VACATION HOME SALES RISE IN 2014
The National Association of Realtors released figures in April showing that U.S. vacation homes sales broke a new record in 2014. Vacation homes actually surged to the highest levels since they began gathering figures in 2003.
That trend is very apparent in the Myrtle Beach area, according to the Rick Elliott, President of Elliott Coastal Living: “The real estate market in the Myrtle Beach area is steadily improving in the area of homes for permanent residents and for vacation properties”.
While Elliott Coastal Living is one of the oldest real estate companies in the area, with over 50 years of experience, he said that listing and selling vacation homes were a large part of their agents business last year.
He commented that there are a couple of factors in vacation home growth: “Many potential vacation home buyers recognize that it appears that the price of homes has long ago reached the bottom, and they want to get into their vacation home before interest rates rise from their record lows.”
Many people are surprised at the low prices of real estate in the Myrtle Beach area. The area includes Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway, Loris, Georgetown, Pawley’s Island, Carolina Forest and Little River. The Southeast part of North Carolina also has many great towns that include Ocean Isle, Calabash, Holden Beach, Oak Island and Shallotte.
“Many people that walk into our offices from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are surprised at how low real estate prices are in the area. They are also amazed that the property taxes are so low”, Elliott added. Homes in those areas with a price of approximately $200,000 can have a yearly tax bill of anywhere from $3,000.00 to $6,000.00 depending on the state and area. In the Myrtle Beach area, the rate is substantially lower with permanent residents paying under $900. Non-permanent residents do pay a higher rate.
There are many factors that make vacation home sales popular. While the real estate market in the Myrtle Bach area is improving, prices of most type of homes and condos have not risen back to anywhere near the boom of 2007.
Many homeowners in Myrtle Beach use their homes as both a vacation home and as a real estate investment. By renting out their home, many homeowners can help meet their mortgage payment without a lot of personal cash outflow.
Elliott said that many buyers are drawn to Elliott Coastal Living as their “first and best stop” when they are looking to buy a vacation home or investment property. He added, “We are one of the few companies that can effectively help you buy and sell a home, and then creatively and effectively manage the rental of the home to provide an income stream”.
Many vacation home owners are able to either supplement their income with the rental or help meet their mortgage payments.
He added that Elliott Beach Rentals, the vacation rental division, has been managing properties for their owners since 1959. The company has been at the forefront of renting homes and condos and developed and implemented many effective marketing programs.
Elliott said that condominiums, in particular, are still very attractively priced and these can be a very appealing real estate purchase. He joked that “Many people have purchased a condo as an investment and then began using it as a vacation home, renting it out when they were not using it. They have now decided that they want to live there full time, because they like the area so much.”
While the National Association of Realtors noted that most vacation homebuyers live within 200 miles of their vacation home, many are now purchasing them who live more than 400 miles from the Myrtle Beach area. This still allows them to enjoy their vacation home many times a year.
Depending on how often an owner travels to the Myrtle Beach area and uses their vacation home, costs may even out over time with the rental costs of a comparable hotel or condo. During the summer months, a basic hotel room can average over $150.00 per night.
Some interesting facts about vacation homes courtesy of the National Association of Realtors:
- 21% of all homes sold during 2014 were sold as vacation homes.
- Beach homes were the most popular location of vacation homes by a whopping 40%. (Guess what, every home in the Myrtle Beach area is considered a beach home.)
- 54% of vacation homes were single family detached homes.
- If you are looking at a vacation home with 1,500 square feet, that is the median square footage of vacation homes.
- 70% of all vacation home buyers used a mortgage to purchase their home.
- The median price of a vacation home was $150,000. In the Myrtle Beach area, you can find homes and condos well below that price.
- Vacation home buyers who considered it a good time to buy real estate was a large 85%.
If you are considering buying a vacation home in one of the top vacation destinations in the United States, contact Elliott Coastal Living and its sister company Elliott Beach Rentals. “We are in a unique situation to help anyone that is interested in a purchasing a vacation home because we can help them with the purchase of the property and then efficiently manage the property all the way from maintenance to rentals”, said Elliott.
“Our goal is to bring buyers and sellers together throughout the entire Grand Strand area. From the North Carolina beaches such as Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Shallotte to the South Carolina coastal area that includes North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, Conway, Loris all the way south to Pawley’s Island and Georgetown.”
Elliott noted that within the Elliott families of business, there are many knowledgeable real estate professionals in both sales and rentals that would be able to provide any potential buyer or seller with information on a vacation home property, assist them with any questions and review the numbers with them. “We are all here to help each and every person reach their housing goal.”