Consider the fee charged for the HOA compared to the value to you or your guests for the amenities provided.

The fees listed for the communities below are current and accurate as of the time of this writing but use these figures as a guideline and always request the documentation from the HOA or Management company prior to completing a real estate transaction.

Currituck Club

The Currituck Club in Corolla is one of the newer developments on the Outer Banks. Central to the plan is the lovely Rees Jones golf course with the same name. The semi-private golf course was named “Top 10 Golf Course You Can Play” by Golf Magazine in 1996 and was rated 24th in the state of NC in 2000 by Golf Digest.

The 412 single family homes on 582 acres are graciously laid out around the golf course and the Sound to maximize the views. Many homes have golf course, sound and ocean views.

This community has several communities within the community that share the overall amenities and have amenities exclusive to the smaller community residents and guests.

The Currituck Club –$3,463 / year

AMENITIES

  • Clubhouse
  • Gated Community
  • Golf Course
  • Health Club
  • Ocean Access
  • Outdoor-Comm. Pool
  • Outdoor-Comm. Tennis
  • Playground
  • Common Area

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Grounds Maintenance
  • Management
  • Pool
  • Road Maintenance
  • Security
  • Tennis Courts
  • Walkways

Windswept Ridge Condos – $9,636 / year

This 30 unit condo community has two three story buildings and is perched high to provide fairway and some ocean views. There is a private pool and tennis court for the condo community as well as the main Currituck Club amenities. Homeowner Association documents can be found here.

AMENITIES

  • Clubhouse
  • Gated Community
  • Golf Course
  • Health Club
  • Ocean Access
  • Outdoor-Comm. Pool
  • Outdoor-Comm. Tennis
  • Playground

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Building Maintenance
  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Grounds Maintenance
  • Management
  • Pool
  • Road Maintenance
  • Security
  • Tennis Courts

Hammocks – $6,605 / year

The Hammocks include 71 homes with semi-maintenance free living since the HOA handles roof, siding and landscaping (not the area directly in each back yard). There is also a separate community pool for residents of the Hammocks. It was awarded the 2010 Small Resort Community of the Year by NC Chapter of the Community Association Institute. Homeowner Association documents can be found here.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Clubhouse
  • Gated Community
  • Golf Course
  • Health Club
  • Ocean Access
  • Outdoor-Comm. Tennis
  • Playground

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Grounds Maintenance
  • Management
  • Pool
  • Road Maintenance
  • Security
  • Tennis Courts

Magnolia Bay – $5,663 / year

Magnolia Bay includes 61 home sites with approximately 1/3 located on the sound within the Currituck Club community. There is a pool and tennis courts for the exclusive use of residents and guest staying in Magnolia Bay.


ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Clubhouse
  • Gated Community
  • Golf Course
  • Health Club
  • Ocean Access
  • Outdoor-Comm. Pool
  • Outdoor-Comm. Tennis
  • Playground

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Grounds Maintenance
  • Management
  • Pool
  • Road Maintenance
  • Security
  • Tennis Courts
  • Walkways

The Cottages at The Currituck Club – $3,463 / year

The elevated lots for the Cottages are located at the first fairway at the main entrance to the golf course. The elevation provides sound and ocean views as well as the sweeping expanse of the golf course.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Clubhouse
  • Health Club
  • Ocean Access
  • Outdoor-Comm. Pool
  • Outdoor-Comm. Tennis
  • Park
  • Playground

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Management
  • Pool
  • Road Maintenance
  • Tennis Courts

Kilmarlic Golf Club – base $640 / year

Base amount applies to home or lot; plus additional amounts for swimming pool, tennis, golf and fitness center.

The Kilmarlic community sits on 605 acres of maritime forest and coastal wetlands on the mainland in Currituck County. Many home sites have views of the championship golf course with the same name. The community is almost next to the new H2OBX Water Park. It is 4 miles from the Wright Memorial Bridge but only minutes from the beaches and attractions in the Outer Banks. In 2004 and 2009, Kilmarlic Golf Club hosted the North Carolina Open.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Sound Access, Pier & Gazebo
  • Boat Dock
  • Park

Optional Amenities

  • Club House
  • Health Club
  • Pool
  • Tennis

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Grounds Maintenance
  • Management

Martins Point – $895 / year

This upscale gated community is located in Kitty Hawk at the base of the Wright Memorial Bridge. It is centrally located and favored by year round residents and second home owners. The community is built on a peninsula that juts out into the Currituck Sound and bordered on the other side by the Guinguite Creek affording many home sites water front views and access.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Gated Community
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boat Dock
  • Playground
  • Sound Access

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Road Maintenance
  • Security

Monteray Shores – $980 / year

Located in Corolla, Monteray Shores is a 369 acre community with French Carribean style homes on the sound front. It is one of the only communities in Corolla with a launch for small watercraft. There is nearby public access to the oceanfront with parking in the Whalehead subdivision.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Clubhouse
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Tennis
  • Playground
  • Sound Access
  • Boardwalk

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Building Maintenance
  • Management

