Myrtle Beach Blog

Myrtle Beach Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our Myrtle Beach blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and condo and home values, to whats happening right now in local community.  We are very involved in our 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!

July 30, 2019

5 Best Places to Purchase Affordable Beachfront Homes

Imagine the scene: you're sitting back and relaxing as you enjoy the calming roar of ocean waves with golden sand between your toes.

If you're dreaming of owning a home on the beach, you might think that dream is far out of your reach. But the reality is that there are plenty of places where you can find gorgeous, affordable beachfront homes.

While dipping your toes in the water or meandering along the sand, consider choosing a piece of property that can bring you income, too. Rental properties in beach areas always have a higher rate of return.

This guide will explore five of the best places to find the beachfront house of your dreams so you can turn that image of sun, surf, and sand into a reality.

Whether you love surfing, swimming, or sunbathing, these five incredible locations can give you everything you want at an affordable price.

Beachfront Homes In Myrtle Beach SC

1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach combines the classic charm of a Southern town with a laid-back coastal vibe. In terms of cost, you'll find some of the best values anywhere in the country if you're looking for a beachfront home.

The history of Myrtle Beach goes as far back as the 1500s when Spanish explorers first came upon its shores. Over the years, this beautiful South Carolina city has become home to athletes, artists, and business owners.

The name Myrtle Beach is derived from the thousands of wax myrtle trees that once lined the beach and gave it its distinctive look. Today, the main drag of the beach is known as the "Grand Strand" because it's a large area that borders the ocean. 

The city has recently undergone some major changes to make it even more appealing to both tourists and longtime residents. With new boardwalks and plenty of activities, there's never a lack of things to do.

Beachfront Homes

A Beloved Oceanfront City

Myrtle Beach currently has approximately 60 miles of undeveloped oceanfront property, which means you have an opportunity to get in from the ground up. The median home value here is just $167,000 which makes this coastal town extremely affordable.

Golf fans will love it here thanks to 100 golf courses and an impressive 1,700 restaurants. And, if you don't consider yourself a pro, Myrtle Beach is home to more mini-golf courses than anywhere in the country. The area has several golf courses designed by celebrities, making it a popular place for golfers to visit.

The white sandy beaches combine the beauty of nature with the amenities of an active coastal city. You'll find plenty of quality hotels throughout the area. The first hotel in Myrtle Beach was built in 1901 and was called the Seaside Inn.

Whether you plan to purchase your forever home or just need a vacation getaway, this beachy town is extremely affordable. Look for classic older homes or explore some of the new construction throughout the area.

2. Pensacola, Florida: Affordable Beachfront Homes

You can enjoy the beauty of Florida living without the high price tag in Pensacola. In comparison, a beachfront home located in Palm Beach can set you back upwards of $800,000.

To the contrary, homes in Pensacola are offered at a fraction of the price. There are lovely homes to be had in this area priced at around $115,000. But - prices are on the rise thanks to low inventory.

Sales of condos and homes in Pensacola remain steady, which means it's a good idea to shop as soon as you can if you find a property you like. In fact, in the last few months, sales have been higher than they have been for the last 10 years. 

Part of the allure of Pensacola is its sugary white sand and crystal blue waters. This makes it a famous destination for vacationers and those who just want to get a glimpse of its beautiful shoreline.

Pensacola boasts miles of snow-white beaches that are completely unspoiled so you can enjoy the relaxing sounds and sights of the ocean without interruption. And, if you need things to do, Pensacola has plenty.

Plenty to do in Pensacola

This area features a busy downtown with tons of great restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. There are also several theaters for entertainment.

TripAdvisor recently voted Pensacola Beach as one of the top 25 beaches in the United States. You can find higher-end homes for around the $190,000 price range, which is still extremely affordable.

If you have an active lifestyle, this area is prime for cycling, kayaking, and surfing. With the longest stretch of protected seashore in the US, it's no wonder so many beach fans call Pensacola home.

With a young population and a decent median income, beachfront homes in Pensacola also make terrific rental properties. Consider renting your beach condo or home to bring in some extra cash.

3. Mobile, Alabama

Located near the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay, this charming town has plenty to offer. This beautiful area of Alabama was once referred to as "Paris of the South" thanks to its grand homes and rich culture.

Mobile is located right on the shores of Mobile Bay and is the only saltwater port in the entire state. Just 40 miles from the Florida border, it brings a combination of classic Southern culture and ocean living together in style. 

Mobile is home to a plethora of historical places including the Battleship Memorial Part and a really unique Mobile Carnival Museum. This museum offers a history of the area's famous Mardi Gras celebration. Mobile was the first place to celebrate Mardi Gras in the new world, even before New Orleans!

If you love entertainment, there's plenty in Mobile. Enjoy the sights and sounds of their annual BayFest music festival with live performances and plenty of delicious food.

You'll also discover plenty of museums in Mobile including a Historic Complex with over three landscaped acres and beautiful antebellum-era homes that truly showcase its Southern roots. There are also plenty of incredible art museums including the Mobile Museum of Art, the largest of its kind anywhere on the Gulf coast.

You can also visit Battleship Memorial Park, home to the USS Alabama. For the kids, be sure to check out the Gulf Coast Exploreum, a really cool science center with tons of unique exhibits.

Home Shopping in Mobile

While a modest home in Mobile will cost more than a few other areas of the state, they're still affordable. In fact, some two-bedroom, two-bathroom models can cost you as little as $149,000.

On the other hand, rents seem to be staying steady or increasing, with the average cost at about $1,000 per month as of 2017. If you can find a home at a good price, you stand to make some great money if you choose to rent it out.

For true beachfront living in the Mobile area, check out Dauphin Island at the mouth of Mobile Bay. This sandy shoreline offers you the quiet feeling of a Southern town combined with breathtaking ocean views.

With its diverse population and rich Southern history, Mobile has something for everyone. Browse their current selection of homes and you're sure to find a place that will fulfill your dreams, and don't be afraid to explore areas just outside the city.

4. Deerfield Beach, Florida 

Deerfield Beach is just three miles south of Boca Raton, and about 20 miles north of Fort Lauderdale. The town was named for the large population of deer that used to graze along the Hillsboro River.

Once a farming town, tourists began to flock to Deerfield Beach thanks to the area's beautiful oceanfront. Soon, hotels and motels sprung up, and the rest is history for the visitors and residents here.

It's no surprise that another Florida town has made the list since this state has a plethora of seashore. If you're looking for a pristine place, Deerfield Beach is a perfect match.

This area is known as the "Blue Wave" and it got its name thanks to clean water, excellent beach conditions, and a focus on habitat conservation. This makes Deerfield Beach a popular choice for those who appreciate the beauty of nature.

The city also prides itself on providing residents and visitors with excellent safety services and quality public information. It's a great choice if you're planning to bring children to live here.

The Excitement of Deerfield Beach

For those who love outdoor activities, be sure to check out Quiet Waters Park. This beautiful natural area provides a plethora of things to do including camping, fishing, and skating.

You can also participate in "cable skiing," which is an extremely popular local sport. Cable skiing combines surfing, skiing, and wakeboarding for those who love to live life on the edge.

In terms of housing costs, you can find a wide variety of inventory. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch can be had for around $170,000 in Deerfield Beach.

The median home cost is surprisingly low, with houses starting in the $111,000 range. If you're looking for an affordable place to call your own, Deerfield Beach is an excellent choice.

5. Gulfport, Mississippi

The city of Gulfport is the second-largest city in Mississippi behind the capital of Jackson. With such a large population, you might think that finding an affordable beachfront house would be difficult.

The fact is, Gulfport is one of the most affordable beachfront towns in the nation. Home values are quite low with a median cost of about $118,000. At this price point, you'll definitely get more bang for your buck.

It's important to note that the size of homes in this charming town is typically smaller than its other beachfront counterparts. But, if you're looking for a vacation home or trying to downsize, Gulfport might just be perfect for your needs.

Once a lumber town, Gulfport has grown significantly with almost seven miles of white, sandy beaches right along the Gulf of Mexico. Major employers include the US Navy, hospitality, and Memorial Hospital.

This area of the state is filled with fun things to enjoy like the Gulf Islands Water Park and plenty of shopping and golfing. Whether you love to splash in the water or spend some time on the putting green, Gulfport is a fabulous choice.

Plenty of Perks in Gulfport

If you plan to purchase your home as a summer home only, you can still expect decent rental prices during the off-season. When you rent the home to visitors, you can easily offset the mortgage cost and still enjoy the home during summer.

And, if you're looking to explore, this part of the country has more bottlenose dolphins than anywhere else on the planet! Book a dolphin-watching excursion or use your own boat to head out and see if you can spot some.

Gulfport isn't just a place for retirees. This burgeoning city has a few great craft breweries that hipsters love. It's also a prime spot for oyster and shrimp, so expect plenty of delicious seafood while you're here, too.

One key perk to living in Gulfport is its laid-back vibe. No matter your age, this town offers an abundance of amenities coupled with that chill beach feeling for a relaxing place to retire or vacation.

Myrtle Beach Beachfront Living on a Budget

Beachfront Living on a Budget

From the sandy shores of South Carolina to Florida's white beaches, you can find affordable beachfront homes that won't break your budget. Whether you plan to make this your forever home or visit during summer, these homes will give you that coastal culture you crave.

Any property located on or near a beach is also a great source of revenue. Consider renting your property as a vacation spot to help offset your costs whenever possible. 

Visit our website for more on gorgeous Myrtle Beach rentals, condos, and information about this beautiful area so you can start your beachfront home search today.

Posted in News
June 28, 2019

An Expert Guide to Finding Excellent Tenants for Your Rental Property

The process to evict a tenant from your rental property may take three to four weeks and cost (on average) $3,500.  As a landlord or property owner, this makes it clear you need to do your due diligence before choosing a tenant.

This is the best way to protect your investment. While this is true, you also want to ensure the rental unit doesn’t stay vacant too long, which could hinder your ability to make a profit.

Even though renting quickly seems like a good idea, it can cause time-consuming and costly issues down the road. The good news is there are some steps you can use to learn how to find good tenants.

Use the tips and information here to ensure you find the right tenants for your rental property. These tips can help, regardless of if you are renting a condo, apartment, or house.

how to find good tenants

Know and Follow the Law

As a landlord or property owner, you must treat all potential clients equally. The Federal Fair Housing Act is designed to prevent discrimination against specific classes of people regarding any housing you have available.

According to the law, you can’t discriminate based on:

  • Disability
  • Family status (this means families with children)
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Color or race

In addition to those factors, some states have more specific Fair Housing Rules. As a result, you need to make sure you are adhering to all of the local and federal laws that have been set.

Look at the Property and Neighborhood

To find a quality tenant, you need a great property. If the property is in good, damage-free condition, you may have an easier time finding more qualified tenants.

Making sure your rental property is in good shape can also help to set the standards for the condition the tenant is expected to leave the property when they move out. Also, by keeping the property in good repair, it shows the tenant they need to respect the property, too.

However, it’s also important to look at the income level in the neighborhood where your rental property is located. If you wind up over-improving your investment property to charge more rent, you could have a hard time finding a good tenant.

If you want to avoid a long-term vacancy, be sure your rental property meets the fair market rent standard for the specific location and what your property offers. Ultimately, keeping a clean curbside view, handling maintenance issues quickly and replacing any cosmetic or fixture issues can be equally effective, just like the larger improvements you may make.

Advertise the Property

Advertising the property is a crucial part of finding quality tenants. Today, it’s best to skip the flyers posted around town. Instead, stick to online advertising methods.

Today, online advertising is considered the industry standard. This is because it can reach a large number of potential renters, comes with a lower cost, and can reach more people.

There is a huge selection of websites where you can list your property. Some will cross advertise for you too. This exposes your rental ad to even more potential renters.

A great way to enhance your advertising efforts is to create a virtual video tour. This can be included in your advertisement.

In the tour, make sure you are pointing out the positive, along with the negative, aspects of the property. After all, you don’t want to waste your time or the time of a potential tenant by showing a property that isn’t right for their specific needs.

