Are you thinking of moving to Bluffton, SC? It’s a big decision, I get it. Read on to see if this is the place for you!
Moving to Bluffton, SC and living a coastal southern life has always sounded like a dream. That dream has become a reality now and honestly sometimes its hard for even me to believe it.
Getting settled into our new hometown has been a wonderful experience for my family but there are definitely a list of things I wish I would have known prior to making the move to better prepare myself.
THINGS YOU’LL WANT TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING TO BLUFFTON, SC
1. NO ONE IS FROM BLUFFTON
Okay, that’s a stretch but it feels like it could be true. Since moving to the area I have met about 5 people who are originally from Bluffton. Some are from different parts of SC or GA but most have moved down from Northern states such as NY, NJ and OH.
There are also a lot of military families, since Parris Island is just a short drive away, as well as retiree’s. There are many retirement communities within Bluffton (Sun City, Margaritaville, etc.) and they have a big influence on the community.
When you move to Bluffton your new neighbors will more than likely not be long time locals. This is great because you will be able to meet new friends who are having the same new experiences as you and your family.
2. ALLIGATORS, SNAKES and BUGS
I’m not going to sugar coat this for you. Alligators, snakes and bugs are EVERYWHERE. There are also armadillos but they really don’t bother me. I’ve also heard that wild hogs are all over but I’ve never encounter one.
I don’t bring this up to deter you but to make you aware. Most communities have retention ponds and you should ALWAYS assume they have gators in them. We’ve also had a snake or two in our yard and our neighbors have had the same experience. There are venomous and nonvenomous snakes hanging around so its best to not approach unless you know what you’re doing.
Respect nature here and you shouldn’t have any problems. However, you need to be aware of these dangers and have conversations with your family (specifically kids) about how this is going to change certain aspects of your lifestyle. No more playing near the waters edge and absolutely no walking small dogs too close to ponds.
3. SUMMERS ARE HOT BUT THE REST OF THE YEAR IS WONDERFUL
The months of July into September are HOT, HUMID, and WET. We moved down in August and we couldn’t walk outside without sweating. No joke. We were either in the pool or inside in air conditioning. Because of the heat and humidity, it storms almost every single day.
The good news is almost any community you move to has a pool! Also, there are more and more businesses opening that offer indoor entertainment for kids to keep them occupied and out of the heat.
Once you get into October, the mornings dip down into the 50’s and the days are absolutely perfect. Experiencing a warm Christmas and New Years can be a little different but going to the beach on New Years Day in 75 degree weather is absolutely AMAZING.
4. DAY TRIPS GALORE
Summers in Bluffton are perfect for hanging by the pool and enjoying the beach. Once the weather cools off, there are endless possibilities when it comes to planning out your weekend.
Truly, Bluffton is surrounded with wonderful places to visit. Charleston, Jacksonville, Savannah, Hilton Head, endless state parks and more! In the mood for some fall foliage? Take a trip to the mountains. Want a fun day trip for kids? Head down to the Jacksonville Zoo. Or, stay local and check out a mermaid or dolphin cruise!
More of an outdoors man? Hunting, fishing, biking and more are all enjoyed by local residents.
5. START LOOKING FOR SERVICES NOW
And by services, I mean doctors, mechanics, dentists, pharmacies and whatever else you NEED to maintain consistency in your day-to-day life. Don’t forget about the non-essential services as well such as nail salons, hair salons, gyms, kids sports teams, dog groomers and so on.
The population is seriously BOOMING in Bluffton so making appointments (especially for health) can be frustrating due to the wait. Need to know where to get started? Check out some of these local Facebook pages to start gathering all the information they have to offer.
PRO TIP: Search the group before asking because more than likely your question has been answered 10 X’s in the past month.
6. THE DMV IS NOT MESSING WITH YOU
Ohh the dreaded DMV. Let me just say this. Go online and gather everything you need to update your drivers license and license plate. Got everything? Add 1 additional piece of required documents to each category.
Seriously, I’m not kidding. The DMV does not mess around and really doesn’t care how many times you need to return to get it right. Most people I talked to had been there 2+ times already because they didn’t have all the required paperwork. The DMV here is crowded. The employees are overworked. The process is ZERO fun.
Just do yourself a favor and BE PREPARED.
7. TEAM KROGER OR TEAM PUBLIX
Kroger and Publix are the two main grocery stores you’ll find around here. There is also a Food Lion but only one that I know of. The area does not have a Trader Joes or Aldi’s and if you suggest they get one the locals will probably cut your head off. Maybe that’s dramatic but they do like to remind people that Bluffton is beautiful because of its slow southern charm. Add all your favorite stores and conveniences to the mix and you’re turning it into the place you just left.
So, I recommend Kroger for weekly grocery pickup orders and Publix for quick fun trips! I always order my groceries online now and then go back to either store during the week for fruit or whatever else we run out of!
8. GOT A BUSINESS IDEA? NOW IS THE TIME
Moving to Bluffton now is a GREAT IDEA especially if you’re ready to move your current business or start one. The population in Bluffton has grown 121% since 2010. First the residential boom, next the business boom. I am telling you – if you want to start a new business, get your butt here and start NOW.
9. THIS IS NOT THE CHEAP SOUTH
A lot of people think moving south means moving to an area with a lower cost of living. While that may apply to some areas, it does not apply in Bluffton. I’m sure things are less expensive here compared to other parts of the US but definitely not all. Do your research and make sure this area is a good fit for you.
Moving from West Michigan to Bluffton has saved us money in some ways and cost us more in other. Although home cost continue to rise in the area, we were able to buy more house for less money here. However, going out to eat with our family is a lot more expensive here than where we were before.
Moving to Bluffton is a big decision.
If you still have questions after reading through this post, leave them in the comments or send me a message via my contact page.