Myrtle Beach Real Estate Blog

Feb. 17, 2019

Smart Home Products That Will Make Your Home Function Better and Safer!

Home trends come and go. But trends that add functionality and safety to your well as likely to add value...are always winners! These four are some of our favorites currently on the market.

#1 Video Doorbell

WiFi-enabled video doorbells will let you see, hear, and speak to whoever is at your door via a smartphone, even when you're not home. It alerts your phone and turns on the camera when someone rings the bell or comes near. You can tell the UPS guy to leave the package at the door or say, "Be there in a minute!"  whether you're in the bathroom or thousands of miles away. Video doorbells can even help catch a thief because you can see them on camera.

#2 Smart Door Locks

Smart locks mean you can lock or unlock your door with your smartphone or voice. You can text digital keys to friends, the dog sitter, or the delivery guy, giving them temporary access, which is soooo much safer than the old key-under-the-doormat routine. An extra bonus: Think you forgot to lock the house? You can whip out your smartphone and check. On the stoop with arms full of groceries? Just tell the lock to open.

#3 Home Generators

It doesn't matter where you live, bad weather can cause power outages. But people are getting smarter about gearing up for such inevitabilities...and buying generators. The trend is now generators built into your home...not those noisy, portable, diesel ones. They look like an HVAC unit and run on propane or natural gas, so they don't smell or require refueling every couple of hours. They turn on automatically when the power goes off and can even be operated from a smartphone. They won't make a sexy Instagram post, but you'll be glad you made the investment next time a storm knocks out power for a few hours...or days. Just last year in Myrtle Beach, storms knocked out power in a number of areas. The outages didn't last too long, but even so, it would be great to have a back-up. 

#4 Smart Blinds

WiFi-enabled blinds you can control with your smartphone, voice, or even Alexa and Siri. You can program them to open or close at certain times of day, or when the room hits a specific temperature...which could make a big difference in your heating and cooling costs.  Or if you just don't want to get out of your chair..."Alexa, open the blinds." Done. You can also pre-schedule your smart blinds at night or when you're away to make your home more secure.

Feb. 13, 2019

Organizing Missteps That Will Totally Deflate All Your Enthusiasm

Organizing is all the rage right now! Everywhere you look, there are videos, how-to's, and picture perfect, Instagram worthy, color-coded pantries and closets. And who doesn't want to simplify and organize their life! It's a project with long-lasting gratification! 

In your enthusiasm to get rid of the clutter and get organized, here are some missteps to avoid:

#1 Starting Without a Plan

Tidying up is tidying up. Organizing is changing the way you live. Make sure you have a comprehensive plan in place before you start.


#2 Trying to Do It All at One Time

Divide and conquer. Clutter can be overwhelming and getting overwhelmed can slow down the whole process. Organize your organizing plan into small, attainable goals.


#3 Tackling The Paper Mountain First

Certain tasks can bring decluttering down to a crawl...or even stop it altogether.  Getting your paperwork sorted and organized is essential, but trying to to it first probably won't motivate you or give you much satisfaction.


#4 Trying To Buy Your Way to Organization

It pains us to admit, but organization is an action, not something you can buy. Renting storage space or buying beautifully chic, handwoven baskets may make you feel super accomplished...but all you've really done is drain your bank account and maybe put a few things in a pricey, new container.


#5 Buying Without Measuring

But don't even think about walking into Ikea or The Container Store before you know the size, shape, and dimensions of containers/organizers you need. 


#6 Not Using Your Wall Space

Don't forget about wall space. Coat hooks, bins, and shelves are great ways to be organized.


And if you're an especially adept DIYer, you might even think about using the space between the studs for shelving and storage options.


#7 Not Using Labels

Labeling everything may feel a bit over enthusiastic, but this keeps you and the rest of the household on track.



#8 Failing to Donate Your Donations

Guilty. Moving on.


