Holidays on Seabrook Island!

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go…”

Festive decor, holiday happenings and warmer temperatures (comparatively to my friends and family in the Midwest) Charleston (and Seabrook Island!) is a great spot to celebrate the holidays. We have decked the halls already here on Seabrook and my December calendar is already chalk full of holiday events. Some may call me a Christmas fanatic, I am even listening to the Josh Groban Pandora station as I write this blog post, but I can’t help it! I love this time of year. So, without further adieu, I present to you my top 5 sights to see and can’t-miss events in December.

1. Festival of Lights
Daily, 5:30 – 10pm, Monday – Friday; 5:30 – 11pm Saturday & Sunday; Now – January 1st, James Island County Park
Admission: 1-15 guests: $20 per vehicle, $15 per vehicle Monday-Thursday with donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank
Before You Go: www.holidayfestivaloflights.com

If you haven’t yet made your way to the Festival of Lights at the James Island County Park, you are missing.out. Dream up the most magnificent Christmas light display you could possibly dream, now triple that. I LOVE the Festival of Lights so much, that the past 2 years I have gone not once, but TWICE. I simply can’t get enough! The tour begins by car (or, for the lucky passengers a pick-up truck with an open bed) through dozens of light displays in a variety of themes, and thousands of bulbs. But, your night isn’t finished yet! Once you are parked, make your way to Santa’s Village for nightly performances, fire pits, a train ride, treats, souvenir shops and the man in the red suit himself. This is a CAN’T MISS event for kids and adults alike!

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 2. Homegrown Holiday Bazaar
10am – 4pm, December 2nd, Johns Island County Park
Admission: Free
Before You Go: www.seaislandschamber.org/holiday-bazaar

The Homegrown Holiday Bazaar, sponsored by the Johns Island Farmers Market and the Sea Islands Chamber of Commerce, returns for its 4th year this weekend, this time at the Johns Island County Park. Over 100 vendors will be in attendance – it’s the perfect time and place to get your holiday shopping finished! (Because, if you are like me, you may or may not have spent far too much money on yourself over Black Friday weekend.) Come for the shopping, but stay for the live music from the V-Tones, holiday carriage and hay rides, an antique tractor show, horse meet & greets, Santa and food truck fare. + if you are in the mood to shop local this holiday season, be sure to stop by our neighbors Freshfields Village. And fun fact – although officially “closed” for the season, The Charleston Farmers Market  hosts its holiday market from 9am – 3pm on December 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th and 16th & 17th.

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 3. City of Charleston Parade
3pm, December 3rd, Broad Street – King Street – Calhoun Street & Meeting Street
Before You Go: www.charleston-sc.gov/index.aspx?NID=1510

Last year I attended the City of Charleston Christmas parade with my favorite 2 year-old bestie in tow, and we had the best time! If boat parades aren’t your jam, head down to King Street for a festive and fun holiday spectacular this Sunday. Local organizations, companies and famous faces will stroll the streets of downtown blaring Christmas tunes. Before you go, be sure to click the link above for the parade route, a list of road closures and parking ramp suggestions. Fa la la la la!

 4. Bohicket Christmas Parade of Boats
6-9pm, December 9th, Bohicket Marina & Market
Admission: Free
Before You Go: www.bohicket.com/events

You may have heard of the downtown Charleston Holiday Parade of Boats, but we also have a boat parade right here on Seabrook! Does it get more Lowcountry than that? Returning only for its second year, the Bohicket Christmas Parade of Boats not only showcases stunning light displays, the Charleston Coastal Choir will also be on island singing Christmas carols, and there will be s’mores and hot chocolate by the fire. Plus, The Ice Cream Boat  is sponsoring an ugly Christmas sweater contest and the winner receives FREE ICE CREAM FOR A YEAR. That should be enticing enough, right?

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5. Check out the Christmas Tree at the Lake House + Holiday Decor at the Club! 

Although the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Seabrook Island Lake House has come and gone, the festive atmosphere on Seabrook will continue throughout the month. As mentioned above, Seabrook Island’s halls have officially been decked, including a nearly 12 ft Christmas tree right here in the Seabrook Island Real Estate front lobby! From the life-size toy soldiers facing the golf course to several indoor Christmas trees throughout the Island, be sure to soak it all in this holiday season.

