Friday, December 2, 2016

World of Retirement Communities: News and Events

Stay informed about exciting happenings in the world of retirement communities.  

This feature will be updated whenever  interesting events or news are found or monthly.  

Festivities, parties, guest speakers, guest performances and more are frequent events at 55+ and active adult communities.  Many are open to the public and free.  They advertise the community to guests or they are regular community activities that happen to be open to the public.

Please verify all information before going to communities.  Visit their websites for up-to-the-minute information.





December 2016:


This is the month to look for year-end incentives.  Builders are anxious to sell their inventory before year-end.  Some great deals are being offered on move-in ready homes. 

Also, this month look for Christmas and Holiday Festivals.  Communities may be closed on Christmas Day so call first.  Check your favorite community to see what is happening. 

Many model homes will feature Christmas decorations. 

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Holidays

I spent Thanksgiving with my oldest daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren.  Guests were my son-in-law's brother, wife and child.  My youngest daughter lives in California and couldn't be there.  But both girls have outstanding cooking abilities and interest.   In addition my son-in-law does too.  

The kitchen was swirling with happy sounds, delectable fragrance and joyful curiosities.  My daughter and her husband do not cook turkey for Thanksgiving every year.  This year they decided to have a menu of enticing Indian food.  The following were cooked to perfection:

  • Dal Makhani
  • Chana Punjabi
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Curried cauliflower and sweet potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Naan
  • Basmati rice pilaf
  • Raita
  • Pecan and berry pies with whipped cream or ice-cream


It was delicious.  Next year they are thinking of cooking Italian.  I forgot to take a photo of my dinner plate but I did get this one with leftovers the next day:
Indian Food Leftovers after Thanksgiving










My daughter cooks a truly great pie!
Cooking is truly a great passion in their house and their kitchen is so organized!  This made me think to add the following:


What Makes A Great Gourmet Kitchen 

You often see communities in their marketing saying a home feature is a gourmet kitchen.  But what do they mean by that.  Maybe their kitchens have some or all of the following that makes it gourmet.

  • It flows - you feel good cooking in there
  • It has room to store appliances, bowls, pots and pans
  • It may have a kitchen island for extra countertop space
  • It should have granite or quartz countertops
  • It has stainless steel appliances -- preferably energy-saving
  • Lots of storage, maybe a pantry (room for salad spinner, tools, pots and pans)
  • A gas stove, overhead fan, modern dishwasher (there are some pretty fancy new models)
  • Large sink including faucet with pullout sprayer  
  • Customized drawers with sliding shelves, lazy susans etc.
  • Spacious for people to move around easily
  • Microwave, blender, mixer, electric toaster, coffee making station
  • Plenty of outlets for devices and area for charging phones, computers

Their kitchen has all of the above and more.  Again, I forgot to take photos.  But their kitchen is truly gourmet and a pleasure to work in.  Can you add anything to the list.  Let me know and we'll discuss further next time. 

New on the Bestguide-Retirementcommunities.com website:  

Mobile Phones:  Check out our site on mobile phones.  We think we have one of the best sites for retirement communities to navigate on mobile phones.  You can move up and down the page easily by clicking Navigation and Return to the Top of page.  Our Table of Contents and Map are at the top along with our new feature Newest Communities Chart.  Our Most Popular Communities feature is at the bottom of the page.  And if you want to see all categories for that state page, go to Navigation where its located at the bottom of the page.  And thank you for visiting us.

What features would you like us to have to make your use of mobile phones more efficient for looking for retirement communities.  Please let us know if there is something that would improve your experience on mobile phones. 

Lower-Priced Floor plans


One thing I have observed lately is that many communities are adding a small square footage plan to their floorplans.  This is very welcome. 

As prices are increasing, many buyers are being priced out of the market--a very sad thing.   H
appily, many builders are offering a new floor plan priced under $250,000 or under $200,000.   So keep checking for new floorplans, if this is your concern. 

Incentives

This has been a solid trend all year.   Incentives aren't always advertised or there may be additional ones to the advertised ones.   Sign up on community websites for updates and you may get the information in an email.  I have found the updates very helpful. 

