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Old 03-25-2011, 07:42 AM
 
14 posts, read 49,765 times
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@ Biscman: We are in Texas now.

As far as the negatives go, there are few, if any in my opinion. We have owned in three other gated communities (NC, SC, FL) and they all have their 'issues. St. James less than others.

You are very fortunate that you have time to research and make an informed decision. We had to buy very quickly and really didn't have the time to do all the homework and wait for 'the perfect house'.

In your search, make sure you understand each Club's membership plan and how to get out. The equity plans can be very difficult to shake loose and even your heirs can be on the hook for dues and fees if the property doesn't sell. Don't rely on anyone but your attorney to interpret this for you. Property values in some areas (Callawassie Island, Berkeley Hall, etc.) have plummeted because people can't sell their property due to mandatory CC membership and initiation fees.

We have moved with my husband's company 9 times and 15 of those years were spent in Europe in different locations. My belief is that attitude is 90% of happiness and contentment-wanting what you have vs. having what you want, ya know.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:27 AM
 
1,091 posts, read 1,977,835 times
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Wow! Never even thought about that piece, good advice.

I just assumed that if i had no mortgage and both me and my wife pass on that the membership would cease.

Obviously I am wrong.

2 kids would probably want to share the house anyway being it would be mortgage free and dues would have to be their issue.

Ha!!!!
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:21 PM
 
14 posts, read 49,765 times
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Your mortgage has nothing to do with your club membership. They are two seperate entities. My understanding at St. James is that you can cancel your membership at the end of the current year for the upcoming year. No equity is refundable unless your membership is sold to someone else. There is a big hoopla in FL and SC now about mandatory memberships because that model is totally out of date and no longer works in today's economic environment. People are literally being held hostage to club memberships. We have friends who are in a nightmare situation with owning multiple lots/memberships and trying to keep up with dues and fees on all of them is breaking the bank. Again, this is not the situation at St. James but very important to understand what type of membership you are buying into when you make your decision to purchase a home in a CC community. Google 'mandatory club membership florida'. Lots of info on what is going on there. Also check out this and read the comments: Condo and HOA Law: Mandatory Country Club Membership in HOA’s
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:41 PM
 
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Thanks for the scoop Hula. Learn something every day.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hulagirls View Post
Your mortgage has nothing to do with your club membership. They are two seperate entities. My understanding at St. James is that you can cancel your membership at the end of the current year for the upcoming year. No equity is refundable unless your membership is sold to someone else. There is a big hoopla in FL and SC now about mandatory memberships because that model is totally out of date and no longer works in today's economic environment. People are literally being held hostage to club memberships. We have friends who are in a nightmare situation with owning multiple lots/memberships and trying to keep up with dues and fees on all of them is breaking the bank. Again, this is not the situation at St. James but very important to understand what type of membership you are buying into when you make your decision to purchase a home in a CC community. Google 'mandatory club membership florida'. Lots of info on what is going on there. Also check out this and read the comments: Condo and HOA Law: Mandatory Country Club Membership in HOA’s
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:42 PM
 
1,091 posts, read 1,977,835 times
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Update from Stoney:

Friday night 3/25

Another installment from St James:

Had lunch at the marina at Tommy Thompsons today, sat out on the deck, very nice... spicy tomato soup and the extensive salad bar and the boss had the potato soup and chicken salad sandwich quite a nice lunch. Everywhere we go, each person we meet here in our travels is nicer than the next, simply a great place, very big sense of community here, nice bunch of folks.

After a drink and a tour of their lovely home, we just had dinner with "Crimsondregs" ( Bill and Barbara ) at the Players Club, a packed house. Dinner once again was wonderful, nice wine, amber beer on tap, filet migon, trout, Tuna Provencal, and salmon, with assorted salads and an Ahi Tuna appetizer..... I had a toasted goat cheese salad with spiced pecans, halved grapes, crostini, blue cheese crumbles and wild honey.... to die for.

Toured a few house with a local builder this afternoon ( Bob the builder ), nice guy, nice houses and saw a few rentals, slowly getting our bearings. Going to the grand opening of the new Reserve Clubhouse tomorrow.... it is supposed to be a well attended affair, might rain a bit, hope not.

