Thursday, May 29, 2014

Garden City Beach Real Estate

Offering a more relaxed pace of life than Myrtle Beach to the north, Garden City has developed its own unique aura over the past few decades, with extensive renovations and rebuilding after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. It may have some of the most unique homes to be found on the Grand Strand.

Still unincorporated, the community and its exceptional beach are located between Murrells Inlet and Surfside Beach. On the southern tip, it just “becomes” Murrells Inlet as you drive along. Beach houses and condos are the typical homes found here, from multi-million dollar oceanfront spreads to relatively inexpensive older and smaller homes several block back that survived the hurricane.

In addition to single-family homes, there’s also a good inventory of multi-unit properties that have excellent rental histories. The condominiums found here are quite upscale, but not the towering condo hotels like those found in Myrtle Beach. Instead, most of these are in smaller complexes and many of them ultra-luxurious.

Close to the many attractions of Myrtle Beach, the great restaurants of Murrells Inlet and some of the region’s top golf courses, the community also offers a great pier and arcade that’s a focal point for socializing and fun. Nearby Murrells Inlet provides a great area for water sports including kayaking and fishing.

Golf courses within six miles of Garden City include Indigo Creek, Azalea Sands, Blackmoor, Wachesaw Plantation, TPC of Myrtle Beach, Island Green, Wicked Stick, Heron Point and Prestwick Golf and Tennis.

If you would love to have the quintessential “beach house” without the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach itself, Garden City is yet another option. Visit our pages on the website for Garden City Beach Homes and see what’s available. We’ll be happy to show you around this pretty beach!

Pawleys Island Real Estate

Marking the southern end of the Grand Strand, Pawley’s Island is perhaps the most laid-back community on the Grand Strand, as its longtime slogan “Arrogantly Shabby” indicates.

Connected to the mainland by two bridges, the island itself is set apart in residents’ determination to maintain its special flavor. Not really on an island, the community actually sits on a skinny peninsula between the Atlantic and the Waccamaw River. One of the older seaside resorts on the east coast, it served as a cool getaway for wealthy plantation owners during Colonial days.

Now the island’s historic buildings are protected and growth on the end of it is restricted to 600 homes, with no additional shops or restaurants allowed. While the natural law of supply and demand puts a premium on homes on the island portion of Pawleys, prices are more affordable and more housing options are offered in the mainland portion of the community.

The main island does have a good deal of newer development, with multimillion-dollar oceanfront homes replacing original structures swept away by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. More than a few of the many original homes on the island are historic landmarks.

Some of the area’s top master-planned communities and golf courses are located west of U.S. 17 on the mainland. Willowbrook Plantation is typical of these, with exclusive homes in gated neighborhoods. The community is also home to a relatively good inventory of condominiums, most of them ultra-luxurious units, many of which are $1 million plus in price.

If you’re looking for a place at the beach but don’t like the commercialism of Myrtle Beach, Pawley’s Island is the place to look. Whether it’s a beach house, condo, or fine estate home that’s in a gated golf course community, you will find something you like there. And you’re just a short ride to the Seafood Capital of the south, Murrells Inlet, where some of the finest food this side of the Mason-Dixon Line can be found.

Call us to take a tour of the communities in here and we’ll be glad to show you around. Visit our website pages for Pawleys Island homes and find some that you like first!

Surfside Beach Real Estate

Just minutes away from the many attractions of Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach offers a less hectic alternative to its more commercial neighbor. Still close enough to enjoy those attractions, however, residents can also take advantage of the many recreational attractions to the south.

Those include the great restaurants and golf courses around Murrell’s Inlet as well as Pawleys Island. Just two miles long, the community has seen rapid growth over the past decade with the addition of restaurants, grocery stores and healthcare services along the U.S. 17 corridor. The serene residential essence of its beaches and residential area, however, has remained largely unchanged.

Surfside Beach real estate offers a wide range of homes and prices. There are a number of master planned communities around area golf courses, such as John Daly’s Wicked Stick course.

The Prestwick Country Club community enjoys a top-rated golf course and a first-class tennis facility as well, with 11 courts. The island also has a share of old-style beach homes.

Also offered is a good selection of condominiums, from golf course condos to oceanfront units. With no high rises here to dominate the skyline, oceanfront condos are in smaller, more intimate and enjoyable condo properties. The Inlet Square Mall is a nearby shopping center and the Surfside Pier is a favorite of area fishermen.