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+ don’t forget to stop by Marion Square downtown to see a seriously cool Christmas tree!

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Christmas in Charleston is too is magical, too spectacular – it would be nearly impossible to list all of the events and recommendations here. So, be sure to check out the Charleston CVB for its tips and tricks on how to spend Christmas in the Lowcountry. It offers everything from a holiday event schedule, to gift ideas, to restaurant recommendations for tasty holiday feasts. + be sure to read the CVB’s “12 Reasons Why There’s No Place Like Charleston for the Holidays,” and tune into its advent calendar in December! Beginning on the 1st, it will be sharing gifts, recipes and traditions daily to celebrate #ChristmasinCharleston. AND for all events, happenings and news here on Seabrook, be sure to follow and subscribe to Tidelines Blog.

Happy Holidays, y’all!

Kelly Butorac
Marketing Coordinator
843.768.7789 • kbutorac@seabrookislandmarketing.com

Congratulations Seabrook Island Racquet Club!

World Class Women’s Professional Tennis will once again be held right here in Charleston. This weekend marks the qualifying rounds and the first two days of the Volvo Car Open (formerly the Family Circle Cup) on Daniel Island. The women’s premiere WTA professional event runs from April 2 – April 10 and has competitive tennis matches featuring female athletes from all around the world. We are lucky to have high-caliber play just down the round from Seabrook!

Last month the Volvo Car Open and United States Tennis Association (USTA) South Carolina named the Seabrook Island Racquet Club the 2016 Best Tennis Club in South Carolina! Nearly 2,000 members, fans and players voted. The award aims to recognize the best tennis club in the entire state. Congratulations to Mike Kiser and our entire team on the recognition!

For a full schedule of play and Volvo Car Open details, visit www.volvocaropen.com. And of course don’t forget to visit http://www.discoverseabrook.com/tennis.php (or click the Amenity tab above) for information on the Seabrook Island Racquet Club.

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Preparing for Sale

I’m sure you have noticed the large number of new homes being built on Seabrook over the past two years. That trend is continuing and it shows a high level of confidence in Seabrook’s future and in the general economic picture. For the first time in years we are even seeing a sprinkling of “spec” homes being built on Seabrook Island.

We have also tested the market by placing builder’s plans on certain unsold homesites and offering a package to prospective buyers. We have seen some success with this strategy.

While this is all good news, it also clearly places an even higher focus on the importance of “condition” as a selling point for older homes. A very high percentage of homes and villas currently for sale on Seabrook were built in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Many of these are on highly desirable homesites with magnificent views, since they were the earliest home sites chosen as Seabrook was developed. Many need varying amounts of upgrade to compete with newer properties.

As a full service company, Seabrook Island Real Estate is gearing up to help owners of these properties prepare for sale in hopes of reducing the length of time a home is on the market while increasing the final sales price. Having a comprehensive plan to prepare and update your property, in advance of offering it for sale, is crucial to lowering your stress level. It also gives you the best chance of selling it for the most money, in the least amount of time, and helps you to better compete with newer homes on the market.

If you are thinking of listing you property in the near (or even distant future), and are interested in learning more about the building a plan and team for preparing you property, feel free to call me or your favorite Seabrook Island Real Estate Sales Executive. We are also in the process of planning a Property Preparation Expo at the Club. The Expo will be an open forum showcasing a wide variety of experts in this field to help Seabrook property owners plan for the future.

Thanks as always for your continued support and business,
Joe Salvo

Announcing our #MakeItUniquelyYours Photo Contest!

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Proud to announce our #MakeItUniquelyYours photo contest!

This is your chance to show us how you make Seabrook Island Uniquely YOURS!

Enter on our Facebook pages, or visit our website www.discoverseabrook.com/news-and-media.php and add your pictures! You can also enter on Instagram or Twitter by simply hashtagging #MakeItUniquelyYours

Deadline to enter is October 15th. Winners will receive a Seabrook Island Gift Bag filled with goodies! Make sure to hashtag #MakeItUniquelyYours and VOTE for your favorite pictures!

End of Summer Update

Except for a weird two week period in early July, the Seabrook Island Real Estate market continued to be quite active over the summer. Right now there are 101 properties either closed or waiting to close in 2014, with almost four full selling months remaining in the year.