Incentives are most strong during December in order to reduce the builder's inventory before year-end.  Check it out!   


    RV Information:

    Keep up with trends.  John Burns Real Estate Consulting offers a great article for RV enthusiasts.  

    Also, see their article about 55+ apartments.


    Getaways with Visitor Stays:

    Winter is a good time to take a few days  and view communities with Visitor Stays.   Check the individual communities to see if they have offers to visit.  If the community is closing out usually these offers are withdrawn. 

    Del Webb has frequent "Explore Del Webb" stays.  There is a list here of Del Webb communities with visitor stays.  Try stringing a few together.



    For those considering a Shea Trilogy community, they have released a list of Trilogy communities with "Taste the Good Life"  overnight stays, a good way to explore.  They are:
    • Vistancia - Arizona
    • Encanterra - Arizona
    • Ardiente - Nevada
    • Monarch Dunes - California
    • Polo Club - California
    • Ocala Preserve - Florida
    • Orlando - Florida
    • Lake Norman - NC
    • Lake Frederick - Virginia

    Florida Short-Term Seasonal Rentals:  

    Snowbird Tip:  If you missed out on traditional apartment-type seasonal rentals, consider RV communities.  Many have units to rent for the season (Nov. thru April).  Units can be park models or cottages.  You can rent by week, month or season.  These communities have luxury amenities and are in great locations.  You can find lists of 55+ RV Communities and RV-Florida communities on my website.

    California and Arizona also have seasonal RV rentals.


    Pricing:

    As rents continue to rise, we have noticed increased interest in Low Income Housing on our website. 



    Builder Websites: 6 Reasons to Visit the Community or Company Website

    • Showing incentives and special offers
    • RSVP for events offered to the public  
    • Registering to be updated on communities
    • New communities Coming
    • Blog Articles
    • Events Pages
        

    New Communities Coming in the New Year:


    Regatta Landing in Windstar on Naples Bay on the West Coast of Florida.  Starting low $500's. 2399-231-4381

    Bridgewater at Viera by WCI in Melbourne, Florida.

    Oasis Daytona in Daytona, Florida

    Venue at Princeton - New Jersey

    Bridge Bay at Bannon Lakes - St. Augustine, Fl. - From $200's.

    Valencia Bay in Palm Beach County, Fl. by Minto.  From upper $400's.

    Four Seasons at Parklands in Florida - Grand Opening Model Event Nov. 5th. - By K Hovnanian - From low $300's.

    Bay Bridge Cove - Maryland's Eastern Shore by McKee Homes

    Cresswind Charlotte opening in 2017 by Kolter

    Regency at Palisades by Toll also in Charlotte, NC

    Regency at White Oak Creek by Toll in Apex, NC


    What's Happening at Communities:


    Arizona

    Trilogy at Verde River:

    Homes starting price in upper $400's.   Only new golf community in North Scottsdale.  Model homes now open.  Appointments recommended.  Open Daily - times vary - New golf improvements open Nov. 5th to the public.
    17427 East Desert Vista Trail, Rio Verde (near Scottsdale)  

    Available:  Designer quick-movein homes - options hand-picked by design team.



    Verify all events before going 800-685-6494. (Note: I have found Shea Homes readily answers their Trilogy customer service phone number.)



    Trilogy at Vistancia in Peoria:

    Homes are priced from low $200's.  Try Before You Buy Program for $399 3 nights and 4 days (see rules).  Just released second round of homesites.  New Focus Collection features a sliding glass wall.


    • FYI Vistancia has a very active bicycle club and features expert knowledge of the surrounding trails.
    • Named the best 55+ community by "Best in American Living" awards. 
    • This community has the Alvea Spa.
    • Move-in ready homes are available with designer touches.

    Victory at Verrado at Buckeye:  


    Now Open - from upper $300's.


    They have had their first grape crushing event at their working vineyard.  Will do it again in 2017 if you missed it.

    They have a calendar listing public events.   They also feature monthly wellness talks.   Call 623-399-9001 for questions about upcoming events..  


