This is the third in a series of articles covering the history and role/contributions of villa associations and regimes within the Town of Seabrook Island (Town). The first article, published in July, covered the history of villa associations/regimes within the Town. The second article, published in November, covered their role/contributions with respect to the Town. This article will focus on the role/contributions of associations/regimes with respect to the Seabrook Island Club (SIC) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Seabrook Island Real Estate (SIRE). It is based upon research contributed by the respective staffs of, among others, the Town, Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA), SIC/SIRE and Coastal Getaways of South Carolina (Coastal Getaways). Data provided in this article is largely quantifiable, due to the ability to break down most SIC/SIRE revenue items between villas and single-family homes and the relative contributions of villas to SIC/SIRE.
There are 41 villa associations/regimes within the Town. As of November 14, 52% of the residential units within the Town were villas–1,184 villas (1114 of which were within SIPOA [excludes Bohicket Marina Village’s 70 units]) vs. 1,090 single family homes. Villas constituted approximately 75% of the rental properties within the Town based upon SIC/SIRE and Coastal Getaways data.
Villas contribute significantly to SIC revenues through joining fees, dues, amenity fees and recreation and food and beverage expenditures. Another significant contributor to SIC are real estate commissions from SIRE villa sales. 776 SIC members are villa owners, contributing about $3.13M in dues this year. Of this amount, $1.4M was contributed by the 351 members who rent their villa with access to SIC amenities. Last year SIC issued over 12,000 amenity cards of which approximately 8,000 were for guests/renters of villa owners. In addition, these owners and their guests/renters spend about $271K on amenity fees and approximately $2M at SIC restaurants, golf courses and racquet club, etc. per year. It has been estimated that guests/renters contribute almost 50% of the SIC non-dues operating revenue and 25% of its total operating revenue year in and year out while the suite of amenities available through access to SIC facilities significantly increases the appeal of renting on Seabrook Island. As a former SIC President rightfully said during the Sense of Place Study, “Please don’t take my rental villa income away.”
The contribution to SIRE revenues is also significant. Last year, villa sales contributed over $750K of its gross commission revenue. As a SIC subsidiary, the net profit from this SIRE revenue contributed in a significant manner to maintaining SIC capital reserves. It should also be noted that villa rentals and subsequent purchases often lead to full or near-full-time residence on Seabrook Island. And, in many cases, lead to purchase or construction of single-family residences. Also, there is an emerging trend of downsizing from large single-family residences to more easily managed villas to continue their residence on Seabrook Island.
Other contributions by villa owners to SIC include service on the SIC Board of Governors, SIC committees and the SIRE Board of Directors. While the value of these contributions cannot be quantified, they are assuredly critical to SIC/SIRE governance and the welfare of both resident and nonresident owners. Over the years, the COVAR Board, on behalf of villa and other property owners, has also made contributions to SIC/SIRE governance and the welfare of not only property owners, but also guests and renters by providing thoughtful input to their leadership, such as the SIRE/COVAR initiative mentioned, below.
Through the contributions outlined, above, villa owners, whether resident or nonresident, play a very significant role in SIC/SIRE. They contribute not only to their financial well-being, but, also, to their governance. Both types of contributions serve to ensure SIC/SIRE financial stability, as well as Seabrook Island’s continued livability, benefitting all owners (resident or nonresident) guests and renters.
In closing, it should be noted that at the upcoming December 9 General Meeting the COVAR Board currently plans on:
- Conducting a meet the SIPOA Board Candidates program,
- Presenting the COVAR Communications Program,
- Discussing the forthcoming COVAR election and,
- Introducing the new SIRE Broker in Charge and SIRE/COVAR Villa Repair/Update Initiative.
-Submitted byAllan Keener, COVAR President