Villages at Ocean Hill – $1664 / year

Another established community in Corolla, the Villages at Ocean Hill is located just before the four wheel drive area. It has a well-managed HOA and abundant amenities for both residents and guests.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Pool
  • Tennis
  • Health Club
  • Clubhouse
  • Playground
  • Beach Access
  • Walkways

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Road Maintenance

Ocean Sands – $500 / year – (sections: D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, P)

$100 / year voluntary (Sections A, B, C)

Ocean Lakes in Ocean Sands $930 / year (Section O)

The communities in Ocean Sands were one of the first developments in the Corolla area during the 1970’s. At that time, much of the roads were not even paved. Ocean Sands Sections A, B and C, known as Ocean Sands South, were developed first and have their own voluntary home owners association (OSSPOA). Ocean Sands Section D, E, F have a separate property owner Association.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Tennis
  • Beach Access

Carlyle on the Sound – $500 (lot) $750 (home) /year

Located off Colington Road in Kill Devil Hills, this newer sound front community has 73 home sites with 45% reserved as a nature conservation area.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Common Area
  • Sound Access

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Management
  • Road Maintenance

Carolina Club – $500 / year

The Carolina Club located on the Currituck mainland in Grandy, NC features a par 72 championship course that is open to the public. Grandy, NC is located 13 miles from the Wright Memorial Bridge; so it is still close to the beach and activities of the Outer Banks.

ASSOCIATION AMENITIES

  • Boat Ramp
  • Boat Dock
  • Outdoor pool and tennis
  • Sound Access

ASSOCIATION FEE INCLUDES

  • Common area
  • Common Electric
  • Common Insurance
  • Management

While the above list is just a few of the HOA communities, there are many communities that have no HOA or they have a voluntary opt-in for specific community amenities. The Outer Banks has a diversified group of residential housing ranging from 1 bedroom condos to 24 bedroom homes and everything in between. There are also co-ownership homes and time shares, town homes, patio homes. The barrier island features the sound to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, so every location is just a short distance to the water and recreation.

Let Eillu Real Estate Agents help you find the perfect home, with exactly the community or private amenities you desire (or no community amenities at all). Find the best neighborhood for you and your family, investment objectives or vacation rental. Wiggle your toes in the sand and get positive cash flow from Outer Banks investment property. Best of all, create memories to last a lifetime. Schedule an appointment today!

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Do You Know How Much Your Outer Banks Home Is Really Worth?

current market analysis outer banks

The simple answer is it is worth what a buyer will pay.  How do you determine this amount without leaving money on the table?

  1. If my house is worth what a buyer is willing to pay, shouldn’t I price it high and hope to find someone willing to pay that much?

 Answer: If you price your house too high you will not attract as many potential buyers to even look at it.  If a buyer can only qualify for $300,000 mortgage, pricing your house at $375,000 will mean that buyer will not even consider it.  Getting the price right from the start will result in a quicker sale for a higher value.  Homes with multiple reductions in price tend to have a stigma about them and draw lower offers, if any.

  1. You can find out exactly what a buyer is willing to pay by checking:
    1. The county tax assessment value
    2. The amount your neighbor’s house sold for
    3. The amount it is insured for
    4. The amount you paid for it plus the inflation rate over the time you owned it

Answer: None of the above.  While some of these may provide some insight on what a buyer will pay for your home, none of them will provide the exact amount. 

The county tax assessment can be up to 8 years old and most likely, does not reflect the current market value.

Your neighbor’s house, while it may be very similar, is not the same as your house.  Even if the construction and exterior is the same; the interior likely has different finishes that a buyer would value differently.

The amount your home is insured for does not include the value of the land and would not represent the market value of the property.

The amount you paid for the home and the rate of inflation would not take into consideration other market factors and appreciation.

  1. Should I get an appraisal before I sell my house?

Answer:  An experienced agent will provide a current market analysis to determine how you should price your house.  While this is not the same as an appraisal, it should be very close.  On average, an appraisal costs $311 in North Carolina.  Most sellers do not want to spend additional funds unnecessarily, but having an appraisal to show potential buyers can make negotiations go smoother. 

The lender will require an appraisal and typically will recommend an appraiser to the buyer.  The lender wants to make sure the house, as collateral for the loan, is worth more than the amount being loaned.  Appraisals are not an exact science and one appraisal can vary slightly compared to a valuation by a second appraiser.  This becomes an issue especially if the appraisal is lower than the contracted price.

  1. How does my realtor use “comps” to provide a current market analysis?

Answer: Realtors and Appraisers use “comps” to estimate current market value.  Comps are the 3 to 5 properties that are similar to yours and have sold most recently.  They should be in the same neighborhood, similar is style and features.  The sale should have been very recent; ideally within the past month or two. 

Since none of the 3 to 5 properties are identical to yours, adjustments for features included or missing are made to arrive at a value for your home.  So, for example, if a comparable sale was for $300,000 but the home did not have garage and your property does, then an additional amount will be added to $300k to account for the garage.  If your lot size is smaller than the sold property, then an amount will be subtracted from the sold price to account for the difference in land value.  After making all the adjustments for how your property differs from the comparables, we can determine the estimated sale price and make recommendation for how much to list your property.

