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10 Can’t-Miss Attractions in Outer Banks for Your Next Vacation

Attractions in Outer Banks - Outer Banks Realty Group, OBX Homes for Sale

Whether you’re coming to the Outer Banks for a quick weekend getaway or you’re visiting to find your next home, you’ll love knowing that some of North Carolina’s best – and most famed – attractions are all located along our beautiful shoreline. Check out these ten can’t-miss attractions in OBX.

10 Can’t-Miss Attractions in Outer Banks for Your Next Vacation

These are ten of the most popular things to do in OBX:

  1. Tour the Bodie Island Lighthouse
  2. Perch on Jockey’s Ridge
  3. Explore the Wright Brothers National Memorial
  4. Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  5. Visit the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station
  6. Immerse yourself in The Lost Colony
  7. Slow down at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
  8. Cast a line off Avon Fishing Pier
  9. Stroll down the Duck Soundside Boardwalk
  10. Visit the Corolla Wild Horses

Here’s a closer look at each.

Tour the Bodie Island Light Station

Bodie Island Lighthouse

The Bodie Island Light Station, located at the northern end of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, is open for tours from late April to early October. It still lights every night, keeping watch over the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” and information on its long, rich history is available in the visitors’ center.

Perch on Jockey’s Ridge

Jockey’s Ridge is the tallest living sand dune on the Atlantic Coast – and it’s the perfect place to fly a kite, look out over the ocean and enjoy a breathtaking sunset (or two). You can stroll along the park’s 360-foot boardwalk to learn about the dune’s ecology, take hang gliding lessons or even just play in the water.

Explore the Wright Brothers National Memorial

Wright Brothers National Memorial - Attractions in Outer Banks

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is where, after four long years of experimentation, Wilbur and Orville Wright changed the world. You’ll learn about the brothers and how they developed powered flight at Kitty Hawk, as well as see the exact locations the Wrights used for test flights.

Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

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Like its sister lighthouse at Bodie Island, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is open for self-guided climbs from April through October. This 257-step lighthouse takes you from the ground to its balcony, towering 12 stories over the ground – it’s the tallest brick lighthouse in North America. If you’re so inclined, you can even book a Full Moon Tour, which takes you up the tower for a closer look at the sky.

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Visit the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

Known as a true treasure of Rodanthe, the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station is a carefully preserved time capsule hailing back to 1874. It’s the most complete site of all the state’s remaining life-saving stations. Chicamacomico’s presence commemorates the brave men who risked their lives to rescue travelers who found themselves battered by difficult conditions in the Outer Banks.

Immerse Yourself in The Lost Colony

Attractions in Outer Banks - The Lost Colony

The Lost Colony – the place from which 117 pioneers of Roanoke Island mysteriously disappeared in the 1580s – is located in modern-day Manteo. Nobody knows what happened to the settlers; all they left behind were markings that read “Croatoan” and “Cro,” leading some to believe they moved to a nearby Native American settlement – but historians, scholars and archaeologists are still trying to find them.

Slow Down at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge spans more than 152,000 acres, housing beautiful nature trails, fishing spots and more. This long stretch of land holds maritime forests, swamps and wetlands, and it’s home to black bear, turtles, American alligators, raccoons, rabbits and river otters. The red wolf – one of the most endangered species in the world – lives in the wildlife refuge, as well.

Cast a Line Off Avon Fishing Pier

Avon Fishing Pier is one of the oldest Outer Banks piers, and that’s where you need to be if you want a record-breaking catch. Giant Red Drum swim the waters below the pier (and you can fish without a license), and there’s a public beach you can enjoy, too.

Stroll Down the Duck Soundside Boardwalk

Duck Soundside Boardwalk - Attractions in OBX

The Duck Soundside Boardwalk is easy to access through the Town Park, an 11-acre wonderland. You’ll be able to stroll at your own pace to enjoy the beautiful Currituck Sound, dine in a charming café, catch a show or shop.

Visit the Corolla Wild Horses

The Corolla Wild Horses, a herd of wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs that roam freely, have been in the Outer Banks for nearly five centuries. These feral horses frequent the shore, playing in the water and grazing on native grasses. They’re not always easy to find – but you can take a wild horse tour to see them in their natural habitats.

Are You Buying a Home in Outer Banks?

While you’re exploring these beautiful islands and peninsulas, you’ll see plenty of beach homes, inland homes and condos – and you might even be considering making the move of a lifetime. Check out all our real estate listings here:

When you’re ready, call us at 252-491-3333 or contact us online. We can show you any home for sale in Outer Banks, and we’ll be glad to welcome you to our community.

