Saturday, October 31, 2009

What You Need to Know When Insuring Property on the Coast

This guest article was written by Elizabeth Johnson, who regularly writes on the topic of online construction management degrees . She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

In a world full of uncertainties, you would be a fool not to insure your valuables and assets. And when it comes to buying insurance for property, there are certain aspects that you must be aware of, especially when your home is on the coast, in the mountains or in any other special location. If you have just invested in oceanfront property on the coast, here is what you need to know before purchasing insurance:
  • If you are going to live in the home full time, then you may have to go about insuring it against the usual factors like theft, damage and destruction caused by the elements of nature, and of course, accidental destruction because of human negligence or carelessness.

  • Homes near the coast may be more prone to damage and destruction because of hurricanes or tsunamis (if you live in an area that is prone to huge waves or earthquakes), so ensure that your policy takes care of all these details as well.

  • Ensure that your policy is detailed and includes every kind of damage possible. To give you an example, someone I know took out a policy insuring their home against damage from a storm. Unfortunately, the insurance company refused to pay up because even though there was a storm, the damage was caused by rising flood water. So be very specific in order to avoid both having to pay for insurance and not being able to make use of it. Be as conscientious about insuring your home as you are about your own health when buying a health insurance policy.

  • If your home on the coast is more like vacation property that you visit once in a while, your homeowners policy may need more coverage to safeguard your home from theft and vandalism as well as the usual perils. An unguarded, empty home is a haven for miscreants who are looking for easy money. Some insurance companies insist on insuring your primary home as well if you want to buy a policy for your seasonal or vacation home, so discuss this with your agent before you sign up.

Speak to a reliable insurance agent and know all your options before you decide on a policy. Our Myrtle Beach Allstate agent, Scott Todd is one of the best. Visit his website at and take advantage of his "Ask an Insurance Expert" service. You can find the answer to many of your questions about South Carolina Homeowners Insurance, HO6 insurance, or Renters Insurance in SC.

SC Insurance

Our thanks to Elizabeth for her great article!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Myrtle Beach Condos at Barefoot Resort Face Problems

Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle BeachOne of the most beautiful resorts on the Grand Strand is the Barefoot Resort Yacht Club. Just a notch or two below the famous Grande Dunes Marina Inn, I've watched these units sell for more than a year now. They are priced higher than most all of the oceanfront condos in Myrtle Beach, which seems to follow the pattern of the waterway condos in Miami - down there, oceanfront condos are a dime a dozen, and those on the Intracoastal Waterway are in the millions.

And now it seems that the on-site rental management company Barefoot chose to represent itself has absconded with the rental money and disappeared. Premier Resorts out of Utah closed down last week and even left the owners with no keys to get into their own units!

Carolina First Bank filed foreclosure proceedings in September, along with a lawsuit against the company for defaulting on two loans totalling $6.75 million dollars. The company also owns the wonderful marina in front of the resort, the restaurant Docksiders, and 70 acres of land in the Barefoot Resort community. They even owe owners of the boat slips for rental monies due them.

Barefoot Resort PoolAbout 35 of the owners met to discuss the situation and try to decide on the next course of action. The court has appointed our local Noble Company as receiver of the property, changing locks and going through financial records. A representative of Noble states they are NOT going to take over the rental management of the units, however.

Myrtle Beach has several longtime rental management companies such as CondoLux and Condo-World, and they have a stellar record, as well as having been in the business for 20 plus years. Either of these companies is a good choice for these beleaguered owners. There are also many small North Myrtle Beach real estate agencies that handle rentals. Hopefully these owners will find the best company for their needs and eventually recover their lost rental money. It just goes to show that on-site rental management is not the best or easiest course of action.

Maintaining a profitable rental property, whether it's a Myrtle Beach waterway condo or on the ocean, requires a good rental management situation, maintaining good SC Condo insurance coverage, and a pro-active and diligent HOA to monitor it all. It's a shame that these owners have to go through this, though. Barefoot Resort is one of the finest properties on the Grand Strand.

Monday, August 31, 2009

South Carolina Insurance - How to Save Money

I recently spent about an hour in my Allstate agent's office. Scott Todd, an agent in North Myrtle Beach, has an assistant that really knows her stuff and taught me some things about insurance in South Carolina thatI didn't know. I'm about to tell you what I learned, and how to get the best deal on all kinds of South Carolina insurance. It's probably the same in other states as well.

