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Old 03-09-2009, 09:02 PM
93 posts, read 157,774 times
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How difficult is it to grow veggies on Savannah's Dutch Island, Isle of Hope or Wilmington Island vs Bluffton, SC area?

If jobs weren't a factor, would your prefer Bluffton or the Islands? At this stage in life, just looking for relative safety and nice neighbors. Even if the economy were decent, we're pretty much past the point of wanting more things or needing an exciting nightlife.

Property taxes are much lower in Bluffton and it has quick access to the ocean on HH, but seems as if the Islands are better for access to health care. Are there any drawbacks to the Islands? Is there a problem with saline infiltration in the channels around the islands or is it still sweet water? Finally, is the water too polluted or are the channel fish still good for eating? Thanks for helping!
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:32 PM
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The Islands are a much better choice. You are correct as to the medical facilities. Much closer to hospitals and many more medical specialties in Savannah.

All the water around the Islands is salt water. Drinking water is piped in from the Savannah water works, which draws from the Florida Aquifer.

The old parts of Bluffton still rely on wells. I don't know where it comes from. There is already salt water encroachment in the wells in the Hilton Head area. The golf courses there are watered with treated sewer water. Savannah doesn't have that problem.

The salt rivers around the Savannah Islands area are clean as far as I know. There may be some polluted creeks here and there, but people fish and eat the fish all the time. Shrimping is good, The oyster beds do get poluted, because that's what oysters do, they keep the water clean by filtering the bad stuff out.

Dutch Island, Isle of Hope, and parts of Wilmington are somewhat sandy and require an addition of good compost in order to grow really nice veggies. Normally, we get enough rain so that there is no need to a lot of watering, but the last few years have be abnormally dry. Let's hope it changes soon. Gardens are a nice hobby.

The property taxes are lower in Bluffton now, but I think you can look to see that change shortly. That area has grown sooooo fast that it has sort of outgrown it's tax base. It needs more schools, better fire and police, etc.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:46 PM
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Thanks, Padgett, that's exactly the info I was hoping to get. I've searched these topics and read many of the Savannah area posts, but didn't find the info you so succinctly provided.

Can you, or anyone else who cares to contribute, tell me a bit how the islands vary from one another. From previous posts, IOH seems wonderful, but I don't know how it compares with Dutch Island other than DI is a gated community. The Landings is probably very nice, but I'm not sure it's for us. Wilmington and White Marsh I'm less clear about. I know we'll have to make up our minds once we visit in a few weeks, but reading others' opinions helps narrow the search. Thanks much for any info.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:56 AM
Location: Wilmington Island...Savannah, GA.
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On the ocean.
Expensive to live.
Party Island time during the "season".
Gotta go to Wilmington for weekly shopping.

Not on the ocean.
But you have the river/creeks/etc.
Less expensive to live.
Pretty quiet all year 'round.
And plenty of stores/restaurants/bars to keep you occupied.

A mix of classy, and shabby.
Less expensive to live then Wilmington.
Last stop before "The City".

I guess you can figger out where I live?
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:00 AM
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OK, lets start with the smallest on your list,

The Isle of Hope. This is a small, but lovely place to live. It is historical in that it was part of an original crown grant waaaayyy back about 1735, It has no commercial enterprizes except for the marina that's on the Intercoastal Waterway. One elementary school and four churches. You have to cross either one of two causeways to get to the mainland. There you will find a small shopping center, groceries, pharmacy, restaurants, liquor store, etc. Some of the families that live there have been here for generations. Houses, and incomes, range from $ to $$$$$$$$. No through traffic as the causeways act as sort of a natural "gate"

Dutch Island. It has only one causeway to get there by way of going through Isle of Hope. Yes, it's gated and I think it has a HOA. It was started in about the mid to late 1960s. It's still seeing new construction. No commericial businesses. No churches or schools. It's price tag is higher than the other places that you name. It is served by the Isle of Hope Volunteer Fire Department and the Southside Fire Department. It will take a bit of money to live on Dutch Island. It seems to be a very nice place to live. It doesn't have the older charm that the older Isle of Hope does.

