Charleston SC Real Estate and Homes for Sale
The Keadle Real Estate Group - Carolina One Real Estate
Welcome to our Charleston, SC real estate buyer's guide, brought to you by the Keadle Real Estate Group and Carolina One, Charleston's #1 real estate company! Carolina One Real Estate is locally owned and has been serving Charleston home owners for over 45 years with 11 offices throughout the Charleston area.
Charleston, South Carolina consistently ranks as one of the top places to visit and to live in the country. Last year readers at Conde Nast Traveler voted Charleston, SC the #1 travel destination on the east coast. Charleston always bodes well with Southern Living, which has named Charleston Best Southern City and Most Mannerly City, among others.
AARP has rated Charleston as one of the top places to retire. And most recently, Forbes ranked Charleston in its Ten Smartest Cities, which compared cities around the world in factors such as livability, economy, and infrastructure. This past year, other top ten lists have ranked Charleston in categories such as America's Friendliest Cities, Best Shopping Districts, Most Livable Cities, and Top Cities for Technology Jobs.
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Townhouses are great options for buyers wanting a low maintenance Charleston home, with more privacy than a condo. End unit townhouses fetch the highest real estate prices—and tend to have better resale value—because they only share one common wall with a neighbor. Many town homes in Charleston have small fenced yards, which make them ideal for pet owners. Other advantages of town homes include amenities—pools and walking trails are common—lower monthly fees than condos, and affordability. You'll usually find a nicer town home for the money compared with houses in the same price range.
Most of the condo developments in Charleston are located in downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, James Island, West Ashley, and the beaches. Condominiums are ideal for buyers wanting little to no maintenance; as a result, you'll find that many buyers looking for second homes choose condos. Monthly fees generally include maintenance of the exterior of the building and the common areas, access to amenities such as a pool or tennis courts, and building insurance. Condos are a great way to get the lowest purchase price possible and still have a close proximity to downtown Charleston and the beach.
Although new construction homes can be found throughout the area, most of the new homes for sale in Charleston currently being built are in new construction neighborhoods developed by local builders. Many of these homes are available for sale as pre-construction so that buyers can customize their new home to fit their needs and choose among the many finishing options. Now is a great time to buy new construction homes in Charleston because of the larger than average builder inventories and the great prices and incentives that the builders are currently offering in these new home communities.
Most waterfront homes in Charleston County are in the suburbs of Mt. Pleasant, James Island, Johns Island, and West Ashley (of these, Mt. Pleasant and James Island tend to be the top picks because they have the best water access for boating). Homes with deep water access and private docks are the most sought after waterfront real estate in the area. Also, homes overlooking the Charleston Harbor are high in demand but have a very limited supply available at any given time. Because waterfront homes fetch some of the highest prices in Charleston, many buyers opt for marshfront or tidal creek homes located in neighborhoods with community boat landings and dock facilities.
Charleston is known for having some of the best beaches in South Carolina. In the $1.5 million price range, buyers can find oceanfront homes in Isle of Palms and Folly Beach. Sullivan’s Island is the most expensive of Charleston’s 6 beaches because its rich history and prime location make it one of the most unique markets for beach homes on the SC coast. Buyers looking for private beach resorts will find 3 options in Charleston. Wild Dunes is closest to the city since it’s located just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston. Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island offer a more secluded feel because they’re about 45 minutes from historic downtown.
Charleston Metro Area
Location is the biggest factor in Charleston’s real estate market since most home buyers want to live as close as possible to historic Charleston and the beaches. The Metro Area is made up of Downtown Charleston and its closest suburbs. These are the most popular areas to live because they offer the best proximity you’ll find.
Charleston, SC Beaches
Charleston is known for having some of the best beaches in South Carolina. There are six beaches to choose from, and each has a style all its own. Three of these are private beach resorts (Wild Dunes, Kiawah, and Seabrook).
Isle of Palms is the most popular among the 3 beaches north of Charleston, yet it has remained almost as affordable as Folly Beach. Isle of Palms is 20 min. from downtown and 10 min. from Mt. Pleasant. The north tip of the island is gated off for the resort Wild Dunes. Isle of Palms...
Located just south of Kiawah Island, Seabrook is one of the few communities in Charleston with equestrian facilities. Seabrook Island also boasts 2 golf courses in addition to its resort style amenities. Its gated access and seclusion make it popular among buyers wanting a tranquil beach retreat. Seabrook Island...
