Welcome to our blog, At Home With Topsail! Here we will discuss the history of Topsail Island, the real estate market and area happenings around Topsail Island. Please feel free to comment, we'd love to discuss Topsail with you!

March 13, 2023

Common Issues That Can Arise When a Home Sale is Pending

When it comes to home buying, being overprepared is a good thing, especially in beautiful locations like Topsail Island. There are a lot of small details that go into the process of a home sale. Sometimes these small details can mean big problems, so it’s important to understand and know the process as much as possible.

Closing a deal on a home can take weeks of time. During this timeframe, there are a lot of things that could go wrong. From issues with the buyer’s finances to problems with the title of the seller’s property, having in-depth knowledge of these common problems can help protect you from experiencing them. We’ll go over some of the most common issues you might encounter during the pending sale of a home. Additionally, we’ll explain what measures you can take to ensure that any home sales on Topsail Island go smoothly.

What Is a Pending Home Sale?

A pending sale is also referred to as “under contract.” This term refers to the time period after a seller has accepted an offer until the sale is finalized. During this time, there may be contingencies that arise, which may impact the sale of the home. In these cases, the sale may fall through. 

When a sale of a home falls through, this means that the seller has to repeat the whole process with another potential buyer. Having to go through another contract with a different buyer is a hassle and not something that sellers want to go through. In order to avoid this headache, it’s important to think ahead of all the possible issues that could arise during the pending sale. 

What Can Go Wrong During a Pending Home Sale?

There are a few issues that commonly occur during the pending home sale process. By understanding and anticipating these possible issues that prevent the sale from being finalized, you can prepare for most contingencies for selling real estate on Topsail Island.

The Buyer’s Financing Falls Through

One of the most frequent reasons that home sales aren’t completed is because the buyer is rejected for financing. Since most homebuyers use some sort of financing to purchase a home, most potential buyers will submit a pre-approval or pre-qualified letter. With a pre-qualification letter, the bank will estimate a number for a loan that they believe the buyers are able to afford. With a pre-approval letter, the bank takes a closer look at the buyer’s credit and buying capabilities and approves a particular loan amount based on that information. 

However, neither one of these options is a sure thing. The bank could still not approve the mortgage when it comes time to finalize the deal. The reason for this change may have to do with the buyer’s financial status. If the buyer goes through sudden job loss or acquires more debt than originally submitted to the bank, then the loan might not be approved. In this case, if the buyer includes a financing contingency in the contract, they may be able to walk away without paying any penalty fines. 

Problems With the Home Inspection

Another common issue that arises during the pending sale period is a failed home inspection. Most buyers will hire a home inspector to take a look at the property to ensure that it’s in top condition. If there are serious and costly repairs necessary, then the buyer may be able to back out of the sale or start negotiations on price. 

If you are aware that your home needs serious repairs, like a new roof or eliminating mold that is present in the home, then you should consider making those repairs before the sale. It might also be a good idea to hire your own inspector so that you won’t be caught off guard by any issues. Waterfront homes often deal with water and weather damage, so it’s important, if you’re selling Topsail Island real estate, that you look out for any issues related to that. 

The House’s Appraisal Is Lower Than the Sale Price

Lenders will generally send out an appraiser to inspect the property to ensure that its value is congruent with the sale price. If the sale price and the appraiser’s opinion of the property value don’t match, the lender may not approve the mortgage. In a hot seller’s market, properties are limited and, therefore, can fetch a higher price than it may actually be worth. So when a bidding war happens, and the final price is much higher than the home’s value, the bank could decline the loan or request that the buyer pay more cash upfront. 

There Are Existing Issues Concerning the Title or Property Liens

In order to sell a property, there must not be any issues with the title or property liens. The lending bank will hire a company to look into title issues to ensure that the sale can go through. Some possible issues include property taxes and contract work that hasn’t been fully paid or other people on the deed who haven’t signed off on the sale. If a buyer doesn’t want to wait for however long it takes to clear up these kinds of issues, the sale won’t happen. 

How Can You Protect Yourself From These Common Issues?

With so many potential problems that can happen during the pending sale of your Topsail Island real estate, it’s important to prepare yourself to avoid these issues. There are a few things that you can do to prevent a situation where the sale falls through. It’s a smart idea to stay ahead of these issues and remain proactive before they become a problem.

One of the easiest ways to avoid any issues is to be selective about which offer you choose. A high offer doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best option. If you want to prevent a buyer from backing out of a sale due to financing issues, you should require a pre-approval letter, plus proof of funds for the down payment.

Another option to avoid any problems down the road is to hire an inspector before you try to sell your property. With this strategy, you’ll be prepared for any damage or repairs that will come up later. You may want to take care of these issues or state them outright to any potential buyers to avoid any issues later in the process. 

Generally, most Topsail Island real estate finds buyers fairly easily, thanks to its tranquil and idyllic island location. But completing home sales on Topsail Island can have its challenges. However, being prepared for any possible contingencies is the best strategy to sell your home quickly and easily. Working with a trusted real estate company that has extensive ties to the community is the most foolproof way to ensure that the selling of your property goes smoothly. Our team is experienced and ready to take on new clients on Topsail Island, so get in contact with us today if you would like to learn more about how we can help you sell your home.

March 9, 2023

Being a First-Time Homebuyer on Topsail Island

Being a first-time homebuyer on Topsail Island is an exciting but nerve-racking journey. You have to deal with all of the special coastal real estate considerations in addition to all of the regular preparation for buying a home for the first time. However, buying your first home doesn’t have to be challenging and stressful if you adequately prepare yourself. 

From beginning your housing search to closing the deal on your new home, you can have a smooth and enjoyable first-time home-buying experience if you follow a few simple steps and tips. Topsail Island is an incredible place to call home, and with the right preparation, you can be ready to close on the perfect house. We’ll go over the first steps of the home-buying process, as well as tips to keep in mind as first-time home buyers.

How to Get Started on the Home Buying Process

As a first-time home buyer, getting started can seem challenging and complicated. You may have a lot of questions swirling around in your head. Where do you start? Who should you contact? Research and preparation are essential in this phase of the home-buying journey and can be the difference between a smooth process and a lot of headaches.  

