Why are so many properties for sale on Oak Island?

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Holysmokes

Springfield, VA

#1 Mar 16, 2013
I'm from Charlotte originally and currently in the military in Virginia. I have some questions and wanted honest answers and not emotional rants because my son lives in Topsail and is interested in Oak Island.

Are so many properties for sale and people leaving due to increased taxes or expense costs to live on the Island such as sewer tap costs, water, local taxes, wind insurance, etc?

Is it a crime thing and I'm not talking about petty crime such as people renting houses in the summer time stealing bicycles, but stuff like gangs, latinos (undocumented illegals) coming there? etc.

What is the issue there?
retiredfireman

Oak Island, NC

#3 May 8, 2013
wind and hail insurance very expensive. around $2700.00 a year. the new yearly sewer fee for vacant property $576.00 plus oki tax, Brunswick tax, fire fee, hospital fee and $4200.00 fee for sewer assessment. just sold lot at half tax value because its not a good investment anymore. too expensive to keep. parcel has been in family since the 60's. another lot has been for sale over a year and listed well below tax value. Brunswick tax lowered values 40percent last evaluation, but tax did not lower-revenue neutral as they call it, another way to cheat taxpayers. this island has changed over the past decade, not good.
left a yr ago

Richfield, OH

#4 May 12, 2013
Sold my last lots for a song, it's gonna cost in excess of $10,000 for the new owners to get water & Sewer, taxes and insurance are way too high! Lots selling for $28,000, but the cost of developing is prohibitive!

The streets are a mess because sewer taps were not put in for each vacant lot, so, every time a home is built, the roads will be cut & more bumpy streets!

I lived on "Long Beach" for 20 years, the 1990's were wonderfull years, after 2005, all has gone downhill.

Most all previously owned homes for sale are the result of foreclosure. Some good buys if you have the $$$$$, but be prepared to be taxed at every turn in the road. GOOD LUCK
Splash

United States

#5 May 16, 2013
Oak Island is still a beautiful unspoiled town. The charm of Oak Island is the people and nature at her best. Im sure he would love it here and if he is already here... Hey! Welcome to Oak Island!
Come see us at SPLASH at the beach 4320 E Beach Dr Oak Island Nc where the food is beach fresh ! And bread is made daily! The view of the ocean is beautiful!
I guess

Canton, OH

#6 Jun 9, 2013
So now they are spending $80,000.00 to FIX the NEW SEWER SYSTEM? I guess there will be another SPECIAL ASSESMENT TAX!
yep me too

Davidson, NC

#7 Aug 26, 2013
I was curious as well. I grew up in the area and every time I visit there are many changes. There are a lot of new developments in the area. Actually the whole area is building up rapidly. Many new people seem to be moving in as a lot of the locals are leaving. I wondered if it wad crime or expense. Especially since I plan on moving back to the area. I can't believe how expensive houses are in southport.
NC GATOR LOVER

Winston Salem, NC

#8 Sep 13, 2013
One of the reasons there are so many houses for sale (and foreclosures) on Oak Island is the way property values are raised and lowered. I know of a house that the tax value was listed as $97,000 in 2006. In 2007 the tax value was raised to $233,030. It stayed the same from 2007 - 2010. In 2011 it was lowered to $144,050 and it remains at that amount to this date (2013). The problem is, if you bought this particular house in 2007 when it was valued and appraised at being worth $233,030, in just 4 short years you are upside down in your mortgage (meaning you owe WAY more than it's worth), making it impossible to sell the house. No one cares that you financed tax value ($233,030) in 2007 and by 2011 it had lost nearly $100,000 in value. People look at the tax value and that's all they want to give for it. The owners hands are tied. They owed $233,030 for a house that was worth only $144,030. And that's why you see so many foreclosures. People walk away. A real estate agent told me a while back that there are so many foreclosures on the island that they don't want to flood the market all at once. This doesn't make sense to me either, because then you see these empty, abandoned houses, with over-grown yards, just sitting there. You can drive up and down any street on the island and see an abandoned house. Some still have the foreclosure notices taped to the door. Foreclosed houses can be a great deal, but no one wants to buy a house that needs major work done on it. The people living beside these abandoned houses can't be happy about the way it devalues their own house. Oh, and in the mean time, the city of Oak Island decides it wants to FORCE the sewer system on people. The city charges for water and sewer usage whether it's being used or not. You pay a flat fee for using ZERO gallons up to 2000 gallons per month. Same with sewer rates. People are paying OVER $200 per month for water and sewer. That's another reason people are selling out. Home owner's insurance is a minimum of $3000 per year. Then you have a separate flood policy. Then you have taxes. And top that off with a $200 monthly water and sewer bill. And now you know why there are so many houses for sale AND foreclosures on Oak Island. It's sad.
former resident

