Hilton Head Christian Academy chef Brooks Rhinehart and school nurse Wendy Cummings share a philosophy for wellness.

Most days Cummings can be found applying Band-Aids, taking temperatures and listening to hilarious anecdotes of students who wander into her office to “get well.” Rhinehart is usually busy in the school kitchen, crafting healthy, culinary delights.

It can be difficult to define luxury; it means something different to everyone. However, once you find your dream home, it is luxury to you. Luxury real estate is a niche market and caters to a limited number of prospective buyers.

According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, only 10 percent of first-time and repeat homebuyers purchased a home with 3,501 square feet or more. 

Newly constructed and renovated homes in the Lowcountry are warm and welcoming, with at least a dash or two of striking focal points.

Luxury homes in our area are that, of course, and much, much more. Custom everything, from the finest craftsmanship in trims and finishes, imported hand-painted tiles, century-old reclaimed wood and brick from long-ago forgotten Southern mills and warehouses, oversized floor-to ceiling windows, marble in the master bathroom, splendid indoor and outdoor fountains, custom-carved banisters, dormers peeking out through a copper roof, and a natural stone fireplace glowing in the outdoor living space.

Habitat for Humanity’s first neighborhood on Hilton Head Island, The Glen off Marshland Road is a major boon for families who cannot afford housing. Hilton Head Monthly sat down with Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity’s president, Patricia Wirth, to discuss the community milestone.

The Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors and the Greater Hilton Head Mortgage Lenders Association presented $33,800 in grant money to local organizations and charities at the Realtor September Membership Luncheon, held recently at the Belfair clubhouse.

Each spring, the two associations jointly host an annual golf and tennis tournament. Net proceeds from the event are awarded to local charities and organizations, with 50 percent of the funds dedicated to housing initiatives.

Change in the heart of the Lowcountry comes slowly — and most often in subtle tones when it does.

When Bill and Bonnie Miller bought their furnished home tucked away in May River Forest at Palmetto Bluff three years ago, they were impressed with the quality, detail of craftsmanship, architecture, design and location of the home. They didn’t want to change a thing structurally of the residence, built 10 years ago by Bluffton’s Reclamation by Design based on an architectural design by a Savannah firm.

Lowcountry home design has evolved much like the history of the South Carolina coast itself in population growth, economic forces, cuisine and culture. Naturally, adaptations to original home designs had to be made — and they were.

Its infancy began when the first permanent settlement in South Carolina took root in 1670 along the Ashley and Cooper rivers near present-day Charleston. The English transplanted their basic one-room cottage design from coastal tidewater Virginia and Maryland locations, and that marked the beginning of Lowcountry home design.

THERE ARE TREMENDOUS REWARDS THAT COME WITH OWNING RENTAL PROPERTY ON HILTON HEAD ISLAND.

You’re able to enjoy your own piece of paradise: a place to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with family and friends. As an island 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.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of homes is at an all-time high because of a number of factors.

The group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that can be viewed as both good and not-so-good news. On one hand, current homeowners looking to sell their homes can get more for their property, gaining equity for the down payment on their next homes. On the other hand, rising home prices make it more difficult for first-time, younger buyers to enter the market, as they don’t have equity from a previous home — and often are struggling to save as it is.

Todd Hawk and his family-owned company H2 Builders in Bluffton have been building beautiful custom-designed homes in the Hilton Head Island area since 1996, many in the traditional or transitional Lowcountry style. And that style is becoming more popular than ever.

But perhaps none of these spectacular homes are as quintessentially Lowcountry in every exacting detail as the one he built for himself, his family, extended family and friends in the small town of Pineland in Jasper County.