Consider Working With a Trusted and Respected Team

One of the first and most important steps first-time homebuyers should take is to get in touch with a respected real estate team local to the area. Having the right team in your corner as you navigate tricky paperwork and situations is important. Additionally, a real estate team that is local will have invaluable information on neighborhoods, common issues in the area, and other things to consider that an out-of-towner won’t know.

Get Your Finances in Order

For first-time home buyers, it’s important to get your finances in order and have a realistic idea of the house you can afford. Vacation towns like Topsail Island tend to stay competitively priced, as many people enjoy living or investing in properties there. It is worth the time to explore different loan options to see which benefits may fit your financial situation the best. After you find a loan option that works for you, it’s also a good idea to get prequalified. This way, your offer is more likely to be accepted by the seller.

Think About Where You Want to Live

For any homebuyer, it’s important to consider the neighborhood just as much as the house. If you want to put down roots as a homeowner, you’ll need to think about what kind of area you want to live in. For instance, do you value being within walking distance of shops and restaurants? Do you want a waterfront home? These kinds of questions are important to ask, as buying a home is a commitment to a particular neighborhood. 

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers on Topsail Island

While getting started on the home-buying journey can be a daunting task, there are a few tips you should consider to make the whole process easier. For first-time home-buyers, these tips will help eliminate stress and prepare you for successfully closing on your dream home. 

Get Prequalified for a Loan

It’s important to be realistic about the state of your finances early in the process. By getting prequalified by your lender, you should have a solid idea of your price range and the kind of loan you qualify for. For first-time home buyers, it’s a smart move to get prequalified before submitting an offer on a home, as the seller will be more likely to approve your offer. However, being prequalified doesn’t equate to being approved for a mortgage, so you’ll still have to go through the process later after you’ve submitted your final offer on a home. 

Research North Carolina First-Time Homebuyer Programs to See if You Qualify

There are a few different options available for first-time home buyers in North Carolina. There are also other programs out there that can help offset the downpayment of a house. It’s a good idea to research and figure out all the options available to you before deciding on a loan option. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to save money on upfront costs, like the downpayment with certain programs.

Be Aware of the Special Considerations of Coastal Real Estate

If you decide that you are interested in waterfront properties, then you’ll have to be prepared for the associated costs and risks of living so close to the ocean. There might be issues that you haven’t thought about yet, which is why it’s a good idea to hire a local real estate team who knows all the ins and outs of homeownership on Topsail Island. A local real estate team will be able to help navigate you through the home search process as well as answer any questions you might have about ownership of coastal properties.

Scout out the Neighborhood

There are three distinct towns on Topsail Island. Each town has its own unique charm. North Topsail Beach is up and coming with new builds but plenty of public parks. Surf City is the place to be if you like exploring all the local shops and restaurants. And Topsail Beach at the southern tip of the island has a laid-back, small-town energy. 

With a few different options available, you should try to get out and explore different neighborhoods on the island if you aren’t completely sure what part of the island you want to live on. It’s always a good idea to scout out different locations where you could see yourself living in person rather than just online virtual house tours. You may discover a particular area that you love but just haven’t explored yet.

Hire a Home Inspector

When it comes time to put in an offer on a house, you should always hire a home inspector to check out the property. Though a cute beach house may seem like everything is in top condition, there may be hidden or small details that can be problematic. 

The inspector can note any significant and costly repairs in the future, like roofing issues, mold, or structural damage. It’s important to remember that coastal real estate sees a lot of brutal weather, which can cause issues or damage to the home. Paying for an inspection can potentially save you a lot of money down the road when the house you bought is in need of serious repairs.

Buying a new home is an exciting time, but it could turn stressful if you are unprepared. For first-time home buyers on Topsail Island, there are a lot of small details to consider before making an offer. Since coastal real estate has its own set of considerations, choosing a respected real estate team is crucial to getting the right home. A local real estate team will be able to help you through the process and avoid any costly mistakes. If you are interested in working with a local real estate business with strong ties to the Topsail Island community, get in touch with us today and learn more about how we can help you buy your first home.

March 6, 2023

The Impact of Interest Rates on Real Estate Investments

Topsail Island is a beautiful coastal community with sandy beaches, mom-and-pop shops, and a slow pace of life that makes it the perfect place to invest in real estate. Tourists flock to spend time in the surf and sand during peak times of the year. Because of the influx of visitors to the area, local houses are a hot commodity that can be rented out during the summer months to make a sizeable profit.

Houses also make a great investment for those looking to live on the island for the foreseeable future. Real estate on Topsail Island has continued to remain competitive, so you can expect to sell it for a reasonable price in the future. However, for those looking to invest in properties on Topsail Island, understanding how interest rates can affect a real estate investment is important. 

We’ll go over how an increase in interest rates can affect real estate investments, as well as explain the current climate of interest rates today. Additionally, we’ll describe what current interest rates mean for those who are keen on investing in oceanfront property, like buying a home on Topsail Island.

What Are Interest Rates?

An interest rate, in regard to real estate, is the amount you pay for borrowing money on a mortgage. When you take out a mortgage, you pay back the lender the amount you borrowed, plus interest. When you have a high-interest rate on your mortgage, you might end up paying more over the lifetime of the loan. 

What Do Interest Rates Mean for Real Estate?

If you’re going to invest in real estate, you need to think about the current economic climate and how it might affect your future returns. Though property values tend to trend upward over time, those who are interested in a real estate investment will need to consider current interest rates. 

Typically, when our economy is strong, interest rates rise, which means that mortgage loans will have higher costs. This increase in rates can cause a lower demand, which can then make sellers reduce their asking prices to attract buyers. But if the economy is growing alongside the interest rates (salaries and wages are going up), then there won’t be a significant impact on housing prices or values. This is good news for both buyers and sellers in a booming economy, as high-interest rates likely won’t affect the market too drastically.

However, if the salaries and wages aren’t increasing along with interest rates, then housing prices will drop, as fewer people will be able to afford to buy homes. So selling your home during this time will not yield the best profits. Instead, this is the time to buy homes if you can afford the increased interest rates. With lower prices, you’ll be able to scoop up properties cheaply and then rent them.

How Does Rising Interest Rates Affect Real Estate Investments?