To take the comps one step further, your Realtor will perform the same exercise on currently listed properties.  After all, these will be the properties that are your competition.  The current listing prices provide insight on how the market may have changed since the comparable properties sold.  Are prices rapidly increasing and days on market reducing?  Is there a shortage of inventory on the market?  These factors may allow your listing to command a higher amount in anticipation of future market direction.

The key element in this task is the selection of comparable properties.  Your Realtor’s local knowledge is essential to selecting appropriate properties.  Even within the same community, there can be significant differences in values. 

  1. What things can lower the value of a home to a buyer?
    1. Trees & shrubbery
    2. Bulkhead
    3. Paneling
    4. Wall paper
    5. All of the above

Answer: e – All of them.  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and every buyer will have their own preferences.  Trees and shrubbery that has not been maintained may make a buyer wary of expensive yard work and hiring a landscaper.  A bulkhead in poor repair could also signal an expensive repair.  Paneling or wall paper design may not appeal to a given buyer.  This is why many Realtors recommend painting and decorating with a neutral palette.  Even small repairs that have not been completed can signal to a buyer that the home was not well maintained.  Anything that negatively impacts the perception of a buyer can lower the value or turn the buyer away.

  1. What things can increase the value of a home to a buyer?
    1. Hardwood floors
    2. Remodeled Kitchen
    3. Engineered “wood” decks
    4. Outdoor lighting
    5. All of the above

Answer: e – All of them.  Buyers today tend to prefer hardwood floors over wall to wall carpeting especially in the Outer Banks with the sand that can be tracked inside.  Remodeled kitchens and baths are valued by buyers, as long as it is tasteful, functional and uses quality materials.  Outdoor living is part of the Outer Banks life style and engineered decks require less on-going maintenance.  Outdoor lighting and curb appeal will create a good first impression for a potential buyer.  A well maintained home where attention to detail is apparent will show well and motivate buyers to purchase.

  1. What are some things that impact value that are unique to the Outer Banks?
  1. Oceanfront
  2. Soundfront
  3. Elevation
  4. Rental income
  5. Furnishings
  6. Community Amenities
  7. View
  8. All of the above

Answer: h – All of them.  Many homes in the Outer Banks are used as second homes or as investment properties.  An oceanfront home will be able to get higher rent for vacation rentals but can also be vulnerable to beach erosion in some locations.  Soundfront homes are not as popular in the vacation rental market but highly desirable to year round residents.  The elevation of a property will determine its risk of flooding and insurance rates.  The past history of rental income provides a track record for comparing like properties.  Many homes are also sold with the furnishings and the quality and appeal can impact the perceived value.  The community amenities and management of the Home Owners Association will impact the values of properties within the community.  A home with a view, even if not waterfront, will be valued higher by buyers than one without a view.

Every home is unique.  Every buyer also has his or her own subjective preferences and desires.  At Eillu, we believe there is an art as well as science in pricing your home and staging it to appeal to the greatest number of potential qualified buyers.  We have over 20 years’ experience in the Outer Banks real estate market.  We stay on top of national economic conditions and how they will impact local pricing.  Contact us today for a current market analysis to find out what your Outer Banks home is worth.

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Buck Island NC – A Step into an Oasis

buck island homes corolla nc

The Buck Island community is located in the Corolla Outer Banks between Whalehead and Crown Point communities.  This delightful community welcomes the visitor or the homeowner with a unique bridge entrance that makes you feel you have stepped onto an oasis. 

It is a gated community, with 3 lagoons that provide a resort island feel.  The well-groomed professionally landscaped streets, in bloom with crape myrtles and other southern favorites, is a delight for the eyes and the senses. 

The exclusive community features 80 home sites, 18 Charleston Place homes and 14 Duplex/Key West style homes.  The community is well laid out with sidewalks, street lighting and fountains.  There are two parking areas; one for the beach access and one at the pool area.

Location

Park your car once you arrive and you can walk or ride bikes to area shopping and restaurants and all the amenities.  Located across the entrance is TimBuck II, once of the largest shopping areas in Corolla with over 60 shops and a great venue to window shop or pick up unique gifts for friends and family.  Monteray Plaza is located just north of the community with groceries and more shopping options.

For visitors who want to venture outside the community, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse was built in 1875 and is still in service and open to climb to take in one of the most fabulous views in the area.  The lighthouse is about 4 miles north and is located near the Whalehead Club; a restored hunt lodge originally built in 1920’s and open as a museum.

Golfing is available, about a mile away, at the Currituck Club the closest golf club in the area.  There are several courses in the area but each will require a longer drive.  Duck Woods is located in Southern Shores, Sea Scape Links course is in Kitty Hawk and there is also Nags Head links course.  On the Currituck mainland there is Kilmarlic, Carolina, Goose Creek, Holly Ridge and the Pointe.

The 4 wheel drive beach, Carova, is located 7 miles north and is the spot to visit to see the wild horses.

Amenities

Tennis

There are two tennis courts for owners and guest to use located near the entrance. 

Basketball

A half-court basketball court is available for shooting some hoops or a game of horse.