The more transparent you are with a possible tenant, the more qualified applicants you are going to receive.

An older but effective way to find reliable tenants is to ask family members, friends, and former tenants if they know someone who is looking for rental property. You may even want to offer a finder’s fee to help sweeten the deal.

If you offer an incentive, it’s going to help increase the likelihood they will help in your search for a quality tenant. It’s also a good idea to consider keeping an active list for future rental properties. This is going to help prevent you from taking on a subpar applicant just because you want to fill the vacancy quickly.

Create a Specific Rental Application

The fact that a rental application helps to screen possible tenants is a no-brainer. However, knowing what you should include in the application is often confusing.

If you don’t ask the right questions, you have no way to sort the possibly great tenants from the possible nightmares. Some of the things you should ask for include:

Personal References

Make sure you ask two to three personal references. Specifically, make sure to ask for references that aren’t related to the tenant.

Also, don’t just look at this information. Make sure you call the references they include.

When you call, ask how long they have known the applicant, why the applicant said they were going to move, and other questions that may help you better understand the applicant.

Employment History

Ask any tenant applying for the rental property to provide two years of their employment history. It’s fine if they don’t have much history in this area but seeing how often the person switches jobs can give you a good idea of if they are a reliable and stable tenant.

Past Rental History

Not all your applicants are going to have a past rental history to share. However, many tenants have lived in another rental house in the past. If that is the situation, make sure to ask for this information and contact their prior landlords.

Also, follow up with prior landlords. Ask about past rent payments, if they were on time, the condition of the house, and any other possible issues you should know. Quality tenants won’t have a problem with you speaking with their former landlords.

Look at the Tenants Credit

You want to try and find a tenant who is financially responsible. Do they pay their bills on time? If so, it’s a good sign they will pay their rent on time too, and they will be responsible for the rental property.

You can also opt to run a credit check. This comes with a fee. You may want to ask the applicant to pay for the credit check.

The process of checking a potential tenant’s finances involves two steps. These include:

Verify the Tenant Income

It’s a good idea to try and find a tenant who has a monthly income that’s at least three times the rent payment. Make sure to ask for copies of their past pay stubs.

You can also contact the tenant’s employer. During this call, verify they are employed, how long they have been employed, monthly earnings, and the person’s attendance record.

Run a Credit Check

When you run a credit check, you can find out if the tenant pays their bills on time and find out what their income to debt ratio is. Even if the potential tenant has an income that I three time the rent payment, you still have to consider how much debt they have.

Make sure to check their credit report for other red flags, too. These include things like bankruptcies, civil judgments, or prior evictions.

Run a Criminal Background Check

Criminal information about a person is public record. You can find and view it at most courthouses.

The criminal background checks you run can let you know about both minor and more serious offenses. To run this check, you need a potential tenants date of birth and their full name.

Remember, people with a criminal record may try to falsify this information. As a result, you need to check their identification to ensure they are who they claim to be.

A quality criminal background check is going to include:

  • A database search for sex offender status
  • Department of Corrections offender search
  • Federal court record search
  • County Criminal Court search
  • Statewide Criminal Court search

It is crucial to run this check so that you know who you are potentially renting to.

Words of Caution

Some states prohibit a landlord or property owner from discriminating against a renter with a certain type of criminal conviction. As the property owner, you may have the ability to better justify your rejection if a potential tenant has a violent crime or drug crime conviction than a tenant with a large number of speeding tickets.

Keep in mind that there is no nationwide database including criminal records. As a result, it is challenging to do a thorough background check in some cases.

Trying to do the background check on your own can be a time-consuming process. As a result, it’s a good idea to find a reputable company to handle this for you.

Make Sure Your Expectations are Clear

As mentioned before, you need to create a good advertisement that as a clear description, nice photos, and even video. With this, you can generate a large number of responses.

Remember, some eager renters aren’t going to meet your criteria. This means it’s up to you to find individuals who are most qualified. One of the best ways for you to minimize the total number of unqualified queries is to make your expectations clear from the very beginning.

To do this, make sure the following expectation is clearly outlined:

  • How long the rental time period is for
  • If the tenant can/cannot smoke in the property
  • If the tenant can/cannot have pets in the rental property

The initial contact you have with an applicant is likely going to occur over the phone or through email. This is your opportunity to gather information about them.

Some things to ask about include:

  • The names of everyone who will live in the rental
  • The contact information for all occupants
  • The reason the person is moving
  • The date they wish to move into the rental property
  • Total number of pets (if any)
  • Smoker status

Finding out the basic information about an applicant as early in the screening process as possible can help you find good versus bad occupants. After you have created a short-list of potential candidates based on initial evaluations, you can issue the application mentioned above.

Trust Your Instincts

Remember, all the tenant screening in the world isn’t going to be as good as your gut instincts and your personal ability to judge a person’s character. You may feel like there is something “off” about a tenant who may look great on paper.

The bottom line is that you need to trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s a good idea to look for a tenant elsewhere. While trusting your screening is a good idea, don’t ignore your gut.

How to Find Good Tenants: It Takes Time and Effort

If you are wondering how to find good tenants for your rental property, the information here should help you along the way. By developing a thorough screening process, you can separate the good tenants from the subpar ones. By doing this, you can save yourself quite a bit of time and effort down the road.

There are also several services that can help you with the screening process, if necessary. Make sure to keep this in mind during your search.

If you have an oceanfront condo or residential condo, reach out to us. We can help you know what to look for when searching for a tenant for your available unit. Our team is dedicated to helping fill vacancies quickly and with quality tenants.

Posted in News
June 17, 2019

Myrtle Beach: 17 Reasons This South Carolina Beach Is the Perfect Place to Call Home

An estimated 14 million people visit Myrtle Beach every year. And it’s easy to understand why.

If you've recently visited Myrtle Beach, you probably wished that your vacation didn’t have to end. The good news is that Myrtle Beach is so much more than an amazing vacation spot. It’s also a great place to plant roots and start a new life by the sea.

Whether you’re looking to buy a vacation property or a new place to call home, you can’t go wrong with this South Carolina beach town.

Do you want to know why? Keep reading to discover the top 17 reasons you should make the move to Myrtle Beach.

South Carolina beach

1. Nice Weather

It’s hard to beat the weather you’ll enjoy in Myrtle Beach. Temperatures stay mild year long, averaging in the mid to high 80s during the summer and high 30s during the winter.

It’s very rare that you’ll experience snow in Myrtle Beach, and rainfall is kept at a minimum. In fact, even the wettest month (August) only sees about 10 rainy days and 6.2 inches of rainfall.

Of course, the ocean’s temperature is favorable too. During the summer months, you can expect the ocean to be between 78-83 degrees.

2. Beautiful Beaches

One of the top reasons people move to the coast is to be on the ocean. And who could blame them?

While you may immediately think of Florida or California as the perfect beach destinations, don’t overlook Myrtle Beach. The beaches stretch on for about 60 miles, giving you plenty of opportunities to find that perfect beach for you.

In most places, the sand is soft and the waves are gentle, making it amazing for children, the elderly, and those who just want to relax in the ocean. However, there are also beaches with bigger waves, perfect for those who want to take up surfing.

The beaches are also very clean and well-kept. And the best part of all is that they are absolutely free!

3. Plenty of Things to Do

Of course, the beaches aren’t just for sunbathing. By living near the ocean, you have tons of activities at your disposal. Jet skiing, sailing, fishing, parasailing, boat tours, dolphin watching tours, banana boat tours, and kayaking are all popular things to do in Myrtle Beach.

And the fun doesn’t stop when you want to go back on dry land. Myrtle Beach also offers many different outdoor sports like tennis and golf as well as museums, art galleries, and amusement parks.

If you enjoy seeing live performances, the Carolina Opry, Alabama Theatre, and the Asher Theatre almost always have something going on.

4. Chances to Enjoy Mother Nature

The beach isn’t the only natural beauty in Myrtle Beach. You can also find hiking trails that let you experience a different side of the city.

Myrtle Beach State Park has two different trails, both perfect for a leisurely stroll. You can view the local flora and fauna as well as a sandy beach.

The Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge gives you the opportunity to walk past various habitats, including wetlands, pine forests, and tidal marshes. Of course, you’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled with wildlife during your hike.

5. Pristine Golf Courses

One of the best sports to take up when living in Myrtle Beach is golf. Why? Well, because with around 100 golf courses, Myrtle Beach is considered by many as the golf capital of the world.

Since Myrtle Beach has mild weather all year round, most courses stay open throughout the entire year, so you can practice your swing any day you want.

The courses themselves are pristine and well-maintained. And if golf isn’t your favorite sport, you can opt for one of the many mini golf courses located around the city for a fun afternoon.

6. Tons of Festivals

“All those activities sound fun, but how many times will I really want to golf or walk through museums?” If you like to mix things up, then be sure to keep your eye on Myrtle Beach’s event calendar.

It seems like there is almost always a festival going on. Some of the best include Oktoberfest, the Blue Crab Festival, Wine Fest, the Loris Bog-Off, Mayfest on Main, Litter River Shrimp and Jazz Festival, and the Beach Boogie and BBQ Festival.

Oyster roasts, marathons, and concerts also talk place, ensuring there’s always something going on. And because Myrtle Beach has that amazing weather, all these festivals and events aren’t crammed into just 3 months. Instead, most of them are spread out between March and October.

7. You Can Shop Till You Drop

There’s no shortage of shopping when you move to Myrtle Beach. Here you’ll find malls, flea markets, specialty shops, and factory outlets.

If you’re looking for souvenirs, the best place to be is Broadway at the Beach, while those looking for upscale stores should consider visiting the Market Common. Whether you’re looking to bargain hunt or spend a pretty penny, there are plenty of shopping options to choose from.

8. Convenient Location

If you ever want to leave Myrtle Beach for a few days, you have ample opportunities to do just that. It’s conveniently located just a two-hour drive (or less) from places like Charleston and Wilmington as well as countless smaller towns in both North and South Carolina.

If you’re willing to drive a bit further, Savannah, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Virginia Beach can all be reached in less than 6 hours. Plus, there’s an international airport located right in Myrtle Beach, so air travel is a breeze.

9. Lively Bar Scene

Myrtle Beach has a reputation for being a family-friendly destination (which is true!). But when the sun goes down, there are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy a little adults-only fun at one of the many bars.

The Grand Strand offers a little something for everyone, whether you want a crazy two-story club or a quiet and relaxing pub.

10. Delicious Cuisine

It should come as no surprise that Myrtle Beach is full of restaurants serving up fresh seafood. But that’s not your only option. In fact, Myrtle Beach offers many different types of cuisine.

Calabash is a popular style near the northern side of the Grand Strand. In this type of cuisine, fresh seafood is lightly breaded and fried. Side dishes like hush puppies, cole slaw, and baked beans are also popular.

On the opposite end of the Grand Strand, you’ll find traditional Lowcountry dishes. Stone-ground grits, grouper, shrimp, and country ham are commonly found. Lowcountry cuisine takes influences from the Caribbean, West Africa, and France, giving it a unique flavor that you won’t find anywhere else.

Of course, you can also find BBQ joints and a healthy number of international restaurants, such as Italian, Japanese, French, Chinese, and Mexican. 

11. Good Job Market

If you still have a few more years until retirement, you may be thinking that you need to wait to relocate. But that’s not necessarily true.

Remember when we said that about 14 million people visit Myrtle Beach every year? Well, that’s created tons of jobs in the tourism industry. With a high retiree population, there are also plenty of jobs in the healthcare industry.

Myrtle Beach is also a favorable location to start your very own business. The city offers great tax incentives and wealth support, making it one of the best places to start a business in South Carolina.

12. Reasonable Home Prices

One major deterrent to living on the beach is the high cost of real estate typically associated with coastal towns. However, Myrtle Beach has managed to keep prices reasonable, making relocating here a reality, not just a farfetched dream.

While you can find oceanfront houses, these are typically more expensive. However, oceanfront condos still give you that amazing view coupled with affordable prices and tons of awesome amenities.

