How do you celebrate Christmas in Charleston and where did those traditions originate? The South is rich in history, and Charleston is no exception. Did you know that Southern states were the first to adopt Christmas as a legal holiday? (Alabama in 1836, followed by Louisiana and Arkansas in 1838.) Over the years, it’s no surprise that many regional Southern holiday traditions have spread around the country.
CHARLESTON’S POINSETTIA ROOTS
Today we hail the poinsettia as the official plant of the Christmas season. Did you know this is thanks to a South Carolina gentleman by the name of Joel Robert Poinsett? Poinsett was in the United States House of Representatives and also served as the Minister to Mexico. While on a trip to Mexico in 1925, he discovered the festive red-colored flower. He brought it home to Charleston and introduced it as a holiday adornment. The rest is history. Today, throughout the South and the nation you will see these beautiful flowers displayed on the inside and outside of homes during the Yuletide season.
CITRUS FOR THE SEASON
To this day, it’s a Southern holiday tradition for Santa to leave some citrus fruit in children’s stockings. No, it’s not a gimmick to take up space. Years ago, finding citrus in your stocking in the middle of winter was a luxury. Citrus fruits were only available during certain seasons of the year, so receiving an orange at Christmas was a special and expensive treat. Decorating wreaths, trees, and holiday decor with different citrus fruits is still a tradition today. In fact, take a tour around downtown Charleston or visit one of the museum houses to see citrus and evergreen decorations on the outsides as well as interiors of historic Charleston homes. To view some beautiful examples, try one of these tours. Or if you can’t make it in person, you can watch the Garden Club of Charleston create their annual traditional holiday decorations at the Joseph Manigault House.
FRIED TURKEY, OYSTERS, & PECAN PIE
What would a Southern meal be without any of these delicacies? Fresh oysters are popular during the holiday season because their harvest is best during the coldest time of year. (Remember the old adage that oysters are good during months that have an “R” in their names.) Deep frying as a preparation for turkey also originated in the South. And don’t forget the pecan pie for dessert. The documented history of this recipe dates back to the 1880s. Legend says the French in New Orleans made a version of it after Native Americans introduced them to the pecan tree. Today this gooey, delicious Southern treat has spread across the country and is a staple this time of year. Visit Southern Living for a variety of delicious pecan pie recipes and other traditional Southern holiday foods.
What holiday treats and traditions does your family celebrate? Please share in the comments. Disher, Hamrick & Myers wishes HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all!
If this discussion of Southern holidays makes you yearn for a home in beautiful Charleston, SC, give us a call at 843.577.4115. Disher, Hamrick & Myers has been a leader in Charleston real estate since 1984. From historic downtown to the islands, we will help you find your dream property!
Historic homeowners are custodians of our architectural heritage. The houses they live in and care for have stood the test of time, and often come with unique features and storied pasts. As such, the prospect of moving in to or out of a historic home can be filled with challenges that ordinary homeowners may not face. Fortunately, DHM Real Estate agents are experts with decades of experience helping clients with all aspects of owning a historic property. In this article, we’ll explore essential tips for moving to or from a historic house.
The first moving tip for historic homeowners is to carefully assess your situation.
1. Create a detailed moving plan with a timeline and budget. Take into account any necessary permits and approvals, which may be more complex for historic properties.
2. Hire professionals with historic home expertise. Relocating historic treasures requires a delicate touch. Be sure to enlist the services of long-distance moving experts that have the specialized knowledge and experience to transport your cherished artifacts and heirlooms safely.
3. Communicate with local historic preservation authorities to understand the regulations and requirements affecting your move and obtain any necessary permits. Some historic districts may allow moves only during certain hours to maintain the peace of the neighborhood, or they may regulate when and where moving vans may park. Be careful of local noise ordinances as well.
PACK YOUR TREASURES
Packing up a historic home is a delicate process that requires extra care and attention.
