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October 6th, 2016

VIDEO: Why invest in Myrtle Beach?

I was recently interviewed by the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce in a video that takes a closer look at some of the investment opportunities the area offers. I wanted to share that video with you today so that you can benefit from the information in it, too. Jump to 1:36 to hear me discuss the benefits of investing in vacation properties in the area.

The Myrtle Beach area includes 12 distinct communities: Little River, Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach, Pawleys Island, North Myrtle Beach, Loris, Litchfield Beach, Atlantic Beach, Aynor, Conway, Garden City Beach, and Georgetown. Each of these communities offer a variety of opportunities to meet an investor’s needs.

Investing in Myrtle Beach is popular because the area offers a lot of options. Whether you’re coming here to buy a $40,000 condo or rent out a beach house priced over $1 million, there’s a little something for every kind of investor. Myrtle Beach also happens to be the second-fastest growing metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

In addition, the cost of living in Myrtle Beach is six points below the national average, according to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index from July 2014. South Carolina was also ranked as one of the most tax-friendly states in the U.S.

All of this makes Myrtle Beach an excellent area to invest in commercial real estate as well, which includes retail, commercial land and development, manufacturing, and a wide variety of small and large business opportunities.

One of the most popular housing products at the beach are what are called “condotels,” which are individually-owned condominiums that are treated like hotels. Many investors like this because it allows them to invest in a resort community like Myrtle Beach, but be very hands-off when it comes to renting each unit. An investment company handles the rental of the property, while an HOA manages the exterior of the building itself.

With over 17 million visitors annually, Myrtle Beach is also one of the fastest-growing tourism markets in the U.S., meaning that there is high demand from visitors to rent vacation property.

For those looking to invest in Myrtle Beach real estate that want to use the property two or three times per year, owning these units and letting the on-site desk rent it out for you will help you offset your expenses, including the HOA dues and taxes on it. This also makes it the perfect place to park your money while waiting to build up long-term equity. In addition, this is one of the few investments that you can truly enjoy as an investor—in fact, many investors come for a visit and end up buying commercial real estate in the area. They then end up looking for local companies to manage those investments.

Many who want to take advantage of the low real estate prices and low interest rates decide to purchase a second home here in order to retire or relocate to it upon retirement. There are lots of choices for people in this situation, in terms of products like this. We hope that these are good long-term options for investors.

The business leaders in the Myrtle Beach area have put great emphasis on the diversification of the commercial real estate market as well, which includes a newly-expanded airport with growing air service and nearly $2 billion in recent road improvements like the new interstate connection. It’s been a team effort between the city, county and state government, the economic development corporation, the Chambers of Commerce, and the private sector all working together to create a truly business-friendly environment to invest in commercial real estate.

Combining small-town charm with big city properties and amenities, the Myrtle Beach area has the infrastructure and the economic climate to support all business and investment needs. When thinking about investing in beach property, be sure to think Myrtle Beach!

If you have any questions about investing in the Myrtle Beach area, be sure to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you!

August 14th, 2016

VIDEO: 5 Smart Strategies For Home Buyers

Right now, Myrtle Beach is in a seller’s market, meaning buyers have to work a little harder to find their dream home. Here are five smart home buyer strategies for success:

  1. Make a good first impression on the seller and your Realtor. Here’s what I mean when I say you should make a good first impression on your Realtor: pick one agent to represent you and have a specific list of must-haves for your property. That way, we can show you anything on the MLS that matches your criteria while saving you time and frustration.You should make a good first impression on the seller when you make an offer. We recommend writing a letter to the seller about why you love the house. Those letters do make an impact when it comes time for the seller to accept an offer.
  2. Get pre-approved by a lender. Send the pre-approval letter with your offer. This shows the seller that you are serious about buying their home.
  3. Shop within your price range. Single-family homes in Myrtle Beach are in a seller’s market. Homes are selling fairly quickly in certain price ranges and much faster in others. Shop within your price range. Don’t go 10% over your max budget to look for more options; that will only frustrate you and your agent.
  4. Be flexible. No home is perfect. Even when you build your own home, you will still wish you did some things differently. When you look at homes, look past things like bad wallpaper, carpet, or paint. You can replace those things. Being able to look past those small issues can get you a better value on homes that don’t show well. In fact, homes in older, more established neighborhoods will often get you a better price per square foot.
  5. Be ready. When a home that fits your criteria hits the market, be ready to go look at the property at a moment’s notice. When you find the home you want, be ready to write a strong offer.

