New Bern Neighborhoods and Developments

Choosing the right home in New Bern, NC is not just about negotiating the right price and real estate trends, it's also about choosing the right neighborhood. Like many historical towns, New Bern has grown up through the years to have neighborhoods that are very unique, diverse and close in proximity. From the downtown historic district to Riverside, the town's first official suburb, New Bern has approximately 14 different communities and neighborhoods. Real estate agents are one the best ambassadors in matching you to a home that's the right price and in the neighborhood that fits your family best.

Real estate values can vary widely within the same neighborhood often divided into waterfront, water view, water accessible and woodlot types. Prices for lots and houses quoted are, of necessity, approximations subject to change. Neighborhood descriptions are offered as general orientation help regarding price range and availability of New Bern housing.

Downtown Historic District

Officially entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, New Bern's Downtown Historic District is a very attractive, 56-square-block area that grew for more than two centuries at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers. Including land west to Queen Street, the neighborhood contains the town's oldest and most distinguished homes, buildings and landscape elements representing New Bern's growth. The changing architecture begins with the city as the Colonial capital of the Carolinas from 1766 until 1778, and moves through New Bern's status as an important mercantile center in the mid-18th and early 19th centuries, to its time of prosperity fueled by the lumber industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The New Bern Preservation Foundation (NBPF), in the years since its organization in 1972, has bought, stabilized and sold more than 60 structures of historical or architectural significance in New Bern's historic downtown. People who purchase from the NBPF must abide by restrictive covenants protecting the architectural integrity of their purchase. Whenever possible, the foundation provides new owners with documentary evidence of the structure's original architecture and provenance, such as photos, floor plans and old insurance maps. Once structures are sold, the preservation foundation serves as a source of expert advice to the owners restoring the dwellings. The foundation's work has provided the impetus for many other property owners to follow suit, resulting in the restoration of more than 150 residences. A few of these date from the mid-1700s, built shortly after New Bern was founded in 1710 by Swiss colonists under Baron Christoph von deGraffenried.

The focal point of historic downtown is The Tryon Palace Complex including the North Carolina History Center, several historic buildings and spectacular gardens on Pollock Street. The home of William Tryon, North Carolina's colonial royal governor, the palace's gardens and buildings have been authentically reconstructed and restored. This state historic site draws thousands of visitors each year. Professional offices, businesses, and bed and breakfast inns occupy tastefully renovated old homes in the surrounding neighborhood. The city has an astonishing number of landmarks listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and most of these are found in the downtown district.

Facing the Neuse River are approximately a dozen square blocks of pedigreed houses dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Most of the elegantly restored homes have two or three stories. Fully restored historic houses are going for $250,000 and can run to more than $600,000. Smaller home restorations away from the river in this neighborhood are available starting in the $150,000 range. Moving farther away from the Neuse, blocks become more transitional and prices drop.

The cost of homes throughout the entire downtown district varies enormously, depending upon location and the degree of restoration. Sometimes homes along the fringes are offered in the $75,000 to $90,000 range, but any bet is good they will require a tremendous amount of work and TLC. Preservation also has stimulated demand for smaller residential spaces in New Bern's historic downtown. Town homes and condominiums in this district range from $150,000 to $300,000.

Riverside Historic District

Considered to be New Bern's first suburb, Riverside was developed as a result of the area's flourishing lumber industry in the last decade of the 19th century. National Avenue and the section east of the avenue to the Neuse River built up and then, as lumber ceased to be economically important, fell into disuse and disrepair. With a 20th century renaissance, beautifully refurbished homes and rundown buildings stood side by side until Riverside property owners themselves, began taking measures to restore this once-handsome community to its original function. This love of the neighborhood and its history is still alive and well among Riverside's residents.

Many of the larger homes, built between 1896 and World War II, mix architectural styles in the neighborhood blended by age and location. On National Avenue, high-peaked, two-story Victorian structures with wraparound porches and plenty of shade trees are situated well back from the road. On the cross streets perpendicular to National Avenue and the Neuse are rows of bungalows. Homes along the River Drive waterfront are of an entirely different character of brick ranch dwellings on small lots present meticulous landscaping and large trees. 

300 E. Front St.
New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 633-4648

Skipjack Landing on Front Street, a business development in downtown New Bern, takes its name from the wind-powered oyster-dredging boats designed in 1842. At that time, fearing for the ongoing productivity of the oyster beds, Congress had passed a law prohibiting the harvest of oysters with power-driven vessels. Skipjack was the...more about Skipjack Landing

Ghent Historic District

The Ghent neighborhood, added to the National Historic Register in 1988, contains private homes dating mostly from 1913 to World War II. The area encompasses Spencer, Rhem and sections of Park avenues. Beginning when trolley-car transport made living in homes some distance from the sights and sounds of the workplace possible, today Spencer Avenue is considered one of the prettiest streets in New Bern. Old-fashioned street lamps line a landscaped median separating two lanes of traffic. Large flowering fruit trees throughout the neighborhood are worth a trip from anywhere else in town during the month of April.

