Granny-flat, mother-in-law-suite, tiny house, laneway house, carriage house- they go by many names. But whatever you want to call them, “Accessory Dwellings” are becoming more and more common in the Charleston area. Accessory Dwellings are typically small habitable structures on the same property as (or attached to) single family homes. There are many types but the most popular is an adorable tiny house that sits in your backyard. Other types include a small apartment over your garage or even a basement apartment, although basements are not typical to our area. No matter the physical form of your Accessory Dwelling, the structure is legally the same property as the main home. This means it cannot be bought or sold separately, like a condominium or a dwelling on wheels could be.
In some cases, homeowners want an Accessory Dwelling for the obvious reason – extra income. You could rent out the space to a young professional, a college student, or even your own adult children that just won’t leave home! Accessory Dwellings could also allow parents to live smaller after their children leave the nest or let an elderly couple live without navigating stairs or maneuvering around a large floor plan.
If you plan on building one that is one story and less than 120 square feet, then you do not need a permit in Charleston County. A zoning permit is required for a structure larger than 120 square feet, and if you are in a residential district, all Accessory Dwellings (besides garages and carports) must be in the rear of the property behind the main home or office. The space of your parcel must also be at least twice the size of the Accessory Dwelling. The Post & Courier recently wrote an article on the rules and regulations of Accessory Dwellings. Make sure you check with your local authorities about specific zoning laws in your neighborhood. For all the details and requirements on Accessory Dwelling Units in Charleston, click here.
Jamme Construction, of Mount Pleasant has erected several Accessory Dwellings in Mount Pleasant. Paul Jamme has been specializing in custom home building in the Lowcountry since 1994 and wants to make sure that the public knows that the construction of an Accessory Dwelling is hard work and a serious construction job. Just because they are small doesn’t mean they are easy! Think about it for a moment. Accessory Dwellings are so small yet so functional. That is mainly because of innovative solutions to things like storage and floor space, which is why you will often see dining tables that fold down from the wall, Murphy beds, and cabinets or drawers under seating. For more information on building an Accessory Dwelling in Charleston, contact Paul Jamme.
Market Stats- Since the opening of The Real Estate Studio in historic Charleston in 2007, dunes properties has had a stronger focus in sales on the peninsula. Our downtown office is comprised of a group of agents that are experts in the downtown market, including the upper and lower peninsula. With this expertise combined with the strength of our other three offices, we have seen significant growth in the downtown market.
In the third quarter of 2014, dunes properties has sold $17,186,650 with over 40 sides. Closing out 2013 with $16,527,350 in sales, which was more than double the previous year, we have already surpassed last year’s total!
Compared to July 2013, the median sales price is up 21% and the number of days on the market has decreased almost 30% in historic Charleston. North of the crosstown, the median sales price is $304,500, which is 6% higher than this time last year.
Along with increased sales on the peninsula with dunes properties, the Lowcountry has continued to see growth in home sales and prices. July was the fifth month in a row that the Charleston area has seen inventory growth, opening up new opportunities for buyers who may not have found what they were looking for last Spring. Compared to July 2013, residential sales have increased from 7,417 homes sold at a median price of $200,834 to 8,016 homes sold at a median price of $216,250.
Despite the government shutdown last month, October showed more promising numbers for the Charleston Market. According to the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® (CTAR), 1,020 homes sold at a median price of $190,000, which is up from 920 homes sold at a median price of $185,000 in October 2012.
Year-to-date, sales numbers and prices aren’t showing any sign of decline. Compared to last year, the Charleston Region Real Estate Sales are up 23%, with an 8.5% increase in median sales prices. At this time in 2012, homes were selling at a median price of $187,894 and there were 8,842 sales. A total of 10,897 homes have sold at a median price of $203,947 so far this year. Homes are also closing in less than 90 days.
In Charleston County 566 homes were sold last month, which is up by almost 14%.
A common trend in the markets both locally and nationally is low inventory. In the Charleston Region, inventory is down by 11%. In it’s latest report on existing-home sales, the National Association of REALTORS® states that this tight inventory is a contributor to the rising home prices. The NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, attributes low inventory to “holding back sales while at the same time pushing up home prices in most of the country.”
If you’ve read magazines, blogs, websites, or listened to a real estate agent discussing staging your home you have been told you should bake cookies, put out flowers, clear clutter, and depersonalize as much as possible. That is great advice. However, in the most recent edition of Realtor® magazine, there is some advice from a few California agents. Myra Nourmand, a Beverly Hills real estate pro who has a list of A-list celebrity clients including Hilary Swank and Sheryl Crow. Nourmand has some ideas I hadn’t heard before that may benefit you if you are or plan to sell your home. Anything that make your house or condo stand out for the better is a good thing!
Nourmand advises sellers to think of their home as a movie set that needs to be camera and buyer ready. LA agent Brett Baer adds “Home buying is very aspirational, so play to the buyers’ aspirations.” And they’ve both got ideas on how to do play to buyers’ aspirations.
