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Southern Costal NC retirement area
Old 09-29-2009, 10:05 AM   #1
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Southern Costal NC retirement area

Hello All, this weekend I am going to view some properties in the Calabash / Sunset Beach area of the southern NC coast, and try to get a general feel for the area. We have vacationed in the Outer Banks, but know this area is different. Anybody down there? Any advise on the area? We are beach people fron NJ so we know all about that. Going to look to buy inland of the beach, told the realtor 10-15 minute ride to the beach. Planning on buying the home in the next 12 months and retiring in 6 years. Any advise would be great!
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:59 AM   #2
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I think that part of the world is lovely, but I only know folks who live in Wilmington.
Are you okay with hurricane threats, mosquitoes, and hot humid weather (unlike NJ <grin>)? Also depending on how far out, be prepared for somewhat hostile natives, though that is less likely if you live in a new neighborhood that has lots of transplants.
We are just down from there in Charleston, and there are a lot of nice places between the two. Do you want to live in a town, as such, or just near the beach?
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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A couple friends live in Topsail Beach on the intracoastal waterway, they have an awesome house there. Very nice area, though a bit isolated for my taste. I really like Wilmington too, and almost bought a vacation condo there. And I love NC's beaches. As Sarah said, keep in mind that if a hurricane is coming up the eastern seaboard, well, there is a good chance it will land right on your door step.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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thanks guys for taking the time to respond, we want to live in one of the planned communities just off the beach, most likely filled with transplants.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:10 PM   #5
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Ah, well then a realtor will probably be your best bet. Are you thinking of one of those old(er) folks places, like Del Webb? Those seem like you'd have a good chance of finding a newer home, more convenient shopping, and closer neighbors.

I would have suggested Southport, but probably more "local" color than you want.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:57 PM   #6
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Traveling up to NC on Nov 8 to visit my sister and her husband. They live in a great area called Ocean Ridge Plantation, a golf course community. (Ocean Isle Beach is the Postal address). They are also close to Sunset Beach if you know where that is). Ocean Ridge Plantation is right on RT 17 just east of Calabash. I really love that area. They are beach people also but didn't want live right on the beach. Of course we are going up to play golf. Brother and wife are also coming from Ohio. If you are famaliar with Google Earth, check it out. Sister does most of her serious shopping in Myrtle Beach and for bigger shopping she goes to Wilmington, which I understand is about an hour north.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:59 PM   #7
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It's a lovely area, my family has spent many vacations at Holden Beach. From there, we have enjoyed exploring Southport and Oak Island, also Ocean Isle and Sunset. It's a great location, right between Wilmington to the north and Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand to the south if you require any big shopping or entertainment.

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Old 09-29-2009, 07:01 PM   #8
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Inland is a great idea. A lot of people get sucked in by fairly cheap beach front real estate, but the coastline is very fragile. You'll not only have to evacuate for hurricane warnings, but the coast gets chewed away and you can easily lose both a house and land. There has been some protective barriers built, but I think some of those are under fire for being temporary solutions and nature will, and should, eventually take it's course. Understand insurance well before buying. I've heard that some real estate agents can be very silent about this.

Inland, you should have less issues, but you still want to make sure you are sitting high enough to miss a storm surge.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:25 PM   #9
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my DD lives there in mid coastal NC just south of Raleigh.. lived all her life (20 years) in TX... said to me recently that when she graduated she was staying in the area...


