Real Estate Scorecard Awards the Best Communities of the Year in the Southeast

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The 2012 Bliss Award categories include: Happiest Community of the Year, Best Golf Community of the Year, Best Lake Community of the Year, Best Equestrian Community of the Year and more.

Best Community of the Year

2012 Bliss Awards

Best Places to Retire

Real Estate Scorecard provides real estate reviews about master planned communities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. After evaluating over 100 master planned communities in the Southeast, it is an honor to announce the 2012 BLISS AWARD winners. These communities achieved the award the old fashioned way, because they earned it. Master planned communities are hand selected and do not pay monthly advertising fees. They are located in the 25 best cities to retire listed on the website. Join us in wishing these communities continued success and applaud their accomplishments:

HAPPIEST COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR - Dataw Island Beaufort South Carolina

Dataw Island was chosen based on the number of high scoring report cards we received from Dataw Island property owners expressing a high quality of life and close sense of community. A “wonderful place to live” is the most common comment. This island community on the coast of South Carolina has deep water ocean access, a marina and is located in one of the Best Small Art Towns in America, Beaufort SC. Keeping community amenities up to par, both golf courses are under going a $5 million renovation. Dataw Island is affordable, with patio homes priced under $200k. The average sold price is $399k.

BEST INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR - St. James Plantation Southport North Carolina

With the Outer Banks as a barrier island along almost the entire coast of North Carolina, it is hard to find quick ocean access master planned communities. Folks often wonder where is Brunswick County? St. James Plantation is just south of Wilmington North Carolina. We chose St. James Plantation because of the comprehensive marina facility, its safe harbor and quick ocean access. St. James Plantation has 155 wet boat slips, 320 dry dock boat slips, a fuel station and the Harborside Marketplace. Celebrating 20 years, St. James Plantation is truly a resort style coastal community. With four signature golf courses, three tennis facilities and the St. James Beach Club on Oak Island, property owners can live life on vacation year round at St. James Plantation.

BEST GOLF COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR - Kiawah Island Charleston South Carolina

It’s hard to dispute the number of award winning golf courses at Kiawah Island, seven championship golf courses in all. In August, the 2012 PGA Championship event is being held on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island designed by Pete Dye. The River Course is a Tom Fazio Signature Design paralleling the Kiawah River and is certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The Cassique Course was Tom Watson’s first solo designed golf course, a beautiful Scottish links-style golf course. Turtle Point is a Jack Nicklaus design hugging the Atlantic ocean and loggerhead turtle nesting areas. Cougar Point is an easier golf course designed by Gary Player with views of the Kiawah River. Osprey Point designed by Tom Fazio is naturally home to exotic bird wildlife, scenic lakes and nesting areas. Oak Point was designed by Clyde Johnston and was the first of the Kiawah Island golf courses. Where else can you live with seven championship golf courses in your neighborhood? And Kiawah Island offers far more than golf. An award winning spa, tennis facilities, beach club and fantastic restaurants are a few more of the community’s many first class amenities.

BEST LAKE COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR - The Reserve at Lake Keowee South Carolina

There are six lakes we recommend in the Southeast, listed on our website. The Reserve at Lake Keowee was chosen because of the complete lake lifestyle this master planned community offers property owners. One of the largest South Carolina lakes, Lake Keowee is 18,500 acres in size with 300 miles of shoreline. The lake is nicknamed the Garden of Eden, recognized as one of the purest prettiest lakes in the Carolina’s. Life on the lake includes fishing, waterskiing and jet skiing. The Blue Ridge Mountains in the backdrop will compete for your attention at this master planned community. The Reserve at Lake Keowee has a marina, 200 wet boat slips, a fuel station and provides water sport rentals. Jack Nicklaus designed their scenic signature golf course.

BEST EQUESTRIAN COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR - Balsam Mountain Preserve Sylva North Carolina

We have six equestrian master planned communities on our website. Although Balsam Mountain Preserve is best known as a North Carolina golf community, property owner and celebrity Andie MacDowell describes Balsam’s Equestrian Center best saying “ You won’t find flat trails in the mountains like you’ll find at Balsam. The trails are phenomenal”. Their Equestrian Center is a full service facility offering boarding, riding lessons, practice arena and club horses for trail rides. There are 30 miles of horseback riding trails inside the gates of Balsam Mountain Preserve. The trail system connects further into the 531,286 acre Nantahala National Forest. Balsam Mountain Preserve built Dark Ridge Creek as a community amenity, a family camp catering to horseback or hiking overnight adventures. The family camp has a horse paddock, bunkhouses and restroom facilities. Some people prefer to call it “glamping”. The country western theme is a thread which runs through the entire community.

Visit Real Estate Scorecard to find out who the seven additional 2012 Bliss Award winners are. If you plan to relocate to the Southeast, ask about being a Real Estate Scorecard guest at one of these award winning master planned communities at info(at)realestatescorecard(dot)com

Photo courtesy of Larry Singer


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Margie Casey
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