4 of the Best Breakfast & Brunch Places in Charleston

by carolinaone_marketing 18. September 2015 06:45

When moving to Charleston, South Carolina, you aren't just looking for a good neighborhood and school system (although those may be your primary concerns). Most people don't want to live in a place with nothing to eat, and one of the things that draws people to this city is its eclectic food scene. With cultural influences like English, Scottish, French, and Cajun, there is a particular flavor to Charleston that is all its own. Carolina One has already listed some of the best all-around city restaurants in this blog, so we thought we'd cover something a little more specific and review some of our favorite picks for breakfast and brunch. Here they are:

1.  The Hominy Grill
– What's more southern than grits . . . and what's more Charleston than the Hominy Grill? They offer a breakfast menu for weekdays and a special brunch menu on weekends. Their breakfast menu offers a number of standard staples like shrimp and grits, omelets, and biscuits and gravy, but clearly they're incredibly good at making them or the place wouldn't be such an establishment in the city. If you go for brunch on the weekend, they offer such delectable items as she-crab soup with sherry, a Low Country omelet with red rice and shrimp gravy, and a fried green tomato BLT. Yummm! And get a side of their famous grits to go with anything!

2.  Poogan's Porch – Though they only offer brunch on weekends from 9 A.M. to 2:30P.M., Poogan's Porch is well worth it! They have unique offerings like the fried alligator with honey Jalapeño dressing, Blackend catfish with bacon, black-eyed pea, and butter bean succotash, and cinnamon French toast with strawberries and pecans. In addition, they offer essentials with a twist, like chicken and waffles with blueberry Texas Pete maple syrup, and locally-inspired Charlestowne Fry (an omelet with fried oysters, gouda, bacon, and remoulade). The restaurant also has a killer atmosphere, being set in a restored Victorian home and named for a dog that used to live on the porch – in other words, the perfect vision of an idyllic southern brunch! 

3.  Gaulart & Maliclet – This casual establishment reflects the French influence on the city, offering a breakfast every morning (except Sundays) starting at 8 A.M. with a number of basics that will be great for eating in or taking on-the-go. Have a ham and cheese croissant, a fruit salad, or a filled PB&J croissant with made-to-order French press coffee. How many places offer that? And all of these come at an impressively low price that will definitely have you coming back to Gaulart & Maliclet on days when you forgot your lunch.

4.  The Park Café – A local neighborhood establishment right off of Hampton Park in north Charleston, the Park Café emphasizes local, fresh ingredients and unassuming, yet flavorful dishes. They offer both breakfast and lunch menus, replete with distinctive offerings like «Ębleskiver (Danish popovers), Veggie Mess (scrambled eggs, cheddar, avocado and veggie curry), creamy kale with parmesan, and the Park Burger with bacon, aioli, tomato and cheddar. All of this is offered in a sunny, spacious building surrounded by trees and filled with indoor plants and rustic, but modern décor.

These are just some of our picks for breakfast and brunch in Charleston. What are yours?


If you are considering moving to our great city, the many fantastic food options may convince you. Check out our Charleston SC homes for sale at Carolina One and the many other restaurants that you will experience here today!



Charleston SC homes for sale

Goose Creek, SC: The Perfect Environment for Young Students

by carolinaone_marketing 4. September 2015 05:26

Can you believe it's already time to start another school year? It seems like summer just began! This can be a stressful and overwhelming time for both students and parents alike – especially parents who are trying to enroll their children in a new school system. However, if your child will be going to school in Goose Creek, you're in luck! Goose Creek, SC is the perfect environment for young students. Here are three reasons why:

kids learning together 

1.  Highly Regarded School Systems – One of the biggest concerns that parents have when enrolling their children in a new school is the value of the education they will receive. It can be hard to find a good school in a new area that you are unfamiliar with, but Goose Creek's is one of the best. The teachers here are uniquely dedicated to ensuring that each student gets the attention that they need. Goose Creek schools always rank well above average in the area for quality education.

