The 3 top reasons Hilton Head Island (and Bluffton) are better than major cities
1. Do you remember what it was like to be young?
As we age we tend to find comfort in repetition. We get up at the same time, go to work at the same time, etc. From a professional standpoint, this is great for efficiency but in some ways robs us of our youth. What I mean is, it is void of excitement. We all have a kid inside of us and for many, being a kid was full of excitement; i.e. we couldn’t wait to see what we were going to do next, where we were going or who we might meet. The joy of exploring the world and new things was a given. Then somewhere along the way we went to college, got a job, maybe even had a family and life seemed to take on a monotonous routine. But what if you lived in a place where things continuously evolved? Where things to do and places to go seemed endless? Where new people were continuously coming or going form the area and the supply of both never seemed to end? What I’m describing is not in some far off fairy tale, it’s right here in the Low Country on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton.
Many of you know the obvious reason to move to the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton area; miles upon miles of beautiful beaches, world class golf and tennis, phenomenal fishing, unbelievable shops and restaurants and more. But did you know that these things are continually changing for the better? As more people discover this area paradise more want to live here and the higher the demand the more businesses and entrepreneurs create new and better things that add to the experience. The list of upgrades to the area and new things to do would go on for pages but it is something that doesn’t exist in most major cities. Many cities have grown too large to efficiently do the things Hilton Head Island and Bluffton can due to their smaller size. As a result, things can be efficiently modified and made better while at the same time growing in popularity and exposure. Can you think of a better way to continually improve? There is always a new adventure for you and your loved ones to do and if one doesn’t make it you can be certain another one will pop up to take its place. Even after 23 years of living here the thrill and excitement of hearing of the next new restaurant, golf course, activity or event never ceases to amaze me. Where turnover maybe a detriment in some areas, it is one of the things that sets the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton areas apart from others and makes it such a desirable place to live.
2. Location, Location, Location
The location of the Low Country; at the southern most portion of South Carolina, offers a superb tropical climate year round. Temperatures in the winter average in the mid-upper 50’s and the summer in the low-mid 90’s. While some areas further south maybe warmer in the winter, if you would like to enjoy four seasons this is an area you can’t afford to miss out on.
Hilton head Island and Bluffton is also centrally located along the East Coast making them readily accessible within a days car ride from most major cities east of the Mississippi. In addition, two airports; one on Hilton Head Island as well as the Savannah/Hilton Head Regional Airport provide air transportation for those wanting to get here asap. The fact we are located in the middle of 5 large cities; Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville and all within a 5 hour drive makes it easy to get away for short trips and enjoy other places. While these places are a treat to visit, the best thing is you always get to come home to one of the most desirable spots in the country. To understand the last reason, and possibly most important reason, of why this area is so desirable continue on to number three.
3. A unique culture
For anyone that understands a culture and how they happen, evolve and continue to thrive you will understand why the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton real estate markets continues to appreciate at a higher rate than most of the country. There are not a lot of native islanders and the vast majority of people living in the area are from somewhere else. This in itself leads to a wide array of unique people all living in the same place for the same reasons. When people have a common belief about the place they live the potential for cohesiveness significantly improves and that is exactly what has happened with the culture of this area. You might be saying to yourself ‘An eclectic mix of people is found in every city, so what makes this area so different?’ The answer is simple, in other areas you often find people segregated by various criteria, be it culturally, financially, or something else. Due to its limited size; many people on Hilton Head Island and Bluffton congregate together. While sitting at a local watering hole you may have a Fortune 50 executive on one side and a 40-year hourly employee on the other yet all of you are enjoying living the Low Country lifestyle. Due to the areas smaller size you quickly meet others who enjoy doing similar things that you do and since everyone here seems to know everyone else, you are quickly introduced to others and before you know it you have so many lunch or dinner parties to attend you find you need to take time off from them as it becomes a job of sorts. The Low Country has a unique way of getting people to leave the social caste system behind and bringing everyone together. Where most cities and countries struggle to accomplish this type of cohesiveness, this area considers it to be a given. That’s why once you live here long enough you learn the meaning of the local phrase “just another day in paradise.”
