Beautiful weather awaited the runners for Marathon Weekend. This little video sums it up!
The race finished in Manteo meandering through Marshes Light – what a great place to call home!
Outer Banks to Roanoke Island, Southern Shores to Marshes Light: exploring life on a barrier island. A guide to fun, family, home, real estate, restaurants, surf, sun and more.
Beautiful weather awaited the runners for Marathon Weekend. This little video sums it up!
The race finished in Manteo meandering through Marshes Light – what a great place to call home!
It’s been a gradual change of seasons with lots of things going on on the Outer Banks. I’ve participated in the Outer Banks Triathlon as a member of a relay team – I did the bike portion: 13.1 miles starting at the Dare County Regional Airport over the old Manns Harbor Bridge and back. The ride out was smooth and the views were spectacular, but when I made the turn at Mashoes Road, I hit a wall of wind and it took everything in me to get back across the bridge.
This weekend marked the First Annual Bluegrass Festival at Festival Park in Manteo. This was a sell-out event. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go, but it’s on my calendar for next year. Check out some great photos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OBXBluegrassFestival?fref=ts.
Today marked the 6th Annual Duck Jazz Festival, featuring The Rippingtons with Russ Freeman, Paula Atherton, THE FUZZ BAND, and Emme St. James and Her Jazz Gentlemen.
Today also marked the final day of the 20th Annual Outer Banks Home Builders Parade of Homes. The homes were selected featuring new designs and many incorporate new technologies, best building practices and ‘green’ features.
There is a plethora of events and activities coming up. My favorite resource for all things is http://www.outerbanks.org/outerbanks-events/.
My favorites include:
It’s a beautiful time of the year to visit the Outer Banks!
There’s so much to do on the Outer Banks as the weather warms.
The fish are biting, the beach is
welcoming, kites are flying, local businesses are reopening for the season, and two of my favorite events are back: FIRST FRIDAYS and SATURDAY FARM MARKETS in downtown Manteo.
Held on the first Friday of every month on the Manteo Waterfront. 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Historic Inn Tour from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. (tour maps at Dare County Arts Council), Live music from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Blue grass to Jazz to Classic Rock ‘n Roll), Boutiques and Restaurants open late, Enjoy family friendly activities, Famous rock climbing wall, historical interpreters in period costumes and more. Queen Elizabeth Ave., Manteo, NC 27954 Phone: 252-473-2133.
I just listed a lovely sound-front condominium at Marshes Light, took this photo today from the covered deck.
The Marshes Light boardwalk is one of very few waterfront boardwalks on the Outer Banks. This wooden walkway is roughly 2 miles in length and stretches from the marina at Marshes Light through to downtown Manteo. I love this little corner of heaven:
Along the boardwalk in Manteo is one of my favorite eateries, Poor Richard’s. Great sandwiches, soups and specials in a cozy and casual atmosphere. Eat inside or out on the porch overlooking the marina and Festival Park.
Historic downtown Manteo on Roanoke Island is beloved for its small town friendly atmosphere and waterfront location. Discover maritime history, live theater, art and cultural attractions, quaint shops, restaurants, First Friday Festivals and Saturday Farm Markets in Manteo, and, best of all, it’s located just minutes from the beautiful beaches of Nags Head along North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
A one-of-a-kind, truly spectacular home in the new Marshes Light community is now available. This 3 bedroom, 3 bath home is located on the top floor of the Azalea condominiums and sits on the most eastern point of the community with panoramic views of Shallowbag Bay to the south, Roanoke Sound and Nags Head to the east, and the Marshes Lighthouse, Manteo waterfront and Roanoke Island Festival Park to the northeast. This home was enjoyed as a weekend get-away by its owners and has been lovingly cared for.
For more information, contact Lee Whitley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 252-475-9863.
According to an article in today’s Outer Banks Voice, the Mid-Currituck Bridge is one step closer to reality.
“The final environmental impact statement has been released on a proposed toll bridge over the Currituck Sound that would stretch between the mainland and Corolla.
The N.C. Turnpike Authority plans for construction on the bridge to start before the end of 2012, with the span opening to traffic by 2017.”
NCDOT states that the Mid-Currituck Bridge will:
For more information and history on the Mid-Currituck Bridge, visit www.ncdot.gov/projects/midcurrituckbridge.
