Charleston (and the entertainment media in general) is still abuzz about the surprise nuptials of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively over Labor Day weekend. The couple was married here in Charleston at the cotton dock at Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant. The event was planned by Martha Stewart’s crew, so you know it had to be one fabulous, well done affair that we’ll unfortunately have to wait until December to sneak a peek at when the event will be featured in Martha Stewart’s Weddings magazine. The couple chose Charleston reportedly because Reynolds has a love for the city and it has become a special getaway for him and Lively.
Now you bride to be may be shying away from the idea of a destination wedding after reading “$3000 cake” or “Carnival hour” and “Martha Stewart’s crew” but a destination wedding is not just for the rich and famous. If you are planning a wedding, look to Charleston! The weather here is usually gorgeous and even the winters are mild by the standards of most. And if you want a summer destination wedding but the idea of standing outside in the sun isn’t appealing, the beach is a more breezy option for you, or a yacht during a coastal or harbor cruise. There are also plenty of air-conditioned, indoor options.
And don’t forget the food. Get kitschy and rent the airstream trailer from Jack’s Cosmic Dog and treat your guests to hot dogs (and veggie dogs) with plenty of different fixins, cookies instead of cake from Charleston Cookie Company, believe or not Piggly Wiggly can make a great cake if you are minding your budget. Or a catered mix of elegance and southern comfort food (like mac and cheese or shrimp and grits) from the likes of Cru Cafe or Good Food Catering.
Think of the wedding photography; the beach, the gardens, the harbor front, the pineapple fountain in waterfront park (I am proud to admit the pineapple has a special place in my wedding album). The locale is beautiful, there is something for every taste from eclectic and funky to elegant to whimsical.
And the second to the commitment you are about to make to your partner, the guests! Dunes Properties vacation rental properties are a great option. Vacation rentals are a perfect, cozier and often more cost efficient alternative. You can make your own meals, a larger group can gather more comfortably in a living room than a hotel room which makes staying in a welcome pleasure, and the beach could be in walking distance or right outside the back door. And your guests will love that staying with Dunes Properties means a slew of local businesses will offer them discounts – Charleston SUP Safaris eco tours , Flipper Finders kayak tours, high speed boat tours of Charleston harbor with Thriller Charleston, golf at the Links at Stono Ferry, what would make better photo ops for groomsmen or bridesmaids than a day of roller skating at Hot Wheels Skating Center , horse drawn carriage tours of downtown with Palmetto Carriage Company, ghost tours with Bulldog Tours and others. Charleston Green Taxi offers discounted transportation, and On the Spot Baby Equipment and Rentals has everything you need for little ones away from home at 10% off for guests as well. And if you just want to see where Blake and Ryan tied the knot, Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens offers $2.50 off adult tickets.
What are waiting for? Start planning that Charleston wedding!
Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors, delivered the keynote address and discussed the Charleston real estate market last Wednesday for area members of Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. He had lots of good things to say about the Charleston market in general. Read the whole story and watch the videos HERE.
Now what does all this mean to you as a homeowner, Buyer, or Seller? Be sure to talk to your agent, they are there for you whenever you have a question about home ownership and the market in general, not just if you are interested in buying or selling right now. You can speak pressure and commitment free to a dunes properties agent any time by calling 800.476.8444 or stopping by one of our four offices at 214 King St. downtown, 31 Center St. on Folly, 1400 Palm Blvd. on the Isle of Palms, or at Bohicket Marina near Seabrook/Kiawah Islands.
It was over two years in the making and caused quite a few traffic jams around Kiawah Island Resort, but the 2012 PGA has finally come and gone. Rory McIlroy shot a bogey-free round of 66 and won his second Wanamaker Trophy.
Golf and the Lowcountry go so well together and almost everyone at Dunes is a fan or a player, so the offices were quiet during the PGA. Two of our agents, Donnie Whitaker and Keith McCann, shared the PGA from their viewpoint as spectators.
If you passed by a flag today and wondered why it was at half mast, it is because it is Carolina Day.
Carolina Day remembers the Battle of Sullivan’s Island. Today is the 236th anniversary of the major setback to Britain during the American Revolution.
