Considering Charleston, South Carolina Real Estate? Here’s What To Do While In Town

by carolinaone_marketing 31. March 2017 10:40

From pivotal Civil War sites to inspiring art installations and landmarks of natural beauty, there’s plenty to do in South Carolina if you’re considering investing in Charleston real estate. As the state’s oldest city that’s just shy of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s plenty to see, do and simply experience for those seeking a visitor-friendly excursion while mulling a move to the “Holy City” – a nickname we’ll address later.  

- A rivalry realized: Fort Sumter, located in Charleston Harbor, bore witness to the breakout of the U.S. Civil War on April 12, 1861. Confederate forces shelled the site that was constructed in the wake of the War of 1812 and is now a national park.

 - Over the edge: What’s a trip to the coast without a visit to a local shore town? While some of the more well-known resorts are hours away from Charleston, locales like Folly Beach -- known as the “Edge of America” to locals -- and Isle of Palms offer the same sand and water elsewhere along the coast of this country.

- Steeple skyline: The “Holy City” slogan comes from the many church steeples that be seen across Charleston. Many of these institutions of hundreds of years old and date back to the 1800s. Vastly varying in both architecture and denomination, many of these houses of worship continue to host services multiple times each week. Magnolia Cemetery is also the final resting place of some of the state’s well-known  and notorious leading figures.

- Southern comfort: The 2017 iteration of the annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival is scheduled for March 1 through March 5. The event has highlighted local culinary traditions since its founding in 2006 and widely praised by local media for both the quality of food being plated and the talent doing the cooking.

For additional information on Charleston real estate, call 800-342-2105.

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Loan Procurement 101

by carolinaone_marketing 22. February 2017 10:22

Whether you’re shopping for your forever home in Charleston or looking to purchase a home for future vacation rentals in Isle of Palms, securing the proper financing is a major step in the process. There are an infinite number of loans and lenders available, which can make the process that much harder. Sifting and sorting through the information is a necessary yet tedious procedure in guaranteeing that you choose the loan that is right for you. Here, we discuss the major 6 major categories of loans available in South Carolina in hopes to break down the information in an easy-to-digest- format for potential Charleston, SC homeowners.

Fixed-Rate vs Adjustable-Rate
All available loans fall into one of these two categories. A fixed-rate mortgage loan has the same interest rate for the entire repayment period of the loan. This means your monthly payment will stay the same, even for long-term financing options. The most common form of a fixed rate loan is a 30-year term, as the monthly payment is typically lower; however, there are other yearly terms that available for most loans. Currently, as it stands for mortgage rates on Isle of Palms, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed loan is 3.88% (3.92% APR). This is in line with the national average. On the other hand, an adjustable-rate loan has a fluctuating interest rate that changes over time. This interest rate typically changes on a yearly basis. A hybrid version of the two loans is available. Often called a “Hybrid ARM” or “Hybrid Mortgage”, this initially starts as a fixed interest rate for a specified number of years and then switches to an annually adjustable rate for the remainder of the loan’s life. A 5/1 ARM in Charleston is 2.75% (3.74% APR).

Conventional vs. Government-Insured
Within the categories of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate are another set of loan types that determines who backs the loan. You can combine these loans (i.e. fixed rate conventional or an adjustable government-insured). Conventional loans are home loans that are not insured or backed by the government. Government-insured loans are financing that is insured and guaranteed by the government. This includes FHA Loans, VA Loans, and USDA/RHS Loans.

·         FHA Loans: Backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance program is a loan available to all homeowners. Borrowers pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a borrower default. To receive this loan, a home must meet certain requirements that are reviewed by a South Carolina licensed appraiser.

·         VA Loans: The U.S Department of Veteran Affairs provides a loan program for military service members and their families. Borrowers can possibly receive 100% financing for the purchase of their home, resulting in no down payment.

·         USDA/RHS Loans:  Provided to homeowners in rural areas, the United States Department of Agriculture offers a loan to certain borrowers who meet a specific income requirement.

