Hilton Head Real Estate Market is Most Improved in South Carolina

According to an annual report released on January 25, 2012 by the South Carolina Association of Realtors, the Hilton Head Island area real estate market was the most improved in the state of South Carolina.  The Hilton Head Island area reported more than 2,700 sales in 2011 which equates to a 9.4% increase over the previous year of 2010.  Statewide real estate sales were down by 1.7% in 2011 vs. 2010.  So, the Hilton Head Island area sales were up more than 11 points higher than the statewide  average.  Of 15 regions in the state, the Hilton Head Island area results were the highest by a margin of about 4 points.

Prices remain lower than several years ago and interest rates continue to be at 50 year lows.  We have a great selection of homes, condos and lots on the market currently.  These factors of lower prices, low interest rates and good inventory combine to make it a great time to buy real estate in the Lowcountry.  Also, it is a relaxed time to explore real estate opportunities during the winter and spring season as it is a quieter time than the busy summer season.

Kyle Stanley wins in Phoenix – Berkeley Hall Celebrates

Well, nobody thought it would happen this quickly but Kyle Stanley bounced back from a painful 18th hole disaster at Torrey Pines last weekend and won the very next Sunday in Phoenix. Kyle plays out of Berkeley Hall in Bluffton and many of us in the Hilton Head Island area were feeling bad for him last week but we are celebrating big this week thanks to his outstanding comeback. The day started with Kyle trailing by eight strokes, then he shot a bogey-free 65 and secured his first win when poor Spencer Levin finished with a 75. Now Spencer’s looking for his first win. Sundays on the PGA Tour with the lead can be hard work unless your name is Tiger something or other.

I love the irony that Kyle drained virtually the same 4 foot putt to finish this week off to win that he missed last week. Talk about redemption. I’ve heard him say in a few interviews that he tried to have a short memory. It is wonderful he turned it around so fast…those doubts and demons can find a comfortable place to sit in your head and come out at the most inopportune times. Now he can rest in the knowledge he can do it when he has to. I always felt that’s why the aforementioned Tiger was so good…he was used to pulling it off when he had to…his memories up until the last few years on the golf course were being the hero…being Mr. Clutch. Everyone thought Tiger would make the shot or putt when he needed to, especially him.

To say Kyle Stanley has arrived is an understatement. The Golf Channel has been talking about him for 2 weeks now. It’s the feel-good story of the year and it’s only February. In my blog last week I predicted Kyle would win. I even added a “sooner than later” clause. Well, I’m going to sacrifice my 1 for 1 record and say I expect to see our Mr. Stanley win at least one more this year…he had shown us his physical skills before this weekend. Now we know he’s got it mentally too. Thank you, Kyle. We’d had a lot of fun watching you and we’re proud of our Hilton Head Island area Touring Golf Pro.

Zip Line coming to Hilton Head Island

Imagine zipping through the trees…hanging and swaying with the Spanish Moss and birds found along the Broad Creek.

Zip Line Adventures is part of Broad Creek Marina Adventures. Broad Creek Marina is located on Hilton Head Island off of Marshland Road next to Up The Creek Pub near the Cross Island Parkway. I can imagine adventurous visitors zipping over to our Island from Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah, Atlanta, and coming from all over the Southeast to experience this newest attraction.

Crews are busy getting the Zip Line ready to open in early Spring…Just around the corner…So fasten your seat belts.

What an adventure for the young and the young at heart to be able to soar (zip…thus the name) through the ancient massive live oaks and tall pines that seem to reach to the sky. Not to mention being right up there with the birds like we are one with them. In harmony with nature at its best on Hilton Head Island. Watching the boats coming and going on Broad Creek. I can’t wait.

Zip Lines Advenutres will consist of 7 zip lines with heights up to 75 feet. They will traverse 3 suspended sky bridges and then…ready for this…zoom down a dual cable racing zip line.

The plan is taking a group of eight excited explorers along with two ACCT (Association for Challenge Technology) guides for a fun-filled 2 hour joyride.