2.  Safe, Small Town Community Feel – Your child should have no problem making friends in this town, both at school and outside of it. Goose Creek prides itself on the friendly citizens and small-town community feel. It has 36,000 residents spread out over 32.5 square miles, which helps to keep everyone in town rather close-knit without the crowding of a larger city. The historic town also has a very low crime rate, which means that your children will be able to make friends and walk around town with very little fear for their safety.

 man sitting by the water

3.  Fun Community Events and Activities for Everyone – Goose Creek, SC may be a small town, but that doesn't mean that it's boring. There are always plenty of community events and activities that your child can partake in. Your child can play at the many nearby parks, enjoy the annual Fall festival, and much more! Goose Creek is also famous for its historic churches, which your family can visit for a day of educational fun. And, if you are religious and looking for a church to attend, the area has an abundance of them in several different denominations. You'll have no problem finding a welcoming congregation that you and your child can get involved with.

Do you currently live in Goose Creek, SC? What do you love the most about it and what do you think makes it the perfect place for raising school-aged children? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts! 


Home in Goose Creek, SC

Five Things to Know before You Purchase a Second Home in Charleston, SC

by carolinaone_marketing 27. August 2015 06:21

If you have visited the Charleston, SC area, you may have fallen in love with it. We have, and we know many homeowners who knew they had to have a home in the Charleston area after visiting it a few times. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is great all year round, and the food is fantastic. Plus, there is a ton of history here, and the people are so friendly. They don't call it Southern Charm for nothing!

However, before you immediately go out and buy a second home in Charleston, SC, we wanted to provide you with a few words of wisdom. As experts in real estate in Charleston, SC, we have sold homes to many people who were using them as a second vacation home. Most have not regretted the decision for a second, but all of them had a clear understanding of what went into home ownership before they agreed to a contract. Here are five things you think about before looking at homes:

Get a Real Estate Agent that Is Local: If you don't live in the area that you want to move to, no matter if it's Charleston or anywhere else, you will definitely want to find a local agent who can help you find homes in the area that meet your individual needs. An agent can provide you with up to date information on new homes on the market that you may not be able to get if you're hundreds of miles away. He or she can also make you aware of any local information that you should know before you schedule a visit.

At the Same Time Get to Know the Area as Well as Possible: Like we said, we haven't encountered anyone who has had buyer's remorse purchasing a second home in Charleston, SC. Still, if you have only been to Charleston once or twice, we would recommend coming out for an extended visit. Make sure that this is really the place you want to spend your summers or winters, depending on where you are. Talk to the locals too. We're pretty sure they'll sell you on the area, but insider information can really help you know if Charleston is right for you.

Figure Out What Kind of House You Want to Buy: If you're purchasing a second home to spend time in occasionally, you may not require a lot of space. A smaller home or condo will certainly save you money on maintenance costs. However, at the same time, if you will have friends and family over when you do come to Charleston, space could be tight. Then there's the question of whether you're going to retire there. What kind of a home do you want to retire in? It's crucial to do an evaluation of what your needs are in order to make an educated decision.

Are You Going to Rent Out Your Home? If so, you will need to learn more about what your tax benefits and obligations are. For example, if you rent out your home less than 15 days out of the year, then you don't have to report that rental income. However, you can't deduct any rental expenses like upkeep, cleaning costs, etc. However, if you rent more than 15 days out of the year, you do need to report that income. However, you do get to deduct your rental expenses on your tax bill. If you wish to make a little money on your home when you're not there, renting is an option.

Examine Your Plan, Both Short Term and Long Term: If you are planning to retire there, is the home near quality healthcare facilities and does it have reliable transportation options? Obviously, if you are going to choose a home in Charleston, SC, the answer to that question will be yes. Is your second home close enough where getting there won't be a hassle if you plan on making a weekend trip? Why do you want a second home in the first place? By examining your goals and reasoning to purchase a second home, you should be able to make the right decision.