If you have any questions about buying in today’s market or about real estate in general, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

August 6th, 2016

VIDEO: New Technology Will Find Your Dream Home

Technology can be a huge help to buyers. It can even help you secure your home purchase. Innovation is happening very quickly in the real estate industry, which allows us to help you find your dream home.

We can put very specific criteria for our buyers into our website and the MLS system. That way, you will get notified instantly when a property that matches your criteria pops up on the market. Your agent will get an email as well so you can look at the property as soon as possible.

Just last week, this search helped one of my buyers find a home. This buyer was interested in a community called Manchester, which features paired ranch homes with garages. There were no properties from that community on the market but my buyer wanted that specific subdivision. We entered that information into the search.

Then, at 9:30 in the morning, the buyer and I each got an email about a property from that community that had just hit the market. My client was out at the unit in the afternoon, wrote an offer that evening, and, less than 24 hours after that property was listed, we were under contract to purchase the home.

If you are looking for a specific neighborhood, layout, number of bedrooms, or what have you, we can get you on an automatic drip campaign so you see any new listings that match your criteria. If you have any questions for me, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

July 8th, 2016

VIDEO: How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Quicker

Did you know that it’s possible to take eight years off your mortgage payments? It’s not magic, but it does require some effort and attention.

So, if you make one additional payment, once per year, you can apply the amount directly to your principal. By employing this strategy, you’ll be able to pay off a 30-year mortgage in just 22 years. You can also write a separate check with your payments each month that is 1/12 your normal payment. After you’ve turned in all 12 at the end of the year, you’re on the same page. You won’t miss that amount as much as a full payment, and you’ll still be able to pay it off in 22 years.

We all want to pay off our mortgage quicker, this is just a simple way to do it. If you have any questions for me or you’re looking to buy or sell, give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.

May 27th, 2016

VIDEO: Debunking Market Myths

Lately, I’ve noticed some buyers have certain misconceptions about the Myrtle Beach real estate market. Get ready for two of them to be debunked!

  1. Agents can show only certain listings in the MLS to a buyer. When you hire us, we can show you both our listings and anything else listed in the local MLS. After giving us your preferences and criteria, we can find the best properties that fit your needs.
  2. Buyers can’t have representation when purchasing new construction. Last April, 200 brand new homes closed out of 630 total sales. That means a third of the home sales in our area are new construction properties. Builders have representation for their interests, so why shouldn’t you have someone on your behalf? You need to hire a buyer’s agent. They can help you with things you might not ever think of, like pursuing an inspection before submitting an offer.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in the surrounding area, let’s talk. Reach me by phone or email! I’d be happy to serve you and answer any questions you have.

May 20th, 2016

VIDEO: First Quarter Real Estate Market Report

The first quarter report card is in! By comparing the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2015, we can see exactly where our market is right now and get a peek into the future of 2016.

Inventory for single-family homes last year was 4,138 homes. Today, we have 1,478 single-family homes on the market, so inventory is up, but just barely. The good news is that tons of new inventory is being built right now.

As far as units sold, we are up 8% over 2015. Last year, we sold 1,492 units, and this year we sold 1,611.

There’s also great news about the median sales price: it rose from $179,000 to $195,000. Home values are up! That’s a 9% increase for single-family homes.

As for condos and townhomes, that segment of the market is a little different. Inventory is up by 5% as are units sold. In 2015, 960 condo/townhomes sold in the first quarter, and this year 1,010 closed during the first quarter. The median sales price went up 4.5% from $110,000 to $115,000.

What does this mean for you? One thing to recognize is that single-family homes are the engine of our market. Condos and townhomes tend to trail behind.

We’re also in our 5th consecutive year of an upward trending market. Inventory remains basically the same year to year while units sold and prices continue to rise. There’s no reason that this trend shouldn’t continue.

If you’re waiting for the market to get better, it might not get much better than this. If you have any questions, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!