3 Things You MUST Do in Order to Find Your Dream Charleston Home

by carolinaone_marketing 23. April 2015 04:24

Are you ready to find your dream home in the Charleston, South Carolina area? Maybe you've recently gotten engaged and are now searching for the perfect home to settle down and raise a family in. Or perhaps you've landed your dream job in Charleston and need a home that's closer to work. Whatever the case, you'll find that Charleston has a home for everyone and Carolina One can help you find it! Here are some of our recommendations for simplifying and speeding up the search process:

  

1.  Set a budget – Before you even begin looking at homes for sale in Charleston, South Carolina, you should set a budget. What is the absolute maximum amount you are willing or able to spend? Chances are, you won't be able to pay the full cost of the home up front, which means that you will have a mortgage to pay. Make sure that you can afford the mortgage and all that comes with it, in addition to your other bills. For instance, you'll have to pay for homeowner's insurance, all of the utilities, the Internet/cable package, any repairs, any new fixtures or appliances, etc. – and we haven't even mentioned your car payments, grocery bills, and other life expenses. Remember to factor all of these things in when coming up with a budget. Once you know what you can afford, you'll be able to search specifically for homes that fall directly within your range.

2.  Identify your needs – Sure, that home with four bedrooms may look beautiful but, if there are only going to be two people living in the home, is it really necessary? The answer could be yes or no: if you're planning to expand your family in the near future, then it could still be viewed as a wise investment; however, if you have no intentions to expand your family, it may be more space than you need. Remember, the bigger the home, the more it will cost. On the other hand, don't purchase a home that is too small for your current and future needs simply because it is cheaper. You'll never be able to really enjoy your home if you're constantly crammed for space. Be sure to carefully analyze your living situation and plans before making a final decision about which home to purchase.

3.  Browse a good Charleston real estate guide – After you set your budget and identify your needs, you'll be ready to search through our Charleston real estate guide for the right home. Our superior guide will offer a comprehensive listing of the available homes in the area, and detailed information about each property. Most of the listings should also come with photos, so that you can get a feel for the house before you visit or request a tour. Lastly, our real estate guide includes easy contact information so that you can get more details and schedule a showing.

Trying to find your dream home in the Charleston, South Carolina area or have you recently been through the process? What are your thoughts?

 

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Charleston SC Real Estate

3 Major Considerations for Charleston Real Estate

by carolinaone_marketing 10. April 2015 08:44

Are you thinking of buying real estate in Charleston, SC but aren't sure where to start? Charleston is a big city with a vibrant culture, lots of historic buildings, great southern cuisine, and famed parks dotted with palmettos. But every city including this one has its different districts, neighborhoods, and suburbs, and you'll want to have an idea about them before you think about actually moving. In order to narrow your field of research, here are three major things to consider:

Do you want a historic home, or a new one?

 

This is a big question here because, unlike most cities, Charleston has a lot of both to offer. At first glance, the idea of owning a historic home sounds expensive, but bear in mind that you don't need to own a giant plantation house to live in a historic home. Charleston offers a wide variety of historic properties, including many smaller homes from the 1800s and early 1900s. Expanding your search to the outlying communities will only increase the number of historic structures available, and many of them will bear a lower price tag.

Of course, there are drawbacks to older homes. Many may need substantial renovations or repairs, and the maintenance on a home from the 1800s can simply be costly. The advantage is that you get not only the charm, but also the durability of these old buildings. For instance, plaster walls are sturdy, look nicer, and hold sound and heat better than more modern walls—plus they're more resistant to water damage.

To keep within your budget, you could also split the difference with an early 20th century home from the 1910s to 1930s. These homes have many of the advantages of older homes in general without the massive upkeep.

Do you want to be close to the night life?

There's a small amount of coveted real estate near Charleston's very active downtown. Increasingly, this consists of condos, lofts, and townhomes. These options can be a great choice for someone who truly enjoys being "in the thick of it" and being able to walk or cycle to work, restaurants, shopping, and cultural events like concerts or gallery openings. Bear in mind, however, that you're paying largely for location and image: the same price tag could get you something much bigger in a different neighborhood.

Do you prefer the suburbs?