What do rising interest rates mean for real estate investors? Rising interest rates can be a good thing for real estate investments when the circumstances are right. If a lot of people can’t qualify for mortgages due to the increased interest rates, there will be a higher demand for rentals. So if you have a real estate investment to rent out, then you can potentially make a large profit during this time. However, it’s important to note that selling during this time frame may not be a good idea if property values have dropped. Higher interest rates are a better time to buy up properties rather than sell them. 

If your current financial situation is able to handle rising interest rates, then now is a good time to buy a home. Since fewer people have the power to afford mortgages, there is less competition when putting an offer on a place. So, if you’re looking to invest in real estate, now might be a good time for you. 

What Is the Current Climate of Interest Rates?

In 2022, the Feds increased interest rates, and those numbers have been climbing upwards ever since. What does this mean for those looking to invest in real estate today? This increase in interest rates means that purchasing investment properties is a good idea. Mortgage interest rates tend to follow along with any increase in Fed interest rates. So, mortgage interest rates are also high right now for the foreseeable future. 

A long-term real estate investment that can fetch a hefty rental price is a smart way to make a large profit over time. If you are able to afford the increase in mortgage interest rates, then now might be a good time to invest in rental properties. 

What Do Current Interest Rates Mean for Those Looking to Invest in Real Estate on Topsail Island?

If you’re looking to invest in real estate on Topsail Island, now is a great time to buy a property. With affordable home prices and a low cost of living for a vacation island, you’ll be able to make a profit from all of the visitors that come to the island every season. Many people look to rent for short periods of time for a quick weeklong vacation. But there are also visitors looking to stay for the entire summer and even renters who are looking for a long-term lease. Because it’s such a beautiful area and a highly desirable vacation destination, there won’t be a shortage of visitors looking for a place to stay on Topsail Island during the summer months. 

Why Should You Consider Topsail Island as a Real Estate Investment Opportunity?

Oceanfront property has long been regarded as an ideal place to live and relax on vacation. All around the world, oceanfront property is highly valued and priced accordingly. You can expect to pay millions of dollars for an oceanfront property in some places. Because an oceanfront property has a high value, it’s a great investment. 

Topsail Island real estate is a unique opportunity as prices are affordable compared to other island vacation destinations. However, it is still a highly desirable location thanks to its sandy beaches and small-town island energy. Every year, many tourists flock to the island for a relaxing getaway. You’ll be able to nab a property at an affordable price and have a lot of rental opportunities that can make you a profit, as people are looking to pay high rental prices for the unique island experience.

Overall, if you’re thinking about expanding your portfolio to include real estate investments, now may be a good time to do it. Interest rates mean generally mean that there is less competition for properties, so you are unlikely to get into any bidding wars over houses. Less competition typically means that properties aren’t overpriced. With interest rates increasing over the last year and the demand for rentals high, buying oceanfront property on Topsail Island can make you a profit over time. If you are interested in learning more about the properties for sale on the island, you can peruse some of the available houses for sale and see if any properties feel like a good fit for you. 

March 3, 2023

Discovering the Charm of Topsail Island: A Guide To Buying a New Home

When it comes to buying a home, many people say that location is the most important feature. You can always fix up the house to your liking, but you can’t change where it’s situated. If you buy a home in a neighborhood that you don’t like, you’re stuck there. Or, if the property values are likely to decrease over time, you could lose money down the road. Both situations aren’t ideal, which is why it’s important to carefully consider where you would like your next home to be located.

With Topsail Island, you can feel secure about buying a home in this beautiful island location. Living on the island has its own unique charms and benefits, plus purchasing a home is a good investment due to the demand for rentals in the area and the steady property values.

If you’re looking for coastal real estate in North Carolina, you won’t be disappointed in the properties for sale on Topsail Island. With affordable home prices, a vibrant local community, and picturesque views practically everywhere you turn, buying a home on the island might be the right choice for you. We’ll go over the unique benefits of living on Topsail Island that you need to consider as you go through your home-buying search. 

Unique Towns

As you consider home listings around the island, you’ll need to take into account the three different towns–North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach. Each of these towns has its own energy and distinct features that make it a desirable place to live. Depending on what you value most, you may prefer one of the town’s atmospheres over the other. 

Topsail Beach is located at the southern tip of the island. Known for its laidback vibes and small-town atmosphere, many locals and families call this town home. Thanks to its lack of condos and commercialization, homeowners are able to relax and enjoy the quiet streets and beaches. There is also a lot of history associated with this side of the island, so if you enjoy hitting up history museums, you can check out Missles and More Museum

In the middle of the island is Surf City. Here, you’ll find the social center of the island with many restaurants, shops, and fun activities. If you enjoy living within walking distance of all the action, then you’ll appreciate this community-oriented town. However, though there are a lot of shops and restaurants, you’ll still be able to enjoy and learn more about the local wildlife. The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center offers many learning opportunities and ways to get involved with the organization if you’re at all interested in marine wildlife conservation.

At the northern end of the island is North Topsail Beach. You won’t find many shops or restaurants, but you will see a lot of new builds. With lower prices than the rest of the island, you’ll appreciate the affordability of housing options in this area. New condos have been built recently, offering more home options for those looking to downsize or want to experience coastal living on a budget. Besides low housing prices, you’ll also enjoy the lush parks, wildlife, and empty beaches. 

As you go through home listings for Topsail Island real estate, it’s important to think about what atmosphere and community benefits that you are looking for in your next home. If it’s important to you to be near restaurants and activities, then you’ll like living in Surf City best. If you prefer empty beaches and affordable new builds, then North Topsail Beach will be the right choice. However, if you like sleepy beach towns that are family-oriented, then Topsail Beach is the best option out of the three towns. No matter what option you choose, all three towns offer access to incredible views of the ocean and surrounding wildlife. 

Beautiful Views

An important feature to consider when browsing through home listings is the value you place on scenic views. Fortunately, if you live on Topsail Island, you are never far away from beautiful coastlines and nature views. However, depending on where the home is located, you may not have the perfect coastal views from your living room windows. 

