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Recommendations for South Carolina living
Old 06-06-2008, 10:03 AM   #1
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Recommendations for South Carolina living

My wife and I recently early retired and are in the process of evaluating options in South Carolina to eventually live most of the year. We were hoping to find a small town feel with big city amentities close by and reasonable housing costs. We like Beaufort but wondered if anyone had any other suggestions for our consideration. Thanks in advance!

John
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:13 AM   #2
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Outside of Rock Hill/Charlotte maybe?
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Near Beach
Old 06-06-2008, 10:17 AM   #3
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Near Beach

Sorry - forgot to mention that a beach needs to be nearby.....we are already in Charlotte.

Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cltindexer View Post
We were hoping to find a small town feel with big city amentities close by and reasonable housing costs.
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Sorry - forgot to mention that a beach needs to be nearby.....
Wow. Be sure to let us know if you find it.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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Summerville in the Charleston area had houses in the $100,000's. I rented an apartment in the area and enjoyed the area. The houses nearby were nice (except for the newest constructions), and everything was within a half hour drive; three beaches, riverside restaurants, bars and kayak rentals, Mount Pleasant, downtown and a hospital right around the corner. However traffic on the major street is at a standstill for most of the morning due to the Air Force base being along that road.

I had a few friends in the Mount Pleasant area and would go there often. It had one of the best restaurants I've ever eaten at, the houses looked much nicer, the beaches are still close and it was a nicer area than in Charleston.

If you have the budget, Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island are right on the beach. With an unfortunate night spent getting lost and wandering all over Sullivan's Island, I can say there isn't a house there that I wouldn't mind living in.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:05 PM   #6
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Hey CLT, my DH is from Charlotte and we live in Charleston. I'd be delighted to bore you to death with details of my lovely and wonderful home state!
Beaufort is indeed nice, and has a charming, small town feel to it, but there isn't much in the way of "big city amenities" nearby, not like Charlotte. In fact, I would say that nowhere in SC has those kind of amenities, except Greenville, that you would want to live!

Along the coast, there are many nice small towns, starting up by Myrtle Beach (Conway, Murrels Inlet, Pawleys Island, Georgetown (truly beautiful downtown historic district and nice shops--a real favorite of mine), Mount Pleasant is ridiculously expensive (I work there and we call it Mount Plastic) and the traffic sucks, but the greater Charleston area has lots to offer--low taxes, easy access to the water (and not just the beach, which may or may get old) and access to what passes for culture here--read awesome restaurants and the Spoleto festival!

I grew up on Sullivans Island--let's just say that comedian Bill Murray's wife lives there now--and unless a lottery win figures into your retirement, you'll not want to move into a $2 million fixer-upper out there, likewise Isle of Palms. Shame, really, but you know the steadfast drumbeat of progress.

We lived on Folly Beach for about 10 years, loved it, but it, too has succumbed to McMansion fever, and there are fewer bargains to be had, but the beach is beautiful and the downtown funky and fun, with great restaurants, live music, and a cool pier.

Bluffton is also nice, just outside of Hilton Head, but has lots of retiree settlers coming in, which probably runs the prices up.

If you come down for a visit, PM me and I'll be glad to offer any suggestions for the so-called Lowcountry and maybe get y'all out for a boat ride in Charleston harbor. We live on one of the "sea island" in the unincorporated Charleston county, and it is the best of all worlds--4 nice acres with a tidal creek behind, a dock to the sound shared by four houses on our dirt road, with a 20 minute ride into Charleston proper when we need some dress-up time in the City! Along those lines, look at the tiny towns of McClellanville and Awendaw (both outside Mt. Pee) and Edisto Island further south (more rural but the town of Edisto Beach is very neat, and actually has potentially affordable homes within walking distance of the beach).

Summerville is okay, sprawly and uncontrolled growth without much regard for zoning, but there are nice places among the ticky-tack, and the downtown is really neat, especially during the Azalea Festival each spring.

Again, I can probably bore you to death with details, but let me know if I can help in any way! Southern hospitality and all that!
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:34 PM   #7
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If you want to expand your options there are two very nice cities right outside South Carolina: Wilmington, NC is north of Myrtle Beach, and Savannah across the border in Georgia.

Sarah: What is that factory in Georgetown that sits right on the water and releases the terrible smell?

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Old 06-06-2008, 02:03 PM   #8
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There is a steel mill in Georgetown, and a paper mill (that is the one that you may have smelled). IP is a big employer up there, and also has a mill in North Charleston. Both are in the industrial section of the town, like the industries that line our port areas here in Charleston. I drive through there every now and again, and can't remember the smell being noticeable, so maybe they've done some sort of change since we were kids and would hold our nose going across the river!

Savannah is beautiful, fairly expensive, and has some serious crime problems, unfortunately. I love visiting, but had cousins there who were robbed at gunpoint.

Wilmington is likewise stunning, but with the movie industry folks bidding up property prices, bargains are hard to find, plus, like Savannah, there are not many "big city amenities". It is a fun, spirited town, though, and if you were considering NC, it would be my top choice.

Savannah also has a sometimes overwhelming tourist season, due to it's proximity to I-95, a blessing that we can thank South Carolina lawmakers, who were so crooked and criminal that they moved it further towards the midstate during construction! Whew!
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:14 PM   #9
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Thanks for the responses! My wife and I actually got married in Charleston in White Point Garden after meeting there five years earlier. It is one of our favorite cities but it seemed that housing costs were quite high relative to what we had seen in Beaufort. Charleston is definitely on the list - just wondered if there were other places that we should consider. We had planned to visit Georgetown and Bluffton this year so we'll add Edisto Island, Awendaw and McClellanville to the list. Thanks Again!
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:36 PM   #10
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Excellent--it is a beautiful garden and what a vantage point for the harbor! Good choice! The housing prices really depend on where you are looking--east of the Cooper River (Mount Pleasant) is very expensive, but going west of the Ashley River it improves pretty dramatically. Just depends on what you want. We bought our property 5 years ago and built on it, so I don't have any recent knowledge of the market, but our 4 acres was $110k, on private road, surrounded by conservation easement, with a shared dock. Taxes and insurance way lower than in CLT!

Have fun researching--and get you some shrimp in McClellanville fresh off the docks!
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:40 PM   #11
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Thanks Sarah!......appreciate all your help....
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #12
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That smell in Charleston comes from the Westvaco paper mill. It part of the chemical needed to break down the cellulose.
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:24 PM   #13
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What about in the upstate area near Clemson? Went to grad school there on Uncle Sam's nickle. Had an Army Buddy that did the same thing. He lived at Koewee Key. Close to Greenville but far enough away.

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