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...
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!