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The Hilton Head Homes Blog

Things to Consider If You Have Inherited a House

When someone passes away, his or her house is generally left to a family member. Figuring out what to do after inheriting a house can be confusing and overwhelming, particularly when it is unexpected or when siblings become joint owners. People sometimes rush to make decisions, and sometimes, they put off making important choices. Either can lead to more financial costs and stress.

Find and Prevent Damage
If you’ve inherited a house, you should first assess its current condition. Have the house inspected by a professional so that you know what needs work and so you can make any necessary repairs. Next, contact the utility companies to have the accounts switched to your name. It’s also important to keep the heat and water turned on to avoid problems such as frozen pipes. In addition, keep the electricity working and have the yard maintained in order to avoid making it obvious that the house is unoccupied.

Clean Out the House
Invite family members to the house to take any items they want, provided they weren’t left to specific individuals in the will. Start with immediate family members, then branch out to allow others to choose things they would like. This can be an emotionally difficult task, but putting it off will prevent you from moving forward and deciding what to do with the house.

Move in, Sell or Rent?
If you want to move into the house, find out how much the mortgage (if any) and property taxes would be. If you and your siblings are joint owners of the house and one of you wants to live in the space, the future resident can buy out the others, pay them rent, or work out another arrangement.

If you decide to sell the house, you will need to pay taxes on any increase in value between the time of inheritance and the time of sale.

Renting is another option to consider. While you might be able to make money by renting out the property, you need to consider the potential costs that come with this option. In addition to being responsible for taxes and insurance, you would also be personally responsible for maintenance and repairs, unless you hired a property manager. Hiring someone to handle these tasks would cut into your profits, but it could also make renting the house less stressful. If you choose to rent the space, be prepared to thoroughly vet prospective tenants to avoid dealing with missed rent payments, damage and possible eviction proceedings.

Think Things Over Carefully
The death of a loved one is an emotionally painful experience that can leave people feeling overwhelmed and struggling to make decisions. If you’ve inherited a house, it has likely created a host of financial and emotional issues that you weren’t anticipating. Talk to your family and ask professionals for advice so that you can make the right choices.

5 Ideas for Remodeling Your Basement

Looking to update your basement? Here are a few ideas…

Home Theater

Basements are the perfect place to design the home theater of your dreams.

Fitness Area

A fitness area in your basement is rather simple, with the most important features being mirrored walls and a durable floor.

Relaxing Spa

A place to unwind at the end of the day, a home spa is a luxury youre sure to appreciate.

Wine Cellar

The ability to store bottles collected from around the world under ideal conditions will set your house apart.

Home Office

The basement might be the best place to put a designated workspace away from the rest of the house.

What to Do If Your Mortgage Application Was Rejected

Being turned down for a mortgage can be devastating, but you may still be able to achieve your dream of owning a home. Your lender should provide you with a letter explaining why you were denied. You can use that information to make changes to improve your chance of getting approved for a mortgage in the future, either with the same lender or with a different company.

Boost Your Credit Score
One of the most important factors in a lenders decision is a mortgage applicants credit score. You shouldve checked your credit report for errors before you submitted your loan application, but if you didnt, check it now. Lenders frequently misreport or fail to report information, and data from different peoples reports sometimes gets mixed up. Errors in your credit report may have caused your application to be rejected through no fault of your own.

If your credit score is low because of high credit card balances or missed or late payments, work on bringing it up by paying down your balances to lower the percentage of available credit youre using and by paying all your bills on time. If you have a foreclosure or bankruptcy on your credit report, those derogatory remarks could affect your credit score and your chance of obtaining a mortgage for years. You may need to let some time pass and work on rebuilding your credit before buying a house.

Lower Your DTI
A lender looks closely at an applicants debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, or the percentage of gross monthly income thats used to pay credit card bills and loans. If a lender rejected your application because your DTI is too high, you can lower it by paying down your debts and/or by increasing your income. If you have high loan payments, you might be able to lower them by refinancing.

Put More Money Down
If you want to make a small down payment and borrow most of the money for your dream home, the lender may consider your application too risky. You might be better off finding more money for a down payment or applying for a mortgage through a lender that routinely offers loans to borrowers with small down payments.

