Whether you’ve been coming to the Outer Banks for a number of years, or you’re a relatively new convert, you’ve finally been seduced by the allure and peacefulness that emanates from the Outer Banks and have decided to purchase a second home on one of the islands.  Great Idea!  Where else can you find miles of sandy beaches, an abundance of water sports, great local seafood and a tranquil atmosphere all within a relatively short drive of some major metropolitan areas? 

But before you start your search, here are just a few things to consider:

·         *    Ocean or Sound.  Life on an island means that access to water is always close at hand.  Most people think of the ocean when they think of a second home, but living close to the sound has advantages as well.   If you have only one week a year at the beach, then proximity to the ocean is key.  However, since you’ll now be a regular on the OBX, the sound might be something to consider.  Water sports, less vacationers and potentially lower price points are just a few of the advantages.

·         *    Condos vs Single-Family.  There are some real benefits about owning a condo, especially if you live more than a few  hours away from the OBX.  However all too often people see the high monthly fees associated with condos and run the other way, failing to consider that those fees often cover all exterior maintenance, insurance and amenities. Talk to your Realtor about the benefits of owning a condo before ruling it out.

 *     Insurance.  Most people think flood insurance when they buy a coastal property, but wind and hail tends to be the larger ticket item.  Talk to your Realtor about what you can expect.  Flood insurance is available through the NFIP for most properties, but you’ll want to understand what is important to ensure your premiums are reasonable.  Read Understanding Flood Zones Before You Buy for more information on affordable flood insurance.

·    Most importantly, sit down with a knowledgeable Realtor and discuss your lifestyle, what’s most important to you in regards to your second home, and the pro’s and con’s of the various communities so you can ensure you find the perfect spot to relax and enjoy all the Outer Banks has to offer.