Myrtle Beach Real Estate Blog

Oct. 22, 2018

Some Relief from Mortgage Rate Increases for Buyers

After weeks of gradual increases, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased a bit this week. This slight dip offers potential buyers a small window of opportunity to possibly lock in a lower borrowing rate.

From Freddie Mac:

"The modest decline in mortgage rates is a welcome respite from the rapid increase in rates the last few weeks," says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "While the housing market has clearly softened in reaction to the rise in mortgage rates, the economy and consumer sentiment remain very robust and that will sustain purchase demand, particularly in affordable markets and neighborhoods."

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages in mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 18:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.85 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week's 4.90 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.88 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.26 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week's 4.29 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.19 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 4.10 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week's 4.07 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.17 percent.

Oct. 18, 2018

Jack Nicklaus "The Golden Bear" is Headed to The Grand Strand

Jack Nicklaus the world-renowned golfer and golf course designer known as"The Golden Bear" is headed to the Myrtle Beach area on Monday, October 22 for the anniversaries of two of his signature courses along the Grand Strand. According to local news reports, Nicklaus will be in town to recognize the Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club, and Long Bays Golf Club courses.

VIEW HOMES FOR SALE IN PAWLEYS PLANTATION

VIEW HOMES FOR SALE IN LONG BAY 

 

He will also be meeting with boys and girls from The First Tee of Coastal Carolinas and attending a cocktail reception and dinner that night. A limited number of tickets to the dinner are available from Golf Tourism Solutions (843) 282-2665.

 

Oct. 15, 2018

A Moving Guide for a Stress-Free Move

Anyone who has moved probably has a story about boxes packed at the last minute! Movers or family already parked out front so you had to just start throwing stuff into boxes...or good intentioned helpers who do it for you...and you have no idea what's where when you get to your new place.  Don't let this happen to you!

Having a good packing system is can eliminate a lot of stress and anxiety surrounding your move. We've found a 3-step process that can help you eliminate what you don't need, organize what you choose to keep and then label it so that you can find it when you arrive at your new home. 

 

Packing tips for moving:

Step 1: Pare Down Your Belongings

Moving more than you need wastes both time and money. You may be forced to pay to dispose of furniture that's a poor fit at your new home when with a bit of advance planning, you can sell it before you move. Be honest with yourself about what should make it onto the moving truck.

Organize your possessions into four categories:

Trash/Recycle. Start by weeding out all of the things that you clearly don’t need, such as old toiletries, broken appliances, piles of newspapers and magazines, stained clothing unfit to donate and outdated electronics.

Sell. From old sporting equipment to a spare sofa, there may be a market for your unwanted items. Allow time to post them for sale, find a buyer and arrange for timely pickup.

Donate or give away. Ask family and friends if they are interested in taking extra items, or contact a non-profit. Some will arrange to pick up furniture and other household items in good condition. 

Pack. These are things that you can’t live without. Think useful, valuable or sentimental. Remember that the single best moving tip is to reduce the amount of things you have to move. That takes time, so get started early and stay committed to being organized. 

Once you have divided your items into these categories, act quickly before you change your mind.

Step 2: Organize Your Items

Create an inventory to track the items that you will move. This will help you estimate the moving cost with the moving company and keep track of items during your move, including documenting lost or damaged items. Your inventory can include the condition and value of items, as well as the room where they will go in your new home.

Organize items by areas of the house, their material and the frequency of their use. Pack decorative wall hangings and items that are rarely used first, with other similar items that are used in the same room. As you pack, remember that household items, including socks and t-shirts, can also make for handy, and free, packing materials to help keep dishes and other breakables safe. 

As you pack, number each box and track the numbers on your spreadsheet, so you know that the coffee maker is in "Kitchen – Box 11," not just in one of a dozen boxes labeled "Kitchen." You can download moving apps on your smartphone to guide you through building an inventory and creating barcodes that you can print out and place on boxes help keep track of your items. 

Step 3: Label Everything

Gather your packing supplies, including boxes, packing tape, scissors, newspaper, markers, and labels. Consider using color-coded electrical tape to help you quickly identify boxes. Label the tops and sides of boxes by number, category, and room in your new home. Clearly mark boxes containing breakable items as “FRAGILE.” Label boxes that should be opened right away and others that can wait until you are more settled.

