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Sean Ryan & Associates's Hilton Head Real Estate Blog

Sean Ryan & Associates


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 25

Turtles love our beaches as much as human visitors!

by Sean Ryan & Associates

Last Spring I wrote about the new beaches and all the tilling that was going on to make our Hilton Head Island Beaches better for visitors and sea turtles.....well that certainly seems to have been the case as we now have over 250 Sea Turtle nests on Hilton Head so far this season. One of the nests, which happened to be the first nest of the season, and first of it's kind on  the Island was a a rare species of sea turtle called a Kemp's Ridley..

Island Packet article here:

So while we once again are seeing lots of Summer vacationers come to our beautiful Island, we have more and more sea turtles making their nests here too!

We knew our Beaches were good, but now they are even Better for Sea Turtles

by Sean Ryan & Associates

As if our Beaches weren't perfect already, did you know they are now undergoing some tilling to make them even more receptive to the Sea Turtles that will be making their way onto our shores this summer!

Beginning Monday, March 26, 2018 the Town's contractor, The McGraley Company will mobilize in order to begin tilling all portions of the Island's beach which were recently renourished. The beach renourishment project permits require that the sand placed be loose enough to ensure suitable nesting habitat for sea turtles. The Town achieves this requirement via tilling. The portions of the beach affected by this work are South Island between beach markers 11 and 43A, South Forest Beach to the Folly between markers 52A and 97, along the Atlantic Oceanfront of Port Royal Plantation between markers 115 and 123 and the Port Royal Sound beach between markers 124 and 131. Work will occur during daylight hours, though work during peak hours of beach visitation between 10 AM and 4 PM will be minimized. All work is expected to be complete by April 30, 2018.

So while it may be a bit more of a struggle to get that beach buggy filled with all the toys, towels, etc down to the water's edge, you'll know it's great for the turtles!!

New Beaches coming soon!

by Sean Ryan & Associates

Once again it is that time on Hilton Head Island for our beaches to be renewed!

We are very fortunate (as far as I know) to be the only Barrier Island on the East Coast to have beach re-nourishment provided at no cost to Island Property Owners. This means every so many years our beaches are "re-nourished" with sand that has been displaced  and re-deposited offshore through the years...

As someone who walks daily on the beach from my house in North Forest Beach, and as an agent who helps others buy and sell property in the area, I fully understand how lucky we are to live, play and work on our unique Island!

Here is a link to the latest on the re-nourishment timeline

Please feel free to call me at 843-298-0526 or e-mail me at with any questions or for more information on properties for sale in the Forest Beach areas or any other part of the Island!

It's a time of year the locals here on the Island look forward to....the tourist numbers are dwindling, it's back to school time, Football season is right around the corner(Go Clemson!), and it usually is the most amazing weather of the year for the next few months!

Of course it's been great having so many people come to visit our great Island (still amazes me the number of first timers I meet) and fortunately I've been able to help a  number of great families find their own piece of this paradise already this year.....still everyone always asks what is happening with real estate perhaps by reviewing Hilton Head Real Estate MLS stats we can see where we are and perhaps what's ahead.

Year to date -ON ISLAND January 1-August 15, 2014 we have actually had less single family sales 501 than we did for the same period last year 509... interestingly the average sales price has dropped ever so slightly from $628,476 in 2013 to $625,317 so far this year.....currently there are 684 homes for sale.....that is 16 months of inventory...

The Condo Market ON-ISLAND for the same year to date period has seen only 491 sales so far that is almost 10% less than the 540 sales that occurred same period last year..and the average price is also down about the same 10% with an average of $244,128 for this year.......currently there are 684 condos for sale...that represents about 17 months of inventory...

So I think for the near future it's going to remain very much a Buyer's Market for condos, and still will be a relatively even tug of war for the single family market, with a few distressed sellers out there, and some flush buyers still coming in and paying premiums for what they want....


History on Hilton Head Island-old and recent

by Sean Ryan & Associates

Last week it is believed a Civil War era boat was discovered on the banks of Calibogue Sound off the 18th Tee of Harbour Town links in Sea Pines Plantation See Island Packet article....while I wish I had been playing golf ON the tee at the time, or walking along the beach, sadly I was not..... but, glad a visitor to the island was...... this find is one of many that bring home the notion that Hilton Head has so much more to offer everyone than just great beaches, golf and tennis.....The island has some fantastic History too.....As a vacationer, a resident or visitor you owe it to yourself to get out on the bike paths(historical markers are everywhere) or enjoy the Gullah Tour of the island....heck even if you find the rare bad weather day our local TV station WHHI offers some pretty cool insight into the history of this great Island...

As far as more recent history goes, and specifically recent Real Estate History on the island check out 2010's Real estate Market Stats for the beach oriented communities on the island(Sea Pines, Forest Beach, Shipyard, Palmetto Dunes, Folly Field) This is a pretty cool way to check out how the market is progressing and compare it to 2009, and perhaps see some trends for the New Year. The data was compiled from HH MLS..

