CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - If you're looking for a home, realtors will tell you you'll get much more space for your dollar in Conway, but that's not all. WMBF News went shopping for a closer look at the market and the values.
From the background sound of church bell chimes, to the priceless scenes of nature, it's a place where time seems to freeze.
"1910 Circa, yes, the home was lived in for the past 100 years or so," explains realtor Don Howard of Ray Realty.
Howard has been selling homes in Conway for nearly 20 years, and he says the neighborhood is something you just can't get at the beach.
"We have downtown, we have a city hall, everything here, we have the river, we have a college football team that is very close to us. We have a great many amenities," announces Howard, "and all the amenities at the beach are ours, to enjoy, except the price."
Those prices are all based on location, the closer to the ocean, the more you pay, for less space.
"Conway's one price, get into Carolina Forest [and] it goes up some, once you get across the Intracoastal Waterway, you'll see a substantial jump and you get to the oceanside and it is very substantial," specifies Howard.
Since Conway is a less seasonal market than Myrtle Beach, Howard says home values haven't rebounded as much or as quickly, but he's happy with what he's seeing.
"Our closed sales numbers are up, we're closing more sales this year than we were a year ago," claims Howard.
At $480,000, fewer buyers may be in the budget for the classic home at 511 laurel street, however, for the price, Howard says you get 3,400 heated square feet, plus two 2 bedroom, 1 bath rental apartments and a workshop.
"It's untouchable for its listing price, nothing like it in the whole market," says Howard excitedly.
There's an original picture reminding you of what the house looked like before neighbors and paved roads, all original hardwood floors, a 2005 architect designed renovation with custom granite and cupboards, and a luxurious master bathroom with a giant Jacuzzi. Of course the inventory varies, for $229,000 there's a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with 2,800 heated square feet.
"You can't duplicate these homes for anywhere near what they're selling for," states Howard.
Howard is hoping to duplicate sales numbers of the past, and while he knows Conway will never compete with the ocean, he says the only way to improve value is to remind people that Conway offers a different living experience.
"Conway is a lazy river country town that has got all the southern charm of anywhere else in South Carolina," Howard claims.
Realtors say the Conway market started to see home values and the number of sales increase last year. But with record interest rates, they say now is the time to buy.