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3katz4me

SC real estate

3katz4me
2 months ago

I've been perusing Aiken, SC real estate listings. I'm dumbfounded that one could buy this house for $659K. Granted some of it is dated but that doesn't particularly bother me if it's in good condition - other than the scrolly things on the kitchen cabinets. From what I can tell there are a couple golf communities there and this is in what seems to be the less expensive one but even in the other one house prices seem very reasonable. Is it less expensive because this is a "small town" or what am I missing?

house for sale

Comments (69)

  • Bunny
    2 months ago

    Southerners do have a culture that you may or may not like

    Bumble, can you say a little more about this?

  • blfenton
    2 months ago

    I don't know what to make of this house. It seems that they took every single trend of the times and put it somewhere in this house. The framed backsplashes behind the stove and sink, all the half-moon windows, wall inserts, glazed cabinets, the higher cabinet in the corner. This house would drive me nuts with all of it's trends. But, I bet the person who built it probably loved it and thought it was stylish.

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  • georgiasugarplum
    2 months ago

    @3katz4me We moved to the North Georgia mountains when my husband retired from Savannah River Site in Aiken County. This is a huge facility and employer in the Aiken-Augusta area - it was formerly known as "the bomb plant" but now processes spent nuclear material.


    From my perspective, Aiken is a mix of old-money horse people, locals and transplants who work at SRS or other local industry, and a significant retirement population. The weather is mild in the winter, but can be brutal in the summer with high temps and higher humidity.


    We moved to Augusta in 1991 for my husband's job, a few years out of college. We are both from the south (Virginia and NC) so the climate didn't bother us. The CSRA (Central Savannah River Area as the region is known)) was a good place to raise our family -- affordable, (relatively) good school system, convenient to the coast, mountains, and bigger cities (Atlanta, Charlotte).


    We moved to the North Georgia for the beauty -- mountains and lakes, the cooler summers, outdoor activities, etc. We're still about 2 hours from Atlanta and head there about once a month for a concert or a shopping run (Costco and other spots that we don't have locally in our small community).


    I know you have a trip to Aiken planned -- that is the best way to evaluate the area. The housing market is not as 'hot' as it was a year ago, which is better for evaluating and making decisions without feeling the urgent pressure to buy instantly.

  • Bestyears
    2 months ago

    One of my best friend's parents retired to Aiken nearly 30 years ago, from Ohio, after an exhaustive search throughout NC/SC/Florida. They always liked it very much, and my friend has shared some beautiful photos with me from her visits over the years, of both their neighborhood and the town. That said, the area leans very conservative -so if that appeals to you, great. If not, it may make finding friends just a bit more complicated. Not impossible of course, but a little tougher.


    We moved to the south 27 years ago, and it has taken a long time to find our people. We don't golf, we aren't churchgoers, and we are progressive/liberal. I can imagine, for people who haven't lived in the South, how it may seem like I'm making too much of these social constructs. But unlike other places I've lived (both coasts, multiple locations), these social groups feel like litmus tests. I was asked 1000 times after arriving here what church we went to, and could often see a person 'stepping back' (in their eyes if not their feet!), when I said that we didn't go to church. I took to joking that we 'home churched' after discovering the huge homeschool community here, which in hindsight probably wasn't my best moment LOL. I was shocked and disheartened to so often be in the presence of open racism and intolerance for other cultures. As I said, eventually we found our people. But that took years of socializing with people who viewed life very differently than we did. I found it frustrating and depressing to always feel like the odd man out. At this age (64), I wouldn't do it again.

  • gsciencechick
    2 months ago

    I may end up deleting this.


    My biggest change in moving from NY state to VA and then NC is I was not used to being around overt Evangelicals. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all, but it was jarring to me that religion can play a role in a lot and guides many daily decisions, given I came from a place where people went to church and did Catholic traditions maybe out of obligations, but they weren’t really into it. Same for my Jewish friends; they celebrated traditions but really weren’t into it either. And I work with an interact with many Evangelicals, so I have learned to manage. Because of religion or lack of religion and the overarching role it plays in many peoples’ lives, we probably have little in common with a lot of people.

  • eld6161
    2 months ago

    DLM, Sperling is always my go-to. Straight up statistics.

  • deegw
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Excellent posts bestyears and gsciencechick. I have been clicking back and forth to this thread, trying to formulate a post about my own Southern culture shock.

    I agree with both of your comments, especially about the constant witnessing and the judgment about religious choices. I also want to add that I was really thrown off balance by the Southern tendency to be extremely polite but not particularly friendly. As someone who thrives on finding connections with others, the blank stares I received after following up on the initial niceties were frankly, demoralizing.

