About dunes properties of Charleston

dunes properties of Charleston is a real estate, vacation rental and property management company representing the Lowcountry with almost 80 exclusive Charleston beach vacation rental properties, 70 real estate agents and employees, four full-service offices. Nobody knows the Charleston Coast better.

Isle of Palms Office

1400 Palm Boulevard
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
843.886.5600

Real Estate Inquiries:
realestate@dunesproperties.com
Vacation Rental Inquiries:
vacations@dunesproperties.com


Folly Beach Office

31 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439
843.588.3800

Real Estate Inquiries:
realestate@dunesproperties.com
Vacation Rental Inquiries:
vacations@dunesproperties.com


The Real Estate Studio

214 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
843.722.5618

Real Estate Inquiries:
realestate@dunesproperties.com
Vacation Rental Inquiries:
vacations@dunesproperties.com


Kiawah Seabrook Office

1887 Andell Bluff Boulevard
Johns Island, SC 29455
843.768.9800

Real Estate Inquiries:
realestate@dunesproperties.com
Vacation Rental Inquiries:
vacations@dunesproperties.com


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Tag: charleston

5 Festivals to Look Forward to this Season

Looking for some plans outside the house this fall? A simple scroll through the charlestoncvb.com calendar will render a long list of possibilities. Here are just a few of the events we’re looking forward to this season.

Charleston Fall Festivals 2016

photo courtesy of Charleston Arts Festival

Charleston Arts Festival | Oct. 5-8

The first annual Charleston Arts Festival is brought to you by the creator of Jailbreak. Though Jailbreak’s technically defunct, the CFA finale will take place at the Old Jail on Magazine Street, so it’ll be like a Jailbreak reincarnated. Also on the agenda for CFA is Pecha Kucha 25 (8 presentations by local members of Charleston’s music community and Women & Radiohead, where local female musicians will perform Radiohead songs. Both of the latter events take place at the Music Hall, while the other facet of CAF, a Culinary Evolution, will go down at High Wire Distillery. For tickets, dates, and further details, go to charlestonartsfestival.com.  

MOJA Arts Festival | Sept. 29-Oct. 9

This will be Charleston’s 33rd year with the MOJA Arts fest, a celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts. The city will be taken over by isual arts, classical music, dance, gospel, jazz, poetry, R&B music, storytelling, theatre, children’s activities, traditional crafts, ethnic food, and much more. Guess what else — most events are free! Ticketed events are priced modestly.  For further details, see mojafestival.com.

Charleston Fall Festivals 2016

photo courtesy of MOJA Arts Festival

Lovin’ the Lowcountry Fall Festival | Nov. 3

The Footlight Players will bring their own festival to life on Nov. 3 at Pierce Park Pavilion (1801 Pierce Street, Daniel Island). Celebrating all that is fall, the fest involves a heapin’ helping of Lowcountry boil, plus bee, wine, and a silent auction. The Shem Creek Boogie Band will provide the beach music soundtrack, while SC Shagging Hall of Fame dancer Claude Robertson and dance partner Linda Ouzts cut a rug. Tickets are $35 and will benefit the Footlight Players, one of the oldest community theaters in Charleston. 

Y’allFest | Nov. 11-12

Something for the teens or any young adult fiction lover, Y’allFest celebrates YA fiction, welcoming best-selling authors to the city for a series of events at Charleston Music Hall, the Charleston County Library. This year’s featured authors are many, and they include Beautiful Creatures’ Kami Garcia, Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars), and Renee Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn). Check yallfest.org for a complete list and schedule of events, like book signings and forums.

Charleston Fall Festivals 2016

photo courtesy of @colourofmusicfestival

Colour of Music Festival Masterwork Series | Oct 19-23

Colour of Music celebrates black classical musicians. This year’s edition brings renowned artists from around the world to Charleston for the occasion. Some notable events include the debut of18th-Century African-American French composer Chevalier de Saint George’s only discovered opera as well as “The Anonymous Lover,” featuring Magali Leger, native of Saint George’s birthplace, the Isle of Guadeloupe, showcasing the festival’s All Things French theme. The Masterworks series opens with the petit opera on Thurs. Oct. 20 at the Gaillard Center downtown and will also include Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 44 in G Minor.

What are you looking forward to this season?

