How 1031 Exchanges Preserve Equity and Build Wealth

The year 2021 marked the 100 th year tax-deferred exchanges have been part of the tax code. While the rules have evolved during the last century, exchanges continue to deliver on their intended purpose – encourage reinvestment, stimulate the economy, and create jobs. A 1031 exchange is a strategy to defer gain and depreciation recapture when selling business use or investment real property and reinvesting in another. It is allowed under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. Also known as like-kind exchanges, they allow real estate investors to grow their real estate portfolio with pre-tax dollars and keep that money invested in real estate and appreciating. Exchanges allow you to acquire replacement property that will generate greater flow, diversify the property type or location, consolidate several properties into one or reduce your management responsibilities.

1031 Tax Exchanges

Under Section 1031, a taxpayer demonstrates the continuity of ownership in like-kind real property with no intervening receipt of cash. At the conclusion of a 1031 exchange, the investor is in the same tax position as if the relinquished property was never sold. Section 1031 accurately reflects the economic reality of every exchange. Investors can always purchase a higher-priced property but if they buy for less or reinvest less equity, they must pay tax on the difference. An investor can exchange more than once but if they eventually sell without completing another 1031 exchange, the tax on the deferred gain will be due.


About 1031 tax exchanges

To keep the planning process easy, the following is a quick review of the most important rules:

  • All properties must be “like-kind” but that refers to the character or use of the property, not the specific type of property. Any kind of real property can be “mixed and matched” provided the relinquished and replacement properties are held for use in a trade or business or for investment. True vacation homes and properties being flipped will not qualify for 1031 treatment.
  • Beginning on the day you convey title of your relinquished property to a buyer, you will have 45 days to identify replacement property and running concurrently 180 calendar days to acquire your replacement property.  In strong real estate markets like we have now, start looking for your replacement property while your old property is still on the market. This will help you maximize your 45-Day Identification Period which will go very quickly. You cannot change your identification after this date.
  • Your exchange must be initiated before you close on the relinquished property. An exchange cannot be initiated after closing has occurred. 
  • To maximize your tax deferral, you must acquire replacement property equal or greater in value than your old property and you must reinvest all net equity.  A trade down in value or equity is taxable and is called “boot.” 
  • You must use a Qualified Intermediary (QI) to facilitate your exchange. Your QI will walk you through each step of the exchange, prepare all necessary documents, coordinate the details with your closing agents, keep you aware of your time deadlines and hold your sales proceeds until you are ready to acquire the replacement property.
  • You cannot have control of the exchange proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property during the exchange period. Earnest money deposits can be paid out of your exchange account.
  • Your QI must be an independent party and cannot provide tax and/or legal advice.  You should always discuss your particular transaction with a tax and/or legal advisor.

Whenever considering the sale of a business or investment, be sure to consider if a 1031 exchange can help you accomplish your investment goals. This hundred-year-old tax strategy can help you build wealth and preserve your equity. Contact one of our experienced agents to learn more.

–  Provided by 1031 Corp. 

ADVISORY: 1031 CORP. serves as a Qualified Intermediary and cannot provide tax and/or legal advice. Please discuss your situation with your tax and/or legal advisor.



What Is an Open House? Here’s Your Ultimate Guide

home with front door open

Artazum / Shutterstock

An open house is just one of the many tools used to sell a home. Scheduling Mount Pleasant homes for sale allows the general public to tour a house in a relaxed way. Ideally, the home’s owners aren’t present for this event. However, the listing agent is there to answer questions and show off the property. Use this guide to consider how an open house can help you on the journey to selling your home.

What Is the Purpose of an Open House?

One of the purposes of an open house is to display the rooms of your home in their best light. That makes it easy for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there. Plus, holding an open house is a simple way to increase your pool of possible buyers. With so many people passing through, it’s possible to receive several offers in a short time.

Browse These Beautiful Mount Pleasant Homes for Sale

When Is the Best Time to Host an Open House?

Weekends are the most favorable time to host this type of event. Sunday is usually the better choice of the two days. Many potential buyers are working during the week and don’t have the time to tour a home.

