How to Be Your Own Inspector When House Hunting

Seeing a home for the first time, buyers can be distracted with shiny new appliances, and gleaming stone counters. Those items count for a lot, but that’s not the most important thing to review at a showing. I want to show you how to be your own inspector, BUT I would never advise you not to also engage a professional home inspector for any home buying purchase. And, it’s not just buyers who get this advice, I often advise sellers to also hire an inspector so they can avoid repair surprises once they ratify a contract. 

Notice the Filters and Vents

Firstly, I always look carefully at all of the vents and filters in a home. It’s a quick and easy sign of what to expect throughout the home. Their maintenance, or lack thereof, can indicate generally how well the homeowners have cared for the property. Replacing filters on a regular basis can indicate an approach to not deferring maintenance and ensuring that mechanical systems are working properly.

Your Nose Knows

Another inspection skill I employ is the smell test. I’m always suspicious when I am greeted in the foyer by a plug – in air freshener.  Likewise, if bathrooms are awash in scented candles, I don’t trust that they are not covering up moldy or musty odors. Houses should not require additional scents for showings – I smell a red flag and not a pleasant aroma.


Look Up

When touring a house, I always look up. Ceilings can reveal prior leaks and poorly repainted spots can show evidence of damage that may or may not be on the owner’s disclosure. In my own home, we had a leak from a clogged HVAC line that spotted the ceilings below. This was not a roof leak but we repainted because the stains were unsightly. I don’t plan on selling my home, but when the time comes, the leak will be disclosed in writing. Leaks are not always permanent damage, but it is important to know how and when the water intrusion occurred.

Gutter Check

It may be hard to see at a showing, but if you can get a look at the gutters and downspouts, it’s yet another indication of how the home has been maintained. Blocked drainage can cause a multitude of water issues here in the Lowcountry, from mold and mildew, to foundation damage, and wood rot – and rot is just the invitation termites are looking to find.


General Deferred Maintenance

Be sure to look at baseboards, cabinet handles, and faucets. Basically anything that gets daily use and even abuse. On the exterior look at the deck condition, door maintenance, overgrown vegetation, and other signs of neglect. Keeping up with projects small and large can give an indication of the what you can’t see. 

An inspector can’t see through walls and floors, or predict what may have failed to be disclosed. A good inspector can however, measure moisture levels, see that systems are operational, and point out long term issues that may arise down the road.

– Terry Bell-Aby, Realtor®
Mobile  508-627-2988  |

The Ultimate Guide to Charleston’s Food Trucks

Charleston, South Carolina is known for its unique, exciting food scene. Its downtown restaurants boast some of the best cuisine in the south, but its food trucks showcase the wide variety of dishes the city offers to visitors and residents.

If you are wondering what to do in Charleston, South Carolina for fun, hit the streets to try out the delectable dishes offered by the many Charleston food trucks in the area. Follow this ultimate guide to Charleston’s food trucks to discover a host of available options you can try to find your favorite cuisine.


Best Breakfast Food Trucks

Start your day off right with breakfast or coffee from one of the city’s breakfast-themed food trucks. Diddy’s Donuts and Coffee, Brunch Holiday and Lavanta Coffee are excellent options.

Diddy’s Donuts and Coffee, LLC

Diddy’s Donuts and Coffee, LLC serves a smorgasbord of mini donut flavors to get your morning started on the sweet side. They also offer hot and iced coffee to help perk you up for the day.

Brunch Holiday

Winner of the Food Network’s “Big Food Truck Tip” with Andrew Zimmerman, Brunch Holiday features dishes with a combination of southern, British and European flavor profiles. Their most popular dishes are the Scotch Eggs and the British Banger — sausage, egg and cheese — known as the “S.E.C.”

Lavanta Coffee

Lavanta Coffee is a mobile coffee unit that sells lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, mochas and more using beans roasted by Levanta Coffee Roasters. Grab your pick-me-up for breakfast or later in the day after wandering around Charleston’s many sightseeing opportunities.