Mid-Currituck Bridge Update

Mid-Currituck Bridge Update - Outer Banks Real Estate

Construction on the Mid-Currituck Bridge, designed to connect the Currituck County mainland to the Outer Banks, is scheduled to begin in just about two years – and it’s going to supplement the only highway crossing currently on Currituck Sound: the Wright Memorial Bridge.

Here’s what you need to know about the bridge and how it’ll impact your life in OBX.

Mid-Currituck Bridge Update

Right now, the design and development of permit applications is underway – and the whole project is supposed to be financed by next spring. Construction on the 4.7-mile, two-lane bridge is scheduled to start in Spring of 2022.

Why Do We Need the Mid-Currituck Bridge?

Millions of people cross the Currituck Sound now, and by 2040, conservative forecasts say that drivers (both residents and visitors) will make more than 2.8 million trips across this new bridge. And because it currently takes 60 (or more) minutes to travel between Corolla and the mainland, the Mid-Currituck Bridge will relieve a lot of traffic tension. In fact, when the bridge is complete, it’ll take just 11 minutes to cross. Even better, the bridge will slash the average summer travel time on existing roads (from Aydlett Road to the Outer Banks’ bridge terminus) from 136 minutes to just 72 minutes.

Even more importantly, though, the bridge will substantially reduce hurricane evacuation times for people in the Outer Banks. Additionally, it’ll provide a faster route for police, fire and ambulance drivers to take during emergencies.

Where Will the Mid-Currituck Bridge Be Located?

The Mid-Currituck Bridge is designed for placement just south of the Intracoastal Waterway in Aydlett. It’ll cross both Maple Swamp and Currituck Sound, and current plans have it connecting with NC-12 about 2 miles north of the Albacore Street retail area.

Will the Bridge Feature Bicycle Access?

Both sides of the bridge will feature bicycle-safe railing, and there’s an 8-foot shoulder on each side, too. That means bicyclists can easily use the bridge to cross Currituck Sound.

How Long Will it Take to Cross the Mid-Currituck Bridge?

When the bridge is completed, it should take about 11 minutes to travel between Corolla and Outer Banks with no traffic. On summer weekends, when traffic congestion typically lasts between 13 and 15 hours, the bridge will decrease congested periods to 7 to 12 hours. Additionally, in Dare County north of Christopher Drive, there won’t be any congestion.

Are You Buying a Home in Dare County or Elsewhere in the Outer Banks?

If you’re thinking about buying a home for sale in the Outer Banks, this bridge will have a huge impact on your lifestyle. While you’re here, check out our listings using the links below. When you’re ready to see homes that meet your needs, give us a call at 252-491-3333 or contact us online.


How to Prepare Your House for Sale in OBX: 5 Tips From the Pros

How to Prepare Your House for Sale in OBX - Sell a Home in Outer Banks

Selling a home is a big deal – and if you want to sell it quickly (and at the right price), there are a few things you can do to make it more appealing to prospective buyers. Check out these five tips from the pros to prepare your house for sale.

How to Prepare Your House for Sale in Outer Banks

When you’re selling a home, your Outer Banks REALTOR® will talk to you about getting it prepped for the market – but here’s what you can do ahead of time:

  1. Improve your landscaping
  2. Make all the necessary repairs
  3. Clean, declutter and depersonalize
  4. Set the stage for prospective buyers
  5. Add finishing touches

Here’s a closer look at each.

1. Improve your landscaping

How to Prepare Your House for Sale in OBX - Selling Real Estate in Outer Banks

Buyers start forming an impression of your home as soon as they pull up at the curb – and that means your landscaping has to look its best. Clean up the yard, cut the grass and do the edging. While you’re out there, look for patchy spots on the lawn and put down new grass seed. Also:

  • Power-wash your walkways and porch
  • Clean all your windows and make them shine
  • Consider replacing your mailbox and house numbers

2. Make all the necessary repairs

If you have a leaky faucet, a cracked tile or nail holes in your walls, now is the time to fix them. Ideally, you’ll be able to make all the necessary repairs before you even list your home for sale – that way, buyers won’t see them and form a negative impression of your home.

3. Clean, declutter and depersonalize

How to Prepare Your House for Sale in OBX - Best Ways to Attract Buyers

Before you list your home, it needs to be spotless. For many people, that means hiring a professional cleaning company to come in and do everything from the baseboards to the ceiling. If you do that, you’re free to do other things (like make repairs) – and you only need to maintain what the cleaners did while you’re house is on the market. However, you can do all the cleaning yourself. The important thing is to make sure you do a professional-level job.

