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Old 09-10-2017, 05:57 PM
 
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After being a native North Carolinian and living in this area for 36 years including the Leland and Wilmington area I too am confused when deciding on a retirement area. I moved away from Leland 13 years ago beacause of the depressed area lack of conveniences ect. It has since experienced a resurgence in housing amenities ect. Never thought I would consider moving back but the traffic problem in Wilmington, since my husband and I both are still working is horrible and only expected to get worse. We are also considering moving back to Brunswick County possibly to the Waterford or Compass Pointe subdivisions. Here is my take!! St. James and Winding River ect are too far from Wilmington if you like the amenities of a larger city. So are the communities to the south such as Calabash, Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle beautiful small beach communities but you will have to travel south to Myrtle Beach a nighmare in it's own right I avoid it like the plague or travel 75'' min north to Wilmington. Southport and it's beaches are also wonderful if you don't have to commut but again isolated. Brunswick Forest is way too large for my taste and they are slated to build 7000 homes a logistic nightmare plus I don't know what will happen to the traffic once are these people are here.l Waterford and Magnolia Greens are more manageable if you enjoy plannds communities with amenities. We are also leaning towards Compass Pointe, it seems a very friendly and amenity rich community with a lot of community involvement. Interesting to note the developer of Compass Pointe also developed Magnolia Greens and Waterford. With the opening of I-140 the commute to wilmington and beyond will be much easier. There is not much out there on where Compass Pointe is located 74-76 but I am sure that will change with time. I personally like the Porter's Neck area but the traffic can be a problem. There is also an area called River Bluffs up I-40 north of wilmington on the Cape Fear River which is quite nice and unique but a bit of a hike for grocery stores restaurants ect. Also an area to the south called The Bluffs also on the Cape Fear River nearer Leland but again not as easy access to are amenities. It is a a perplexing decision I agree one thatg we are facing now. Any questions let me know. Trish
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:12 PM
 
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We did a tour in August of several of the area communities, we are 4-5 years from moving and will be early semi retirees(currently 48 and 51), we have the benefit of self employment that will throw off income hopefully for life with very little work from us in about 4-5 years....anyways we went down on a Thursday AM, toured with an excellent real estate agent for the afternoon and visited for a few hours at Brunswick Forest. We then toured the area on our own Friday and then on Saturday spent half the day at Compass Pointe and then self touring again in afternoon in the area.

Per previous online research we focused on BF and CP though we went by Rivers Point as a new development just starting and drove by some of the others.
Our qualifications:
-not age restricted-Though geared toward retirees we like the idea of any age and it is possible we won't be 55 when we move
-Not in any flood zones-Global warming, sea rises, living there until 2055 or so....obvious reasons
-Build out not completed in next few years-Established communities already average high 50's to low-60's in age if not higher and being around 50 now did not want to move in 5 years and be with a bunch of people that moved in at 65 and now were 70+ on average.
-Nature areas left as is for walks, scenery

We toured Brunswick Forest and were impressed. Coming from NH where these developments don't really exist it was interesting how they laid it out, how houses are positioned, what they include with the house build etc..

We looked at Wilmington area for weather (4 seasons but short winter)#1 and then the area is very similar to where we live now, a small town outside a city that is almost the same size as Wilmington but weather was #1, and after visiting we absolutely loved the area.

Brunswick Forest:
Positives:
-Many amenities established
-house prices slightly cheaper than CP
-good variety of homes
-established amenities, nice covered pool deck area
-established shops at entrance
-Final build out is well past our move in time period so there should be a good mix of younger and older retirees
-Rural setting, 15 minutes to most needed stores, same as where we live now
-Golf course right there but not part of HOA

Negatives:
-Not gated led to several posts online about over-crowded amenities as non homeowners used pool, lack of developer follow through on adding amenities was a concern mentioned
-HOA fees high as include grass cutting/landscaping which seems unnecessary when the size lots can be done with an electric mower
-plane flew directly overhead while there(not that big a deal as seems not a regular occurrence and with such a large development can get home far from flight path)
-Public roads give town control over repair but also opens you up to added cut -through roads and additional traffic potential
-people were not openly friendly, no wave, no hello, even in the bar the tour guide saw someone and they started up a quick conversation but nobody at the bar said boo to us standing there.
-Not as many trees/nature as would have hoped for, nice that they put parks in certain communities/areas but not same natural feel
-Max out could be 10,000 homes, developer may be there a very long time and amenities may not keep up
-Some builders required build of homes in 3 years or less outside our 5 year time frame, developer owned lots however were not limited

