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!

April 13, 2020

Why Relocate to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?

Relocating is A Big Decision

If you've been considering relocating, you might consider Myrtle Beach. Long known as a top vacation destination, living in Myrtle Beach comes with tons of perks.  Why Relocate to Myrtle Beach? Here are just a few of the benefits of coastal living here in the Grand Strand.

- The Beaches! Sixty miles of stunning beaches and crashing ocean waves make up the Grand Strand, which includes Myrtle Beach and surrounding communities.

- The Weather! Myrtle Beach boasts 215 sunny days per year and an average annual temperature of 74˚F. The semi-tropical climate means fewer chilly days than other areas and lots of sunshine to enjoy those beautiful beaches.

- The Home Prices! Myrtle Beach offers some of the most competitive home prices along the east coast. And many area communities provide an array of amenities to entice buyers to choose them for their next home, adding even more value for home-buyers (and homeowners).

- The Southern Hospitality! Warm and friendly locals embody the true spirit of southern hospitality. Anyone who has visited Myrtle Beach can attest to the welcoming spirit of the area.

- The Community! Part of that southern hospitality is a strong focus on community. Being a part of our thriving community is important with several professional organizations, religious organizations, charity events, community service groups, social get-togethers, networking groups, and hobby enthusiast clubs to choose from.

Relocating is a big decision, but relocating to Myrtle Beach might be an easy one. If sandy beaches, flip flops, sweet tea, and southern hospitality sound like your speed, then Myrtle Beach is the place to be.  Contact a Century 21 Broadhurst agent today for more information about homes in this area.

April 6, 2020

Inlet Life : Spotlight on 3 Amazing Murrells Inlet Neighborhoods

Murrells Inlet is a hidden gem along the Grand Strand. Residents and visitors stroll along the Marsh Walk, enjoy watching birds and local wildlife and enjoy water sports like paddle boarding and kayaking through the unique ecosystem of the salt marsh. Murrells Inlet is also home to Restaurant Row, a set of restaurants along the inlet that feature some of the best seafood in the area. With so much to savor and enjoy, it's easy to see why Murrells Inlet is a desirable place to search for a new home.

Belle Vue
Belle Vue is a gated community along the banks of the Murrells Inlet tidal creek. Historic oaks, marsh views and coastal style custom homes are just a few of the features that make this neighborhood amazing. Residents have use of a community dock and many homes have permits and space for private docks to boat right out into the tidal creek. Homes without a waterfront view start around $500,000, while homes with a spectacular view of the water are priced starting around $1 million and up.

The Hermitage
A gated community on the waterfront, just a few blocks from the Marsh Walk is the neighborhood of The Hermitage. Named after the nearby National Historic site of the original Hermitage, site of the tragic story of Alice Flagg, this community is pure luxury. The homes in The Hermitage pay homage to the original historic homes of the area. Many home sites feature magnificent fountains, private pools, private boat docks and sculpture gardens. Homes directly on the water range from $1 million up to more than $4 million. Homes that are not on the water start around $500,000.

Mount Gilead
For buyers of slightly more modest means, Mount Gilead is a hot neighborhood in the Inlet area. This mature, lush neighborhood with moss-draped oaks and plantation-style homes offers unique channel-front lots. The channels provide access to the Inlet and farther out, the Atlantic Ocean. A favorite of water sports enthusiasts, homes along the channel offer private docks on the water and range into the $800,000s in this neighborhood. Homes that don't directly access the channel start around $200,000 - easily making Mount Gilead of the more affordable amazing luxury communities in Murrells Inlet.

For information on homes for sale in Murrells Inlet neighborhoods, search our site at century21broadhurst.com or call one of our experienced agents for guidance.

Posted in Tips And Tools
March 30, 2020

Haunts of the Low Country: Most Haunted Places in Myrtle Beach

Every area has legends and ghost stories. The Grand Strand is no different. In fact, some of the most well-known haunts and ghost stories come from coastal South Carolina.  Let's take a look at some of the most haunted places in our area...

