On Beach Real Estate and Hurricanes

Services for Real Estate Pros

North Myrtle Beach Real Estate may be the safest.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and offer a theory that I have no proof to support - other than living in the Myrtle Beach area for the last 20 years.  I really do think that the north end of Myrtle Beach and all of North Myrtle Beach seem to be the least likely of any resort beach on the eastern seaboard to get hit by a hurricane.

Take a look at the map below...

Map of the southeastern beaches

The last really bad hurricane we had was Hugo in 1989.  We didn't have any at all in our area last year, and I'm wanting to say none the year before.  We have had about 5 small (category 3 or below) hurricanes blow through since I have lived here.  I left town twice, and stayed here 3 times.  I doubt if I will ever leave again unless there's a category 5 and they swear it's going to explode in our face.  They always seem to exagerate the danger to our area.

As you see in the map, North Myrtle Beach is in the deepest part of a dip in the land, with Charleston sticking out to the south, and Brunswick County REALLY jutting out to our north.  Almost every time, the hurricanes seem to either land or bounce off of Charleston, and then smack into Oak Island, Southport, and Carolina Beach.  If they don't get the worst of it, the Outer Banks in the far north of North Carolina do.  Often they both get hit, and North Myrtle Beach comes through unscathed, as we did last weekend with Irene.

I would love to live in Florida, but they are just too vulnerable for my comfort.  I can't imagine not living on a beach, so Orlando and the interior Florida tourist attractions don't appeal to me.  Hilton Head is a little too expensive for the average person to afford, and Kiawah is a little too under-developed.  I like a big choice of restaurants, a night life, and lots of shows and attractions. Virginia Beach is too cold in the winter.

Anyway, my point is, if you have been thinking of buying oceanfront property, and you're worried about hurricanes, you want to consider North Myrtle Beach real estate first. I could be proven wrong in a week's time, but 20 years is a pretty good testimonial for our area, especially when you consider how much damage has occurred from hurricanes over the last 5 or 6 years.  I will say that the Cherry Grove section is prone to flooding, and the south end of Myrtle Beach, Garden City, etc., has seen some rough times moreso than us. But a condo or home in North Myrtle Beach has pretty good odds of lasting you for a long time.  To be even more safe, buy a block or two back from the beach. If you want to live here, that is probably a good idea.

Other things to consider...our cost of living is low. We've got a million restaurants, and all kinds of live theatre and entertainment. Our summer tourist business seems to increase every year, so buying for rental income is a fairly safe investment - as long as you're careful what and where you buy.  That's why it's so important to have a Myrtle Beach Realtor to guide you. I can about promise you won't regret moving here.  I can't imagine being anywhere else.  So if you're up north and thinking about retiring to warmer weather, look into North Myrtle Beach before you look in Florida. Prices are lower, living costs are lower, we're not quite as hot, and you might never see a bad hurricane!


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Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Jan - shame on you! It's too early in the season to make that statement, that is just going to aggravate Mother Nature and send that 1 in 100 storm towards you!  Just for the record, Jacksonville is tucked in as well (although not as much as you are) and the last close call we had was 1999 - for serious storms that is.

Aug 29, 2011 11:40 PM #1
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hi Jan-it sure sounds like you are going out on a limb with this and being from south Florida I have to add that there is nothing "small" about a cat 3 hurricane as you stated. Look at the damage in the northhappening  right now and Irene was only a tropical storm there. Just saying

Aug 29, 2011 11:41 PM #2
Jan Chilton
Myrtle Beach, SC
Real Estate Marketing

I knew this would fire up all the Florida people....:-)  Sorry, y'all.

I stayed through the last category 3 storm in a converted hotel room one block from the ocean.  I don't remember which one it was....one about 10 years ago or more.  It wasn't pleasant, and it messed up the south end...seems like it might have done some damage to you all too.  But because we are so tucked in, it didn't really damage North Myrtle at all.  I think if they said a cat 4 was coming right at us, I might leave, but I'd wait till the last minute. The worst part is losing electricity.

Irene was nothing to us except about a 5 hour rain with some wind blowing.  That was my point.  Then it slammed Wilmington and the Outer Banks like crazy.  Carolina Beach is only about 80 miles from me.

I did knock on wood when I wrote this...:-)  Thanks for your comments, even if you were fussing at me.

Aug 30, 2011 12:17 AM #3
Brian Habel
HomeSmart Advantage - Saint George, UT

Well, I know nothing about the area, but if I were to move to that area, it might be redundant, but I'm all over avoiding a hurricane.  Where I'm from we have a town named Hurricane and its not because they have them either, just that it blows. 

I had a buyer email me to say he was wanting to buy a home, site unseen just because his parents like it.  I wrote back and said we could make a lower offer to start, but might end up close, but was he working with any other agents.  He emailed back and said, not on your life and I'm buying them a 2.5 mill beach home on the Oregon coast and this house in St George that my mother really, really liked... well, I'll be handing them an evelope with keys and deed after flying them out to surprise them with their new beach house, this will be an afterthought or an "Oh, and by the way... you know that house you really really like in St George, Utah...'.  "Don't be thinking of any offer Brian, he said,  'I won't have time to mess around with a few thousand bucks, we will just pay cash out right with a very quick close at full price'.

I just couldn't help but share this little story as it completely makes my week.  I know, it is not on topic.  It just reminds me, you know coastal town, talking about the weather...

Aug 30, 2011 03:19 AM #4

Why can't I find any of those buyers! lol.

Good article Jan, We were praying for some of that rain in Atlanta but it never came. We may need to bring our boat and put it in Myrtle Beach!

Aug 30, 2011 06:08 AM #5
Jan Chilton
Myrtle Beach, SC
Real Estate Marketing

Brian, I'm not sure I can stop laughing long enough to answer you.  I have to assume "it blows" means the wind does...because I can't imagine you using a slang term like that in your entire lifetime....hahahaha.  That's right off a sit-com.

Great news about the house you sold out of the blue!  I have heard stories like that often with good real estate agents.  You seem to all have one like that in your careers that's like a little "manna from heaven"...:-)  Pun intended.  :-)  Thanks.  And thanks to you too, Virginia in Atlanta.  You forgot to leave your card on the way out.  Haha.

Aug 30, 2011 06:33 AM #6
Debbie Ferrari
Nextage Realty - The Mantelli Group - San Clemente, CA

Well, since I know that Jan does not make statements lightly, I would guess that since she is a long term resident of the area, she would know a lot about the weather. There is only so much beach front and ocean front property in the world and that is why it is so valuable. Nothing is nicer than falling asleep with the gentle wave sound wafting through your open or screened window to the sea below.

As usual, Jan, you provided something in realty most useful to us about Myrtle Beach Real Estate and homes near the ocean or ones with an ocean view. Thanks so much! Debbie


Sep 01, 2011 02:37 PM #7
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Jan Chilton

Real Estate Marketing
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