    The Victory community is on the list of "Ten Hottest Neighborhoods," recently published by Phoenix Magazine.  


    Arizona Travel Feature:  If you'll be in Arizona, Maracay Homes has an excellent calendar of events for major communities around Arizona.   Maracay Homes has a new 55+ community in Victory at Verrado - From $370's.



      Sun City Festival:

      Del Webb's 55+ community in Buckeye - You can experience the lifestyle for only $59+/night  (see rules--rate subject to change).   Day pass or overnight passes.   Starts from very low $200's.

      Good offer:  3 night stays for $59 a night plus tax (verify).  (First-time visitors only.) Offer good until end of year.   Price range for homes start $200's.


      Del Webb still has their incredible offer to save $20,000 on move-in ready homes in Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson areas) if closes by Dec. 31. (Please verify information for this offer.)  


      Phoenix Magazine has an article listing its "Top Ten Hottest Neighborhoods for 2020"  

      There are two 55+ Communities on their list:  Encore at Eastmark by AV Homes and Victory at Verrado.

      Also interesting to note:  they reveal that there will be a new Apple Headquarters coming to the Mesa area in 2016-2017.


      Tucson:

      Good article on Tucson 2015 market trends.  The economy, prices of homes, employment and more.


      California

      Trilogy at Vineyards - Northern California (East Bay):
      By Shea Homes   Priced from low $500's.

      For events at your favorite Trilogy communities read their Events Blog.



      Trilogy at Rio Vista - Northern California - less than an hour to San Francisco

      Saturday, Dec 3rd - 11-2 - Winter Celebration - festive food and drink at The Tour Center.  They are in their final phase.  See quick move-in homes.  RSVP online for this community in a great location with San Francisco less than an hour.

      Saturday, Dec. 17th - 11-2 - Santa Claus visits - Holiday treats, arts and crafts and visit Santa.  RSVP Online - Prices from high $200's.

      Florida

      Florida has the best prices.  Can't complain about these prices at communities in Florida:

      Del Webb under $200,000:

      Del Webb Stone Creek - $159,990
      Del Webb Orlando - $170's
      Cypress  Falls at the Woodlands - $170's
      Del Webb Naples - $190's

      Many more builders have communities less than $200,000.  See all 12 of Best Guide's Florida pages starting here at East Coast Florida.

      Trilogy Orlando by Shea Homes

      Many outstanding events occur at this community.  Call to see which ones are open to future residents.  Homes from upper $100's.

      Quick Move-In Homes:     Every Saturday 1-4 Live music on the patio.   Verify from sales consultant.


      Note:  Lake Nona - Coming a world class tennis center (USTA) with 100 tennis courts to Orlando area.  For more information contact USTA.


      Tradition community in Port St. Lucie - Will build a new VA Nursing home in Florida.  This will be the seventh in Florida.

      Interesting to Note:  Del Webb has listed their states and communities that have a loft feature.  Lofts are great if you often have out-of-town guests to give them a private space.  They are also handy for having an extra space for an office or even storage.  Lots of uses.  The following states have communities with loft plans in a Del Webb home:  Connecticut, Florida, Georgia,  Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North and South Carolina,  and Texas.



      Del Webb Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota area 

      Model Homes and Sales Center now open - Designated a Top 50 master community -  Homes priced from $220's. 


      Del Webb Stone Creek in Ocala

      A new phase called Sandalwood with golf, pool, spa and recreation.  Stone Creek starts as low as mid-$100's and is one of the largest active adult communities.  This gated community's fishing pier and softball are now open.  

      New:  Grand Opening of their RV Park and Boat Storage.  See their website for limited time offer on receiving Flex Cash on Stone Creek homes.


      Also, they have a visit tour.


      Del Webb has a new community coming soon in St. Augustine.



