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 15, 2017

The FED is up to its ears in good news and here goes rates increasing

Today the FED raised the overnight lending rate by .25% (from .75-1.00%) Mortgage rates have already adjusted for now to this expected increase.

“With this increase well anticipated by most markets, Keller Williams does not expect any dramatic change in the current path of mortgage rates. Rates will likely continue to slowly rise this year barring a change in the economic situation,” said Ruben Gonzalez, staff economist, Keller Williams, in a statement.

“While higher mortgage rates will likely have some downward impact on demand, housing remains very affordable by historic standards and we anticipate another year of healthy home sales despite an environment of increasing mortgage rates,” added Gonzalez.

This will likely mean interest rates will continue to rise in the near future.  Not really feeling the impending over abundance of buyers ready to buy in many markets, do you think this will be a hinderance for real estate prices?  We will need to have a continued increase in salaries and continued job creation in all sectors to drive both steady demand with expected price increases.

Real estate on the NC Outer Banks is much like buying a Ferrari, everyone wants one but that Chevrolet Suburban really is more practical.  We are a following market to markets to the north of us including Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut up and down the east coast.

When those folks feel as though they are getting a little more money for their homes, then they are thinking about the beach house.  More to come......stay tuned.

Posted in OBX Real Estate
Feb. 28, 2017

Town Updates- Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head

Please Note: This weekly Legislative Briefing is distributed to OBAR members as a benefit of membership. OBAR provides no warranty as to its accuracy."The following is reprinted with permission from the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS®"


Town/County Updates

Duck –Town Council will continue their discussion of the Mid-Currituck Bridge project at their meeting on Wednesday. The project was discussed at their recent retreat. News has surfaced that the Bridge may have been put on the shelf under the new administration. Former Governor Pat McCrory was supportive of the project. Council will be considering a resolution in support of the 
Mid-Currituck Bridge and will be considering authorizing the Town Manager to enter into an agreement with VHB Engineering NC, P.C. related to the Mid-Currituck Bridge.

Kill Devil Hills – The Planning Board met last week and considered a request by Randy Saunders and Jeff Fabrikant to increase allowable height for hotels and motels with certain conditions in the Ocean Impact Residential Zone. Ben Cahoon presented the proposed zoning ordinance amendment request that included measuring height from the top of the frontal dune instead of the current measurement method of the average of four corners. He explained that oceanfront hotels needed first floor ocean visibility to be viable. Concessions on setback were included in the request. Several people spoke in opposition of “higher” development, citing citizen responses to survey questions on town height restrictions that had been compiled over the years. Planning Board members also expressed opposition to the proposal. The applicants withdrew their request before a vote was taken by Planning Board members.

Nags Head – Round two on the proposal to change the sanitation pick up schedule and the proposal to penalize property owners if trash and recycling carts in Nags Head are not rolled back to a secured area adjacent to a residence takes place at the Nags Head Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, March 1st at 9 am. Several representatives from the property management industry voiced concerns about the change at the Board’s last meeting, thus provoking the Board to place the item on Wednesday’s agenda for further discussion and another vote. 
Also on the Agenda: a public hearing to consider the following: 
• A conditional use/vested right/site plan amendment submitted by Albemarle & Associates, Ltd. on behalf of John Harris, You Can Fly, LLC for substantial site improvements to Kitty Hawk Water Sports. Improvements include the construction of a 1,616 square foot retail building with an accessory two bedroom apartment as well as a water dependent commercial outdoor recreational use (tour boat and personal watercraft rental). Associated improvements would include parking, stormwater, landscaping, sewage as well as a bulkhead, floating pier, platform and slips.

Oct. 11, 2016

Hurricane Mathew Outer Banks Rallies

It became apparent to me after our first storm experience on the Outer Banks that this community is not new to tough weather.. As I was told years ago, the cost to live in paradise is the higher chance of storm threats.  Our family and friends watched and waited for days watching the path of Mathew.  Somehow, even thought the meteorologists said we were out of the cone, we knew it was no time to let our guard. Thankfully we were prepared and had little damage. Many of our or friends and clients were not so lucky.. The rainwater and overwash with the big culprit and a reminder why we build on pilings.  Dealing with no electricity is always a tough one but locals are used to that inconvenience and even welcome the opportunity to thank the men and women who work tirelessly to get everything back up and running quickly.. Our first responders and front line electricians are welcomed to eat for free at great restaurants.

I get asked from clients every now and then whether going through this makes us want to move.  No way.. this community is strong, kind and well...it's home.  We love it here and love helping people find a place here that they can experience exactly what we have.  Our kids are back to school tomorrow and many businesses are able to get back up and running and the ones that are not we will do all we can to help them recover as quickly as possible.



May 11, 2016

Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding Experience

This Friday, May 13 beginning 8am Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head hosts their 44th Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular! This free event at Jockeys Ridge allows the public to watch pilots from all over the globe compete in four days of wold class hang gliding from atop the largest natural sand dune on the East Coast. If you here on the Outer Banks for your vacation, be sure to catch sight of these amazing pilots! We hope to see you there!


