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Old 01-17-2017, 01:49 PM
 
6 posts, read 4,483 times
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Hello all, new to the forum and possibly new to the Conway-MB area. We are a relo family (been up and down the east coast and in the mid-west) from north FL being recruited to work in the Dillon area. We will be in SC with a realtor this upcoming weekend to scout out a location. I'm trying to narrow down a couple of residential areas within to look with her.

Here's list of what we're looking for in terms of commute, housing, neighborhood feel, etc.

- Within a one way 50 minute commute to Dillon. We are also open to going over the border to NC (please direct me there if a town fits our parameters).

- Upscale, non-transient residential community close to varied dining and fine cuisine, independent and premium retail shopping but also some big box stores like Target/Lowe's etc, grocery stores (hopefully a Whole Foods, Fresh Market, or Trader Joe's type store), driving distance to arts and culture like museums and theater

- Good school ratings (for future high resale potential)

- Okay with an HOA neighborhood

- Outdoor/indoor tennis courts nearby a plus

- Budget $400,000+


Questions:

1. Do homes in SC generally have screened-in pools? When we moved from NY to FL, we quickly realized that was the norm here.

2. If not, are there beach clubs or community pools? Not many homes with pools when we lived in OH, but many neighborhood community pools.


Other:

Please add any advice and comments along the lines of "what to out watch for or what you should know", for example traffic in general, seasonal traffic, developers/builders to watch out for, your personal opinion and experience on the vibe of a particular community.

For instance, I noticed on Realtor.com that homes in the $450k+ range had 180+ days on market since listed. Does that indicate a 2nd home beach market=transient, a local down market, or that buyer pool in this range is small?

Last edited by Every3years; 01-17-2017 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:02 PM
 
603 posts, read 1,059,254 times
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I'm not sure how much help the folks on this forum will be able to provide since most everyone lives in the Myrtle Beach/Conway area which is more than 50 min drive to Dillon. I don't know much about the Dillon market or areas around there but I'll provide a little general information on your questions.

Homes in SC generally do not have screened-in pools. In the price range you're looking at, most homes will be in a community with a community pool but that's not to say you couldn't screen in a pool if you found a house that you liked with a pool.

One area that I do know a little about is Aynor which is 45 minutes from Dillon. Aynor is a farming community with housing that has large lots in a rural atmosphere. It's a beautiful tiny town/area with a very good school system. It's centrally located between the beach and Dillon so you'd have access to the beach and shopping, restaurants, etc in Myrtle Beach (although it would be a 45 minute drive to the beach). I'm not sure that it really meets your needs as you described since it's a ways to shopping, etc. But, I like Aynor as a nice, beautiful rural town/area.

The "problem" with the entire Dillon area is that it's not really close to all the things that you describe. Florence is probably the closest city with all the things that you describe but I'm not certain how much of the types of "arts and culture" it will have compared to what you're used to. If you're used to big city culture, you'd probably have to go to Columbia for that. If you're used to small city/town culture, Florence or even Myrtle Beach have small museums and shows to attend.

You're probably going to have to lean heavily on your realtor to find something that meets your requirements since, as I said, I doubt you'll find many on this forum that know enough about the Dillon area to recommend specific communities. I would try and find a custom built community rather than a community built by a national "production" builder like Horton, Beazer, etc. You'll probably find better quality with a custom builder (although not always) although "production" builders can do a nice job as well. You might find a good community between Dillon and Florence that might meet your needs.

Sorry I can't be of much help. Hopefully others on this forum will have some experience or knowledge of the Dillon area.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:02 PM
 
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Huh. 43 views, no replies yet. Either I wrote a novel with too many questions, or what we're looking for is hard to come by.

Any realtors who want to chime in?

Let's try this. We've lived in the Avon/Simsbury area of CT, the Mason/West Chester area of Cincinnati, OH. Have also spent time in Chapel Hill, NC. We're looking for neighborhoods and areas like this. Anything similar?

Last edited by Every3years; 01-17-2017 at 08:16 PM..
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:15 PM
 
6 posts, read 4,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTyankee54 View Post
I'm not sure how much help the folks on this forum will be able to provide since most everyone lives in the Myrtle Beach/Conway area which is more than 50 min drive to Dillon. I don't know much about the Dillon market or areas around there but I'll provide a little general information on your questions.

