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Old 09-21-2015, 07:29 PM
 
152 posts, read 239,532 times
Reputation: 60

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Today I received a quote from NC Farm Bureau and they were almost twice as high a Don Bullard.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorbyter View Post
I also have my hazard insurance with Don Bullard. I got something like 4 local quotes and they were the lowest by far.

Gatorbyter
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:54 PM
 
76 posts, read 92,171 times
Reputation: 31
My first post but I've been following for a few days and have read most of the posts.

My wife and I will retire to the Carolina coast in a few years. Counting the months.

We love Hilton Head but not the cost of real estate. Visited Pawley's Island several weeks ago for vacation. Like the area but not blown away. We like the Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle area but golf is a big deal and require a private cc. We have a daughter who lives in Wilmington so St James is in the mix along with Landfall. Landfall may be a tough sale based on Hilton Head like real estate prices.

We visited St James several years ago. I plan on visiting in a few weeks and spend a night or two to get a feel for the community. What I like about St James is the retirement feel. Being around active like minded people is important. I'm not one to sit around.

Concerns are: (many can't be answered but please pass on your thoughts)

Distance to dining, shopping and medical. The new hospital sure helps.
Concern what happens with real estate values and facilities once the developer starts to pull out.
What happens with the golf courses and ongoing maintenance in 5 years?
Being under the heavy hand of a homeowners association once developer pulls out.
Can the community support another 40-50% uptick in new homes over time or will traffic and wait times at current facilities be overwhelmed)?
What else should I be thinking about as we make this critical lifestyle and financial decision?

Thanks
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:02 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
383 posts, read 747,184 times
Reputation: 214
Hi Tarheel,

I sent you a friend request if you want to have a call to discuss in detail off line. When my wife and I were looking to build, we ended up choosing between Sea Pines on HHI or the Wilmington/Southport area. We crossed HHI off the list for two reasons 1 - It would have been our separate residence and the tax rate for a second residence was much higher than a primary residence and 2 - the homes were much older and the cost to update made NC a much better deal.

We really liked Landfall but the lack of a beach club and the high carrying costs caused us to eliminate it from the list. We then turned our attention to Southport and looked at both Saint James and Winding River. I could have been happy in either place and they are both beautiful communities. We ended up at SJP because my wife liked the proximity of the Beach Club and an awesome lot fell into our laps.

In regard to your concerns, I am not concerned with shopping and medical. They will be building a medical building outside of SJP and stores will come. There is a new Lowes foods under construction. If I want shopping I go to Shallotte or Wilmington. Also, North Myrtle Beach is only an hour away.

I am VERY concerned about what happens to the facilities once the developer pulls out. I am also concerned that as the population ages the demographics may change. If the younger people are not golfers, the funding of the clubs may be a concern. IMHO, the POA would be ill equipped to manage the clubs and they would be better off maintaining the current management company. The good thing is that the community's financials are rock solid, and the money is there to maintain the clubs. The concern is that if the demographics change, the clubs could turn from private to semi private and that would put the gated community concept in jeopardy.

Another concern is the stress of all the new building on the facilities. The Beach Club does not have adequate parking and in the summer months the pools are over crowded. Grandparents utilize the community for family outings and that brings a lot of children and grandchildren to the pools and clubs. The problem is that the infrastructure gets stressed and some residents are not happy. This situation will only get worse and not better.

The positives are that the community is great. It is well kept and the people that are there care. Everyone is friendly. I like the fact that it is quiet and inclusive. If you want to meet friendly people and join clubs and be active, this is a great place.

No place is perfect but Saint James or Winding River Plantation are both great choices.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Southport, NC
93 posts, read 168,786 times
Reputation: 65
To elaborate just a little on SJP's financial health, they currently have well over 7 Million dollars in cash reserves. MANY retirement communities are struggling financially, some even selling of the precious assets (e.g. golf courses) to raise capital.

Another consideration (a big one for me), if you plan to become a golf club member, recognize that SJP's 81 holes (4.5 courses) offers a lot of value. The idea of playing the same 18 holes for the majority of my life would drive me nuts. lol

And beware communities with "planned" or "projected" amenities. These are industry buzz words that often end up on the cutting room floor. With SJP, it's not what is being promised that matters ..... it's already here.

SJP is doing VERY well.

Gatorbyter

Last edited by Gatorbyter; 09-27-2015 at 04:56 PM..
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:28 PM
 
89 posts, read 97,566 times
Reputation: 53
TarHell79:

I can only speak to our local hospital, Dosher Medical - have been to the ER, Urgent Care, MRI's, Mammogram and have seen several of their doctors - all a very positive experience. We lived in NJ and VA with access to large hospitals and the level of care and attention to detail here has been great. Also, they are building a Wellness Center right outside the Middleton gate.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:02 AM
 
4,987 posts, read 2,240,241 times
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Concern what happens with real estate values and facilities once the developer starts to pull out.


Who can say. I would be more concerned with the national real estate market than I would the effects of "build out". Roughly there are about 2,500 single family homes in SJP now. At build out there will be about 5,000. Currently the new construction is booming at with over 300 homes scheduled for completion this year. If that impressive rate were to continue, it would still take about 12 years until build out.



What happens with the golf courses and ongoing maintenance in 5 years?
Hard to say. The developer owns all the clubs and courses. Troon manages them and seems to do a decent job. That could change at most any time. The cost of the community buying out the clubs could be enormous. At the same time, and I am not sure if this is wishful thinking, it has been said the developer may give the clubs and courses to the community to be managed by the POA. This is based on the cost of maintaining, taxes write offs etc, it may make good business sense for the developer to just turn it over to the community.


Being under the heavy hand of a homeowners association once developer pulls out.
The POA is scheduled to assume total control of shared community assets in 2020. The developer, still maintains a majority vote on the POA board but has had little to no involvement for at least a couple of years. POA board members are elected. The few I have spoke with are vocal about putting the community first and keeping personal agendas out.

Can the community support another 40-50% uptick in new homes over time or will traffic and wait times at current facilities be overwhelmed)?
I can not speak for golf. I have read a good deal about the future of golf and it appears there are a number of options when it comes to tee times etc. I see the courses pretty heavily used on some days, and other days they are not that busy. The pools get busy on holidays and such but in general are not over crowded. The fitness centers can be crowed at times but a new 4 million dollar one is under construction.

What else should I be thinking about as we make this critical lifestyle and financial decision?
Roughly, the cost per day of POA and Club fees is about $8 not including tennis and golf. The list of amenities is long. Its really not such a bad deal.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:13 PM
 
76 posts, read 92,171 times
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Thanks to everyone for your comments. My wife and I will visit soon to gain a better feel for the community. The retirement destination is a major decision.
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:13 PM
 
76 posts, read 92,171 times
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How are things in SJ after all the rain?
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:11 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
794 posts, read 1,647,576 times
Reputation: 343
Everything is fine, no flooding, no damage.

On another note...

The infamous "Charles" is DOA... completely dead... over ... kaput... not happening... stick a fork in it, it's done... period.
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:11 PM
 
76 posts, read 92,171 times
Reputation: 31
^^ great to hear.
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