Chili Cookoff at Bohicket Marina! – March 19th

Join us at the Bohicket Marina on Saturday, March 19th for the second annual Bohicket Backpack Buddies Bash & Chili Cook Off! 1pm – 4pm Last year, 1305 guests & 35 teams raised over $15,000 for Backpack Buddies. This year the competition has heightened – 40 teams will go  head to head in a chili cook off and come together to support ending hunger locally for food insecure children on Johns Island and Wadamalaw. Proceeds will benefit children at: Mt. Zion, Angel Oak and Frierson Elementary schools as well as Haut Gap Middle School.

Seabrook Island Real Estate Agent and Salt Marsh Partner Bill Britton’s chili recipe will face 39 other contenders for the big prize! (And bringing 5 gallons of chili for you to taste test.)

Backpack Buddies supplies weekend food and snacks to hungry elementary school in the area. To learn more about the Seabrook Island Backpack Buddies program and how you can help, visit www.sipoa.org and search Backpack Buddies.

We hope to see you on the 19th!

Bohicket Marina

Salt Marsh Partner Involved in Sea Islands Community Service

Bill Britton, Salt Marsh Townhomes partner and listing broker, and his efforts with the Sea Islands Water Wellness Project was featured in  yesterday’s The Post and Courier. The Water Wellness Project is a part of the Sea Islands Hunger Foundation, a 501c non-profit organization. The Water Wellness Project is providing clean and safe water to the needy residents of Wadamalaw Island & John’s Island.

Visit www.fightislandhunger.org to learn more about the Sea Islands Hunger Foundation & The Water Wellness Project. To view the full article, visit bit.ly/1OcDOIm.


Microsoft Word - Post and Courier Article_Bill Britton_2-15-2016

Looking Forward to 2016

This is a good time to look back at February of last year and see what I wrote about going into 2015.  The message was about renewed optimism, higher sales, higher profit for the club and lower inventory as we began the New Year.  Oddly enough, all of those messages are even more appropriate again when we look at how we ended 2015 and how we feel as we begin 2016.

Every year I also like to look at where the Seabrook Island buyers came from.  In 2015 buyers came from 22 states and Canada.  Outside of South Carolina, North Carolina brought the most, 17 buyers.  As one Charlotte prospect, who was in our office for a tour, put it, “seems like every person we know in Charlotte is looking at Seabrook”.  We had 6 buyers from Maryland, while Illinois (a more recent leader of buyers) Ohio and New York each sent us five new Seabrookers in 2015.

It was in February of 2014 that we announced Salt Marsh Townhomes would begin construction of a new phase, a real sign of renewed optimism.  Salt Marsh broke ground in March on the first “pod” of homes and we quickly sold two of the three units and the third is being used as the furnished model.

A second “pod” is now under construction. Just recently Salt Marsh announced that a third, larger, 2300 to 2500 square foot plan is being approved.  The larger unit will have a first floor Master Bedroom as well as a first floor Study/fourth bedroom.  It will also have a traditional side by side 2 car garage. It is perfect for a permanent resident or empty nester.  This will give potential Salt marsh buyers three size and floor plan choices.

Kristina Skalak and I just returned from Atlanta for the first of this year’s ideal-Living Retirement Expos.  Most of these shows have been held in more northern cities and climates, but we thought we’d try out a more regional venue this time.

Hope ya’ll have had a great start of the New Year and that we can say hi at the Club annual meeting!

2016: A Year in Review

I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate all of the Sales Executives at Seabrook Island Real Estate for producing yet another very successful year in 2015.  We’ve been through the best of times and the worst of real estate times over the past ten years. We are ending the year strong with $19 million in sales volume on the books for November and December, versus about $10 million last year for the same period.

Sales volume on Seabrook Island in 2015 is up over 25% and the unit sales numbers have about doubled from the depression year lows of 2009.  The increasing number of new sales is resulting in higher annual profits and, month after month, record high numbers of Seabrook Island Club members. This, of course, is resulting in continued and increased financial stability for Seabrook Island.