Stick With Your Job
Most lenders want a mortgage applicant to have been in the same job for at least two years. That helps the lender be confident that an applicant is capable of holding down a job and is likely to repay the mortgage. If you recently started a new position, focus on impressing your boss and building a stable work history.

Dont Give up Hope
If youve been denied for a mortgage, find out why the lender turned you down and take action to address the issue. Youll have a better chance of qualifying if you work on improving your financial circumstances. You can also submit another application to a different lender that has more lenient terms or that offers mortgages for people in circumstances like yours.

5 Ideas for a Luxurious Outdoor Shower

Though it may be a luxury thats often overlooked, an outdoor bathing area adds heaps of appeal to any home. If youre looking to add one to your house, heres all the inspiration youll need to design a dream-worthy outdoor shower.

Tropical Sanctuary
For complete immersion in nature, you can create a tropical garden theme with lush plantings that offer the utmost privacy and relaxation. Try using plants that feel exotic, like hibiscus and bird of paradise, and youll have your own little refuge that feels like a Caribbean resort.

Rustic Appeal
If your home lends itself to more of a farmhouse aesthetic, then you can try designing the shower area with a stone wall for a rural feel. Exposed copper piping furthers the rustic ambiance and makes for an idyllic place to wash all your stress away.

In the Open
Rather than enclosing the shower, another option is to keep it open. This simple solution makes it easy to take a quick rinse after getting out of the pool or spending a day at the beach. All it takes is a luxurious showerhead along the backside of the house and you have everything youll need.

Zen Garden
When you need to get away and relax the mind, an enclosed pebble garden with a stone path leading to your outdoor shower is just the place to escape to. You can even include a seating area for quiet reflection or, even better, an outdoor bathtub.

For a distinctly modern look, try using materials like cedar cladding and concrete along with a sleek showerhead. Add a pergola with plants up above and youll have the perfect place to take your morning shower throughout the summer months.


Strolling along the soft sandy beaches in Sea Pines, Forest Beach, Palmetto Dunes, or other beaches in Hilton Head Island, you may find some buried treasures that are extremely valuable!  Low tide is an ideal time for a beach walk as the coastal beach expands and small tidal pools form. Marine life flourishes in Hilton Head’s well-protected oceanfront, and it is a natural home to sand dollars, starfish, and jellyfish, yet, as you will discover they are not quite what their names imply!  


Its actual vFree sand dollar Images, Pictures, and Royalty-Free Stock Photos -  FreeImages.comalue exceeds a genuine dollar because the interesting details of an eccentric sand dollar are priceless!  Close yet brief observation of this spiny skinned disk’s underside will

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4 Reasons Why High-Tech Toilets Are a Must

Here are a few of the reasons why more and more luxury homes are being equipped with smart toilets.

Super Sanitary

Todays cutting-edge models boast a self-cleaning functionality, air-purifying systems and automatic flushing.

Personalized Experience

Some high-tech toilets boast adjustable heated seats, foot warmers, ambient colored lighting and even Bluetooth capability.

Built-in Bidets

High-tech toilets often include a remote control to adjust the temperature and spray position of a built-in bidet, as well as a warm air dryer.

Water Efficient

Toilets are the main source of water use in most homes. However, some smart toilets use as little as 0.8 gallons per flush.

Kitchen Counsel: Tips to Keep That Stainless Steel Shining

If you have ever owned any stainless steel products, you know how beautiful and appealing the look can be. Stainless steel appliances give a renovated kitchen that POP! it needs, while steel also makes for a very durable cookware product that never disturbs flavors, yet guarantees a balanced heating of foods. It also resists corrosion and rust – a bonus for the steel fans!

But sometimes stainless steel appliances can be difficult to keep clean. Here are some quick and easy tips for cleaning steel and maintaining that fresh metallic look:

Clean with water and a cloth. Microfiber cloths are the best option to use when cleaning stainless steel because they absorb all of the water. It’s also a safe product to use to avoid scratching steel surfaces. You’ll want to avoid paper towels or any cloth or towel with a rough surface intended for non-stick cookware. This especially includes steel wool! When drying, dry along the grain to avoid water spots. If you clean or dry aggressively against the grain with regular scouring pads, you will leave marks on your appliance or pan, so be sure to take it easy.