If you don’t want to live by the beach, you can also find residential condos and even golf condos, so you never have to drive far to practice your swing.

13. Lower Taxes

Other than the fantastic weather, beaches, and golf courses, the lower taxes is another reason that makes Myrtle Beach a great place to live.

There are no taxes on Social Security benefits. In fact, there is even a generous retirement-income tax deduction.

And it’s not just the retirees who benefit. There’s also an extremely low property tax, and there is no intangibles tax,

14. Low Cost of Living

Despite its popularity, Myrtle Beach remains one of the most affordable places to live in South Carolina. The median house costs $133,000 and a one bedroom apartment can be rented for just $715 per month.

Car insurance is also affordable, costing between $206-$232 per month on average. All in all, the cost of living index is just 92% of the U.S. average. This means you’ll be able to enjoy everything this city has to offer without putting a strain on your wallet.

15. Good Sense of Community

With so many tourists constantly coming in and out, you may think that it would be hard to make Myrtle Beach feel like home. However, there’s a large retirement community that lives here full time as well as a strong sense of community for residents of all ages.

Locals have that classic Southern hospitality and place a big emphasis on being involved in their community. You’ll find that meeting people is quite easy, especially if you join one of the many religious organizations, community service groups, or art organizations.

Pretty soon, you'll have a group of good friends, and Myrtle Beach will feel like your home.

16. Access to Excellent Medical Care

With such a large retirement community, it should come as no surprise that healthcare is a big priority in Myrtle Beach. There are award-winning hospitals and clinics here dedicated to giving you the best care possible.

There are also many assisted living and nursing home facilities to choose from if needed. Of course, you can also find senior communities and in-home caregiving companies for those who don’t want to move into a facility.

So, no matter your health needs, you’re sure to find some of the best care around.

17. Less Stress

If you’re used to the hustle and bustle of city life, moving to Myrtle Beach may be one of the best changes you can make.

The city naturally moves at a slower pace, promoting relaxation among the residents and tourists alike. Plus, living by the beach can actually be good for your health.

Just walking on the sand gives you a better workout than walking on a hard, flat surface like the road. You may also be more motivated to get up and moving on a daily basis with access to the beach and golf courses right in your backyard. And when you exercise, your body releases endorphins which reduce stress and boost your mood.

Of course, listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean and getting outside in the sunlight more often are also great ways to reduce your stress levels.

Myrtle Beach: The Best South Carolina Beach Town

Don’t settle for a town that has harsh winters or little to do. Instead, take the leap and consider moving to Myrtle Beach. From the gorgeous weather and amazing beaches to the sense of community and access to top-notch health care, there are plenty of reasons to move to this South Carolina beach town.

Are you ready to make your dream of coastal living a reality? Then search our Myrtle Beach properties online or contact us today. Let us help you find that perfect home in the perfect location.

Posted in Market Updates
May 28, 2019

Flock To Myrtle Beach: America's Most Affordable Beachfront Property

Did you know that Coastal Living recently voted Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, one of the 10 most affordable beach towns in the United States? Besides its affordability, Myrtle Beach remains one of the most charming cities on the Atlantic.

From its gorgeous beaches, spanning 60 miles of coastline, to its quaint boardwalk, you'll enjoy the varied amenities and picturesque scenery. And, you'll avoid the gloomy, rainy days that so many other beach towns are notorious for. 

You see, Myrtle Beach comes with 215 average days of sunshine, which means lots of sun and surf year-round. And the hospitality proves just as thick as the slow Southern drawl you'll hear from locals. 

Yet, buying a little piece of heaven in this South Carolinian gem doesn't have to involve a million-dollar price tag. In fact, it proves surprisingly affordable. 

Ever thought about relocating to Myrtle Beach? If not, you definitely should. Read on to learn more about the area, which contains some of the most economical beachfront property in the US. 

Affordable Beachfront property

The Many Advantages of Myrtle Beach

One of the most idyllic beach towns along the Atlantic Coast, Myrtle Beach exemplifies small-town America. It also comes with beautiful views and plenty of entertainment and action.

Yet, the median housing price remains an attainable $167,000. This makes it home to some of the cheapest beachfront property along the Atlantic Coast. And when it comes to the perfect beach getaway, Myrtle Beach condos represent your ticket.

After all, Myrtle Beach boasts more than 100 golf courses. It also offers more than 1,700 restaurants and miles upon miles of pristine beach along the Grand Strand.

That means you'll find plenty of spots to sink your toes into the sand and enjoy a lazy Southern afternoon. Even after buying an affordable condo on the beach, the fun doesn't stop there. 

Myrtle Beach: Heavy on the Entertainment Factor

Myrtle Beach also boasts one of the top 10 best boardwalks in the country. Launched in 2010, the Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade stretches 1.2 miles. This walkway represents the hub of the town's activity.

Lined by souvenir shops, restaurants, museums, and more, it's a great location for family fun. You'll also find plenty of live entertainment from jugglers to stilt walkers and bagpipe players. Weekly fireworks display light up its skies. 

You'll find plenty of things to do from a visit to Ripley's Aquarium to the SkyWheel, a 187-foot tall Ferris wheel affording stunning views of the waterfront.  

Myrtle Beach also enjoys a vibrant nightlife. The city boasts top-notch entertainers. And its nightclubs are sophisticated and lively. 

It's the perfect vacation town nestled in one of the most beautiful spots along the Eastern seaboard. Ready to make Myrtle Beach a first or second home?

If so, read on for tips that'll make your property hunt go much more smoothly. After all, purchasing beachfront property comes with special considerations and challenges. First and foremost, you need a solid grasp of what to look for. 

Find the Right Beachfront Property 

Before you start searching for the ideal property, you should create a list of your personal must-haves. If you're going in on this property purchase with another person, then they should make a list, too.

Comparing these lists will help you get on the same page when it comes to your dream beach property. It'll also help you sort out any conflicts ahead of time so that they don't interfere with the actual house hunting experience.

Questions worth considering include:

  • Will the property serve as your primary residence or a vacation home?
  • Will you rent it when you're not there to other vacationers?
  • Or, will you rent it to long-term residents?
  • How much land do you want along with your vacation property? 
  • Would you prefer a condo or townhome where you don't have to worry about landscaping and basic maintenance?
  • Do you want to be right on the water?
  • How much do you want to spend?

The answers to these questions will help you start to narrow your search. Knowing what you absolutely must have before you start looking will save you time and help you stay within your budget. 

The New Unofficial American Dream

The thought of waking up to stunning ocean views and falling to sleep lulled by the sound of ocean waves appeals to a huge segment of the American population. In fact, it's an unofficial American Dream for many, especially following retirement.

Because of the compelling nature of this dream, some potential property buyers bite off more than they can chew from a financial standpoint. But it's crucial that you purchase a property that works with your budget constraints.

How can you make sure that you split the difference between affordability and oceanfront appeal? By knowing how much home you can afford, whether you're looking at homes or condos.

How to Stay Within Your Budget

Look for a property that comes in at under 30 percent of your net income. This applies to not only your monthly mortgage payments but also property maintenance and upkeep.

That way, you'll still have funds available to put towards saving for retirement or other financial goals that you have.

It's also in your best interests to cultivate the highest credit score possible. That way, when it comes time to purchase your perfect little slice of ocean property, you'll enjoy optimal mortgage rates. 

While it might not seem like much on the surface, getting a mortgage rate that's just a few tenths of a percentage lower can save you thousands of dollars over the term of your home loan. 

Consider Your Longterm Objectives

This will also keep you from purchasing a property that looks great on the surface but doesn't end up fulfilling your longterm objectives.

For example, if you wish to rent out your property as a vacation home you may need to spend a little more in order to secure a property in an area that sees high tourist numbers.

You'll also need to pay special attention to the homeowners association of any property that you're considering purchasing. Most HOAs have restrictions when it comes to renting out properties, especially on the off-season.

These can include three-month minimums. No matter how good a home or condo price looks, carefully review its HOA regulations. Then, make sure you can comply with these rules.  

Think Outside the Box

Waterfront property can feel like an exclusive purchase that's out of reach for many potential homeowners, especially when you look at average prices. Properties often go for $400,000 up to $1 million or more. 

But when it comes to living the salt life, you've got more options than you may think. That is if you're willing to think and look outside-of-the-box.

One of the old adages in real estate is, "Location, location, location." When it comes to finding a beachfront property, you can use this to your advantage.

Many buyers focus on high-end lots located right on the water. But these are the most expensive ones in a given area. Don't forget to look across the street or in other parts of the same neighborhood.

You'll find properties more reasonably priced. Yet, you'll still enjoy stunning views and easy access to the beach. You should also consider looking at neighboring communities.

A little flexibility during your search can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars while still boasting the same amenities. 

Keep Size and Price in Mind

As you begin your quest for the perfect waterfront residence, you'll quickly notice a disconnect between property sizes and prices. This is even the case in some areas in Myrtle Beach.

So, don't be afraid to look a little further up or down the coast to get more square footage, whether you're considering a home or a beachfront condo.

Working with a realtor who's familiar with the Myrtle Beach area means you'll have the inside scoop when it comes to the best areas to live at the most affordable prices. 

The Most Value for Your Money

While many people think of a single-family unit when searching for their ideal beach home, these can prove unattainable in terms of price, especially when you factor in home maintenance. But that doesn't mean you have to give up on your dream.

Why not consider purchasing a beachfront condominium? 

You'll still enjoy all of the advantages of property in a paradisiacal location while cutting out expenses associated with property maintenance and landscaping. And because of the amazing location, every day spent there will feel like a vacation.

Even if it's not your primary residence, it'll represent the perfect retreat anytime you'd like to get away. And you can always rent it out as a vacation home to make a little extra money. 

You'll find condos suited to almost any budget and lifestyle. If you're looking for a great urban location in the middle of the action, then you'll find ideal spots near Barefoot Landing or Broadway at the Beach.

For those interested in a family-friendly destination, look for quieter areas on the outskirts of the city. There, you'll enjoy a relaxing lifestyle just moments from the beach. 

Other Advantages of Life at the Beach

Besides leading a dynamic, exciting life in Myrtle Beach, other compelling reasons to make a purchase in this area exist. 

You'll enjoy a healthier way of life along the coast. The gorgeous setting and proximity to the ocean prove invigorating. The sunshine and surf will inspire you to get outdoors and stay active. 

The setting also proves relaxing and will make stress melt away. In fact, research has shown that those who live in an area with ocean views feel calmer than those who live in other locations. 

Besides the ocean's de-stressing effects, you'll enjoy access to many outdoor activities from surfing and wakeboarding to golfing. And because of easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables, you'll eat healthier, too.  

Life in Myrtle Beach feels like a year-round vacation. And one that could revitalize your health and add years to your life to boot. 

Work with the Right Realtor

Once you've decided which kind of property you'd like to purchase, contact a realtor to get the ball rolling. But there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to finding the best real estate agent.

Look for an agent who specializes in waterfront properties. Why? Because you want someone with a solid working knowledge of the ins and outs of waterfront real estate.

After all, beachfront homes take a lot of abuse that homes in other geographical areas never see. From storms to high winds and salty air, these homes deal with a variety of issues including rust buildup.

Besides the right realtor, you should also make sure that you call in a coastal home inspector before making your final purchase. They can help you identify potential hazards such as the direction of storms and the wind.

The Advantages of a Condo

Fortunately, when you opt for a beachfront condo, you leave repairs to your condo association's jurisdiction, especially when it comes to roofing, siding, and other physical features that can be damaged during storms and flooding.

Have a thorough conversation with the condominium management to find out exactly what's covered. 

Also, make sure that you understand the rental zones and maintenance costs of the property that you're considering. Use this checklist to assist you in finding the best rental-ready beach property. 

When you understand how to make money on a vacation rental property, you gain an investment that pays for itself and offers the perfect retreat for vacations and eventual retirement. 

Finally, know which type of insurance you need to protect your investment property. You never know what the weather will bring or when. So, don't play Russian roulette with your new home. 

Living in Myrtle Beach

When it comes to beachfront property investment, nothing beats Myrtle Beach condos. 

