Located outside of Savannah, Georgia, and proximate to the charming coastal town of Beaufort, South Carolina, and within a short drive of Charleston—the current capital of Southern lifestyle—Brays Island is a private home for families who love the outdoors, be it fresh- or saltwater fishing, wingshooting, target shooting, equestrian sports, golf, tennis, and much more.
The unique approach here is that all of the owners share the property’s amenities whenever and as much as they want to. In fact, the community might be best described as a “shared plantation”—which is exactly what it’s called by Paul Burton of Brays Island Realty, the property’s real-estate company.
Fully 90 percent of the property’s 5,500 acres is shared. Each landowner buys a 1-acre circular plot on which they can design their coastal home (often in the South Carolina Lowcountry style), which leaves more than 5,100 acres open to recreation. (Actually, access is closer to 6,100 acres—an adjacent 1,000 acres is leased and also open to Brays Island residents and guests.) Golf is popular, but so are fishing and hunting. In fact, anything outdoors is the main attraction to ownership at Brays.
Of course, owners don’t have to build—they can instead stay in the Carriage House or the Inn at Brays Island while they enjoy the amenities, as can guests. Burton amends his descriptive phrase: “It’s really a shared playground. If you own land, you have access to everything. The owners share the costs. If you divide the 325 home sites by 5,500 acres, you could have 17 acres of land, but what are you going to do with that land? And then you have to maintain it? In this way, you have your property of one acre but you have access to every single inch of everything, without boundaries.”
It’s a wonderful concept, put into actual practice and enjoyed by hundreds of residents. Indeed, as we found during our relatively brief stay, the days are heightened by taking part in the “Brays Island lifestyle.”
“All About the Outdoors” is the feature on Brays Island published in the October-November 2015 issue.
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