Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 18, 2019

Fall is Almost Here! Get Ready for Fall Festivals!

Are you ready for some fall fun? As the heat and humidity starts to shift away and fall rolls in, so too do the festivals. Here are a few you won't want to miss!

September 12-21, 2019 - Society of Stranders Fall Shag Marathon in North Myrtle Beach. This event features shag dancing, shag classes, entertainment, competitions and more. Locations include Fat Harold's, Ducks, Ducks II and other shag dancing venues.

September 21, 2019 - Septemberfest! At Barefoot Landing from 11 AM to 5 PM, featuring food, vendors, live music and a ton of fun.

September 21, 2019 - 40th Annual Aynor Harvest Hoe-Down at Aynor Town Park. This event features a parade, live music, food, children's entertainment and arts and crafts.

September 27-29, 2019 - 44th Annual Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival at Atalaya in Huntington Beach State Park. This festival will feature live music, food and of course, plenty of arts and crafts!

September 28, 2019 - 16th Annual Irish Italian International Festival from 10 AM to 4 PM in North Myrtle Beach. This festival will feature lots of food, food competitions, entertainment, live music, dance performances, vendors and more.

October 5-6, 2019 - Harvest Home Weekend Festival at Brookgreen Gardens from 9:30 AM to 4 PM. This fun event will offer hay rides, pumpkin painting, entertainment, food and more.

October 11-12, 2019 - 11th Annual Myrtle Beach Oktoberfest from 4 PM to 9 PM on Friday and 11 AM to 7 PM on Saturday at Grand Park in The Market Common. Come enjoy beer, food, pumpkin patch, kids activities and more.

October 12-13, 2019 - 15th Annual Little River Shrimp Fest. Head on up to Little River for fresh seafood, vendors, children's area and more.

October 19, 2019 - 40th Annual Loris Bog-Off Festival in Downtown Loris starting at 9 AM. This festival will include a car and tractor show, fireworks, live music and of course, the chicken bog-off cooking contest!

November 3, 2019 - 20th Annual Lip Rippin' Chilympics from 10 AM to 6 PM at Wicked Tuna. This is the area's top chili cook-off competition so be prepared to get spicy!

November 9-10 - 6th Annual Mythical and Medieval Fest at RH Acres in Socastee from 11 AM to 6 PM. The Grand Strand's only Renaissance festival includes a fire show, Viking Toss and so much more.

With so many great festivals happening this fall, you'll have a full calendar and a full season of fun!

Aug. 17, 2019

Top 5 Overlooked Questions When Selling A Home

When you decide to sell your home, there are 5 vital questions to ask yourself that many sellers often overlook. Be prepared by asking yourself these important questions to make sure you are ready and able to sell your home... before you list!

1. Can I afford to sell?
In many transactions, the seller covers agent commissions for both parties and additional closing costs. If you owe close to what your home is worth, will you make enough money in the transaction to cover those costs? If you are selling for less money than you owe, do you have funds set aside to cover commissions and closing costs? Do you have funds available for costs involved in preparing your house for listing, such as minor repairs, necessary upgrades, landscaping needs, staging and a pre-listing inspection? All of these factors are important to consider when you determine whether you can afford to sell your home.

2. Is hiring a home inspector necessary?
Technically, no. However, having a pre-listing home inspection means you find out about any problems or issues with the home before a buyer does. This allows you to fix any issues found in the inspection before you list the house. The inspection is the most common stage of the process where real estate deals fall through. While it's not necessary to hire a home inspector, it is highly recommended to help ensure the rest of the sales process goes through smoothly.

3. What do I have to disclose?
Disclosure requirements vary by state and sometimes even by county or city. In most cases, you'll need to disclose lead paint, mold, flooding, termites or other dangerous materials or conditions. Being open and disclosing as much as possible to the buyer about the condition and history of the home gives them the confidence that you've fixed the issues and the home is in good condition. Honesty is always the best policy.

4. Do I have to leave my __________ behind?
By law, anything that is attached or bolted to the walls or ceiling should be left with the home. This includes window treatments, pot racks, light fixtures and even wall-mounted TVs. If you don't want to leave an item behind, remove it before you list the home. Even if it isn't bolted or mounted, if a buyer sees it, they might request to keep it.

