Imagine an exclusive beachfront home, only steps from the water for under $80,000! That’s what you’ll find in the cabana district in Myrtle Beach. About a dozen of these 200 square foot beach structures line the shore in this Ocean Boulevard area.
The cabanas have questionable origins; some believe they originally belonged to beach homes across the street that have since been destroyed and replaced with condos. Others say the structures belonged to the Ocean Forest Hotel that stood from 1930 to 1974, and later offered for sale after the hotel was torn down.
In any event these small buildings are among the hottest pieces of real estate in town; only two have come on the market in the last seven years. Generally local realtors maintain lists of prospective buyers, and if a unit or lot becomes available it usually sells within 30 minutes.
Myrtle Beach native, Steve Bailey, purchased his cabana lot after a five minute phone call with his real estate agent. Apparently the building codes were extremely restrictive, requiring numerous permits, installation of a septic system, and underground utility lines. He can’t have a driveway, park on his property, step on the dunes, touch the sea oats or move any of the sand on the lot. Bailey claimed that building the cabana had more restrictions than building a house, but it was worth the effort.
Most residents don’t bother with insurance, as the costs are so high, it’s cheaper to rebuild. However, don’t be fooled, these beach huts may be small, but they’re mighty. One in particular, owned by Kevin Warren and Dean Carroll, is estimated at over 20 years of age. Its solid structure has survived annual hurricanes for years.
Rod Scarborough, a retired bank executive, spent five years trying to obtain his $78,000 piece of the beach located from a 40-foot setback to the high tide mark. His beach home is in use frequently, with an open door policy extended to his friends and family.
These cherished little beach huts have provided an exclusive getaway that only a fortunate few have been able to acquire. Hopefully they will remain for years to come, handed down as heirlooms from generation to generation.