Tag: South Carolina
Ask any resident of the Holy City, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” and you’re sure to be greeted with resounding affirmative responses. But, there are many factors to consider before moving to a new area. Generally speaking, Charleston is one of the best places to live in the country. In fact, the city has received an extensive list of accolades over the last decade, topping Travel + Leisure’s Best U.S. Cities since 2013. But, before permanently relocating, you should have a good understanding of the city, its culture, climate and cost of living to ensure it will be the best fit for your lifestyle.
Fortunately, Charleston has an abundance of beautiful areas to reside–from the bustling downtown homes to the beachside Isle of Palms real estate. Learn more about this flourishing coastal town in South Carolina and figure out which area your new dream home will be located.
What Is Charleston Like?
Perhaps one of the most enticing reasons to move to Charleston is the gorgeous weather year-round. The summers may reach scorching temperatures from time to time, but the winters are mild and pleasant. Plus, with so many beaches and outdoor water activities in the area, it’s easy to escape the summer heat while enjoying all the city has to offer. On average, the temperatures usually remain between the low 50s and 70s in the fall and spring, dropping down briefly to the mid-40s in the winter and rising back up to the 80s and 90s in the hottest of the summer months. With such a temperate climate, it’s no surprise an abundance of outdoorsy adventurers and beach bums gravitate towards this sunny little city.
Charleston, SC, is one of the greatest culinary destinations in the country right now with new restaurants popping up all the time. Many travelers come to the area to experience authentic Southern cooking, but stay for the surprising variety of cuisines available from classic French cooking to Sichuan joints. Of course, if you’re looking for good Carolina barbecue, you’ll have no trouble finding smoked meats from some of the most renowned pit masters in the state like Rodney Scott, but the adventurous eater will love all the other options available for exploring.
Though the downtown area has the greatest concentration of high-quality restaurants, you’ll find delectable dining throughout the area–from unexpectedly divine hidden fish shacks like Bowens Island Restaurant to decadent dining experiences at places like The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island. Believe us, you’ll never be hungry when you’re living in Charleston.
Originally part of the first 13 British colonies, Charleston and the surrounding areas have a deep, rich history that spans from the Revolutionary War through modern times.
Although some of the city’s past is dark, with slavery playing a major role in the pre-Civil War economy, Charleston has become a flourishing, progressive hub of forward thinking and modernity. From the mix of historical events that can take place here, including pirate endeavors and the creation of the first playhouse in the country, there is so much unique history to learn and experience.
The Outdoor Activities
With such beautiful year-round weather, it’s no surprise Charleston is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream place to live. Avid golfers look for Kiawah Island homes for sale to stay close to some of the top-rated championship courses in the country, while others prefer the bohemian vibe of Folly Beach. You’ll find exciting things to do in nearly every corner of Charleston. Visit the Francis Marion National Forest for a daytime hike along the Palmetto Trail, a cross-state trail that extends 350 miles with the goal of expanding to 500 miles. The Caw Caw Interpretive Center is another resource for experiencing and learning more about the Lowcountry’s environment and the beautiful creatures that inhabit it. And, in Charleston, anytime is a good time to go to the beach.
Downtown Charleston is home to some unique and very specific styles of architecture, ranging from Colonial and Federal styles to Classical Revival and even Art Deco. With more than 2,800 historic buildings, the area is teeming with unique designs and stories to match. You could spend days exploring the streets of downtown, discovering new, incredibly built houses. One of the most admired styles is the traditional Charleston Single, which is typically a two-story home featuring a covered porch off the side of both stories, a setup unique to Charleston developed prior to modern air conditioning to allow for air flow in the scorching summers.
The Best Areas to Live in Charleston, SC
If you’re still wondering, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” then you’re asking the wrong questions. Charleston is one of the most beautiful places to live along the coastline, and it encompasses so many different areas that there are plenty of different types of environments to choose from.
Most downtown residents consist of college students, young professionals or wealthy adults, with the South of Broad area being home to some of the richest residents in the area. The remainder of the peninsula welcomes the younger population, with many young families choosing to find homes further up the neck in the Wagener Terrace area. Close to Hampton Park and filled with adorable cottage-style homes, Wagener Terrace is close enough to the action of downtown while keeping a safe distance from the noisy bars and restaurants.
