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Old 01-31-2010, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Charlotte at last
128 posts, read 252,408 times
Reputation: 52
Smile Thinking of Charleston for Retirement- -advice please


Hello everyone,

My husband and I have heard a lot of nice things about Charleston. We are from NJ and will retire in about 18 months. We are in our mid-late 50"s and are looking for a community that has new/ranch homes. ( I have seen some of the David Weekly homes and they look nice)

We are looking to spend between 250-325K and be no more than 30-35 mins from Charleston or the beach, if possible. My DH and I have looked at Charlotte, NC and liked it, but we want a warmer climate in the winter. We were also thinking of looking at Greenville, SC- -but from the posts think it will be way to conservative for us and cooler in climate. We are organic eaters and understand there is a nice Whole Foods and good local produce.
Also, coming from excellent medical care in NJ/NY was wondering if that is true in Charleston?

What communities would suit us and can someone recommend an honest realtor who can show us Charleston without any hype. We unfortunately got burned in Sarasota, Fla on a vacation condo (which we have since sold) by a realtor who hyped the Sarasota area and if we did not buy in the moment, we would be priced out of the market- - big mistake!! . That was our original place for our retirement until we added up the expensive home costs, prop taxes, hurricane insurance and water bills!

Any advice, especially from people who have relocated from the tri state area would be much appreicated!!!
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,889 posts, read 3,169,260 times
Reputation: 250
Rumor has it we are also getting a Trader Joes in Mount Pleasant. In your price range you will have no problem finding a place here for retirement. I'd look anywhere between Summerville and Mount Pleasant. Whole foods is in Mount Pleasant (thats where trader joes is rumored to come) and then we have Earth Fare in West Ashley area.

Ranch homes are harder to find especially new, but we do have them. Summerville is about 45 minutes to the beach but a great area with a lot to offer. We also have Del Webb here ( an active 55+ community) It's in Cane Bay. Also about 45 minutes to beach.

You mentioned David Weekley they do a nice home. Other builders I like are Ryland, Lennar and John Weiland.

Last edited by beachme; 02-01-2010 at 10:11 AM.. Reason: wanted to add more info
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,889 posts, read 3,169,260 times
Reputation: 250
Regarding Medical: We have plenty of medical facilities here: Roper, Trident, East Cooper Medical Hospital and MUSC (medical un. of SC). I have pretty healthy so I don't have much experience but I have had three hospital stays here and been completely happy.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
505 posts, read 890,824 times
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I agree, Charleston does sound like a nice place for you and your husband. We have a large retirement community as well as young families and children alike. It is a great area for almost everyone. I have heard excellent reviews from those that have bought in DelWebb, an active retirement community. Good social networking and activities. Make sure you do work with one of us (real estate agents) though if you buy from a new community and not directly fromthe community. That will ensure you get the best deals, negotiations and upgrades. If you are not sold on a "retirement community" there are lots of different options. I'd be happy to send you a sampling.
As far as realtors go, I know all the ones on this board work hard for their clients. I suggest looking at our sites and reading our testimonies and giving us an opportunity to speak with you.
Best of luck,
Foster Smith
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
602 posts, read 599,653 times
Reputation: 104
I'm originally from Connecticut and moved to SC thirteen years ago. I've never looked back. It is wonderful here. Friendly, low taxes, ideal weather (although this has been our coldest winter on record!) There is a ton of housing to choose from in your price bracket. You may want to look up The Elms, Pines @Gahagan, villas@charleston park, Cane Bay Del Webb, Wescott Plantation The Courtyards.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:16 PM
 
Location: SC
8,560 posts, read 8,361,009 times
Reputation: 2867
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandyart View Post
Hello everyone,

My husband and I have heard a lot of nice things about Charleston. We are from NJ and will retire in about 18 months. We are in our mid-late 50"s and are looking for a community that has new/ranch homes. ( I have seen some of the David Weekly homes and they look nice)

We are looking to spend between 250-325K and be no more than 30-35 mins from Charleston or the beach, if possible. My DH and I have looked at Charlotte, NC and liked it, but we want a warmer climate in the winter. We were also thinking of looking at Greenville, SC- -but from the posts think it will be way to conservative for us and cooler in climate. We are organic eaters and understand there is a nice Whole Foods and good local produce.
Also, coming from excellent medical care in NJ/NY was wondering if that is true in Charleston?

What communities would suit us and can someone recommend an honest realtor who can show us Charleston without any hype. We unfortunately got burned in Sarasota, Fla on a vacation condo (which we have since sold) by a realtor who hyped the Sarasota area and if we did not buy in the moment, we would be priced out of the market- - big mistake!! . That was our original place for our retirement until we added up the expensive home costs, prop taxes, hurricane insurance and water bills!

Any advice, especially from people who have relocated from the tri state area would be much appreicated!!!
Yes on the housing. In that price range you can find something nice and be within 5-15 minutes from Whole Foods or Earth Fare - that has some gourmet foods and lots of local and organics. The FArmers' markets are like carnivals here. The emphasis is on entertainment, crafts, snacks and local produce but precious little in the organic department.

Having moved here from New England I can tell you that Charleston or anywhere in SC is no destination for medical care the way Boston or New York is but I'm sure it is satisfactory. The gastroenterology dept at MUSC at least makes the top 200 list of centers of excellence in Fortune Magazine ( I think they are 175). But there is no hospital here that gets a top 20 or top 50 ranking that I'm aware of.

If you need a complicated operation done I'd have it done out of state in a TRUE center of excellence.

