Between the beautiful historic neighborhoods, the canopies of leafy trees, the nearby beach and the good old Southern hospitality, there are plenty of reasons why people are relocating to Savannah, Georgia these days. If you’re thinking of moving here, we’re confident you’ll be happy with that choice! That said, every town has its own defining characteristics, culture and vibe, and Savannah is known for having all three in abundance. The more you know about the area going in, the easier it will be for you to make the adjustment.
That is why we’ve created this little primer about Savannah to get you properly oriented. Here are 8 important things to know about this area before making your move.
1. The living is easy.
Savannah lives on “island time,” which is understandable considering that much of our land sits on a set of coastal islands separated by rivers and inlets — and considering you’re never more than 20 minutes from the coast. This means the people here tend to be relaxed, laid back, not in a hurry. If you live in a place where hustle and bustle are the norm, it will take some time to acclimate to the relaxed pace. But don’t worry — after a couple of months, you’ll wonder why you were ever in such a hurry to begin with.
2. The living is easy … on the wallet.
The cost of living in Savannah is a welcome break from other parts of the country. Bestplaces.com rates the overall cost of living here at 85.9 (with 100 being the average COL in the United States). This means compared to the national average, things here cost about 86 cents on the dollar. The cost for housing is even better, with rents being just over 61 percent of the national average! Bottom line — your money stretches further here. (And you’ll really feel the difference if you’re moving from a place where costs are above average.)
3. Be prepared to be haunted.
With Savannah’s long history and many cemeteries, it is famous as a city of hauntings, ghost stories and a penchant for the paranormal. Haunted ghost tours are a favorite among visitors, but the residents take it seriously, as well. You’ll find that many covered porches have their ceilings painted “haint blue” to ward off ghosts. Don’t be spooked, though. You get used to the spirits after awhile.
4. Take the “spirits” with you.
We’re talking a different kind of spirit here — the alcoholic kind. One of the most pleasant surprises newbies find here is when they go to a bar or restaurant and the waiter asks if they want their drink “to go.” The people of Savannah love a good beverage (or three) and the city has an alfresco law that allows all bars north of Jones Street to put alcoholic drinks in to-go cups so their patrons can continue enjoying them when they leave. (If you indulge, however, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel — the police are pretty strict about that.)
5. Take it slow, especially in summer.
There’s another reason why the pace is a bit slower in Savannah … the humidity. You get used to it after awhile, but in the warm summer months, it can get a bit moist around here. It’s easy to get overheated if you don’t pace yourself, so drink plenty of water and give yourself a little more time to get things done.
6. If you plan to add on, double check before you buy.
Savannah prides itself on its history, which means there are laws on the books about building and expansion that serve to protect the town’s look and feel. Restoration projects are abundant, but new buildings can’t be over a certain height in certain parts of town, and some add-ons may be off limits for historic structures. If you’re a fixer-upper type, you might want to check local regulations before investing in that old house, just to be sure your plans won’t run into snags.
7. Keep your eyes open.
Savannah’s age and rich history also make it a city rich in texture and architectural gems. In addition, thanks in part to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), it’s also a city with a deep love for art. This means there’s always something interesting to see, whether it’s a Civil War landmark, a moss-covered statue, a beautiful example of Greek Revival architecture or a random painting. When you’re walking around town, be sure to stay in the moment and look around. You’ll almost find something to inspire.
When you’re ready to relocate to Savannah, be sure to hire an expert local agent to help you find your dream home! We here at Lufburrow Realty would love to show you around. For an appointment, give us a call today at (912) 355-6562.