Dayton, OH

#9 Sep 24, 2013
Yep, in 2005 my home was appraised at $575,000.00, in 2012 it dropped to $175,000.00. Taxes, insurance and never ending sewer assessments drove me away...I hated to leave my home of 20 years, but the math didn't add up! Heck I was paying for 4000 gallons sewer (mandatory) & the min 2000 gallons water and never used more than 1700 gallons! And every year the town came up with a "special assessment/tax" on my vacant lots, even those that did not have a sewer tap. Good luck OKI!
NC GATOR LOVER

Winston Salem, NC

#10 Oct 1, 2013
former resident wrote:
Yep, in 2005 my home was appraised at $575,000.00, in 2012 it dropped to $175,000.00. Taxes, insurance and never ending sewer assessments drove me away...I hated to leave my home of 20 years, but the math didn't add up! Heck I was paying for 4000 gallons sewer (mandatory) & the min 2000 gallons water and never used more than 1700 gallons! And every year the town came up with a "special assessment/tax" on my vacant lots, even those that did not have a sewer tap. Good luck OKI!
I have looked forward to retiring at OKI since I was old enough to know what retirement was. There is so much real estate for sale on OKI. Houses AND vacant lots. The prices are actually VERY affordable. I'm thinking the reason they are so cheap is the fact that a lot of residents aren't liking that mandatory sewer bill they're getting every month. It's sad to hear of long-time residents having to sale their property and move. I don't know what it's going to take to wake the people up who run OKI. Evidently they're not getting the hint that residents aren't onboard with their mandatory crap. Without residents willing to live there and operate businesses and restaurants, as well as offer rental properties for tourists, there won't be much of a reason for tourists to visit OKI. It's sad for everyone that this is happening. A house is supposed to be an investment, but it's not looking good for me investing my money at OKI.
HD Girley

Mount Holly, NC

#11 Nov 6, 2013
My father has lived on OKI for over 25 yrs now
...We had planned on living there as well. But, that dream is sinking with every tax bill and "Special assessement" that we receive. Got our city tax bills today on our 2 lots (55' x 110') each. I almost passed out! The additional SDF-V (Sewer District fee for a vacant lot)is raping the land owners, an additional $643.68 has been added to your 2013 tax bill--on top of the normal tax fee. In 2012 this additional fee was over $500.00. And from 2008-2011 (I think) it was around $150.00. Now keep in mind land owners have been FORCED to pay $4,200.00 for the sewer as well as this Special assessement. Well let me inform you of something-I spoke with our Mayor Betty Wallace today, she informed me that not only will this fee be on your yrly tax bill for the next 15 years---it will continue to raise over 11% every year. So at this point we are gettig out! We will never be able to live here...never (unless we hit the lottery..lol). OKI is forcing residents that has supported this island for many decades, to make a decision-they are being forced out. So..other than the tax issues---OKI is a WONDERFUL place to be and live-if you can afford to.
Heartbroken in OKI

