Moving to Camp Lejeune - swansboro or Snead’s ferry

3 Replies

I’m pcsing in Dec to Camp Lejeune would like to buy a home that I will live in for 2-4 years then rent out.

What’s a good area to live in? I keep hearing Snead’s ferry or swansboro.

It’s just my wife and I and no plan for kids. Would like to be by the water if possible.

Welcome to the forum. I was TDY (TAD for you Marine types) to the area for 4 months and lived on Topsail, but often found myself in Swansboro on the weekends. Swansboro will have traffic to/from base during normal commuting times, but overall I think it would be a better place to live with amenities, etc. I commuted through Snead's Ferry every day and it is definitely a smaller, quieter town. Access to base via the back gate is easy though. If I had to move back to the area, I would lean towards living north of base. If you have the chance to live by the water, I highly recommend it. It is so easy to launch paddleboards/canoes and enjoy the intercoastal waters. Check with the neighborhood, but some will allow you to put crab traps in the water even if your property isn't on the shore.

I've spent a long time in Lejeune (12 of the last 17 years) and have owned two homes in Sneads Ferry as well as in Jacksonville itself as well as own two businesses. I turned two primary residences into rentals and completed a Buy-Rehab-Rent-Refi project. This is a good area for rental properties. While the hurricanes are dangerous a side effect from Florence last year was decreasing the supply in housing overall leading to an increase in the rental potential in most areas of SE NC. Lord willing my interests in the area are spared this year as they were last year.

Before answering the SF vs Swansboro question, I need to point out- as has been stated elsewhere- that the criteria to purchase a primary residence is often different than the criteria to purchase an income property. Not that those CAN'T be congruent, but they often are not. If you are truly projecting to move in 2-4 years and rent it out, then you need to run the rental numbers and purchase on that criteria and not on how much house can you get for the smallest monthly payment (often the criteria for a primary residence).

As for SF vs Sneads Ferry that depends...both are quaint fishing villages. Swansboro itself is an actual municipality whereas SF is an unincorporated area of the county. Both have had significant growth in the last decade. Schools are better in Swansboro overall. You're closer to the beach in SF. Traffic is better in SF (though getting worse), has easier base access, and you're closer to Wilmington (if that is a draw). Swansboro has more "stuff" going on (an actual "downtown", more restaurants, shopping) but is more expensive overall. SF has some good neighborhoods but overall the area is quite poor. As for living on the water, for SF you're basically asking to live on the intracoastal. In Swansboro water means the White Oak River. Flooding is a bigger problem in Swansboro than SF.

End of the day, you need to look in both areas, find a neighborhood that works, and find a home that meets your criteria.

Hope that helps.

Ive been station at New River for the last year and have a team in place...

All of the areas around Camp Lejeune are good but getting crowded...Not a lot of city planning...Nice houses right next to trailer parks and industrial areas.  I would direct you to Richlands, NC.  Ten minutes east of Camp Lejeune, Richlands is in the "Path of Progress".  Homes and neighborhoods are nicer than Sneads Ferry and some great larger properties can be had for less money than you will find homes in Sneads Ferry.  The best rated School System in the County is in Richlands.

Also, you should know that many of the properties that were damaged in last years hurricane are coming back on the Market soon. Most of the properties to look for are the properties owned by the VA. The VA has to conduct stom remediation before they sell it. Houses of varying levels of repair needs will be available.

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