Compass Pointe

Positives:
-On an Audobon Sanctuary and keeping 30% of the 2200 acres untouched for nature was a huge selling point and most of CP it showed, there is a newer area I believe The Pointe Village area that they cleared all the trees, looks horrible, hopefully they add some back, but mostly they had lots of trees/nature around.
-Same house styles available as BF so good variety
-Added and currently constructed amenities are excellent
-Will max out at 2100 homes, developer will step out in 5-10 years
-HOA fees are low $90 per month and based on previous communities developer finished in area they will not jump much once developer finishes other amenities and leaves, does not include mowing but prefer that as lots are small and mowing it would be easy
-Developer reputation and ability to plan amenities and adjust as needs change (e.g. Lazy river added)
-People were friendly, many people waived, bartender at onsite golf clubhouse restaurant was very friendly, talkative about CP etc..
-Final build out is within our move in time period so there should be a good mix of younger and older retirees
-Rural setting, 15 minutes to most needed stores, same as where we live now
-Being an accountant the finance committee work related to analyzing the needed funding for all repairs/maintenance out 40 years was comforting and gave me confidence HOA fees will remain low
-Golf course right there but not part of HOA
-No current build of home timeline deadline-important when building 5 years out

Negatives:
-Not even half sold, will amenities keep up with build out?
-Plane flew over entrance right after we asked sales person if planes fly over and got a detailed demonstration of the flight paths and why they don't fly over CP but do believe based on research is not common but if airport ever expands....
-New entrance shops not leased yet so unclear how that build out would go
-No land swap option, would need to resell land and buy another property if you bought now and new area opened you liked better

In the end:
For us was a no brainier, Compass Pointe was easily more meant for us than BF and with us being younger and wanting the community not finished for at least 5 years it eliminated many others. We were actually very impressed with Brunswick Forest and after the first day we talked as if we could see ourselves there and would consider land in a couple years, then we went to CP and loved it so much more that when we got home we put together a list of what we would want in land, saying we would likely build in a year with the next new area being developed, instead they emailed, said they had something that matched, we got pictures sent and our RE agent went and took video of the lot, and we are now in the process of buying land we don't even plan to build on for 5 years but with first year HOA, closing costs mostly paid for and the $10K currently off the list prices we figured let's get it now, who knows what happens later and everything goes well we build in 5 years or whenever and if plans go awry e resell with a relatively small out of pocket loss.
Neither was in a major flood area but checking online maps it looks like BF would have sightly more potential to flood some homes though CP has equal potential at the entrances but not so much inside the community, in general neither community has a flooding issue.
So we went to just check the area out and see if Wilmington area was even an option in anyway and ended up buying land. Go figure
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:18 AM
 
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I was unaware that all of BF HOA fees included lawn care. I thought it was just in selected areas/neighborhoods. I'm probably wrong...was there more than a year ago, so my recollection is not very strong. I thought CP and BF were both very nice communities....overall, we preferred BF over CP, but that clubhouse/pool at CP was remarkable.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Lizard Lick, NC
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I have a question, are the inhabitants of these neighborhoods mostly elderly, or retired folks?
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:04 AM
 
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I am most familiar with St James and there is a lot that could be said about it. There are threads here and web sites that can give you a lot of detail. I'll try to make a few points I think are important and perhaps, timely.

SJP is really a community of communities.

House pricing ranges from the low 200's (condos) to a million plus (waterfront on the inter-coastal waterway). My estimate of the average home is between 300 and 400k. Some neighborhoods like the Reserve are probably between 500 and 800k.

The list of amenities are long. Some come with the POA, many come with Club membership.

Management of all you see in SJP is divided between 3 groups, the town of St James, the POA, and The Clubs. They are separate entities, each with their own responsibilities. In general, they communicate well with residents and function well together. The town helps with a fire/EMS department and emergency operations center. There is also THE Developer that owns The Clubs and continues to add roads and new housing. They have all done well with following through on promises and keeping high standards. You can very well imagine that managing all of SJP is quiet a job and requires a lot of effort, many of whom are volunteers. Budgets for the town and POA run into several millions each year.

POA dues are about $800 a year.

You do not have to join The Clubs. The Clubs are not cheap. Initiation fee is in the range of 20k. Purchasing some lots in SJP MAY include membership. Monthly dues depend on the level of membership that are Social, Sports (Tennis) and Golf. If you want to use the club buildings/restaurants, pools and health clubs, you at least need a social membership. The Beach club and its pool is part of the POA, not the clubs so all residents get use of the Beach Club.