Renaissance Construction recently broke ground for the construction of a three bedroom home in Marshes Light on home site 7. This marks the fourth home in downtown Manteo’s newest neighborhood. Renaissance Construction is owned by Steve Daniels who is the Marshes Light preferred builder.
“I employ the best local craftsmen and personally oversee to be sure each home is well built in a timely and efficient manner.”
There are only a handful of home sites available at Marshes Light, and one or two will boast panoramic views of the Sound. Marshes Light is a unique location connected by a boardwalk to shops, restaurants, theater and Festival Park in downtown Manteo.
By Les Christie @CNNMoney December 15, 2011: 1:44 PM ETN
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Mortgage rates sunk to record lows again this week. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94%, matching the all-time low hit in early October, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey.
Meanwhile, 15-year fixed-rate loans hit a new record low of 3.21%, surpassing the record set on October 6. Five-year adjustable rate mortgages also plumbed new depths, hitting 2.86% for the week. “We’ve been hanging around record lows for a few months now and we finally hit another one,” said Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a provider of mortgage data.
Low-interest mortgages will be available at least through mid-2012, according to Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft.
The low rates can translate into big savings for home buyers. Five years ago, a home buyer would have been lucky to land a 5% rate on a 15-year loan. On a $200,000 mortgage, that would have meant the borrower would have paid $1,582 a month. Should a borrower land a 3.2% rate on a $200,000 loan now, the monthly mortgage payment would come to $1,400 — a savings of $182 a month.
This article is reprinted with permission.
By Hugh “Scooter” Willey, Jr. (email: hughwilleysunrealtynccom)
NC Real Estate Broker with Sun Realty of the Outer Banks
The real estate market has been a bruising one, for both pockets and egos, over the past several years. Yet, signs of stabilization are beginning to show in the Outer Banks Real Estate Market. Buyers are in all earnestness beginning to search for homes, sensing the “bottom” is near (or passed), inventory is down (good for sellers) and ‘bank owned” properties have slowed. It is also noteworthy that as a resort community the median sales price is increasing.
For those interested in the Outer Banks Real Estate Market, I have posted the following comparison of the first 8 months of 2011 to the first 8 months of 2010 (source: Outer Banks Association of Realtors MLS).
|Total Property Sales|
Distressed Property Sales
|Distressed Property Sales|
|Potential Short Sale||102||128||+25%|
Median Sale Price
|Median Sale Price|
|Single Family Residential||$300,000||$343,154||+14%|
There’s been plenty written and photos posted of the effects and damages caused by Hurricane Irene. Like a bad house guest, Irene came to the beach, was demanding, made of big mess and left in a huff.
Along the Outer Banks, we are busy cleaning up and putting our lives back together. There has been a great outreach by locals and local businesses, the Red Cross and the Outer Banks Community Foundation to help those in need. Here are some links for information and donations:
http://www.gaacarc.org/ (local chapter of American Red Cross)
After it was all over, aside from the cleanup efforts, there was much to appreciate, most of all is the beautiful weather we are currently enjoying. There’s always treasure to be found after a storm, such as these intact conch shells and beach glass found on the beach near my house the day after the storm.
The Town of Manteo is known for its exceptional downtown waterfront, Victorian-inspired architecture and the large selection of bed and breakfasts in the Outer Banks. Situated on the eastern side of Roanoke Island, Manteo lies between the North Carolina mainland and the barrier islands of the Outer Banks along the Shallowbag Bay.
The town’s theme is decidedly nautical, with the daily weather reports coming in the form of flags flying from the Manteo Weather Tower. Beacons of light from the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse still guide boats in safely, and charming shops and cafes line the city’s waterfront.
While the residents of Manteo embrace the modern charms of the seaside village, they are also keenly aware of the island’s historical importance. Over 420 years ago, a group of 117 men, women and children, with the blessing of Queen Elizabeth I, settled on the island. An ideal location for an English settlement because of its lush vegetation and mild climate, they established a colony only to subsequently disappear. “The Lost Colony,” as it has come to be known, today remains one of history’s biggest mysteries.
Three hundred years later, Union forces took control of the waters of northeastern North Carolina, and the groundwork of modern Manteo was laid when freed slaves lived and worked on the island. Nearly 4,000 freed slaves had become part of this ‘Freedman’s Colony’ until its official closing in 1867.
Today, the town’s tree-lined streets, shops, restaurants, fishing charters and bed and breakfasts reflect its history while keeping one foot firmly planted in the present as well.