 

 

It’s Beach Season in Charleston – Isle of Palms

It’s beach season and there is no doubt that each one of Charleston’s beaches has it’s own charm. I would say that all are worth a visit, and you can pick one that suites your mood! If you’re looking for surf and are feeling adventurous, Folly is for you. If you’re looking for a great beach to take the kids to, Isle of Palms is where you should be. Want to go kiteboarding? Head on over to Sullivan’s. Each week we will be featuring a different local beach, and this week it’s all about Isle of Palms! Read on to see some rules, guidelines, and what to expect at Charleston’s most family-friendly beach.

Isle of Palms

Out of all the beaches in Charleston, Isle of Palms offers the most family-friendly shores (and is my personal favorite!). Because this beach has a bucket of rules and a ton of tourists, there are a few things you should know before packing up the family and heading out for a day of fun in the sun. Isle of Palms beach doesn’t allow alcohol, glass bottles, bonfires, camping, fireworks, or, of course, littering. So if you’re a college kid looking for a party, this beach probably isn’t for you. Dogs are allowed on the Isle of Palms beach as long as they are kept on a leash at all times (even when they are in the water) except from 5 am to 8 am, making it able to get your morning walk with your pooch in.

Holes that your children may dig while making mystical castles must be filled in when they are done. This keeps baby sea turtles from getting stuck on their way to the water and grandma from falling in and breaking a hip. Isle of Palms safety officers and lifeguards also need to be able to get around on their beach carts without breaking an axel.

The beaches on Isle of Palms are open and windy, making this the perfect place for kitesurfing. There aren’t many surfers here, since the waves are pretty small. You will occasionally see surfers here, although usually beginners. If you do want to take a crack at surfing, make sure you stay 100 feet from swimmers and 200 feet from the pier if you don’t want a hefty fine.

If you’re looking for a beach with a lifeguard, head to the Isle of Palms County Park on 14th Street. You can park here for $5 and you will find restrooms, showers, picnic tables, ice cream, and chair and umbrella rentals (although I recommend you bring your own – it’s rather pricey). Make sure you pop into our dunes properties office right there on the corner and say hi!

There are plenty of things to do on Isle of Palms if laying in the sun and playing in the sand isn’t for you. Aside from kitesurfing, you could make your way to the back side of the Island where you will find the IOP Marina and you can rent wave runners, go parasailing, or go on a fishing charter. If you’re in need of any beach gear, pop in to Isle Surf Co.

For lunch, check out Windjammer, where you can eat, drink, listen to live music, and even sing a little. Banana Cabana has great seasonal food and a beachfront bar, and Coconut Joe’s offers Island-inspired dishes and a rooftop bar. If you’re looking for pizza, ice cream, or some cute shops to browse in, stroll around The Front Beach Area.

Overall, the Isle of Palms beach is a family-friendly, clean, pleasant beach where you don’t need to worry about alcohol, rowdiness, or parties. Get ready for a day full of relaxation or adventure, whatever you choose! If you decide that Isle of Palms beach isn’t for you, check out the blog post we did last week on Folly Beach and make sure you stay tuned, next week we are featuring Sullivan’s Island.

dunes properties vacation rental guest’s grandchildren

It’s Beach Season in Charleston – Folly Beach

It’s beach season and there is no doubt that each one of Charleston’s beaches has it’s own charm. I would say that all are worth a visit, and you can pick one that suites your mood! If you’re looking for surf and are feeling adventurous, Folly is for you. If you’re looking for a great beach to take the kids to, Isle of Palms is where you should be. Want to go kiteboarding? Head on over to Sullivan’s. Each week we will be featuring a different local beach, and this week it’s Folly Beach! Below are some guidelines, rules, and what to expect at Charleston’s most laid-back beach.

Folly Beach

Collage

Folly Beach is known for it’s surf, college-aged eye candy, fun festivals, and eclectic lifestyle. Just 15 minutes from downtown Charleston, the locals like to call this The Edge of America. The bumper to bumper traffic (totally worth it!) is proof that Folly Beach is the only place to be on a hot summer day.