BKeDSHoP is a specialty donut and coffee store that offers food truck services for various local events. Offerings in their food trucks vary but feature a variety of yeast donut flavors, filled donuts, fritters and cake donuts. BKeDSHoP is known for offering made-from-scratch treats like pop tarts, pretzels, Ho Ho’s and cookies, as well as drip coffee, lattes, espressos and seasonal drinks.

Best Italian Food Trucks

Charleston boasts a few food trucks that specialize in Italian foods. A Lotta Ciabatta and Drunk Tony’s are two of the city’s most popular.

A Lotta Ciabatta

A Lotta Ciabatta food truck offers several sandwich options, many of which are bookended by classic Italian ciabatta bread. Try their ciabatta grilled cheese with old bay crispy fries for a delicious lunch.

Drunk Tony’s

Drunk Tony’s is a popular food truck in Charleston serving classic Italian dishes like gnocchi, fried ravioli and chicken rigatoni a la vodka. This food truck is hugely popular with its followers, with many writing reviews that say it is the best Italian food they’ve ever tasted.

Find Your Dream Home in Historic Charleston, South Carolina

Best Asian Food Trucks

Asian food is a popular niche in Charleston’s food truck scene. The top food trucks serving Asian cuisine are Roti Rolls and Happy Thai Food Truck.

Roti Rolls

Roti Rolls offers an ever-changing menu of Asian, Latin and Indian cuisine wrapped in roti bread. The food truck sources supplies from local farmers, which allows them to change dishes according to seasonal availability. They feature curries, bean dishes, pickled vegetables and much more. Roti Rolls is often found at local festivals and is popular with the younger crowd, but it is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Happy Thai Food Truck

Happy Thai Food Truck brings the vibrant flavors of Thai food to Charleston. They offer classic pad thai, along with Thai chicken wings and jasmine rice, hand-rolled spring rolls and Thai iced tea.

Best Latin and Mexican Food Trucks

Find delicious Latin and Mexican dishes at Madrigal’s Tacos and Latin Cuisine and Rebel Taqueria in Charleston.

Madrigal’s Tacos and Latin Cuisine

If you are looking for Latin cuisine, Madrigal’s Tacos and Latin Cuisine in Charleston is one of the best food trucks to try. This truck has it all — from shrimp ceviche to Cuban sandwiches to tacos, empanadas, tostones and Caribbean or Portuguese rice.

Madrigal’s succeeds in offering high-class Latin food in food truck format, which is something to be appreciated.

Rebel Taqueria

If you are staying downtown, you may already know about Rebel Taqueria. The taqueria is a local Charleston restaurant that sends a pop-up truck to various locations and events around town.

The trucks offer a smaller array of dishes than the restaurant. However, you can expect to sample nachos, quesadillas, burritos and tacos if you visit the pop-up version.


Part of the Westside food hospitality operation, Semilla is a Charleston-based food truck inspired by street carts seen in Mexico City. The owners want to promote exciting, accessible foods to people in the neighborhood.

They offer carnitas tacos, shrimp tacos and chicken tacos, along with barbacoa burritos, brussel sprout burritos, salads and chips and salsa.

Best BBQ Food Trucks

The BBQ scene in Charleston is growing in popularity nationwide, and food trucks offering BBQ are a great option for sampling the local dishes. Cast Iron Food Truck, Southern Roots Smokehouse Barbeque and Cooking Carolina Pit Bar-B-Que are top BBQ food trucks to try.


Cooking Carolina Pit Bar-B-Que

Cooking Carolina Pit Bar-B-Que is a food truck and catering operation run by John Wade, the BBQ joint’s pitmaster. This truck’s cuisine is based on the vinegar, pit-cooked Carolina-style BBQ traditional to the area.

Cooking Carolina offers roasted oysters, boiled shrimp, pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad and red rice, among other Carolina favorites.

Cast Iron Food Truck

With eight years of on-the-road experience, Cast Iron Food Truck is one of the best-loved food trucks in Charleston. The owner, Victor, uses his mother’s Carolina BBQ pulled pork recipe to delight the tastebuds of the community.