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Thanks all for the insights on southern culture. This reminds me of my brief stint in Texas. I still visit a friend there regularly and have experienced some of the religious thing. My hope is that IF we do buy a property in a warmer climate, it will be in an area with other transplants with diverse backgrounds. That did seem to be the case on our previous SC visit but that was an entirely different location.

    I've checked out city-data and sperling and didn't find much of use that I hadn't already figured out. I know it's hot in the south in the summer - we'd be in MN in the summer which can also be hot and humid but we usually get a break from time to time.

    I'm open to other areas that are warm enough to play golf in the winter that are not overcrowded like Florida and not overpriced like California. While every area has natural disasters, I'm trying to avoid hurricanes, wildfires and flood zones. I'm used to tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and snowstorms.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    We have been advised by more than a few people that the South is not an easy social choice unless it is clearly a retirement community or a major city.

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago

    I deleted my previous comments. It really is beginning to sound like a south bashing here. We have visited many areas of the US and I do think it could be just as hard for a southerner to move north (or west, etc.). Yes, religion is important to many in the South, but for the most part, you will find very friendly people. In the last several years we have had an influx of those moving into our area, especially many from California. Not sure why. So I think you could find diverse areas, even in the south.

    3katz4me thanked Tina Marie
  • deegw
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Ironically, most of my "Southern" friend group were transplanted Catholics. Many were from the Northeast and ended up in my town because of job transfers. I also think that because they were the religious minority, by far, the Catholics were less apt to view church membership as a social benchmark.

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Tina Marie - I think you are correct about that - moving could be hard no matter where you go depending on your nature and attitude. And the older we get the more we have the tendency to become set in our ways. If we do make a move I think it will be to some golf community with people from all parts of the country and we'll be fine. We don't need a big social circle and I'm confident we'd meet a few like-minded folks on the golf course. I've found it to be a great way to get to know people. You can learn a lot about someone after spending 4-5 hours with them on the course.

    @deegw - you have probably mentioned before but would you remind me where your "southern" location was/is?

  • gsciencechick
    2 months ago

    I wouldn’t say don’t move; just be aware. I have a student now whose family moved here from NJ when he was in HS and he also said it was a huge adjustment. There are tons of people here from the northeast and midwest, so that at least helps. If you want to find a Minnesota Vikings bar, you can find it!


    Here in Charlotte, if you want to look at golf communities look at Raintree or Piper Glen. My department chair who is not religious at all and one other faculty member live in Piper Glen. It’s not for me but I don’t golf.

  • gsciencechick
    2 months ago

    @deegw the Catholic churches here tend to be super conservative, think Supreme Court justice Catholic conservative. They are very similar to Evangelical.

  • deegw
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    My experience was 15 years ago. I've moved away but am still friends with many of the group. I do often wonder if a day-to-day friendship would have survived the current political climate.

  • maddielee
    2 months ago

    Beware, helpful hint from a Floridian. (Even though people directly to our north don’t consider Florida part of ’the South’.)


    If someone moves to the South, never ever say things like; ”that’s not how I did it in New York”. Or ”people drive better back home in Long Island”.


    I really like the house in the OP. Remove the iron decorative thingys from the kitchen, and it would be ok for me.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    One thing a friend said to me is that, until you have moved to a very different area culturally, you really can't appreciate/imagine how different it is...especially if you are from an area that is diverse religiously, racially, and politically. You tend to think "I don't care about that stuff, I have a wide range of friends. so it doesn't matter to me." The surprise comes when it matters to them.

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    That makes a lot of sense Mtn. Though we only lived in TX for a short time, the cultural difference was an eye opener. At that time it was more of a sexist thing mostly from the natives and not the transplants. We most definitely will not plop ourselves down in an area of natives because I think it's easier to meet people in places where people haven't been settled for most if not all their life - no matter what part of the country. I've been told it's very difficult to break into social circles in MN because so many people are lifelong residents.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    2 months ago

    This took a turn from the cooling housing market to southern culture vs....?

    FWIW, I think it's human nature to want to attribute characteristics to various groups, various areas, various cultures, to categorize and come up with explanations for their personal experiences and extrapolate them. It becomes common lore, but not necessarily always true. I think that's known as heuristics.

    There are all kinds of people everywhere and no region is completely monolithic, IMPE. When you move into an area, isn't it kind of a crapshoot what sort of neighbors you'll have? We all hope for nice neighbors, but how do you know ahead of time?

    We also make judgements based on appearances, which aren't always accurate, of course.

    And I do agree that there are folks who may not want to give up on asking the exorbitant prices that were happening not that long ago. The linked home has only been listed on that site for a few days so far.

    https://www.marketplace.org/2022/08/19/housing-market-slowing-down/

  • Kswl
    2 months ago

    3katz, I will say that 20 to 30 years ago the first question many people asked was if you had found a church home yet, and if you answered in the negative you’d be invited to visit theirs. Nowadays even people in my age category are less likely to be regular churchgoers so it’s not the issue it once was. I would say that at least in the southern states I know best—- GA, NC NC, TN and AL—political beliefs have superseded religious ones as the main points of difference.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    This can get touchy really fast.