Find out what Surfside and many of its neighborhoods are like on the Surfside Beach Homes pages on our website. Call or contact us for more information. 

Summerville SC Real Estate

Just minutes up Interstate 26 from downtown Charleston, Summerville has long been regarded as the region’s garden city, a healthy place to live and a great place to raise a family. Settled after the Revolutionary War and named Pineland, the community was an inland getaway for wealthy merchants and plantation owners fleeing Charleston’s oppressive heat, humidity and mosquitoes.

From this seasonal migration to their summer homes or summer “villas,” the community got its name when incorporated in 1847. The city’s reputation as a healthy place to live was solidified in 1899 when an international congress of physicians named it one of the world’s top two places for the treatment of tuberculosis.

Factors contributing to that designation included the area’s many pine trees, a sandy environment and dry climate. In the late 1800s, town officials approved one of the first tree protection ordinances in the country to protect those trees with a fine of $25 for felling one. Also worth noting is the Town Seal inscribed with "Sacra Pinus Esto”, translated as “The Pine is Sacred.”

Summerville is also known as “Flowertown USA”, and since 1941 has held an annual Flowertown Festival attended by over 100,000 each year. The area’s loamy, rich soil is ideal for blossoming plants and the city is known for the incredible beauty of its camellias, magnolias, dogwoods and azaleas.

With many of its homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including a substantial portion of downtown, the city has more than its share of Southern charm. The city offers homes of virtually any type, including golf course homes, waterfront homes, historic homes, condo communities, starter homes, and mansions.

City services are highly rated and the town offers residents a network of great parks. Recreational opportunities abound on nearby Lake Moultrie and the Edisto and Ashley rivers. A good selection of golf courses is available and the town is home to a vibrant arts scene.

Our Century 21 Charleston office is located in Summerville, and we are the local experts on this city’s real estate. Call or visit our website for more information.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

North Charleston Real Estate and Homes for Sale

South Carolina’s third largest city, North Charleston has been the state’s leading retail center for more than 20 years straight and is one of the leading employment centers as well. Once an area of large plantations that included Windsor Hill, Archdale Hall and Camp Plantation, North Charleston’s plantation-based lifestyle collapsed following the Civil War, replaced by phosphates taken from strip mines in the area.

Used as fertilizers, the new industry was the first of many the growing city would see and included lumbering, a rubber company and naval shipyard. The city’s residential growth began in earnest in 1912 when a group of Charleston businessmen formed a development company and began to lay out Park Circle, a community designed and developed with space for commercial, industrial and residential use. The area remains to this day with some streets still bearing names of original developers.

During World War II, the area’s industrial and economic base boomed with the addition of military bases and related industries. By the late 1960s, it was apparent to the area’s residents that North Charleston was and needed to be a separate city from that of Charleston, and in 1972 it was officially incorporated. With the annexation of the Naval Base, Air Force Base and Charleston International Airport in the mid-70s, the city grew to a size rivaling that of Charleston.

While the eventual closing of the Naval Base was a major economic blow in the mid-1990s, the city has more than bounced back with major employers such as Boeing Aircrafts production facility. That facility made North Charleston one of the world’s major aircraft centers with thousands of good paying jobs.

Today, the city is proud of its accomplishments such as the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, which plays host to national theatre productions, Broadway shows and more. Trident Medical Center is one of the area’s major healthcare facilities and one of many healthcare facilities in the North Charleston area. The city is the home of Trident Technical College and Charleston Southern University.

The Lowcountry Graduate Center near the airport offers access to courses from the University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, College of Charleston, Clemson and other colleges. The city offers a top-rate parks and recreation system and is home to Wannamaker County Park, home to 1,000 acres of forest and wetlands crisscrossed by a network of hiking and biking trails. The park also offers an expansive dog park, education programs, a snack bar and more. During the warm months, the Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark at Wannamaker is a family favorite with 15 acres of water adventures, including a 27,000-square-foot wave pool.

We have recently opened a new Century 21 office in Summerville SC which services all the Charleston and North Charleston area real estate needs. See our website for more about the area, and search for available homes for sale.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Homes for Sale in Belle Hall Plantation Mount Pleasant, SC

Belle Hall Plantation Homes - Mount Pleasant, SC

With a convenient location close to shopping, schools and recreation, Belle Hall offers a variety of great homes in a variety of styles and price points. A few building lots are available as well. The community includes more than 1,000 homes in seven distinct communities and range from the $200s to more than $1.5 million.

