December 2012

Found 10 blog entries for December 2012.

We hope you have a happy New Year! Here are 5 local events in Charleston to help you bring in the New Year in style:

  • Barsa New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party: at Barsa Tapas Lounge; tickets are $25 before or $30 at the door; read more at
  • The Snyder Grand Ball: at the South Carolina Aquarium; this is the 12th annual event for this ball; tickets are $135 per person;
  • Mercury’s New Year’s Eve: at Mercury Bar in downtown Charleston; tickets are $30;
  • Republic New Year’s Eve: located on King Street in downtown Charleston; $35 general admission; get tickets at
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We wanted to take a minute to thank our current and past clients. This has been one of our most successful years in the past decade. So much of our business comes from past clients who return to us for buying investment properties or moving up to a larger home. Or, they recommend us to their friends and family. Thank you for helping us do what we love – guiding buyers and sellers to make the best financial decisions possible. For most people, buying a home is the single largest investment they make in their lifetimes, and we are honored that you choose us to facilitate the process.

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There are many ways to go about finding a home in the Charleston real estate market that suits your taste, budget, and time frame. New homes are gorgeous, short sales and foreclosures are inexpensive, and re-sales usually mean a quicker closing. You first need to ask yourself, “Where do my priorities lie in regards to purchasing my new home?” Do you need a home to move into right away? Do you need a home to fix up in order to save money initially? Or, do you really want a classic older home with a story to tell?

For instance, let’s say that your current home has sold, and you need to be out within 30 days. You need a home to move into right away, and you can’t fathom having to move into a rental and then your new home. In this case, timing is your

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Do you already own a lot in the Charleston real estate market, or have you found the perfect plot of land to build your new home? Have you looked at John Weiland’s Mount Pleasant new homes and loved them, but the lots were not private enough or not large enough? If you said yes to any of these questions, then I may have a solution: build your perfect home on your perfect lot.

Several builders in the Charleston real estate market will build a custom home on a lot of your choosing. I have personally found that larger builders tend to be able to quote better prices due to the fact that they have access to large suppliers, and the builder typically buys the materials to build the home in bulk. Small builders may be just as competent, but they usually have

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If you are planning your family fun time and creating new holiday traditions, consider these fun-filled activities in Charleston this season:

  • Visit with Santa: This is a free event on Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 12-2 PM. Children can play games, enjoy music, make crafts, and get pictures with Santa (bring your own camera). Located at the Darby Building, 302 Pitt Street, in Mt. Pleasant. Read more on the Town of Mount Pleasant’s website,
  • Danielle Howle and Fireworks Show Prime Time Xmas Special: On Wednesday, Dec. 19, there will be a guitar-strumming event for singers and songwriters. Admission is $5. Starts at 9 PM at Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ, 2209 Middle Street, on Sullivan’s Island
  • Family Craft Tent: On Wednesday, Dec. 19, kids can
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Applying for a building permit in Charleston is not just a one-step process, so it’s best to get your application in as soon as possible. The town of Mount Pleasant is especially particular, so it can sometimes be a lengthier process for this suburb. As a builder, you must be licensed, and your license must be updated. Then you may start submitting information to the Town of Mount Pleasant’s Planning and Development Department for review. If you pass this review, you can then get a permit to build the home and sell it in the Charleston real estate market for a profit.

The first step is to submit a Building Permit Application for New Homes. The Town of Mount Pleasant has a website,, where you can click on Planning (under

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The MLS stats are in for November 16-30, 2012. When comparing YTD (Year to Date) numbers for 2011 and 2012, here are the findings:

  • 5,213 Active listings in 2012 compared to 6,488 in 2011 (that’s a decrease of 1,275, or 20% fewer homes for sale than this time last year)
  • the number of closed homes for 2012 was 9,325 (remember that this was a few weeks ago) compared to 8,227; this is an increase of 1,098, or 13% listings that have closed

These numbers show that the Charleston real estate market as a whole is recovering well. If we focus on specific areas, here’s what we find:

  • areas with the highest number of closed homes include West Ashley (with 40 closed homes in this two week period), James Island (24 closed), North Charleston (60), Mt.
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We’ve gotten a lot of mortgage questions recently, so I wanted to take a minute to explain the hype about the very low interest rates we’re seeing right now (rates are holding steady around the 3.5 to 4% range). A 1% change in interest rate produces a 10% change in purchasing power. So, for example, let’s say that you can afford a $300K home at a 4% interest rate. If interest rates go up to 5%, you’ll only be able to afford a $270K home. In other words, you’ll be making the same monthly payment, but more of that money will be spent paying interest rather than the house itself.

Although interest rates are expected to remain low over the next year, home prices are not in the Charleston real estate market. In fact, Charleston’s prices have risen 6% so far

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The Charleston real estate market has continued its trends of lower inventories and rising prices. The inventory of homes for sale is down 21% from last year causing the number of days on the market to drop significantly. Right now, the homes that are priced well and show well are selling within a week or two of being listed, often with multiple offers.

What does this mean for you as a buyer? When you find a home you want to see, let us know so that we can make an appointment! Acting quickly will boost your chances of being able to purchase that top pick among the homes that are your favorites. Prices are no longer going down, but rather trending up, so right now we are seeing many buyers ready to purchase who had previously waited for the bottom of the

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Here are a few enlightening holiday events coming up in the Charleston area:

  • Mt. Pleasant Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting: On Sunday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 PM, gather at Moultrie Middle School in Mt. Pleasant for the tree lighting and a fireworks display. Then stay for the parade down Coleman Blvd.
  • Grand Illumination: From 6-8 PM on Thursday, Dec. 13 and also Friday, Dec. 14, you can step back in time to a Christmas of 1782. Wander through candlelit and torchlit gardens and hear costumed interpreters tell stories of the holiday season when the British evacuated Charleston at the end of the Revolutionary War. Afterward, enjoy a fire and a Southern buffet dinner in the Pavilion. Located in West Ashley at Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Rd. $45/adults,
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