Categories
Georgia

Griffin GA – Sun City Peachtree

Griffin GA

I visited Griffin GA for a couple of days recently and got a feel for what it might be like living there.  It seems to be the all American small town, formerly a textile mill town, it is only 40 to 50 miles south of Atlanta but quite a bit more in lifestyle differences.

Griffin has quite a few good amenities that would make it desirable for retirement.  It has a lovely downtown with Hill street running down the middle. The City Hall and the Court Courthouse are right there also.  Tim’s or Louise’s are southern food restaurants with affordable prices and good food. They are quite packed on Sundays after church lets out. All the chain restaurants are there too.
Griffin also always had a good high school football team. The people are real people who are sincere, hard working and humble. A lot of people do commute to the Atlanta area since there are not a lot of high paying jobs in Griffin.  But there are sufficient stores and services, a large regional Griffin Spalding hospital, an experiment station of the University of Georgia, Elk Club, Moose Club and other clubs you would normally find in a small towns.

Prices seems to be very reasonable on services like auto repairs, yard work, handyman services, etc. The housing is very affordable. I called about a 3 bedroom brick ranch with fenced yard in a nice subdivision. It was a HUD foreclosure listing for only $55,000.  Anther person was renting a similar 3 bedroom, 2 bath brick ranch with fenced yard for only $650 month.

Getting around is easy. The traffic is light. To get across town takes 5 to 10 minutes.

So what is the catch?  Well I think Griffin is a very local place.  Many talk about Atlanta as another state even though it is very close.  Many people live their whole lives in Griffin, some move to Atlanta and become professionals to move far away, but many stay put and work blue collar jobs.  There is nothing wrong with that. There are a lot of people retiring in Griffin, but there have not been many moving to Griffin to retire. Until now.
On the outskirts of Griffin toward I-75 that leads to Atlanta, Del Webb has built an active adult community, Sun City Peachtree it is called.  It will have 3400 homes on 1,726 acres, a large golf coarse and a huge activities center that is already built.  Last year I attend the Grand Opening and there were some very excited people there, a few from Griffin, and many from all over.  As Bob Dylan sang, the times they are a changing.

More 55+ Georgia retirement communities   Griffin Spalding Chamber of Commerce

Originally posted 2010-01-16 00:21:09.

Categories
Retirement Small Towns

Factors That Make Small Towns Desirable for Retirement

Factors That Make Small Towns Desirable for Retirement

In planning for retirement, many people seek out a new home in a new town, whether to downsize, move to a sunnier climate, or simply for a change of pace. While some baby boomers are looking for more excitement and a thriving night life, many people – both singles and couples – hunt for new homes in quieter, more cozy places than the suburban or urban environments in which they spent their working years.

Small cities – those with populations of 25,000 or fewer – offer some distinct benefits for senior citizens seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of life, but don’t want to live out in the middle of nowhere. In the hunt for the perfect small-town retirement destination, you may want to consider a number of factors: criteria that can help you determine whether or not a small city in question is a good spot to retire.

So, what makes certain small towns more desirable for retirement than others? There are a wide range of answers to that question, but the same few seem to pop up again and again: Low crime rate; mild weather; ease of travel within city limits (walk-ability) and to other destinations (nearness to international airport); number of retiree amenities per capita; natural beauty and charm of the surroundings; and ability to make quality social connections. While some of these factors (low crime rate and mild climate) are easy to quantify, others are a bit more subjective.

Ease of travel: To some, this may mean the ability to walk easily to the majority of restaurants, venues and shops in the community, while to others it may mean excellent public transportation options in a small city. For those who are moving to be closer to their children and grandchildren, how easy is it to visit them is a factor as well. They want to be on the right side of the metro area to be close for visits.

Retiree Amenities: Some are looking for a  55+ community with all the included amenities and facilities, while others look to the town in general to see what healthcare facilities, senior centers, adult education opportunities, libraries, and arts and entertainment venues are available.  Is there a senior center nearby?

Social Connections: Many small towns or small cities share a common “theme,” or may have large concentrations of certain types of people. Perhaps citizens share a common ethnic heritage, like Leavenworth, WA’s Scandinavians, or shared interest like the Sedona, AZ population of artists. Towns that host annual festivals and other events also offer many opportunities to meet new people.
Are there many baby boomers or seniors your age?

Regional Medical – Is there regional medical resources nearby and 24 hour medical services close by?  See

Tip! Small towns with one of the large Active Adult Communities like those of Del Webb, K. Hovnanian Homes, Brookfield Homes, Lennar, Beazer Homes,  WCI Communities or Erickson Retirement communities – they usually have done the research for you and are in or near desirable small towns for retirement.  See my post Hospital Nearby Is Mandatory.

