Category Archives: GardenCityRealEstate

Thinking of Buying a House? 10 Steps to Home Ownership

Myrtle Beach Homes, Myrtle Beach Homes for Sale, Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Real Estate, Myrtle Beach Waterfront Real Estate

Thinking of Buying a House?

Home ownership has long been part of the American Dream and one of the best investments that most people will make in their lifetime. Whether you are new to the home buying process or someone who has bought and sold many times before, the road to home ownership requires planning and attention to detail. The following 10 steps to owning a home will give you a guided path that will help make your new home purchase go smoothly.

1. Understand Your Budget – Before you delve into all of the listings of beautiful homes that could be yours, it is important to start with a realistic look at your finances, so that you understand how large of a down payment you can make and what type of monthly payments you can afford.

2. Get a Realtor – Your Realtor will be the best source of information on the current housing market in your area, as well as real estate laws, negotiation techniques, and the different trades and companies who you will need to work with before the home becomes your very own.

3. Loan Pre-Approval – Speaking with a mortgage broker or your banks loan officer will help you understand your pre-approval limits, financing range, and probable interest rates. This is just the first step of the mortgage process, but these numbers combined with the budget numbers from the beginning will give you a solid idea of what home prices you can work within as you search for your new home.

4. Home Search – Now that you have the necessary numbers, it’s time to go take a look at the homes in your price range. Research the neighborhoods and school systems, as well as the proximity to important places like work and shopping. This is where your Realtor will really prove their value and help make sure that you find a home that meets all of your needs.

5. Full Loan Approval – After you have been pre-approved and found a mortgage broker who you would like to work on your loan, it is vital to gather all of the important paperwork and submit the loan application. Once your application has gone through underwriting and you have received full approval for getting a loan, you will be able to lock your interest rate and assure the home seller that your offer to purchase can be financed.

6. Make an Offer – When you have found that perfect home in your price range, you are ready to make an offer to purchase and put a home under contract. Here again your Realtor will be tremendously helpful as they make sure that proper wording is put into the purchase offer to allow for inspections and possible repairs, and guide you through the negotiation process until you reach the price and conditions that satisfies both buyer and seller.

7. Home Inspection – Inspecting your future home is essential so that you are assured there will be no expensive repairs that are required shortly after purchasing the home. If repairs are needed to the roof or homes mechanical systems, the well written offer mentioned above will help define whether the price is reduced or the seller completes the repairs before closing.

8. Insurance – Home owners insurance and title insurance are important parts of the buying process. If you do not know of a local company to work with, your Realtor will have a few recommendations. Aside from being required by the mortgage company, insuring your home and making sure it has a clean title will help prevent any future troubles with the property and your legal ownership.

9. Solve Last Minute Problems – As smooth as we would like the home buying process to be, there are many people involved in each step of the purchase, which means that some problems will arise. For example, mortgage underwriters will need some last minute paperwork, or the inspection will reveal a major repair that requires further price negotiation. Problems and hiccups are the normal. This is again where your Realtors knowledge and expertise will help guide you over the last few hurdles.

10. Closing – Finally you have reached the end of the process, signed the ownership papers, and received the keys to your new home. All the hard work and planning has paid off and now you are the proud owner of your very own home. It’s time to unpack and celebrate.

These are the 10 steps to home ownership that every buyer will need to go through before having the keys of their new home handed to them. By working with knowledgeable professionals and following a solid plan, home ownership can be right around the corner for you.

Preston Guyton is a professional Realtor® serving the Myrtle Beach real estate market. For more information on Myrtle Beach homes & properties, contact Preston today or visit


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Maintain Your Lawn to Sell Your Home



There is really something to be said for a well-kept and well-loved lawn. It is easy to tell the difference between a lawn that is well cared for and one that has simply been tended to to sell the home. The difference comes in the quality of the grass itself, something that can only come from special care and handling. A really nice lawn can be a real focal point for a yard in a good way or just as easily a bad way. A lawn that is ill-tended can be full of weeds and moss, discolored and untidy. This never makes for a good impression on buyers as they will be looking for reasons to purchase the home, not reasons to pass it by.

One of the worst things you can do to a lawn it to let it get too dry — when it gets too dry, that green lustre is lost. One must keep the lawn watered throughout the dry season, and this is especially true if you are selling a home, as yellow lawns really don’t make great first impressions.