Jumbo vs. Conforming
When considering loans, another distinction that can be made is the size of the loan that you are requesting. Depending on the intended borrowing amount, your loan can fall within a conforming loan or a jumbo loan. A Conforming loan meets the underwriting guidelines that have been set forth by Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac. This limits the size or amount of the loan and affects the size of the down payment and the debt-to-income ratio amongst other factors. On the other hand, loans that do not fall within the parameters of a conforming loan are considered to be “non-conforming” loans. However, if the specific issue involved in not meeting the guidelines is due to the size of the loan, then the loan is considered a jumbo loan. Jumbo loans exceed the amount set by Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac. Interest rates are typically higher, which means most jumbo loan borrowers must have good standing credit and be able to afford larger down payments. For many Charleston, SC residents, a jumbo loan is more ideal. Charleston, SC boasts a number of luxury homes that fall out of the range to procure a conforming loan.  This is typical for coastal towns, especially those in Charleston, SC, that tout larger price tags.

Securing the proper financing for your Isle of Palms home shouldn’t be hard. We hope that with this simple breakdown of what to look for, you can find a little sense of relief when searching for your new home.



Spring Forward with Charleston, SC

by carolinaone_marketing 20. February 2017 04:02

South Carolina is a gorgeous state. The sun is always shining and the people are always smiling. For residents in Charleston, SC, this is especially true. Charleston is rich with history, great food, and friendly people. This combination of factors is what makes Charleston a popular destination for travelers all year long.

Springtime is the beginning of prime Charleston season. As parts of the country begin to thaw out from the winter, Charleston is already in full swing preparing for spring breakers and travelers. History, festivals, and seafood are a huge part of what makes Charleston, Charleston. If you plan on securing a Charleston, SC rental in the upcoming months, the Holy City has a ton of great options in each category for you to incorporate into your trip.

Springtime is the beginning of festival season all across the world and the low country is no exception. Charleston is a melting pot of cultures. This type of diversity is reflected in the spirit of the festival season. From craft beer festivals to outdoor art festivals, music festivals to culturally themed festivals, the streets truly come alive in the spring. One of Charleston’s premier events, the Charleston Wine & Food festival takes place March 1st through March 5th. In its 11th year, this short, but sweet festival showcases some of the most inspiring chefs and culinary masterpieces in Charleston and the surrounding area. Some other not to miss festivals this spring are the Front Beach Fest on Isle of Palms, St. Patrick’s Day Block Party, and YMCA Flowertown Festival that is a quick drive north to Summersville.

You can’t mention Charleston without thinking about or hearing about the history of the city. There are over 93 properties and districts in Charleston, SC that are listed on the National Register. Of these properties, 34 are listed as National Historic Landmarks. Charleston is abounding with beautiful plantation-styled homes, expansive landscapes, and culturally rich landmarks. During the spring, some of the most historic and iconic homes re-open their doors for public tours. Benefitting the Historic Charleston Foundation’s historic preservation program, the 70th Annual Festival of Houses & Gardens opens its doors on March 16th and runs until April 22nd. This is a series of award-winning tours and educational showcases that put some of the most distinctive Charleston architecture and culture on display for the public to view.

Charleston is known the world over for its abundance of fresh and great tasting seafood. Spring ushers in the beginning of fishing and seafood season in Charleston. At any of our great restaurants, you’ll be able to have anything from swordfish to crabs, salmons to sea scallops, and so much more. The 30th annual Blessing of the Fleet & Festival takes place this year on April 30th. This highly anticipated seafood festival pays tribute to the local fishing and shrimping industry that helps contribute to the culture and economy of Charleston. All day, you can experience a boat parade, craft shows, live music and a variety of other great activities. A trip to Charleston wouldn’t be complete without adding some seafood sampling to your itinerary.

As spring is quickly approaching, make your plans to visit Charleston, SC as soon as possible. There are plenty of activities, Charleston rental properties, and sunshine to make your stay a great one.



City of Charleston: Fun yet Key Points to Remember for Relocation

by carolinaone_marketing 3. February 2017 03:41

Is your business relocating to the south? Or maybe you’re tired of shoveling snow and want a break from the goose down jackets and the temperatures verging on frost bite? No matter the reason, relocating to Charleston, SC is the right choice. As many new transplants find out upon arrival, Charleston is unlike any other city in the world. Before you make the move down here, there are few fun things about living in Charleston that you should know.

A City by another Name
If you’ve spent any time in Charleston previously, chances are you have heard locals use the name “Chucktown” or “The Chuck” before. These two names are just an affectionate term used to describe Charleston. It’s similar to the Charles/Chuckie naming system and has become quite popular. One nickname that has huge historical significance to the locals is the “The Holy City”. Charleston is filled with churches; steeples go as far as the eyes can see. These churches play a vital role in the history of the city. They are so important; there is an ordinance that does not allow buildings to be constructed higher than the tallest church steeple. This rule helps to preserve the Charleston skyline and small-town feel of the city.

