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What You Need to Know about Buying Property in Hilton Head Island

November 6, 2017

Buying Property in Hilton Head? Here’s What You Should Know!

So, you’ve decided to finally buy a beach house, just like you’ve always dreamed. You’ve debated back and forth about whether or not it’s cost-effective. You’ve begun to imagine yourself with a year-round flip-flop tan.

You’ve researched beach communities and coastal towns. You’ve picked Hilton Head Island as your ideal getaway or your new permanent home. But before you start scheduling house showings, there are a few things you should know about Hilton Head real estate.

Island Background

Before you move to any new place, you should know a bit about the area’s history and geography. This can help you feel less like a tourist and more like an incoming member of a community. Knowing the history of a place can help you identify with the area and with the permanent residents. It can also help you determine which specific area or neighborhood would be ideal for you.

Hilton Head Island is in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, off the coast but accessible by a bridge. Broad Creek cuts the island nearly in half. Broad Creek is surrounded by marshland, and the island also contains a significant wooded area. The island is about 12 miles long and five miles wide.

Hilton Head real estate is known for its gated communities and tourist feel. The island boasts a large number of spas and golf courses, in addition to its beaches. Tourists and residents can also bicycle, kayak, and sail on Hilton Head. There are so many things to do in this area!

tourism hilton head

Although the island has fewer than 40,000 residents, more than 2.5 million tourists pass through each year. For many, Hilton Head Island is the perfect tropical escape.

The Real Estate Market

Before you jump into looking for homes, you should familiarize yourself with the current state of the Hilton Head real estate market. A few quick facts to orient you in the market:

The average value of a home on Hilton Head is approximately $380,000. This includes all homes on the island, both oceanfront, and inland. In comparison, the average value of a home in the entire United States is just under $200,000. From 2016 to 2017, homes have increased in value by over 2 percent, which should help put your mind at ease about buying property on the island.

The market is on the rise. After the most recent recession, a lot of people are wary of investing in real estate. Hilton Head real estate, however, is currently increasing in value.

Oceanfront property is much more expensive than inland property. But, as with any coastal town, if you want to be right on the water, you’re going to have to pay for it.

Large, waterfront homes on Hilton Head can easily be valued at millions of dollars. That being said, there are still waterfront homes on the island that are affordable but you may need to compromise on size or location.

If being right on the water is crucial for you, then consider downsizing from your current home. Or, if you’d rather have a spacious living area, think about looking a little farther from the water. Either way, keep in mind that some beaches on Hilton Head are public while others are private.

Gated Communities

Much of Hilton Head real estate is located behind locked doors in gated communities. In fact, it’s estimated that 70 percent of Hilton Head is in gated communities. If you’re looking to buy property on Hilton Head Island, then, you’ll need to decide whether or not to buy in a gated community. The benefits of a gated community are plentiful, but there are drawbacks as well.

Gated communities are typically safer than open neighborhoods. Often, only residents and residents’ visitors are allowed through the gates, which means you can rest easy if you’re concerned about crime.

gated community

This is especially beneficial if you aren’t going to be living at your Hilton Head home year round. With a gated community, you have much less to worry about while you’re away. In addition, gated communities are typically quieter than open neighborhoods. If you have pets or small children, you can feel comfortable knowing that there won’t be much traffic or road danger.

Many people also appreciate the exclusive feel of a gated community. Gated communities give residents a feeling of wealth and security. Others, however, may find that the feel of a gated community is too uptight for their style. Most people know intuitively whether or not a gated community fits with their vision of themselves.

Besides the feel of a gated community, the main drawback of such a neighborhood is its cost. These communities are typically more expensive to live in. In addition to increased property cost, you may also be required to pay monthly dues. These dues could cover everything from landscaping to the salary of the guards working at the gate.

Gated communities, like Sea Pines Plantation, can provide a next-level sense of luxury for some homeowners. If you’re willing to foot the extra cost of a gated neighborhood, then it’s a good idea to look into some specific communities. Remember to check about each community’s monthly dues and visitor policies.

Check out the Island in Person

Of course, there’s only so much you can learn about a place online. Once you’ve armed yourself with the basics about Hilton Head real estate, it’s time to tour the island in person. Familiarize yourself with the different neighborhoods on the island, and start to get a feel for where you’d like to live. Talking to locals can help tremendously with this. Then, get looking at some homes.

Remember that finding the perfect home can take a while. You may need to make multiple visits to the island, or tour a large number of homes. But, if you’re determined and patient, you’re sure to find an ideal home on Hilton Head Island!

If you need assistance in finding the perfect home, contact Ocean Front HHI today. We can help you find beach and beach-oriented properties that you are your family will enjoy. Let us know what type of property you are looking for when you call us today!

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