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What are your top reasons for moving to the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton area? Please let us know in the comments below:
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Many self prophesier's are laying claim to the idea that print is dead. Not only is print not dead, I have found a way to make it work even better…introducing CirclePix. Almost all of my clients properties receive this amazing technology which allows buyers to view photos, take 3D Virtual Tours (Matterport), and see more of a property all in one place be it from their phone, computer, or pad. As soon as someone clicks on the info of one of my listings, they immediately receive an email from me inquiring what else I can do to help them. I follow this up with a phone call in an effort to expedite the process. The creative mix of print and technology creates a non-invasive yet helpful experience so buyers feel comfortable taking the next step.
Unique, Innovative, Creative
CirclePix is a phenomenal advertising tool that when combined with 3D virtual tours and professional photos enables me to draw attention to a property and be in touch with those viewing it immediately. This is possible because CirclePix utilizes the best in print advertising and technology. In turn this allows me to create a one-of-a-kind advertising campaign for my clients.
It all starts with something as simple as a postcard. The postcard directs those interested in one of my listings to a site where they can receive all the information they need to take the next step. All the professional photos I have taken, 3D virtual tour (Matterport), maps, property details and more are right at their fingertips. What’s even better is as soon as they click on the site I receive a notification so I can contact them and tell them more about how amazing each property really is. This allows all my clients properties to receive more exposure, more traffic and what everyone is looking for...a successful closing. The best thing is the price...it doesn't cost the buyer or seller a thing. I take care of it.
If you would like to know more about CirclePix or any of the other unique, innovative and creative ways we use to help buyers and sellers come to a successful agreement, saving both time and money, call 843-842-0804.
To see the actual listing in CirclePix and Matterport (3D Virtual Tour) click the links below:
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY: Which of our advertising technologies do you like best? Please let me know in the comments
We live in an ever changing world that is becoming more global every day. All you have to do is look around you; whether on vacation, at the grocery store or anywhere else, and you will see and hear more people than ever before from other countries. This is particularly evident in upscale areas; i.e. Hilton Head Island.
The NAR (National Association of Realtors) has conducted a survey every year since 2009 that consists of approximately 200,000 Realtors in an attempt to analyze foreign purchasers. Some of their findings may surprise you.
For sellers this is good news, if you can capitalize on a larger global reach. This is where me and my team at Dunes Real Estate come in. Through partnerships with entities such as Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio international (for homes listed at or above $1M) my clients property has a global reach. This reach encompasses over 50 countries, millions of buyers and in multiple currencies and languages. If you're looking to sell your home or property I have you covered locally, domestically and around the globe.
As you can see my research and marketing goes far beyond just 'local' and it has to in today's world. It's a good thing to have and enjoy 'local' but it's much better if you have 'global' as well.
For anyone considering listing their home one of the elements you strive for is WOW Factor. What is WOW Factor? It's that jaw dropping feeling buyers get when they walk through your home. They are so captivated and enamored by your home that the emotion of them owning such a beautiful home is overwhelming and it immediately moves yours to the top of their list. However, achieving WOW Factor can be difficult for some which is why Pete Popovich and his real estate team do all we can do help you in every aspect of selling your property. Below is from a recent QnA with Leslie Devine, from 'House of Design', on some simple things you can do to get that oh so precious WOW Factor with your home.
PNP: What is 'staging' your home?
LD: Utilizing the existing space so the potential lbuyer can imagine themselves living there. Making them feel warm and comfortable in the space. You know, the WOW Factor.
PNP: What are the top 3 things a seller can do to spruce up their home prior to putting it on the market?
LD: 1) A fresh coat of paint - keep it light and bright. 2) Allow natural light to come in by removing outdated and heavy window treatments. 3) Have proper vignettes: i.e. furniture placement.
PNP: What is the difference between staging and updating?
