Outer Banks Real Estate News Blog

We are often asked about many things that affect our local area, from how to buy here, how we like living here, "how can we move here", whats it like to invest or live here on the beach. This is a small place with Bir Appeal and there is much to talk about. We are local real estate experts in the area and have been full time brokers here on the outer banks since 1998. We support our local businesses and we believe our success is due in part to our annual visitors and we welcome you to enjoy our beach home. Hope you enjoy and let us know if there are any items you would like us to address and remember this is our opinions and you know what they say, hope you enjoy!

March 24, 2022

Is it a good time to sell?

is it a good time to sell my home, I think I could make some money right now!

This is the question we get asked second most, number 1 is what is my home worth?  Well this is an interesting question, sure it is great to sell a home here and WOW your gain would be great, but where are you going what do you intend on doing with this potentially profitable transaction?

There are a few things to consider when you make the choice to sell here are just a few ideas. I think I like the "we are selling everything and buying an RV and just live in that for a while."  This usually make me smile and sounds romantic, but if that is not your gig. Finding out what you want to do is most important.

Are you leaving the beach or wanting to get rid of your beach house and use the money, what is the goal?  First, I would determine the end goal. The goal could be to step to a larger home or we are wanting to downsize (our home is too large).  Another set of goals could be geared more toward your investment property, perhaps you want to take the funds (profits) and put into another investment either here or elsewhere. If so let us know you could possible defer the capital gains taxes on that sale with the use of a like-kind exchange (1031) we assist our clients with this all the time. 

We also here that it is time for us to travel more and see the world or the family and we just want to cash out. This is also a great goal too.  As you can see there are many different things to consider when make this decision, so reach out to us and we are happy to provide some guidance and perhaps helps with your direction.

Let us know what you are looking to do, since 1998 we have been helping our clients with satisfying their goals and dreams. Live your best life and have an awesome time!

Feb. 21, 2020

Personal Property after the sale, is that still the sellers stuff?

Are the homes sold fully furnished here on the Outer Banks?

We get asked this question when selling outer banks real estate.  Many of the homes sold here on the beach are vacation rentals and second homes and the homes are often sold with everything included. Furnishings, electronics, TV's, dishes, bedding and other items often convey with the home to make the home ready to rent.

What if the seller leaves items in the home that are not being transferred to the new buyer by a bill of sale or by other legal means? 

Remember, just because it is in the home when you view it does not mean it is will convey automatically.   Having a list of any items that may be excluded from the sale is important to view in advance of writing an offer.  This eliminates any surprises on closing day. For sellers, its recommended to remove items before listing that are sentimental and that you would not want to have stay with the property.  


Feb. 18, 2020

Saving money on taxes when you sell..

Who wants to pay more money in taxes?  If you said yes, then stop reading this. I have had many clients that have made money on their property over the years and went on to pay a big tax bill, then soon after this time they bought another property.

Of course, this was not the way they wanted to do it. There is a simple way to buy another property putting all the tax differed money to use for you into buying the next property.  This is call the 1031-exchange or often referred to as the like-kind exchange.  It is rather simple to do, but you have to plan ahead and have a good team to assist.

Just to let you know, I am not an accountant nor do I give tax advice. Everyone has a different situation and should rely on the advice of a professional CPA.  There are several things to remember when you wish to do the exchange.

  1. Sale of the investment property (i.e land, rental property, commercial property, etc.)
  2. When you have a sale then you must invest at least as much as the property your are selling. In other words you cannot by a property that cost less than the one you sold.
  3. You can however buy multiple properties that would add up to equal or greater than the property your sold.
  4. Time lines to remember.  Date of closing on the SOLD property, then you have 45 days from that date to identify up to 3 replacement properties. You must close on the replacement properties with 180 days from the date of the original property closing.

Now remember, the IRS does not like you to handle your tax free money, so you will have to get a 3rd party or intermediary that would take possession of the funds from your sale and this company would provide the monies to purchase the replacement property(ies).

I have had recent situations where one of my clients was able to make his third 1031-Exchange.  He started with a $250,000 rental house. He sold that and bought a commercial building at $550,000.  He then sold the commercial building for a gain and bought warehouses, which in a few years sold for $700,000. Then he used the funds from that sale to buy a multi-unit commercial building which he held for a few years.  He then sold that property for $1,300,000, and from that sale he decided to buy three separate properties. 

Over the years with the initial investment of $250,000, he built it to $1,300,000 and the client has not paid taxes on the property. He used all his initial investment plus his appreciation to remain tax deferred and now is getting the benefit of higher income from the property.

