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Old 04-24-2015, 06:08 AM
 
4 posts, read 4,545 times
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Hi all,

I have been reading threads for years, but finally posting. Hoping I am not repeating a post/thread

My parents are finally retiring and they are looking for a home on the coast of NC. They currently have a home in Cape Cod (MA) and a condo in South Florida. They want to sell the condo in South Florida because they complain that it is far too hot there. In addition, they would like to be closer to Massachusetts so that it is a closer drive if they chose to drive rather than fly back home...

My husband and I are also looking to purchase a second home in Coastal Carolina and hope to purchase this home/condo with or near my parents. We have 2 small kids 2 and 5

We are a couple years off, but I have started the researching process . We are looking for a safe, quiet, charming town that ideally has a walkable downtown area and easy access to beaches. When I say "quiet" I basically mean we don't want to live in a touristy area We still want to be near restaurants and shops, etc. I have heard good things about Beaufort, but I am open to suggestions please! We visited the Banks a few years ago but it felt too far off the mainland for me..

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beesmama View Post
When I say "quiet" I basically mean we don't want to live in a touristy area We still want to be near restaurants and shops, etc. I have heard good things about Beaufort, but I am open to suggestions please!
The waterfront towns are all going to have tourists in the summer. I'd also suggest Southport and Oak Island, and Calabash and Ocean Isle Beach.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:03 AM
 
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In a couple of weeks, my wife and I are closing on a condo in Fairfield Harbour in New Bern.
We rented a condo apartment for a week in Fairfield Harbour to see if we liked the New Bern area.
We liked it so much we left at the end of the week with an accepted offer. The city of New Bern is a real Gem.
Currently real-estate in the New Bern area is in my opinion undervalued and there is a lot to choose from.
Fairfield Harbour

Can't wait to start enjoying this view from the Balcony. Unfortunately I'm still a few years away from retiring.
Attached Thumbnails
Help! Your advice on vacation home location in NC??-balcony-view.jpg  
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:09 AM
 
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Definitely worth at least a visit.

The Marina at Fairfiled.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgXRo6z3Lao

New Bern

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1DJEqrgfUU
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Southport
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What do you consider "easy access" to beaches?
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:41 PM
 
Location: NC
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You won't be able to avoid tourists. I'd look into Wilmington NC or Charleston/Isle of Palms SC.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:41 PM
 
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All Coastal towns are touristy, cant get away from it. Southport is a fabulous quaint town. Wilmington is a bigger charming town. You would be close to Oak Island from Southport and Wrightsville beach near Wilmington. We just bought a home in Hampstead but we wanted a great school system because we still have a little one. Otherwise we would have purchased in Southport.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:22 PM
 
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Thanks for the help! 85SL-New Bern looks beautiful!!!
We would love to be on a marina, or have views of one! When I say easy access to beaches, I mean that we are within 10 minutes of a beach at most, but ideally we would like water views- whether it is a march, marina, or beach. I am okay with tourists...Cape Cod can get busy during the summer months and we are okay with that. I guess what I mean is that we don't want an area that has a cheesy t-shirt or souvenir shop on every corner Looking for some charm, historic towns are great...obviously low crime area.

Thanks again for the suggestions! I absolutely love this forum. It is such a great resource.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Southport
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Look at Elizabeth City, Washington, Oriental, Swansboro, Southport, Edenton.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:18 AM
 
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There are so many factors involved ,in my opinion, the only way to to decide what is best for you is to make an extended trip to NC and visit as many places as you can.

There are many quaint and beautiful towns on the NC coast. You mention beaches several times which implies the Atlantic Ocean. Most communities on the ocean are on barrier islands and most are going going to be touristy. Several of the towns mentioned are on rivers and sounds. Though they are waterfront communities they may or may not have the beaches you envision.

Local geography can play a large part in beach access. I live about a 5 minute walk from the inter coastal waterway. I also live about 1 mile from a beach on the Atlantic as the crow flies but it will take me about 20-30 minutes to drive there via bridge access to the island. There are also geographical issues that affect insurance like flood, wind and hail, type of home construction etc. The coastal environment is harsh.

Cost may be a factor. Coastal property anywhere is not cheap. Any real estate description with "water" in it increases the price. Water view, water front, water access ...... Some areas are more expensive than others. While some areas like Beaufort are beautiful, close to beaches etc... they are pricey. Other areas like Newbern are also beautiful, less expensive are an hour or more from the beach. Fairfield Harbor is probably one of the best values in waterfront properties in NC BUT it does have some issues in management. Some love it, others, not so much.

Esoteric values like "community friendliness" can no doubt vary but in general you will find good, friendly people most anywhere you go in NC.

Community amenities can vary from none to long lists including golf courses, marinas and more.

Communities themselves will have their own mini-governments of HOA's etc. Sometimes the rules, regulations and various fees will fill a book.

So ....

I would narrow down your search buy cost, geography, individual community structure.

About that extended visit:

I might pick a place like Morehead City to start from. From there you can explore Carteret County including Morehad, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Harkers Island. From there you can drive to Cedar Island, ferry to Ocracoke, drive up to Nags head, explore Manteo and areas around the Albemarle Sound. In my opinion, many of the small towns around the Albemarle are some of the last areas to be exploited on the NC coast. If you truly want small town (though its certainly not on the beach) I would look at Edenton. There are some very unique condos there called The Cotton Mill that are worth looking at. From there, go down 17 to New Bern, Hampsted, then Wilmington, Carolina Beach and ferry over to Southport. Explore Brunswick county all the way down to Calabash.

This trip could be done in about a week, probably better to do in it 10 days or so. You will have a much better understanding of what NC has to offer in coastal living. Travel light, in warm weather. You wont need much more than shorts, T shirt, flip flops and a tooth brush and you will have a great time. There are lots of decent places to stay less than $100 a night if you don't stay right on the beaches.

Take good notes along the way about communities you visit and what you like. I am sure you will find the place that is right for you.

Zillow is great tool to explore property values and give you some idea what is available.

Take care and good luck
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