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September 11th, 2014

VIDEO: 3 Reasons to Sell in Myrtle Beach this Fall

Is Now a Rough Time to Sell?

With the summer months coming to a close, many homeowners feel that the time to sell has passed them by. Today, we want to correct that misconception by showing you 3 reasons the fall is a great time to sell in Myrtle Beach.

Fall buyers are more strategic: Summer buyers typically make their purchase as a second thought; they take a vacation and love it so much they decide to buy property. Fall buyers, on the other hand, come to the market with a purpose, they know better than to come when the crowds are here. Because they’re on a mission, our showings-to-offers ratio decreases dramatically. We have to schedule fewer showings in the fall to sell a home than we do in the summer.

Occupancy goes down: If you are trying to sell resort or rental property it’s much easier to show after Labor Day because occupancy drops off. This is an advantage to you as a seller – you can maximize your property’s value by taking the time to prepare it for the market.

Less competition: Because the misconception that the fall is a bad time to sell is so widepread, there are fewer sellers out there to compete with. Most homeowners are waiting for the busy spring season, so you can easily make your property stand out in the fall market.

As you can see, there is no reason to wait to sell your home. The fall market can be as profitable as any other. Give us a call – we’ll take a look at the numbers with you and put together a marketing strategy to get your home maximum exposure. The buyers are out there, will you be?!

August 10th, 2014

VIDEO: How will Zillow-Trulia merger affect your home search?

What You Need to Know About Starting Your Online Home Search

As always, we’re here to keep you updated on all things real estate. As you may have heard, the online home search website Zillow has purchased its biggest rival, Trulia, for $3.5 billion. This is huge news, seeing that 98% of people start their home search online.

Because you’re likely going to use these sites to begin your real estate experience, you should know what their good at and what they’re not so good at. For one, they are friendly sites that make it easy to search for tax information and the location of schools – in addition to providing lots of photos. On the other hand, they often have outdated listings and make inaccurate estimates on home values.

Because Zillow and Trulia are a mixed bag of useful information and inaccurate information, you may want to try using Realtor.com. It is ran by the National Association of Realtors and has a direct feed to the local MLS, meaning it is up-to-date and more or less accurate.

Of course, doing it the old fashion way is always your safest bet. If you want in-depth and useful information about specific neighborhoods in Myrtle Beach, you’re best off talking with your local real estate professional. We are always available to chat – simply give us a call or shoot us an email with all your real estate needs.

July 23rd, 2014

VIDEO: Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent: Things Are Heating Up in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Mid-Year Real Estate Market Update – What a Balanced Market Means for You

Today, we’re going to take a look at how the first 6 months of this year compare to the same period in 2013. Here’s what we know:

  • The inventory for single-family homes and condos is up about 10% across the board.
  • Home sales are up about 4%, with the median sale price up 4% as well.
  • Condos are experiencing a different trend: sales are down 5.5%, with prices up 2%
  • The inventory of residential lots is down 36%, with an increase in median sales price up 25%.

What does all of this mean? For one, the rising inventory of single-family homes and condos over the past 18 months has given us a 7.5-month supply. This supply is decreasing while the inventory has been rising, which means the pace of sales is increasing. For instance, last year we saw an average of 464 single family home sold over the first four months of the year, as opposed to 528 in the same period this year.

Okay, okay – enough with the numbers. What this all really means is we have a normal, stable market. Now is an opportune time to consider buying or selling in the Myrtle Beach area. If you have any questions about market conditions in your specific area, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help you better understand what’s happening in the market as well as take advantage of these favorable conditions.

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July 2nd, 2014

VIDEO: What to do When Your Home Won’t Sell

Avoid These Common Pitfalls When Renting Your Properties for Extra Income

Today I would like to speak about renting your Myrtle Beach property instead of selling it. I have had a lot of sellers here in the Grand Strand come to me and say that they would rather rent out their properties instead of just selling them. This might be a good option for you if you have not been able to successfully sell your property.

