Drone video helps home sellers on Hilton Head Island


Thinking about selling your home on Hilton Head Island?  I am excited to share our new drone video technology and the difference that it makes in home marketing.  We bought our drone camera two weeks ago and this is our first video for a home seller.  I feel certain that the videos will only get better as we learn more about the camera and flying the drone.  The drone camera allows us to show potential home buyers where the home is located within the community and provides unusual and interesting perspective on the community amenities. 

This video was produced to market 550 Ocean Course Villas in Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island.  550 Ocean Course Villas is a beautifully renovated villa walking distance to the new Plantation Golf Club and the soon to open new Sea Pines Beach Club.  The current owners opened up the kitchen to the living area creating an airy feel.  She is a cook so they put in a gas cooktop, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.  The wood floors add warmth and the medallion in the entry adds interest.  The master bath renovation includes a separate shower and a bubble tub.  The video shows the potential home buyer how close the villa is to the new Sea Pines amenities and shows how impressive the new facilities are.  Click on the photo below to view the video.

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Call or email me to learn more about how our drone camera can help you sell your Hilton Head Island home, for home marketing that is ‘Above the Crowd’.

10 Places to Eat on Hilton Head Island Without Waiting


If you’re visiting Hilton Head Island this week, you’re here at a busy time of year.  This is the week of the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing and Easter week, the island will be hopping!  But you don’t want to wait long for dinner.  Visit my website for my top 10 places to eat on Hilton Head Island without waiting, whether you are looking for a good burger, a pizza or some crab legs, there’s something there for you.  My husband and I are foodies and these are some of our favorite restaurants on Hilton Head.

For more information about visiting the island on Heritage Week you might want to  visit the Island Packet, there are new rules this year about what can be brought on the golf course.  You can also visit the RBC Heritage website.

Hilton Head Island Redevelopment Plans


What’s new  on Hilton Head Island, you ask?

Spring is here and there is a lot going on around the island.  The Town of Hilton Head has recently approved the preliminary plans for redevelopment of the Shelter Cove Park.  The plans include an open air pavilion for entertainment events, restrooms and a boardwalk along the Broad Creek with a dock out into the marsh.

20140314 Shelter Cove Park Pavilion

The Shelter Cove Park will be adjoined by the Chaplin Linear Park connecting Shelter Cove with Collier Beach.  This project will include a series of pathways, boardwalks and trails with educational venues to teach visitors about the important ecological features of the island including the significance of the marshes, the folly and the maritime forest.

The new Shelter Cove Towne Center is well underway.  The Kroger store is open and full of goodies, stop by there when you’re here.  The north end of the new mall is well underway and most of the structure between the two Belk stores has been removed and construction will begin there.  The new shops at the Towne Center include a Serg Group restaurant (Serg Group includes many popular island restaurants including One Hot Mama’s, Frankie Bones and The Skull Creek Boathouse), a yogurt shop and The French Bakery and Courtyard Café, a local favorite relocating from Pineland Station.

The town is also moving forward with plans for a campus of USCB on the island.  There is an agreement in place for the town to purchase 5.54 acres on Office Park Road.  USCB is interested in providing a Hilton Head Island campus for juniors and seniors in their Hospitality Management Program and their OLLI (Oscher Lifelong Learning Center) on island events.  OLLI provides over 400 classes and events throughout the year in Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island.

To learn more about living and retirement on Hilton Head Island or to search for properties visit my website.

A Day Trip from HIlton Head Island, Charleston Cooks


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Hilton Head Island is a pretty wonderful spot, full of great adventures, but everyone needs a day away now and then.  This past Saturday my husband, Tom, and I spent the day in Charleston.  I had given Tom a class at Charleston Cooks for Valentine’s Day (good wife points), since Tom is a cook I booked a participatory class with Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, authors of several cookbooks on Lowcountry favorite dishes.  Participatory classes are a little more expensive but attendees participate in the cooking as compared to demonstration classes, less expensive but less fun for a more experienced chef.  We began at 10:00am and enjoyed a lovely time cooking with Nathalie and Cynthia, Charleston Cook’s chef, Donna, had taken care of making all of the arrangements and everything was set up for all of us to cook.  Those of you that know me know that I was there for the eating but I did manage to cut up vegetables without cutting off my fingers.  We cooked three variations of shrimp and grits, biscuits (a quintessential part of southern cuisine), peaches and cream pie and homemade butterscotch pudding.  Nathalie and Cynthia supervised our cooking of their recipes and showed us easier ways to prepare the ingredients and ways to prep the ingredients more easily.  We had a lovely time and we all shared the meal at the end with a glass of wine, what a great lunch!  Tom purchased Nathalie and Cynthia’s book, ‘Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking’, which he has been studying ever since we got back from Charleston last night.

