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  | Terry@dunesproperties.com

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®
Mobile  508-627-2988  | Terry@dunesproperties.com

Why Move to Charleston, SC? What The Holy City Has to Offer

If you are looking for a charming, historic, laidback city, look no further than Charleston, South Carolina. It’s miles of beautiful beaches, friendly residents and thriving economy make it the perfect place to set down roots. There is no other city quite like it, where old families of the area live alongside transplanted young professionals, on the same street where tourists flock.

Whether you enjoy good food, rich history, intricate architecture or famous landmarks like the Ravenel Bridge, you’re sure to find a reason to love Charleston. 

Living History

Founded in 1670 to honor King Charles II, Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina and considered its cultural capital. Charleston quickly became one of the most important ports on the eastern seaboard, helping it grow exponentially in its early days. If you are a history buff, Charleston offers endless opportunities to explore America’s past.

Revolutionary War

In 1780, the British made the capture of Charleston its goal, so several famous battles occurred around it, including America’s greatest defeat in the Revolutionary War, when commander Benjamin Lincoln’s supply lines were cut in Moncks Corner and Lenud’s Ferry, forcing him to surrender the city. You can tour the Moncks Corner battlefield and 32 other Revolutionary battle sites in Berkeley County.

Civil War

The city’s prominence in America’s history continued into the Civil War, with the first shots fired on Fort Sumter and its surrender to the Union Army not long before the war’s official end. Fort Moultrie played a key role in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

The Charleston Battery, a landmark seawall that protects Charleston from hurricanes, began as a coastal defense against naval attack and is now a neighborhood home to some of the most beautiful downtown Charleston houses for sale, making it a great place to walk through history.

Source: Thomas Trompeter/Shutterstock.com

Cultural History

Charleston isn’t all wartime sites, either. The cobblestone streets and historic markers make exploring downtown Charleston an enjoyable exploration of history. You can also tour many traditional homes, take a ghost tour or view the gardens at Magnolia Plantation.

Preservation of Historic Character

Fortunately, even as Charleston has grown, it has been careful to protect its history, preserve the beautiful historic skyline and keep the beautiful old neighborhoods alive. Charleston was the first U.S. city to establish a board of architecture in 1931 and is home to the oldest community-based historic preservation group.

 

This focus on preservation helped Charleston earn its nickname as The Holy City. The origin of the nickname, like the city itself, has a colorful history. Some attribute it to the city’s religious tolerance, some to a joke meant to make fun of Charleston’s city pride.

Regardless, no one can deny that the church steeples dotting the skyline make for a beautiful view, whether you see it from land or sea. Skyscrapers haven’t overshadowed those steeples due to a local ordinance dictating that no building can be higher than the tallest church steeple in Charleston.

Gorgeous Weather

If you hate the cold, Charleston is the place for you. In the winter, temperatures rarely dip below 50ºF, although there have been a few random snowflakes from time to time during a wayward cold front. These comfortable winter temperatures mean you can still enjoy all that Charleston has to offer during the winter months instead of locking yourself away indoors to stay warm.

Source: Katelyn Cooke Photography/Shutterstock.com

Charleston’s summers are perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors, especially water-related activities. Summers tend to be hot and humid, with highs usually in the ‘80s and afternoon thunderstorms that pass through the area quickly. But don’t let the heat and humidity scare you! There’s plenty to do indoors or on the water.

Activities to Help You Beat the Summer Heat

If it’s too hot for you, or an afternoon storm ruins your outdoor plans, there are plenty of activities to do indoors.

Visit One of Charleston’s Many Museums

Some of the most popular museums in Charleston include:

  • The Nathaniel Russell House, built in 1808 by the wealthy merchant and slave trader Nathaniel Russell on Meeting Street, the home is now a National Historic Landmark and has been meticulously restored. A visit here brings the life of the elite and those who worked for them into focus and the vital work that goes into restoration.
  • The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon have had many purposes since it was completed in 1771. When the British controlled it during the American Revolution, they used the basement as a military prison. In 1788, it hosted the South Carolina elite as they debated whether the state should ratify the U.S. Constitution. Now it educates the community on Charleston’s role in the Revolutionary War.
  • The Old Slave Mart Museum sheds light on the city’s tragic role in the slave trade (35-40 percent of slaves entered America through the port of Charleston). This museum, the first African-American slave museum in the United States, offers a powerful lesson on the reality of slavery.

Source: JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock.com

 

Visit a Charleston Point of Interest or Historical Site

Some of the can’t-miss sites in Charleston you should visit are:

  • The South Carolina Aquarium is home to over 5,000 aquatic animals, and its conservation programs are well known, especially their Sea Turtle Care Center.
  • The Charleston City Market offers an eclectic assortment of more than 300 merchants selling everything from souvenirs to food to art to other cultural artifacts.
  • The Aiken-Rhett House is unique in that after spending 142 years in the Aiken-Rhett family, it was sold to the Charleston Museum, which has kept it exactly as it was since the mid-19th century. Furniture, architecture and finishes are all original, including the slave quarters.