- Create vignettes. Define how the spaces in your home are to be used. They recommend setting up a game of chess or playing cards in an area that could be a game room or corner, in an exercise area put out bottles of water and towels on a table. You are selling a lifestyle, not just a home.
- Go big. Push spaces to the max. “If a dining room can fit twelve, don’t just put in eight seats.” Go big but be mindful of the room’s scale. And if you have large rooms, enhance their multifunctionality- add a small desk in a large living room for example.
- Add pops of color. The staging trend right now is modern, minimalist style with lighter more neutral colors with color added through accessories (pillows, vases, art). Provide buyers with a clean slate.
- Create a scene stealer. It’s mentioned the master bedroom is the perfect place to showcase this idea. Create an “elegant Four-Seasons tpe of space.” Use high end linens,textured pillows, and if you can, add a sitting area so it will feel like a suite. And add a spa like feeling to the bath with upscale soaps, fluffy white towels, a candle, and even a single flower in a vase (think a rose).
- If baking homemade or ready-to-bake cookies doesn’t interest you, Nourmand likes to slice four apples in half, sprinkle them with brown sugar and bake them at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Add color pops with seasonal fruits in the kitchen, living, and dining rooms (apples, oranges, pomengranites, strawberries, or lemons).
- Play soft classical music in the background.
- Encourage the Buyer to sit down and stay awhile- set out cookies on a pretty plate, brew some tea and coffee, and put out a few bottles of water.
Nourmand says sellers should think of reaching the buyers’ five senses (sight, sound, taste, smell, and feel) when prepping your home for a showing. Create an inviting and enticing space that will suprise the buyer as well as enourage him/her to relax and take in the scenes.
If you would like to read the original article from the REALTOR magazine March/April 2013 edition, click here.
A whole heck of a lot. That’s what. The Upper Peninsula is defined as the area North of the Crosstown (Highway 17) and South of Heriot Street (basically) and includes the neighborhoods of the Westside, Hampton Park Terrace, Wagener Terrace, North Central, Longborough, Lowndes Pointe and parts of the Eastside. Home sales in this area recently have been out of this world – so much so, that I have started skulking around at homes under renovation to see if I can help my clients get a jump on them before they even come on the market.
So if you are looking for a mostly renovated, completely renovated, or a new construction home under $500,000 here, you better be ready to jump. Here are the numbers for your statistical enjoyment.
10 homes sold in the past month.
22 homes on the market.
22 homes under contract.
2 months of housing inventory = Sellers Market
So you ask – what do I think is driving all this activity??
- It’s an extra hot real estate market this year.
- People are realizing they don’t have to cross a bridge to live in a great neighborhood at a reasonable price. And there’s so much history!
- Hampton Park is pretty spectacular.
- Upper King Street is, well, moving on up. This makes these neighborhoods just a stroll or a quick bike ride away from some of the best restaurants and shops in town.
- Small local businesses are flocking to the area around Upper Meeting and North Morrison Drive (“NoMo” for short) for inexpensive commercial lease rates and short commutes. SIB just announced this morning that they are moving their headquarters to NoMo from Meeting St south of Calhoun St.
- Restaurants and bars are opening here slowly but surely. Bob Carter’s Rutledge Cab Co. at the corner of Rutledge and Mount Pleasant is packed – all the time. As is Santi’s and The Tattooed Moose.
- The schools are improving. Not only are they being rebuilt, but also they are being rethought. For example, the James Simons Elementary School will become partly Montessori.
- Overall, there’s a great sense of community, with community-driven change. People are passionate about this area and spend their time working together to improve it.
So let’s take a look at the homes under contract and how long they lasted before they had a contract. That will give you a good idea of demand for the Upper Peninsula! Note that some of them had been on and off the market for years, and as soon as they came back up recently and were priced right, they were under contract.
MLS# 1204829- 18 FRANCIS ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $209,000 – 109 Days.
1224717 -311 ST PHILIP ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $239,000 – 92 days. (This and the other St. Philip addresses are the new construction homes in the nook of the King Street off-ramp from 17)
1224796 -301 ST PHILIP ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $239,000 – 48 days.
1222925 – 75 SIMONS ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $259,000 – 145 days. (also new construction)
1224794 – 307 ST PHILIP ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $265,000 – 0 days.
1224795 – 305 ST PHILIP ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $265,000 – 20 days.
1224831 – 0 FISHBURNE ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $269,000 – 22 days. (Also part of King St off-ramp project)
1224829 – 302 ST PHILIP ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $269,000 – 1 day.
1304868 – 235 FISHBURNE ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $295,500 – 6 days. (Though it was on and off the market since July 2010)
1224792 – 309 ST PHILIP ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $299,000 – 0 days.
1224793 – 303 ST PHILIP ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $299,000 – 2 days.
1301297 – 1007 ASHLEY AVE, CHARLESTON, SC – $299,900 – 4 days. (Though on and off the market since July 2012)
1301171 – 81 GORDON ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $300,000 – 28 days.
1225650 – 203 SAINT MARGARET ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $306,900 – 90 days.
1300787 – 163 MAPLE ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $324,000 – 0 days.