You’ll also need to declutter. You want to show prospective buyers that your home has plenty of space, and that means clearing out things you don’t use. A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used something in the past 6 months, it’s time to put it in storage, sell it or donate it.

Finally, you should depersonalize. Think about your favorite hotel; the decor is beautiful, but nondescript. That’s how your home should be. That means you should take down:

  • Family photos
  • Eclectic art
  • Anything that could be risqué
  • Religious decor
  • Collections

The point is to make your home appeal to a wide range of prospective buyers, so you should take down anything that could cause someone to form a negative impression. Replace the things you take down with neutral pieces of art, mirrors or other decor.

4. Set the stage for prospective buyers

How to Prepare Your House for Sale in OBX - Outer Banks Realty Group

Staging is incredibly important. It’s the act of setting up your home to make it more appealing. That includes things like putting a gorgeous book on the coffee table, adding a live plant to your bathroom windowsill, rearranging furniture to create more open space in a room, and adding coordinating decor to rooms. You might prop a recipe book open on your kitchen counter, right beside a basket full of fresh fruit, or you may want to add a vase of fresh flowers to your bedroom dresser.

Your REALTOR may suggest hiring a professional home stager, but even if that’s not in the cards for you, you can make your home appealing to a wide range of buyers on your own.

5. Add finishing touches

Update your window treatments, light fixtures and dated faucets if necessary. When you’re selling your home, you don’t want buyers to see anything that might make them feel like it’s dated or that makes it seem you haven’t maintained the space. Your REALTOR can walk through your home with you to make suggestions – and don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure about whether something looks “off.”

Are You Selling a Home in the Outer Banks?

We can tell you how much your home is worth and what you can do to sell it quickly (and at the right price). When you’re ready to learn about how we’ll market your OBX home to all the right buyers, call us at 252-491-3333 or contact us online.

If you’re also looking for another home, you can get instant access to all our listings here:

Is Outer Banks a Good Investment? What You Need to Know About Buying Real Estate in OBX

Is Outer Banks a Good Investment - Buy an Investment Property in OBX

If you’re considering investing in a home in Outer Banks, you’re not alone – there are many vacation rentals in Nags Head, Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores and Hatteras Island, as well as in other OBX communities. The reason: These places are highly desirable, and often, people would rather stay in a vacation home than a standard, run-of-the-mill hotel.

But is Outer Banks a good investment for you?

Here’s what you need to know.

Is Outer Banks a Good Investment?

First things first: Tourists adore the Outer Banks. This is a top vacation destination for millions of people each year. About 2.61 million people visited Cape Hatteras National Seashore last year. In fact, Dare County is fifth in the state for tourism spending – in 2018 alone, the area pulled in more than $1.9 billion. (That’s the last year for which data is currently available.)

A tremendous number of those people needed – and found – a place to stay.

Why Outer Banks May Be a Good Investment for You

When you buy an investment property in OBX, you have two options: You can be an absentee owner, visiting the property only occasionally to check on its condition (or to make repairs or upgrades), or you can be a part-time resident who rents the property out when you’re not using it.

Renting out your Outer Banks home is a good way to recoup some – or all – of the money you’re spending on monthly mortgage payments. However, it’s not for everyone. You’ll have to decide whether you want to rent it for long periods of time (such as by having tenants sign a yearlong lease) or you want to use it as a vacation rental, listing it on sites like Airbnb and others. Additionally, you’ll most likely want to hire a property manager to handle the day-to-day aspects of home ownership for you, particularly if you don’t live in the area.

What if You Decide Outer Banks IS a Good Investment for You?

If you’re thinking about buying an investment property in Outer Banks, use these tips to find the right place:

  1. Stay objective. Renting out a house is a business, so you have to look at – and treat – it that way. You’re looking for a property that will bring in the best possible profit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a home you fall in love with (like it would have to be if you were purchasing a primary residence for yourself).
  2. Be realistic. Sometimes sellers make an investment property seem like a huge money-maker – but the reality is that you should talk to your OBX REALTOR® about rental projections to find out where your money is best-spent.
  3. Do a complete cost analysis. You’ll need a down payment as well as the cash to make monthly mortgage payments. You’ll also need to cover maintenance, updates and repairs, as well as insurance (including wind and flood coverage). Remember that there will likely be periods – long or short – that your home sits empty. As a result, you won’t have rental income. Additionally, owning a second home has tax implications that you should discuss with your financial adviser.

Is Outer Banks a Good Investment? Let’s Talk!

Is Outer Banks a Good Investment - Buy a Rental House in OBX

If you’re considering investing in a home in the Outer Banks, we can help you decide what’s right for you. We’ll be happy to show you any listing, run all the numbers, and provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice.