5. Which areas of the home are most important?
Surprise! The answer is not the kitchen or the bathroom. Experts say 80% of buyers know within seconds of entering the home whether it's a possible fit for them. That means your entryway or foyer is far more important than you would have guessed. Make sure to keep these areas clean, clutterfree and inviting to entice the buyer to tour the rest of the home. Also more important than most people realize is the garage. Make sure the garage is clean, organized and even a fresh coat of paint will help.

How many of these crucial questions had you been overlooking? Selling your home is a big decision. Making sure you know everything you need to for a successful transaction is key. Your Century 21 Broadhurst agent is your go-to resource for all selling questions.

Aug. 16, 2019

Real Estate Brokers, Agents and Realtors - What's the Difference?

Many people use the terms agent, broker and realtor interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the different types of real estate professionals.

 

What is a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent has a license to help people sell, buy and rent real estate of all different types. The training requirements for agents varies by state. In South Carolina, one has to complete 60 hours of pre-licensing training to take the real estate agent exam. The exam focuses on federal real estate laws, state and local real estate laws and general real estate concepts and principles. Within one year of passing the exam, one must apply for the provisional salesperson license. This provisional license allows the new agent to begin working under a broker-in-charge and they must complete 30 more hours of training in the first year of having a provisional license to continue working as an agent.

 

What is a Real Estate Broker?

A real estate broker has taken education and training beyond that required for an agent. Requirements for brokers vary by state. In South Carolina, to become a broker, one must have completed 150 hours of training (90 hours of which are the hours required to be an agent, see above). A person applying to be a broker must have a minimum of three years experience working as an active real estate agent (of the previous five years) and must pass a broker's license exam. After passing the exam, the broker has one year to apply for their broker license. The distinction between agents and brokers is important because of the additional training and education a broker undertakes. Additional topics included in broker training include real estate law, how the laws apply to brokerages, property management, construction and real estate investing.

 

What is a Realtor?

A Realtor is a real estate professional, whether broker or agent, who has been accepted as a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Members agree to follow the standards set forth by the NAR and agree to abide by their code of ethics. This means a Realtor is a special designation that shows the agent or broker has been accepted as a member of the NAR.

If it sounds like real estate professionals go through a lot of training, it's because they do! Real estate can be a complex industry and it's important for any agent, broker or Realtor to have the necessary education and experience to help guide their clients through the process and help them have a successful real estate transaction.

Aug. 15, 2019

What are Exurbs and Where Are They Along the Grand Strand?

Most people think in terms of cities versus suburbs. Rarely do you hear about exurbs, once known as "commuter towns". Let's take a closer look at exurbs and where they can be found in along the Grand Strand.

 

What are Exurbs?

Exurbs are cities, towns and neighborhoods that are beyond suburbs, making up the outer part of many Metropolitan Designated Areas (MDAs). Exurbs tend to be in more rural areas or right on the cusp of rural areas. If one works in the city, the exurbs represent the farther commute from home to work, hence their former name "commuter towns". While suburbs are still relatively close to schools, shopping, entertainment and the city, exurbs are more remote and usually far less congested and much quieter.

 

Pros and Cons of Exurbs

Like any area, there are pros and cons to living in the exurbs. The pros include more available land with bigger lots, more privacy, fewer close-by neighbors, lower population density, less traffic, less noise and less crime. The cons include fewer transportation options as public transportation rarely services these areas, less walkable as things are generally more spread out and take longer to get to, necessities are farther away (grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations) and exurbs are less likely to have sidewalks. Sidewalks are a particular concern for children, the elderly and disabled who rely on sidewalks to safely navigate outdoors.

 

Exurbs of the Grand Strand

Wondering what towns and areas make up the exurbs of Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand? On the north end of the Strand, areas such as Longs, Loris and Green Sea are popular exurbs. Midway down the Strand, the outer parts of Conway, Aynor and Galivants Ferry are popular exurbs. Exurbs toward the south end of the Strand include Bucksport and Plantersville. There are a number of communities in the exurb areas around the Grand Strand so this list isn't exhaustive.

As more cities continue to grow, they'll expand and begin to absorb the existing suburbs and exurbs. As this process happens, new suburbs and exurbs will form over time.