#9 Allowing Your Organizers to Get Disorganized

Try to avoid too many free-standing small containers and keep them corralled in larger containers/drawers instead. Stay on top of things to keep your plan in action...getting organized is one thing, but staying organized is the ultimate plan. 



Feb. 4, 2019

Do Paint Selections Really Make a Difference to Buyers?

If you thought the color of your paint selections wouldn't make a difference to potential buyers...after all, it's just paint, it can be changed, right?... you might be surprised to know that's not the case and in some instances, it can make a major impact on the amount of money buyers are willing to pay for your home.

Zillow recently put out their Paint Color Analysis which noted some surprising results!

1. Houses with front doors in shades of black - from charcoal to jet - fetched $6,271 more than expected when sold.



2. Painting your bathroom a light blue, periwinkle blue, or a light gray-blue tint, can increase the average selling price of a home by $2,786.  Note that is lower than the $5,400 premium home sellers got for blue bathrooms last year, indicating that blue may be starting to go out of style.


3. Houses with kitchens that have a different color for the upper and lower cabinets, known as tuxedo cabinets, sell at a $1,547 premium. The most popular color combinations are gray, navy blue or black kitchen islands with white cabinets.



4. For wall colors, buyers prefer living rooms painted light grays or light taupe on the walls...and these homes sold for $2,793 more than expected.

5. Here are some notable "don'ts" from the analysis:

  • Dining rooms that feature oat brown to medium sandy brown walls, and with yellow undertones, typically sell for $1,684 less than expected.
  • Homes with yellow exteriors reportedly sell for $3,408 less than expected.
  • A brick red dining room or kitchen will slash a home's price down by more than $2,000 versus what was expected.
  • And be particular about all white or eggshell walls. White walls work in a room with lots of natural light, but will make the space feel "dead" if it's small or dark.
Feb. 1, 2019

Modern Farmhouse Style

According to Google Trends and as evidenced in the map above, South Carolinian's favorite design style is Farmhouse. HGTV's Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame didn't invent Modern Farmhouse design, but she certainly made it extremely popular. Modern farmhouse design takes the comfortable, relaxed farmhouse style and adds modern touches such as smooth lines, glossy accents and neutral color schemes. It's less rustic, more sophisticated and uses contemporary design elements like stainless steel appliances, marble countertops and sleek lighting.

Here are a couple guidelines if you want to give your home that Modern Farmhouse style: 

1. Color Palette

Start with a neutral color palette (grey, cream, beige, silver sage), then layer in some natural wood tones. Scratches, knots, and nicks add to the authenticity so look for salvaged woods that have some wear and tear whenever possible. 

2. Accent

If you want to add in some additional accent colors, try doing so in accent pieces rather than statement pieces.

3. Texture

Be sure to use plenty of different textures so your rooms have depth. Mix wood, metal, and a variety of different fabrics to keep your neutrals from looking flat.


4. Natural Materials

Use natural and organic materials to keep a connected feeling to the outdoors. Wood, stone, wicker, sisal, rattan, and other natural materials work great along with live plants.

5. Accessories

Accessories are always important but don't overdo it. Think more Scandinavian and less country. Modern Farmhouse encompasses a feeling of openness with room to breath.
Jan. 29, 2019

4 Tips to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal

It's common knowledge now that staging your home can make a huge impact on the sale and most people focus the inside of a house when staging, however, the exterior is just as important for enticing prospective buyers.  Poorly maintained exteriors can keep buyers from even wanting to go inside. Improving your curb appeal can help increase the value of your home and increase viewer traffic.

attractive gray house with pretty green grassy yard

It's not all just about looks either. Make sure exterior maintenance items are taken care of and that your home would pass a home inspection to avoid any surprises later on in the process.

When it comes to improving your curb appeal, it's easy to go down a rabbit hole and overspend. Here's a list of four key areas that will give you the best return and help you put your home's best impression forward.