Although the menu changes daily, Cast Iron usually offers the Carolina BBQ sandwich, black, and bleu burger, jerk chicken sandwich and the “Notorious P.I.G. Sandwich.”

Southern Roots Smokehouse Barbeque

Southern Roots Smokehouse Barbeque food truck features classic BBQ dishes like smoked brisket, pulled pork and smoked chicken, along with baked mac and cheese, collard greens with bacon, coleslaw and french fries.

They pride themselves on traveling across the Lowcountry to various locations to reach various events and locations to spread their love of classic BBQ dishes.

Best Seafood Food Trucks

Situated just off the Atlantic coast, Charleston is well known for its fresh seafood dishes. A Shai Taste, And Lobster and Charleston Caribbean Creole Food Truck provide delicious seafood fare for those looking to sample the local catch.

A Shai Taste

A Shai Taste is a small food truck owned by Shai da Diva, a local who loves offering home-cooked seafood dishes to her customers. She offers fried blue crab and snow crab cluster boxes, Lowcountry boiled shrimp, crawfish boxes, mussels and fried gator. Enjoy Shai’s down-home cooking by yourself or with the whole family.

And Lobster

And Lobster is a food truck that brings New England-style lobster rolls to South Carolina. Chef Robert Cassi offers several different lobsters, shrimp and chicken rolls to those wanting to sample the cuisine, along with kettle chips, peanut butter and ginger slaw, and goat cheese and orzo pasta salad.

If you are hankering for seafood from New England, this unique food truck is the way to go.

Charleston Caribbean Creole Food Truck

Charleston Caribbean Creole Food Truck is a food truck and take-out restaurant specializing in food items that fuse Creole and Caribbean flavor profiles. They offer sweet plantains, fried shrimp, jerk chicken, Lowcountry curry goat stew, shrimp and crab rice, along with a slew of additional vibrant dishes.

The truck travels outside of Charleston to Summerville and Mount Pleasant, so if you are in the area viewing cozy Mount Pleasant homes for sale, check the truck’s schedule to see if you can grab a bite.

View Upscale Rental Homes in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Best “Americana” Food Trucks

If you are looking for food trucks that offer traditional Carolina dishes, try Area 51 Foods, LLC  and Johnny Poppers Burger Buggy.

Area 51 Foods, LLC

Area 51 Foods is a unique food truck that services traditional American fast food dishes with an out-of-this-world twist. They offer Alien Bowls with protein and rice, philly cheesesteaks, meatball subs, chicken wraps, tater tots and mozzarella sticks.

Source: Seba Tataru/

The combination of dishes along with the space theme makes Area 51 Foods a fun stop where anyone in the family can find something they’ll enjoy.

Jonny Poppers Burger Buggy

If you are in the mood for burgers, the traditional American meal, try Jonny Poppers Burger Buggy. A popular food truck at local events, Jonny’s serves burgers, fries and coleslaw, the quintessential American combo.

Their top 7-oz.-burger options are the Grand Gouda Burger, Jonny Popper Burger, Chucktown Cheddar Bacon Burger and the Heavenly Horsey Havarti Burger. They also offer The Dillard Black Bean Burger as a vegetarian option.

Best Health-Focused Food Trucks

If you focus on healthier food options, Dashi and Bangin’ Vegan Eats are great food truck choices in Charleston.

Bangin’ Vegan Eats

Bangin’ Vegan Eats is the premier vegan food truck in the Charleston area. They offer 100% vegan food to locals, catering to an underserved niche. Vegan Eats menu offers breaded and fried cauliflower called Hunny Garlic Bangers and Real Deal Nachos that use tortilla chips, BBQ beans, peach compote and jalapenos.

They also serve seasoned friends, a dirty south bean burger and a plant-based hot dog to excite vegan taste buds.


