Celebrating 50 Years

By Laura Martier | Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When the humble Hermit Crab becomes too big for its shell, it finds a new one to move into. In order to grow larger, it must periodically shed its smaller self, sometimes up to 23 times in one life cycle. "Still growing after all these years" is the current motto of Beach Realty & Construction/Kitty Hawk Rentals. This year they are celebrating 50 years of excellence in real estate sales, property management and construction on the Outer Banks. With a recent move into a new "shell" in Kitty Hawk and the expansion into the four-wheel-drive beaches of northern Corolla, the company shows no signs of slowing down.

It all began the winter of 1964, when Kitty Hawk Realty and Rentals was born in the den of Tom and Marge Cafferty's four-bedroom house at the 4 milepost in Kitty Hawk. The company consisted of 50 rental houses, one full-time staff person and some creative ideas to manage summer rentals for cottage owners. From the start they were a company of firsts: first rental company to produce a rental brochure (1965), the first rental company to handle property in some place called "Duck" (1966) and the first company to have offerings in Ocean Sands (1974). And in 1975 the Kitty Hawk Realty staff settled on a historic flat-top location in Kill Devil Hills as the central reservation and sales office where they would remain for the next 39 years.

Oceanfront Home at Kitty Hawk Realty

On the Fourth of July 1979, Jimbo Ward and an associate started J&B Realty, a Realty World franchise. Within the year, they added custom construction to the general real estate services. At that time, Jimbo already had eight years of construction experience on the Outer Banks. In 1982, the company changed its name to Beach Realty & Construction, becoming a fully independent real estate firm, and built its headquarters in Kitty Hawk. They were also a company of firsts: the first builder to offer a total design and construction package to the consumer, the first to build everything from affordable first homes to condominium projects and Jimbo as the first president and charter member of the Outer Banks Homebuilders Association. They quickly established and maintained a reputation for service and integrity in the highly competitive construction market, becoming well-versed in all aspects of real estate-from assisting first time home buyers to counseling experienced investors, from lot sales to custom design and construction.

Exterior of Oceanfront Home at Kitty Hawk Realty

Joining forces in 1985, these two leaders in Outer Banks rentals, real estate, and construction became the powerhouse that it is today, continually responding to the changes and needs of a growing community, and now, 50 years later, they employ more than 40 full-time residents, handle more than 500 vacation rentals, build one-of-a-kind custom homes and provide knowledgeable and competent sales assistance to hundreds of satisfied buyers and sellers.

Fifty years is a long time for anything, especially a business in an ever-changing environment. Longevity in any relationship requires good communication and a lot of give and take. "Lots of real-life experiences and lots of wisdom learned the hard way have passed since then," states Jimbo Ward. "Fifty years later we are right here learning and growing."

Entering into a relationship with Beach Realty & Construction/Kitty Hawk Rentals is like finding that perfect someone to care for your "shell." They are the family who guides you and takes care of your needs all along the way. Perhaps you are like many homeowners on the Outer Banks who, after a visit, fell in love with the unspoiled beaches and laid-back beauty of the lifestyle here. It's folks like you who Beach Realty takes by the hand, helping you rent that perfect beach house for your family vacation, guiding you through the purchase of a lot or your first home, building, maintaining and managing your investment throughout the years.

New Construction at Kitty Hawk Realty

It doesn't matter if you're a person or a business, turning 50 is a milestone. The same emotions of what's passed through the decades and what's still to come is poignant. Beach Realty has seen the Outer Banks change and expand from a front-row seat. And, when your family expands and your needs and dreams change, Beach Realty understands what it takes to make those dreams a reality. They've been doing just that for 50 great years.

Visit beachrealtync.com or call (800) 635-1559.


About the Author Laura Martier
Laura Martier is a long-time Outer Banks resident who currently divides her time between her home in Southern Shores, where she lives with her partner Dan Martier and dog Deva Om, and Nosara, Costa Rica. After almost 17 years of non-profit management, fundraising and community building, Martier now dedicates herself solely to seeking adventure and expressing herself though music and writing.