The Charleston area is one that is growing by leaps and bounds but still manages to maintain a downhome feel. Housing options range from apartments to historic townhouses to beachfront property there is an ample supply of “affordable” apartments, waterfront homes, historic homes and starter homes throughout the region. According to a recent ACCRA Cost of Living Survery, the average cost of a newly constructed home with 2,400 square feet of living space is $267,519. The average monthly rental cost for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, unfurnished apartment (excluding all utilities except water) is $896.
The buildings in Downtown Charleston date back to the mid-1700s. The single houses are treasured pieces of the city’s past with double porches, iron gates, and courtyard gardens. Since 1947, the Charleston Historic Foundation has worked tirelessly to protect and preserve the houses, buildings, and neighborhoods that make Charleston such a unique city. As exclusive as Downtown Charleston seems, home prices vary. Living south of Broad Street (or as the locals call it, South of Broad) is luxurious living at its best, with homes ranging from $1 million to more than $6 million. Multiplefamily buildings renovated into condominiums are gaining popularity. Downtown Charleston is a pedestrian community. Not only are commercial offices near many residential areas, but residents can also walk, bike, or rickshaw to dine at world-class restaurants, shop for designer wear on King Street, browse the French Quarter art galleries, and visit the numerous historic attractions. This convenience, combined with historic beauty and close proximity to area beaches, makes downtown Charleston one of the most desired areas in which to live. The median price for a home is on the Charleston Peninsula is $457,000.
Mt. Pleasant is only a short drive over the Arthur B. Ravenel Bridge. Once a quiet bedroom community, Mt. Pleasant is now home to more than 60,000 people. Its close proximity to downtown, the beaches, recreation, shopping, and
restaurants have made the area extremely popular. Mt. Pleasant offers something for everyone: boating communities, golf communities, areas that are reasonably priced, and some that are exclusive. The neighborhood of Raven’s Run even has its own grass airstrip.
Some of Mt. Pleasant’s neighborhoods that are more exclusive include I’On, Olde Park, and the Old Village. Houses in the Old Village date back to the 1800s and look like residences found in a small New England town. Neighborhoods farther out Highway 17, such as Park West, offer a wide range of housing options, from condominiums, to moderately priced homes, to waterfront homes priced over $2 million. The median home price in Mt. Pleasant is $327,040.
As the suburb of Mount Pleasant continues to expand, growth to the north in Awendaw seems inevitable. Still quite rural even along Highway 17, the town boasts little commercial development and a popular eatery, the Seewee Restaurant. Mount Pleasant’s new Wando High School is approximately five miles to the south, as is a recently completed shopping center that includes a Super Wal-mart. Median home price is $151,043.
The fishing village charm of tiny McClellanville makes this town a unique choice for a primary home. Located approximately 34 miles north of Mount Pleasant, with only 459 residents, it is a laid back blend of historic and older homes alongside new construction. The median home price is $302,916.
Daniel Island is a popular neotraditional community located 20 minutes from downtown Charleston via I-526. Most of the houses are built close together, the garages are located in the back among alleys, and the yards are smaller
than average. The neighborhoods vary in style, with lots offering access to the Wando River. Named one of “America’s Top 100 Golf Communities” in Travel + Leisure magazine, Daniel Island celebrates the recently opened 18-hole course designed by Rees Jones that now joins a course by Tom Fazio. The island’s parks and two sports stadiums host sporting events such as the annual Family Circle Cup Tennis tournament and Charleston Battery soccer games. They also host events such as festivals and concerts. Shops, restaurants, and schools are conveniently located near the six traditional neighborhoods, which include single-family homes and brick town homes. Homes along the water, marsh, or golf course run from $900,000 to more than $3 million. The median home price is $441,400.
Just 15 minutes from downtown lie Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms, two of Charleston’s barrier islands. With 10 miles of sandy beaches, beautiful marshes, and luxurious living, these islands have given its residents an escape from urban living since the 1800s. The East Islands are especially attractive to relocating executives, perhaps because they are only minutes from amenities in Mt. Pleasant and a short drive to downtown. The East Islands have quick access to shopping, restaurants, hospitals, and businesses while living the beach life.
Sullivan’s Island, located at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, has a proud history of protecting the harbor from military invaders and is the sight of a major battle of the American Revolution. Today, Sullivan’s is an established residential and vacation community. Quaint shops, restaurants, and pubs welcome locals and visitors. There are no hotels, motels, or bed-and-breakfasts on the island. Most homes range from $1 to $7 million. The median home price is $1,475,000.