1304620 – 31 DUNNEMANN AVE, CHARLESTON, SC – $369,000 – 7 days.
1304375 – 12 CLEVELAND LN, CHARLESTON, SC – $369,900 – 14 days.
1213573 – 368 ASHLEY AVE, CHARLESTON, SC – $379,000 – 250 days.
1304476 – 109 FISHBURNE ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $412,000 – 2 days.
1303548 – 101 SAINT MARGARET ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $424,000 – 21 days. (Though on and off the market since April 2010)
1303287 – 76 MAPLE ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $426,500 – 20 days.
1302095 – 176 SAN SOUCI ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $429,900 – 19 days.
And the sunset views over the Ashley River from the fishing dock at Longborough, aren’t too bad either…:)
You can find me at Charleston Inside Out or riding my bike all over downtown Charleston.
(843) 412-3333 | firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s Charleston Regional Business Journal reports that residential sales in Charleston are up and the inventory is down compared to this time last year. So, is it turning into a seller’s market? It’ll be interesting watching it play out. 2013 Charleston MLS president Dave Sansome is quoted in the CRBJ as saying “Many areas of our region are squarely in seller’s market territory. That doesn’t mean that sellers can start overpricing their homes and expect them to sell, but it does mean that they have a bit more room to negotiate for the price they want than they have in recent years.”
Our business has definitely increased. Our Isle of Palms office is the #1 office in volume and sides for residential sales in the resort of Wild Dunes and on Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. We are quite ahead of our competition if I may blow our own horn for a moment.
As reported by MLS from 1/1/13-3/13/13 residential sales by office for Sullivan Island, Isle of Palms, and Wild Dunes
|Wild Dunes Real Estate||$3,223,000|
The Business Journal article by Lauren Ratcliffe reports that Charleston sales are outpacing last year’s by over 18%. In February of 2013 722 homes were sold with a median price of $181,334 and Charleston hasn’t seen sales volume like that since February of 2008 when 733 homes sold. Inventory has decreased by 1000 homes in comparison to this time last year.
If you are thinking about selling, now might be the time. As us about the Dunes Difference and see what we can do for you. If you are interested in buying, you might want to get started looking. We can help you with that search here.
Things change though, and as of today, 49 Morgan Place is the only home listed for sale. Two weeks ago there were three, but last week, 4 Morgan Place and 14 Morgan Place went under contract. One of them was only on the market for a couple of weeks.
Now, we know in a sellers market, home prices tend to move upward. I don’t think this means we will see prices soar like they did from 2005 to 2007 (any increase will be gradual), but, with a limited supply, and proof of demand in the pudding (evidenced by two contracts last week), sellers just might have a window to demand more than they could, not so long ago.
I have to say it feels good to dust off the saying, sellers market, although it may be a little to early. Or maybe not?
– Donnie Whitaker, dunes properties Real Estate Agent | 843.607.0954
A somewhat recent large assessment, coupled with pending litigation has caused a depressed market in the Shipwatch Villa community of Wild Dunes. Condo sells since the assessment was announced are proof as the difference in list price to sell price is astounding. Going back to July 1st, 2012, statistics show owners getting only 76.54% of what they were asking (does not include price reductions). This is significantly lower than when you combine all condo sells in Wild Dunes since that time (87.82%).
Below I have listed the last five to sell with the asking price and sell price:
122-D Shipwatch $525,000 > $440,000
420-C Shipwatch $725,000 > $475,000
318-C Shipwatch $699,000 > $525,000
413-B Shipwatch $740,000 > $535,000
405-A Shipwatch $675,000 > $600,000
These numbers show that buyers are taking advantage of the opportunity presented and doing well with it. The owners knowing of the assessment just want out and are ready to negotiate big time because of it (if they can). Now, there is a catch. In most cases, the buyers are agreeing to take on the current assessment, therefore taking on an additional $40K +/- to what they are getting the property for. On top of that, usually, with condo litigation, lenders are wary and will not loan. Therefore, more times than not, 100% cash becomes necessary to purchase. Still, the deals are there and for the savy investor, with interest in Shipwatch or owning a condo in Wild Dunes, it could be time to make the jump. Additionally, with the assessment comes repairs, and with repairs comes improvement only helping property values.
dunes properties agent Donnie Whitaker updates his blog every month with a list of everything that is currently for sale in Shipwatch Villas. Check out the full Shipwatch Post for more information.
Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors, delivered the keynote address and discussed the Charleston real estate market last Wednesday for area members of Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. He had lots of good things to say about the Charleston market in general. Read the whole story and watch the videos HERE.
Now what does all this mean to you as a homeowner, Buyer, or Seller? Be sure to talk to your agent, they are there for you whenever you have a question about home ownership and the market in general, not just if you are interested in buying or selling right now. You can speak pressure and commitment free to a dunes properties agent any time by calling 800.476.8444 or stopping by one of our four offices at 214 King St. downtown, 31 Center St. on Folly, 1400 Palm Blvd. on the Isle of Palms, or at Bohicket Marina near Seabrook/Kiawah Islands.