Monday, April 28, 2008

Myrtle Beach Retirement Communities

-------------Litchfield Lakes Retirement Community

My family is largely comprised of baby-boomers. Myself, my brother and his second wife, my oldest sister, and even my nieces and nephews are all between the ages of 45-70.

The oldest members of the family have all invested in senior citizen communities which provide luxury living from good health all the way to nursing facilities to the end of life.

I have an aunt and uncle, another aunt, and my brother all living in these types of communities. I myself, would prefer to live in a gated area without small children and be surrounded by quiet and BORING retirees! I've got a ways to go yet, in age as well as being financially able to afford such a neighborhood, but I hope to find myself there one day.

I have read that seniors 65 and over will comprise 36 percent of the population in the Grand Strand by 2025. Although we don't have a large number of retirement and assisted living neighborhoods at this time, I would bet we will see a big increase in them in the next 10 years or so.

In Myrtle Beach, we have several retirement communities to choose from...

In Carolina Forest, a new senior development called Brightwater has popped up off International Drive and River Oaks Dr. Brightwater will have 110 single family homes for independent retirees, 48 assisted living homes, 24 available beds in a nursing home provided, and another 24 units assigned to the unfortunate Alzheimer's patients.

Ranging from around $275K to $475K, the houses are affordable and offer every amenity. Apartments or condos will be priced at just over $100K to $325K. A clubhouse is included, providing meals, activities, housekeeping and a 24/7 emergency service. The services are bundled with the cost of the homes and apartments, and helps to take the worry out of growing older gracefully and securely.

Eagle Crest is located on Robert Grissom Highway in Myrtle Beach, between 17 business and 17 Bypass. Pet friendly, smoker friendly, and with the average resident age of 80, Eagle Crest seems geared to the more traditional type of retirement community. With accommodations ranging from studios to 2 bedroom suites, this is an apartment/condo type setting, as versus the single family home look of Brighwater.They boast an excutive chef, paid utilities, around the clock resident manager, housekeeping, meals to include special diet requirments, and the regular amenities of any hotel. They are a part of a chain of retirement facilities under the name of Holiday Retirement. The website doesn't list pricing, unfortunately. They advertise giving you a tour and a free lunch to visit and learn more.

Located amongst the elegant settings of Pawleys Island real estate, the Lakes at Litchfield is the luxury version of Brighwater. Private luxury homes, 2 bedroom exclusive apartments and a luxurious clubhouse make this the place to retire. Again, they have independent living, 57 beds in assisted living, skilled nursing, and Alzheimer's care.

They list their mission statement as being dedicated professionals providing peace of mind, fun, safety, honor, dignity and integrity. Their purpose is listed as being a light in the world, making a difference in the quality of others' lives, and to treat the residents like their own parents.

That's a pretty impressive resume.

Again, there seems to be no way to find pricing on the web. Perhaps someone from the community will read this and provide this information?

Folks in our generation that can afford it seem to have more to look forward to than our parents and grandparents. As more boomers reach the age of needing these services, hopefully more Myrtle Beach retirement communities will be built.

See these sites for more information about Myrtle Beach condos, and Myrtle Beach Foreclosures..

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Website for Oceanfront Real Estate

Oceanfront Real EstateI just put up a brand new website to showcase Cheap Oceanfront Property.

Hopefully I'll find some sellers that are interested in listing their property and buyers who'd like to be on our mailing list as we find them. Do check it out and if you have an interest, be sure and contact me from the form provided! Visit at www.oceanfrontinvestments.com .

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Left behind - Pets and Foreclosure

April 16, 2008 : 6:04 PM ET

No one will forget the lost looks on the faces of pets abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. Best Friends Animal Society came to the rescue of thousands of them. Today, Best Friends is helping victims of another disaster – an economic disaster. For many people and their pets, the current mortgage crisis is every bit as devastating as a natural disaster.

Across the country, animals are being found abandoned in foreclosed homes. Other pet owners who’ve fallen victim to the subprime mortgage mess, finding themselves just days or even hours from being homeless, are desperately trying to find someone to take in the furry and feathered members of their families.

Some have tearfully left their pets at shelters, not knowing what would become of them, but believing they could at least give them some chance of being adopted.

“We’re seeing more and more cases of people leaving their homes and dropping the dog off at the shelter and the cat in the local park,” says Michael Mountain, president of Best Friends Animal Society. “Sometimes they even just tie the dog up outside and drive off.”

It is never OK to leave the family pet to fend for himself. Many people have been calling Best Friends’ Animal Help department for advice on how to keep their pets as they weather the economic storm. Department manager Liz Finch says she’s seeing an increase in calls and e-mails from people facing foreclosure.

“If there is a short time-frame, we coach them on ways to find temporary care for their animals through kenneling, boarding at a vet's office, fostering with a friend – anything to give them more time to look for the right home for their pet,” Liz says. “They may have the ability to keep their animal if they can find this temporary care, to tide them over until they find a pet-friendly home for themselves.”