For Hilton Head Area Property Owners visit to get a FREE market update specific to your property e-mailed directly to you anytime....knowing your history both old and more recent is always a good thing!

Lots of options and motivated sellers but what's a deal?

by Sean Ryan & Associates

Just yesterday I was meeting with some investor/vacationers/potential buyers about their investment goals and suitable homes for their needs....they, like most everyone nowadays, have been searching the internet for about 2 months before they came down for their vacation this summer and thought they had found the best deals on the island based on the price....they came prepared with about 30 properties, some of them Foreclosures that they thought would suit their needs.(in reality after all their work only about 5 of the ones they selected were going to work for their needs)

With so many types of Homes and villas for sale, and so many desperate sellers, in so many different areas of the island, unless you've been doing this for a while, and are familiar with all the neighborhoods and their locations, amenities, proximity to the beach it can be quite confusing....... when you see a 2 bedroom villa listed for $65,000 on island-----that has to be a great deal right? It all depends........ what are your needs?

It's imperative you find a Realtor who can answer your questions about all areas that may suit your needs, He/she needs to be able to explain why one area is better for you than another,  perhaps point out other areas that would work for you, and then point out the best values in those areas based on your needs.

The internet is a fantastic tool, but with so much property for sale you can save a lot of your time by contacting Realtors early in your search to interview them, or check out their level of knowledge so to speak....tell them a little bit about what you want to use the property for, give them your true targeted price range..A Realtor will be able to send you the best properties for your needs and be able to explain why they are the best options for you. Then once you've learned which areas are best suited for your situation you'll be able to work with that agent to explore any and all possibilities as new options come on the market.

In the end finding and working with an agent early on can save you lots of time and effort scouring the "net" trying to find out:

1) "where is mls 4455599 is located" 2)"what have other comparable properties sold for"? 3) "what kind of rent could I get from this"?

There are lots of great agents here on Hilton Head, and lots of great deals, just need to do a little bit of work to find them both.... 

Tax Assessments on Hilton Head

by Sean Ryan & Associates

Obviously, all property owners in Beaufort County have received their new assessed value statements from the assessor's office, I know I was a little shocked to see the valuations for both my personal home and investment properties...the following is from Marsh Rabun, a certified Appraiser in Hilton Head. It may help answer a few more questions for you, or she may be able to help in any challenges you would like to make with the Assessors Office.

Beaufort County Reassessment 2009


Dear Clients and Friends,

 The SC state legislature has mandated a reassessment every 5 years. The last assessment was dated December 31, 2002 so the current assessment date is December 31, 2007. This is necessary to compare all properties in the County at a single point in time.

For a home that has not transferred title, the assessed value of each property in Beaufort County is capped to a 15% increase by a state law passed in 2006. It is capped at the 15% increase, if does not transfer title, for the next 5 years, if no physical changes are made to the property.  For instance, if your assessed value in the last assessment was $300,000, the current capped value could not be higher than $300,000 + 15% of $300,000($45,000) or $345,000.

Also due to the state law passed in 2006, if your home HAS transferred title by sale, to/from a trust, or by will since January 1, 2007, there is a Point of Sale reassessment(AKA Assessable Transfer of Interest) which MAY be greater that the 15% capped assessment on the property had it not transferred. If it transferred in 2008, its value  will be “trended back” to the December 31, 2007 date based on comparable properties-like properties in a similar location selling at that time. 2009 sales have not been considered at this time.               

As a homeowner, you may not be satisfied with your assessed value and may think it needs to be appealed.  There are few important points to remember and consider.

1.       The date of the taxable value placed on your property is December 31, 2007 and that date cannot be changed, although the market value has declined, in some cases significantly declined since that time.  Sales from 2007 and as late as very early 2008 may be considered as comparables, not sales later in 2008 and 2009. Think about what your property was worth in December 2007, not today. Unfortunately, today’s values don‘t count.  

2.       If you feel your property is assessed incorrectly due to significant discrepancies in physical data, -factual errors-in overstating living area  and features, this may be grounds for an appeal. However, if these errors that have been made are in your favor, an appeal may bring them to light and you may end up with a higher but at least more correct assessment. If you have questions about the physical characteristics of your property, you may go to, and under Departments, go to Assessor’s and go to Property Max and enter your last name or tax account number to find living area and other features considered.     

3.       The hard working employees of the Beaufort County Assessor’s office have a difficult job in assessing 126,000 parcels equitably and in compliance with state law. They are responsible for providing a market value as of December 31, 2007. However, it is the “Taxable Value” that is important since that is the value that partially determines your taxes. Assessor’s office personnel are available for questions at 843-470-2522(Beaufort, 843-757-1500X 226(Bluffton), 843-341-8411(Hilton Head Island).