Pool & Spa

The Olympic size community pool is nearby and has a separate baby pool for the toddler set.  The pool area also has a spa tub.  The facility has rest rooms and changing areas.  The sun deck with comfortable lounge chairs are great for reading a book while working on a tan.

Playground

The children’s playground is near the pool area and features a swing set, slides and a climbing structure.

Beach Cabana

The private beach cabana is the gateway to the ocean.  The structure has bathroom facilities which are very convenient for families spending a day at the beach.

Beach Boardwalk

The community has a boardwalk at the beach and features 1,480 feet of pristine Oceanfront.

Beach Equipment

Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rental and will be set up and waiting for you when you arrive (9am).  That’s the definition of luxury to carry only your towel, sunscreen and a book to enjoy your time on the beach!

For active folks, there are also Boogie Boards, surf boards and SUP boards to have an exciting day in the water.  Landlubbers can enjoy a relaxing or competitive game of corn hole with the boards available for rent.

Trash Services

The trash services for the community include wheeling the can to the curb and returning it to the home.

Buck Island was built in 1992 and has a strong track record of successful management.  Prices of homes start in the $400k range.  Buck Island has year round residents, second home owners and homes in several vacation rental programs.  It is a community in great demand for vacation rentals due to the central location in Corolla and outstanding community amenities, and well maintained properties and ocean front assets.  Contact Eillu today to tour the homes for sale and to check out the community amenities.

Eillu relocation guide to Outer Banks


Why Four Seasons in Duck NC is a Great Resort Community

four seasons resort duck NCAward Winning

The Four Seasons in Duck is one of the Outstanding Resort communities in the Outer Banks.  In 2011, it was awarded the “Resort Community of the Year” from the NC Chapter of Community Association Institute.  It is an honor to have such recognition by your peers.

House Styles

Located in the southern portion of Duck, it is one of the most recognizable communities.  The Ocean to Sound community is gated; but even the outer perimeter of the community shows the observer the unique character of the development.  It is designed to pay homage to the Coastal Carolina Style of architecture.  This style includes the “painted aristocracy” of Old Nags Head, the style of the Federal Lifesaving Stations that doted our coast as well as the Low Country style.  Features from American Arts and Crafts Style of shingle houses are also apparent.

The Four Seasons in Duck, NC began in 1999 with the goal of being the Outer Banks premier residential beach community and to support superior property valuations for all their owners.  The community has lived up to its goal.  Once inside the gate, the visitor is welcomed by tree lined streets with sidewalks and two walking paths to the oceanfront access.  The layout of the home sites, streets and amenities create a calm and relaxing ascetic befitting of a resort community.

Four Seasons is a wonderful community to invest in with a second home or vacation rental.  The community spans from the ocean to the sound and lies near the heart of Duck, NC.  There is a lot of attention to detail from the layout of the homes, to the paint colors and the landscaping design to form the ideal resort locale.  The community association has an architectural review board that actively monitors property conditions and decides if renovations are within the guidelines to be approved.  There is even a list of acceptable colors for body and trim. 

Amenities

A resort community must have excellent and well maintained amenities to be recognized.  Four Seasons does not disappoint.  The Clubhouse features an indoor heated adult and heated children’s pool for year round enjoyment.  The fitness gym includes full cardio and weight rooms and the game room has ping pong tables, shuffleboard and board games to entertain a diverse group. 

The community also has an outdoor pool open for the summer season, tennis courts, basketball court, playground, beach access with parking and a soundside pier for wonderful sunset views or to try your hand at crabbing. During the summer season, there is a trolley that runs through the community to the beach.  The attention to detail is so complete that the community includes a trash roll out to curb service.

The town of Duck NC has a loyal following of vacationers.  The upscale town has all the things you would expect, like fine dining restaurants, casual eateries, shops, watersport rentals, boutiques and galleries.  The 11 acre town park is a jewel and a community asset that is actively used by young and old alike and is within walking or bicycle distance to the Four Seasons community.  The town hosts free weekly events ranging from concerts to yoga and family entertainment.  The park includes an amphitheater, public kayak and canoe launch, playground, sheltered picnic area, and a mile-long soundfront boardwalk that links to waterfront shops. 

The town of Duck has wide appeal and proven real estate values, even through the most recent downturn.  The median price of homes in Duck is $444,500 as of Nov 2016.  You can find the most recent MLS statistics, updated monthly, here.  Contact Eillu to tour available homes for sale or to discuss your investment, retirement or vacation home needs.

top-things-to-consider-when-evaluating-a-new-neighborhood


Monteray Shores a Delightful Soundfront Community in Corolla

eillu monteray shores home salesMonteray Shores, located at mile post 9 in Corolla, NC, is an upscale Planned Unit Development containing a pristine 369 acres.  The architecture style revolves around the French Caribbean design and provides unique color to the area.   It has a wide assortment of shared amenities for owners and guests to enjoy.  The development spans along the beautiful Currituck sound and includes walking paths to showcase the unique barrier island landscape. 

