Oct. 18, 2018

Using A Reverse Mortgage To Down-Size, Right-Size, or Accommodate Your Empty Nest

Right-Sizing Your Home Through Your Mortgage

It's no surprise that here at the beach we get a lot of home buyers looking to downsize.  The kids have moved out and frankly, they're tired of shoveling snow and freezing all winter long! Many families have vacationed along the Grand Strand for years and it becomes a natural choice for many to retire. Housing is affordable, the beaches are beautiful,  the weather is great, and we have some incredible options for active senior living! (Check out this incredible selection of Homes for Sale in 55 Plus Communities!) Add to that, you've got more space than you need and more rooms than you care to heat and clean. If you've thought at all about downsizing, then you're in good company. 

The problem is that the path to a more manageable home for these transitional years isn't always clear. Traditionally, downsizing meant selling your home and then purchasing a smaller one, with some or all of the proceeds from the sale of your larger home.

Depending on your equity, the market, and the condition of your home, you could stand to profit from downsizing in the traditional manner. But there are other options, specifically using a reverse mortgage to purchase a new, smaller, more manageable home. Read on to find out if this is the solution for you, once you're ready to have less space to manage.

A Reverse Mortage

Although you may not know the specifics, you've probably at least heard of a reverse mortgage, or HECM ( Home Equity Conversion Mortgage.) For the most part, people use this option as they get older to pull equity out of their homes, without having to sell the property. Anyone with a fixed income or limited retirement savings can tell you that being able to access a portion of the equity in your home without having to sell it and move is a great way to supplement your retirement.

But what many people don't know is that you can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a new home. A HECM for Purchase basically works like a conventional HECM, but it allows you to purchase a home without having to make mortgage payments, leveraging the equity in the home against the day when the loan comes due. This is typically when you sell the home, leave the home for other living/care options, or pass away.

Using a Reverse Mortgage to Purchase a Home

In order to qualify for a HECM, you have to be at least sixty-two, just like with a regular reverse mortgage. You also have to make a down payment of about one-half of the purchase price, which seems huge, but it is typically done with the proceeds from the sale of your prior home. You get a lump sum at a fixed-rate and can put some of the proceeds aside as a line of credit (if you choose an adjustable-rate loan), paying interest only on what you use.

The money you pay up front serves as your equity in your home and will be consumed by the loan in lieu of mortgage payments the longer you live in the property. The interesting thing is that the older you are, the more you can get and the less you have to put down upfront as a down payment to qualify for the loan. It's an interesting way to put the equity you have (or your savings) into a home for your golden years.

Is Using a Reverse Mortgage to Down-Size (or Right-Size?) Your Home a Good Match for You?

Using a reverse mortgage to purchase a home for your retirement years isn't for everyone. They aren't as straightforward as a Conventional Loan, and they aren't as easy as just paying cash from the proceeds of the sale of your former home. But the new home purchased with the HECM doesn't accrue any equity. At the end of the day, that's the trade-off for having a no-payment loan.

We highly recommend speaking with a Mortgage Lender/Specialist in order to help you identify the best way to finance your Retirement Home.

Oct. 10, 2018

Myrtle Beach Events This Weekend!

Seems like there's always something fun going on here at the beach and this weekend is no exception:

Friday and Saturday are Oktoberfest at Market Common with beer, food, a pumpkin patch, beer, kids activities, music, beer, vendors, and beer!


October 12-13, 2018
4:00 PM – 9:00 PM Friday
11:00 AM – 7:00 PM Saturday

Valor Park
Market Common


4:30 – 7:30 – Channellheimer Oompah German Band

7:30 – 9:00 – Jamin Ortiz Duo


11:00 – 12:00  – Channellheimer Oompah German Band

12:00 – 1:00 – Grocery Store Gentlemen

1:15 – 2:15 – Channellheimer Oompah German Band

2:15 – 3:30 -Grocery Store Gentlemen

4:00 – 6:30 – Nickel Bag of Funk


And on Saturday evening, The Long Bay Symphony, the Grand Strand's only professional orchestra, will be performing at Marina Park at Grande Dunes to benefit HELP 4 KIDS / BACKPACK BUDDIES and the first 100 attendees will get a free Grande Dunes Signature Blanket.


