The final stop of our coastal North Carolina research trip brought us to Edenton, named on the list of America’s Prettiest Small Towns. Living up to its name, Edenton looked better than ever and we weren’t the only ones who felt that way. Photographers were patiently waiting for the sun to set to capture the changing colors reflecting off the historic buildings on South Broad Street, the town’s main street. The old fashioned stores could easily surprise your wallet with expensive designer shoes, clothing and home accessories. We spent a good chunk of time in Fine Consignments combing through the treasures. This rural countryside has affluent residents staking their claim in the area for retirement.
Downtown overlooks the Edenton Bay and the Roanoke River Lighthouse. It's a place preserved in time rich with history. Sailing regattas, food themed festivals, music festivals and fishing tournaments are all popular at this Inner Banks boating community. Georgian-style homes line the waterfront. We talked with a few locals and they expressed their disappointment that historic homes in the downtown are have become unaffordable except for the rich ‘Yuppies’. Edenton is a charmer!
To the east, Elizabeth City nicknamed the Harbor of Hospitality hasn’t changed must since our last visit. The Pasquotank River Bascule bridge replacement was still under construction since last year. The Pasquotank River Bascule bridge also known as US Highway 158 is the gateway to the north side of the Outer Banks. Overall, the city looks weathered and worn along the riverfront. The only five star restaurant we found on Yelp.com was Dairy Queen. That kinda says it all. On the west side of town, new shopping centers are beginning to line the highway. Department stores in the area include Belk, JC Penney, and Walmart. Other than Edenton, sales overall have been flat as this area tends to lag behind other coastal North Carolina markets. This presents excellent buying opportunities.
Here’s the coastal North Carolina communities we visited in the area:
SCOTCH HALL PRESERVE
We were pleasantly surprised to see the progress at Scotch Hall Preserve. Since our visit last year, the Soundside Beach Club & Pavilion has been completed. Amenities include a resort-style swimming pool, poolside cafe, and fitness center overlooking the Albemarle Sound. The golf course looked fantastic. 17 boat slips and the boat ramp were completed of the 107 boat slips planned at the marina. The community has yet to build a direct access road to the marina and provide utilities to the docks.
Scotch Hall Preserve has hit the sweet spot when it comes to new home pricing. The Salmon Creek Cottage, Red Alder Cottage, and Cashier River Cottage are all new cottage homes priced in the low $300k’s overlooking the scenic Albemarle Sound. In case you don't know, almost the entire Outer Banks borders the Albemarle Sound on the Inner Banks and in some places is as much as 50 miles in width. There were two homes under construction making the total 17 homes built. On the horizon, a proposed 6,000 square foot golf clubhouse. The waterfront community has an Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course. Full membership golf dues are $210 a month plus the $15,000 initiation fee. Social membership is available. For a gated North Carolina golf community, HOA fees are low at $1,020 per year. The community’s location is about 10 miles west of Edenton.
During our visit last year, the Albemarle Plantation auction was just two weeks way and ultimately did take place on March 26, 2013. Word on the street was investors were only interested in spending $2.4 million on the assets verses the $6 million the development hoped for. The auction was ordered to liquidate 1,500+ acres of undeveloped property (Phase 2) and 52 lots in the Belmont section of the neighborhood. The good news, in December 2014, the William's Family Heirs were the successful bidders on all the plats associated with Belmont and the properties formally known as 'Phase II'. In January funds exchanged hands and a new company comprised of all the partners in APH acquired the properties from the William's Family Heirs. It would be easy to conclude the new ownership is by the original Albemarle Plantation real estate development group.
According to our independent trusted colleague, the Albemarle Plantation auction has clearly taken its toll on the plantation and sales were sluggish in 2013. Things are looking better in 2014 and we observed approximately a dozen homes under construction during our tour.
Last year, we were informed the following capital improvements were planned in 2013 include re-decking the marina docks, replacing and upgrading the greens on the golf course, upgrading the golf cart fleet and completing the Recreation Center adding fitness equipment, tennis courts and outdoor sports to the complex. Items not complete as of May 2014: 1) the marina dock repairs 2) proposed improvements at the Recreation Center.