    I think it's human nature to want to attribute characteristics to ....various areas,


    Yes, and one must always guard against over simplification. But there are absolutely cultural differences that are statistically verifiable that may or may not matter to someone relocating.

  • DLM2000-GW
    2 months ago

    As recently as just pre-covid we were regularly asked what church we attended. It is one of the most uncomfortable realities of the area that church attendance and the various related activities is a major part of life for many here. Added to the difficulty is my being Jewish which if I try to use it as a means of moving on to a different subject is often met with veiled discomfort or sometimes shock that I could be so misinformed. We have found some 'like-minded' people and have a small social circle but I still feel like a temporary resident. Much as I love our house and setting, this area will never be home.

    I think you are probably right 3katz that a golf community and activities will be a setting where you can find comfortable relationships. It's much like schools and the related activities serve as meeting places for young families to make friends. It's certainly harder as we get older to make those connection but having a common bond from the get-go is in your favor.


    @deegw I agree with this - "the Southern tendency to be extremely polite but not particularly friendly." In addition I'll never adjust to the dichotomy of a man who will open the door for me, carry a package for me, would change a flat tire for me if needed but doesn't think twice about spitting tobacco in from of me.

    @Bestyears I will be using that 'home churched' line - it's perfect.

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Though this veered off local real estate and onto local culture, I think it’s one of the more interesting discussions we’ve had of late. Hopefully it doesn't blow up and disappear.

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago

    DLM, I'm sorry you do not feel "at home" where you live. If I may ask, where did you move from and why do you stay? We moved only about 30 minutes from our original home city a few years into marriage and built this house. There are 3 houses visible to us on our road and of those, all three families moved here. One is a single woman (her parents originally lived there), there is a female married (I think) couple and an older couple who lived here before we built (25 yrs plus). None are from this area. The single lady and the older couple are from up North.


    PS my husband doesn't chew tobacco. LOL I agree, it is a nasty habit.

  • DLM2000-GW
    2 months ago

    @Tina Marie I don't want to take this thread totally off the rails - message me if you you want details ;-)

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    What MTN said is true that you need to find your own social connections, probably in large cities or a retirement community. In general, those who have lived here their whole lives resent northerners who sell their dumpy split level and move down here and buy a mansion. And don't like the food or the culture and want to change things.

    I live in an area that has a huge retirement community and most of them are northerners and they all seem to have their own connections and social activities and like.

    All the ones I know seem to be very nice people.

  • OllieJane
    2 months ago

    bumble, "dumpy split level" LOL

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago

    In general, those who have lived here their whole lives resent northerners who sell their dumpy split level and move down here and buy a mansion. And don't like the food or the culture and want to change things. Wow! I have no idea what type house someone had before moving here. My experience with those who have moved here from other areas has been mostly very positive. Of course, if they want to move in and start changing everything, that would be another story. Wait, that's my MIL!

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    See what I mean ...

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago

    Yes, you were right Mt. and I probably should just sit on my hands now.

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Yeah - don’t like the food and culture and want to change things - that would be kind of irritating. It would make you want to suggest the person go back where they came from if they don’t like the way things are where they moved to. My favorite thing about going somewhere new is the local culture and food though of course vacation and living somewhere are very different situations.

  • OllieJane
    2 months ago

    TIna, do you really not know why more Californians are moving south??? Or are you just being polite? Which is fine, and you certainly don't need to say why, but surely you really do know.



  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    Californians are moving south???


    That would be Mexico, no?



  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago

    Mt. way up above (and I really do need to shut up! but I will be nice), I said we have many from California moving to our area, meaning East TN. I'm not sure if this is elsewhere in TN (or the south for that matter). But no, Ollie, I don't really know. Our cost of living, tax rates, etc. are much lower, I'm sure. We have a good climate. But maybe I'm just dumb and don't really know. Not that it bothers me or anything and we don't actually have anyone from California living near us, but a realtor friend mentioned it and then there was a blurb in a local paper.

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Tina Marie - anything I've ever heard about people leaving California is related to the cost of living. In any case if they're moving to your state they're moving east not south. South would be Mexico as Mtn pointed out. 😊

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Thanks @3katz4me for the explanation; although I believe I said ”our area”, not south.

    Also, I apologize! I believe I referred to you as 2katz earlier!! 🙄

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Tina Marie - wasn’t you who said south. You could be onto something with 2katz. The kitten was harassing the resident cat so bad today I was ready to contact the foster org to give her back but DH wouldn’t agree to do it yet.