July 21, 2019

Rip Current Safety: Recognizing and Escaping Rip Currents

Living by the beach is one of the main perks of life in Myrtle Beach, however, it's important to be aware of a serious danger lurking in the water--rip currents. Rip currents are the number one weather-related hazard in the Carolinas. Rip currents kill more people in the Carolinas every year than lightning, extreme heat or even marine life such as sharks. According to the U.S. Lifesaving Association, an estimated 100 people are killed by rip currents in the U.S. every year and 80% of 84,900 beach rescues in 2016 were rip current-related.

 

What is a Rip Current?

A rip current is a narrow, fast-moving channel of water moving from close to the shore and out to sea. Rip currents are powerful and can move up to 8 feet per second. To see a rip current from the beach, look for a section of smooth water with waves on either side. The smooth section is likely a rip current. While in the water, many people don't initially realize they're caught in a rip current until they struggle to swim back to shore and begin tiring out. However, many have described a feeling of being on a treadmill or conveyor belt in the water when caught in a rip current.

 

Escaping a Rip Current.

Knowing how to escape a rip current is essential if you're going to be going into the water at the beach. Rip currents can occur very close to shore and pull you out to very deep waters extremely fast. If you believe you are caught in a rip current, do not swim directly toward shore. Swimming directly toward shore will have you swimming against the current, which will exhaust you quickly and increase risk of drowning. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you are free from the rip current. You'll know you are free when you stop feeling water pulling you out to deeper waters and when you are back in an area with normal waves.

Once you have escaped the rip current, if you are too tired to make the swim back to shore or aren't sure if you are safe yet, tread water and wave your arms above your head. This will alert a lifeguard that you need assistance. Do not call out for friends or family to assist you as they could get caught in the rip current and end up in distress themselves. Always signal for a lifeguard when you need assistance while in the water.

Beach life is fun and exciting but it does have its dangers. Rip currents are one of the most dangerous elements of beach life. Knowing how to recognize a rip current and how to escape one will save your life. A couple final tips--only swim at beaches with lifeguards on duty and never swim after consuming alcohol. Stay safe out there!

July 20, 2019

Moving On Up? 5 Things Move-Up Buyers Need to Know

Even though move-up buyers have been through a real estate transaction before doesn't mean they know or remember the whole process. Plus, moving up can be very different than being a first-time homebuyer. Here are the 5 things move-up buyers need to know.

1. If you can, buy your new home first and then focus on selling your existing home. Selling one home while buying another simultaneously can be incredibly stressful. If you can afford to, find your new home first so you aren't under pressure to move out of your existing home within a specific timeframe. If you need to leverage equity from your existing home to afford the down payment on your new home, talk to your lender about your options. You might be able to secure a home equity loan on your existing home to use as a down payment on your new home. Your lender might also have other solutions to help you leverage some of your equity ahead of selling your existing home.

2. If you'd have to add a contingency to an offer on your new home, don't risk it. Sellers see a contingency like "buyer to sell existing home" on your offer letter and they'll turn down the offer. No seller wants to be beholden for the sale of their home to the sale of someone else's home.

3. Do your homework before you make any upgrades or renovations to your existing home. Have a trusted agent walk through your home with you to suggest changes and spend some quality time watching HGTV. A whole generation of buyers use HGTV as a measure of what is trendy and desirable in a home. You'll be surprised how much you can learn about what buyers want from watching television.

4. Clean up your credit before you begin the process of qualifying for your new home. Just because you were approved for the loan on your existing home doesn't mean you'll be approved for a loan on your new home. The criteria for creditworthiness has changed over time, especially since the housing market crash in 2008. Get copies of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus (usually free once every 12 months) and take care of any inaccuracies and remedy any black marks.

5. Plan ahead--at least a year in advance. If possible, begin to plan your move-up about a year in advance. This will give you time to identify and address needed improvements for your existing home, clean up your credit and begin looking at potential new homes to get a sense of what you would like your new home to include. Visit open houses and explore homes that are similar to what you're looking for. Bonus, this will also help you figure out if you *really* want to move after all.

Moving up from your existing home to a new home can be both exciting and stressful. Using these 5 tips for move-up buyers can help you get prepared and plan your move in a way that is less stressful and much more fun.

July 19, 2019

Sell My Home: How to Think Like a Buyer

When it comes to thinking like a buyer, it all starts with staging. According to the National Association of Realtors 2019 home staging study, 83% of buyer's agents said staging made it possible for prospective buyers to see the property as if it were their home. The right staging can also increase the value/offers on your home as much as 20%. Staging is all about thinking like a buyer.

