In the summer, Outer Banks Realtors receive an inordinate amount of inquires on the inexpensive ocean front homes. Why not learn more when an ocean front is priced under $300,000 and a similar house four or five lots off the ocean is about the same price? Often the reason for the low price is that many of these ocean front properties are endangered by erosion. In the summer when the weather is beautiful and the ocean is calm it’s hard to believe any structure is threatened.
Erosion is a part of ocean front ownership in some areas of the beach including Kitty Hawk, Nags Head and Rodanthe. But this factor should not keep you from eliminating ocean front property from your search all together. Like buying any investment or property it is best to learn all the facts, calculate the risks and then make the best decision for your specific situation.
So how can you tell if the house you are considering is threatened? Probably the easiest way is to go take a look at how close the ocean is to the property. Is there a dune on the ocean side of the house? Is there vegetation on the eastern side of the house? If the answer is no to either one of these then it is likely the house is threatened by the ocean.
To get a better feel for the level of threat to a property, your Realtor can provide you with the state erosion rate map for that area of the beach. Erosion rates vary greatly on the Outer Banks depending upon the area. Just because there is hardly any space between the house and the beach does not always mean the property is going to be gone in the next few years. North Carolina and the Federal Government have been studying erosion and its causes for years here. Viewing their information can be the difference between a good decision and a bad decision.
One last variable that is new to this erosion talk is the beach nourishment occurring in Nags Head this year. No one knows for sure how the new beach will fare when it is up against a raging nor’easter in the coming years. But one thing is certain; many of the endangered ocean front properties in that area will have a better chance of surviving with this new beach. If this project is successful then the endangered properties in Nags Head will greatly increase in value.