Just over the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, you’ll find yourself in Mount Pleasant. In the last 10 years, this town has grown exponentially as more people fall in love with Charleston and decide to relocate here. Regardless of what area you’re in, Mount Pleasant allows you to remain fairly close to downtown while having a more suburban surrounding. There are two beaches in Mount Pleasant—Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms—so you have plenty of options when it’s time to hit the shore.
For families looking to move to the area, Mount Pleasant is highly touted as having many of the best public schools in the entire state, a much sought-after characteristic. Enjoy spending your weekends walking through the outdoor town center, lounging by the beach or taking a walk over the bridge for unparalleled views of the surrounding area.
Heading southwest of downtown, the opposite direction of Mount Pleasant, you’ll discover James Island, home to the charming little area of Folly Beach. Known as the Edge of America, this shoreside locale is known for being a bit more bohemian than the other beaches in the area, but nonetheless a favorite haunt for locals and visitors alike. Here, you’ll discover hidden gems of the culinary world like Jack of Cups Saloon and Chico Feo. You can opt to take a sunset walk along the pier, or drive farther down the beach to the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve, a more secluded area of the beach where you can marvel at unique graffiti drawings and the abandoned Morris Island Lighthouse.
This area of Charleston was named for its geographical location as west of the Ashley River, which is also directly west of downtown. This charming town has plenty to offer, including proximity to downtown and its own hopping little area known as Avondale where you can explore funky tiki bars like Voodoo and even the oldest bar in Charleston, Gene’s Haufbrau. Though this area of Charleston is mainly residential, residents have easy access to the Citadel Mall, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Johns Island’s Angel Oak Tree.
Located in North Charleston, Park Circle is a short 15-minute drive from downtown. Considered a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood, Park Circle is home to young professionals and families. The strip of bars, restaurants and shops along E. Montague Ave. is the hub of this charming neighborhood, along with the adjacent Spruill Ave. businesses like brunch spot The Junction and the new Chinese-American joint called Jackrabbit Filly. Living in this area allows easy access to nearly every area of the city from downtown to the many beaches, while also harboring its own unique little culture of art and food.
Considered slightly more rural than other parts of Charleston, Johns Island is a gorgeous area surrounded by typical Lowcountry scenery of marshlands and live oaks draped in Spanish moss. The island itself is home to the Angel Oak Tree, what is believed to be one of the oldest living trees east of the Mississippi, as well as renowned restaurants, the Fat Hen and Wild Olive, and the charming Low Tide Brewing. From this location, you’re just a short drive to the James Island music venue called the Pour House as well downtown.
As you move farther away from the city, you’ll begin to feel more entangled in the natural landscape of the Lowcountry. Seabrook Island is only about a 45-minute drive from downtown Charleston, but offers serene backdrops of marshlands and the quiet relaxation of the barrier islands. Here, you’ll be close to the many championship golf courses on Kiawah Island, while remaining slightly closer to the city of Charleston. One of the major differences between Kiawah and Seabrook is that Kiawah is a gated community. Some people prefer this type of privacy, while others find getting guests and visiting relatives in and out of a gated community to be a bit of a burden.
For those who love outdoor adventure, this area might be a better fit as the island’s surroundings are ideal for kayaking, paddleboarding, horseback riding and much more. If you’re in the market for a boat or you already own one, the advantage to living so close to the water is clear. And, with such a gorgeous climate, you’re able to sail across the water almost any time of the year. Just imagine a New Year’s Eve sunset boat ride before the festivities begin.
As the barrier island located right next to Seabrook Island, Kiawah is similar in surroundings with lush live oaks flourishing across the island and thriving marshlands providing homes for the unique Lowcountry wildlife. For those who are interested in birdwatching or other types of wildlife observation, the island is the perfect environment for such endeavors. You can visit the Beachwalker Park or Night Heron Park to look for native species or simply enjoy the surroundings.
