Do you want to build a custom home? Do you want to renovate your existing home? My husband Mike and I have done both. AND…We’re gonna do it AGAIN, this time in Hampton Lake SC!
My husband Mike and I have been on the hunt — “Operation ReloSouth” — for the perfect retirement location. We want to live in a less-expensive, more relaxed area of the country near water. With better weather (no snow) than what we have here in Northern New Jersey. This is our story.
In 2012 I was barely half a century old when my husband Mike insisted we begin the search for our perfect a retirement home. Yeah, Mike likes to give himself years of research time to weigh his options. In case he can’t make up his mind. Or I can’t (hah!). And just to make our search more challenging Mike told me that we couldn’t retire in New Jersey (see reason #1 below) and he wouldn’t retire to Florida (see reason #3 below). Yeah, Mike’s full of rules.
Our “must have” list for the perfect retirement location included the following:
- a significantly lower cost of living than what we have here in Northern New Jersey, which is ranked the 6th most expensive state in these United States;
- a slower paced, but still interesting lifestyle. Living in New Jersey, which is the most densely populated state in the United States, means we are often tense, anxious and/or grumpy. Not even Botox can eradicate my Jersey frown lines. On the plus side, though, New York City is a short train ride away, which means we have access to some of the best of the best, most fun things to do. And we have the Jersey Shore.
- a more temperate climate. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 just about did us in. That said, Operation ReloSouth does not include researching areas in Hurricane Alley (e.g., Florida).
You can read my earlier posts about our searches near Wilmington, Leland and Southport, North Carolina; Hampton Lake, South Carolina and Skidaway Island, Georgia. I stopped writing about Operation ReloSouth for quite a while after Hurricane Sandy smacked us around, but that didn’t mean we stopped looking. Nope.
After two “sneak-a-peek” weekends and a number of other trips down, we bought a lot in Hampton Lake SC, a private, gated community that is home to families, singles and couples of all ages.
And I thought that would be the end of it until we actually retired. You know, years from now when we actually retire we’d plan and build a house on our lot and live in Hampton Lake SC full time.
Mike was suddenly a man on a mission.
- We bought our lot in 2013.
- We visited model homes in the area and chose a builder and a home plan in 2014.
- We changed our mind and chose a different home plan in 2015.
- And now? David Weekley Homes is building our retirement home NOW, RIGHT NOW, IN 2016, YEARS BEFORE WE WILL LIVE IN IT FULL TIME.
I need to sit down.
Next Up: Bought the Lot! Now Finding a Builder!