It's helpful to create an "open first" box with key items that you'll need first, such as a change of clothes, tools and a first aid kit. Also set aside a moving documents folder, with the contract for the moving truck, the tip for the movers, and any other paperwork you might need on moving day. That way, when the moving truck pulls up out front, you'll be ready to roll.  

Following a process that helps you be organized for your move can help ensure a smoother experience as you transition from one home to the next.

Oct. 9, 2018

4 Tips for Home Sellers: What Not To Do When Selling Your Home

When it's time to sell your home, chances are

1. you want things to go smoothly and

2. you want things to move along quickly.

The listing process is one of the first steps in selling your home and it's also one of the most important. Missteps can result in selling for less than your home is worth or a significantly longer time period to get your home sold. Avoid these mistakes to drastically increase your chances of a smooth, quick sale at the best possible price. 

Incorrect Pricing.

Probably the worst mistake you can make is pricing your home incorrectly. If you price it too high, potential buyers will skip your home and move on to the next one that is more reasonably priced and within their budget...and they may not return even if you start lowering the price. There's also a psychological factor involved. When potential buyers see a home that is overpriced compared to the market, they start to assume the owner is unreasonable. Additionally, the longer the property sits on the market, the more likely buyers are to think something is wrong with it. And to make matters worse, once they start seeing you lower the price, that misconception is even more likely to take hold. On the other side, pricing your home too low means you could lose out on potential profits.

Instead of finding yourself stuck in this pricing quagmire, take the time to carefully evaluate your home and other homes in the area that are currently for sale or have recently sold. Don't count on online estimates of your home, instead, consult with a professional real estate agent who has experience in marketing and selling homes in your area.  Allow the agent to do a thorough assessment of your home including the condition of your home, improvements, location, current demand, and market movement. Encourage them to be completely honest with you about all these factors in order to understand their pricing recommendations. A knowledgeable real estate agent will price your home in order to bring in potential buyers while still leaving room for negotiations.

Not making repairs or fixing up the home.

Depending on the condition of your home,  you'll likely need to put in some effort into it if you want to make a sale quickly. If your home is in need of repairs unless you are selling your home "as-is" and at a steep discount, you'll definitely need to take preliminary steps. 

If your home is in good shape, you will typically only need to address some deep cleaning and de-cluttering. Start with these obvious steps before you schedule your listing photos and be prepared to maintain your house in this way to accommodate showings and open houses. take photos of your home for the listing and schedule an open house. If a potential buyer sees a cluttered home, they may assume you haven't been paying attention to other things around the home that may need attention.

If your home is in need of repairs, take care of those issues and updates before listing the home. Just like with dirt and clutter, if potential buyers notice basic repairs that are lacking, they will assume you have not bothered with other things. Fix broken appliances, tighten dripping faucets, add a coat of paint, and even replace the roof, if necessary. Many potential sellers even hire a home inspector ahead of time to get in front of any repairs that may come up during the process and delay a sale/closing.

Using bad photos.

In the current age of online home shopping, your photos are going to be one of the most important marketing tools. Hiring a professional property photographer will typically pay for itself in terms of a higher sales price. There is more to taking photos for your home listing than just pointing your phone's camera and shooting.  Professionals understand staging, lighting, and composition. You will want photos that show your home in the best light possible and make your rooms appear bright and spacious. 

Without well done, high resolution photos, buyers are more likely to scroll right past your home and never even check out the details.

Not hiring the right real estate agent...or not hiring any real estate agent.

Although it's sometimes tempting, it's risky to try listing and selling your home alone. Without an agent, not only will you miss out on the best strategies for negotiating the sale, but you will also have to spend a great deal of money advertising your home yourself, and a great deal of time answering phone calls and showing the home. Keep in mind that most agents have access to the MLS system...a direct pipeline to agents across the country who may already have a potential buyer looking for a home like yours. Additionally, a knowledgeable agent already knows what mistakes to avoid when listing or selling a home, giving you one less thing to worry about.

And remember, just hiring an agent isn't enough; you need to choose a good one. Select a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent with good reviews and a reputation for closing sales.

Oct. 3, 2018

Myrtle Beach Seafood Festival

Don't miss the Myrtle Beach Seafood Festival this weekend! 

