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Old 05-14-2014, 07:21 AM
 
8,218 posts, read 11,935,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sslainey View Post
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 you're buying a condo, you only need an HO-6 policy and your hurricane insurance won't be prohibitive. The big cost is on the building itself and that cost will be reflected in the monthly COA fees, so there won't be any surprises to you. I can throw a rock from my balcony and hit the ocean and my HO-6 policy (including hurricane coverage) is about $125/month.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,392 posts, read 7,775,058 times
Reputation: 3614
sslainey, before you buy real estate in HHI, it might be worth your time to visit Charleston area, specifically Mt Pleasant. It is a medium sized coastal city just north of Charleston. Mt Pleasant is just a few miles from a beautiful clean beach at Isle of Palms, and it has a river waterfront that overlooks Charleston. I like the beach at Isle of Palms more than the beaches here in Orange County, CA (such as Laguna Beach) because the water is warmer most of the year and better for swimming & kayak paddling.

Mt Pleasant is not an exclusive master planned community like HHI - Mt Pleasant has a more authentic feel to it. It is an old, established historic town. I lived & worked in the southeast for several years in the 1990s, and Mt Pleasant is one of the places that I really liked and have returned to visit many times. I like the things you mentioned (bike riding, swimming in the ocean, beach walking, dogs, exploring towns) so there is some common ground for this suggestion. I'm a couple of years older than you and thinking about a place to land in 2 or 3 years when I punch the clock at work for the last time. Mt Pleasant is one place on my list.

Another plus of Mt Pleasant is that it is just over the Cooper River bridge from the historic central district of Charleston, which is loaded with great restaurants, a good variety of entertainment and events and a good selection of shopping. Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Rochester, NY
1,129 posts, read 1,076,263 times
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My maternal grandparents dont live in Hilton Head, but they live ~10 miles west in Sun City by Del Webb. I go there 2-3 times a year and it is really nice. They have their own supermarket, bar, etc.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,956,950 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
If you're buying a condo, you only need an HO-6 policy and your hurricane insurance won't be prohibitive. The big cost is on the building itself and that cost will be reflected in the monthly COA fees, so there won't be any surprises to you. I can throw a rock from my balcony and hit the ocean and my HO-6 policy (including hurricane coverage) is about $125/month.
One big surprise can come with any post-storm assessments. Ours were in excess of $10k post-Andrew. Some were covered by our loss assessment coverage (an optional but essential coverage on an individual homeowners policy IMO). Some weren't. Because loss assessment coverage only covers things that are covered by the underlying policy (and underlying policies often exclude damage to landscaping - various exterior structures like pools - and similar).

Also IMO - the whole insurance situation can get pretty complicated in a condo. Because - even in a single state like Florida - the legislature often changes which things "belong" to the association - and which "belong" to the unit owner. I'm sure there are substantial state to state variations in this area. Also - the commercial insurance landscape can change dramatically from year to year (with prices going up and down and up and down). Sometimes as a result of storm experiences - but often as a result of other things (like insurance company investment returns). Availability of coverage and the companies willing to write coverage also change more often than one would like. Also - when it comes to large condo complexes - it isn't unusual to wind up with large deductibles (our last condo policy deductible was $1 million) and several layers of coverage from different insurance companies. I was on condo insurance committees - and am glad I will never do that kind of work again.

In terms of shopping for policies (to the extent that one can shop today - most people in Florida can't) - it's important to look at what policies cover. In addition to loss assessment coverage - relocation coverage can be important. We had to relocate for 6 weeks post-Andrew - and our policy picked up the tab. Our current policy (not a condo policy) covers relocation expenses - but - IIRC (and I could be recalling incorrectly) - other companies (and I'm thinking especially of Citizens here) don't cover relocation.

BTW - I suspect that what you're paying for your policy is on the high side in terms of what people can expect to pay outside of south Florida. Our policy costs about 40% more than yours - but covers our house and our contents (and has lots of optional coverages). I have a hunch that premises liability and similar coverages in south Florida are probably considerably more expensive than they are elsewhere. Also - whether someone is paying insurance 100% directly - or some directly - and some indirectly through condo fees - he/she is still paying for insurance. Condo fees can be pretty high these days (we have friends in south Florida condos paying > $30k/year in fees) - so it's an issue a prospective buyer should look into when shopping for a new place. Robyn

P.S. Depending on the nature of one's condo - it may be necessary to buy flood insurance from FEMA.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:18 AM
 
8,218 posts, read 11,935,652 times
Reputation: 18069
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Also - whether someone is paying insurance 100% directly - or some directly - and some indirectly through condo fees - he/she is still paying for insurance.
That's patently obvious of course. However, the HOA fee is a known dollar amount already and the poster to whom my comment was addressed was concerned that his individual homeowner/hurricane policy might be prohibitively expensive. I was merely letting him know that that wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,956,950 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
That's patently obvious of course. However, the HOA fee is a known dollar amount already and the poster to whom my comment was addressed was concerned that his individual homeowner/hurricane policy might be prohibitively expensive. I was merely letting him know that that wouldn't be an issue.
What I'm saying is the condo fees are a known amount - but only year by year. Just like your personal insurance premium for whatever property you're insuring is a known amount year by year.

