Hilton Head/Bluffton vs. Brunswick County/Wilmington

We’ve done it. The birds do it. Football players do it. The Pope has done it. Former Presidents do it. People from Vermont do it. Ballerinas do it. Heck, just about everyone on the planet does it. What is it that brings us all together in unison? We all MOVE, sooner or later.

Twenty years ago, Doug decided to leave beautiful New England and move somewhere along the southeast coast. Just like Goldilocks, he had to find just the right porridge. In the end, his research said that Hilton Head was too hot, Charleston was still too warm, but Wilmington was just right!

Today, the HH/Bluffton/Beaufort area is one of the more popular destinations for people searching for a milder year-round climate. In general, if we meet with someone who decides for whatever reason to not migrate to Coastal NC, the two other favorite destinations for them to research are Florida and HH/Bluffton. Therefore, let’s take a look at both Hilton Head/Bluffton/Beaufort and Wilmington/Brunswick County.

Before we look through at the stats, one of Doug’s best buddies, Bill Bucci, lives on Hilton Head Island. Bill and Doug used to work together (Rivers Edge & Ocean Ridge Plantation) years ago, and before he left to retire full-time and be with family, he worked with the team at Carolina Plantations for a bit. Well, we may not call what he did “work” but he did hang his shingle with us!! Anyways, Doug would visit him 3-4 times a year and have some pretty valid insight on that area.

As one compares each bit of information above, there are a lot of similarities. The items that stand out to us just about every time we visit though, are traffic, density and limited beach access. In particular, however is density, because Brunswick County only has a handful of hotels, verses a large number and variety of mainland hotels, plus beachfront high-rise hotels and condos in the Hilton Head area. When visitors do show up, there is a tsunami of them and man of man does it ever get crowded! Hwy 278 is the 4-lane highway leading out to Hilton Head Island, and that is just one road you want to avoid at all costs during season. For that matter, it’s still a road too well traveled 365 days a year!

The other factor that Doug believes is important in weighing the pros and cons of HH/B/B, is the distance to a real city – and that is Savannah. If you live on the island, Savannah can be a good hour drive, not including traffic. That is where really good medical care is, and while a HH/B/B has a lot of shopping and dining opportunities, there is no concentric area such as a downtown to go strolling. Wilmington has nearly 100 restaurants in downtown, so park once, stroll along the 2-mile Riverwalk, choose from an eclectic group of restaurants, enjoy live theater and nightlife, topped off with a romantic horse drawn carriage ride. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Doing your research is critical to finding just the right place for you. The Hilton Head/Bluffton/Beaufort area has a lot to offer and if you intend to go, let us know as we have a great friend who is a Realtor in that area. She will take excellent care of you. Just send Doug an email at Doug@CarolinaPlantations.com. We look forward to helping you and your family with your relocation needs to the NC Coast!

How Much Traffic is in Your Future?

How Much Traffic is in Your Future?

Do you think it would be safe to say that most American’s do not enjoy traffic? Granted some have to endure it for their jobs or personal reasons but, does anyone get in the car and go join in a traffic jam because there’s nothing good on TV? For the most part, we believe happiness is a choice. You wake up and if you want to be happy, you do everything within your power to do so. Traffic is also a choice, as you either live near it and deal with it, learn to schedule your time life around it, or reside where the traffic is minimal.

Don’t Let Traffic Get You Down

If you let it, traffic can pretty much run ruin your life, for if every time you want to leave your home you need to consider the traffic patterns outside your driveway and beyond, you are a traffic prisoner. And let’s face the facts about traffic & health – has any doctor ever said that heavy traffic reduces your stress levels?

When it comes time to move, especially for retirement, how much emphasis should be placed on traffic around your home and/or town? If you enjoy traffic, well, be sure Atlanta, Miami and Tampa are on your list! However, if you are normal…,shouldn’t you research traffic patterns of where you will spend your golden years?

Where Do You Want to Be

In a few days, Doug will be turning 62, and for the past couple of years, he has considered buying or renting a home in Florida – primarily for January ad February. Those two months are typically our slowest and being able to go deep sea fishing regularly, and play the horses and dogs, and visit a casino – well, Florida does offer some things we don’t have in Coastal North Carolina.

However, there is this thing called traffic, which no matter how attractive parts of the Sunshine State can be early in the year, they just aren’t attractive enough to endure the rising blood pressure received from that mass of vehicles on just about every highway and byway. Nope, just can’t do it.

How Much Traffic is in Your Future?

Traffic, by the way, is not indigenous to Florida. A couple of weeks ago, Doug drove down to Kiawah Island to see a dear friend and when he left his office in Shallotte, GPS told him his ETA was 4:30 pm. He left an extra half house in case he ran into traffic in and around Charleston during rush house. Ha – boy did he miscalculate! The bumper to bumper traffic in Mt. Pleasant on the northside of Charleston was nuts. Plus, once he crossed over the high-rise bridge in downtown Charleston, the traffic crawled the next 15 miles to the Kiawah exit. Needless to say, he was way late and, unfortunately had more of the same the next day when Doug drove down to Hilton Head for a good buddy’s surprise 80th birthday.

Traffic on the North Carolina Coast

In 1999, Doug left the northern suburbs of Boston for the warm ocean breezes of Wilmington, NC. Traffic was really non-existent here back then and even with all our growth, our traffic today is nothing compared to so many (southern) cities. He lived in Atlanta during the 80s and have often said that for $5m/year, he wouldn’t move back there because his quality of life is far too important. Here is a list of cities that you will never find him living in full time.