Allstate - The Cheapest Car Insurance
Let me preface this article by saying that this information is for people who have nearly perfect driving records. Allstate has long been known for being THE preferred insurance for safe drivers, adult drivers, and ticket-free records.

I've been driving for more than 35 years. I've never gotten a ticket! I had a couple of very small bump-ups 20 some years ago, but didn't file a claim on them. So my record is about as perfect as it can be.

I had my insurance with Allstate in my early 20's. Then I married a guy who had a DWI. Allstate promptly cancelled my policy. That was about 1980. I can't say if they still do that, but keep reading. I went with State Farm for a while, and eventually changed to Nationwide Insurance. At that time they were the next lowest, and I stayed with them for 20 years. TWENTY YEARS, mind you! No tickets, no claims. During this time I moved from North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, SC. The price increased a bit, but not much.

My old Cavalier junkerWhat bothered me was that I had an older car. I was driving a Chevy Cavalier at the time...probably the most innocuous car that exists. It was worth about $6000. I kept collision on it. But instead of going down on the premium each year, it seemed to increase.

In approximately 2005, I started checking other companies. Geico was even higher! State Farm was the worst. I checked several independents, and then one day I called Allstate and spoke to Scott. THEY CUT MY PREMIUM IN HALF! I kid you not. Allstate was able to take me on as a brand new customer at one-half the premium of being with Nationwide for twenty-plus years with a spotless driving record. Needless to say, I switched. Some 4 years later, I'm driving a Ford Thunderbird and still very pleased with my car insurance premiums.

If you have a perfect driving record, you can get North and South Carolina auto insurance at a SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS with Allstate. I did it. I know it first hand.

Recently I inquired about HO6 or H06 condo insurance with Allstate. I was able to get $26,000 in contents insurance for $170 a year. Again, that is about half what a normal HO6 policy costs. $10,000 is only $117 a year! But there is a trick to this.

Todd Insurance Agency, North Myrtle Beach, SC
Allstate is very choosy about insuring condos and homes on the coast. In fact, they stopped writing it after Katrina and several other hurricanes wiped out so many homes. They are once again writing condo insurance, BUT ONLY IF YOU ALREADY HAVE YOUR CAR OR OTHER INSURANCE WITH ALLSTATE.

If you are a new customer inquiring about HO6 or rental insurance, you will be quoted a price from another independent agency that Allstate agents carry. There is only one other company that Allstate allows them to use. The policy is higher than almost any other company - around $500 minimum. However, it does include wind and hail insurance, which a regular contents policy does not include.

Starting this year, if your condo or home is outside the federal wind/hail limits (west of the Intracoastal Waterway) then you have to spend another minimum of $250-300 to be covered for hurricanes and storms that include wind. Basically this non-Allstate policy is about $100 higher than Allstate's policy when you figure this in. If you don't understand this, you may just write the quote off as being too high. Instead, consider moving your other insurance to Allstate!

Why condos need wind and hail coverageThat is the point to all of this. Allstate gives you a multi-policy discount. By having your car, homeowner or condo insurances with them, they discount even more off the premiums. Plus if you have your North Carolina or South Carolina car insurance with Allstate, then you can get a super cheap policy for your home or condo...and get wind and hail coverage separately. They already charge about one-half the premium of other auto insurance companies. Are you ready to save money on your insurance?

I believe in Allstate so much that I convinced Scott to let me handle his website. I'm learning more as I go along. But this is just simple math. If you want the cheapest South Carolina car insurance, visit and get a quote.

You'll be in good hands...:-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sarasota Florida Real Estate

Sarasota Florida Real Estate –
Resort Living in Coastal Cities

If you are selling your Myrtle Beach real estate and heading a little closer to the Gulf of Mexico, Annette Smith and John Allen of Allen Real Estate Services, Inc. have provided some insight on this coastal city.

Sarasota, Florida is the cultural capital on Florida’s South West Coast. With the Sarasota Symphony Orchestra, the Ringling Museum of Art and the Van Wetzel Hall of Performing Arts, Sarasota’s residents experience outstanding performances and view galleries featuring extraordinary art collections.