Folly Beach is probably the favorite beach among the locals. The beach is always open to the public and if you’ve got some cash, you can park at one of the beach’s access points. You can also park for free on the island streets – as long as all your tires are off the road and you don’t mind the walk. Folly is a great place to play volleyball, cornhole, and frisbee but there are some key rules to follow at this beach. There is no drinking or glass allowed on this beach. Trying to sneak it and getting caught will land you a $500 fine, so it’s best to just avoid it in my opinion. Also, starting Memorial Day, dogs are not allowed on the beach between 10AM and 6PM, and they must always be kept on their leash at all times and of course pick up their waste. Littering will get you a hefty $1000 fine and bonfires, fireworks, playing on the sand dunes, disturbing turtle nests, and possessing glass bottles will cost you close to that. For an official guideline of the rules, click here. Just be respectful and have fun!

It’s not just the sun, sand, and surf that brings people to Folly. It’s strip of locally owned shops and restaurants matches the laid back life style of this island town. Head over to Center Street for the best margarita at the original Taco Boy, a local favorite. You could pop in to Lost Dog Cafe for a massive breakfast made island style or get a sandwich, salad, or even sushi delivered beach-side by Drop In Deli.

Check out the Post and Courier to see what fun events are happening at Folly, whether it be Taste of Folly, Folly Beach Pub-crawl, Flip Flop Drop, the sand sculpture contest, or Follypalooza. There is always something happening at Folly and there is plenty of things to do for any kind of person. Explore a maritime forest, drink at the Morris Island Lighthouse, build a giant sand castle, ride bikes, fish off the pier, parasail, watch the sunset, dine out, dine in, and of course, surf! Weddings are also very popular on Folly, with an event permit costing only $25, even though you would have to go inland for your reception.

So grab a surfboard, paddleboard, or even a kiteboard, and head to the Washout. McKevlin’s offers boards for sale on consignment and 1-hour surf lessons for $40. If surfing isn’t your thing, bring your fishing rod and cast on the Folly Pier, where you can fish for $3 – $10 from 6AM to 11 PM. Either way, pack that cooler and get ready to spend one of the most relaxing afternoons you’ve ever spent on a beach.

Surfer2

Charleston City Council Approved 4,500 Residential Development

Last night, City Council members deliberated on the proposal of a 4,500 residential development in the Bees Ferry area of West Ashley. According to William Joy of WCSC, The Long Savannah Project was approved and will cover 3,000 acres, 1,200 of which will be used for homes and 400,000 square feet will be used for retail and office space. Long Savannah Project

The approval of this major residential project is great news for the people who live in West Ashley, myself being one of them. The community is really hoping this area is going to be revamped and this project should show everyone that West Ashley is on track to developing for people that are moving to the area.

Traffic studies done on this project show that the entire area will be gridlocked, along Bees Ferry and Glenn McConnell (didn’t the Bees Ferry construction just end?!), but this should be a small price to pay for the major development.The project was originally approved in 2007, but was foreclosed on. We should expect to see around 500 homes in the next two years and the entire project to be complete in the next 20.

“In House” Services Lack Transparency For Vacation Rental Home Owners

What Are “In-House” Services in Vacation Property Management?

I’m often asked by potential clients, “What ‘in-house’ services does your company provide?” This is a great indication a sales pitch has been provided by another vacation property management company. ‘In-house’ refers to services provided by staff or employees of the vacation management company such as cleaning, HVAC repair, handyman work, and many others. It is specific work completed by the staff of the company… and billed by the company to the home owner. These services are not provided by 3rd party, independent providers like outside cleaning companies and HVAC repair companies. The services operate and originate within the management company.

How “In-House” Services Could Be Problematic

When a home owner selects a property management company, the relationship shares the same responsibilities as that of a real estate agent. Those legal responsibilities are Obedience, Loyalty, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accounting, and Reasonable Care as written in SC Real Estate License laws. We, as licensed professionals, have a fiduciary responsibility to represent our client’s best interest first.

How can management companies represent a client’s best interest if the company decides how much a service, provided within their company, should cost for their client, the home owner? It seems like an obvious conflict of interest and a lack of transparency and the fiduciary responsibility previously mentioned.

Remember, your vacation management company should be working for you… and not vice versa. You are hiring someone to represent your best interest as the client and home owner. At dunes properties, we do not staff maintenance personnel, HVAC repairmen, or cleaners. We coordinate 3rd party providers so prices can be negotiated lower for our clients. It is the correct way to offer vacation property management and offers transparency to clients.

