Myrtle Beach Real Estate Investing

11 Replies

I'm a local Realtor in Myrtle Beach but want to start taking my money and buying up rental properties. I'm just looking for tips from local investors as to how they are finding good deals. I comb the MLS daily and when I run the numbers on most properties, even assuming I get them at a discount, a lot of them just don't make sense. I know the rental market is fairly solid here I see it every day. Just looking for some general advice, guidance and tips on how to really get started.

I understand the buying/selling aspect obviously and the analysis part of it, just looking for the secret to finding the deals or spotting them more easily. Any local investors find that going to the Horry County foreclosure auction is worth it? From my experience up there, there is just a handful of heavy hitters snagging up most of the properties and I've ran the numbers on a lot of them and don't see how they are making any money. I'm missing something somewhere.

I'm only interested in long term rentals as I'm not a fan of short term rentals here. From my experience, after the HOA fees, taxes and onsite management splits, there is very little profit left on short term rentals unless you get a very good deal on one which puts me right back at square one.

Also, I have questions about LLCs and financing. Most banks won't do conventional loans for an LLC. I literally just got my business license and just sent in my documents to open an LLC. I have been told that any property I buy in that LLC that's in city limits, I also have to get a license in that city if I'm self managing. I plan on self managing until I hit about 10 units. So my questions about LLCs are, should I open LLCs under my main LLC for each property I purchase or is it ok to have 3-4 rental units under the same mail LLC? And if I buy 3 different homes in 3 different cities NMB, Myrtle Beach and Conway, do I need 3 business license? My question I guess is what's the best route to go to protect myself?

And financing, what's the best route to go for my first rental? I have held off on buying a primary residence for myself only because I'd like to have a couple rentals first and I'm trying to keep my debt down so I can make the purchases. What I be better off finding a good deal on a primary residence, fixing it up, living in it a year then renting it out and going from there? I just have a lot of questions as I deal mostly with helping people purchase primaries, not long term rentals. I have dealt with a lot of short term rentals but I'm not interested in those.

Any guidance specific to Horry & Georgetown Counties would be greatly appreciated!!! 

I keep my boat in Horry county (Little River), before I started buying in Akron I looked around that area for deals.  I couldn't find much that cash flowed and nothing that I wanted to buy.

I am from Surfside Beach originally. I look at there from time to time, but like you, I never see anything worth pursuing.   I live in Greenwood now, but invest in Columbia.

@Jill F. Thank you for the response and @Anna Buffkin ...I'm from the area so I know the area well. I live in North Myrtle Beach. I was looking at some homes that were pre foreclosure on zillow and some other sites. Have either of you ever been able to snag up pre foreclosures from desperate homeowners before they were auctioned or listed? 

No, but I did pick up a FSBO once pretty cheap by responding to an ad wanting a quick sale. He had a debt he needed to pay quickly. I had cash and was offering more than the debt. 2 weeks later we closed.

Prices are up there for sure, but still out there.   Most of the ones I’m looking at are beat to crap.  I can usually get them cheap because there will be way too much rehab for 99% of the flippers or do it your self people.  Having a repair business and 5 employees helps me keep the labor to a fraction of what it would cost someone who had to hire a GC.  The tricky part is finding deals in decent areas.  A lot of the really cheap ones are not in an area where you will get a decent renter. 

Personally I try to find places out of city limits.  Dealing with city ordinances, code, and appearance boards is a PITA.  As for llc and financing, I ask all for owner finance and then if they go for it they should not have a problem putting it in your llc as long as you are listed as the guarantor.  Then the bank will usually refi it once you show a decent amount of time turning a profit. They big key is coming up with the down payment or a creative way to do so.  

@Pete Schmidt that's the problem is I don't know anything about the repair or renovation business so with my first property, I really want to limit the amount of work it needs which brings me back to what you're saying about prices and finding deals. So no matter the property you always approach with owner financing? Do people that let their properties end up in that bad of shape usually agree to owner finance? But yea I have yet to come across any great finds in good areas for the price. Mostly all the cheap properties are in areas you couldn't pay me to live in. But I'm going to keep looking.

Doesn’t hurt to ask.  I will ask the seller of every property I’m interested in if they will. Most they can say is no.  If your looking to get into something on the cheaper end that flows great would be mobile homes.  Those things cash flow better than just about anything else around.  However good luck getting anyone to finance them.  If you are young and no kids it may be best for you to find a duplex, tri, or quad to buy and live in.  You should be able to secure financing a lot easier than just a standard investment property and not need as much down.  Then after a year or 2, find another and do it again.  Unfortunately when you have 4 kids like me, the 2/3 bedroom multi family setup does not work so well. Lol. 

I have thought about finding a 4 plex or something and living in one for a year then moving on. The problem in our area is finding one in an area I'd be ok living lol. That would be the perfect scenario because I could do a primary residence financing but I have yet to find a decent multi family in our area and I don't want to live outside of Horry County. But that would be ideal. But yea I'm 25 and single so it would work fine for me temporarily. @Pete Schmidt

@Jonathan Edmund

1. Smaller, specific questions generally get more response that wall-of-text information dumps.

2. Coastal areas generally don't cashflow.  To closer you are to the beach, the harder it is to find cash flow. 

3. I'm an investor and licensed agent who lives in Little River/North Myrtle Beach. I leave the tourist trap area to the out-of-state money flooding in. 

4. MLS deals are rare. As mentioned by others above, you'll have to create some other advantage to stack with being an agent. House hacking, flipping, yellow letters, or just plain being good at figuring out which areas you can rent for more.

Good luck out there. There are some good investments but you've got to really know Horry County on a street-by-street basis and let out-of-towners play with their monopoly money in most places.

@Jeffrey Long Thanks for the advice man! I really like the Little River area but I think I'm going to have to get a little more creative! 

@Jonathan Edmund  

@Jonathan Edmund Hey Jonathan, I can tell you some of the things we've come across in the area.  I think with the breadth of what you sent over though, it's probably best to take it up on the phone.  Short answer:

1.  The Grand Strand is growing so it's a great area to operate.

2.  Niche down to find what you want to focus on big time.

3.  LLCs/ Financing...all can be found in these forums and online...happy to offer our two cents of the phone.

4. Finding deals -- again forums and online...happy to share our two cents over the phone -- online SEO, PPC, offline mailers, etc.

Look forward to connecting.

@Jeffrey Long  -- Definitely agree.

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