While the large clubhouse, tennis courts, dog park and panoramic views of the water are loved in Coosaw Point, the people and the community camaraderie is what made the Beaufort community one of this year's Bliss Award winners from Real Estate Scorecard.
Florida-based Real Estate Scorecard was started in 2011 as a place where people could go to read homeowner reviews of about 230 master planned communities in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida. Margie Casey, founder of the company, also visits the communities and rates them.
Coosaw Point was awarded Happiest Community of the Year in January. Twelve communities are honored each year, Casey said.
Several area communities --including Belfair, Berkeley Hall, Callawassie Island and Oldfield Club -- have been rated by Real Estate Scorecard. Dataw Island was awarded a similar honor last year, Casey said.
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Casey rated Coosaw Point a 77 out of 100, but the homeowners scored it much higher at 90.
"This community is a role model for others that are not too big, but not small either," she said.
Homeowners wrote about the friendly atmosphere and lovely living space in their comments about the community.
"I just wanted to say a few words about how happy my wife and I are to have the opportunity to live at Coosaw," wrote one homeowner in his review. "There are many things that make Coosaw special but in my opinion, it all boils down to the people. We appreciate the mix of young and old in our neighborhood. The diversity adds an element of vibrancy to the community. We have lived in both Europe and many places in America and must say Coosaw Point, by far, is simply the best."
Robert Gallant, developer and homeowner in Coosaw Point, said he and his father planned the community based on what they would want.
"We are not golfers but rather avid outdoorsmen," Gallant said in an email. "What we planned for Coosaw Point were the things that we liked, such as acres of open space, nice homes, low density and parks for everyone's enjoyment. We added amenities like a River Club on the Coosaw River with a huge pool and fitness facility, tennis courts adjacent to beautiful live oaks, a boat basin and lots of places for kids to play and adults to relax."
Gallant said the women on the events committee of the neighborhood deserve a lot of the credit for the Happiest Community of the Year award.
"Having things to do in a community that tie you to your neighbor and your broader social community just makes people happy," Gallant said. Events include oyster roasts and volunteer opportunities, he said.
"A developer's job should always be more than just planning, permitting, and building; it should be about listening to the needs of the community and taking care of problems as they arise," Gallant said. "We have a beautiful setting here in Coosaw Point, but as the developer, what I am the most proud of is the beauty and generosity of the people of our neighborhood; and that is what makes us the Happiest Community of the Year."