Charleston, SC Suburbs Further Inland
The most affordable real estate in Charleston lies further inland where land is more readily available. The towns of Summerville, Goose Creek, Hanahan, and North Charleston are ideal for buyers wanting a single family house in the under $200K price range. Most of these homes are a 30-40 minute drive from historic Downtown Charleston and about an hour from the closest beach.
Charleston, SC Real Estate
Charleston is a large enough city to support a varied job market, numerous parks and recreation complexes, a great health care system, and some of the best public and private schools in South Carolina. You'll find lots of festivals and annual events every month of the year, from the Cooper River Bridge Run to the Family Circle Cup to the Charleston Food + Wine Festival.
For sports fans, Charleston has a minor league baseball team (the Riverdogs), a professional soccer team (the Battery), and a professional hockey team (the Stingrays) - not to mention the college sports teams at College of Charleston and the Citadel. Golfers will enjoy playing the 22 golf courses scattered throughout Charleston, many of which have hosted big golfing events like the LPGA Tour. Although Charleston is big enough to support a wide range of interests, it's also small enough to make it an affordable city to live. The average family can afford to buy a home and also enjoy living the Charleston lifestyle. In fact, its livability is often a factor in ranking Charleston as a top place to live by magazines and other groups.
Many people choose to relocate to Charleston because it has a strong economy with good job availability. With an estimated 5 million tourists who visit Charleston each year, tourism is one of the main industries in the area. When you scan Charleston's job listings, you'll always come across a range of healthcare positions since the Medical University of South Carolina and the Roper St. Francis Hospitals are 2 of the 5 biggest employers in Charleston. Another major employer, the Port of Charleston, contributes almost $3.5 billion each year to the local economy, interchanging with about 150 countries worldwide. Charleston is the fourth largest container port in the U.S. and one of the top ports on the southeast coast. Also, large corporations like Bosch, Amoco, and (the newest addition) Boeing account for a growing sector of the Charleston economy. Charleston has more than 27,000 military jobs, most of which come from the US Navy and the Charleston Air Force Base. And, the Charleston and Berkeley County School Districts together account for about 8,500 jobs.
A city that has a longstanding appreciation for the arts, Charleston is recognized as one of the cultural hubs of the South. Historic Dock Street Theatre was the first building in the United States dedicated solely to theatrical performances. Today Dock Street is home to the largest professional theater company in SC, the Charleston Stage Company, which premieres new plays and musicals as well as older, classic productions.
The most popular cultural event in Charleston is Spoleto. This 17-day arts festival features both local and international artists in all of the performing arts, including jazz, chamber music, opera, and modern dance. Spoleto also features harbor cruises that combine live music with unbeatable views of downtown and the Charleston Harbor. Throughout the year you'll find additional concerts and other performances by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Charleston Ballet Theatre. Or, if you prefer the visual arts rather than the performing arts, you'll find plenty to see in the Gibbes Museum of Art (pictured) and the roughly 30 art galleries concentrated in the French Quarter of downtown Charleston.
South Carolina beaches are a major factor driving the state's tourism, and Charleston is known for having 6 of the best beaches in South Carolina. There's the eclectic Folly Beach, which is popular for its surfing competitions and laid back style. Historic Sullivan's Island has attracted vacationers since the late 1800s, when wealthy Charleston families summered there to enjoy the constant ocean breezes. It's also home to Fort Moultrie, which has a naval defense history spanning from the Revolutionary War up until World War II. Isle of Palms, one of the most popular of the 6 Charleston beaches, has managed to balance affordability with a newer selection of real estate options. The ritzy Wild Dunes is the closest beach resort you'll find to downtown Charleston. And then, far removed from the hustle and bustle of Charleston, Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island offer resort style amenities in a natural beach reserve setting.
Real estate in Charleston ranges from new construction condos to historic mansions dating back to the early 1700s. The beaches and downtown Charleston are the most sought after areas for buying real estate (and therefore the most expensive). In order to get more house for the money, most buyers also consider Mt. Pleasant and James Island because they have the closest proximity to downtown and the beaches, a good selection of homes and neighborhoods, and the best schools in Charleston County. West Ashley and Johns Island are also good areas to consider for buyers wanting more affordable home options within Charleston County. You'll find the most affordable real estate in areas further inland, such as Summerville, North Charleston, Goose Creek, and Hanahan. Most homes in these areas are about 40 minutes from downtown Charleston and an hour's drive from the closest beaches.
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