While Kiawah Island is a bit farther south than Seabrook, it is still under an hour from Charleston, making it possible to take a day trip into the city at any given moment. But, the island itself provides a variety of entertainment options as well as top-notch dining available at The Ocean Room and lovely cocktails at the Ryder Cup Bar. For golf lovers, this island is truly a paradise with access to five public courses and two private courses, many of which have been created by top golf designers and offer a challenge to players of all skill levels.
If you’re looking for Kiawah Island homes for sale, you’ll find a plethora of gorgeous properties that offer privacy and proximity to desirable activities nearby. Anyone looking for a slower pace of life will be attracted to the atmosphere of Kiawah.
Experience the Lowcountry Life
People who haven’t visited the area often wonder, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” and the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Between the uniquely gorgeous natural landscape, abundance of activities and world-class culinary dining, what more could you ask for? If you’re thinking about relocating and looking for Seabrook Island real estate or property in the surrounding areas, consider the activities you’d like to be closest to. Seabrook and Kiawah offer the serenity of quiet island living, while areas closer to downtown Charleston provide the bustle of a small city and the promise of nightlife. Browse some of the available properties in the area and inquire with Dunes Properties to learn more about your next dream home.
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.
Each quarter the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors produces a brief video outlining “The Skinny” on the local residential real estate market. In short:
- Inventory is down with fewer houses for sale
- Median prices are down just slightly
- The difference between original list price and sales price is lessening
- Mortgage rates are down again
Yes another great article about Charleston. This city is a top tourist destination and Charleston is frequently featured in magazines, tv programs, blogs and books. Frequently the content is interchangeable and pretty much says the same things over and over again. Not that we don’t enjoy or appreciate the articles, we do! But I noticed this article by the Lee Brothers, definite Charleston insiders and not just a travel writer here for a week trying to figure out this city.
Matt and Ted Lee have written the most beautiful ode to Charleston I think I have read yet. They describe the juxtoposition of the past and present in this town-how it has aged gracefully and grown even more vibrant and relevant.
Charleston has “contemporary” sizzle as they say and has found a new way forward by reaching to it’s past and embracing the tension that lies between the past and the present. They make note of how in these times of economic downturn, the citizens of Charleston have focused on what really matters in the world and have dug deep to embrace their roots. Art, music, food- things in life that feed the soul- Charleston has in abundance. And the quality and diversity is a testament to the home Charleston is. Dive bars, world renowned chefs, artists from around the world finding second homes in town, historical architecture mixing with the new, home cooking with innovative flair- Charleston has found a new way forward and this city is growing in all ways good.
Today, local Mitchell Elementary School will be visited by Jared the Subway spokesman. He is in town promoting healthy eating habits for children. There will be a 2pm assembly at the school and after that Jared will be walking the Ravenel Bridge from 3:30-4:30pm with a group of teachers who walk the bridge daily.
I have always been a fan of Subway. As a vegetarian for the last 24 years, it was one of my very few fast food options. To my delight there happens to be one right down from my office on the Isle of Palms. There are lots of fabulous dining options on and very near the Isle of Palms but sometimes you just want that quick $6 lunch.
– Rebecca, administrative assistant extraordinaire!
We saw rain off in the distance (the views are so amazing here you can often see rain pouring from clouds far away that never makes it to where you’re at), and heard some thunder but amazingly we were spared and eventually the full moon made it out from the clouds.
It can be so easy to take the every day beauty in your life for granted, but I don’t think any of us take Charleston, the sea, the beach, or life here for granted. We wake up every morning knowing that we live in one of the best cities. That feeling just gets a bit of reinforcement on nights like last night.
Pelicans circling and floating in the water, gulls cruising along, water lapping at the side of the boat- the Ravenel Bridge off in the distance. Just spectacular scenery and it’s around us every day.
I remember my first visit to a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store when I was a child. There were more flavors than I had ever seen before all at a price my parents were willing to pay! How could I decide which was best? I was used to vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but now there was mango, peach, caramel and cream, and about 27 other flavors to choose from. What was I to do?
