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?

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Charleston Real Estate

How to Get More Out of Your Real Estate Guide

by carolinaone_marketing 26. June 2015 10:22

For many South Carolina home buyers, the first step to a dream house is getting your hands on a Charleston real estate guide. This guide can be an invaluable tool, but you also want to make sure you get the most out of it. How do you do that? Here are four tips:

1.  Ask a realtor to help you – This may sound funny since, to many people, the whole point of getting a real estate guide is to do research on your own. But realtors can be a valuable resource, and asking for their help will mean getting the most out of any printed or online guide. Often, realtors will know details about the specific properties in question—details that do not show up in the guide and that would be hard to find out otherwise. Plus, they will have a much better sense of the local market in general, including how well property values hold up in a given neighborhood and what other similar properties might be available. Do your own perusing as well, but consider asking your realtor to go over the listings with you.

 

2.  Look above and below your budget – One mistake that many home seekers make is to look only at homes that fall within their budget. This isn't always to your advantage. That isn't because you should give in and buy a home that's above your means; it's because scouting out higher- and lower-priced homes can help inform your search and make you a savvier buyer. For example, if you notice that higher priced homes tend to have an open kitchen design or granite countertops, and you find a property in your price range with those features, you know it will probably appreciate well and be a great investment. On the other hand, if you notice a feature that's common to lower priced homes and find it in one that's otherwise perfect for you, you have a bargaining point. Plus, you never know when you'll find a gem that's priced lower than it should be.

3.  Make a "drive by" list – A real estate guide should be a first step to taking action. Once you have five to ten favorites, take an afternoon and drive by each one. There is no substitute for seeing the home and its neighborhood for yourself.

4.  Don't over-commit to a neighborhood – One last mistake that many buyers make: don't get too hung up on buying in a certain neighborhood. You may miss out on amazing properties in other great locations, or you may overspend by choosing an in-demand area, when a cheaper neighborhood down the road is just as good. 

What kind of Charleston home are you looking for? Ask one of our real estate agents at Carolina One about our MLS listings and see when they can schedule a showing!

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Charleston Real Estate

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of the MLS

by carolinaone_marketing 22. June 2015 05:22

These days it's increasingly possible to get access to a Charleston, SC MLS, especially through your realtor. That means you have unprecedented browsing power as a buyer—but also way more options to dig through. Here are three tips for getting the most out of our MLS at Carolina One:

1.  Keep an open mind

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they browse the MLS is to go in with a very strict idea of what they want and stick to it. Your budget may be firm, but other factors don't have to be. One of the great things about modern MLS systems is that they let you browse and search using a variety of factors, such as neighborhood, number of baths, asking price, etc. This adds convenience, but it can also trip you up if you never see the home of your dreams because it was missing that extra half bath or had one bedroom more than you expected. Try relaxing your parameters and check as few boxes as possible—or look in neighborhoods outside your number one preference. It may also help to relax your price consideration, since it will give you a better idea of what kinds of houses go for different prices in your market. And remember, price can always be negotiated.

2.  Combine with Google Maps

The MLS will give you anywhere from over 50 pictures of a home to none at all, and the pictures you get can be of varying quality, depending on the way that they were taken. While most will have a lot of images of the outside of the home, the inside, and the property at large, a few might not include a certain feature that is really important to you; others may simply be too dark to show you some of the details. But the biggest problem with some MLS pictures is that they rarely show you the surrounding neighborhood—which is what you will see every day as you come home. For a better look, open up Google Maps and look at each address first in Map view (to see surrounding businesses) and then in Street View mode. Street View will let you get a glimpse at your neighbors' houses, the front of the house in question, and the general vibe of the area. Just remember that Street View images can be several years out of date.

3.  See it in person

While browsing the MLS helps you to prepare, only a walk-through really tells you whether a house is right for you. Use the MLS to make a short list—ideally at several price points—then ask the realtor to do a showing of each one. They may also have further recommendations based on the type of property you like.

How do you look for Charleston property? Call or contact us at Carolina One for additional information about any of our properties and the neighborhoods surrounding them!

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Charleston SC Real Estate

5 Advantages of Moving to Summerville

by carolinaone_marketing 9. June 2015 04:35

Summerville is one of the more stunningly beautiful suburbs around Charleston, and there is a large selection of Summerville, SC real estate. But what makes this area so popular? Here are five of the reasons that it's worth moving to:

1.  Small-town feel – Summerville is a rare gem. Most historic towns will bow to pressure over time and lose their charm as development continuously changes them. In Summerville, there is plenty of new investment, but the town has remained true to its roots and maintains the same small town atmosphere it has always had. Summerville is a community of just 33,000 people, many of whom work here and raise families here. Everyone takes pride in the historic buildings and the charm of the downtown, and they work together to keep their community's spirit—and image—strong.

