Owning a beachfront home comes with many perks — uninterrupted ocean views, fresh seafood, perhaps a more relaxed lifestyle, and the opportunity to make some additional income by renting it out. If the latter is of particular importance to you, Hatteras Island, North Carolina, should be on your radar.
The barrier island was recently the best oceanfront destination to own a beach house by Vacasa (Hatteras Island is second on the list, Lake Anna in Virginia took the No. 1 spot).
According to Vacasa’s recent data, homeowners make an average of $58,556 in rental income a year, with median home sale prices at $412,500.
“Hatteras Island is one of the most unique housing markets in the country and can still afford amazing rates of return compared to many other areas. Many vacationers to the area over the years have become homeowners as they realized they could utilize rental income to supplement [the cost of] home ownership,” said Brad Beacham, a broker at Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty and an Outer Banks native, in an interview with Travel+Leisure.
So what else makes this thin barrier island, part of the Outer Banks, such a good investment? The answer is its central location along the East Coast, miles of unspoiled picture-perfect beaches, rich history, and endless outdoor activities on offer.
Most importantly, this heavenly slice of land is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, our country’s first national seashore, established in 1953.
The national seashore limited large-scale real estate development, by giving the sand dunes, marshes, and beaches protected status.
This is a major draw for vacationers: in 2021, the entire National Seashore welcomed a record 3,206,056 travelers, the most since its establishment 70 years ago. In 2022, that number was 2,862,844, the second highest influx of visitors since 2002.
Hatteras Island is made up of seven quaint villages — Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras Village — connected by miles of idyllic stretches of sand overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound.
As visitors drive south of Pea Island National Wildlife Reserve, they arrive in Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo. Locals refer to them as the Tri Villages as they are located next to one another and feel like one big community, with plenty of mom-and-pop shops and restaurants. The area is a kite surfer’s paradise and is home to some of the biggest kitesurfing schools on the Outer Banks.