Property owners are required to join the club. Social memberships are $100 a month with a $2,500 initiation fee. Golf dues are $250 a month with a $5,000 initiation fee. HOA fees are $1,675 per year for improved property and $1,340 for unimproved lots. If you’re considering the plantation, ask us to introduce you to our trusted colleague who knows the gated North Carolina community intimately and will provide you information about all the listings, both land and Albemarle Plantation homes for sale.
KILMARLIC GOLF CLUB
Home to the 2004 & 2009 North Carolina Open, Kilmarlic Golf Club is just seven miles west of the Outer Banks and 35 miles east of the US Highway 17 corridor heading into Virginia. This quiet coastal North Carolina golf community is a 605 acre neighborhood set amongst mature pine trees and a 300 acre nature preserve. The community’s sandy beach front park, pavilion, kayak/canoe storage and fishing pier are set along the Albemarle Sound. The Tom Steele designed golf course is beautiful. Hole #11 is the course’s signature hole. Property owners are not required to join the club. Golf membership fees start at $140 a month with a $4,000 initiation fee. The The Westside Athletic Club offering tennis, swimming and fitness is adjacent to the community. Kilmarlic golf course homes begin in the mid $300k’s. Lots can be found under $100k. HOA fees are under $1,000 a year.
Located on the furthest point of the northern Outer Banks is a nantucket-style neighborhood with three and four story beach homes tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ablemarle Sound. The centerpiece of the community is its links-style golf course designed by Rees Jones. The gated North Carolina beach community and amenities looked great. This popular vacation and second home destination has its own community trolley providing convenient access to the beach and amenities. Community amenities include two swimming pools, a fitness center, tennis courts, golf course and clubhouse with dining. Adjacent to the gated entrance is a new Harris Teeter grocery store.
The Currituck Club golf membership dues are $299 a month plus an $6,000 initiation fee. An upgraded membership comes with ClubCorp privileges, a club with the leading collection of private golf club and country clubs, business clubs, sports club and alumni clubs around the world. Currituck Club has been named as one of the Best Places to Play Golf by Golf Digest. Homes for sale can be found in the low $300k’s and soundfront homes can easily exceed $1 million. HOA fees range in the $2-3k’s. If you don’t mind the 15 miles of slow speed limit restrictions from Kitty Hawk, each way, the Currituck Club is worth taking a look for Outer Banks homes.
VILLAGES OF NAGS HEAD
Old and tattered. To us, the amenities at Villages of Nags Head are in need of an extreme makeover. But if you don’t belong to the club or need community amenities, who cares? Property owners scored the community 89 out of 100 showing strong satisfaction. The 400 acre coastal North Carolina beach community is comprised of traditional two and three story beach vacation homes on the Outer Banks tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and the Roanake Sound. People choose the area because it’s close to shopping, restaurants and the Bonner high rise bridge connecting to the main land. We found homes for sale in the low $300k’s and oceanfront homes reaching almost $2 million. You can find newer Outer Banks homes in the community. The Villages of Nags Head also has a soundfront golf course and clubhouse. Membership is optional and is at about $240 a month plus a $1k initiation fee. HOA fees begin under $1k.
Calling all sport fisherman, Pirates Cove is among the top of the list when it comes to serious North Carolina boating communities. The gated private island is geared towards second and vacation homes. Amenities include a community clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness center and charter fishing fleet marina. Deepwater canals weave throughout the tight knit community providing boat docks behind most of the Pirates Cove homes. Pirates Cove is located approximately 10 miles from the Oregon Inlet leading out to the Atlantic Ocean. Its deepwater marina is filled with charter fishing boats and calendar with fishing tournaments. We saw a handful of lots still available to build. Lot prices range from $180-225k. Condos, villas, and townhomes range from $142-$259k. Single family homes from $475-830k. Boat slips are available for purchase ranging from $36k-$69k. Pirates Cove location is appealing because it’s at the base of the Bonner Bridge connecting to the Outer Banks. HOA fees are approximately $1,500 per year.
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