The Gray Man of Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island is fairly well-known for being the first vacation destination on the east coast, back in the days of the rice plantations in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Viewed by locals as a protector of sorts, the Gray Man has been warning people of incoming hurricanes for close to 200 years. Typical sightings involve an individual or a couple being approached by a man dressed all in gray with old-style buckled boots waving his hands in warning at them. In some encounters, he walks away into the fog and in others he simply vanishes. In several accounts, he has spoken to tell of a dangerous storm approaching and in a few tales, even knocking on the doors to awaken people in the middle of the night before vanishing into the darkness. Those who heed his warnings and quickly relocate inland live to tell the tale and often return to find their homes still standing while others are piles of rubble. In the days before satellite and radar could track hurricanes from the other side of the world, a warning from the Gray Man might be the only notice of an impending storm, growing his reputation. Record numbers of Gray Man sightings were reported after Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989 - two of the strongest hurricanes to impact the region.

Litchfield Plantation - A Doctor and the Chambermaids
While the Litchfield Plantation near Pawleys Island dates back to 1740, it wasn't known for being haunted until the late 1800s after the passing of Dr. Henry Tucker. Dr. Tucker was a member of one of the last families to own the plantation before it became the historic landmark it is today. After Dr. Tucker's passing, witnesses began reporting sightings of old-fashioned chambermaids in various rooms and walking down stairways. As for Dr. Tucker, he prefers to spend his time in The Blue Room, where witnesses have described his apparition as fairly friendly in nature.

The Hermitage and All Saints Cemetery - Alice Flagg
In Murrells Inlet, the National Historic site of The Hermitage, nearby All Saints Cemetery and marsh area encompass the tragic tale of Alice Flagg. After moving to the Hermitage estate to live with her brother, Alice fell in love with a local lumberman, accepting his proposal for marriage and his ring on her hand. Outraged, her brother sent her away to a school in Charleston where she wore her true love's ring on a ribbon hidden under her dress. In Charleston, Alice fell critically ill with malaria and was brought back to the Hermitage where she died. While preparing her for burial, her brother found the lumberman's ring hidden in the folds of her dress, ripped it loose and threw it into the marsh. Alice was buried in neighboring All Saints Cemetery. Her apparition has been sighted leaving the Hermitage, and wandering the cemetery and the nearby marsh searching for the ring of her beloved.

These areas are only a few of the haunted places near Myrtle Beach. The rich history of the South Carolina coast provides an ideal backdrop for the restless to wander. And an ideal backdrop for those who love to explore a good haunt. Do us a favor though? If you happen to see a man all in gray, be sure to thank him for his (weather) service.

March 23, 2020

Pawleys Island Real Estate: Pawleys Island Charm

Nestled at the southern end of the Grand Strand, the community of Pawleys Island is known for a simple elegance and charm fondly called "arrogantly shabby" by locals. An Atlantic sandy barrier island approximately four miles long and just over one house wide in places, Pawleys Island has the distinction of being one of the oldest known summer resort areas on the east coast when wealthy rice plantation owners would relocate to the island to avoid the once mosquito-laden summer months. Buyers exploring real estate in Pawleys Island today will find a quaint laid-back community close to nature with equal parts southern hospitality and adventurous spirit.

Part of the charm of Pawleys Island is the rich history of the area, including everything from nefarious pirates, scrupulous rice plantation owners, and chilling ghost stories of The Gray Man and the ghost of Alice Flagg. Included in that historic tradition are a number of antebellum homes, some well over 100 years old and still owned by the 4th and 5th generations of the original families. Many of these homes have a unique history of their own, having withstood the ravages of The Civil War and major hurricanes like Hazel and Hugo.

Another unique feature of Pawleys Island living is the splendor of local wildlife and a closeness with nature not found in the other, more bustling communities of the Grand Strand. Egrets and herons forage for supper in the sunset as kayakers cruise through the salt marsh that separates the island itself from the mainland. The silky-sanded beaches are pristine with generous surf and ample spots for fishing and crabbing.

