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Anna Marie

Tips for choosing the right beach house

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Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

A guest post by Lori Aitkenhead.


If you are interested in an Outer Banks vacation this summer, now is the time to start making plans.  If you have already begun, you have probably discovered the large number of beach home options from which you can choose. You’ll find everything from large, modern multi-family homes to small, quaint beach cottages that have an authentic old-style Outer Banks feel.

When it comes to the Outer Banks, vacation rentals are abundant and offer many different options and amenities.  In an effort to avoid being overwhelmed, here are several tips for choosing the right beach house.

  • Decide How Much to Spend.  When looking at Outer Banks vacation rentals, it is easy to get caught up in the amenities that come with them.  Of course, with bells and whistles come higher rental rates.  So before starting a search, decide how much you want to spend on a vacation rental.  Remember that you’ll want to enjoy activities that cost money while on vacation, so you do not want to blow your entire vacation budget on your accommodations.  Most vacation rental companies offer options to fit every budget.  the-ritz-pool                                                                                                             “The Ritz”
  • Make a List of Wants vs. Needs.  Vacation rentals are the perfect alternative to cramming an entire family into a hotel room.  Many homes have lots of amenities that make summer vacation that much more enjoyable.  After deciding what you want to spend, make a list of wants versus needs.  There are items you need to have and niceties that you would love to have.  Some of the things you need to consider are the number of bedrooms and baths, location and beach access, kitchen appliances, pet allowances, etc.  the-ritz-kitchen-corolla
  • Select Your Location.  While it may be a little confusing, there are different places along the Outer Banks where vacation rentals are situated.  Depending on what you want to spend your week doing, you can choose from different proximities to the beach and other waterways as well as locations close to shopping areas, parks, and more.  obx-beach-pic2
  • Look at Several Pictures.  With the internet comes the ability to look at interior and exterior pictures of vacation rentals.  This can make your vacation rental selection easier than ever.  If a rental does not have lots of pictures but seems to have everything you want, ask the rental company about the house and if there are pictures available.  Also, keep in mind that many beach rentals work to maintain an authentic, quaint and “beachy” feel and may not have a designer touch.  Do not let that deter you if the rental has everything you need (and even want).  Remember, the Outer Banks has a laid back island atmosphere and vacation rentals tend to reflect that.  gillam-cottage-kitchen
  • Read the Reviews. You know you have a good house if the reviews are all positive. On the flip side, if there are any complaints on a house that you like, address them with the rental company.  It is common for them to handle any complaints and make the rental more attractive.
  • Check Out the Neighborhood.  Google Maps is a great way to check out the neighborhood.  When you type in the address, the results often come up with the “street view” photo.  Click on that and meander along the rental’s street and in its vicinity to see what is situated around it.  You can see how easy it is to get to the beach, how close the rental is to businesses, and what else is around it.  gillam-cottage-nags-head“Gillam Cottage” is a classic Outer Banks rental property.
  • Ask a Lot of Questions.  Probably the most important thing to do is ask a lot of questions.  The rental companies are very familiar with each rental property they represent so they can answer specific questions.

The Take Away

When planning your summer vacation, the take away is to make sure you select the best Outer Banks rental to make the most of your vacation.  Following these tips can help you make the right choice. Thanks to Resort Realty for providing many of these helpful Outer Banks vacation rental tips!


Guest blogger Lori Aitkenhead is the Digital Marketing Manager at Paveya, a marketing company located in Powells Point, NC.  Aitkenhead has extensive knowledge of the rental property market of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She contributed this story with the assistance of Resort Realty.


Photos courtesy of Resort Realty


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As always, happy travels!

Exploring the North Carolina Outer Banks Including First Flight, Lighthouses, Pirates and More!

Exploring the North Carolina Outer Banks Including First Flight, Lighthouses, Pirates and More!

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10 thoughts on “Tips for choosing the right beach house”

  1. This is a really great place to start as far as deciding on a beach house. This summer is looking like I’ll be travelling and I would love to find a nice place for my wife and I to go. Thanks for the tips and recommendations!

  2. When picking a beach house it’s location location location. The views and beach in front of the property are all that we worry about and would happily give up some luxuries if the house is in the perfect location.

  3. Very true. The value of a beach home drops drastically every step you take away from the house closest to the water, especially in bigger beach communities like coastal Los Angeles and San Diego. Forget beach area, it’s all about that view!

  4. I think beach houses are amazing. You just need to take care of your electronics stuff because it gets damaged in a short period of time if not taken proper care of. I personally love beach houses otherwise. They are also the best when it comes to going out for a short vacation.

  5. I agree that it’s best to do research before deciding on any option because this can help save you money, time, and stress, especially during the vacation. Thanks for sharing your tips of advice!

  6. I completely agree that a vacation home is a great alternative to getting a hotel room when you’re on vacation. You also had a great suggestion to look at several pictures to really get an idea of the interior of the home. It’s important to choose a vacation home that’s close to the highway so that you can easily get to sight-seeing points and other areas, even if your home is a good distance away.

  7. We are looking to find a vacation home on a waterfront to enjoy some family time together in the sun with a nice place to stay at. I liked your suggestion of making a list of wants vs. needs to help determine which house fits those conditions. It’s also important to look at the location in terms of transportation, grocery shopping, etc. Thanks for sharing!

  8. My family is looking to have a family reunion this summer to get away from work and the busy life we have. I like your point in that you should read the reviews. Hearing what someone says about their experience at a location will really help in the decision making process. I agree that the location is important too. Being close to the sights you want to see will make it easier to do the things you went there to do. I can’t wait till we’re all able to relax in a few months!

  9. A beach rental that will fit the amount of people you have with you would be important, especially when it comes to supplies. In order to find the perfect rental, you’d probably want to look online for different beach homes or cottage that are located in the area that you wish to go for your vacation. Since there are so many online, it could help you view both the interior and exterior parts of the property, so that you can find one that has everything you want and need to enjoy your trip.

  10. My family is planning a big family reunion for this summer, and I was put in charge of choosing a rental beach house that everyone will be happy with. I’m really glad I found this article because I had no idea that you can use google maps to check out the surrounding area of the house that may not be pictured online! This seems like a great way to know if the house and the area that surrounds it is right for you and your guests staying in a house. I’ll be sure to use these tips when booking a rental house. Thanks!

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