John Ringling’s artistic influence spread to Sarasota’s famous St. Armands Circle where Ringing coordinated the development of Circle. A Park in the Center of the Circle provides the circus history of Sarasota as well as providing a stage for many outdoor concerts and events.

Sarasota’s Bayfront is as captivating as any painting in Ringling’s collection. Passing the Marina, visitors from around the world lose their breath as they pass moored sailboats that never seem to change locations. The Bayfront Park is home to multiple sculptures and the Dophin Fountain is featured at the tip of the Park across from the Marina.

The barrier islands of Sarasota provide some of the world’s whitest beaches. Casey Key, Siesta Key, Lido Key and Longboat Key are perfect for those visitors and residents who just require sand in their toes.

The Barrier Islands

Siesta Key just moved from last years 3rd place to runner-up in Dr. Beach’s list of 2009 Best Beach in the country announced May 22 by Stephen P. Leatherman, known as Dr. Beach. This world famous beach is famous for it sparking white sand which is cool to the touch. The sand is perfect for walking barefoot and building sandcastles. Many Siesta Key homes are on winding canals leading to the Intracoastl Waterway.

Casey Key to the south of Siesta Key is home to many celebrities and this 8 mile barrier island features luxurious mansions and estates. Many small beach cottages still exist on
Casey Key but are being bought for land value and raised. Homes on Casey Key start in the millions and the island is popular with celebrities due to its privacy.

Lido Key just west of St. Armands Circle is a European style beach. Many visitors to Lido Beach travel from France, England and Italy for extended holidays. St. Armands Circle’s shopping world-class restaurants are steps away.

Manicured Longboat Key is slightly north of St. Armands Circle. Visitors and residents enjoy private beaches, long walks and cool ocean breezes. Restaurants on Longboat Key are excellent. St. Armands Circle and downtown Sarasota restaurants, shopping and Palm Avenue galleries are a short drive from Longboat too.

Downtown Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota provides an urban lifestyle that residents are requesting. Walking to the library, bookstore, specialty shops, professional building, galleries or driving short distances is the new wave in most cities, and Sarasota is providing outstanding venues in the downtown area for its residents. A new roundabout is schedule to start construction in 2009. Downtown Sarasota condominiums are popular with each generation of Sarasotans.

Come visit Sarasota to enjoy not only our beaches but experience the culture and excitement of our vibrant city.
Sarasota homes for sale are available on the mainland, the barrier island as well as downtown Sarasota.

Annette or John Allen for more information on the Sarasota area. Sarasota Florida real estate is experiencing a market comeback being one of South West Florida prime destinations.

Visit my website for Florida Oceanfront Property for more info on other Florida resorts.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cats Musical at Carolina Forest High School

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending one of the most outstanding live shows I've ever been lucky enough to hear about - The Carolina Forest High School's production of "Cats".

Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats", by T. S. Eliot. It introduced the well known song, "Memory", recorded by Barbra Streisand. (her version unrelated to the actual show)

The story is about a tribe of cats that call themselves the Jellicle Cats, who meet in a junkyard once a year for the Jellicle Ball. The party each year ends as the head of the Jellicles, Old Deutoronomy, chooses one cat who can be reborn and find happiness.

Much of the musical is introducing various cats of notoriety, and suggestions of which cat is most worthy of the honor. A few of the characters were most noteworthy for me to mention:

The Rum Tum Tugger is a tom with leopard spots and a wild mane, who is arrogant and loves the women. Bustopher Jones is a huge fat cat with a fastidiious black coat, very rich and very proud and prissy. (and did I mention FAT)

The main character in the story is old Grizabella...a tired, worn out ex-glamour cat who is now old, tattered, and miserable. The other cats shun her, nobody will touch her, and she sings the very sad song, "Memory".

Memory, all alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was...
Let the memory live again

(the last verse)

Touch me - It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You'll understand what happiness is
Look - A new day has begun

Another old cat, Asparagus, or Gus The Theatre Cat, was once a famous actor but now is old and his paws shake with palsy. He too sings of his youth and the lives that he lived.

Then the evil cat of the tribe, MaCavity, kidnaps Old Deuteronomy and a battle ensues to get him back. The cats drive MaCavity away, but it takes Mistoffelees the Magic Cat to bring Deutoronomy back, just in time for the "choosing" to be made.

