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Old 06-16-2015, 09:08 AM
 
34 posts, read 36,120 times
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Hi All -

Looking for some advice as we research from afar, hoping we can get some honest, helpful feedback. Long story short, we are looking to retire South and the Topsail area looks like our speed. We are specifically looking at Surf City. This is our must-have criteria:

1) a single-family home very close to the beach

2) not too overrun with tourists/visitors

3) a town with stores close by (CVS, convenience stores, grocery, etc...)

4) SAFE and clean

5) some space between homes (we don't want to be right on top of our neighbors)

Does this sound like Surf City? Any and all feedback you have is much appreciated. Thanks for reading
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,266 posts, read 19,814,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMyDad View Post
Does this sound like Surf City?
No it does not really sound like Surf City on the beach. The houses on the beach are very close together, and the place is over-run with tourists in the summer. I don't consider the beach area clean, as it looks a little shabby to me. However, there is are shopping centers inland with a CVS, Wal-Mart Express, Food Lion etc.

There are some developments on 1/4 acre lots that are a few miles from the beach. If you give me your price range, I can give you some comments. I also suggest looking at Holly Ridge and Sneads Ferry. Do you have kids, and are schools a consideration?
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Southport
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If you are on the barrier island part of Surf City, you will be very close to the beach, since the island is only a few hundred feet wide. Because most NC barrier islands are so narrow, however, lots are also generally pretty small, so houses are close to each other.

Surf City, like most barrier island communities, has a small year around population and a large seasonal population, so it will feel very overrun with tourists in the summer, and nearly desolate in the winter.
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:44 AM
 
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Hi again -

No, we do not have children so schools are not a consideration. We definitely want to be able to walk to the beach. We would expect to have houses close by, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we don't want to be boxed in by having houses very close to us on every side. I guess closer on the sides wouldn't be too bad, but we then wouldn't someone right behind us or in front of us. I hope that makes sense! Could you tell me what Holly Ridge and Sneads Ferry are?

Is there shopping, etc... on the barrier island part of Surf City? Thanks very much for reading and replying
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Southport
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I think you should pull up Google maps earth view and look at how the houses are situated. There are generally several "rows" of houses in NC beach communities, so an unobstructed view of the ocean would require being on the "front" row, which will be more expensive. Whats your budget?

Surf City has a small amount of shopping on the island...mostly restaurants and gift shops, a lot of whom I would expect close down in winter. There is a small grocery store on the island.

Carolina Beach, and to a lesser extent, Oak Island are somewhat more year-around beach communities.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,266 posts, read 19,814,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMyDad View Post
No, we do not have children so schools are not a consideration. We definitely want to be able to walk to the beach. We would expect to have houses close by, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we don't want to be boxed in by having houses very close to us on every side. I guess closer on the sides wouldn't be too bad, but we then wouldn't someone right behind us or in front of us. I hope that makes sense! Could you tell me what Holly Ridge and Sneads Ferry are?

Is there shopping, etc... on the barrier island part of Surf City? Thanks very much for reading and replying
How far do you consider walkable to the beach? I think your expection about not having neighbors close by is unrealistic on the barrier island. Most lots will have 10-20 feet between houses, even the ones selling for $800K. The only way to have no neighbors behind would be to live on the sound side. Expect to pay at least $400K for a house on the sound. Or you might look for a house with an empty and unbuildable lot next door.

Yes there is shopping on the island in Surf City. Just expect to pay outrageous prices and have a limited selection. It is much better to drive a few miles inland to the Harris Teeter or Food Lion.

Holly Ridge is the inland area from Surf City. It is along Highway 17. Sneads Ferry is the inland area from North Topsail Beach.

We have found our "sweet spot" in Sneads Ferry. We have a half-acre lot surrounded by trees, and are not too close to neighbors. We are 5 miles from the beach and 2.5 miles from grocery shopping. The only negative is occasionally hearing artillery and helicopters from Camp Lejeune. Houses in our neighborhood sell for $270K to $350K.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:13 AM
 
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Our budget is around 400 at the most. Could you tell me the difference between Surf City and Carolina Beach? I suppose if we found the perfect house in the perfect location perhaps the closeness of the neighbors wouldn't be that much of a factor. As long as we are within a 5 minute walk to the beach and close to modern conveniences... And safe!
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Southport
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Carolina Beach has a larger year-around population, and is more of a "community" than many beach towns. It still hosts thousands of seasonal tourists, though. CB is also much closer to Wilmington and the amenities it offers, so it doesn't feel so isolated in the winter.

You'll have to spend much more than $400,000 to avoid having neighbors close in a beachfront community.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:31 AM
 
34 posts, read 36,120 times
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Thank you again for the helpful information. I'm sorry for all of the questions, we're learning as we go. Does Carolina Beach have a lot of beach front homes? Safe, clean, shopping/grocery close by?
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,266 posts, read 19,814,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMyDad View Post
Does Carolina Beach have a lot of beach front homes?
Beach-front homes are going to run you about a million, almost anywhere in North Carolina. $400K is likely to get you half of a duplex a few blocks from the beach. If you are lucky enough to find a sngle-family house for that price, it may be many blocks from the beach.

I also agree that Carolina Beach is more like a "normal" year-round community. However, you will still have to drive a few miles to a grocery store.

Last edited by goldenage1; 06-16-2015 at 10:42 AM..
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