Living in Outer Banks

Living in Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks is more than just an attraction for seasonal tourists. With a strong community and thriving economy, many are making this North Carolina coast their year-round home.

“Long-time Outer Banks vacationers often dream of becoming residents ‘one day,’” says Ali Breaux, president of Sun Realty. “Many turn ‘one day’ into a real plan by purchasing an investment property, which will become their home when they retire. Vacation rentals help cover expenses and they have the added benefit of family vacations in their own home.”

With such a draw for tourists, the Outer Banks offers a home away from home for vacationers. Rentals of all shapes, sizes and styles dot this portion of the North Carolina coast. Trusted real estate agents help beachgoers find the perfect beach vacation space or forever home at the right price for them.

“Recently, on a routine visit to one our excellent physicians at Avon’s Outer Banks Family Medicine, one of the support staff pulled me aside to inquire about the increasing numbers and the age mix of our latest Hatteras Island year-round residents,” says Amy Helle, general manager of Hatteras Realty in Avon. “She was surprised that so many visitors were now calling Hatteras their home. While leaving, I laughed and told her that we must be doing something right.”

Whether guests are looking to be close to fishing, beachcombing, major attractions or something else, booking a rental is made easy. And for those looking for a shorter getaway, there are homes and condos that offer partial week bookings.

The real estate market for homebuyers and residential renters is something developers are investing in, as many people find the quality of life on the Outer Banks to be unmatched elsewhere. Aside from the obvious perks like pristine beaches, there are premier health care providers, excellent schools, things to do and friendly people.

“I am sure that population growth has been encouraged by The Outer Banks Hospital and rising number of local specialists in the Dare County medical community. Our local joke is that you don’t have to go to Elizabeth City to find a dentist any more,” says Helle. “Our schools and staff are top notch. Furthermore, the local government of Dare County has matured to a point that the county offers comprehensive services for young and old. The Dare Fessenden Center in Buxton is alive with activities from near dawn to after dark.”

New rental projects allow renters to find their piece of paradise at an affordable, monthly rate at townhomes, condos and apartments. There are also pristine single-family homes on the market with oceanfront views and some farther inland.

“With miles of pristine beaches, endless activities and cultural attractions and highly rated school systems, the Outer Banks is quickly becoming discovered as more than just a vacation destination,” says Kristen Constantineau, Marketing Manager at Resort Realty. “Many long time renters are now looking to the Outer Banks as a place to own a home. With home prices on the Outer Banks much more affordable compared to other vacation destinations, the opportunities to own your very own Outer Banks beach home are numerous—whether as an investment property, a second/vacation home, or a permanent year-round home on our sandy shores.”

Investing in real estate opportunities on the Outer Banks is a win-win for buyers. When they’re not home, they can rent out their spaces for additional income. When they are home on the islands, they are greeted with friendly neighbors, breathtaking views and tranquil breezes. Welcome home! l By Sarah Lancaster