Early afternoon is a suitable time for an open house to begin. That way, the event takes place after lunchtime and doesn’t last long enough to interrupt dinner plans. A real estate agent may check for other open houses happening in the neighborhood and adjust the hours if necessary. The goal is to make the event as convenient as possible to attend.

How Long Is an Open House?

Most open houses last for two to three hours. This allows people enough time to attend your open house along with a few others in one afternoon. Not surprisingly, some potential buyers spend an afternoon traveling from one open house to the next to cover their bases.

Rawpixel / Shutterstock

An event lasting just two or three hours is likely to have a steady flow of visitors. Alternatively, a five-hour event may have periods with several visitors as well as sparsely attended periods. When potential buyers drive up to your open house, you want them to see lots of visitors. This level of activity makes your home even more attractive. You want to capture attention so people will want to find out what’s so special about your property.

Who Goes to Open Houses?

People go to open houses for a variety of reasons. Because the event is open to the public, you may get a mixture of visitors walking through the door.

Many people attend open houses because it’s a no-stress way to see a home that’s piqued their interest. Written descriptions, photos and even virtual tours are all helpful in conveying information about a home. But there’s no substitute for walking through the rooms of a house to get the feel of the place. Touching kitchen countertops, walking up the stairs, and surveying the view from a bedroom window are all things that help potential buyers decide about a home.

Some visitors at an open house are thinking about moving out of their homes but haven’t made a final decision. These individuals may visit to get ideas of what they’d like in their next home. Or they just want a general idea of features available in homes as well as selling prices.

Is a Broker’s Open House Different From the Standard Type?

Yes. A broker’s open house is an event attended exclusively by local real estate agents. Alternatively, the standard type of this event is open to the public.

At a broker’s open house, real estate agents take a tour making notes on the home’s features. Ideally, the agents return to their offices to find clients who’d have an interest in seeing the home.

couple talking with real estate agent

goodluz / Shutterstock

Preparing Your Home for the Big Event

One of the first steps involved in preparing your home for an open house is setting a clean, organized scene. This means getting rid of clutter such as paperwork, magazines and other items piled on countertops and tables. Organizing closets, putting the kids’ toys into the toy chest and straightening shelves are just a few other helpful tips.

Also, it’s best to put away most of your framed family pictures and other family-related items. This may seem like a strange thing to do, but it helps encourage potential buyers to imagine themselves living there.

People should be able to move freely through the rooms of the home. So, if you have an extra chair in your living room that makes the space feel crowded or an end table you have to maneuver around to cross the room, store it temporarily. 

Having a clean home to show prospective buyers is just as important as having an organized one. After mopping floors, vacuuming carpet and dusting furniture, think about the small details visitors may notice in your home.

woman wiping down shelves

George Rudy / Shutterstock

Shining faucets in the bathroom, dust-free TV screens, a swept front walkway and smudge-free windows are all important touches. Hiring a cleaning crew is an idea if you want to leave the big and small details to the professionals.

Another suggestion is hiring a team to stage your home for the open house. Home stagers tour your home and come up with specific ways to make it look most inviting, like rearranging furniture for the most appealing view to visitors.

Painting and making repairs are other things to do to prepare your property for the event. Take a few minutes to look around your place and make a list of things in need of your attention.

You may notice a torn window screen in your patio door that needs replacement. Or perhaps a fresh coat of paint in a bedroom would enhance the natural light flowing through the windows. Sometimes the smallest change or repair can really make a difference in the look of your home.

Don’t forget to give some attention to the outside of your home. Trimming the lawn, pulling weeds and putting out pots of flowers are all worthwhile tasks. You may even want to power wash your driveway. In addition, make sure it’s easy to see your house number. If your house numbers are painted on the curb, give them a fresh coat to make them stand out.

modern home living room interior

Justin_Krug / Shutterstock

Setting the Right Tone for an Open House

Along with cleaning, decluttering and organizing, there are other ways to set the tone for this event.

