No, we’re not talking about moving to a beachside condo in Cancun, but there are three 55+ active adult communities in South Carolina just across the border from North Carolina. Carolina Orchards is in Fort Mill, and in the Indian Land panhandle are Sun City Carolina Lakes (SCCL) and nearby Tree Tops. All three locations enjoy senior-friendly South Carolina tax benefits, especially if you are retired military. Please consult your tax attorney and accountant for specifics.
Sun City Carolina Lakes is tucked between Ballantyne and Lancaster on Hwy 521. A great thing about SCCL is that it’s an established community (12 years old) that is now resident governed. With over 3000 homes and 5000+ residents, SCCL is practically its own town. There are two large amenity centers for the various clubs and interest groups to gather. Although the beautiful and challenging Carolina Lakes Golf Club wends its way through the community, it is a public golf course with a full-service restaurant. There is also golf cart access to Harris Teeter and many other conveniences like restaurants, nail salons, and a veterinarian. A shopping mall is opening soon across the street with an Aldi’s and Panera Bread!
Still under development and open for new construction and a few resales, the Tree Tops community is a Lennar development slightly off the beaten path between Hwy 521 and Van Wyck. Tree Tops is gated for security, surrounded by nature, and quaint by design. The stone and timber in the common areas buildings make Tree Tops truly distinctive. Among other great amenities, it has a log cabin village center and a waterfront amphitheater with a stone fire pit. The community footprint is 800 homes on 613 acres with a 10-acre pond. It has a zero-entry pool and a 6000 sq. ft. clubhouse with a fitness center. Sixty percent of the community will remain open space, which means lots of walking trails.
Also open for new construction and resales is Carolina Orchards. If you are looking for a 55+ community in South Carolina but a little closer to Uptown Charlotte and the airport, Carolina Orchards is the ticket. A Del Webb development, Carolina Orchards is very similar in design to SCCL but on a much smaller scale. It has all of the amenities and social opportunities available at SCCL but with only 700 homes. Carolina Orchards, like Tree Tops is still under development.
And there you have it. Three distinctly different 55+ active adult communities with definite advantages to all three. Large, established, and a golf course – Sun City. Small and quaint with lots of nature – Tree Tops. Small and conveniently close to Uptown and the airport – Carolina Orchards.
If you are considering purchasing a home in an active adult community, visit all three locations. Each has its own flavor with residents invested in making their retirement years rich and fulfilling. As the saying goes in Sun City, “This is where life begins.”
Regardless of whether you are looking for a new home or a resale, make sure you have a Realtor representing your best interest. The Baxter Team, the #1 team in the Charlotte area for 55+ communities, has both buyer and seller agents. For more information on all the area’s 55+ communities, visit their Charlotte Retirements Communities website.
Cover photo courtesy of Alex Harvey.