There are a few things that need to be done on a regular basis to ensure the health of your lawn. For starters, it’s a good idea to aerate your lawn at the beginning of the summer season. This process gets precious nutrients down under the lawn and allows moisture into a lawn that is starved for air. Lawns take a beating in the winter, especially in areas where there is snow and a lot of rain. Both of these weather conditions can really have a detrimental effect on a lawn’s health.

A nice lawn can be a huge selling point for a home. Not only is it a beautiful aspect of a home, but it sets up the area where your family spends time in the summer having family gatherings, picnics, and where your kids play. The yard is really a social area and the lawn is its floor. You must keep it in as good a shape as you would with an interior floor. Taking the time to keep things like lawns in shape speaks highly of you as a home owner and that is something that buyers will always take note of.

Preston Guyton is a professional Realtor® serving the Myrtle Beach real estate market. For more information on Myrtle Beach homes & properties, contact Preston today or visit

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Natural Cork Flooring


Natural Flooring

With the myriad of flooring types available, shoppers tend to lean toward those that are most popular at the time. Unfortunately, this practice can cause a consumer to miss out on some great flooring options.

One of these hidden gems is cork flooring. Imagine a floor covering that is attractive, comfortable, environmentally friendly, durable and affordable. When most people think of cork, they think of a wine bottle or a cork board, and due to this lack of consumer awareness, this product is commonly overlooked. In order to appreciate this material, you really need to understand its unique characteristics.


Cork is actually the bark of the cork oak tree found in the Mediterranean. Portugal is the largest supplier with over 30% of the world’s cork trees and 70% of the world’s cork production. Every nine years the bark is harvested by hand with the average tree yielding about 4,000 corks.

The bark is honeycomb in nature, containing 90% air that can be compressed to 40% and then quickly returning to its original shape. This feature creates a natural shock absorber.


Due to its air like composition, walking on cork is like walking on air. Its comfortable walking surface is perfect for kitchens where you are standing for lengthy periods of time.

Cork has a natural beauty with a rich, varying grain, similar to wood. It also comes in many different patterns and tile sizes from various manufacturers.

The same feature that makes the floor comfortable creates a natural noise reducer. It’s extremely quiet to walk on and reduces the impact if an object is dropped on its surface. It’s insulating effect make cork a great choice in a bathroom over radiant floor heating or even installed over cold concrete floors.

Cork is an environmentally friendly product in many ways. Since the bark from the tree grows back nine years after harvest, it’s a reusable and sustainable product. It also contains suberin, a substance that is resistant to insects, mold and protects cork from rotting when exposed to moisture. Suberin is naturally fire resistant and cork doesn’t release any toxic gases when it burns.

The durability of cork makes it a perfect choice for virtually any room in the house, including those high traffic areas. It has been successfully used in churches and other public buildings since 1898.


Due to its resilience, heavy furniture can dent the flooring, so it’s important to use castors or furniture pads under table legs. Just as with wood, an excess of water can damage the finish. It shouldn’t be used where you have problems with moisture or flooding.


The cost of cork flooring compares to high-end laminate or hardwood and runs approximately $4 to 6$ per square foot.


Cork floors are extremely easy to maintain with regular sweeping or vacuuming. Damp mop the floor monthly with a mild detergent and very little water and avoid using abrasive or ammonia-based cleaning products.

The flooring requires up to five coats of urethane sealer, which will last several years. A dulling floor can be refreshed with another coat.

Visit Land on Water Realty, your one-stop resource for Myrtle Beach real estate Have all your questions answered by Preston Guyton, a professional Myrtle Beach Realtor


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Top Seven Signs That You’re A Real Estate Agent

7. You can make anniversary dinner reservations on your cell phone at your spouse’s favorite restaurant while filling out property

Top Seven Signs That You're A Real Estate Agent

Real Estate Agent

sale closing forms in a Seattle’s Best drive-thru line up.

6. Your cell phone chimes the Imperial March from Star Wars whenever “FSBO” is mentioned in a text message.

5. You learned everything you know about computers and the Internet while developing five different websites to attract leads away from the local FSBO website.