The festival runs from Friday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 7, with the scheduled times as follows:

Friday, Oct. 5 from 6 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 6 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hosted by the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation and the City of Myrtle Beach, the festival will be located at the Burroughs & Chapin Pavilion Place, located between 8th and 9th Avenues North downtown Myrtle Beach.

ADMISSION / ACTIVITIES

The festival is free to attend and in addition to the delicious seafood vendors and restaurants onsite, there will be kid-friendly activities, live entertainment, beer stations, crafters and other vendors, a car show on Saturday and corn hole tournament hosted by Coastal Tailgating on Saturday. You will simply purchase food directly from the participating vendors. There are no tickets to purchase.

ENTERTAINMENT LINE-UP

Bring your lawn chair or blanket and come dance to some awesome beach tunes on the main stage! (No coolers allowed.)

Friday, Oct. 5th

6 pm - 10 pm            - The Fantastic Shakers

Saturday, Oct. 6th

11 am - 1:30 pm       - The Embers, featuring Craig Woolard

2 pm - 4:30 pm         - The Castaways

5 pm - 7 pm               - The Catalinas

Sunday, Oct. 7th

11 am - 1:30 pm       - Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot

2 pm - 4:30 pm         - The Entertainers

5 pm - 7 pm               - Jim Quick & Coastline

 

KID ZONE 

The festival has a great Kid Zone where kids can enjoy bounce houses, carnival games, slides, and other fun activities.

Friday Night 6 PM - 10 PM | Saturday 11 AM - 7 PM | Sunday 11 AM - 7 PM

Kid Zone Prices

Bounce Houses / Slides and Combo Unites - $5.00 Unlimited Bounce

Rock Climbing wall - $5.00 

Games (guaranteed winner every time) - $3 to $5 Game Prices Vary

Face Painting - $6 to $13 Prices Vary by Size

 

Sounds like a great time downtown!

Sept. 28, 2018

Did you know the hottest chili pepper in the world comes from South Carolina?

Originated in Rock Hill, the pepper known as the "Carolina Reaper" is the Worlds Hottest Pepper.

Originally ranked as world’s hottest in 2013, the Reaper was tested again in 2018 with an even higher SHU. (71,000 SHU higher to be exact) This gives the reaper a renewed title as World’s Hottest!

That got us wondering what other interesting vegetables find the South Carolina climate ideal?

Well, first of all, peppers...of course.

Peppers


Peppers prefer a day temperature of 70 - 85°F day temperature and a 60 - 70°F night temperature...which makes the ideal crop for most of our Southern state. When growing peppers in the Grand Strand Area, transplant your seedlings at the very beginning of April for the Spring and The last quarter of July for the fall harvest.

Asparagus

Asparagus is a hardy perennial that is native to the Mediterranean. Once the plants are established, they will provide delicious spears every spring. Although asparagus takes two to three years to begin production, it will be highly productive for seven to eight years before gradually declining. Start asparagus from 1 to 2-year-old disease-free crowns and plant in a location with good drainage and sun. In the Grand Strand Area, you should start planting the crowns in January. If planted too late in the spring, your asparagus may get a bit shocked and start sprouting early thus injuring the developing buds.

Onion

Onions and the related shallots, leeks and garlic all grow best during cool weather and are usually planted in the fall in South Carolina for late spring harvest. Onion plants can also be planted in early spring for summer harvest. Leeks are planted in late summer or early fall for winter harvest. If growing in coastal regions, plant seeds in fall and transplants mid February. Planting in raised garden rows will ensure better drainage and make pulling the soil away from the bulbs easier at maturity

Garlic

Garlic grows best in full sun with good drainage and loamy soil. Garlic must be planted in the fall. Plant early enough in the season (September - October) because vegetative growth ceases when the actual garlic bulb starts developing in the warmer days of spring. Your garlic will be ready to harvest when the leaves begin to yellow as summer begins ( May - June )

Broccoli

Broccoli is a cool-season vegetable that prefers average temperatures of 65 to 75 F for best growth. Like many cruciferous vegetables, broccoli doesn't fair very well in the heat, turning bitter. For growing in the Grand Strand Area, it's best to start transplanting around mid February for the spring and mid August for the fall. Broccoli is ready to harvest 65 to 70 days after planting transplants.

