45. Moving to the Outer Banks

road-signsAt some point in our lives most of us have dreamed of living at the beach. The Outer Banks seems so idyllic that it beckons us to return and quickly the desire to be here year-round creeps into our thoughts.

The Outer Banks is made up of parts of three counties and many towns. From Moyock and Corolla at the north end to Ocracoke Island at the southern tip you will find a variety of different lifestyles and opportunities for making a home. Before you pack your car and head out you should keep a few things in mind.

Consider making scouting trips in the off-season to assess everything from the weather to job availability. Become comfortable with the neighborhoods and different school systems available. Long term rentals and apartments in certain areas may be difficult to find so plan well ahead.

Work on the Outer Banks will depend on your skills and education. Don’t be surprised that salaries are lower than where you are now and don’t match the cost of living. After all, the Outer Banks is still a string of small towns at the end of the road so goods and services here are often more expensive than expected.

Most work is in the tourism and support sectors. Most Outer Bankers work long hours during the tourist season so they can enjoy world class beaches, watersports, restaurants, and golf during the off season. (During the fall season, we sometimes have 100 days of perfect weather!!)

Talk to locals. The people that live on the OBX are happy to share what they love about living here or what makes it difficult to live here. You won’t need suits and ties, formal clothing, or fancy shoes. When you move here you will be welcomed by warm and friendly people who enjoy living life “a little out of the mainstream.”