For years, Hilton Head Island/Bluffton and the surrounding areas have been an area buyers have looked to for their relocation. All you have to do is look at the unbelievable amount of growth in the area the past 5, 7…10 years to see what I am talking about. What is it that draws buyers to this area, but more importantly makes them want to stay? This week I list my Top 10 Reasons People Buy in the Low Country.
10. Medical Facilities
With 14 medical facilities in Beaufort County, from outpatient centers, to medical pavilions, to hospitals, when it comes to medicine and your health the Hilton Head area has more than enough to cover every bump, break, or condition you can think of. The Hilton Head Hospital, boasts not only two of the top back and spine specialists/surgeons in the country, Dr. C. Boatright and Dr. Jeff Reuben, they also have a top-rated heart center. For those looking for a more mainstream hospital, the Hilton Head area is centrally located between MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) in Charleston and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
9. Low Tax Rates
Per some of my recent emails, South Carolina has the sixth lowest tax rate in the country. According to a recent Bloomberg article, taxes for South Carolina are as follows; Income 7%, State sales 6%, Property Tax per capita , Inheritance none, Estate none. For more on taxes in South Carolina, as well as other states throughout the country, click here.
8. Land Planning
For those that have been to the Hilton Head/Bluffton area, you remember how difficult it was to find your way around the first time you visited due to the lack of street lights and large signs. No street lights, business signs no higher than 4 feet, buildings no higher than 5 stories (nothing higher than the tree line) are all things the town of Hilton Head, and now Bluffton, have incorporated into their laws and restrictions that keep the area looking as if nature meant it to be that way (for more on the areas standards click here). Commercialization is tolerated but not allowed to run rampant. Keeping and enjoying nature to its fullest is one of the most endearing things about this area and why it is on my list.
7. Outdoor Activities
As an area that enjoys moderate temperatures on a yearly basis, Hilton Head and Bluffton are abundant with outdoor activities. The most notable is Harbour Town Golf Links. Harbour Town ranks 14th in the top golf courses you can play in the United States and that is just the beginning. Although lesser known by name, the area has 27 golf courses of all shapes and sizes ready to challenge golfers of all skill levels.
If tennis is your thing, you will be hard pressed to find a tennis facility better than the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center. Consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top tennis facilities, it is located in the heart of Palmetto Dunes, mid-island. Tennis players of all skill levels are welcome and their assortment of tournaments throughout the year are attended by people from all over the country and world. It seems like every plantation has a tennis team and with such teams are numerous social activities. With such an abundance of people wanting to meet you, newcomers will have no time making ‘local’ friends.
If being a land ‘lubber’ is not your thing, there are nine different marinas around the island. Finding a place to dock your boat or rent a kayak/canoe is not a problem. In Bluffton there are a number of public boat launch points; May River and Sawmill Creek on the Colleton River. If you don’t have your own boat, take one of the boat tours and watch dolphins, gulls, and all types of marine life that is sure to make even the most cynical person smile.
Hilton Head and Bluffton enjoy a warm tropical climate throughout the year. With an average yearly high of 76° and a low of 52°, could you imagine a better place to be? We are able to maintain such desirable temperatures due to our close proximity to the Gulf Stream which brings warm temperatures up from the Caribbean that we are happy to enjoy. We average 230 days of sunshine (for most of you in the Northeast, 230 is not a misprint) with 52″ of rainfall per year (just enough to keep it green). For those that enjoy the water, the average water temperatures are a bath-like 69°. Speaking of water temperature…
5. Atlantic Ocean
To some this is the top reason they have moved to the area. Whether they enjoy time out on the water or just watching the waves roll in, there is something to be said about the relaxation and serenity this gives. Sure there are other beaches on the East Coast, but the Hilton Head/Bluffton area boasts 14+ miles of beach and is continually working to make sure it remains nourished. Where else can you ride a bike on the beach (at low tide) and still walk in the soft sand?
See currently active Oceanfront Homes for Sale and Oceanfront Villas for Sale.
4. Central Location
For buyers that are relocating, family is usually a priority (we get into that later on). The ease of access to the Highway 278 corridor, off of I-95, makes accessing the area extremely simple. Highway 278 is the main artery for the entire area and this was realized by local authorities, which is why alternate routes have been constructed to alleviate congestion from the main road. This area is only a day’s ride from almost any city east of the Mississippi River, or two days if you like to stop and take in the sights. This makes it easy for kids, grandkids, nephews/nieces, and longtime friends (who haven’t found the treasure this area is yet) to visit. If air is your means of travel, there are two airports; one on Hilton Head Island with the main hub in Charlotte, and Savannah/Hilton Head Int’l Airport. Either one is capable of getting loved ones to you, or you to them in a timely fashion.
For all the amenities you receive (stated above), as well as the quality of life enjoyed by residents, the cost of owning real estate in the Hilton Head/Bluffton area is lower than comparable areas on the East Coast. This area has the look and feel of the highest per capita areas on the East Coast with a cost of ownership more related to those coastal towns of lesser renown.
Whether you are looking for an oceanfront home or condo or a smaller place to hang your hat, this area has a home/condo to meet even the most detailed buyer’s demands.
Due to the ease of access, warm climate, low cost of living, etc. this area has become popular among people in other countries, mainly European countries. In years past the surge of the value of the Euro has made it more affordable for foreign nationals to purchase real estate in this area. The word must have spread quickly as we are no longer the hidden gem and have become known around the globe. As a result, we have a wide range of diverse residents that have a lot to offer the community. The diverse collection of residents; from Fortune 500 CEO’s to entrepreneurs, to teachers, lawyers, etc. makes this area one that is filled with expertise and a wealth of knowledge. Where else can you sit in a local coffee shop with a CEO, a retired hourly employee, a world-renowned artist, and yourself and discuss anything you can think of while receiving input from every perspective.
All the things mentioned above are reason enough for someone to move here. However, combined they do not equal the number one reason. In a recent poll from people all around the globe, people were asked ‘What is the most important thing to you? What would be the number one thing you would like to have?’ The responses might surprise you. It wasn’t money, notoriety, a big house or fancy car. It wasn’t that their child attend a top university or had a top paying job. The number one thing people from all over the world said was family and friends and the desire to be loved and wanted, and this is the number one reason people enjoy living in the Hilton Head/Bluffton area.
With so many things to do in a relatively small place, the amount of friends you meet is unbelievable. Not only do you meet a lot of new people and establish friendships with them, but these friendships grow out of a common bond of living in a wonderful place. A wonderful environment where you can do one of a million things; travel, golf, tennis, fine dining, fishing, beaches, the list goes on and on. This area was founded on, and always will be one where family and friends are the cornerstone of everything. Add the fact that we are in the South and enjoy all the finest of southern hospitality and you have the recipe for the most ideal place to live.
With all these things in mind, why are you waiting? Wouldn’t you love to enjoy warm weather, beaches, golf, tennis, etc. from a central location with the feel of a small town on a regular basis? Now is your chance. We are still experiencing lower than normal prices for real estate, but this is being eliminated just as fast as I can type. The word is out, the Hilton Head/Bluffton area is beautiful, desirable, and extremely affordable, and those that continue to ‘wait and see’ will be the ones missing out.
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