Hey There P. Smith,
As my colleague has mentioned, there are virtually thousands of condo communities on the South & North end that are located on or close to the beach that do extremely well in both weekly and off season rentals.
Having had only positive experiences investing in the single family market in this area over the past 10 years , I personally conducted an extensive amount of research before making my own personal investment purchase in the condo market last year and feel very fortunate that I made the decision I did with regard to price, rentability, and lifestyle for an overall "community package". I placed a great deal of weight in my decision making process on the general location relative to all of the commercial development (Market Commons, Hard Rock Theme Park etc) going on in the center of and on the south end of Myrtle Beach -- which is flourishing.
I ultimately made my purchase at Tupelo Bay Golf Villas which is a "new" beach and golf community on the Surfside Beach/Garden City line. From an "owners" perspective (I was one of the first to buy at Tupelo Bay), you really won't find anything on the grand strand that compares with regard to construction, location, amenities, and overall lifestyle in the price range they are.
In addition to being an owner of a Tupelo Bay Golf Villa since June of 2006., I am also a Broker for the Real Estate Company who markets Tupelo Bay Golf Villas. They do allow weekly rentals and have had great success relative to it being the first full year. Some of the buildings are still under construction but many of the community "resort style" amenities are completed including indoor & outdoor pools, full service fitness center, tennis courts and most importantly, a shuttle service to the beach which have been in "full swing" all summer. The Tupelo Bay Villas are adjacent to the Tupelo Bay Golf Center where Villa ownership includes golf and clubhouse privileges.
The 2006 summer rentals were better than anticipated for a first year project and there is currently a "waiting list" for winter "snow bird" rentals (Nov-April). The "feedback" we have received from both owners and renters this year have been "glowing" so I am extremely optimistic about future rental seasons in addition to future appreciation potential. The remaining amenities are in the process of being completed which will include a full service summer kitchen adjacent to the pool complex, a car care facility and a social activities director.
I suppose I could go on and on but if you haven't had an opportunity to see Tupelo Bay, I encourage you to check it out before making your decision. The homeowner fees are extremely low relative to what is included ie) insurance, extended cable, full service fitness, in/out pools, tennis, golf privileges and of course beach access via shuttle.
I would be delighted to share with you my personal experience as an owner and can also assist you with the availability of what is for sale, including the remaining pre-construction incentives. I can also provide you with a 1st year rental history for some of the Villas in addition to providing access to current owners who would also be happy to share their experiences with you.
In closing, feel free to give me a call or contact me by email via the "web reference" listed below. I look forward to speaking with you and wish you great success in your search!