Posted in Events
April 22, 2016

Earth Day Awareness

Earth Day has become a celebration here on the Outer Banks, with an entire day devoted to spreading the word about how everyone can help keep our beaches clean, and why it's so important. There are a number of events and festivities going on this evening to celebrate and promote awareness of the importance of this day, especially here on the Outer Banks. Swing by the Outer Banks Brewing Station today between 2pm-7pm to party for a cause! OBX Care, a non-profit organization devoted to Earth Sustainability and Community Animal Rescue is hosting a party in the "yard" at the Brewing Station. Live music, family friendly activities, great food and better beer! 

Spread awareness and keep our beaches clean so our great grand children can enjoy this beautiful stretch of sand many call home. HAPPY EARTH DAY!

March 2, 2016

Time to buy that vacation home!

As inventory reports to be on the rise, we believe NOW is the best time to begin your search for that investment property or second home you have been dreaming of owning on the Outer Banks. Where do you being? Find a well educated local agent who knows the market, knows the area you're interested in, and one that has your best interest at heart. Whitney, Winston, and Kiirsten will certainly provide you with all of these aspects when you decide it's time to make your dream a reality. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before your search begins also gives you an advantage. This step not only saves you and your agent time weeding through properties you may not be able to afford, but it also emphasizes your level of seriousness and ability to purchase to the seller.  Identify your preferred area, the amenities you desire, and your style. So as the weather begins to warm here on the Outer Banks we hope you decide now is the time to achieve your dream of home ownership. We know how lucky we are to live on the Outer Banks and know how hard it is for you to leave after your vacation. Start your home search with Premier Properties of the Outer Banks and your vacations could be endless!

Posted in OBX Real Estate
Feb. 3, 2016

NEW Southern Shores Zoning Ordinance

The town council of Southern Shores, North Carolina has recently approved a new zoning ordinance regarding the size of square footage living space of residential homes. The maximum square footage of a residential dwelling now cannot exceed 6,000 square feet. Government Affairs Liaison for Southern Shores confirmed if a vacation rental home is advertised as an "event home," that would meet the definition of an "Event Facility." An expanded definition of an "Event Facility," now means an establishment, structure or property designed maintained or advertised or actually used for the primary purpose of hosting pre-planned events. Event facilities are only permitted on commercial zoned property in Southern Shores, and therefore, it would be illegal to use on residential property. 

Dec. 21, 2015

Low Rate Advantage Continues

The Fed just raised interest rates and what this will mean for you and your Outer banks Beach house, home mortgages, cash investments, debt and moving forward.

The fed raised both the federal funds rate, which is an overnight rate at which banks borrow money from each other.  The fed also raised the discount rate and that is the rate at which banks borrow money on a short term from the Federal Reserve.

What does this mean for home loans such as Fixed rate mortgages, Home Equity Lines of credit (HELOCs) and variable rate credit cards?  Prime rate is tied to these short term rates and many loans are tied to indices like LIBOR or Prime Rate.  This was raised by 25 basis point or .25 %.

The good news is that your cash in the bank such as CDs or money market will see an increase.  So your cash can make a little more for you.

Here are a few steps to take that can help you cope with these changes.  Rates are still very low so take advantage.

  1. With Credit cards, consider transferring your balances to a low variable rate card and get the special low or no interest rate offers for a period of time.
  2. If you have a HELOC with a high balance, verify if your lender offers a fixed rate option, this can provide protection to you if rates continue to rise.  Sometimes there are small fees associated with these changes, so evaluate your personal situation to see if it make sense.
  3. Do not lock in your money to long term savings products 3-,4- or 5- year CD’s.  Instead wait to see what the Fed does with the rates.
  4. There are currently ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) that offer extremely low rates for terms of 3-,5-,7- and 10- years.  The average homeowner according to NAR moves every 9 years to a new home.  This product may work for you, just check it out.

The homes for sale on the outer banks are subject to these changes and many of the homes are investment properties, second homes and vacation homes.  Typically, the history has shown in my 17 years here and inverse affect on pricing/interest rates.  In other words as interest rates increased, property pricing was either stagnant or decreased.  Now may be the time to sell that beach house, call us we can help or for your FREE MARKET ANALYSIS.

We at “The Hawkins Team” hopes everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2016!

Posted in OBX Real Estate
Dec. 3, 2015

Maritime Forest

If you have not explored the many beautiful maritime forests on the Outer Banks, you need to lace up your shoes and head out to explore the beauty! Majestic live oaks, magnolias and dogwoods all teaming with wildlife to take you to a place unlike any other. Pockets of maritime forests still occur along the entire chain of North Carolina's barrier islands, from Currituck banks in the North, to Bald Head Island in the South. What a magical place, these island forests. What a great time to visit them also as we begin to cool down for the season. A place to slow down, a place for peace and reflection. Make a trip to just one of the Outer Banks maritime forests and you will see why they are such a large, natural attraction. 


Nov. 30, 2015

Manteo's Tree Lighting

Tis the Season! As decorations begin to adorn homes on the Outer Banks, we hope everyone is starting to feel a bit of holiday cheer. The first Friday night in December will kick off the Christmas season with the lighting of the Town Tree in downtown Manteo on the waterfront. Come sip some hot chocolate and listen to holiday music being sung by all ages. Join residents and vacationers alike spread some holiday cheer this Friday evening!