LD: Staging utilizes what is in the home and maximizing space. This could be as simple as rearranging furniture or adding pillows. Updating is changing or modifying what is there. It can be as small as new hardware on cabinets - refinishing cabinets and replacing appliances - remodeling a kitchen or bathroom.
PNP: What are the top 3 things someone can do when preparing their home for sale?
LD: 1) De-clutter - clear items off counter tops, put personal belongings away. You would be surprised at the difference this makes. 2) Depersonalize - remove family photos or anything that makes a potential buyer think they are in someone else's home. Remember you want them to feel warm and comfortable as if they are in their home. 3) Clean and straighten up - There is nothing like a first impression. If a potential buyer walks into your home and the first thing they see is a mess that might become a hurdle they cannot get over. If someone can't keep their home clean buyers question how well the home was maintained.
PNP: What is the easiest thing someone wanting to make their home look more appealing can do?
LD: Don't be afraid to ask a professional for help. It could be the difference in the home selling now or a year from now.
On August 1, 2015, the way your loan is closed, for most residential mortgages, will drastically change. There is a new rule on the horizon created by Congress and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This rule will change how you close most residential transactions involving a mortgage loan. For an overview watch my video with Chuck Wiseman of Wiseman & Reilly Law below.
What are these changes?
The government wanted to ensure buyers were not confused between the new Loan Estimate and the 'worksheets' lenders provide before your application. At the top there will now be a disclaimer that says:
"Your actual rate, payment, and cost could be higher. Get an official Loan Estimate before choosing a plan."
The Rule, as it is known, will now require lenders to provide buyers with a Loan Estimate within three business days after the lender receives six items; the buyers name, income, social security number (required to obtain a credit report), estimated value of the property, property address, and the loan amount you are looking for. What this equates to is you submitting less information than you do now in order to obtain a GFE (Good Faith Estimate).
For any estimated charges on the Loan Estimate the Rule now imposes strict accuracy requirements. Various items to be disclosed are: charges paid to the lender and mortgage broker-affiliates, the lenders own charges, charges which the consumer is not allowed to choose their provider cannot change from the estimates (unless there are limited circumstances). Should any charges increase the lender will be required to cover these increases; i.e. the lender is now required to obtain more accurate estimates for charges.
While it may seem a lot will change for the buyer, the onus is really on the lender in providing the Closing Disclosure. The HUD-1 which is required by RESPA is the current settlement document but this is changing August 1.
New Closing Dates. The new Rule requires the Closing Disclosure be received by the buyer at least three business days before closing. This means that your lender will be sending you the Closing Disclosure a full week before closing.
No longer will you receive the HUD-1 (closing statement) at the closing table. This change is supposed to allow you to review the final numbers prior to closing in a pressure free environment. The downside is this may delay closing on your purchase.
What about changes after the Disclosure is provided?
The potential for things to change during this process is very high and for each change your lender has to provide a revised Closing Disclosure at or prior to closing. However, there are three types of changes that will start the three day process all over again. These are 1) any change to the APR is inaccurate (more than .125% for most loans and .25% for laons with irregular payments or periods, and result from changes in lender charges or the interest rate. 2) the product type is altered; i.e. from a fixed rate to an adjustable rate mortgage) or 3) if there is a prepayment penalty added to the loan. The frequency of all three of these scenarios happening are infrequent, but if they happen they will cause a delay in closing. If you want to make any changes to your loan you should do so well in advance of closing in order to avoid any late delays.
R.I.P. 30-Day Closings
With all the communication and coordination of information that will be required to complete the Closing Disclosure as well as the lenders to provide buyers with the package a week prior to closing no longer will you be able to close in 30-days or less. If you encounter a lender that says they can you might wonder why they have so much time on their hands? The lender will more than likely need more time to make sure everything in the paperwork is correct before disclosing to the buyer. The recommendation to many buyers is for closings to be a minimum of 45 days if not 60 days.
