WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE: HOME EXCHANGE PROGRAM LETS OWNERS VACATION WORLDWIDE

Over the past three years, Rex and Susan Gale have gone on 12 vacations to four different countries without paying a dime for lodging. 

The Hilton Head Island couple does pay $150 a year to be part of an online home exchange program, but that’s considerably less than they would spend on hotel rooms and rental properties. 

Whether you are building your dream house from scratch or remodeling, deciding which builder to work with is the most important decision you will have to make. This is the company that will be working with you to choose your floor plan, to make customizations, to choose the materials you want to work with, and much more. It is incredibly important to ensure that you choose a company that you feel confident can help you turn your dreams into a reality. You’ll be working with your builder for quite a while, and you’ll be living in your home even longer, so you want to be sure that you’re comfortable in your professional relationship.

VILLAGE PARK HOMES TO BUILD 2018 ST JUDE DREAM HOME

Village Park Homes of Bluffton based homebuilder has been chosen to build the 2018 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in Richmond Hill, Ga. The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. To date, more than 450 homes have been given away and the program has raised more than $378 million. The two-story, 3,800-square foot home will be built in The Commons neighborhood in Richmond Hill.  Tickets for the home giveaway cost $100 and will be available starting in April. Only 6,500 tickets will be sold. The winning ticket will be drawn on live television on July 27, 2018 on WSAV.                      

CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON NEW TECHNOLOGY

More than 400 Realtors attended the South Carolina Realtors 2017 annual conference and expo Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville. Realtor members learned about topics including the use of drones for the real estate industry, home security systems and virtual reality tours. The conference also included a 26-booth trade show. The SCR board of directors also met at the conference to approve a new strategic plan and swear in new leaders, including 2017 incoming SCR president Laura Derrick, a Realtor at Coldwell Banker United in Columbia.

HURRICANE MATTHEW DAMAGE CREATED OPPORTUNITY FOR A FABULOUS REBUILD

Ted Buchanan and Patra Evans couldn’t believe it when they saw the text while home in Atlanta: Hurricane Irma had blown through the South Beach area in Sea Pines with nary a scratch to their getaway villa.

“We were kind of biting our fingernails looking at Irma,” Evans said. “We didn’t want to go through it again.”

DIAMOND REALTY JOINS CENTURY 21, ADDS JOHNSON

Diamond Realty is now affiliated with Century 21 and will now be known as Century 21 Diamond Realty. The affiliation will offer the sales organization training, technology and an integrated national and international marketing platform. Bob Diamond continues to serve as the broker-in-charge.

Also, Diamond Realty has added Marlee Johnson as a real estate agent. She is a native of Illinois, a graduate of Western Illinois University, and also a certified nutrition counselor.

Let property management companies handle the details of rental properties

Whether you love the beach, golf or other amenities of the Lowcountry, owning rental property here can be a way to enjoy your investment while its value grows. A shortage of available rental properties means the rental market is hot right now, and prices for homes and villas in many communities are on the rise. Even if you don’t live here full time, as a Lowcountry property owner you can take advantage of beach parks built just for you and enjoy discounts on golf, retail and restaurants. Your property can be a place to create long-lasting memories for years to come, and it could become your future retirement home.

Whether you are downsizing into retirement or decorating a vacation condo, these moves tend to mean more excitement and definitely less square footage. In order to maximize your available space, so that every area looks spacious and comfortable, there are certain design and decorating rules that you should follow:

Architect William Court knows a thing or two about transforming the ordinary and everyday into the extraordinary. To him, it’s all in the details.

The ordinary — an open floorplan for a home’s lower level — has been a Lowcountry staple for decades. To elevate that floorplan to extraordinary, Court brought striking architectural elements from the outside in, creating design individual living space niches.

To increase the comfort, beauty and enjoyment of a home, many owners turn to renovations. Sprucing up also adds value to a home by keeping it up to date. In this special section, we have before and after photos of real projects handled by businesses found right here in the Lowcountry.