The most improved portion of the market is single family homes. In 2013, a total of 46 single family homes were sold, while in 2014 that number is already 44 and is on a track to be about 60 by year end. Villas are on track with 2013’s numbers, when 61 were sold. So far there are 46 villas either closed or waiting to close, again with four sales months remaining. Continuing on this track would mean an increase in residential sales of about 10% by year end. At the writing of this article, there were 91 single family homes on the market and 96 villas. This translates to about a year and a half supply, well down from the highs.

Sales of homesites are lower than last year with 13 sites closed or waiting to close. There were 30 closed homesite sales in 2013 and now 105 homesites on the market.

In the meantime, our marketing efforts and those of our Sales Executives continue to bear fruit, and your real estate company has generated the highest market share of sold properties in the history of the company. Real Estate produced a healthy profit for the first half of the year and helped to generate a significant increase in Club membership. We expect that to continue in the 2nd half based on the number of sales already waiting to close at this time.

A detailed comparison of the first half of the year shows that the Seabrook Island Real Estate market was in line with or better than our main competitor communities in the Charleston area and significantly better than competitors South of us in the Hilton Head/Bluffton markets. Inventory backlogs are also in line or better than in those markets.

As an added service to our current and future clients, Seabrook Island Real Estate is looking into programs to help owners of older properties, those built in the 1980s and 90s, to find ways to efficiently upgrade features of their homes in order to generate a higher return when they are ready to sell and to get their homes sold quicker. You will hear more about this in the near future!

Hope y’all had a great summer and as always, please feel free to call me to talk about the Seabrook Real Estate market.

Buying vs. Renting

Happy April everyone! We hope everyone had a good Easter holiday and start to spring! The island is buzzing with the new season starting. And the weather is finally starting to make it feel like summer. Welcome to everyone that is here visiting! And for everyone who isn’t here, you should come see us!

With tons of renters coming for the summer, long-term renting has become an interesting topic. Should you rent long-term or should you buy? Everyone comes to this question at some point in life. It’s no different on Seabrook. We have tons of amazing rentals here on the island, but we also have beautiful homes too. Throughout the US, the rising cost in rent has started to change the way people are investing their money. Low mortgage rates are starting to be a game changer, because why would you renew a lease when you could break even on a house in less time? Take into consideration the assets you gain with a home purchase, the appreciation of equity is a huge factor. Also, buying and then renting out your second home is a great way to make residual income. The biggest benefit for renting long-term is that you wouldn’t have to stay anywhere for an extended period of time.

But on an island like Seabrook, why wouldn’t you want to come and stay?

Thanks for reading! Be sure to comment!

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Meet the Agents

Happy March to everyone! If you haven’t been following us on Twitter or Facebook, you might have missed that we recently launched a “Meet the Agents” campaign for our SIRE Sales Team.

What, you might ask, is the point of this campaign? After much collaboration, we here at SIRE have realized that a name and a biography does not do our team justice. You deserve to know who the people are that are representing your Island and Club on a day-to-day basis. Therefore this campaign is to help you put a name with a friendly face. This campaign will also help our agents better their personal branding initiatives, with updated pictures and personal logos that will help distinguish them from other agents. By doing this, we hope to expand our agents’ and company recognition. We hope that this campaign will show that we are the best Real Estate company to work with when buying and selling on Seabrook Island.

Thank you for reading, we hope to see you soon!

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Market in Recovery.

With a market in recovery, the number of listings is increasing and home buyers are given more inventory to choose from. Real Estate experts suggest that 2014 will be a great year for real estate because of increasing demand.

It seems as though the real estate market is booming here in Charleston. In 2013, Charleston home sales reached an all time, five-year high, and house flipping in South Carolina increased by almost 16%. With the economy reaching stable ground, people are more confident in keeping their jobs, and because of this real estate is seeing a steady increase in big consumer purchases. Consumers are finding themselves with a strong urgency to buy because of the low loan rates and a high feeling of empowerment with employment opportunities increasing.

The housing market and economic health are tightly tied together, therefore we see people beginning to make bigger purchases as our economy begins to level out. Seabrook is no different, we expect 2014 to be a big year!

Thanks for reading!
“Like” us on Facebook, Seabrook Island Real Estate, for more Real Estate happenings on the Island.

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