The Currituck Banks–Corolla to the south and Carova the northern half–have always been a little bit remote, a little bit hard to get to and at all times, a place of incomparable beauty. “It’s a small piece of paradise,” is how Susie Von Suskil of Resort Realty describes it.

Susie has almost 30 years of Real Estate experience and has been involved in Corolla real estate for over 20 years. She has watched the northernmost piece of the Outer Banks grow from an almost deserted village to a thriving resort community with a small but very real permanent population. “When I first got here in 1990, it was a ghost town,” she recalls.

Although much of the area has been developed, it does not have the feel of the main beaches of the Outer Banks in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills or Nags Head, where homes are often piled on top of homes. “We had good developers who laid out the property the right way,” Susie notes. “It started with the old subdivisions. They divided the property with large parcels. Half acre and three quarter acre lots.”

That open feel has continued into the present. Although many of the newer subdivisions have a lot of amenities for the whole family, the original concept of the ocean as the most important amenity has stood the test of time. With its soft fine sand beach, cool–but not cold–summertime water temperatures, great surfing, fantastic fishing, it’s no wonder Corolla is considered one of the premier vacation spots on the Eastern Seaboard.

There are two unique areas to the Currituck Banks–Corolla, which is the better known, and the 4wheel drive area to the north known as Carova.

There are no paved roads in Carova. The main highway (such as it is) is the beach, and it is considered an extension of State Route 12–the shoreline highway that extends all the way to Ocracoke in the south. There is a speed limit (25mph), it is patrolled and drivers do get cited for speeding and careless driving.

“There is a road up there that is platted,” Susie says referring to Ocean Pearl Highway. “But it is not paved.” The consensus is that it is not likely to be paved either. There does not seem to be any political will to do so, no money to have it done and both the National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife own huge swaths of land from sound to sea and will not allow paved roads on their holdings.

“I’ve been up there with fox and wild horses and deer,” Susie says. “It is a great place to get away and thank God we have that.

It is that diversity that makes the Corolla area so attractive to both property owners and visitors–and visitation has remained remarkably strong through our nations economic downturn.

It is the property owners, especially who seem to benefit from the range of environments. “I work with everybody,” Susie says. “From the year ‘round resident, to the vacationer, to the second home buyer, to the investor, to the 4wd area. When I work with people, I have to understand their goal for the property. Most people who retire, retire to the sound side,” she goes on to say. “But everybody wants the sea breeze for vacation. There’s every aspect of every type of real estate here.”

For more information about Corolla Real Estate call Susie at (252) 207-1088 or email her at

Pictured: Susie enjoying some great Outer Banks fishing