Welcome to the Outer Banks, a place that liberates the escapist in everyone.
In addition to its natural beauty, these barrier islands have an abundance of privately-owned vacation beach houses that are a key part of the area’s appeal. Visitors can own or vacation in everything from a two-bedroom condo to a 20-bedroom home—and everyone has a chemistry all its own.
Often it’s the little things that make a house special. Other times, it’s the practical touches that make the difference. Owners, realtors, property managers and marketing directors affiliated with the leading real estate firms on the Outer Banks continuously check the pulse of what’s trending. So every year brings a new list of features that enhance the “cool” factor of these hot properties, making vacation beach houses more like personal resorts.
Owner ingenuity was responsible for some new “cool” features offered in beach houses managed by Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates. “In Kitty Hawk, there are large stretches of beach that are no longer buildable because there isn’t enough land area to place a house. So, the people who own homes across the street have purchased these lots and built dune-top decks on them. One owner even added a grill and gazebo to the deck so you can grill hot dogs for lunch without even leaving the beach,” says Dan Hardy, president and general manager. “This is a great amenity, especially for people with mobility issues. They can walk across the street, go up a few steps, hang out on the deck and enjoy evening cocktails or a morning cup of coffee on the beach.”
Over the years more and more vacationers are traveling with pets. “We’ve found that pet-friendly homes tend to have about 20 percent more weeks rented throughout the year,” says Barry Breit, sales manager with Carolina Designs. “One of the things we’re also seeing are owners retrofitting their homes to expand the backyard pool, bar and cabana areas. In the early 2000s, people would put in a pool and install a fence around it. Now, they’re moving those fence lines close to their property lines and creating grassy areas.”
Breit says homeowners are clearing the sand and seeding or laying sod and installing irrigation so they can transform their yards into an oasis with more places for seating, dining and cooking around the pool. It also becomes an extended gathering place where guests can indulge in a game of badminton, volleyball, horseshoes or soccer.
To help you choose the perfect vacation home with “cool” features, grassy areas, space for pets and more, Beach Realty & Construction/Kitty Hawk Rentals remains one of the few offering a printed rental brochure. While recognizing the importance of utilizing digital marketing, General Manager Jason Ward continues this almost nostalgic way of displaying their rental homes via print. “Traditions are important to us, which is why we are proud to release the 52nd edition of our annual Outer Banks Vacation Guide, filled with our exclusive selection of quality Outer Banks Vacation Rentals,” he says.
Ward says that planning a vacation should be just as exciting as the vacation itself, a collaborative effort with a comprehensive planning tool like the Vacation Guide that everyone can use.
“Each year we strive to release the Vacation Guide in time for the holiday season, knowing many families will be together,” says Ward. “Our hope is for families to use the vacation guide to choose their favorites, reminisce on good times shared and get excited about their next Outer Banks adventure.”
So start your planning! Whether you like to stick to your family’s favorite home or try something new and trendy, the stunning beauty and sunny beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks are gentle reminders that you shouldn’t get so caught up earning a living that you forget how to live.