Dashi food truck offers unique Asian and Latin fusion food that is full of healthy proteins and veggies. Dashi offers menu items like pad thai with wild rice noodles, broccoli and egg, pork belly tacos, Thai wings and steamed buns; you will find a variety of options to tempt your tastebuds.

The unique menu items and its combination of Latin and Asian dishes offer you several healthy dishes, along with a few indulgent options that keep you full all day.

Best Dessert Food Trucks

Got a sweet tooth? Charleston’s dessert food trucks are ready to serve you delectable ice creams and other desserts. Charleston Pops, Cirsea, Holy Rolly Charleston and King of Pops are the top dessert food trucks in the city.

Charleston Pops

Charleston Pops is a gourmet sweets food truck that spreads joy with its selection of cake pops, popsicles, ice cream sandwiches and hand-pie pops.

Source: Smiltena/

Charleston Pops has become so popular they are moving into a brick-and-mortar location. However, their food truck will still operate at various farmers’ markets and local events.


Cirsea is a craft ice cream company that partners with local Charleston food venues and sends food trucks to local events. Their truly decadent ice cream is hand-crafted in small batches to produce a delicious, unique treat for their customers.

They feature stunning flavors like bourbon caramel, black sesame, latte, lavender, matcha and vanilla black pepper, along with the classics like chocolate and vanilla ice cream and strawberry sorbet.

Holy Rolly Charleston

Holy Rolly Charleston provides customers with a truly decadent dessert experience. They specialize in making rolled ice cream using a made-from-scratch base. The ice cream is served in a dessert taco, dessert sushi or a cup, making it a fun experience.

Holy Rolly offers ice cream dishes with names that represent not only their ingredients but their big personalities. Their most popular offerings are:

  • The Banana Hammock
  • The Ragdoll
  • The Devil’s Playground
  • The Big Panda
  • The Mad Cow
  • The Sticky Icky

In addition to their staple menu, they also offer seasonal items such as the Get Shorty, The Shamrock and The Italian Stallion.

King of Pops – Charleston

King of Pops is an online popsicle crafter that sends out cold pushcarts to events around the Charleston area. Typically King of Pops offers flavors like chocolate sea salt, cookies ‘n cream, raspberry lime, banana puddin’ and orange cream.

Over the past several years, they have created over 500 flavors using natural ingredients to provide moments of fun to adults and children every spring and summer.

Enjoy Charleston’sFood Trucks

Get a Taste of Charleston’s Food Trucks

Whether you are vacationing in the Holy City or are a full-fledged resident, Charleston’s food trucks offer you the opportunity to sample exciting, niche cuisine without having to sit down for an entire meal. 

You can sample what you like and keep moving so you can explore more of the beautiful city. With all the food truck options, you can grab breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert while on the go.

The Importance of Home Inspections

Because buying a home is not an everyday task and it happens over time, I find that many clients confuse some of the inspections and the order in which they happen. Here’s a description of what they are and why they typically happen in a particular order. Remember, this is not written in stone and the timing may change depending upon the risk tolerance of the buyers and sellers.

Home Inspection – In our particular market, this is usually the first inspection to take place. The results can break a contract quickly if the parties cannot reach a meeting of the minds and sellers can go back on the active market. Even if a home is being sold “as is,” I advise every buyer to get a home inspection. Every time. Finding problems allows buyers to take calculated risks and possibly renegotiate the contract based on the findings. The SC contract states the following:

Any and all requests necessary to place the heating systems, air conditioning systems, electrical systems, plumbing systems, water supply systems, water waste systems to be conveyed in operative condition, to make the roof free of leaks, to address environmental concerns and to make the improvements structurally sound (Repair Requests) should be delivered by the deadline above.

The bottom line is that HVAC, electrical, plumbing, environmental, and structural issues are the only issues addressed by the contract. Any other deficiencies do not meet the criteria to cancel a contract with no penalty.

Based on the results, buyers may want further inspections to be conducted by contractors who have particular expertise beyond the general qualifications of a home inspector. For example, my clients who purchased an historic home downtown engaged a roof inspector who is an expert in metal roofing in order to quantify the cost of items identified by the home inspection. Similarly, electrical and HVAC contractors are often brought in to address more technical and life/safety issues that are discovered.

