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
Summer is almost here, the weather has finally started cooperating again and we’re gearing up for lots of outdoor activities!
If you’ll be around the Johns Island/Kiawah/Seabrook areas come join us and stop by our Bohicket Marina office because we’ll be staying open later for you. Stop by and say hello!
Every 6 weeks local artists showcase their work in our office The Real Estate Studio. It is always a busy day when artists are hanging. Much was going on today as 4 local artists and friends; Marty Biernbaum, Patricia Huff, Brenda Orcutt, and Mary Sayas hung art for their show entitled “Dawn and Dusk, a Group Interpretation”. Their art will be featured at The Real Estate Studio from May 22, 2013 through July 2, 2013. Their art opening will be Friday May 24th from 5-8pm.
Mary, Brenda, Patricia and Marty have developed an “artist circle” similar to historical artist groups that traveled together to paint and support each other. Artistic and creative strength created by the generation of ideas and positive critiquing, encouragement and, of course, just plain fun in the painting together, have forged the basis of this show’s work.
Join us on Friday May 24th for a festive art party.
If you’ve read magazines, blogs, websites, or listened to a real estate agent discussing staging your home you have been told you should bake cookies, put out flowers, clear clutter, and depersonalize as much as possible. That is great advice. However, in the most recent edition of Realtor® magazine, there is some advice from a few California agents. Myra Nourmand, a Beverly Hills real estate pro who has a list of A-list celebrity clients including Hilary Swank and Sheryl Crow. Nourmand has some ideas I hadn’t heard before that may benefit you if you are or plan to sell your home. Anything that make your house or condo stand out for the better is a good thing!
Nourmand advises sellers to think of their home as a movie set that needs to be camera and buyer ready. LA agent Brett Baer adds “Home buying is very aspirational, so play to the buyers’ aspirations.” And they’ve both got ideas on how to do play to buyers’ aspirations.
- Create vignettes. Define how the spaces in your home are to be used. They recommend setting up a game of chess or playing cards in an area that could be a game room or corner, in an exercise area put out bottles of water and towels on a table. You are selling a lifestyle, not just a home.
- Go big. Push spaces to the max. “If a dining room can fit twelve, don’t just put in eight seats.” Go big but be mindful of the room’s scale. And if you have large rooms, enhance their multifunctionality- add a small desk in a large living room for example.
- Add pops of color. The staging trend right now is modern, minimalist style with lighter more neutral colors with color added through accessories (pillows, vases, art). Provide buyers with a clean slate.
- Create a scene stealer. It’s mentioned the master bedroom is the perfect place to showcase this idea. Create an “elegant Four-Seasons tpe of space.” Use high end linens,textured pillows, and if you can, add a sitting area so it will feel like a suite. And add a spa like feeling to the bath with upscale soaps, fluffy white towels, a candle, and even a single flower in a vase (think a rose).
- If baking homemade or ready-to-bake cookies doesn’t interest you, Nourmand likes to slice four apples in half, sprinkle them with brown sugar and bake them at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Add color pops with seasonal fruits in the kitchen, living, and dining rooms (apples, oranges, pomengranites, strawberries, or lemons).
- Play soft classical music in the background.
- Encourage the Buyer to sit down and stay awhile- set out cookies on a pretty plate, brew some tea and coffee, and put out a few bottles of water.
Nourmand says sellers should think of reaching the buyers’ five senses (sight, sound, taste, smell, and feel) when prepping your home for a showing. Create an inviting and enticing space that will suprise the buyer as well as enourage him/her to relax and take in the scenes.
If you would like to read the original article from the REALTOR magazine March/April 2013 edition, click here.
I came across a provocative article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and, frankly, it struck at a question I’ve been wondering about myself- why hasn’t the internet replaced the Realtor ®. The internet has changed so many industries–the iTunes Store and music; Expedia and travel agents–what about real estate?
There have been a number of web players entering the space, from Trulia and Zillow to Redfin, all with slightly different models and a range of success and failure. Here are two things I highlighted in my reading: • 90% of consumers now begin searching for real estate on the web, but • The average commission rate to agents has actually gone up since 2008, from 5.0% to 5.4% in 2011
How has this industry defied what many might say is inevitable? Knowledge and service. It’s a major, major purchase, and lots can go wrong. No one, even the savvy and well-heeled, wants to make a mistake when so many commas are in the price.
The web is playing a role, but it’s largely shopping vs. buying.
(843) 442-1889 | firstname.lastname@example.org
This gorgeous Sullivans Island home features decks and porches off of every bedroom! In fact, the rooftop deck is one of the highest points on the Island. The views from this property are stunning! You really have to see it for yourself.