2.  Beautiful Southern surrounds – As the name implies, Summerville was originally a summer getaway for Southern gentlemen and their families. It has always been known for its natural beauty: pure running streams, abundant pine trees, endless flowers in the spring and summer, and Spanish moss hanging from the branches of ancient live oaks. The area is so naturally beautiful in fact that for a long time its fresh air was believed to have therapeutic effects. There's nowhere more pleasant to take a stroll on a summer evening than Summerville.

3.  Great selection of homes – With its long history and its new resurgence, Summerville has lots of homes of all different price levels to choose from. The average home value here is in the low $200s, with a wide range of houses in the mid-$100s and lots of options on the higher end as well. Many newer homes are luxury developments, and are carefully placed to take advantage of Summerville's natural beauty without infringing on it. The town also has over 700 registered historic buildings, and getting something with some history behind it is certainly still possible.

 

4.  Close to Charleston – Despite being such a peaceful enclave, Summerville is not actually all that far removed from Charleston. Many Summerville residents work in the city and the commute is just 30 minutes. Traffic generally flows quickly and smoothly.

5.  A community worth investing in – Summerville is one of those rare spots that has been a favorite for hundreds of years—since the 1700s, in fact. With its good looks, historic buildings and natural charm, Summerville is only going to continue to appreciate in the future.

 

Why are you interested in Summerville real estate? Check out our site at Carolina One to find the ideal home for your needs!

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Summerville real estate

6 Reasons You'll be Glad You Moved to Downtown Charleston

by carolinaone_marketing 4. June 2015 11:13

If you're looking for Charleston, SC homes for sale, don't overlook the downtown area. Charleston has a lot of great suburbs, and there are a lot of people that prefer them for their natural beauty, space, and peace and quiet. But there are some great things about living in downtown Charleston itself! Here are the best advantages that living in the city has to offer:

1.  Lots of charm – Charleston has been described as one of the best-preserved downtowns in the United States, and you will see that firsthand just driving or strolling around. The steeples of historic churches poke up above tree-lined streets while a mixture of early 20th century and more modern skyscrapers dominate the skyline. Historic apartment buildings remain in use, while former industrial buildings have been converted to shops, condos, and apartments. There's a lot to see and lots of Charleston homes for sale in the heart of the downtown area.

2.  A Huge variety of neighborhoods – Downtown Charleston is actually a large area with a number of distinct neighborhoods. Each of these neighborhoods has its own history, its own vibe, and attracts its own kind of resident. Check out this detailed map of neighborhoods to learn which Charleston one is right for you.

3.  Close to work – Of course, one of the biggest advantages of living in downtown is cutting out the commute. Most people work somewhere in the city itself, which means that by living downtown you will eliminate the long drive and not need to cross the river to go to work. In fact, your commute could be as little as five minutes—or just down the block! Which brings us to . . .

4.  Walkable/Bikable – Living in downtown Charleston puts you close to all the action and that means you can leave the car parked and walk to many of your day-to-day destinations. With mild winters and long, pleasant summers, Charleston is a great walking city, and that means more fresh air, more exercise, less money spent on gas and fewer carbon emissions. It's also a bike-friendly city, with a strong cycling community and light traffic.

5.  Plenty to do – The downtown is the place that most nightlife and cultural events go on. It has the best restaurants, the most popular bars, lots of live music, and a strong arts scene. You will be living a stone's throw from fun festivals and great food.

6.  Property values are only going up – Charleston has been an anchor of the South's economy and is booming, with lots of investment, expansion, and growth. While some neighborhoods will inevitably perform better than others, the fact is that all of them are going only onedirection: up.

What's drawing you to Charleston? Check out our listings at Carolina One to find the perfect downtown home for you!

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Charleston SC homes for sale

Two Options for Moving to Goose Creek

by carolinaone_marketing 29. May 2015 09:34

Goose Creek, SC is one of the most popular suburbs of Charleston because of its convenient location, beautiful natural setting and, of course, the abundance of affordable real estate. If you're considering a move here, you have more options than you might think. Here are two ways you can move to Goose Creek.

#1: Invest in a home

Whether you have a family or hope to start one in the future, Goose Creek is an excellent place to invest in a home. This is one of Charleston's most up and coming suburbs, with a strong community spirit, beautiful homes, good schools, and minimal crime. The commute to the city center is short and easy. Properties in Goose Creek range from older homes with mature trees to newer constructions with luxury materials and open, modern designs. Prices in the Goose Creek area typically range from the $140,000s up to about the $400,000s, with a wide selection on the affordable side for middle class families.

