Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Where We Live: Carolina Beach local transforms shipping container into modern beach condo

Where We Live: A weekly look at the homes in the Cape Fear Region

CAROLINA BEACH — Whether you’re living a minimalist lifestyle or interested in a unique investment property, a beach condo built out of a shipping container may be the spot for you.

What could be more appropriate for life in the Port City area than living inside a shipping container? This one-bedroom, one-bathroom home at 305 S. Carolina Ave. in Carolina Beach, may look like a shipping container that’s traveled the high seas on the outside. But inside, this 320-sq. ft. home has a modern and sleek design, with plenty of natural light.

The inspiration for this property was to recycle a shipping container, creating a unique rental for the Carolina Beach area that’s both efficient and has a low impact on the environment, according to Century 21 Sweyer & Associates Realtor/Broker Diana Jewell.

Being in the Port City, there was lot for the owner to choose from, Jewell said. The perfect shipping container for this project — one with the least amount of dents and the nicest floors — was purchased from Coastal Carolina Containers in Castle Hayne, for about $3,100. The business was one of three places the owner searched for a container in the Wilmington area.

This Carolina Beach property for sale was built out of a shipping container. It’s one of two in the area; the second, on the adjoining lot. (Photos by Christina Haley.)

The owner, a Carolina Beach local who has lived in the area for more than a decade, worked in the film industry in set decoration for 15 years, Jewell said. The owner designed the home and worked with Dave Higgins, a local marine contractor, to turn the shipping container into a livable space.

It was a year-long process to transform it into a home, Jewell said. The project was completed in April 2016.

The home still has the original shipping container doors attached.

Everything was built to code, per the Town of Carolina Beach, which is just as essential for a small single-family residence such as this, as it is for the larger beach homes in the area, Jewell said. The town was also “very supportive” of the project, she added.

The home has since been used as a short-term rental property and Air B&B. The owner is satisfied with the project, and has decided to put the home up for sale on the market, Jewell said. Listed on March 15, the beach home comes completely furnished and includes a smart TV.

The interior of the home is mostly white with wood and black accents, giving the home a modern feel. The mahogany  and metal floors are the original floors of the shipping container.

“The floors are one of the main focuses. Since these are shipping containers, they left the metal, and finished them out … these are the same mahogany floors they throw into shipping containers,” Jewell said.

The Mahogany floors inside the condo are the original floors of the shipping container, and has the original metal running through it.

The home has a full bathroom and kitchen, which includes a two-burner stove, black paper stone counter tops, a stainless under mounted sink and cabinet space. The home has several windows and sliding-glass doors with access to outdoor deck space, with room outdoor seating. The home also has an outdoor shower, perfect for rinsing off after a day at the beach.

The home sits on an 0.11-acre property with fresh landscaping and several Oak trees that were saved during the construction of the project. It’s nestled just three blocks away from access to the beach strand and is in close proximity to Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar.

“You can walk down to the beach. It’s close,” Jewell said. “It’s a great location. You can be away from the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk, so you can have your peace and quiet, yet you can have really quick access to food and drinks.”

Windows and doors built into the shipping container, allows plenty of natural light into the home.

The property is located in a quiet residential neighborhood with a mixture of primary homes, secondary homes and investment properties. Already set up as an Air B&B, it’s an ideal home for those searching for an investment property or short-term rental, Jewell said.

“Most of our buyers I think are coming from the Raleigh-Cary area and Charlotte and they don’t have time to furnish it or set it up on Air B&B. So it makes it nice that someone can just close on it and start collecting rent,” Jewell said. “It’s a turn-key property, meaning that not only is it in tip top shape, it’s fully furnished. Someone can just purchase it, take over the rentals and put their own spin on it.”

The property is also a good option for someone who wants to have a low-profile beach getaway, with smaller foot print, she said.

“Some people just don’t want to have a three-story vinyl clad building as their vacation home,” Jewell said.

This Carolina Beach home is on the market at $250,000.

Take a video tour of this Carolina Beach property:

For more information about the Carolina Beach Avenue property or to take a tour, contact Broker/Realtor Diana Jewell, of Century 21 Sweyer & Associates, call 910-262-0454 or email Jewell via her agent page. Additional information about the home can be found on the Century 21 Sweyer & Associates website.

Where We Live is a weekly feature looking at the homes and unique places to stay in the Cape Fear Region. Do you have a home, on or off the market, that our readers may be interested in seeing? Let us know at

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