Hilton Head Island Bits and Bytes

Rainy weather and some storms on the horizon.  Hopefully it won't rain on our fireworks ~ which are projected for:  Shelter Cove, Sea Pines and Skull Creek.
Get there early.  Fireworks usually start at dusk. (9-9:30PM)
The July 4th beach flyover is ON and should take place at 1:31PM at Hilton Head Island Tuesday afternoon. (see: http://salutefromtheshore.org/)
"The 8th Annual Salute from the Shore will begin, as always, at 1:00 PM on July 4th Cherry Grove, SC, just north of Myrtle Beach.
As noted below, all times are approximate and are for the F-16s from Shaw Air Force Base. The C-17 from Charleston Air Force Base and Joint Base Charleston will follow behind the F-16s. If conditions permit the vintage aircraft to fly, they are much slower and more affected by headwinds. The further south you are located, the further they will be behind the C-17. We suggest arriving early to celebrate, and being patient!"
It only takes the planes less than 1/2 to get down the coast.  Regale them with our red, white and blue from the beach.  Take selfies and post to the site!
Real estate has calmed down a bit, which it always seems to do in early summer.  Late summer is another story! 
Long-term rentals are even harder to come by, however.
RENTALS (From Miller Long Term Rentals):
"Inventory is at an all-time low.  We have a waiting list of individuals looking to rent 2 to 4 bedroom unfurnished homes or villas in Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island.    If any of  your clients would consider renting long term, we would be more than happy to answer any questions they might have and give them an estimate of the rental rate they might expect to receive."
Kiplinger tax letter dated June 2 reads-
"Think twice before donating to charity the right to use your vacation home. Charities such as schools and churches often use such places as door prizes for dinners, galas or auctions that they sponsor to raise funds for their activities.
You don't get a charitable write off because you gave only a partial use of the home.  Nor is there any deduction for the winning bidder, unless the charity received more from the person then the place is worth when awarding use of the home.

And be wary of the tax trap if you rent out the vacation property:  the time used by the winning bidder counts as personal use by you for purposes of the rule that prohibits the deduction of rental realty losses when the owners personal use tops the greater of 14 days or 10% of days rented."
This doesn't mean you cannot be kind and giving, offering your place up for charities.
Spectrum vs Hargray.  The ongoing struggle.  Hargray used to be the worst company I'd ever had the pleasure of working with.  Prior to arriving on Hilton Head Island, we were still doing business in California. I had called as we were moving cross country from a ski resort and needed to know if the new place we'd bought would have phone service (still years before cellular). Had several assurances in hand that yes, we'd be connected.  Not so.  It took 6 months to get connected!  I was using telephone booths at Hilton Head Beach and Tennis on windy and rainy days.  The Town was backwards, maybe ---but to be "disingenuous" about it, disgusting.  Then, after the second or third month connected, we received a bill for $600.+  The phone company then sent us the requested list of actual calls.  More than 1/2 were to New Jersey.  We knew nobody in that state - not a soul.  Tantamount to being called liars and cheats, I was very distraught for our pocketbook.  Who did they think they were?
Asking them to call any number listed in NJ on that bill and ask that owner, they refused to do so.  Finally a spark came through on the bill.  Delving through 12 pages of numbers, four NJ calls overlapped four calls to California by a minute or so.  Vindication took place through a nod (and no apologies) after hours spent going through the bills, even trying to call a few of those numbers myself.
Well, after all those years of a love/hate relationship (I love some of the later people who work there!), we have joined Spectrum (Time Warner).  The service seems so much quicker, but now that phone numbers can switch with the customer,  I maybe have to give them an equivalent 30 years to see how well they operate!
Are the Folly Field Communities going to sue the Town for not policing itself?
Ethical misconduct on the parts of it's past and current Councilmen comes into play:  Kim Likens, whose husband has or handles hundreds of timeshares, opted to rezone the Port Royal Racquet Club into what only can only work under a time/share model ~ and John McCann who completed a multi-million dollar land swap unbeknownst to most of Port Royal Plantation ahead of time, and then does not recuse himself in the same transaction when he has everything to gain from the addition of a semi-new golf course in his back yard.  The ethics of our Council is a serious problem.   And why are we taxpayers paying for Kim Likens defense on another suit?   Will have to see how this plays out...
These few snippets are a bit old, but tried and true.
For Sellers
By Jill Mendoza for AOL
Here are five reasons why you should NEVER try and sell a vacant home.  It might be good to stage it! 
1.  People Don't Buy Houses, They Buy Homes
The number one reason a buyer purchases a home is because it "felt like home."  It was warm, inviting and the buyer made an emotional connection with the home.  When have you ever heard of an empty room described as warm and inviting?  Sterile, cold and uninviting are the three most popular words to describe an empty room. 

2. Without Furniture, There Is No Frame Of Reference
How big is the room?  Without furniture it's incredibly difficult to tell the scale and size of a room.  When the buyer does not have answers to their questions...they walk away. 

What is this room for?  Many times a buyer can't even tell if it's the living room or dining room in an unfurnished home.  Don't keep them guessing, it only distracts them from considering the home as a purchase.

