Monday, May 11, 2015

Get Paid To Stay In Your Myrtle Beach Area Vacation Home


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.”

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Best Real Estate Agent

Remember when you were single and you wanted to meet the person of your dreams? It wasn't like you were going to go out and the first person you bumped into was going to be “that person”.

You don’t have to worry about walking down the aisle with your agent, just to the real estate attorney to sign the closing papers.  

Finding the right agent for you is kind of the same situation. Your agent will be the most important part of your team to find you the right home or to sell your home at the best price. You should feel confident and comfortable talking with your agent. You will be giving them lots of information about yourself and your family and discussing your wants and needs.

ElliottCoastal Living is one of the oldest and largest real estate companies in the Myrtle Beach area and has been in business for over 55 years. Elliott Coastal Living works with communities throughout the Myrtle Beach area and the coastal communities of South Easter North Carolina. Rick Elliott, President, said that a relationship between a real estate agent and seller or buyer of a home is a special one.

“An agent is like your best friend. They will offer you suggestions, answer your questions, handle negotiations with a buyer or seller, be able to network with other real estate professionals and also handle a lot of paperwork that is necessary when you buy or sell a property. Any mistakes can cause a sale to fail…and no one wants that.” Elliott added.

What should you do to find the perfect match? Here are some suggestions:

1.    Talk to several agents and make sure you feel comfortable with whomever you select. You will be talking with them quite often, asking their advice and giving them lots of information about yourself and your family. If you don’t feel comfortable with them, it might make for some awkward conversations.

2.    Real estate professionals have to be licensed by the state and meet certain standards. While a state license does not mean they are the best agent for you, having someone who is not licensed in the state would be like giving the keys to your car to someone who’s not a licensed driver. They may know how to drive, but the state doesn’t recognize their ability and skills.

3.    How long have they been in business? According to experts, it’s better to have a company that has been up and running for a while. "If they haven't been in business five years, they're learning on you and that's not good," says Robert Irwin, author of "Tips & Traps When Buying a Home." Rick Elliott, President of Elliott Coastal Living said “Our Company has been in the area for over 55 years. We have seen the community grow and are able to recognize trends early.” Factors like this can help you avoid pitfalls that a less experienced company might not see.

4.    It is an excellent idea to check to see if the Relator is a full time agent. If you select a agent who sells real estate every other Saturday and the first Tuesday of the month, you may not be getting the best person to work for you. Your agent needs to be someone who follows your area market every day. If you are buying a home, you will want someone who can see a new listing quickly and show you the house immediately. If you are selling your house, you will want an agent to be able to show your house at the prospective buyer’s convenience. “A missed opportunity may be a missed sale” says Rick Elliott.

5.    Uncle Jim Bob may tell great stories that make Aunt Rose shrink under the table from embarrassment during Christmas dinner, but he may not be your best selection as your real estate professional. Having an agent who is a relative may cause hard feelings and some resentment. Especially if the home you buy or sell ends up with some problems or the price is either too high if you are a buyer or too low if you are a seller. Conflicts may cause the transaction to fail. It may also cause long term family conflicts and you might only get a lousy fruitcake from Uncle Jim Bob in the future.

6.    If you are selling your home, the most important thing to ask an agent is what kind of marketing plan they have to sell your home. It is not enough to just have a home listed on the MLS listings. Will there be an open house? How about a web video tour? Who is the most likely buyer that would be interested a home like yours? How will they get your property in front of that buyer?

7.    The Stupid Question?  You probably had a high school teacher that told youthe stupidest question is the question that has not been asked”. This is especially true when talking to a potential real estate agent.  Don’t feel afraid to ask potential real estate agents questions. There will be different questions to ask depending on whether you are the buyer or the seller.

8.    As a buyer, you should want to know how much communication the agent will have with you. You will want to know how they will contact you. These days, it can range anywhere from a phone call, text message or via email. If they tell you snail mail, you probably should look elsewhere. Ask them how often you should expect to hear from them. Are they familiar with people in your situation? Cash sales are pretty straight forward. Homes with VA Loans and FHA Loans may require some extra steps.

9.    As a seller, you will also want to know how you will be communicating with the agent. While each house is different, your agent can give you trends in your area for the number of days on the market, average price of a home and average sales price of a home in the area. You would also want your agent to help you meet the goals of your sale. Are there simple repairs that should be made? If you have already moved, will renting some furniture help nudge the sale? If the house does not sell in a set number of months, what options do you have?

10.  Foreclosures may be a bargain worth looking at in Myrtle Beach area. Even though the real estate market in the Myrtle Beach area is improving, you may still find a budget priced foreclosures for sale. Some foreclosures may take some work or need appliances and fixtures depending on the state the previous owner left the property in. Many foreclosures can be a very shrewd investment. If you are in the market for a foreclosure, make sure your real estate agent is familiar with some of the extra steps required for the purchase of a foreclosure.

