It cost $16,275 in fees to live in Colleton River Plantation last year, the highest property-owner-association fees in all of Beaufort County.
That's according to a list compiled by The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette from area real estate databases. The list shows fees for each Beaufort County community as of July 2014.
The list only includes entry-level yearly fees for owners. In some communities, golf and other amenities cost an additional fee. As such, premier golf communities such as Colleton River Plantation -- where golf club membership is required -- charged the highest fees.
Colleton's greater Bluffton counterparts, Berkeley Hall and Belfair, finished second and third with $15,870 and $13,362 respectively.
Hilton Head Island golf communities Wexford Plantation -- $12,300 -- and Long Cove Club -- $10,200 -- rounded out the top five.
Next was Bluffton's Palmetto Bluff, at $6,807, and Daufuskie Island's Haig Point, at $6,180.
Communities with the lowest annual dues included Point Comfort and Yacht Cove on Hilton Head, which each charged less than $500.
At the top, the fees pay for high-end amenities that make Beaufort County's golf developments some of the ritziest on the East Coast.
At Colleton River, where the average home sold for $740,000 last year, annual dues go toward two clubhouses, Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses and landscaping that maintains some of the Lowcountry's most scenic views.
With only 705 homesites, members also are paying for exclusivity.
Real estate agents say for many high-end buyers from the Northeast, the fees are small compared to annual dues they paid at their home golf clubs.
In addition, the relatively low cost to live in Beaufort County makes these developments a competitive alternative to communities built around golf in Florida, where membership fees can cost $100,000, agents said.
"It's a top-flight golf community that's dirt-cheap nationally," said real estate agent Andy Twisdale. "You and I might choke, but these buyers know they're getting a good deal."
Follow reporter Dan Burley on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Dan.