Some real estate agents like to set the tone by lighting a scented candle. It’s best to choose a subtle scent such as vanilla or cinnamon. Visitors walking into the home should notice a wisp of a scent without being overwhelmed by it. Serving refreshments is another way real estate agents set the tone. Bottled water, lemonade, cookies, pretzels or a veggie tray are appetizing options. Serving these drinks and snacks lends to the relaxed atmosphere.

If you have a dog or a cat, take your pet with you when you leave for the duration of the open house. Though many of your visitors are likely to be fond of animals, they want to imagine their own pets there. In addition, pick up and store away dog bones, cat toys, etc. 

Other typical things real estate agents do before the event:

  • Wipe moisture from sink basins
  • Put out fresh soap and towels in the bathroom
  • Close the toilet seats
  • Turn on ceiling fans
  • Turn on the lights in the rooms
  • Put a vase of flowers in the kitchen
  • Tidy the entryway

How Do You Advertise an Open House?

Today, whether it’s an open house at Folly Beach homes for Sale, a home for sale in the Isle of Palms Wild Dunes or another area on the South Carolina coast, it’s easy to spread the word. Many real estate agents advertise the event on an MLS or Multiple Listing Service. This website can deliver information about the home as well as the event to a large number of potential buyers.

open house sign

RebeccaPavlik / Shutterstock

A more traditional way of advertising this event is by posting signs in the neighborhood. A colorful, easy-to-read sign that’s put onto a well-traveled street is likely to attract the attention of many people. Of course, not everyone is in the market for a home, but they may know someone who is.

Explore These Inviting Folly Beach Homes for Sale

Other Valuable Benefits of Having an Open House

Say you have an open house, but you don’t receive any offers. Was it worth having the event? The answer is yes. While getting offers is the goal, there are other benefits of holding this event.

An open house gives visitors the chance to ask questions. After receiving knowledgeable answers from the agent, a person may go home to give your property more serious consideration.

Holding an open house can stir up a lot of word of mouth about your property. For example, someone who visits may not feel your home is right for them. However, the person happens to know of a coworker who’s looking for a place just like yours!

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell in Charleston, SC: A Complete Guide

If you’re planning to put your house on the market in Charleston, SC, Dunes Properties has you covered with this full-length guide. Selling your home is never easy, but it can be much easier if you follow a plan. Today we’ll list all the tips on getting your house ready to sell.

1. Understand Your Local Housing Market

Before you even consider listing your home, we recommend you find out what houses in your neighborhood are worth. Look at comparable homes around you and see what they’re priced at. Take a look at their features, square footage, and amenities like garages, swimming pools, and yard space. 

Your home’s location can also be a major factor when determining the price point. For example, if you live near Isle of Palms Wild Dunes, then your location, either within or close to the resort, could affect your home’s value.

2. Find a Reputable Realtor to Work With

While you know your home best, a professional realtor is one of the best tools you can invest in when trying to sell. We can research the specifics of your home’s value. We can also fill you in on the history of previous owners, publicize open houses, advise on repairs, learn if Charleston, SC is a good place to live and much more. You’ll be working with someone that’s intrinsically familiar with your area and what sells. Plus, we’re a helpful intermediary between you and potential buyers. Finding a realtor to work with will reduce the stress of selling a house.

CTA: Is Charleston, SC a Good Place to Live?

3. Work With an Interior Decorator

We know it might sound odd to hire a professional to stage your home before selling. However, buyers are more likely to show interest in a home they could see themselves living in. While you might be attached to your taste in furniture and decorating, it might help to invest in a professional to make your home more acclimated to new viewers.

An interior decorator can improve the feng shui of each room, maximize space, make things seem roomier and more. Basically, you want your home to look as attractive as possible to potential buyers. 

An interior decorator can also help out in terms of neutralizing your home. What we mean by that is eliminating those unique touches that made the place yours. While you might love that tie-dye wallpaper design or that wall of family photos, a potential buyer might be unable to visualize themselves living in a place with touches like that. It’s best to remove all distinguishing aesthetics and make things as plain and simple as possible. While this might trigger nostalgia, there’s no better way to sell your home.