Our Seabrook Island Sales Executives continue to dominate the island real estate market place. I’m writing this in the middle of December, and most closings occur at month end, so final numbers will not be known for a couple of weeks.  However, Seabrook Island Real Estate will have sold about 130 of the approximately 150 properties that will close in 2015.  Pending closings for January of 2016 show the potential for a strong start for the New Year.

Seabrook Island Real Estate’s dominance is at all levels of property, including the high end $1 million plus market.  Over the past three years there have been 32 sales over $1 million and Seabrook Island real estate has been involved in 30 of those sales. Our agent’s knowledge of the unique nature of the details of Seabrook Island, its history and their close relationship with the Club, SIPOA and Town of Seabrook Island help not only to sell real estate, but to ease the burden for buyers and sellers during the complex  process both before and after a contract is written.

The year will end with about 76 Single family homes closed or waiting to close at an average price of about $740,000; About 59 villas will close or be under contract waiting to close at any average sales price of about $285,000 and building lots will show 22 closed with 3 waiting to close with average sale price of about $270,000.

The final positive note is that the year will end with residential (Villas and homes) inventory at lower levels.  The back log of those properties is down from over three years worth in 2009 to about 13 months at year end 2015.  Right now there are about 80 villas and 84 homes on the market on Seabrook Island.  While we continue to have good buyer activity, it is clear that the properties selling the quickest are those priced to the market and well conditioned.

Here’s to a happy and healthy new year to all of you.  Thanks you for your support and your business.

Joe Salvo
Broker-In-Charge
843.768.7796 • jsalvo@seabrookislandclub.com

 

Fall Real Estate Updates + Follow us on Social Media!

The real estate market on Seabrook Island is finishing the year strong. As of mid-October, (when I am writing this article), the number of properties closed or waiting to close has exceeded the total sales on the island for the full year of 2014. Buyer interest is strong and we are likely to reach or exceed the 2015 annual goal set of 150 properties sold on Seabrook. Remember, at the depths of the recession, only 79 properties were sold.

Inventory of residential properties for sale (homes and villas) has now fallen to 170, which translates to a backlog of about one year and four months. This is significantly down from a backlog of well over 3 years during the real estate depression. Interest in Seabrook continues to be strong and our sales office is very active.

This does not mean that the market has gone totally from a buyer’s to a seller’s market. It merely means that as the retirement and second home market continues to improve, it also becomes more balanced. Well priced, well conditioned properties no longer need to sit on the market for extended periods of time.

Seabrook Island Real Estate continues to be the leader in marketing our wonderful island, and we continue to look for new opportunities. In addition to the billboards promoting Seabrook that I mentioned in the last edition, we have just signed on with a marketing publication based out of Charlotte. We will continue to attend retirement expos and have leased a villa on Seabrook on a short-term basis in order to test the ability to more easily provide a “Stay and Play” experience to serious prospects interested in exploring Seabrook as a place to retire.

Kristina Skalak and Kelly Butorac, who man our full time in house Marketing Department, continue to do a fabulous job expanding all aspects of marketing, including electronic and social media (follow us on Twitter at @seabrookrealty and on Facebook and Pinterest at Seabrook Island Real Estate.) They provided invaluable support to both the men’s and lady’s member guest tournaments, as well as the Alan Fleming Tournament. Our Sales Executives were also involved in those events to make sure new guests were well aware of what Seabrook has to offer.

As always, feel free to call if you’d like to talk about anything related to real estate.
Joe Salvo
Broker-In-Charge
843.768.7796 • jsalvo@seabrookislandclub.com

The Ideal Living Expo, new Seabrook Island Billboards + More!