No discussion of the charm of Pawleys Island would be complete without including the world famous Pawleys Island Hammocks. Designed by Joshua "Cap'n Josh" Ward in 1889, this redesign of the hammock using sturdier rope materials, a double-latch weave instead of knots, and spreader bars for enhanced stability forever changed the humble hammock from hot canvas sheets to the quintessential symbol of relaxation we know of today.

 

Posted in Tips And Tools
March 15, 2020

4 Advantages of Buying a Home on a Golf Course

Choosing where to purchase a home and what kind of community is ideal for you and your family is a very personal decision. In the Grand Strand, a mecca for golf enthusiasts, there are a plethora of home buying options on area golf courses. However, buying a home on a golf course offers some terrific advantages that even non-golfers can appreciate.

1. Golfer's Dream - For golf aficionados, easy access to the course, golf-related amenities, and the country club lifestyle are the most obvious advantage.

2. Scenic Surroundings - Golf courses are meticulously maintained and often designed and landscaped with beauty and visual aesthetics in mind. Any potential homeowner would be hard-pressed to find a more stunning view than what is available with golf course homes.

3. Security and Serenity - Golf courses are typically tucked away from noisy traffic and busy streets. As an added bonus, many golf course communities provide a higher level of security than other types of housing developments, including security gates, manned guard stations, and additional fencing throughout the community.

4. Prestige and Value - Golf course communities generally offer more upscale homes and a community of affluent neighbors who share similar interests. The prestige and quality of the homes in a golf course development can also provide better resale values with greater stability in the often-fluctuating housing market.

While the most obvious advantage is quick and easy access to the course for avid golfers, buying a home on a golf course does come with some terrific non-golf-related advantages. If you would enjoy majestic views from nearly every window, less noisy traffic, and a more upscale lifestyle, then you might consider buying a home on a golf course in one of the many Myrtle Beach-area golf course communities.

Posted in Buying A Home
March 2, 2020

Is it Time to Buy a Vacation Home in Myrtle Beach?

How do you know if it's time to buy a vacation home in Myrtle Beach?  The vacation home market is hot once again. Vacation home sales reached their highest level in 2014 in the United States since 2003 with a staggering 1.13 million vacation homes sold. Of all homes sold last year, 21% were vacation homes! If you've been dreaming of a vacation home of your own, now might be the right time to buy.

With Myrtle Beach being named as one of the top vacation destinations by multiple travel magazines and websites, vacation homes in Myrtle Beach are a hot commodity. Stunning beaches, tons of family-friendly attractions, great restaurants, sprawling golf courses, and exciting night life are just a few of the reasons vacationers everywhere are flocking to Myrtle Beach and surrounding communities. If your family is one that returns to the Grand Strand area year after year, you'll want to at least explore the idea of buying a Myrtle Beach vacation home.

There are many good reasons to buy a vacation home. Some reasons are strictly financial like diversifying your investments, increasing your personal assets and wealth, tax deductions, or even for use as a rental property to bring in extra income. When many buyers contemplate a vacation home, however, they're thinking of creating a family retreat where special memories are made and family traditions take shape. A vacation home is convenient and comfortable with your own personal items like furniture, toys, linens, and dishes - making it truly a home away from home. And making your family vacation home into your future retirement home is more popular than ever.

If you've been daydreaming of a place to call home while on vacation or buying a second home in a great locale for future retirement, right now is an optimal time to make that dream come true.

Posted in Buying A Home
Feb. 17, 2020

Mortgages: What Kind of Mortgage is Best For Me?

When you're ready to purchase a home, navigating the muddy waters of mortgage lending can feel overwhelming. While there are subtypes to the various types of mortgages, the majority of homebuyers will qualify for one of three major mortgage types: traditional mortgage, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan. Understanding the differences between these types of mortgages can help you decide which direction to go in when choosing a mortgage for your new home.

