Saturday, November 15, 2008

Retirement Location, Location, Location

Retirement Living This week's Bottom Line newsletter featured an interview with David Savageau, author of Retirement Places Rated: What You Need to Know to Plan the Retirement You Deserve.

In his book, Savageau reports that many of today's retirees are looking for homes outside of the resort areas, preferring culture amenities, lower prices, and a sense of history and old fashioned values instead of the usual golf and beach atmosphere.

College towns are high on the list of alternatives. while a temperate climate is still a priority, areas located close to art centers, the best medical facilities, and good theatre and entertainment opportunities are winning out over walking on the beach.
Downtown Condos and Reedy River, Greenville SC In addition to college hubs, what he calls "Blue Collar Towns" are becoming attractive to retirees because of lower prices, the small-town atmosphere, and more affordable housing. Cities are creating "urban villages" around downtown areas that offer shops, restaurants, and recreation. One such urban village defines Greenville SC's downtown condos such as the Brownstones which have the unusual and neat feature of having individual parking garages with private elevators for each unit. The elevators run in the condo as well going to each of the three floors in the townhome condo and down to the parking garage.

The Bookends also have designer thirteen foot ceilings and outdoor terraces with a view of downtown. Seniors do not need to walk through empty parking garages and ride in public elevators. With the Reedy River adding to the atmosphere, prospective buyers will fall in love with the old south charm, temperate climate, and low cost of living this upstate South Carolina town. Greenville SC Real Estate is quietly becoming a favored secret landing place for baby boomers.
Another retirement city that boasts a southern charm and great climate is Flower Mound, Texas. With assisted living communities like Autumn Leaves, which caters to victims and families of Alzheimers Disease, retirees are finding a way to weather the problems that age brings, and their loved ones can make the best of this devastating problem.
Autumn Leaves Homes in Flower Mound, TX
Flower Mound also offers golf course condos, always popular with seniors, and retirement communities such as Pinewood Hills. This landscaped and scenic neighborhood offers community amenities like a learning/business center, restaurants, arts and crafts, interest groups, planned activities, a fitness Center, and access to Public Transit. For retirement living, Flower Mound Texas real estate is an attractive alternative to expensive and traditional Las Vegas and Arizona retirement choices.

For those that do want the salt air and seagulls, consider the much less expensive Myrtle Beach, SC. With an extra low cost of living standard for a resort area, low taxes, endless restaurants and theatres, the one hundred plus golf courses make it the perfect place to escape cold northern winters and spend the "golden years" in relative luxury.

Myrtle Beach is going through a complete renovation and will increasingly target retirees with urban villages such as Market Commons, Brightwood, and Lakeside Crossing. Myrtle Beach real estate offers more bang for the buck than Florida and is quickly becoming the beach retirement choice.

The baby boomer generation has come into its own, and the southern states are going to be the happy recipients of those who crave better weather, friendlier neighbors, less crime, and a happier retirement.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Moreno Valley: One man's wild ride on cycles of boom and bust

Bob Chiordi at the home he is about to lose in Moreno Valley — his second home loss there because of the city’s cycles of boom and bust. While admitting he doesn’t like having this happen twice, “You have to keep going forward,” he said.
In the Inland Empire city, Bob Chiordi achieves the American Dream of homeownership -- and loses it -- twice
By Peter H. King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer September 15, 2008

MORENO VALLEY -- It's an axiom of growth, Southern California-style: Suburbs that arise on the far edges of the metropolis in a boom, more often than not, will recede in a bust. After the down times end, as they always seem to do, the bulldozers and house framers return. And the next cycle begins.

The good people of Moreno Valley know this pattern all too well. Since sprouting out of the desert lands beyond Riverside in the mid-1980s, the city has lurched from outsized boom to neighborhood-gutting recession and back to boom, only to find itself battered yet again by the calamity known as the mortgage crisis.

Bob Chiordi has bobbed through every sea change. A 54-year-old father of two, Chiordi moved here in the '80s, part of a modern-day land rush that for a time would make Moreno Valley the nation's fastest-growing city.

It was a classic suburban trade-off: Chiordi was willing to endure a death-march commute into Long Beach, where he worked as a structural mechanic for McDonnell Douglas, in exchange for an opportunity to own his own house. The American Dream, it's often called -- when it all works out.

