Monday, October 12, 2015

Real Estate Prices in Perspective

In the February 28, 1983 issue of the Ocracoke Island News Candy Gaskill wrote an article titled "Real Estate Prices Rise Over the Years."

Candy pointed out that "real estate prices have skyrocketed over the last ten years." In 1983 land prices ranged from $10,000 to $25,000 for a 75' X 100' lot. At that time there were only two professional real estate brokers on the island, George Wilkes and Travis Campbell. According to Candy, "houses on the island don't come up for sale very often, even though there may be one or two every few years." She put real estate prices in perspective when she wrote that "several decades ago, a 50' X 100' lot and house cost as little as $500."

Today, houses and lots do come up for sale more frequently, but prices have declined from a few years ago when the housing market was experiencing a boom.

I recently did a quick Internet search for real estate on Ocracoke and discovered that empty lots are listed from $68,000 (no water meter available; well & septic not installed) to $350,000 (canal front).

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a reproduction of a 1960s booklet titled The Great Ocracoke Cat Hunt. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Philip, I mean no disrespect to you but please give us a honest true insight as to how the local young folks attain property to begin and raise their families. We are in our 60's and have been visiting Ocracoke for over 45 years and we still have not been able to buy a home there and live out our days. How is it done? Does most property get handed down? I know taxes are sky high but how is it done? You have grandchildren someone in your family has started a family recently (maybe a dozen years?) How do they do it? ... we are dedicated readers because this is the closest thing that we will ever have to feeling like we are part of the Ocracoke community. Thank you.

    1. Of course, I don't know how every (or even most) young people can afford to buy property on Ocracoke, but I can give you some insights. Some from older island families obtain land from family members (perhaps by inheritance, or at reduced rates). Some who move to the island have financial help from investments or family members. My son-in-law purchased a house some years ago with his parents guaranteeing the loan. He was able to pay the mortgage by working and renting rooms. Later, he sold the house when market values were high. Subsequently, I sold my parents' house to him and my daughter for half the market value (I had inherited 1/2 of the house, and had purchased my brother's share a number of years ago, before prices had escalated). I guess every story is different.

    2. Debbie Leonard8:28 AM

      There have also been quite a few foreclosures over the last few years so some people have bought homes that way.

  2. Anonymous5:26 PM

    Have real estate taxes declined proportionately with the decline in property value since the boom?

  3. Anonymous2:36 AM

    It costs more to live on OI because it is no longer the place of yesteryear. The days of yore are long since past.

  4. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Anon 2:36 hit the nail on the head. It's not quite a retirement destination (limited amenities) but it is a vacation destination. Hence, the high prices and taxes that Hyde County covets. This is the goose and the golden egg of Hyde county. It is what it is. Enjoy.