Outdoor Activities Abound

If there’s an outdoor activity you’re interested in, the odds are good that you can do it in Charleston, especially if it’s based on water. Within half an hour of downtown Charleston, there are three beaches, with boating, paddleboarding, surfing, swimming and general sunbathing.

There are five major parks, including Cypress Gardens, the site of the film, The Notebook. Miles of bike trails and walking paths and beautiful gardens are rich opportunities to explore.

Source: Paul Brady Photography/Shutterstock.com

If sports are more your scene, there are enough golf courses to keep you busy for a while, or you can check out the Charleston Riverdogs, the minor league baseball team, or the Charleston Battery, the minor league soccer team. Clemson University and the University of South Carolina are also near enough for day trips to catch a football or basketball game or catch the nationally ranked College of Charleston sailing team in action at a local regatta. 

Strong Economy

Thanks to the expanding Boeing production site and a new Volvo factory, the largest industries in Charleston include the aerospace and automotive sectors, which continue to grow. Partnerships with local universities, including Clemson’s SCE&G Energy Innovation Center, make the economy particularly strong in the energy sector.

University partnerships exist in the medical field, with the Medical University of South Carolina and more than 50 medical development and research labs numerous medical manufacturers creating stable growth in the medical sector.

The military is also a significant economic driver in Charleston. The Citadel, one of the most prestigious military colleges in the country, is located in the city, and Joint Base Charleston is just to the north. In all, more than 90,000 servicemembers and their families live and work in Charleston.

Because of the growing economy, Charleston is a great place for tech startups, making it a popular destination for millennials. Numerous organizations such as Charleston Women in Tech and the Harbor Entrepreneur Center offer opportunities for those wanting to start their own tech company.

Raising a Family in Charleston

Charleston is a great choice if you plan to grow a family or already have little ones and are looking for a place to settle down and raise them. Charleston culture is the epitome of southern hospitality, and this friendly and inviting atmosphere makes a wonderful community for children to grow up in.

Charleston boasts several top-ranked schools such as Buist Academy, Daniel Island School, Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary and James Island Charter High. These are excellent schools where elementary through high school-aged kids can receive a top-notch education in a relaxed, comfortable environment.

In addition to great schools, Charleston is also one of the top 20 safest cities in South Carolina. Mount Pleasant, one of Charleston’s up-and-coming family neighborhoods, is number four on the safest neighborhoods list and presents families with the opportunity for idyllic coastal living. There are several other family-oriented neighborhoods for those looking to raise their young ones in Charleston, including:

Source: Duttagupta M K/Shutterstock.com

  • James’ Island
  • John’s Island
  • Summerville
  • Downtown

If you’re seeking a quieter location within close proximity to Charleston, consider looking at Folly Beach homes for saleor take a look at real estate on Sullivan’s Island, SC. Both areas are located just a 20-30 minute drive from downtown and offer a peaceful getaway spot on the water.

Charleston also boasts kid-friendly activities and locations for families that reside in the Holy City. Visit one of the Charleston library locations for storytime activities and kid-centered readings, or the South Carolina Aquarium to give your children a glimpse of fascinating fish and ocean life.

The Charleston Farmers Market is always fun for the whole family and allows your kids to get a taste for fresh fruits and veggies from the surrounding farms while supporting locals. You might also try a raucous pirate cruise that local companies take families on, full of good ol’ pirate fun or visit Angel Oak Tree Park with your little ones to see the oldest tree in the state.

 

Charleston Makes it Easy to Get Around

In many old cities, getting around can be a challenge, but Charleston is an exception. There’s no denying that traffic exists in the city, but there are ways to avoid it. Charleston is highly walkable, and traveling on foot is often the best way to see everything the city offers. Walking allows you to slow down and appreciate the beauty and history around you. Since Charleston is a peninsula, water taxis make a great alternative to driving a car or taking an Uber.

Charleston also has a strong biking culture, with bike paths, accessible streets and gorgeous year-round weather perfect for biking. If you don’t have a bike, it’s still possible to enjoy this mode of transportation. Holy Spokes, Charleston’s bike share program, can help you get around town on two wheels with 27 locations to pick up and drop off a loaner.

If you have to drive into town, don’t worry about parking because there’s plenty of options available, whether it’s metered street parking or staffed parking garages.

The Charm of Lowcountry Living

The Lowcountry way of living is unique to Charleston and its surrounding counties along the coast. The cuisine is distinctive to the area, with its blend of seafood and African flavors making up an interesting element of Lowcountry culture.

