No Comments

Should I Consider Selling My Short-Term Rental Property?

The travel industry has changed significantly over the past decade. With the popularity of vacation rentals advertised by such sites as Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away, travelers have more options than ever for lodging during their vacation. Unfortunately, 2020 has seen a serious decline in travel due to the COVID-19 crisis and many owners of these short-term rental properties are wondering what to do.

If you have a short-term rental property, you might be wondering if this is the right time to sell. Here are a few considerations as you weigh your options:

Long-Term Goals – While travel is down significantly right now, this slump won’t last forever. If this property is part of your overall investment portfolio which makes sense for the long run, consider other strategies to keep the rental. If you have a mortgage, speak to your lender about payment options during this time.
Housing Inventory and Local Home Prices – Housing inventory is down about 20% year over-year according to the National Association of Realtors®. Lower inventory has also prevented home prices from falling in most areas.
Historically Lower Interest Rates – Interest rates have dropped significantly since the beginning of the year. It might be time to refinance the property. In addition, if you do decide to sell, buyers are better positioned to buy.

This is a confusing time for everyone. The robust business of short-term rentals has certainly been affected over the past few months and the travel industry will suffer this summer. If you own a short-term rental, consider all your options as you decide whether it’s the right time to sell your property.

No Comments

Your Starter Home vs. Your Forever Home

 

Buying a home is exciting. Most people have visualized their dream home—large,
inviting kitchen; multiple bedrooms for family and guests; perhaps a backyard
with built-in BBQ, pool, and fireplace. Yet this dream is often out of reach
financially for first-time homebuyers. These buyers are ready to find a starter
home and perhaps are wondering if saving for a forever home makes more
financial sense.

Before making this decision, it’s important to consult with a professional financial
advisor about your unique situation; more often than not, getting a starter home
makes the most sense.

Things to Look For in a Starter Home vs. a Forever Home

As we already mentioned, a starter home probably won’t have all the features
you dream about, so it’s important to understand the difference between “want”
features and “need” features. For instance, the number of bedrooms might be
more critical than the huge, eat-in kitchen. Finding a home near a park for the
kids might take precedence over the expansive view of the water.

Focus on affordability and find a home that suits not only your immediate needs
but offers the ability to grow in equity. Your starter home should be viewed as a
financial tool to build wealth and position you to move up to your forever home.
Building wealth through homeownership is a great way to ensure you’ll be able to
buy that dream home when you’re ready.

No Comments

Real Estate Home Inspections and Appraisals in the New Normal

Even during the COVID-19 outbreak, real estate transactions go on. Buyers and sellers still need to move, and the industry is looking for new ways to accommodate both the needs of the transaction and, of course, the safety of everyone.

Many traditional real estate activities can be performed virtually. While no one is suggesting that a buyer will be comfortable buying a home they have only seen during a Zoom visit, they can minimize the number of homes they physically visit by pre-screening these homes ahead of time through virtual tours.

There are a few vital pieces of the transaction that require in-person visits, however. Among these are home inspections and appraisals. Both of these professionals need access to the property to properly perform their duties, and it leaves some potential home sellers and buyers wondering if it’s even possible to conclude a real estate transaction right now.

While everyone should cautiously move forward according to their personal sense of comfort, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and the professionals while they are in your home. Before setting the appointments, think through the parts of your home the inspector or appraiser will need to access and think through the process.

Contact the home inspector and appraiser and work out a plan together to keep everyone safe:
• Communicate with them about off-limit areas, and what parts of the home they can access.
• Have a notepad in which they can communicate what parts of the home they came in contact with, and offer hand sanitizer and wipes for them to use before and after touching parts of the home.
• Finally, leave the home during the appointments, and clean properly once you return home.

Life does move on – if you are trying to buy or sell a home during this challenging time, it might take extra effort. However, working with your real estate team, you can conclude a successful real estate transaction amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

No Comments

Is Your New Neighborhood Safe?

How to Research Your New Community Before You Buy

Finding the right home for you and your family involves more than the right number of bedrooms and a lovely front yard; the neighborhood in which it’s located can make a huge difference in the quality of your experience in the home. The most important consideration must be the safety of the community. Not only is it a critical component of a healthy lifestyle, but it can also have a drastic effect on resale values. Fortunately, there are some strategies and tools available to help you learn about the safety of your potential new home.

  • Talk to the Neighbors – The first step in researching your new location is to talk with the locals. Start with the neighbors next door if possible, but also spend time in the local shops and ask about the community.
  • Drive through the Neighborhood at Varying Times – One visit on a Saturday morning will never give you a sense of the neighborhood. Drive by on a Friday night and weekday afternoons to learn more about the community. Watch for children playing in the parks and older couples out for a walk.
  • Use Online Tools  – There are a variety of online tools available. Crime research sites such as CrimeReports, SpotCrime, and NeighborhoodScout offer crime statistics. The National Sex Offender Public Website is another good research tool. Each city will also have a published crime blotter report available to review.

The safety and security of your new community should be a top consideration as you search for your new home. Taking the time to research the area will ensure you make the best decision possible for you and your family

No Comments

Top Tips When Buying Vacant Land

Building a new home from scratch can be a dream come true. The idea of designing the perfect property with morning sun in the kitchen and evening breezes on the deck can be exhilarating; the first step to a successful project is finding the right piece of land on which to build. This can present challenges if not approached correctly.