From today’s Post and Courier
On June 28, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was being hashed out in Philadelphia, the British Navy descended on Fort Sullivan at the south end of the island as thousands of ground troops simultaneously tried to cross Breech Inlet to take the island’s north end.
It was part of Britain’s southern strategy to mobilize loyalists in the South Carolina backcountry and control one of the colonies’ most important ports.
Commodore Peter Parker aimed the might of the British Navy at the palmetto-log fort guarding the harbor entrance while Gen. Henry Clinton tried to take the island with 3,000 troops that had landed on Long Island (now Isle of Palms).
The most famous detail of that day remains the spongy palmetto logs of Fort Sullivan repelling British cannon fire — a detail that guaranteed the palmetto its place as a state icon. But Mac-Intyre said the battle at Breech Inlet was perhaps even more impressive.
Residential Real Estate Sales Volume Continues Growth; Prices Follow Suit
Inventory Continues Decline; Nears 6k Mark
CHARLESTON, SC—(May 11, 2012) According to preliminary data released today by the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® (CTAR), 831 homes sold at a median price of $183,000 in April. There were 24,213 property showings recorded by the MLS in April.
Last April, preliminary figures showed 776 homes sold at a median price of $175,000, following an almost equal number of property tours.
“The number of showings our REALTORS® are completing in 2012 is almost equal to the number of showings we saw in 2009, when the market was significantly depressed, but inventory was much higher. This tells us that the prospective buyers in today’s market aren’t just looking. They are serious buyers, making offers and closing transactions” said 2012 CTAR President, Herb Koger.
Heading into what is typically the busiest season of the year, year to date figures reflect a market that is in the midst of sustainable, healthy growth. Inventory is 29% lower than it was at this time last year; sales volume is almost 6% ahead and prices have increased a healthy 4% from this time last year.
“There has been a substantial decrease of inventory in the last 12 months and a far more serious mindset by those looking to purchase a home—there are fewer homes to choose from, prices are increasing and interest rates remain at unprecedentedly low levels. People have a renewed confidence in our market and buyers are moving much faster than they did in the past few years” said Koger.
There were 6,361 homes listed as actively for sale in the CTMLS as of May 10, 2012. On May 10, 2011, there were 8,899 homes for sale.
476 homes sold at a median price of $228,125 in Charleston County in April. This represents an increase in sales and pricing from April 2011’s 451 sales at a median price of $208,000.
Full article here on CharlestonRealtors.com
Opera lovers in Charleston rejoice. Dunes Properties would like to extend a warm welcome to Opera Charleston.
The anticipated first production of the inaugral season will be Carmen and the star of the show will be world famous Denyce Graves, mezzo soprano from the Metropolitan. If you are unfamiliar with Carmen, it is a French comique written by George Bizet based on the novel by Prosper Mérimée. It will be presented at Memminger Auditorium March 9 and March 11. Check the schedule here.
For the opera novice- the story of Carmen is about aseductive gypsy woman (Carmen), passion, lust, betrayal, obsession and destruction. It’s also one of the most world-famous performances. A good place to test out the operatic waters.
Founded by David Templeton and Scott Flaherty, who also serves as Artistic Director. Louis Salemno is the Principal Conductor and Music Director.
Bethany Joy Galeotti of CW’s One Tree Hill and 1/2 of the singing duo Everley spent some time in Charleston hiding out from Hurricane Irene and she had fabulous things to say about us on her blog especially about the food- and her in laws are restaurateurs so she has some food review cred…
You’ll have to visit her blog (click on the above link) to see her pictures, but here’s what she said:
To escape the impending hurricane in Wilmington, we dodged down to Charlestown last weekend. Great trip, great food. Lots of history (Charleston is where the Civil War officially started, for those of you who are NOT smarter than a 5th grader) and beautiful architecture. The joke goes that Charleston is the most well built city because they’ve had so much practice rebuilding it. Due to hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes and fires, it’s a wonder this South Carolinian history-Mecca is still standing.
This weekend was also the first weekend back for College kids and they were swarming the streets. Believe it or not, I’ve never seen a frat house or sorority up close, so I took some pictures of the ones near our hotel. A bit underwhelming, but interesting nonetheless… I’ll show you those later. My favorite pics, though, were of some local entryways. The doors are painted such great colors.
