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Investing in Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort: What You Need to Know

“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.

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, and should not be construed as financial advice. All investment involves risk, and for that discussion, we recommend consulting your financial professionals.

So, is real estate in the South Carolina Lowcountry (defined for our purposes as the area between Charleston to our north and Savannah to our south — both booming areas in their own right) 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.

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. Bluffton and Beaufort, too, do not fall short on accolades of their own. All told, that’s a big deal. It also means that demand for property is always high, and as a result, prices are relatively stable (note the term “relatively” — we’ll come back to that in a moment).

Second, 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. It’s not just required, but 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.

As for specifics, well, that’s a bit too much for the blog. Will you always cash flow? Not necessarily. Will your property appreciate? There’s that crystal ball again… but, if you’re in it for the long-haul, we believe that 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. 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’d love to talk to you.