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Old 08-26-2010, 11:54 AM
 
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We want to move to the beach but now can't decide which one. Any work for electricians or back-haul, clearing? Also, which beaches allow dogs on the beach? (On a leash, of course!) I want to be able to walk the beach daily...HOA's not good as we have kids and friends who will visit with cars, trailers, kids, etc. Any ideas?
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,396 posts, read 19,409,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach4me2b View Post
We want to move to the beach but now can't decide which one. Any work for electricians or back-haul, clearing? Also, which beaches allow dogs on the beach? (On a leash, of course!) I want to be able to walk the beach daily...HOA's not good as we have kids and friends who will visit with cars, trailers, kids, etc. Any ideas?
Emerald Isle is a congested knot of traffic during tourist season. You'd never want to try to go to the grocery store, etc in the summer! You might look into the more Southern beaches in Brunswick county, if you're definitely committed to NC, though of course SC, VA, etc all have lots of beaches as well.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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Not sure of how it compares to AZ, or your financial situation but beach property in NC is some of the most expensive real estate in the state.

you might consider houses on the back side of beaufort on the intracoastal waterway, or in morehead city up against the sound or out at crab point in morehead city
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
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Smile Well we go to the grocery stores all summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois View Post
Emerald Isle is a congested knot of traffic during tourist season. You'd never want to try to go to the grocery store, etc in the summer! You might look into the more Southern beaches in Brunswick county, if you're definitely committed to NC, though of course SC, VA, etc all have lots of beaches as well.
Of course everyone has their own tolerance level for traffic, but I would far rather have Emerald Isle's traffic than what I have seen around Wilmington or on some of the small roads to parts of southern Brunswick County.

We have some tourist traffic here in the Emerald Isle area for six to eight weeks out of the year. It is actually pretty minor since we have a four lane highway- Route 24 that moves through traffic across the area very efficiently. Highway 58 over to Emerald Isle is just two lanes, but I would never class it as a "congested knot of traffic." That is just not the case.

I have been here four years, and I have only been stuck in stop and go bridge traffic four or five times. You have to realize that I like to get stuck in that traffic so I search it out. I get to take some pretty neat pictures when I am stuck on the bridge. I have heard of one traffic tie up on the bridge that lasted thirty minutes in my four years here. None of my stop and go trips across the bridge have lasted more than five minutes.

We manage to live here year round, and my wife and I usually go to the grocery store at least two or three times a week. I recently wrote a post about enjoying a visit to the beach during peak season. It has some good advice for residents also.

Our area has several grocery stores. There are four within six or seven miles of Cape Carteret-Emerald Isle. The one on Emerald Isle gets the busiest during tourist season, but the Lowe's a couple of miles across the bridge never seems as busy even at the high part of the season. We just don't have any trouble shopping. We might avoid going for a big shopping trip between 2 PM and 8 PM on Saturday and Sunday for about six weeks, but I have no hesitation about going to the Emerald Isle Food Lion or the Cape Carteret Lowe's to pick up a few things on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I can usually slide in and use the automated check outs without any delay.

Since my wife just had surgery I have been to the Walgreen's in Cape Carteret several times in the last couple of weeks. I only had to wait five minutes once in that time period.

I have actually measured the time that it took me to get from the bridge on Emerald Isle to the other side of town on the Fourth of July. The last time I did the measurement, it took me about six minutes longer than the normal five minutes. That's not much of a traffic tie up in my mind. Realistically how tied up can traffic get with only four stop lights?

When I am having keys made for homes that I have listed, I almost always go to the Ace Hardware on Emerald Isle. I have never had to wait for more than five minutes to get a key made even at the peak of the season. I go there because I can get a key done quicker there than I can at Lowe's. The people there are also friendlier than the other local hardware. I have never had to look for a parking place elsewhere.

As for restaurants, there aren't that many over in Emerald Isle so we just hit the ones on the mainland when the tourists are around. There are plenty of them. The tourist traffic is already on the down slope, so I would not be leery of going to lunch on the island. I suspect Jordan's might be busy for another few weeks, but Ballyhoo's and some of the other shoreside restaurants like Nicky's, Fairway, and T&W are very good alternatives.

One of the reasons that we moved here to the Emerald Isle area was to get away from city traffic and from traffic like you see on the Northern Outer Banks.

We have found the Crystal Coast to be a great place to live with almost no traffic. Having lived and worked in Northern Virginia for years, I have no trouble identifying real traffic.

The idea that you can't go to a grocery store or do any shopping around here in the summer time isn't based on reality. Try visiting Harris Teeter in Morehead City even during check in time, and you'll find a very quiet and peaceful shopping experience. None of the mall stores in Morehead City ever get very busy, and that includes Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, Bed Bath & Beyond and Belk's.

