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RISMEDIA, May 21, 2007-(MCT)-You knew you could trick out your bike, but did you know you can do it to your home?

In a slow market where real estate agents are pulling out all the stops to get a house sold, one company has come up with a “Biker Beach House” aiming to cash in on that devoted bunch, who spend thousands of dollars on their rides.

These raised beach houses, which the developers plan to trademark, are decked out in black leather, tire-treaded stairs, chrome fixtures, biker bandana window curtains, a poker table, an orange front door and Harley-Davidson bedding.

The homes have metal roll-up garages on the bottom for bike storage — something most beach houses don’t have.

“You can customize the house like bikers customize their bikes,” said Tammy Winner, co-owner of Myrtle Beach Real Estate.

A growing number of homes on the market forced the owners of Myrtle Beach Real Estate to think way outside the box of typical real estate marketing.

“We had to do something different because the market is flooded with four-bedroom, three-bath beach houses,” she said.

In October, Winner created the biker-themed idea to sell the four beach homes that are being built across the street from the Broken Spoke Saloon in Garden City Beach.

This week the real estate company is set up amid the roaring engines and slinky tops within Broken Spoke, pushing their chromed-out homes. They’re coming in at 10 a.m. and leaving as late as 11 p.m. They’re even joining in the fun by wearing biker T-shirts and handing out beer koozies.

Two potential buyers have picked up contracts, and bike rally visitors seem impressed with the idea.

“This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this,” said Mike McLaughlin of Millville, N.J. “I love the bar stools.”

The homes come with a swimming pool, with the option of having a bike symbol put on the bottom of the pool.
It also has extra hoses to wash motorcycles and biker artwork, said designer Denise Thompson. The entire customized home — which can be decorated for any kind of bike or biker — sells for $599,000 by Steve Fournier Custom Building.

The walls are gray with a shiny horizontal stripe, and the carpet is charcoal colored.

“You got to give them credit for creative marketing,” said Tom Maeser, president of the Fortune Academy of Real Estate.

He said there could be some obstacles with such a narrowly focused product.

If a buyer plans to rent out the home, it may rent for a higher price in May, but Maeser is doubtful that it would be attractive to renters during the rest of the summer. He also wonders whether such a niche theme will affect resale value.

“It might be a neat feature during May, but after May is it going to detract from the price?” Maeser said. “Those are things from a marketing and expenditure thing you have to be concerned about. To me, that sounds like a very faddish, seasonal kind of thing.”

Still, those selling real estate say bikers often make a good portion of buyers that are looking during the bike rally.
“It’s a very wealthy demographic. They’re retiring just like everyone else,” said Tim Collins, a biker himself, and developer of Stone Gate at Prince Creek.

The creators of the Biker Beach House say they’re planning to sell their first four homes this bike rally and perhaps build more in a different section of the beach. They’re also willing to take the concept to other areas.

Copyright © 2007, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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