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.