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!

March 2, 2012

The Myrtle Beach Waterparks: Can YOU take the plunge?

Child Slide

Myrtle Waves

3000 10th Avenue North,Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Waves' SlideThe state’s largest water park in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Waves offers slides and rides for all ages including a wave pool and the dreaded Turbo Twister, where you drop 10 stories in and out of a dark tunnel, falling at a rate of 50 feet per second. A great ride for the entire family, Snake Mountain is a long and winding tube ride down the mountain at a clip neither too fast nor too slow. Featuring fast and slow river rides, the 1,200-foot-long LayZee River is for the meek while the Racin River is for the more stout at heart. And for the younger ones, there’s Saturation Station, a large tropically themed area with a variety of great rides just for them.

Wild Water and Wheels

910U.S.17 South, Surfside Beach

Head south to Surfside Beach and this great park that features a wave pool, children’s area, lazy river, and bumper boats as well as dry attractions like miniature golf and go-cart racing. For the fearless, the park offers the Free Fall Cliff Dive where riders take a near vertical drop into a dark tube at up to 45 miles per hour. Kids will love rides like the H2O Racer where they’ll plunge head first through rolls and dropsand can race each other in up to four lanes. There’s an activity area for kids, the Wee Kids Water Works for the youngest as well as an adults only Lounge Pool, combing lounge chairs and water.

Family Kingdom Amusement and Water Park

300 S. Ocean Blvd.,Myrtle Beach

Wavepool At Wild Water and WheelsThe only oceanfront park along the Grand Strand, Family Kingdom is also one of its tamest. But what it might lack in scare factor, it more than makes up in its wow factor, with great views of the beach and ocean from its slides and other rides and one of the best family atmospheres to be found. A smaller park, the winding slide rides are the most fun for many since you get a changing view of the ocean on your way to splashdown.

Posted in Attractions, Featured
Feb. 15, 2012

[VIDEO] Inside Scoop on Myrtle Beach Market Activity

Negotiations

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello it’s Greg Harrelson here with Century 21 Harrelson Group down in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. Just wanted to send you a quick little video. Most of you are getting my monthly emails and usually I’m giving you some good information as to what’s going on down here in the Myrtle Beach real estate market as well as a few tips on whether you should do some things now or maybe wait and put your plans on hold.

I wanted to shoot a quick video and send it to you, from my perspective as a professional real estate agent in Myrtle Beach I can honestly tell you that the Myrtle Beach buyer activity is changing. And it’s changing in many different ways. So I wanted to discuss with you three questions that I’m consistently asked, especially in the last month. These are three questions that continue to come up as I’m talking to owners of real estate in Myrtle Beach. Or people who own from out of the area but who own a condo in Myrtle Beach.

Are there any real estate buyers in Myrtle Beach?

Right now the main question that I’m being asked is, “are they any buyers?” And let me just answer that real quickly. Yes. There are actually a lot of buyers in our market or there are a lot of buyer phone calls. People calling us and asking us what’s available and setting appointments to come down here in one week, two weeks or later even a month from now. So not only is there more buyers in town right this second and looking to scoop up property before the summer but there’s also an increased amount of buyer activity  coming through the internet, coming through emails, coming off of website advertisements, etcetera. So there are a lot of buyers.

What kind of offers are these buyers making?

Number two. I have to say that I’m being asked …”ok there are a lot of buyers, but are they still making low ball offers?” There are a few buyers that are making low ball offers. That’s going to be the case though whether it was 2005 whether it was 1995, whether it’s 2012, and it’ll be the case in 2015. There are always going to be those people that make low ball offers. What I can comfortably tell you though now is or I can share with you at this point, is that there are not as many low ball offers as there used to be. In other words the people let’s call them sharks that were out there trying to get that best deal at practically the lowest price or steal the property let’s say. They’ve either acquired properties already or they have not been successful in acquiring properties and they’re becoming a little bit more realistic in what they’re proposing to the sellers. So yes there are still some low ball offers taking place but it’s an amount that we would say is normal in any particular market. So I don’t think that the market conditions are really inspiring people to continue making those low ball offers. The level of confidence that they have to buy a quality property at such as low ball offer. I think they’re losing confidence so now they are being a little bit more realistic or they are going away altogether which is perfectly fine to me.

Are they willing to negotiate?