Traditional Mortgages
Traditional mortgages are what most people think of when they think of home loans. These types of mortgages usually go through major banking institutions and require 10% down payment (or more). Traditional mortgages may have lengths of 15 years, 20 years, or 30 years. Traditional mortgages are available in two different kinds: Fixed-Rate Mortgage or Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM). In both terms, the "rate" refers to the interest rate of the mortgage loan.
Fixed-Rate Mortgage - In a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate is locked in when the mortgage is acquired and does not change throughout the life of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages are ideal for buyers who are comfortable with the current interest rate and prefer to have a fixed payment amount that doesn't fluctuate with market conditions.
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage - In an adjustable-rate mortgage, the interest rate on your mortgage loan will fluctuate throughout the life of your loan - which means your mortgage payment will fluctuate as well. This type of mortgage is ideal for buyers who want to take advantage of times when interest rates are lower but can afford higher mortgage payments during periods when interest rates are higher.

FHA Mortgages
FHA mortgages are home loans backed by the federal government through the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans generally require smaller down payments and may even include access to down payment assistance programs. FHA loans are ideal for homebuyers who have lower credit scores or aren't able to afford the sizable down payments typically required for traditional loans. If a homebuyer meets the requirements for an FHA loan, they do have to use an FHA-approved lender and there are limits on the amount of the loan. FHA loans also require the borrower to carry mortgage insurance, which may not be required for other mortgage types.

VA Mortgages
Mortgages through the Department of Veterans Affairs offer the best terms of any loan type. VA loans are reserved for military service members, veterans, and surviving spouses of military members. To qualify for a VA loan, a buyer has to first obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs and also have sufficient credit. If a buyer can qualify for a VA loan, it is often the best of all loan options. VA loans often have the best interest rates, no down payment, no private mortgage insurance requirement, no pre-payment penalties, and limitations on closing costs.
Finding the right home can be challenging enough, figuring out what type of mortgage is right for you shouldn't be an overwhelming decision. Hopefully, this handy guide to the most common types of mortgages helps you determine which option is the right one for your new dream home.

Posted in Tips And Tools
Feb. 3, 2020

Closing Checklist for New Home Buyers

You've finalized a contract for your new home. Congrats! But, your work is far from done. There is a lot to do before closing to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Here is our closing checklist for home buyers:

Inspections and Testing

  • Set up your home inspection and come prepared with questions you may have.
  • Discuss any concerns you may have with your home inspector. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. The more informed you are about the home you are buying, the better your experience as a homeowner will be!
  • Take any photos or measurements you may need to prepare for the move into your new home.
  • Measure windows for window treatments, take photos of paint colors, and make notes about layout of the home that will help you be more prepared for move-in day.
  • Make sure your agent is provided with a list of any issues found in the home inspection that need to be fixed prior to closing.
  • Set up any specialty inspections you may need. Sometimes the main home inspector is certified in these areas and sometimes you'll need a specialist. Some of these specialty inspections might include mold inspection, radon gas inspection, or termite inspection and certification letter.

Communications with Lender and Attorney

  • Touch base with your lender to verify they have all of the information they need from you, your real estate agent, and the seller to finalize all of the financials.
  • Make sure the appraisal is taken care of (your real estate agent can also help keep tabs on this detail as well).
  • Make sure a closing appointment is scheduled with a real estate attorney and notify your lender of the appointment to ensure all paperwork is ready in time for the closing appointment.

Two-Week Out Details
About two weeks out from closing, you'll want to make sure you've taken care of details that can often get lost in the shuffle.

  • Notify your insurance company of the closing date and set up homeowner's insurance for your new home.
  • Set up service (or transfer of service from your old home to the new) with your utility company (electric/gas) and the water company.
  • Submit a change of address to the U.S. Postal Service two weeks ahead to give enough time for their forwarding service to be activated.
  • Set up service (or transfer of service) for your internet, phone, and/or television service provider.

Final Walk-through
Your final walk-through should be between one to three days prior to closing.

  • Ensure there have been no changes to the condition of the home since signing the contract and/or inspection. This could be damages caused when the previous owners moved out, appliances removed that should remain in the home, or anything else that seems questionable.
  • Verify that repairs requested as a result of the home inspection have actually been completed. Receipts should be either left in the home or should have been provided to your real estate agent for the work. As a precaution, inspect the fixes to ensure they truly are fixed.