Similarly Troubling…

Unfortunately, it has become commonplace for legacy management companies to charge their clients a percentage of invoices. In my opinion, it is a terrible practice and also seems to be a conflict of interest. How can a company represent a home owner’s best interest if the company orders service and then receives a percentage of “mark up” on the work performed? It is arguably a legal kick back. Always check your management agreement for counter-intuitive inclusions like invoice mark ups.

by Wes Walker
Vice President of Vacation Rentals
Dunes Properties of Charleston
(843) 513-1604

 

 

 

Related Reading for Vacation Rental Home Owners…

The Most Costly Vacation Rental Furnishings

The Most Costly Vacation Rental Furnishings

In the past, homeowners would fill their rental homes with low price furnishings. It was a great way to save a few bucks, right? Grab a few tables, dressers, bed sets, and wall pieces from a thrift store and voila… a full furnished vacation rental!

This is no longer a good idea. In fact, the thrift store approach is a very, very poor one and extremely costly for vacation home owners.

furniture

Today’s guests have an endless list of vacation options thanks to the web and growing vacation rental marketplace. While online, guests quickly compare properties’s furnishing. Poorly furnished properties are skipped… and quickly skipped.

Owners still using the “thrift store” approach often forget why people are thinking of vacationing. Guest want to rest and relax. Yes, the beach and water are a big part of the interest, but rest & relaxation are the keys to great vacations. Without a good presentation of a comfortably furnished property, “thrift store” properties are doomed to a wildly poor rental schedule.

What To Avoid – The Big Three

  • Light Tan Woods – looks like it was just in a dorm room
  • Everything Wicker –  color doesn’t matter but white is the worst
  • Gold & Brass – this is more about hardware but gold/brass takes 20 years off your property

How costly is the “thrift store approach” in vacation rentals?

A strong example can be made for two side-by-side condominiums we managed years ago. The first condo was comfortable, colorful, and updated. The second was decorated by an owner with a thrift store preference. The first condo owner generated $30,000 more in a year than the second condo owner. The investment of a few thousand in good furniture generated 10x the return. Other hidden loss also includes the maintenance to repair and patch old furniture.

It is important to mention that furniture price is not the key. Affordable, comfortable, and replaceable is the best approach. Pricey and custom furniture is the same mistake as buying thrift.

by Wes Walker
Vice President of Vacation Rentals
Dunes Properties of Charleston
(843) 513-1604

 

Related Reading for Vacation Rental Home Owners…

Family Visits Equal Falling in Love With Charleston, Again

With all there is to do in Charleston, South Carolina, it’s easy sometimes to just keep from getting overwhelmed and stay home. It can be exhausting deciding from your upteenth favorite restaurants, landmarks, stores, parks, activities, and more! But when the family comes visiting, you have to do some choosing.

When we loaded up the car with my sister and her two teenage sons, I started seeing Charleston through fresh eyes as we drove around. The beautiful points of the Ravenel Bridge among the fluffy clouds and blue sky, the excitement of seeing pelicans roosting or their vertical dive into the water for food, and witnessing a pod of dolphins swimming their way through the wake of a boat. I forget how clear the air is and that you can see for miles from nearly any point. Everywhere we went I remember saying “There’s the Sullivan’s Island lighthouse, the flags from Fort Sumter, the Ravenel Bridge, the spire from St. Philip’s Church downtown,” etc.

There is a view from almost every corner of something you want to take a photo of. There is so much American history (my sister put it so eloquently “Man, a lot of stuff happened in Charleston”) and  a feeling of “anything can happen here!” And the simplest, best, and free pleasure here is the beach. The beach kept us all, children and adults, entertained for hours three sunny days straight.

For a week straight I was overwhelmed with awe over all that is contained in this city that is really fairly small. The picture perfect beauty, the different characters walking the streets in the footsteps of history, and just all that Charleston ecompasses. The palmetto trees, the wildlife, the water, and the marshes. So much is here that is not found elsewhere. I guess you can say the same about almost every city, that there is something about it that makes it wonderful. But it’s more than wonderful. Charleston is magical. A gateway where the past, the present and future coexist and inspire.

After a week of eating copious amounts of awesome food, lounging on the beach, driving around  scoping out Army Wives filming locations, going on ghost tours, wandering around the alleys of downtown, visiting historical landmarks and more we were beat. But as my sister and the boys got into their car after a final goodbye, my husband and I thought to ourselves “We really need to do [all of that] more often.” But not after a week of long recuperative naps!