Stonecreek67
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:26 PM
 
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Can't wait to try the Reserve Club. Have watched it progress. Will be back in two weeks for a month - can't wait!
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:54 AM
 
4 posts, read 8,494 times
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I've been reading this blog for a few weeks. I took a trip to Southport in February and I am planning on a second trip in April. My husband and I are seriously considering a move this fall. I would appreciate a referral for an experienced realtor that I can trust to be a "buyer's broker". I too had a rep from St. James that pushed the developer lots. I asked him if he made a better commission on those lots than resales and he had to admit he did. He kept insisting that since the cost of lots had gone down in St James, that you could actually build cheaper than buying a resale. There are always hidden costs when building that add up by the end. There were a few homes we wanted to see and he talked us out of looking at them. They were either in the "flood plain" or in "bad condition inside".
Also, this whole thing in Japan has happened since last anyone mentioned the Southport Nuclear power plant 3 miles from St. James. I do know they mention it in the paperwork that you receive when you buy in St. James and you have to sign off that you have been informed about it. I'm sure the NRC inspectors will be on top of things more than ever now but 3 miles is pretty damn close.

I am looking forward to a better restaurant experience with this next visit. I live not far from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and maybe I am a bit spoiled but I am open to some recommendations for restaurants. We are staying at a B&B in Southport for the 1st few nights.
St James is a beautiful development. I love the architecture. The new Reserve clubhouse is gorgeous. We have been looking for awhile and have owned 3 homes in Florida, one in an upscale gated golf community near Sarasota and I feel the amenities at St. James are unique and very reasonably priced. We are more into tennis than golf and possibly some kayaking. It seems very dog friendly, which is also a big plus for me. I have always enjoyed the people I meet just walking my dog in a new place.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:37 AM
 
907 posts, read 1,535,998 times
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The gang at Plantation Properties is pretty good give them a look. They left St James Realty because they had no interest in the resales. Many of the agents are residents.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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Default Looking at St James also

I'm an upstate New Yorker looking to move to coastal NC this year. We have visited St James, Brunswick Forest, Magnolia Greens and Porters Neck. My favorites are St James and Porters Neck. My concern with St James is some of the negative comments I have heard about an "elite community" and not good relationships with the local townspeople. Also, ? too remote an area as opposed to living closer to Wilmington. Also, if you are not a golfer would I not have as good a social experience at St James? Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated.
SRoth
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:42 PM
 
14 posts, read 49,765 times
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I will try to respond to the last two posts the best that I can. I agree that Plantation Properties is the way to go. I have met with them as we have friends who want to move down and was very impressed with the agent I spoke with. I will get her details and send them along.

I can assure the poster concerned with not playing golf that there is a lot to do other than golf. I am not actively golfing at the moment and, when I am there, I stay as busy as I want. As I mentioned before, our section is very active and there is a lot going on all the time -- bunco, card games, billiards, lunch out, etc., etc. Our whole community is so fun -- wonderful neighbors who are very inclusive. I consider our neighbors among our closest friends.

St. James is VERY dog friendly. I have a dog (more of a kid, really) and I love taking him with me. There is a wonderful doggie daycare right up the road from St. James where I leave him from time to time. That is a real perk.

As far as being far from Wilmingon -- well, that is such a personal preference. We live in the Galleria area of Houston and have EVERYTHING within yards from our front door. I don't find the trek to Wilmington that bad. I do understand the culinary concerns but think what is available in Southport and St. James is certainly fine but when something extra-special is called for then the drive to Wilmington is not so undoable.

We also looked at Porter's Neck but found St. James to be superior in everything except distance to Wilmington.

As far as the negative impression of St. James outside the gate - yes, it exists - can't deny that. I consider it my personal mission to be friendly and positive when out and about. The joke is that the community is filled with PIPs (previously important people). We all just have to get over ourselves and take our place in the sun along side our neighbors

St. James residents do so much for the local community and that is something we should all be proud of.

Hope this helps somewhat!
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