"The Long Bay Symphony...will present a fun-filled concert in beautiful Marina Park along the Intracoastal Waterway. You’ll also enjoy fun & games, wine & beer, as well as gourmet fare."



Saturday, October 13, 2018
5PM – 7PM






The rain has moved out and the weather looks great! Let us know what else is going on at the beach this weekend!





Oct. 4, 2018

Are We Seeing the Return of a Buyer's Market?

After years of a gradually increasing housing shortage, more homes are finally hitting the market...meaning buyers may soon start to see a little shift from a seller's market to a buyer's market.

According to recent reports, the number of new listings in September were 8% higher than last September, making this the biggest increase since 2013.  Buyers are hoping this translates into better options for them.

Sellers who have been watching the market have likely decided we've reached peak selling conditions and are now rushing to put their homes on the market in order to get the top price. This increase in inventory is expected to slow down some of the wild pricing increases. Up until recently, many buyers found themselves in bidding wars, having to make substantial over listing offers in order to secure a home. While these latest figures don't add up to a complete turn-around in the market, buyers should start to see some beneficial changes.  And while things are starting to look better for buyers, it's still a very lucrative market for sellers. In September, the median home price was up 7% compared to last year. Not quite as high as the 10% increase from September 2016 to September 2017, but still notable. And although inventory is rising, there are still more buyers than available homes in many markets.  

Market conditions point to a change in conditions that may indicate a Buyer's Market will return soon, but it is still pretty much a Seller's Market for now.

If you're in the market to buy a Myrtle Beach home for sale, use our Advanced Search feature to find exactly what you're looking for!


Sept. 25, 2018

Building vs. Buying: Loan Tips

Financing can be one of the most stressful parts of the home-buying process...and if you are planning to build a home instead of buying an already built one, the loan process can be a bit more challenging.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

First, you'll need a Construction Loan. Conventional mortgage loans are issued using the pre-existing home as collateral, but when you're building from the ground up, there is no tangible asset to serve as collateral. Unless you are using cash, you will need to secure a Construction Loan first...usually interest-only loans. Typically, the lender does not disburse the entire amount of a construction loan on the date the project starts.  Instead, portions of the loan proceeds, known as "draws" usually occur upon completion of a pre-designated stage or pre-defined periods.

After completion, you will then need a mortgage loan. If you take out your construction loan and mortgage loan separately, you will have to go through the loan underwriting process and pay closing costs on both separate loans. You may have the option of rolling both the construction loan and mortgage into one loan, but you may end up with a loan with a higher interest rate doing it that way.

Next, you'll need an excellent credit rating. Because construction loans are riskier for the lender, you'll need a stellar credit profile. You may run into trouble on your loan application if your report shows anything negative like late payments or charge-offs.

Before you apply for your construction loan, check your credit reports for any errors, mistakes, or inaccuracies and get to work disputing them. These issues should be resolved prior to your application. Also, you might consider some credit maintenance and building tips like paying down your credit cards, paying down any other debt, and setting your payments up on auto-pay so that there is no risk of late payments.

Third, while your credit rating is very important, it isn't the only deciding factor. Be very particular about the builder you choose. It is not uncommon for your lender to run a credit and background check on your builder too. They want to be sure your builder has a solid track record.  They will also assess the value of your land and the size of your down payment among other things.

Another important factor is to have a realistic budget. Thoroughly review your builder's estimates and get quotes from multiple sources. Things will go south quickly if your loan amount is not realistic...you need to be sure the numbers add up. 

And last, build up your savings. Even if you've nailed down the budget to the very best of your ability, it's impossible to plan for every contingency. Having a healthy savings set aside will prepare you for any unexpected expenses and help to convince your lender that you are a responsible applicant. It is also a possibility that your lender will require you to put down more than the standard 20 percent. Planning ahead with good savings will help you avoid undue stress.