Ok, we can’t talk about Charleston without talking about its food! I mean, Bon Apetite Magazine’s No. 1 Best Restaurant in America is in this city. And yes, we ate there… HUSK.
The people were incredibly friendly for the amount of snobbery to which they could rightfully lay claim, the atmosphere was warm and the food was awesome. Awesome. We had fried chicken skins in a honey hot sauce, amberjack fish with local greens and oatmeal pie for dessert. Husk’s whole gimmick is that it’s true pioneer cooking. Everything is local. And by everything, i mean if he can’t find an olive vineyard within the southern tri-state area, he don’t cook with olive oil.
Moving on to Husk’s next door neighbor, 82 QUEEN, we had a killer lunch of fried okra w/marmalade, homemade cheddar/chive biscuits, BBQ shrimp n grits, and more.
Thank you so much Bethany Joy for your raves about our town. Thanks for being a fan of Charleston.
Here at the Isle of Palms office we have had a crazy last few weeks. Vacation guests, contracts and new listings- we’ve been working hard. But today we got a little break and a surprise to put a smile on our faces.
Local residential, business cleaning and restoration company ServiceMaster stopped by to introduce themselves and treat us to some ice cream. Well, one would assume that means a gift card for a free scoop or a gallon of Bryers for the office. Not quite… ServiceMaster brought their own ice cream truck to treat us all!
Who doesn’t love free ice cream?
Thanks guys for putting a smile on our faces and for some creative self promotion that benefits us all.
I can’t even remember booking a hotel pre-internet. It feels like it’s been ages. If I had to do it again, I don’t know where I’d even start. I can’t imagine how I would have planned an entire vacation!
Unfortunately, this fabulous tool known as the world wide web has also led to an increase in scams and the loss of vacationers’ cold hard cash. At our Folly office we have had visitors telling us their stories of fraud. It starts with an ad being placed online somewhere such as Craigslist.org for a vacation rental property. Often times the pictures will be stolen off a legitimate real estate website. The rate will seem like a deal- emails will be exchanged-a deposit will be wired. When the vacationer gets to the property they think they reserved, they will find out it doesn’t exist, is owner occupied or on a rental program that has no affiliation with the person who placed the ad. And since money was wired, usually there is no way to recoup the loss. What a rotten way to start your vacation, right?
But there are things you can do to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of. One easy thing to keep top of mind is- if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. An oceanfront beach house for $500/week in summer- probably not going to happen.
The National Consumer League (NCL) offers this bit of advice, check out the travel company before giving them money. You can visit the Better Business Bureau online and search a company by name and location. They also recommend using your credit card instead of checks, cash or wire transfers for booking any vacation since you can dispute claims with your credit card company.
Other advice is to search Whitepages.com or Google and verify the rental address does in fact exist, make sure there is multiple contact information for the person/company you are renting from, and make sure there is a rental agreement and you have a copy of it in hand. It is probably a good idea to bring that agreement with you too.
But, instead of worrying about all of this, you could just stay with a reputable company that has 20+ years of experience and four office locations. Book your family’s vacation with Dunes Properties online or with just one phone call. Put your mind at ease and start your vacation a little early with such simple, safe planning!
I stumbled across this blog post by a Washington DC mom who recently vacationed here in Charleston and I hope we can find a way to help her with the answers she seeks:
I experienced my first trip to Charleston, SC this past weekend and what a time it was! I fell in love with the town. People were friendly, the seafood was incredible, block after block had laid back bars and stylish yet understated restaurants. Kids walking around seemed calm, looked nice in their collar shirts and everyone just seemed more relaxed than parents here in the Washington, DC area. Did I see the real Charleston or was it just a vacation state of mind?
I’m under the impression the South (it’s South to me; I grew up in the midwest) is a better kind of life, more slower-paced and comfortable than the East coast. I’d love to hear from moms out there if this is true.
Does being able to drive to the beach in fifteen minutes make life more livable? Or do Charleston moms have the same daily frustrations I have, like running around like a lunatic trying to get their kids to camp on time, searching for missing shin guards and worrying their kids are eating too many Pringles while they’re at the office?
Is the grass always greener?
So come on, area moms, share your Charleston mom experience with her! Tell her we sent you. http://www.erinmantz.com/charleston-moms-more-content