Not only will they provide you with all of the same amenities as a waterfront home, but they'll prove far more affordable in terms of the purchase price and maintenance. 

Yet, you'll still enjoy tranquil ocean views and easy access to the waterfront, the boardwalk, and much more. Before you know it, you'll be hooked on living in Myrtle Beach. 

What's more, you can use the condo as your personal retreat when your schedule permits. And still earn passive income from it as a vacation rental during the rest of the year. 

Ready to learn more about how you can earn income from a beach condo? Check out our ultimate guide to renting your condo

Posted in News
April 1, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Renting out a Condo: What You Need to Know

A beachfront condo provides you and your family a welcome escape from the winter cold. It also can be a great source of income if you decide to rent it out.

Maybe you never thought of yourself as a landlord. Maybe you are concerned about insurance, taxes and other rules governing rental property.

Don't worry! Especially since the rise of platforms like Airbnb, many people have reaped the benefits of a warm weather condo by renting it out.

Whether you're considering long term rentals or short term plans, there are a few things you need to know before you embark on this adventure. Check out this handy guide to renting out a condo, and get ready to have the best of both worlds.

Rental Income From Your Beach House

1. Evaluate the Market

If you are considering purchasing a condo to rent out for extra income, you must select a property that meets many criteria. You want to make sure that this is a place you will enjoy, and that others will want to visit. You want to make sure before you put down that investment that you will get a good return. 

Here are a few factors you should consider. 

a. Location

In real estate, the mantra is "location, location, location."  

Obviously, beachfront property is in high demand. Renters seeking a spot for the perfect vacation want a view and convenience.

Look into various areas where vacation properties are common. Myrtle Beach is a popular spot on the East Coast of the U.S. 

Think about the kinds of people who may be looking to rent. Is the spot more suitable to families on a budget, looking for quiet, safety and sunshine? Or is it a party area, with lots of bars and restaurants?

There are many varieties of rental properties, each appealing to a different demographic. Some people are willing to spend a lot more to be secluded and far away from anyone else.

Before buying, assess the potential profitability of the location. Zillow is helpful for estimating the rental values of certain properties. 

b. Amenities

Depending on your particular target market, renters will expect certain amenities. If you are focusing on families with children, they will have different expectations than high-end luxury seekers.

Check out locations like Myrtle Beach which have a wide variety of amenities. Many condominium complexes have pools in addition to being on the beach,  which is attractive to many people. They may also offer tennis courts and even golfing facilities.

Amenities like a concierge and a spa may justify higher rental fees.  24-hour security is an amenity that many will have no problem paying for, especially in locations with higher crime rates.

In addition to amenities offered by the resort or building, renters will expect each condo to include the basics and more. These will affect the overall cost of setting up your rental property.

The basic amenities you will be expected to provide include a washer and dryer, cable TV, and wifi. However, your property will have wider appeal when you include more than just the bare essentials. You have to prepare to provide everything that will make them feel like they are at home- or better!

In addition to kitchen items and cutlery, sheets and towels, prepare to supply fun for a rainy day like books, video games, and movies. A pool table might be the extra something that makes your condo more appealing than its competitors! 

c. Activities

Renters will want a selection of activities to enjoy in a rental condo, so look at properties which offer fun things to do or are located near fun activities. 

Many successful landlords/"hosts" provide pamphlets and suggestions for ways to enjoy a vacation in the area. Check out the local tour companies to see if they offer excursions at reasonable prices. 

Look into whether the local pool, tennis and golf facilities allow you to extend your homeowner privileges to renters or if they offer a day pass. You don't want to disappoint potential renters expecting to have full use of the facilities when that may not be the case.

Depending on the location of your property, you can stand out from your competitors by offering unique experiences. Once you get to know the community, you may be able to partner with local entrepreneurs offering special events like casino nights, scuba diving or cooking classes. 

d. Zoning

Before you invest money in a condo which you expect to rent, check out all pertinent municipal and state zoning ordinances. Some areas will not permit rentals of a certain length of time, and others prohibit renting to large groups. 

Some condo associations prohibit renting except under specific circumstances. Others may charge high fees which may negate the potential profit you hope to make. Restrictions and taxes which may apply before you invest in a condo. 

2. What to Include in Your Budget

Before you make this investment, you need to figure out how much you can afford to pay. Set yourself a strict budget so that you remain within your self-imposed boundaries. 

Rental properties entail costs, from taxes to maintenance to a myriad of other expenses you may not anticipate. Make sure that you lay out all potential costs in order to purchase something that will eventually turn a profit for you. 

a. Mortgage 

If you have to borrow to afford your condo, factor the mortgage payments into your anticipated budget. Of course, you should also factor in the benefits of holding a mortgage as well. Speak to a CPA who specializes in accounting for rental properties to see your costs, potential savings, and write-offs. 

b. Taxes

There are numerous tax benefits to owning a second home which you rent out. However, you must adhere to certain regulations. 

The IRS has special rules on how many days you must rent the property out in order to write off the expenses of owning and maintaining the property. 

c. Insurance

Insurance for rental properties is a different matter than simple homeowners insurance. You need to insure yourself against potential damage done by people living in your condo. If they break or steal belongings, you need coverage.

You also need insurance to cover you in case anything happens to the renters while they're on your premises. You have the obligation to keep your property in a safe and habitable condition. But if someone slips and falls on the steps to your condo, you want to have insurance covering any claims they may bring against you.

d. Furnishings

Unless you purchase a furnished condo, expect to spend some money setting it up. As noted above, your renters will expect nice new furnishings in addition to kitchenware, linens, and amusements. 

Put some effort into decorating your rental unit in a simple, attractive way.  Resist efforts to put too personal a stamp on the decor. Renters want to feel like the place is theirs, and they may not share your unique aesthetic. 

Spend money on high-quality mattresses and towels. These are the items which get rave reviews on online platforms like Airbnb and keep renters coming back. 

e. Marketing 

You are going to need to spend some money to market your rental. Depending on who you want to attract, you may take out an ad in a local paper or invest in a social media campaign targeting that specific group.

VRBO, Airbnb and other platforms do a lot of the work for you, for a price. 

You may also find working with a local realtor is helpful in getting the news out there that your condo is available. However, they will want a commission.

Marketing is a worthwhile expense for which you should budget. What good is owning a rental property if no one knows it's for rent? 

f. Maintenance 

Many condo associations have a monthly or quarterly maintenance fee, on top of the sales price. That will cover the expense of maintaining shared spaces like the lobby and pool area.

Unless you live close by and expect to be available to renters and in between rentals at a minutes notice, it is advisable to have someone on site or nearby to handle things for you.

If a tenant has a problem like a leaky faucet or broken dishwasher, you need to have a handyman on call who can come by and fix it. You also need a cleaning service to make sure the property is spic and span in between rentals. 

3. Figuring Out the Logistics

As you think about everything you need to rent out your condo, take into account the logistics for the everyday issues that may arise. If you live close by to the condo, you may be able to handle any last minute emergencies that come up. On the other hand, if you live far away, you will need people you trust to take care of things in your absence.

a. Rental Managers

Many of the headaches that can arise from renting out properties can be alleviated if you hire a reliable property manager. This person may live near your condo or even in the same building. They should have a cell phone or email address where they can be contacted around the clock in case things go wrong.

A client may have forgotten the passcode for the door. They may have broken something. There may be a leak or a faulty appliance.

A good rental manager will handle these small issues without you having to get involved in every little thing. They will of course report to you every complaint or problem, and confer with you on how to resolve them.

A rental manager may charge you an hourly rate, or ask for a portion of your rental fee. 

b. Scheduling

If you use Airbnb or other online platforms, there is an online schedule which will help you track who is in your property when. You can also set aside certain weeks when you or your family want use of the property, so that it's not available to others.

Scheduling can be a time-consuming task, and generally, a rental manager will include it as part of his or her services. You can work with them to set up a uniform way of dealing with each request, including sending out individual rental agreements and also handling cancellations. 

c. Clean up

Some rental managers double as cleaners and will take responsibility for cleaning up the condo in between rentals. Others manage a cleaner or maid service to come in.

It's important to make sure the unit is professionally cleaned in between rentals. This is often the biggest complaint online about rental properties. No one wants to see someone else's hair in the bathtub.

Beachfront properties also invite lots of sand, so make sure everything is vacuumed and bleached. All linens must be laundered in between stays, and the dishes must be spotless. Some guests leave the condo in bad shape, so keep track of who isn't a good guest so you don't rent to them again. 

d. Problems 

A good rental manager will handle problems. No matter how well you plan, you need to anticipate that the unexpected will happen.

Along shorelines, sometimes there are hurricanes. You need to decide whether you will include special circumstances like weather issues to cancel rental agreements, and how to handle these issues when they come up.

You may also occasionally have nefarious renters who take your belongings or don't pay. Make sure your rental contracts contain clear language about their liability in such cases and under which state law any violations will be arbitrated.  

Renting Out a Condo for Fun and Profit: You Can Do It! 

Renting out a condo is a great investment. Depending on where you purchase, you can buy a beautiful piece of paradise for a reasonable cost and make money off the investment when you are not enjoying it yourself. 

Many retirees use this strategy to supplement their retirement income while at the same time having a nice place to spend the winter and host family and friends. If you plan right, you can make some money and also kick back and relax.

Let your property work for you. Think about whether this investment is right for you.

For more information about purchasing and renting a condo, check out our blog.

 

Posted in News
Feb. 25, 2019

Where Is the Cheapest Beachfront Property In the United States?

The average nightly rate of a vacation rental is about $217 a night. For beachfront properties, the rates are even higher. Which is why knowing where to find the cheapest beachfront properties is essential to turning over a great profit.

Even if you don't intend to turn your property into a vacation rental, that doesn't mean you have to sell the farm to cash out on your dream of a laid back beach lifestyle.

Here we've put together some essential tips and locations that bring you luxury living at a fraction of the price. Read on to learn more about finding affordable beach property.

The Key to Finding the Cheapest Beachfront Property

cheapest beachfront property

The key to finding the cheapest beachfront property is to look for areas that are underdeveloped. This means finding a location where there's plenty of beach property that has yet to be built on.

While it may seem like finding empty beach lots in the US is impossible, this isn't necessarily the case. Often these areas can be found near bigger, more known towns leaving the outskirt towns unoccupied. Or it may be a town that had a less than desirable reputation that's ready to make a comeback.

There are a number of factors in play that can help you get a prime deal on beachfront properties.

What to Avoid When Buying a Beachfront Property

Often, people are so blinded by the idea of owning beachfront properties that they don't notice some major red flags in their real estate options. Here are some important mistakes to try to avoid when buying a beachfront property:

  • Going over budget for the sake of design
  • Not knowing rental costs and your maintenance costs
  • Not looking into zoning laws
  • Not looking into potential hazards like the direction of wind and storms 
  • Building before buying the right insurance
  • Not calling in a coastal home inspector before purchasing

The Best Picks for Beachfront Property

Cheapest Beachfront Property In the United States

When it comes to buying the perfect beachfront property, knowing where to look is half the battle. Real estate trends move quickly, and what's affordable today can quickly become overprices.

To help you take advantage of the best properties currently on the market, we've put together an in-depth list reviewing some of the cheapest oceanfront properties available.

We strongly suggest taking a weekend trip to any of these coastal towns to get a better idea of the opportunities that are available.

Gulfport, Mississippi

As you'll find in this list, the south is the home of some of the most affordable beachfront in the country. Which is why you don't want to miss out on the laid back town of Gulfport, Mississippi.

With a median home price of $116,200, the town has attracted young families looking for the perfect blend of suburban comfort and sunny beach life. The town also features an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars to enjoy on weekends after a long day at the beach.

Pensacola, Florida

While many Americans dream of relocating to the Florida coast, many are unaware of one of it's most gorgeous and affordable cities. You might have recognized Pensacola from Wings of Gold, a Florida based tv program.

However, Pensacola has since risen to become an upbeat, diverse, and exciting city. With a median home price of $145,700, it's the ideal location for young residents that enjoy an active nightlife at an affordable price.

