July 25, 2019

Lost Cottage

I am SO excited to share with you that we’re in the process of buying a little beach shack in the Outer Banks!!!  We plan to use it as both a family beach house and as a vacation rental property.  It’s in Corolla, the northernmost town on the peninsula, and Dave and I have both been going there since we were little kids (separately- we didn’t meet until college) and I lived/worked down there one summer.  It’s just one of those places that has our hearts and we’ve been looking at properties down there for years, never finding quite the right one.  (Mainly- BUDGET and also charm as well…  A lot in the Outer Banks went up in the 80s/ 90s and we were craving a bit more of a throwback.)


Looking up the road towards the Sound, taken from the driveway

The cottage sits oceanside in the historic Corolla Village area and is on one of only a few dirt/sand roads in Corolla…

It’s SO close to the beach and right across the road (walking distance) is Historic Corolla Village where the lighthouse sits, along with a bunch of sweet little shops & restaurants.  Once we started honing in on where we wanted to be (we both visited over the years and looked at a ton of aerial views confirming for us that we really wanted to be on a tree-lined street, we narrowed our desired spot down to the three dirt/sand streets on the oceanside of Corolla Village.  Dave found the listing for the 864 square foot cottage and I didn’t even really think anything of it because for SEVEN of us- how in the works could we FIT?!!!!!!

But as soon as we pulled up and I saw this sweet little bungalow surrounded by trees and a bunch of LIVE OAKS (!!!) I was quietly freaking out inside. (As an aside- it’s really weird but when I walk into a home that I could see us living in, I get kind of freaked out inside and get a little quiet on the outside.  It’s like I’ve got this fear because I know we’re getting into something new.  Dave was taking videos when we first walked in and you can totally see it on my face… they’re up on the Instagram account I created for the house @thelostcottage )  There is something about the smallness of the house that appeals to me…  When we go to visit my dad’s lake house, all of the big kids sleep in the same bunkroom and we end up being outside almost the whole time and I’m excited to to have only what we need down at the beach.  It’s definitely not for everyone -and is totally unlike most houses down in the Outer Banks which usually have a ton of bedrooms- so I’m not sure how it will actually do as a rental but we’re excited to give it a try. (And visit more if it’s not renting 😉 😉

The main living space


I love the kitchen details. There’s only 1 piece of the original porcelain pulls left on the cabinets but I plan to get the closest I can find to it for the cabinets


There are two bedrooms and one bathroom between the two…


Future Master Bedroom


the bathroom


Future Bunk room where I need to somehow fit 5 beds.  We’ll remove the bath access from this room to the living area and keep the master bedroom bath access.


It needs a LOT of work, including replacing the deck, which wraps around the house. I love how easy access to the outside is… And you cannot beat this as a yard!


I am SO excited to make this a little home for us & for vacationers and I’ve got so many ideas my brain might explode right now!!  Every square inch of the house needs to be maximized for function and storage and I’m really loving the design challenge.  As we brainstormed on a name for the cottage, “Lost Cottage” came to us and it’s been a bit ironic…  We originally walked through it and were scared off by the amount of money we’d have to put into it so we didn’t make an offer (if you follow me on Instagram, you might remember me posting about that)…  then we decided we wanted it and made an offer and found out that TWO other offers had been made within 24 hours of our offer and someone else ended up getting it!! 

  1. I was so sad and tried to tell myself to just trust and be okay and that it would all work out and we’d find something else… But then a fews days later they came back and said the original buyers had backed out (they’d obv. met with a contractor and got an understanding of all that needs to go into it) and did we still want it??  There were still two of us buyers who wanted it but I guess you know how it ended 🙂 And here we are!! A TON of work ahead of us (inluding AC/heating/ raising ceilings/ new decks and systems, flooring, finishes, windows doors etc) but we are just so thrilled to be starting it…  We’ll be going fairly slow but are hoping to have it up and rentable by Spring/ Summer 2020.—- SO it was actually our “Lost” cottage at one time – our “one that got away”-  but the funny thing is, I’d named it before we even lost it because it’s kind of hidden in the oaks and feels a little mysterious to me and because I’ve always loved The Lost Colony and the history there so much that I thought it fitting….  So as we were in the nerve-wracking bidding process I kept thinking how I’d jinxed the whole thing by naming it before it was ours and how ironic it was that we actually LOST it- eeeeek!!!


Anyway, I’ve been documenting like crazy and have been sharing everything on a secret little Instagram (not secret as of right now lol!)  called @thelostcottage and not only am I sharing the house, but I’m sharing tidbits about the area, inspiration, lots of nature photos and beach life in general.  If you decide to follow along, be sure to check out the “stories” sections where I’ve complied together what I’ve documented so far.  The one called “LOST COTTAGE”/ the story shows our first walk-through and thoughts.  Anyway, can’t wait to share this new little adventure with you!!

And on a Property Collective note- the condo is under contract!  We are so happy and I have just loved the process of our very first flip!! As far as I know, the buyer hasn’t asked to purchase any furniture (lol this is the question everyone has been asking!) but I’ll keep you posted!!

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