11.  Look at the company that your agent works for. With today’s changing technologies, having a real estate company that does not use the latest technology or means to market your property may lead to longer wait times to sell or purchase your home. Does the company the agent works for meet your expectations?

There are many real estate agents in the Myrtle Beach area and some are better than others. Not every real estate company is on equal terms either. The best advice anyone can give you is carefully select your agent and the company they work for. Elliott Coastal Living has many very qualified and professional agents who will give you the best service available.

According to Rick Elliott, “Every member of the entire company is there to help you either buy or sell your home. We take great pride in the personal service that we give each person that walks into any of our offices. I strongly believe that we are the best when it comes to delivering quality service to you. Our involvement in the community, knowledge of the real estate market, and care in meeting the needs of our customers and clients have enabled us to enjoy a fine reputation across the state.”

Call your Better Homes and Gardens - Elliott Coastal Living office and make plans to stop by and meet the agent that will be your guide and knowledgeable helper in either finding your new home or selling your old one.

Monday, April 27, 2015

North Myrtle Beach Ocean Front Lot For $1,000.00

North Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Lot For Sale $1,000.00
For sale. Large ocean front lot in North Myrtle Beach on deserted stretch of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. A steal at $1,000.00.

In The Beginning
When Senator Dick Elliott started Elliott Coastal Living in 1959, $1,000 was the price of an ocean front lot in the Myrtle Beach area. Today that lot would be worth more than one thousand times that amount. Although the prices have changed, the friendly, honest and personal service of Elliott Coastal Living-Better Homes and Gardens real estate hasn’t changed.

Today, Elliott Coastal Living is a growing major real estate companies in the Myrtle Beach area.  Six offices and many highly trained and dedicated agents are ready to help you buy, sell or effectively manage your property to generate a steady income stream. All of this with the same personal touch that Senator Elliott envisioned in 1959.

Rick Elliott, President of Elliott Realty says from a one man operation, my Dad saw the growth potential of both North Myrtle Beach and the entire Myrtle Beach area. “He saw many opportunities and was able to stay on top of the huge changes that the area has gone through over the years. From being involved in the development of the golf industry, the vacation rental industry, developing effective marketing methods, he was always at the front of the line.”

Elliott added that “the small town feeling of doing business never left the company. That was a big goal of my Dad and just the way he did business. That’s one area that we will never change.”

From One To Many
Elliott Coastal Living is now a multi-faceted company and a professional, service orientated real estate company in the Myrtle Beach area. There are divisions that specialize in home and condominium sales, commercial property sales, recreational property sales and vacation rentals.

Elliott Coastal Living is one of the oldest real estate companies in the Myrtle Beach area. The company, formed in 1959, has grown into a company with over a score of competent, friendly and fully trained real estate agents.

2010 was a milestone year for the company. It became affiliated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, a leader in real estate and everything related to homes for more than 90 years.  “Rick Elliott and his team have built exactly the kind of next generation brokerage that we envision will lead this industry toward the future,” stated Sherry A. Chris, President  & CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

“Throughout our history, we have tried to look ahead of the market and point ourselves toward what we believe is the future of our industry,” said Elliott. “I am impressed with Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate’s visionary and trustworthy leadership, every member of whom is focused beyond the current market turmoil and is testing and adopting exciting, new technology. This is the philosophy and spirit that has helped our firm evolve for more than 50 years and the one that will help us stay ahead in the years to come.”

Elliott Beach Rentals represents property owners whose vacation properties are anxiously grabbed up by some of the 14 million visitors that vacation in the Myrtle Beach area each year.

Elliott Beach Rentals has a very effective marketing program that features its rental properties. Not only do they handle the rental of vacation properties, Elliott Beach Rentals also handles service, maintenance and professional cleaning of all the rental properties. This is done in a cost efficient manner to present a top notch rental property and to insure maximum income for owners.

Elliott Beach Rentals started back in the 1950’s when the Myrtle Beach area wasn’t even a thought in most people’s mind when it came to a vacation destination. Senator Elliott was one of the pioneers in recognizing both the need and potential growth of renting vacation homes and condos to generate an income source for property owners.

As one of the largest one of the largest property companies in both North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, their only goal is to be the best. There are specialized divisions that include: Elliott Luxury Rentals, which offer homes and condos of a higher quality.
Elliott Grande Villas which represents homes and condos with at least six bedrooms for lager families or groups that want to stay together. 
Myrtle Beach Golf Authority, which specializes in helping golfers and golf groups with both accommodations and t-times at over 90 championship golf courses

Innovations For The Future
Both Senator Elliott and Rick Elliott have been pioneers and innovators in the marketing and operation of their companies.

