Charleston Real Estate in SC

Posted by on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 at 10:10am.

We work with a lot of home buyers relocating to the Charleston, SC area. Many of our clients are not familiar with Charleston real estate – the prices, the many areas, and the availability of homes. So, before we can find the right house for them, we often have to find which area in general meets their needs. I’ve organized Charleston real estate into 6 sections so that you can get a feel for the main areas of Charleston. Of course, these are not all of the areas – but they’re the main places that Charleston residents consider “Charleston real estate”:
1) Mt. Pleasant is usually one of the first choices for Charleston home buyers. It has some of the best schools in the Charleston area along with a great location. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Charleston and about 10 minutes from the two closest beaches. It has a slightly upscale feel to it, with lots of shopping and restaurants. Buyers have a lot of real estate options in Mt. Pleasant because it has big selection of homes. Real estate prices start around $150K for a condo, $175K or so for a townhouse, and just under $250K for a house. 
2) Another top choice among home buyers is James Island. Real estate prices are comparable, and the location is just as good, if not better. Downtown Charleston and Folly Beach are about 10 minutes from most areas on James Island. This area doesn’t have quite the traffic of Mt. Pleasant, but it also doesn’t have as much commercial development. This is one of the best real estate markets for rentals in all of Charleston, which makes it a good area for investors.
3) Folly Beach is the most popular of the six beaches in Charleston. It’s also the most affordable. Real estate prices range from the $300’s for a non-beachfront condo to about $1.5 Million for a basic beachfront house (these can get up to about $6 Million). It has a very laid back feel and is the popular spot for Charleston surfers. Real estate here has seen quite a boom in the past 10 years, and vacation rentals make it a great real estate market for investors and buyers looking for a second home (many of which rent out their home in the off season). 
4) Downtown Charleston (the Charleston Peninsula) is at the heart of Charleston real estate. It is some of the priciest non-beach real estate simply because there is such a demand for it. Real estate prices start in the $300’s for a livable condo and range from the $600’s to the eight and ten million dollar price range for houses. Downtown Charleston is the place most people think first when they hear “Charleston real estate.” This area (which is also called the Peninsula) has the most culture and history in all of Charleston.
5) West Ashley is the most affordable area on this list so far of popular Charleston real estate. This is partly due to the location – which is still good but not as good as, say, James Island. Depending on the area, Folly Beach is about a 20-30 minute drive, and downtown Charleston is about 15 minutes away. Real estate prices in West Ashley start in the $150’s range for a condo and the low $200’s for a starter house.
6) The town of Summerville is much further inland, which makes it much more affordable. It’s about 40 minutes from downtown Charleston (and closer to an hour with commuter traffic) and less than an hour to the beach. Summerville has a small town feel, and it also has a great public school system. Real estate starts in the $120’s for condos and the $150’s for starter houses.
Charleston real estate has a lot of great options for home buyers. With such a range in prices and such a large and varied real estate market, you’re sure to find the home you’re looking for!

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