If you want traffic try the Dulles Toll Road heading into Tyson's Corner any weekday morning from about 7:30 AM until at least 9:00 AM. Now that qualifies as a real knot of traffic.

Last edited by dsobotta; 08-28-2010 at 10:39 AM.. Reason: Left out link
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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Thanks so much for this info. We really wouldn't consider that much traffic! ha ha..We currently live near Prescott, AZ - we are miles from everything...we would happily put up with a little traffic in order to be close to the water!
We had not looked for property in your area, simply because we somehow didn't know about it. We did look in Beaufort...and one at Pine Knoll Shores (I think that is the name). We don't need jobs - retired (sort of)...I like to write. By the way...your writing is wonderful...the posts and the great pictures!
We are looking for something in the 200-300K range...maybe a little higher...are we being realistic?
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
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Smile There are plenty of choices in that range

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach4me2b View Post
Thanks so much for this info. We really wouldn't consider that much traffic! ha ha..We currently live near Prescott, AZ - we are miles from everything...we would happily put up with a little traffic in order to be close to the water!
We had not looked for property in your area, simply because we somehow didn't know about it. We did look in Beaufort...and one at Pine Knoll Shores (I think that is the name). We don't need jobs - retired (sort of)...I like to write. By the way...your writing is wonderful...the posts and the great pictures!
We are looking for something in the 200-300K range...maybe a little higher...are we being realistic?
Thanks for the compliments.

As to $200-300K being realistic, it depends. Nice single family stick built homes are available in our area from $170K up. You can be in a water access neighborhood like ours for around $300K. Having water behind your house costs more. Our neighborhood has a pool, boat ramp, clubhouse, boardwalk-day dock, and boat storage. You can get in water access neighborhoods without quite as many amenities for under $300K. It just depends on what you want. Houses over on the beach are more expensive and usually smaller and often older.

The selection on the beach would be very limited in the under $300K range. Right now there are around ten or eleven homes in the Emerald Isle area listed in the under $300K range. The least expensive would be around $265K.

However on the mainland within a few miles of the beach you would find over fifty homes in the under $300K range.

It is easy to live in the Cape Carteret area and still have great access to the beaches and get a lot more home for your dollar. Also insurance and taxes are less.

If you live in the town of Cape Carteret proper, good water access is part of being a town resident. There are number of parks along the water, most have parking. The parking is reserved just for residents. Paying a $50 per year fee as a Cape Carteret resident gives you access to the Cape Carteret boat ramp.

In the North Starhill area of Cape Carteret, you could buy a new home for between $275K-$280K with single floor living, granite, stainless steel appliances, 2,200-2,300 square ft and backing up on the National Forest.

The same $275K in Emerald Isle would get you 1,200 square ft and a home that is probably 25 years old. You pay for being over on the beach.

Most homes in the area are under 10 miles from the beach. The area with the homes backing up on the National Forest in North Starhill would a little over five miles from the beaches.

Beach access is so easy that we get a little picky. I will often skip the larger beach access areas for a quieter more private beach.

This evening for example my wife and I left home after five PM and drove up the beach to Third Street Beach. It is only 15 miles from our home. At that point up the beach, you are only ten miles from the Atlantic Beach bridge.

Third St.
has a small parking lot and when we pulled in this evening, there were no other cars. From these pictures that I took you can see how "crowded the beach was. You could barely make out people in the distance. We were still home in time to grill some chicken for dinner before it got dark. When we got back, I even toyed with the idea of dropping the boat in the water to catch the sunset, but there were no clouds, and I knew a good sunset would be hard to capture without some clouds to tone down the sun.

Basically it boils down to making some choices of what works for you. You can find a very nice home in your price range that is close to the beach. If you want to be over on the beach, hitting that price range would be much more challenging and you would end up with a lot less home.

A nice seven or eight year old home the same size as one of those 20+ years old $275K beach cottages would cost you about $175K seven or eight miles from the beach.

You might say the beach premium in that size range is about $100K. You also might have a hard time finding a home over in the beach area in your price range in a neighborhood with year around residents. It can get very quiet over there in the winter time.

We don't mind a little driving to get to the beach, and we also really enjoy being on the river where kayaking and boating is a lot of fun. Almost all the tourist traffic is already over except for a little spurt on Labor Day weekend. Basically from now until the second or third week of June, the beaches mostly belong to the year round residents. We share them with the fishermen in the fall but that's it. While there are times I would love to have a home a few blocks from the beach, the economics of it just did not make sense for us. We ran into something similar in Beaufort. I love the place, but finding a place where I could even see the water much less be on it did not make sense for us.

If you are back in the area, I would be glad to give you one of my area tours.

Last edited by dsobotta; 08-29-2010 at 10:12 PM.. Reason: missed word
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