Charleston may be the ideal city for the couple or family who want the security and quiet of the suburbs with the close proximity of city life. There are numerous mid-range and high-end suburbs surrounded by rivers, streams, and tidal marshes, often with historic downtowns of their own.

What sort of Charleston area home are you interested in?

 

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Real Estate in Charleston SC

Top 5 Reasons to Move to Mount Pleasant, SC

by carolinaone_marketing 6. April 2015 04:44

Charleston has lots of suburbs, but over and over Mount Pleasant is considered one of the best. Mount Pleasant, SC real estate is seen as a good purchase and the town has been named one of the 100 best places to live in the U.S. So what makes Mount Pleasant a great place to call home? Here are five of its best features:

1.  Charleston – Let's just come right out and say it: Charleston is one of the up and coming cities on the eastern seaboard, and it's one of the bestselling points of Mount Pleasant real estate. Charleston is a growing city with lots of culture and a great mix of history and modernity. It offers a strong night life, a strong arts scene, great food, and of course a growing economy that lifts up all the surrounding communities. The commute to Charleston is short and easy, with minimal traffic for such a large city.

2.  A safe, comfortable community – Mount Pleasant is accurately named. There's very little you'll find wanting about this wonderful community. With low crime rates, beautiful historic neighborhoods, and lots of mature trees and landscaping, it's simply a nice place to call home where your family can be happy and secure.

3.  Home values – One major draw of Mount Pleasant is that it's a good investment. It's nice when having your dream house in your dream location will also pay off fiscally, and that is the case here. With current home prices ranging mainly from $300-500k, houses are still affordable for a middle class family. However, as Charleston continues to grow, this inner ring suburb with its beautiful natural surroundings will only see increased demand.

4.  Nature – Mount Pleasant is situated along the Cooper River and surrounded by breathtaking tidal marshes. It has lot of trees, many natural streams, and tons of birds and wildlife. The area remains largely pristine and houses are developed to take advantage of views of nature.

 

5.  The beach – No one can say no to a day at the beach. While Mount Pleasant itself is not a beach town, it's a short drive to some of South Carolina's best beaches. You'll never lack for something to do on a warm summer day in Mount Pleasant.

These are just a few of the reasons so many people are interested in Mount Pleasant, SC real estate. What draws you to this community? Check out our site at Carolina One Real Estate for listings and find the Mount Pleasant home of your dreams!

 

 

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Mount Pleasant SC Real Estate

4 Things to Love about Charleston

by carolinaone_marketing 31. March 2015 06:22

Deciding where to move is a process that takes lots of research, planning, and forethought. But there are things about Charleston, SC that no Charleston real estate guide can tell you. But a city is much more than its property values – Charleston especially. It's a happening place worth living in for at least four big reasons:

1.  A great downtown – Charleston is often thought of for its historic properties and charming gardens. Those are definitely major draws, and something that every Charleston resident loves about their home. However, it's important not to overlook the fact that Charleston also has a large, bustling, modern downtown with lots to do and see. Much more than just a business district, the downtown area offers everything from amazing warehouse lofts to quaint bistros, and much more. There are trendy bars, excellent shops of all kinds, clubs, music venues and some of the city's best restaurants. Charleston is one of those rare cities that combines a true cosmopolitan vibe with a close proximity to nature and the countryside.

2.  The ocean – Speaking of nature, one of the biggest reasons people love living in Charleston is how easy it is to get to the beach. Numerous small beach communities are less than a 40 minute drive from the city, offering everything from sunning and swimming to sailing and surfing. Many of these communities have beautiful, carefully developed boardwalks and beachfronts where you can enjoy a drink with an ocean view or simply go for a walk, do some shopping, and enjoy the breezes. The Charleston area is also home to great fishing, hiking and bicycling.

3.  Terrific suburbs – Not everyone wants to live in the city proper, and there are few large metros that are better suited to a suburban lifestyle than Charleston. Charleston's suburbs are safe, known for their great schools, and have a strong community spirit that leads to all kinds of events and programs. They're also very accessible, with an easy drive (often of 20 minutes or less) for commuters who work in the city.