Biloxi, Mississippi

Another Mississippi gem, Biloxi, Mississippi captures the beauty of Venice beach at a fraction of the price. With a median home price of $149,100, Biloxi is an ideal blend of nightlife and large retirement worthy properties.

While Hurricane Katrina once caused massive destruction in this town, it's come back better than ever with a variety of restaurants, bars, casinos, and easy beach access. Wildlife lovers will enjoy the stunning nature views of the Pascagoula River in addition to the deep blue ocean views.

Port Arthur, Texas

Who knew cozy waterfront properties can be found in Texas? Not only that but at an unbelievable price. Port Arthur, Texas holds a median home price of $64,300. On the port line between Texas and Louisiana, Port Arthur stretches across several coastal points.

While the town is fairly small, those who enjoy exploring nature will love checking out nearby national Parks like Sea Rim State Park and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Those looking for the Bayou Cajun life should check out Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. This town has a bit of everything with the perfect price tag. With a median home price of $161,300, residents can enjoy a New Orleans vibe that's ideal for the whole family.

You'll find the quaint town is loaded with antique shops, galleries, and unique restaurants that appeal to the creative arts community. It's also an easy commute to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Quiet, beautiful, and full of artsy residents, the quiet town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi is a great place to settle down and feel the breeze on your face.

With a median home price of $151,500 this town gives you your money worth and then some. Residents of Ocean Springs never feel landlocked as exotic islands and paradise locations are just a short boat ride away.

Freeport, Texas

Another Texas stunner. Freeport is one of the State's most active fishing ports where seafood lovers can find a cozy home at a median price of $71,000. Located between Houston and the Gulf of Mexico, Freeport offers diversity as residents can pick between a night on the town or a relaxing beach getaway.

Not only are the homes here affordable, but they are also beautiful, with the average home consisting of five bedrooms.

Daytona Beach, Florida

Many are surprised to discover that you can still buy a home at a great price in Daytona Beach. While the Florida town still attracts many tourists each year, you can still find homes here at a median price of $112,000.

The town's location is also ideal for families, that can easily visit Orlando for the weekend. While Daytona Beach once held a more "party like" reputation, the town has grown up and is now the home of many budding families.

Fort Pierce, Florida

Being able to stroll down the pier with a cup of coffee in hand doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, you can get a sought after piece of prime Florida real estate for the median price of $89,000.

Fort Pierce is located on what natives call the treasure coast thanks to its perfect positioning. Residents enjoy being directly in the middle of Miami and Orlando, making it easy for a night on the town or a family friendly day trip.

Melbourne, Florida

Florida makes this list again with a town that is often considered one of the best beaches in the state. Melbourne, Florida offers gorgeous coastal views at a median home price of $125,000. You'll find that despite its affordable price, many tourists are drawn to this luxury location.

It's also a wonderful place to raise a family with options like the famous Brevard Zoo and exotic barrier reefs.

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Fort Walton Beach can easily be considered Florida's best-kept secret. The town offers luxury resort views at a small town price. In fact, the average home in this ocean surrounded getaway is priced at about $159,600.

An added perk to this location is that it still has plenty of space that has yet to be developed, which means homeowners can purchase beach front property without having to break the bank. 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Oceanfront Property

Myrtle Beach SC currently have the best values anywhere in the nation for oceanfront properties! Southern comfort meets beach paradise in South Carolina's own Myrtle Beach. While this town hasn't always received the greatest accolades, in recent years they have significantly invested in the beautification of the town.

The town now features sparkling new boardwalks that stretch over a mile in length. They've also become more family-friendly offering up a number of activities for the kids. With 60 miles of undeveloped oceanfront property, this is another destination that can make the dream of living on the beach a reality.

Residents of Myrtle Beach will never run out of things to do in the town that boasts over 1700 restaurant, 100 golf courses and miles upon miles of white sand beaches.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Alabama is gradually growing to become a new hipster hot spot, and Gulf Shores is clear evidence of it. You may have heard of Gulf Shores, Alabama before as the home of the annual Hangout Music Festival. However, you may not have known that this beachfront town offers homes at a median price of $236,300.

In addition to stunning views, you'll also find a rapidly evolving food scene, plenty of bike trails, a well-kept state park, and even a historic brewery.

Coos Bay, Oregon

Love hiking, white water rafting, and being surrounding by nature? This can be your everyday life if you choose to live in Coos Bay, Oregon. The adventurist paradise features homes at a median price of $166,000.

Coos Bay is also home to Several state parks including Sunset Bay State Park, known for its seaside cliffs and hiking trails. Beer lovers will also enjoy some of Oregon's most noteworthy breweries, including 7 Devils Brewing house.

Port Angeles, Washington

For many, the idea of Washington paints a picture of grey skies and rainy days. While that might be true for some regions, other areas of Washington still boast a beachy relaxed vibe that's perfect for homeowners. One such area is Port Angeles, Washington, home of Olympic natural parks and houses with a median price of $188,300.

Here, residents can enjoy a relaxing beach atmosphere with a historic town center featuring a number of restaurants and pubs.

Lake Worth, Florida

If you're looking for a bustling town with plenty to do, Lake Worth, Florida may take you by surprise. This isn't your grandparents Florida. With a thriving art scene, eclectic downtown area and a number of shops and galleries, this beach town has a little something for everyone.

Not to mention the attractive real estate price tags, with homes selling at a median price of $151,000. Residents will enjoy festivals, chalk murals, and countless waterfront dining options.

Hobe Sound, Florida

Looking for Miami vibes at a fraction of the cost? Hobe Sound, Florida attracts vacationers and residents alike with beachside living at a bargain.

House hunters will find a median home price of $220,900 here and will enjoy the abundance of nature, turquoise waters, and championship golf courses. 

Matlacha, Florida

Bahama lovers will adore Matlacha, Florida, the quiet Florida town that feels like you've arrived in Jamaica. This small fishing village is brimming with real estate opportunities with a median home price of $184,800.

Residents will enjoy days filled with vibrantly colored house, endless beaches, and a relaxed slow pace lifestyle. It's the perfect taste of Key West without the jaw-dropping price tag.

Waianae, Hawaii

Often considered one of the most expensive states to live in, island lovers will be relieved to find that they can own a piece of paradise at a median price of $364,000. While it may not be Waikiki, Waianae is another Hawaiian town that offers beachfront properties.

The town is also incredible quaint and is a favorite among families with small children. You'll enjoy the perfect blend of suburban living and Hawaiian culture at a bargain. What's better than that?

Knowing Where to Find the Cheapest Beachfront Property

Whether you are looking to relocate or simply to make a smart investment that you can convert into a vacation rental, knowing where to find the cheapest beachfront property is vital.

Not only do you want a beautiful location, but you'll also want to find a home that's in a safe, eccentric, and diverse location. The great news is, it exists, and the more you research the more options you'll find.

We suggest reading our blogs for more insight on beachfront options and how to get your money's worth on your home with a view.

Start Your Search Here To Find The Cheapest Oceanfront Properties in the Nation

Posted in News
Jan. 28, 2019

Is Your Myrtle Beach Property Rental-Ready? Use This Rental Checklist!

All fired up and ready to go. You have your first booking. Fairly soon you're going to be the proud landlord of your Myrtle Beach property

You want everyone who stays at your place to have the best time. It's no secret that great guest reviews generate more business. You're going to need those to ensure your condo pays its way. 

It's an exciting time, and you want to be sure everything's in place. As with most things, attention to detail is critical. Prepare well, and everything will fall into place. 

But, having never done this before, how do you even know what the details are? That's where we step in. We're going to give you a comprehensive rental checklist. This will help ensure you have happy guests and a successful property venture.

rental checklist

Managing Guests

Those renting your property are likely to have limited vacation time. After they've arrived, they won't want to be wasting any precious hours.

It's part of your role to manage their expectations. You can help by providing them with as much information as possible. This includes engaging with your guests before they've even reached Myrtle Beach.

An informed guest is a happy guest. You should provide them with everything from directions to restaurant suggestions. This will go a long way to mitigate any potential problems.

Reaching out in advance will help make your guests feel special and show you care. This is a time they will be much looking forward to. Supporting them to prepare will add to their excitement and ensure they get the most from their vacation.

Some Essentials

There are certain things every property should have. Here are our top six recommendations:

  • excellent wifi
  • an easy TV and Audio connection
  • a quality hairdryer, vanity mirror, and floor to ceiling mirror
  • detailed cleaning services
  • a guide
  • something complimentary

What's the Wifi Password?

You can almost guarantee this is the first question your guests will want an answer to. Excellent wi-fi service is a top priority. 

Make sure you have up-to-date routers. This will help ensure there is the best possible coverage throughout the property. It's usually a mistake to offer a service limiting the number of devices that can be connected simultaneously.

Sound and Vision

You should provide simple written instructions on how to use the TV service. Try this out yourself, so you're sure the explanations are clear and easy to follow.

Most people now travel with their music on their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Bluetooth speakers are ideal for this. They're also relatively cheap. Adding one to your rental property is a great touch.

Make Grooming Easy

How many times have you stayed in places with poor quality hairdryers and missing mirrors? Investing in a heavy-duty, high-quality hairdryer will reap dividends for you. It's a minimal price to pay.

There's nothing worse than staying somewhere without sufficient mirrors to shave or apply make-up. Make sure you have the right types of mirrors in the right places. You should also ensure you provide an iron and ironing board.

Cleaning Services

Make sure you understand precisely what you can expect from those who are going to be cleaning your property. Changing light bulbs and reporting any faults should be included in the service.

For longer rentals, you should generally make a weekly clean a requirement of the rental. If you don't, it will adversely increase the workload on changeover days. It's entirely reasonable to pass on the cost of this to the renter.

A Guide

A printed guide for the home should be comprehensive. It can include everything from things to do to walks and beaches. It should also be sent electronically to your guests before they arrive, so they have a chance to make plans.

A Welcome Gift

It doesn't have to be big, but a welcome gift is going to generate a wealth of goodwill from your guests. If you've shown kindness to them, they are more likely to treat your holiday home with care and respect.

A welcome gift could be anything from a bottle of wine, to a bowl of fruit or a box of chocolates. A printed welcome letter to go with it adds to this winning idea.

Beach House Vacation Rental

Providing a Home Away From Home

We want guests to feel at home when we invite them into our houses. The same thought should apply to your holiday home. 

Rooms need to be functional, of course, but you should not be afraid to add your personal touches. This will add warmth to the home. Items like ornaments, paintings, and rugs can be stylish without costing the earth.

The more you can add finishing touches to the home, the more it will tell your guests about you. This will lead to people respecting your home even more.

These are some extras you should consider adding to the rental property:

  • a book collection
  • a few board games and puzzles for rainy days
  • guidebooks
  • umbrellas
  • small kitchen appliances 
  • snorkels, buckets, and spades for children
  • USB adaptors

Kitchen Must-haves

Many people choose to rent a vacation home rather than stay in a hotel so they can make their meals. The kitchen is as ever the heart of the house. Providing a well-equipped kitchen is therefore vital.

Here is our detailed kitchen checklist:

  • sufficient cutlery, crockery, and glassware for a 'full-house' plus one or two extra sets
  • coffee machine and kettle
  • coffee capsules, filters, and ground coffee if you are choosing to supply them
  • basic herbs and spices, salt and pepper
  • ice
  • a bread knife and breadboard
  • sufficient pans (frying, milk, and several others of different sizes)
  • colander
  • sieve
  • placemats for dining table
  • jugs
  • cloths and kitchen towels if you are offering these
  • cleaning products if you are choosing to provide these
  • sharp knives for chopping plus a knife sharpener
  • bowls and oven dishes
  • a microwave
  • a corkscrew
  • serving spoons and wooden spoons
  • tupperware
  • napkins
  • tablecloths
  • electric whisks and beaters
  • manual whisks
  • an electric blender or juice-maker
  • children's plastic cutlery and cups

Bathroom Must-haves

Having a comfortable, clean, and welcoming bathroom is the other essential. It should add a touch of luxury to the home and be somewhere your guests enjoy taking a relaxing shower.