Residents of the Ghent neighborhood take to the sidewalks whenever the weather permits — which is quite often in the mild New Bern climate. Most residents know one another and take pride their total look of well cared for lawns and gardens. Bungalows and cottage-style homes with neat lawns and open or screened porches present a welcoming look to the neighborhood.

Ghent is close to the Twin Rivers YMCA with its outdoor swimming pool, covered with a "bubble" in the cooler months enabling year-round use. Enticing to young families, the indoor Junior Olympic–size swimming pool, gymnasium, weight rooms and a racquetball court at the Y are enhanced by day care and exercise classes. Ghent is also situated between Fort Totten Park, with its playground, lighted baseball field, bleachers and restrooms; and the larger Lawson Creek Park, a popular fishing spot with nature trails, boat launches and picnic tables.

Homes in Ghent are larger than in many of the new housing developments surrounding New Bern, but many still require remodeling and renovation. Fully restored homes are in the $250,000 range and can run more than $600,000. Smaller homes away from the river are available for $150,000. Newer homes in the neighborhood's Trolley Run area start at about $150,000.

Degraffenried Park

DeGraffenried Park lies directly north of the Ghent Historic District between Trent and Neuse boulevards and in 2006 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Homes in the neighborhood are large and well-placed on spacious, beautifully landscaped lots. Sidewalks invite neighborhood strolls on streets carrying such names as Queen Anne Lane and Lucerne Way. Many of the residences are stately, two-story Colonial Revival dwellings. Brick walls and wrought-iron fences embellish views and flowers decorate every season. Home values remain between $250,000 and $450,000 in this stable  and gracious area.

Trent Woods

Home to the New Bern Golf and Country Club, the Eastern Carolina Yacht Club and national best-selling author Nicholas Sparks, Trent Woods is one of the most luxurious neighborhoods in New Bern. This city within a city lies between New Bern and the Trent River and has virtually no commercial development within its borders. 

Some of the several subdivisions are mainly waterfront property and most of the residences tend toward conservative rather than contemporary architectural styles and are constructed of wood, brick or stucco. Homes are large, with two and three stories, usually with attached or separate two-car garages. Lots are spacious, wooded and impeccably landscaped, often with Spanish moss draped in towering trees. Anyone driving through Trent Woods in the spring is greeted with a magnificent display of flowering trees and shrubs.

As a city within a city, Trent Woods has its own police department and municipal tax. The average price range for a non-waterfront home in Trent Woods is $150,000 to $800,000. Waterfront homes can sell for up to $1.6 million.

Olde Towne Harbour

Olde Towne Harbour offers quiet seclusion in a naturally beautiful setting. Located just east of Trent Woods and south of U.S. Highway 70, Olde Towne Harbour is merely minutes from the downtown district and the shopping malls on U.S. Highway 17. Containing some of the most lavish, custom-built contemporary homes and condominiums in New Bern, real estate values range from $400,000 up to $2 million for the largest dwellings along the shores of the Trent River and Olde Towne Lake (actually a river inlet).


Taberna, freely translated as "place of hospitality," combines the best of old-fashioned Southern hospitality with modern convenience. Located off US Highway 70 East, about five miles from downtown New Bern, residences included in this 1,100-acre golfing community vary from single-family homes and patio homes to town houses.
Focal is the championship 18-hole golf course designed by Jim Lipe, a head architect for Jack Nicklaus and, of course, the country club. The community enjoys the natural beauty of rolling hills, dense foliage, lakes, streams and wetlands, along with man-made pedestrian trails, a canoe dock and a canoe trail system. Home prices in this subdivision range from $250,000 to $800,000.

River Bend

Best known for its access to the Trent River and for having a community country club, the 1,200-acre town of River Bend lies along a winding inlet about 5 miles south and west of New Bern. Many of the home sites enjoy water frontage and private boat slips for residents, which include a large numbers of retirees and young families as well. The community has its own country club with an 18-hole golf course, a well-stocked pro shop, a small sandwich shop, an outdoor swimming pool and four lighted tennis courts.

River Bend's history began when a fraternal group of black tobacco farmers known as the Odd Fellows owned the land until the recession of 1914. A wealthy family later owned the farm and continued to raise tobacco until real estate speculator J. Frank Efird recognized the potential for a retirement development. He later organized The Efird Company to acquire and develop the old Odd Fellows farm. The business focused on appealing to people moving south from the Northeast, with good success. Eventually incorporated in 1980 to maintain roads and provide other services, River Bend also has a municipal building, finished in 1986, a 99-seat meeting hall adjacent to a small park with a children's play area, baseball field and small dock.

