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Old 10-03-2007, 12:08 PM
Location: Bluffton, SC
18 posts, read 88,789 times
Reputation: 30


First off I want to thank all those who post in this particular forum. In one way or another I've been able to gleam quite a bit about the area from most of the posts. So, in the hopes of zeroing in on what I need to know about the area, I would like to offer a brief background of my situation and a set of questions:

Background: I currently reside in Bluffton, SC and have been contemplating a move in the last few months. I'm originally from New York City and have lived in Boston, Washington DC and Northern NJ for most of my life. Now I like the Bluffton area to a point. I first visited the area back in 2000 and a real estate deal brought me down here in 2004. Since 2000, the development I've witnessed in the area is staggering --- but unfortunately also haphazard, somewhat overpriced and shoddy. In general, I'm not happy with the direction it's going in and now desire to leave ... hopefully for greener pastures. I'm particularly interested in the area all around Lake Keowee and/or north of Greenville.

I would enjoy a slightly colder climate. I would also enjoy a climate which didn't propagate every type of insect known to man. I would enjoy having a slightly bigger metropolitan area nearby --- Savannah is charming and somewhat vibrant, but not quite as metropolitan as I would like. No, I'm not looking for NYC or Boston, but being within 30 minutes of Greenville and 2 hours of Atlanta would be a definite positive for when the spirit moves me. I also like the proximity to the mountains.

I will soon be married and a step dad to 2 pretty bright kids. I'll more than likely have another child or two in the near future. So, schools are important and for the most part I've noticed that the schools in the upstate are superior to those found here in Beaufort County. I also have two aging parents and therefore medical care is an issue. Plus I have a number of well-behaved (no constant barking or anything) dogs (as my forum name might imply ... ). Any area (or community) I move to needs to be relatively dog friendly --- trails, etc.

Lastly, I don't need to find a job, but I would be bored doing nothing. Therefore, I will be looking for an area where the business opportunities are good (in an entrepreneurial sense) and the possibility of working on another Masters Degree.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the general range for high quality construction in the area(s) per square foot?

2) Where are the best private schools? Which are the best school districts in the area?

3) How are the business opportunities around Clemson proper?

4) What are the REAL travel times from say an area like Clemson/Seneca to downtown Greenville, Atlanta, Columbia, Charlotte and Asheville? Note: I'm not the fastest driver out there, but I know how to make real good time.

5) Where are the best hospitals? Any proposed new hospitals in the area? Are there issues with obtaining quality emergency medical care in certain areas?

6) Is all of Lake Hartwell really that polluted?

7) What are the differences between the North and South side of Lake Keowee? To they appear to be really serious about maintaining the water quality?

8) I'm not totally adverse to living in a gated community, but prefer to live without HOA rules and unneeded amenities. Are there still and decent areas right ON Lake Keowee that remain undeveloped by gated communities?

9) Are there any decent sized tributaries into Lake Keowee where you could access the lake, or are they for the most part shallow and not navigable (just little feeders)?

10) I have about $600-$800K to spend on land (no house) but I'm still undecided as to whether I want to live on a lake or buy some acreage with mountain views and perhaps some creeks/rivers running through it. If you were to buy a couple of acres on a lake, which one would you choose? If you were to look for more acreage (say about 10-30) with mountain views, etc. but were looking for somewhat convenient commute times (circa 15-30 minutes) to the Clemson area and Greenville, which communities would you look at? and

11) Will I be constantly challenged by mosquitos, chiggers and/or sand gnats?

I apologize for the length of this post, the number of questions and any seemingly inconsistent "desires" on my part. Bear in mind I have yet to drive the area NORTH of 85, but I'm quite intrigued by what I've heard so far and plan to do so within the next few months. Perhaps a realtor would best be able to answer all these questions, but prior to going to a realtor I rather hear the thoughts of forum posters. Thanks.

PS: Please don't be intimidated by the number of questions, any information/answers will be most appreciated.
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:21 PM
617 posts, read 2,443,224 times
Reputation: 139
I can't answer much, but others will jump in here soon enough.

First, it'll be hard to run from the mosquitoes, haha!

Clemson to Greenville = approximately 35-40 minutes.

I'm not too sure of the other times from Clemson...but from Greenville they are...

Greenville to Atlanta = approx. 2.5-3 hours.
Greenville to Charlotte = approx. 1.5 hours.
Greenville to Columbia = approx. 1.5 hours (maybe a little less).
Greenville to Asheville, I've made that trip a lot, but for some reason can't remember the time. I want to say it's about 2 hours, someone please correct me.

