Are you over 55 and thinking of moving to a Lowcountry community that caters to you? In this episode of Lowcountry Connect, I’m going to share the pros and cons of living in a 55+ community in Bluffton, South Carolina. We’ll look at everything from amenities to location so you can see if one of these great communities is right for you.
The Pros Of Living In A 55+ Community:
All of the 55+ communities in Lowcountry—including Sun City, Latitude Margaritaville, Sun Rock, Four Seasons, Carolina Oaks, and The Haven—have millions of dollars worth of amenities. The price of a home in Sun City is $350,000 to $450,000 with $100 million worth of amenities already in place. In Latitude Margaritaville, you've got $25 million worth of amenities and another $20 million coming because it's so new. I was just at Four Seasons yesterday, and they're digging like crazy building their amenities as we speak.
Another pro is that you have like-minded people enjoying themselves all around you. Whether it’s playing a round of golf or tennis, you’ll be able to enjoy a big giant melting pot from all over the country. People come down here and they meet various people who have similar interests. You're going to immediately plug right in especially at Latitude and Sun City. They've got so many groups and organizations that you're going to make friends immediately.
The third pro is that these communities offer great value. All the amenities that are involved once you live are available for low annual fees. For example, I may take a 55+ person and show them a regular neighborhood. They’ve got a little dinky pool and two little tennis courts and that’s it. But when you come to a place like Sun City, you’ll find $100 million in amenities that make it worthwhile.
The last pro is that the 55+ communities are both large and small. For example, in Sun City there are nearly 9,000 homes. Latitude Margaritaville, there are about 300. At Four Seasons—if you want a smaller boutique-style community—you’ll find 550 or 575 homes. At The Haven, there are about 400 homes. So large or small, you’ll have your choice.
The Cons Of Living In A 55+ Community:
Now that we know the pros, let’s talk about some of the cons. If you go into these places like Sun City or Latitude Margaritaville, you're going to need to go to the model and they're going to explain where you can put that model to build a lot. You're likely going to wait until the summer of 2021, as they are backlogged big time. Be aware that you’re going to need to wait at least 18 months. Because 55+ communities release a small number of lots, the highest and best offer will get their house. It’s a more complicated process to do that if you want to build in one of these places, though it's going to push business to resell properties.
The second con is that if you choose to build it, you're going to live in construction. Your street, neighborhood, and area are going to be under a lot of construction, and that needs to be taken into account. While the construction will be gone at the end of the day, it’s going to be dirty, it's going to be noisy, and it’s generally messy. However, you're going to get a brand new home
Another con is the lack of landscaping. When you're moving into areas where they're putting brand new landscaping in for homes that are kind of close together, you won’t have a whole lot of huge trees right away. For a maintenance-free lifestyle, the landscape is going to have to grow at will. It's going to take a little bit of time. And lastly, depending on how new the neighborhood is, you might be dealing with what we call a pioneer concept. You may be one of the first people in your area with not a whole lot of people there.
Latitude Margaritaville is a very good example. You may buy in there and not even like it because there are not that many people there. They've sold close to 1,000 homes now, but you do have that pioneering concept. As some who has lived in these gated communities for years, I like it when there’s not a whole lot of houses around. However, you might not.
Is A 55+ Community Right For You?
I hope this helped you understand the pros and cons of living in a 55+ community here in Lowcountry. It’s a tough situation here in 2021, as building is delayed because of the demand. One of the sales guys at Latitude Margaritaville told me they were selling about 100 homes a month, but construction can't keep up. They've been scaled back to 40 contracts a month now just to catch up to the demand.
We're expecting big things in the fall, so stay tuned to Lowcountry Connect as we plug you into what's going on down here in the Lowcountry. Be sure to subscribe, and make sure to reach out if you have any questions!