If having amazing water views is important to you, then you might want to consider a waterfront property or second-row home. Typically home listings will detail if the property is waterfront or second-row because of the high demand for these types of homes. Many people want a gorgeous water view when they wake up in the mornings. However, this also usually means that these houses carry a higher price tag than those without a view of the water. 

If having a water view is important to you, then you may need to compromise on other areas. You’ll find a lot more affordable condos in North Topsail Beach compared to the other two towns that mostly feature single-family homes. Generally, North Topsail Beach has the cheapest housing options available, but it lacks some of the community features that Surf City and Topsail Beach offer. There are also not many restaurants and shops located in this town, so if you want to find these kinds of activities, you’ll have to drive to a neighboring town.

Abundant Wildlife

While going through the process of home searching, you should consider a house’s proximity to wildlife. A lot of home listings on Topsail Island are located near parks and coastlines that have an abundant wildlife population. You can see sea turtle eggs hatching on the beach or take in bird watching at different spots around the island. 

If you enjoy watching the local wildlife, you’ll appreciate Topsail Island real estate regardless of the town you choose. Thanks to its geography, no matter where your home is located, you’re never far away from the Intercoastal Waterway or the Atlantic Ocean, both of which are filled with active populations of aquatic wildlife. 


Compared to other beach towns, Topsail Island offers affordable prices on homes and a low cost of living. Because of this, investing in a Topsail Island home is a smart financial move, as home prices have remained affordable yet competitive. If you want to experience the laid-back atmosphere of island living, then buying a home on Topsail Island is an affordable option. A lot of islands and coastal real estate tend to be incredibly expensive. But Topsail Island, though a popular vacation destination, remains affordable for those who want to call the island home.

Buying a new home can be stressful, but if you focus on the benefits of the location, you can easily make the right call. Topsail Island offers a lot of unique benefits thanks to its prime location. You’ll be able to enjoy beautiful views and local wildlife. Additionally, home prices are affordable compared to other island properties and coastal real estate. You’ll also be able to choose from three distinct towns so you can live in the area you enjoy the most. If you’re ready to start exploring home listings,  get in touch with our team today to get started on your home-buying journey.

March 2, 2023

A Guide to Evaluating & Purchasing Oceanfront Real Estate

An oceanfront property is more than just a beautiful place to call home. It’s actually a good investment too. Whether you’re looking to buy a second home along the coastline or you’re interested in a property with a lot of investment potential, an oceanfront house is a great choice. 

However, there are a few things you should consider before purchasing oceanfront real estate. Though there are a lot of benefits to owning oceanfront real estate, there are also things you should watch out for when evaluating potential properties. You’ll need to be prepared for the risks associated with these types of places so that you can properly prepare yourself and find the perfect house to fit your needs. 

We’ll explain the basics of oceanfront real estate so that you can feel confident about evaluating properties on the market. We’ll also go over helpful tips to guide you through the process of purchasing your new oceanfront property.

What Does Oceanfront Real Estate Mean?

There are a few similar terms that real estate agents and home listings often include in descriptions that may be confusing. Some of these terms seem very similar to each other, but they mean different things in the real estate world. 

  • Oceanfront property: This kind of property sits directly next to the ocean, so you’re likely to have killer views of the water from your home.

  • Beachfront property: For this type of property, the house is located directly on or adjacent to the beach.

  • Second-row home: Properties that are coined second-row homes are located behind oceanfront homes. They often have views of the water but are a few minutes walk away from the water.

  • Oceanview property: Real estate listings will often use the term oceanview generally. So any property that has a view of the ocean, no matter its proximity to the water, may be called oceanview.

Why Should You Consider Buying Oceanfront Real Estate?

If you aren’t yet convinced that oceanfront properties are a good idea, there are a few advantages of these types of homes that you should consider. Two of the most important factors that almost all home buyers think about are money and location.

Though oceanfront real estate usually is priced high, the value of these properties is likely to stay the same or even increase. The reason for this stability is the fact that oceanfront real estate is always in demand. People love to wake up to a view of the water and the smell of saltwater. Since the supply of oceanfront homes is limited, there will always be demand for this type of property. So you won’t have to worry as much about depreciation, unlike other types of real estate. Because of this stability, oceanfront properties make a great real estate investment.

You should also consider the potential profit from renting out desirable properties that face the ocean. Especially in vacation beach towns like Topsail Island, vacation rentals become super in demand during the peak summer months. If you are looking to buy properties as an investment, an oceanfront property in a popular beach town will likely be an excellent way to make a profit. 

In addition to the money aspect of buying oceanfront properties, you will also enjoy the benefits of living in a unique and beautiful location if you choose to use the property as a second home. The stunning views, local wildlife, and proximity to beaches are priceless. You aren’t only buying a home, but you’re also buying a coastal way of life. The laid-back attitude of places like Topsail Island invokes a sense of rest and relaxation that isn’t found in the city or landlocked suburbs. If you’re looking for second homes, this type of property is the perfect location for vacations and family getaways.

Are There Any Risks of Buying Oceanfront Properties That You Should Be Aware of?

There are some risks when buying oceanfront homes that you should consider. One of the biggest concerns that homeowners face along the coast is disastrous weather. North Carolina sees a lot of storms, and oceanfront homes often bear the brunt of the bad weather. You’ll need to look into insurance for flooding, storms, hurricanes, and high winds. 

Damage from storms and hurricanes can be costly, so you’ll need to be sure that you can afford repairs if necessary. However, oceanfront properties tend to have high maintenance costs in general. So, it’s important that you have enough money to adequately take care of your home.

What Should You Look for When Evaluating Oceanfront Properties?

There are a few considerations you should take into account when viewing oceanfront property listings. By looking out for these potential risks, you’ll be able to find the perfect home that won’t cause you financial stress. Some of the features of oceanfront properties that you should always take into consideration when shopping around for real estate investment properties or second homes include

  • Water levels

  • Zoning regulations

  • Erosion and flooding

  • Hurricanes

It’s important for you to research as well as talk with your real estate team to determine what kind of property is most suitable for your situation. If you aren’t that familiar with the local area, then you’ll need to figure out the risks of coastal erosion and flooding possibilities for particular properties. These can cause serious damage, so it’s important to plan and prepare for this risk. Additionally, there are certain zoning regulations that may prohibit specific types of development. For example, you may not be allowed to build beyond a certain height. 

