How Is the Rental Market in Coastal NC?

2 Replies

I live in Northern VA, where the job market tends to stay fairly strong even when the economy tanks. It's never been hard to find decent tenants for the rental properties we own up here.

My wife and I have been talking about moving to North Carolina sometime in the next few years, specifically the Wilmington/Leland area. Our biggest sticking point has been whether to keep our properties up here after we move and hire a management company, or buy new real estate down there via a 1031 exchange.

I'm strongly leaning toward the latter option, given that the savings from lower carrying costs in NC, repairs I can make myself by virtue of living close by, and of course not having to pay a property manager are all positives. But how is the rental market in that area? I've done my research as far as cost vs. income, average rent prices, etc. and the numbers look good to me. But that means nothing if it's a struggle to find good tenants.

Does anyone with experience in coastal Carolina have insights to share? Is it hard to find quality tenants? I've lived in Northern Virginia my whole adult life, so I'm used to a local economy that's heavily propped up by government jobs and infrastructure...

I live in New Bern currently and we have a home in Swansboro that we've been renting for the past 4+ years.   Wilmington is a college town, Leland is a little nw(?) of Wilmington- more rural I'd say... but def "bedroom" community.  Wilmington has always seemed like an alternative kind of place?  Upwardly mobile... college kids, beaches, young professionals, there's some industry there as well.  Old historic port city.  As you move north... to Jacksonville/Swansboro/Morehead you get more military/tourist angles.  Properties seem to be more pricey?  jmo.