Knowing what is coming and being prepared for it are the best things you can do to ensure you can handle what is coming in the future. Understanding closing quickly on a property now takes on a different meaning than the 'good ol days' and delays are more than likely. However, choosing a good realtor, lender and attorney (title company) can make this process as streamlined as possible.
For more information on the new mortgage disclosure rules and the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau visit www.consumerfinance.gov/knowbeforeyouowe/
Spring is upon us and with warmer temperatures comes the desire to enhance the exterior of your property. Creating a 'WOW' factor is not hard to accomplish if you know what to do and is a fun, creative endeavor to partake in whether you are selling the property or just looking to spruce up the exterior.
For those on a strict budget, you need not worry. Some of the easiest things to do are also the most effective. A consistent mowing schedule (1x/week or 1x/every other week is plenty) gives plenty of bang for the buck. Couple the mowing schedule with good clean edging of flower and tree beds and the next thing you know people will be stopping at your home and asking what landscape company you use. A simple application of fertilizer and weed control will also go a long way towards keeping the yard green and weeds away. Pruning of shrubs and trees shows uniformity as well as clean lines and if someone sees this on the outside of your home they are sure to want to see how well you keep the inside.
Watering is advisable but refrain from too frequent of an application as you want to try to avoid over watering; which could lead to fungal growth and death of the grass, flowers and trees/shrubs. Less frequent watering also leads to a healthier plant as the root structure goes deeper into the soil in search for water and moisture. In the long run this will help the vitality and health of the plant.
For more on how to create a phenomenal first impression and maintain the beauty of your landscape watch our recent Q&A with Rick McDevitt of Oceanwoods Landscaping Co. here in the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area:
If you would like to know more about preparing your home for sale and creating a First Impression that is lasting, contact Pete Popovich of PNP Real Estate at 843.338.6737 or email email@example.com.
In his 2009 book titled ‘The Housing Boom and Bust’ economist Dr. Thomas Sowell goes into great depth to illustrate the various causes behind the real estate bubble almost a decade ago. According to Sowell, the problem began in certain parts of the country where land values rose out of control. He goes on to explain the reason for this unprecedented increase in land value was the result of a limit placed on the amount of land that could be developed. The scope of this article is not to go into depth on government policy nor its effects on land value, but to illustrate how similarities exist between the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area and other areas that experienced a large rise in values and what it means to you if you are looking to purchase or sell in Bluffton or Hilton Head.
The Low Country and in particular Hilton Head Island has often been compared to other unique areas around the country as far as real estate is concerned; Miami and south Florida, the Bay area and northern California and certain areas of Boston. One of the things that make’s each of these areas unique; i.e. the ability to maintain a high real estate value, is the limited amount of buildable space. In all but one instance, Hilton Head Island, the reason for limited buildable land has been government involvement (Hilton Head’s limited space was determined long ago by Mother Nature). Regardless of the method, limited buildable land coupled with an increasing supply of buyers allows for prices to rise and this simple concept provides an insulation that helps maintain a steady growth for that market. This is not to say Hilton Head Island does not feel the effects of a turn in the market. What it does allow is a much faster return to stable and rising prices compared to other areas when a tumble occurs.
Bluffton, the mainland just off the bridge to Hilton Head Island, is in a different category. At one time there was an abundance of land to build on. Now that the real estate market has returned that window of opportunity is closing. While Bluffton does have exponentially more buildable land than Hilton Head Island, it is being purchased at a faster rate and it will not be long until Bluffton's growth is hampered by no more room to grow.
What does this mean for today’s Buyer’s and Seller’s of real estate?
The answers to these questions vary and dependent upon where you are looking; Bluffton or Hilton Head and whether you are a buyer or a seller:
Hilton Head Island
Both Buyers and Sellers – This is one of the few times both buyers and sellers have a great opportunity.