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Done with the cooking, we decided to take a stroll around Charleston, we lived in Charleston for five years so it was a stroll down memory lane.  We walked down East Bay Street and visited a lovely shop with reclaimed building materials.  Tom is a contractor specializing on renovations on Hilton Head Island so we had to stop in and see what unusual materials they had that can be offered as options to his clients.  Then we walked up Broad Street, across on Meeting Street, then up to N King Street.  I had to make a stop at Anthropologie to take a few photos to send to my daughter (a little encouragement to work is always good). 

 

We walked through Marion Square where the Food and Wine Festival was in full swing, back down to East Bay to Ted’s Butcher (Tom is wishing that he had bought the duck fat, I may have to get some on my next trip).  We dropped in at the Vegetable Bin on East Bay and bought beets, I love roast beets and they are $1.00 a piece at the grocery store, we got three pounds of gold and red beets for $3.00. 

A quick stop at the rooftop bar and restaurant at the Grill 225 at the Market Pavilion but it was a beautiful day and there were no tables (they don’t take reservations so go early), we did take in the beautiful views of the Charleston harbor.  A little further down East Bay Street we stopped at the Southend Brewing Company and Smokehouse, a lovely place for a snack and a libation.  Tom enjoyed the stout.

It was a great way to spend the day in Charleston, we highly recommend the cooking classes at Charleston Cooks and the shop has lots of great gizmos to peruse.  The shop offers 10% off for people that attend a class so take your gadget list with you.  Upcoming classes include ‘Spring is Coming’, featuring light and fresh spring recipes and ‘Couples Night, Spring Entertaining’ for the couple that wants a night out in Charleston.

Real Estate Tax Reassessment 2013 for Beaufort County SC


Beaufort County mailed Countywide Reassessment Notices to county residents in September.  With few exceptions the assessed values of homes in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton were decreased but that doesn’t mean that your taxes will be less, in some cases your taxes may actually be more.  That is because your real estate taxes are comprised of three components, the assessed value, the approved budget and the millage rate.  State law allows the millage rates to be adjusted to offset the decrease in assessed value so that the county can meet the budget obligations.  If your homes assessed value did not go down enough to offset the increase in the millage rate then your taxes may actually go up.  I checked to see what the 2013 taxes will be for our home and ours went up slightly for another reason, state law limits the amount of increase in the assessed value in a reassessment, we hit the cap in the last reassessment so the decrease in this assessment period comes back near the cap amount from the last reassessment.  Visit the Beaufort County Tax Assessor’s website for more information on the reassessment. 

Determining your new real estate tax amount is a little more complicated, if you have your Reassessment Notice in hand you can calculate your new tax here , this link will direct you to a disclaimer notice, click on ‘I agree’ to be directed to the 2013 Tax Calculator.  You will need the taxable value from your Reassessment Notice.

If you need to look up your new taxable value it is a little more complicated, you will need to go to the Beaufort County Property Lookup, enter your name or address and press go, this should take you to a screen where you can select your property.  Select your property and it will take you to a property record page.  There is a menu on the left hand side of that page, select Parcel and scroll down the Parcel page to see a comparison of your 2012 assessed value versus the 2013 assessment amount.  You need your 2013 taxable value, then go to the calculate your new tax link in the above paragraph, agree to the disclaimer and you can use the calculator.

The deadline to appeal for Tax Year 2013 is December 11, 2013.  Visit the tax assessors website Protests and Appeals for instructions on how to appeal your new assessment and the necessary form. 

There is a 40 page booklet, the Citizens Guide to Beaufort County Reassessment Program 2013

Please contact me if you would like more information regarding the value of your property in Beaufort County or if you need information on sales in your community to appeal your new assessment amount.

Beaufort County Homestead Exemption


South Carolina is a haven for many retired people and in 1972 the South Carolina General Assembly created a Homestead Exemption to help older residents pay their property taxes.  The Homestead Exemption reduces the taxable value of your home by $50,000.  To be eligible you must have been a South Carolina resident for at least one year, be legally blind or disabled, or have been at least 50 years of age when your spouse who was eligible for the exemption passed away.  For more information about the exemption, the form for applying and how to apply visit the Beaufort County Auditors website

For more local information for Hilton Head Island and Beaufort County and upcoming events visit my website, be sure to check out the Local Information tab and my blog.

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I love Easter on Hilton Head Island.  Last year my family attended the sunrise service on Coligny Beach which will be held at 7:00 am this year (parking is available at the town parking lot on Pope Avenue).  After the sunrise service we came home and made an  Easter breakfast which we followed by a Easter dinner with friends.  This year we will be visiting my parents in Florida, which will be lovely, but I think that a piece of my heart will be on the island at the sunrise service on the beach, imagining the sun rising out of the ocean while I thank the Lord for the blessing of living on this island! 

Wishing you and your family the happiest of Easters!  Click here for a special Easter gift!