You Must Choose a Side
Football in the south is an experience. There is no greater rivalry than the Clemson vs. South Carolina football game that takes place annually around Thanksgiving. Many people in Charleston are University of South Carolina fans, so it’s no surprise to see garnet and black flags flying around the city. However, you will catch the occasional purple and orange tiger fan around town, and that’s ok too. Affectionately named the “Palmetto Bowl”, this in-state rivalry does not allow for fence riders.  You must choose a side.

Southern Hospitality Is Alive
The only stereotype that applies to the south is the concept of southern hospitality. Whether you’re coming from the north, the west, or out of the country, southerners will treat you with plenty of respect, warm smiles, and ample amounts of sweet tea. Charleston residents are diverse and proud of their southern roots. They welcome the opportunity to share that with others, whether visitor or new resident.

Pace Yourself
People say that life in the south is slow, but this is especially true for Charleston. Our way of life is centered on enjoying each other and the community. We believe in getting the most out of life and this is hard to do when you are constantly rushing. Our city is a unique city, one that cannot be fully enjoyed with a hurried lifestyle. Charleston residents believe in taking it easy and living life at a turtle pace.


As more and more people become aware of the beauty and charm that is Charleston, plenty of Charleston, SC rentals and homes for sales are available. To find the next home of your dreams in the beautiful low country of Charleston, contact us for more details.


Starter Home “Must Haves” to Consider

by carolinaone_marketing 2. February 2017 09:26

So, you’ve made the decision to move out on your own and make your first big purchase. Whether you’re moving out of your parent’s basement or transitioning from an apartment, the process of buying your first home is new and often frightening. There are so many ins and outs that need consideration when making a purchase as big and important as buying a home. From loan preapprovals, to paint colors, it seems the decision process for your starter home can be a never-ending process. With help from our Charleston Real Estate Guide, here are three things you should focus on when deciding on your first home.

The price on your home is hands down the most important point that should be made when looking for a starter home. First time home buyers are more pressed to come up with the proper financials as they do not typically have equity or trade up buying power that a previous homeowner would have. When looking for an affordable home, it’s important to pick a price tag and stick with it. Know what you can afford and do not stray from the budget. Many people try to push to the maximum end of their budget and often regret it. Be reasonable. It’s your first home.

As cliché as it may sound, a good location is important when choosing your first home. The location of your home affects the price you will pay as well as what you can ask for when it comes time to think about resell value.  A good neighborhood means stability. Manicured lawns, well-kept homes, and limited for sale signs means long-term and happy residents. Properties in good locations are more likely to retain their value, so keep this under consideration.

The upkeep (or lack thereof) on a home can greatly affect future housing costs and the longevity of the property. Many people will tell you that your starter home should be a “fixer upper”, but that is not always true.  Big items, such as the HVAC unit, the foundation, roofing, and even pest infestations need to be properly monitored, maintained, and should not be an inherited problem for any homeowner. These problems require large amounts of upfront cash in order to be resolved before you can move in. Always enlist the help of a trusted inspector before signing anything or making a decision on a house.


First time home buying is an exciting time. With the proper tools and help in place, you’ll find the best starter home for you and begin to build your new life.


Resolutions for Renters and Prospective Homebuyers

by carolinaone_marketing 4. January 2017 09:31

The New Year is a time for us to implement the New Year’s resolutions that we have been planning. Whether it’s quitting a bad habit or learning a new skill, the New Year is a time for us to wipe the slate clean and start anew. For many, preparing to buy a new home is their ultimate goal for 2017. To start the year on the right foot, we have put together a few tips or resolutions to help renters who are transitioning into homeownership get into their dream house.

Resolution 1: Raise Your Credit
Securing financing all starts with a good credit score. Your credit score is the key that unlocks the door to your dream home. A solid score affects your ability to lock down a reasonable interest rate for your mortgage and other financing.  It is one of the most important factors that banks consider when it comes to approving your financing and mortgage options. A good credit score that most banks accept is in the 700 range. If you know that your credit score is not within this range, then take this year to understand your credit history and raise your score.

Tip: Paying bills on time and eliminating credit card balances are great for helping you raise your score.