HandshakeThe third question that I’m getting from owners like yourself is, “okay there’s buyers in town, they’re not making lowball offers but when they make an offer do the buyers say this is a take it or leave it offer or are the buyers willing to negotiate?” Now I have to say it depends. From the buyers standpoint we’re starting to see that buyers are a little bit more negotiable and a little bit more flexible when it comes to making a fair offer and then trying to negotiate with the seller based on what they feel might be the fair market value. Now the exceptions could be when a seller over prices the property and builds in a big cushion anticipating a very aggressive and lengthy negotiation.

So if a property was worth $200,000 and they put it on the MLS or listed that property fro say $230,000. That’s quite a bit of a cushion. So that buyer that’s coming in they may offer say $200,000 what the appraisal value is. But when it comes to how much they will negotiate they’re not going to negotiate that far up because the buyer is basically on a value they’re typically not basing offers anymore on list price. That’s critical so let me kind of say that once again. Offers by the buyers are based on real value; they are not usually making offers on based on a list price.

So as long as a list price is within the appropriate range then we’re seeing qualified buyers make good offers or fair offers. And we’re starting to see them negotiate up to what we can both get a seller and a buyer to both agree is fair market value. So all of these signs are really positive for the real estate market here in Myrtle Beach. We had to have buyers. At one point we didn’t have a lot of buyers. That’s no longer the situation.

We had to have fair offers, at one point we had all low ball offers and a lot of deals were never making it to the closing table because there was unreasonable expectations of the buyers or the investors. We haven’t eliminated that situation but that situation has declined dramatically.

And last but not least the buyers that are here seem a little bit fairer. Their expectations seem to be a little bit more reasonable. And they seem to be compromising in and engaging in some form of negotiation with our sellers.

So I thought that would be something positive I could share with you. Some information that may help you decide whether or not this is a good time to sell or whether or not you should just continue to hold it and see what happens. I cannot promise that these three things are going to continue to happen. I don’t know what going to happen the rest of the year but one thing I can assure you of that the people that are attempting to sell right now that are on the market. They are being successful. If there’s anything that I can do for you in the future. Remember its Greg Harrelson with Century 21 the Harrelson Group. Have a great day.

Feb. 2, 2012

[VIDEO] Why are buyers choosing short sales?

Why Buy Short Sales

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello my name is Greg Harrelson of Century 21 the Harrelson group, here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I wanted to just take a few minutes just to discuss with you a new strategy that we see buyers taking or at least exercising in today’s market. Now when I talk about today’s market I’m referring to the time of year, remember it’s the fall season going into the winter season. So the topic today is why buyers are after short sales. You may not know but as a realtor I have noticed a recent surge in contracts on our short sale listings. The first thing I do of course when I see a trend like that or a shift a new trend, I start to look at the MLS and I determine what’s going on or I at least try to determine what is going on and talking with a lot of buyers I started to figure out that the buyers or investors in today’s market are starting to figure out how to capitalize on the short sale opportunity. So I want to talk to you real quick and share with you the two reasons why their telling me that they prefer to buy short sales in Myrtle Beach during the fall and winter months.

The first reason is that short sales a lot of times and you may of heard this short sales often take four, sometimes up to five months to actually close. From the moment you write a contract until the time that it actually closes and you take possession of the condo can sometimes be for four or five months. Now at first thought you may say, well why would such a long delayed closing be an advantage to me as an investor. Let me share with you, remember it’s at the end of September or approaching October. So if it took four to five months to actually go through the whole process and you bought the property in October or at least you wrote the contract and you started and got it accepted by the seller in October and that means November, January, February, March, April. It could be anywhere from March to April before you close on the property. So let me explain a little bit further. In October in Myrtle Beach, the summer is over, the rentals are starting to decline and we start to go through some negative cash flow months. In the spring and the summer, it’s when investors start making all their money on rentals, those are the positive months.

