How long since you have been to a drive in movie?

Depending on your age, you may or may not have ever been to a drive in movie theatre.  It is a nostalgic event for those of you who grew up on drive in's.  If not, it is a great way to spend an evening with friends and family.  Pull up and park, bring out the lawn chairs, picnic / food or get some popcorn from the golf cart of goodies driving around.  We have this great experience right in our great town of Beaufort.  

Here is a link for the website  If you have the opportunity, check it out!

March market data reveals that it’s time to sell your home!

Five best practices to improve your odds

In this time of economic uncertainty, it can be a difficult to know if it’s the right time to put your house on the market.   When the new year began, many of my clients came to me with questions about how the new political landscape, policy shifts, and increasing mortgage rates would impact their ability to sell. 

However, with uncertainty comes increasing resolve, as we move into the busiest season of the real estate cycle.  According to the Beaufort County Association of Realtor’s March Market Data Report, new listings were up 8.2% and prices moved higher with the median sales price increased 16%.  Although the average days on the market increased by 11.6%, the month’s supply of inventory was down 3.5%, which tells us that demand has increased relative to supply. 

This is all good news for those who are making the decision to list their home.   The data shows that the market is ready.  But are you? 

If you decide to list your home, let’s talk about the things you need to do to get it sold.  Here are five best practices you must consider as you prepare to show.

1.       Don’t rely on a second chance to make a first Impression – Cliché I know, but that old adage couldn’t be more truthful when it comes to showing your home.  Curb appeal is key!  I’ve had prospective buyers take one look at the entrance to a home and decline to take it further.  Make sure the front yard and entry way are clean and welcoming.

2.       Let there be light! – Even the finest decorated homes will catch a bad rap if rooms are dark and gloomy.  Be sure to utilize natural light where possible, and turn on lamps or specific lighting in areas that need accenting. 

3.       Take the home out of the house – Although it’s tempting to keep that Disneyland vacation memorabilia displayed, or leave those new cat toys on the floor, it’s distracting to a potential buyer.  While it’s ok to display a few personal touches, remember that the focus needs to be on your house vs. your personal belongings.  Consider hiring a professional stager to help.

4.       Take care of the quick fixes first – More often than not, homeowners are tempted to make big changes or upgrades to their homes before putting it on the market.  In most cases, that is not necessary!  Focus on taking care of the quick fixes.  Replace broken fixtures, …paint dingy areas that look worn, …clean up the lawn.  Those efforts will gain you a lot more traction than spending money on an upgrade that your new potential buyer may not see of value.

5.       Always be ready to show – When you make the decision to place your home on the market, it’s a 24/7 decision.  Although you can establish designated show times with your realtor, don’t get caught off guard having to clean up a mess before a showing.  Make a plan with your family to agree on the do’s and don’ts while in the house during this time.

As we celebrate the upward trend in the housing market, sellers should make a checklist of items that will maximize their chances to stand out.  Little things go a long way to bring your house to life for the buyer!

10 Steps to Shopping for Your Dream Home

Money talks has a great article that outlines the house hunting journey and what steps to take as you embark on the journey.  Here is a bit about the article, but the full version can be seen on the link attached below.  It is a great read for anyone thinking about starting to look or contemplating purchasing versus renting.


Shopping for a home brings many surprises. One of those is that buying a home is really two very different jobs: There’s finding the mortgage, and there’s shopping for the house or condo.

Finding the home is the fun part. Mortgage shopping’s more of a slog. You’ll probably want to eat dessert first, but don’t do it. Financially grounded buyers focus first on doing all they can to line up a mortgage, especially finding out how much money they can borrow. Only then do they start shopping for homes. Here’s the right approach:

1. Get your head on straight

You’ll see something you can’t afford — a bigger home, grander kitchen, better neighborhood, more bedrooms, fabulous design — that will start you rationalizing why you need it and how you can get it. This is normal.

These intense desires, though, cloud buyers’ judgment. Maybe just momentarily but sometimes long enough to cause mistakes with long-lasting consequences — like stretching to pay more than you should, spending too much on mortgage fees and interest, or failing to hold money in reserve for all the costs of owning the home. This is why savvy home shoppers nail down their financing first, before shopping for homes.

