Being a Landscaper in Myrtle Beach SC.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by orangeblossom, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Well, with bluntness, it stinks.

    Let me describe the area to you: (1) Homes are booming and new developments are popping up all over the place. (2) Beautiful area to live in. (3) Busy in the summer, small town feel in the winter. Sounds like a perfect area to start up a landscape company....yes?

    Well, the answer is flat out NO. EVEN if you are in HOME contruction....NO, unless you are the BIG man running the entire developments; who is ususally the one that gets all the money. There are basically OWNERS of this town. It reminds me of the OLD WEST....they EACH own 20 different business (want insurance, go to Bob...need an attorny...Bob is one too....want to buy land, hey BOB is the guy because he is also a realtor!...get my point?), and you eventually get paid from them.

    The price for labor here is DIRT cheap. Many want to blame the mexicans...I can see their anger, but, I also think a lot has to do with themselves also undercutting each other. And from what I have seen, I can't blame their Hatred towards the Mexicans. I really can't.

    Here is an example:

    We met a site manager, contractor who has landscape jobs for one of Bob's companies. Ok...he comes to us with a job. Being rather a new friend, he provides us what other landscape companies are willing to get paid for this job: 10 large trees, 2 huge new beds (buildt up and all with top soil, mulch), Sod, etc. Brand new landscaping. The other landscaper's cost? The higest was $4,000. When asked what we would do it for, we laughed....because $4,000 covers ONLY THE SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT! We told him roughly $10,000.

    How can one just do a job, that pays for only SUPPLIES AND COSTS?

    Then he asked us, if we would do a paver walkway that is 3 feet wide and 20 feet long. As 'friends,' IF THEY SUPPLIED material, would submitted the LOWEST price in OUR history......$750.00. We were told, others were willing to do the job, TOP.....$450....they also had a bid for $200.00.

    After a long talk, we decided that the landscaping industry in this area stinks. So, later that week, over some beers we asked another contractor if he knew of anyone who wanted to buy our dump truck. Practically brand new, and we are sacrificing it for $10,500 (it is paid for, and we just want it off our hands now).

    He called a few contractors and a local deli hangout....gets off teh phone and tells us, bad time.....there are at least 8 guys whose homes are being repossed by the banks! What?, we cried? This is ridiculous!

    The stories jsut keep getting better and better. I've got right now, at least 100 of them in my pocket.

    But, let's me give you an idea of living expenses here: A good 1200 sq foot home cost, in a good area to raise kids, is about $215,000 to $250,000. A condo can cost up to $500,000.

    Every where one goes, a new tax bill arises. For instance, with all my vehicles combined, I have to pay $444.00 a year on them (1 car, 1 scooter & one dump truck - can't get your registration tags w/out paying). With a brand new 2007, my neighbor had to pay $500.00 on that one alone. Tax is at 9.5% here. And everything one esbalishes here, you must pay a "DEPOSIT" & they are not cheap.

    The prices and cost for supplies are jsut the same anywhere else in the U.S....nothing has fluctuated in THAT! Go to a Home depot, you are paying the same. Buy a new truck, you are paying the same....a home, it cost more. Taxes cost more. Go to a nursey, they cost the same.

    BUT, go and do work, and they expect contractors (landscapers or contruction workers), to work for UNDER the cost of supplies, labor, etc.

    Not only that, but NON-U.S. CITIZENS are able to open companies here, and totally underbid, doing work that is jsut not feasible to living wages. They work for 4 months, and go home for 8, because the U.S. dollar let's them do that.

    Now, I speak the TRUTH! And the joke is, I now understand why SOUTHERN LANDSCAPERS defend the PINE mulch....because it does look like CRAP! But, MONEY wise, it is the cheapest so they can put $1.00 in their pockets. But, at least I AM HONEST on why they use it....they lie about it.

    I do not know if I am angry at this time, or disgusted. In truth, when I talk to contractors ( when the come in at lunch), they are REALLY, REALLY hurting big TIME! They got families and homes, bills, etc.

    AND IF YOU THINK I AM LYING....then simply show up in the area and talk to some of them. IF YOU AGREE to these low prices, them kudos to you....but, in REALITY....when one starts hearing of foreclosures, it is NOT a good thing.

    And what happens with the foreclosures? Ppl from out of state or some of the big ones here buy them, and sell them for double the money.