4.       If you would like to appeal your taxable value, you have 90 days from the date of the notice from the Assessor’s office to file the appeal.  You can file the appeal yourself, or have an “Authorized” person file an appeal for you. Only certain people may be “Authorized”. Attorneys, CPA’s, Corporate Officers and Full Time Employees, Partners and Fiduciaries, IRS Agents, and SC Licensed and Certified Appraisers may be “authorized” representatives. There are several good appraisers in the area who could act as your authorized representative since they would also be able to do an appraisal of your property as of December 31, 2007 which would be helpful in proving your case. Real estate agents and brokers cannot be authorized to act on your behalf unless they also fall into one of the other categories. Proof of eligibility and written consent from the owner/taxpayer must be provided to the Assessor.

I hope this information has been informative. Please let me know if I or any of my colleagues may assist you in appealing your new taxable value.


Marsha W. Rabun

SC Certified Residential Appraiser #2691

Rabun Associates LLC

P.O Box 23674

Hilton Head Island, SC 29925

Office Phone-(843)686-3344

Cell Phone – (843)384-3214

Email -


Thinking about retirement on Hilton Head, you're not alone..

by Sean Ryan & Associates

They're Baaaack.....well, sort of......I'm definitely getting more phone calls and e-mails from those baby boomers who figured out, that even in these more challenging economic times, they weren't going to stick around Pittsburgh or Cleveland after retirement...they appear to be back focusing on property for "down the road" when they take the retirement step, even if it will have to be a little less than what they may have been thinking about 2 years ago... 

Perhaps it because of articles like this one  Best Tax -Friendly places to Retire located on where Hilton Head is mentioned by name, or maybe it's just because Hilton Head continues to offer som much for every kind of buyer.

Or maybe it's because prices in many areas of the island communities are back to 2002 and in some cases earlier levels than that...

 In fact I've just helped a great couple from New Jersey, Steve and Kathy, find the perfect house for their needs. A little background........Steve's parents live in the area and they love the island...after previewing many homes in the Bluffton and Hilton Head area, they focused on a great island community of Hilton Head Plantation, and we found one property that in particular suited their needs...the house showed very well and was priced competitively, after reviewing the market data for the area and looking at current market conditions we made an offer, unfortunately the seller wasn't willing to move off the asking price very much, so we found ourselves reevaluating our position...upon doing so we started to think if we are going to pay X amount for this house what other homes are available that may sell for this price point.....we went back to a house that at first glance seemed a bit out of our target price range, did some research and decided to make an offer, again based on market stats and sales data..and low and behold we GOT it! the end the house that was priced a little higher had a seller who was obviously more motivated to sell, and we got a great deal..

This same scenario can play out, and is playing out Island if you you are thinking about a move to the HIlton Head Area, do your homework, find a good Realtor(preferably Sean Ryan and Associates) and get to work finding the house of your dreams, be it for retirement, vacation, or full time, the deals are out there, you just have to know where and what to look for.

Where does Hilton Head Island's beach rank?

by Sean Ryan & Associates

Last week I had the pleasure to catch up with some old friends of mine who were visiting the island with their families(they all have young kids like mine) and they were commenting how great the beaches are here...not to mention the fantastic network of bike trails, lagoon systems, and parks for the kids....Of course I was pleased to hear their comments as these are all things that I believe distinguish Hilton Head from other barrier island and resorts up and down our coast..and are a few of the reasons why more and more people continue to come and visit the island every year......

Interestingly I just read  the latest "best beach" poll on line at Natural Resources Defense Council 2009 Poll  and found it interesting the poll gives stars for frequent water testing, and it appears those beaches that tested more regularly did so because of a higher probability of issues with the I may not be reading this correctly, but it seems to me a beach with quality water, water that seems to have tested well since this poll started should rank as high if not higher because of the lack of need for frequent testing.....but that's just my opinion. 

Come and see for yourself if you don't know our beautiful island already....and if Real Estate is something you are interested in please contact me Sean Ryan at I'd love to help you find out all the great opportunities this area has to offer

Life "After work" on Hilton Head

by Sean Ryan & Associates

It's great living here on Hilton Head Island, so many things to do, but as Islanders we sometimes forget about all the great activities we may not be appreciating or taking advantage of. Of course the beaches are the best, and the variety of golf courses can't be beat, and we have more restaraunts then we know what to do with...but there are other fun activites that too.....

Last night we took my Mother in law on a sunset cruise on the Pau Hana-"Pau Hana" roughly translated means -after work-........ an excellent name for a great catamaran that can entertain small private parties or groups up to 50.. It was about a two hour criuse and the beautiful sunset and gentle breezes reminded me of how lucky I am to be able to work and live .... and help so many others find their dream homes, and in a lot of cases make this their permanent home too.

If you are thinking about investing or moving to the area, or just have questions in general about places to eat, sites to see please don't hesitate to give us a call or visit our website at'd love to introduce you to all the area has to offer and put or knowledge and services to work for you.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 25