5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a House in Charleston

Josephine Traina
Find Self-Storage

Thinking of buying a house in Charleston?

With its miles of pristine beaches, countless incredible restaurants, and charming historic neighborhoods, it’s no surprise that Charleston consistently ranks as one of the top destinations for people looking to relocate.

Like most highly desirable areas, real estate in Charleston is very competitive. If you want to call The Holy City home, you’ll need to get to know the local market.

Here are five things homebuyers should know about buying a house in Charleston from one of the area’s most trusted real estate agents:

1. Consistently Voted Best City

Every year, Travel + Leisure releases a list of the top cities in the United States. Since 2013, one city has maintained the top ranking in the list. You guessed it: Charleston, South Carolina.

In the 2018 rankings, Charleston is declared, “the perfect city for a girls’ weekend, a family vacation, or a romantic getaway.” Well, many think it’s not just the best city to visit, but it’s the best city to call home.

Charleston also consistently ranks near the top of national lists of best places to live.

All this attention has a big impact on the local real estate market. Get ready to compete with other buyers who are just as passionate as you are about moving to Charleston.

2. Seller’s Market

Charleston has been a seller’s market throughout 2018 and will likely remain so through 2019.

As of fall 2018, three key metrics all point to the fact that sellers are in the driver’s seat:

● The overall inventory of homes for sale is low
● Homes are spending very little time on the market before being sold
● Median listing and sale prices are rising into record-setting territory

However, just like any market, there are still bargains to be found if buyers look hard enough.

There are still a handful of desirable areas and neighborhoods around Charleston that have above average inventory and relatively reasonable prices.

Wild Dunes, Awendaw, Seabrook Island, Wadmalaw Island, and Kiawah Island are some areas around Charleston that have been friendlier to buyers in 2018.

Learn how to be a buyer in a seller’s market and get ready to work hard to find those bargains!

3. New Construction Opportunities

Work with an experienced agent that knows the market and has connections with real estate developers building in the area. Most buyers fail to realize that there are often hundreds of affordable new construction homes available that are not in the MLS search.

Recently, dozens of newly built homes went on the market in Mount Pleasant, SC in the low $300,000s. Mount Pleasant is a nearby suburb of Charleston and has some highly prized real estate because of the great schools and prime location. Affordable 3- and 4-bedroom homes in this area are hard to come by.

These homes were never listed in the MLS before they got snatched up. Without a real estate agent that can uncover these opportunities, you’re left to compete for the listed properties that every other buyer knows about.

The good news is that affordable new construction homes are popping up in some great spots in Charleston and the surrounding communities. You just need a little extra help to take advantage.

4. Taxes

South Carolina is ranked as one of the best states for property taxes.

According to a recent study, South Carolinians only have to pay about 0.5% of their home’s value in property taxes each year. That’s the seventh lowest in the country. In recent years the state has consistently ranked in the top seven.

With the recent passing of a new bill by South Carolina’s government, the income tax rate is also heading in a competitive direction.

Taxes are an important factor in the overall cost of buying and owning a home, so anyone interested in Charleston as a relocation destination should be happy to learn that this is another positive.

5. Family Friendly

Some of America’s top relocation destinations get recognition because they offer a unique appeal to retirees. While Charleston certainly has plenty to offer the 60-and-over set, it’s also a city that’s great for raising a family.

A list of the best Charleston area neighborhoods and communities for growing families would have to include Johns Island, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, West Ashley, Moncks Corner, and even Downtown Charleston.

These areas offer a nice mix of quality schools, a variety of family-friendly activities, convenient transportation, and reasonably affordable housing options.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on November 5, 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Josephine Traina

Josephine Traina is the Broker/Owner at Charleston Welcome Home Real Estate.
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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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