There are many advantages to owning your own home in Goose Creek. As in other areas, it means that your home is an investment that is likely to appreciate over time and eventually pay off. It also means that instead of paying rent to someone else each month, you are effectively paying that money "to yourself." Goose Creek is an area that has been continuously in demand since the 1690s and is unlikely to experience major declines in home values.

#2: Rent a house

If you are moving to the Charleston area from far away, then you may not yet know Goose Creek very well and may want to check it out before you buy property there. One of the best ways to do that is to simply rent a house in the very community you are considering buying in—Goose Creek!

With its small-town feel and beautiful surroundings, Goose Creek will quickly woo you. There are a variety of rental homes in the area, including many luxury homes. This will give you a chance to learn the area, meet the neighbors, and experience Goose Creek for yourself. It also means your kids can start making friends, and you'll have time for a more in-depth home search if you decide that you like the area.

What has gotten you interested in Goose Creek? If you would like to learn more about the area, check out our listings and the official city website!

 

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Home in Goose Creek, SC

Knowing What Type of House to Rent in Charleston

by carolinaone_marketing 26. May 2015 06:21

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of houses for rent in Charleston, SC. That's why it helps to know what types of spaces are available and which one best suits your tastes and needs—this can help to narrow the pool substantially. Here are three major type of houses for rent and the pros and cons of each:

1.  A historic home – One of the great things about Charleston is that it has so many historic homes, which means lots of beautiful older houses for rent in the area. Several areas of downtown Charleston have historic homes, and the outlying communities have many historic homes both in the countryside and in small traditional downtowns. In Charleston, "historic" can mean anything from a colonial-era plantation home to a Victorian or an early 20th century Craftsman style home. The pros of renting a historic house are obvious: they're beautiful, they're built to last, they have character and they will be the envy of all your friends. There are cons, too, however. For example, older houses are likely to have more problems and require more repairs (not that you'll have to pay for them!), and a fully restored and hassle-free historic home is going to carry a somewhat higher price tag.

 

2.  A suburban dream – In many ways, the suburban houses for rent around Charleston are the best value for your money. Charleston has a variety of suburbs, many with charming downtown areas of their own and all of them with a fairly easy commute to the city center of generally 45 minutes or less—often much less. Suburban homes are newer and usually have much more space, in every sense possible: more rooms, larger rooms, and a spacious yard where you can have cookouts or other events. They come in many styles, including those with much more modern floor plans and large open spaces inside. These perks come at a relatively affordable price tag, depending on which suburb you choose. The downside, of course, is that you are farther from the city life and will need to drive everywhere.

3.  A condo or townhouse – Sometimes, the best way to be close to the action is to rent a condo or townhouse rather than a full house. There are many city spaces that are appropriate for corporate rentals, and they can include some of the trendiest properties in Charleston. Condos and townhouses are more likely to have a modern look to them with an open kitchen, lots of light and sleek, minimalist décor—but there are many options available, including more traditional and "homey" places. The upside is being close to everything, whereas the downside is the more limited supply. But there are plenty of townhouses in the suburbs, as well!

 

What kind of house do you like the most?

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Charleston Real Estate

What Makes Summerville, SC the Perfect Place to Retire?

by carolinaone_marketing 4. May 2015 04:08

Are you or a loved one planning to retire in the near future? In the past, Florida was one of the top places for people to retire because of the warmer weather and peaceful atmosphere. However, in more recent years, South Carolina has begun to gain popularity as a retirement location and may even someday dethrone the current leader. Of all of the cities in South Carolina, Summerville is an especially popular place for seniors to retire, and here are three reasons why:

 

1.  It's affordable – The economy hasn't exactly been great over the past few years and there are many seniors who have been affected badly. In particular, many people's retirement funds have taken a hit, as people have either been forced to dip into their savings or have lost jobs and pension money. Even if they have saved enough for retirement, many seniors can't afford to stay in their current areas when they are on a fixed income and need to find a more affordable place to live. The good news is that real estate in the south is incredibly reasonable, and this is especially true of Summerville, SC whose homes average in at just above $200,000.

2.  It's peaceful – Most people work hard their entire lives; in fact, the average American will spend over 90,000 hours of their life working. When you retire, however, you can ditch the stress and just relax – which is probably why busy cities like New York or Philadelphia never figure heavily on lists of popular places to retire. In contrast, Summerville, SC is a quiet, peaceful old town with a very friendly community. Known for its natural scenery, abundant azaleas, and pine trees, the town started out as a summer retreat for wealthy Charlestonians looking to avoid the diseases and mosquitoes that plagued the city in summer. To this day, it is regarded as one of the most beautiful, peaceful areas in South Carolina, while still being close enough to Charleston for easy access to activities.