      Indian River Colony Club - Melbourne - (predominantly members of the military)

      IRCC has a great golf getaway package for 3 days/2 nights -  Call for details - Did you know this community is on 453 acres with 28 lakes featuring wildlife and gorgeous sunrises. Visit now!  1936 Freedom Dr., Viera - 877-509-9532


      New or Coming Florida communities:


      • K Hovnanian Four Seasons at Orlando - coming soon to Kissimmee - Join the Interest List now for updates.
      • Regatta Landing in Windstar on Naples Bay on the West Coast of Florida.  Starting low $500's. 2399-231-4381
      • Bridgewater at Viera by WCI in Melbourne, Florida.
      • Oasis Daytona in Daytona, Florida
      • Bridge Bay at Bannon Lakes - St. Augustine, Fl. - From $200's.
      • Valencia Bay in Palm Beach County, Fl. by Minto.  From upper $400's.


      Georgia

      Del Webb at Lake Oconee - Greensboro
      Direct access to lake with boat ramp.  Call or visit the sales office 1001 Muscogee Way, Greensboro. 866-433-5932 


      Windsong Homes
      Newest community is called Serenade.  Only 41 ranch homes in this ideal location priced from mid $300's.   


      Maryland

      Kent Island:  A new 55+ community coming soon to Kent Island in Maryland's Eastern Shore.  Bay Bridge Cove By McKee Homes.  From low $300's. (verify all information)

      New Jersey

      Good value in a new phase of "Liberty Square at Wesmont Station" in Wood-Ridge, NJ.  Townhomes for a commute to NYC starting from $370's. 

      New York Long Island

      Some great new communities selling fast on Long Island.  See the Long Island 55+ communities page on our website.   We also have pages for apartments and low income housing on LI.

      A great deal on Long Island if you qualify for income-restricted properties:   The Villas at Meadowbrook Pointe - Start price $289,000!  Townhouse start at $327,000. 


      We reviewed an apartment community recently called Westbrook Village.  It is located on Long Island, NY.  Read our review of this 55+ apartment community.

      New Mexico

      Mirehaven by Del Webb:
      See the model homes and learn about the special features of the  lifestyle of the new Sandia Amenity Center.  Unique desert architectural design.  Homes priced from $230's.    9205 Del Webb Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, NM  


      North Carolina

      Trilogy Lake Norman - Denver, NC - homesites selling quickly -  7505 Highway 73, Denver NC


      Recurring Events:  Wine Down Wednesday - 2nd Wednesday of the month - RSVP 704-812-9000 


      They have a new tour center at 6844 Shoal Creek Dr., Denver NC


      New Floorplan under $250,000  (Community Pricing from $239,000 to upper $300's.) - yay!  Probably won't last long.
       


      December Hard Hat Tours:  For a short time when you tour their new Trail Collection, you can receive a lunch on them.  Call to schedule your tour at 800-685-6494. 

      December 10th:  Be entertained at the Model Home by H C Oakes Duo - acoustic guitar music - Mini desserts and more - no RSVP necessary. 


      Main tourist attraction in area:  The Biltmore.



      Pennsylvania

      Regency at Hilltown by Toll Brothers - Bucks County

      This new community of 268 carriage homes is now open daily.  This is in a rare location for 55+ communities.  By Toll Brothers.  Price from upper $300's.  In Perkasie.  See the news article.


      Utah

      Sun River St. George Resort-style community: 

      Offers a 2-night, 3 days Discovery Tour in a designer villa for $99! (verify) 877-322-0903.
      On-going special events.

      See their blog for many events.



      Virginia

      Trilogy Lake Frederick (120-acre lake in Northern Virginia)

      This is a sleeper!  I enjoyed my visit to this community so much!  See my review.   A good way to visit is at one of their events.  They always have a full calendar of events.  Call the rep for details and the best one to attend at 540-508-2020.

      Trilogy Lake Frederick now has the 360 degree interactive tour on their website (Trilogylife.com)

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      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone. 

      Thank you for visiting us this year.  We look forward to another outstanding year for 55+ communities in 2017.  Read all about them on our website, www.Bestguide-Retirementcommunities.com.

      Go to our website for all the new communities!







      Thursday, July 28, 2016

      Beat the heat with a trip to the Rangeley Lakes Area in Maine--or go any season.

