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Ready to Get Your Plaid On?

I certainly hope everybody is ready to get your plaid on for the Heritage! Next week, some of the best golf in the world is going to be played at one of the prettiest places in the world. I’m talking about the RBC Heritage Classic presented by Boeing and hosted by Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head.

It’s hard to believe that the Heritage, one of only five invitational tournaments on the PGA Tour, has been around since 1969. Arnold Palmer won that one, playing with Jack Nicklaus on a course the Golden Bear helped design, held before Thanksgiving in those early years. The total prize money? $100,000.

Now the Heritage sports a purse approaching 6 million dollars and it’s played the week after the Masters – for many fans, the tournament of the year. Simply put, there isn’t a better time for golf in the Low Country. 100,000 fans will be here to share in the fun. The iconic course at Harbour Town will see the Golf Channel and CBS dedicating nearly 15 hours of coverage and the best part? Millions of dollars is raised for charities through the Heritage Classic Foundation.

Now, plenty of people will be coming just to see the golf greats of our time take that beautiful walk down 18 on Sunday and our visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with these pros. Many of the players, along with their families, will stay right here in Sea Pines while the tournament is going on. I’m willing to bet that more than a few visitors will want to see that amazing view of the Harbour Town Lighthouse more often. I’m fortunate enough to make my home just minutes from the Lighthouse, and while traffic may be a little challenging – it is worth the extra time it takes because the beauty of Sea Pines and all of Hilton Head Island never fails to make me smile.

That is the best part about living here in this island paradise. Today, while some folks are still wondering when Spring will start, we are enjoying beautiful days with the temperature in the high 70s. It has been “beach” weather here for, well, months. One of my favorite things to do is to walk to the beach and get my toes in the sand every chance I get. Walking back home to watch the best sunset over the marshes here in the Low Country is a beautiful site, and I love it. The best way to stress relief anyone can prescribe.

So, when you are ready to rub elbows with the greats in the game, you know there is a place that can combine the best weather, the most beautiful beaches, and the most amazing golf courses in the country. Call me and I’ll tell you about Hilton Head, and you can call paradise home, just like me!

New Years Resolution on Hilton Head

Well, it is a New Year in the Low Country and I have resolved to be more attentive to my blog and to post much more regularly! I am sure you are all doing great on your New Year’s resolutions, and I am keeping all of mine, too. The funny thing is, I made this resolution after a series of others, but the catalyst for it was our beaches here in Hilton Head… I want to walk on them, spend more time sitting on them, and soak up all the beauty and solace of spending a day feeling the warm sun on my face, the sand under my toes, and hear the waves lapping at the shore. I know I can’t spend every day there, but I resolve that I will make time to enjoy them more than I have in years past. The idea of spending a relaxing day at the beach seems so far away, with the weather today … and depending on where you grew up, it is either cool or cold! We can’t be too bitter, though, I mean, nearly every day here is shorts weather, and even in January, my sandals are never far away. Isn’t that the beautiful thing about living in Hilton Head? Any given day, even in the dead of winter, it will be 75 degrees and sunny tomorrow. I love the beauty of the Low Country beaches and I know you do to.

So here is my resolution to all of you – I will enjoy the beautiful beaches we have here this year! Whether it is South Beach here in Sea Pines, Coligny, Burke’s Beach or any of our other beautiful beaches , I am going to spend a lot more time walking these 14 miles of South Carolina beachfront we have and should all enjoy more. I mean, after all, if you didn’t want to live in paradise, you wouldn’t have moved here. And as we ramp up to our busy season, don’t let the “busy” get in your way. There are too many beautiful spots that we, I bet, just haven’t quite gotten around to seeing, and I promise you, I’m going to find them and take in those sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. And for those of you reading this that have not taken the plunge and joined into this lovely spot by the sea, I can’t wait to get you out on the sand!

Year to Date Pending Real Estate Sales on Hilton Head Island

January through May homes and villas that went under contract on Hilton head Island are down 10% from 2013 pendings during the same time period.  The only month in 2014 that exceeded contracts pending for both homes and villas was January which was 8% over for homes and 2% over for villas.

To try to ascertain what is happening in our market, we look at Sea Pines.  This resort community is a grand indicator of the health and stability of all of the resort markets on the island.  Sea Pines homes going under contract was down a considerable 28% Jan.-May, while  Sea Pines villas was down 31%.

So, coming off a very healthy 2013, what is happening?  What we think is happening has to do with inventory and expectations.  As the inventory decreases on Hilton Head Island,  sellers are not having to negotiate as much as they have in the past 5 years.  Prices are not going up per se, but they are not continuing to slide down. Buyers are having a difficult time finding what they want at prices they want.  Buyers are also still in the get it really cheap mode and sellers are not.  This is contributing to the slowdown.  But, we are seeing well priced properties come on the market, sell quickly and sometimes with multiple offers. Buyers are still asking the question, can we still get good deals.  The answer is yes, if you have realistic expectations of fair market value.