In South Carolina, the appraisal typically follows the inspection. The appraisal compares the home and property to other similar properties to establish the value. More often than not, mortgage approval is contingent on the value of the home being sufficient to support the lender’s investment to make the loan. Buyers have the option of requiring that the appraisal equals or exceeds the purchase price and possibly forcing a renegotiation if it does not with no penalty on the deposited funds in escrow.

The termite inspection process for buyers is 100% about risk tolerance. In SC, termite damage is not uncommon and I always counsel buyers to include a clear or “clearable” inspection as contract contingency. I believe it is as important as the home inspection. Inspectors not only check for evidence of active termites but also evidence of wood destroying fungi and elevated moisture levels below the main living level of the house as both attract termites. Once the inspection is complete, a letter called a CL-100 is issued with the results. Often, there are items that once they are repaired or mitigated, they can be “cleared” by a General Contractor for damage or a licensed pest professional for treatment and buyers can then move forward confidently.

Finally, when it comes to inspections, I counsel my buyers to write their contracts so that they themselves pay for the inspections. The contract allows for buyers to request that sellers select the contractor and pay for them, but I do not believe saving those costs provides the most protection. Sellers might select a person that does not have the buyers’ best interests in mind but rather those of the person hiring them and paying the bill. Should something go wrong later, the buyer has no recourse with the inspector if they don’t own the report.  After all, you don’t want the seller’s brother-in-law doing the termite inspection!

– Terry Bell-Aby, Realtor®
Mobile  508-627-2988  |

The Best Breweries in Charleston, SC

You’re probably already familiar with Charleston’s award-winning culinary scene. What you might not know is that Charleston is also home to a thriving brewery culture. There are 30 craft breweries in the Charleston area, with more opening every year. No matter your preferences, you’ll be able to find the beer you’re looking for in one of the many breweries in Charleston, SC.

Downtown Charleston Breweries

Are you wondering “What is there to do in Charleston, SC?” Then you haven’t discovered the abundance of breweries in the city yet. You’ll find many craft breweries in Charleston’s downtown neighborhoods like Wagener Terrace and North of Morrison.

●          Revelry Brewing and The Hold

Located at 10 Conroy Street, Revelry Brewing has a tasting room and rooftop bar. Enjoy the views of downtown Charleston while sampling their unique brews. They offer traditional beers like lagers, IPAs, pilsners and other pale ales, along with more interesting brews like sours, wild ales and beers aged in oak barrels.

Revelry Brewing’s offshoot, The Hold, is their barrel house where they experiment with Brettanomyces and barrel-aging their beers. Located at 36 Romney Street, The Hold is Charleston’s only all-sour beer brewery. If you love sour or wild ales, don’t miss a trip to The Hold.

Revelry Brewing was named the Best New Brewery in South Carolina in 2015, and their brews continue winning medals and awards locally and nationwide. You won’t be disappointed with your options here.

●          Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co.

With over one dozen beers on tap daily, a restaurant with an all-day menu and an outdoor patio, you could spend all afternoon or evening at Edmund’s Oast.

Located off King Street, Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. hosts a daily power hour from 4-5 p.m., offering half-priced brews. It’s a great way to try some of their many beers. Edmund’s Oast offers seasonal beers like Oktoberfest and Dunkelweizen and year-round favorites like blonde ales and IPAs.

Edmund’s Oast offers flights, half pints, pints and pitchers of beer. They also provide cans and bottles along with growlers so you can enjoy their beer at home.

Their restaurant menu has traditional pub fare and snacks, but the main attraction is their woodfire pizzas. Their outdoor patio and courtyard are dog-friendly, and they even have an astroturf field for added comfort. Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. is a great place to spend hours with friends.

●          Cooper River Brewing

Cooper River Brewing was founded by two friends in November 2015. The brewery is located at 2201 Mechanic Street, just a block north of Mount Pleasant Street in the Wagener Terrace neighborhood of Charleston.