Amenities include an exceptional clubhouse with tennis courts, two swimming pools, basketball court, volleyball court and a network of trails throughout the community. The Town of Mount Pleasant’s Jones Recreation Center is adjacent to the community and offers a pool, basketball court, playground and a youth activities program.

The Belle Hall Shopping Center has more than 60 shops, restaurants and professional offices and the community is just a short drive away from one of the area’s most popular shopping and entertainment destinations, Towne Centre. Convenient access to Interstate 526 also means that the state’s top retail center for more than 20 years running, North Charleston, is just a short drive away.

Beaches at the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island are also within a short drive’s distance. Downtown Charleston is less than 10 miles away across the picturesque Ravenel Bridge. The Battery, City Market, Waterfront Park and the Battery are some of the many world-renowned attractions there.

Daniel Island, home of Charleston’s professional Battery soccer team is just six miles away.  Other nearby attractions include Palmetto Island County Park, which features the Splash Island Waterpark and hundreds of acres of native forest and wetlands to explore. See our website for available Belle Hall Plantation homes or to search the Charleston MLS.

Friday, May 9, 2014

What is happening in the Myrtle Beach Real Estate Market-2014

What is happening in the Myrtle Beach real estate market?
This is the one question that most people want to know, yet so few will give the answer. I spend a lot of time researching market statistics, interviewing bankers and other real estate professionals, in order to get a grip on where the market is heading. Of course, we never know until we get there but I have found that doing your research gives you a better understanding of where we are likely to be in the near future.

Before we talk about where we are heading, let’s look at where we have been:

It was roughly 8 years ago when the market started to decline and then eventually lead to a complete crash. The numbers indicated in 2006 that the market was heading downhill, even though the real crash is said to be in 2007.

It was in 2008, 2009, and 2010 where those who purchased during the high market were sitting back thinking the market would return and they would eventually be able to sell and get their money back.

It was 2010 where those that were holding on finally had to give up, and that caused a surge in short sales and foreclosures.

In 2011, there were still property owners holding on hoping the market would turn around. It was about this time that the conversation started to change and property owners realized that the market would not likely recover at the pace necessary to wipe away their losses. We saw a lot of sellers giving up and selling for whatever price they could get at the time.

We experienced a fairly flat market in 2012. There were certain property types that did okay as some property types declined slightly.

Things changed towards the end of 2012 and all of 2013. The market became surprisingly active again. We were seeing the days on market decrease, prices increased and multiple offers became very common. It took the real estate community by surprise. As a matter of fact, it turned around so quick that we started to fear that this was another boom that would eventually lead to another bust.

Here we are in 2014 and we are starting to see another shift. Again, the market is shifting downward for a number of sales categories in our marketplace. Not only are re-sales on the decline but new construction is also seeing a cooling off from the last 18 months.

What a roller coaster!
From low to high to low to lower to picking up steam to cooling off again.

What is happening?

After a lot of research, we don’t think the market is crashing. We do admit that there is a decline in sales, yet this decline may have more to do with the fact that a lot of buyers rushed to purchase real estate over the last 18 months.

Remember, there have been a lot of investors sitting on the sidelines for the past 8 years. They pulled money out of real estate and were waiting for the right time to purchase again. Over the last 18 months, we feel that a lot of sideline money has entered back into the real estate market.

We also know that large corporations have become real estate investors. There are corporations that own thousands of homes and condos across the country. Whenever you have corporations and investors entering the real estate market at the same time; that is going to eat into supply and push the prices upward.

We cannot deny a surge in prices and sales during 2013.

So, are we really cooling off or was 2013 just a fantastic year in real estate that the market could not sustain? I will leave it up to you to answer this one.

I think we are now staring at the NEW NORMAL!

What is a ‘New Normal’?

The ‘New Normal’ is where we have a more balanced market. The ‘new normal’ doesn't have drastic ups and downs. Some call the New Normal a stabilized market. Supply and demand are not equal, yet they are not so far apart where we turn around. And seemingly overnight we have lost our equity or made significant financial gains on our property holdings.

This may not be the best news for someone who is hoping that the market is going to skyrocket and they can recover all of their past losses, yet it should be comforting to know that the market is much more predictable than it has been for the last 8-9 years.

Of course, anything can happen with the economy or the interest rates that may influence the market but until that happens, it appears we may experience a flat market for the next year or two.

If you have questions, we have answers.  Call us!

~Greg Harrelson
Century 21 The Harrelson Group
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