Frequent Buyer Questions

Not Your Typical Hilton Head Island FAQ Article

If you have been surfing for home buying tips or fact-finding to buy your next Hilton Head Island luxury home, oceanfront villa or Lowcountry Condo, you have probably stumbled upon your fair share of boring “Frequently Asked Questions” articles. Effectively written Q & A articles allow you, the site visitor, to peek through a window to learn more about this wonderful community called Hilton Head Island, SC. Plus, you can read questions posed by other home buyers seeking information about Hilton Head homes for sale, things to do, and other local insight.

Q – James, “ Our family lives in Ohio and we have visited Hilton Head many times and we love it! My question is this, real estate prices seem to be falling everywhere in light of the sub prime mortgage mess and tighter lending rules. For those who are looking at buying a vacation home, is now the BEST time to buy?

A – Every Realtor you meet will tell you – Of course it’s a great time to buy. And I agree! But allow me to explain why it’s a terrific time to buy a vacation home in Hilton Head.

  1. If you must finance a home, there are many sound mortgage products to enable you to purchase your Hilton Head home. Are the lending rules tighter? Sure they are, but if your credit scores are solid and you have your finances in order, you will have no problem.
  2. The selection of homes for sale here are plentiful giving you many home buying options from beautiful oceanfront homes, and fabulous villas, to more affordable Lowcountry condos.
  3. Hilton Head home sellers and new construction builders alike understand the market is soft so they are using a common sense approach to pricing their properties. But don’t expect to make ridiculous lowball offers. This is a desirable location and our home values are still very sound.

Q We have never owned a second home at the beach. Frankly, we are a bit concerned about hurricanes along the East Coast. What can you say that will alleviate our fears and assure us that our investment will be safe?

A – This is probably the #1 most frequently asked question we hear on Hilton Head Island. Every location has its share of risk and so does ours. Any time you build structures in areas that are prone to weather events it’s the chance you take. Homeowners who live in tornado alley in Kansas face the same risk and maybe a higher one than we do. I’ve not witnessed a mass exodus from the Midwest nor are we likely to see it occur there or here. Now that statement alone will not remove your fear, but why not focus on the facts. The last major hurricane to hit Hilton Head Island took place in 1893. There have been a few recent events with hurricane David, a Category 2, in 1979, and Bob, a Category 1 in 1985. For more information on current homeowners and flood insurance rates, contact me for the most up to date information.

Q – James, “ Do you pay a premium in terms of real estate values to have access to the everyday beauty and world-class amenities you experience and treasure on Hilton Head Island?

A - Sure you do and we accept that as part of the package of living on one of the most desirable islands on the East Coast ( 2007 Voted #6 for Best Beaches by Doctor Beach). Bear in mind, when comparing home vales with others areas like Boca Raton, the Hamptons, or maybe Palm Beach, you’re likely to pay almost twice as much for a similar size home in one of those locations compared with property here on Hilton Head.
So you have bought your property on Hilton Head Island - NOW WHAT? 
As a courtesy, we have developed the following checklist to help make "moving in" a little less hectic and a little more organized. 
  • If you are moving into a plantation, you might want to contact the POA to obtain their rules pertaining to moving trucks in the plantation. 
  • To transfer electrical service into your name, call Palmetto Electric at 843-681-5551.
  • To arrange for phone service, contact Hargray Telephone Company at 843-686-5000.
  • There is a map of Hilton Head Island with a street index in center of the Hargray Communications Directory. 
  • To arrange for Cable TV Service, call Time Warner at 866-892-7201, Hargray Telephone Company at 800-726-1266 or 843-686-5000 or DIRECTV at 1-888-777-2454.
  • There are three Post Office locations on Hilton Head Island: 10 Bow Circle (South End), 213 William Hilton Parkway (North End) and 71 Lighthouse Road, #1 (Sea Pines Plantation).
  • The Hilton Head Library is located at 11 Beach City Road - 843-342-9200.
  • You may obtain a seasonal beach pass (beach parking pass) if you own property in the Town of Hilton Head Island.  This 2-year pass is $30 and entitles you to park your vehicle in several parking areas with beach access to the ocean.  A beach pass may be obtained at the Town's new Facilities Management Department or at the Town of Hilton Head Business License Office outside the Wexford Plantation gate. 
  • Are you becoming a South Carolina Resident?  If so, you will need to change your Driver's License and Vehicle Registration.  To get your Driver's License you ened to provide proper identification (including a document showing your Social Security Number).  A pay stub usually is sufficient.  For your vehicle registration, you will need to pay personal property tax on the vehicle before it can be registered.  Personal property taxes are based on the cost and mileage of the vehicle being registered.  Personal taxes are paid at the Government Center - 843-842-4206 - located at 539 William Hilton Parkway.  A South Carolina Driver's License is important when you need to show you are a local resident. 
  • The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is located on the mainland at 15 Sheridan Park on the south side of Route 278. 
  • Register to Vote - You can also register to vote when you get your South Carolina Driver's License.  Or, you can stop by the Government Center located at 539 William Hilton Parkway to register to vote. 
  • The local Transfer Station (trash disposal) is open from 7am - 7pm and is located off Dillon Road.  You can dispose of green, brown, or clear glass, aluminum cans, plastic, used motor oil, filters, oil bottles, newspapers, magazines, clothing, cardboard, yard waste, bagged household trash, furniture, and tires.  The facility will not accept car batteries or commercial waste.  there is no fee for this service. 

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