4. Deep Clean Everything in Sight

We’re sure this goes without saying, but nobody wants to move into a filthy home. While it might sound obvious, you’d be surprised how many people selling their homes can neglect cleaning the premises. Make sure your home looks brand-new to buyers before showing it on the market. Clean everything in sight and everything out of view as well. 

When we say clean, we don’t just mean vacuuming the carpets. These are some tasks you should complete:

  • Clean under and behind radiators
  • Scrub every kitchen appliance, from the stove burners to the back of your freezer
  • Eliminate dusty surfaces, including counters, mantles, shelves, and ceiling fan blades

5. Make Any Necessary Repairs

Before you put your home on the Kiawah real estate market, you’re required to inform them of any problems with the property. That can be anything from a leaky faucet to a faulty water heater; you need to tell them. That news can be discouraging to someone interested in your property, so why not avoid the entire situation and repair the problem yourself? 

Call a plumber if needed. Get rid of that ant infestation. Have a fire inspector check that everything is up to code. An electrician can help ensure that your wiring is up to snuff and won’t pose any problems. While all this might sound like overkill, the truth is you don’t want potential buyers to perceive your home as one that wasn’t well-cared for.

CTA: Explore Kiawah Island Real Estate

6. Eliminate Any Odors You Encounter

When you’ve been living somewhere for a long time, sometimes there are odd smells you eventually acclimate to. We’ve all lived somewhere with a musty-smelling basement or an attic that makes you sneeze. However, you don’t want someone’s first impression of your home to be that it smells. 

Now, we’re not saying you’re dirty. We just recommend that you be aware of any offensive smells in your home and eliminate them. Here are some steps that we recommend taking before showing your home:

  • Clean or remove any litter boxes
  • Vacuum and deep clean any carpeting or upholstered furniture
  • Avoid using any particularly powerful perfumes or colognes
  • Avoid cooking any food that leaves a strong odor, such as fish, hard-boiled eggs or sauerkraut

7. Buy More Light Bulbs

We know this step might sound a little odd, but it’s fairly standard. Potential buyers want to be able to turn on lights in your home and see what’s illuminated. This is true for the basement, attic, and more. Make sure that every lamp, wall light, ceiling fan bulb, and any other light source is given a new bulb.

8. Pay Attention to Your Home’s Exterior

We’ve talked a fair bit about making your home’s interior up to par. Now, let’s talk about first impressions. When a potential buyer first lays eyes on your property, you want them to fall in love. Nothing will make them do that like a shining exterior without a single imperfection. 

That means clean windows, unclogged gutters, shiny doorknobs, and a clean welcome mat. Clean the dust and dirt out of your windowsills. Fix any spots where your paint is fading or cracked. Smooth out any dents, cracks, or other flaws. When someone sees your place for the first time, make them want to explore its insides.

9. Don’t Forget About Landscaping

Your home’s exterior isn’t the only thing that will invite people inside. Its yard, garden, and driveway will do that as well. So, if you have a flower garden, keep your plants well-watered and cared for. Clean up any oil spills in your driveway, and make sure your hedges are trimmed. If you have a fence, make sure it’s well-painted and looks spiffy. 

Your lawn should be evenly mowed and weeded. Any outdoor decorations should also be looked after. That includes flags, lawn ornaments, and outdoor play areas that should be cleaned, spruced up, or removed outright before setting up an open house.

10. Have Your Home Professionally Photographed

These days, most potential buyers are scoping out homes online before showing up to any open houses. If your online listing lacks quality photographs of your home, then you might not have anyone show up to your open house. 

While taking photos of rooms with your phone is good enough for a rental on Craigslist, that won’t cut it for an interested buyer. We recommend working with a quality photographer and taking in-depth photographs of everything. That means every room in the house, closet spaces, pantry space, cabinet interiors, your water heater, etc.

