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Frequently Asked Questions

Renting a vacation home on the Outer Banks may seem complicated, but we make it easy!!  Here's a list of some of the most frequently asked questions. If you don't see the answer you need here, feel free to Contact Us at the number above or visit our Rental Policies Page

What does "Between the Highways" or "Fronts the Beach Road" Mean?

The Outer Banks has a unique way to describe the locations of the vacation rental homes in regards to the 2 main roads in the area. View our Vacation Home Locations Page for detailed descriptions of each location. 


Can I rent for less than a full week?

Yes. Many of our homes accept partial week rentals. There is a 2 night minimum and no rental is less than $125 per night.  Properties that allow partial week rentals notate it in their description and partial week rentals are accepted within 14 days of arrival during the summer season (Memorial Day through Labor Day), but can be reserved earlier in the Off Season. Partial Week rentals now can be made online for participating homes.  Partial week rentals may carry additional fees for Pets, Linens, Pool and Hot Tub Service. 


I've made a reservation, what happens next?   pier

Once a reservation is made either online or over the phone, you will receive an email from us confirming receipt of your reservation and important information about your vacation including our online Tenant Access system, where you can review your vacation dates and charges anytime as well as make payment for your stay. Just login using your email and Tenant ID Number. A separate email from Docusign will follow containing your electronic lease which you can make changes to and sign right online! 


How far in advance can I make reservations?

We accept reservations up to 12 months in advance. These tentative reservations require a $50 fee (plus tax) which is non-refundable and non-applicable to the reservation. Guests who occupied the property have first choice on the same week, same property for the following year. If they have not reserved their time by the Monday following their stay, it is available on a first come, first serve basis. Owner time takes precedence over Tentative Reservations and Tentative Reservations are confirmed in October for the following year. 


What is the Flexible Payment Plan?

With the Flexible Payment Plan, you can book your family's Outer Banks vacation home with as little as 25% down and make monthly payments up until 45 days before arrival! Flexible Payment Plans are available on participating Atlantic Realty properties and are a great way to budget for the family's vacation.  Payments are interest free and there is no additional fee to make payments by credit card. (Reservations must be 50% paid by April 15th and some restrictions apply). 


Can I have a check-in day other than that advertised?

Yes! If the property is available you may either add on additional days to your vacation or change the turnover day. For example a Sunday to Sunday reservation may elect to rent Friday to Friday or Wednesday to Wednesday. These changes may only be made within a week of your arrival and is based on availability.


Where do I check-in?

For OBX vacation properties located in Duck, Corolla, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills (through MP 8), check in at the Kitty Hawk Office 4729 N. Croatan Hwy (Milepost 2.5 on HWY 158 Bypass) Kitty Hawk, NC.

Kill Devil Hills south of Colington Rd (MP 8) through South Nags Head Homes will check in at our new Nags Head Office located at 103 E. Mall Drive (Milepost 14 across from the Outer Banks Mall)

Express Check In -- Homes that offer keyless entry do not require guests to check in at our office.  You will recieve your keycode and directions by email prior to arrival.  Proceed directly to the property to check in. 


What time is check-in?

StarfishAfter 4 pm


What time is check-out?

Promptly at 10 am


Can I get in earlier?

A limited number of 1pm Early Check-In’s (ECI), are available each week.  A $125 Early Check In fee is required for scheduling this service.  Should you request and receive ECI but fail to arrive by 1 pm, you will still  be charged the $125 fee as arrangements and services have been performed.  Early check in may not be available if the homeowner occupies the home the week prior to your arrival or if maintenance needs to be performed.  Early Check Ins are not available on homes larger than 6 bedrooms. 


Can I check out later?

A limited number of 12pm Late Check Outs will be permitted each week.  The cost for arranging this service is $100 and is due in advance.  Consult with your check-in office for details. 


Where can I find the street address/phone number of my vacation rental property?

For security reasons, we do not advertise street adresses and phone numbers on our website.  Please Contact Us directly for this information to get details on your reservation such as the address and directions right to your rental home. 


What happens if I plan to arrive after your office is closed?

For arrivals after 5PM, there is a key drop box beside the front door of each rental office. Envelopes with keys, directions, and emergency numbers will be left out for all guests who have signed their leases and paid in full. Guests who have not paid in full or signed their lease prior to arrival must call the office to make arrangements before keys will be left out.  


Can another member of my party pick up the keys?

Yes. Please notify the check in office of that person's name and that they have permission to check in on your behalf.  Please remember that this designated person must be at least 25 years old in order for the keys to be released to them. 


If the house I want does not advertise pets, can I pay a fee or security deposit and bring my pet?

Sorry, but no.   If you need a pet-welcoming home, we have many from which to choose.  It is the decision of the home owner to permit pets to vacation in the home.  This may be for a variety of reasons but most importantly the health and medical needs of the owners’ or subsequent guest's family.  As allergies can be serious medical conditions, pets cannot be brought into non-pet homes.