Short SaleSo that leads me to reason number two, buyers are telling me that they want to purchase short sales. Number two is you can control the property without absorbing the expense. Control without the expense. So here’s what it looks like. You write a contract today, its October 1st you now control the property any other contracts that come in they have to be back up contracts, they’re in second position. Agents only submit one offer to the banks at a time, so if you’re the person that has the offer then you’re in control in October when it’s negative cash flow and then all of a sudden in March or April you will be the owner when its positive cash flow. So you get to control it without the expense, you write a contract and you control it all through the fall, through the winter and then you purchase it in early spring right at the time when you’re getting ready to make some money. So this is a strategy that I recently noticed, I saw a little bit of it happening last year but not quite as aggressive and active as it is this year. So if you’re thinking of making a purchase any time in the next few months in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina you may want to consider this strategy. Yes there are still foreclosures for sale and yes there are still traditional listing’s on the market that are at good values. Yet if you’re looking to control a property while it’s in negative cash flow and take ownership right before it turns positive, then this strategy may work for you. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this strategy, I look forward to speaking to you in the future. My name is Greg Harrelson with Century 21. Happy Investing.

Posted in Buyer Tips
Jan. 10, 2012

‘I want this or I WALK!’ … Myrtle Beach buyer negotiation tips

Businessman Yelling on Man

Negotiating is usually considered one of the hardest parts in buying a primary or vacation home.  And while the best tip for successful negotiations is to let a qualified Realtor handle them, knowing some of the basics can come in handy when looking for a Myrtle Beach area condo for sale.

Know the market. Knowledge is indeed power when it comes to buying a condo in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach or anywhere along the Grand Strand. You can’t expect to negotiate a good transaction if you don’t know the market.

Negotiating Real Estate AgentKnowing what is motivating a seller is also good to know, especially if he is selling a condo to avoid foreclosure. Are there any recent events, major changes in their life or other factors behind their selling? How indebted is the seller? Is he making his payments on time? The more eager the seller, the better the chances for a more favorable deal.

While sellers won’t necessarily volunteer this information, if you build a rapport with the seller, these are the kind of things you can learn during conversation, especially if you’re willing to give some personal details about yourself. Of course, this is an example of where the considerable people skills of a professional Realtor can be a real asset in negotiations when buying a condo.

Chatting with the neighbors can be invaluable, since they are more likely to give you an honest appraisal of the area than the seller. And, they might provide additional information about the specific condo for sale you are looking at.

You’ll want to have the results of a professional inspection as well as market information about the area, information readily available from Realtors. You’ll also be in a much better position if your financing is in place and you’re preapproved for a loan.

Of course, there’s much more involved in successfully negotiating the purchase of any condo for sale in Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas, including specific negotiation techniques. But these are some of the basic things you need to know, and things a professional Realtor will know before making an offer on a vacation home.

Posted in Buyer Tips
Jan. 2, 2012

Fun, fishing, and more at Myrtle Beach State Park

State Pier

An unexpected and undeveloped oceanfront oasis of maritime forest in the middle of miles of commercial development, one of the great opportunities that come with renting a condo in Myrtle Beach is Myrtle Beach State Park at 4401 South Kings Highway. Offering uncrowded beaches, educational activities, and some of the best fishing to be found along the Grand Strand, the park also offers one of the best values to be found along the Grand Strand as well with admission just $5 for adults, $3.25 for senior citizens, $3 for children ages 6-15 with children 5 and under free.

Myrtle Beach State Park Beach

A great opportunity for vacationers in any of the many great Myrtle Beach condos for rent, park goers can not only fish from the park’s pier, one of the best along the Grand Strand, but learn to identify fish and crabs caught their including king mackerel, whiting, trout, Spanish mackerel, and flounder. While a saltwater fishing license is required, these can be easily obtained from major retailers, bait stores, or online from the SC Department of Natural Resources. Cost of a 14-day license for non-residents is $11 and $5 for residents. There’s no additional fee for those wanting to surf fish in the park, but a small daily fee does apply for pier fishing: $5 for age 16 and older, $3.25 for seniors, and 2.50 for children ages 6-15. Fishing rods are also available for rent at $7.50 each per day. And the pier features a gift shop that carries everything you need for a day of fishing including tackle, bait and snacks.

TrailA great added amenity for vacationers in Myrtle Beach condos for rent, Myrtle Beach State Park also offers a playground, picnic shelters, swimming area with lifeguard, biking, bird watching, horse shoes, bocce ball bowling, and much more.

One of the park’s chief draws are the numerous walking, biking and nature trails including the Sculptured Oak Nature Trail, which gives a rare glimpse into the park’s maritime forest, one of the last stands on  South Carolina’s northern coast. Biking is allowed throughout the park except on the beach from10 a.m. – 5 p.m.from May 1 until Labor Day.