The interior layout is equally impressive with a gourmet kitchen, dual master suites and dual laundry rooms. Little details like a steam shower in the master and a cigar humidor make this luxurious home special.
We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 1217289 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.
by Vince Perna, dunes properties of Charleston agent, 843.425.6414, email@example.com
Several authorities were present for an informational meeting at Folly Beach City Hall on Tuesday night, including the US Army Corps of Engineers, DHEC, and the City of Folly Beach. The meeting room was overflowing, and several guests made presentations to the group, followed by a question and answer period. The mood was calm and helpful, and many issues were explored and considered. The authorities explained the processes and reasoning behind permitting decisions, and offered assistance by meeting on site or helping fill out the proper applications. A sign-up sheet was offered for a personal consultation. It was clear they were not there to discuss specific requests, but more to explain the process of permitting. Some of the issues discussed were property improvements in the authority’s jurisdiction, utilities and septic systems on private property, and the Folly Beach re-nourishment program.
This article is to serve as a helpful summary of events that occurred at the meeting, please feel free to comment or correct, if any of the quotes or views represented are not accurate. I was present at the meeting and if I can answer any questions or help in any way feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
The meeting started with a welcome and introduction of the guests by Folly Beach mayor Tim Goodwin.
The first speaker was DHEC Wetland Project Manager, Bill Eiser, who spoke about the location of the jurisdiction of DHEC, the policy of the Beachfront Management Act, and instructions on how to apply for a permit for improvements. He explained the difference between critical jurisdiction, which includes grounds affected by tidal wave action (think beaches and inlet areas), and limited jurisdiction, which included grounds landward of the critical jurisdiction. He continued to cover the policy of the Beachfront Management which is highlighted by the terms preserve, protect, restore, and enhance the beach/dune system. The full policies can be found here http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/ocrm/beachfront_management.htm
He finished by covering the permitting process and invited DHEC Acting Manager of Enforcement, Sean Briggs to talk briefly about compliance and violation resolution.
The next guest was Richard Threatt, with DHEC Environmental Health Services, to discuss Septic Systems on Folly Beach. He covered some of the guidelines including the setback for new septic systems on folly Beach of 75 feet from mean high water mark. He followed by mentioning they are always available for consultation on site remediation or repair. He raised a concern of beachfront erosion exposing septic systems and was willing to help consult in those situations. He finished by explaining the importance of system maintenance, especially rental property septic system maintenance, which should be done more often than normal, recommended at every 2-3 years.
Next was the Commander of the Charleston District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, LTC Edward P. Chamberlayne. His agenda was to explain the authority of the Corps, give the status of the federal beach re-nourishment project, cover beachfront activities requiring a permit, go over permitting options, obtaining a permit, enforcement , and offering help and assistance.
Here is the status of Folly Beach federal re-nourishment project. In 2011, a report concluded that the erosion levels meet requirements for a new project. The corps received funding in 2013 to complete a plan to advertise for a contract to complete the work. No funding is in place to commence the project. The corps is actively pursuing supplemental funds, but is dependent on appropriations from Congress. They shared the frustration, assured everyone they are eager to move forward, and recommended that contacting representatives was the path to follow for concerned citizens.
He then spoke about permitting levels at the federal level, which included Nationwide, General, and Individual permits. These levels allow an application to obtain a permit, with Nationwide being the easiest and most streamlined, and Individual the toughest and having the most intense criteria. He stated that most homeowner requests fall into the first two categories, and Individual is typically reserved for large scale municipality projects.
LTC Chamberlayne finished by directing everyone to their website http://www.sac.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory.aspx for permitting instructions and more information, and telling everyone they are happy to meet and discuss applications on site at Folly Beach.
Eric Lutz with the City of Folly Beach spoke about the Folly Beach ordinance involving construction standards for bulkheads, seawalls, and revetments, and offered his help and assistance acting as a contact person and liaison for all the present authorities.
Mayor Goodwin stepped back up and invited questions for the panel.
Folly Beach City Councilman Paul Hume started things off by asking where the sand will come from for the re-nourishment project. The Corps answered that the sand should come from the same location as before, about 3 miles offshore. Hume followed up with suggesting the sand be taken from the Stono Inlet and deposited onshore. The corps admitted that the funding is not present to currently maintain the Stono Inlet, let alone study the deepening of the inlet.
