We got a call in April from a television show called “Buying the Beach.” It’s produced by Paper Route Productions based in New York. (Some of their other shows include Yukon Men, Buying Alaska, Buying the Bayou & Buying Hawaii.) One of their people had come across a Dewees Video, and wanted to feature a listing on the island as part of their show, where one couple looks at three properties before deciding to buy one. After some back and forth conversations with several owners whose homes were on the market, the best match for the show’s needs was Lorna and Ben Timmons’ house at Lot 131. I declined an offer to be the “on camera” realtor, but was very involved in making the logistics work for the camera crew and cast, and staging the home to present the best impression possible.
I hopped on the 7:30 ferry on May 27, to meet the crew. I was able to explain all of the great things about living on Dewees to the “on-camera” realtor, who generally sells real estate in the Hilton Head area. First, we looked at the wide open beach and beautifully maintained roads on the island.
Then, we headed over to the house. The couple buying the house waited in the golf cart while the crew and cameras set up inside. In some ways, showing a house on TV involves the exact opposite behavior of showing the house in real life. Because the impoundment views are one of the best things about that house, when I show the house I open the doors and shades to emphasize the view to a buyer. But for TV, they want the “big reveal” factor. So they might start with this view of the dining room:
and have the buyers experience the “discovery” of the amazing views from the back deck.
Hard to resist this view, though:
On the show, the couple is choosing between a private island behind Folly Beach with a sort of treehouse, a private island with several rustic buildings near Hilton Head, and the more upscale listing on Dewees Island. Even though the Dewees home is outfitted well, the husband wants his own island for his family. The Dewees home is listed for $900K, while the others are between 1.2 and 1.4 million. It’s an interesting choice– they have to decide between their wish for ultimate privacy and the advantages of having a community to share amenities with, between shared conveniences and true independence. One correction we would add is that we don’t use water from the IOP: we pump and treat our water (and wastewater) right here! And although the camera crew spent 11 hours filming here, they were limited to 10 minutes of final footage, so they couldn’t show our clubhouse with the tennis courts and swimming pool, our nature center, and our fire station.
Even though the camera crew had done their research, they were pretty excited about what they found here. Sean Morrissey, the leader of the camera crew assigned to Dewees, asked his crew what they thought of the day:
“Dewees Island is definitely a hidden gem in South Carolina. Access to great beaches without having to worry about any crowds or traffic is not something you can find in too many places, and something we weren’t expecting to find when we showed up.”
“It was nice to see the sense of community that existed when we got to Dewees Island. Everyone was friendly and willing to show us all that it has to offer.”
“Being from the New York City, the idea of only having ferry access to my house seems crazy, but once I got onto Dewees Island I could definitely see the benefits. Its not too far from the city, but just enough to feel like we were secluded from the hustle and bustle.”
“Honestly, after visiting I wanted my parents to buy a house on Dewees so I can have an a awesome place to vacation.”
We were glad they noticed the sense of community– that can be hard to demonstrate in a quick visit to the island. It was clear though, that we support each other– besides the interns, neighbors Janet, Liz, and Anne all helped throughout the day.
This isn’t the first time for a Dewees Island residence to be featured on a home show: the McDevitt’s residence was featured on HGTV’s Extreme Homes show. While that episode was on the web for a while, it seems to have disappeared from view. It brought us one of our current residents, though. Liz O’Leary was watching it at home in DC six or seven years ago, and decided that Dewees Island was somewhere she wanted to check it out. She looked to see if there were vacation homes to rent, and after renting on the island for years, she and her family made it their permanent residence last August. Maybe there are future neighbors out there watching the show!
The next episode of Buying the Beach should be our episode. It’s called (oddly) “Appalachian Islands,” and it is currently scheduled for Monday, September 1st at 3:00 pm. In our area, Destination America is channel 286. This link will take you to the show’s schedule page, which is subject to change without notice. For more information on the house for sale, click here.