Wagener Terrace is an up-and-coming neighborhood with many downtown Charleston homes for sale. It’s popular with young adults and families, offering more family-friendly homes with quick access to breweries and restaurants.

Cooper River Brewing is open Wednesday through Sunday and offers 5 oz. flights, pints and cans of their beers. Some of their more interesting beers include Tropical Pale Ale, Double Berry Wheat, Mex-Pecan Coffee Ale and their 2019 Bronze medal winner Proper E.S.B. (Extra Special Bitter).

●          Lo-Fi Brewing

Located at 2038 Meeting Street, Lo-Fi Brewing is a minimalist brewery focused on producing high-quality beers. The owner and brewmaster Jason Caughman only produces a small variety of beer so he can focus on quality and flavor.

His flagship beer, Lo-Fi Lager, is a Mexican Lager brewed with whole leaf hops. He also produces:

  • Lo-Fi Blueberry, a beer with a malty wheat base and blueberry puree
  • Lo-Fi Glitter Pony, a deep golden ale with fruit and spice
  • Lo-Fi IPA brewed with Chinook Centennial Columbus hops, coming soon

You can also find their beers in many local restaurants.

●          Munkle Brewing

Established at 1513 Meeting Street Road in 2016, Munkle Brewing specializes in Belgian-style ales. Munkle Brewing was inspired by the founder’s uncle, a Benedictine Monk who began brewing beer during his time at a Michigan Monastery.

The brewery offers full and half pours of their traditional Belgian style beers like Dubbel, Trippel, wheat beers, and Brunes. Munkle also brews lagers, brown ales, and pilsners.

Munkle Brewing features an indoor/outdoor bar area with pool tables and TVs inside. If outdoors is more your thing, you can relax in one of their rocking chairs while enjoying a beer.


Mt. Pleasant Breweries

Mt. Pleasant is a large suburban town in Charleston County that is popular among young families and professionals and is one of the fastest-growing areas in South Carolina. If you’re moving to the area or simply find yourself visiting, these are the breweries you’ll want to check out.

●          Westbrook Brewing

Located on Ridge Road, near the beautiful homes in Mt. Pleasant, SC, Westbrook Brewing was founded by husband and wife team Edward and Morgan Westbrook. What began as a hobby quickly turned into an internationally distributed brand.

The brewery offers tours and rotates 22 beers on tap in the Tasting Room and sells cans, bottles and growlers to go. While they only offer a few kinds of cheese daily, food trucks are scheduled frequently to provide meals to enjoy with a cold beer on the patio or the air-conditioned Tasting Room.

Westbrook Brewing’s Mexican Cake beer, originally brewed as an anniversary special, is so popular, it has its own FAQ page!

You can purchase many of their beers for same-day or next-day pickup via the store on their website, but the Mexican Cake beer cannot be reserved through this system. However, they keep a limited amount on-premises for consumption in the Tasting Room if you’re set on trying some. Also popular is the White Thai, a spiced beer inspired by Edward’s passion for Thai food.

●          Two Blokes Brewing

Founded by Sean Geddis and Matty Symons, Two Blokes Beers strives to be approachable and unpretentious so that everyone, even people who initially claim to dislike beer, can find something to enjoy. Now owned solely by Head Brewer Matty Symons, Two Blokes Brewing is located at 547 Long Point Road, Suite #101 in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Known for unique combinations of hops and grains and a few eclectic local flavors, Two Blokes Beers offers 16 beers on tap in their taproom, with different food trucks and pop-up kitchens scheduled daily.

Their tongue-in-cheek craft beers like Hoppy Little Trees, Tart Vader and Cone of Uncertainty add a little humor to their beers. Wicked Throat Charmer, a New England style IPA, is one of their top sellers, thanks to its hoppy flavor with a bit of bitter aftertaste and hints of citrus and tropical accents.