Close to history and close to the water, Marshes Light is a one-of-a-kind waterfront community located within walking distance of the shops and restaurants of historic downtown Manteo. The last opportunity for new construction within the historic district, Marshes Light includes homesites, single-family homes and marina villa homes in addition to a host of amenities including a 60-slip marina, all while reflecting Manteo’s unique character and charm.
Mayo Boddie, chairman of developer Boddie-Noell, pointed out, “I have always loved Manteo, and it’s why we decided to develop Marshes Light there. I own a condo there, I dock my boat there, and I love to spend time there, which is why I’ve been so passionate about Marshes Light and about connecting the community to historic downtown Manteo.”
(This article originally appeared in Ideal Living Magazine.)
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 8:02am EDT
“Foreclosures on N.C. homes fell 38.3 percent in May from a year ago and were down 3.4 percent from April. Some 2,689 homes in North Carolina were in foreclosure proceedings in May, or one in every 1,584 households, according to RealtyTrac Inc. The state ranks 36th in the nation for the rate of filings, RealtyTrac says.
Foreclosures nationwide dropped 33.4 percent last month from May 2010 and dipped 1.98 percent from April. There were 214,927 filings last month across the nation, or one in every 605 households.”
WASHINGTON, Jun 16, 2011 8:30am EDT Reuters
by Lucia Mutikani, Editing by Andrea Ricci
“U.S. housing starts rose more than expected and permits for future construction touched a five month high in May, a government report showed on Thursday. The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 3.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units, retracing almost half of April’s steep decline. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a 540,000-unit rate. Compared to May last year, residential construction was down 3.4 percent.
Last month, there was an increase in groundbreaking for both multi and single family homes. Starts in the West were the highest since August.
Multi-family home starts rose 2.9 percent. Single-family home construction, which accounts for a large portion of the market, rose 3.7 percent.”
How couples navigate one of the trickiest issues in retirement: where to live, by Kathleen A. Hughes.
It may be the trickiest and most troublesome issue couples face when approaching retirement: Where are you going to live?
The prospect of a new locale, of course, is enticing. Why not seize the moment and settle (finally!) in the destination of your dreams: the mountains, the beach, the city—even overseas. Baby boomers in particular, who begin turning 65 this year, seem ready to do just that.
By Annamaria Andriotis.
Five years into the real-estate bust, the market for single-family homes seems weaker than ever. According to the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller housing data, prices fell 3.3% nationwide in February from a year earlier.
The ongoing malaise, paradoxically, is only boosting the opportunities for investors in multiunit rental properties.
The days of buying and flipping a property for quick profit are long gone. But investors who purchase apartment buildings, perhaps as part of a retirement portfolio or estate plan, are seeing better deals now than at any time in the past decade, says Dan Fasulo, managing director at Real Capital Analytics, a real-estate research-and-consulting firm. On the cost side, housing prices are low and falling in many areas, while mortgage rates are near historic lows. On the income side, apartment rents are near all-time highs.
A recent article in Fortune Magazine has proclaimed The Return of Real Estate: “Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing,” writes Fortune Magazine senior editor Shawn Tully. Here’s why:
Inventory is shrinking in many markets, as homebuilders built far fewer homes during the recession. And, now that troubled properties are finally being bought up, this has reduced available inventory of homes. According to the article, in 41 cities, “a total of 78,000 houses are now either vacant and for sale, or under construction. That’s less than one-fourth of the 343,000 units in those two categories” at the peak in 2006.
In areas that suffered with fewer distressed properties, “the existing home inventory is lower, closer to seven months on average. So a modest increase in demand will translate into strong gains in both prices and new construction.”
And even in those markets with more distressed or foreclosure properties, “those properties are finding plenty of renters, since the rental market is still extremely strong across the country.” As such, the supply of renters has increased dramatically, causing considerable increases in rental rates, while price declines have been such that it is now actually more expensive to rent than to own for most people.
“Let’s state it simply and forcibly: Housing is back.”
In an earlier interview with Fortune, Economist Karl Case of the widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index said “The lack of new home building is a huge help that a lot of people are ignoring….housing is looking like the little engine that could.”
What does this mean for the Outer Banks? A comparison of SOLD properties on the Outer Banks* (from Multiple Listing Service) during the time period January 1 through April 28 for 2010 and 2011 revealed that activity is up:
246 sold 1/1/2010 – 4/28/2010
291 sold 1/1/2011 – 4/28/2011
Yet, the average price of residences and land dropped slightly from 2010 to 2011, which means there are some great properties available at good prices on the Outer Banks.