Posted in Attractions
July 9, 2011

The many pleasures of the Barefoot Resort area attractions

Barefoot Landing North Myrtle Beach

The preferred destination for many Grand Strand vacationers, North Myrtle Beach is generally regarded as classier and less crowded than its flashy neighbor Myrtle Beach, just to the south. But that doesn’t mean renting a vacation condo in North Myrtle Beach means less to do, with one of its main draw the world renowned Barefoot Resort and Barefoot Landing, laid out along the Intracoastal Waterway.

For the kids, there’s TIGERS Preservation Station where they can get up close and personal with tigers, apes and other wildlife. One of the largest reptile collections in the world can be found at Alligator Adventure with more than 700 alligators and crocodiles, along with lizards, snakes, tropical birds and more.

In the nearby Barefoot Resort, golfers staying in any of Barefoot’s great condos for rent or elsewhere will find Nirvana, with four of the best courses on the planet designed by four of golf’s legendary names – David Love III, Tom Fazio, Pete Dye and Greg Norman.

Ghosts And LegendsFor vacationers in the many great North Myrtle Beach condos for rent, Barefoot Landing offers more than 100 retail shops along its boardwalk from national companies to small local ones offering art, jewelry, clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, food and more. With a 27-acre lake at its center, Barefoot Landing is not only a great place to shop, but to relax in the sun and people watch or enjoy the variety of wildlife that makes its home there.

For boaters, there’s the Barefoot Marina, a full service marina that’s one of the finest on the East Coast. For great shows, there’s the chills and thrills of family shows at Ghosts & Legends Theatre and some of the nation’s top music acts at Alabama Theatre. Great food and great live music from some of the nation’s top stars as well as up and coming artists can be found at the House of Blues.

And as for dining, a few of the many prominent restaurants include Fire Island Grille, Flying Fish Public Market & Grill, Greg Norman’s Australian Grill, House of Blues, and T Bonz Gill & Grill.

Jan. 1, 2011

Amusement Parks in the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand Area

Pavilion - Nostalgia Park

For many, a trip to the beach isn’t complete without a trip to the amusement park. And for vacationers renting condos along the Grand Strand, there’s certainly no shortage of them. So whether you find the perfect North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach or Murrells Inlet condo for rent, the special thrills of a great amusement parks are just minutes away.

Family Kingdom

Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach

300 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, (843) 626-3447

Long a family favorite, Family Kingdom’s combination of seaside location, value and great family atmosphere make it a top choice for those renting condos along the Grand Strand. Its more than 30 rides include the state’s largest Ferris Wheel with spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding coastline. There’s the terrifying fun of riding the park’s famous rickety wooden roller coaster. Freefall more than 100 feet in the Slingshot Drop Zone. A log flume, bumper cars, go-cart tracks are a few of the other great rides. And it that isn’t enough to satisfy your cravings for fun, there’s the adjacent Family Kingdom Oceanfront waterpark.

Pavilion Nostalgia Park

Pavilion Nostalgia Park

1171 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, (843) 918-8725

For anyone longing for the good old days, the good old days are alive and well at the Pavilion Nostalgia Park located in the world-famous shopping, dining and entertainment mecca of Broadway at the Beach. With a collection of classic amusement rides, including its famed 1912 Herschell-Spillman Carousel, the park offers great and safe value-priced family fun.

NASCAR Speedpark

Nascar Speed Park

1820 21st Ave N. Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, (843) 918-8725

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines for famiy fun at NASCAR SpeedPark. Officially licensed by NASCAR, you’ll experience more than 26 acres of go-cart tracks, mini-golf courses, games and rides along with some great dining options.

MagiQuest

Magiquest Myrtle Beach

1185 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577, (843) 916-1800

With your magic wand in hand, the MagiQuest Kingdom awaits you. With unprecedented realism that lets you “live” the game rather than just play it, you’ll go on adventures in this magical world filled with wizards, goblins, dragons and many other amazing creatures and wonders. With duels and other challenges, you’ll gain knowledge and mastery of this strange new world and be honored for your bravery.

Maze Mania

Maze Mania In Murrells Inlet, SC

3013 US 17, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, (843) 651-1641

Its name says it all and for more than 20 years, this attraction in the Garden City/Murrell’s Inlet section of the Grand Strand has been confounding and entertaining vacationing families. And sine it changes daily, it continually offers a fresh challenge.