Lowcountry living partly refers to the scenery and ambiance of the region, characterized by saltwater marshes, Spanish moss and gorgeous architecture. The homes are marked by extensive porches that invite you to relax with a glass of iced sweet tea and shutters that stand sentry beside large windows.

Part of Lowcountry life is the welcoming sense of small-town community. Charleston is known for its hospitality and was recognized as Conde Nast’s Friendliest City in 2016. People smile at one another on the street, and strangers aren’t afraid to offer help if they see you need it.

In 2020, for the 10th year in a row, Conde Nast named Charleston America’s Favorite Small City, and Southern Living recognized it as the South’s Best City in 2019.

Source: f11photo/Shutterstock.com

Experience the Charm and Tradition of Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina, is a city like no other. It is a coastal resort, historical marker and modern family mecca rolled into one. Charleston boasts scenic views, great schools and safe neighborhoods that make it a great place to live.

Young professionals love the area for its nightlife and thriving economy, retirees love the golf courses and relaxing beaches and families relish its comfortable atmosphere and educational museums and resources. If you want to experience charm, tradition and community all in one city, pack your bags and move to Charleston.

Living Near the Water: 12 Best Beaches Near Charleston, SC

The idea of living just off the water in South Carolina brings to mind images of golden sunsets on the horizon and gentle blue waves lapping at the shore. The entirety of the state’s coastline is dotted with beautiful beach towns where you can settle down and live near the water. 

Whether you reside in Charleston, which overlooks the inlet harbor, or a beach resort town like Isle of Palms, you can be sure to enjoy everything this historic coast has to offer. For those looking to purchase a home near the water or anyone interested in a great place to visit while in town, check out the 15 best beaches near Charleston, South Carolina – in no particular order.

Sullivans Island Lighthouse and beach
Donnie Whitaker Photography
  • Sullivan’s Island Beach

Sullivan’s Island Beach features 2.5 miles of beachfront off the Atlantic coast. It is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Charleston to the beach, where you’ll find a laid-back, community atmosphere and residents who cherish the area’s natural beauty.

Sullivan’s Island Beach is ideal for practicing photography, finding sand dollars and doing other fun activities like kayaking, surfing or crabbing.

Just off the beach in the small, picturesque town of Sullivan’s Island is Middle Street, where there are beautiful homes and delicious dining options to explore. This town covers just 3.3 square miles, making it a great place to buy a home or rental property or to vacation.

  • Isle of Palms

The Isle of Palms Beach is about 36 minutes from Charleston and sits just north of Sullivan’s Beach. Regarded as one of the safest beaches for kids due to its calm waves and family-friendly beach set-up, the Isle of Palms is a great place to live or visit with your family. There are plenty of exciting water-based activities here to take part in like kayaking, surfing, paddleboarding and swimming.

When you move farther inland, you’ll find boutique shops and tasty restaurants to visit. The island’s residential area, Wild Dunes Isle of Palms, is located just off the beach and offers residents and visitors the Wild Dunes Links and Harbor Golf courses. These are well known by golf enthusiasts and are both designed by famous course architect Tom Fazio.

  • Folly Beach

About 20 minutes southeast of Charleston is Folly Beach. Known as a great swimming location by residents, the beach’s waves are calm and gentle, making it a safe spot for younger swimmers. Experienced swimmers and adults can partake in more intense water sports like kiteboarding, surfing and sailing. 

The Folly Beach Fishing Pier allows you to fish right off the dock, while the nearby maritime forest offers a place to admire the natural wildlife and plant vegetation. Folly Beach is genuinely a laid-back, family-friendly location popular with tourists and residents. 

  • Morris Island

Morris Island is a historic stretch of the South Carolina coastline. It sits about eight miles outside of Charleston and off the far eastern tip of Folly Beach. It is accessible only by boat. This island is uninhabited, but it is worth the visit if you live in the area or come from out of town. Not only is the beach on the island a lovely place to enjoy a daytime stroll and gather seashells, but the island played a significant role in the American Civil War.

History buffs can visit Fort Wagner on the northern section of the island, and then travel south to the famous candy-cane-striped Morris Island Lighthouse, which has been standing since 1876. 

  • Mosquito Beach

Just a short 20-minute drive south of Charleston is Mosquito Beach. Mosquito Beach has a fascinating history and is a must-visit spot for anyone interested in learning more about Black history and racial segregation in South Carolina. The “beach,” a strip of land made of a tidal creek and pluff mud, was one of the only beaches available to the black community during segregation. Due to this rich cultural heritage, it might not be the traditional “beach” but it’s an important part of the Black history of Charleston.