Monteray Shores is the only community in Corolla that includes a private launch for small personal watercraft, like kayaks, sailboats, jet skis. The boat launch is available to homeowners and guests.  It is  ONLY available during regular clubhouse business hours.  Even without a craft to launch, a visit to the soundfront community pier is a treat.  Spend the day crabbing from the pier or just visit in the evening to discover a beautiful sunset.  Kayaks and bikes are conveniently available for rental in the community during the season.

The community of Monteray Shores offers bicycling, kayaking, crabbing, playing tennis or getting a workout in the gym.  The center hub of activity is located at the Clubhouse.  During the summer season there is a schedule of planned activities for children.  The gym is equipped with the most popular equipment to keep you fit year round or to allow vacation rental guests to stay on their routine.

Access to the community amenities is regulated with a color armband system that changes each week.  There is a large outdoor pool with a kiddie pool, four tennis courts, a picnic area, basketball courts, playground, Xbox game system, and Oceanside beach access parking.

The community is convenient to shopping, restaurants and all the popular attractions in Corolla; many within walking distance.  Prices for homes begin in the $300k range.  Lots and land is available for building the home of your dreams.  The long established HOA is well managed and dues are in the $1400 range.  Contact Eillu today to tour the homes for sale and to check out the community amenities.

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Condo Vs. Single Family House: Which Is Better For You?

eillu condo vs single family homeAs recently reported by Outer Banks Association of Realtors, Condo sales for 2016 are trending at the highest level since 2005 and could surpass it should this trend continue into December.  Current condo sales of 164 units are not far behind the record condo sales of 178 units set in 2005.

Is an Outer Banks condo the right choice for you?  Read the tips below to decide the right choice for you and your goals.

Ownership

The fee simple form of ownership is where the dwelling and the land is owned by the home owner.  In contrast, a condo owner owns the interior space of the unit and a share in the common elements.  The condo owner does not have the full ownership of exterior walls of their unit, for example.

A hybrid exists where some single family detached communities have a Home Owner Association to maintain and manage community amenities or features, like security and garbage collection in the community.

Amenities

The shared ownership of a condo typically includes additional amenities found in a resort.  Recreational facilities, like an indoor or outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, tennis courts, and a gym may be included.  Also, common is a clubhouse or large meeting area popular for entertaining or booking for functions.

Single family homes typically cannot offer the same amenities at the same purchase price point.  If your lifestyle values the additional amenities and you would use them frequently then the convenience of these features can’t be beat; consider the cost of a gym membership and the inconvenience of traveling to and from the gym.

Freedom & Independence

Most condos regulate the use and appearance of common areas and the outside of the units.  A condo owner can decorate and update the interior but not the exterior of the dwelling.  Some restrictions on interior changes may also apply as structural changes would impact other unit owners. 

On the other hand, a fee simple homeowner owns the land and the structure and has more freedom to make changes, choose colors, landscape, remodel and use the property as they see fit subject to general town, state regulations depending on the area the home is located.

Demographic

Typically, condos appeal to first time home buyers who want to get their feet wet in the real estate market without jumping in and getting over their head.  Similarly, they appeal to the mature market who do not want to be responsible for exterior maintenance and have the ability to travel on short notice. 

In the Outer Banks, condos are a great way to have a second home or an investment property where the unit can be rented while it is not being used by the owners.

A single family home is great for couples intending to start a family needing room to grow and a private yard to play and entertain in.

Home Owner Association (HOA)

A condo HOA is the management group to actively manage the common areas, amenities, roof, garbage collection and exterior maintenance.  Condo owners pay an additional monthly fee to the association.  The fees can be quite steep.  Since the monthly fees are supposed to be paid by all owners, a high delinquency rate of other owners will impact the ability to maintain the complex.  Fees can also increase drastically if enough set-asides or reserves are not adequate for the unexpected and require a special assessment.  At least 10% of the HOA annual budget should go into the reserve fund. That is why the management and financial statements of the HOA should be carefully examined before purchase. 

While some single family communities may also have homeowner association for any shared amenities; the pure fee simple ownership does not have this element.  The home owner actively manages and budgets for all maintenance and services.

Maintenance

The exterior maintenance and the common areas are maintained by the condo association and the owner is only responsible for interior unit maintenance.  This can be a real plus for a second home owner, a mature buyer or a first time homebuyer to keep projects and expenses to a minimum. 

In contrast, a single family homeowner is responsible for all interior and exterior maintenance.  This can be a time consuming amount of work depending on the age of the home and the prior maintenance and repairs that have been performed.  For the buyer who is handy and hands on do-it-yourselfer, this may be manageable but for the type that requires help for any task, the maintenance expense could add up.

Remodels

A single family home buyer has much more flexibility to remodel the space, dwelling, and landscaping to their design preferences.  Some communities may have restrictive covenants regarding community standards and most do require obtaining a building permit.

In the Outer Banks, some older homes are “grandfathered” for flood insurance purposes.  The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value (building, not the building plus land under it), then the building must meet the same construction and elevation requirements as a new building under FEMA guidelines.  This can significantly impact the cost to remodel the home.

In contrast, a condo owner has little control over the exterior or common areas without getting a consensus from the whole community.