2. Pull your credit reports

danielfela /

The first step in applying for a mortgage is to check that your credit reports have no errors. These could cost you money in the form of a higher interest rate than you’d otherwise get. You can get a free report each year from each credit bureau — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Apply for a report from all three, making sure each is error-free. Do it as much as a year before applying for a mortgage so you have time to correct any errors you find. (Errors are more common than you’d guess.)

Read “How to Get Your Credit Report in 6 Easy Steps.”

3. Learn your credit score....

for more information and the full article click on the link below.

An update on Real Estate from Beaufort Association or Realtors for Dec 2016


According to the Beaufort Association of Realtors, the following is a highlight of the Real Estate market from December 2016:

Most of 2016 offered the same monthly housing market highlights. The number of homes for sale was drastically down in year-over-year comparisons, along with days on market and months of supply. Meanwhile, sales and prices were up in most markets. Unemployment rates were low, wages improved and, as the year waned, we completed a contentious presidential election and saw mortgage rates increase, neither of which are expected to have a negative impact on real estate in 2017. 

New Listings were down 3.7 percent to 158. Pending Sales decreased 1.5 percent to 132. Inventory shrank 12.5 percent to 872 units. 

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 29.7 percent to $214,000. Days on Market decreased 9.9 percent to 91 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down 21.7 percent to 4.7 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply. 

The overwhelming feeling about prospects in residential real estate for the immediate future is optimism. Real estate professionals across the nation are expressing that they are as busy as ever. There are certainly challenges in this market, like continued low inventory and higher competition for those fewer properties, but opportunities abound for creative and diligent people prepared to put in the necessary amount of work.

Beaufort Restaurant Week is Here!!!

Its that great culinary fun time in Beaufort again! Check out all the great restaurants participating in Beaufort Restaurant week in the Chamber of Commerce link below! The event is all over South Carolina so even if you want to try in one of our sister towns, it's a great time to try some new restaurants! Cheers!

Beaufort Ranked #4 Best Places to Retire in the US!!!!!

Here is a great update about our beautiful Beaufort!  We ranked #4 in Best Places to Retire!See the full update on the link below from Eat, Sleep, Play Beaufort.  Here is a bit about what they have to say:

Popular real estate website has ranked Beaufort the #4 best place to retire in the United States.

The site created a Retirement Index for every county across the country based on five factors, rated from 1-100:  entertainment, care, convenience and transportation, community, and housing.

The list puts Martin County, FL at #1 (the Palm City area), followed by:

2. Barnstable County, MA
3. Orange County, NC (Chapel Hill area)
4. Beaufort County, SC
5. Grafton County, NH
6. Washtenaw County, MI (Ann Arbor)7. Newport County, RI
8. Jefferson County, WA
9. Hamilton County, IN
10. Albemarle County, VA (Charlottesville area)

Beaufort County’s Retirement Index score was a whopping 98.4, and was only .2 away from the #3 spot.
Separately, Beaufort scores were:
Entertainment – 80.0 (amount of universities, recreational facilities, libraries and parks per capita
Community – 84.2 (high percentage of population over age 65 with college degrees)
Care – 85.3 (quality of local hospitals, nursing homes and home health centers)
Housing – 81.8 (market health score, median sale price, HPI forecast, high percentage of properties with rent under $1,500/month)
Convenience – 85.6 (WalkIQ and grocery stores/restaurants per capita)

Beaufort Welcomes the Holiday Season this weekend!

Here is a great article about one of my very favorite weekends in Beaufort!  It is a weekend activity that starts with Night on the Town Friday Night 12/2.  The city blocks off Bay Street and the community comes out to ring in the Season with festivities, shopping, food and a fun time of catching up with everyone.   Saturday is the boat parade where local boats get dressed in holiday lights and sail past downtown for onlookers.  Then the weekend finishes with a Christmas Parade on Sunday afternoon.  It is a weekend that should not be missed.  Please check out the below link on East Sleep Play Beaufort for times and more information.