While you’re here, please feel free to explore:

When you find a home you want to see, call us at 252-491-3333 or contact us online. We’ll be happy to schedule tours of your favorites. Outer Banks Realty Group’s team members know everything there is to know about the area and the rental market here – and we’ll be glad to share our experience and expertise with you.

7 Unique Things to Do in Outer Banks During Spring

Everyone who comes to the Outer Banks visits Cape Hatteras National Seashore, sees the Bodie Island Lighthouse and spends time on the beach – but what if you’re a little more adventurous than that? Check out these seven unique things to do in Outer Banks during spring.

7 Unique Things to Do in Outer Banks in Spring

7 Unique Things to Do in Outer Banks During Spring

  1. Outer Banks Futuro House
  2. Hatteras Weather Bureau Station
  3. The Mother Vine
  4. Jockey’s Ridge
  5. Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island
  6. Portsmouth Village
  7. Corolla Wild Horses

1. Outer Banks Futuro House

North Carolina’s only known Futuro House – an amazing, saucer-shaped domicile – is located near Frisco. The concept is solid: It’s supposed to be a portable house that can adapt to any kind of terrain and climate. In the 1960s and 70s, they weren’t very popular; fewer than 100 of them were ever built. It’s definitely worth seeing, and the person who owns it has been known to dress in an alien suit for photos with visitors.

It’s close to the side of Highway 12 in Frisco. Here’s a map to get there.

2. Hatteras Weather Bureau Station

7 Unique Things to Do in Outer Banks in Spring - Corolla Wild Horses

Built in 1901, the Hatteras Weather Bureau Station has a rich history in Outer Banks. It even had a role to play in the tragic sinking of the Titanic in 1912 – when the two operators at the station received a message from the sinking ship, they sent a telegraph to New York. The operator in New York called them “drunks” and dismissed the message, so the pair decided not to send an additional statement from another ship – the Carpathia – about the tragedy. The original telegraph is located at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum (another must-see).

The building is no longer in use, but it’s now a welcome center maintained by the Outer Banks Tourism Board and the National Park Service. You can find it here.

3. The Mother Vine

Long known as the longest grapevine in the world – and probably the oldest in North America, being about 400 years old – the Mother Vine is located on Roanoke Island. Experts believe it was planted by Croatan Native Americans or settlers of the Lost Colony. The current owners of the vine originally clipped it in the 1950s to make room for a house on their land, and today, they maintain it and allow visitors to enjoy the view. Here’s where to go.

4. Jockey’s Ridge

7 Unique Things to Do in Outer Banks in Spring - Jockey's Ridge

Jockey’s Ridge is a 400-acre, 100-foot-high shifting sand dune near milepost 12 of the South Croatan Highway. It covers Bodie Island, just next to Nags Head, and it’s home to several nocturnal animals, waterfowl and more. Many people who visit the area take advantage of the northeast and southeast winds that hold the dunes in place and use the spot to fly kites and hang-glide. Here’s how to find it.

5. Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island

You’ve heard of the Lost Colony of Roanoke – but the Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island is a lesser-known lost colony. It was a safe haven for former slaves during the Civil War after the Union Army captured it in 1862. African-American families from all over North Carolina made their way to the safe haven, and by 1863, it was a thriving community featuring churches, a schoolhouse and homes where hundreds of people lived. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, but the colony continued to thrive for a few years; the colony was abandoned by 1897. Here’s a map to get there.

6. Portsmouth Village

Portsmouth Village on the Ocracoke Inlet used to be a bustling port – but now, it’s a ghost town. There are a dozen structures still intact, and you can explore them when the weather is nice. The town is under the National Park Service’s care and it’s on the Cape Lookout National Seashore. Here’s how to find it.

7. Corolla Wild Horses

7 Unique Things to Do in Outer Banks in Spring - Corolla Wild Horses

The Corolla Wild Horses, which are actually feral Colonial Spanish Mustangs, live on the barrier islands of the Outer Banks. As one of the oldest horse breeds in the U.S., they’re small and tough – and technically, they should be classified as ponies. Some people believe they swam ashore after surviving shipwrecks, while others think they were left behind by Spanish conquistadors. The best way to see the horses (and to protect them) is to take a guided tour rather than exploring on your own. Visit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to learn more.

Are You Buying a Home in the Outer Banks?

If you’re looking for your next home in the Outer Banks, we’re here to help. You can also get instant access to:

When you’re ready to start exploring, call us at 252-491-3333 or contact us online. Our team can show you any listing, so call to schedule your appointments today.