... says something to me!
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:23 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone, we will be looking at 4-5 different areas with our realtor. Hopefully this is a good time to buy!
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:28 AM   #11
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We have owned a condo on Kure Beach since 1998 and love it there. It's just south of Wilmington and a short ferry ride from Southport. You can't get 10 minutes from the beach on our island so you might want to consider an area called Monkey Junction between Wilmington and Pleasure Island. I would never consider the Myrtle Beach area unless you like gaudy, touristry type areas. There are many places in the Wilmington area where you can be 10 to 15 minutes from the beach. The Wrightsville beach area is nice but quite pricy.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:40 AM   #12
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That Sunset Beach/Calabash area is pretty nice today. Tons of new residential developments down that way. Lots of golf courses and second home communities. I have done a ton of real estate development-related work in that area, and I can tell you that there are 70,000 or so residential lots in Brunswick County that are either currently zoned and about to be new neighborhoods or very close to being that way. So if the economy ever turns around, expect massive amounts of development in that area. And traffic. I'm talking 10-20 years out before some of these neighborhoods get fully built out. And the North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning to do very little to fix any future traffic problems in that area. Let's just say that foresight and planning is not their forte. City and county planning staff just don't have the technical skills to really deal with the growth either. It could get a little hairy down that way.

But it is convenient to Wilmington and Myrtle Beach (maybe 45 minutes to either).

I am sitting here in an oceanfront house on Topsail Island right now on vacation. This beach is very affordable right now. We have a 4 BR 3 BA beach house that runs $750 a week right now everything included. It is a duplex built in 2002 and pretty nice inside and out. This unit just sold in January for $400,000. The other half of the duplex in under contract in a short sale and it was listed at $379k. The identical duplex 3 doors down is for sale for $339,000 per side right now. Fairly close to the bridge to the mainland. Amazingly cheap for oceanfront real estate! But it could get washed away at any minute should even a small hurricane come here. I'm sure houses and land on the mainland 5-10 minutes from the beach are way cheaper. There is a huge glut of housing and buildable lots in the southern coastal NC area right now.

Also, don't worry about being the only Yankee down here. You probably won't see very many native North Carolinians in these new residential developments around Sunset Beach - they are full of Dang Yankees! You know, those people that don't bat an eye at paying a half million for a small house on a small lot. That is why all these residential neighborhoods kept popping up the last 10 years.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:13 PM   #13
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We looked at the Southport area several years ago. Beautiful area and nice communities but the threat of hurricanes and the distance from shopping & other amenities made us decide against the area and chose central Virginia. Walmart just doesn't fulfill all my shopping needs. Also love the beach and head to the NC beaches in the Sept/Oct timeframes where rentals are dirt cheap and head even further south in the winter for a month.

We do have friends who moved down to the Wilmington area and like it very much - and no hurricanes yet - although they are paying a fortune for hurricane insurance.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:23 PM   #14
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Well we spent a few days there, liked it but it was a very long drive. Next will be southern Delaware Beach area.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:15 AM   #15
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so...how'd it go? what exactly were you looking for? Find anything?
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:16 AM   #16
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Go carefully. In the 9 years we've been in Carolina Beach we've seen insurance rates skyrocket and tax hikes are commonplace. Life is cheaper just a few miles inland... but what do they do all day
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:10 AM   #17
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BUM, I just got quoted from a new(ish) Florida based company called ASI out of St. Pete. We don't carry flood (not required) but are on an island with a creek behind us. I've always hated State Farm, and when the premiums went up again, I decided to shop it with some tinkering done to the Dec Page. I came in cheaper with these new folks and am pretty happy to be getting rid of State Farm.
Found them through my independent insurance broker, but checked them out to make sure they were admitted to SC. I don' t know if they are admitted in NC.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
BUM, I just got quoted from a new(ish) Florida based company called ASI out of St. Pete.
I don' t know if they are admitted in NC.
They are not. Thanks anyway
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:52 PM   #19
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If you are checking out inland sites be on the lookout for low spots. I think it was Hurricane Floyd that did a tremendous amount of inland NC flooding. Good luck!
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:37 AM   #20
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So if you're not quite ER ready, and know your way around a fuse box, come to the beach and be an electrician! There is no end of work here. Holy crap, electrical stuff rots away overnight. Today I'm going back to work on the @#$%^& island Christmas lights. Nearly half of the dozen or so displays don't light up... that's bad. I've been working (volunteering) on these since Thanksgiving! Salt bridges up on the high voltage lines create their own eerie crackling light shows
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