HOW TO DECIDE? PART 2 Live in Bluffton, SC or Hilton Head Island, SC
I've provided a bit of insight into considration and differences between living in Bluffton, SC and Hilton Head Island in PART 1 of this series.
Now, this Part 2 will highlight Bluffton - and a few of the considerations for that lifestyle. If you have specific questions be sure to call me!
1. Distance to the beach. People have said they don't want to live 'way out' in Bluffton because it's too far from the beach. It's 14 miles to Hilton Head Island - FOURTEEN MILES. Many of the people who come here are from the northeast and I'd venture to say that they'd be more than happy to only have to travel 14 miles to the beach - with more than a 1 land roadway. Even in the midwest, I can remember many weekends heading to the lake in bumper to bumper traffic from Thursday night of Friday morning. Obviously you're closer if you live on Hilton Head Island but, relatively speaking it's not that far.
2. Tax differences. If you own a $350,000 home on Hilton Head Island as your primary residence (that is assesed at 4%), the taxes will be approximately $1687. In the Town of Bluffton your taxes on the same home will be approximately $2246. In you live in Bluffton but not in the Town of Bluffton - instead in unincorporated Beaufort County, your taxes on that residence will be $1625. (the value of living in the Town of Bluffton could be another debate regarding services, etc.) There is also an additional credit for homeowners that are over 65 years old - the Homestead Exemption exempts the first $50,000 of the property value.
3. Insurance on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, at least flood and wind & hail, will be determined by the elevation of the property. The elevations on Hilton Head Island generally range from 6' above mean sea level to about 19'. In Bluffton, the elevations generally range from 10' to over 25' above mean sea level. The only way to be sure of your elevation is to have an elevation certificate and that is true for Bluffton and for Hilton Head Island. There are different zones and requirements relative to insurance for each zone. You may check elevation requirements for Hilton Head on the Town of Hilton Head site. The Town of Bluffton on their website also shows the various zones and you may type in an address and get the information relative to the zone there as well.
4. General lifestyle differences. Hilton Head Island is comprised of various gated communities and the orientation is certainly towards the ocean - and resort and short term rentals. Bluffton provides for a more diversified environment with a wider range of price ranges for homes. Bluffton's motto is "Bluffton - it's a state of mind" and you're sure to feel that ambiance as you stroll down Calhoun Street and pop in and out of the cute shops and galleries. After only a few times of being in a restaurant, you'll notice that you've become a 'local' and the feeling of a small town is everywhere.
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water whether you go down to the docks by the Bluffton Oyster Factory, or enjoy the high bluff on the lawn at the Church of the Cross. For people who have collected (or remember) the Department 56 pieces, Bluffton's main street will remind you of a scene from one of the collecitons.
5. Demographics. The Town of Bluffton's average age is 35 and Town of Hilton Head's average age is 63.
If you think that Bluffton might be the place for you, you can select from some of these homes.