Embrace Change!

On the eve of a journey down to Florida to help my Mom & Stepdad move into an assisted living facility, I can’t help but think about change. Not just in personal situations but how much of it we deal with in our daily lives as Realtors. Change is hard. It moves us out of our comfort zone and even if our comfort zone isn’t all that comfortable, it is still hard. We fight it; often for much longer than necessary, and through the process, we are generally wrapped up in emotions that keep our stomachs in knots until an undetermined period of time passes and we are once again in some sort of zone of comfort.

Change comes at us in different ways… sometimes we willingly seek it out, sometimes there is an undeniable need (like my Mom & Stepdad’s situation) and sometimes it just sneaks up on us. And even if willingly sought, there are moments of doubt, question and resistance; generally followed by efforts to breathe deep, close eyes and take the inevitable leap.

Change is tiring. There are usually many, many tasks associated with the change… and roadblocks… and red tape… and more roadblocks. Emotionally and physically exhausted, we trudge through the “to do” list, wishing for it to be behind us.

Hard. Scary. Uncomfortable. Tiring. Yep… if that is what comes with change, you can keep it. But what if we could change, change? Or at least our perspective on it…

Daniel and I have learned that the only thing that we really can control is how we respond and react to situations in our lives. We truly work at changing our perspective on what life throws our way and while some situations remain less-than-peachy, acceptance and a more positive spin certainly helps make the journey more enjoyable. We encourage our clients to do the same. Turn “Hard. Scary. Uncomfortable. Tiring.” into “Exciting. Inspiring. Do-Able….” OK – more than likely it will still be tiring but it will be a GOOD tired!

What change are you facing? Don’t turn away and cower. Lock your eyes on it and be excited for it. Find gratitude in the adventure. And know that someone always has your back. We only have one life to live… make sure you enjoy the journey and fill it to the brim with adventure and not regret.

Investing in the Future

Investment… for some, this word still conjures up a queasiness in the center of their being; a reaction to a financial wound that may still be healing.  For others, it’s a new confidence… an openness and availability to opportunity. An acknowledgment of the financial fallout but a refusal to be held prisoner by the fears of yesterday as one observes the undeniable uptick seen in the market.

We’d have to say in the last six months, when it comes to our clients, we have definitely seen more of the latter. From locals who keep a watchful eye on the market to visitors who can’t deny the unique character of the area, we hear it nearly every day… “we’re interested in an investment property.”

Now mind you… we are not financial planners. We don’t guarantee a return but with the help of a simple calculator, the math is pretty easy.  Start with interest rates that are still ridiculously low, add in the HOA and/or regime fees, taxes, insurance and with a little help from a rental management company or a website like VRBO, you can quickly see that a property on Hilton Head can pay for itself while appreciating in value. Of course, there are additional expenses to keep in mind including accommodations tax, housekeeping fees, maintenance, etc. but working through the purchase scenario with your accountant can quickly show that there are stellar opportunities on this island ranked #1 in the Continental United States by Travel & Leisure Magazine. A world-class resort destination, a semi-tropical climate, amazing beaches, arts/culture, golf, tennis, biking, restaurants… it’s all a part of the magnetic charisma we call home.

And you don’t need deep pockets to stake your claim… villa complexes start from 1-bedroom oceanfront complexes in the low $100K’s on up, and there are plenty of single-family, beach-oriented home options as well.  Gated, non-gated, various regime fees, some with POA’s, some without, amenities, lender-friendly complexes… we can help you navigate through the options to hone in on just the right piece of paradise for your portfolio.

Investment. An exciting word… an exciting area… an exciting future.

Our Little Piece of Paradise

A little over a week ago, I was contacted by a high school friend in Pennsylvania who is planning a move to our area sometime next year. Not clear on exactly where they wanted to be, they embarked on a 4-day adventure to see what spoke to their souls. Beaufort, Charleston, Bluffton, Hilton Head… they were all included in the tour. Not a “formal” tour mind you; just a get-in-the-car-and-see-where-it-takes-us kind of exploration process that landed them solidly in… Bluffton.

So before they flew back up North, we were able to show them a few home options in neighborhoods closer to the Old Town Bluffton area, where they, like many, found themselves drawn to the creative energy, scenic beauty (have you ever stood under a majestic live oak bathed in Spanish Moss and sunlight?), restaurants, shops and overall local scene. They quickly realized that everything they love (including golf and boating) was accessible in this little town by the May River. We lunched at The Cottage on Calhoun Street, peeked at the Farmer’s Market and were given countless reminders of why we love this area. They shared conversations they had with “locals”; folks who have also hailed from elsewhere but have wrapped their hearts around their new hometown, eager to communicate their enthusiasm and insider tips with the “newbies”. Feels good to know that our joy is shared and that we can in turn share it with others.

That’s how our little piece of paradise is growing into quite a revered destination… and for those ready to escape whatever holds your soul hostage, c’mon down ya’ll!

It’s All About the Lot!

So about a month ago, a client of ours purchased a home in Hilton Head Plantation that needed a little love.  The home has great space, a really nice layout and flow, master bedroom downstairs and even walk-in storage space upstairs (if I don’t have to pull down a staircase from an attic, I’m plenty happy).

Backup to early spring, I was the Realtor assigned to this home on the Open House Tour and everyone’s reaction was pretty much the same… a wide-eyed, nod of approval as they entered and saw the lagoon view, a scrunched nose and audible “ugh” as they rounded the corner into the kitchen to see the oh-so-dated wallpaper and a little smirk as they navigated the path through the sunken living room (a cocktail party liability).  “But this lot…” they would comment with a pining tone in their voice.  The lot.  Something that can’t be updated, renovated or repainted… it is the blessed piece of land that can make or break a purchase decision.

Much like the platter on which the Thanksgiving turkey is served, the lot can turn a “meh” home into a “wow”.  And it can turn an amazing home into something unforgettable.  This lot at 15 Fox Den is that lot.  Set within Hilton Head Plantation, this hallowed piece of ground is situated at the end of a peaceful street with privacy on three sides and a lagoon view.  It is such a special parcel that back in the day, the original developer of Hilton Head Plantation hand-picked it as his own.

15 Fox Den Map

And as I type, the 4 bedroom, 2,500+ square foot home on this amazing piece of property is being given a huge hug… ceilings have been scraped, new flooring selected, that sunken living room floor is no longer a liability and yes, the wallpaper in the kitchen is already gone.  It will truly be something special and we can’t wait to share it with you.  It awaits its new owner who is looking for peace, privacy and something unique in a beautiful plantation with incredible amenities (including a new $2.2 MM lazy river pool).  Yes, the house will be special too but it’s all about the lot.

 

 

The Importance of Staging Your Home

Hello everyone! Debbie Cort here with Charles Sampson’s real estate group of Charter One realty, writing about the importance of staging.

If you’re interested in selling your home, it’s super important to get your house ready for the folks that will be coming through and trying to envision it as their own. It’s so important to declutter, depersonalize the house in a way where you don’t necessarily need to bring in a lot of things from the outside.  It’s best to relocate some of the things that are already in your home to help showcase the functionality of the space, and help people envision the best use of the space in your home.

We did this recently with a house in Pine Ridge, and the property sold in one day! So it really is a testimony to the fact that the work and heavy lifting up front will get you a quick close and great results very quickly.

So again, staging is something to consider if you’re interested in selling your home. If you’re selling or buying property in Hilton Head or Bluffton, check us out online at CortRealEstate.com. We’re happy to come by and give you an evaluation and guide you through the steps so you can also experience a quick sale of your property.