Imagine seeing the Spanish Moss dripping gloriously from the live oaks in all their splendor. You will be right up there with it all. Imagine being amidst the clouds, the sun, and just the allure of all Hilton Head has to offer as you watch the world go by below you.

The closest zip line to Hilton Head is 250 miles away. I’ve got a feeling this new adventure will “zip” to success as soon as it opens in just a couple of months. It’s a marvelous eco-tourism attraction the likes of which has never been seen before on Hilton Head Island. I can’t wait…what about you? Can I get the first ticket please?

The Robert Trent Jones Course in Palmetto Dunes

I love golf! I’m not the best golfer you’ll meet but I might be the most excited golfer, especially on the #1 tee box. I can hardly wait to get out of my cart and tee it up!

Golfing is fantastic as it allows you to be outside, enjoy nature, put aside your daily issues, and work toward improvement. The latter is sometimes easier said than done.

Needless to say, my favorite golf course on the planet is the Robert Trent Jones course at Palmetto Dunes Resort on Hilton Head Island. This course is highlighted by the signature par-5 #10 oceanfront hole with the exhilarating views & sounds of the beautiful Atlantic from the elevated green.

Holes 1, 2, & 3 are good beginning holes – all fair and without much trouble. Holes 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 are situated adjacent to homes on Off Shore, Yard Arm, and Full Sweep in Palmetto Dunes Resort. As you progress through these five unique holes, you begin to feel a sense of excitement for holes 9, 10 & beyond.

Once you make your birdie putt on the par-3 #8, you begin Palmetto Dunes’ version of “Amen Corner.” Holes 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, & 14 are situated in a “V” shape around Palmetto Dunes’ famous 11-mile interconnecting lagoon system with tremendous views of stately homes, the vast ocean from #10 green and #11 tee box, blue herons, turtles, and other wildlife.

Holes 15, 16, 17, & 18 round out the most memorable golfing experience you’ll have on Hilton Head Island with #18 bringing you home to the Trent Jones Clubhouse. Be sure to visit the #19 watering hole in the clubhouse. It’s another thing I like about this course. You can enjoy your favorite libation on the back deck overlooking the driving range and putting practice greens.

I’ve had my best scores at Trent Jones probably because I love the course so much for its fairness, pristine condition, and of course the signature #10 par-5 which ends within a short putt to the sandy shores of the Atlantic beachfront.

Feel free to contact me about other golf courses on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, South Carolina. I have a special story for each one!

Hilton Head Island and the Color Blue

“The color blue is one of the basic color terms, and one of the seven spectral colors that has a number of subcategories like navy (dark blue), cyan blue (blue/green), or sky blue (azure).” The word “blue” may refer to a feeling of sadness, but we are more inclined to think that it represents happiness, clear days and blue skies ahead.

We are surrounded by wonderful shades of blue that grace the skies and ocean of Hilton Head Island, its pristine beaches, harbours, golf courses and forests. This paradise with its semi-tropical weather allows us to wake up most mornings to brilliant blue skies shining through the trees. Sometimes there is an occasional cloud sketched in for slight alteration, but still the blue shines through.

Blue mixed in with the other colors of the spectrum create wonderful, breathtaking landscapes that add to the leisurely, laid-back lifestyle. Playing golf, reading a great book on the beach, riding the miles of bike trails, and taking photos to remember your visit provide you with a sense of calm and soothing nature. Reaching back in time, the music, whether it is the Blues, R & B, Jazz or from the tropics, it helps you remember the past when things were a little bit slower and simpler. This unique lifestyle restores a sense of well-being.

Paradise is “any place or state of great happiness.” You will find this happiness when you visit Hilton Head Island. All you have to do is cross over the bridge and you will experience this happiness. There is magic, trueness to this small town that is seen in the residents and the folks who visit. There is something about the fresh air, great food, and wonderful friends that you make here which are very special. Isn’t it time for you to come home to the Lowcountry?

Hilton Head Foreclosures are not always a good value.