There are other nice residential areas on the mainland part of the county just before you get to the causeways. You might find just what you want there.

Going towards Tybee, you first come to Whitemarsh Island and it is separated from Wilmington Island by one river and some salt marsh. It's really sort of one big residential/shopping area. You can find anything you need somewhere in the area, which includes other areas like Talahi Island. The Isle of Armstrong is between the Thunderbolt river and Whitemarsh. All price ranges, You have to go through this area to get to Tybee Beach. $ to $$$$$$$ with the most money found around the estates that border the rivers. A lot of condos and apartments for rent in both places. Churches, restaurants and schools. The hospitals have off-site clinics there and there are other physicians and dentists there. There are even Veteranians for the pets in the family.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:29 PM
93 posts, read 157,774 times
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Thanks, Al & Padgett, Isle of Hope sounds great, but so do the others so it will be a question of which area provides relative safety (like the idea of the causeway(s) increasing security) and best value in a depreciating market. Thanks for mentioning the availability of emergency services, as that factors into pretty significantly. I had already checked in the nursing home possibilities for my parent and RC church services. Any thoughts on the impact of Hunter AAF?

I'd not heard of the Isle of Armstrong before. I really want a peaceful spot where neighbors share a sense of community, but not the golf course/country club mentality. We've lived in two such associations before, don't play golf and I've come to realize how wasteful and damaging to the environment maintaining courses can be.

Love the availability of fresh seafood so that's a huge plus for me. Picturesque, simpler lifestyle, semi-tropical ... sounds like a little slice of heaven. The only aspect missing on my wish list is freshwater streams. While I expected the marshes to be saltwater, I found it surprising that the rivers are not fresh water. Guess the ocean intrudes until much further inland. (BTW, I think Bluffton draws from the Florida Aquifer also, but because of the increase strain on the Aquifer, the water table in that area is becoming saline in the upper portions. We've got to figure out how to coordinate an interstate effort to protect the Aquifer or the entire lower SE region will be in trouble.)

Can't wait to explore. Thanks again for providing insight.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:30 PM
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One other thing. Dutch Island properties are usually large. There would be a lot of lawn to keep mowed if that could be a problem for you. You would probably want to hire it done.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:34 PM
93 posts, read 157,774 times
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Is the property tax rate consistent throughout the Isalnds?
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:47 PM
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The Riverside Nursing home is in the Isle of Hope/Dutch Island area. Only a couple of miles from the causeway. There is also the Marshview Assisted Living home which is almost ON the Isle of Hope.

Riverview Health & Rehabilitation Center

The Savannah River is a fresh water river, and you can fish it. But the tidal currents that change twice a day, pull the ocean water in to make the lower part where Savannah is, more brackish. Farther upstream, it becomes fresh. It's not always the best water in the world as there is a lot of industrial and other pollutants in it. The Ogeechee River is also available for fresh water fishing as are several fresh water ponds. Salt water fish are good eating. You just have to learn a little about the tides. Lake Meyer is a public access large stocked fresh water pond close to IOH and Dutch Island.

The rivers around the Islands area are connected directly to the ocean. There is no way for them to receive fresh water from the inland areas. These Islands are barrier Islands. If they didn't exist, the Atlantic would slosh right up against Savannah.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:01 PM
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No, taxes are not consistant. It's a matter of location. Waterfront is taxed according to the waterfront footage. Marshfront is less than waterfront, but higher than inland lots with no water access. There are deductions for Homestead exemptions, also Senior Citizen and low income. If your desired neighborhood is highly desired, then the house and grounds will be taxed according to the county assessment. A similar house a few blocks over next to the shopping center or on the highway to the beach, might be given a much lower assessment.

At the present time, taxes are based on the 2007 and earlier evaluations. They are much too high, (at least the property owners think so) There is a move on now to insist that the county reduce the evaluations down to a more realistic rate based on today's lower prices.
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