11. Declutter Your Space

Over the years, it’s easy to accumulate all kinds of knick-knacks in one’s home. Maybe you have an antique sea anchor hanging on the mantle or a collection of vintage VHS tapes. While these kitschy bits of clutter are sentimental for you, they make rooms feel smaller to a buyer. It’s best to declutter your home before selling, as it maximizes the space in each room and allows others to see how they would decorate the space.

If you have a lot of items you want to keep, consider renting a storage unit. Your home might be on the market for a while, so storing your goods in a quality unit can take the headache out of worrying about where to put them.

J.A. Johnson / Shuterstock

12. Don’t Go Overboard With Improvements

We know that this advice might seem to go against everything else we’ve said so far, but hear us out. While improvements and repairs can make a big difference in your home’s selling ability, that doesn’t mean you need to do absolutely everything. Will a fresh coat of paint in your kitchen hide any flaws in your walls? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean you need to use premium paint. Fix your running toilet, but don’t go installing a bidet on your way out. Remember that you’re leaving this property behind you. You don’t have to make it your dream home before you say goodbye.

What Is the House Closing Process? Here Are the 12 Steps

No matter how eager you are to start looking at homes and putting in offers on the ones you like, it’s worth taking some time to learn about the final stages of buying a home. If it’s your first time buying a home, you might fall for the common trap of thinking that getting ready for the closing process is only something your mortgage lender has to worry about. However, that’s rarely the case.

Understanding the various steps of the process means you’re going to be in a better position later to help your closing team by providing complete documents in a timely fashion. You’ll also be able to give them crucial information throughout the process. Knowing the home closing process in advance means you can get through it faster, eliminate potential roadblocks and improve your chances of preventing the process from stalling or falling out from underneath you.

A home closing process often takes multiple weeks, with a multitude of different things happening simultaneously. An escrow account might start the process, while a final walk-through might happen before the signatures seal the deal. You might need a real estate attorney to help you navigate the legalities, and closing costs might catch you off-guard. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will probably close the deal faster than if you didn’t.

Parents and child playing house

Closing Your Home Purchase in 12 Steps

Is Charleston, SC a good place to live? Plenty of people certainly seem to think so. Whether you’re buying a vacation property, retirement home, or a residence to call home now, you’ll still have to go through the following 12 steps to close the deal.

1. Making the Earnest Deposit

You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage or have reviewed your finances and know your budget. Once you’ve decided on the home you’d like to purchase and are ready to make an offer, part of the Agreement to Purchase is making an earnest money deposit. The earnest money is deposited into an escrow account that has been set up by your agent’s brokerage or in some instances, an attorney. This escrow payment is a good faith deposit to purchase a property like  Kiawah Island real estate.

2. Get a Lawyer

You may wish to acquire legal aid before an Agreement to Purchase is signed by all parties. Legal aid to counsel you in further understanding the Agreement to Purchase is optional, but recommended. You’ll have to pay a fee, but you’ll get an experienced legal opinion from a real estate attorney about possible issues with the paperwork. You will eventually be required to select an attorney to handle your closing. Professional legal guidance on all your closing documents helps you understand the actual impact of complex jargon. 

Obtaining Insurance and conducting a title search is a vital step in this process. Your attorney will make sure a title search is completed that examines public records to confirm the legal ownership of a piece of property. If any claims exist, they might require resolution before closing the deal. Ensuring that you have a clean title means that if you buy a piece of Isle of Palms Wild Dunes property, nobody else will be able to make a legal claim to the title later.

4. Negotiating the Closing Costs

The escrow deposit and attorney fees are just two of many entities or services that might cost you money. If you aren’t mindful, these expenses can snowball into huge bills. However, some of these costs, including inspections, can spare you headaches later. Be watchful for closing costs that prey on your inexperience, and always be willing to ask for a discount or shop around for the best prices. Be sure to read reviews and research, so you are dealing with only respected, experienced vendors.

5. Finish the Home Inspection

Once the Agreement to Purchase has been signed by all parties, your first step should be getting the physical home inspection scheduled, as it is crucial to finding possible problems with the particular property. Finding serious issues during an inspection in a home you want to buy gives you a chance to withdraw from the deal, request a reduction in sales price, request a credit at closing for the estimate of the repairs, or in some cases, request the seller make repairs. 