Having a closing checklist can help you keep track of everything that needs to happen between finalizing the contract and closing. And of course, your Century 21 Broadhurst agent will be there to guide you every step of the way.

Posted in Buying A Home
Jan. 27, 2020

Holiday Home Staging Do's and Don'ts

The holidays can be a difficult time of year to sell your home. However, if the home you're selling happens to be in Myrtle Beach, you have the advantage of a high number of holiday visitors coming to enjoy time with family and friends during the off-season. If you are looking to capture the attention of those holiday visitors and make your home into *their* next home, we have a few do's and don'ts of holiday home staging to help you make your home a place where buyers will want to make their own holiday memories.

DO make sure you have already decluttered and staged your home before adding any holiday decorations. If your home already feels cluttered, adding that set of snowman figurines to the fireplace mantle will only make the clutter feel overwhelming to potential buyers.

DON'T use holiday decorations in colors or styles that clash with the general decor of your home. While you may love your glittery purple holiday tree with neon ornaments, it may look off-putting next to your butter yellow wall color and caramel leather sofa. Consider your decor and use decorations that complement and draw attention to your home's best features.

DO leave the nativity scene packed away for next year. Keep decorations neutral and non-religious so all potential buyers feel comfortable envisioning themselves living in your home. Stick with icicles, pinecones, candy canes, and evergreen decorations for a seasonal touch everyone can appreciate.

DON'T get the biggest and tallest holiday tree you can find. While a tall tree can demonstrate a home's vertical space, a large tree base can take up too much area of the room, making it feel small and cramped - the opposite effect entirely!

DO keep it classy and simple with outdoor lights. Use simple string lights to highlight architectural features on the outside of the home, or show off elegant landscaping. Give the inflatable snowman and blinky-lighted reindeer a year off.

DON'T forget to keep it classy and elegant inside as well. Use small string lights to highlight indoor features like archways or a bit of mistletoe to entice potential buyers into that fantastic bonus room. Save the personalized stockings and handmade tree ornaments for next Christmas and stick with classic bulb ornaments or simple garland that matches your home's decor (see above).

Armed with these (not so) secret holiday home staging do's and don'ts, you are well on your way to getting your home onto buyers' "must have" lists this season! Oh, and one final item... DO keep Santa's waistline in mind and go with the oatmeal raisin cookies this year (Mrs. Claus insisted we include that one). Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from the team at Century 21 Broadhurst!

Posted in Tips And Tools
Jan. 13, 2020

Selling Your Home: 5 Gifts To Leave For Your Old Home’s New Owners

Selling your home is an emotional event. You are leaving behind a house filled with memories and venturing off to someplace new. The people buying your home are excited to create their own memories in a home that you loved for so many years. Welcome them with a thoughtful gift that will leave a lasting impression.

C21_April_Batch1_Links_0002_Present-825x510

Here are some ideas for gifts to leave for your home’s new owners.

  1. Personalized Key Rings: Mark this milestone in the new owners’ lives by giving them a special key ring. Engrave it with their initials, the date of the move, or even a special message from you. Not only is this thoughtful, but it’s a practical gift as well.
  1. Mailing labels and stationery: Personalized gifts go a long way. Create mailing labels with the owners’ names and new addresses; if you want to go the extra mile, create personalized stationery for them as well. Leave these paper gifts on the kitchen counter with a nice note to surprise the owners.
  1. Monogrammed Doormat: Doormats are something that may not be at the top of a new homeowner “to-buy” list. Give them a monogrammed one or one that fits well with the decor of the home. They will surely appreciate this gesture.
  1. Practical Items: If you’re skeptical about buying personalized gifts, stick to practical home items. Things like smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, unpacking supplies, or even a utensil organizer are useful to new homeowners. They’ll be so busy when they first move in, and these are essentials that they should have immediately.
  1. A Neighborhood Guide: Write a detailed list of your favorite places in the neighborhood. Mention your favorite restaurants, boutiques, gyms and more. They’ll love having your recommendations on hand when they start to explore!

 

All of these gestures are incredibly kind and memorable. It’s a nice way to welcome new people into the home and neighborhood you have loved for so long.

Posted in Selling A Home