A single family home tends to have more storage space available in the home closets, garage, basement and attic.  A condo owner can also be restricted from converting space, like the basement portion into another bedroom.

Insurance

Condo insurance is typically less than a single family home since the condo owner is only paying to insure the interior space and belongings.  However, the condo association purchases a policy for the complex and a portion of condo owners monthly fees cover the cost. 

Another key insurance factor for the Outer Banks is the cost of flood insurance.  Depending on the location of the condo or the single family home, flood insurance may be required by the mortgage company. 

Appreciation

Generally, single family homes appreciate more than condos.  Many condos were purchased as an investment before the real estate bubble burst and this segment was hit harder with foreclosures since many were not primary residences of the investor.  However, every market area is different and can even vary from complex to complex.  Your real estate agent can show you past historical performance comparisons for the area you are considering.

Privacy

A single family home is separated from its neighbors by at least a bit of space where in a condo adjacent units share a wall.  If privacy is important to you, then a single family home will be a better choice.

Pets, RV, Boats or other restrictions

A condo typically restricts the number and types of vehicles that can be parked at the unit.  The number and types of pets may also be restricted or only allowed in designated areas.  The bylaws of the condo can also list many other restrictions to the unit.  Some of the condo restrictions can be quite rigid.  Read the fine print of the condos covenants and restrictions before making a purchase offer to be certain you will be able to enjoy activities important to you.

A home buyer should take the time to list the goals and reasons for purchasing Outer Banks real estate before deciding which form of ownership is best for them.  Talk to the agents at Eillu to get the area statistics and the inside scoop about the various Outer Banks Communities and Condos.

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November 2016 Outer Banks Real Estate Market Report

eillu nov 2016 outer banks mls sales reportThe Outer Banks Association of Realtors released the October MLS Statistical Report – you can get the full report here.  While unit sales are slightly below last year, volume sold and average prices are up 1% and 2% respectively.  Some highlights from this month’s report follows. 

Overall Market

Residential inventory decreased by 11% from November last year while the median sale price increased by 3% and is likely to continue to put increased pressure on prices.  The quantity sold fell by 2% and volume sold shows no change. 

Lots and land volume sold increased by 8% with the quantity sold increased by 6%.  The average sale price for land increased by 2% while the median sale price is down by 2%.  Inventory is down by 21% compared to last year.

Foreclosures

Short sales are down by 60%, same as October but the average sale price has increased by 32% compared to last year.  Bank owned property fell by 26% with an increase of 2% in the average sale price and a 10% increase in the median price. 

Overall the quantity of distressed property fell by 40% with an increase in average sales price of 20% and median sale price at 4%.  The reduction of distressed property inventory should continue and lead to modest appreciation levels and a healthier real estate market.

Residential

While single family units sold fell by 3%; the same as October.  Condos unit sales increased by 24% up from 21% last month.  Single family units decrease by 2% in the volume sold, condos volume sold increased by 32% and Median sale prices increased by 6%, same as October.  Single family average sale price increased by 1% with a median increase of 6%.

Condo sales for 2016 are trending at the highest level since 2005 and could surpass it should the trend continue into December.  Current condo sales of 164 units are not far behind the record condo sales of 178 units set in 2005.

The 2016 median sale prices for the towns in the Outer Banks and the percent change compared to 2015 appear below:

November 2016 Outer Banks Real Estate Market Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town

Median Price

% Change from 2015

Corolla

$425,000

-14%

Duck

$444,500

1%

Southern Shores

$399,700

11%

Kitty Hawk

$305,000

-1%

Colington

$234,500

-2%

Kill Devil Hills

$266,075

13%

Nags Head

$387,000

6%

Hatteras Island

$266,950

2%

Roanoke Island

$263,667

8%

Currituck Mainland

$238,561

8%

 

Kill Devil Hills continues to have the largest percentage gain of 13% compared to 2015.  OBAR also included charts for new construction permits in the recently released reports.  KDH has the greatest number of permits (over 60 – up from 40 in October) and the greatest value especially when adding both incorporated areas and unincorporated areas.

Now is the ideal time to invest in Outer Banks real estate.  Prices are relatively low compared to market conditions in 2007, financing is readily available and mortgage rates are at historical lows.  The rental market is strong to provide income from the investment for years to come. Purchasing today provides plenty of time to be ready for the 2017 rental season.  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 Outer Banks Market Report


What Community is The Best Value in Corolla: The Villages at Ocean Hill

The-Villages-at-Ocean-Hill

Located near the end of Route 12, where the 4 wheel drive area begins, lies the lovely Villages at Ocean Hill.  This long established community is sometimes overlooked but deserves to be checked out. 

The Villages at Ocean Hill is one of the best kept secrets in the area.  The abundant community amenities are well managed which shows in the Home Owner Association (HOA) fees.  The HOA fees are one of the lowest in the area especially when considering the amount of amenities included.  It is a huge bang for the buck at $1600 on average.  Compare this to the Currituck Club or Corolla Light and you will appreciate this delightful community even more.  The community association was established in June 1993 and has a long track record of success.