EDIT: I know it's not exactly what you wanted. You could use google maps or mapquest to get a fairly accurate travel time.
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:32 PM
Location: Bluffton, SC
18 posts, read 88,789 times
Reputation: 30
Thanks P2, but I don't like to rely on Mapquest too much --- I prefer the reality of those who actually drive it on a somewhat consistent basis. Mapquest doesn't experience traffic.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:26 PM
617 posts, read 2,443,224 times
Reputation: 139
I completely understand. I prefer google maps over mapquest, but as you said it can't account for traffic. The times are pretty accurate though if you manage to stay out of a lot of traffic.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:11 AM
Location: Bluffton, SC
18 posts, read 88,789 times
Reputation: 30
P2, I agree about the google mapping but I always seem to be under their stated drive times when it comes to highway driving. It starts to get tricky when you introduce "smaller" roads into the driving equation.
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:38 AM
Location: Clemson, SC
4 posts, read 11,935 times
Reputation: 10
I will try to answer most of these....let's see. I am originally from the "Low Country" and I can honestly say that the bugs are not as bad here, but we are still in the south. However, we don't have gnats up here.

High quality construction on Lake Keowee is around $200+/- per sq ft. Keeping in mind that the value of the property is in the actually land/lot itself.

It's a great place for dogs and kids of all ages. Lots of outdoor activities with the mountains and lakes nearby.

We have good school's in Pickens and Oconee county. Also the Christian Academy (close proximity to the west side of the lake) is also a very good private school.

Most all of the communities have HOA's, however they are only around $500 per year. If you venture up to The Reserve or The Cliff's communities you will pay more however they offer tons of aminities.

There are business opportunities in both Clemson and Seneca as both are growing "cities". However don't be afraid we are far far away from the development that Bluffton has seen over the past few years.

Seneca is in the process of constructing a new hospital and it is suppose to be top notch. However both Anderson and Greenville, only a short drive, have great large hospitals for a planned visit.

The north area of Keowee is more of a second home area verse the south. It's about 25 minutes to town, grocery stores, restaurants, schools etc. and has more of a mountain feel.

Hartwell is decent. However, it is currently very low because of lack of rain fall. That is the good thing about Keowee, they have to keep it at a certain level because of the cooling of the nuclear plant, Duke Energy. BTW having the plant so close by really helps us save on our electric bill!!!!

I hope this helps with some of your questions. BTW, I am a Realtor, sorry!! I specialize in property on Lake Keowee, so if I can help with anything else please let me know.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:24 AM
Location: Easley, SC
511 posts, read 1,425,842 times
Reputation: 113
Default Lake Keowee

I will try to help although I cannot answer all of your questions. Please note these times are approximate: Seneca to Downtown Greenville 45 min., Charlotte 2-2.5 hrs., Columbia 1-1.5 hours.
The largest hospital in the area would be in Anderson SC. Oconee is adding on to their existing building.
The South end of the lake is my personal preference. Just my opinion-ok- it is less crowded as far a boating is concerned and the water stays calmer.
As far as the power bill we do not find it any less expensive than living elsewhere but I guess it just depends on your house size and insulation.
Yes--we have mosquitos but you can control some of them. My friend has the greatest (non chemical) "thing" her husband bought at the sports store. You just sit it outside, turn it on and they go away.
We were lucky enough to find 4 acres that are not in a gated community. Don't know if it will happen again but I am sure there are others. Yes we have waterfront. It is in a cove and the water level does fluctuate some but we have no problems getting the boat in and out. Small-19' of course.
I will say this for the North end--the mountain views are better and they have gorgeous waterfalls.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:12 AM
1 posts, read 2,331 times
Reputation: 10
Can anyone, maybe keowee-sc, update the above information...I'm sure there have been some changes in the past 7 years. We too are interested in lakefront property on Lake Keowee area but we aren't interested in paying for golf or tennis or children's activities. I imagine HOA fees have increased...by what percentage? Besides mosquitoes (they breed in MI as well) what other types of "critters" are there? We experience raccoon, possum, deer, skunks and an occasional fox but no snakes. How humid does it really get in that area? In MI we can have very humid days during our very short summer. What type of shops can you find in downtown Seneca? Are they unique and distinctive or just your ordinary Hallmark store or Walmart?
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