Best Friends Animal Help specialists also provide resources to help people re-home their pets, giving them valuable information on how to network in their communities and how to contact rescue organizations.

“If the animal has special needs, we give them more specialized advice and resources,” Liz says. “We want to offer them as many options as possible. The more people who are aware of an animal in need of a home, the more likely you'll be able to find that home.”

A crisis has a way of bringing out the best in human beings, and Best Friends has also been receiving calls from people wanting to help. Mindy Mason, a real estate agent with Prudential Utah in Salt Lake City and a member of that city’s Board of Realtors, wanted to take action after hearing her colleagues talk about animals they’d found abandoned in foreclosed homes. She’s looking into how she and her fellow real-estate agents can donate proceeds from an annual fundraiser to Best Friends. “I just love what Best Friends does,” she says.

Mindy has some advice for people facing foreclosure – they should get in touch with their lenders. She says many lenders are willing to lower interest rates to help people stay in their homes.

“Lenders are being flexible,” Mindy says. “They will definitely work with you.” She says real-estate agents can help if people don’t know how to contact their lenders.

Meanwhile, Best Friends’ Animal Help specialists will continue to help however they can. The ultimate goal is to find some way to help people keep their pets. The next best thing is to help people place their pets in new forever homes.

“It's a very sad reality that people are being put in this position, where they essentially have to give up a member of their family,” Liz says. “We do whatever we can to give them hope for their animals’ future.” ~Written by Sandy Miller

Note from editor: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is one of the most worthwhile animal charities in existance today. I encourage you to visit their website, volunteer at the sancutary, and donate to the cause. Many who have gone to the compound and spent a week with the animals have come home with wonderful memories, and continue to spend their vacations there helping out. This is a wonderful organization.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Carolina coast | High-rise heaven?


Condo towers won’t get tougher rules despite perils, costsBy SAMMY FRETWELL - sfretwell@thestate.com

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — State regulators Tuesday decided against toughening rules that allow high-rise condominiums on one of the most flood-prone beaches in South Carolina.

The decision at Cherry Grove — where condominium towers dominate a 20-block area once reserved for beach cottages — solidifies a state policy of letting less-restrictive oceanfront building codes stand even after taxpayers pay to renourish beaches.

The government has spent more than $100 million in the past two decades to widen South Carolina’s eroding seashore, the foundation of the state’s tourism economy. It spent some $20 million replenishing the shore at North Myrtle Beach in the 1990s and is preparing another multimillion dollar renourishment project this July. The $30 million project also includes other Grand Strand beaches.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control’s proposal for North Myrtle Beach is the first in a series of building regulation reviews during the next two years that will look at most South Carolina beaches to determine whether building restrictions should be changed.

Since the state first eased building restrictions in the heart of Cherry Grove eight years ago, two high-rise condominium projects containing thousands of rooms have been launched along the oceanfront.

A third, smaller condominium building also was built as a result of the state-approved changes at Cherry Grove. Before the rules changed in 2000, people wanting to develop from 20th to 40th avenues north were largely restricted to construction of new beach houses.

Bill Eiser, a DHEC oceanographer, said his agency saw no reason to reverse a decision it made eight years ago to loosen oceanfront construction regulations after the 1990s renourishment. State law allows building rules to be tightened if beaches erode, but to be eased if the seashore builds up, whether through natural or artificial renourishment.

Even though waves cover the dry-sand beach in many areas of Cherry Grove at high tide, Eiser said North Myrtle Beach hasn’t suffered major erosion since the 2000 decision. Erosion there is less than one foot per year, a low rate when compared to rates of 8 to 15 feet at some beaches in Beaufort County, he said.

“Our survey data shows not much less sand than when we last did this,” Eiser said. He added that the state could have eased building restrictions further on other parts of the beach where the shore is stable, but chose not to.

While the state’s policy is cause for rejoicing among developers and seaside landowners at North Myrtle Beach, some scientists and beachgoers said DHEC’s decision reflects an ominous trend in the face of more intense hurricanes and rising sea levels. Renourished beaches eventually will wash away, leaving buildings vulnerable, critics say.

Dave Huster, a Michigan truck driver vacationing in Cherry Grove, said South Carolinians should worry about footing the bill in the event of a storm.

“Who is going to pay to fix that building when the ocean goes over the berm?” Huster asked. “Who knows where the ocean will go?”

Tim Hall and Paul Conrads, federal officials who serve on a state shoreline advisory panel, are among those who question the wisdom of DHEC’s policy at Cherry Grove and other beaches.
Later this year, the state-appointed committee is to recommend changes in South Carolina’s beach management act, which many say is not working as intended. The law, adopted first in 1988, calls for a gradual “retreat” from the seashore of new development.