The 5 Best Outer Banks, NC Wedding Venues

Outer Banks Wedding Venues - Homes for Sale in Outer Banks, NC

Whether you’re buying a home for sale in the Outer Banks, you already live here or you’re a frequent visitor, you know that this area provides the Atlantic Coast’s most beautiful wedding backdrops. It’s also an ideal spot for honeymooning – and for living part-time or permanently.

If you’re planning your own big day or someone else’s, check out this list of the five best Outer Banks, NC wedding venues to see how special an OBX wedding can be.

The 5 Best Outer Banks Wedding Venues

Outer Banks Wedding Venues - OBX Realty Group

From whimsical and fun to elegant and opulent, there’s a wedding venue for everyone in the Outer Banks. The five best in the area include:

  1. River Forest Manor & Marina
  2. Sea Ranch Resort
  3. The Currituck Club
  4. Jennette’s Pier
  5. First Colony Inn

Here’s a closer look at each.

Outer Banks, NC Wedding Venues - Outer Banks Real Estate

River Forest Manor & Marina

River Forest Manor & Marina, rich in history and exquisite in design, sits on more than four acres of immaculately landscaped waterfront grounds. Featuring two marina piers with deep-water slips, 13 guest rooms with private access, and several wedding packages available for you and your guests, this beautifully appointed mansion and its grounds is a wonderful place for an indoor or outdoor venue – it’s one of the best Outer Banks wedding venues you’ll find.

Sea Ranch Resort

The Sea Ranch Resort is an excellent place for a whimsical beach ceremony and indoor reception. The resort’s ballroom offers ample space for guests, and there are several luxuriously appointed rooms for friends and family to stay in before and after the event. You can choose a pre-planned wedding package or plan your own – but either way, this OBX wedding venue is the perfect place to combine sun, sand and sea.

The Currituck Club

The Currituck Club is a picturesque, elegant and sophisticated wedding venue in Corolla on Currituck Sound that’s ideal for indoor or outdoor weddings and receptions. With panoramic waterfront views and ample space for large weddings, the club offers several additional services, such as photography, limousine transportation and floral arrangements, that make planning the perfect day incredibly easy.

Jennette’s Pier

Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head is provides unmatched elegance and picturesque views for indoor and outdoor weddings. The pier itself is spacious enough to accommodate several guests, and the 3,500-square-foot banquet room features 22-foot cathedral ceilings, a fireplace, an outdoor covered deck and a full-service catering kitchen, making it one of Outer Banks’ most desirable wedding venues.

The First Colony Inn

The First Colony Inn, a romantic and truly elevated wedding venue for the most discerning brides and grooms, is a wonderful place for indoor and outdoor events. Featuring a private access walkway to the beach, a beautifully manicured lawn and 26 guest suites for friends and family, this venue offers wedding packages for intimate gatherings and larger events.

Are You Buying a Home for Sale in Outer Banks?

If you’re looking for your next home in the Outer Banks, we can help. Here, you’ll get exclusive access to our:

When you’re ready to start exploring, call us at 252-491-3333 or contact us online. Our team can show you any listing, so call to schedule your appointments today.

Buying a Second Home for Rental – New Home vs. Resale

Buying a Second Home for Rental - Resale vs. New

Buying a second home for a rental property in Outer Banks can be a wonderful investment – and one with plenty of perks, too. Whether you intend to vacation here occasionally or you’re planning to rent out your home permanently, you’ll need to decide between purchasing new construction or a resale.

Here’s what you need to know.

Buying a Second Home for a Rental: New Homes vs. Resale Homes

Buying a Second Home for Rental - Newly Built Home Advantages

There are several great reasons to buy a second home in the Outer Banks. It’s a top vacation spot for people from around the world, it’s home to some of the most beautiful scenery on the Atlantic Coast, and the area is teeming with restaurants, shops and attractions.

If you’ve chosen to buy a home here, whether you choose to make it your own vacation spot or you intend to use it as a rental property, you’ll have to decide whether you prefer new construction or a resale home – and as OBX REALTORS®, we can tell you that owning a second home:

  • Can provide tax advantages
  • May make you a landlord
  • Will probably require you to use a conventional mortgage or cash

The choice between purchasing a new home and purchasing a resale home depends on how you intend to use the property, how much money you’re willing to invest for improvements, and whether you plan to spend time in it or use it purely as an investment.

Many people search Outer Banks real estate listings to see what’s available before deciding between a new home and an existing home.