Marketing Director Kristina Skalak and I returned today from another trip to Washington DC for this fall’s “Ideal Living” 2nd Home and Retirement Expo. These shows have now become another primary source for feeding our pipeline of leads for prospective future Seabrookers. The other main source is the thousands of visitors who rent and vacation on the Island every year and the many direct referrals we receive from current and past property owners. It’s important to remember that most buyers enter our pipeline at least two to three years before they actually buy a property, so consistent follow up is critical.Expo DC 2015_pic 2_fxd_IMG_3566_Rszd for blog

Just last week one of the attendees from last year’s 2014 Washington DC show came to Seabrook to look at property. Like most, he was very impressed and the next day wrote back to one of our Sales Executives. Among his comments were the following:

“The golf courses were in great shape. In fact, better conditioned than Kiawah and equal to the Ocean Course. We played on Saturday with a gentleman who vacationed for years in a condo/villa he owns and is now looking to retire in the next few years on Seabrook and buy a home. We got to pick his brain and heard all good.”

These folks say they hope to buy by the fall. Our company data base is full of thousands of past visitors and referrals just like this. For many it is only a matter of reaching them at the right time of their life and the confidence of the overall economic situation.

We are also executing several local marketing activities to place Seabrook in the minds of the thousands visitors to Charleston. The most recent are the billboards posted along the I-26 corridor near the airport and the cover page and advertisement in the high-end Oasis magazine distributed throughout the Charleston area.BILLBOARD 1_Seabrook_HorsesOnBeach_DIGITAL_Rszd for Blog

In the meantime, we continue to be active on the sales front. Halfway through September Seabrook has 124 properties closed or waiting to close, which is on our way to beating the 141 closed Seabrook Island properties in 2014. There has been a trend toward higher end sales in the past few weeks, with three recent $1,000,000+ closings, three new contracts finalized for listings over $1,000,000 waiting to close, and two more such contracts currently being negotiated. Additionally, several deals just below a million are either consummated or being negotiated.

Here’s to a continued successful fall season! Feel free to call if you would like to discuss anything related to real estate.

Joe Salvo
Broker-In-Charge
843.768.7796 • jsalvo@seabrookislandclub.com

Summer Real Estate Activity – “On Track!”

The Seabrook Island real estate market continued to be quite active over the summer and I would call it “on track” with our goal of 150 sales on the island in order to beat last year’s 141 sales.

The current 10-year average of sales on the island is 130. This includes all of the lean years during the recession, but not the “Bubble” year of 2005. With a successful final quarter, we have a good chance of having the sixth straight year of sale increases on Seabrook. At the mid-August point, when this was written, there were 109 properties either closed or under contract waiting to close, versus 101 when I was writing this same edition one year ago.

It is these sales that are helping to drive Club membership to its current all-time high of 1,765 and creating the financial success story that is Seabrook Island and Island One. The numbers include 43 villas with an average sale price of $283,000, 47 homes with an average sale price of $677,000 and 19 building lots with an average sale price of $238,000. All of these categories show increases over last year.

The most interesting category is building lots where the average sales price went from $167,000 to $238,000. The vast majority of these home sites were purchased by buyers with imminent plans to build a new home. One could surmise they represent buyers who are at the higher price range and chose to build a new home rather than purchase an existing home. This tracks with the trend of buyers looking for “newer.” This can mean either new construction or an existing older home that has gone through major renovations. Either way, it shows the continued growth of confidence in both Seabrook Island and the overall state of the real estate market.

The downside is that there remains a high inventory of about 100 home sites for sale. This speaks to the lack of demand from the “pure investor,” spec builders and buyers with longer range plans to eventually build.

The success of the new construction Salt Marsh Townhomes, as well as several 2015 re-sales of townhomes in that community, also tracks with both the trend of buyers looking for “newer” and building of confidence. The “Salt Marsh At Seabrook” developers have now applied for an additional building permit to begin more new units in Phase II of that community.

Hope ya’ll had a great summer! As always, please feel free to call me to talk about the Seabrook real estate market.

Joe Salvo
Broker-In-Charge
843.768.7796 • jsalvo@seabrookislandclub.com