Community Amenities

Fitness Center

The fitness center includes a complete array of equipment suitable for any gym rat. The center includes 2 flat screen tvs, mens and womens showers and free hand towels.  The cardio equipment and weight training equipment available is listed below:

Cardio:

  • 4 treadmills
  • 4 Elliptical Trainers
  • 2 Stationary Bikes
  • 1 Rowing Machine

Weight Training:

  • 1 Shoulder Press
  • 1 Back/Ab
  • 1 Butterfly Chest
  • 1 Hip Abductor
  • 1 Preacher Curl
  • 1 Leg Extension
  • 1 Lat/Row
  • 1 Smith Weight Unit with Bench
  • 1 Separate Weight Bar
  • 21 Hand Weight sets
  • 2 Weight Benches
  • 2 Mats
  • 2 Stability Balls

Swimming Pools

The VOH has 2 swimming pools; one located at the oceanfront and one on Lakeside Drive next to the fitness center.  The pools are closed from October to mid-May.  The Oceanfront pool also features Sharky’s Snack bar to quench your thirst and satisfy hungry appetites on a summer beach day.

Sports Court & Playground

Located off Lakeside Drive is the Sports Court with Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Shuffleboard and four square courts.  There is also a sand volleyball court located on Fourwinds Court.  The fitness center will provide equipment for your enjoyment.  The nearby playground is enjoyed year round by the younger set.

Tennis Courts

The community features 2 tennis courts located off Lakeside Drive.  Reservations for the courts can be made through the fitness center and are also available on a first come first serve basis.

Chair & Umbrella rentals

One unique and popular amenity is the valet beach service where you select your spot in the sand and the staff will set up your beach chairs and umbrella.  Surf boards, body boards and corn toss games are also available for rental and will surely lead to loads of fun for the whole family.

Nature Trails

The nature trails and nearby bike path are enjoyed by young and old alike.  The nature trails weave in and around the area homes but still afford privacy to the nearby homes.  They are like secret short cuts with the added bonus of the abundant birds and wildlife you will meet on the path.

Nearby Attractions

Currituck Banks National Estuarine Reserve

The Villages at Ocean Hill is adjacent to the pristine Currituck Banks National Estuarine Reserve, where visitors can stroll along the handicapped accessible boardwalk to experience the tranquility and wildlife indigenous to the area.  One of the few remaining examples of a maritime forest on the east coast and a wonderful escape to appreciate the barrier island and estuarine system.

Corolla Wild Horses

The majestic wild horses, descended from Colonial Spanish mustangs, are a wonderful sight frolicking on the beach or traversing the dunes.  There are tours dedicated to showing visitors the horses but a 4 wheel drive vehicle allows one to chance upon them frequently.  Best to view them from a distance as they are still unpredictable.  Visitors must stay 250 feet away from the horses.

 The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is dedicated to protecting and supporting them into the future.  This group was formed to manage and protect the horses.  The development of Corolla led to over twenty horses being struck by vehicles and killed between 1985 and 1996.  The herd is now managed with a sound to sea fence in the 4×4 area to create a sanctuary.  The sanctuary is over 7,544 acres of both public and private land.

Historic Corolla Village

The wonderful seaside community of Corolla has a long history.  The Historic Corolla Village preserves that history for visitors to take a step back in time.  Shops have been restored and re-purposed.  The Kill Devil Hills Lifesaving Station was relocated to the village and restored.  The village includes, shops, museums and is near the Currituck Lighthouse and Whalehead Club.  Stroll along sandy paths and enjoy a slower pace while visiting friendly merchants and imagining a long gone era.

Whalehead Club

The Whalehead Club was built in 1922 by Edward Colling Knight Jr as a private retreat and hunt club.  It is a 21,000 foot mansion that has been restored to the Art Nouveau style and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Currituck Beach Lighthouse provides an amazing view from the 158’ tower revealing the Outer Banks from sound to sea.  It is well worth the climb of 214 steps to experience the fabulous view.  The lighthouse is a short walk from the Whalehead club.

Protective Covenants

The VOH is proactive in managing the impact the community has on the natural environment.  There is a 5 member Environmental Committee appointed by the Board of Directors.  This Committee monitors construction and compliance with the directives.  Owners must submit plans for approval for all projects for new construction, site modification, additions, major landscaping, remodeling and restorations.

The VOH is very protective of the existing trees.  Tree and natural landscape removal is kept to an absolute minimum.  Before a lot is developed any trees or shrubs or ground cover to be removed must be staked and inspected by the committee.  As stated in the policies “if trees are removed and/or clearing takes place without prior written approval the Association at its option may declare the Owner “Not in Good Standing” and require the owner to replant appropriate trees or substantially similar alternatives. The Association has the right to encumber such property with a lien, restrict Owner and Guest access to amenities, and/or withhold reimbursable fees until such time that re-planting occurs.” 

The community seeks to blend into the natural environment and regulates exterior colors, roofing, lighting, fences, decks and pools to meet the community ascetic as outlined in the policies and procedures.  All new homes or major additions must also include a Storm Water Management plan.  “The basic objectives of landscaping and re-vegetation are to preserve the land in its natural state insofar as possible, to enhance the new Structures and Improvements, strengthen vistas, to direct pedestrian and vehicular traffic and to screen visually objectionable elements, (such as service areas, storage yards, and utilities), from public view.”