For buyers who feel they missed the golden opportunity to buy at ‘the bottom’ the market as a whole is still in the early stages of its upswing and it is still a great time to purchase (for information on the best home on Hilton Head Island click here). Buyers in today’s market enjoy the comfort of knowing values are increasing and can ride the wave as long as they purchase now. Sellers are enjoying an increase in prices which are bringing them out from ‘under water’. As a result they are selling and moving on to other things in life with the proceeds.
Prices have already seen an increase this year over years past and this rise continues to include more segments of the market. Year in and year out Hilton Head far exceeds the national average for real estate appreciation and this applies to all segments of the market; homes, condos and lots. Hilton Head is a ‘built out’ community, meaning there is literally no more room for new development which as mentioned above, leads to continued price appreciation (The rate of that appreciation is determined by the amount of buyers in the market and as more and more people are looking to purchase the prices on Hilton Head, for all property types, are going up.) For sellers this means your prices should continue to go up and if you have been considering selling now is a great time to list your property for sale.
Bluffton continues to grow and is considered by many publications to be one of the top places to move to and live in the country. As this growth continues the amount of land available will continue to drop and as this happens the rate of appreciation will continue to move up.
Sellers- Due to more buildable space, Bluffton has not experienced the level of appreciation Hilton Head has and as a result some sellers are having to bear the brunt of a loss depending on what segment of the market they are in. Owners of homes and condo’s have been less affected than lot owners. However, as the market continues to move forward this tide will shift and in the Low Country, when the tide shifts it happens very quickly. If you are a seller with time to spare continue to do so and your patience will be rewarded. If you do not have the luxury of time, catching the early parts of an increase are far better than where things were only a few years ago.
Buyers – You are in the ideal position to purchase, especially if you are looking for a lot to build your dream home on. (For those looking for the premiere waterfront lot in all of Bluffton click here for a phenomenal golf home click here). Home and condo prices, especially in certain segments of the market are experiencing appreciation at the rate of 5%-10% per year the past two years, and waiting will serve you no purpose. Lot values, as mentioned above, are struggling but as more buyers come to the market and inventory levels of homes continue to drop, lot prices will no longer remain idle. Waiting on either will only allow you to miss the train of opportunity and this is one of the best times to purchase real estate in a very long time; affordable prices, low interest rates, etc.
As history has shown, there are two ways to increase the value of land and ultimately the real estate that sits upon it; 1) limit the amount of land to build on and 2) nature only providing so much land in a certain area. Here in the Low Country it is happening both ways depending on where you want to live. The thing to do is take advantage of it while you can; otherwise you will be left on the outside looking in and will have to wait quite some time for the next real estate train to pick you up.
We live in an ever changing world where ideas that were once the norm may no longer apply. New ideas evolve and for those that understand this, the potential benefits far out weigh the perceived risk. One simple example is when to list a property for sale.
In the Low Country, Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, it was once believed the best time to list a property was in the spring; after the winter off-season. However, this is no longer the case. Buyers still come to the island in the spring but no longer are they showing up asking what is on the market. The ‘modern’ buyer is showing up saying “Here is a list of six properties I want to see. What can you tell me about them?”
How is this different than years past?
As little as 5 years ago real estate search sites did not have the capability they do today; updated activity, listing information, etc. and as a result buyers didn’t bother looking at real estate until they arrived on the island. In today’s world, ‘modern’ buyers are researching properties well in advance of their arrival. Instead of getting here and asking what is on the market they are now arriving with a refined list of properties to view. This refined list is developed over time with a process starting in January/February. With the holidays behind them and cold weather keeping them indoors, buyers spend time on the computer planning their visit to the area and researching real estate.
However, buyers can’t find your home if it is not on the market and in today’s internet driven world having it on the market in January/February allows the modern buyer to see your home as they are making their plans and formulating their list. Waiting to list until the spring runs a high risk of pushing you onto the summer buyers list and undue delay. If your property doesn’t make the summer list, it gets pushed into fall and after that the window of opportunity virtually closes for the year.