Cucumber

Cucumbers love South Carolina’s weather. They grow best around 75 and 85 F. These plants are not cold hardy at all and can be killed by light frosts. Start planting cucumber transplants late March for the spring and early August for summer.  Your cucumber plants should be ready to harvest in about 2 months. Pick as often as you want to avoid oversized fruit, the more you pick the more the vine will start to produce.

Knowing all this, it's time to get busy planning your garden! If you’re interested in some land with acreage, call us!

Sept. 24, 2018

Self Storage Options When Moving



We here at Beach Realty Group know that sometimes, things can get a little hectic when planning a move. Whether you’re buying your first home, making a major move, or just moving across town, self-storage and transport are pretty inevitable. We came up with a list of the three major options in self-storage and some important things to consider when making that decision.

Portable Storage Containers

These are incredibly convenient for moving if you’re capable of loading / unloading your furniture yourself but don’t want the hassle of driving the U-haul truck.


PODS revolutionized moving and storage by introducing the concept of portable storage containers. With PODS, portable storage containers come to you, so you can pack at your leisure. When you're ready, we'll move your PODS container across town, across the country or to one of our secure Storage Center facilities.” - PODS.com

Pods offers multiple sized containers with 30 days of storage. They have a Myrtle Beach center and cover 40+ other states as well as some locations in Canada, Australia and the UK. They aren’t the only Mobile container option in town, there’s competition like U-Pack and others.  You just need to make sure that you clear it with any HOAs.

Storage Units

If you need more time storing or have things you wish to keep that just have no place in the home you’re moving too - You can always consider long term self-storage options. There’s over 40,000 independent self storage facilities in the US. And the Grand Strand Area has A LOT of self-storage options that can cover any of your requirements.

For a storage unit size calculator you can follow this link here.

Pricing for units vary but typically sit between 50-300$ a month depending on size, location and whether or not they’re temperature controlled. This a great option if you’re making a relatively local move and have a vehicle large enough to move furniture.

Rental Trucks

Typically rental trucks are cheaper than the portable storage containers and a good choice for anybody who’s willing to drive the U-haul and unpack it in good time. The portable storage containers also typically require the minimum one month storage fee when the rental trucks only charge you for the time you use it.

 

Some of our BRG agents like Matt Harper even have their own moving truck available for clients to use.



If you’re looking to move to THE MYRTLE BEACH AREA , Click Here.

Sept. 20, 2018

Want to Help? Make Sure You Donate to Reputable Organizations

The Conway Riverwalk gazebo sits nearly submerged on Monday. The Conway area is already experiencing flooding Monday after Tropical Depression Florence. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

 

It's a sad truth; when disaster strikes, you need to be wary of scam donation sites and organizations. As flooding in our area threatens thousands of homes and is set to get even worse in the coming days, Horry County officials are asking that you do research on any organization before making a donation to be certain the money and efforts will actually reach the people in need.

Myrtle Beach Online and The Sun News posted this information about a local reputable charity:

"The organization Waccamaw VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) is a reputable charity that Horry County Emergency Services is recommending people support. The VOAD is a group effort of local charities, including Impact Ministries, The American Red Cross and other local religious groups."

"The Waccamaw VOAD is working closely with Horry County Emergency Operations Center to make sure resources are where they need to be."

"The organization’s website has information on how to donate, how to volunteer and how to request aid if your property was damaged in the flood. Individuals and business can make donations."

"Individual donations will go to the flood relief effort and will be handled by the Waccamaw Community Foundation. People can make one-time and recurring donations."

"Many of the organizations under VOAD can be donated to directly as well."

Read the entire article here: 

Avoid the scams: Here is a local, legit group raising money to help flood victims

Sept. 18, 2018

Can Salt Lamps Help With Coastal Humidity?

No matter how much we here at BRG Myrtle Beach "love where we live," we know all too well is that one thing is inevitable when living at the coast - Humidity. I mean sure, we get beautiful warm weather, beach days, and great seafood; but sometimes things can get a little, erm...sticky. The benefits of salt have been known by mankind for thousands of years and one particular benefit can be quite nice when living near the beach.

Did you know Rock Salt and Salt Lamps can be used as natural dehumidifiers? They can also help purify the air and they're great because they can be completely energy free or can be used with a heating element like a lamp.

How does it work? Salt is hygroscopic which means it has the ability to absorb moisture from the air which makes it a natural dehumidifier. We don’t have really have snow days here in the Grand Strand Area, but, you're probably familiar with how they use salt to melt ice and snow in the road.

