“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now.”
So many look back to the opportunity of 10 or 20 years ago, thinking, “I wish I would’ve bought that oceanfront or riverfront property,” or, “can you believe what that condo would be worth had I bought it in 2014?”
Unfortunately, crystal ball technology isn’t entirely where we’d like it to be, and the last few years have done nothing but prove this out.
But, there’s good news: We strongly believe that where we are today presents another such opportunity. And for those who decide not to make the jump, they very well may feel that way again in another decade or two from this very moment.
Before continuing, we should mention that this is our own professional opinion from decades of observing and operating in this market, and should not be construed as financial advice. All investment involves risk, and for that discussion, we recommend consulting your financial professionals.
First, let’s define the Lowcountry, for our purposes, as being the area between Charleston to our north and Savannah to our south — both booming areas, and another boost to our own market. So, is real estate in the South Carolina Lowcountry a good investment? You may think we’re biased, and we are — after all, we, too, chose to live here. But to the question: We believe that the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Here’s why.
People Are Starting to Notice
First, the area is incredibly beautiful and has a strong appeal to tourists. After all, Travel + Leisure voted Hilton Head Island the #1 Island in the Continental US… four years in a row (another year later, make that five). Bluffton and Beaufort, too, do not fall short on accolades of their own. All told, that’s a big deal for a little place. It also means that demand for property is always high, and as a result, prices are relatively stable and trending upward over time.
We’re Growing, Not Shrinking
South Carolina is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. This means that there is always the potential for new development and growth in the area, which history shows leads to increased property values down the road. In fact, it’s more than potential: We see new structures, both residential and commercial, being started on a near-daily basis. There are a number of factors driving this increase. Unlike many places that see the bulk of their new residents come from some particular classification (job relocation, for example), our little slice of paradise is being built on multiple reasons for moving, both required and desired.
We in the Lowcountry are in a particularly interesting time in our growth curve. See, when we personally moved here, the area had already begun its upward trajectory; but it was nowhere near where it is today. And while these last years of development have caused relative price increases as demand gets ever stronger, we are a long way off from the peak growth of our once-little coastal region.
Add all of this up, and you get one heck of an investment opportunity.
For those who are relatively new in their search, here’s something you should know: This area has been growing for a long time — well before the COVID-19 pandemic and its extreme effect on the real estate market — and is expected to continue this pattern well after the pandemic has subsided.
The southeast as a region is growing by leaps and bounds; not just by metrics like population or residential housing starts, but the economy as a whole. The development and diversification in this desirable region are literally increasing by the day. Here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, we have seen exceptional growth over the last two decades. This has been particularly true over the last 5 to 10 years.
Think “Investment With Benefits”
Just imagine having a beautiful investment property here. Over and over, guests wait the entire year just to come and enjoy what you have to offer. The natural beauty and serenity of Hilton Head, the laid-back vibe of Old Town Bluffton, or the historic riverfront charm of beautiful Beaufort by the sea.
Not only are you provided with valuable income, tax benefits, and business ownership… it’s your property. That means you can block time off for yourself to come and enjoy that same lifestyle whenever you want, for as long as you want. Do you love the beach? Consider a home or villa that will allow both you and your guests to walk from the front door to the sand. Choose what you love, and then find the property that works for your larger goals.
This is the beauty of the “investment with benefits.”
We Have Some Natural Storm Protection
Let us be clear: While it’s relatively uncommon for us to evacuate, it does happen. It is the Lowcountry, after all.
That said: We live in a section of the coast informally known as the “catcher’s mitt” (and scientifically as the South Atlantic Bight) because of the shape of our coastline. If you look at a map, you’ll see that our coastline pulls away from the Gulf Stream current substantially — so much so that we are actually further west than Daniella’s hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. That results in a few natural occurrences here, one of which is that we are afforded a certain level of natural storm protection as they are typically caught by that current and carried northward, or cross Florida and make their way to the Gulf.
There have been exceptions, but it’s actually pretty rare for us to get a major storm. We do get the occasional tropical storm and of course spring and summer heavy-but-brief rainfalls, but generally speaking, our weather is quite mild. So, in seeking coastal property in one of the most popular states in the country to move to, this is yet another reason we think it’s a good bet.
As for specifics, well, that’s a bit too much for the blog, and is largely based on your individual goals. What applies across the board is this: If you’re in it for the long haul, and have the right mix of goals and expectations, we believe it’s one of the best things you can do for your portfolio.
Remember that real estate as an asset class has made more money for investors in this country than any other single type of investment. The southeast more than almost anywhere is among the very best places to do that in today’s world. Just look at the movement data.
Even with the slowdown in some areas following the pandemic-induced Great Migration, South Carolina is still holding fast as a desirable place to be. Add to that the fact that we have fabulous weather, wonderful outdoor lifestyles, beautifully preserved and well-established history, stunning architecture, some of the most beautiful natural surroundings around the world, and that little thing called the Atlantic ocean, and you have yourself set up in a very positive way.
If you’d like to discuss more about why we believe Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort, and the surrounding areas make an excellent investment now and into the future, give us a call. We can help you determine whether an investment in the Lowcountry is the right move for you.