  • Seabrook Island

About 23 miles south of Charleston, Seabrook Island is a small oceanfront community surrounded by pristine natural scenery. There are marshes and maritime forests to explore that provide bird watchers ample opportunities for sightings of feathered wildlife. 

The island is an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community that maintains a healthy native wildlife population. Some parts of this island are accessible to residents only, but many access points allow the public to partake in the area’s natural beauty. Of note are the beautiful orange sunsets at Pelican Beach, which you can’t miss when visiting Seabrook Island. 

  • Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is a gorgeous, white-sand beach that sits about 40 minutes from Charleston. When you visit the beach, take advantage of the resort-like atmosphere for sunbathing, boating, fishing and swimming. 

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort hosted the 2021 PGA National Championship in May and offers golfers five world-class golf courses for those who enjoy the sport. The area also offers exciting natural scenery and wildlife to explore. Bird enthusiasts happily report seeing birds like the yellow-billed cuckoo and night herons during outings.

  • Bulls Island

Bulls Island is situated about 29 miles from Charleston. The area is only accessible by boat, but the trek is worth the effort. This island is a remote and serene spot where you can visit, not to play in the surf, but to take part in a one-of-a-kind nature experience. The estuary leading to Bulls Island provides rich food to wildlife, such as seagulls, oysters and dolphins, which you’ll be sure to see when you visit. 

Boneyard Beach, located on the coast of the 6-mile-long island, is a visually stunning location where fallen, bleached trees stick up through the sand like skeletons. Although you would not want to go swimming at this beach, the visual beauty of the beach and the common alligator sightings are enough to make this one of the best beaches in South Carolina. 

  • Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island is about an hour and a half north of Charleston and is one of the oldest tourist beach locations in the United States. Nestled between Myrtle Beach and Georgetown,  it is covered in old cottages and fascinating historical sites. These structures survived Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and exist amid the newer, fancier homes in the area.

Pawleys Island is quiet and secluded, containing a 3-mile stretch with just the bare minimum of amenities. This makes it a great location to visit for a quiet day trip from Charleston. Its proximity to Myrtle Beach and Georgetown means you can also visit these locations for a wide array of shopping, sightseeing and dining activities. 

  • Capers Island

Capers Island is situated near the Isles of Palm and is about an hour and fifteen minutes from Charleston. Accessible only by boat, Capers Island offers an otherworldly experience to visitors. The barrier island is also known as Capers Island Heritage Preserve and is home to marine and terrestrial wildlife. Those who visit can see bottlenose dolphins, bald eagles and other birds like ospreys. The beach itself is a boneyard of bleached trees and is an excellent place to hunt for sand dollars and shells. 

  • Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach is about 48 miles south of Charleston and boasts one of only four oceanfront state parks in South Carolina. Edisto Beach State Park provides visitors and residents with hiking and biking trails where they can enjoy the natural scenery of the beachfront. 

One major point of interest at Edisto Beach is the Environmental Learning Center that highlights the unique environmental heritage of the ACE Basin. The ACE Basin is one of the only wetland ecosystems that has remained undeveloped and is a vital part of maintaining this area’s wildlife. The Town of Edisto Beach is just off the coast and is known for its family-friendly atmosphere. 

  • Hunting Island

Hunting Island is about two hours south of Charleston. This popular island is home to the Hunting Island State Park, the most popular state park in South Carolina. More than one million people per year visit Hunting Island’s five miles of beaches and thousands of acres of saltwater lagoons, marshes and maritime forests. Hunting Island also boasts the only lighthouse in South Carolina accessible to the public. In addition to swimming, boating and fishing, outdoor fans can camp inside the state park at one of the over 150 campsites available in the area. 

Visiting Beaches in South Carolina

Before you go to one of these fabulous beaches near Charleston, there are a few things to keep in mind to help you pick the right one to visit. Here are a few factors to narrow down your choice of beach. 

  • Tourist Destination or Quiet Beach

Consider whether you want to visit or live near a beach that is a tourist destination or more of a natural, quiet area. Your personality, whether you’re introverted or extroverted, and the type of atmosphere you feel most comfortable in will dictate whether real estate in a busy area or somewhere more secluded suits you best. Whether you have children or pets you want to frequently socialize with others will also play a role. 

  • Beach Rules and Hours

For those visiting a beach near Charleston, it’s a good idea to check out the beach’s website. There you can view hours and regulations that might affect your trip. For those who plan to live near a beach, you may want to check on the beach’s availability to the public, along with any special housing requirements for those who live near the water. 

Head to the Coast

The beaches on South Carolina’s coastline are beautiful places to visit and live. Whether you are looking to buy a home or rental property or simply visit for a vacation, these 15 beaches provide gorgeous views, fun activities, learning opportunities and historical value. Reach out to a Charleston-based real estate agent with Dunes Properties to help you find the perfect waterfront property for your needs. 

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