1. Prioritize delicate and historical pieces such as antiques, family heirlooms, and fragile items for special handling.
2. Use archival-quality packing materials. In addition, carefully label each box and its contents. Document everything in case of damage or loss, and to make unpacking easier.
3. Consider temporary storage if there is a gap between leaving your old home and settling into your new one.
SAFEGUARD HISTORICAL INTEGRITY
Preserving the architectural integrity of historic homes is key.
1. Prevent damage to walls, floors, windows, and moldings. Use protective coverings and padding if necessary to safeguard the home’s architectural elements from your furniture and vise-versa.
2. Measure. Historic homes may not have the same door or window dimensions as more modern homes. In addition, they may not be consistent throughout the dwelling. Be aware of this when moving large pieces of furniture. Measure openings to be sure your existing pieces or new purchases will fit.
3. Maintain documentation and photographs of the home’s condition both before and after your move. This will be helpful for insurance purposes as well as historical records.
4. Comply with local regulations for renovations. While preserving authenticity is crucial, you may need to modernize parts of your historic home for comfort and functionality. If you plan any alterations, ensure they comply with local historical preservation regulations and obtain necessary permits.
Moving as a historic homeowner comes with challenges. However, with these tips, the transition can be a seamless and rewarding experience. Assess the situation, plan meticulously, safeguard historical integrity, and confidently embrace your new chapter! Remember, living in a historic house makes you not just a homeowner, but a steward who protects its legacy for the next generation of caretakers.
In the world of high-end investments, privacy and security are paramount. Whether you’ve invested in luxury real estate, high-end art, or rare collectibles, protecting your valuables requires a comprehensive approach. Ensuring the safety of your assets encompasses physical security, cybersecurity, and discretion. Today’s DHM Blog brings you 9 essential tips to safeguard your high-end investments and give you the peace of mind of knowing they are well-protected.
1. CONDUCT A COMPREHENSIVE RISK ASSESSMENT
Before diving into the specific security measures, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough risk assessment. Consider factors such as location, market conditions, and the nature of your asset. Consult with experts who can offer valuable insights and help you identify any vulnerabilities you might have overlooked. Then tailor your strategy to implement the recommended measures.
2. INSTALL ADVANCED SECURITY SYSTEMS
Invest in cutting-edge security systems including surveillance cameras, state-of-the-art alarms, and access control measures. Ensure they are regularly maintained and upgraded to keep up with evolving threats. In addition to advanced technology, consider integrating smart home automation into your setup. Smart systems allow you to remotely monitor and control your security measures, providing real-time updates and alerts to your mobile device. This added layer of convenience and control can significantly enhance the safety of your high-end investments.
3. INVEST IN SECURE STORAGE
Having a secure storage solution is vital for physical assets like art, jewelry, or collectibles. Use a fire-resistant, high-end safe or vault with a robust locking mechanism. If storing possessions off-site space, choose a location with a reputable track record for security. Either way, document and catalog your items meticulously. Create an inventory with detailed descriptions and photographs, and keep this information in a separate, secure location. This documentation will assist in recovery efforts in case of theft or damage and also with insurance claims.
4. SECURE YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT
In today’s digital age, privacy extends beyond physical security. Take steps to secure your online presence. Use strong, unique passwords for all accounts and enable two-factor authentication. Be cautious about sharing sensitive information online. It’s also wise to invest in a reputable virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and shield your online activities from prying eyes. Also be sure regularly to update your cybersecurity measures.
5. MAINTAIN DISCRETION
While it’s natural to be proud of your high-end investments, exercising discretion can go a long way in ensuring their security. Avoid flaunting your assets in public and be mindful of who you share information with. This includes posting about your assets online, for example in social media – especially if your post would disclose the location of your assets. The more discreet you are, the less likely you are to attract unwanted attention.