Are you suggesting to the OP that wherever he winds up living - including HH - that any condo fees couldn't double in a year because property insurance costs went through the roof (as a result of a storm - a bad underwriting environment - etc.)?

And I'll put this question to you. How many units does your condo have? What is the total amount of property insurance on your condo? And what's the annual deductible for regular and windstorm related losses? Do you know these numbers off the top of your head? Most people don't. Most people don't even know that their condo insurance only covers - at best - the replacement cost of the buildings - and not their current market value. When I started to realize the discrepancy between what condo owners expected in terms of insurance - and the reality of the insurance - I quit working on insurance committees instantly. Robyn
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:04 PM
Status: "hate where I am too so back on here searching for input" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Eastern Long Island, NY
47 posts, read 57,696 times
Reputation: 94
update - visited HHI several times and decided it's just not for me. It did seem from my observations that most living here are 1) older and 2) married - not a great place for a single woman to live. The beaches are great for dog walking and bicycling but if you're a person who considers themselves a real beach person, you probably won't like HHI beaches. It's almost impossible to swim in the ocean because to get in just up to your waist, one has to wade out very very far. I did take a swim one day (barely, it wasn't much past my waist). I asked on the beach why no one else was swimming or even attempting it. I was told "sharks" and that they never go in. I thought they were kidding. They weren't. Not long after I was there a shark attacked a swimmer. As for the overly planned aspect of HHI, yes it is. It's actually beautiful with almost no signage, lush landscaping everywhere. Doesn't that sound desirable? For me it wasn't - I felt like HHI is something straight out of Stepford Wives movie. It's way too pretentious for me. I did meet some lovely people but....this is a high moneyed area, so don't think about living here and mixing in if you don't have cash to spend on social activities. You'll be left in the dust. And while I could be wrong about this, it seems like almost everyone golfs - not now and then - all.the.time. Unless you're a golfer, what will you have in common? So, while I can see that HHI might be appealing to some and I have friends who love it there (golfers, married and double retirement incomes), it's not for me. Expensive housing and expensive place to live overall.
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:09 PM
 
466 posts, read 291,616 times
Reputation: 1809
My sister lives on HHI; has for many years. Raised her kids there. She's single and about 62. She loves it, and I love visiting her there. There is a night life besides older retired couples. We always have a great time! I guess it helps that she knows the out of the way "local" places. I've heard of an occasional shark but it's never been a real issue. There are sharks in the ocean everywhere, you know . Sorry you didn't find it to be to your liking!
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:13 AM
Status: "hate where I am too so back on here searching for input" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Eastern Long Island, NY
47 posts, read 57,696 times
Reputation: 94
Yes there are sharks everywhere but.....the shorline ocean shelf at HHI is very very shallow which, not being a marine biologist, has the effect of attracting sealife closer to shore. Having lived near beaches and swam in the ocean my entire life, but where the beaches dropped off more steeply and swimming and body surfing took place, sharks rarely approach swimming areas close to shore and when they did they were such a benign species of sharks that it might as well have been gold fish. Lifeguards rarely (in 58 years I recall only once) called swimmers out but it was so swimmers didn't panic over what was essentially no threat at all. Sure it can happen but with HHI beaches, seems like there was a flurry of shark activity for awhile and that's too much shark activity for most ocean swimmers. As far as the population, you absolutely are right - there are families and single people but..for a single adult (meaning over 50 but not 70's or 80's, looking for even the potential of establishing a mature adult relationship, I'd say the chances are close to zero, not that it doesn't happen....just think this isn't the best place to be single. And, as I said, it's just my opinion. A nice place to visit but for a newcomer relocating, unless you have money to fit in with the other transplants, you'll have a hard time finding affordable housing and maintaining that lifestyle. The couple I know living there are higher middle class, living a very comfortable lifestyle, and in their assessment, having visited HHI for over 15 years and living there fulltime now three years, they're at the low end of the economic spectrum on HHI. They are very happy living there and I'm sure many others are as well. I didn't mean to imply otherwise.
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