Retiring to a small town can be an appealing option on many fronts. After battling traffic and hassles of urban or suburban living for decades, the attractions of small town life can be a serene alternative, and offer opportunities to learn, grow, socialize, and live happy and healthy lives as seniors.

Originally posted 2020-09-07 08:10:21.

Categories
Retirement Homes

Searching for Retirement Home Can be Fun

Destin FL - Where to retire
Getting out and exploring new things is always fun.  Exploring retirement home options can fall in to that category.  Maybe you have a little more time to take a few days off. Explore retirement options in your area, your city, your region and far away. Make it your hobby to research and then to travel and experience new options you now have.

Experience the Vacation Getaways at the Active Adult 55+ Communities with a trip of 3 or 4 days and see first hand what they are all about. In addition you get to visit the town and area where the community is located.  These are positive experiences at very little costs.

Next visit small towns in your area and region. This would be as short as a day trip, an overnight trip or spent 2 or 3 days and visit several small towns.   Do your research first on the web and plan your visit. Visit during a festival or town event would be interesting as well. There are many advantages to retiring in a small town but just visiting can be fun too.

Next travel to a resort area and combine a vacation and a retirement research trip. Go to Hilton Head for a week. While there explore some of the communities in the area.  Warning: don’t buy any timeshares while there. Enjoy your vacation and learn something too. You have a legitimate reason for visiting the communities, you are not wasting anyone’s time. You are the prime prospect, but most communities are helpful and low pressure.  If you really did fall in love with the place, maybe renting for a season would be a good idea first.

Finally explore your own city. Research first then go downtown and experience the mixed use, high rise, loft, town centers and other interesting concepts in your very own metro downtown or midtown.  What would it be like to walk to restaurants and museums from your very own condo. Urban life is not for everyone but there are some boomers moving downtown to experience the advanatages of retirement city living style.

But the main to remember is to have fun! There are no deadlines and you don’t have to do anything. Take your time during your visit to take it all in.

Originally posted 2012-06-11 10:45:15.

Categories
Towns Reviewed Vermont Washington

Seasonal Small Town Living

A couple of small towns for seasonal living ideas we like are here.

Originally posted 2020-09-01 07:10:00.

Categories
Virginia

Charlottesville Virginia – Check It Out!

Rotunda – The University of Virginia

When one makes a trip to spend a few days in an area you have never visited and discovers it’s an attractive area, sometimes it turns in to a “Let’s move here” idea. I could see how that could happen in Charlottesville Virgina after spending 3 days there this week.

We just wanted a getaway and picked Charlottesville off the map. Having never been there, we did a little research and found it’s a good place to visit and to live.

Charlottesville Trip Report

Day one we flew to Richmond Va and took our rental car for an easy drive over to Charlottesville via I-64. Takes a little over an hour with stop an a visitors center on the way.

Seeing one of the big attractions is visit to Thomas Jefferson home (Monticello) we exited I-64 and followed the signs. We first came upon historic Michie Tavern cir 1784 which offered a buffet lunch which we were about ready for and then a tour of the tavern by ladies in period dress. We went ahead and got the Presidential tour package which includes Monticello, Michie Tavern, James Monroe home and James Madison’s home at Montpelier. After eating we took the Michie Tavern tour with a nice lady as guide. This got us in the right frame of mind for the next stop.

So about 2pm we arrvied at Monticello which is right up the road from Michie Tavern. This is a popular place and lots of people were coming in from the parking lots. We stopped by the ticket office and immediately got on the bus for the next tour of the home. The bus takes you up to the top of the hill to Monticello. Their is a guided tour of several rooms of the home and it has a lot of the items owned by Mr. Jefferson and other period pieces to look just like it did when he lived there. Thomas Jefferson worked on Monticello for 30 years and made it his unique home. Afterwards we joined a tour of the grounds and made a day of it. I think Monticello was the highlight of our trip.

Day two we take the short drive down to the University of Virginia to find the Rotunda designed by Thomas Jefferson. We park at The Corner, a popular place for students, and just follow them up the hill, over looking grounds framed by historic buildings. Every hour there is a tour by a student guide starting at the Rotunda. We visited several rooms inside the Rotunda and hear about it’s amazing history, then go out in to the academic village for more of the tour. After wards we stop by a student hangout at The Corner for a coke.

Next it’s a short drive to the downtown mall, which is an area several blocks long with the main street closed to auto traffic. Side walk cafes all around and we try on out for a delicious lunch. For the afternoon, we drive out to tour the farm of James Monroe which was part of the Presidential homes ticket.