Municipal tax rate at $.265 per $100 valuation is reasonable for a residential community. The development consists mainly of single-family dwellings, all with attached or detached one- and two-car garages. In recent years, clusters of townhouses and duplexes have been added to the community. Home prices begin at $90,000 and go way up from there.

Fairfield Harbour

A 3,000-acre community based on boating and golf, Fairfield Harbour is a resort community that lies six miles east of New Bern off N.C. Highway 55 and 6 miles down Broad Creek Road. Offering marinas with unrestricted ocean access just 18 nautical miles from the Intracoastal Waterway, Fairfield Harbour is a combination of about 900 single-family homes and 120 condominiums and townhouses on a large canal system planned to provide access at the back doors of many residents. In general, homes start in the area of $150,000 and range to approximately $800,000.

Condominiums and townhouses at Fairfield Harbour are arranged around small artificial lakes. Winding paths and roads connect all locations, but the layout and landscaping give a feeling of privacy, even with neighbors only a few feet away. The condos were built at different times in different styles, and so have varying levels of modern amenities. Jacuzzis and Jenn-Aire ranges are common in most, as are balconies, decks and screened porches. Most have two or three bedrooms. Developers have shown careful respect for the trees on the lots, even going so far as to shape decks around existing trees.

The Harbour's combination of year-round residents and vacationers requires a wide variety of activities to be readily available. Established community activities include an active chorus and clubs for quilting, weaving, garden, books, bridge, RV owners, tennis and yachting.

Brices Creek

Brices Creek is tucked behind the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, located southwest of New Bern and James City, and south of the Trent River. Many homes are on interior lots but the more elegant residences face the waterfront and are set well away from the road on large, wooded lots. They tend to be brick or stucco in contemporary styles. Homes on the waterfront generally sell in the $400,000 range, depending on their water frontage. Houses away from the creek sell in the $215,000 to $400,000 range. Other subdivisions in this area include the Lake Clermont subdivision, Snug Harbor, Oakview, Deer Run, River Trace, Hunter's Ridge and The Homeplace. 


Set on the wooded western banks of the Neuse River, Greensprings is a neighborhood filled with contemporary and very large waterfront homes. Reached by Green Springs Road just off U.S. 70 E. between New Bern and Havelock, the residence values start at $350,000, with lots in the $125,000 range. Farther east along Rivershore Drive, older frame houses and large cottages are tucked into the river bluffs. Prices vary greatly according to age, size and land area. Many new neighborhoods have been developed in this area over the last few years with prices starting at about $100,000. 

Carolina Pines

Carolina Pines is a residential resort golf community spread out along the Neuse River. Located about 11 miles east of New Bern off U.S. 70 on Carolina Pines Boulevard, Carolina Pines offers a large, well-established development. A unique blend of quiet countryside living and country-club flair with varied housing, these modest patio homes mix comfortably with ranch styles and elegant two-story showplaces. Houses in Carolina Pines often sell in the $100,000 to $190,000 range. Some of the amenities invite golfers with the challenging 18-hole golf course, resident pro, pro shop, tennis courts, a pool, a clubhouse with a restaurant and lounge and a patio overlooking freshwater lakes and the links. A bonus is the adjacent Croatan National Forest with camping, hiking and horseback riding available.

West New Bern

West New Bern is one of the most clearly defined neighborhoods in New Bern, with borders running the length of Neuse Boulevard on the northeast, MLK Jr. Boulevard on the southeast, U.S. 70 on the southwest and Glenburnie Road on the northwest. Homes in this neighborhood are large, brick, ranch and two-story dwellings on generous, well wooded lots. Plenty of undeveloped pine forest borders many lots. An ideal spot for young families, all homes are convenient to Kidsville and the West New Bern Recreation Center, offering tennis courts, baseball fields, a basketball court and a supervised game room with pool tables. Prices here begin at about $90,000 and go up to $170,000.


Greenbrier, a subdivision of 700 acres, lies right in the middle of New Bern, NC. Off South Glenburnie Road, the neighborhood is well-suited for families with young children and for retirees. Lots range from an eighth-acre to more than a full acre, and excellent architectural planning has effectively blended a variety of home styles into a harmonious community. Many homes are of contemporary brick designs and all utilities are underground. Homes on larger lots range from $160,000 to $350,000.

The entire development surrounds The Emerald Golf Club, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Rees Jones. The clubhouse serves often as the venue for major local charity events. It contains an Olympic-size, Z-shaped pool and four lighted tennis courts. Golf club members sharpen skills on one of the finest new practice complexes in the state. Greenbrier's front gate is within two minutes of major shopping, five minutes from the local schools and hospital, and adjacent to the campus of Craven Community College.

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