Make sure you provide at least two rolls of toilet paper per bathroom. These should always be brand new. There should be a box of tissues in each bathroom.

You should provide plenty of hooks, a toilet brush, a plunger, places to store and hang toiletries, as well as liquid hand soap.

Each guest should have their bath towel, hand towel, and washcloth.

Bedroom Must-haves 

All beds should be fitted with mattress protectors. You should provide two pillows per guest. Use high-quality sheets and bed linen.

Make sure there are reading lamps available. All bedding should be made of materials that do not cause allergic reactions. Avoid pillows filled with feathers.

Living Area Must-haves

There should be enough comfortable seating for the number of people your rental property can sleep. The living area is an excellent place to leave your guide. It will include information about the local area and outdoor activities.

Chairs and sofas should be covered with stylish but hard-wearing fabrics. Provide coasters for any occasional tables. 

There should be a TV large enough to be seen from all parts of the seating area. 

By all means provide high-end magazines, coffee table books, and some games.  Ornaments and soft furnishings do not have to be expensive, but they should look attractive and chic.

Myrtle Beach rental income

The Ultimate Rental Checklist

There is a lot of information to give your guests. Some of this is essential to communicate to them before they arrive. You can send this information via email.

There will also be many details for them to know once they're settling in. And, finally, they will need to know what the process is when they leave. You can send all this via email, but you should also provide a hard copy in a folder.

You can re-send the departure information separately. Make sure you thank your guests. This will go a long way to ensure you get a great review.

A Pre-Arrival Checklist for Guests

1. Send directions. These should include maps and written details of how to find the location.

2. Explain what the check-in time is and ask them to provide information about when they're going to arrive. You should also give them a contact number so they can advise of any delays.

3. Make sure guests know where they will be able to park and if there are any costs involved. If there aren't, let them know.

4. Let your guests know where to find or pick up the keys. 

5. Explain very clearly what linens and towels you are providing. You should also confirm any extra cleaning which may be required for more extended stays.

6. You should inform guests of any special rules or regulations that will apply to their visit. This could include issues related to pets and smoking.

Top 10 Tips for Guests on Arrival

1. Make sure the wi-fi network and password are written clearly. 

2. Your guests will need to know what the process is for recycling and getting rid of garbage. You should make it clear all trash needs to be removed from the property before they leave.

3. If you are providing extra bedding and pillows, let them know where it is stored.

4. Leave instructions for large electrical appliances, such as washer-dryers and dishwashers.

5. Provide information about what to do in case of emergencies. There should be a first aid kit available in the property.

6. Create a section explaining where the nearest supermarkets and pharmacies are with opening times.

7. Let your guests know of any entry requirements to get into the property.

8. Guests should be informed about how to adjust the temperature in the home.

9. Provide useful local information, such as:

  • where to rent bikes
  • where the best beaches bars are and any beach attractions
  • taxi telephone numbers
  • where the nearest gym is
  • what watersports are available
  • what activities and facilities are available in the complex
  • where the best restaurants are
  • what local attractions there are to visit
  • any local events taking place 

10. Let your guests know of any extras you may be providing or whether they will need to buy in supplies of things like:

  • dishwasher soap or tablets
  • washing detergent
  • coffee capsules
  • cloths and kitchen towels
  • toilet rolls and toiletries
  • miscellaneous cleaning products

A Departure Checklist for Guests

1. Make sure guests know they should remove all garbage before they leave.

2. Ensure your guests know what the latest check-out times are.

3. Ask guests to ensure all lights and electrical equipment are turned off kindly.

4. You can let them know if it is your policy to ask them to strip all beds.

5. They should know they must leave the kitchen clean and tidy. If necessary, the dishwasher should be loaded and started.

6. Make sure they know where to get their keys.

Breakages

Accidents are a hazard of everyday life, and you should expect one or two items such as glasses or dishes to get broken at some point. Whether you choose to charge for these is entirely up to you. 

You could put a cap on this, and decide to charge for any damages over a certain amount. Charging a few dollars for a broken glass is not going to generate a lot of goodwill, so it's wise to be sensible here. 

The most important point to emphasize to guests is they should let you know of any damage or breakages. Make it clear this is not so you can charge them for it. It's so you have an opportunity to replace anything for the next guests who will be staying. 

You're all set!

Getting everything ready, so your rental property is ready to go does require a lot of preparation. Many of us are perfectionists so we like to have everything just right. 

Most of us have stayed in places of varying quality. This makes us all experts in what we think a great vacation home should be like. If you follow our rental checklist, you won't go far wrong.

Visit us here, and you'll find lots more help and advice to help you get the most from renting out your vacation home.

If you have questions on how the process takes place or your interested in learning more about how your second home at the beach can be used for rental income, give us a call 843-839-9870. We have helped 1000's of people achieve their dream and we look forward to answering your questions.

 

Jerry Pinkas Real Estate

604 N. 27th Ave.

Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

843-839-9870

Posted in News
Jan. 21, 2019

How to Make Your Myrtle Beach Vacation Rental Investment Pay for Itself

Platforms such as HomeAway and Airbnb have turned vacation rental investment into a proposition with severe money-making potential. And it's easy to see why...

After all, this strategy allows you to own a vacation home in a paradisiacal location. With the right approach, it can yield a steady stream of reliable income for years, too. Are you ready to get in on a piece of the action? 

 

Read on to learn more about how to make money on vacation rental property in Myrtle Beach.

America's Favorite Beach Town

When it comes to a sound vacation property investment, it's all about location, location, location.

Yes, you've probably heard this time-worn real estate adage many times before. But it holds particular significance with short-term rentals. 

Fortunately, there's no end of vacation-worthy attractions when it comes to Myrtle Beach, America's favorite beach town. Its 1.2-mile wooden Boardwalk and Promenade has been voted one of the top ten in the U.S. by National Geographic

And with 60 miles of coastline known as the Grand Strand, it's not hard to see why. Myrtle Beach boasts 215 days of sun per year, which is hard to beat when compared to most fog and rain-entrenched coastal locations. 

This South Carolina gem also plays host to 100 golf courses and endless entertainment options. These include the SkyWheel's breathtaking aerial views 200-feet above the beach, Ripley's 5D Moving Theater, Huntington Beach, and more. 

In the Heart of the Action

 

As you start your real estate search, find out how close potential investment properties lie to Myrtle Beach's main attractions. Here are some examples to keep in mind:

  • Beaches (e.g., Huntington Beach State Park)
  • The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade 
  • Sights and landmarks (e.g., Second Avenue Pier, the Apache Pier, and the SkyWheel) 
  • Walking and biking paths (e.g., the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway)
  • Water and amusement parks (e.g., Myrtle Waves Water Park)
  • Theme parks (e.g., Family Kingdom Amusement Park)
  • Museums (e.g., Hollywood Wax Museum, the Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium)
  • Nature and parks (e.g., Savannah's Playground and Myrtle Beach State Park)
  • Shopping (e.g., the Market Common and Broadway at the Beach)
  • Historic sites (e.g., Hopsewee Plantation)

If you want to make big bucks by buying a vacation home, then you need to make sure it's in an area where people want to vacation. 

That means finding a property that's close to basic conveniences, too. These include supermarkets, restaurants, theaters, malls, and pharmacies. 

For beachgoers, think ocean front property. For golf enthusiasts, think a golf condo

Experiential Travel 

Experiential travel is a trend that's not going away any time soon.

What does this mean regarding vacation rental by owner? Your guests long to have authentic experiences. They want to know what it feels like to live in Myrtle Beach. 

Provide guests with the inside scoop on the best places to visit near your property. These should include places where Southern hospitality flows freely; the food tastes delectable, the beaches look pristine, and more. 

If a potential investment property doesn't come with this type of "tourist appeal," then keep looking.

But where should you start? Think about your dream vacation spot in Myrtle Beach. Which neighborhoods and sites best exemplify the cultural highlights, fun activities, and local happenings that bring in tourists?

Then, canvas these areas looking for potential investments. 

The more you can plug into your guests' desires and help them experience a place deeply, and the more appealing your location will prove. And the more money you'll make!

For example, some of Myrtle Beach's most popular public access beach areas include the Cabana District, Surfside Beach, and the Golden Mile. Purchasing properties in proximity to these locations will yield lots of visitors. 

Considerations Based on Property Types

Besides finding a location that tourists won't be able to get enough of, you need to consider other crucial factors. First, property type makes all the difference. That said, our advice might appear a little counterintuitive at first. 

When you bought your primary home, you may have been counseled to opt for a house over a condo for a variety of reasons. But when it comes to vacation rentals, condos are, by far, the best way to go.

Why? 

Houses and multi-family units require far more upkeep and maintenance than a condo unit, especially when it comes to building maintenance and landscaping. But condo associations handle this for you. 

Besides fewer maintenance concerns and less overhead, vacation condo properties sit on some of the best real estate in Myrtle Beach. Despite the fantastic locations, you won't pay an arm and a leg like you would for a house.  

Check out some of these great locations in Myrtle Beach

Know What You're in For

You should also steer clear of older properties or fixer-uppers. While the initial price tag might prove tempting, you never know what you're getting into.

That is until you find yourself in the middle of a headache. Pay more upfront to avoid unwarranted risks. 

You also need to commit to one of two paths:

  1. Maximizing cash flow 
  2. Building equity over time

While it'd be great to find a situation where you can kill two birds with one stone, often you get one or the other.

On the one hand, some locations won't see significant property price increases over the long haul. But if they come with excellent cash flow opportunities, it may still prove worth your investment.

On the other hand, some properties may not have the cash flow that you're looking for. But if they sit in a great neighborhood with property prices poised to soar, you may have a significant investment in your hands. 

"Dress" to Impress

So you've done your research and purchased a property with big profit potential. Congrats! Now, it's time to think about high-yield upgrades.

You may cringe at the thought of spending even more money on your new property. But these investments will skyrocket your rental appeal. What's more, some of these upgrades prove surprisingly affordable.

So, how do you "dress" your new home to impress?

When it comes to beach destinations, a hot tub or a pool can do wonders for your property's vacation-worthiness. Yes, these are pricier investments, but they also contribute to some of the highest returns.

Other more affordable upgrades help, too. For example, updating your kitchen will help with attracting guests. Couple this with new appliances such as a Keurig, blender, crock pot, or stand mixer for maximum appeal. 

These upgrades prove small, but they make guests feel welcome. When you make renters feel at home, they'll return again and again. They'll also provide you with free reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.  

Stock the Right Supplies

What else can you do to cozy up your new location? 

If your demographic includes families or young adults, consider creating a dedicated game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, or pool table. And never underestimate the power of incorporating board games or a gaming console.

Because your Myrtle Beach property will attract beach-goers, consider stocking your property with beach accessories such as:

  • Sand toys
  • Lawn chairs
  • Umbrellas
  • Boogie boards
  • Buckets
  • Nets
  • Beach towels  

If you have a BBQ or grill, don't forget to include supplies such as charcoal and lighter fluid. The same goes for laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, etc. If you have a Keurig, make sure you provide a variety of capsules. 

A couple of unexpected beach perks can't hurt either. Consider purchasing paddle boards, surfboards, or beach cruisers that guests can use. 

That way, guests can focus on playing rather than shopping. 

Other Ways to Appeal to Guests 

To maximize profits, decorate and stock your home with guests in mind. Yes, this almost always requires placing your design inclinations on the back burner. But you'll thank yourself each time you cash another short-term rental check. 

You should also purchase furniture which allows you to maximize sleeping arrangements. For example, buy a king-sized bed that can be broken down into two twin-size beds. That way, you can accommodate both couples and families.

Regarding layout and decor, think light and airy. Keep living spaces uncluttered and minimally decorated. And make sure you remove personal photos and embellishments.

Opt for touches of coastal decor. But don't go crazy with kitschy elements. Think "welcoming and open" by using interior design to evoke a tranquil waterfront escape.  

Think Friendliness and Professionalism

Besides upgrades, work to create a balance between friendliness and professionalism. Cultivate open communication with your guests throughout the rental process. 

