For those of you interested in finding your North Carolina best places to relocate or retire on the ocean, the barrier islands off the North Carolina coast are some of the most beautiful places you’ll ever experience.
Unlike their cousins to the south, North Carolina’s barrier islands, commonly referred to as the Outer Banks, are long, thin stretches of land just off the coast.
For the past few weeks we have been talking about island living along the coast of South Carolina.
We’ve looked at the popular small islands of:
We’ve also looked at other small cities and towns along the South Carolina coastline:
This week we’re heading north up the Carolina eastern coastline to look at the best Coastal island living in North Carolina.
One author referred to the Outer Banks of North Carolina as “a thin arm of sand nudging its way into the Atlantic.”
Think remote white sandy beaches where small towns and villages are few and far between.
Imagine beaches coexisting with wildlife preserves and all manner of natural beauty.
Only then can you have an idea of why these islands off the North Carolina coast are so popular.
Life on the North Carolina coastal islands is laid back and attracts people looking to get away from the daily grind; those wanting to slow down and reconnect with themselves and their surroundings.
Needless to say the Outer Banks are a big tourist attraction and the islands are inundated with visitors for part of the year.
Local residents typically find work in the tourism industry, real estate, fishing, education and government agencies like the National Park Service.
All you beach lovers ….Wow … the North Carolina beaches are amazing!!!
It’s not uncommon for people to have a variety of jobs to tide them over until the tourists come back.
Although there are restaurants and shops, residents often have to go to the mainland for various services and amenities.
While it is possible to find a mix of low to high end housing in different parts of the islands, the low availability of land to build and the high demand for housing generally make real estate more expensive on the islands.
Moreover, residents have to contend with hurricane and tropical storm seasons that bring with it additional disaster insurance costs and even the occasional chance you’ll have to evacuate the islands in the event of a really strong storm.
Nevertheless, the North Carolina Outer Banks remain popular and the people that have settled down there wouldn’t live anywhere else.
So what do the small coastal Islands of North Carolina have to offer you?
Bald Head Island NC sits south of Wilmington NC just a few miles off coast near the mouth of the Cape Fear River.
Bald Head Island NC is a private resort community of a little less than 300 people and is only accessible via ferry.
Mostly a wildlife reserve, the island has golf courses, historic lighthouses, creeks and maritime forests.
Oh and forget about cars because the only thing with four wheels you can travel in are golf carts.
Housing is more expensive with a median home sales price of around $650,000.
The median monthly rental costs on Bald Head Island North Carolina are around $1800.
You’ll find a fully stocked grocery store as well as police and fire departments but Bald Head Island NC residents must go to the mainland for most medical services.
Once mostly dominated by fishing, the village of Okracoke NC is mostly all about tourism and is a prime destination for summer vacationers because of its award winning beaches.
Tourism has brought development including hotels and restaurants but services like hospitals you can expect to go to the mainland.
The median home value is around $350,000 in Ocracoke with a median monthly rent of around $800.
You can get to another popular island location, Hatteras Island NC by car, boat or plane.
People generally think of historic lighthouses, amazing beaches and tourism when they think of Hatteras.
Surprisingly, it is home to roughly 4000 people spread out among several quaint village communities like Rodanth, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras.
The median home value for Hatteras Island North Carolina is about $400,000.
Stay tuned next week as we explore more about North Carolina Coastal living.
In the meantime, you can find out more information about North Carolina cities and towns by visiting our NC Best Places.
Have a good one and we’ll see you again next week!
NC Coastal Best Places To Live GuideStart Your New Life In Coastal North Carolina Right
Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Bob researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.
Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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