Carolina One real estate associates can help you find the home of your dreams in Charleston, Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant, and many other parts of the Charleston metropolitan area. If you fell in love with Charleston and want to make your home here, contact us today at (800) 342-2105.



Charleston Real Estate

Understanding Charleston's Shotgun Homes

by carolinaone_marketing 24. August 2015 04:09

There are all kinds of homes for sale in Charleston, SC, from historic manors to brand new townhomes, suburban ranch houses to city bungalows. But one of the most distinctive styles of Charleston house—and one of the most misunderstood—is the "shotgun." Shotguns are by no means the most prevalent houses for sale today, but they are definitely on the market and few styles are so distinctly Southern as a shotgun.


Here is everything you need to know about Charleston's shotgun homes:

  • They are a classic of Southern architecture – Shotguns aren't unique to Charleston. Probably most famous in New Orleans, the shotgun style home is found as far away as Texas. These homes are so named because each room opens onto the next, all in a single line, so you could fire a shotgun from the front door to the back door. This style of home was popular for two reasons: first, because it lets you make optimum use of a long, narrow lot (which is more affordable than a home with lots of street front); secondly, because the narrow construction does not require long timbers to build—the same reason that cottage-style properties are popular. For much of Southern history, the urban middle class preferred shotguns.
  • Shotguns and privacy are compatible – To many people, the word "shotgun" conjures up the image of tip-toeing through one bedroom to get to another, or hanging sheets over the doorways for privacy. This dorm room style living is not the reality in most shotguns. In the olden days, there was some truth to this (with every room opening onto the next, it was inevitable). But these days, many shotguns have private side entrances installed, or have even been remodeled so the rooms no longer open onto each other.
  • Shotguns are not the same thing as "railroad" homes. A railroad home has the same basic layout as a shotgun, but with a single hallway running the length of the property. This makes the house wider (and potentially makes the rooms narrower) but ensures privacy for each room.
  • The kitchen is usually in the back. Originally, shotguns had outdoor back kitchens or an indoor kitchen at the rear of the house. The front of the house is typically a bedroom. Why does the front door open onto a bedroom? Explanations vary from getting the most fresh breeze on a hot night to Southern hospitality, entertaining guests in the most cherished room of the house. These days, most people use the front room as a living room.
  • They're easily modified. Because shotguns have such a simple layout, they can easily be remodeled in all sorts of creative ways. Common choices include adding bathrooms, increasing privacy between rooms, expanding with more rooms in the back, or adding a large porch on the front.

Some of Charleston's most well-preserved historic districts are full of beautiful vintage shotgun homes just waiting to be purchased. They are not the only homes for sale in Charleston, but they are great investments. Check out our listings at Carolina One Real Estate to find shotgun homes or any other home in the neighborhood of your choice. 


homes for sale in Charleston SC

Advantages to Buying in Charleston

by carolinaone_marketing 31. July 2015 04:34

Real estate in Charleston, SC is attracting a lot of interest at the moment and for good reason. But is Charleston really the right place to buy? At Carolina One, we think so, and it's paying off for many homebuyers already. Here are five advantages to buying in Charleston:

Great suburbs

Charleston is unique among major East Coast metropolises because it still has so many accessible, first-ring suburbs. Many of these suburbs grew up from what were originally holiday towns where wealthy Charlestonians would summer in the 1800s. That means many are still built around historic town centers and cute downtowns, while spreading slowly in careful, scenic developments. While price ranges vary from ultra-luxury manors to affordable middle class dream homes, all of these suburbs tend to be safe, have strong local schools and easy access to Charleston. Commute time is as little as ten minutes and rarely more than 30.

A thriving downtown

Charleston has a beautiful downtown with a mix of historic buildings, rehabilitated old industrial structures and modern structures that give it a very cosmopolitan feel. There's a thriving nightlife with lots of cultural centers, art events, bars and restaurants and music venues. Southern hospitality remains alive in Charleston and many of the restaurants mix traditional charm and warmth with bold new flavors and world influences. You're not going to get bored living in Charleston.