6. Make the Pest Inspection Separate

This inspection, called a CL-100,  requires a different kind of specialist. In particular, they’re looking for wood-destroying insects and organisms, such as carpenter ants or termites. Even a small infestation can wreck a home, but it can be dealt with. Certain mortgage providers won’t underwrite your home without a pest inspection taking place.

7. Renegotiation of the Offer

Even if your initial purchase offer was already accepted, you might choose to pursue price renegotiations to reflect issues presented during inspections. You might decide to keep the original purchase price, but ask the seller to pay for any necessary repairs. It never hurts to ask. Depending on the Agreement to Purchase you signed, you may have the right to back out of the deal with or without penalty should the seller refuse or be unable to fix a major issue that was detected along the way.

8. Get Your Interest Rate Locked In

Talk to your chosen lender and get your interest rate locked in. Interest rates are always subject to change, even those for mortgages. Rates can vary based on your credit score, the kind of loan you have, the property type, and the geographic region where you are buying. If you can lock in your rate, you won’t be subjected to market swings that might increase your rates before closing the deal. Even a 0.25% rate hike can impact your monthly payments and how long you will have to pay on your mortgage. 

9. Satisfy the Six Contingencies

You should speak with your real estate agent and make sure your offer for real estate should be contingent upon at least six distinct things. 

  • Getting a financing rate at a satisfactory to you, affordable interest rate. 
  • Your satisfaction with all home inspections. 
  • Seller fully disclosing known home issues. 
  • Your satisfaction with the Cl100 inspection. 
  • Your satisfaction with insurance rates (flood, content, wind/hail)
  • Your satisfaction after reviewing all HomeOwners Association- documents, including budgets and meeting minutes. 

10. Meet the Specified Funding Requirements

You most likely deposited earnest money when you signed the Agreement to Purchase to indicate good faith in going through with this transaction. In some instances, it may be negotiated that you will have to deposit more earnest money. The earnest money goes towards your down payment, so you’ll have to pay for all the other services with different funds.

11. The Final Walk-Through

Before you sign the closing papers, usually hours before the scheduled closing, you should look through the property one final time. That is your chance to verify there aren’t new issues or damage since the final inspection. You may also want to confirm that the seller has finished any required fixes and that nothing the Agreement to Purchase included was removed (like a refrigerator or light fixture).

12. Comprehending the Paperwork

Read all the paperwork yourself, ask your real estate agent your questions and concerns, and also turn to your real estate attorney for verification and understanding. Read every page carefully and at your own pace. Never let anyone waiting for your signature rush you, be it a mortgage lender or a notary.

Making a deal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Knowing the 12 steps involved with the home closing process gives you an overview of that part of buying your next residence. Still, it might also naturally lead to questions that others have had before you.

How Long Does Closing Take?

Every process is different. However, the average duration is 30 to 45 days. The actual day of signing the final paperwork might take an hour or two if all goes well. Being organized, having an experienced loan officer, and working with a reliable and experienced real estate agent are all factors that can expedite affairs.

How Quickly Should I Finish Lender Requests?

Do these as quickly as you can. This is one area you have a lot of control over as a buyer, and turning over paycheck stubs, tax returns, and bank statements late can slow things down. Be proactive and ask your loan officer if they might need more documentation or information instead of waiting for them to ask for anything.

Should I Avoid Big Financial Changes Right Now?

Missed payments, new jobs, and taking on additional debt are all things that might impact your financial standing. Don’t max out any credit cards, miss monthly payments, open new accounts, or make huge purchases during your pre-approval process. Otherwise, your terms might change, and you might even lose your qualification.

Remember, There’s an Opening and a Closing

Being prepared for the many steps of the house closing process gives you many benefits. You’ll know what to expect, and you can possibly expedite the process to some degree. You can protect your interests by being aware of potential pitfalls.

