There is only one problem with Wilmington Island-nobody wants to leave there, so the real estate market is always tight, with buyers waiting for inventory to become available. The upside is a home purchased on the island not only holds its value, but since the year 2000 properties have escalated an astonishing 81%. It all starts when you cross over Turner’s Creek Bridge from the Savannah mainland and the first thought that pops into your head is I could live here!
A second problem is Wilmington Island is a small community (only about 8.4 square miles of dry land, surrounded by water). The island is a paradise for fishermen, swimmers, boaters, kayakers, golfers, bikers and walkers, all enjoying a regularly mild ocean breeze and mostly sunny days. And don’t forget about the sightseers who just enjoy all the magnificent beauty.
Alicia Novak with ERA/Southeast Coastal Real Estate lives on Wilmington Island with her husband and three school-aged children. A major factor in their home choice was the highly rated schools that service the island, providing the type education that can usually only be found in expensive private schools. Her only complaint about Wilmington (remember, she is a real estate agent) is that there is always a shortage of houses available for sale. She has a list of buyers ready, just waiting for the inventory to become available.
Prices for a one-bedroom condo can start as low as $50,000.00, and occasionally a small house hits the market for $100,000. 00. It is easier to find a pile of hen’s teeth than properties at these prices. $140,000.00 is a much more realistic starting price for a single family home, and the top end can reach $6,000,000.00 if it is located on deep water with a dock. The median price for a single home residence is about $240,000 in this highly sought after coastal jewel.
Wilmington is like a small town full of like-minded people. This is a large collection of people (just over 15,000 residents) who are friendly and happy to live in paradise. A newcomer to the island recounted what happened a few weeks after he moved in. A neighbor knocked on his door and told him his car windows were down and it was starting to rain. The newcomer had moved from Atlanta and said the last time someone showed an interest in his car windows being down, he lost a laptop (probably some good Samaritan took it for safekeeping against rain damage).
About 60% of the households are families with school-aged children, 20% are unmarried residents and another 20% are singles. The indigenous people of Wilmington Island also enjoy the nearby amenities of civilization like chain grocery stores, a few fast food places and casual dining featuring some of the best food in the country. Nightlife abounds with some places providing live music, but all offering a friendly gathering place.
The community is well kept with an abundance of churches, community parks, a YMCA, a library and nearby historical sights. The beach on Tybee Island is just a ten-minute drive away and downtown Savannah is only a five-minute commute. The tallest structure in Chatham County is on Wilmington Island-The Wilmington Island Condo Community, across the road from The Wilmington Island Golf Club, both on Wilmington Island Drive.
Wilmington Island is not only a good place to invest your real estate dollars, but a great investment place for your lifestyle. It reminds me of the line from the old Simon and Garfunkel song…”I get the news I need from the weather report….”
Admittedly, life on Wilmington Island might not be that simple, but you won’t be disappointed.