Updated housing sales information in Beaufort County

As Fall approaches, kids go back to school, leaves change colors, football becomes the Saturday spectacle, and festivals start to take shape.  Even with all the fun activities that bring in the Fall season, the housing market still continues to be strong.  Sales are up over 14%, median housing sales price is up over 17% and inventory / supply is down over 9%.  There is a definite need for more inventory in the market.  Indicators show the market could be stronger if there were more inventory to support the potential sales.  There is a total inventory supply of a little over 5 months.  While interest rates are still low, now is a good time to buy.  However, it is an even better time to sell since supply is needed to fulfill the sales need.  Call me to see what your home is worth.  I would be happy to give you a free market analysis

Great sites to visit in Beaufort, SC

Our beautiful area in Beaufort, SC has so many places to see, so many things to do and so much to enjoy.  Please see this great article from Eat, Sleep, Play Beaufort about some of the highlights of our area.  If you don't live here, come visit us soon!   We would love to show you all the great areas and hospitality of our sweet Southern community!

Check out the video on 9 Trail Point / 5 bedroom & 3 bath in Palmetto Pointe

Please take a look at our listing at 5 Trail Pointe in Palmetto Pointe, Bluffton, SC!  This is a great 5 bedroom & 3 bath home.  It is a GREAT VALUE AND YOU MUST SEE!  There is plenty of space, storage and upgraded finishes.  Screened porch and fenced yard await for Fall entertaining.  The kitchen and living are open concept with a nice breakfast area and large pantry.  Kitchen has granite countertops with stainless steel appliances!  Call me to see this great home 843-441-1854!

With interest rates dropping, now is a great time to buy!

Mortgage rates are dropping with all the turmoil in the UK with Brexit Vote.  Below is a great article about what is happening with rates and what buyers can expect.  Call me, I would love to help you find your new home.  843-441-1854.

2.26.16 Link for searching and saving homes in Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head, SC

The below link is a direct feed from our Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  It is the most up to date information on homes and land that are available in our area.  Please feel free to set up an account and you can search and save homes that interest you.  You can come back and search as often as you like.  Enjoy.

March 2016 Newsletter on Homeowner Tax Benefits

Item Author Written by  Blanche Evans Date created on Thursday, 16 July 2015 2:31 pm
In My Realty Times
One of the most useful yet widely misunderstood benefits of homeownership is tax deductions. Tax deductions are a welcome gift from the government, but if you're renting, they benefit your landlord, not you.
Property tax deduction: Any money you paid during the year you purchase and in the years afterward to local state, county and city property tax assessors is tax deductible.
Mortgage interest deduction: Your mortgage interest on both first and second liens is tax deductible. Any points you paid to obtain a lower interest rate are deductible. Private mortgage insurance payments are also deductible.
Closing costs: Some fees to the mortgage lender are deductible. Ask your tax professional for guidance. You can deduct some moving expenses, such as items for home offices. Save your Hud-1 form and show it to your tax professional.
Home office deductions: If your home is your principle place of business, and you meet other IRS guidelines for home businesses, you can take a deduction on workspace dedicated to your business and no other purpose. You can also depreciate that portion of your home over 39 years. All improvements to the workspace are tax deductible. In addition, your security expenses, phones, internet costs, computers, insurance, and utilities can be deducted or depreciated according to IRS allowances. Percentages and limits apply, so talk to your tax professional.
Energy Star: If you purchased an energy efficient system or appliance for your home and it meets government Energy Starstandards, you may deduct a portion of your expenses. Save your receipts.
Property sales deductions: If you purchased a home today, occupied it as a primary residence, and sold it in two years, you could be eligible for some capital gains exclusions up to $250,000 if you're single, or $500,000 if you're married. You can even live in the home two years, rent it out for three years, and still enjoy the capital gains exclusion.

There may be many other deductions out there for you to take advantage of that are associated with your home, so save all receipts throughout the year for repairs, parts, purchases, remodeling, etc. Some allowances and special circumstances apply, so before taking this exclusion, be sure to talk to your tax professional.
Save your tax records up to seven years, because you have to be able to support the deductions you take with documentation such as receipts, credit card statements, cancelled checks, and online banking. Make sure you take deductions and depreciation only for legitimate items.
Remember all the benefits you could be getting in deductions, your landlord is currently enjoying while billing all costs associated with managing the home to you. Wouldn't you rather do that yourself?


How Much does a 4 bedroom, 2 bath Home list for around the country?

There are always questions on how much home costs are around the country.  As so many people move from one area to another, the obvious question is what is the comparable cost to the market you are leaving.  This article gives great information and tools to look up actual comparable costs.