1. Keep your lawn manicured

Taking care of your lawn should not be done year round. Staying consistent with raking, mowing, watering and weeding will go a long way in making your home look cheerful and inviting. Healthy green grass signals to potential home buyers that the house is well-maintained.  Lightly water and rake bare patches, then try reseeding. This might seem like a tedious process but the results are well worth it.

2. Landscaping

Impeccable landscaping doesn't mean you need to blow your budget on flowers. Stick to low-maintenance perennial plants if possible and choose colors that compliment your home's exterior. You can avoid trying to replant entire flower beds by using containers and/or planters strategically placed around your porch and walkway.

3. Hardscaping

There are three things that should be in tip-top shape before listing your home: the driveway, walkway and porch. Fix any cracks, fill holes and make repairs as needed. Not only will these repairs make your home more attractive, it will also make your home safer. You don't want potential buyers tripping over cracks. It's worth getting a professional involved if you're not particularly adept at this kind of repair work. DIYing could make the situation worse (and end up costing you more). Adding lights along your walkway can also help make it safer and appear more inviting.

4. Front door

Your front door should be eye-catching at first glance. A fresh coat of paint in an attractive color will make your home look fresh. Replacing old hardware and perhaps even adding house numbers is another easy way to make your door look brand-new. 

Improving your home's curb appeal might seem like a lot of work but remember: a home that looks inviting from the outside will encourage people to want to take a peek inside.

Jan. 26, 2019

Do You Know How Myrtle Beach Got It's Name?


Did you know Myrtle Beach wasn't always Myrtle Beach? In fact, our town had at least 3 earlier names before Addie Burroughs, the widow of Franklin G. Burroughs, suggested “Myrtle Beach" during a contest in 1900.


From the Myrtle Beach City Government:


Did you know... That earlier names for Myrtle Beach included Long Bay, Withers, and New Town?


The area was called Long Bay when a hurricane swept through in 1822. It was later known as Withers (hence Withers Swash) for the Withers family, which had owned property in the area since the late 1700s. A Withers post office even opened in 1888.


The Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway purchased much of the Withers’ family land in 1881, and the growing community was called New Town at the turn of the century. (Conway was “old town.”)


In 1900, a contest was held to give New Town an official name, and Addie Burroughs, the widow of Franklin G. Burroughs, suggested  "Myrtle Beach" because of the wax myrtle bushes growing abundantly. The second-place suggestion was "Edgewater." The Withers post office was replaced by the first Myrtle Beach post office in the early 1910s.


By the way, no other incorporated cities or towns exist with the name "Myrtle Beach." There are towns called Myrtle, Myrtle Grove and Myrtle Island, but no other Myrtle Beach exists!

Jan. 24, 2019

Are Short-Term Rental Properties a Good Investment?

Whether you're hoping to subsidize the mortgage on a vacation home or just looking for long-term investment strategies, buying a property to rent out for short-term use is becoming an incredibly popular investment strategy. 

In some cases, managing an Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway property could generate a great profit. Here in Myrtle Beach, demand is so high for vacation rentals that many Condominiums even have their own on-site rental companies and owning vacation rentals can be quite lucrative. However, these types of investments are not without their potential pitfalls. Experienced investors know the key to success is due diligence. Here are some things to look out for.

Picture of oceanfront condo building1. Does your condo board (or city) allow it?

In the past, property owners could rent out their properties without much fanfare. Thanks to the popularity of websites like VRBO, HomeAway, and Airbnb, many homeowner/condo associations now have clearly defined rules regarding short-term property use. If you're looking to purchase a condo for the purpose of short-term rentals, make sure to check the HOA's rules before investing. 

If you're not beholden to a homeowners association, you still need to do your due diligence. Some cities require specific business licenses and registration to operate as a short-term rental property. You also definitely need to check with your homeowner's insurance agency about liability issues.



Photos of balconies overlooking ocean and golf course2. Are you buying in a popular area?

Location, location, location. As with all property investments, location is important...oceanfront will likely always be more in demand than other properties...but it can also mean a higher purchase price, more competition for rentals, and higher HOA fees. You will need to analyze comparative listings, rental rates, occupancy rates, management fees, amenities, and more.