Advantages to Buying a New Home as a Vacation or Rental Property in the Outer Banks

Buying a Second Home for Rental - Resale Home Advantages

Buying a new home is a wonderful way to ensure you get all the things you want – and need – in your space. If you choose custom construction, you can zero in on every detail and build your dream home from the ground up, which is ideal if you intend to use your property for part of the year and rent it out while you’re not in residence. Check out these other advantages, too:

  • Newly built homes are, by default, more energy efficient than their older counterparts are. That results in lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint – so it’s a win for you and the environment.
  • Recently built homes usually have fewer maintenance costs during the first several years of ownership. Most builders include a wide range of warranties on their homes, and so do appliance manufacturers, which helps you save even if something does go wrong.
  • Everything is new when you purchase a home that’s been designed just for you. You’ll be the first – and only – people to use the home, and there’s definitely something to be said for that.

Advantages to Buying a Resale Home as a Vacation or Rental Property in the Outer Banks

Buying a resale home has plenty of advantages, such as having established neighbors and being closer to the amenities you or your tenants need. If you don’t intend to spend any time in the property and want to rent it out periodically or permanently, a resale home may be the right choice for you. Check out these other advantages to buying a resale home:

  • Resale homes may be more in your price range – and you can always invest in improvements and upgrades later, too. Sometimes resale homes have lower property tax rates, too, so talk to your REALTOR if that’s one of your concerns.
  • You may have more room to negotiate with a seller than you would with a builder, which means you could spend less and get more house for your money.
  • Resale homes often come with things you’d have to pay more for in a new home, such as major appliances, landscaping, light fixtures and window treatments.

Are You Looking for a Second Home for a Rental in the Outer Banks?

Ultimately, the best way to figure out whether you should buy a newly constructed home or a resale home is to search Outer Banks real estate listings and see what’s available. If the amenities, layout or style you want isn’t available right now – or if it rarely is – you may want to opt for a new build.

If you’re looking for the perfect investment property or vacation home in the Outer Banks, we can help. While you’re here, you can search:

When you’re ready, call us at 252-491-3333 to tell us what you’re looking for – we’ll help you find it.

Valentine’s Day: 5 Romantic Things to Do in Outer Banks, NC

Romantic Things to Do in Outer Banks - OBX Homes for Sale

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and that means it’s time to make plans for your special someone – and fortunately, Outer Banks is full of amazing places to dine, unwind and spend time with the people you care about. Whether you’re already living in the area, vacationing here or looking for an Outer Banks home for sale, check out these five romantic things to do in Outer Banks (and see where to go for Valentine’s dinner) so you can pull off a celebration to remember.

Valentine’s Day: Romantic Things to Do in Outer Banks, NC

Exploring Outer Banks with a romantic slant is easy if you know where to go. Check out:

  1. Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  2. Watch the sun set at Jockey’s Ridge State Park
  3. Breathe the fresh sea air from the Duck Town Boardwalk
  4. Stroll through the Elizabethan Gardens
  5. Visit the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Here’s a closer look at each.

Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

If you and your special someone are up for it, climbing the 257 steps inside the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a great way to spend an afternoon. (You can also check out the Bodie Island Lighthouse, which has just over 200 steps.) You need tickets to climb to the top – but you can also simply enjoy the grounds and stand in awe of one of the most dangerous sections of the Atlantic Coast.

Watch the Sun Set at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Jockey’s Ridge is the tallest living sand dune on the Atlantic Coast, and it’s one of the most remarkable places in North Carolina for sunset viewing. You can stroll down the 360-foot boardwalk, learn about the dune’s ecology, walk through  and settle in at the top for a breathtaking view as the sun dips below the horizon.

Breathe the Fresh Sea Air From the Duck Town Boardwalk

The beautiful Duck Town Boardwalk, located in the 11-acre Duck Town Park, is open from dawn to 1 a.m. It’s a great sunset-viewing spot, and with warmer weather on the way, it might be the perfect place for you to take someone special. The park itself is only open until dusk, though, so keep that in mind if you plan to explore the walking paths and trails.

Stroll Through the Elizabethan Gardens

The Elizabethan Gardens, a living memorial to Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost colonists, is also one of the sites on the North Carolina Birding Trail. You can walk through the winding pathways to enjoy antique statuary elements surrounded by beautiful seasonal plants, enjoy a picnic on the grounds or take the free audio tour.

Visit the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rodanthe is the perfect place to explore Hatteras Island. You can drive through all the beautiful scenic areas, stopping along the way to enjoy the views, or you can stroll along the North Pond Trail or Salt Flats Trail. You’ll find plenty of places for fabulous photo-ops throughout the refuge.