Reach out to them before arrival with information about the property and how to check in. Include information about what they should remember to bring and what the house is already stocked with. 

Consider leaving a welcoming gift, too. Ideally, the award should tie into Myrtle Beach and include local products and information. But a simple basket with crackers, cookies, and wine works, too. 

After arrival, check in with your guests to make sure everything's going well. This is also a great time to leave them with a loaf of bread or other "housewarming" style gift. Your guests will remember these friendly touches and come back for more. 

So, where do you draw the line between friendliness and professionalism? Call before checking in with your guests and always keep your visit helpful but brief. 

Always have your property professionally cleaned, and communicate this extra sense of cleanliness through every detail. That means well-made beds, crisp white linens, and correctly folded towels that match. 

Promote Your Property

Once you've gone to so much work to make your property appealing, don't forget to promote it. After all, this isn't Field of Dreams. You can't "build" it and then wait for them to come.

Do your research to find national websites where you can list your property such as Airbnb.com or VRBO.com. Or, opt for a listing with a local property manager. 

But don't stop there.

Promote your property with professional-quality photos. Post testimonials as you receive them, and always respond to negative reviews in a helpful manner that seeks to right any perceived wrongs. Think customer-centric. 

Short-Term Leasing and Revenue Management Strategy

Benefits abound when it comes to short-term leasing. Unlike rentals by the month, season, or year, you can take advantage of vacationing at your property between guest stays. 

What's more, as a short-term landlord, you'll enjoy more demand for your property than those involved in long-term rentals. So, you can charge higher nightly rates. 

You can also adjust your price according to seasonal changes and special events. By having a revenue management strategy that's short-term, flexible, and dynamic, you maximize profit generation with less property wear and tear.

Taxes and Licensing

With bookings and happy customers come new responsibilities. Bone up on tax law as it relates to your rental property. Read up on applicable fees and local licensing regulations, too. 

From a legal standpoint, a vacation rental is like an admixture between a mini-hotel and a small business. While codes and regulations continue to catch up with the booming private vacation rental industry, scrutiny has increased. 

Understand how occupancy taxes work. You'll charge guests these taxes as a percentage of the total amount they pay. Occupancy taxes range between 10 and 15 percent and represent a mix of taxes on the civic, county, and state levels.

To operate your vacation rental, you'll need to apply for a rental permit or business license with the appropriate city, county, or state agency.

When it comes to both tax law and license rules, check with your specific local and state governments. If you'd rather avoid dealing with the regulatory side of things, then hire a property management company to handle these critical details. 

 

Your Vacation Rental Investment

There's no better place for a vacation rental investment than Myrtle Beach. It represents more than a purchase. It will impact you and your families life for years (and maybe generations) to come. 

That means it's essential to work with the right resources, and that's where we can help. Let us guide you through the process of finding the perfect vacation real estate investment using our convenient online search tool. 

Are you interested in more information about buying along the South Carolina coast? Check out our free comprehensive guide to get started. Or, dive into our Myrtle Beach blog

Posted in News
Dec. 29, 2018

Treat Yourself! 15 Restaurants in Myrtle Beach You NEED to Try

There are a few reasons why Myrtle Beach routinely makes U.S. News and World Report's "Best Places to Live" list. There's its oceanside location, the mild climate, affordable cost of living, and family-oriented attractions.

Myrtle Beach is also home to hundreds of top-notch restaurants. Southern cuisine is undoubtedly a strong influence here, given that the city is in South Carolina. But there's a dining option for everyone here, whether you're into ethnic dishes or reliable American favorites.

Whether you're planning on living in Myrtle Beach or town for a visit, here's a list of 15 restaurants in Myrtle Beach you have to try.

Restaurants in Myrtle Beach

1. Carolina Roadhouse

It didn't take long after its 1995 opening for Carolina Roadhouse to become a favorite destination for Myrtle Beach diners. The menu has a reputation for being on the messy side, which is how customers like it.

For example, there's the foot-long "Killer Dog" smothered with homemade chili, cheese, and French fries. The "Very Big" BBQ sandwiches are chock-full of tender beef rib meat or chicken in BBQ sauce. Then there are the seafood po' boy sandwiches that overflow with crab, shrimp, or oysters.

The Roadhouse focuses on Southern favorites, but you can also get some standbys here including nachos, steaks, salads, and burgers. Be sure to try the homemade honey butter croissants which are a diner's favorite.

Interior-wise, the spacious restaurant features palm trees and wood for Southern charm. Sit at the sizeable wrap-around bar and enjoy a hurricane or black diamond margarita.

2. Sea Captain's House

If it's seafood you're after, a visit to the Sea Captain's House is a must. The Myrtle Beach restaurant has operated for more than 50 years and offers up gorgeous ocean views in addition to a generous menu.

Appetizers include traditional creamy New England clam chowder, bacon wrapped scallops, and bang bang shrimp. The restaurant likes to put its spin on some favorites, such as adding hard boiled egg and honey to its lobster roll.

You'll find plenty of traditional seafood dishes such as crab cakes, sea scallops, and fresh grilled salmon. Turf lovers can choose from ribeye steak, filet mignon, and chicken marsala.

Pair your dish with any of the nearly 100 wines on the Captain's extensive list for the perfect dining experience. The restaurant is set in a large house across the street from plenty of public parking.

3. Sole Italian Restaurant

The family-run Sole Italian Restaurant attracts online rave reviews from diners for its authentic menu and friendly service. Chef Carlos Ribera and his wife operated a Miami restaurant for over 25 years before bringing their culinary skills to Myrtle Beach.

Sole (pronounced "sole-lay") offers a wide variety of pasta dishes that feature veal, meatballs, or seafood. Appetizers include mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat and eggplant rollatini (rolled eggplant.)

Finish your meal with a traditional Italian dessert such as tiramisu or limoncello cake. A visit to this cozy, romantic venue is something to do in Myrtle Beach in the winter or any time of year.

4. Calda's Coal Fired Pizza

There is no shortage of pizza options in Myrtle Beach, but Calda's Coal Fired Pizza is one of the few that isn't a chain. A Brooklyn couple runs this restaurant that cooks pizza using a coal oven. The result is perfectly crisp and burnished crusts that a regular oven can't duplicate. 

Servers warn patrons that the pizza takes a bit longer to cook here. But the results are worth it, as are the salads, sides, calzones, and desserts. Specialty pizzas include the cheesesteak and deep-fried pies.

A roomy sports bar gives diners the option of catching a game on TV while enjoying their slice.

5. Collectors Cafe and Gallery

Those who love a serving of art with their meal will love with Collectors Cafe and Gallery, one of Myrtle Beach's most exciting restaurants. The 6,000 square-feet establishment is a part eatery, part art gallery, and part European-style coffeehouse.

The walls display the work of up to 25 local artists on any given day, and they're all for sale. Patrons need to ask their server for details. But the menu is just as artistic as the decor.

Chef Jon Reimer believes in beautifully presented food, whether it's the filet of beef carpaccio, yellowfin tuna tartare, or the sherry-honey glazed duck breast. Stay for dessert or savor a cup of espresso in the coffeehouse after your meal.

6. Famous Toastery

The Famous Toastery has a motto: "breakfast, lunch, and brunch all at once." This means there's something for everyone at this restaurant, including those who have flapjack cravings afternoon.

The Toastery is open each day until 3 PM and prepares all of its meals from scratch. Breakfast is a specialty, and the restaurant offers five different benedict dishes alone in addition to omelets, breakfast burritos, French toast, and breakfast sandwiches.

Fresh sandwiches, wraps, melts (as in cheese), and salads satisfy diners with more savory cravings.

7. The Library Restaurant

Visit the Library Restaurant when you feel like stepping up your dining attire and being served table-side by tuxedo-clad servers. One of Myrtle Beach's toniest restaurants, it moved from the downtown area to the more touristy North King's Highway area in 2017.

You'll find a lot of traditional and luxurious favorites here from shrimp cocktail to steak Diane. The menu is on the pricier side, but diners say it's worth it for the attentive service and spectacular dishes.

If you don't feel like dishing out a lot of dough for the entrees, grab a cocktail and a bite to eat in the restaurant's new speakeasy-style bar.

8. Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse

Did you know that one of the fun things you can do in Myrtle Beach is to visit an authentic Brazilian steakhouse?

Meat lovers will rejoice at Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse where the focus is on table-side heaping servings of lamb, pork, and poultry. It's a real South American dining experience complete with fried bananas, mashed potatoes, and cheese bread on your table. All meats are cooked slowly over wood charcoal.

Start your culinary adventure with a trip to the salad bar that includes fresh shrimp and salmon. Black beans and rice are available for each meal. The servers-called gauchos-will come to you with skewers of meat they shave off onto your plate.

When you've had your fill of meat, change your table's card from green to red so the gauchos know your belly is full.

9. Mr. Fish

The name says it all: you probably won't a find a more extensive seafood restaurant in Myrtle Beach than Mr. Fish. Owned by a father and daughter team, this family-run establishment also includes a Mr. Fish market two doors down from the restaurant. 

Mr. Fish's menu is exclusively seafood with something to please all fish lovers. Many of the items feature their own unique special touches, such as the bacon wrapped scallops that sit on cheese grits and drizzled with a jalapeno sauce.

Try the crab mac and cheese which contains bacon and bechamel sauce or the fried green tomatoes sandwiched with layers of fried shrimp.

10. Greg Norman Australian Grille

Greg Norman made a name for himself in professional golf. It makes sense that he would choose Myrtle Beach, known for its golf courses, as the location for his restaurant. Greg Norman Australian Grille opened nearly 20 years ago and has been pleasing diners with its exotic down under cuisine.

The wood grilled classics such as the Atlantic salmon, filet mignon, and lobster tail are diner favorites. Seafood, beef, and lamb fill the diverse menu. The restaurant's warm wood, stone, and leather interior and Aboriginal artwork hails from Australia.

11. Aspen Grille

The Aspen Grille focuses on fresh Southern cuisines such as fried oysters, braised short ribs, and pan-seared flounder with okra. The restaurant supports local farmers and food businesses by using locally sourced and organic ingredients in all of its dishes.

The upscale setting makes the Aspen Grille ideal for a date night or special evening out with family or friends. Thursday nights feature happy hour specials and local jazz musicians who add to the ambiance. Wednesdays are for wine lovers, with half off the cost of a glass.

12. Sticky Fingers Ribhouse

Messy is the operative word at Sticky Fingers Ribhouse. There's no more fun way to get your hands dirty than by eating Sticky's award-winning ribs or other BBQ specialties.

Sticky's focuses on Memphis style BBQ which means meats are cooked slowly at a low temperature over aged hickory wood. They retain tenderness and smokiness this way. Rib lovers have their choice of several sauces including Southern heat, Tennessee whiskey, and Carolina sweet, which features honey. 

A variety of starters such as fried pickles and loaded cheese fries are sure to satisfy any appetite. Sticky's also offers salads, wings, burgers, sandwiches, and more. Save your appetite for the peach cobbler or pecan pie for dessert. 

13. New York Prime

Who says you can't find a New York style steakhouse in Myrtle Beach? New York Prime is a traditional steakhouse for those who prefer turf more than surf on their plate. Open for dinner only, the restaurant serves traditional sides and desserts along with beef and sea bass.

All steaks are USDA prime cuts that are aged for 28 days. Choose from the delmonico, bone-in rib, center cut filet, porterhouse, and more. Order your steak with the beefsteak tomatoes and onions topped with French dressing.

Start your meal with oysters Rockefeller, lump crab cocktail, or carpaccio. The servers are knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations.

14. Cafe Old Vienna

This restaurant may be a surprise in a place known for sandy beaches and balmy temperatures. However, even Myrtle Beach residents crave schnitzel every once in a while. When they do, they make a visit to Cafe Old Vienna.

This restaurant, bar, and beer garden will have you saying "wunderbar" at first bite. Cafe Old Vienna boasts nearly a dozen schnitzel dishes that come with a choice of two sides.