3.  It's good for your health – After reading about how relaxing Summerville is, it should come as no surprise that the town is good for your health. However, the health benefits go even deeper than the tranquility that Summerville offers. Did you know that many of the town's famous plants have been known to provide residents with natural health benefits? This is especially true of the pine trees that the area is famous for. Many believe that the pine trees have special healing powers, and are especially beneficial for treating lung disorders. This is just one of the many reasons that there has been a recent surge of travelers in recent years.

 

If finding an affordable, relaxing, and healthy place to retire are some of your top priorities, then look no further than Summerville! Contact Carolina One Real Estate agents today for more help in finding the retirement home of your dreams!

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Summerville real estate

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: The Perfect Place for History Buffs

by carolinaone_marketing 1. May 2015 05:00

If you've been following real estate trends over the past few years, then you may have noticed that South Carolina is gaining quite a bit of traction. More and more people have decided to move to the state due to its affordability, safe communities, and pleasant climate. It's been a great place for young couples to settle down and start families and for older couples to retire. However, one thing you might not have known is that it can also be a great place to brush up on your history! Mount Pleasant, South Carolina is an especially great place for history buffs!

 Mount Pleasant is far from being a "new" town. Initially occupied by the Sewee Indians, the area was first colonized in 1680 by English settlers, and went on to become the fifth largest settlement in North America by 1690. While it is no longer the fifth largest city in the nation, today it remains the fourth largest city in the state of South Carolina and the third largest in in Charleston County.

Mount Pleasant really began to gain traction in the 1800s, and was prominent during the Civil War, largely for its proximity to Charleston. However, it is credited as being the home of the once-secret training ground for the confederate submarine which was believed to have been responsible for the sinking of the U.S.S. Huosatonic in 1864. Today, residents of Mount Pleasant and visitors alike can see remains of the ship on display at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, just a few minutes away from Mount Pleasant.

Another interesting fact about 19th century Mount Pleasant is that it was a very wealthy community. If you owned real estate in Mount Pleasant, you were considered to be very well-off. You can still see some of the historic buildings here, the most impressive of which is probably Boone Hall Plantation, which boasts an early-20th century colonial revival home, slave cabins dating from the late 18th and early 19th century, and the 18th century Avenue of Oaks. The good news is that, if you want to invest in Mount Pleasant, SC real estate today, you'll have it much easier than the people of the past! The area is much more affordable these days, but still provides fine, high-quality homes.

 As you can see, Mount Pleasant is very rich in history! If you make the move here, you will find that there are many historic attractions to see. The best part of it all? There's always more to learn about, discover, and explore!

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Mount Pleasant SC Real Estate

3 Reasons John's Island is the Perfect Home Location for Nature Lovers

by carolinaone_marketing 28. April 2015 07:18

If you've ever considered moving to South Carolina, then you've probably been looking at Charleston. Charleston is one of the biggest cities in the state, and is beautiful, affordable, and historic while still providing residents with many modern-day conveniences. However, big cities aren't right for everyone.

Many people prefer to live just outside of them where they can breathe the free air. If you're a big nature lover who still wants to remain close to the city for easy access to your job, stores and other conveniences, then John's Island, SC is the perfect place for you! Here are three reasons why:

1.  It's surrounded by farm land – Believe it or not, there was once a time when farmland dominated the countryside. While much of America has since become more industrialized, replacing many farms with factories, strip malls, and offices, plenty of farms still exist – and many of them are closer than you think! John's Island has many properties with generous acreage, some of which were farms in the past and could be again. You may not be looking to start a farm, but you could always have a nice plot of fruits and vegetables for the summer. Or you might just want to enjoy the rural atmosphere. Either way, John's Island is the place to be! 

 

2.  It's home to the historic Angel Oak – Are you familiar with the legendary Angel Oak tree? There are many nature lovers who have traveled hundreds of miles just to see this historic, breathtaking tree. What makes this tree so special? Not only is it believed to be at least 1,500 years old, but it is also 65 feet high and offers an astonishing 17,000 square feet of shade. It's the perfect place to go to read a book and relax on a hot summer day!

3.  There are hundreds of homes located by the water – Have you always dreamed of having a home by the water? If so, then you're in luck! John's Island has dozens of homes for sale that are located along tidal creeks, rivers, and other waterways. The Wadmalaw Sound and the Kiawah and Stono rivers are some of the most popular places where people choose to invest in real estate. Many John's Island residents will tell you that the water is not only beautiful, but very relaxing and peaceful, making the area the perfect place to call home!

 

What do you think makes the perfect home for a nature lover? Whether you're looking for farm land, beautiful bodies of water, or even just a nice tree to enjoy, you'll find it all on John's Island, South Carolina!

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Island Real Estate | South Carolina real estate