We bought a beach house! Ahhhh! I am SO EXCITED to type those words. It’s truly a dream come true. Even though we literally buy and sell real estate for a living this feels very, very “adult.” But it does kind of match Dave’s current life phase where he is interested in birds sooooo. But more on that later. I’m still trying to soak it all it. We bought a beach house rental in Corolla, North Carolina!
We have been searching for a beach house for several years. During those years, we have gone back-and-forth on quite a few of the important decisions you need to make when purchasing a beach house. First, we weren’t sure where to buy. We have also been debating on if it makes sense for us right now. Not to mention, we weren’t exactly sure what type of beach property we were looking for – a just-for-family beach getaway or a beach house rental opportunity? Then you throw Covid into the mix and the resulting booming real estate market, whew!
We had originally thought that we were going to buy a little shack and not rent it out. But the beach house market has exploded, and now that property doesn’t really exist anymore. So we ended up buying a house that we felt would be a really great beach house rental. We will use the property for family getaways and as a beach house rental for guests.
It’s been a long journey, but we did it.
Why We Choose Corolla Light, North Carolina
The beach house we bought is located in the Corolla Light area of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We were looking for “close-ish” to Richmond but not necessarily within the state. Corolla is about 3.5 hours from our home and not a bad road trip at all. We looked at many beach locations, but we kept coming back to Corolla Light for two main reasons.
It is magical.
We chose Corolla Light because it truly feels like a world removed. The developer actually brought on the consultants who helped lay out Disney World, and it totally shows. One of the things I love about the area is that they have preserved all of the live oaks that they possibly could. It gives the area such a feeling of history and distinction. Fantastic trails are woven throughout the live oaks, and it feels incredibly magical! There is wildlife and beautiful blue water. It is all so well maintained and preserved. The word “idyllic” was created after someone discovered Corolla. It is rich with history and is unbelievably charming and quaint. I know it sounds cliché, but pictures and words really don’t do it justice. Not only that, it is where my family had a beach house growing up so I am very excited to share some of the same magical experiences I had with our kids. It is a family-friendly beach and full of fun things to do for kids and adults alike. We vacation in the Outer Banks often so it feels a little like a second home already.
The price was right.
Of all the beach locations we considered, Corolla ended up giving us the best bang for our buck. Thanks to a certain television show, a beach house rental in North Carolina is even more appealing than it used to be. We considered Virginia Beach because, well, it is just much closer to our house. But the prices in Virginia Beach are significantly higher for smaller properties. In the Outer Banks, there are fewer properties in general and a lot more room to spread out. We felt that was a huge plus for Corolla – for the same price in Virginia you can only get a condo with no view and certainly no pool. Also, with Virginia Beach, you can run into all kinds of restrictions with renting that make it a little more cost prohibitive than we would like.
Our Beach House Renovation Plans
When we put an offer in on the beach house, we had only seen it on FaceTime and in pictures. Talk about taking a leap! And once we got down there, we realized that the furniture is a little more worn than we would prefer. The whole place also really needs a fresh coat of paint. Our beach house renovation plans are minimal at this point. There is no full-scale renovation planned right now – just design and decor updates – but that is really going to go A LONG WAY. And we do hope to continue working on projects during the off-season to bring her completely back to life. Our first priority is to make her clean and beautiful and ready for the beach rental season this summer.
We are starting with new paint for the interior and new furniture for the majority of the bedrooms and living areas. And then, in the fall – once we get through the main rental season – we have plans to repaint the exterior. We’d like to also replace the front door and renovate some of the bathrooms.
Our Beach House Décor Plans
For the look and feel of our beach house, I am really going for a Californian laid-back luxury vibe. I plan to mix furniture that has modern elements like clean lines with other design elements that provide a lot of texture to achieve that organic modern look. This will give the space that cozy but high-end vibe that I am going for. Inspiration for me always starts with a location that I know I already love and feel inspired by. When I have pulled inspiration for the beach house, I’ve looked at locations like Malibu, Newport Beach, the Outer Banks, and Bali. When you walk in the front door, I want you to feel like you are at home and comfortable enough to take your shoes off and put your feet up on the coffee table! Livable luxury, if you will.
I am more than excited to share this journey with all of you — the before, the after, the good, the bad, the ugly! Buying a beach house in North Carolina has been one of my biggest – if not the biggest – life goal that I have been able to achieve. I really can’t believe it’s happening!
So, stay tuned for all of the Shopbop links, project info, design details, and progress photos. You can also check out my Instagram account and Instagram Story highlights for information on how you can stay at our beach house rental in North Carolina. We’d love to have you!