Wow! For the third month in a row the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton real estate market is the #1 market in South Carolina. MLS sales of homes and villas in the first quarter of 2010 are up 63.8% from the first quarter of 2009. No other market in the state even came close. Transactions increased from 320 in 2009 to 524 in 2010.

The next two best markets in SC are the Coastal Carolina's (Myrtle Beach) which is up 44.4%, and Beaufort and Aiken markets (tied) which are up 36.7%. See the table below from the South Carolina Association of Realtors.

We're feeling it in a big way. Last year we at Rick Turner and Associates sold 5 properties in the first quarter. This year it was 21! People are flying in from all over the country to take advantage of buying a…

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Let's assume you own your home free and clear or you have a small mortgage. If you are over 62, you can get a new and vastly improved reverse mortgage on your current home and use the proceeds to purchase a Hilton Head Island or Bluffton, South Carolina, home or villa. The best part is that you have no payment EITHER home! 

For example if your existing home is worth $650,000, a local bank here will give you up to $325,000, half the value of your home, as one of these new reverse mortgages. You can then use that $325,000 to purchase a home in the Hilton Head area. Once you move here in two months or two years, you sell your old home and pay off the reverse mortgage. Keep in mind, there is no credit or income verification for a reverse mortgage. 


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Dolphins in real estate? Well, not exactly! Clients joined me early one crisp morning with the anticipation of capturing a mesmerizing high tide on the marshes of the Colleton River. They were pondering the purchase of this particular waterfront home, having viewed it the previous day at low tide.


I had regaled them with stories of frequent Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin sightings close to shore, and I sensed they were secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of one of these graceful creatures. A hush had fallen upon us as we gazed across the peaceful expansive water vistas. Then, as if on cue, we spied first one fin, and then another arching slowly above the water’s surface – just 20 feet from shore. We watched in awe as the friendly pair of dolphins flipped,…

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I was reading the Wall Street Journal the other day and saw an article that lit my fuse ... and made we want to plead with every real estate buyer, "BUY TODAY, BEFORE RATES JUMP." Here's a link to the article Nabbing a bargain-Basement Mortgage Before Rates Rise.

After I read that I was talking to one of our potential home buyers who was looking all along the South Carolina Coast. I urged him to find that area on the SC Coast that most fit his needs and buy today. "It may be the Hilton Head area or it may not," I told him, "but find something soon and take advantage of this interest rate windfall." 

Rule of Thumb: a 1% rise in rates equals a 10% rise in monthly P & I payments

I went on to share with him the general rule of thumb that a 1% rise in…

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     It’s what we have all been waiting for, significant change in the real estate market on Hilton Head Island, SC. Total closed real estate sales through March 15, 2010 were $285 million compared to the same period in 2009 that totaled $156 million. That is a tremendous increase of 83%. The average sale price has showed a small decline of 6% down from $360,000 in 2009 to $340,000 in 2010.

     It all adds up to sales being up and prices stabilizing. Conservative buyers are entering the market place at record numbers as mortgage money has become available at historic lows. Positive change continues in the Hilton Head area real estate market ... so bottoms up!

by Marcia Hunter, Rick Turner and Associates, 843-816-0422.

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The real estate market in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC, area has definitely turned around. Homes closed totaled 212 in the last sixty days (2/23 - 4/23), a 31% increase over the previous 60 day period (12/23 - 2/22) where 161 homes closed.

What makes this increase particularly surprising is that the 212 closings represent home buyers who signed contracts in late December, January and February, historically our slow Winter Season. The 161 closings represent home buyers who signed contracts in late October, November and December, historically our "hot" Fall Season. To put it simply: there were 31% more home buyers in the slow Winter than in the fast Fall. That's amazing!

Best Buyer's Market EVER

This may sound trite, but it is a profound…

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Interest rates have hit new lows. We're now back to mid-1950's mortgage rates! As a Realtor now for 35 years, I've never seen anything like this. You can now borrow up to $417K at 4.375%!! And you can borrow up to about $1.0M at 5.625% ... and these are 30 year fixed rate mortgages!!! We sold three homes two weekends ago, partly because buyers are taking advantage of these historic rates. Their other motivation is an approximate 40% drop in real estate prices. 

If you don't buy real estate in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC, area ... buy somewhere. You're getting discount upon discount. It may never get better than this!

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Today I was talking to the president of one of our local banks. He said as soon as the Federal Reserve believes that the economy has turned, they will boost the rates up rather switftly. With all the money the government is pumping into the system, Bernake is very concerned about inflation. To put the brakes on inflation the prime will rise followed by mortgage rates. He was emphatic that if someone wants to buy real estate anywhere in the country, they should do so now before the rates start rising.

I might add that in the 35 years I've been a Hilton Head real estate broker, I've NEVER seen better deals than we're seeing now. I know it sounds self serving, but if you want to buy (wherever--it doesn't have to be here) now is the time to invest: best…

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Wow! Are we ever thrilled. Our team has been working for months to bring you the finest real estate search engine in the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area, and today we're finally ready to unveil it. It's not perfect yet. We've still got a lot to do, but the bones are good. So this is our "Soft Opening". When we get everything "humming", we'll have a Grand Opening celebration!

You can search and view homes, lots and villas till the cows come home ... in fact, beyond that until the wee hours of the morning. You can learn all about the area and our incredible communities. You can search from a satellite view and unbelievably actually "see" the view of each property. MOSTLY, YOU CAN HAVE FUN! And that's what we hope you'll do.

Over the next several weeks,…

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