Wilmington, NC

#12 Nov 20, 2013
Just wanted to say many, many thanks to all of you who have put out this honest assessment of what life has been like on Oak Island. We just moved here from Massachusetts about 6 months ago with a dream of buying on this island we fell in love with to retire and live a good life. As we started searching for homes to purchase we quickly realized it's much more expensive to live here than we anticipated. The taxes, the sewer, the water, and the insurance rates seemed to be increasing yearly and without warning and what we thought was going to be the best investment of our lives has quickly turned into us questioning if we we're crazy to buy on this island. Just yesterday we started looking at places like BSL - still very close to this beach we love so much but so much more affordable and seemingly much more stable. Thanks again to all of you for your insight.
NC GATOR LOVER

Winston Salem, NC

#13 Dec 2, 2013
It is sad that the elected "officials" of OKI are able to get away with FORCING all these taxes and charges on their local residents. I still love OKI, but we will probably have to buy at Boiling Springs Lake or even Leland at this point. It's so disheartenting to drive up and down the streets of OKI and see so many abandoned and foreclosed homes. It really does make the entire island look bad. Evidently this doesn't bother the people in charge of OKI. I really do feel that in the long run they will pay for these decisions, because only the rich will be able to afford to live there. And here's the thing...let's be honest...there isn't a whole lot to do on OKI, not even enough restaurants. Which kind of gives it a small-town feel that I love. But big money brings about big changes. So, if only the rich live on OKI, then they'll be the ones changing the laws...allowing high-rise hotels, chain restaurants and other trashy things, so as to give it a Myrtle Beach vibe...something most of us DO NOT want. I recently saw an ocean-front lot for sale for $125,000 in the State Port Pilot. The tax value on that ocean-front lot is only $25,000. I called the realtor handling the listing and was informed that ONLY 15% of the ocean-front is considered buildable...meaning 85% is UN-buildable! Meaning that 85% of the houses on the ocean-front, once they are gone, nothing can be re-built...making 85% of ocean-front lots USELESS! I was shocked to find this out. The realtor told me that 2nd row is the desireable area now. There are a lot of vacant lots on the ocean-front, where the last hurricane came through and demolished the houses. I was wondering why the people hadn't re-built and now I know.
HD Girley wrote:
My father has lived on OKI for over 25 yrs now
...We had planned on living there as well. But, that dream is sinking with every tax bill and "Special assessement" that we receive. Got our city tax bills today on our 2 lots (55' x 110') each. I almost passed out! The additional SDF-V (Sewer District fee for a vacant lot)is raping the land owners, an additional $643.68 has been added to your 2013 tax bill--on top of the normal tax fee. In 2012 this additional fee was over $500.00. And from 2008-2011 (I think) it was around $150.00. Now keep in mind land owners have been FORCED to pay $4,200.00 for the sewer as well as this Special assessement. Well let me inform you of something-I spoke with our Mayor Betty Wallace today, she informed me that not only will this fee be on your yrly tax bill for the next 15 years---it will continue to raise over 11% every year. So at this point we are gettig out! We will never be able to live here...never (unless we hit the lottery..lol). OKI is forcing residents that has supported this island for many decades, to make a decision-they are being forced out. So..other than the tax issues---OKI is a WONDERFUL place to be and live-if you can afford to.
Tucker

Wilmington, NC

#14 Dec 4, 2013
I have lived on OKI for many years and love the beach and the people. We need people to come and join us in turning things around.
fsuinnc

Chapel Hill, NC

#15 Feb 2, 2014
My wife and I are just beginning to look for something oceanfront for our (future) retirement. We are looking at all the area beaches; Holden, Topsail, Emerald Isle and Oak Island, etc.

We haven't actually talked to a Realtor on Oak Island but we assumed the lower prices were because the lots were non-conforming or not re-buildable (or whatever the proper term is). We do not think we want a non-conforming lot.

