If you know where to look, the Outer Banks can be a beachcomber's paradise. With miles of shoreline to explore, hidden beaches that are relatively untouched, and literally piles of shells washing up on the beaches after a storm, shelling on the OBX beaches is simply a matter of timing and area expertise.
The Carova Real Estate market has both some of the most expensive, and least expensive, properties for sale on the Currituck Banks. From sprawling vacation rental homes to quiet soundside cottages that border the National Wildlife Refuge, Carova real estate is varied, distinctive, and always miles away from the rest of the world.
Types of Carova Real Estate Available
Carova features about 40-80 residential real estate listings for sale at any time, which are primarily single family detached homes. There are no trailers, duplexes or condos for sale along the 11-mile stretch of beaches north of the paved NC Highway 12.
Home prices begin in the $170K range, which makes them some of the cheapest properties for sale on the Northern Outer Banks. These smaller 2-3 bedroom cottages are primarily found along the soundside, within easy walking or driving distance of the oceanfront. Many of these smaller homes were built in the 1990s, 1980s, and even 1970s, and were among the first "modern" beach houses that were built in the 4WD Carova Beach Region.
On the other end of the spectrum, Carova also has a number of massive, oceanfront properties for sale, which are typically in the 8, 10 and even 12+ bedroom range. These properties are spread out along Ocean Pearl Road and have an asking price that easily starts in the $900K+ range. The good news is that considering their size, and the corresponding rental income, these properties are comparatively more profitable than other Outer Banks oceanfront vacation rentals, which are typically smaller and / or more expensive.
Carova is also unique in that, generally, there are more lot listings for sale than residential properties. At any given time, Carova boasts about 80-120 lot listings which range from huge oceanfront parcels to quiet soundside lots that border the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.
Lot prices are surprisingly cheap for the Outer Banks, and typically begin in the $20K range. The least expensive lots in the region are on the soundside, within walking or driving distance of the beach, in small communities that are a mixture of year-round homes, second homes, and vacation rental homes. Oceanfront lots are also significantly cheaper than the rest of the Outer Banks, and start in the $300K range. While the cheaper soundside lots are typically 1/4 acre in size or less, the oceanfront lots are huge parcels of land that, for the most part, are easily a full acre or more.
There are absolutely no commercial listings for sale, or any commercial developments for that matter, in the 4WD Carova Beach region.
Buying Carova Real Estate
- Potential buyers can find Carova properties for sale by searching the Outer Banks MLS (Multiple Listing Service.)
- A number of local property management companies that are based in Corolla have on-site sales departments, as well as websites that feature an extensive MLS search engine.
- Potential buyers can also consult the Outer Banks Association of REALTOR's website at http://outerbanksrealtors.com/ for a list of local real estate companies, or a national real estate site like REALTOR.com for an easy online search of Carova listings for sale.
- When searching online, browsers will want to select the "4 Wheel Drive Access Area" option to view all Carova Beach community listings. (In many online search engines, "Carova" is an option as well.)
- Most properties, especially on the soundside, are divided into separate communities, like Seagull, Penny's Hill, Swan Beach, North Swan Beach and Carova Beach.
- There are generally no association fees or dues for properties located in these residential communities, or anywhere in the 4WD area.
- Once a buyer has found a handful of listings they would like to view, the best next step is to contact a local REALTOR to arrange a showing. The REALTOR will then act as a buyer's agent, (which means acting in the best interest of the buyer.)
- Buyer's agents can schedule showings for any property, regardless of the listing agent, and often works with local property management companies to view a vacation rental home.
- The most convenient time to view vacation rental homes is on the weekends in the summer months, (typically on a Saturday), when the property has a window that it is open in between rental guests.
- Most vacation rental homes are open and easy to see at any time in the winter months as well, although they may be winterized for the season, with no running water or electricity.
- Once a property has been selected, buyers will then present an Offer to Purchase and Contract, which is typically a standardized form that's mandated by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, and which may have separate addendums attached.
- Local Currituck Banks REALTORs can make recommendations for area mortgage companies, home inspectors, appraisers, and other services needed to successfully close on a Carova property
- It typically takes approximately 30-45 days to close a real estate sale. This date can be extended or shortened at the agreed discretion of the individual buyers and sellers involved.
Considerations for purchasing Carova Real Estate
- Remember that a 4WD vehicle is required to access the Carova Beach region to view properties for sale. (Local REALTORs with access to a 4WD truck may also be able to escort buyers to showings in the region.)
- While the lot prices in the 4WD region are among the cheapest along the Outer Banks shoreline, the building costs may be higher simply because of location. Construction crews, electric crews, plumbers, and even house painters and appliance delivery personnel will all need to have 4WD vehicles to access the proposed building site.
- Oceanfront properties or semi-oceanfront properties may require flood insurance in addition to the traditional homeowner's insurance. Consult your local REALTOR to see what extra expenses should be accounted for.
- If purchasing a vacation rental home, consult with the home's current property management company to garner an overview of past annual income, as well as any regular maintenance fees and commissions. Property management companies can also give buyers a rental projection of what the property is expected to earn in the future.
- If purchasing a second or year-round home for personal use, ask a REALTOR for recommendations on handymen, repairmen, pest control companies, and other home service providers that are able to access the 4WD area.