5 Must-Knows Before Buying a Coastal Lot

Buying A Coastal Lot: Everything You Need To Know 

Dreaming of building your perfect coastal home in Wilmington, North Carolina? Before you dive into the excitement of selecting house plans and envisioning your future paradise, there are essential considerations to keep in mind. As experts in new home construction, Brandon Construction Group is here to guide you through the process. Let's explore the five must-knows before buying a coastal lot for your dream home.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the zoning laws in your area and any environmental programs that may affect your desired lot
  • Reference a flood zone map to understand the likelihood of you future property flooding
  • Verify that necessary infrastructure such as electricity, water, and internet are in place and that they are suitable for your needs
  • Research insurance costs and taxes in the area to ensure they fit in your budget
  • Learn about the environmental resilience of the area such as the effects of storms, erosion, and how these factors impact resale value.

Local Zoning

Each beach town along the coast of North Carolina boasts its own unique charm, but they also come with distinct zoning regulations. If your property falls within an AEC zone (Areas of Environmental Concern), such as those protected under the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA), specific permits are likely required before construction can commence.

CAMA is a government program designed to regulate coastal development in protected areas, ensuring environmental preservation. Properties in these zones typically have CAMA setback requirements, in addition to local setback regulations. These setbacks dictate your building footprint, determining how close your home can be to the water and other environmental features.

If you're considering purchasing a coastal lot, it's crucial to conduct thorough due diligence. While real estate agents may assist in initial research, partnering with experienced professionals can streamline the process. From coordinating with local government officials to consulting engineers, we can help initiate this critical early research, saving you time and ensuring a smooth path forward.

For specific zoning information in your area, visit https://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/departments/planning-development-and-transportation/zoning.

Flood Zones

Understanding flood zones is paramount to safeguarding your investment. Common flood zones in the area provide valuable insights into potential risks and necessary precautions.

Zone X

This area poses a moderate flood hazard, typically falling between the limits of the 100-year and 500-year floods. While considered moderate to low risk, it's essential to remain vigilant and prepared for unexpected events.

Zone AE

Classified as the base floodplain, Zone AE indicates a high flood risk area where Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are provided. Height restrictions are often required for the first floor to mitigate potential flood damage.

Zone VE

Coastal regions falling within Zone VE face a 1% or greater chance of flooding, coupled with additional hazards from storm waves. With a 26% chance of flooding over a 30-year mortgage period, these areas demand heightened awareness and strict adherence to building regulations, including specific height restrictions for the first floor.

As an example of what a flood zone map looks like, here is a flood zone map of Southport, NC. Blue areas indicate high-risk zones (AE), where careful planning and adherence to building regulations are imperative. Conversely, yellow areas denote a lower risk profile, with less than a 0.2% chance of annual flooding.

At Brandon Construction Group, we prioritize your safety and peace of mind. Our team is equipped with the expertise to navigate flood zone regulations, ensuring your coastal home is built to withstand potential risks and provide lasting comfort and security for years to come.

Utilities and Infrastructure

When purchasing a coastal lot for your dream home in North Carolina, evaluating access to utilities and infrastructure is essential for a smooth building process and comfortable living experience.

Water Supply

Ensure reliable access to clean water for your household needs. Coastal areas may have unique considerations, such as desalination plants or wells, to provide freshwater.


Access to a stable electrical grid is crucial for powering your home. Consider backup generators or renewable energy sources like solar panels for resilience in case of outages.

For more information on energy-efficient homes check out this blog article!

Sewage Disposal

Proper sewage disposal is vital for environmental health and compliance with regulations. Evaluate options such as septic systems or connection to municipal sewage systems.

Road Access

Easy access to your property via well-maintained roads is essential for convenience and safety. Consider the condition of roads leading to the lot, especially during adverse weather conditions.

Internet and Communication

Depending on the area, internet speeds can vary widely, so it is important to consider this factor, especially if you work from home or rely on online services. Ensure the availability of reliable internet services for communication, work, and entertainment.

Before finalizing your coastal lot purchase, thoroughly assess the availability and reliability of utilities and infrastructure. Partnering with experienced professionals like Brandon Construction Group can help identify potential challenges and ensure your dream home has everything it needs for comfortable coastal living.

Insurance and Taxes

When purchasing a coastal lot for your dream home in North Carolina, it's crucial to consider both property insurance and taxes to ensure financial stability and peace of mind.

Property Insurance

Coastal properties are more susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, and wind damage. Therefore, obtaining comprehensive property insurance coverage is essential to protect your investment. Look for policies that specifically address coastal risks and provide adequate coverage for potential damages. Working with insurance professionals who specialize in coastal properties can help you navigate the complexities of insurance coverage and find the best policy to suit your needs.

Property Taxes

Property taxes vary depending on the location and value of the property. Coastal areas in North Carolina may have different tax rates and assessments compared to inland regions. Research the property tax rates in the area where you plan to purchase a lot and consider how they will impact your overall homeownership expenses. Additionally, be aware of any special assessments or taxes related to coastal development, such as beach nourishment projects or stormwater management fees.

Before finalizing your coastal lot purchase, consult with insurance agents and tax professionals to assess your insurance needs and tax obligations. With proper planning and preparation, you can enjoy your dream coastal home with confidence, knowing that you have the necessary protection and financial stability in place.

Resilience and Resale Value

When investing in a coastal lot for your dream home in North Carolina, considering environmental resilience and resale value is paramount to ensuring the long-term sustainability and profitability of your investment.

Environmental Resilience

Coastal properties are inherently vulnerable to environmental hazards such as hurricanes, erosion, and sea-level rise. Assessing the environmental resilience of your chosen lot is crucial to mitigate these risks and ensure the longevity of your home. Look for properties with natural barriers, such as dunes or vegetation, that provide protection against storms and erosion. Additionally, consider sustainable building practices and materials that enhance the resilience of your home to withstand coastal conditions. By prioritizing environmental resilience, you can safeguard your investment and minimize potential damages from future environmental events.

Resale Value

The resale value of a coastal property is influenced by various factors, including location, amenities, and market trends. Investing in a property with strong environmental resilience can significantly enhance its resale value, as buyers are increasingly prioritizing properties that are less susceptible to environmental risks. Additionally, properties located in desirable coastal communities with access to amenities such as beaches, marinas, and recreational facilities tend to have higher resale values. By considering these factors when purchasing a coastal lot, you can maximize the potential resale value of your investment and secure a lucrative return on your initial investment.

Final Thoughts

If you're ready to turn your coastal dream home vision into a reality near Wilmington, North Carolina, Brandon Construction Group is here to help. With our expertise in coastal home construction and dedication to excellence, we can guide you through every step of the building process. Whether you have questions about lot selection, house plans, or navigating local regulations, our experienced team is here to provide personalized assistance tailored to your needs. Trust Brandon Construction Group to bring your dream coastal home to life with quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you build the coastal home of your dreams.

About Brandon Construction Group

Brandon Construction Group is a premier home building company specializing in coastal homes in the Wilmington, North Carolina area. With over 20 years of experience, we have built a reputation for delivering exceptional craftsmanship, innovative design, and unparalleled customer service. From custom luxury homes to beachfront retreats, our team is dedicated to exceeding client expectations and creating stunning homes that stand the test of time. Trust Brandon Construction Group to bring your coastal dream home vision to life with professionalism, integrity, and unparalleled expertise.

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