If you are interested in letting your money and appreciation work for you as he has, let us know and we can assist with the details. If you have any questions on how we did this you can call Winston Hawkins. 252-202-2002.

Feb. 4, 2020

Prepared Buyers succeed in buying the house they want

I have talked to hundreds if not thousands of buyers in the past 25 years that are interested in getting a new home or buying a second home. Right now, with a strong Outer Banks spring market in 2020 I believe it would be a great idea to let would be buyers in our market have a major tool necessary to get them the property they desire.  

I have giving a couple ideas to help buyers be successful when trying to purchase a home, whether it is a primary home, vacation beach home, investment home or a first home.  The Outer Banks real estate market can be fast and furious and we want our buyer clients to be best prepared to make their dreams come true.

  • SELECTING A GOOD LENDER- this is the most important thing to do if you are not paying all cash. I know it sounds very appealing to go to one of the online companies and they try to make it sound so easy, but at the end of the day, you will still have to have all the same verifications and information provided.  I find that the local lenders on the outer banks are also very comparable in rates and terms to many off beach lenders.  Be certain that you are working with someone that is comfortable working in our market.  For instance the outer banks home buying process is much more intricate and there are more variables than in most primary markets. Most do not have the types of insurance we are required to have, surveys, elevation certificates, fully furnished homes, vacation rentals with income in place. You want a lender that is familiar with the process and has experience in dealing with the area / market specific challenges.  The last thing you need is to have a lender unfamiliar with the process and cost you time, more money and maybe even the home you want. 
  • NOT GETTING PRE-APPROVED - There is a difference in getting a PRE-QUALIFICATION letter and a PRE-APPROVAL. They are exactly as they sound, the difference is that one has more bite than the other and that the buyer has provided the lender with documentation that would support the lender issuing a PRE-APPROVAL.  Remember, In a competitive market if a buyer that is not paying cash for a home does not have a pre-approval, they will find that the sellers will be wary, and when more than one person is interested in the property, typically be out bid when it comes to someone that does not have to worry about such things.

Remember this is not everything needed but with these tools in place you are in control of most of the deal and will be comfortable when it comes time to pull the trigger on the right property for you and the family.  Call Winston & Whitney (252) 489-2212 if you need more information or email us at info@thehawkinsteam.com 

Jan. 15, 2020

Mid-County Currituck Bridge UPDATE

The OUTER BANKS is finally getting a NEW BRIDGE TO COROLLA?

One of the hottest topics for property owners and guests alike has been the question of the Mid-County Currituck Bridge.  It seems more certain that the wheels of progress are in motion for this to move forward.  Below is a link to the NCDOT timeline for the project to begin and complete.  

Alleviating congestion on Saturdays and Sundays along with providing swifter evacuation routes for thousands, the bridge is finally becoming a reality. In addition to these important issues, the bridge will certainly make travel from the northern routes much quicker and more enjoyable.  The town of Duck will become less congested, access to 4 wheel drive and northern beaches will be easier for owners, guests and employees.

The NCDOT timeline is:

FOR MORE DETAILS- Follow this link to NCDOT website.

NCDOT Bridge Update Link

Posted in OBX Real Estate
May 18, 2019

Palmers Island in Duck Gorgeous Oceanfront Estate for Sale

Ready for the next lucky owner this amazing oceanfront estate located in the Premier Palmers Island community is just minutes from the Town of Duck. This is currently being used a vacation rental and the new owner could enjoy all the benefits of ownership, purchasing now spring 2019. Rentals are in place. 

Sold fully furnished with many upgrades and sitting atop the Atlantic Ocean, wake up with the dolphins and pelicans soaring past. You can enjoy your own private pool and the grounds, while being a few hundred yards from the Sanderling Inn oceanfront resort.

Take an early morning stroll to discover what treasures the sea has deposited just step from your back door.  The property invites you to explore the beach with a private ocean walk from your home, you are just steps to the sand, surf and ocean breezes.   

Properties like these are very exclusive and Palmers Island homes are limited by only a few, rare opportunity to own in this exclusive community.

April 30, 2019

Mid County Currituck Bridge, Will this ever happen? Good, Bad and Ugly!

Well the Mid-Currituck Bridge that connects mainland Currituck to the Northern outer banks of NC has passed another milestone. I have been here for over 20 years and this has been discussed since my arrival, we were expecting it to be started in 2017, but no cigar.  All in all I think it is a great thing for the Outer Banks, if the local leaders keep a tight leash on development and do not allow the sky high mega hotels, not a fan.  