Homes in SC generally do not have screened-in pools. In the price range you're looking at, most homes will be in a community with a community pool but that's not to say you couldn't screen in a pool if you found a house that you liked with a pool.

One area that I do know a little about is Aynor which is 45 minutes from Dillon. Aynor is a farming community with housing that has large lots in a rural atmosphere. It's a beautiful tiny town/area with a very good school system. It's centrally located between the beach and Dillon so you'd have access to the beach and shopping, restaurants, etc in Myrtle Beach (although it would be a 45 minute drive to the beach). I'm not sure that it really meets your needs as you described since it's a ways to shopping, etc. But, I like Aynor as a nice, beautiful rural town/area.

The "problem" with the entire Dillon area is that it's not really close to all the things that you describe. Florence is probably the closest city with all the things that you describe but I'm not certain how much of the types of "arts and culture" it will have compared to what you're used to. If you're used to big city culture, you'd probably have to go to Columbia for that. If you're used to small city/town culture, Florence or even Myrtle Beach have small museums and shows to attend.

You're probably going to have to lean heavily on your realtor to find something that meets your requirements since, as I said, I doubt you'll find many on this forum that know enough about the Dillon area to recommend specific communities. I would try and find a custom built community rather than a community built by a national "production" builder like Horton, Beazer, etc. You'll probably find better quality with a custom builder (although not always) although "production" builders can do a nice job as well. You might find a good community between Dillon and Florence that might meet your needs.

Sorry I can't be of much help. Hopefully others on this forum will have some experience or knowledge of the Dillon area.
Thank very much, CTyankee54. We must've cross-posted.

Dillon would only be for work and was mentioned for the commute time. I did research through the Florence forum and found it a little lacking in the arts and culture department, mirroring what you stated. I got the feeling Florence was a decent town that has fallen on hard times. Proximity to the beach is certainly a plus which is why we thought to look at MB/Conway. My husband is leaning toward Conway as it's closer to Dillon. But now, I'll look at Aynor as well.

I realize we won't get everything we are looking for in a town, much like the compromise when house hunting. But if we can get a good percentage of our wish-list, we are good.

Please keep suggestions coming.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:26 PM
 
603 posts, read 1,059,254 times
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Just saw your second post. We lived in Newington, CT so I'm familiar with Avon/Simsbury. If you lived in the more rural part of Avon/Simsbury, you'd probably find Aynor interesting to explore for housing. However, you'll not find anything culturally similar to Avon/Simsbury in Aynor or probably anywhere in the Dillon area until you get closer to Florence. And, even then, it will be similar but world's away.

The area of SC that you're moving to is very different than Avon/Simsbury and you need to be prepared for a significant culture change. We, personally, like the people and culture of SC and love living here. But, if you expect to move here and find a life that matches your CT experience, you'll probably be disappointed. The rural areas of the state are decades removed from CT (which is not a criticism...in many ways it's nice) and anyone moving here must adjust expectations. Life moves more slowly, recycling is optional, politics is very red, towns are run by long time locals..not newcomers, DMV works MUCH better, the federal govt is viewed with skepticism, changes come very slowly, all the locals know each other and it takes awhile to move into that circle, people are very friendly and there's lots of community involvement, high school football is big-time important. To my knowledge, there's nothing similar to the Bushnell this side of Columbia or North of Charleston. That's not to say that there's not talented people who perform, they are mostly local/regional talent...not touring NY or Boston shows.

I hope this is helps. If you have more questions, let me know or PM me if you'd like.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:47 PM
 
603 posts, read 1,059,254 times
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Just saw your last post. If you are willing to live in the Conway area, there are a couple of communities that I would suggest but the drive will be more than 50 minutes to Dillon. Carolina Forest (which is closer to Myrtle Beach than Conway) has communities similar to Avon/Simsbury and has an excellent school system. The high school has some unbelievable talent (we love going to their theatre productions). Myrtle Beach has a symphony orchestra which is very good (we've been to several of their concerts). Conway has a local theatre which produces some nice shows (although not anywhere near what you'd see at the Bushnell).

