We wanted to plan a family summer trip. My brother who lives in DC, suggested the Outer Banks in N. Carolina. Most of us flew in to DC and drove down to the Banks, which took about 8 hours on a Thursday afternoon in July (6 hours of traffic jam). Our rental here in the Outer Banks is fantastic – the research was done by my brother’s wife, who found us a pretty good deal. Here is some helpful information on finding a rental in the Outer Banks.
Size of Rentals in the Outer Banks
It is tough finding a house smaller then 5 bedrooms, so families often share houses to save money. A lot of the larger houses have a pool. You can get smaller sized duplexes and condos, but more often on the sound side of the Outer Banks, or further back from the ocean.
Reserve in advance
To get the best pick, try and book a year in a advance. Early bird gets the worm. Some people rent the same house at the same time every year, which can make the pickens slim.
Best Areas in the Outer Banks (which are cheaper and which are more expensive)
Kitty-hawk and Kill Devil Hills, which are older and have smaller houses, offer more affordable rentals.
The more exclusive areas are Duck, Corolla, and generally the northern beaches. When you get far enough north, you actually need to go off road to access these exclusive properties.
Properties in first row of ocean will be most expensive, second row a little less. The Bay side of the banks is usually more affordable.
The sound side of the Outer Banks is better for boating, sailing, crabbing and wind surfing. Most rentals on the bay side come with dock access. You can actually just walk across the bank to the ocean side to access the ocean when needed.
Best Place to Find a Place in the Outer Banks
Search all rental agencies for Outer Banks Listings including your preferences for:
- Ocean or Bay
- Desired week
- Desired Price
- Number of Bedrooms
- Amenities (pool or hot-tub)
- Linens Included?
Each week will have its own individual price.
Since most places are booked online, the prices are generally not negotiable. Occasionally if you look online the week before you want to vacation, you can score 40% off, if you are flexible and willing to play the game. Craigslist sometimes also has some discounted rates.
The larger services are Twiddy, Atlantic Realty, Sun Realty, Kitty Hawk Realty and Carolina Designs. Each one has it’s own search engine to find rentals on the Outer Banks.
Prices, Deposits, Setting Up for your Outer Banks Vacation
A small house with maybe 3 bedrooms during peak season on the ocean side of the Outer Banks will cost you $3,000 for the week
5 bedroom homes on the ocean during peak season start at around $4500.
Smaller 2 bedroom duplexes on the sound can be rented for $900 a week during peak season.
Typically, 1/2 the cost of your rental will be required to reserve up front. The second half needs to be paid within 30 days of the actual rental date. Sometimes damage deposits are required, and taxes always add more to the cost.