Click to email me any questions that you may have regarding real estate or Horry County. I will do my absolute best to answer your question and if I don't know I will find and ask a professional who will help me answer it for you. Please note that any questions that are asked of me, using this link, may be used as a blog topic. However, the information of the person who asked will be kept private.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thank you

Just wanted to thank those that have visited my site the most frequently through EntreCard throughout January:
Dropper # of drops
CrystalRaen's Recycled Craft Things 17
Republic of A 8
The Mortgage & More Blog 7
Rich Talks Real Estate 7
Vacation and Travel Photos 7
Positive Real Estate Professionals 6
Jenn Cooks 6
Rich's Blog 5
Mortgage and More 5
j o s h u a o n g y s 4

Thanks for visiting and please feel free to leave me feedback when you are here so I know if I'm doing a good job or not!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Remodeling Info from Weichert, Insights

Here is some information that I received from my company, Weichert, Realtors, to share with you, my readers:

According to Remodeling magazine's 2008-2009 "Cost vs.
Value Report," even despite the challenging economy,
investing in your home still pays off at resale. Based on
interviews with real estate professionals throughout the
country, the Remodeling report found that homeowners
could expect to recoup an average of 67.3 percent of their
investment in 30 different home improvement projects.

Exterior projects that boost curb appeal and kitchen remodels generally get the
biggest bang for the homeowner's buck. The right remodeling project, when done
well, also has the potential to make for a quicker sale and reduce negotiations
with buyers over perceived shortcomings.

Some of the projects that are paying off the most nationally this year at resale
include the following. The number in parentheses represents the percentage of
the project's cost that is recovered.

• Upscale fiber cement siding (86.7 percent)
• Midrange wood deck (81.8 percent)
• Midrange vinyl siding (80.7 percent)
• Midrange minor kitchen remodel (79.5 percent)
• Upscale vinyl window replacement (79.2 percent)
• Midrange major kitchen remodel (76 percent)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tips for Buying Investment Property

During this current market, with the low prices, foreclosures, and short sales many people are starting to mull over the idea of investing in property, especially rental properties. There are definitely some things you will want to consider before starting your search, as you do not want to rush to find an investment property and have it turn out to be the wrong one for you.
  1. Talk to an accountant and analyze your finances, start working on your credit score etc. You will want to have everything lined up so that you can ensure that you will be making money with your investment.
  2. Be sure that you will be able to save your money towards other life goals (such as retirement, vacations, education, etc) even with making this investment.
  3. Talk to a mortgage broker and get prequalified so that you know how much you will be able to borrow, and can start looking within that price range.
  4. Do not overestimate how valuable the rental will be. You will need to figure in potential repairs and vacancy time.
  5. Research your real estate market trends, you could possibly have a Realtor help with you this, so that you can have an idea of what the market has been doing and what its potential is in the future.
  6. Decide how long you want to own the property as that will affect how much money you may potentially put into the property. The longer you own it, the more repairs that will need to be done over the years, to keep up with basic maintenance.
  7. If you are a small investor, long term ownership does make the most sense, as you will not have to worry quite as much about market fluctuations, the longer you own a property, typically the more equity you will build in it over the years.
  8. Do not get emotionally invested in a property. As this can make negotiations harder to do.
  9. Have the property fully inspected, even if you are looking for a fixer-upper, as this can help you to know if there are going to be any unexpected expenses regarding things that will need to be fixed.
  10. When comparing the rent on similar properties in the area you will need to be sure that you price your rent in a similar range (to ensure that it rents as well as the others do), while also being sure that the rental income will cover out of pocket costs.
  11. If you are looking at properties in housing developments, you should check and HOA's or covenants to be sure that renters are allowed in those neighborhoods before you make an offer on that property.
  12. Once you have your property you will need to decide if you want to manage it yourself or go through a rental company.
These are just a few things that you will need to consider before you purchase that first investment property, as you go along, there will be other things that you will need to consider. Each person will need to make this decision on their own, as every person and situation is different. So decide which route is best for yourself.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to Prep Your Garage When Selling Your Home

Sometimes when people are staging their homes in preparation for open houses, or visits by potential buyers, they forget to spend time on the garage. Many people that are searching for homes, have a garage as a must on their lists of things that they desire for their new home to have. Needless to say, the better the garage looks, the better the overall impression the house will have on them.

  • De-clutter, it is a good idea to organize and declutter all the things that tend to accumulate in a garage over the years. The less stuff that is in your garage, the bigger it will look.
  • Clean: Garages can accumulate tons of dust and dirt, so cleaning can be a challenge, the DIY network offers great advice here.
  • If you have items that you need to keep until you move you may want to add some extra storage, such as shelves, hooks, or cabinets to store them in to keep things looking neat and clutter free.
  • Keep your garage safe, install a smoke detector, and keep all toxic items put out of reach of pets and children. This is a great thing to do not only when staging for selling your home, but always.
  • Garage door: Test it to be sure the opener is still working, if it is looking a little worse for wear, give it a new coat of paint.
  • Floor: If the floor is too stained you may want to consider epoxy, which can give a nice clean look to your garage.
  • Walls: many people leave their garage walls unfinished, but to lend a wonderfully appealing look, you should finish the walls and paint them a nice light neutral color which can make your garage seem larger and airier.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Going Though Pics