Just as I was fussing to myself why Old Deutoronomy allowed the poor Grizabella to be so badly treated, he chooses HER to be reborn and find her happiness. He leads her to a stairway to the stars, and though she is fearful, she crosses to find her destiny and be happy again.

I've seen the Broadway tour of Cats twice, and this high school production was every bit as professional and talented as the singers and dancers on the Broadway show. Everyone in the audience was positively amazed at the beautiful voices and fabulous dancing these kids put forth.

If you can imagine the dancers from the show "Fame", coupled with a live orchestra (the Carolina Forest Band) that didn't miss a note, you can begin to understand just what a fantastic show this was. The stage was perfect, the costumes elaborate and true to the Broadway show. It was just a magical experience, and especially enjoyable to someone like me who loves cats. I think I smiled the entire first hour of the show, as one after another of the characters sashayed around the stage with tails held high. (well maybe not high...but very apparent!)

In the second set, they even had a group of "kittens" playing, as the mothers washed and pushed them around the stage. It was unbelievably cute.

If Myrtle Beach can produce high school talent like this, there's at least one school in South Carolina that goes beyond excellence. Carolina Forest is also one of five district schools that surpassed the national SAT average, with a score of 1024. We can stand with the best in the country claiming this wonderful school as our own.

The students and faculty of Carolina Forest High School must be proud enough to burst. For sure the sold out audience was thrilled and proud that Myrtle Beach has been blessed with these amazing and talented young people. What an awesome production!

(Photos courtesy of the Carolina Forest High School Website)

Century 21 The Harrelson Group is the real estate agency that specializes in Carolina Forest homes for sale.

Looking for Myrtle Beach Kids Attractions? Amusement Parks, Mini Golf, Entertainment for kids.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Vacations and Golf in Myrtle Beach are NOT Off in 2009

Myrtle Beach Golf Industry Still in the Green
Condolux of North Myrtle Beach is having one of the best years in a long time with golf packages and vacation rentals up around 10% from last year.  I've spoken with Martin Brown several times a month since the beginning of January, and he's been happy with business since the last part of December.  I'm at a loss to understand why the newspapers are still full of doom and gloom about our tourism industry.
At any rate, here's our latest press release about Myrtle Beach Golf, and some new pictures to go with it.  Myrtle Beach real estate sales are also REALLY doing well now, and at least in our little corner of the world, things are looking up.  Spring and sun and warm weather are on the way, too, so Myrtle Beach is coming back to the paradise we all enjoy so much!
News Image

Friday, March 20, 2009

Myrtle Beach Real Estate Mortgage Rates

March 20, 2009 (
I found a gadget on that gives you "real-time" rates for your area on mortgages and other credit extensions. As of March the 20th, 2009, this is what it said...

10 Year Fixed
Average rates on 10-year fixed mortgages in South Carolina fell 4 basis points to 4.51 on Friday, according to's daily Your Best Interest report. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percent. The mortgages in the survey had an average of 0.68 discount and origination points.
A 10-year fixed mortgage is a loan that has an interest rate that stays the same for the 10-year term of the loan. The principal amount is reduced, slowly at first, and then at an accelerating pace, over the life of the loan. Someone taking out a $165,000.00 10-year fixed mortgage at the current average would pay $1,710.83 a month for the life of the loan.

The highest rate in South Carolina on a 10-year fixed mortgage was found at one institution that charged 5.625 percent. The lowest rate was found at one institution that charged 4.000 percent. Six months ago, the average rate in South Carolina was 5.53 percent.

20 Year FixedAverage rates on 20-year fixed mortgages in South Carolina fell 9 basis points to 4.82 on Friday, according to's daily Your Best Interest report. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percent. The mortgages in the survey had an average of 0.55 discount and origination points.

A 20-year fixed mortgage is a loan that has an interest rate that stays the same for the 20-year term of the loan. The principal amount is reduced, slowly at first, and then at an accelerating pace, over the life of the loan. Someone taking out a $165,000.00 20-year fixed mortgage at the current average would pay $1,072.59 a month for the life of the loan.

The highest rate in South Carolina on a 20-year fixed mortgage was found at one institution that charged 6.000 percent. The lowest rate was found at one institution that charged 4.250 percent. Six months ago, the average rate in South Carolina was 5.91 percent.