  • OllieJane
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I think most people could figure out and knew she meant South as in Southern States. I said it also. I'll add, in particular, red states. No shutdowns, way less crime, drugs and homeless tents all in the streets, vaccine mandates, etc-and I'm sure some cost of living is factored in as well. It's not normal for so many to want to move out of California unless it's really bad. Above is what Californians who are moving here and are telling builders and realtors here in my state.

    I don't think Elon Musk or Joe Rogan and numerous other wealthy people who moved out are too worried about the cost of living. LOL

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    Tina, I was replying to OllieJane; didn't see what you are referring to.

  • OllieJane
    2 months ago

    I thought Tina did too-sorry just me I guess. We were talking about the South-sorry it was too difficult to figure out what I meant. Jeez!

  • OutsidePlaying
    2 months ago

    3katz, i think the house looks solid even though there are things that could certainly be changed to fit your personal style. Paint, light fixtures, those curlicues in the kitchen and most of the drapery. I could go on but those would be at the top of my list. It has many great features and being on an acre would be nice.

    As to living in the south, I’m a native, so probably not the one to ask, but many have likely experienced different treatment, depending on where you settled. I have been embarassed by the way some in the south act. I think Mtn wrapped it up best by saying “…the South is not an easy social choice unless it is clearly a retirement community or a major city.” There is some truth to that I believe. A truly small town can be brutal, or quite nice.

    Our medium sized city (we live rurally nearby actually) is and for many years has been, very diverse with the influx of many military and scientists who have settled here. We’ve had several periods of growth, the most recent being the past 5-10 years and with the transfer recently of jobs from the DC area of over 4000 jobs with more to come. It has brought many here for employment and has stressed housing, roads and services. Things are beginning to catch up but we’re not there yet. I find many ’transplants’ are often unwilling to try to acclimate sometimes. I witnessed this at work before i retired. People are either one way or the other. Some jump right in, join the Newcomer’s club, seek out opportunities to meet their neighbors or others, or they sit back and complain about how awful everyone treats them.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Will you be bothered by trucks going by flying rebel flags or dogs in the back of pickup trucks? The lack of diversity, especially in let's say restaurants? Do you like barbecue? It will help.

    I have a good friend who lived for decades in Vermont but is originally from Gainesville, Georgia and we have often talked about how people dress very differently in the south, much more colorfully than they do up north. I noticed that right away when I visited her in Vermont. Women tend to color their hair much more here than there. That sort of thing.

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 - you made me chuckle. Much as it would be discouraging to see those things they aren’t limited to the south. Just saw a dog in the back of a pickup yesterday and though we don’t have trucks with rebel flags we have trucks with other flags I don’t personally care for. However I can’t dwell on that kind of stuff as it would make for an unpleasant life. I choose pleasant. No part of the country has a monopoly on ill will or bad behavior. It’s everywhere and always has been. Humans are very imperfect beings.

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 all of the south is not like that. Although i have seen a rebel flag flown, it is not common here in our area. Our little city has few restaurants but we are within 30 minutes from a multitude of restaurants, museums, theatres, etc etc. Are you unhappy there in your area? I cant remember what larger city you are near.


    3katz (i got it right!), you are so right about choosing and dwelling.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Oh I love it here! Greenville is an hour away if I need anything. Clemson has quite a few cute restaurants. We're getting a Vietnamese restaurant and we're all looking forward to pho.

    I am close to some very mountainous remote areas and you see people in the grocery stores who look very hillbilly.

  • Allison0704
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Bumblebeez: "I am close to some very mountainous remote areas and you see people in the grocery stores who look very hillbilly.'"

    Seriously, WTH.

    ETA: Someone messaged me thinking I meant seeing "people in the grocery store who look very hillbilly" was a bad thing. NOT what I meant. Hillbilly is a derogatory slang word. My mouth fell open when I read the comment. I had actually just written a rather long reply to her previous comment, but when I saw the hillbilly remark, I changed my mind. I was floored by such a disrespectful remark.

  • Feathers11
    2 months ago

    FWIW, I live in a Chicago suburb, and the rest of the country considers Chicago, as well as Illinois, about as blue as blue can be. But I see some decidedly non-blue flags around here, too, and some on pick-up trucks.

  • 3katz4me
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Amen sistah KSWL!

  • Feathers11
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Beautifully stated, Kswl.

    eta, I don't want to dismiss DLM and her expressed discomfort above. I think being asked outright about one's religious affiliation or being judged about one's cultural belonging (race/ethnicity, religion, se ual orientation, age, etc.) in any setting is difficult, and claiming that it's everywhere doesn't make questioning it right anywhere. But this type of judgement isn't limited to the south.

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