Resolution 2: Visualize Your Perfect Space
The biggest mistake many renters and prospective homeowners make is rushing to find a new place to live because they don’t like where they currently reside. They let the desire to move overtake the need for practicality. In order to find a perfect home or rental, you have to imagine what life would be like in that location. You can’t treat your requirements for a home the same way you treat the requirements for a rental space. The amount of time you spend and the nature of your life in both varies.

Tip: Visualize how you plan to utilize every aspect of the space and how feasible it is in the long run.

Resolution 3: Continue to Save
Finding the perfect Folly Beach rental, Sullivan Island home, or any other dream location you can imagine is not complete without making sure you have the proper financing in place. Credit fixing and space visualizing aside, you need to have access to cash, and savings your savings is your first step. What you save has great bearing on what your initial down payment on the home or rental space will be. Even if your initial down payment is calculated at $0, there is a possibility that you still need to show cash reserves and responsibility spending habits.

Tip: Resolve to save a little more each month to help build up your savings.


The New Year is an exciting time to get started on new tasks and achieve great things. As renters and prospective home buyers, consider these helpful resolutions to take make 2017 your best year yet.


Home is Where the History Is

by carolinaone_marketing 21. November 2016 03:12



South Carolina, like every other state, is a bevy of rich history and culture that is not only reflected in the people but also in the way of living. However, what sets South Carolina apart from a majority of other cities in the United States is that the architecture is a direct reflection of the times. Your typical houses in South Carolina usually come in one of three styles:  plantation, low country, or single.

Plantation Style

Considered to be the most traditional and historic of styles, plantation style homes are a beautifully constructed blend of neoclassical and French Colonial styles. Plantation style homes are known for 3 things, their ample amounts of land, their massive pillars, and their spacious wrap around porches. That’s just the exterior. The inside of these homes are just as impressive. From their large, open layout kitchens to their grandiose curved staircases, this style of home is meant to mesmerize and impress upon first glance. All of these elements are a true hallmark to any plantation style home.

Low Country Style
The second most popular style was can be found around South Carolina’s coastal areas. The low country style of houses in South Carolina was constructed with changing coastal water levels and South Carolina climate in mind. With the elevation of the first floor, it may look like there is a basement, but in fact there isn’t. Instead the first floor is elevated to protect the home from succumbing to flood waters. The spacious floorplan and strategically placed windows allows for ample amount of natural light to flood through the house. As everyone knows, the kitchen is the heart of the home. In the low country style, the kitchen is centrally located in the house, connecting both the dining room and the living room, making it the genuine hub of the home.

Single Style

The Single Style home is atypical of Charleston. Even though they blend into the cityscape, you can’t miss them. These masters of disguises can be found on virtually any street in Charleston. The single style home was designed to make the most of the narrow Charleston city streets. Features like a bright and open second floor porch, cozy breakfast nook, single vanities and master bedroom private porches are just a few of the features that can be found in a Single Style house in South Carolina.


Of course there are plenty of other style houses in South Carolina, but these three styles really speak to the architectural history that can be found within the state. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one of these, hold on to it. Not only do you have a home, but you have a piece of history as well.


Life is One Big Beach in Charleston

by carolinaone_marketing 18. November 2016 05:47

If you are no stranger to Charleston, then you know exactly what makes this place one of the best places to live. For those of you that don’t know by now, you will soon. What is it that makes current residents never want to leave and future residents never look anyplace else? The magic that is Charleston can be found in none other than the beaches! More than just one of the most amazing cities in the United States, Charleston is home to 5 beach towns, each with its own distinct and unique character and personality.

Isle of Palms

Considered to be one of the more upscale beaches in Charleston, Isle of Palms is home to a world class golf course. Whether you’re a true pro or just feel like one, golfing at Kiawah Island golf resort is unlike any other experience. Located only 12 miles from downtown, Isle of Palm is perfect for your next vacation day trip.

Sullivan’s Island

The 3.3 miles that is Sullivan’s Island has remained to be a local favorite, as it is one of the quieter beaches within proximity to the city. The calming quietness that is Sullivan’s Island helps to preserve the dynamic history that this charming beach town has to offer. Sullivan’s Island was once home to Edgar Allen Poe, immortalizing that with Poe’s Tavern.

Folly Beach

Affectionately nicknamed the “Edge of America” Folly Beach is one of America’s quirkiest yet laid back beach towns. Both tourists and locals can take advantage of Folly Beach rentals as Folly Beach is home to an abundance of eclectic neighborhoods and locally owned restaurants in the area. It’s also jam-packed with plenty of activities like surfing, animal watching, jet skiing and so much more!