The Environment Committee has approval authority over most of the exterior and materials.  No vinyl, aluminum, plastic or composite siding materials are allowed.  The intent is not to limit designs but to create a harmonious atmosphere in a planned community.  The restrictions even include parking of boats and RV’s.  To some the rules may seem overly restrictive.  But, to many others it is insurance that a neighborly nuisance will not suddenly appear to ruin the previously enjoyed view and atmosphere.

To appreciate the Villages at Ocean Hill requires a visit to the community.  Contact Eillu today to schedule an appointment.  We have lots and homes available suitable for year round living, vacation home or investment. 

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Find Your Happy Place at Devonshire Place

eillu.com-bermuda-bay-elbow-beach-poolDevonshire Place is the latest addition in the lovely Bermuda Bay Community, located off Colington Road near the First Flight Schools.  This central location makes it accessible to all the action in the area.  It is convenient to all shopping, less than a mile to the beach, and very near to the Wright Brothers First Flight memorial and other attractions.  This makes it an ideal choice for a year round, a second home or a vacation rental.

The homes in Devonshire Place come fully furnished by Exotic Homes for that sophisticated vacation vibe.  The design collections are color coordinated to allow even a novice to execute a flawless design.  They are ready to move into with all your color and finish selections. Many of the selections available, from marble, granite, fabrics, paints to cabinet selections, are typically considered upgrades in many developments.  There are 3 model homes to choose, with 2 or 3 bedrooms, and only 23 available lots left.  Six of those lots are Lake Front!  The 3 bedroom homes can be configured as 2 bedrooms by incorporating a sitting area.

Buying a new home means having all the modern features and conveniences.  That’s why, these homes are already equipped with Lutron Smart home technology to be on the cutting edge.  Energy efficiency features will surely be appreciated by buyers for years to come and include: R30 insulation in the ceilings, R19 under the floors, R13 for exterior wall and R11 for interior rooms.  The beefed up insulation will allows owners to enjoy the peace and quiet as well as save on energy expenses.  The windows are Energy Star rated double hung impact resistant windows, a feature to be highly appreciated with the strong winds we get in the Outer Banks.  Even the vinyl siding is energy star rated and impact resistant.  The York 14 seer energy star heat pump includes a 10 year manufacturer’s warrantee for years of carefree comfort. 

Bremen Model

Eillu.com-devonshire-place-Bremen-model   Eillu.com-devonshire-place-Bremen-model-LR

The 3 bedroom Bremen model home is a three level detached home.  The ground level includes a garage as well as a game room.  The second floor is the main living area with eat-in kitchen, living room, deck and a ½ bath.  The third floor is the sleeping level with all 3 bedrooms and 3 baths.  Optionally, an elevator can be installed during construction or at a later date, using the strategically placed closets.  This model has a little more than 2000 S.F. of heated space.

St. George Model

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The 3 bedroom St. George model home is a two level detached home.  The ground floor includes a garage and the main living area with the kitchen, living room, dining room, and a half bath.  The second floor has the 3 bedrooms and two baths.  This home has a little more than 1500 S.F. of heated space.

Collins Model

Eillu.com-devonshire-place-collins-model    Eillu.com-devonshire-place-collins-model-lr

 

The 3 bedroom Collins model home is a three level detached home.  The first floor has 2 garages, a game room, a generous storage area and a patio.  The second floor features the main living area; the kitchen, dining room, living room, ½ bath and deck.  The third floor is the sleeping space, with 3 full baths and 3 bedrooms.  This is the largest model with almost 2500 S.F of heated space.

Amenity Package

Bermuda Bay offers outstanding amenities suitable for a high end resort.  The Elbow Beach pool is really more of a water park; sure to delight and engage the younger set for days on end.  Adults will enjoy watching the little ones from the comfort of shaded cabana like areas.  The pool area is designed with all ages and skill levels in mind.  It engages the imagination for all types of games and is a feast for the eyes with bright colors to remind you of “paradise”.  The gym has professional grade equipment guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest “gym rat”.  The pool side club house has a meeting room that allows owners to reserve and host parties or other events.

Deal Sealer

Devonshire Place must be seen to be appreciated.  You will love the attention to detail and the quality construction.  Everything is designed for carefree maintenance free living.  Selecting the custom finishes will make you feel like a design pro and really personalizes the home. 

But, before you compare to another house or community, make sure you are making an “apple to apple” comparison.  The Home Owner Association dues are not just to maintain the exterior, common area and amenities but also include the hazard, wind/hail and flood insurance coverages.  When you factor in the cost of the insurance for most Outer Banks homes, the HOA dues are a bargain.  If you are planning to use the home as a vacation rental, the home even comes with a rental income guarantee!

Devonshire Place is attractively priced starting at $290,000.  This is one of the few affordable new communities in the Outer Banks and likely to sell out quickly.  Contact Eillu today to see the Devonshire Place, discuss your options and find out if this community is your new Outer Banks happy place. 

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