Where to Eat on Valentine’s Day in OBX

Cap off the perfect day with dinner at one of Outer Banks’ fabulously romantic restaurants. Some local favorites include:

Are You Looking for an Outer Banks Home for Sale?

Whether you already live in one of Outer Banks’ beautiful communities or you’re considering purchasing a home here, we can help you find the one that’s just right for your needs. You can search OBX real estate listings or call us at 252-491-3333 to tell us what you’re looking for – we’ll help you find it.

Renting vs. Owning a Vacation Home on the Outer Banks

Renting Vs. Owning A Vacation home on the Outer Banks


Every vacationer to the Outer Banks has considered, if only daydreaming – what it would be like to have their very own home in paradise;  A beautiful destination for a family retreat or perhaps a home with a view to eventually retire and start the next chapter in life.

Consider this: Instead of spending your hard earned savings every year on a weekly rental near the beach, you could put that money toward a condo or beach house to call your own.

Buying a vacation home provides an endless number of getaways stretched out in front of you and making that dream a reality. No matter where you live, getting out of town is energizing. Even more so, it’s almost meditative being able to relax in a space that’s all yours without the hassles that come with hotels or having to abide by another homeowner’s rules. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any of those unexpected costs since you are already at home, especially if you end up using that beautiful kitchen.

There are several things to consider when deciding if owning a home on the Outer Banks will be of greater value to you rather than simply renting a home on the Outer Banks. Owning a second home should be pleasurable, not the source of constant financial strain. Smart decision making is key, and always remember to know your limits when it comes to big decisions that will impact your future. When done right, the advantages of owning a home on the Outer Banks can far surpass the disadvantages, so we’ve gathered some information to help those who are trying to determine what’s best; to Rent or to Own?

Vacation Home Turned Money Maker

Food for thought: Not everyone wants to buy a vacation home, but no one turns down the chance to visit someone else’s.

Realistically, you will be renting your investment home during the prime season as well as any other time of the year you feel is necessary to generate a good return on your investment. A good vacation rental property has the potential to cover your mortgage payments plus generate a healthy additional profit. Any week that is not rented is yours to enjoy! Keep in mind vacation rental properties are more sensitive as the seasons fluctuate. You will obviously have more renters during summer months rather than winter. Make sure you maximize the availability of renting your property during these popular times for your guests, to avoid becoming financially exposed if you suffer a lack of booking revenue during those winter months. The months of May and September, as well as holiday weeks such as Thanksgiving and Christmas have become increasingly popular rental opportunities on the Outer Banks. That still gives you plenty of weeks to enjoy your dream home at the beach. 

The general rule of thumb is that the yearly rental income should be 10% or more of the purchase price.  Be sure to do some research before making your investment by checking out other nearby vacation rental listings in the neighborhood or area that you’re considering for your investment. Rental history or projections are a very big factor to help you gain insight on rental properties by helping to keep your expectation of rental numbers more realistic. Using an online short-term rental service like Airbnb/VRBO makes it convenient to manage your rental property. Their website interface makes pricing, marketing, and communication with potential guests quite straightforward and easy. In addition, Airbnb/VRBO will oversee the billing process for you.  The best reason for using these services is it takes away the Property Management commissions and fees, hence increasing the profit earned per week.  To do this, the investment owner must have the extra time to be very organized and also have vendors in place to take care of housekeeping, pool and hot tub maintenance, landscaping and even the little things such as a light bulb change.  At Eillu, we will be happy to measure the positives and negatives for you as to which way to rent your home; either through a property management company or a do it yourself service such as VRBO. 

Here in the Outer Banks, there are homes available to meet a wide range of budgets. The opportunities are endless – and now is the time to begin a search for your dream vacation house. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to our professional agents at Eillu, your Outer Banks Boutique Real Estate Team for a personalized experience. We value our clients and strive to create a lasting relationship with each and every person we come in contact with.

Things to Consider

As with any home (and really life itself) there is always the chance of unforeseen and unfortunate events happening. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you try to prevent certain things by taking extra precautions, some things will always be out of your control. Investment Homes can be costly to manage, both in terms of time and money. Insurance will help cover certain instances involving renters, but even when your property is unattended there is a chance for the unfortunate to happen, such as a burst water pipe that may leak and cause damage. Since events such as these cannot be controlled, consider having someone check on your property when it’s not actively being utilized. Even if you don’t know anyone in the area, some rental management companies may work with you and offer such services without making you pay all the hefty fees for their full line of services.

If you are unsure that owning an investment home is right for you, do not worry! Here at Eillu, that’s what we are here for; helping you with every step along the way. An important thing to consider before you begin searching is to understand your financial situation. To begin your search, you must determine the price range in which you are financially comfortable. Research your credit history, your debt compared to income, and the amount you can handle for a monthly payment.