Knowing your cost is your gain
Everyday your home sits on the market is a true cost to us both which means it is important to list at the proper time. My clients enjoy the benefit of this information; knowing when to list, at what price and just as important, why. All of this information equates to the greatest demand and value returned for their property. Listing in January/February has not always been the norm, but for those looking for the optimal sale price, it could be the best strategy. In the end excess time on the market costs you money which is something that can be easily avoided. If you want to know how to avoid such a pitfall and identify opportunity, all you have to do is ask me. I’m more than happy to help.
Many believe that once they have found the property they are looking for, or for sellers have a willing and able buyer, the process to closing is easy sailing. However, since the credit crunch in 2008 a lot of things have changed making the process a bit more cumbersome to navigate and if you don't know the "Do's & Don'ts" leading up to buying or selling real estate, you might find yourself left out.
Lending is thought to be the secondary part of purchasing a property; home/lot/condo. However, for the savvy buyer it is the first part and it starts well in advance of the property search. For those of you looking to purchase property in the near future the following is a list to follow to make sure your credit is where it should be allowing you to receive the best possible financing:
These are but a few of the more common 'Do's & Don'ts' that can help or hurt your ability to purchase the property of your dreams. There are others so be sure to ask your lender all the questions you can think of and remember to ask even if you think its not that big a deal. That little something maybe the one thing that keeps you from getting the home you always wanted.
For more information about the real estate process, values of properties in the Hilton Head Island area or Hilton Head Island and Bluffton real estate contact PNP Real Estate at 843.338.6737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hilton Head area real estate market continues to see phenomenal improvement. Sales continue to rise as inventory continues to fall. In fact, we have not seen inventory levels at this level since 2005/2006 and we all know what the market was like then. Many looking to purchase real estate are more comfortable that this is the time to buy, and they are right. However, the window for opportunity will not be open much longer. In fact, it is closing quickly.
When the Hilton Head area real estate market turns, it turns quickly and we are on the cusp of one of these quick turns. As mentioned, inventory levels are anemic. For example, the Queens Grant complex in Palmetto Dunes has over 225 units yet at the time of this post, there are only 11 units on the market! That's less than 5% of units in this complex available for sale. This is but one example but this is repetitive throughout the area.
We have written many times on Economics 101 and it does not take someone with a PhD to understand what low inventory and growing demand equate to...higher prices. Compound this with already low interest rates and the demand will rise faster than you can say 'oh, s*#t, I missed out on the property I wanted.'
For some the boat has already left the dock for some of the 'Best Buys'. While there may still be a diamond in the rough when it comes to homes and condominiums, the choices are extremely limited. Which leads many to ask 'Where is the next wave in the market?' The answer to this is simple...lots.
The Lot Market, now is the time to jump in.
The lot market took the biggest hit when the real estate bubble burst. For two reasons 1) banks did not want to lend on lots and 2) builders were not building spec homes in a depressed market. This caused the demand for lots to take a nose dive. However, with home and condo inventories at all time low's savvy investors are setting their sites on lots. They know people are and have been moving back into the real estate market and will continue to do so. As lot inventory depletes the prices will go up and those that have already purchased will be way ahead of the rest of the market.
Just as the home and condo markets have seen rises in prices we expect to see the same thing happen with lots.
Which lot should you buy?
Obviously, the 'Best Buys' are typically those with water views; i.e. oceanfront, deep water, river, etc. There is only so much inventory with a water view and these cannot be duplicated. At prices up to 75% off of their peak of six years ago these properties are unbelievable values whether you are an investor, an empty nester looking to build your dream home, or have always wanted to live on the water. Whatever your reason, now is the time to purchase lots before everyone else finds out.
If you, a friend or family member have been considering purchasing a lot, or real estate in the Hilton Head area contact PNP Real Estate for a no-obligation consultation on property values in your area of interest. We look forward to putting our 21 years of experience in the area to work for you saving you TIME and MONEY.
PNP Real Estate
Our goal is to help you Buy or Sell your property in a timely fashion by providing you with all the information necessaryFor answers to all your questions contact us at (843)-338-6737.