By Will McCullough
There’s no question that most people planning to move to the Beaufort area start their initial research online. For the most part, that’s a good thing. Via the magic of the internet, potential new Beaufortonians can search local homes for sale, peruse through our 300-plus year history, browse local restaurant menus and, in a nutshell, learn pretty much everything there is to know about the Lowcountry. Unfortunately, there’s a catch — the internet is not actually magic (I know, I too was shocked when Deena finally told me). As it turns out, normal everyday people create the material found online and that material is not all created equally. While the invention of the “spell checker” was monumental (and, in truth, the only thing that allows me to write this column), we’ve yet to see the invention of the “fact-checker.” But don’t despair, I’ve found the following local sites to be very helpful for folks looking to call the Beaufort area home (as well as for those already living here).
Beaufort County “PropertyMax”
This site can be found at http://sc-beaufort-county.governmax.com. While I admit it’s a lot to type in, the journey is well worth the destination. Commonly referred to as the “property tax records,” this site offers a potential buyer a lot more than just tax information. At “PropertyMax,” one can obtain, by either street address or owner name, valuable information on any property in the area. This information includes the amount current and past owners paid for the property, it’s legal description, acreage, improvements and much more. I also would encourage one to utilize the “GIS/Mapping” feature. This service allows one to view the boundaries of the property, measure the lot dimensions and explore many other options. This site is one of those rare examples of where government gets it right and I highly recommend that you check it out.
Chamber of Commerce
Located at www.beaufortsc.org, this site offers an incredible array of information. I’ve personally spent a lot of time on these pages and honestly, I don’t think that one could find a more detailed overall local resource. Want a free visitors guide? Request it here. Want to learn more about Hunting Island State Park? You can start your learning here. Curious about the hours the Parris Island museum is open? You’ll find that here as well. In complete honesty, there is no way I can detail the many topics that this site accurately addresses via this column, but it’s definitely worth adding to your favorites if Beaufort is to become your new home!
I was lucky enough to be allowed a preview of this site before its scheduled launch this week, and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. Brought to us by the same creative folks who developed the popular “Eat Sleep Play Beaufort” Facebook page, this site delivers on its motto“Everything a local should know … and a visitor should never miss.” Produced in the fun style of an online magazine with several local contributors, this comprehensive site offers guidance on “all things Beaufort” as well as the best local event calender I’ve personally seen online (users can even add their own events). While still the “new kid on the block”, my opinion is that this page may quickly become the primary “go-to” resource for those looking for local information online.
The Island News
While not intended as a blatant plug, the fact remains that the publication you are holding in your hands is a valuable source for local information. If you are just visiting at the moment but plan to move to our area in the future, you can easily continue to stay abreast of local news via this publication online at www.yourislandnews.com.
Please know that the above list represents only a few of the many excellent online resources that cover our area, these just happen to be some of my personal favorites. When it comes down to it, there’s a lot more to planning a move to our area than just searching for the right home. It also involves learning as much as one can about the many great aspects of life in the Lowcountry. I hope that you find the above websites helpful towards that end!
Will and Deena McCullough of Lowcountry Real Estate can be reached directly at 843-441-8286 or via email at RealEstate@BeaufortSC.net.