How Much Traffic is in Your Future?

Might visit, but never set up a residence there. If you are wanting to flee from the traffic filled cities and move to a slower paced life, then allow us to help you find a new place. We at Carolina Plantations can help you find your next home that you too can enjoy the North Carolina Coast.

February 2013 – Why Wilmington?

With a rich history of being a port city that served local residents from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick County, Wilmington is the eighth largest city in North Carolina. Its earlier settlers had several names for her: New Carthage, New Liverpool and New Town, which later was Newton. Finally, in honor of Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington (England), the town nestled against the Cape Fear River, 28 miles upstream from the Atlantic Ocean, got her rightful name.

Fueled by the abundance of forest resources, the major industry here in the 18th and 19th century was timber. The “Port City” later became a strategic commercial ally in the opposition to British rule and was so vocal against the Stamp Act of 1765, that it was defeated the next year. In the 1800s, the city also built the longest railroad line in the world to Weldon, NC and was a major commercial and passenger hub for passengers & freight heading southwards to cities like Charleston.

Centuries later, Wilmington is a thriving small city sandwiched by the Cape Fear River to the West and the Atlantic Ocean to the East. While it still is a port town, it also is the commercial, medical and learning center of southeastern NC. Firms such as General Electric, PPD (Pharmaceuticals), Screen Gems, Corning and Verizon call ILM home, as well as Cape Fear Community College and University of North Carolina @ Wilmington.

However, the latest industry Wilmington is attracting is the influx of retirees from points north and west. With its wonderfully temperate year round weather, miles of white sandy beaches, exciting and eclectic downtown and riverfront park, new shopping venues, theater, fine dining and so much more, it’s no wonder that Wilmington is one of the largest destinations for the 10,000 Americans that retire each and every day.

On a quiet street in downtown Wilmington, the cries of “The British are Coming, The British are Coming” have been replaced by “The Retirees are Coming, The Retirees are Coming!!”

Since my move here from Boston in 1999, where I spent 7 frigid years, I have seen The Port City come into its own. While the changes have in and of themselves not been significant, in total they have helped transform a small, sleepy town into a fairly cosmopolitan little city with a Charlestonesque southern flair to her. Make no mistake about it, when people speak of retiring in Wilmington, others are no longer saying “Delaware”?

So in my time living in southeastern NC, here are the changes that I believe have helped Wilmington evolve from a moth into a butterfly:

  • MLK Jr Drive – prior to this road being built, going from east to west meant you were either on Oleander or Market street. MLK/Eastwood Road allows those in Brunswick County to scamper cross town to popular destinations like Wrightsville Beach, Mayfaire and ILM – our airport.
  • PPD //www.ppdi.com/  This home grown pharmaceutical firm, chose to build it’s beautiful campus like skyscraper along the north end of the Cape Fear River – breathing new life to what was one a disregarded step child part of downtown
  • Wilmington Convention Center//www.businessmadecasual.com/attend/event-calendar/  A beautiful waterfront facility tucked in behind Cape Fear Community College with more waterfront development pending! (ie hotel, shops and more)
  • Mayfaire at Town Centerwww.MayfaireTown.com  Several hundred acres that were formerly Parker Farms was converted into a shopping, dining, retail and commercial wonderland about seven years ago. Every day this exciting Mecca continues to add to your best shopping experience in SE NC (Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Barnes & Noble, Belks and more!)
  • Zimmer Cancer Center @ New Hanover Regional Medical Center – //www.nhrmc.org/zimmer-cancer-center Cancer is never a welcome word but in Eastern North Carolina, the Zimmer Cancer Center is a blessing.
  • The Betty Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital//www.nhrmc.org/betty-h-cameron
  • No place along the east coast of North Carolina takes better care of Women and Children than this amazing new facility
  • I-140 and Porters Neck By Pass – this long awaited highway connects the northern part of Wilmington/Hampstead to the Cape Fear River. Plus, within a year the extension will be completed, which will connect I-40 to Hwy 17 in Leland, just below Brunswick Forest. That will take a boat load of traffic off of hwy 17 in Leland.
  • Then there are the new(er) retail venues such as Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fresh Market, the addition to Lumina Station and many more.
  • New(er) restaurants include Ruth Chris Steak House, Manna, The Kitchen, Indochine, Circa, Brasserie du Soleil, Boca Bay, Port Land Grille, Melting Pot and many more

When our clients come for a visit, we always do our best to make sure that they see the highlights of our very own Port City. Wilmington is not necessarily though a town to retire in because it is chock full of subdivisions, which are simple neighborhoods with a pool and tennis court. Our clients are looking for an active lifestyle with amenities galore such as indoor/outdoor pools & hot tubs, golf, walking trails, tennis, fitness classes, cardio equipment, planned activities, restaurant, parties and more.

Therefore, the majority of our clients will agree that they “Buy Wilmington, but sleep in Brunswick County!”  So if you have not had one of our firm’s almost famous tours of the Port City, contact us so we can arrange for you to get intimate with one of the east coasts top destinations for retirees and those looking for a second home.

Realtor Copyright © 2022 Carolina Plantations. All Rights Reserved. Website Design by InterCoastal Net Designs