Only use a drop of dish soap. For most cases, a drop of mild dish soap and warm water is all you’ll need to clean a pan or pot, so don’t overthink it! Just be gentle. Alternatively, using white vinegar as a cleaner has also been proven to work. Try it out – that stuff is like magic!

Glass cleaner is your friend. Fingerprints on stainless steel is one of the biggest complaints and it’s a valid concern! No matter how careful you try to be, fingerprints will always end up on your fridge. Spray glass cleaner on a microfiber cloth to get the job done. Wipe away the fingerprint using soft circular wipes. There are newer finishes of stainless steel that are fingerprint resistant, so if you are buying new products be sure to do your research and seek those out.

Keep a stainless steel cleaner on hand. If you need to remove stains or scratches from your stainless steel, using a steel cleaner is a great option. Read the directions on the cleaner and be sure to test the product on an unnoticeable location, just in case. Even if you aren’t trying to remove a stain or hide a scratch, stainless steel cleaner or glass cleaner will help your appliance shine. As always, rinse the area thoroughly afterwards and towel dry.

Stainless steel can be finicky, but with a little TLC, stainless steel will keep your kitchen looking sleek and stylish for years to come.

What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

In a typical real estate transaction, a warranty deed is used to transfer ownership. That means that the person selling the property owns it and has a right to sell it and that no third party has a lien against the property. A title search is conducted, and title insurance is purchased to protect the buyer.

A quitclaim deed transfers ownership of a property, but only what a person actually owns, if anything at all. If two people jointly own a property, one individual can transfer his or her ownership stake without affecting the co-owners stake. A quitclaim deed does not affect a mortgage on the property or the previous owners responsibility to pay it.

The document must include the location and description of the property, the names of the grantor and grantee, and the date of transfer. It needs to be signed by the appropriate parties and may need to be filed with the county clerk, depending on state law.

When Is a Quitclaim Deed Appropriate?
A quitclaim deed is an easy way to transfer property thats not being sold. For example, parents may want to transfer ownership of a house to a child or put the property in a living trust. A quitclaim deed can be used if someone owns a house, gets married, and wants to add the new spouses name to the deed, or if a couple who jointly own a home get divorced and one person will keep the house.

A quitclaim deed can also be used to correct a defect in the title. For example, a misspelled name, a missing signature, or a document that doesnt have information worded in a way required by state law can be amended using a quitclaim deed.

Why a Quitclaim Deed Should Not Be Used for a Sale
When property ownership is transferred with a quitclaim deed, no title search is performed and no title insurance is purchased. This is fine when property is being transferred between family members who know and trust each other and when no money is changing hands. A quitclaim deed is not appropriate for a sale because the buyer wouldnt know for sure that the seller even owned the property because no title search would be conducted. Someone could claim to own a house and sell it with a quitclaim deed, and the buyer could find out after handing over money that the seller didnt own the house in the first place.

Ask Questions Before You Sign Documents
A quitclaim deed is generally used to transfer property between family members without an exchange of funds or to correct a defect in the title. It should not be used in a real estate sale because of the risk to the buyer. Before you sign a quitclaim deed or any other document related to a real estate transaction, make sure you understand how it could affect your rights and interests. Consult a real estate attorney if you have any questions or concerns.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional or legal advice.

The Next Big Trend in Home Design: Japandi

The term Japandi is a portmanteau combining two design styles: Japanese and Scandinavian.

Heres everything you should know about what might just be the next big design movement.

A Hybrid of Minimalist Styles

Japanese and Scandinavian design both share a sense of minimalism that promotes simple living.

Dark Tones

Japandi emphasizes tones of gray, brown and even black. However, a natural color palette is essential.

Curated Objects

Get creative with the objects on display in spaces that you might typically overlook, like your kitchen island, nightstand or coffee table.

Natural Textures

Wood and stone create a sense of natural balance. Taking that a step further, a water feature or fireplace can deepen that connection to nature.