Over the years I have noticed that people either rent their properties intentionally (investors) or they do this as a backup plan. Usually the latter don’t do so well with renting their properties. Here are some things you will have to consider if you would like to rent your property:

Reality Cash Flow Chart: This is where you grab a pen and paper and determine what your monthly payments will be, which includes taxes and insurance (keep in mind taxes are much higher in South Carolina for non-primary residences). After a little careful calculation, it should be clear whether or not renting your property would be a worthwhile investment.
Management: It might be hard for you to answer calls about a broken water heater at midnight if you’re not in Myrtle Beach or the Grand Strand. This is why it might be beneficial to hire a management company to run your property. They can increase the satisfaction of your tenants, and make your job a little easier.
Miscellaneous Expenses: Most of these expenses would come from repairs, assessments or inspections. You also need to account for times when your property is vacant and you will not have regular cash flow.
If you don’t have a mortgage you will need to determine your rate of return on the property and also your opportunity cost. If you can pull cash out of your property and invest it elsewhere with a higher return, then I would probably suggest for you to simply sell your property and invest your money in another venture.

Please let me know if I can be of service you while you make these tough decisions. I would love to provide you with assistance.

As always, please contact me if you’re interested in buying or selling real estate here in Myrtle Beach or the Grand Strand in general.

June 6th, 2014

VIDEO: Tips for Buying New Construction in the Grand Strand

What to Look for When Buying New Construction
Today we will be discussing what is happening along the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach. There has been a lot of buzz about new construction. You might have seen it in the newspapers or you might have noticed it while driving around Myrtle Beach.
In the first part of may in 2014 the amount of pending single-family homes made up 34% of the market, and all of these homes were a product of new construction, so you can already see the impact of the increased building activity.
Just a year ago in April 2013, newly constructed homes only made up 18% of the market.
Sellers will have to take into consideration that they will be selling against new construction. If you’re selling in Myrtle Beach your home will need to be priced correctly, marketed aggressively, and staged to perfection.
Another thing to point out is that if you’re buying new construction, especially if you’re looking to buy in a new development, you need to remember that the real estate agents that are greeting you are actually representing the developer.
If you are looking to buy a newly-constructed home you will definitely want to consider hiring a real estate agent to represent you in that transaction.
You will also want to hire a reputable home inspector. It doesn’t matter that the home is new, there could still be underlying issues. I cannot tell you how important this is.
If you have bought a lot and think that the time is right to build, then contact me because I could refer you to some excellent builders in the Grand Strand.

I hope this information will be useful to you. Feel free to call or email me with any questions you have about real estate in Myrtle Beach.

May 7th, 2014

VIDEO: Myrtle Beach Real Estate – What makes Condotels so different?

Condotels? Let me explain…

Today I am going to be talking about Condotels in Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand areas. Today I am very excited to have Matt Richardson with me from Movement Mortgage. We’ve found that a lot of people don’t know the difference between a condo and a condotel, so Matt is here to discuss the financing side with us.

A condotel is a condominium that you can own like any other deeded property, but it is run like a hotel in a resort building. Some examples here in Myrtle Beach would be the Caribbean or Dunes Village. These are beautiful, beach-front properties that have individually owned condos in the buildings. To the average consumer it appears very much like a hotel with a front desk and all the rest of the expected amenities.

However, these type of properties requires some special financing, and that’s why I’ve brought Matt along today. Matt says the primary difference between a condotel and a regular condominium is the presence of a check-in desk. The check-in desk is usually what prevents a conventional loan from being offered on these properties.

So if I have a buyer with good intentions and approval to buy the property, but they want to use their hometown lender back in West Virginia, this would cause a problem. This is because the condotel property cannot be sold on the secondary market to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The average buyer you get in Myrtle Beach may have an established relationship with a lender back home, but their banks are probably not familiar with these products and may refrain from lending them the money simply because of their unfamiliarity with condotel products.

My understanding is that those loans would have to be shelled, as we would call it. This is where the bank cannot sell it to the open market, therefore they have to keep it in-house. For most banks, this would not be in accordance with their business plan. This is why Matt and his company, as well as a few other in Myrtle Beach, have condotel programs and we wanted to let our potential condotel buyers know this before they start to buy one.

Hopefully this information will help you to avoid any major hiccups when you’re purchasing your condotel property in the Grand Strand.

Otherwise, if you have any comments or questions about this issue or if you would like to speak about Myrtle Beach real estate, then please give me a call and I would be more than happy to help you out.