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Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Wait? Five good reasons why you should take the money and run south

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        It’s a buyer’s market for property, right?  Well, not exactly, according to an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal today [click here for access

Moving from Long Island, NY, to Myrtle Beach, for example, saves 35% on costs of living annually.

or, if that doesn’t work, contact me and I will send you a copy].  Sellers are mad as hell and they are not taking it anymore (i.e. lowering their listing prices).  But for those who have equity in their homes and a plan to move south, the advice here is to put aside your hot emotion and start thinking like a cold CFO.  Here’s why:

  1. Your house is worth what it is worth to a buyer, not what you think it is worth.  Okay, so you’ve lost 25% of the value of your home (on paper) in the last four years.  But that property in the southern U.S. that you’ve had your eye on is a lot cheaper too.  So why wait?
  2. The kids are gone from the nest, and you have either retired or are getting close.  Your space requirements have changed; your next house will be smaller than your current one, which means it will cost less than what your primary home will fetch.  Why wait?
  3. The costs to build homes in the south are much less than in the north (and land costs are generally lower as well).  Even if you decide you want to replicate the size of your primary home, you will spend less when you move south, in some cases much less.  I’ve seen nice homes on the market in the southern U.S. for less than $130 per square foot –- land included.  You won't find prices like that in most nice neighborhoods in the north, including your own.  So why wait?
  4. The average cost of living in most areas of the southern U.S. is less than most areas of the north.  Move from Philadelphia to Columbia, SC, and you save 20% annually. (Source:  BankRate.com).  Go from Long Island, NY, to Myrtle Beach, and the savings are on the order of 35%.  In other words, just dealing in round numbers, if you spend $100,000 annually on all expenses in New York today, you will spend just $65,000 a year in Myrtle Beach.  Knowing that should help get over any angst at an offer for your home that is, say, $20,000 less than you think it is worth.  Why wait?
  5. You worked hard for the last 40 years and have done a great job of raising your kids.  It’s your turn to reap the rewards.  Indeed, why wait?

The following is a representative sample of cost of living savings and real estate prices based on moves from selected metro areas in the north to specific golf communities in the south.  We have visited all the referenced golf communities and can recommend them.  For more information, contact the editor.



Cape Fear National Golf Club at Brunswick Forest

Napierville, IL, to Brunswick Forest, Leland, NC.  Cost of living decrease = 15.5%

Single-family homes begin around $130 per square foot, land included. 

Cape Fear National Golf Club (semi-private), designed by Tim Cate.



Wachesaw Plantation

Wantagh, NY, to Wachesaw Plantation, Murrells Inlet, SC.  Cost of living decrease = 35%. 

3 BR, 2 ½ BA single-family home at $118 per square foot.  Tom Fazio golf course (private).



Charleston National Golf Club

Bergen County, NJ, to Charleston National Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant, SC. 

Cost of living decrease = 25%. 

3 BR, 2 BA single-family home listed at $135 per square foot, with 3-car garage. 

Rees Jones designed golf course (semi-private).



Reems Creek Golf Club

Philadelphia, PA, to Reems Creek Golf Club, Weaverville, NC (Asheville). 

Cost of living decrease = 20%. 

Single-family home, 1-acre lot, 3,859 square feet, mountain views, $165 per square foot.  Semi-private golf course designed by Hawtree & Son.

Read 3547 times Last modified on Friday, 27 September 2013 11:29
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.


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