Folly Beach City Councilman Pennell Clamp asked what is being done for a long term solution as opposed to periodic re-nourishment. Another guest later followed up on this, and questioned the Corps incentive for a long term solution, given the expiration of the current agreement in 25 years. The Corps response was that there are no current plans for a study of long term solutions. They also highlited that the costs for a long term solution could be in the hundreds of millions and that other beachfront areas in the United States and abroad have had alternative capital investments than what we are working with here on Folly Beach. He questioned if there is an appetite for incurring costs and encouraged municipalities and private investors to provide a funding plan. The Corps will happily work with the capital and commence a solution. LTC Chamberlayne assured that the environmental needs were not lost on the Corps and they fully understood the difficulties of long term solutions.
Lisa Metheny, US Army Corps of Engineers representative was also very helpful in answering questions all night. At this point she encouraged (wink, wink) that she could receive an application for an evaluation study of long term solutions. She followed that a cost share analysis that makes sense to all parties should be included. An estimate of $1-3 million was given for a study and there was a mention of a current study near Edisto Island that cost $1.5 million. She finished by encouraging citizens to continue to submit observations and ideas and assured everyone that they are all read and kept on file.
Mayor Goodwin commented that Senator Lindsey Graham, Congressman Jim Clyburn, Governor Nikki Haley, and State Representative Peter McCoy were all involved in the fight and were hard at work to secure the funding. He mentioned Senator Tim Scott was also involved but was suffering from being “low man on the totem pole”.
A Folly Beach resident questioned if Dynamite Hole in the Harbor caused more intense waves that could be responsible for increased erosion on the beach, but the answer was unknown.
A resident commented on a concern about road damage at the lighthouse end of the beach, which was answered by “we are monitoring it, but it is not at critical levels yet” by Mayor Goodwin.
A question was asked if alternative sources of funding had been investigated such as university research, or leasing for wind turbines offshore to help with mitigation and re-nourishment costs. This was taken on record.
A resident asked if sand fencing was helpful. The response was it accumulated sand and created a dune, but did nothing to prevent erosion.
What should be done in the meantime to prevent erosion was asked and they were encouraged to submit an application for a permit for improvements and Eric Lutz offered help to facilitate.
A resident commented that there were 14 houses built past the washout that were encroaching on the beach and were causing a dangerous area. He questioned whether DHEC would order a house removal in dangerous areas. The answer was that if they had conditioned the permit originally, it would be an easier process, but since that was not done it would be a tough legal battle. They went on record as pointing out that they had never ordered a house removal. The Corps followed up with the point that those houses were not in their jurisdiction.
Katie Zimmerman from the Coastal Conservation League asked if a sand bypass system to the Charleston Harbor jetties had been considered. The Corps responded that it was not part of the deepening study of the harbor, and explained that studies have a narrow purpose, and this was not part of the study. No study had been requested for the purpose of the question.
The discussion turned to the County Park beach groin topic with a question regarding the status. Legal counsel for DHEC and the Corps responded by saying that no permit issued at this time and a decision is pending. I later learned from Zimmerman that the CCL has withdrawn all comments on the permit except for the condition of keeping an independent source on the review board to determine if there are any affects downstream. She stated that Skimmer flats and Bird Key are 1 of the 4 remaining shorebird habitats on the SC coast and needed to be protected. She was not aware of a response to that request.
A question was raised about how appropriations were made for the re-nourishment project. Metheny answered that there are project criteria at the Corps which allows them to rank projects by priority. The projects go through a series of performance based questions such as value of property protected, life/safety/health issues, and whether a community is participating in the national flood insurance program, among others. Then when the money is budgeted, they can commence work on projects in order of priority. She recommended contacting representatives with any input.
Mayor Goodwin stated that the goal at the present time was to achieve funding for the current project, and long term solutions could deter progress on this goal. He recommended we get through this and then tackle long term solutions.
At this point the meeting was adjourned.
Vince Perna, dunes properties of Charleston agent, 843.425.6414, email@example.com
1206 Hepburn Drive
3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 1994 sq. ft.
Westfield Place, James Island
This pristine home with detached garage is on a beautiful private fenced-in lot with mature landscaping. You’ll find all the best upgrades – hardwood floors, high ceilings, granite counters and stainless appliances in the kitchen. The spacious first floor master has an ensuite bathroom featuring double vanity, garden tub and separate shower, as well as a large walk-in closet. Bonus – there are multiple outdoor living areas including a front porch, screened-in-porch and back deck. This home is in the popular Westfield Place neighborhood, less than 5 miles to Downtown Charleston or Folly Beach.
For more information, contactKristin Walker firstname.lastname@example.org (843) 412-3333
Eric Peth email@example.com (843) 252-7800
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.
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.
“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?