Close to nature

There are few cities in the U.S. where you can go from a bustling urban Downtown to an untouched forest or pristine beach in just fifteen minutes. The land around Charleston consists of rivers, tidal pools, traditional countryside, ancient pines and colossal live oaks. There are wildlife refuges, public parks, and scenic drives. Charlestonians never want for fresh air.

The job market

One of the most important things to consider when settling down in a city is future career prospects. While other Southern cities were floundering, Charleston was busy expanding into new markets including an ever-growing tech industry. Generally, Charleston enjoys a low level of unemployment and a continuous stream of new investment.

The home market

Of course, a home is an investment and the biggest financial factor to consider when buying is the value of the home itself. The general wisdom in the Charleston real estate market is "get in on the ground floor." The beautiful, nearby suburbs will not be affordable forever and properties in the developing downtown will only appreciate. Buying now means a great profit later.


There are many other reasons to buy in our beautiful area of South Carolina. If you think Low country life might be for you, check out our listings at Carolina One!


Charleston SC Real Estate

4 Tips to Make Buying Real Estate Hassle-Free

by carolinaone_marketing 29. July 2015 08:49

At Carolina One, we see more families than ever looking at Mount Pleasant, SC real estate. Mount Pleasant is a beautiful area and has lots of great properties, but the home buying process can be daunting. Here are our tips to make it as stress free as possible:

1.  Get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified – Many banks will tell you that you "pre-qualified" for a mortgage, but that only means they know they can get you a mortgage of some kind—not the specific rates and details of what you will qualify for. Instead, take the time to sit down and go through the pre-approval process, meaning you will know exactly how much you qualify for and what the interest rate and terms will be. This arms you with hard knowledge of what you can and cannot afford—and what the monthly payments will be—before you even look at houses.

2.  Have a "High," "Medium," and "Low" budget – Many people simply come up with a maximum number they will be willing to pay and call that their budget. The problem is that, invariably, you will be tempted to buy houses toward the high end of your budget, as they will offer more in terms of space, luxury or location. We recommend setting three ranges: High, Medium and Low. Your Medium range is the ideal range to buy a house in, and any house you like in that range is probably a good call. The Low budget will be the range below that. Buying in this range will come with drawbacks, but mean substantially more spending money every month. Your family should discuss exactly what sacrifices you're willing to make if you find a house in this range—fewer rooms than you wanted, a different neighborhood, a substantial fixer-upper, etc. Likewise, the High range will mean you have less disposable income, so discuss beforehand what benefits you would need to make a High range house worthwhile.

3.  Consider sleeper costs before you make an offer – Remember that owning a home comes with other costs, such as maintenance, repairs, insurance, and HOA fees for condos. Use an inspector to accurately assess what repairs you will need and get estimates for them. Factor all of these costs into whether you can afford a house.

4.  Work with a real estate agent you trust – Although it's possible to go it alone these days, DIY home hunting has drawbacks. Your realtor knows the market, knows the warning signs of a lemon, and knows how to negotiate. Most importantly, they work for you and will put that knowledge to use in your favor.


If you are looking for a new home in Mount Pleasant or the surrounding area, contact us at Carolina One and we can help you to stay within your budget!


Mount Pleasant SC Real Estate

4 Ways to Prevent Home Buying Regrets

by carolinaone_marketing 27. July 2015 04:22

John's Island, SC is one of the most beautiful parts of the greater Charleston area and most of the homes for sale there are keepers. However, even the most beautiful house can come with surprises, and those can lead to regrets. Here are four tips from us at Carolina One for making sure you go into the buying process with your eyes open, and come out with a dream home and no regrets.


1.  Talk to the neighbors – This is a step surprisingly few home buyers take, and yet it can make all the difference in the world. Most John's Island residents are friendly and happy to talk to potential future neighbors, and they will have insider info on the neighborhood that you won't get from listings or even walkthroughs. Ask whether anyone in the neighborhood has plans to do major renovations, what they like and don't like about their street, what the schools are like and anything else on your mind. Often, neighbors will volunteer info you never would have thought of asking about.

