Dare's second quarter 2015 Cost-of-Living Index is 108 percent

Among the 271  urban areas that participated in the second quarter 2015 Cost of Living Index, the after-tax cost for a professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York (Manhattan), N.Y. to almost 20 percent below the national average in McAllen, Texas.   Dare County’s composite index was 108.6 -- or 8.6 percent above the national average. 
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Hatteras Island Real Estate: Trends in vacation and investment properties

Each year, the National Association of Realtors publishes an Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey that reflects trends outside the primary residential and commercial markets. The survey, which was based on a sample of nearly 2,000 home buyers in 2014, always contains some interesting insights. 
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Consumers confused by flood insurance surcharge

Some Outer Banks homeowners may be experiencing a case of sticker shock after seeing their latest flood insurance bills — thanks to a new surcharge and a letter they may not be reading closely enough.

The surcharge, which went into effect on April 1, 2015, costs $25 a year for primary residences covered in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). But it is 10 times higher — $250 a year — for non-residential properties, multi-family residential properties and non-primary residences.

The catch is that homeowners must provide documentation of primary residency to avoid being hit with the much higher fee. And it seems clear that not all of them are doing that.

Read the story in The Outer Banks Sentinel.

Complex process delays floodplain maps again

New technology made public in the spring of 2013 showed that many properties in Dare County seemed to have been mistakenly classified as at risk for flood damage. Residents and county officials were hoping for quick action from the federal government, but delays have pushed back the release date of new preliminary floodplain maps at least 18 months.

According to Willo Kelly, government affairs director for the Outer Banks Association of Realtors, the potential savings to Dare County are huge if the preliminary findings are confirmed. “Eighty percent of Dare County will be coming out of the flood zone or be reclassified,” she said.
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Dare tourism spending passed $1 billion in 2014, up 7 percent

Dare County was near the top of the state’s 100 counties in visitor spending last year, collecting more than $1 billion in revenue, a 7 percent increase over 2013, according to Gov. Pat McCrory’s office.

The announcement on statewide visitor spending comes as McCrory pushes an economic development plan that the state Senate has tied into a sales tax revenue redistribution proposal that would shift money away from industry- and tourism-rich counties to help less prosperous areas.

“Tourism is a major force in North Carolina’s economic development,” McCrory said in the statement from his office. “The industry is fueling a continued growth in jobs and contributing substantial sums to the state budget and local economies in every corner of our great state.”

Overall, 97 of the 100 counties saw increases in visitor spending. Spending neared $5 billion in Mecklenburg, topped $2 billion in Wake and was more than $1 billion in Dare and Guilford counties.  Read more in The Outer Banks Voice.

Hatteras Island Real Estate:  Perspectives on Home Inspections

Recently, there has been an increased level of discussion from a variety of sources concerning home inspection, an important aspect of real estate transactions. This column revisits the topic of home inspections with the goal of both updating the environment within which home inspections are conducted and providing perspectives from the viewpoints of both buyers and sellers. 
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Hatteras Island Real Estate:  Questions about Closing

The somewhat common belief is that once a buyer and a seller have entered into a contract for the purchase or sale of a property, most of the work has been completed for the transaction to close. In fact, there are quite a few activities that take place between the time a contract is finalized and the actual closing date. Real estate columnist Tom Hranicka answers some of the most frequently asked questions about closings.
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Dare County Tourism Board awards 15 event grants

Earlier this spring, the Dare County Tourism Board approved 15 grant applications, providing $222,000 in assistance to fund 21 local events. The events are all designed to increase visitation during the "shoulder" seasons in the spring and fall and to contribute to residents' quality of life.
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Hatteras Island Real Estate:  Frequently Asked Questions

As summer approaches and the island becomes more active, I like to publish an updated version of an article that addresses some of the most frequently asked questions that I hear from prospective buyers and sellers. Many of the issues remain unchanged, but occasionally a new question will make its way into the list.  As an example, prospective buyers have been inquiring more frequently about plans to stabilize Highway 12 on the northern end of the island. 
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Hatteras Island Real Estate:  Oceanfront Property

Watching sunrises so beautiful they can bring tears to your eyes. Seeing the full moon fill the horizon and then leave a trail of sparkling diamonds in the sea as it travels west.  Looking with child-like wonder at the sky on a clear winter night, finding it impossible to believe that there could really be so many stars.  These and a hundred other sensations and sounds are both the dream and the reality of oceanfront living on Hatteras Island.

For millions of Americans, owning a home on the ocean is a lifelong fantasy.  The dream often starts when we are children and grows over time as fond memories of happy family vacations merge with summers spent working at the beach and good times shared with close friends.  As youth matures into adulthood, the cycle repeats itself, and those who once were children, bring families of their own to enjoy the sun and the sand and the sea.  For some, the lure of the ocean becomes so compelling that they decide to purchase oceanfront property.  Others make the decision for investment reasons.
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Hatteras Island Real Estate:  A statistical profile of the island

Real estate columnist Tom Hranicka has developed a statistical profile of Hatteras Island that includes a wealth of information, including population, real estate, businesses, visitation, and tax and tourism expenditures.  ....Read more

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