Starting in 1989, Elliott Realty was one of the first companies to publish a vacation rental brochure. The color brochure showcased beach homes and condos as well as pricing and reservation information. This brochure, which is well over 100 pages, is still is produced to this day!

Elliott was also one of the first companies to have a web presence. There are websites for both the real estate sales that let buyers search the large inventory of available Myrtle Beach area homes. The rental division has their entire inventory of homes and condos available on line. Guests are able to find the vacation home of their dreams online and quickly rent it before someone else grabs it. The websites have and continue being updated to make use of the newest innovations and technology.

Elliott also has a unique division that offers hunting, recreational and farm land throughout South Carolina and the Southeast. Elliott Recreational Properties lets you choose parcels of land as either a recreational compound or as an investment.

Senator Dick Elliott was one of the pioneers of the golf industry in Myrtle Beach. In 1971, long before Myrtle Beach was the “Golf Capital of the World”, he began constructing Eagles Nest Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach. As the popularity of golf in the Myrtle Beach area grew, Senator Elliott and Rick recognized the importance of this segment and set up Myrtle Beach Golf Authority. This let golf groups book homes and condos and also set up t-times at many of the championship courses throughout the area. The venture has and still continues to be an attractive method for helping to keep rental properties full, especially during the off seasons like fall and spring.

Since many property owners rely on the income of their properties to help with their mortgage payments, Elliott companies were one of the first to recognize the importance of the “Snow Birds”. They flock to the many attractive and affordable properties that Elliott Beach Rentals offers at reduced winter rental rates. Elliott was also the first company and an innovator to establish an online line reservation system for winter rentals.

Innovation has been the cornerstone of the continued success of all of the Elliott real estate companies. They continue to make careful and consistent changes to keep them one of the preeminent real estate companies in the area.

The Golden Rule
Even with all the technological changes, nothing will change the core principles that Senator Elliott founded the company on. Rick Elliott said that his Dad began the company when everyone in the area knew each other. If you Golden Rule” for every Elliott employee”.

didn’t treat people right and give them the best service you could, you wouldn’t stay in business very long. “That philosophy has long been the “

After over fifty years in business, Rick says that one of the goals is to have “everyone satisfied with the service they receive, no matter whether they are a home buyer, a home seller, a vacation guest or a rental property owner.”  Rick says that he asks all his employees to remember that they are there to serve their customers. It’s not easy to do, but he added that “he is always there to offer any assistance he can.”

Giving Back To The Community
Senator Elliott spent a lifetime giving back to his community as a member of the South Carolina House and as a state Senator for over thirty years. Senator Elliott retired in 2012 and was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Nikki Haley. That award is given in recognition to a person’s exemplary contribution to the state of South Carolina and is South Carolina's highest honor.

Senator Elliott instilled the importance of giving back to the community with his children.  Rick Elliott established the Elliott Realty Charitable Community Fund through the Waccamaw Community Foundation. Tens of thousands of dollars have been given to a wide range of charities such as area churches, North Strand Helping Hand, Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach, Sea Haven, North Myrtle Beach Women’s Club, American Heart Association, and Women in Philanthropy and Leadership at Coastal Carolina University.

Both Senator Elliott and Rick Elliott have worked hard with both the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce. Rick served as Chairman of the Building North Myrtle Beach Campaign, which helped developed plans to generate continued business growth in North Myrtle Beach. Rick also served as Chairman of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Looking Forward
Real estate is moving forward once again and Rick Elliott isn’t just sitting around waiting for it to recover. Elliott says he has plans to add more real estate agents so that each person who steps into one of the many Elliott Coastal Living offices or calls one of the dedicated agents receives a “friendly, knowledgeable and helpful agent who has received the best training available and the support of all the support  staff throughout the company.”

Elliott said that he will not forget the standards that his Dad instilled in the company throughout his life and the success of Elliott Coastal Living and Elliott Beach Rentals will always serve to be an expression of the fundamental beliefs of the companies.

“Elliott Coastal Living and Elliott Beach Rentals also fully embraces change - we are not afraid to push the envelope to expand our market thru non-traditional ways – in fact, we pride ourselves in it for it sets us apart,” says Rick Elliott. “Yes, it is easier to walk down a hill, but it is more satisfying to test the real estate limits of traditional agents and agencies by aggressively moving upwards against the headwinds of tradition.”

Rick said his goal, with the support of Better Homes & Gardens, is to change the real estate industry in the Myrtle Beach area which has followed traditional business sales models in the past. “We want people talking about us.  We want to be the leader. Apple and other companies did not become who they are without daring to be different and combining their core business vision with solid values.” Elliott added.

“Where are we going? Elliott Coastal Living will continue to be the premier leader in real estate sales that attracts a loyal band of believers who connect to our business philosophy and model.”