How Do You Know When You’ve Found the Right Property to Purchase?

In order to find the right property, you should have a solid understanding of your needs, constraints, and your financial situation. If you’re looking for second homes, you may not be that interested in a large home. An oceanfront condo or a small cottage might work best for your needs. 

However, if you’re looking for a real estate investment, then you might want to consider homes that you can rent for a high price. Multiple-bedroom houses close to the beach are perfect for tourists looking to spend the summer in an idyllic coastal town. Though they might cost a lot of money initially, they can fetch a high price as vacation rentals during the peak tourist season. Plus, the value of the property is unlikely to decrease. Years later, if you are looking to sell the property, it will likely remain close to the price you bought it.

Buying an oceanfront property can be a smart financial move as well as a beautiful place to live. However, even though there are a lot of benefits to purchasing an oceanfront house, you should carefully consider all of the risks associated with this type of property. Because of weather and flooding concerns, damage to the structure and exterior of the house may be costly. You should always work with a local real estate team that can answer any concerns or questions you may have regarding oceanfront risks. If you’re looking for an experienced team of real estate professionals in the Topsail Island area, get in touch with us today, so we can get started looking at properties together.

March 1, 2023

Home Prices On & Around Topsail Island

Finding a beautiful beach town with homes that are affordable is rare. A lot of coastal properties fetch a lot of money because of their proximity to gorgeous beaches and the ocean. Topsail is a unique island that offers the charm of a small beach town with amazing views, but with a wide scale of home prices. 

You can find modest single-family homes in the triple digits, but you can also find luxury properties that start in the million-dollar range. Whether you’re looking for a second home for your family vacations or you want a great investment property, Topsail Island real estate offers a range of price options. Additionally, the island also has a relatively low cost of living compared to other beach towns around the country and a high potential for rental income, which can help offset mortgage payments.

If you’re interested in looking at coastal real estate, Topsail Island is a great option. We’ll go over some of the housing options, including current average prices. We’ll also explain more in-depth why Topsail Island is a great place to live and the three distinct towns that make up the island so that you can make an informed decision about your next home.

How Much Does It Cost to Live on Topsail Island?

The island is hospitable to a wide array of budgets. Whether you are looking for a multi-million luxury oceanfront property, or you’d like to buy a modest second home there are options available in all three towns–North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach. Depending on which town you are interested in, the median price of homes varies. 

Topsail Beach is known for its single-family homes and small-town feel. It averages the highest-priced homes on the island at about $950,000. Surf City is located in the middle of the island and is close to a lot of restaurants and shops. It averages the lowest-priced homes on the island with a median price of around $450,000. North Topsail Beach has the most housing options available, with affordable condos as well as new luxury beachfront builds. The median price of homes in this city is around $550,000.

Budget-Friendly Family Homes on Topsail Island

You’ll find modest single-family homes around the home. While oceanfront properties are generally the most expensive home listings you’ll encounter, there are other more affordable home sales on Topsail Island that are only a short walk or drive away from the beach or gorgeous views of nature. 

If you’re on a budget, it’s a good idea to look at listings that mention if the home is a second-row or even a third-row home. These properties will be a lot less expensive than oceanfront real estate, but will still be close to the water, and may have views of the ocean. If you’re looking to be close to the beaches, but can’t afford oceanfront prices, this will be the next best option.

Affordable Condos on Topsail Island

In North Topsail Beach, you’ll find quite a few options for affordable condos for sale. These types of homes are perfect for retirees, or those who want a small second home near the beach. They feature one-bedroom or two-bedroom options, oftentimes with a balcony view of the water. Depending on the building complex, you may also get to enjoy other community amenities, like a swimming pool, recreational courts, and grilling areas.

There are also a few condo options in Surf city. This location may be ideal for those who like to be near activities and bars, as Surf City has a lot of restaurants and shops. There are also a lot of outdoor activities available, like surfing lessons or fishing rental shops, which makes it the hub for activities and community on the island. However, there aren’t condo options at the southern end of the island in Topsail Beach, as this area is dominated by single-family homes.

Luxury Homes on Topsail Island

There are luxury properties for sale throughout the island that boast incredible views of the water and have a lot of modern amenities. These homes tend to start at a million dollars and can range upwards, depending on the size, location, and interior of the home. If you’re looking for a luxury property as a second home or as an investment property, all three towns would make a good choice.

Most luxury homes come equipped with direct beach access or at least a short walk to the beach. Additionally, you can expect upgraded home amenities, like top-of-the-line appliances, multiple balconies, and even an elevator to take you up to the top floors. These types of home sales on Topsail Island can make excellent investment opportunities, as there are many large families looking for the perfect vacation home for the summer that can accommodate their needs. 

How Does Topsail Island Real Estate Compare to Other Beachfront Communities?

One of the great features of living on the island, no matter what your budget may be, is the low cost of living compared to other coastal communities. For example, the cost of living in a beach town, like Malibu, California, is 135% higher than the national average. The cost of living in an expensive beach town on the east coast, like East Hampton, New York, is going to be 37% higher than the national average. In comparison, Topsail Island real estate has a wider range of affordability for residents that is closer to the national average than other expensive beach towns.

How Do Topsail Island Home Prices Compare to Nearby Towns?

There are a few neighboring towns that are close to Topsail Island and are located on the mainland of the North Carolina coast. Holly Ridge, Sneads Ferry, and Hampstead offer proximity to the coast and the beaches of Topsail Island, making them highly desirable locations for those looking for a second home. Many of the homes are priced similarly to that of Topsail Island real estate, as these coastal communities also provide a lot of the same nature benefits. 

Is Topsail Island a Good Place to Live?

Though Topsail Island real estate is more affordable than some other beach towns, it can still be an expensive purchase for some families. It’s important to be sure that you love the area and enjoy living in the community before making such an expensive commitment. The island has an active community presence and a laid-back way of life that is different from life on the mainland. If you’re after a slower pace of life, then you’ll appreciate living in all three towns on the island.