From Oceanview lots to Golf Course lots, there are tons of great opportunities to build your Myrtle Beach home

Sept. 18, 2018

Houseplants That Actually Remove Toxins From Your Home

We all know that plants release oxygen which makes them beneficial to our homes, but the health benefits of some plants go much further. Several studies show they are also able to clean mold and toxins from the air. In fact, certain plants can rid a room of up to 89 percent of harmful VOCs like formaldehyde and xylene.

The following plants are some of the best at removing toxins.

1. Bamboo Palm

The bamboo palm or reed palm is one of easiest plants to decorate with as it has such a simple non-invasive aesthetic it seems to just blend-right-in regardless of where you place it. This plant does prefer partial sun though and has a knack for removing airborne pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde.

2. Dragon Tree

The Madagascar Dragon tree is one of the easiest indoor plants to maintain. The tree grows slow, can handle being ignored for months at a time, and improves air quality. The leaves can vary in color and trunks can vary in shape. The Dragon Tree is one of the plants on NASA’s air filtering plants list.

3. Spider Plant

This is probably the easiest-to-care-for plant on this list but does prefer to be placed in bright, indirect light. The Spider Plant is a hard-working air purifier, removing formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

 - Spider plants placed in closed chambers with 120 parts per million (ppm) of carbon monoxide remove 96 percent of the contaminant in 24 hours. Similarly, spider plants placed in closed chambers with 50 ppm of nitrogen oxide remove 99 percent of it from the air in 24 hours.

4. English Ivy

This evergreen vine has been planted in South Carolina for ages. Be careful planting it outside because it can be invasiveness and damage your homes gutters and exterior walls. However, inside, where it grows much slower due to the lack of light and controlled watering, it makes a great interior piece. It can be draped up an armoire or easily contained in a little pot. Many stores in the Myrtle Beach area will sell dwarf varieties of English Ivy that are especially good as interior plants as they are bred for their slow growth.

5. Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen or Aglaonema can grow just about anywhere you place it. It can handle low light but also grows well in sun. One of the few plants that don’t require natural light to thrive. This leafy plant can come in both green and colorful varieties and helps with your home’s air quality but, it is important to note - this plant is not appropriate for homes with pets as it is toxic.

  • Also noteworthy: 
  • Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Janet Craig (Dracaena fragrans "Janet Craig")
  • Marginata (Dracaena marginata)
  • Mass cane/corn plant (Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana")
  • Mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii)
  • Pot mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum "Mauna Loa")

+ Aloe

And since we here at Jeff Casterline Properties live at the beach in the GRAND STRAND AREA, we know all about the benefits of Aloe. From antioxidant and antibacterial benefits to treating sunburn, it's definitely a wonderful plant. This plant is sun-loving and also helps remove formaldehyde and benzene from the air. If you don’t already have on of these sitting on the windowsill of your home, you should definitely consider it!


Sept. 4, 2018

"Downsizing? That's so 2016."

101 Henry Middleton Boulevard - Cypress River PlantationIf you're considering a larger home instead of smaller, you're not alone.

Housing trends, along with new census data indicate a move toward bigger homes with more space than buyer's necessarily need. Zillow research also shows there's a noticeable uptick in upsizing with more buyer's choosing bigger homes with bigger price tags. Surprisingly, their research shows Millennials are especially part of this trend.

New figures show that the median square footage of new homes is up 20 percent since 2000, from about 2,000 square feet to about 2,500 square feet.

"The data corresponds with what sociologists are seeing firsthand, says Brian Miller, an associate professor of sociology at Wheaton College, just outside Chicago. Miller, who studies cities, suburban migration and culture, argues that several factors could be impacting the shift in housing trends, including the strength of the national economy."

Remodeling and adding to your home is one option for creating more space, but it can be costly, and the size of your property may be prohibitive. That's when moving to a bigger home becomes your best solution.

There is still a huge demand for small homes and micro-apartments in cities that struggle with housing issues such as New York, San Francisco, Seattle...etc...but across the rest of America, the pattern is larger homes.

Besides the strong economy and record-high consumer confidence we're currently experiencing, another explanation may be popular culture. The typical home on TV shows lots of room and large entertaining areas such as dining rooms that can accommodate 10 - 12 people at a table.