Chiordi now toils in the auto service department at Wal-Mart for $10.25 an hour, while scouring the Southland for a job more in line with his background. Moreover, for the second time since moving here, he is about to walk away from his home to foreclosure -- unable to keep up with the payments.

"I don't really like the fact that I lost two houses in my life," he said last week, sitting in the conference room of the Palm Canyon Community Church, where he volunteers as a youth counselor. "But you have to keep going forward."

He told his story in a detached monotone, and at times it seemed he could barely believe what was happening to him. Again.  (Read the rest of the story)

See more on California Oceanfront Real Estate...
For information about real estate all around the US, see Myrtle Beach CondosGreenville SC Real Estate and Greenwood SC Real Estate, and Des Moines Real Estate.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Conway Bank Targeted by Internet Scammers

Just a heads up for anyone who might be banking with Conway National Bank. They are in the middle of a phishing scam attack and emails are going out by the hundreds or thousands, disguised to look like it's coming from the bank.

I've seen several different themes of the emails. Some say that your account has been compromised and the bank is blocking it (click here to reconfirm). Some say there's a mistake and your account has been credited for $XX dollars...(click here to receive money). Some just said to visit the website and confirm login. They all look very convincing.

I talked to someone at the bank this morning and they are aware of it and trying to get it stopped. I also found out that they are calling people, out of the yellow pages perhaps? and leaving recorded messages with an 800 number to call. This is to get you to punch your passwords and things into the telephone, I would assume. I had gotten one of those calls Sunday, and assumed it was Conway Bank security calling me because I was sending them the emails.

The emails are coming from numerous addresses, but most of the ones I've seen were coming from places in Korea (the email address header reads like ) It's likely the email addresses are fake anyway. The point to the scam is to get you to click the link in the email and type in your user name and password.

Paypal and Ebay and other large banks have suffered from these "phishing" schemes for years now. Seems odd that they would target a small South Carolina bank like Conway Bank.

At any case, it is so important that we all remember NEVER EVER to click on any link from an email and login to anything. Very few banks or accounts will ever send you an email that asks you to, but even if you think it's legit, it's better to go directly to the website and not take the chance. Sometimes the links will go to websites that have embedded viruses or worms as well.

Always be suspicious when dealing with an email from someone other than friends or family.
And sometimes you can be fooled there as well.

Visit our website to learn about Myrtle Beach real estate, and see to search the MLS for Myrtle Beach condos.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Real Estate Stock Investment Picks from Forbes

From the Forbes Guru Roundtable
Best Investment Ideas for 2008-2009

According to Forbes Guru Peter Slatin, these are 7 real estate stock investments he recommends for the next 12 months. Peter is the editor of the Forbes/Slatin Real Estate Report.

He opens his report to say that even as real estate investment trusts have declined since last fall, some RES's still show strength and offer investors a very good rate of return. The lowered prices offer investment opportunity even while they increase concerns about interest rates, inflation, and other economic problems happening now.

The report is quoted as stating:
"Picking winners and losers in an arena where companies rise and fall with cyclical regularity means knowing who the players are - and, especially in real estate - which ones play by the rules."

His seven real estate stock recommendations are:
  • Brookfield Asset Management (nyse:BAM)
  • Capitaland Ltd. (Singapore:C31.SI)
  • Gafisa SA (nyse:GFA)
  • Homex Development (nyse:HXM)
  • Kimco Realty (nyse:KIM)
And for short term:
  • RAIT Financial Trust (nyse:RAS)
  • Gramercy Capital (nyse: GKK)
A complete report may be found by signing up for the Forbes/Slatin Real Estate Report.

Look for Myrtle Beach real estate and condos for sale at any of our websites.
How about a site to find CHEAP oceanfront property?  For those just interested in Myrtle Beach as a vacation hotspot, a new website for families and kids is on the horizon - Myrtle Beach Amusement Parks

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Myrtle Beach Life - Chickens Can Help Local Shrimpers Survive

Rising costs of gas and diesel are causing South Carolina's shrimpers to park the boats, increasing the dependence on imported shrimp in restaurants and grocery stores.