Other entrees include bratwurst and sauerkraut, grilled pork shank, and Viennese gulasch. For an appetizer, try the potato pancakes or the grilled pork belly, which is accompanied by a soft pretzel and garlic sauce.

A German-Austrian restaurant wouldn't be complete without a selection of Teutonic draft beers and authentic desserts. The apple strudel is served here with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with cinnamon.

This is also a great choice for dog lovers, as the beer garden welcomes canine guests.

15. Bummz Beach Cafe

Bummz Beach Cafe has an ultra laid-back vibe in line with its namesake. The front of the restaurant may seem small and deceiving, but venture inside and to the back. An outdoor deck beckons with lovely water views and Adirondack chairs.

Although the atmosphere may be low-key, the service is attentive and the reasonable food arrives fast. Standard American favorites such as burgers, wings, soups, and salads rule the menu. Grouper fish sticks are one of the restaurant's specialties.

Bummz also features a spacious outside bar with live karaoke nights, TV screens, and an ocean view. You can also try your hand at a game of corn hole on the sand. It's the perfect family-friendly place to get cheap but tasty food or to relax with a beer while inhaling the fresh sea air.

Which Restaurants in Myrtle Beach Will You Try?

There's no shortage of restaurants in Myrtle Beach, and it's safe to say new ones will open to keep up with the population and the number of visitors to the area. Myrtle Beach definitely delivers a culinary adventure!

Thinking about relocating to the Myrtle Beach area to try some of these restaurants for yourself? We can help you find the perfect home. Start with an advanced search to see what homes are currently available.

Posted in News
Dec. 21, 2018

18 Fun Things to Do at Myrtle Beach for the Whole Family

Whether you live in Myrtle Beach or are vacationing with your family, there is an endless list of things you can do for fun. After all, Myrtle Beach is one of the premier tourist towns in all of the United States. 

Do your family's interests lie in sports? Perhaps you're more keen to beach activity? Or maybe amusement parks are more up your alley?

In any case, this South Carolina coastal town has you covered. Here are 18 fun things to do at Myrtle Beach for the whole family! 

things to do at myrtle beach

1. Hit the Beach

One of the absolute best things to do in Myrtle Beach is to hang out on the beach itself.

This city is characterized by miles and miles of sandy, white coastline, most of which is open to the public. Every day, thousands upon thousands of people take to these coastlines, sunbathing, people watching, and splashing around in the ocean. 

You can find families enjoying quality time together, joggers going for their daily run, and friends engaging in games of volleyball. 

There are various public beach access areas throughout the city. The most popular of these include the Golden Mile, the Cabana District, and Surfside Beach. Each and every access area has something to offer, so you shouldn't settle for just one. 

The Myrtle Beach Beach

2. Cool Down at a Water Park 

Myrtle Beach is something of a summer wonderland. As with any summer wonderland, it has its fair share of water parks. If you and your family are a little tired of the beach scene, these water parks are great places to visit. 

Some of the most popular Myrtle Beach water parks include Myrtle Waves Water Park, Shark Wake Park, and Wild Water & Wheels. These parks contain a variety of fun water activities. You can go down water slides, hang out in wave pools, or just go for a nice, salt-free swim. 

Myrtle Beach waterpark

3. Play Some Putt Putt 

If you've never been to Myrtle Beach, you're probably not aware of how many putt-putt golf courses it contains. Myrtle Beach is putt-putt golf heaven, featuring courses of all sizes, difficulties, and themes. Whether you're planning on playing with friends or with your family, there will be a golf course that accommodates you. 

The most popular putt-putt courses include Mt. Atlanticus, Cancun Lagoon, Shark Attack, and Lost Treasure. However, these courses are only the tip of the iceberg.

In all, there are over 50 golf courses in the city, many of which are located within a few miles of the beach. 

Myrtle Beach Mini Golf

4. Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum 

When you're not playing putt-putt or hanging out on the beach, you can visit some local attractions.

One of the most popular local attractions in Myrtle Beach is the Hollywood Wax Museum. This museum houses wax sculptures of some of the world's biggest celebrities, including, but not limited to Michael Jackson, Beyonce, and Morgan Freeman. 

Located in the Broadway at the Beach complex, this museum is a fun place to visit with the family. It's a great place to stop between hitting the beach and grabbing a bite to eat. 

Myrtle Beach Wax Museum

5. Get Weird at Ripley's Believe It or Not 

Another awesome attraction to check out in Myrtle Beach is Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium. Located a block from the beach, this museum houses a varied collection of strange (and sometimes creepy) artifacts, sculptures, and photos.

It's an interesting place for adults and kids alike. However, be warned that some particularly young kids might be a little intimidated by some of the exhibits. 

Ripley's Believe it Or Not Myrtle Beach

6. Experience Aquatic Wildlife at Ripley's Aquarium 

Perhaps even more popular than Ripley's Believe It or Not is Ripley's Aquarium.

There's nothing creepy or weird about this attraction -- it's a straightforward aquarium with tons of aquatic wildlife to check out. If you and your family are at all interested in fish, turtles, and other forms of aquatic wildlife, it's a must-see. 

At this aquarium, you walk through a tunnel surrounded by a large fish tank. In this tank, you can see everything from sharks, to stingrays, to tortoises, and much, much more. 

If you wish, you can even pet some stingrays. Don't worry! This is entirely safe and can be a lot of fun for kids and teenagers. 

Myrtle Beach Aquarium

7. Embrace Amusement at the Family Kingdom 

Summertime heaven wouldn't be summertime heaven without an amusement park. So, of course, Myrtle Beach has an amusement park of its own. 

It's named? The Family Kingdom. 

The Family Kingdom is the perfect spot for families looking to have a little fun together. It contains all types of rides, from roller-coasters, to water rides, to bumper cars, to a variety of others. Regardless of who you are, it's sure to have something you enjoy. 

If you please, you can also stop by the SkyWheel. This is a large observation wheel situated on the beach strip. It's a great way to take in some local sights. 

Family Kingdom Myrtle Beach

8. Stroll the Boardwalk 

Another of many fun things to do in Myrtle Beach is to stroll the boardwalk. The Myrtle Beach boardwalk extends for around a mile and is lined with fun restaurants, bars, shops, and activities. 

While on the boardwalk, you will see people dining, drinking, playing volleyball, congregating with their friends and families, and engaging in a variety of other fun activities. If you're looking to step off of the beach for a little while, it's a wonderful place to visit. 

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

9. See Some Gators at Alligator Adventure

While Florida is the spot most known for alligators, South Carolina has its fair share as well. In Myrtle Beach, you'll often see them roaming onto golf courses and into drainage ditches. However, there's no guarantee of you coming across one.

If you're hoping to catch a guaranteed look at some gators, Myrtle Beach's Alligator Adventure is the place to go. Located in close proximity to the Barefoot Landing complex, this attraction contains live and easily-visible alligators. 

The best part of this exhibit? It's entirely safe. You won't have to worry about a predatory swamp creature getting anywhere near your family. 

Alligator Adventure myrtle beach

10. Check Out the Dolphins 

Like any oceans worth their salt, Myrtle Beach's oceans are filled with aquatic wildlife. In fact, on many mornings, you can see dolphins leaping up in the distance. 

Are you interested in catching some glimpses of dolphins? If so, your best bet is to go on a dolphin watching tour. These tours typically entail going out onto the ocean on a jet ski or boat and getting up-close-and-personal with live dolphins in their natural habitat. 

No matter your age or preferences, this is a lot of fun. Adults and kids alike tend to love it. 

Dolphins in Myrtle Beach SC

11. Try Your Hand at Fishing 

Maybe you're not interested in all of the flash attractions?

Perhaps sunbathing and swimming has taken their course? If so, you might consider trying to your hand at fishing. 

In Myrtle Beach, there are all types of fishing available: in-shore fishing, deep sea, fishing, and everything in between.

You have the option to buy your own equipment and find a place yourself, or to make use of rental equipment and an experienced guide. If your family is new to fishing, utilizing the services of a guide is your best option. 

There are many fishing charters in Myrtle Beach. You're sure to find one which accommodates your interests and budget. 

Fishing in Myrtle Beach

12. Have Fun at a Park 

Sometimes, there's nothing better than a trip to the park. Fortunately, in Myrtle Beach, there are tons of them. Whether you're looking for walking trails, playgrounds, dog parks, or otherwise, there is a Myrtle Beach park available to accommodate your needs. 

Some of the more popular parks in Myrtle Beach include North Myrtle Beach Sports & Rec Complex, Grand Park, Huntington Beach State Park, and McLean Park.

Each of these parks sports different characteristics, so it's important to research them before visiting. 

State Park in SC

13. Take a Trip in a Kayak 

Another option is to take a trip in a kayak. Myrtle Beach is filled with kayak rental companies, most of which are located within close proximity of the ocean.

These rental companies offer very affordable rates, making kayaking a viable option for the entire family. 

When kayaking, you can either take to the ocean, or to one of the many inlets existing in the Myrtle Beach area. Regardless of where you choose to kayak, you're bound to see some exciting wildlife, including fish, birds, and a variety of other animals. 

Kayaking in Myrtle Beach

14. Hit the Links 

If yours is a golf-friendly family, Myrtle Beach is like a goldmine. The city is home to well over 100 golf courses, some of which are designed for the most seasoned of golfers, and some of which are designed for casual players. 

These courses come with a wide range of green's fees. Some courses can be played for $20 to $40. Other courses can cost upwards of $100. 

It should be noted, however, that many courses in the area allow kids to play for free. A few of these courses include Wicked Stick, Tidewater, and Arrowhead. At most courses, golf club rentals are available.  

Myrtle Beach Golf

15. Take in a Baseball Game 

You might not realize it, but Myrtle Beach has its own professional baseball team: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans. A Class A-Advanced farm team for the Chicago Cubs, the team's stadium is within a few miles of the beach and is frequently visited by locals and tourists alike. 

While the Pelicans themselves are not a Major League team, many Major League ballplayers have graced their diamond. This means that, if you go to a game, you're likely to see a future Big League player. 

Even if you're not interested in baseball, a Pelicans game can be a lot of fun. The team goes out of its way to make the crowd feel welcome. 

Myrtle Beach baseball

16. Go Go-Karting 

Another fun activity to pursue in Myrtle Beach is go-karting. Go-karting is a fun activity for adults and children alike, allowing families to engage in a little friendly competition. 

There are two primary go-karting facilities in Myrtle Beach. These include The Track and Broadway Grand Prix. 

For those of age, NASCAR Racing Experience is a fun place to go as well. At this facility, you can drive a NASCAR car at full speeds around a full-size track. A driver's license is needed in order to engage in this activity.  

Myrtle Beach Go Karts

17. Visit Broadway at the Beach 

In Myrtle Beach, Broadway at the Beach is an experience like no other. This several hundred-acre complexes has everything a family could ever want to visit, including restaurants, bars, and shops. 

Also contained on the grounds are carnival rides and fun attractions. In fact, Ripley's Aquarium exists within the Broadway at the Beach complex. 

The entire complex sits around and over a man-made body of water. This body of water is filled with fish, all of which you can feed. 

Whether you're a young child, a teenager, a middle-aged adult, or a senior, Broadway at the Beach is a great place to be. 

 

18. Dine at Medieval Times

There are tons of fun places to dine in Myrtle Beach. However, arguably the most fun of all of these places is Medieval Times, an interactive dining experience like no other. 

At Medieval Times, you will see sword fights, horses, jousting, and a variety of other Medieval activities. Trained recreational artists will entertain you for hours as you eat.

There is a huge selection of food at Medieval Times, including a bevy of appetizers, entrees, and deserts. It doesn't matter if you're a kid or an adult, you'll love this place. 

Myrtle beach SC medieval times

An Endless List of Things to Do at Myrtle Beach 

As you can see, Myrtle Beach has a little bit of everything. And this isn't even the half of it. The activities listed above are far from the only activities available in the city.

In fact, there is an essentially endless list of things to do at Myrtle Beach. This is why so many families opt to buy condos in this sunny, southern tourist town. 

Are you interested in buying a condo in Myrtle Beach? Our website has you covered. Check out available condos now! 

Posted in News