4.  It's a growing city – When choosing a place to live, you have to think about the long term. With Charleston, the future is quite bright: the city has a growing economy, is investing strongly in business and infrastructure, and has all the stats that make it a desirable place to live. Property in Charleston and its suburbs has seen an upward value trajectory and is likely to keep doing so, with no shortage of jobs in sight.

Have you been paging through a Charleston real estate guide? What got you interested in moving here?

 

 

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Charleston Real Estate

3 Things to Consider When Buying in Isle of Palms

by carolinaone_marketing 26. March 2015 07:55

Isle of Palms real estate is one of those few areas where you know you're making a good investment. With its close proximity to Charleston, SC, and yet its wide open spaces and fresh sea breezes, Isle of Palms is on the rise. However, while any property in the area is likely to appreciate strongly, that doesn't mean any old property will be right for you. Here are three big things to consider as you look at Isle of Palms real estate to make sure you get your money's worth and are happy with your purchase.

1. Age and condition

This is a major factor on the isle because there are a range of homes from different time periods, and they offer different pros and cons. Many of the homes on the islands were built in the mid-twentieth century, as far back as the 1940s. Obviously, buying homes of this age can have drawbacks because they will have started to show wear and tear and many have been through multiple phases of remodeling. They will also tend to be smaller. However, if you can find a mid-century home in good condition, it can be a steal, because houses back then were built with many quality materials and a lot of charm (they also tend to have more mature landscaping). Most buyers, however, will be looking at much newer constructions from the 1970s onward or even the past fifteen years. In these homes, it's important to look at the construction materials, including the walls, siding, roofing, and fixtures such as sinks. Were these chosen with quality and durability in mind or are they "ticky tacky"? A focus on high-quality construction may cost a little more now, but can help you to avoid major repair costs later. 

2. Is this enough space? 

One error that many buyers make, especially young couples, is to buy something on the small side in order to keep costs down. While you always want to stay within your budget, bear in mind that your need for space will only grow over time. For most couples, this will mean having kids (or more kids than you currently have), which will require more space. Today's toddlers will also grow up to be tomorrow's teenagers, and the whole family will be thankful for a little more space and privacy. 

3. Location

It's hard to go wrong with location on Isle of Palms, since it's a safe community with a lot of beautiful spaces. However, do consider your interests when buying. If you love windsurfing or kayaking, a five minute walk to the beach is a lot better than a fifteen minute drive. If you have a family, you may want to be within walking distance of the local school and playgrounds.

What draws you to Isle of Palms? What are you looking for in a home there? Call or contact us at Carolina One Real Estate for more information about our listings in beautiful Isle of Palms!

 

 

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Isle of Palms Real Estate

4 Repairs NOT to Make When Selling a House

by carolinaone_marketing 26. February 2015 02:31

Summerville has a booming real estate market, and we all know that you need to spruce up your house before you put it up for sale. But not every improvement is going to translate to extra dollars at closing. Here are four changes you may think you need to make, but really don’t—straight from our Summerville, SC real estate experts:

Repainting everything
Many homeowners’ first instinct is to paint, paint, paint... not so fast! If the outside of your home needs a new paint job (or siding repair), this is a great choice which will improve curb appeal and make your listing pop. Interior repainting however is more dicey. Everyone walking through your home is already fantasizing about the new colors they’re going to repaint everything, so it doesn’t necessarily pay to do repainting of your own. Replacing bad wallpaper or repainting a dingy room can be a good choice, but you don’t necessarily have to take your pastel butter-yellow kitchen and repaint it white just to make the sale.

Removing vintage elements
If you have any vintage or antique elements in your home, think very, very carefully before removing or tampering with them. This is especially true of hardwood elements or antique light fixtures, original cabinet handles, etc. They may look dated to you but they are likely irreplaceable and many of your buyers may cringe and brand new fixtures. Consider whether restoration is better than replacing them, or even if they look okay as-is. If you do remove them, box them and include them with the house.

Remodeling
The home improvement projects that you take on before selling a house should be low to moderate cost and have obvious payoff in the sale price. Generally, that will not include entire remodeling projects. There are rare exceptions to this, such as when a bathroom or kitchen is in terrible shape, but bear in mind that any remodeling is going to be expensive and time consuming. In most cases, it will be hard to make back the cost of the remodel on the increased sale price of the house.