*Outer Banks properties included Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Roanoke Island, residences, land, and commercial.
We’re in the process of outfitting our beloved Coors Cottage to be our new guest accommodations for Marshes Light. Previously, our guests enjoyed staying at the Marina Villas, in a three bedroom condominium. As a matter of fact, the last guests who stayed there, fell in love and immediately purchased it – hence the move.
The Coors Cottage will bring a new dimension to a visit at Marshes Light. A 2009 Parade of Homes winner, the Coors Cottage blends historical detail and craftsmanship of the past with an upscale, gourmet kitchen and an open and inviting floor plan.
Located on stately Fernando Street, the Coors Cottage is just a short walk to downtown Manteo and quaint shops, restaurants, and Festival Park.
Could you imagine yourself living here? How about waking up each morning with the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean nearby? Perhaps, after a cup of coffee and a bite to eat, you put your kayak in the water and paddle around Festival Park, maybe take a fishing rod, but most definitely a camera. That might be the most you do in a day, or maybe you would meet some friends for lunch at a local restaurant that’s just a short walk away via the sound-side boardwalk. If your days are leisurely, perhaps you’d want to take a pottery class next door at the college.
Could you imagine yourself boating here and mooring up for a week? Staying in a destination marina and exploring a charming historic town on foot. There’s a history center, mariner’s museum, outdoor theater, summer farmer’s market and “First Friday” street festivals. There are plenty of locally owned restaurants serving fresh food and fresh caught seafood daily. Maybe rent bicycles or don your running shoes and hit the miles-long bike and jogging path that run the length of the island.
The high winds yesterday pushed this little boat up under the Marshes Light Marina. With a little help from our dock boys, we got it repositioned on dry land. If it’s not claimed, it just might be salvaged and used to putter about the Sound.
Sunny skies and warm weather are in the forecast for the next couple of days and into the weekend. Early signs of Spring are in the air. It’s time to dust off your flip flops, check your calendar and discover some very compelling reasons to visit the Outer Banks right now.
I’ll be at the Greater DC Live South Show on February 25-27 at the McLean Hilton with Marshes Light. Admission is free and if you’re in the area, please come by our booth, see what is new at Marshes Light, and register for a chance to win a 2 night stay here in a lovely three bedroom waterfront villa. Our new Sales and Welcome Center is now open at 301 Dartmoor Lane at the Marina.
Coming up: 3rd Annual Jockey’s Ridge Oyster Roast on March 5, from 10 am until 2 pm. This is a great community effort to plant and create new environments for oysters in the Sound behind Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head. Oyster roast is free for participants. For more information call 252-441-7132.
Did you know that on February 8th, 1862, Roanoke Island was captured by the Union Army after more than 24 hours of conflict? Island Farm is hosting a Living History Weekend with all sorts of activities and demonstrations for you history and civil war buffs. March 5 & 6.
One of the more popular annual events is the OBX Taste of The Beach, March 17-20. The Outer Banks Restaurant Association has been hosting the Taste of The Beach for over 25 years. This grand food festival event will feature wine tastings, cooking classes, special menu presentations, celebrity guest chef appearances, brewery tours, tapas crawls and many more events with exciting array of creative combinations of culinary delights and fun activities on the Outer Banks.
The Outer Banks are quickly becoming a running destination. Kelly’s 3rd Annual Running of the Leprechauns 8K jumps into the season on March 19. For more information on this event and other activities, visit www.outerbanksrunningclub.org.
Kelly’s 22nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held March 20 on the Beach Road between Milepost 10.5 and 11.5, beginning at 1 pm, rain or shine.
Live music and theater round out the month of March:
Congress will ultimately decide whether Fannie and Freddie have a future, and whether the other changes could go into effect as soon as this fall. Here are the big three reasons (to obtain a mortgage now):
Banks Are Rolling Out New Incentives to Win Your Business. Here’s a Guide
Banks “need more cash on hand,” says Dan Geller, executive vice president at Market Rates Insight Inc., a San Anselmo, Calif., firm that tracks bank interest-rate data, “so they are intent on bringing in warm bodies.”
The current low-interest-rate environment is adding to banks’ sense of urgency. By bringing in customers now, banks are setting themselves up to profit when interest rates rise, by collecting the difference between the interest paid to depositors and the money they rake in from loans.