Top Tips When Buying Vacant Land

  • Hire Experience – More than most real estate transactions, it’s critical to hire an agent who specializes in vacant land purchases and can guide you through the steps.
  • Expect to Pay Cash – Finding a lender for vacant land can be very difficult. Those who will finance land typically require a 50% or higher down payment and above average interest rates and terms.
  • Get the Neighborhood Comps – Do not neglect to understand home values in the community so you do not over, or under, build your home.
  • Do Your Due Diligence – It is critical to research the property thoroughly. Just a few considerations include:
    o Site Surveys and Environmental Testing
    o Easements and Zoning Restrictions
    o Lot Survey and Boundaries
    o Utilities and Water Rights

Once you’ve completed these preliminary reviews, it’s time to consult with an architect and general contractor who will then begin to develop concept drawings to consider. Even at this stage, you might find that the home you want is not appropriate for the land you’ve chosen. Staying flexible is a key component to searching for land; remember that by following a few tips, you can ensure you find the right lot for your dream home.

No Comments

5 Questions Buyers Have During the Coronavirus Outbreak Answered

 

Everyone is being affected in some manner by the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus. During this time, buyers will have more questions than normal about the home buying process and their ability to buy a new home. While we can’t predict what the next few weeks and months will bring, the more we can educate ourselves, the better we can help buyers navigate the buying process smoothly during the pandemic. Here are a few common buyer questions as they related to the Coronavirus outbreak and real estate answered.

1. Can we still go see home listings in person? 

This is the hardest question to answer and it will depend on the home, the seller, the agent and any fast-changing governmental policies put in place. Agents should be able to offer a Skype or Face Time home tour virtually. Talk to your agent to find out what they have available for the buyers to prescreen the home virtually before setting up the visit; they might have virtual tours already available which can help rule out those that don’t suit their needs.

2. How can I stay safe while visiting homes?

Everyone’s health has to be the priority; this includes the buyers, sellers, and agents. If you are going to see a home in person during this time, carry hand sanitizer and wipes to use before, during and after the tour. Drive separately from your agent meet at the homes. During the tour, designate one
person to open doors, drawers, and closets and use disposable gloves during the showing.

3. What happens if I lose my job during the escrow period?

Most real estate contracts include a contingency that protects the buyer in the event they can’t get final loan approval and close the loan. Typically during the process, this contingency is removed after a set time frame, or after receiving the loan approval. Since every aspect of real estate is negotiable, consider asking for the contingency deadline to be extended and in place until the close; talk through this aspect with the seller and their agent in advance to set the right expectation.

4. Will I still have access to the home during the escrow period? 

It’s very common for the buyer to have easy access to the home during the escrow period; home inspections, appraisals and just measuring are all common reasons to visit the home during escrow. Consider grouping these activities whenever possible.

5. Will I get a better deal if I wait to buy a new home? 

We all know there’s no crystal ball, but with everything that’s going on, sellers on the market should be very motivated
to sell. There are also historically low-interest rates on home loans. There is no way to predict the future, so if the right home comes along, it makes sense to consider it.

The Covid-19 outbreak is causing some uncertainty among home buyers, sellers, and even agents. However, with the use of technology and following best practices, you can still find the home you’ve been waiting for during this time.

No Comments

Search Myrtle Beach Vacation Properties

IMG_4073Myrtle Beach Real Estate experts at Century 21 Coastal Lifestyles will work with you to achieve your investment vacation property goals. A few initial questions will get us started.

What your plans are for the use of your investment property?

Are you going to use it purely as a rental investment without ever using it personally?

Are you planning on using your unit as a vacation retreat for your family and friends?

There are other things to consider when you are looking at in investment property at the beach. What is included, or not included in the homeowners association fees. Some complexes include insurance, water, cable, wifi, and electricity.

Rental income history will also play a big part of your return on investment. Some buildings and resorts perform much better than average.

Are you looking for oceanfront, second row or golf course vacation properties? What is the proximity to local attractions? – Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Barefoot Landing and Carolina Opry have been the most popular attractions lately with more to come.

Myrtle Beach is also fast becoming a sports tourism area attracting, basketball, softball, baseball, lacrosse and soccer teams from across the country to compete and vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Where is the unit positioned in the complex?  Corner unit, upper floor, lower floor? Is there an elevator? Each building has its own characteristics which will influence the potential return on investment.

Also, the vacation rental company will make a huge difference on your return on investment. What is the commission rate? How many units does the  company manage? Typically the larger management companies do not get the premium rates and do not necessarily clean units. They also charge higher commissions for less personal service.

Century 21 Coastal Lifestyles has been servicing Myrtle Beach Real Estate and North Myrtle Beach along the Grand Strand. We can help you. Contact us today and put our experience to work for you!

Myrtle Beach Real Estate | Century 21 Coastal Lifestyles trusted real estate professional services for over 40 yours. We know Myrtle Beach real estate. Coastal Lifestyle Vacations, LLC can help you manage your vacation property once Century 21 Coastal Lifestyles helps you with your purchase. Myrtle Beach vacations are rated at the top of the list with Homeaway, Flipkey, Yahoo! Travel, and other major travel service providers.

Myrtle Beach Real Estate ListingsOceanfront Vacation Homes Oceanfront Vacation Condos

No Comments

New Townhouse Listing 2 Blocks from Beach

Fea Shell NeighborMyrtle Beach Vacation Townhouse Listing

True Townhouse located on the Oceanside of Business 17.

Easy walk to beach and close to shopping, restaurants and golf.

NO HOA.

This fully furnished, nicely decorated townhouse has been updated and ready to move into.

It would make a great primary residence or beach vacation home.