1. Don't get personal - You want to create a blank page where the prospective buyer can imagine their story taking place. Too many of your personal touches and decor take that away from the buyer. Pack up your wedding photos, sentimental items and bowling trophies because those are your story. When you think like a buyer, you create a blank space for them to begin writing their story.

2. Dump the clutter - Declutter and when you're done, declutter some more. The more you declutter, the easier it will be to create that blank page for buyers to daydream about living in the home.

3. Scrub it down - No one likes a dirty house--especially buyers. Give your whole house a good scrub down from floor to ceiling, inside and outside. Make sure to get every nook and cranny, every baseboard, every corner and every window and door. Make sure to keep an eye out for often overlooked details such as fingerprints on glass or appliances, hiding the pet supplies, taking out trash before every showing and stowing away small appliances. Buyers want to move into a home that is pristinely clean and sparkling.

4. Light it up - Light is a major key to attracting buyers. Use light and light colors to add brightness and airiness to your whole home. Switch to LED lightbulbs in Bright Daylight, replace dark curtains and throw pillows with fresh light-colored ones, lighten up beds with white or cream bed covers and make bathrooms bright with brand new fluffy white towels. Creating a space that is light and fresh is thinking like a buyer.

5. Use furniture to set the stage - Carefully select which furniture pieces to keep in the home and focus on arranging them well. You'll want furniture to seem like it is inviting and guiding the buyer through the home. Keep furnishings oriented to the door to greet the buyer and take them on a journey through the house without obstacles to trip them up.

Staging is all about thinking like a buyer. What would the buyer most want to see about the home and in the home? How can you create an environment that lets the buyer begin writing their own story in your home? The more they see themselves there, the greater the chances they'll connect with the home and make an offer.

July 17, 2019

Housing Market Surprises in 2019

The housing market is always in flux. While a number of organizations can review data and make fairly accurate predictions for what will happen with the housing market, even they are sometimes thrown a curveball. At the start of 2019, the data was pointing to rising home prices, rising interest rates and a continued shortage of homes available for sale. Now, halfway through 2019, the market has had some big surprises in store for everyone.

1. The gap between potential buyers and homes available for sale is getting smaller. The growth of available inventory weakens the strength of the seller's market. It's still a seller's market but a softer one with more new builds and previously owned homes coming on the market. This means more options for potential buyers and slow steps toward balancing out the market.

2. Mortgage rates have dropped. Market forecasts in late 2018 and early 2019 predicted that mortgage interest rates would continue to slowly climb upward throughout this year. Trade issues between the U.S. and China coupled with perceptions that the U.S. economy is beginning to weaken again have caused the Federal Reserve to cut rates instead of increasing rates as was expected.

3. More homeowners are refinancing. The unexpected drop in mortgage interest rates has resulted in an increase in the number of homeowners taking advantage of the still-low rates and refinancing before rates have a chance to climb again.

4. Size of new homes has increased. With the biggest shortage of real estate inventory being in the smaller-sized, more affordable range of homes, home sizes were beginning to trend downward by late 2018. Instead of continuing that trend in early 2019, the average home size for new builds shifted larger in first quarter of 2019.

5. Affordability continues to be an issue. Affordability is particularly a problem for first-time homebuyers on the lower-priced end of the spectrum. The drop in mortgage rates is good news for new homebuyers, however, the steady increase in home prices continues to put many would-be homebuyers just out of reach of home ownership.

This year has held some interesting surprises for the housing market. With mortgage interest rates that have tumbled instead of increased and more inventory available for sale, there is still time to take advantage of the low rates and find your new home.

June 18, 2019

New to Myrtle Beach: Top Waterfront Dining

Few things say "beach life" like waterfront dining. Enjoying amazing views of the ocean, waterways or marsh while enjoying fresh seafood and local favorite dishes is the best way to spend a meal with old friends or new ones.

Riptydz Oceanfront Grille & Rooftop Bar
1201 N. Ocean Blvd
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: 843.945.1204
Website: http://www.riptydz.com/
Located on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Riptydz has been making waves since it opened for local favorites, fresh seafood and steaks. This large location with 500 seats provides excellent views of the beach from almost anywhere in the sprawling restaurant or hip rooftop bar. Locals are raving about this new favorite.

