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The April issue of Hilton Head Monthly is dedicated to the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. But I want to take this opportunity to talk about a related heritage — our national economy — and how the next six months may set the tone of that heritage for the next 10 years.

For the 27th year in a row, I attended the Mid-Winter Housing Finance Conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado. The conference is a gathering of housing industry leaders, bankers, government officials and a few congressmen who are interested in housing policy.

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If you are a seller getting ready to put your house on the market, have you considered how to stage the property to attract online buyers?  
According to the National Association of Realtors’ new 2015 profile on home staging, 81 percent of respondents say a staged house is easier to visualize as a future home; 46 percent say they are more willing to walk through a home they viewed online; and 28 percent say they are more willing to overlook other faults with the property.

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According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 20 million Americans ages 12 or older used an illegal drug in the past 30 days. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that addiction is our nation’s No. 1 health problem — one that significantly burdens the economy, health care system and criminal justice system, and negatively impacts job security, public safety and marital and family life.

E.A.C. Heating & Air was recently awarded the 2015 Carrier President's Award, the highest honor bestowed upon Carrier dealers. E.A.C is the only company in Beaufort County to receive the award.

0215-Business-CrystalBallWelcome to 2015 and year five of the recovery from the Great Recession! It is that time of year when the pundits — those with the education and skills to forecast as well as those who just take it upon themselves to profess — offer up their versions of what will happen in this year. One of the beautiful things about economics, and forecasting in general, is that rarely does anyone listen or keep score. So here is my outlook for 2015 and what it might mean for us living on Hilton Head Island.

0215-Dining-PortPig1After spending most of her professional life working for local restaurants, Ivy Burdick has branched out and opened a place of her own. The popular waitress, bartender and manager is now the proud owner of Porter & Pig Hilton Head, a new gastropub located in The Village at Wexford.

0215-Business-StLukesOn Jan. 11, Hilton Head Island’s St. Luke’s Episcopal Church officially marked 50 years with a special celebration service and anniversary event.

Although the Pope Avenue church has officially marked 50 years of services, its local heritage is closer to 250 years old. St. Luke’s is a name that has been associated with faith in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton areas since the 1700s. Back then, the Church of England officially managed church life in South Carolina, and our present-day counties were known as parishes. In the year 1767, St. Luke’s became its own parish name, carved out of St. Helena Parish. It covered what is now southern Beaufort County.  

January is a perfect time to reflect on the past year and use that knowledge to plan for the coming year.  
And what a year 2014 was. Interest rates remained at historic lows, equity markets continue their march upward, inflation is non-existent and consumers have returned to their traditional role in economic activity.

We make financial adjustments in our life all the time, at all ages. And it’s a good thing we do because we have many years of practice ahead of us to make decisions, big and small, now that Americans are living longer than ever: 76.2 years for males and 81 years for females.

The holidays are over, 2014 is in our life’s memory bank, our eyes are open wide to the opportunities that lay ahead this year, and we can sleep easily at night knowing that all is good.