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Best Place for Young(ish) Retirees?

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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:12 AM
  #1
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Best Place for Young(ish) Retirees?

My husband and I are looking for a retirement winter destination that is not Florida and were considering Charleston. Where do you suggest young(ish) retirees consider looking in Charleston: Mt. Pleasant or the Historic District, or downtown or ?. Or is Savannah the place to be? New Orleans?

We had considered looking in Beaufort but we want a bit of an urban experience or easy access to a large or largish city. We summer on Cape Cod. I look forward to reading your insights and suggestions!
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:35 AM
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I live in Old Mt Pleasant. I really enjoy it, but if you are looking for an urban experience, the Historic District of Charleston might suit you better. Beaufort is lovely, not that far from Charleston, and much more affordable. Have you visited any of the places you mentioned?
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Jan 9th, 2012, 09:12 AM
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We've visited Savannah, Augusta, and New Orleans. I haven't been to Charleston nor to Beaufort. I was a bit concerned that Beaufort might be a bit 'sleepy' for us, no?
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Jan 9th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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I take it that you are looking for a place where it rarely snows more than 4" in a month.
My best advice is to spend a 4 day weekend in at least 3 different cities and see what appeals to you.
I live in northern Klamath county Oregon about halfway between Bend and Crater Lake. Two years ago, I had to shovel snow off my roof. Last Saturday I was in K-Falls and many people were golfing at the Running Y Ranch.
I moved from PA to Oregon in July 2005.
Let us know your interests and the period of time you expect to be away from your summer home.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 10:00 AM
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tomfuller: Exactly right. We're in CT now and having a mild winter but it's time for a change. We were shoveling snow off the roof last winter and we dealt with an August hurricane and a weird snowstorm in October this year that left us in the middle of tree Armegeddon and without power for 11 days.

However, We're not considering a move solely for better weather. We have also considered retiring in NYC for at least part of the year: Cape Cod in June, July, August, September. NYC October, November, December. Somewhere else in January, Feb., March, April, May. Honestly and realistically, NYC is probably not part of the equation long term, but renting an apt. there for 3 months or so for a few years is a possibility.

So eventually that leaves us to stay in Oct., November, December, January, Feb., March, April, May somewhere else lovely and pleasant. We've even considered August, GA. I would love to be on the west coast where you live, but my husband has nixed that idea for now.

I took a look at Charleston's Historic Distict real estate and prices in the millions are not what I'm looking for. Is there a marked difference between French Quarter real estate and historic district real estate?

Thanks in advance for any guidance. We're just starting to look.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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suewoo: How far is the downtown area from where you live?
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Jan 9th, 2012, 11:15 AM
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I was wondering if you had done a price check, lol! The HD is a great place to live but you need big bucks. I live in Old Mt Pleasant, about 20 minutes from the HD. Some places listed "downtown" may not be in a neighborhood you would enjoy. The College of Charleston, as is MUSC. Lots of students live in the more affordable downtown neighborhoods. In order to enjoy the area you really need a car.

By French Quarter do you mean in Charleston or NO?

Augusta is nice enough. Savannah is great. Beaufort is about halfway between Savannah and Charleston. I really like it, but if you are looking for urban it will indeed be too sleepy for you.

If you are in the cold dark north think about a visit here in February to look around. It's very pleasant then and the sun is strong. Heck it's 80 and sunny out right now which is why I need to get off this computer and go plant some pansies!
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Jan 9th, 2012, 11:27 AM
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Hi suewoo! I did get a bit of sticker shock when I saw the prices in the HD of Charleston! It is lovely though.

I was talking about the F.Q. in Charleston.

I also wondered if all of the downtown area of Charleston was where we'd be comfortable and I guess, like any urban environment, there are differences between areas and neighborhoods that can meet the needs of many but may not be the place for everyone.

Any other ideas?

Pansies?! My holly bush is shivering!
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Jan 9th, 2012, 11:30 AM
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tomfuller: Interests: Theatre, good restaurants to eat and drink, bookstores, galleries, nice boutiques, organic food,open minded atmosphere, close to an airport, museums, urban parks and beautiful natural landscapes, not too far from the water, etc. In other words: A nearly perfect place.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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<<>>

Obviously, Manhattan (maybe we could share an apartment )
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Jan 9th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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sf7307: Lol!

We don't want to be in NYC in Jan. Feb. March. It's not a budget choice, that's for sure.

Perhaps someone can think of a place with easy access to NYC or another urban center but without all the demands of living in the city. Perhaps a bit warmer than NYC too?
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Jan 9th, 2012, 11:56 AM
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If I could get my husband to reconsider the west coast the choices would be greater.

What about Texas?
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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The Charleston FQ is in the Historic District. Anything within walking distance of the shops will cost you.

I have friends who own a duplex downtown. Their tenants often have problems with the loud college students renting near by.

Not really in walking distance of the HD is Hampton Park. I like that neighborhood a lot.

There are new developments in Mt. Pleasant that are north of Mt P proper. The traffic out there is awful and it's really development looking. I don't go out there unless I have to.

I do have to say, living here is as close to perfect as it gets. We do occasionally have to evacuate for a hurricane, but not often. Last year we got a real snowstorm-4 inches starting at 9pm. The kids were all out making snow people at midnight since we all knew it would completely melt once the sun came up. And it did.

We also have the occasional "interesting" politician, but it goes with the territory and gives us all somebody to talk about.

I should add that we move slowly. Period. It's not going to change. So don't expect anybody to mash the gas pedal hard when the light turns green. Sometimes, when people "from off" move here, they don't like that. They want us to speed up. Won't happen
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Your neck of the woods sounds a lot like my Cape Cod home. Where is the best place to look then in the Charleston area, in your opinion? Where is best to look in Mt. Pleasant?

One of the draws to this area is the college influence but I don't want to deal with college kids on a daily basis again! Thanks for the heads up. (and Thanks for all the time you've given me.) I need a good Realtor at this point. Know one?
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:26 PM
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We move slowly on the Cape too. There's a sign in one of the sandwich shops that says: "If you're in a hurry, you shouldn't be here". I enjoy that atmosphere but I do want to be close to some hustle and bustle. It's about 2 hours from our Cape home to Boston; I'd like to be a bit closer to a city during the Cape's off-season.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:41 PM
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My very best friend in the world is a realtor. If you email me at shanklemsw at msn dot com, I'll share her contact information. She knows everything about everywhere. Come down and see how you like it. You might learn to love grits.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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I second the suggestion that you spend a week each in Charleston and Savannah to help make up your mind. Each has virtues, and you can then go back to explore neighborhoods with some basic knowledge and the aid of a good real estate person.

I would give a slight edge to Charleston for being a bit easier to get to, both by car and by plane. Savannah is a bit more exotic and a bit less precious.

Since you know the Cape, in a very loose way, think of Charleston as being more like Nantucket and Savannah being more like P-Town. Mt Pleasant and Sullivan's Island are more like the Cape -- beach and golf focused.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Thank-you, Ack, for the relevant comparisons. That helped a lot.

suewoo: Thanks a lot. Look for an email. (I love grits, btw. Especially with cheese and shrimp!)
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Jan 9th, 2012, 01:09 PM
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One more question, for now: What's a regime condo vs. a townhouse or condo?
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Jan 9th, 2012, 01:18 PM
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I think that means you pay a regime fee for upkeep of grounds, etc.
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