This blog is made possible by Marshes Light, a new home community in the heart of historic downtown Manteo. Please visit our website at www.marsheslight.com or visit our new Sales & Welcome Center at the Marina – 301 Dartmoor Lane, Manteo.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: Home Affordability Returns to Pre-Bubble Levels
“Based on incomes, this is as affordable as it gets,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “If you can get a loan, these are pretty good times to buy.”
INMAN NEWS: Real Estate Prices Fall for 5th Straight Month
“Despite the continued monthly decline in home prices and year-over-year depreciation, we’re encouraged that on an annual basis we’re unchanged relative to a year ago,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming in a statement. “Excess supply continues to drive prices downward, but the silver lining is that the rate of decline is decelerating.”
MSNBC.COM: New U.S. home sales soared in December
Monthly gain raising cautious optimism for housing market recovery.
REALTOR.ORG: Real Estate Is as Affordable as it Gets
February 9, 2011 “Based on incomes, this is as affordable as it gets,” says the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics about purchasing a home in today’s market.
“Improvements in consumer spending and consumer confidence, increased demand for goods and services, and falling unemployment claims are all positive factors for a brighter outlook as we move into 2011…”
Prices are stable at Marshes Light which were discounted almost 40 percent since original 2006 price structure on single family home sites and new condominiums.
In Manteo, you meet all sorts of interesting people. Its seaside setting attracts people who love the water; its cultural setting appeals to people who love theater and music; its historic setting brings people who appreciate heritage and architecture. All of these elements together attract the artist.
This week we had the pleasure of meeting artist Heidi Martin Kuster and her family. She and her husband, Jeff, were in town enjoying the New World Festival of the Arts, while their sons, Sam and William, participated in the Roanoke Island Sailing School.
Heidi finds her inspiration in the land, in the geological passage of time, in rocks, in rivers. She said, “Each rock I pick up holds evidence of our constantly transitioning planet. The idea that I can access traces of life from millions of years ago, buy simply examining a pebble is thrilling and humbling. These ancient marks are the foundation of my compositions.”
Heidi shared a work in progress, three pieces on hand-made paper using a wash process of the ripples of water on a lake. Organic. Colorful. Soothing.
I recently read an article about recycling suburbia. An interesting concept based on the fact that demand for a house with a yard in a suburb has dwindled. Households want more compact living places (think the “Not So Big House”) and walkable blocks and public spaces with mixed-use town centers.
At build-out Marshes Light will incorporate a mix of retail and residences, condominiums, single family homes, an inn, and a marina. Next door is the new downtown campus for the College of the Albemarle. Everything is within walking distance with a beautiful soundside backdrop.
I explored this concept of coastal small town living in a previous post at http://www.beachroadtomanteo.com/2009/08/finding-meaning-in-making-of-mayberry.html.
Featured #202D in the Bayberry $446,250
3 bedrooms, 2 baths on top floor with panoramic water views
Built in 2007, 9 1/2′ ceilings, tiled entry, kitchen & baths
Andersen tilt-out windows, ceiling fans, stainless appliances
Washer, dryer, elevator and parking underneath
From USA TODAY yesterday, it was reported that housing prices showed their first gain in three years, indicating that the market may be turning around.
From http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2009/07/28/home-sales-rise-finally-great-recession/, author Charles Feldman, writes: “The government… is reporting that sales of new, single-family homes went up some 11 percent in June from the previous month while, at the same time, the actual number of new homes still on the market was at the lowest number since the winter of 1998!”
It seems that the local market in Marshes Light is following this trend as we are seeing an increase in home values, increased activity to our sales center, and there is a smaller inventory of homes available.
From MSNBC, the Associated Press reports on 7/23/2009: The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage this week was 5.2 percent, up from 5.14 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday.
Interest rates for 30 year fixed were spiking over 6.3% one year ago.
From the Active Rain website, author Lew Corcoran http://www.lewcorcoran.com/MyBlog has this to say:
If you’re still floating and watching the rates, ask yourself this question: Will it hurt me more to lock in now and watch rates drop another eighth or a quarter point, or will it hurt me more to keep floating and watch rates turn for the worse? If you’re willing to take the risk and continue watching rates, then keep a wary eye on the markets and maintain contact with your mortgage professional, because the markets can change at any moment.
My Interest Rate Lock Advice for Today:
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would…
· Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days
· Float if my closing was taking place within 8 and 30 days
· Float if my closing was taking place between 31 and 60 days
· Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now