If you're considering a larger home, one of the things you'll want to assess is where you need more room.

The first thought when upsizing your home is to simply consider square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms. But it's important to take a more critical approach to how your space will actually be used. If you have younger children (or possibly more on the way), then focusing on bedrooms and bathrooms makes sense. But if your children are closer to heading off to college or starting their own families, it may be better to prioritize group spaces like the kitchen, dining room, living room, and outdoor space—it'll pay off during the holidays or summer vacations when everyone is coming to visit for big gatherings. 

Remodeling a home is one way to expand your home, but in many instances, the cost is just not feasible and it makes more sense to sell and upsize to a new home. Plus, living through a remodel can sometimes be exasperating!

If you're in the market for a home with room for everyone and plenty of entertaining space, check out our listing at 101 Henry Middleton Boulevard in Cypress River Plantation.

Or click here for more Cypress River Plantation Homes!









Aug. 30, 2018

Ocean Isle - Voted the South's Best Tiny Town

Ocean Isle was voted the South's Best Tiny Town by Southern Living readers. We're excited about the opening of our Ocean Isle office and looking forward to serving the Brunswick County community!


Aug. 28, 2018

The Myrtle Beach Cabana District

Myrtle Beach Cabana District

If you've ever been cruising up North Ocean Boulevard about 3 miles north of downtown Myrtle Beach, you've no doubt noticed where North Ocean hits the 5400 block, the road makes a sharp turn towards the water...and you've found yourself in one of Myrtle Beach's most interesting areas...The Cabana District. 

All along Ocean Boulevard, gorgeous oceanfront homes and condos line up along the beach, but here, the homes and hotels/condos are across the street and the beach is scattered with small beach cabanas.

It's a little bit of a challenge to find get the exact story on the origins of these cabanas. Some people say they were originally associated with houses across the road...some that have since been destroyed and replaced with condos, while others say the structures were originally part of the Ocean Forest Resort that stood from 1930 to 1974.

But regardless of their origin, the quaintness and unique architecture of these glorified beach shacks make them a popular sight and allow for a gorgeous view of the ocean. Some of the cabanas are owned by neighborhood/condo associations and others are owned privately. They don't often come on the market and it wasn't too many years ago that you could buy one of these cabanas for under $100,000. The prices have gone up substantially in the last years and they're still pretty rarely found, but there are currently two listed for sale.

You can check out the details HERE.

If you haven't ever seen them, it's worth a drive by. The beach itself is a nice and relatively flat stretch, with easy access to nearby amenities including a shaded gazebo, shower towers, water fountain and playground as well as a number of fitness stations spanning about four blocks of Ocean Boulevard between at Gardens by the Sea Park and Roberta S. McMillan Park (58th Avenue North).

Myrtle Beach Real Estate Myrtle Beach homes for sale

Myrtle Beach Cabanas Oceanfront Cabana Myrtle Beach

Photos: Flickr.com

Nov. 30, 2016

You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression

Preparing Your Home To SellCurb appeal is one of the most critical issues that you as a home owner will face when trying to sell your home. Of course you must focus on the interior of your home to make it look appealing but be sure to take the time to improve the exterior of your home so that potential buyers will be impressed enough to want to see what the interior looks like. Curb appeal can enable you to sell your home quicker and to improve the value of your home as well. How can you be assured of the ideal curb appeal for your home? Follow the three strategies discussed below so that your home will be an inviting opportunity for home buyers to act upon.

Repair and Clean Up

Curb Appeal Myrtle BeachOne of the first things that you should do is walk around the outside of your home to remove any toys, debris, or trash that may have gathered on your property. Store the toys and remove any projects that you may have begun and left outside your home. Next look at the doors, windows, sidewalks, and decks to see if any cleaning is needed or any repairs need to be made. Freshen up any paint, update weather sealant, and make any small repairs that will improve the appearance of garage doors, fences, siding, or shutters. A home that requires little or no outside maintenance will be the perfect purchase for a discriminating home buyer.

