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It’s that time of year again, when you finally get to make your annual family trip to the Outer Banks, and just like every year, you have an amazing time but you dread leaving. On the ride home, you find yourself entertaining the idea you’ve all had in your heads for years…”Why don’t we buy our own home on the Outer Banks?” According to local real estate professionals, a lot of home buying on the Outer Banks begins this way.

“It is common for long-time renters to buy on the OBX,” said Douglas Brindley, owner, president and general manager of Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales. “I had a renter from New Jersey who, after renting, bought a place in Duck, then sold and bought in Corolla. Years later, his daughter also bought a home in Corolla,” Brindley said.

This is a common occurrence, as many visitors to the area become repeat renters and upon falling in love with the different alluring aspects of the Outer Banks, decide to buy a second home, a retirement home, or to ultimately make a permanent move to the OBX altogether. There are numerous facets of the Outer Banks that captivate vacationers every year – as a place where unforgettable childhood memories are created, once-in-a-lifetime events are held, and where generation after generation bring their families to share in what they have over the years come to love as a home away from home. So it’s easy to see how vacationers end up buying homes on the Outer Banks, some after their very first trip, and others after putting some long hard thought into it. But nevertheless, many of them end up here!

The Outer Banks sells itself, according to Brindley. With the ample amount of things to do for families, it also offers a wide variety of homes and locales to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a sound side retreat, a lavish oceanfront home, or a tucked-away bungalow, the Outer Banks is sure to have just what you want.

“The OBX is fully a family resort area,” Brindley said. “This is very different from locations north of North Carolina. There are a full range of property values and locations [here]. The rental industry is established and has been branded long before Al Gore invented the Internet,” Brindley said with a laugh.

A lot goes into making the transition from vacationer to full-time Outer Banks homeowner, however, and an experienced rental and sales team is essential in helping buyers make one of the biggest moves of their lives. Guidance from professionals is crucial when you decide to make the leap.

“Advice comes well before the questions,” said Brindley about helping new homeowners understand the process of buying a new Outer Banks home and for some, putting it into a rental program.

“Always rely only on the existing cash flow,” Brindley advises his clients, and “do not expect to own a home without ever maintaining and upgrading the home.” Also, it is important to “understand there will be a negative cash flow. Always plan an exit strategy when first buying,” Brindley recommends.

Brindley Beach Vacations continues to offer its vacation renters beautiful homes to choose from, and moving forward, provides its new homeowners support as well as continued assistance in understanding the renting process to facilitate their client’s entry into the rental program.

“The help from Brindley Beach Vacations is to deliver outstanding service to make the rental guest happy with a great vacation experience,” Brindley said. “Brindley Beach Vacations has a renovation/restoration construction group to keep their homes updated as well,” he added.

“I tell new owners the sustainable competitive advantage at Brindley Beach Vacations is me,” Brindley said. “They will not be helped by the company owner in any other company,” he added.

For new vacation rental homeowners, it’s common to explore different property management options after purchase, in some cases trying out two and even three companies during their first few years in order to find the perfect fit. While the Outer Banks boasts numerous exceptional sales and rental companies, not all of them are created equal, as some might focus more on what some homeowners hold as a higher priority than others. That’s the beautiful thing, there are multiple to choose from, therefore you are going to be able to find the company that suits your needs to a T!

Some local realty companies manage 500 homes or more, while others maintain a smaller, operation. Concurrently, management styles and services can also vary, so it’s important to find the company that works best for you.

Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales manages a wide selection of homes spanning from Corolla to Nags Head and includes housing types ranging from traditional beach cottages and condos to extravagant ocean side and sound front residences. Bridley even offers homes on the 4×4 beaches of Corova, where vacationers must have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to reach their rental homes, but have the opportunity of seeing the wild Spanish Mustangs in their natural habitat.

Corolla Classic Vacations offers a collection of approximately 250 vacation rental homes to choose from, and maintains, with pride, a smaller operation than some of the other rental and sales companies on the Outer Banks. All of Corolla Classic Vacations’ homes are located in Corolla. The property manager’s sister company, Corolla Real Estate, also handles home sales – not only in Corolla but spanning as far south as Nags Head.

Carolina Designs Realty maintains a beautiful selection of opulent vacation homes extending from Corolla south to Nags Head and ranging in size from 4-bedroom cottages to multiple-family, 22-bedroom homes. The vacation homes offered by Carolina Designs Realty often feature innovative designs and lavish amenities. Like the others, Carolina Designs Realty also offers a dedicated sales team providing a dual experience and knowledge base for renting and owning homes on the Outer Banks.

Your dreams can become a reality when you turn your vacationing days on the Outer Banks into everyday life by buying your very own vacation home through one of the amazing realty companies the OBX has to offer.

Abby Stewart is a freelance writer who lives in Currituck County but has spent most of her summers on the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks. 

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