The word “foreclosure” often has a Hilton Head Real Estate Buyer envision deep discounts from the list price and real estate market value. The reality, especially on an Island like Hilton Head, may be less than what Buyers expect. Those deep discounts can happen but not always! Currently in the MLS, less than 2% of homes listed for sale on the Island are foreclosures and are scarce compared to other parts of the United States.

Often a regular sale may be a better opportunity than a foreclosure. At times a foreclosure is a truly distressed property which the Owners did not maintain, neglected and are in great need of repair and restoration…So, not ALL foreclosures are a good value. Perhaps the property was purchased at the peak of the market and the Bank is owed more money than the home is worth today. When considering a foreclosure there are several important things to note:

  • Bank owned properties require that a Purchaser be preapproved by a Lender or show proof of funds.
  • Most of the time a good faith deposit of 3-5% is required.
  • Purchasers should have a Home Inspection done to determine the condition of the property and know what repairs will be needed since foreclosures are sold “as-is”.
  • Usually the Bank will not do any repairs to the home.
  • Determine what fees and expenses will be required of the Purchaser at Closing.
  • Foreclosures may take some time to negotiate and close, so a Purchaser must have time and patience through the process.

Buyers searching for bargains may be successful although true bargains may not be a “foreclosure”. Find a real estate agent with experience and knowledge of the local Hilton Head market to help you through the process. A Realtor can help you find that “deal” and protect you from potential risks. A smart Buyer teamed with a good Realtor will be successful in finding those bargains which may or may not be a foreclosure. 

Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy & Clubs 4 Kids

The South Carolina Junior Golf Association and Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy will proudly conduct a Clubs 4 Kids event on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at The Arthur Hills Golf Course at Palmetto Dunes Resort in Hilton Head, SC.

The Clubs 4 Kids event is free of charge for junior golfers ages 6-18. Participants will receive a free golf club and free instruction from local PGA Professional Doug Weaver and Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy Staff. Instruction will include exercises, rules, putting, chipping, pitching, full swing, and mental.

Each junior will receive instruction, a club and a certificate for a future Junior Class at Palmetto Dunes Junior Golf Academy.

The event will take place from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

This program is possible thanks to a grant from the Carolinas Golf Association and is designed to introduce youth to the game of golf. No golf experience necessary! The SCJGA would like to invite any kids interested to call and reserve a spot.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 843-785-1138. You will be asked for name, age, parent’s phone number and email address.

South Carolina Turkey Hunting has Huge Impact

For those of you that know me… you know that you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I am a born and raised South Carolina country girl through and through. I grew up on a farm less than 200 miles from Hilton Head Island and my family still lives on or near the farm.

On a recent trip to visit my brothers, I drove the same 1949 Ford tractor that I learned to drive as a kid. My Dad bought that tractor the year before I was born.

My family’s farm is in Batesburg, SC and is very near Greenwood, SC where the Self family that owns Greenwood Development is from and still lives today.

As most of you know Greenwood Development developed Palmetto Dunes, and other resort areas in South Carolina. Greenwood Drive (the main road in Sea Pines) is named for them. They brought their construction equipment from Greenwood, SC and built the very first golf course on Hilton Head – The Ocean Course Golf Course in Sea Pines, where I’ve lived for the past 14 years.

Greenwood Development recently purchased Dunes Marketing Group, the leading real estate company in Palmetto Dunes, Leamington and Shelter Cove, where I’m a Realtor meeting and helping folks from all over the world become owners on our beautiful island. Yes, it is a small world afterall.

My point being…why else would I be reading in the Hilton Head/Bluffton Sunday morning paper, “The Island Packet,” about Turkey Season?! 

south carolina turkey hunting

I didn’t realize that an estimated 50,000 hunters during this upcoming turkey hunting season will generate an estimated million in direct income for South Carolina’s economy. I’m thinking this has to help real estate “somehow.” Just how I don’t know, but I’m going to be optimistic and hope some of those hunters are going to want to buy property on Hilton Head Island or a piece of land nearby to call their own before all the land buying opportunities disappear or the prices go up and are unattainable.