Next door to Sullivan’s Island, the Isle of Palms features golf courses, beach shops, and beachfront restaurants. Wild Dunes, a world-famous resort and private community, is located at the northeast end of the island. Housing options range from oceanfront condominiums to luxury homes on the ocean, marshland, or overlooking one of the golf courses. The Isle of Palms also has plenty of homes and condominiums not located in the resort. The median home price is $855,000.
West Ashley, the oldest suburb in Charleston, features many neighborhoods lined with moss-draped oaks. Neighborhoods closest to downtown such as Byrnes Down and Avondale offer cottage-style, brick homes built after World War II. Newer neighborhoods feature reasonably priced homes and condominiums. Executive homes with deepwater lots and views of the Ashley River, tidal marshes, and creeks are in high demand. West Ashley residents enjoy the convenience of the Citadel Mall and plenty of restaurants, shops, businesses, and medical facilities. West Ashley also has its share of history with Charles Towne Landing, the original site of the first permanent English Settlement, and three beautiful historic plantations that are open to the public year-round. The median home price is $212,000.
The Battle of Secessionville, the first major Union effort to take Charleston during the Civil War, was fought on James Island. After the war, only a few homes remained and the island reverted to a sparsely populated, rural farming area. In 1993, the James Island Connector opened. This drastically improved access to James Island and brought increased residential and commercial development. Today, James Island is a popular, family-oriented island, only minutes from downtown and Folly Beach. From comfortable, older neighborhoods to new developments, the island boasts a wide variety of housing options. Many home sites have views of Charleston Harbor. Those with deep-water lots and water views can cost up to $3 million. The median home price is $248,000.
Often referred to as the “Edge of America,” Folly Beach is an eclectic beach town 15 minutes from downtown. “Folly Beach is a place where community rules,” says Eve Olasov, broker-in-charge and owner of Luxury Land and Homes, Inc. “This is a tight-knit community with a real sense of belonging,” says Olasov. “Old meets new while the spirit and flavor of Folly remains unmistakably the same. There’s something really special about Folly Beach, and it doesn’t take long to fit in and relax to the beat and lifestyle unmistakably Folly Beach.” The median home price is $413,000.
Much like James Island, John’s Island benefits from road and bridge expansions. Today, the short drive to downtown and West Ashley is bringing more residents to the area. In new communities and established neighborhoods, the average home price is $223,167.
Waterfront properties with deep-water access are in the millions. Development has been slower in the area, and its maritime forest vegetation and beautiful live oaks give the island the perfect spot for relaxed living.
Kiawah Island is only 21 miles from Charleston. The 10,000-acre, private residential and resort community is renowned for its natural beauty and environmentally responsible development. From villas and cottages to multimillion- dollar oceanfront homes, Kiawah Island attracts some of the world’s most famous and affluent people.
Seabrook Island is also a private resort development located next to Kiawah. Owned by its residents, this community is completely private.
The median home price for both islands combined is $695,000.
Geographically, North Charleston is the third-largest city in the state, with a population of more than 86,000. The area’s commercial business is booming with quick access to I-26, I-526, and Charleston International Airport. Homes on the Ashley River with deep-water access sell in the millions. Older homes in established neighborhoods can cost less than $100,000, and some of the new construction starts around $130,000. In many of the new neighborhoods,
developers have integrated fitness centers, jogging trails, parks, and community centers. Overall, North Charleston house prices are less expensive than other areas. The median home price is $153,900.
Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, and Summerville are towns that still possess natural beauty and a rare sense of community that is hard to find in today’s world. So it is no surprise that these qualities, along with the convenient location off I-26 just north and west of Charleston, have made Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, and Summerville some of the hottest housing areas in the region. Whether you’re looking for land, a charming historical home, or a brand-new starter home, these three communities have it all. Rest assured, affordable housing is abundant, and there are many new starter neighborhoods from which to choose. The median sale price in Goose Creek is $161,500; in Moncks Corner, $168,500; and in Summerville, $174,000.
The Town of Edisto, named for the Edistow Indians, is approximately 45 miles south of Charleston on roads of mosscovered oaks, working farms and historic plantation estates. Antebellum cash crops included rice, indigo and Sea Island cotton – one of the finest produced. Many of the elegant houses and plantations remaining today are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The 2,587 residents take pride in the island’s pristine beaches and landscape, and promote