Danielle Taylor, Broker, SRS, CLHMS
Direct (Text Friendly) 252-489-9185

Welcome to Sandbarliving.com.  It is my goal to provide you with great information and resources regarding real estate in the Outer Banks.  Whether you are buying or selling, I can help.  I understand that buying or selling a home is challenging ADD to that buying or selling from a distance and it can seem impossible.  That's where I come in!  I am here to help guide you, advise you and make the process as smooth and enjoyable as possible.  Please enjoy the site and let me know how I can help you!

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Why Rent when you can Buy?

There are many different reasons why people choose to buy a home in the Outer Banks.

  1. Making the move permanent 
    • Some decide to make their Outer Banks vacation permanent and move here as their primary residence
    • There are many factors to consider regarding area, home style (most vacation homes do not have much closet and/or storage space), etc.
    • Working with a professional can ensure you find the perfect home and area for full time residency
  2. Second Home
    • Owning a vacation home is the dream of a lot of people
    • Some choose to purchase a home for only their family and friends to use
  3. Rental Property/Investment
    • Many people love the idea of having a vacation property in the Outer Banks AND love the idea of someone else helping to pay for it even more!
    • Rental income is a fantastic way to offset expenses and for some, it can have other tax benefits.

Part of my Strategic Buying Plan customized specifically for you, deals with identifying your goals and finding properties that fit!

Financing A Beach House

When it comes to buying, it’s never too soon to talk about financing. The very best homes sell quickly – and if you are getting a loan, being pre-qualified is a must.

  • In most cases, lenders are going to look for 20% on your 2nd home purchase.  Be prepared that newer guidelines and more restrictions can make the loan process seem daunting.  Start early!
  • Find a LOCAL lender that you like and trust
  • Get pre-qualified so you can focus your time and energy on properties that meet your goals.
  • Pack your patience - the lender is going to need a lot of information from you.  Listen to them, follow their guidance and get them what they need as quickly as possible.
  • Title work and insurance - your lender is going to need both of these pieces of information to complete your loan process.  Make sure you don't delay in identifying your closing attorney and insurance provider.

If you are a cash buyer, check with your tax adviser to see if paying cash is the best strategy for your situation. In some cases, carrying a mortgage allows strategic leverage and with low interest rates, this is sometimes a better options.  When making an all-cash offer on a home, you should include proof of funds from your financial institution. The seller is going to want evidence that you can complete the sale.

Closing Costs

Buyers are often surprised by the costs associated with purchasing a home. Many people only consider the down payment when calculating upfront financial costs and end up scrambling to redo their budgets. It's important to know ahead of time what all the closing costs are so you can appropriately plan.

Here are a number of the most common costs that should be taken into consideration.  

Typical Buyer Closing Costs

  • Appraisal fee to the appraiser - approx. $500 - $600
  • Home inspection fee - approx.  $500 -  $700
  • Pest inspection fee - approx. $125
  • Property taxes to the county - prorated for year of purchase
  • Title Insurance fees and insurance - about $3/$1000 in purchase price 
  • Credit report - $50
  • Origination fees - dictated by your lender
  • Document preparation fee - $100
  • Closing Attorney fees - approx. $850 - $1000 
  • Prepaid insurance - insurance premiums for the first year are due on or before closing
  • Escrows  - this can be lender and timing dependent but usually plan on about 3-4 months of taxes and insurance

Flood zones

Most buyers want to know and understand flood zones in the Outer Banks.  The most common flood zones currently in the Outer Banks are:

  • VE - Coastal flood zone with velocity hazard, wave action; base flood elevations established; this will usually be the most expensive zone
  • AE - flood zone where there are base flood elevations established; 
  • X - most lenders will not require you to carry flood insurance in this zone; the cost is usually quite reasonable

One thing to note is that flood insurance can be assumable.  Meaning if the current owner has flood insurance that is at a good rate, you may be able assume that policy to keep costs under control.  Rates are sometimes better because they are "grandfathered" in to the zone in place at the time of insurance issuance.

Dare and Currituck County revised flood maps are due to be in effect in 2018 - final dates are still pending. 


One of the most frequently asked questions I get from buyers is about insurance.  As an Outer Banks property owner, you will likely carry 3 types of insurance.

  1. Homeowners Insurance - this is similar to homeowner insurance you are likely used to with your primary residence.
  2. Wind/Hail Insurance - this is also sometimes referred to as the "Beach Plan".  For most homeowners, this will be your highest insurance cost.
  3. Flood Insurance - the amount you pay in flood insurance is based on many factors such as flood zone, base flood elevation, elevation of lowest level of living space, sometimes age, etc.

While these 3 insurances combined may end up being more than you are used to in your home market, keep in mind that in most instances our property taxes are lower.  If you consider these two expenses together, you will likely find the sum is reasonable.

It is usually best to work with an local insurance specialist EARLY in your search to get a full understanding.



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