Still, before you can close a house, you need to find one you’re interested in and make an opening offer. That might involve a lot of house hunting, and multiple opening offers before you find a seller willing to work with you. If you want professional help in finding great homes and real estate that meet your needs and dreams, then consider working with Dunes Properties to find remarkable possibilities.

7 Recommendations on Where to Stay in Charleston

Charleston, SC is one of the most popular travel destinations in the country, and once you have seen it, it is not hard to understand why. Charleston is filled with vibrant neighborhoods and unique attractions, making it easy for you to find something that you will enjoy. This guide will show you where to stay in Charleston when you come for a visit!

1. Historic Downtown

The Historic Downtown area of Charleston lets you experience the rich culture of the oldest city in South Carolina. Founded in 1670 and housing nearly 1,400 historic buildings, the city has a long history that its residents are eager to share with you. You can explore the area via a horse-drawn carriage tour or take one of the many historical tours and ghost tours available by experienced guides.

Located just 20 minutes from the airport, the Historic Downtown area is home to many of the best bars and restaurants in the city, including speakeasies and rooftop patios. Dotted throughout the area are art museums, antique shops, and unique boutiques. 

Points of Interest

  • Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge – This 3-mile-long bridge connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant over the Cooper River and gives you some of the best views around Charleston from its dedicated walking lane.
  • Charleston Waterfront Park – This 12-acre park overlooking Charleston Harbor has park benches, a pier, and a Pineapple Fountain for you and your kids to splash in.
  • The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist – Rebuilt in 1907 to replace a church that burnt down, this Gothic-Revival-styled church is the largest church in the Charleston area, seating up to 720 people for services.
  • Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim – This house of worship is the oldest continuous-use sanctuary for the Jewish religion in America.
  • The South Carolina Aquarium – This attraction is home to a wide variety of aquatic and marine life and includes a touch tank where you can safely handle some popular aquatic species.

2. French Quarter

The French Quarter, located near the center of the city, is a great place for you to start exploring the city. As part of the original walled city, the area was home to many French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution. You can see some of the city’s oldest churches and historic hotels.

If this is your first time visiting Charleston, making the French Quarter home base for your visit would be beneficial. Along its cobblestone streets are numerous cafes and restaurants for you to enjoy as well as heritage landmarks scattered among its colorful buildings. There is also a free trolley bus to take you to other areas of the city.

Points of Interest

  • St Michael’s Church – Located at Broad and Meeting streets, this church is the oldest religious structure in Charleston, with an origination date of 1751.
  • Charleston City Market – You can visit this 200-year-old open-air market to buy prints and paintings of the city as well as clothes, jewelry, spices, and other artwork displayed along its 4-block length.
  • Dock Street Theatre – This 400-year-old theater has the distinction of being the first building designed for theatrical performances in the U.S. and was the host of America’s first-ever opera.
  • Old Slave Mart Museum – This historical museum housed in a building constructed in 1859 shows Charleston’s role in the American slave trade.

3. South of Broad

Traveling to the neighborhood that is designated South of Broad will take you to the homes of many of the authors and creatives that have given the city its rich history. The Southern charm and eclectic nature of the neighborhood make it a good place for you to experience and explore.

Located on the tip of the Charleston peninsula, the South of Broad neighborhood is lined with historic constructions ranging from single houses to grand mansions. You can travel along brick-paved alleys between palatial Victorian homes to see some of the most interesting architecture in the city.

Places of Interest

  • Philadelphia Alley – This pedestrian path between Queen Street and Cumberland Street is a quaint canopy-covered cobblestone delight to your senses.
  • Battery & White Point Gardens – Visit these beautiful gardens that are perfect for you to have a picnic in nature and enjoy breathtaking views of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor.
  • The Nathaniel Russel House – This historic house built by a wealthy slave trader/merchant in 1808 is considered one of the most important neoclassical homes in America.
  • Rainbow Row – Take a unique selfie along this strip of 13 colorfully painted Georgian-style homes on East Bay Street.
  • The Sword Gate House – This 17,142-square-foot home built in the 1800s is considered the oldest mansion in Charleston.
  • The Heyward-Washington Home – This is the home of one of the South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence and is open for you to take a tour all seven days of the week.