Address Landscaping

Why is curb appeal so important?Another big job to inspect is the landscaping around your home. Trim trees, prune shrubs, and remove any dead foliage that may be present at the end of the growing season. Pull weeds, fill up any empty spaces with fresh foliage, and replace old mulch with a thin layer to make the areas outside your home more attractive. Fertilize your lawn and keep the grass mowed and trimmed so that the potential buyer can appreciate the beauty of your yard.

Think like the Buyer

If after all of this work you can look at your home as if you were the buyer you’ll have a better idea of additional improvements that you can make. Look at the roof, keep all shutters and curtains open, and replace the house number if you can’t see it clearly. Go across the street and take another look at your outdoor lighting, your mailbox, and the appearance of your driveway. Keep all areas swept, clean, and clear of any debris.

Doing just a few simple things can help to make your home more appealing to buyers who are searching for the home of their dreams.  You may also want to check out Preparing Your Home For Sale.

Nov. 13, 2016

Tee It Up for Outdoor Fun at One of Myrtle Beach’s Popular Golfing Communities

If you’re a golfing enthusiast, you enjoy challenging your skills and talents at different courses throughout the Myrtle Beach area. The ocean breezes, the warm sunshine, and the well-maintained greens and fairways combine to make our area one of the top golf destinations in the country. With friendly employees, outstanding Pro-Shops, and inviting restaurants and pubs located at each course, you can easily meet friends and co-workers for a round or two each week. Let’s review some of the top courses in the Popular Golf Communities of Myrtle Beach.

If you want to embrace golf in spectacular style, test your skill at one of the two championship courses at Grande Dunes. The Resort Club or the private Members Club receive national award every year for being outstanding examples of what a golf course should be. The Resort Club has stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway, the Marina Inn, and the Grande Dunes Marina. Here you’ll find Bermuda grass along with L-93 bent grass which makes your play more competitive. Visit the Mediterranean-styled clubhouse which has dining, a driving range, and chipping greens. The Members Club is a par-71 course with wide fairways and immaculately kept greens. The Old World Clubhouse is where you can have a cool beverage and discuss your round.
Grande Dunes Luxury Homes Myrtle Beach

Since 1927, Pine Lakes Golf Course, also known as the Granddaddy, is an 18-hole course designed by Robert White. It has a Scottish-themed Clubhouse, rolling fairways, and greens that are always challenging and demanding. The Dunes Club ranks as the best golf course in Myrtle Beach and is rated among the best courses world-wide. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, this golf course features Low Country terrain complete with ocean front, salt marsh, tidal creek, and maritime forest views. It has a practice area and plenty of Southern hospitality to get you off on the right foot.
Dunes Club Luxury Homes Myrtle Beach

Inside Barefoot Resort, you’ll find four outstanding golf courses that are sure to provide you with hours of fun and exercise. You can choose the Love Course, the Dye Course, The Fazio Course, or the Norman Course for a round of golfing excitement. Each of these courses is visually striking, unique, and fun to challenge. All of the Barefoot golf courses have been ranked by major golfing publications in the country and are host to many tournaments and league play.
Dye Estates Homes at Barefoot Resort

If you’ve ever wanted to experience what it’s like to play on the PGA Tour, The Tournament Players Club at Prince Creek will give you that feeling and then some. This course has impeccable greens and fairways, aromatic pine forests surrounding the course, and scenic areas that add an element of beauty to your game. Visiting the Clubhouse after your round will complete your Pro experience. At the Legends Resort, you’ll find three golf courses, Parkland, Moorland, and Heathland that all provide you with an excellent round of golf. The Myrtle Beach Legends Clubhouse will give you a Scottish feel to your day and food and beverages that give you energy for another 9 holes with your friends. Finally, the course at Prestwick has creeks and lakes as water hazards as you try to reach the deep bulkhead greens. With this course you’ll need steady eyes, hands, and a little patience as you hone your strokes and putts throughout the day.
Myrtle Beach Golf Communities

Golfing in Myrtle Beach is an interesting adventure as you journey from one highly-designed course to another with your scorecard.