Pier 14
1306 Ocean Blvd
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: 843.448.4314
Website: http://pier14.com/
More than just a waterfront dining experience, dine over the water at Pier 14. This pier-located restaurant survived the jabs of Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Matthew and survived to tell the tale. Inside, find unique gifts at their gift shop and dine on local favorites and fresh local seafood.

Wicked Tuna
4123 Hwy 17 BUS
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Phone: 843.651.9987
Website: https://www.thewickedtuna.com/
The Wicked Tuna offers the best views of the MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet and some of the best fresh seafood around. Fresh sushi, amazing cocktails and sizzling signature meals keep customers coming back time and time again.

Dead Dog Saloon
4079 Hwy 17 BUS
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Phone: 843.651.0664
Website: https://deaddogsaloon.com/
This local favorite features fun live music, fresh catch favorites and daily drink specials. The Dead Dog Saloon serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with stunning views of the MarshWalk.

Hot Fish Club
4911 Hwy 17 BUS
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Phone: 843.357.9175
Website: https://www.hotfishclub.com/
Creekside dining at Hot Fish Club is a top choice for locals who love local seafood. With an interesting history dating back to 1792, this local dining venue offers fresh caught local seafood and live local bands.

ART Burger Sushi Bar
706 N Ocean Blvd Unit A
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: 843.839.4774
Website: https://artsushibar.com/
This local eatery features fresh and creative food in the categories of burgers and sushi, along with a full nitrogen-infused bar for fresh and funky cocktails that you won't find anywhere else along the beach. ART also supports local art culture by displaying the work of local artists (much of which is available for purchase) so you can find a great work of art and a great meal in one fun and creative place.

Whether creekside, oceanfront or marsh views are your thing, there is an excellent waterfront dining experience waiting for you at one of these top local favorites. Many feature fresh local seafood, creative cocktails and the best views in town. So come grab a table at one of these fun places, order up some local grub and enjoy the beach life. We guess all that's left to say is... "welcome home!"

June 18, 2019

New to Myrtle Beach: Best Area Dog (and Pet) Groomers

Relocating is stressful. So is finding all of the care professionals you need for yourself and your pets. The heat is on and if your pet needs a trim or a scrub down, these are the places locals choose to care for their furry family.

Annie's Grooming Tails
1850 Hwy 17 N.
Surfside Beach, SC 29575
Phone: 843.232.0044
Website: http://www.anniesgroomingtails.com/
This frequent winner of the Myrtle Beach Herald Reader's Choice Award offers more than just grooming. Services include day care, boarding and even dog training.

Comfort Dog Salon
4006 Postal Way
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
Phone: 843.903.4554
Website: https://comfortdogsalon.com/
Recommended by locals for dogs with difficult coat types and for their "like family" treatment and pampering of their furry clients.

Canine Oasis
4249 Socastee Blvd
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
Phone: 843.293.6635
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Interest/Canine-Oasis-289905753081/
This dog grooming facility is often recommended for reasonable prices and attention to detail on giving your dog just the right cut.

Paws Pet Spa
313 Unit B Hwy 17 N
Surfside Beach, SC 29575
Phone: 843.808.0536
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pawspetspa
Paws Pet Spa relocated in Spring 2019 to a new and larger location. Recommended by locals for great precision cuts and top-notch care.

Diva Dogs Day Spa
4863 US Hwy 17 Bypass S
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: 843.691.0342
Website: http://www.myrtlebeachgrooming.com/
A favorite of pet parents with doggie divas, this groomer also offers day care and overnight boarding services.

A Bath & A Buzz Mobile Dog Grooming
Phone: 843.685.7805
Website: http://petgroomingmyrtlebeach.com/
This mobile pet groomer comes to you. Recommended by pet parents with dogs who are fearful, anxious or dog aggressive who need a mobile groomer to keep them looking sharp.

Cat's Meow of Myrtle Beach
4720 Hwy 17 Bypass S. Unit B
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
Phone: 843.839.1999
Website: https://catsmeowmyrtlebeach.com/grooming-services
This cats-only veterinary practice also offers grooming services for your feline family members. The grooming team at this facility offer several types of cuts as well as nail trims and application of claw caps.

Being new in town is tough. We hope that providing information on where the locals go for grooming services for their furry family helps you get settled and living like a local quickly and seamlessly.