Purchasing a home is an exciting process, especially in beautiful beach towns like Topsail Island. Luckily, you won’t have to deal with outrageous prices common in a lot of coastal communities. Depending on your budget, preferences, and needs, you may be able to scoop up the perfect home in your price range easily. Whether you’re looking for a small condo, a modest family home, or a luxury property, our real estate team can help. We have current listings available for you to start browsing today or feel free to get in touch with our team to begin your home search.

Jan. 31, 2023

How Topsail Island Compares to Other Beachfront Real Estate Markets

Vacation homes are a very niche real estate market in the United States. It’s one of the fastest growing areas of the real estate industry and will continue to grow as more baby boomers retire, and younger entrepreneurs expand their investment holdings and income potential. According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of people who own a vacation home has grown by 25% since 1989, which was when the last in-depth study was conducted. Let’s take a look at how Topsail Island compares to other beachfront real estate markets. 

What’s the current state of the Topsail Island real estate market? 

The median price varies based upon where you are on Topsail Island. As of December 2022, the median home prices, according to websites like Movoto, on Topsail Island were:

  • Surf City: $472,499

  • Topsail Beach: $979,000

  • North Topsail Beach: $575,000

Over time, home prices have decreased as interest rates have gone up, and the economy has slowed down. On average, homes are also staying on the market longer than they were a year ago (as of December 2022). 

Other areas of the country with beachfront real estate, like Fort Myers, FL, will have lower median home prices, but that is skewed because these areas also have larger populations of people with primary residence homes. Generally speaking, on Topsail Island, you can buy a bit more of a house. In Fort Myers, FL, $1.75 million might buy you a three bedroom home with two bathrooms. A similarly priced home on Topsail Island could potentially get you four bedrooms and three bathrooms. 

How does the climate compare to other oceanfront communities?

According to Travel + Leisure, the top oceanfront communities in the United States are scattered on the Northeastern seaboard, the Southeast Atlantic, California, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest. Of these communities, Topsail Island perhaps has the tamest climate throughout the year. Friday Harbor, in Washington State, is a popular oceanfront community. During the winter months, Friday Harbor is comparable to that of Topsail Island. However, the summers on Topsail Island tend to be a little bit warmer. 

Block Island, RI is another popular oceanfront community, according to Travel + Leisure. Overall, the temperature gets down to 27 °F in January, compared to 32 °F for Topsail Island’s January low. Topsail Island is considerably warmer during the summer months. 

Overall, Topsail Island offers a considerable amount of flexibility and comfort when it comes to seasonal climate. The summer peak months are comfortable enough to support a robust tourism industry, while the cooler months still allow people to enjoy the winter environment. 

Hurricane season is a serious consideration on Topsail Island. Since 1881, only a handful of hurricanes have reached Category 3 to 5 strength. In the 1990s, the first hurricane made landfall on Topsail Island in more than fifty years. While hurricane season is a time for precautions, Topsail Island is still a place that is safe enough to call home. 

Where are the most expensive oceanfront communities?

When it comes to expensive oceanfront communities, there are a lot of ways to gauge the cost of living. Median home price is a pretty good indicator of the cost of living for a particular area. Believe it or not, the most expensive beachfront communities can be found in California. The median home price in Malibu, CA is $5.1 million. Bridgehampton, NY offers a median home price of $4.4 million. Topsail Island has a median home price well below those hefty figures.

In terms of property taxes, you will also find that homes on Topsail Island are also relatively affordable. The taxable rate for property on Topsail Island, in Onslow County, is .655%. Malibu, CA has a property tax rate of 1.1%. The going property tax rate for Topsail Island is well below the expensive beachfront communities in the United States and the national average. 

How is the culture of Topsail Island? 

Generally speaking, you will find a healthy mix of culture on Topsail Island, with a healthy focus on art and Lowcountry cuisine. When it comes to people, you will find a balance of young working professionals who took advantage of working from home during the pandemic to baby boomers who are starting their retirement. Needless to say, Topsail Island will tend to attract people who like boating, fishing, golf, surfing, and other water sports. 

If you like an area like the Hamptons, you will find that seafood is a huge emphasis, with plenty of grab-and-go foods. Art is also popular in the Hamptons, but you won’t find an emphasis on local art like you would on Topsail. Block Island offers many water activities, but also includes biking and hiking. You can find these things on Topsail Island, though surfing and more active water sports are considered the norm. 

Making the choice to buy on Topsail Island 

There are many reasons that people choose Topsail Island, both for vacation and to make it their permanent home. One of the main reasons people choose Topsail Island is because it’s simply less crowded. In a surfing review of an area called C-Street, a surfer said that the C stood for “crowded,” but the C also stood for “consistent” when the waves came. Perhaps the beach and the ocean are the top reasons that people choose to live on Topsail Island. However, many people who own property on Topsail Island also rented at a point in time and found a meaningful connection.

A company like Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. knows Topsail Island. With sixty years of experience serving the community, Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. has helped many Topsail residents find their permanent home or vacation destination. Our realtors have 150+ years of combined experience, and we can help you navigate the complexities of owning coastal property. 

Jan. 23, 2023

The Different Types of Homes Available on Topsail Island

If you are looking for a new home on Topsail Island, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. You can easily find a cozy condominium for starting a family, or look for something a little bit more upscale on the beach. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of homes and the benefits of each. 

Townhomes and condominiums 

Townhomes and condominiums are great for small families, couples, and those that live alone. Generally speaking, if you live in a condominium, you own an individual unit within a larger complex. When you own a townhome, you share a wall with your neighbors and own the structure as well. Townhomes and condominiums have many different benefits:

  • Low purchasing cost: With Lewis Realty Associates, Inc., you will find townhomes and condominiums in the $250,000 to $500,000 price range. 
  • Minimal maintenance: If you live in a condo, you pay an HOA fee that covers maintenance for things that may break from time to time.
  • townhomes have more space: With a townhome, you will have reasonably sized bedrooms, full-sized bathrooms, kitchen, and perhaps a basement. You also have access to a front yard, patio, garage, and maybe even a deck. With a condo, you will likely have some shared exterior space with your neighbors. Some condos offer a shared garage, but this is most often not the case.
  • Privacy: When you live in a condominium, you often have to share a hallway or stairs with your neighbors. With a townhome, you don’t have to deal with neighbors above or below you.

