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.
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.