Its a further drive to “town” and restaurants, but if you come from a larger city, driving 15-20 minutes to get back to the shops and stores will not be a problem for you. The only con that we saw with the market is that it has been one of the last places to “recover” when the market start to go up. There are still some better deals in the Mid-North / North end of the island. That said, if there is a problem with the market, its the first part of the island to go down. There always seems to be more of a market for the beach / near beach properties.
Tourists mostly want to be in southern most part of the island, which is were we find property values being the highest and when the market started to recover on Saint Simons, this part recovered the quickest. The issue is that except for a few areas, the construction is mostly older. There are a couple of pockets of newer homes, but most are either older or are remodeled. Either East Beach, Island Club or near the Village is the most desired.
Mid-South and Mid-North are were many families live who live year round on the island. Its a mix of every age group. It tends to be mostly moderate priced homes. Mid-North is where most of the newer construction is happening because that’s where developers can get large land tracks / groups of lots for lower prices.
One thing that I think will become increasingly more important is whether or not the property is in FEMA flood zone x or not. Parts of North Harrington are in FEMA flood zone x (shaded) and parts of Sea Palms are in FEMA flood zone x (shaded) and EMA flood zone x (unshaded). Almost all of Hampton Plantation (north end) is in a flood zone. I cannot quantify the value of this yet because things are still too new, the flood maps are scheduled to change again in 2015 and Congress may temper the legislation; however, I can tell you that once new flood insurance came back in during due diligence, it killed a couple of sales I had under contract or it caused the Buyers to decide to lift the house in their remodel after closing to above FEMA flood elevations. If you are buying new construction everything will be built above flood elevation and you can get favorable flood insurance rates. As a result, newer homes will not be impacted as much as if you were purchasing an older house; however, its something to consider.