West Ashley Breweries

West Ashley is a primarily residential area in SC that boasts clusters of unique eateries, fusion restaurants and plenty of breweries. Located near the Avondale neighborhood at the bustling intersection of Magnolia Road and Savannah Highway, this lively part of Charleston County is a must-see for craft beer lovers.

●          Frothy Beard

With a name like Frothy Beard, you know you’re in for a fun experience at their West Ashley location at 1401 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard. The large taproom serves 32 different beers that rotate throughout the year. Unlike many other breweries, Frothy Beard has its own kitchen, serving up hot, fresh bar favorites, salads and house-made-cookie ice cream sandwiches.

Their flagship Sip Sip Pass IPA and Tides of Galway Irish Red beers are available year-round, but they also offer seasonal ales and sours that are worth a taste. Frothy Beard is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a cold one after a long day.

●          Charlestowne Fermentory

Founder Adam Goodwin established this small, focused brewery in 2016, and it has become a local favorite for its simplicity. The facility is rustic, with wood paneling, exposed ceilings and mismatched picnic tables and couches. Foosball and board games are on hand for entertainment. Its comfortable atmosphere means many locals stop on their walks home and order their usual at the end of a long day.

The taproom offers food from a rotating local chef. You can purchase beers from the tap, cans, bottles or growlers, although they aren’t currently refilling them. Their Yacht Party American Lager, a dry American lager, is popular, as is their Pallet Rider IPA, with hints of cantaloupe, melon and peach complementing the hops.

North Charleston Breweries

North Charleston is the third-largest city in South Carolina and is the top city in the state for retail sales. If you’re looking for a fun afternoon out at some local shops followed by a tasty cold one brewed locally, this is the place to be.

●          COAST Brewing Co.

Established in a former U.S. Navy storage building in 2007, COAST Brewing is family-owned and located at 1250 N Second Street in North Charleston. The brewery is only open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., so plan your visit accordingly.

Owners Jamie Tenny and David Merritt are leaders in the Charleston brewery scene. They believe it’s important to source local and organic ingredients to make their beers and are known for their beer HopArt, an IPA with Millenium and Cascade hops. Their Kolsch beer is another popular choice. COAST also brews brown ale, pale ale and seasonal beers.

●          Commonhouse Aleworks

With fun events celebrating the local community, Commonhouse Aleworks uses its brewery to improve the world around it. Proprietor Pearce Fleming enjoyed listening to his grandfather’s stories of running moonshine as a teenager, so establishing Commonhouse Aleworks was in his blood.

The brewery serves many core beers with a healthy variety of seasonal and limited-edition beers. Their Park Circle Pale Ale is a popular choice among locals with its tropical accents of orange marmalade, tropical fruit and citrus zest. In partnership with Brannon Florie, a local restaurateur, Commonhouse has a full food menu that offers something for everyone through Florie’s at Commonhouse. It even offers a Sunday brunch.

Commonhouse believes in giving back, so a portion of every sale is donated to local community groups in Park Circle. As part of their unCOMMONly GOOD series, they highlight a different charity with special release beers and have helped charities like Make a Wish South Carolina, We Are Family, and Try It for Life.

●          Freehouse Brewery

An artisanal organic brewery, Freehouse is located on the banks of the Ashley River at 2895 Pringle Street. The brewery believes all its ingredients should come from organic sources free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, GMOs, and artificial ingredients. They believe organic agriculture helps the environment by keeping chemicals out of the water and protecting the local ecosystem.

Freehouse focuses on making seasonal beers from local ingredients. They feature traditional beers like lagers and IPAs while offering sours brewed with their own curated yeast strains. The brewery partners with local coffee roasters for their brown ales and stouts, and all their beers are produced sustainably.

Freehouse has a rotating selection of over a dozen beers on tap and offers flights so you can try smaller tastings. The brewery is dog-friendly, with an outdoor beer garden so you can enjoy the views of the Ashley River.