“It’s hard to look at barrier islands that need to be renourished and think this is a wise policy,” said Conrads, a U.S. Geological Survey official in Columbia. “It doesn’t seem like the prudent thing to do.”

That’s of particular concern in North Myrtle Beach, which has led the state’s coastal cities in the number of repeat flood insurance losses under the federally backed program. The city’s Cherry Grove section — an easily flooded narrow sand spit between a marsh and the Atlantic Ocean — typically takes the worst pounding during storms.

Paul Blust, zoning administrator for North Myrtle Beach, said some seaside landowners were concerned that DHEC might tighten the rules on oceanfront building. After viewing a series of maps at DHEC’s office in Myrtle Beach, Blust said many property owners will be relieved. If the economy improves, Blust expects more high-rise condo towers in Cherry Grove.
“I don’t see why you wouldn’t,” he said.

At issue are building restrictions known as “setback lines.” These are imaginary lines that prevent development close to the beach. In 2000, DHEC moved setback lines 25 to 100 feet seaward along a 20-block stretch of oceanfront in Cherry Grove.

DHEC released a series of satellite maps Tuesday showing the lines’ location. Most stayed where they were set in 2000, although the agency did move them seaward in a few spots. One place is near a 20-story condo tower under construction south of Sea Mountain Highway. Developers of the project, Towers on the Grove, have said they’re simply going by state rules.

The building boom started after 2000 with a 17-story Prince Resort condo tower at the Cherry Grove Pier, where setback lines were moved seaward about 50 feet. The lines were extended seaward about another 25 feet in 2006 so the project could have swimming pools along the oceanfront.

Reach Fretwell at (803) 771-8537.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Democrats to the Rescue (Hopefully)

According to an article on CNN Money today, Democratic Senators are going to try and force a vote on legislation designed to help with the foreclosure crisis.

They have come up with a plan called the Foreclosure Prevention Act, which will help families avoid foreclosure and hopefully aid some of the communities that are already hurting from the backlash of the problem.

As usual, Republicans are trying to block the attempt, hoping to pull off the miracle themselves and get the credit for it...never mind the families that are hurt because of whatever delay that causes.

Senator Christopher Dodd, Connecticutt Democrat is quoted as saying,

"This is a pivotal week. Failure is not an option. The problem is growing more serious by the hour and any delay is putting more homeowners in jeopardy."

Senator Dodd is the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. The article says "Republicans agree that the legislation is in play." I don't have any idea what that statement means. If anyone does, I would like to be enlightened.

A member of the banking panel is a Republican Senator named Wayne Allard, R-Colo. and an aid states that he has always worked well with the Chair...I assume meaning that perhaps he will help to pass this Democratic initiative.

The Senate majority leader Harry Reid states that the White House is unresponsive, and persists in calling for the lenders to take on the task instead of the government. Well, folks, it seems to be pretty clear that this is not going to happen.

I was in a deep argument recently with a friend who is a Republican about the differences in our philosophies. She, like most, feels like the government should stand back and let the chips fall where they may. If people don't work, let them starve. If their kids starve too, then that's the way it is. If folks were stupid enough or greedy enough to be sucked into the sub-prime loans, then they deserve what they get, and it's not up to her tax money to bail them out.

My counter was, fine...we can be like China. If someone is born with no arms or paralyzed, let them sit on a blanket in the street and beg for pennies. It's THEIR problem.

My point is that our country is the greatest in the world BECAUSE our government steps in and forces EVERYONE to take care of those who can't or won't take care of themselves.

Our argument escalated when I voiced my puzzled opinion as to why those who have the most money (often or usually Republicans) are the ones who most begrudge helping others.

It hurts someone in the bare middle class more to take more taxes than it does a multi-millionaire. Yet, I, and most Democrats, feel the need is warranted and welcome the government control to aid in problems like this foreclosure mess. And someone with more money than they can possibly ever spend thinks we should leave these people to be put on the street.

I just don't understand the reasoning. What makes it worse is that a good many of these Republicans who feel this way are in the real estate industry. They PROFITTED from the very loans that are now going into foreclosure.

Whatever happened to "He ain't heavy - He's my brother"?

Oh, wait...that was a song written and sung by us liberals even way back then. Just like the 60's all over again, we've got the "hippies" (liberals) that care and the "establishment" (Republicans and Conservatives) that don't seem to.

This is the worst rant I've ever made, I think...but every day I get more incensed towards our horrible president, the war, and how it seems we have no say-so against a tyrant in the White House.

Senator Dodd's proposal calls for forcing the mortgage companies to lower balances down to what the homes are worth, and taking a loss. As Dodd is quoted as saying,

"In essence, the plan gives lenders the chance to take a quick hit, versus the slow bleed that could end in foreclosure."

I hope the Republicans will see how important this issue is, and let go of their reticence against government long enough to try and save the economy.

Thanks to Richard Brooks D-SC - for passing this article along to me.

Myrtle Beach real estate