2.  Test drive the commute – Fortunately, John's Island is one of the most commuter-friendly towns around Charleston. Just a ten-minute drive from downtown, there are two bridges that tend to keep traffic flowing even at peak hours. Nonetheless, we always recommend testing out the commute if possible. Get up early one day and swing over to the Island first, then try driving to work at the hour you'd normally leave. Can you picture yourself doing this every day?

3.  Swoop through at all hours – Checking out a neighborhood means more than just seeing it on a Sunday afternoon. What is it like on a weekday? How about a Friday night? When considering buying in a neighborhood, we advise driving through several times at different times of day and night. It will be good to know if the neighbors are up later and partying after midnight, or if a street is too sleepy for you even on the weekend. The more time you spend in the neighborhood, the better you will know if it truly feels like home.

4.  Verify extra costs – One of the biggest sources of buyers' remorse comes from unexpected costs. Usually, these costs could have been anticipated with a little research. For example, you should always contact your own insurance company and get a quote on the home insurance instead of relying on a seller's figures; they may have discounts that you won't. Similarly, if the home needs repairs, don't rely on a seller's estimates for those repairs unless they can show you the recent quotes from real contractors. Otherwise, get your own contractor to give you a quote before proceeding.


What else do you check out before seriously considering a home?


South Carolina real estate

How to Bid on a House

by carolinaone_marketing 24. July 2015 06:44

More people are looking for Isle of Palms real estate these days, and that means more competition when making a bid. So how do you make a bid that is high enough to get accepted, low enough to have no regrets, and leaves you with the money you'll need for repairs? Here are some tips from us at Carolina One:


Go with the facts, not your feelings

It's easy to fall in love with a house, and in theory that's the home you should buy. After all, you'll be happiest there, right? Well, that's not necessarily true if you overpay or turn a blind eye to expensive repairs that need to be done. When dealing with real estate, it's best to make decisions squarely based on the facts, and to tread very carefully if you find yourself falling head over heels from for a place. To make an intelligent bid, you have to be willing to (potentially) lose the house in question rather than overpay. There is enough beautiful Isle of Palms real estate that if you miss out on one house, you will find another.

Hire a home inspector—and ask them questions

For most buyers, hiring a home inspector is standard practice, and for good reason. An inspector represents a minor up-front cost for you (usually about $200) but can give you valuable information on the condition of the home and potential future (or existing) problems that you might not have noticed on your own. However, you'll learn more if you accompany your inspector on the walk through and ask questions as you go. Bear in mind that inspectors have a standard checklist, and it's as important to ask what they do and don't look for as it is to get the results themselves. All of this information will help inform a good bid.

Verify the property boundaries

One thing that can turn a dream house into a nightmare is if the property boundaries are wrong, if neighbors misunderstand them, or if there is a dispute. Take the extra time to go out and look for the property marker. Do fences or boundaries align with it? Do the real lot dimensions match what the listing says? Are there any active disputes with neighbors? These are things you can confirm before you offer a price.

Don't lowball (usually)

The big myth among home buyers is that you should start low. That's true, but go too low and you're just going to lose the house to someone else. Sellers know what the house is worth at least as well as you do, and in most market conditions they just aren't going to go for a lowball offer. That said, if you have good reason to go low (such as a major flaw found in the inspection) or if the house has been on the market a long time, it's worth a try.


If you have other questions about the bidding and buying process, contact us at Carolina One today! Our expert real estate agents have the experience to help you get the home of your dreams – for a price you can handle. 