Some condos and townhomes on Topsail Island do have an ocean view or beach access. Some of your neighboring units might function as vacation rentals throughout the year. 

Homes on the oceanfront 

When you purchase a home with proximity to the beach, you can get a home with exclusive access to the beach or something with a view of the ocean. These homes typically have a price tag starting at $1.9 million. A beachfront home has several different benefits:

  • You own access to the beach and water whenever you want it. 
  • The home will have a strong resale value in the future and hold its value well when the real estate market is slow. 
  • Living on or near the beach will promote a more active lifestyle. You will want to visit the beach or be on the water whenever you can. 

Additionally, if you are purchasing a Topsail Island home for recreational use, you have the potential to monetize it as a rental unit throughout the year when you are not using it. 

Homes on the Intercoastal Waterway 

The Intercoastal Waterway is on the backside of Topsail Island. Homes built on this side of the island tend to compete with oceanfront properties in terms of price. You could very well find a home for between $1 million and $1.5 million, whereas oceanfront properties might be priced higher. Some of the benefits of choosing a home on the ICW include:

  • A little bit more privacy, since tourists tend to flock to the ocean side of Topsail Island.
  • You still get a great view or access to the water, without the price. 
  • You can enjoy fishing, paddleboarding, and jet skiing on slightly calmer waters.
  • You also can do things like crabbing and clamming, since the tides on the ICW go in and out with the ocean. 

Second row homes on Topsail Island 

A second row home is simply one row of houses back from the beach. Many of these second row homes offer a great view of the beach or the water. You will likely have easy access to the beach. Here are some of the benefits of owning a home that is on the second row:

  • The high demand for access to the beach will make the home viable as a rental property. 
  • These homes tend to sell slightly less than an oceanfront property.
  • Second row homes are also a huge part of the beach scene.

A second row home gives you the benefits of beach access and the view without the price tag. The only difference is that you don’t own the beach or the experience that comes along with owning a beachfront home. 

Lots for Sale on Topsail Island 

Since development started on Topsail Island shortly after World War II, the number of prime lots for sale are in limited supply. Most of the lots available through Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. are either on the interior of the island or canal front. You will see lots starting in the low $250,000 price range going all the way up to $1,500,000 (for a combined .89 acre lot in Surf City). Purchasing a lot gives you the option of:

  • Being more in control of the construction process of a home, if you choose to build.
  • Getting a more encompassing home loan when you go to build your home.
  • You have the option of choosing the builder you want to work with, long before the construction process starts.
  • Saving more money for the construction process if you don’t plan on building right away.
  • Selling the land at a later date as home values in the area go up. 

Why Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. is your trusted Topsail Island Realtor 

Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. is the trusted local realtor for Topsail Island. As a family-owned business that helped start development on the island over sixty years ago, we can help you find the right home or land and navigate the complexities of owning coastal property. Whether you are buying or selling, our real estate team has over 150+ years of combined experience to help you with your purchase. 

Jan. 18, 2023

The Top Neighborhoods for Buying a Home On Topsail Island

Topsail Island may seem very narrowly focused on surfing, water sports, and the ocean. However, if you look at the different areas where you can live, you will find diverse and eclectic communities that are full of vibrant people and businesses. The top communities on Topsail Island are North Topsail Beach, Topsail Beach, and Surf City. Moving off the island, Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. also features listings in Hampstead, Sneads Ferry, and Holly Ridge. Let’s take a look at each of these communities and some of the top neighborhoods to call home. 

Surf City 

Surf City is the central hub on Topsail Island. With a population of just under 5,000, this is one of the top destinations for tourism on the East Coast. Surf City features several local restaurants, boutiques and gift shops, and great schools. Both residents and tourists enjoy boating, surfing, fishing, and golf throughout the year. 

Atkinson Point is representative of the neighborhoods that you will find in Surf City. This neighborhood, located off of NC 50 is located close to shopping and restaurants. This is a small peninsula that is one of the prime places to live on Topsail Island. Old Settlers Beach is the top neighborhood in Surf City if you are looking for a pure vacation home. You will find that the median price in this neighborhood is around $1,000,000, getting you as many as five bedrooms and bathrooms. Old Settlers Beach is one of the premiere neighborhoods of Surf City. 

Topsail Beach

Topsail Beach is the smallest community on Topsail Island and is situated at the southern end of the island. Many people will find that this community on Topsail Island has a mix of condos, townhomes, and beach homes. 

Serenity Point is a great area on the south end of Topsail Island. With vacation rentals and homes for sale, you will enjoy some of the most spectacular views on Topsail Island. Many of the homes and duplexes in this area boast spectacular views of the most beautiful area of the island. 

North Topsail Beach

North Topsail Beach is the second-largest community on Topsail Island and occupies the northern end of the island. This area of Topsail Island includes wide beaches, many oceanfront properties, and a laid back atmosphere. 

Cape Island is a popular neighborhood in North Topsail Beach. Many homes for sale in this area have private beach access and are near restaurants, the Town Park, the local pier, and offer spectacular views of the area. 

Sneads Ferry

Sneads Ferry is known for its seafood and its origins in commercial fishing. It’s one of the cities in an area known as the Outer Banks. Sneads Ferry is home to a wide price range. You will find affordable homes in the Chadwick Shores neighborhood starting at about $500,000. More expensive homes in the Sneads Ferry area are also falling in price. A recent home for $999,990 recently had its price lowered by just over $25,000. 


Hampstead has some of the best seafood in the Carolinas and is known as the regional seafood capital. In addition to a growing number of seafood vendors and restaurants, this town also offers a great selection of shopping, ranging from small boutique gift shops to mainstream shopping centers. Hampstead also features many of the top golf courses in the Topsail Island area. 

Hampstead Sound is representative of the real estate market in the area. This neighborhood is on the east side of Hampstead and features close proximity to shopping, restaurants, and the area marina. Another great neighborhood in Hampstead is the Sanctuary at Forest Sound. Most of the homes in this neighborhood fall into the $500,000 range. The majority of homes in this area start at four bedrooms. This neighborhood is located just one mile away from the Hampstead Marina. 

Holly Ridge

Holly Ridge is perhaps the closest thing that you can get to a town that is actually on Topsail Island. Known as the Gateway to Topsail Island, this community offers many recreational opportunities in its beautiful coastal setting. Holly Ridge features properties with large lots and spacious homes. 

