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Old 09-10-2014, 03:14 PM
 
4,985 posts, read 2,234,404 times
Reputation: 7151

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdro View Post
Gaytorbyter, I have been following this forum. Nice house and good luck with it. Wife & I are planning a visit in the spring and SJP will be one of the places we visit. We are both retired 65+ and looking to retire out of high taxed Westchester County New York. Can you tell me if SJP has activities (trips,ect.) for seniors and an active senior population. Also, when I see new homes in SJP advertised (usually by realtors), is the land included or is it extra? Our budget will be $275,000 to max $375,000 and single level 3+ bedrooms. Thank you.
Lots and houses in SJP can vary wildly. Prices can still reflect pre-recession, when much was inflated, and prices can rock bottom, verging on bank repro. I personally know of one lot in SJP that was purchased for almost $170,000 a few years ago and recently sold for $32,000.

When you look for a builder, talk to more than one. I have quiet a few people here mention Logan. Personally I did not care for Logan. The impression I got from them was "cookie cutter, assembly line" homes and "this is what we do, and you pay this" period. In addition we were told we could not be on the construction site while anyone was working due to "insurance" etc. Logan said they did not want me on the site answering any questions that might be asked by contractors. That they had a process for that and I would just confuse the issue. I'm not saying anything bad about Logan, they apparently have done very well and have many happy customers but I wanted to feel like I was taking a more personal part in the construction and that my home was truly custom.

The house I am currently building is the third I have built from the ground up. I have a pretty good idea what materials are upgrades and so on. I looked at a number of Logan homes and most of what I saw were lower end finishes at a moderate price.

I finally chose Southern Comfort homes. When it is complete the house will be a 2,100 sq/ft, brick ranch with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 car garage, brick with a 3 season back porch, on demand hot water, walk in master shower with wall and ceiling "rain" shower heads, granite counter tops in the kitchen and custom living room cabinets, a home office, a gas fire place, irrigation, substantial landscaping and the list goes on. The house will come in at about the upper end of your budget of $375,000 which includes the lot. I have been able to be on site as I wish. I try to be easy to get along with and so does the builder. If my eyes get bigger than my stomach, he tells me. At the same time I get surprises almost every time I visit the site like accent brick work in the driveway, round columns on the front porch, custom touches in places I would not have though of and so on.

I am just relating my experience and impressions. Yours may be different. My best advice is take the time to shop around. One thing we did, that I think has paid off, is taking our time. We found a comfortable place to rent for a year. While renting we began our home search. We found our lot. We found our builder. If you need a bank, you have time to work that as well. Right now, borrowing money is cheap and keeping your money in investments earning several times what banks are charging in interest is something to keep in mind. Giving yourself a year to pick and choose all the right pieces is bound to pay off. Don't be afraid to down size. Our last home was 3,500 sq/ft. From there we went to a 1,600 sq/ft condo before this 2,100 sq/ft home. We sold a lot and stored little. Yeah, we will have to buy another garden hose and lawn mower but we didn't have to pay to store the old stuff either.

This is your retirement. Do it your way so YOU will be satisfied and happy, not the builder, not the bank, not the real estate agent. They are people and deserve to be treated as such but in the end they are the tools you need bring your retirement home dreams to life. Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:19 PM
 
154 posts, read 186,408 times
Reputation: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by biscman View Post
Mr P

She like SJP, it was Winding River she didn't like......

Personall I like em all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am sorry I wasn't clear. I realize your wife didn't like WRP. my wife couldn't stand SJP. My suggestion to any buyers in the "plantations" and south Brunswick County, do a great deal of "technical" research on the land/house you are buying

Last edited by Mr. Purple 2; 09-10-2014 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Southport, NC
93 posts, read 168,535 times
Reputation: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchoc View Post

When you look for a builder, talk to more than one. I have quiet a few people here mention Logan. Personally I did not care for Logan. The impression I got from them was "cookie cutter, assembly line" homes and "this is what we do, and you pay this" period. In addition we were told we could not be on the construction site while anyone was working due to "insurance" etc. Logan said they did not want me on the site answering any questions that might be asked by contractors. That they had a process for that and I would just confuse the issue. I'm not saying anything bad about Logan, they apparently have done very well and have many happy customers but I wanted to feel like I was taking a more personal part in the construction and that my home was truly custom.
Hmmm .... my build situation has been substantially different. While Logan Homes may not technically be a Custom Builder (nor do they pretend to be), they provide LOTS of opportunities for customization. For instance, I was able to resize rooms, enlarge the perimeter of the home, and even move walls within the home. Their pricing is very competitive for what is delivered .... and you would be hard pressed to find a Southport builder with a better reputation. Lastly, Logan will work extra hard to resolve issues that do arise (and they will).

As far as being on the work site during working hours ... I have not been impaired at all. Of course, I don't offer direction to the crews; rather I observe and work thru my Site Superintendent if there is a need. I think this is pretty typical for the construction industry.

Gatorbyter
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:46 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
383 posts, read 746,407 times
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It does not surprise me that a lot for $170K during the market peak is selling at a deep discount now. The fact is that if you want a nice size lot with either a pond or golf setting, the prices are going up and you will be in the $90K+ price range and they are climbing. Interior lots or nature lots will be cheaper.