Within Carolina Forest, you should check out houses in Plantation Lakes and Waterbridge...very nice areas with lots of amenities. The downside of Carolina Forest is traffic...especially in the summer. You'd want to find a way to avoid Rt 501 driving to Dillon during the peak tourist season...especially on Fridays!!

Conway proper has some beautiful older homes near the downtown area. That area would have a very different feel than Carolina Forest...more like living in West Hartford (but much smaller). There are also some nice newer homes in the suburbs/country part of Conway.
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Old 01-18-2017, 11:41 AM
 
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I would echo the sentiments of CTYankee. I think that the reason that you did not get more of a response is that most visitors to this forum are not familiar with Dillon, or even areas within 50 minutes of Dillon. As you can tell, Florence is probably the largest city within 50 minutes. To get the features you are looking for in a area would require you to go considerably further.
As far as I can tell:
There is a Lowes and Target in Florence.
To find a Trader Joes or Whole Foods you would have to go to Wilmington, Columbia, or further.
There is a Fresh Market in Myrtle Beach.
You will most likely need to make some compromises in distance to work or access to stores if you or another family member has employment is in Dillon.
Here are other relative distances to Dillon.
to Florence, SC 30mi / 0:30hrs (quickest commute and interstate)
to Myrtle Beach, SC 70mi / 1:30hrs (impacted by traffic which would be seasonal and no interstate)
to Wilmington, NC 100mi / 1:30hrs (with some interstate)
to Columbia, SC 110mi / 1:40hrs (interstate so quicker)
to Raleigh, NC 120mi/ 2:00hrs (interstate so quicker)
to Charlotte, NC 125 mi/ 2:30hrs (not much interstate)
to Charleston, SC 160mi / 2:30hrs (interstate if you take a longer drive)

There are generally neighborhood and/or public tennis courts available in most areas. Most would be outdoors.
Many neighborhoods will have pools. Screened-in pools are not typical.

Here are some links to check out South Carolina schools.
South Carolina Department of Education
Report Cards
District - South Carolina Department of Education
SAT Scores
SAT - South Carolina Department of Education
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Old 01-20-2017, 06:14 PM
 
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Thank you Heading_Home and thanks once again CTyankee54. Appreciate both your advice and insight.

We have two separate realtors for our long weekend foray to SC. One for the Conway/Aynor area and another for the Florence area.

As for managing expectations, we always remain open-minded, having done several relocations. We are on our 6th move, 5th home, and SC is probably not our last stop. There may be two more in our future should we decide to land in SC. We are very much the "When in Rome..." types and enjoy absorbing the vibe and culture of a new place. We've lived in both red and blue states, fast-paced/relaxed pace, recycle/no recycling, big time HS football/almost non-existent football states and so on, so compromises on commute, shopping, fine arts, etc. will be no surprise.

We do the research to find as many of our creature comforts that fit within our lifestyle. As with most people, we like some familiarity, but also look forward to experiencing regional differences. The hubby and I enjoy learning new things - y'all vs you guys, is it a hoagie, hero or a sub, tennis shoes or sneakers, when Coke = all soda or pop, the Halloween tradition of being ghosted or booed, Bunco or Bunko, even finding being given the bird while driving and then the 180 of blinking headlights as a courtesy all amusing. It's all good within our crazy but blessed life!

Last edited by Every3years; 01-20-2017 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 01-20-2017, 06:22 PM
 
6 posts, read 4,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTyankee54 View Post
Just saw your second post. We lived in Newington, CT so I'm familiar with Avon/Simsbury. If you lived in the more rural part of Avon/Simsbury, you'd probably find Aynor interesting to explore for housing. However, you'll not find anything culturally similar to Avon/Simsbury in Aynor or probably anywhere in the Dillon area until you get closer to Florence..
We trained our first dog at the Connecticut K-9 Education Center in Newington. Re rural Avon and Aynor, we almost bought a home in Canton, CT. Beautiful rural area, but our children were young at the time and wanted a large and proper neighborhood with lots of other kids. We will be empty nesters in 7 months so our home and location can be broader this time around.
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