Elevation of the Land
Building on Stilts
Waterfront property buyers should be especially careful about this factor. When you see a nice waterfront lot on a dry sunny day, it can
be very hard to imagine being flooded out. Life on the coast is great, but don't forget, tropical storms and hurricanes do come with the
territory. One quick way to tell is to determine if the houses in the area are built on stilts....houses are only built on stilts to account for
flood waters! Houses on stilts are fine....but remember you will have to move your car(s) too....where will you put your car?
Use of fill material for home sites:
Some developers try to get around the issue of low land by using fill material. This solution has some advantages....first of all, they are
usually more aesthetically pleasing than stilts. Second, if you use enough fill you can often make room above the flood plain for your
vehicles. Make sure the developer uses enough fill so that it looks natural vs just a house on a pile of dirt.
Using fill for the entire development:
There are some developers (one in Pamlico County) who have used fill material to elevate the entire development....sometimes
hundreds of acres. This is a huge expense, but a solution to low land that has great advantages over building on stilts or using mounds
of fill for just the house site. With a good eye, the use of fill material provides a nice opportunity for design of the "lay of the land."
There is one big disadvantage that is often overlooked: the access roads to the development are often within the flood plane and
subject to flooding. So in a flood you can't get out of the development (or to it)....unless you have a helicopter or go by boat.
Do any "locals" live in the area?
Water, Sewer and Septic Issues:
You can usually rely on the local planning, permitting and bonding to protect you. However, there are situations where buyers can get
hurt. It is the most straightforward if you will have your own well and septic system (as we have at Baird Creek Point). After your initial
installation costs, you have no ongoing fees to pay no matter how much water you use (other than modest electricity for pump
operation). In addition, your property will come with a septic permit.
Ask if your septic system will require any special considerations. These can include minor and low cost items like a connector to an off
site field or more expensive items like specialized mound systems. If so, it can't hurt to ask if the developer will give you a price
reduction to cover these costs.