    In closing....I was thinking that UNION was a bad thing. But now, I rather wish unions were in the South....one thing about them, was at least they kept the market up.

    My advise....if any one of you come to Myrtle Beach and think of moving here, DO NOT! Stay where you are, if you have a good business. TAKE my words as a great testimony! Enjoy your vacation, and then GO HOME!

    To those who are here.....I truely feel for all of you. And, I am going to write a letter to the newspapers, complaining. Call me an activist, but something has to be done with the market here. What is happening in this area is ridiculous, and ethically wrong! I am going to do research, get figures, etc. I hope that my article will be published by the newspapers here, but it may be rejected do to WHO OWNS THE DAMN THING! It is the first step I believe.

    To those who are blind, and prefer those cheap rates....I can't stand you! You do not just hurt yourselves, stupidly, but you are hurting families across the area; emotionally and breaking men's souls who love this work! There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING YOU CAN SAY TO DEFEND YOURSELF! You got to be the lowest speciman on earth!

    OB
     
  2. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,985

    I'm sorry to hear about your plight and the work conditions in Myrtle Beach. We share some of the same problems here, but not as bad. Foreclosures are increasing too.
    I'll be in Myrtle Beach for a weekend getaway, this weekend. Anything I should see or do? I haven't been there in many years. Thanks and hope things somehow improve.
     
  3. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    We bought a restaruant to get us "into" Myrtle Beach. Two families on a one family income restaurant. We thought, with our contruction experience that we both could do side jobs, and build back up our business, then sell the restaurant.

    Well, that was the story. Now, we find out....hey, one can't. lately, we are trying to figure out what to do otherwise. Not easy.

    So, stop by our restaurant and have a pizza. Try to come around NON-busy times, even to chat to listen to the stories I have posted here. ALL CONTRACTORS ARE WELCOMED!

    When we get busy, it is hard to talk....in fact, we can't at all as much as we would love to. But...... We are at 6613 North Kings Hwy. New York Pizza AND DELI.....Now, is the busy time with tourist...everyday is a new exception. But, then all teh sudden, we have the place entirely empty and will sit in the back table having coffee, doing nothing. So, if you catch us at that time.....we will let it allllll out.

    Thanks for your support, and look forward to catching up with you. I hope you enjoy your stay at Myrtle Beach....as I do with all tourists....but if you are thinking of ever moving here.....take my advice and DO NOT!
     
  4. cooksjr537

    cooksjr537 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    I had no idea that Myrtle Beach was like that. Sorry to hear about that. I'm pretty sure your Pizza and Deli does good during the summer. But anyways me and some of the guys are heading down July 7 i'll stop by and get a piece of pizza take care and see you soon!
     
  5. cmitcham

    cmitcham LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    didn't we already ask/tell this orange guy to move back to the midwest?

    it does seem as though he has mellowed quite a bit since his first tirade, maybe in just these few weeks, the southern way of life is already converting him. perhaps he'll make it after all.
     
  6. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Look to see you all soon!

    Just remember...if we are busy, can't talk....but if nothing...then you'll be able to hear the stuff.

    See you there! And have a great time, in all honesty....I hope.
     
  7. heather

    heather LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    I live just north of myrtle beach 30 miles.Lots of work but all by the same 5 developers and building contracters.They inturn set the price.Mowing here has hit bottom $200 a month is considered high for a single family home. One company will reel cut your lawn for $25 a cut. Soon I will just give up mowing and stick with pavers.
    Whats the deal with the golf courses letting them selfs go? I counted maybe 7-8 courses that just quit cutting.I would hate to have bought a golf course home and the course go belly up. seems to be a myrtle beach trend
     
  8. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,985

    I just got back from Myrtle. Thanks for the invite orangeblossom, sorry I didn't get a chance to stop by, I was with a large group and and wasn't the one driving. Maybe next time. As a tourist, I had a good time, nice looking town. We had a big house right on the beach, and the beer flowed like wine. :drinkup: Gotta love that warm ocean, must've been 80+ degrees. It's nice not having to freeze your cahoneys off like you do at O.C. MD. Saw the Dixie Stampede, Broadway at the Beach, T-Bones, Hooters, & mini golf. If you hadn't told me I would have never known there was a problem. Hope things work out.
     
  9. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    We almost moved to Myrtle beach before we started the business here thinking it would be a longer growing season. Thank god i didn't after reading this post.
     
  10. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

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