Interior photo of high rise apartment3. Take into account your overhead and understand your ROI

There are many factors potential buyers have to consider before investing in a short-term rental property. Condo fees,  professional cleaning, furnishings, decor, property damage, repairs, and vacancy rates will all need to be factored into your calculations. Additionally, unless you are going to manage the day-to-day operations of the property, you will need to hire a management/rental company which will also eat into your potential profit. And last but not least, you need to consider property taxes, income taxes, and  homeowners/liability insurance.




Two female business people looking at a computer4. Use the right REALTOR®

When all the variables are taken into consideration, knowledgeable REALTOR® is invaluable. Find a local REALTOR®with experience in helping buyers with investment properties and you could be on your way to buying that vacation property you've been dreaming of and earning a comfortable monthly income in the process.

Jan. 17, 2019

Those Beautiful Cement Tiles

They're everywhere! Instagram decor feeds are full of them and if you scroll through Pinterest, you'll see even more! We're talking about those gorgeous patterned tiles that are all the rage right now! Interesting colors and patterns with a matte finish, they feel thoroughly modern. In reality, they are from the mid-1800's...first sited in Spain and are now seeing a major resurgence in the U.S. The process for cement tile is different from your basic ceramic and other tiles, they are not kiln-fired, but rather cured at room temperature.  The color is pigmented rather than glazed which makes it porous...resulting in an old-world patina over time.

High-end tile suppliers have beautiful and unique selections and even the big box stores are carrying them...along with some less expensive "look-alikes." Of course, there are noteworthy pros and cons to using cement tiles with everyone from your local tile guy to the New York Times weighing in. What do you think? Have you used them in a remodeling project? 

Jan. 8, 2019

Mid-century Modern Bathrooms

Mid-century Modern Bathrooms

Mid-century Modern Style is popping up everywhere from renovation to modern architectural design and can be a very trendy and chic style when used in your design plans. If a bathroom renovation is in your 2019 plans, this photographic collection of beautiful Mid-century modern bathroom designs might inspire your project!

It can be simple or complex depending on your budget, what is already in your current space and what your design goals are.

To better understand where this style originated, let's jump back to the era of 1945 – 1970, when houses were built with plenty of open space, simplicity of style, and lots of windows integrating with nature.

The rise of mid-century modern came after World War II when materials such as steel and plywood were all the rage.

Houses were created with flat planes or gabled roofs (mid-century ranch houses), open floor plans, expansive windows with sliding glass doors, and a sloping center-of-focus towards outdoor views. Incorporating these design elements of sleek, simple lines with a nod to nature into your bathroom design will help you create a modern version of mid-century modern.


Dec. 31, 2018

5 Bar Tips for Your New Year's Party

Hosting a New Years Party? Here are 5 tips to make sure your bar is ready so you can enjoy the festivities too!

Tip #1 - Make enough to drink! 

Now we know this one sounds pretty obvious but its a safe bet to consider that most guest will have two drinks in the first hour then one every hour after.

Check out this Blood Orange Champagne Mule Recipe HERE

Tip #2 -  Offer a house cocktail!

Create a single signature house cocktail and prepare a big batch ahead of time! A lot of guests will choose to try this drink and being in the real estate industry we suggest choosing a lighter colored drink so any drops or spills are less likely to damage any of your stuff! 

Tip #3 - Cool drinks ahead of time!

An hour before guests arrive make sure to put all bottles on ice. Fill a bucket with ice, water, and even a little salt to keep them cool. 

Tip #4 - Stock up on ice!

In addition to the ice need to keep bottles cool, you should plan on having at least one 10-pound bag for every 3 or 4 guests.

Tip #5- Glasses!

Most guests will have at least 3 drinks so make sure you have enough glasses for everyone. If you don't have enough glasses then check Amazon or your local party supply store for plastic champagne flutes and whatnot.