Right now, Summerhouse on Everett Bay is one of the top neighborhoods in Holly Ridge that is available through Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. These homes are priced comfortably from $500,000 to $865,000. Many of these homes are three bedrooms or larger, and will offer enough room for your family to grow. This residential neighborhood features a private lake, pool, boat launch, and sidewalks to enjoy a nice walk along the Intercoastal Waterway. 

Living on or off Topsail Island 

People choose to live on Topsail Island for a wide variety of different reasons. Many prefer the access to the beach, the seafood, and the tourist environment. Topsail Island also has a pretty top notch school district, with the high school graduating 95% each year. 

Those who choose to live off Topsail Island in the communities of Sneads Ferry, Hampstead, and Holly Ridge prefer quick access to the beach and like the easy access to amenities that are located inland. Overall, prices are comparable whether you live on or off the island. 

Let Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. help you find the right home


With over sixty years of real estate experience, Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. will help you navigate the various properties in the area. With a huge price range available, we can help you find the ideal home for your budget. Whether you are looking for a property that is purely for vacation or want to retire to the beach, our real estate team has over 150+ years of combined experience helping people find homes in these vibrant and eclectic communities. 

Jan. 16, 2023

Where is the Best Place To Buy Oceanfront Property?

Many people own a second home in the United States. According to the National Association of Realtors, 310,600 homes were listed and sold as vacation homes in 2020, the year the pandemic started. The sale of oceanfront homes and vacation homes remained strong throughout 2021 and the first part of 2022. Here are some of the areas of the country with a large number of homes used for vacation or recreational use:

  • The Salisbury and Cambridge Combined Statistical Area: In this region in Delaware and Maryland, which is right by the ocean, there are 69,160 residences that are used as second homes, a total of 25.08% of all the homes in the area.

  • Myrtle Beach and Conway, on the border of North and South Carolina, have 75,810 homes used as second residences, which is 22.31% of the homes in the area.

  • Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples, FL has 141,979 homes classified as second residences, which is 20.97% of the total homes in the area. 

While other areas of the country are popular for vacation homes, like Mariette and Iron Mountain in Wisconsin and Michigan, oceanfront property is popular among homebuyers. Along with providing a regular vacation destination and a potential rental income, there are many benefits to owning oceanfront property. Let’s take a look at why Topsail Island should be your top choice when considering a potential purchase.


One of the best perks about Topsail Island is its location. Topsail Island is near some of the major cities in the area, being no more than 2-½ hours away from major cities like Greensboro, Raleigh, and Durham. Wilmington is only about forty five minutes away. Topsail Island is twenty-six miles long, spanning the ocean and Intercoastal Waterway, with many opportunities for fishing, enjoying the beach, and watersports. 

From a population perspective, Topsail Island is much smaller when compared to cities like Myrtle Beach, Fort Myers, and Naples. In 2014, the University of North Carolina conducted a demographic study on Topsail Island’s summer population. During peak season, around 61,000 people take up residence on the island, which is smaller than the population of cities like Fort Myers, FL.

The Climate and Weather 

Climate and weather considerations are extremely important for picking oceanfront property. States with a coastline on the Gulf of Mexico are extremely likely to be hit by a hurricane. These states include Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia. While hurricanes in North Carolina are a fact of life, only seven hurricanes between Category 3 and 5 struck between 1881 and 2018. Topsail Island actually went without a hurricane landfall for fifty years before one struck in the 1990s. 

The climate on Topsail Island also makes it great for owning a vacation home. July on Topsail Island is the hottest month, with a high of 88 °F with a low of 71 °F. The coldest time of year is in January, with daytime temperatures peaking at 55 °F and lows reaching 32 °F. The climate on Topsail Island lets you enjoy your home at any time throughout the year. 

Public Safety 

Even though you might visit your oceanfront home just twice per year, you want to make sure that your community is safe. Topsail Island is one of the safest places in America, with most property crimes falling below the state and national average. Places like Fort Myers, FL tend to have a higher crime rate, with most types of crime falling above the national average. 

Education and Activities for Your Family 

While most people looking for an oceanfront property will not be too concerned with area schools, there are great schools on Topsail Island. Topsail High School is a great school, with around 1,500 students. The graduation rate is 95%, which is higher than the state’s 86% graduation rate average. Topsail High School students place in the top 20% of all North Carolina students for standardized test scores. 

Even if you only plan on spending part of the year at your oceanfront property, there are plenty of activities for your children:

  • There are several surf schools for people of all ages. Wave Catchers Surf Camp lets you start children in first grade on up with the basics of surfing, all throughout the summer.

  • Soccer is a favorite pastime on Topsail Island. You will find youth leagues through several organizations for your kids. 

  • There are also art classes available for kids through programs such as the Wild Child Art Studio.

Topsail Island is a great place to raise your children, even if it's only for part of the year. 

The Beaches Are Also Super Clean 

The major communities of Topsail Island have come together over the years to promote clean beaches. Visitors are encouraged to leave glass bottles and single-use plastic bottles at home, so that they don’t pollute the beach. Additionally, people are encouraged to leave the beach just as they found it at the end of the day. There are also ordinances against littering and picking up pet waste. 

The Culture is Second To None 

One of the primary reasons that people purchase property on Topsail Island is because of the culture. The local artist scene is very important to the Topsail community. The Seacoast Art Gallery promotes local artists, their artwork, and has regular classes and showings, which invite the community to participate. You can find art classes and workshops through the gallery during the slower months of the season. 

If you reside on the island for at least part of the year, the Lowcountry cuisine will become part of your eating habits. Fresh seafood is available at the Surf City Crab Seafood Market. Every restaurant on the island has traditional dishes, like Lowcountry Boil, and other seafood choices.

Work With Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. To Find Your Oceanfront Home


Lewis Realty Associates, Inc. knows Topsail Island and has been the realtor of choice for more than sixty years. If you are buying your first oceanfront home, we can help you navigate the nuances, find the right financing, and help you make an offer on your dream home. Topsail Island and the surrounding area offer the best in oceanfront real estate, whether you plan on permanently living on the island or coming a few times each year.