The Unpainted Aristocracy is as much a frame of mind as it is the houses of an historic district in Nags Head. Built between the mid-19th century through the 1930s. These were the vacation homes of the landed gentry of eastern North Carolina–the doctors, planters and business owners of the neighboring counties.

Constructed of woods shipped from inland farms, such as cedar and juniper, they were simple in design, easy to build, never painted and have withstood everything Mother Nature has ever thrown at them. The homes were designed to take advantage of the glorious ocean breezes and many still lack air conditioning to this day. It was in these homes that family traditions grew and a unique community took root–whole families, with their servants in tow, came summer after summer to escape the stifling heat of the coastal plain.

Resort Realty Agent, Brimage Silver, is part of that tradition, her great-great-grandfather, Captain Edward R. Outlaw, built the Outlaw Cottage in 1885, with wood cut on the family farm in Bertie County. Tales of times past are still a part of her life. My grandmother told me she had to put up black out curtains during the war (WWII), she says, so the German U-boats wouldn’t know where the shore was.

There is an ambiance to this area, to the families who live here, she goes on to say. We’re friends…we’re family. We have cocktail parties on our porches all summer long, and even have a 4th of July parade down the beach road each year.


Brim just sold a historic oceanfront estate that was not listed for sale, but she persevered on behalf of her clients and made their Outer Banks dreams come true. Not every property she shows, of course, will be or can be part of the historic homes of the town.

The home she is showing now (MLS# 67302) is in the heart of the district, although it was built in the 1990s. Nonetheless, the house boasts many of the characteristics of the original houses. The wide wrap around porch invites easy lounging on a lazy summer evening or is ideal for entertaining. It can weather many a storm or cocktail party! Brim says. All four bedrooms offer ocean views, although the panorama from the master bedroom is truly something special. The view from the master suite is absolutely stunning, is how Brim describes it.

Still retaining much of the original dune line created in the 1930s, one of the nicest features of the historic homes of Nags Head is the unspoiled feel to the beach. The beach itself is public property, but there’s no beach access in sight in either direction. It’s all your friends and family sitting out there.

The rental projections for the property are eye-opening. Up to $60,000, Brim observes. Yet as important as that is, it is not the only feature that she feels families should know about. You’re getting a lifestyle, she says. A true oceanfront neighborhood, unlike anywhere else on the Outer Banks…this is truly a rare opportunity to own a young home in our historic district.


Brim Silver, Broker, can be reached at (800) 458.3830 or