4. You have customized email replies for every type of client or lead, and several for social situations.

3. You and your spouse meet a nice couple from your area on a vacation in the Caribbean, and have a discussion about work back home. As soon as they find out you’re a real estate agent they want investment advice. It’s all they want to talk about when you see them the next day at the hotel pool bar, and it’s all they’re interested in later at dinner on the waterfront. Your spouse and them seem to hit it off, and you have to admit they’re pretty nice people with the potential to become great clients.

The thing is, you just came here to relax, work on your tan, and at least pretend to read a good crime novel. The next day in the middle of a snorkeling excursion with dolphins they start asking about foreclosure properties, and you casually tell them to just enjoy the water, and maybe ask you about it later, or preferably in your office back home. The couple responds with raised eyebrows, and the rest of the excursion is blissfully shop-talk free. Later that evening it’s just you and your spouse for dinner.

You ask what the other couple is up to, and your spouse tells you s/he isn’t sure, but wouldn’t be surprised if the four of you never spoke again after your rude outburst earlier that day. The last two days of your trip go well enough – you finish the crime novel and return home refreshed. The couple never calls, but months later one of your colleagues closes a multimillion dollar waterfront property with them, which happens to be just a couple blocks from your house. Sorry, personal rant, but you get the point.

2. Servers at all five of your favorite restaurants begin to chide you for wearing moderate variations the same outfit every time you come in with a big-time client or a valuable lead.

1. Three of your five favorite restaurants are Seattle’s Best outlets. can be the source for all your Myrtle Beach real estate needs. The site offers area information, tips for home buyers and sellers, and a comprehensive Myrtle Beach home for sale search.

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Tax Benefits of Owning a Vacation Rental Property

Tax Benefits of Owning a Vacation Rental Property

Tax Benefits of Owning a Vacation Rental Property

Many families enjoy a yearly trip to a favorite ski resort or coastal paradise, and this leads to the eventual thought of whether or not it would be a smart investment to purchase a vacation property instead of renting each year. If you are considering the possibility of buying a second home or vacation rental, then it is important to understand the tax benefits of owning a vacation rental property.

Much of the taxes that you can deduct on your vacation home depend on the amount of time that you spend at the property for personal use. As a standard, property taxes and mortgage interest can be deducted on up to two homes totaling $1 million in mortgage debt. This is allowed whether or not you actually rent out the condo or home when you are not using it yourself, so you are guaranteed a tax break no matter how you use your vacation property.

From there, the tax rules become a little more complex, which is why speaking with your accountant to verify your personal tax situation and understand the exact ramifications for your personal time at the property is so important. Let’s take a quick look at some of the different options for tax deductions when you rent out your vacation property, so you can have a general idea of what to expect.

3 Tax Scenarios for Vacation Rental Homes

First, homeowners that spend a good deal of time at their vacation home (over 14 days) and rent it out a good portion as well (over 14 days) can deduct some of their utilities, maintenance, operating costs, HOA fees, insurance, and depreciation for that rental period. In this scenario the home has a time period where it is considered a private residence and a timeframe where it is treated as rental unit. The extra deductions can help you offset the rental income you have made up to the point where you zero out the income with tax deductions.

Second, a vacation rental investor who stays in the home less than 14 days or 10% of the rental period, whichever is greater, can treat the vacation home as a rental property. This allows the investor to deduct a far larger percentage of the utilities, maintenance, HOA dues, insurance, depreciation, and operating costs based off of the total days the home was used. In addition, if the rental income does not completely cover the cost of the rental timeframe, you might be eligible to write off up to $25,000 in rental losses. This is strictly for individuals who show an adjusted gross income of under $100,000 and gets progressively lower as the income approaches $150,000 and is phased out completely.

Third, property owners who rent their vacation home less than 15 days of each year do not have to pay any taxes whatsoever on the rental income. So, if you have the good fortune to have a vacation property or second home in an area with a big yearly event and you can rent it out for two weeks or less at a high rate, then you have the benefit of enjoying that income completely tax free.

Now that you have an idea of the many tax benefits associated with owning a vacation rental property, it is important that you speak with your accountant to confirm exactly what type of rental owner you are and how that might earn you even greater tax deductions from your second home.

