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Newsletter – October 2012


A touch of Autumn is in the air! It’s the most beautiful time of year to be in the Lowcountry and we are relishing the glorious weather.

This issue features some great CGR team news, fantastic incentives to make a real estate purchase NOW, info on local events, and much more.  Enjoy!

Real Estate News

Market Pulse
For the latest local market statistics and Chip’s insight, click here.

Real Estate Arithmetic
4 years ago the national median sales price was $210,900 and the 30-year mortgage interest rate was 6.48 for a total monthly payment of $1,330.26. Today, that same house would sell for around $188,100 and the interest rate would be 3.59 for a monthly payment of $854.13 – that’s a savings of $476.13 EVERY month! Prices and interest rates only have one way to go and that’s UP! Contact one of our experienced Buyer Specialists today to save thousands and get the ball rolling on your first or next home purchase!

5 Reasons to Buy a Home NOW
If you’re still on the fence about whether now is the right is the time to buy, consider this…

  • Inventory is Diminishing. The “steals” and “good buys” that every buyer dreams of don’t last long…and the overall inventory is shrinking as well meaning it’s going to be more difficult int the future to find a great home, in great condition at a great price.
  • Prices are Headed Up. Most experts agree that homes values will start to appreciate in 2013, returning to their pre-bubble annual appreciation levels by 2016.
  • Rents are Skyrocketing. Rents are expected to increase by 4% over the next two years, with some studies showing that rents are up 5.4% this year. On average, rents increase 3.2% annually.
  • Low Interest Rates. Interest rates remain at historic lows, but as they say – all good things must come to an end. See “Real Estate Arithmetic” above.
  • Buy Low, Sell High. The dream of every homeowner…real estate is “low” right now, making it the perfect time to make a great investment in your financial future.

Sea Pines Facilities May Get Facelift
Sea Pines is considering $12M in renovations to the Plantation Club. The two-story, 16,000 square foot clubhouse would feature an expansive golf pro shop, larger locker rooms, expansive meeting and reception space, bar and grill with private dining room and more. A high-tech golf learning center is also included in the plans, which are still pending formal approval. Stay tuned…

Where is it?

Nature lovers and conservationists rejoice! The above photo (courtesy of the Island Packet) shows the groundbreaking of the new Spanish Moss Trail! The trail, which is being built on the defunct Magnolia rail line on the Port Royal Railroad, is expected to incorporate 13.6 miles of hiking, biking and leisure trails along with picnic areas, boat and canoe launches, a fishing pier, scenic and wildlife viewing areas, restrooms, bike rentals and more.  The first mile, which is scheduled to be open by Thanksgiving, will run from Depot Road to Allison Road. We can’t wait!

Meet the Team

Ann Eden

Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Ann lived in Bronxville, NY and New Canaan, CT prior to moving to Hilton Head in 1988. Ann holds a B.A. degree from Lake Erie College in Painesville, OH and a M.A. degree in French from Middlebury College in VT while studying at La Sorbonne in Paris. Ann’s past work experience includes working as a translator in Paris, France, as a caseworker in the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC and in the Air and Water Programs at the the Environmental Protection Agency, as the assistant to the Chairman of the Board of the Louis Dreyus Corporation in New York City, and as a French teacher in New York City and Hilton Head. Ann has traveled extensively throughout the world. She got her real estate license in 1988 and has been a Top Producer over the years. As a 24 year resident of Hilton Head, Ann uses her extensive knowledge and expertise to focus on providing the best customer service and to making clients for life.
What do you love most about living in the Lowcountry?  
I love the friendliness of the people in the low country. I enjoy the warmer climate, the proximity to the ocean, and the fact that you can participate in outdoor activities year round. I like being close to Savannah and especially Charleston.   

What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy boating, tennis, golf, traveling, and snow skiing out west once a year. I enjoy visiting my daughter in Denver and my daughter in Charleston.  

What’s your favorite part about being a realtor?

My favorite part of being a realtor is meeting such wonderful and interesting people, helping them find their piece of paradise, and creating lasting and meaningful friendships.

Team News

Happy 10th Anniversary, Collins Group Realty!
Back in 2002, Chip made the bold decision to leave his brokerage firm and open his own company. 10 short years later, the team has worked through the extreme highs and lows of the boom years and the recession, has 2 permanent offices and a satellite office, employs 15 agents and 7 staff members, has won numerous awards (including the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtor’s President’s Cup and the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year) and is a Top 5 firm in the HHI/Bluffton marketplace. We are all very proud of how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time and are excited to see what the next 10 years will bring. Thanks to all of YOU for your continued and unwavering support!

Welcome, John Friday

We’re excited to announce that agent John Friday has joined our team as a Bluffton Specialist! An knowledgeable professional with over a decade of real estate experience, John lives in Moss Creek with his wife and 5 year-old twins. John will work primarily with mainland-based buyers and sellers and can be reached on his mobile at 912-663-0909 or via email at


Welcome Velinda Fisher

In addition to John, Velinda Fisher has come on board as a Buyer Specialist. A Lowcountry resident for nearly two decades, Velinda will help Hilton Head Island-based buyer clients find their next home! Velinda can be reached at 843-816-7716 or via email at

Happy Anniversary, Kent and Sallie!
Belated anniversary wishes to Kent and Sallie Collins, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary! Congratulations on this incredible milestone! We all love you!

Vote for CGR!
It’s time again to vote for the Hilton Head Monthly Readers’ Choice Awards!  We are honored and grateful to have won the last two years in a row but we NEED YOUR HELP AGAIN!! Please click on the link below for the ballot. Please note: You DO NOT have to vote in every category! It’ll take just a few seconds to scroll down to the Real Estate Co section and type in Collins Group Realty as your favorite company!  Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom and click on the submit button or your vote won’t count!  Thank you!

Local News

Beaufort County to Preserve Land
The Beaufort County Council recently approved two measures that will help preserve 31.53 acres of land in Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island.  1.53 acres of historically significant property located on Beach City Road in the Mitchelville area of Hilton Head Island will be purchased through the Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program. Mitchelville was the first Freedom village in the post-Civil War south and numerous other efforts are underway to transform this area of the Island into a memorial and educational experience.

In Bluffton, 30 acres of land on the headwater of the Okatie River, which had been previously zoned for residential and commercial use, will now be conserved in an effort to rehabilitate the waterway and hopefully (eventually) reopen it for shell fishing. As a result, the Okatie Regional Park will be extended. The land is located at 278 and the Okatie River and includes the property east and west of the Hampton Parkway.

Autumn Events
Autumn is the kick off for festival and event season in the Lowcountry. Here are some of the upcoming activities:

·  Italian Heritage Festival
September 22, 2012
·  LoCo Motion 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer
September 28-30, 2012
·  Hilton Head Burgers & Brews Fall Festival
October 13, 2012
·  Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival
October 14-21, 2012

Lowcountry Living

This month’s Lowcountry Living was written by Buyer Specialist Joan Weaver:

“My husband Charlie and I recently took advantage of a great weekend and rode about 8 miles on our bikes on Pinckney Island between the bridges.  It was awesome, and I couldn’t believe after living here for so long that I had never been there!  There were lots of folks walking, jogging and riding bikes.”
Editors Note: Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is located between the Hilton Head bridges and is open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset. The island features a variety of land types including salt marsh, forestland, brushland, fallow field and freshwater ponds and is home to an abundance of wildlife such as waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, neo-tropical migrants, white-tailed deer, alligators, white ibis, herons and egrets. There are no fees charged to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful refuge.