30 Year Fixed
Average rates on 30-year fixed mortgages in South Carolina fell 10 basis points to 5.06 on Friday, according to's daily Your Best Interest report. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percent. The mortgages in the survey had an average of 0.59 discount and origination points.

A 30-year fixed mortgage is a loan that has an interest rate that stays the same for the 30-year term of the loan. Someone taking out a $165,000.00 30-year fixed mortgage at the current average would pay $891.82 a month for the life of the loan.

The highest rate in South Carolina on a 30-year fixed mortgage was found at one institution that charged 10.000 percent. The lowest rate was found at three institutions that charged 4.250 percent. Six months ago, the average rate in South Carolina was 5.83 percent.

To see all of the results of's surveys, go to
The Your Best Interest report is a daily service of, a financial news and information service based in North Palm Beach, Fla. Bankrate surveys more than 300 financial products from more than 4,800 institutions in all 50 states.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Reason to Love Google and Its Founders

Google co-founders Larry Page (left) and Sergey Brin (right) field
questions from an audience in front of a backdrop patterned with their company
logo. Photo: Associated Press / Noah Berger

It's just been announced that Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, is donating some of his marvelous profits from the world famous search engine to create a new study on Parkinson's Disease.

Sergey's wife, Ann Wojcicki, (the news media reported the name as Ann Wojcocki) co-owns a company for genome study called 23andMe. Her company, Sergey, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and the Parkinson's Institute of California will fund a DNA type test for Parkinson's sufferers to mail in. Referred to as a "spit kit", the genetic test usually costs around $400. Sergey will pay the difference and offer it to the members of these charities for $25, in hopes that more information can be used with the internet to speed up the treatment or cure for the disease.

This is one more reason that I have to love Google and the two boys who created it. My mother suffered from the disease and finally died from it after about 15 years. It is a horrible, crippling, and humiliating way to end your some ways worse than Alzheimers. The medication taken for Parkinson's causes schizophrenic symptoms eventually, and creates a phenomenon called the on-off syndrome, in which you are either wired and jerking from the medication being so high, or frozen like stone as it has worn off. Tolerance to the medication "Sinemet" builds up until the dosage is too high for the body to handle. The worst part is that for most of the years the patient is fully aware of everything, yet cannot control his body - or even his senses - as hallucinations, uncontrollable movements, and freezing come and go.

Some progress was made with injecting embryonic stem cells directly into the brain, but was cut short with Bush's refusal to allow the usage of them. Michael J. Fox is probably hoping with all his heart that Obama's reversal of that foolish and wasteful law will allow him to find a cure before it is too late. Parkinson's Disease is particularly devastating to younger victims... progressing faster and more completely than with older ones. Part of the needed research may find out why this is so.

Sergey's mother suffers from Parkinson's Disease and he himself carries a gene variant that increases his odds of getting it.

Those who participate in the study will also complete surveys online that document their symptoms, history with the disease, types of medications they are on, and how their disease progresses.

I would not be the least bit surprised if Google's empire and its creators lead the world into a "Star Trek Universe" of conquered disease, the end to world hunger, and eventually going "where no man has gone before". I am ever hopeful, and so proud of those two and Google itself.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Housing Crisis - A Great Book to Read!

I had the pleasure of reading one of the most enjoyable, easy to read, and informative books the other day.

Similar to the "for Dummies" line of books, but much more engaging, Jim Randel is the author of a series of books under "The Skinny On™" line, and illustrated with "Stick People™" which are absolutely a hoot. I've always enjoyed simplistic , tongue in cheek comics, (South Park is my favorite!) and Jim has managed to use his excellent little "people" to capture your attention and make learning about a sometimes boring subject FUN.

Let me preface this with the fact that I have NOT been paid or compensated in any way for this review. They sent me a free copy of the book and I read it in a couple of hours. I have another one to read as well and may also blog about it.

This book is Stick People Books™, The Skinny On: The Housing Crisis. For anyone who has asked the questions WHY and HOW we ended up with this real estate and mortgage mess, you will know the answers after you follow the little stick people Billy and they decide to explore the American dream of buying a home back about 2005.