      Welcome to the Rangeley Lakes area (see map):  Photo of Haley's Pond
       (adjacent to Rangeley Lake)



      Rocky gorges and waterfalls to swim in
       If you've never been to Maine, I hope to show you some of it here.  There's so much to see and do:  lakes, streams, gorges, mountains, wildness, sweet air, pure water, yummy local food and drink, ski in winter, hike in summer, swimming in pure lakes and streams, kayaking, canoeing, boating, camping in nearby state parks.  Or do what I did:  get cozy and take it easy at the historic Rangeley Inn. 

      The Inn is conveniently located in downtown.  We walked to shops and restaurants from the Inn (an ice-cream store is right next door).   The Inn has canoes and kayaks for guests to use and access to Haley's Pond in their backyard.    
      2443 Main St., Rangeley - 207-864-3341



      historic guest room at the Rangeley Inn
      My very cozy bedroom--so clean, lace curtains, air conditioning.

      The Historic Rangeley Inn


      We enjoyed a complimentary breakfast  in the dining room each morning.  No ordinary breakfast: Homemade strawberry or peach scones,  freshly-made that morning blueberry muffins,  fresh fruit,  and a hot dish.  For example,  the fritatta with provolone cheese was light and fluffy and full of flavor.


      The living area fireplace
      The Front Porch of the Rangeley Inn


      View of the Veranda

      A variety of  eating areas to choose from:

      • The veranda, a casual and comfortable spot with lots of light from large windows.
      • The Bar and Grill with cozy seating, stone fireplace and bar.
      • The gorgeous dining room.

      The historic living area


      The Bar and Grll
      Ornate staircase to 2nd floor



      In their backyard--one of the most peaceful and beautiful spots I have ever seen.

      The sleigh on display in living room.

      Original tin ceiling in dining room--over 100 years old.

      Restaurants
      Rangeley is home to  many great restaurants so it is hard to decide which one to choose.  I have to put a word in for the Rangeley Inn's restaurant, The Rangeley Tavern.  The menu changes seasonally.  The food is fabulous.  The chef is very creative.  His presentations are exciting.  I looked forward to dining there.  Open for dinner only 5-9PM.  The miso soup was one of my favorite selections.  The chef's maginatively-placed ingredients of local shitake and oyster mushrooms, tofu, seaweed, and bamboo shoots were in a sparkling white bowl.   Really outstanding!
      Amazing Miso Soup by Executive Chef Jim Fargo

      I also had lunch at another restaurant on Main Street, the Parkside & Main.  I had a great salad with greens that tasted like they were picked that morning--sweet and crisp.   I had a sprinkling of  Vermont goat cheese  over the top.   I also had their homemade onion soup which is made fresh each morning.  This is an excellent salad, soup and sandwich in a casual atmosphere with a deck and view.

      Historical Society

      Also, be sure to walk through the quaint town from the Inn and stop at The Historical Society.  A very friendly person  there will be happy to answer questions about the history and area.  The historic building houses many 19th century artifacts.   This tiny building still has the old post office, bank and jail on display.   Kids will love walking inside the old bank vault.  You can also see antique ladies dresses,  early photographs,  and interesting items.

      Senior Communities

      While there are no senior communities in the area of note, there happens to be a small apartment building for seniors, the Rangeley Townhomes,  in town.  Volunteers serve meals at the senior center.    The Health Center , a mile from town,  has stunning lake views.   Some of the activities for seniors and all ages are yoga, strength training, massage and more.

       The Rangeley Lake Area Resorts and Homes 

      The major towns we visited on Rangeley lake were Rangeley and Oquossoc.  There are many condos and townhomes in these areas for short-term vacation leasing or for purchase long-term.  Also, Saddleback Resort is nearby with condos to lease for long or short-term.   They have a good list of places to stay in Rangeley on their website, but for the most convenience to restaurants, shopping and activities in town, the Rangeley Inn was our first choice.  (Note:  Please check status of the famous ski resort at Saddleback for upcoming seasons.)

      While the large hotels and small cottages of yesterday have faded away, except for the Rangeley Inn, today's trend in real estate in the area is to purchase a lot and build your own permanent or vacation home.     