Whether or not it is worth dipping your toes into this form of investment is debatable and depends largely on your personal financial abilities and tolerance for risk. If you’ve decided to begin investing in Outer Banks real estate, contact Eillu for a unique and personalized boutique experience that you won’t find anywhere else on the Outer Banks. We guarantee it!


October 2017 Outer Banks Real Estate Market Outlook and Current Statistics

Oct 17 MLS market report - OBX in fall

Overall, single family detached home sales are up 13% and condo sales are up 12% for 2017.

The Outer Banks Association of Realtors released the October 2017 MLS Statistical Report – you can get the full report here.  This months report was delayed and did not include the same detail as the regular reports.  We expect the full report to be available for November 2017.

Real estate sales for October 2017 in the Outer Banks reached 165 units compared to 146 units for the same period in 2016.  Under contract units increased by 30% to 251 units compared to September.  

The median single family home price has increase by 2% in October; while condos have increased by 6% compared to last month. Some highlights from this month’s report follows.

Overall Market

Residential inventory decreased by 8% in October following last month’s 10% decrease; both compared to last year. The inventory trend has continued downward for the past few months. Active residential inventory is 1497 units while last year there were 1621 units.

The quantity sold increased by 11% following last month’s 11% increase; with volume sold up by 16% following the same increase for the last 2 months.

Lots and land quantity sold increased by 6% after last month’s increase of 6%. The average sale price for lots fell by 19% and while the median price increased by 4%. Land inventory is down by 11% compared to last year.

Commercial unit sales are down by 24% following last month’s decrease of 24%. Only 16 commercial units were sold compared to 21 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 14% compared to last year with only 64 units active on the market compared to 74 units last year.

Distressed Property

Due to the shortened and delayed report from OBAR, details for distressed sales were not reported.  Overall short sale inventory remained steady at 1% of the active listings. 


Single family unit sales increased by 13%, the same as reported last month, with 1275 units compared to last year 1130 units. The volume sold increased 17% with the average sale price increase by 4% and the median sale price increased by 2%.

Condos unit sales increased by 12% following last month’s 12% increase compared to last year. October condo unit sales were 151 compared to 135 a year ago. The volume sold increase by 10% following last month’s 10% increase. Median sale prices for condos increased by 5% 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 8% in October. Considering all land, October had a 10% increase.  This follows several months of increases for lots and land sales.

The average sale price for residential land fell by 9% while the median price increased by 5% compared to last year.  Considering all land, the average sale price fell by 17% while the median price increased by 8%.

Overall Days on the Market for the all residential properties is down to 147 days compared to 162 days this time last year.   The MLS reported than DOM for lots and land sales was also dramatically lower but did not provide specific statistics for comparison.  Outer Banks properties are selling much faster; especially new inventory.

Outer Banks Town Statistics

The October 2017 median sale prices for the towns in the Outer Banks and the percent change compared to 2016 was not provided in the delayed report. 

The Outer Banks real estate market is on track for a solid sales year. OBXMLS reports 251 under contract compared to 192 units reported last month.

National Real Estate Trends

The Wall Street Journal reports purchases of newly built single-family homes rose 6.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685k in October from the previous month. Economists had expected sales to fall 6.4% in October to a 624k annual rate so the increase was quite unexpected.  Compared to a year earlier, sales of newly constructed homes increased by 18.7%.  October’s increase for new home sales follows Septembers 14.2% increase.  Click here to view new homes available in the Outer Banks of NC.

November is almost over but the holidays are a great time to visit the Outer Banks and purchase real estate. There are wonderful community events and a small town friendly atmosphere that you won’t experience any where else.  Purchasing at the end of the year provides for some significant tax benefits and provides adequate time to prepare for the summer season.

The crowds are reduced and it is easy to view vacation rental homes or investment properties available for sale.  Even after winter weather sets in, it is warmer with the gulf stream influence and the abundant warm water that surrounds the island.  

If you are lucky, you may get to experience the magic of snow in OBX; it doesn’t last long but makes the island and beach look like something out of a fairy tale.

If you have been thinking about an Outer Banks vacation home purchase, second home purchase or permanent home, now is the time to act. Buy with Eillu and save more with our buyers rewards plan. Schedule an appointment today to find your vacation rental property, second home or investment property.

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!

Eillu free custom market analysis

Yes, You Can Expect More With The Eillu Real Estate Team!

Mailing Address
PO Box 3009, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
Physical Address
3712 Suite B North Croatan Hwy
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
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