Also, for some unknown reason in their "infinite wisdom" (I'm kidding) the state legislature BANNED Naturopathic Medicine in the state of South Carolina in the 1970's. So if you like natural medicine and have a practitioner, you might want to continue to "see" them via telephone appt. after you move here like I do. (SC may be the only state that makes it illegal to practice what used to be mainstream medicine for hundreds if not thousands of years.)

The same goes for your pets if you have any. Here, there are only two veterinarians who have SOME knowledge of natural veterinary care.

With that said it is very pretty here -- especially downtown historic Charleston, where the restaurants,(unlike the hospitals) ARE an international destination as are the arts and music during the Spoleto Festival.

The winters (except for this one) are generally very mild where the coldest temperatures rarely even fall below freezing and the days are generally between 50 and the low 70's. This winter we had two weeks straight where the temps fell below freezing even into the upper 20's at night. We never got any snow in Charleston though.

The summers are H-O-T! It regularly gets into the mid and upper 90's with humidity that makes it feel like it is well into the 100s (and sometimes it actually GETS up to the 100s and then it feels like it is 115). It gets so hot that the ocean temperature gets into the 90's as well. Mid February until mid June (altho sometimes May can be scorching hot) is generally gorgeous weather -- like summers in the Northeast. Also in October or end of September it returns to the lower temperatures. For the two years I've been here there have been unusual cold spells in November and last year it warmed back up to the 70's in December. So don't invite guests expecting nice warm weather then because sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. In the past two years we've have nice warm days and sometimes cold days from November to mid February before it starts to get consistently warmer every day.

You don't have to worry about having to shovel snow here however. Charleston is in the same subtropical weather band as Jacksonville, FL is.

For communities( that are close to Whole Foods ) you'd want to be in Mt Pleasant (South of 41); Mt. Pleasant (North of 41 but only a little farther north); Charleston Peninsula or West Ashley inside 526 or James Island or John's Island. These places would have you all within 5-30 minutes of Whole Foods and the beach. You might luck out and find something on Isle of Palms or Sullivans Beach or Folly Beach as well which would be seconds to the beach but 20 to 30 mins to Whole Foods.

There are realtors that post on this forum but if you want to start looking yourself, I like these sites: www.carolinaone.com;
www.charlestonrealestateguide.com
www.trulia.com

Good Luck!

P.S. If you want to be within an hour of Whole Foods you can rule out looking in Hilton Head or Bluffton or Beaufort which are VERY PRETTY and offer better real estate values than Charleston but there is nothing that comes remotely close to a Whole Foods there. There is a Fresh Market on Hilton Head which I don't think comes close to Earth Fare let alone Whole Foods. So if you lived there you'd need to take a 1.5 to 2 hour trip one way to Charleston to buy your groceries.

Bluffton does have from what I hear a better FArmer's Market than what Charleston has but that is it.

The grocery stores here in SC except for maybe Harris Teeter, from what I have seen, don't hold a candle to the regular grocery stores in the northeast -- except when it comes to customer service. What they lack in selection and price they make up for in friendly attitude. So if you are moving to SC and want to be near a Whole Foods, for now, your choices are Greenville or Charleston and that is it.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Charlotte at last
128 posts, read 252,408 times
Reputation: 52
Everone, thanks so much for your help!
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
87 posts, read 173,987 times
Reputation: 27
I'd say Emily summed it up. I think Charleston would be a great place for you to retire to. I've grown up here and I haven't moved from out of state TO here, but I think that Emily above and Joe (a poster on here) has retired here from out of state to here. Ask around, you'll get some great feedback. There are pros and cons from what I've heard from those relocating to the area. Cons are mosquitoes and hanging out on a boat in the harbor with a drink that needs refilling. No one's going to refill that for you, you may have to do it on your own. All kidding aside, make friends with boat owners and life is great here.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:34 PM
 
Location: SC
8,560 posts, read 8,361,009 times
Reputation: 2867
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachme View Post
Rumor has it we are also getting a Trader Joes in Mount Pleasant. In your price range you will have no problem finding a place here for retirement. I'd look anywhere between Summerville and Mount Pleasant. Whole foods is in Mount Pleasant (thats where trader joes is rumored to come) and then we have Earth Fare in West Ashley area.....................................
.
That is GREAT news beachme! Where did you hear the rumor from? So far there are zero Trader Joe's stores in SC (except the used furniture store with the same name) and their website http://traderjoes.com/ doesn't show any planned. I hope that changes soon. This area could use more health food/ gourmet food oriented markets/stores.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:36 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,523 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandyart View Post
Hello everyone,

My husband and I have heard a lot of nice things about Charleston. We are from NJ and will retire in about 18 months. We are in our mid-late 50"s and are looking for a community that has new/ranch homes. ( I have seen some of the David Weekly homes and they look nice)

We are looking to spend between 250-325K and be no more than 30-35 mins from Charleston or the beach, if possible. My DH and I have looked at Charlotte, NC and liked it, but we want a warmer climate in the winter. We were also thinking of looking at Greenville, SC- -but from the posts think it will be way to conservative for us and cooler in climate. We are organic eaters and understand there is a nice Whole Foods and good local produce.
Also, coming from excellent medical care in NJ/NY was wondering if that is true in Charleston?

What communities would suit us and can someone recommend an honest realtor who can show us Charleston without any hype. We unfortunately got burned in Sarasota, Fla on a vacation condo (which we have since sold) by a realtor who hyped the Sarasota area and if we did not buy in the moment, we would be priced out of the market- - big mistake!! . That was our original place for our retirement until we added up the expensive home costs, prop taxes, hurricane insurance and water bills!

Any advice, especially from people who have relocated from the tri state area would be much appreicated!!!
You should look at the ponds in summerville. The prices are not like ny or nj . The taxes are about 1700.00 and they are building a harris teeter across the street. It is 21 miles from charleston
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