      This area is still so quiet and peaceful that I would say your stay here could be very healing  At least for me it was.   Tranquil, sweet air, pure water, good food and gorgeous scenery.   It can be very restful (or very active if that is what you like.)  



      Blue sky and water blending into one--clear water and lily pads on Haley's Pond behind the Rangeley Inn--a natural meditation and healing place -- hear the loons at night.  Ah!  A piece of heaven on earth in Rangeley!


      Wilson Lake in Wilton:   (You can go through Wilton on your way to Rangeley)

      Another beautiful lake is in Wilton and is called Wilson Lake.  It is part of the Rangeley chain of 7 lakes.  
      You can swim, canoe, kayak, fish and boating
       in these lakes.


      We were lucky to be there when this sunset happened one evening.  It started out a pale hue and became rich with color.

      Also, in Wilton is an Italian Restaurant.  We dined on fresh haddock, shrimp, other northern Atlantic seafood, grass fed beef burgers, and locally grown vegetables.   Don't miss this restaurant in Wilton.  There is also a huge pick your own blueberries farm in Wilton.  We paid $2 for a quart of blueberries.   There was a Blueberry Festival coming in August in Wilton.


      Don't miss this Italian restaurant if you are in Wilton -- Calzolaio Pasta Company is in the old Bass Shoe Factory.  History and photos on display.  Great ambience and food.  Italian food, seafood, fresh local vegetables, and more are on the menu.




      Another lake in the Rangeley chain of lakes:   Lake Mooselookmeguntic

      People gather  at this scenic spot to see this  lake from the roadside.






      See Maine Retirement Communities on my website.

      Monday, April 18, 2016

      A Side Trip to Charleston

      Ever since I got back from visiting and touring the city of Charleston and the Joseph Manigault home on one of the little tour buses that ramble around the city of Charleston, I have been dreaming of fluffy hoop dresses, southern cooking and seafood, and longing to be a Southern belle.  (The photo above is not the Manigault home but one of the many beautiful and charming homes in Charleston.)

      I was born in Maryland which is a little southern.  Maryland is not quite all southern and not northern either.  But off I went to California in the 60’s and I stayed there over 30 years.  But fate brought me back to the East Coast for awhile.

      Road Trip


      Recently a cousin asked me if I wanted to visit another cousin of ours in Myrtle Beach and “we have to see Charleston.”   I went with her on a 5-day road trip not expecting much.  I had been to Myrtle Beach before which I did like very much, but I never saw Charleston, a 2-hour drive away from Myrtle Beach.

      What did I discover:  my roots and all things Southern. Charleston made me think that maybe after all I was a Southern Belle—after 55 years?   Life is funny like that.  

      Towns Around Charleston with Retirement Communities

      Myrtle Beach is an enclave of food and entertainment and fun and beaches, but Charleston is an elegant and stylish dream.   It reminded me of what I discovered when I first went to San Francisco—a touristy town but exciting with real substance underneath the surface glitter.  You have to choose because there is so much there.  

      If you want a 55+ retirement community, the 55+ communities in Summerville would be nearest to Charleston 

      Surrounding areas like Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head do have plenty to choose from too.  You need to spend some time in these areas.  I found the Surfside Beach and Murrells Inlet areas to have some of the nicest residential sections in Myrtle Beach, but they are a 2-hour drive away from Charleston.  Summerville is about a 30-minute drive to Charleston.  Perfect  if you wanted to go for dinner there. 

      A Foodie Town

      And who wouldn’t?  I am convinced persons who decide to spend their retirement near Charleston love food.  There are so many restaurants and the food is so gorgeous that you might want to eat out every day.  There are 90+ restaurants in Charleston alone listed in the Visitors Guide. 

      Bus Tour of Historic Homes

      There are so many homes on this tour.  I didn't get all the photos I wanted because the bus goes at a clip.  Maybe the horse drawn carriage would allow more time to get the photos you want.  Here are a few I managed.

      We were told the reason the balconies curve out was so the hooped skirts would fit on them when the ladies came out.