We will be watching very carefully what happens over the next couple of months.

2013 Hilton Head Island Year End Newsletter

The analysis is done and the newsletter uploaded to market reports.  Please log in to access.  You will find the results of Hilton Head Island real estate in an easy read format.  You can read the Bluffton, SC results for the mainland analysis.  And you can read the Sea Pines real estate statistics as well.  2013 was another good year for Hilton Head real estate and we are looking forward to another strong year in 2014.

Beaufort County Property Reassessments–Good Advice!

From Bruce  Goff, CR29, SC Real Estate Appraiser,, 843.683.4444“

“With respect to appeals of the new property valuation assessment, my advice to potential clients is not to take any action until they receive an assessment notice.  I have been discouraging potential clients from engaging my services to prepare an appeal appraisal at this time.  After receiving their new valuation and the value is reasonable, then no action should be taken since taxpayers have no appeal provision to challenge the millage rate which is the same for all taxpayers.  Most likely the millage rate will be determined in late September or early October of 2013.

Should a taxpayer believe the new value is too high, they should immediately engage an Appraiser to prepare a formal appraisal to file with their appeal.  All taxpayers need to consider that the County Assessor’s office is staffed with licensed Appraisers so naturally they view the appeal through their trained eyes.

Taxpayers have ninety days from the date of the notice to file an appeal so don’t wait because we believe the Assessor will be inundated with appeals.  By law, no Appraiser can advise a taxpayer if their value is within range without analyzing market data and creating a research file.  On several occasions, and for a minimal prepaid fee, I have given clients some sense of the range of values where possible.  Should my client choose to proceed with a formal appraisal, the prepaid fee is applied to the cost of a final report.

No Appraiser can assure a taxpayer that an appeal will be successful. By law no Appraiser can prepare an appeal that is contingent on an outcome. There are a few companies who are contacting taxpayers and for a small fee they will file an appeal.  It is my understanding that these same companies share in the future savings if the appeal is successful.  Essentially, “you get what you pay for” maybe true here.

For those who purchased in 2012, the outcome is unknown until they receive the notice of the new value established by the Assessor’s office.  The Assessor’s office estimates what they believe is an appropriate value at the time of purchase based on their view of the property’s market value and not necessarily the purchase price.  Again, if a purchaser feels the value is reasonable, then they should do nothing.

Finally, don’t wait and file early.  Make sure the Appraiser you hire has local market knowledge and has prepared successful appeals.  Many of my peers have 25 or more years of experience in this market as I.  Just as you selected your real estate agent, your decision was based on their experience and market knowledge, not price, so consider those issues as you select an Appraiser to help in the appeal process since the outcome of your appeal will influence your tax bill for the next five years.

2013 Mid-Year Newsletter is Out for Hilton Head Island!

The Mid-year report is out and you can find it under Market reports. For Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Sea Pines, you w ill find pertinent information on the status of the real estate market  for the first 6 months of this year.

2013 Hilton Head Real Estate Trending Up!

Hilton Head Island is showing strength for 2013 Home sales.  January to May home sales have an average of twenty five percent (25%) ahead of year to date 2012.  The big months on the island in home sales were February at forty eight percent (48%) up and May at forty two percent (42%) up.  Sea Pines home sales were also up twenty five percent (25%) with February at fifty percent (50%) ahead and May at ninety three percent (93%) ahead of last year. Villa sales in Sea Pines have trended better than the rest of the island with double digit gains.  And, yes, inventory is going down.

2012 Year End numbers for Hilton Head Island are in!!!

I have posted my newsletters for Hilton Head Island & Bluffton and for Sea Pines.  Sea Pines added 22% or $38 million to the Hilton Head market.  Adding in all of the communities, 2012 ended up 14% for Hilton Head Island which added over $89 million dollars to the market.  Bluffton increased 18% which added $52 million dollars to that market.  This is the 3rd year sales volume increased and a welcomed sign for the housing market.

Please log in to my market reports for detailed analysis and statistics.

3rd quarter numbers for Hiton Head Island and Sea Pines are great!

3rd quarter for Sea Pines homes is even with last year with August coming in as the strong month at 56% ahead of last year.  Villa sales for Sea Pines were down 12% for the quarter but September was the srong month with 200% of last years sales.  Hilton Head Island homes for 3rd quarter were 20% ahead of last year and villas were 5% ahead.  The entire year has been tracking ahead with inventory decreasing.  Time to make a decision if you are a buyer.

June Sales Figures for Hilton Head continue to rise!

June home sales were up 50% from june of last year.  Condo sales were up 3%.  Prices seem to have flattened out.  Sea Pines home sales were up 33% and villa sales 63%.  I hope the buyers are seeing this inventory errosion as a good reason to buy now.  Don’t wait for the prices to begin inching up.

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