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Old 04-26-2014, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
7,623 posts, read 11,474,450 times
Reputation: 6070

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post

I did not feel like I was in the South. It seemed that most of the people had northeastern accents or were from other parts of the country. One of my co-workers, who is from Philadelphia, likes to play golf and raves about Hilton Head and his aunt has a condo there and enjoys it. Savannah and Charleston are less than two hours or so away and would be fun to visit. And Beaufort? (maybe Buford) is a darling little city that is somewhat nearby. If the OP likes shopping, doesn't mind living in a congested town, can find a home in a gated community with nearby beach access, and get past the shallow water, it might be a good choice.
I agree, Hilton Head doesn't really seem like "The South". almost has a Florida type feel. I do like the stores and amenities and I thought Coligny beach was very nice. Depending on where you stay, you may have to take the Parkway (toll road) to get from one end of the island to the other. Otherwise, traffic can be brutal.

Charleston is a couple of hours away, Savannah much closer. Beaufort (Bew-fort) is a charming little Southern city, not far north of Hilton Head. Many retirees also like Bluffton which is the first town after you exit the bridge off Hilton Head.

I love the lowcountry. I think we have chosen it as our retirement location when the day comes. I am a little less enamored of Hilton Head, though. But in general, islands make me a little nervous.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:49 PM
 
649 posts, read 554,600 times
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HH Island is very exclusive. It tells you something when the average SC home value is 126k, and HH is 365k. Several of the communities you WON'T get into unless invited by a resident.

75 percent of the island is in a flood zone and will require flood insurance, hurricane insurance will be expensive and if a storm does come, prepare to leave very early as there is only one way on and off the island.

If you don't, you either won't, or it will take forever to evacuate. Just some things to think about.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:47 PM
 
777 posts, read 3,403,394 times
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We enjoy yearly vacations there. Easy drive and access; pleasant weather; lots of bike paths and cycling on the beach; good local restaurants; fun for dogs, with understood rules. Yes, there are lots of gates, it's not free, traffic on the main road can be busy and public beach access is not continuous. I'm not sure how it would be to live there, but it's very agreeable to visit.
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,984 posts, read 7,753,935 times
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If you are under 35 and single few of the places mentioned will be to you liking for any reason other then the beaches. Hilton Head is vacationers, retires, and those in the service business as in may I take your order. Same with Amelia Island. I suggest closer to Charleston SC where one can have a career and a social life. One can beach nearby it at Folly Island, Isles of Palms, Sullivan's Island.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:30 PM
Status: "hate where I am too so back on here searching for input" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Eastern Long Island, NY
47 posts, read 57,466 times
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OK, so TBD. Really had no idea the island was this congested and I'm thinking, great - I'm a nature lover so this will be wonderful. I'm down-to-earth and laid back, so this doesn't sound like it will be a great fit for me, but then I can rule it out and move on. From your descriptions, Amelia is more my speed (I live on Long Island, NY and it's too crowded here for me, has been since the 80's when NYC people began staying out here year-round and essentially wrecked what was a beautiful quiet place to live) I'll keep an open mind for this trip and at worst I'll enjoy sun, cycling and swimming (if not in the ocean, then in the pool) after an especially harsh winter here. So my search for a new & warmer place to live will most likely continue after my visit to HH. Sincere regards to all and thank you for your input. I'll let you know my impression when I return, so the next person will have yet another person's perspective.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,661 posts, read 1,527,824 times
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There are a couple of nature preserves and the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head. And a recreation area in location for viewing the dolphins. Residents probably know the back routes and how best to avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, it is just a very popular place!
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Amelia Island
2,977 posts, read 3,962,962 times
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While there is no reason to panic, we are experiencing a gradual but increasing resurgence in real estate and prices here on Amelia. I am not familiar with HH but having friends in Saint Augustine and the Charleston area they are telling me they are seeing the same upticks as well.

I guess the point I am trying to make is those little quiet beach towns that are growing in popularity are also because of those coming in are (affluent boomers) becoming cost prohibitive to the middle class. They project that within ten years Amelia will become that way...........luckily we bought on the down although we could not afford what we have today.

Insurance and taxes on a barrier island is definitely something to take into consideration when looking for that final place along with distance to specilized medical.

Good luck with your exploring!
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:33 AM
Status: "hate where I am too so back on here searching for input" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Eastern Long Island, NY
47 posts, read 57,466 times
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I returned from HHI on Saturday and...it...is...one beautiful island. No litter, no ugly signage all over the place (that does make it challenging to find things). Everyone I met was incredibly friendly - both lifelong residents, transplants, and visitors. Many people from Ohio, Canada, Pennsylvania, NJ and some NYers (but the ones I met were laid back and looking to get away from fast-pace of NY culture, just as I am)

Incredibly landscaped.....ALL OF IT - very easy on the eyes. Lots of bicycle paths and a very very dog-friendly island. Beaches are beautiful, great for sunbathing and swimming (some people wouldn't go in the water due to jelly fish.....I went in anyway....I could get hit by a maniac Long Island driver but I still go on highways).

I found some beautiful recently up-dated housing $200-$250 (which is much less than here on LI) taxes are low. I'm still waiting to hear about cost of flood/hurricaine insurance, so TBD. If it's not prohibitive, then....looks like I am heading south. If buying doesn't work out, then I'll be looking at rentals. Does anyone know of a good/honest RE Rental agent for HHI?
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,938,980 times
Reputation: 6716
It's always a good idea to rent first in a new area.

In terms of "updated" housing...

Here in coastal Florida - property insurance (especially windstorm) can be very hard to find/very expensive if a house was built before the new building code went into effect in the mid-1990's and hasn't been updated in ways that bring it in compliance with that or later codes.

Don't know what the story is in SC. I know that SC has a Wind and Hail Underwriting Association:

South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Assn

But don't know how it works - or whether it's like "Citizens" in Florida. Pay particular attention to things like deductibles (they can be pretty hefty when it comes to windstorm coverage).

Also check into what (federal) flood insurance costs now for various *specific* properties and what it might cost in the future once Congress finally decides to charge homeowners premiums that aren't heavily subsidized. In this regard - the elevation of a property above flood level is probably more important than the age of the structure (although the newer a place is - the higher it tends to be).

FWIW - I think that the storm evacuation routes from HH are less than optimal (you may never have to evacuate - or you may have to evacuate a lot - it's pretty much the luck of the draw). Robyn
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,938,980 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBtwinz View Post
While there is no reason to panic, we are experiencing a gradual but increasing resurgence in real estate and prices here on Amelia. I am not familiar with HH but having friends in Saint Augustine and the Charleston area they are telling me they are seeing the same upticks as well.

I guess the point I am trying to make is those little quiet beach towns that are growing in popularity are also because of those coming in are (affluent boomers) becoming cost prohibitive to the middle class. They project that within ten years Amelia will become that way...........luckily we bought on the down although we could not afford what we have today.

Insurance and taxes on a barrier island is definitely something to take into consideration when looking for that final place along with distance to specilized medical.

Good luck with your exploring!
Our property values have been bouncing back too. One thing I've noticed in this area is that about every piece of marginal land that's left over is being developed. Houses are going up where back yards are 10 feet away from A1A. Robyn
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