Kiawah Island

If you’re looking for luxury, then look no further than Kiawah Island. Just 21 miles from downtown Charleston, Kiawah Island is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in America, let alone Charleston! Kiawah Island is chock full of nature and is one of the most dog-friendly beaches around, allowing you and your four-legged friends to enjoy a day in the sand together.

Seabrook Island

A relatively private beach, the community of Seabrook Island is a welcoming site to visitors. You can experience everything from marshes, maritime forests, and pristine beaches all from the beautiful location of Seabrook Island. From horseback riding to kayaking on the marshes, Seabrook Island is nothing short of busy.


Make no mistake, there is so much more to Charleston than these 5 magnificent beaches, however; it is a little hard to overlook the role they play in making Charleston what it is.


The Charm of Charleston

by carolinaone_marketing 28. October 2016 03:35

When it comes to South Carolina Real Estate, nothing compares to the charm of Charleston. In December 2015, Charleston was listed as the second hottest real estate market to watch, and it's no surprise. From its booming job market growth to its unmatched low country dreamy appeal, anyone who visits, walks away with that "at home" feeling that Charleston provides so well. What makes Charleston the idyllic place that it is? You'll hear any reason, from the weather to the history, but we feel there is much more to it than that.

For starters, Charleston is home to a number of unique shops. When you venture away from the more tourist-centered areas, it is refreshing to see that Charleston has managed to sustain its unique shopping culture, despite the fact that it is a relatively small city. Taking a stroll through Charleston's historic Upper King Street, you'll find book stores, art galleries, and antique shops, just to  nae a few locations. No trip would be complete without visiting George C. Birlant & Co, the Southeast's largest and oldest antique shop.

The food scene in Charleston is unrivaled to other cities. We all love to eat and the people of Charleston know what good food is. This culinary epicenter is home to some of the best quality seafood and high end restaurants in South Carolina. Whether you're looking for French influenced cuisine or low country classics, this city is your one stop shop. Be sure to stop by Dave's Carry-Out for your Charleston staples.

The conversation regarding ideal South Carolina Real Estate locations can't happen without at least one mention of the beautiful Charleston beaches. The beaches surrounding the barrier islands emit their own Southern charm that attracts travelers, old and new. We believe it's the beaches that are one of the biggest selling points in turning visitors into residents. Just like our shops and our food, we have beaches to suit all tastes. Folly Beach is ideal for dolphin watching and free-spirited fun where Sullivan Island is the perfect mix of upscale fun.

Whether you're looking for a rental home or a new home, there's truly no better place than Charleston SC. So, stop looking for reasons to move and start looking for your new home today! Contact Carolina One to help you get started.


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A Charleston Thanksgiving

by carolinaone_marketing 27. October 2016 04:31

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to unite and express love and gratitude for one another. As a community, we come together to give thanks for our blessings, our lives, and all the good that has happened. One of the key elements to to successful Thanksgiving celebrations around the country is the food. The food is the centerpiece of the day, the cornerstone that the whole day is built upon in anticipation of bellies filled with turkey and stuffing. For some, Thanksgiving is centered on a home cooked meal. For others, standing around a stove all morning isn't their idea of a good time. If you are one of those people who prefer to eat out, then Charleston is the best place for you.

For years, Charleston has been known for its delicious food. Our Charleston Real Estate Guide has put together the three best places for you to have the most memorable Thanksgiving, Charleston style.

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

If you plan on making your 2016 Thanksgiving a fancy one, then The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island is for you. At $76.00 a plate, you can enjoy a buffet of both traditional favorites and famous Charleston seafood, along with chef stations and an assortment of holiday meats. This one of a kind experience is guaranteed to be a real crowd-pleaser with everyone in your family.

Hank's Seafood

A true Charleston dining experience includes all things seafood, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Hank's Seafood will be serving classic seafood options like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and so much more. If you're in the area, consider ditching your turkey for tuna this year and give Hank's Seafood a try.

Tavern & Table

For $45.00 a plate ($18.00 for children) Tavern and Table will be serving a four course meal with all of the traditional fixings. From turkey dinner to pecan pie, you can be sure to get your fill of a hearty traditional Thanksgiving meal. Prime rib and butternut squash soup will be also be served to spice things up a little bit.

If you're in the Charleston area this Thanksgiving and want to change up your routine a little bit, consider these top three locations for a real mix of Charleston and Tradition in your dining experience.

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