Anything non-mainstream
There are lots of really cool, innovative technologies that can go into houses these days, but unless they’re well known and popular they won’t improve your sale price. For example, tankless water heaters are a huge step up from traditional water heaters but most buyers have never heard of them. If a potential improvement is clever but not very mainstream, save if for your own future home and stick to the basics for the one you’re selling.

 

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Summerville real estate

What to Look for in a Rental House

by carolinaone_marketing 25. February 2015 04:01

Finding houses for rent in Charleston, SC has gotten easier but there’s still a big difference in quality from one to the next. If you’re looking at renting a house, it’s important to get one you’ll be happy with—including the home itself and the people running it. Here are a few aspects to look for to find a rental house you’ll love:

Location

Renting a house is a great chance to try out a new neighborhood or to get closer to the center of Charleston’s night life. Good house rental companies should have a variety of properties in all kinds of neighborhoods, from trendy areas to quiet suburbs. This means you have a wide selection to choose from and should take the time to decide which area is right for you. Consider also how long of a commute you want—saving even 30 minutes a day is a good way to give yourself more free time for relaxing, socializing with friends, or working on projects that matter to you.

Air Conditioning

This may seem like a minor point, but if you’ve been through a Charleston summer, you know it’s not. It’s surprising how many houses in Charleston still don’t have central AC or any AC at all. If there’s even a chance you’re going to be renting through the summer then consider it a priority to get a rental house with air conditioning. You’ll be glad you did.

Professional management

Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty. Houses for rent in Charleston, SC come in all different shapes and sizes, and so do the companies that run them. Generally, if you want a trouble-free experience you’re going to want to rent a house that is run by a professional management company. Real estate offices often rent houses and typically contract reliable management to make it hassle free for everybody on both sides. This can be a good place to start your search, but no matter how you find your rental house, make sure there is a dedicated building manager whom you can easily contact when needed.

A focus on amenities

Not everybody wants the same amenities in a rental house, but a good rental company will have a focus on providing as many as possible. High speed wireless Internet may be a must for some people, while a luxurious bathtub might matter to others. Look around a prospective rental house and ask yourself: are they putting my comfort first?

What else do you look for in a rental house?

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Charleston SC Real Estate

Which Repairs or Upgrades Truly Help a House Sell?

by carolinaone_marketing 24. February 2015 02:52

With so many Charleston, SC homes for sale, it can be hard to make your house stand out. You know you’ll need to make some improvements to help it sell, but you also have a limited budget. So which repairs really make a difference? Here is our short list of the changes that will really grab buyers:

Adding central air. In Charleston, there is one amenity that is "make or break" for many owners, and that’s central air. Many home buyers consider this a basic criterion; they know they can add it themselves if they have to, but they may not even ask to see homes that don’t have it. Fortunately, this works in your favor: central AC is a fairly inexpensive amenity to add, and it dramatically increases your home’s appeal

Reforming "problem rooms." It’s surprising how few homeowners organize their "fix list" room by room. Major repairs, like a new roof or raising a settled foundation, can be extremely expensive whereas remaking a single room can be relatively cheap—and has a huge impact, because most buyers make judgments from the gut as they walk through a house. Imagine yourself as a buyer and ask if there’s any room in your house that would just make you wrinkle your nose as you walk in. Maybe it’s a terrible 70s vinyl floor or maybe it’s stains from old water damage on the walls. Choose your worst "trouble room" and make a mini-project out of transforming it into the nicest room in the house. This can be as simple as new carpeting, a fresh paint job and swapping out some cheap looking fixtures.

Cosmetic changes. Again, remember that buyers often make choices based on how pretty something is and not necessarily how much work or cost is involved in the house. Basic cosmetic improvements will always boost home appeal and home value. These can include: filling cracks, replacing stained carpet, removing old wallpaper, changing window treatments, and arranging furniture so each room is easy to walk through. In some cases you may want to make more substantial changes, like replacing old cabinets in a kitchen, but these bigger improvements aren’t always needed.