Today’s real estate market is kind of like that. There are so many homes and neighborhoods available at great prices. How can a person decide on what to choose? If you are in the market for a new home, how can you avoid being mesmerized by the 33 flavors of homes available to you? Before you start looking, know what you need! Answer some questions before you go. The first answer you need is to the question of what you can afford. Here are a few others to consider:
- How big of a home do we need?
- Will three bedrooms and two bathrooms work? Or do we need more?
- How many square feet of air-conditioned space do we need?
- What size lot do we need?
- Do we want a large lot?
- Are we interested in a small lot?
- How much yard work am I willing to do?
- Are we interested in a townhome or condominium?
- What schools are nearby?
Once you’ve established your needs and balanced them with your wants, your Realtor® can focus the search on that target. Your Realtor® will preview a selected group of homes before spending your time in actually visiting everything in the mix. You should be able to find your home within 5 to 10 homes that you visit.
Remember Baskin – Robbins? I got sick sampling as many flavors as I could and never bought one scoop. Avoid the stomach-ache in your search by knowing what you want before you go to market.
We’ve has just listed this great lot which has a home that needs some work. 601 West Beach Court. We think this property is going to move fast at the super aggressive listing price of $394,900. A primary residence, a 2nd home, an investment rental property? You name it and this prime real estate fits the bill. This oversized corner lot is just steps away from beach access yet secluded away from the busy hustle and bustle that summertime can bring at Folly.
Just one of the many relaxing places in Mt. Pleasant
Facebook and Twitter offer insights into what’s important to people RIGHT NOW! After reading a number of posts on both, I started to see a pattern that I hadn’t expected: Lots of us are expressing appreciation for what we have around Charleston, SC.
Many posts are about good meals at various local restaurants. There have been a few about the weather and some about what’s the economy doing. Others talk about various activities that people are enjoying and a number that express appreciation for friends, or share family moments and dishwashers that don’t work…lots of people offered suggestions on what to do about that one!
One post talked about driving to the Ravenel Bridge to walk across the bridge (a favorite pastime of many), but the rain there caused her to have to find sunshine on a walk on the beach instead. I thought that one was particularly interesting since it helped me to appreciate that there are options for something as simple as a daily walk!
My wife and I were driving back from a trip to Hilton Head on Sunday. As we were driving on 17S, we both commented on natural beauty that surrounds us. We decided to move here to for business reasons, but fell in love with the area because of what it offers, the people, the food and the natural beauty that surrounds us everyday. When I read posts that show the appreciation that others have for what surrounds us it makes me smile. People from other areas want to be here. They buy second homes, or take vacations here because of what we get to enjoy everyday.
I have come to appreciate what we have and look forward to enjoying it for a very long time. I hope you do to!
It was a windy day on the water and perhaps 3 hours was about an hour too much for some of our spaghetti arms but we made it through. There were laughs- fighting against the winds and landing in some reeds and having to be towed out by the tour guide (that was me- he had a little hook attached to his boat he latched onto mine and kayaked me out from under a pier). No one fell out of their boat, that’s the important thing.What a glorious summer in Charleston. I have to say the temperatures have not been stifling and there have been many breezes and days cooled off by rain. I took advantage of this great weather and went kayaking in Mount Pleasant. I opted for the 3 hour tour from Coastal Expeditions . They are located in Mt. Pleasant at Shem Creek, the Isle of Palms, Folly Beach and also Bulls Island’s ferry. They provided the kayak, the tour guide and the life jacket. We were off after a brief introduction to proper kayak procedures.
The tour was fun and educational and going through the water you get a very different perspective on how the land is connected than you do in a car on the road. Going through Shem Creek and under Coleman Blvd. looking up at the boats and restaurants is so very different than dining at Red’s and looking into the creek. Going through Shem Creek was the most adventurous part- we saw three dolphins up close!
The guide was very knowledgable about area wild life and was excited to share information on everything we saw. I learned that pelicans usually die because they lose their eyesight and can’t feed and how dolphins on the SC coast have a unique feeding strategy where they flip a fish onto shore then they flip themselves out of the water for a brief moment to grab the fish – it’s called “strand feeding.”
I can’t wait to get back in a kayak and I am looking into buying my own. This was an adventure I can’t wait to experience again.