"We had been in Greenville, N.C., and I-95 just kept getting longer and longer," Ms. Sharpe said.
They took advantage of their daughter's local knowledge to scout out affordable neighborhoods friendly to retirees. They chose Kalmia Landing, a neighborhood restricted for homeowners with at least one spouse 55 or older.
The house is just a few miles from downtown Aiken. Like most in the development, which was started in the mid-1980s, the Sharpes' home is a brick ranch that appears small from the front but opens up into a spacious dining room and living room with 12-foot ceilings.
They knew it was the right community for them when, on their first visit, a neighbor invited the family to a St. Patrick's Day party.
They bought the house in November 2008 and renovated it until last February. The Sharpes remodeled the kitchen, painting it a bright Colonial blue, and added new white beadboard cabinets.
They painted the living room a light beige and added a chair rail and crown molding.
The fireplace was recovered in tile. They ripped out the carpet and put in a new bathroom vanity.
They still have work to do on the screened-in sunroom, which is off the master bedroom.
Changes to landscaping go before a committee, run by volunteers. Homeowners on other committees plan social events, put up holiday decorations, plant flowers, maintain the pool and library, and put out a calendar and newsletter.
"We are old but we are active," Mr. Sharpe said. "That's what attracted us here, because that's what people are like."
THE FAMILY: Lynda and Bob Sharpe
THE HOUSE: An 1,800-square-foot ranch with three bedrooms, built in the mid-1980s
It's a fact: The family chose a three-bedroom house because, as Mrs. Sharpe said, "I had too much furniture and family heirlooms I didn't want to get rid of."
Around the block
What: An age-restricted neighborhood with single-family homes and condos
Where: Gregg Avenue between U.S. Highway 1 and Trolley Line Road in Aiken
Number of houses: 126 homes and 12 condos; two lots ready for building
Built: 1984 to 2007
Average price: $175,000
Size: 1,400 to 2,200 square feet
Dues: $230 to $250 a month
Amenities: Tennis court, pool, clubhouse with pool table, library and puzzle room, garden plots and a pond
Nearby: Three miles to downtown Aiken, one mile to Kalmia Plaza shopping center and Highland Park Country Club
It's a fact: You won't see any for-sale signs in the neighborhood. A list of lots and houses for sale is available in the office.
Source: Kalmia Landing Homeowners Association