●          Holy City Brewing

Started by four friends experimenting with home brewing, Holy City Brewing was first established in July 2011. The brewery moved into its current location, close to Park Circle at 1021 Aragon Ave, in North Charleston in 2018. Holy City serves up to 20 different beers daily with flagship beers and seasonal offerings.

Pluff Mud Porter is one of Holy City’s most interesting beers. It’s described as having a distinct odor due to its mixture of dirt and water indigenous to the Lowcountry region. Another flagship beer, Washout Wheat, is a straightforward and approachable wheat beer.

Holy City’s seasonal beers for 2021 include Sparkly Princess, an award-winning kettle sour IPA. They’re also brewing a berry-infused berliner weisse, a red ale, a gose and several IPAs.

The brewery has an in-house kitchen featuring bar snacks like smoked wings, burgers, other hot sandwiches and vegetarian options. They even serve brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday. Holy City is kid-friendly, offering a kids menu and house-made non-alcoholic sodas for everyone to enjoy.

Explore All Charleston Has to Offer

Charleston, South Carolina has a thriving craft beer scene. Their award-winning breweries are located in neighborhoods throughout the city, including West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and downtown neighborhoods like Wagener Terrace and North of Morrison. 

While taste is subjective, the many craft breweries in the Charleston area offer a range of options sure to please any palate. You can find quieter breweries for a relaxing night out with friends or taprooms with more activities. Charleston even offers dog- and kid-friendly breweries, so it’s fun for the whole family. Explore breweries and more of what Charleston has to offer before your next visit so you can experience the very best of this South Carolina gem.

One Agent’s Take on Navigating Multiple Offers

You may have heard that the Charleston Real Estate Market has very low inventory and many sellers are receiving multiple offers. It’s true. I have ready and willing buyers and yet I have no homes to show them that meet their criteria. Homes that do come on the market are moving rapidly, many with multiple offers. One of my colleagues wrote nine different contracts for her buyers on various properties, all over asking price, and none were accepted. For my sellers, I am recommending that there are several ways to deal with multiple offers that have benefits beyond simply taking the highest monetary offer.

1.The most widely used method when a seller receives multiple offers is to ask for each buyer’s Highest and Best Offer. This allows buyers to reconsider their offer and increase if they are able and seriously interested. The risk a seller takes is that some buyers will not want to engage in a bidding “war” and high offers may be allowed to expire. I always remind my sellers that contracts are more than just the offered price. The other terms may not be as desirable such as closing date, required financing, and other contingencies.

2. The next likely choice is to pick the best offer, weighing all factors, and move forward. Sellers may not realize as much profit potential, but it is a simpler and quicker resolution. Buying and selling is inherently about risk tolerance and the risk/reward may not be worth the chance of losing an enthusiastic buyer.

3. Sellers also have the option of handling the offers in the order they are received making counter offers (or not) accordingly. In a low inventory market such as we are experiencing in 2021, this has considerably less risk that the buyers will find another property and walk away; however, an offer to purchase does come with a deadline for response, so timing can be an issue.

4. Another response sellers can employ is to create a universal counter offer and send it to all buyers. This can minimize the downside options throughout the contract for the seller. This method requires top notch communication on the part of the seller’s agent in order to insure a fair process for all. Deadlines, dates and times are extremely important to managing this process successfully.

On a side note, from a buyer’s perspective, escalation clauses have recently received a lot of notice with the current market conditions. This involves writing an offer with incremental dollar increases on a schedule to outbid other buyers without necessarily offering their highest and best offer. For example, a buyer might indicate that he/she will automatically pay $1000 over the next highest competitive offer without having to renegotiate. My advice to sellers and buyers is to avoid this option at this time. The difference for buyers over the life of the mortgage is minimal and for sellers, the chance of getting what the market may demand is diminished.

5. If you are a seller and find yourself in a multiple offer situation, you can also reject all offers and raise the price. The obvious risk of driving buyers away is high and greedy homeowners may cut off their noses to spite their faces in this scenario.

There may be other solutions to the enviable problem of multiple offers. If you have an idea, please share.

– Terry Bell-Aby, Realtor®
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