At one time I calculated the approximate cost of POA dues and monthly, social level, club dues and it comes out to about $8 per day for a couple or around 3k per year. If you want to play tennis or golf, the cost goes up.

SJP is close to the water and there are expansive marshlands in areas. Be aware of lot elevation, drainage and flood insurance. Also be aware of mold and mildew and well as salt air the closer you are to the water. Its not exclusive to St James. These are issues you should be aware of anywhere on the coast.

SJP is large. The median age is around 65-70. There are some school children but not many.

There are clubs and organizations for just about any and all interests from gardening, to bible study to shooting guns and photography as well as kayaking and bicycling and card games and ..... and .... and ....

SJP is growing fast. 'Build out' will most certainly come in the next 10 years, maybe 5. Highway 211 is scheduled to expanded to 4 lane divided from Southport out to Middleton road. Its going to be a mess for 3-4 years and with it will come more commercial growth outside the gates but within the Town of St James and beyond. Growth is inevitable and it generally means, along with build out, that home values will increase.

I think this is a pretty fair 'big picture' look at SJP and what to expect. Some of it is my opinion, other opinions may vary.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:54 AM
 
13 posts, read 18,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muslim12 View Post
I have a question, are the inhabitants of these neighborhoods mostly elderly, or retired folks?
In terms of BF and CP: Thought not age restricted they consist of Mostly retired people, on the younger end of that spectrum currently but as the communities age and finish in the next 5--10 it will be a mix of older and younger retirees for the most part.

There are younger people with children in both communities but I'd say easily 80% are 50 and over and I might be underestimating that. The person at BF told us he mainly sells to people age 50-65 on average that come to buy and both communities focus advertising to retirees so there is no real push to diversify that.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:58 AM
 
13 posts, read 18,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVNomad View Post
I was unaware that all of BF HOA fees included lawn care. I thought it was just in selected areas/neighborhoods. I'm probably wrong...was there more than a year ago, so my recollection is not very strong. I thought CP and BF were both very nice communities....overall, we preferred BF over CP, but that clubhouse/pool at CP was remarkable.
It's possible there are different areas that don't include it but the salesperson only gave us one price which included the lawn care so perhaps current available lots are all in areas where it is included? So I can't say 100% for sure, as I went there first and was under the impression all the developments like this it was included, if I had known it wasn't always standard to include I would have questioned more.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Lizard Lick, NC
6,133 posts, read 2,837,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCSVEN View Post
In terms of BF and CP: Thought not age restricted they consist of Mostly retired people, on the younger end of that spectrum currently but as the communities age and finish in the next 5--10 it will be a mix of older and younger retirees for the most part.

There are younger people with children in both communities but I'd say easily 80% are 50 and over and I might be underestimating that. The person at BF told us he mainly sells to people age 50-65 on average that come to buy and both communities focus advertising to retirees so there is no real push to diversify that.
Interesting, reason i asked is because i was wondering if there was an economic drive for younger folks to move to the Wilmington area. I streetviewed BF... a wholeeee lotttttt of palmmm trees!!!! I love palm trees! Though im not particularly enthusiastic about the kind of developments happening around Leland, so much wetland in that area under threat of development.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:23 PM
 
6,800 posts, read 4,426,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muslim12 View Post
Interesting, reason i asked is because i was wondering if there was an economic drive for younger folks to move to the Wilmington area. I streetviewed BF... a wholeeee lotttttt of palmmm trees!!!! I love palm trees! Though im not particularly enthusiastic about the kind of developments happening around Leland, so much wetland in that area under threat of development.
A fair number of young people move to Wilmington itself, but not very many to the Leland/Brunswick County area. Brunswick Forest and other similar developments primarily cater to retirees.

If the job market was stronger I'm sure many more young people would relocate to Wilmington.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muslim12 View Post
Interesting, reason i asked is because i was wondering if there was an economic drive for younger folks to move to the Wilmington area. I streetviewed BF... a wholeeee lotttttt of palmmm trees!!!! I love palm trees! Though im not particularly enthusiastic about the kind of developments happening around Leland, so much wetland in that area under threat of development.
I think the Raleigh area and research triangle would be more appealing to younger folks economically, Wilmington seems to be booming with construction, so jobs are there and Leland has tripled in population since 2009 so it's an understated area but outside of Leland as a growing small town and Wilmington you have to drive away to get to the next good sized town and/or city so makes the economic growth in some ways limited and less appealing for younger crowd.

The BF salesman did say the BF developer Loved palm trees and that was why so many were there.

In regards to wetlands, I did like the fact 800 of the 2100 acres in CP is going to be left untouched and natural including a good amount of it will be an Audobon Sactuary
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