Jim's little couple will make you chuckle and grin as you learn how NOT to buy a house. He explains the little known problems with independent mortgage brokers who depend on the real estate agent for business. Likewise, Billy and Beth naively trust in using an inspector who also depends on the agent for his bread and butter, and the agent herself...whose livlihood depends on that commission, and proves that there's an almost invisible line between being a good salesman and taking advantage. As an agent back during that time, "Charlotte" merely goes with the flow, and allows the young couple to buy a house they can't afford, with a mortgage that should never have been invented, and a house that wasn't worth what they paid.

The book taught ME a few things, and I thought I was pretty savvy about real estate now.
With as few words as possible to explain things, and an adorable comic to illustrate and occasionally poke fun at the system, this book is a must-read for a first time home buyer, and would be a very good checklist reminder for the average person who may not understand the pitfalls of making a home purchase the lazy way.
Randel's website tells about the book, and explains it further like this:
The Skinny On™ The Housing Crisis takes the reader through Billy and Beth’s experiences dealing with real estate agents, house inspectors, appraisers, mortgage brokers, lenders and attorneys. Each of these encounters is a lesson for any person considering the purchase or sale of a home, investing in real estate or, just taking out a mortgage. After Billy and Beth close on their home, The Skinny On™ The Housing Crisis follows the story of their mortgage from lender to investment bank to investor in Europe. We learn how mortgage sales and securitizations became a trillion dollar
business, disconnecting the American borrower from the lender and de-humanizing the process.
The Skinny On™ The Housing Crisis can be purchased on his website, or through for $12.95 for a paperback or $9.95 for an E-Book. If you are the parents of a young couple just starting out, this would be a wonderful gift to give. But everyone will learn something from it, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Calling Myrtle Beach Home

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in Myrtle Beach? According to the Chamber of Commerce figures in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, there are 25,000 permanent residents in the former, and 12,000 in the latter. Most of us came from somewhere else. Many are retirees. What is life like for those of us who have made our home in Myrtle Beach? I think most of us stay...I know I did, and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Here is what some of my friends and acquaintences have to say about life in the Grand Strand...
Richard Brooks - Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent with Condolux
I have lived in the North Myrtle Beach area off and on for over thirty years. Each time I have moved away, it hasn’t taken long to realize that North Myrtle Beach is my home and I come running back. I love the weather here! It never gets too cold for too long and the Spring/Summer/Fall season brings us warm days, cool nights and tons of activity.

From golfing, swimming, boating, to beaching, there is something for every taste! The choices here are limitless. You can have a great meal at Joe’s Bar & Grill dining on the freshest seafood while you watch the raccoon walk overlooking the majestic White Swash. Or you can watch the gentle surf with a cold beer at Molly Darcy’s on their oceanfront deck. Living here is “being Southern at its best”…so come on down, run barefoot on the sand, and fix yourself a glass of sweet iced tea. It’s time to relax…
Mit Tressler - Works at Home for a Travel Agency
I love the winters in Myrtle Beach. One of my favorite things to do is take my dog for a walk on the beach and have a cup of coffee. It gets cold here, but if you layer a bit, it's just perfect. The beach is almost deserted and I like listening to ocean. When I get home, I always feel relaxed and like I had a good workout from walking in the sand.
Right now, I would love to have a 2nd floor condo in Market Common. Having everything within walking distance would suit me to a T, and the park across the street is amazing. I love the boardwalk in Virginia Beach. Myrtle Beach is planning
one, but it doesn't look like it will cater to people on bikes and inline skates. A boardwalk should promote all types of healthy lifestyles. I recommend Myrtle Beach to people all the time. I wish my entire family would move here.
Scott Todd - Todd Insurance Agency (Allstate) 
Except for college, I have lived in the Myrtle Beach area my entire life. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel to almost every state and several foreign countries. I've been able to enjoy many beaches from the west coast of California and white sands of Maui to the rocky shores of Ireland and beautiful coast of Portugal.
Honestly, I have yet to find a more beautiful stretch of beach than right here in Myrtle Beach, SC. When you think of it, Myrtle Beach has a lot to
offer. It is big enough to have many of the conveniences of a much larger city but small enough to have a "hometown feel". I also find it really nice to live in an area that is still actually growing and moving forward. I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Jeremy Lenkowski -
Myrtle Beach Web Designer 
Myrtle Beach is a beautiful place. Millions of people visit here yearly. Thousands decide to stay. I am a transplant from New Jersey, right across the river from Philadelphia. I am in the IT field, and never had any issues landing a high paying position. I figured, like so many others, that I could move here, land a decent paying position, and enjoy the beach and temperate climate. It was in 2001 I decided to finally move here. I was fortunate; my sister had transplanted here with a local 3 years before, and allowed me to stay with them until I found a job.

Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas are vacation destinations. As a result, most of the businesses operating in this area are geared toward the tourism / service industry. Much to my dismay, there is winter here. When I moved here in January, it wasn't what I expected. Myrtle Beach shut down! Anyone who has lived in a resort town can tell you, the winters are long. After the vacationers leave, and before the snowbirds arrive, there is a three to four month period where time slows down, and a transformation takes place. Myrtle Beach belongs to the locals again.

The number of people who actually reside here year round is relatively small. Some grew up here, and some like me are transplants. Like any small town, most of us know each other, or at least know of one another. If we don't directly, a call to a friend can fill in any information you need. After living here for two years, performing odd jobs, etc, in 2003 I received a call from a large local company offering me a position. A position I never applied for, and not listed in any paper. They had heard of me, and based on a recommendation offered me the position on my reputation alone. Finally, this was my breakthrough.

Five years later and I am still here. I decided to start providing small business websites in Myrtle Beach, and hosting for them at a great rate. I have many clients whom have been with me for years and others who hear about me by word of mouth. I don't advertise here; treating people right and providing an honest service is advertising enough.

In short, Myrtle Beach is a beautiful place. The people are great. There are lots of opportunities here, even now. My advice to anyone looking to move here: Treat people right, it will come back to you!
For myself, I love being able to go to the grocery store or a restauarant at midnight. I love having live theatre, gambling boats, cruises, the beach, and other entertainment you could only find in a big city, WITHOUT that big city. I could never be happy living in Atlanta or even Charlotte. I hate snow and ice, so further north is not an option. You can live well in Myrtle Beach on an average salary, too, unlike Florida and other areas. I found my niche with the web industry in Myrtle Beach real estate. I moved here nearly 20 years ago, and have loved every minute of it. I often stop and reflect on just how lucky I really am to live in paradise!
I don't see many people leave once they've come here. One of my friends is a 60-something year old lady from New Jersey whose husband died several years ago. She left her kids and grandkids up there and moved down here all by herself. Her family didn't want her to do it, but she wanted to spend her remaining years in the place she loved best. And so she bought a condo, which she couldn't have done in New Jersey on her modest income. She lives where I do in Little River, for the most part safely and in a crime-free neighborhood... close to the beach and in the middle of everything. You couldn't pay her to move back. Myrtle Beach may not be for everyone, but there aren't many who would not be happy in our beautiful town!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Real Estate Market Improving From Coast to Coast

Several of my Realtor friends across the country wanted to get together and do a press release about how everyone's real estate market was gaining ground this year, and we came up with a coast to coast review of real estate in 2009.

Annette Smith in Sarasota says her home prices have come down enough to bring in buyers from Europe and Canada as well as the usual areas this year. She reports that Sarasota was number 11 on RealtyTrac's list of the top 100 cities with foreclosures. I have also seen an increase in leads from those interested in Florida oceanfront property.

Lee Cunningham in Greenville, SC reports an increase in sales in January, and is proud to say that home prices there have not taken the tumble they have in other areas of the nation. Their unemployment rates are lower than most, and had over 1300 new jobs created in 2008.

Fran Vernon, one half of the Los Angeles Realtor team of Fran and Rowena, says buyer interest in her area has returned, and is proud to say that the "California lifestyle" continues to be an American dream.

Myrtle Beach SC real estate has definately taken off since the beginning of 2009. We've seen the internet interest nearly double, and one of my friends, Richard Brooks, says he's getting leads and buyer inquiries enough to have high hopes for this year.

Martin Brown, who owns the condo rental company CondoLux, has gotten so many rental reservations that he's positively bragging about the vacation market being good this year.

We probably can't hope for instant recovery, but all the signs are pointing to 2009 as the beginning of the end of this real estate crisis!