Wild American Shrimp, a nonprofit group dedicated to the shrimping community, has partnered with several other SC groups to help promote and preserve our shrimpers and the wild shrimp they provide.

Billboards will be appearing throughout Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Hilton Head with the message of "buying local", and the grocery chains of Harris Teeter and Kroger have agreed to sell and distribute information about the economic and health benefits of fresh-caught shrimp over the often frozen imports.Where do most shrimp that we eat come from? Hold your cookies... China, Vietnam, and South America! Don't you know that's some fresh seafood? Yuck!

And now to the title of this article - how are chickens involved?

More and more shrimp boats are shutting down due to high fuel costs and having to compete with the (as usual) unrealistically cheap prices of the overseas competition. But there is an answer or at least help for the problem of fuel...Bio-Diesel.

Biodiesel is made from chicken fat, soybean, corn or vegetable oil. One Bluffton shrimper reports that it lessens the motor power by about 5 to 10 percent, which isn't a big deal, but says you can mix it with regular diesel to lessen any problems. He says the motor runs fine unless it gets too chilly - under 60 degrees and tends to "gel" in the lines.

One provider of the fuel is in Charlestown, and they actually deliver to the boats. It's not the answer to a prayer...only about 50 cents per gallon cheaper than regular diesel. When you use 3000 gallons of fuel every two weeks, as shrimpers often do, it can certainly help.

I don't think we'll be seeing chickens replacing those cows in the commercials that hold up signs saying "Eat Mor Shrimps", now that they've found yet another use for America's favorite meat.
This was off-topic for a Myrtle Beach Real Estate blog, I know, but I thought it was interesting enough to share!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Real Estate in Myrtle Beach Picks Up

I recently received an email with some statistics put out by Certifax Appraisals, one of the most respected real estate appraisal companies in coastal North and South Carolina.

In their appraisal orders, they are reporting improved numbers and market condition in April and May, reflecting more activity, shorter time on the market, and even some price increases.
Here are some of the Myrtl Beach condos and neighborhoods they are reporting on specifically...

The Gardens at Cypress Bay- A 2 bedroom condo at this beautiful golf resort actually had a bidding war that pushed the selling price 3% higher than the price it was listed for. THAT is impressive.

Shipwatch Point II- A penthouse unit there sold 4 days after being listed, and brought 94% of the list price.

Arcadian Dunes- One of these condos sold after 45 days of listing, and brought 96% of the asking price.

Island Vista- Several of these units increased in price from $239K in 2006 to $300K during the beginning of 2008 up to April.

Laguna Keys- One of these luxurious condos sold 46 days after listing, for $499,000, or 91% of the asking price.

Market Commons- Although it's been rumored that sales at Market Commons have been very sluggish and disappointing, Certifax reports that several units have been contracted in May for prices that were 3% higher than in December.

In regular Myrtle Beach real estate, Certifax reports six or more single family homes have sold from 39-94 days after being listed, and have all gotten 93% or better of the listing price, along with some price increases since 2005.

This is promising news for the market along the Grand Strand, and hopefully we'll see more of it!

Visit our websites for information on Myrtle Beach Foreclosures, and deals on cheap oceanfront property!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Donald Trump Blogs Real Estate Now!

I found a marvelous blog tonight that I promptly subscribed to in my email.

What is it? No other than Donald Trump himself!

One of his websites, offers The Trump Blog.

As always, when I run across one of the Donald's websites, it makes me positively TWITCH to get ahold of it and apply some SEO magic. The man is gold, and just hasn't gotten the hang of using the search engines to further line his pockets.

The Trump U is no exception. His title reflects the phrase Trump University - Online Real Estate & Business Course.

When you look in Google for "online business course" he should be right at the top. Who is better than Donald Trump? But no, he's not there, and the site itself is a hefty PR5.

For those who don't know Google-speak, I won't go into details about the PR5 comment. Suffice it to say he ought to own every keyword phrase about investment and real estate that exists.

Ah...the man absolutely fascinates me.

Anyway, he posted on his blog...can you imagine Donald Trump blogging? I love it! He posted on his blog a nice uplifting post about now being the time to buy real estate. This was very similar sentiment to his interview last year with Larry King, in fact.