Flower box on Queen St. dowtown

Waterfront Park downtown Charleston  (beautiful on even a stormy day)

Pitt Street bridge park in Mt. Pleasant

-Rebecca Narkiewicz

The Importance of Professional Photography

The Importance of Professional Photography

Although this may seem like common sense, it is surprising how many legacy property management programs overlook this #1 in marketing a vacation rental home or condominium. The web has changed how customers absorb information. The importance of visual has not changed, but the speed in which a customers needs to experience the vacation home through photograph has changed dramatically.

501 Palm Blvd - Sleek Seafarer


Kerrin Sheldon with Fast Company suggests we have 20 seconds to capture an audience with visual. Other web specialists suggest this number as close to 5 or 6 seconds. Still, the argument and statistics support the claim; a web visitors needs to experience your vacation property almost instantly. VRBO & Homeaway have always supported this concept as these sites originally charged property owners by the number of photos uploaded. The more vacation rental photos, the higher your listing would place. Flipkey, a vacation rental search platform purchased by TripAdvisor, completed a study revealing HD photography increased bookings by 98%.

Still, the number of vacation rental photos alone will not guarantee success. More is not always better… if the photos are not fantastic. Photos must be attractive, accurate, and present not only the vacation rental, but the experience the vacation rental home or condominium offers to the guest. Professional photos often convey the message, “this vacation rental property receives lots of attention and therefore care.” This is vital to capturing vacation rental guest interest. Also, many traditional management companies forget the potential guest’s perspective. Guests wish to see amenities, decor, and styles… not just the view and the beds.

Most professional photographers will provide dozens of great, high definition pictures for only a few hundred dollars. Considering the potential return of tens of thousands… it is a wise investment. One which can make or break a vacation rental strategy.

by Wes Walker
Vice President of Vacation Rentals
Dunes Properties of Charleston
(843) 513 1604

Related Reading for Vacation Rental Home Owners…

TV Pilot Filming In Charleston

You never know who you might see around the next corner or at the local watering hole in Charleston. A surprise music gig by Kevin Costner, Kiefer Sutherland putting back a few with some local fans on the Isle of Palms, Anthony Kiedis with bodyguard in tow at the City Market, Elvis Costello at the hat shop, and the one celebrity spotting I’m sad I missed, Guy Pierce just hanging out at the City Market too.  Oh and how can I forget Bill Murray who is seemingly everywhere around town.

Most know by now that Lifetime TV’s Army Wives shoots in Charleston and we have a rich history with big feature Hollywood films too.  For instance, Cold Mountain, Dear John, and The Notebook just to name a few have used Charleston’s diverse locales to their advantage. Now, the latest is a potential 2013 CBS pilot that will be set in Charleston called Reckless.

From Deadline TV “The Charleston, SC-set project centers on Jamie (Anna Wood), a gorgeous Yankee litigator, and Roy (Cam Gigandet), a Southern City Attorney, who struggle to hide their intense attraction while clashing over a police sex scandal. Rodriguez plays Preston, a well-respected police detective who works on the Charleston Pd alongside Trey (Shawn Hatosy).”

Even though there are consistently projects being filmed here, it’s still exciting to see local places on television as well as the occasional familiar face or friend who plays an extra.

 

Charleston makes Best 50 Dates In 50 States

There are many great cities in South Carolina and they all have their charms. However, it’s no surprise that when Redbook magazine did their feature on the “50 Best Dates in 50 States” they chose Charleston.

Click here for the slideshow at Redbook.

“Fans of low-country classics like shrimp and grits won’t be surprised to hear  how good the food is in Charleston, but thanks to an influx of some big name  chefs, it’s become a major foodie stomping grounds. Recently dubbed its Hottest  Chef of 2013 by Eater, Chef Frank McMahon, of famous Hank’s Seafood, reveals where you can find him after hours:  grabbing a slice of pie at Monza, beer in hand at Closed for Business, late night at Butcher & Bee, at the bar of McIntosh (“The Mac”) or the newly opened Rare Bit.”

Sure, there is a lot more to do than just eat out in Charleston, but if it’s a great date eventually it’ll run into lunch or dinner or after dinner drinks (and  if we may be risquee, perhaps breakfast) and you’ll have to eat sometime, right?

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