Refinishing original elements. This won’t apply to every Charleston house, but if you have an older home with antique elements consider if it will be cost effective to restore any of them. Repairing and repainting wooden shutters is an easy way to boost charm and curb appeal, while refinishing hardwood features inside will make your home look like magic. This doesn’t just apply to historic gems; even some mid-century homes have a nice hardwood floor hiding under vinyl or carpeting.

 

 

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Charleston SC homes for sale

How to Prep Your House for Sale

by carolinaone_marketing 23. February 2015 03:52

Charleston’s real estate market is strong again but as in any market, a little bit of prep and TLC can dramatically increase the value of your home. Unfortunately, it can also seem overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. Before you get your house listed in the Charleston real estate guide, here are the steps to take to get it ready (without making yourself crazy):

Start with landscaping. We all know about curb appeal and yet homeowners often save landscaping upgrades for last. However, these are the first things you should tackle because even just a few weeks of growth can help new landscape elements look at home in your yard. Likewise, many landscaping treatments will take multiple applications over several weeks to take effect. Give the yard what it needs and watch it green up while you take care of other projects inside.

Consider repairs based on cost and benefit. Chances are good that you can come up with a long list of dream repairs that would really add value to your house. But remember, you have lived there for years without having all these improvements, which means they can’t all be mission critical—and repairs or upgrades can be very costly. To narrow down the list, consider the estimates cost of each (get multiple quotes for big projects) and the impact it will have on the perceived value of the home. In other words, putting in a heated floor in the bathroom may not be that important if you’re selling your home in August, but getting that central AC sure will be.

Limit repainting. Repainting is inexpensive compared to other repairs and it can have a big effect on how the home looks. However, it’s also time consuming and stressful, and heavily depends on personal taste. No sooner do you get rid of that bright orange room to make it a nice neutral white than a buyer comes through considering which shade of green to repaint it to. Ask your realtor for their opinion on which rooms absolutely need a paint job, and leave the rest alone.

A thorough cleaning/decluttering is a must. Decluttering is something you’re going to need to do before moving anyway, so get an early start and make your house look spacious and breezy.

 

What else would you do to prep your house for sale?

 


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Charleston SC Real Estate

What Originally Drew People to Summerville?

by carolinaone_marketing 12. February 2015 08:11

There's no doubt that Summerville is more popular than ever. The Summerville, SC real estate market is thriving as people seek a peaceful, pristine place to make their homes and raise their families, all within easy driving distance of Charleston. But the popularity of Summerville as a place to live is by no means a new phenomenon—it has been a destination for nearly two centuries.

Originally, Summerville was exactly what its name implied: a place to spend the summer. The moneyed class of Charleston made it a point to leave the city during the summer to avoid all the problems that a hot, humid season could bring to a big city in the 1800s. Thus, summer homes were erected to provide a place with fresh, breezy air where the wealthy could get away from it all. Summerville offered a unique setting that is rich in pine trees, fresh running streams, and abundant flowers. All these factors combined to help Summerville become not just a summer vacation town, but a health destination as well. 

 

In the 19th century, diseases of the lung were a major problem, including the frightening tuberculosis. Doctors of the time made the logical conclusion that patients with these diseases should seek a place to live with fresh, clean air. It just so happened that Summerville had some of the cleanest and most fragrant air in the United States, thanks to the same shady pine forests that had made it famous in the first place. Accordingly, health spas were opened and patients flocked to the area. Some were temporary visitors and others built homes so they could enjoy the salubrious breezes seasonally or year round.

The science of medicine was still developing in the 1800s and it's not clear whether Summerville's pine-scented breezes really helped cure any lung diseases. It is true that pine resin is a mild antiseptic, and its pungent odor is thanks to its astringent properties.

In any case, today's Summerville draws people for many more reasons. The ancient pine forests and many beautiful gardens continue to be a major source of appeal, but so are the quaint downtown and many shops, the community atmosphere, the proximity to Charleston, and the affordable home prices. There are many mid-range homes available in Summerville, and it remains a popular choice for professionals who work in Charleston and want to live somewhere peaceful and beautiful nearby.

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Summerville real estate