Preston Guyton is a professional Realtor? serving the Myrtle Beach real estate market. For more information on Myrtle Beach homes, contact Preston today or visit

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Investing – Starting With A Good Foundation

Invest In Real Estate

Invest In Real Estate

The world of investing in real estate is simply a highly lucrative one. With more people making more money on real estate than ever before, everyone wants to try their hand at making the big bucks. However, so many people jump into this world without proper preparation and find themselves floundering and not being able to afford the upkeep of their properties. As with any form of investment the first thing you need before making a run at it is a good, solid foundation and the knowledge of what is going to work and what isn’t. It’s kind of like buying stocks blindly. you would not dream of buying stocks without first researching them and the companies. find out what they stand for and how they have performed over time. The same holds true with real estate.

There is really no point in investing in something if you don’t know what you want from it and what hurdles you have to jump along the way. Investing in real estate is a bit more difficult than simply mortgaging or purchasing a property and renting it out or flipping it. Television is a main culprit in the mindset that investing is just that simple. What you don’t see on those investing shows is all the legwork and planning that go into a typical purchase. Trust me, there is a lot more that goes into an investment than can be covered in 1 hour minus commercials.

Investing is all about having a game plan with failsafe’s built right in. Let’s look at a couple of things that you may want to consider in making a real estate investment.

Location – This is incredibly important. If you are planning on making a long-term investment then you will be looking for an area that offers a lot to residents. Areas with schools, shopping centers, recreation facilities etc. It is more difficult to rent a home in the boonies than it is to rent a home in an urban area. If flipping a home is your plan then look for areas that are hot. New developments, condos and town homes are great places to look for this kind of thing. Talk to your realtor and find out which area of the city is selling fast, that is the kind of area you want for a flip.

Cleanliness- The key factor of almost any real estate transaction. Nobody wants to rent or buy a dirty home. renting will be dependant on keeping the property in good condition for some time so as to be appealing to renters. Also being attentive to the needs of said renters is important. An ignorant or careless landlord attracts tenants of the same caliber. Bad tenants can be a nightmare that no landlord wants to deal with so be sure to get to know people before they rent your property.

Finances – An investment should never have the ability to break you financially. This is where the failsafe’s come in. Make sure you have the funds to look after the property if you cannot immediately find renters or if the home take longer than anticipated to sell. If you build yourself a financial buffer then you can be properly insulated from taking a loss if things do not go according to plan.

Invest smart and don’t rush into things. You are making a big play for your financial future so it is not something to be taken lightly. Make sure you make the right decisions and always be prepared in case you make a mistake.

Preston Guyton is a professional Realtor® serving the Myrtle Beach real estate market. For more information on Myrtle Beach homes & properties, contact Preston today or visit

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New Construction vs Established Homes

New ConstructionThere is currently a lot of discussion happening in the real estate industry about the merits of new construction homes vs the merits of older established homes. There seems to be a real push for new construction homes as they are a bit of a status symbol, but there are some definite assets to older homes that today’s new homes simply cannot equal. This is not to say the older or newer homes are superior to one another, simply that there are some differences that should be considered before purchasing either.

Let’s examine the pros and cons of each in turn. New construction homes are simply that; new. Everything in them is shiny and usually the latest model/style. New homes will typically conform to all current community standards, and be more energy efficient. Another asset is that these homes are usually in newer developments that have excellent landscaping and services, and the area itself usually has quite a high property value. Now, there are some cons as well. New homes are being constructed at such a rapid rate and such a high cost that many contracts are going to the lowest bidder. Some contractors that bid low are able to do so by rushing through the building process and cutting corners by using cheap supplies and labor. This, again is not to condemn contractors, simply that it is an issue that needs to be considered in new construction homes. Also, if you take a look at the average new development you will notice that the actual size of the properties is much smaller than those of established neighborhoods.

As stated above, if you are looking for a larger piece of property then an established area might be a better choice. It is also said that the level of craftsmanship utilized in the building of older homes exceeds that of many new developments. This opinion is hit and miss. Like any area of business there are those who excel and those who do not, no matter what year it is. Also, many older homes have a “character” that it is almost impossible to duplicate in new homes. Many new homes are built utilizing these “character” elements but the effect is never the same. With either form of housing the final choice is, of course yours. Simply make sure that you consider all the aspects of the homes construction, property, benefits and drawbacks so that you can make an educated decision on which type of home to purchase.

Preston Guyton is a professional Realtor® serving the Myrtle Beach real estate market. For more information on Myrtle Beach homes & properties, contact Preston today or visit

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