4. Charleston Beach Area

At Charleston Coast Vacations, we have a wide spectrum of Charleston vacation rental experiences for you. Our accommodations on Folly Beach offer the perfect combination of island luxury and laid-back hospitality. Our exclusive vacation rental program on the Isle of Palms includes the very best homes and villas that the 1,600-acre resort of Wild Dunes and the family-oriented Isle of Palms have to offer. This beautiful beachfront area has a marina where you can rent a boat, scenic walking paths to explore, a playground for kids, and championship golf and tennis facilities. We have been creating beach memories since 1989 so sit back, relax, and let us help plan your perfect vacation experience on the Charleston Coast. While visiting don’t miss out on Folly beach, a 6-mile-long beach for swimming, surfing, and hunting for sharks’ teeth.

Come Visit the Isle of Palms Wild Dunes

5. Mount Pleasant

Located in a suburban area east of the city, Mount Pleasant is the perfect place for you to experience the area’s rich naval history. The planners responsible for building up the area worked hard to preserve its cultural heritage and small-town appeal. Today, you will find it to be one of the fastest-growing parts of the city, with a wide array of neighborhoods and modern amenities that you will find attractive.

Situated by the Cooper River, this destination, once known as North Point, is home to many family-friendly activities and one-of-a-kind attractions. Notably, there are several retired warships and a Cold War submarine for you to explore amid the area’s naval bases. Mount Pleasant also has amazing dining and shopping opportunities for you to enjoy.

Points of Interest

  • Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum – This attraction has several ships for you to explore along with a Medal of Honor museum, 28 historic aircraft, and a 3-acre Vietnam Experience.
  • Fort Sumter National Monument – You can experience an important part of our history at this preserved military fortress where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired.
  • Shem Creek Park – This large park has a variety of wetland landscapes, hiking trails, and boardwalks for you to discover and appreciate.

6. West Ashley

This residential suburb of Charleston is located at the junction of the Ashley and Stono rivers, giving it a unique waterfront landscape. The area has great historical significance and holds a variety of museums and preserved places for you to visit. You should definitely include this area in your exploration of the city and its suburbs!

Is Charleston, SC a Good Place to Live?

One of the best things about the West Ashley area is the moss-draped oak trees that look like they have been standing in the same place forever. These trees give the whole area a sense of ancientness mixed with modernization as you discover the new shops, salons and restaurants that have popped up across the region. Many of the homes you will see here were built in the 1950s, with a large surge in growth occurring in the 1970s and 1980s.

Points of Interest

  • Charles Towne Landing Historic Site – You can explore the site of the first successful English settlement in South Carolina.
  • Magnolia Plantation – You can visit this preserved 464-acre plantation from 1676 and experience some of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the nation.
  • Middleton Place – This museum takes you to a historic home, a rice mill, a spring house, and America’s oldest landscaped gardens, which were first planted in 1741.
  • Drayton Hall – You can take a tour of this 1730s preserved plantation with the distinction of being the only plantation house to have survived both the American Revolution and the Civil War with no damage.

7. Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is considered one of the most beautiful places in Charleston. Visit this waterside destination to see pristine sandy beaches, cozy cottages, and award-winning golf courses. The streets are lined with large oaks draped with Spanish moss, and beautiful magnolias that sway in the ocean breeze.

The developers of the island had a strong sense of preservation for the landscape, and that is reflected in every building and roadway. Because the area is so exclusive, Kiawah Island real estate is considered prime property. At the northeast end of the Isle, there is a 1,600-acre private resort and residential community that you should visit for an unforgettable experience.

Plan a Trip to Charleston, SC Today

If you have been wondering if Charleston, SC is a good place to live or visit, there is no question that it’s incredible. You can have many different experiences throughout the city and its suburbs. From historical monuments to trendy nightclubs, the city has many things for you to enjoy alone or with your family.