Salt Lamps & Rock Salt as a Dehumidifier - Coverage Areas

A simple formula you can use to estimate coverage is 1 square foot per 1.5 pounds of salt without heat and 1 square foot per 1 pound of salt with heat. So a medium sized 7-10lb salt lamp will cover 7-12 square feet or a 7-10lb tray or rock salt will cover 4-8 square feet.

Salt Lamps

Salt lamps have a natural look that could blend into almost any style home and can add a warm reddish-orange ambient glow to your room. Not only do they have the aesthetic appeal of a warm glowing crystal lamp, but the light actually produces negatives ions which bind with excess positive ions floating in the air around the lamp. This pulls the pollutants floating around in the air down the base of the crystal. Thus cleaning the air and dehumidifying it. You will need to clean the base of the crystal as pollutants are collected. 

Adding beautiful ambiance to living and working spacs

If you're like some of us and watch way too many shows about DIY PROJECTS, you might want to check out this video and make your own salt lamp and dehumidifier.

 

 

Sept. 6, 2018

3 Surprising Features that Could Increase Your Home's Value

To understand how much your home is worth, it's important to understand the variety of factors that go into assessing the value, both existing (assessed and appraised) value, as well as potential real value on the market. 

There are thousands of data points extrapolated to determine home values and sale prices — some of which are obvious (like the condition of the home), and some that aren't so obvious.

Check out these 3 surprising things that can affect either the existing value of your home or the price someone is willing to pay for it, all based on data.

1. HOW CLOSE YOU ARE TO A STARBUCKS

Believe it or not, Harvard Business School actually did a study on this. Having a Starbucks open near a neighborhood could increase nearby home values. They were really studying gentrification of neighborhoods using Yelp data, but discovered the "Starbucks effect" during their research.

"Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser says he believes the home price rises are not due to the actual Starbucks opening but may be more of an indicator of affluent customers in the area. 'The presence of a Starbucks is far less important than whether the community has people who consume Starbucks,' Glaeser notes in the paper. Consequently, we think that this variable is likely to be a proxy for gentrification itself. … The most natural hypothesis to us is that restaurants respond to exogenous changes in neighborhood composition, not that restaurant availability is driving neighborhood change.”

Other home value data showed that homes within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks increased in value by 96%, on average, compared with 65% for all U.S. homes between 1997 and 2014.

If you're not near a Starbucks, don't worry. The same data showed that homes near Dunkin' Donuts during that same time period appreciated 80%...not as much as Starbucks, but well above the average 65%.

 

2. BLUE KITCHENS & BATHROOMS

Of course, all-around curb appeal plays a huge role in the sale of your home, but surprisingly, the colors you've painted rooms can make a big difference in the sales price of your home. Especially the color of kitchens and bathrooms.

"According to Zillow's 2017 Paint Color Analysis, which examined more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country, homes with blue kitchens sold for a $1,809 premium, compared to similar homes with white kitchens."

Blue was also a good financial choice for bathrooms as well. The same paint color analysis showed that homes with light pale blue bathrooms sold on average for $5,440 more money than other homes. What??

Notable is the fact that blue seems to transcend some of the color trends and remains steady as the favorite color of both men and women. 

It is also the color that most evokes "Truth."

Trust: Most chose the color blue (34%), followed by white (21%) and green (11%)

Security: Blue came out on top (28%), followed by black (16%) and green (12%)

High Quality: Black was the clear winner (43%), then blue (20%)

Reliability: Blue was the top choice (43%), followed by black (24%)

Additionally, walls that are painted in neutral colors signal that a home is well cared for.

FYI: Trend forecasting service WGSN has revealed that a pastel shade of green, coined "neo mint", will dominate the worlds of fashion and interiors in 2020. 

3. TRENDY FEATURES

Homes that feature things like "shiplap," "barn doors," and "farmhouse sinks" sell faster and for a premium...then you Joanna Gaines.

As an example of this, data analysis showed that listings with "barn door" in the description sold for 13.4 percent more than expected, and 57 days faster than comparable homes without the keyword.

Meanwhile, "farmhouse sink" led to a nearly 8-percent sales premium. Something to keep in mind is that these features don't seem to be increasing the value of the home off-market, but the popularity of the trends at the time of sale DEFINITELY make a difference in the property's popularity.