Donald says that it's no surprise that the majority of Americans say they do NOT plan to buy a home anytime soon, and that more of a quarter million homeowners worry that their home will lose value over the next few years. One in seven, he says, are afraid they won't be able to meet their mortgage in the next six months. Foreclosure is on everyone's mind these days.

However, he advises, if you are one of the lucky ones who are looking to BUY, you could hardly be in a better position. He says to shop around, make an offer, and the chances are that any good deal will be accepted and with decent credit you can get a mortgage.

He ends with saying he thinks the housing market is going to get better, and fairly quickly. When the market is in a slump, he advises, that is when you should buy, and buy NOW.

Cute as can be, he ends with,

"But that's just my opinion. After all, what does Donald Trump know about real estate!"

What, indeed? :-) Find me, Donald. You're the king of real estate and I know real estate search engine optimization better than anything. We're a billion dollar team!

Check out Myrtle Beach real estate. Condos in Myrtle Beach are there for the picking!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Myrtle Beach Among the Fastest Growing Cities

With all the whining I hear about how bad the market for real estate in Myrtle Beach is right now, I was rather surprised to find that according to, we were in a list of the fastest growing populations around.

Palm Coast Florida (wherever that is) was the fasting growing, at 7.2%.

St George, Utah was 2nd, at 5.1%. I don't doubt that. I have a Mormon realtor friend there and that is some kind of a beautiful place to live...even for a non-Mormon...:-)

Raleigh, North Carolina is the biggie for the south. I have been hearing this for months now. There must be something there that wasn't there 15 years ago when I went through it. Like Greensboro and other Triad areas, all I saw was ugly factories and industry...and a lot of Kudzu growing everywhere. I was born and raised in High Point and Greensboro. No thanks to that now!

Gainesville, Georgia is next at 4.5%. Not sure about that area, but I think it's very cheap to live there. Could be wrong. It's relatively close to Atlanta, too.

Austin Texas is next. Si Senor'. Wonder how much of their growth is in or illegal? It's big, though. I've got a couple of realtor friends there and they are slammed to the walls in business right now.

MYRTLE BEACH is number 6 on the fastest growing cities in the US!!! We come in at 4.2%. We're attracting a nice selection of retirees from up north who recognize our value compared to the inflated Florida prices. We've always gotten a large amount of residents from North Carolina and oddly, West Virginia. We have bars here that are gathering places for W. Virginians. Half the people I know and have worked with are from there. I'm not sure why...except that I would not want to live in West Virginia...:-)

Next up is Charlotte, NC. I think they are on a slight decline. This time last year their real estate was as hot as Raleigh, but it's dwindling just a tad now, so my friends there tell me. They are the same as Myrtle Beach at 4.2%.

New Orleans and nearby Metairie are growing due to rebuilding after the wrath of Katrina. At 4% growth, let's hope somebody is doing something to protect from that happening again. Whatever goes up there now is your (and my) tax money at work to replace.

Grand Junction, CO is next. I know nothing about that area. It's at 3.7%. Too high up and cold for me!

Clarksville, Tennessee is last at 3.7%. Take the last train to Clarksville, my Monkee boys used to sing. I got a smile out of this one!

I am looking forward to our Myrtle Beach real estate market returning to normal. This place to too close to paradise to be suffering from slow sales and buyers putting off owning something that they will enjoy forever. Foreclosures in Myrtle Beach are starting to increase, and with short-sales, this is the best time ever to find the oceanfront condo for sale that you can get for a song! Cheap oceanfront property abounds everywhere!

See our other Real Estate Blog !

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cheap Oceanfront Property

I just finished a brand new website to try and promote foreclosures, short-sales, and distressed real estate on all the East Coast, Gulf Coast, and West Coast. Hopefully there will be some owners interested in selling, and buyers interesting in finding...:-)

Visit Cheap Oceanfront Property and learn about cities all over the east coast, as well as a few on the west coast too. Hope to someday have a page for all the beach towns in the US.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Myrtle Beach Real Estate News

Welcome to Myrtle Beach Real Estate News. This blog will be mostly about new developments and MLS listings that I find to talk about. I'll try to keep it light and interesting!