[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2019! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at SecondShelters.com and CandysDirt.com!]

Amy: Now that 2018 is coming to a close, we decided to sift through dozens of our What Can I Get For…? posts to find our favorites. One place came out on top. Enter Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club. We wrote about it back in July of 2018 and are still swooning over its blue and white interiors. If you don’t know, now you know. And yes, it’s that good. Enjoy, and Happy New Year to all!

What Can I Get For $1 Million In … Kiawah Island, South Carolina?

A lot actually. We are so excited to share the newly unveiled model residence at the Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences – the only private residence club with fractional ownership on Kiawah Island, and the newest oceanfront offering in over 30 years! Nestled in an intimate, gated community of 21 residences along the Southern Carolina coast, this Kiawah Island retreat is set to open in October, offering both a penthouse, starting at $1,285,000; and beachfront residences from $475,000.

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Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences, Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Starting from $475,000 to $1.285 million a fraction. Photo credit: Shawn O’Connor.

A lot actually. We are so excited to share the newly unveiled model residence at the Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences – the only private residence club with fractional ownership on Kiawah Island and the newest oceanfront offering in over 30 years!

Nestled in an intimate, gated community of 21 residences along the Southern Carolina coast, this Kiawah Island retreat is set to open in October, offering both a penthouse, starting at $1,285,000; and beachfront residences from $475,000.

(more…)

Not every second home location is a hot spot for starlets and the uber wealthy. Take Kiawah Island, S.C., for instance. This coastal hideaway has everything you want in a retreat — a secluded location, gorgeous views, and plenty of fantastic homes. This area is the perfect place to daydream about your next vacation home. Here’s a quick-hit list of a few of our favorite listings in this charming Southern getaway:

1) 1 Captain Maynard Island

This home has pretty much everything. In fact, I would consider it the quintessential South Carolina coastal home. You’ve got cedar shake shingles, coastal views, proximity to the beach, privacy, and luxury like no other. It’s listed for $14.95 million and worth every penny. (Kiawah Island Real Estate)

2) 109 Flyway Drive

Not only is this home easy on the eyes, but it’s easy on the earth, too. This incredible eight-bedroom, 10-bath home is rated LEED Silver by the US Green Building Council. This house is on a two-acre double homesite in the sought-after Vanderhorst Plantation. It’s yours if you’ve got $10.85 million to spare. (Daniel Ravenel, Sotheby’s)

3) 36 Ocean Course

With this amazing home, you’ll want to live by one of its many windows to soak in the views of the surrounding waters. You can gaze at most of the island’s scenery from the wrap-around porches and gorgeous gazebo of this 8,000-square-foot home. Even more amazing are the interiors of this $6.9 million mansion, but you won’t really notice them too much. (Kiawah Island Real Estate)

4) 25 Surfsong Road

Ever wanted to feel like you’re the only home around with amazing 360-degree-views of the surrounding waters — the Atlantic Ocean, even? This home has them, and it’s stucco exterior provides a pleasant Mediterranean change of pace from the clapboard and cedar shake that’s prevalent on Kiawah Island. Flush with Corinthian style, this gorgeous stow-shopper is priced at just under $5.5 million. Those view are worth at least as much. (Kiawah Island Real Estate)

5) 96 Rhetts Bluff

I love this home because it has the most amazing marsh views and plenty of room for a family. This home is a bird-watcher’s paradise. The huge deck makes an outstanding spot from which you can try to get a gander at a rare wood stork, or perhaps snatch a glimpse of a painted bunting. At $4.5 million, you can get your fill of birds and maybe a little champagne, too. Not together, of course. (Kiawah Island Real Estate)

Beacon Hill

Barrons is bragging how they called it: the second home market has bottomed, and the rich are out swooping up the bargains. Prices of high-end second homes have sunk, some as low as 40%. And Barrons lists the top second home markets in the US. Sea Island, Georgia was rated number one. Next comes Maui, The Hamptons, Aspen, Martha’s Vineyard, Lake Tahoe, Kiawah Island, S.C., Palm Beach, Pebble Beach, Greater Palm Springs, Sun Valley, Bray’s Island Plantation, Lake Geneva (where I used to go as a Chicago kid), and Ashville, N.C. The Barrons report (not sure if sub. req.) tells why these places are so glorious, and lists average prices like $2.5 to $4 million. With prices and places like these, no wonder readers got ticked off — check the comments!

Here’s the deal, and one of the many reasons why I started this blog. Second home ownership is totally affordable. I repeat: you do not have to be a zillionaire to own a second home. Like anything, it sure helps. But you can buy second homes for right around a million or less. $150K to $500K even.

I agree the bottom has hit the second home market, and the rich are buying. I will add some are striking deals and paying cash. Today I had lunch with Andrew Hadley, Director of sales and marketing at Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is a beautiful community on Cedar Creek Lake, which I call the Pebble Beach of Dallas, and it’s only 45 minutes away.

And totally affordable.

Here’s the deal: the rich always set the pace. But second home ownership on a way less than $2.5 million basis is out there, and many communities are within driving distance of Dallas, Austin and Houston.

Beacon Hill plans a state of the art jetty-protected marina, floating boat slips, decked-out party rooms, deck space, boat launch, and a sandy beach. Party rooms will be veritable sports bars, with multiple flat-screen televisions, bars, and private owner storage. Construction is using ocean-grade specs. Lots start at $125,000.

Andrew, who has practically worked all his life in second home sales — he worked in chi chi Aspen, too — tells me people want affordable second homes. Couple to three thousand square feet, no giants. Lock and leave. Cedar Creek is really popping — I plan to live out there this summer. There’s the 505 Cedar Creek Ranch Club — 56 waterfront home sites, archery, skeet shooting, ATV, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping and future polo field. Home sites start at $295,000.

Cinnamon Shores, down in Port Aransas: get a house for $525,000.

The Reserve at Summit Rock plans a 50-home, golf-front development overlooking Summit Rock Golf Course, a soon-to-be-completed Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The Reserve at Summit Rock fronts holes 17 and 18 of the course, which will be owned and operated by the Horseshoe Bay Resort and is expected to be ready for play by May 2011. Oh and some of the homes will be Jack’s “Signature” houses. Casitas, none larger than 3000 square feet.

You want to talk townhomes and condos, talk to me. Gulf Shores Alabama is a fire sale right now. I’ll bet you could pick up a beach condo there for $125,000. Or less. A friend with a condo in Watercolor is building a home in the area, South Walton, Florida. These people are professionals who have certainly worked hard and educated their kids and now want to have a place where family can gather as they wind down working. Maye it’s a future retirement home. Maybe they’ll create a family vacation compound so the kids and grandkids can go there long after mom and pop are gone and remember the old geezers with fondness.

People have been escaping to second homes for centuries, But now second homes are not just for the uber rich.