Myrtle Beach Real Estate Q&A with Greg Harrelson
As we get more and more questions about Myrtle Beach real estate, we are reaching out to local real estate agents to help you get the information you need about relocating to Myrtle Beach. This time we reached out to a well-known local expert, Greg Harrelson.
Greg Harrelson has over 15 years of experience selling real estate in Myrtle Beach, SC. He is among the top 1% of Realtors® in the United States, and his team is consistently recognized as top sales team in this area. Greg has been professionally trained by one of the top coaching organizations in the country and has personally coached some of America’s top Realtors®. He is the President of Century 21 - The Harrelson Group, which handles all of your real estate needs around the Grand Strand. If you would like to get in touch with Greg and ask your own questions, visit his Myrtle Beach Real Estate website.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you could give someone who’s considering relocating to Myrtle Beach?
A: For those thinking of relocating to the Myrtle Beach area, I recommend that you study the different areas of the county. The term ‘Myrtle Beach’ is used to describe the entire real estate market.
Those new to the area will end up learning about other areas like North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Conway and Pawley’s Island.
The Myrtle Beach area has a lot of options. Each of these towns are in a different school system, offer different price ranges and have different amenities like beach, sports complexes and restaurants.
So, the first thing that a prospective purchaser needs to do is Learn The Market!
Q: What are a few things prospective homebuyers should know before beginning their search in Myrtle Beach?
A: The first thing that a prospective homebuyer should know is their ‘price point’. The amount you can afford will make a big difference in the area you choose. Myrtle Beach has a wide variety of price points as well as types of homes.
Next, the prospective homebuyer should know the area that they prefer to live. There are thousands of homes and condos for sale in the area and it would be nearly impossible to see them all. Once you narrow your search based on a price range and an area, you will be able to start searching and making arrangements to view the properties you choose.
Of course, the internet allows you to search freely and learn what different areas have to offer.
Q: What would you tell a prospective homebuyer who is on the fence about buying an existing home or starting new construction in this area?
A: I think prospective buyers need to consider the cost of borrowing money. Today, interest rates are extremely low which makes their mortgage payments very low. As soon as the interest rates increase, the mortgage payments will increase. Not only will this impact the amount you pay monthly yet it could also reduce the amount you can afford to borrow.
You may qualify to purchase a home today for $200,000 but after rates increase you may only be able to afford $180,000.
As interest rates increase, your borrowing power decreases.
Q: The Carolina Forest area is home to many housing developments, some of which are still growing. What are some of the biggest draws for homebuyers in that area?
A: We help a lot of families move into Carolina Forest. There are three main draws to the Carolina Forest area:
- Schools – Some will argue that Carolina Forest has the best school systems in the area.
- Area Amenities – We hear a lot of comments about Carolina Forest being a complete community. There are multiple schools, churches, restaurants, recreation facilities as well as grocery and gas.
- Price – Carolina Forest is affordable to everyone. There are homes priced for the ‘first time’ homebuyer as will as the ‘move up’ buyer looking to buy or build their luxury dream home.
Q: What are some of the fastest growing residential communities around Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand?
A: The Market Common area is booming as well as Carolina Forest and the beachside of Conway.
There is a great ‘adult like’ community that is selling in Market Common. Cresswind in Market Common is already on a waiting list for the second phase.
Waterbridge is a booming community in Carolina Forest where buyers are buying lots and building homes.
In Conway, there are multiple communities selling well due to the entry-level price points.
Q: Are there real estate rules or laws unique to Myrtle Beach or SC that prospective homebuyers should be aware of before purchasing a home on the Grand Strand?
A: One rule that differs in every real estate market is the way they handle property taxes. As a new owner, it is your responsibility to inform the Horry County Tax Assessor's office of your occupancy status. If the home is a primary residence, your property taxes are less than if the property was a second home or investment property.
There are a lot of new owners that pay more taxes than they should during their first year of ownership. Make sure you go straight to the Assessor’s office after you close on your new purchase.
Q: Garden City has quite a few areas for homebuyers to choose from. What would be some of your main selling points of the Garden City area?
A: Most people love the ‘small town’ feel that you get from Garden City. There are no high-rise condos in Garden City Beach making the traffic manageable and the beach beautiful.
Q: If a family’s main concern were giving their child a great education, what neighborhoods/communities would you show them?
A: According to the Horry County School website, Carolina Forest High won the state’s 2013 We The People competition and all six unit awards. The Drama Department has been selected by the American High School Theatre Festival to represent the United States at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in August, 2014.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking for foreclosures and short sales in Myrtle Beach?
A: First of all, there are very few foreclosures and short sales in Myrtle Beach at this time. Most people do not know that there are traditional re-sales listed for sell that are priced lower than some foreclosures. Foreclosures and short sales don’t always mean the best deal. You have to factor in repairs in determining the final sales price.
If you do find a distressed property, make sure that you have your agent do some market research to determine fair market value. The last thing you want to do is ‘think’ you are getting a deal to later find out that it wasn’t a deal at all.
Do your research.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone selling his or her home in the Myrtle Beach area?
A: As a prospective seller, you have over 3,000 agents you can choose. The key is to choose an agent that has been in the Myrtle Beach area for a long time. You want to make sure they know the entire market inside and out.
I also recommend you choose an agent based on track record. It doesn’t cost any more to hire an agent with a proven track record versus one that is new to the business.
Be careful of choosing an agent that does not have a written marketing plan. You are hiring an agent to market your property. The more they market, the more demand they create. More demand leads to higher price and shorter time on the market.
Q: What advice would you have for someone looking to purchase oceanfront property in Myrtle Beach?
A: Oceanfront properties are amongst the most popular purchases in our market. There are a few things that you need to do before you come to a final agreement.
- Make sure you view a copy of the HOA budget – You want to make sure the HOA has enough money to pay the monthly bills as well as money in reserves for future repairs.
- Master Deed – Make sure you read the rules and restrictions. There may be pet restrictions that you were not aware.
- Verify rental income – IF you are purchasing for investment and rely on rental income, make sure that you get a copy of the rent-rolls so you can verify the income AND expenses.
Owning a piece of the oceanfront is fantastic.
Q: What should we expect for the future in terms of the Myrtle Beach real estate market?
A: We think the Myrtle Beach market will continue to grow. Of course, we never know what the economy is going to do and when it shifts, all real estate markets shift. We feel Myrtle Beach will be strong for years to come.
The Myrtle Beach area offers many property types at affordable prices. We are one of the most moderately priced areas in the United States and that is one reason we remain popular.
I do expect more retirement communities being developed to serve the retirees that continue to move to Myrtle Beach. We anticipate more major restaurant chains to move into the area because the demographics support it and we are seeing more and more sports complexes being built to attract year round sports tourism.
All signs look positive.
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