Day three we drive out to Montpelier James Madison’s huge home and farm. It is a about 15 miles north of Charlottesville, right off the path to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we would be visiting that afternoon. We pass many farms on the way. This property has been restored by the National Trust, and they have done an excellent first class job. There is a large visitors center where we watch a short movie about James Monroe, the father of the US Constitution. Next we tour the large home and walk the grounds.

It getting around noon so we head East to the Shenandoah Park. Ticket is $15 but since I am 62, I am offered the Senior Pass for $10 and it is good the rest of your life. What a deal! We get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and about 9 miles along stop at the Big Meadows Lodge for a nice lunch in their dining room. We enjoyed he views and head back to Charlottesville where we dine that evening at the Boat House, the best new restaurant of the year.

It was an amazing trip and to see so many things in such a short period of time! Charlottesville is a college town with history and everything you would want, without the traffic of a large city. If you have never visited Charlottesville you need to. You just might want to move there.

Originally posted 2010-09-26 13:12:27.

Categories
South Carolina

Retiring to South Carolina’s Lowcountry

Bay Street in Beaufort SC

 

We made a visit to Beaufort in the South Carolina Lowcountry. This area around Beaufort seems perfect for retirement living.

Here is a report on a few of the small towns, islands and communities in the Lowcountry that you may want to check out for places to retire.

 

Beaufort SC

Beaufort is a wonderful small town to visit on vacation, that is for sure. We enjoyed the carriage tour of the historical district and seeing the wonderful old homes here. We enjoyed walking the streets in the tourist areas off Bay Street and eating at the wonderful restaurants, especially those with seafood. We enjoyed the day trips up the Sea Island Parkway to visit Lady’s Island where some of the people we talked with in Beaufort told us they lived and mentioned when we asked about a good place to retire in the Lowcountry of SC. We enjoyed walking along the Waterfront Park on the Beaufort River on the backside of Bay Street and sitting on the decks of the restaurants there.

Lowcountry Retirement Towns / Islands

There are not any Over 55 Communities that we could find in the area except of course the Sun City Hilton Head which is about 30 miles away. People do retire to the Lowcountry but live in homes near Beaufort or on one of the many Sea Islands. Crossing the bridge from the historical district on the Sea Island Parkway you enter Mary’s Island which is home to several retirement community like communities, but not age qualified.

That’s OK for sure and actually preferred by many, living among multi-generations. Several of the communities had wonderful clubhouses with plenty of amenities. Of course these are resort style communities and are usually not far from a body of water,  if not actually waterfront or marsh front themselves.

Living in any of these communities would give you a great base for visiting nature, the beach, any of the numerous sea islands, Beaufort, Hilton Head, Savannah and Charleston.

Some Lowcountry Communities That Might Be Nice to Retire To

Our research led us to these Lowcountry communities as being great places to live, retired or not.

Coosaw Point http://www.coosawpoint.com/ – Located on Lady’s Island, this is a 400 acre beautiful Lowcountry community on the edge of the ACE Basin with all it’s wildlife , old rice fields, streams, wetlands and marches. Yet this community is only 10 minutes to Beaufort. A 12,000 square foot clubhouse with amenities and a causal feel for Lowcountry living at it’s best.

Newpoint SC – Another waterfront community on Lady’s Island boast a walking neighborhood that overlooks the beautiful Beaufort River. About 50+ acres it is a good size but not huge community.

Distant Island – We rode through The Village at Distant Island on Mary’s Island and saw some beautiful custom built homes in this waterfront community.

Pleasant Point Plantation on Ladys Island also has a waterfront location and a wide price range on homes.

Habersham SC is a beautiful small town on the coast of Broad River and is perfect for your retirement living. http://www.habershamsc.com/index.html

Dataw Island http://www.discoverdataw.com/ – East of Beaufort, this really is a retirement island as there are mostly adults living here in a gated community. It boasts golf course homes, waterfront and marsh front homes in this beautiful community that would be great for retirement.

Fripp Island http://www.frippislandrealestate.com/ is another island about 21 miles from Beaufort to check out. The whole island is a gated community! It’s a vacation resort but several hundred people live at Fripp also.

I think staying for a few days in Beaufort would give you a good base to scout out all of the above communities and have a great vacation as well. Maybe you will find a Lowcountry community that will be perfect for you to retire to.

For more information on Beaufort and surrounding towns and communities contact Keith Strawn at explorebeaufortrealestate.com

Resources:
More small towns in South Carolina
Thanks to Todd Covington at Low Country Properties

Originally posted 2013-11-01 16:44:42.