The Truth About Outer Banks Vacations: How to Choose the Right House



Choosing the perfect Outer Banks Vacation Rental can be way more fun than work if you follow these handy tips:  

Gather all input from the group upfront. 

This is a must. Don't cheat with this first step. Make sure you know what everyone is looking for so you don't have to ask for opinions multiple times - you'll get plenty of opinions anyway. 

With the group input in hand, start to prioritize. What is most important to you and the group? 

Budget - be realistic...there's a great house out there for every budget. Location - everyone would love to be oceanfront, but is it a necessity? If you don't mind a walk, you get more bang for your buck...or save some of the budget for great food and drinks, a wild horse tour, a surf lesson...endless opportunities. Town - Have you fallen in love with a specific OBX town? If you're not sure where to stay, explore our towns here may help. Home amenities - Every home is unique, so if you have some must-have amenities, make sure you prioritize them. Dog friendly, pool, game room, WiFi, etc.  Activities - Are there avid surfers, fishermen, boaters, wild horse lovers, lighthouse seekers, nature lovers, etc. in your group? The OBX is pretty big, so if you have activities in mind, prioritize.

Choose your dates. When do you want to come to the beach?


My first tip is be flexible. Perhaps choose a few dates/weeks. This will give you more opportunity to find the perfect house...especially during the busy summer months. Another great tip is keep the shoulder season in mind. Summer on the Outer Banks is awesome, but the spring and fall are pretty great too...for many, even better than the summer.

  1. The "shoulder seasons" - i.e. spring and fall - offer significant savings, a wide selection of homes, less crowds, and you still have all the benefits of the beach. It's sort of the best kept secret.  Local tip: In my opinion, I would choose September everyday and twice on Sunday. Perfect weather, no crowds, all businesses open, great surf, great fishing. OBX perfection. 


With dates in mind, and your list of priorities in order, let's start checking out houses. Start with our OBX vacation rental home advanced search feature, and fill out as much of the criteria as possible to narrow down your search. 

  1. Arrival Weekend Check-In Day - What day do you want to arrive...Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? Number of Nights - during the summer, 7 nights is a must, but in the shoulder season you can get "partial week" reservations with a three night minimum....another bonus for the shoulder seasons.  Type - house or condo. If you have a small group, don't shy away from condos. You'll be amazed by some of the quality OBX condos, and this may help the budget and move you to the oceanfront! Number of bedrooms and baths - based on your group size and needed sleeping arrangements (we know, Uncle Jim snores...give him his own room!), you can vary your search. Price - ding, ding, ding...budget! One of the great search features with our site is that you don't need to worry about missing a discount or checking a "specials" page. Just put in your price range and the discounted homes will show up too!'ll even see a handy red cross-out feature to let you know how much you're saving.  Location - shoot for's worth it!  Town - you really can't go's the OBX! Amenities - select any amenities that you require, but remember, the more you select, the more you'll narrow down your search....but you can always scale back.  
If you've prioritized well, your goal should be to return 5-10 homes. Any more than this is not manageable, and will just waste your time. Really, 10 is too much, but you should be able to narrow it down quickly. Look through all homes and compare to your list of priorities. Knock off any you know won't work. Narrow it down to the top 5, and dive into the property descriptions, and pay close attention to the reviews. That one is worth repeating. Pay close attention to the reviews. We include guest reviews on all of our property descriptions...these are reviews from actual guests. They will tell you a lot. We're very happy to say that with more than 1000 reviews, our homes receive 4 out of 5 stars! Now that you have 1-5 awesome homes that meet your criteria, share with the group, and let them make the final selection.  



Look at that, you're job is done, and now you can pawn off the rest of the vacation prep on another group've already done your part. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Seaside Showcase

It all starts with a luxurious Seaside vacation home or condo in one of the world’s most beautiful beachside communities.