From reading this it sounds like maybe many of the lots are conforming/re-buildable but prices are lower because taxes and fees have made the Oak island less desirable in the view of many people.

Can anyone help us with this?
Soon to be there

Charlotte, NC

#16 Feb 2, 2014
We purchased a lot on the island and will build a house there soon.

Taxes and fees related to sewage and water seems to be what most people are concerned about.

Its a substantial amount for connection/impact fee to have city water and sewage but it is what it is. I don't think much of the issues is out of the ordinary.

As Tucker pointed out on Dec 4, 2013, come and help turn it around. Get involved and help resolve the problem or just sit back and complaint. Always a choice.

"its not the critic who counts..........the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.........there is no effort without error or shortcoming....."
Loggerhead

Phoenix, AZ

#17 Feb 10, 2014
Good for you. Have any of these people who are complaining looked at the cost of land and houses, this close to the beach, in other areas? The initial cost is mind blowing and they too have water/sewer/taxes/insurance issues. The sewer improvement was a sustainable movement. Wells and septics are destroying our natural resources.

Regarding comments like "the lowest insurance is $3000...". I pay around $1900/year and I have absolutely everything you can get, including business liability as our home is a rental. We also pay about $1200/year on property tax. The highest water bill our house (3 bedrooms) has had this year was about $190 but we had 4-6 guests per week there washing boats, clothes, etc. Not at all what it would be living there. Current guests have been there for 2 months and haven't exceeded the minimum.

We plan to retire there and I really hope the island doesn't change much. It is quiet and safe and the beaches are beautiful.
retired fireman

Oak Island, NC

#18 Feb 10, 2014
nciua insurance for wind hail just increased again to $2900plus $250 for fire and theft. just called lowest agent in Wilmington and this is the lowest rate. another company that is available will not insure piling homes. no other choice available and you must pay these high rates unless the home has no mortgage. would like to find coverage for $1900. oh yes, the deductible per incident is $2500
Klf

Fayetteville, NC

#21 Mar 12, 2014
How have the people of the island and surrounding areas been affected by the Brunswick nuclear power plant? It is just 2 miles north of southport, there have been so many issues with other plants even when there is no "incident" bits of tritium still have been known to leak in the water supply. Oak island is so close to the plant, my husband recently got a job on oak island but I am terrified of the polluting power plants I never allow myself to live within 20 miles of any kind of power plant. Does anyone know if this is a big concern? If not, WHY?
Resident for 30 years

Fairmont, NC

#22 Apr 18, 2014
I moved to what was Long Beach over 30 years ago. Of course there have been changes, some good, some not so much. But given all the positives, I feel that the negatives are way overstated. People here are great. I am in the people business and deal with the ones coming and going on a daily basis, and all of them are lovely. Yes, the sewer bill is high and the assessment on empty lots is absurd, but, if I may go back some years, I served on a sewer feasibility study about 25 years ago, and we could have had sewer then for $11 million, but our Council voted not to do it. Perhaps we should think about getting out and voting in new people to the council since they have all the power and get some that care about the town and its citizens. What's done is done, and now we do have sewer, for which most of us are thankful. When I first moved here we did not even have water, wells were horrible, so the water is a good thing as well. If you do not have a mortgage on your home, you don't have to have wind and hail, nor flood. I will drop my wind and hail next year, do not have flood. So, come on down, we would love to have you here.
Nice

Savannah, GA

#23 Apr 24, 2014
Thanks for the post and comments. With that said, you have to understand it's much easier said than done when talking about, "if you do not have a mortgage on your home." Most Americans and most people at Oak Island in fact, DO have a mortgage on their home and don't have the luxury of avoiding Wind and Hail. Additionally, many, perhaps even most people who DO NOT have a mortgage are still not in enough of a position to take the risk on not having insurance. No question, I appreciate your post and it was helpful, but it's applicability regarding the ability of people to not have wind and hail insurance is for only about 1 in 5 homeowners on the Island.

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