Construction Update – Atrium Villas

Wow! Congratulations to the Atrium Villas for taking on the total redesign of their strategically located villa community. From everything I hear they are doing it right! Those in charge say they are creating an exterior look that is timeless in appearance and a structure that is all but maintenance-free and designed to last for decades to come.

DCIM100MEDIAWhen completed, the water-tight building envelope will be covered with an all new stucco exterior and brand new decks and walkways. In an effort to tie in the design with the nearby Island House, the new and improved Atrium will have railings similar to those used on the Club facility.

The renovation is bringing new life to the Atrium community and, given the highly prized Ocean and Golf view location, along with the quickly improving real estate market; it should add tremendous value going forward. I’m sure we all can’t wait to see the final product.

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.

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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You Are Our Best Ambassadors.

Recently a very nice, happy couple came into our lobby in the middle of the mid-February ice storm. Of course, I immediately apologized for the weather. They let me know that it was all relative and that, back home in Cleveland, it was 5 degrees and they were perfectly happy with 35 and raining, knowing that by Saturday it would be 65 and sunny.

This was their first time on Seabrook and they were staying for a week. They told me they were blown away by the beauty and friendliness of the island. During their bike ride the day before, at least five friendly Seabrookers along the route stopped to talk with them. On that ride, they also happened to meet a couple who were looking at property with a Seabrook Island Real Estate agent. That couple invited them to join in as they looked at villas.

So here they were, 9 o’clock the next day, in a driving rain and sleet storm going out with that same Seabrook agent to find their Seabrook dream property. As a friend of mine often says, “you never know who is watching” or in this case, with whom you will be talking. The biggest concern people have when making a major move to a new community is how will I fit in and will I make friends. We are learning this more and more as we talk with prospects at the Ideal Living Expos. So, we offer to set up conversations with Seabrookers who have recently purchased, knowing they will have the same experience as this couple from Cleveland.

I want to thank all of you for your help! Whether it’s talking with guests at the Lake House, Island House, Pelican’s Nest, or just on the beach, you are our best ambassadors.

We have had a very active January and perhaps that can be attributed to the even worse weather up North. Feel free to call anytime if you would like to talk about real estate on Seabrook!

Joe Salvo, Broker-In-Charge
(*excerpt from the Veranda – March)

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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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Why Seabrook Island Real Estate?

It’s an interesting question. Why would you choose Seabrook Island Real Estate over national real estate brands such as Coldwell Banker, Century 21 or other local real estate agencies like Pam Harrington, or Akers Ellis?

National brands have preference in many situations because they are usually more trusted. It is simple marketing 101. Brand recognition generates a feeling of trust, especially if you’ve never bought in such a market before. Big branded companies put a lot of money into making sure that their agents are trained and educated on the current market and trends. These brand companies also put a lot of money into marketing and exposure. It’s natural that the question about how efficient Seabrook Island Real Estate can be for you.

Seabrook Island Real Estate prides itself on being more than just a brand. Seabook Island Real Estate is part of this community. Seabrook Island Real Estate has a leg up, so to speak, on national and other local real estate agencies because almost all of our agents live and work on the island. This real estate company is more than just your real estate agency, they’re your neighbors, they’re your bridge team, your golf partners, and your weekly dining group. This real estate company offers more than just basic information, when you choose our company, you’re choosing to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Who are you going to trust more, someone that visits Seabrook Island occasionally or someone who’s life is already here? When you choose us, you’re learning about the island from real islanders.

As for marketing and exposure, Seabrook Island Real Estate puts big money into trainings, and marketing. Our marketing staff puts tremendous effort in making sure that your listings and are getting maximum exposure and your options for buying are specifically geared towards your preferences.

So when you’re deciding on which agency to choose, and why, keep these things in mind. And most importantly, keep in mind that almost 90% of homes sold on Seabrook Island are listed and sold with us!

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Thanks for reading! Comment below!

Federal Housing Administration will continue to lend.

I’m sure that everyone has heard of the news this morning. With the government under a shutdown process, I decided to take a look into how that affects the current housing market.

As of Monday night, the House and Senate remained at a standstill over the funding for Obama’s new health care law, sending the government into a shutdown. Because of this shutdown, we’re seeing many federal run places take a hit. As of today, the Statue of Liberty, National Zoo, Grand Canyon and parks across the country will be closing its doors. The entire DC area is seeing massive door closings due to this indecision.

Luckily for us in the Real Estate world, it looks like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will not stop working on applications for housing loans like it previously said it would do. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has retracted its previous statement saying that they would completely shut down all applications. And given the fact that FHA will be working with a much smaller staff than the normal staff, 96% less actually, at least we aren’t seeing a complete shut down.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading, and please comment!

This month in real estate…

Last month, Marketing Director, Kristina Skalak and Broker In Charge, Joe Salvo, traveled to Washington DC to promote Seabrook Island at the Ideal Living Resort and Retirement Real Estate Expo. Some 900 registrants from the metro area signed up to attend and about 50 other communities from the South East were represented.

It was a great opportunity to talk “one on one” with folks who are getting ready to retire to our part of the country. One thing quickly became clear, but not a surprise, to us as attendees visited our beautiful Seabrook Island booth. The big draw is our unbeatable combination of our Ocean Beaches, Privacy and proximity to Charleston.

They spent hours in very detailed discussions with attendees and came back with hundreds leads from potential Seabrookers with whom we will follow up. There is nothing better than face to face contact with prospects and we will be doing more of these shows in the coming year, while adding the new Seabrook Island branding messages at the same time.

In the meantime, the number of sales on Seabrook Island will grow for the fifth straight year in 2013. Right now Joe projects it to be up about 15-20% from 2012, with some 140+ closed sales versus last year’s 119. This is great progress from the low of 79 at the depth of the national recession in 2009 as we move toward getting back to annual sales of 200 plus.

That’s all for now!
Thanks for reading!