Isle of Palms Real Estate

When Is the Right Time to Buy Your First House?

by carolinaone_marketing 6. July 2015 04:36

There is a lot of Summerville, SC real estate that's perfect for couples, young families, and first-time home buyers. But how do you know when it's time to buy your first home? After all, a mortgage is a huge fiscal responsibility and you need to be prepared for it. Here are four factors that may mean it's time to take the leap:

1.  When interest rates are favorable – The biggest factor guiding your decision on when to buy should ideally be financial. It can be hard to view major life decisions in a dispassionate way, and there are definitely other factors that affect home buying besides just the money. But the bottom line is that your house is likely the biggest investment you will ever make, and like any investment it's vital to get the best terms possible. This doesn't just mean negotiating a price that's satisfactory – it also means getting your loan at the best terms you can. Presently, loan rates are still very favorable and interest rates are relatively low because the U.S. government is hoping to stimulate more home buying. That means that all else being equal, 2015 is a good time to buy. The low interest rates and favorable terms will not last forever.

2.  Once you've settled on a career – Another factor in choosing whether to buy your first home is where you are in your career. Most first-time home buyers are in their mid to late 20s, which means they have had a few years since college and have settled into a career path. Choosing a career before buying a home has two advantages: first, it means you have likely chosen the city or region where you plan to be working long-term, so it makes more sense to invest in a home there; secondly, it means you have some idea of what future income to expect and can make buying decisions more accurately. You do not have to be far along your career path, but knowing what you expect to do professionally will help guide your decision.

3.  Ideally, before you have kids – Buying a house can be a big process—there's the house hunt, the move, and any renovations or redecorating you want to do. When possible, it's easier to do this before you have kids than while you are raising an infant or toddler. If you know you plan to have children, it may pay off to look for your family home before the stork comes to visit. After all, it's harder to get the painting done or put together a cabinet when you have a hungry three year-old on your hands.

4.  When you see the house that feels like home – Ultimately, the right time to buy a home is when it feels right. Take a look at the real estate available in Summerville and see if anything strikes you. If a place feels like your dream home, start asking how you can make it happen in your current situation.


What kind of home are you dreaming of? Take a look at our listings at Carolina One to find the perfect first home for your needs!


Summerville real estate

4 Surprising Ways to Make a Good Investment When Buying a Home

by carolinaone_marketing 29. June 2015 05:17

More people than ever are looking for real estate in Charleston, SC right now. But a big part of finding the right home is finding the one that will be the best investment over time. So how can you get a house that will increase in value? Here are four tips to help you succeed:

1.  Neighborhood really does matter – There are few things that make such a big impact on a home's lasting value as its neighborhood. While every city will develop new trendy spots in time, it's much rarer that a previously desirable neighborhood will become completely unwanted. There are many kinds of "good" neighborhoods, from those that have a 40+ year history of being desired for their safety and tranquility, to those that are near all the hot spots, to new bohemian neighborhoods that are about to explode with hip businesses. But no matter what kind of lifestyle or neighborhood you want, if you can focus your search on the streets or areas that are most popular, you will find that your property value rises continuously—sometimes dramatically. 

2.  Look for quality building materials – Within any given neighborhood, there will be a wide variance in the quality of building materials, craftsmanship, and fixtures. Remember that higher-end building materials are a good sign not only of a home's durability, but also of its lasting appeal. For example, cedar siding doesn't just look better than aluminum, it will also draw more buyers and be a major selling point when you put the house on the market. Similarly, kitchens with real granite counters or hardwood fixtures will catch future buyers' interest, regardless of current trends.

3.  Smaller and nicer is better than bigger and cheaper – Many buyers make the mistake of looking for the biggest house in their price range. Unfortunately, this often means the lowest quality house in your range, too. As long as a home is not too small for you to live in, sacrificing square footage to get a better location or a more beautiful or well-designed structure is generally a plus (and your energy bills will also be lower). This may allow you to go up a level in terms of how nice the house is, and there will never be a shortage of couples or new families looking for smaller homes.

4.  Look above and below your price range – It's good to stick to a budget when buying a house, but don't stick to it too closely. Looking outside of your range can yield some surprising finds, and will also give you a better sense of the market overall and what will appreciate well.


What would your Charleston dream house be like? What neighborhood would it be in?


Charleston Real Estate