I was going through some photos I had taken over the past year and had to share this one (it is one of my faves) I took it where the Pavilion used to be down in Myrtle Beach, January of '08. I just felt that this is a wonderful example of some of the beautiful things that you can see year round in Horry County.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Hi, just wanted to mention the poll that is to the right side of my blog here. If you don't mind, please participate. It ends a month from yesterday, and I would like to see how people are feeling about the future of the housing market, especially the housing market in Horry County.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow in Horry County

This could be the most snow accumulated in Horry County in over 5 years (according to Myrtle Beach Online) This picture is one I took with my cell phone this morning as I was preparing to leave my house and head down to the office in Carolina Forest. Unfortunately, there have already been some wrecks, so everyone out there on the roads drive SAFE!

Friday, January 16, 2009

What are Foundations?

Every home has one, a foundation. But are they created equal? What is the difference between them? And how does that difference affect you as a home owner? Sometimes it just comes down to personal preference, or what you are used to. But just to help clear it up some, I will go over the types of foundations seen most in Horry County.

The two most common foundations that I have seen throughout Horry County are Slab and Crawlspace foundations. But as you get closer to the ocean you will see many homes with Pier Foundations.

Pier Foundations are typically used in coastal regions in order to try and prevent possible flood damage to the home. Usually in this area you will see homes with Pier foundations called Raised Beach Homes. With smaller lots, these are also handy as sometimes they can be made so that you can park your vehicle under the home.

Crawl Space Foundations are foundations that lift the home a few feet off the ground allowing space for access to the plumbing and wiring of the home. Some crawl spaces even offer room for extra storage. But care must be taken in the placement of vents in a crawl space foundation to avoid moisture problems which can lead to mold.

Slab Foundations are flat slabs of concrete that leave no space between the floor and the ground. Some people consider these to be a benefit as you do not have to worry about proper ventilation to prevent mold as you do in a crawlspace foundation. However, you do not have easy access to plumbing or the added benefit of storage.

If you are interested in knowing more information about the homes that are shown as examples of each type of foundation, just click the picture of the home you want to email me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Featured Listing: Condo in River Oaks

This 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in River Oaks, is my first featured listing, and is also one of my own listings.

It is a 3rd floor unit, with gorgeous views of the golf course from its screened in balcony. If you are looking for condos in the area, I recommend checking this one out here.

And as always, if you have ANY questions about real estate feel free to contact me, and I will answer them for you.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tips for Selling Your Home in Winter

by Brandon Cornett

Most real estate experts agree that it's best to sell your home during the warmer months of spring and summer. For one thing, home buyers with children will often plan their house hunting / home buying process for the summer, when their children are out of school.

But what if you can't sell your home during the spring or summer? What if it's just not in the cards? Perhaps you cannot afford the home any more and you need to sell it fast, regardless of the season. Or maybe you have a job transfer that requires you to move during the winter months.

Whatever the reason, you need not despair. While there are certain challenges to selling a home during winter, they do not by any means make it impossible. On the contrary, if you follow the selling techniques and tips in this article (and the advice provided by your real estate agent), you should be able to sell your home in the winter nearly as easily as you would in the summer.

Contrast the Cold With the Warmth

Emotions play a big role in the home buying process. Granted, the buyers will be most concerned with the size of the home, the number of rooms, and other tangible items. But "gut" feelings and first impressions go a long way as well. So even in the coldest winter months, you can put this knowledge into practice. In fact, you can even take advantage of the winter cold!

The best way to do this is by showcasing the warmth and coziness of your home. By doing this, you will create a favorable first impression that the buyers will take with them throughout your house. Let's look at an example of this concept in action.

Imagine This Realistic Scenario

Local home buyers John and Jane visit your home while house hunting. It's cold outside, with wind and rain on top of that -- the kind of conditions that make you want to hunker down someplace warm. John and Jane open the front door and enter the home. The house is well lit and exudes warmth. Candles burn atop the mantle. A fire crackles softly in the fireplace. The smell of gingerbread cookies (recently baked on offered on a glass plate) permeates the air.

Doesn't that feel inviting? It will be the same way for buyers. So just by showcasing the warmth of your home, you have increased the likelihood of selling it. You are creating a favorable first impression by literally welcoming the buyers in from the cold.

You can think about it in terms of both psychology and physiology. The first physical impression will be one of warmth and relaxation, just as soon as the buyers walk in. This will lead to a favorable mental impression as well, and the buyers will carry this impression with them through the rest of the home.


Some people will tell you that selling a home fast during winter is impossible. We say it depends upon two things -- (A) the amount of effort you put into it, and (B) the type of real estate market you are in. So one cannot say across the board that selling a home fast in winter is impossible. It is a case-by-case situation. Use the tips provided in this article, follow the expert advice of your real estate agent, and you have every chance of selling your home during winter!

* Copyright 2008, Brandon Cornett. You may republish this article if you retain the citation notes and hyperlink below.

Citation Note: This article was created by Brandon Cornett, publisher of the Home Buying Institute network of real estate websites. You can learn more or contact the author by visiting his mortgage refinance blog at