Today the word “awesome” is used to describe everything from a warm drink of water to a prison tattoo (apologies to all violent felons reading this). In 1520 when that word still meant something, the Spaniards landed on Tybee Island, thinking it was part of Florida, and claimed it for Spain. The TomTom Sextants were still in the developmental stages and not as accurate then. As the captain stepped down onto that beautiful sandy shoreline, he said “this place is awesome. Now, you men unload the moss and start throwing it up into the trees. And somebody put a few doubloons in the parking meter and don’t forget to tack the receipt to the masthead.
Those early folks saw Tybee as a good place to build a fort to protect their property, never considering this to be one of the best places in the world to live. Tourists and townies flock to Tybee every year to bask in the sun on this beach, which is considered one of the finest in the country. Some residents live here year-round, some people have second homes here, and most visitors wish there were in one of those two categories.
Property values are solid on Tybee Island, with the median sales price of a single family home topping the $300,000.00 mark. Occasionally a bargain pops up and occasionally a million-dollar plus property sells. The average listing price for a home now on Tybee is around $559,000.00. The recession left its mark on this island paradise also. Property values have actually dropped about 25% over the last five years, but prices seem to have stabilized and are slowly climbing. Single-family homes and condos alike don’t stay on the market too long. There is never much commercial property for sale at any price. That list is shorter than the recreational Red Snapper fishing season.
Year round residents are attracted by many factors on Tybee Island. The schools are top notch if you have children. Crime is low and most offenses involve alcohol, whether imbibing too much or partaking of it before the legal age limit kicks in. And of course there is the incredible beach, water sports, fishing, sightseeing, biking and dining. According to a survey we made up for this article, there are at least one restaurant and two bars for each permanent resident on Tybee (the Chamber of Commerce would not confirm this, in fact they said “that is just a lie”). The point is there are plenty of good places to eat and hang out and enjoy the ocean breeze and view, or debate who serves the coldest beer on the island (it has been verified beer can be served at 28 degrees Fahrenheit because the alcohol prevents freezing).
Tybee Island is a good, safe place to invest your real estate dollars. Many private residences are available for rent during the peak vacation months to accommodate the flocks of tourists who visit from all over the country. Traffic can be maddening on the big holidays. You can expect lines outside the building at all the breakfast places and a good wait for dinner at just about every restaurant. Yogi Berra (I think he was an old Spanish philosopher) summed it up when he said “nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”
See Real Estate for Sale on Tybee Island