As far a builders go, you just have to be comfortable with the builder and your site manager on the project. Building a house is a very personal decision. Different things are important to different people. I was more concerned about high quality windows than extravagant moldings. I chose the big box builder, because they provided the value and allowed me to customize. But I am also a realist that there is a difference in finish when compared to a high end custom builder. Also, to some resale is important and to others it is not. Since I will likely not stay in SJP for the rest of my life, I tried to balance price with potential resale.

The main thing is that your are comfortable and happy with your choice. My friend on this forum have built some beautiful houses and are very happy. The differences in housing designs and the friendly people make SJP the great place that it is.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:25 AM
 
14 posts, read 22,264 times
Reputation: 10
Default St James

Thank you for your reply. St James seems like one place we will check in the spring.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:54 AM
 
14 posts, read 22,264 times
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Can anyone tell me what the HOA fees, ect. cover at SJP and WRP. Thank you.
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:44 AM
 
4,985 posts, read 2,234,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdro View Post
Can anyone tell me what the HOA fees, ect. cover at SJP and WRP. Thank you.
It can be a bit confusing and I do not know all the details but here are a few things as I understand them.

There can be two separate fees. The Property Owners or POA which everyone in St. James belongs to and a HOA or Home owners. The HOA does not pertain to everyone in St. James and depending on what area you live in, the HOA can vary. This is because some communities have amenity's specific to that community such as the Club Villas which are condo type units. Here the grounds and maintenance typical of condos incur a $640 quarterly dues. Other neighborhoods within SJP have dues to cover waterfront bulkheads, piers and so on.

The POA dues for everyone in SJP covers a number of things. Quoting from the POA "Rules and Policies" the primary purpose is "to provide for the operations, maintenance, preservation, and repair of the Common Areas and limited Common Areas ........ to enforce by any proceedings at law or in equity, all restrictions, conditions, covenants, reservations, liens and charges ...."

As you might imagine in a planned community as large as SJP, it has a significant budget. Assessments in the current year were about $3.5 million. Operating expenses were about $3.9 million.

Operating expenses included Landscape Maintenance. You just have to drive through SJP to see this. Other expenses include maintenance and repairs of roads and infrastructure that belongs to the POA including parks, a community garden, and bridges. Security is covered including at least one 24/7 manned gate, 3 leased vehicles for patrol including fuel, gate maintenance, pest control. The Beach Club belongs to the POA and there is insurance, maintenance, pool management, utilities and taxes. Other POA maintained facilities such as the Waterway Park and Woodlands Park Amphitheater have electric, water and telephone costs. Then there are administrative fees, a large part of is communication in the form of mailings, web site, postage, legal consulting, property taxes, office supplies, auditing, accounting etc. The POA is doing well enough that there is reserve funding for major future repairs and new amenities such as playgrounds, a sports field, basketball courts and an expanded Amphitheater that are all scheduled for construction over the next 3 years.

So ..... what do the fees cover? A lot! The current POA fee is $670/year. For my wife and I that is 93 cents a day per person. It takes a lot of volunteer work as well to keep SJP the vibrant community it is.
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,319 posts, read 19,940,242 times
Reputation: 5106
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdro View Post
Can anyone tell me what the HOA fees, ect. cover at SJP and WRP. Thank you.
You have to understand that the POA fee at St James does not cover the golf club membership or the use of the pools or tennis courts. You have to be a social member of a club to use the pools. Search for the recent thread which cover all the club fee structure.

I think WRP works similarly-- the POA fee covers maintenance by not the use of club facilities.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:17 PM
 
154 posts, read 186,408 times
Reputation: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
You have to understand that the POA fee at St James does not cover the golf club membership or the use of the pools or tennis courts. You have to be a social member of a club to use the pools. Search for the recent thread which cover all the club fee structure.

I think WRP works similarly-- the POA fee covers maintenance by not the use of club facilities.
The "POA" fees at WRP included all the club facilities; pool; tennis; private beach club, and marina slips on the river and ICW. The golf is not part of the fees and is a separate entity. The fees also include the common areas maintenance. The fee is less than $100 per month which most consider the best value of any of the plantations.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Southport, NC
27 posts, read 27,866 times
Reputation: 33
Default Sold on SJP

My wife and I were down last weekend from L.I., NY and our eyes were opened as to what life could be like. We are a few years from retirement but trying to nail down a decision between SJP and Tucson, AZ. Obviously very different places. We really like SJP and the fact that it looks like a real place and not a sketch or plan on a board.
We looked at a lot in the Woodlands on a new road being paved. My only concern is its proximity to the power lines and the road on the western boundary of SJP. Any thoughts? Any concerns about noise from the road to Oak Island? The proximity to the seaside gate is a plus, and with the thought of perhaps working for a few more years and the likely need to commute to Wilmington for a job, this may work out as well.
I welcome any information to help us make an intelligent decision. We have selected a home and are working out the details. We heard of a pest control system built into the foundation of the home. Anyone have any insight into this, is it necessary? My wife is not a "critter" person and the thought of snakes and gators frightens her. Since the yard would back up to woods, I'm not worried 'bout gators, but snakes are a reality.
Again, any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
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