In March the bridge moved one step closer see the below timeline.  The Environmental Impact March 2010, Final Environmental Impact January 2012, Record of Decision March 2019, and yet to be completed are Financial Close, begin construction and finally open to traffic. Hell I will be 70 by the time this happens at this rate. This is also available online, news and updates on the bridge. BRIDGE UPDATE 

While I am excited and think this is a great economic opportunity for Currituck,  I am sure if you have waited in that line to get on the beach for 3-4 hours you will pay whatever they want to charge to cross that bridge, please can I just get there.  I believe there are other things that will ensue. Here are some things that I see could happen.Traffic.....this will increase on a year round basis, Corolla and the 4x4 area would get more traffic.  Convenience.....our little sleepy town could become a bedroom community to Virginia Beach and Norfolk area, WOW live on the OBX and be able to work in a city.  Travel time..... The total travel time will reduce from 2.5 hours to 30 minutes from Corolla to the State line.  Not a bad commute to the Hampton Roads Area. Safety....we will be able to evacuate the Northern beaches if needed for hurricane and storm threats, now this is a pain.  Property Values..... these will definitely increase due to the ease of getting here and the ease of access. Places like The Currituck Club, Ocean Sands, Whalehead, Corolla Light, Crown Point, Pine Island, Pine Island Reserve, Sanderling and others will benefit. Economic.....The inverse positive effect will be increased economic opportunities for small business owners in Corolla, Duck, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head areas, most of the shops in the Northern Outer Banks have to close during the winter.  I support local small businesses and think this is the back bone of the country.

A few negatives that I can see, the added convenience will open the area up to daytrippers from the Va. Beach, Hampton Roads area this will increase the traffic and crowds in the area especially in the spring, summer, fall times of year. Our precious natural place would have much strain on the resources, wild horses, marshes, water fowl, dunes and beaches.  Our beaches 4x4 especially would become more crowded and driving (fast) could cause a dangerous situation. Future Developement, increased density of the housing, hotels, etc. not a fan at all, but I know we are a popular place and many want to come and enjoy it.  We have to be mindful of the negative possible effects of this advance and plan accordingly.

Let me know if there are some businesses you would like me to review or other things you are interested in hearing about. 

Thanks for listening

Winston (252)202-2002




Posted in Corolla NC
July 9, 2017

WOW the Beaches are back!

The nourishment is an incredible asset to our community and if you have not seen them yet, get ready because it is amazing.  Some houses that had worries of be washed away have been saved, not to mention the increases in values because of the nourishment.  Homes for sale on the oceanfront in certain areas are now at premiums once more.  Great investment for our community and wish the entire beach would have been completed.  

We will have to find some new surf breaks as my son mentioned and the fishing will momentarily change in areas, but after a few storms the beach equilibrium will return.  You nourishment haters Be patient and we will all benefit from this investment. After all it is the beautiful beaches that enables us to work, live and earn our living, while providing recreation and delight for the millions of visitors each year. 

July 7, 2017

June 2017-Outer banks real estate market

Have you been trying to sell your house?  Do you live in a market that is on fire back home and you wonder what the heck is going on here at the beach?  We hear this all the time and since tracking the numbers some 19 year now, my determination is that we are a trailing market to these primary home markets. When your homes are selling in D.C. for instance, it takes a little while for the trickle to happen here on the beach. remember most of the homes here are second and rental homes, this is a luxury purchase for many and an investment purchase for others.

Well the numbers are in and after reviewing, there appears to be good synergy with minimal increase in median pricing, here on the beach for real estate sales.

Here a few numbers  

  • Sales: Total June sales - 279 Units - the highest monthly number of units sold since October 2005.  
  • Under-contract – Units listed as under contract declined by 11% due to the record number of closings in June and the normal seasonal decline
  • 410 units still listed under contract, the July sales figures should be noteworthy.
  • Home Prices: The median existing-home sold prices and the average sold price are both up by 3% compared to 2016.
  • Days on the Market: For all residential properties listed in the MLS, the average Days on the Market was up slightly (3%) but down by 24% when compared with June 2016.
  • Foreclosure / Distressed Sales: Distressed sales declined by 2% in June and accounted for just 5% of the total.
  • Inventories: Residential inventory was down by 13% in June. Lots / Land inventory was down by 16% in June.

Data Obtained from the Outer Bank MLS: July 7, 2017 Note: This report reflects corrections / updates to previous data.

May 29, 2017

Duck Beach Nourishment

Beach nourishment has begun in the Town of Duck.  This is just the start for OBX nourishment as Southern Shores and Kitty Hawk are also slated to  begin projects. 

Duck Beach Nourishment

Posted in Town of Duck