The 2012 wild turkey season begins April 1 on private lands in 34 counties that make up Game Zones 1-5, and on April 2 for all Wildlife Management Areas statewide where turkey hunting is allowed.

The season opens March 15 on private lands only in Game Zone 6:  Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton, Jasper and Orangeburg counties. The season closes May 1 throughout the state.

Well, so much for all of that…shall I wear my Taylor Swift cowboy boots or Australian Uggs today?

Multiple Offers are back in Hilton Head Real Estate Market

This week clients of mine and I had an experience that is happening more frequently on Hilton Head Island as our “selling season” arrives, inventory continues to shrink and properties remain “value priced”.  After submitting a contract on behalf of clients of mine for a home on the island, the agent for the seller informed us that another agent and their clients had also submitted an offer for the home. 

My clients elected not to increase their offer, which was reasonably close to the list price.  However, the agent who had submitted the other contract talked with their clients and they elected to re-submit their offer at full list price and their contract was accepted by the seller, so my clients lost the opportunity to purchase that home at a great price. 

The moral of this story?  If you discover that someone else is trying to purchase the same property that you are, be prepared to pay full list price or close to it if you expect to successfully complete the purchase. Our recent experience has shown that more and more properties in our market are now “priced to sell” and buyers feel our market continues to offer substantial value, so if more than one person wants to buy the same property, at least one of those prospective buyers will more than likely believe that “this is the only property for them” and will be willing to pay “what it takes” to purchase the property.

However, this story also has a happy ending for my clients.  After getting the news that we were unsuccessful, my clients re-evaluated their priorities and after we looked again at the available inventory, we successfully completed the purchase of another home on Hilton Head Island within their budget and although that home was more expensive than their initial selection, it was also larger, nicer and in a more desirable location closer to the beach that better suited their needs.

This experience reminds me of two sayings: “Things happen for a reason” and “If first you don’t succeed, try again”.  Keep these “words of wisdom” in mind as you look for your perfect piece of paradise on Hilton Head Island!

Live, Laugh & Moonshine on Hilton Head Island

Blame it on my roots, but here comes another southern tale. For Better or Worse,  being Southern I am forever entangled in and infused by anything leashed to Southern history.

Yesterday I stumbled upon a very unique, interesting, and intriguing new store in Sea Pines Center on Hilton Head Island next to Truffles Restaurant. It’s called The Market at Sea Pines Center.  

What caught my eye in the window was a handwritten grocery store special:

1 Filet or Sirloin, 1 Pound of Local Shrimp & 1 Bottle of Wine for just .00

I peered into the window to take a closer look and another Southern lady, Debbie, opens the door and says “Hello, y’all come on in.” Only on Hilton Head, right? And, of course from where I come from in South Carolina…..you know the popular country music song, “Where I Come From – It’s Cornbread and Chicken”! and in the country it’s also Moonshine…homemade and illegal. 

Well, Discovery Number Two. Yep, you guessed it….Right next door with a joining door to The Market at Sea Pines Center is the Sea Pines Liquor Store which is the number one Moonshine store in South Carolina. You can purchase Junior Johnson Midnight Moon Moonshine in Sea Pines Plantation. You all know the story of how Nascar started. This moonshine is made by the same family, but I’ll save that for another blog.

junior johnson moonshine

Now listen to this: Making moonshine is now legal. There is a distillery making legal moonshine in downtown Greenville, South Carolina and you can buy it in Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head Island!

Carolina Moonshine has free tastings every day with different flavors of legally made moonshine.  Just like in the Bahamas. Remember those tastings on each little island during your off-ship excursions? This treat is now delighting locals and tourists on our island. Gets better every day. Here again, I’m thinking once this news gets out we’ll have more and more buyers from the north arriving to sample the moonshine whiskey on Hilton Head and decide to stay. In other words, buy real estate.

I’ve always been told that I look Parisian. But, I just may have a little Irish in me. 

Live, Laugh & Moonshine!