If I book a house and later find one I prefer, can I transfer houses?

Once the deposit has been made, the reservation is confirmed. Any change or transfer would be considered a cancellation.  Please refer to our cancellation policy in the Vacation Rental Agreement.


Why is Travel Insurance automatically added to my reservation?

The Vacation Rental Act requires that we make travel insurance protection available to all guests.  To insure compliance, travel insurance is added requiring the guest to make an informed decision to decline the protection. 

We highly recommend Travel Insurance for your vacation investment.  Travel insurance covers an array of situations that can affect vacation plans including natural disasters, medical situations, illness, injury, job loss, etc.  For more information on travel insurance coverage visit


If I initially cancel travel insurance, can I add it later?

You are allowed to add travel insurance prior to the payment of the vacation balance.  Certain restrictions do apply, visit


How much are taxes for my vacation? 

Outer Banks BeachAll Outer Banks vacation home rentals are subject to a State Sales and County Occupancy Tax. As of 2018 the NC State Sales tax rate is 6.75%. Dare and Currituck County Occupance Tax is 6%. Taxes are subject to change at any time without notice. Any additional balance on the vacation rental amount because of a tax increase will be the responsibility of the guest.


Can I pay the balance at check-in?

Balances are due 45 days before check-in. We take payment by Visa, Mastercard, and Discover for NO ADDITIONAL FEE. After hours check-ins will not be permitted for Guests who are not paid in full. 


How do I rent linens?

Linens are not provided in most homes.  Guests may choose to bring linens or rent them.  Please View our Linen Rental Page for pricing and ordering instructions. Linen and Towel Package Rates are advertised on each individual property description page and included with your reservation.  The full Linen Package for each property includes sheets for all beds, towels set for the number the home sleeps, bath mats, kitchen towels and arrvial bed making service.  Please note: due to safety regulations, top bunks are not made before arrival. 


Where will my linens be located when I arrive?

Guests who purchase the Full Linen Package or who rent a home where linens are provided will find the beds made and bath linens on the bed.  A la carte linens will be left in a canvas bag inside the front door of the home. 


How can I purchase waterpark tickets to H2OBX?

Atlantic Realty guests will receive an email with a Special URL that will take them to the advanced and discounted ticketing page for H2OBX.  Only guests of Atlantic Realty may purchase their tickets in advance and at the discounted rate. You will need your reservation number for confirmation.   Tickets may be purchased at the gate.  However, the waterpark is limited to 5000 guests per day and is likely to sell out during the peak summer season.  We encourage guests to purchase tickets in advanced to be sure they do not miss a chance to visit the park during their stay.  Tickets are date specific and cannot be added through your reservation.  Tickets must be purchased directly from H2OBX Waterpark. 


When are the lifeguards on duty?

Beach Lifeguards are generally on duty Memorial Day to Labor Day from 9am to 6pm.   Lifeguards are employed by the towns/municipalities, therefore, depending on the beach location (Corolla, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, and etc.),  lifeguarded beaches may differ in coverage dates and hours. 


Can I take my dog to the beach?

Leash laws differ depending on the town/municipality.  For specific leash laws you will need to review the ordinances of the individual towns.

Is there public parking at the beach?

Visit our Beaches Page for Parking and Lifeguard Information. 


Can I ship my luggage or packages directly to my house?

No, all packages must be shipped to the check-in office as mail is not accepted at rental homes.


What do I need to pack/bring?

Please visit our What to Bring page for complete details.  


Can we drive on the beach?

Driving is permitted year round in the areas of Corolla (where the paved road ends). Driving on the beach is permitted in the Off Season (October 1 - April 30) only in Kill Devil Hills and Nags HeadDriving is NOT permitted on the beaches in Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores or Duck.  Hatteras and Ocracoke Island allows limited beach driving by permit only. Please refer to the Beach Driving Tips Page for the latest in permit and beach driving information. 


Can we build a bonfire on the beach?

Bonfires are NOT ALLOWED in the towns of Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills.  They are, however, permitted in the Town of Nags Head provided that a bonfire permit is obtained from the office of the Fire Marshall.  Fires are not permitted to be within 50 feet of any combustible material including beach grass and sea oats and must be built in a pit no larger than 3 feet wide and 1 foot deep.  All fires must be attended to by a competant adult at all times.  Cape Hatteras National Seashore allows bonfires below the high tide provided they are attended to by an adult and extinguished entirely before leaving. 


What is Beach Nourishment and how will it impact my vacation?

A beach nourishment project pumps sand from the ocean floor up onto the beach in order to widen it and lessen the impact of wave action and storm surge.  The project is done in phases and some areas of the beach and beach accesses may be roped off and closed in the immediate work zone.  However, the rest of the beaches are open to the public.  For more updated information on Beach Nourishment including a work schedule and area closure list, please visit our Beach Nourishment Page.