      I thought the gardens and spring greenery were as beautiful as the homes although most of them were hidden behind walls and gates.  There are garden tours. 




      So many beautiful homes. This photo shows the false doors and the Federalist style.








      A Feeling of Southern Hospitality

      So go to Charleston for the historic homes, gardens, horse carriage rides, and the restaurants.  Have fun.  Maybe you’ll be like me caught up in this romantic way of life.  You will sense the southern hospitality and I am taking that feeling back to Maryland with me.

      Touring the Joseph Manigault Home

      Here are photos of the Joseph Manigault house (the home I fell in love with.)  Is it possible to fall in love with a house.  Absolutely.  Go see it and you’ll understand.  It transports you back to another time and you too may not be able to get the image of swirling skirts out of your bedazzled mind.

      The Center Entry Hall Staircase
      The Joseph Manigault home is on tour for $12.00 - I didn’t blink an eye because when the tour ended I would gladly pay that much to see it again. 

      I had come to this house on the Historic Homes Tour bus.  This historic home was the last thing on the tour and by far the best part.  To actually enter a home like this was thrilling for many reasons but taking a step back in time was what it was all about for me. 

      Upstairs Living Area 

      Note:  To get the original paint colors 12 layers were removed.  The paint colors are gorgeous and authentic.

      In the upstairs living area there was a soft breeze coming in the window (this day was a beautiful day in the low 70’s).  I'm thinking the Spring is the best time to visit because the weather was a pleasant 72.  

      A strong breeze drifted through the upper window as I entered the room.   Suddenly I could see the swirl of hooped skirts in beautiful colors worn by the women and hear the sound of their skirts rustling as they walked and tinkling tea cups as they sipped their tea.  It was a wonderful moment.  I was feeling the same breeze that they might have and seeing and feeling the walls and floors they did. 

      Ahhh I want to go back.  I would never own this home but I wanted to soak in more of the past and get away from our present.  A slower time, a more gracious time — time come back to the present reality—a walk through the romance of the past.  There was much beauty and joy in this 19th century home as reflected in its interior.

      We felt the Federalist-styled exterior was cold and even foreboding but the interior was a stark contrast because it was warm, sweet and lively.

      The Dining Room


      The dining room was downstairs.  I loved this pastel mint green color on the walls.  

      Here are my photos but there is much more than you see in a photo.  A photo gives you a visual glimpse but doesn’t give you the full impact of the feeling you have when you are there.  Photos don’t smell, feel or play music.  There aren’t surprises and they don’t stimulate your senses fully.




      This 19th century breakfront is one of the only pieces that was originally in the house. 

      Other furniture shown was donated.

      In the dining room there was a portrait of the master of the house.  The clock on the mantle is also in the painting.  There were fireplaces in just about every room.

      Oh, and I found myself getting design ideas.  I recognized the architectural details in today’s southern new home communities.  

      See our Myrtle Beach 55+ homes and 55+ South Carolina pages to understand more about the details of homes that reflect the Charleston homes of the past.


      Paint Colors

      Perhaps the mistress of the house chose the colors.  Notice the warm wood of the floors and doors contrasted with the cool mint wall color.  


      The first thing I notice in this photo besides the beautiful portrait of the owner is the paint color.  It has such a contemporary look.  The tour guide said that the colors are authentic.  They went down 12 layers to get to the original one and that this was the first color on the walls.  This color is a truly happy and lighthearted one.





      The Music Room


      Look at this very vibrant wall color in the music room. 

      The children were required to play an instrument.  Notice the original wood floors are worn from the many children that inhabited the household.





      The Day Ends


      This was a thoroughly enjoyable trip.  I want to go back.  I bought some fudge and pralines, had some tea and lunch.  We left before evening set. 

      Horse Drawn Carriages Were Plentiful
       The scene was set as we were leaving with abundant horse-drawn carriages clopping along as the sun began to set.  There is a trolley that is free.  The town is well organized for tourists.  Be sure to see the retirement communities in the area, (Summerville, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, and Murrells Inlet to name a few areas), and we hope you enjoy Charleston.