This is really where I should have put a glowing picture of a gray-haired couple holding hands on the beach — but honestly, how happy is this guy to be here? I like that kind of enthusiasm.

This is really where I should have put a glowing picture of a gray-haired couple holding hands on the beach — but honestly, how happy is this guy to be here? I like that kind of enthusiasm.

Let’s talk about downsizing. Recently, my husband and I traded in our sprawling two-story suburban house in Virginia for an 1800 sq.ft. cottage on a golf coarse near the beach. Sound familiar? What if I told you we’re in our thirties with two elementary aged kids and two dogs, would you think I’m crazy?

Downsizing isn’t a stage of life — it’s a way of life. Proximity to the beach and milder weather seemed a more than fair trade off for square footage. With a growing economy in the South Strand, commuter options, and telecommuting capabilities we realized that we didn’t have to wait until we retired to start our “second chapter.” As for as me, bigger isn’t always better and a smaller house means less time spent cleaning and smaller closets mean less laundry. Honestly, the most stressful part was deciding what furniture to keep and what to do with the rest.

Not quite ready to officially downsize but want to get your toes in the sand already? Because of the unique nature of the Pawleys Island area, there is a vast need for long-term rentals along with short-term rentals, even winter rentals that run September-May. This opens up so many possibilities for you to start living your dream life now even if owning a second home seems too cost prohibitive.

  1. Buy a house/condo here and put it on the rental market. I like to call this one having your cake and eating it too. Depending on how often you can get down here, your financial goals, and the location of the property, you can maintain some access to use it as your own vacation home while allowing it to be income producing or at least net neutral. This option is great when dual mortgages are cost prohibitive.

  2. Buy a house/condo here and place it on the long-term rental market. Okay, so this one seems like the last one but it’s got one major difference — it’s truly an investment property that can potentially pay for itself until you are ready to move here full-time. At that point, you could be sitting on a paid off house along coastal Carolina and invest any proceeds from the sale of your primary residence in other avenues. This is like having your cake but saving it in the freezer for later.

  3. Rent a house/condo here to test the waters. Take advantage of all the buyers in the first two options who are looking for someone like you to rent their house.