USA Today Highlights Coastal Carolina Real Estate

By Lynn Seldon - USA Today 9/18/2010

Here is a partial part of the article that relates to the Pawleys Island / Litchfield Beach / Myrtle Beach area:

The southern third of the Carolinas coast is the “low country.” It spans from Charleston to the Georgia border. Isle of Palms, Hilton Head, Kiawah and Spring Island are here. It has the ritziest real estate and a country club lifestyle with top-rated golf courses, elaborate tennis facilities and gated communities.

“We chose the coast of the Carolinas for all the typical reasons,” says Lynn Seldon, a resident of Oak Island, N.C. He’s a travel photojournalist who contributes to the likes of Southern Living magazine and has written more than a half-dozen guidebooks to the Southeast. “There’s the beach, the ocean, water sports like kayaking, lots of excellent golf and tennis, fishing, fresh seafood, and a wide variety of real estate options.

“From the Outer Banks down to the Low Country, there are so many options. The northern part of the Carolinas coastline is a longtime favorite for beach house rentals. Many who have rented there for years eventually buy in pursuit of the laid-back Outer Banks lifestyle,” he says.

“We chose the middle because it is a central location, and we love heading to historic Southport or Wilmington for the day. It also has affordable real estate options, lots of activities — including world-class golf — and unique places nearby like Bald Head Island and Myrtle Beach.

“The Low Country lifestyle is alive and well in historic Charleston, as well as traditional island destinations like Kiawah Island, Hilton Head Island and many others.”

Drew Butler, a real estate agent who covers the greater Hilton Head Island area of South Carolina, agrees.

“There is a lot of variety up and down the coast,” he says. “There are a handful of these little islands like Edisto, which is sleepier, between Hilton Head and Kiawah, Fripp Island in Beaufort, Bald Head, Pawleys Island near Myrtle Beach, and so on. There are a lot of options.”

Myrtle Beach is more dense and less expensive than Hilton Head, Butler says.

But, he says, values can be found all through the area, and buyers are taking advantage. He says sales volume in Hilton Head has jumped 33% year-to-date over this time last year, while prices are down 25% over the past 24 months. Hilton Head has weathered the economic storm better than much of the coast, where prices have come down even further, he says.

Like lifestyle and activity options, the price range of coastal Carolinas is vast and varied, from $100,000 condos to multi-million-dollar homes.

•Central: Greater Myrtle Beach, S.C., is the biggest destination near the border of the two Carolinas. It markets itself as the “Golf Capital of the World,” offering more than 100 courses and advertising bargain golf prices. The same applies to real estate. Some of the most affordable homes on the coast are here, though the offshore area, Pawleys Island, is pricier. Myrtle Beach is a vibrant resort with about 1,700 restaurants. About 400 hotels and motels can be found along a 60-mile stretch of coastal beaches here. Besides the golf, beaches and a variety of family actives are a major appeal. North Carolina’s section of the central zone is home to several smaller island options, including quiet and natural Oak Island and exclusive Bald Head Island, which is accessible only by ferry and is home to a high-end golf course community with lavish houses.

You can see the entire article HERE