3. When A Room Is Kept Empty, Buyers Focus On Negative Details
Can you imagine a brand new Mercedes without a paint job?  Do you think people would notice the beautiful car or the missing paint?

It's so much easier to notice that crack in the wall, or the chip in the tile when there is nothing else to look at.  Home Staging capitalizes on the positive aspects of a home, while de-emphasizing the negative aspects in order to position a home that will make an emotional connection with buyers.  

4.  Only 10% of Home Buyers Can Actually Visualize the Potential of a Home
Nine out of every ten people walking in your home have no imagination of the wonderful possibilities your home has to offer them.   Don't let a simple thing like no furniture or limited furniture ruin your sale.  Don't take those odds; they will hurt you in the price significantly!

5.  Paying For Two Mortgages Can Get Expensive!
Let's look at the facts: a vacant home typically takes twice as long to sell, and the longer something "sits" on the market, the lower the sales price*.  Why risk paying two mortgages longer, only to have the sales price lower than it would have been if you had the home professionally staged!

Then from another expert:
Via Rismedia (a foremost real estate on-line ezine for agents)~ Davis Sobel:

Selling made easy....

1. Clutter control. A cluttered home appears smaller and gives the buyer the sense that there is not enough room in the house for all his belongings. If the den is packed with furniture the buyer will most likely not be able to visualize where his own furniture will fit into the room. A good place to begin is to count every item in a particular room and eliminate 50% of them. Storage companies can handle large and bulky furniture that your homeowner wants to keep for his new home. Also get rid of any house plants and depersonalize the rooms by removing pictures, dolls and toys.

Less appliances and accessories on the countertops allows potential buyers to visually expand the kitchen, making the countertops appear large and clean. All of the dishes and appliances should be in their proper places. To add some life to an old kitchen table, buy some beautiful table linens and place fresh flowers in the middle.

2. Lights, camera, action. Many homeowners forget to consider that a lot of the showings are going to be at night around the buyers’ work schedule. An inexpensive way to give an updated look to an older home is to replace older light fixtures with nickel and chrome. Add small lamps and plug-in nightlights to show warm pools of light that will make the home feel comfortable. Focus on the kitchen, dining room and bathrooms. If replacing light fixtures is too expensive for your client, change all of existing light bulbs for the highest wattage allowed. If the home is shown during the day, embrace natural sunlight by opening all of the drapes and blinds.

3. Scrub until it sparkles. The house may be old, but it can still sparkle. Clean the house from top to bottom. Wash the windows inside and out, have the carpet cleaned and remove any sign of pets. Scrub the kitchen and bathrooms until they shine. Clean the stovetop with a degreaser and remove any stains or discoloration on the countertops. Keep the floors immaculate throughout the listing period. Add a new shower curtain, fresh flowers or put your client’s best towels out in all of the bathrooms. If there aren’t attractive containers for the bathroom supplies place them in a drawer.

4. Neutralize the home. If the walls, ceilings or trim of the house are painted in contrasting bold colors, consider having the seller repaint with crisp neutral colors to appeal to the greatest number of buyers. Keep adjoining rooms in the same color palette to make the home appear large.


P.S.  This next one is an old one, but it's important enough to add in (from us, here on the Island):

5.  Do vacate the home during showings.  It is hard for buyers to visualize themselves in the home if you, your pets and relatives are there.  Purchasers need to feel comfortable (and not scrutinized) to speak their minds, move about unencumbered and think of themselves as residents.  This last item is crux.  The new buyers must see themselves as living in the home, which they cannot do with old owner distractions.  (As an aside, that also includes too many personal pictures and mementos.)


For Buyers  ~
Again, the best way to make an offer.  
#1 rule is DON'T INSULT the seller~ find that right price where they have to really think about taking the offer or not.  More often then not, you may get an acceptance.  (At this point in time, offer about 5% less.)
#2 rule is keep your contingencies at a minimum.  If you must sell a house first, then offer the seller full price.  He is giving you the chance to buy his place.  Be grateful.  
#3 Put down a huge deposit.  This money is not at risk for a lower offer and if you have a contingency (getting a loan, inspection report).  If the seller comes back with a counter offer, you may change everything around.
#4 Close in the shortest possible time to get the best price (if it is empty).  If owner-occupied, give the seller 60 days to 120 days (their option) This gives the seller time to move and find something else.  You are being courteous.  A seller appreciates it.
Thanks again to the Klemens for referring Patsy and Art!  They bought a home this past week!  Also to Jimmy D. for Anastasia and Rudy, who are in the process, currently. 
Have a wonderful 4th of July, and see you at the beach!  It will probably be with a walker, as the second knee was replaced last Monday.  I can share the best stories with you all, if you need information in this regard!   Local Orthopedic and Physical Therapy staff has done an excellent job (so far)!

Roni Kincaid
cell: 843 384-4001

33 year Island Realtor
Distinguished Sales "Life Award" honoree
Life Member of the Million Dollar Club

Lancaster Real Estate Sales
23C Shelter Cove Lane Ste100A
Roni Kincaid
Roni Kincaid

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