When selling your home, you may want to keep certain works of art away from the public eye in listing photography. You’ll also want to secure valuables such as jewelry when potential buyers tour your home. And of course, you’ll want to use a reputable real estate agent who has experience in luxury properties. They will guide you through the home-selling process and serve as a trusted gatekeeper between your possessions and potential buyers.
6. HIRE REPUTABLE MOVERS
Whether you’re relocating to a new home or transferring your assets to a different location, it’s imperative to maintain a high level of security throughout the process. Ensure your valuable possessions are carefully packed, transported, and unpacked. Once you’ve settled into your new space, take the necessary precautions to secure it. Moving should not be a vulnerability in your investment’s security, but rather an opportunity to enhance and reinforce it. Reevaluate systems, change access codes or locks, and verify the integrity of your storage.
7. EMPLOY PROFESSIONAL SECURITY PERSONNEL
For particularly valuable or sensitive investments, hiring professional security personnel can be indispensable. Trained guards can provide on-site protection, monitor security systems, and respond swiftly to any potential threats. Their presence alone can act as a deterrent to would-be intruders.
8. IMPLEMENT ACCESS CONTROLS
Carefully control who has access to your high-end investments. Only allow trusted individuals and prevent unauthorized people from compromising your asset’s security. Ensure clear protocols are in place for granting and revoking access.
9. STAY INFORMED ABOUT SECURITY TRENDS
Stay informed about the latest trends and technologies. Security is an ever-evolving field, but by staying up-to-date, you can adapt your security measures to address emerging threats effectively. Remember that safeguarding your high-end investments is an ongoing process. With the right precautions in place, you can stay a step ahead of potential threats and enjoy the privacy and security of your high-end investments with confidence.
In the world of luxury real estate, private islands stand as unparalleled treasures. Charleston’s private island communities include Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms, and Headquarters Island and Kiawah River Estates on Johns Island. Nestled along the picturesque South Carolina coastline, these havens offer more than just property ownership – they boast a lifestyle that blends seclusion, natural beauty, and exclusive amenities.
Private island paradises epitomize the prestige of Charleston’s thriving real estate market. With low inventory and the allure of the Lowcountry attracting discerning buyers worldwide, demand for these exclusive properties has become more coveted than ever before. Homes here extend beyond mere structures; they embody a lifestyle of luxury and serenity. These gated communities are accessible only to property owners, renters, club members, and their guests. Buyers in this market are not just seeking a home, but an experience.
If a chance to embrace a life of tranquility and outdoor splendor in a coastal escape appeals to you, or if you’re a prospective buyer seeking appreciation, rental income, or a legacy investment, owning a home on a private island might be right for you. Let’s explore the allure of Charleston’s private islands, showcase their exclusive offerings, delve into the thriving luxury real estate market, and discover the investment potential of these coveted properties.
PRIVATE ISLANDS NEAR CHARLESTON, SC
Neighboring Kiawah and Seabrook Islands are to the south of Charleston. Known for its pristine beaches, championship golf courses, and luxurious resorts, Kiawah offers a truly exclusive and upscale lifestyle. With world-class amenities, including the renowned Kiawah Island Golf Resort and the exclusive Governor’s Club, Kiawah Island is a sought-after destination for those seeking a luxurious and tranquil retreat.
Seabrook Island is known for its unspoiled beaches, lush landscapes, and abundant wildlife. It offers a variety of outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, horseback riding, and water sports. Amenities include a clubhouse, swimming pools, and restaurants. With its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere, Seabrook is a popular destination for both residents and visitors alike.
Wild Dunes can be found on the Isle of Palms, just to the east of Charleston. It offers two championship golf courses, tennis courts, a spa, and access to beautiful beaches. The gated resort also features several dining options, from casual beachside cafes to upscale restaurants. With its stunning natural surroundings and luxurious accommodations, Wild Dunes is the perfect destination to visit or live.
Kiawah River Estates is a gated golf course community on the southern tip of John’s Island, just 2 miles across the marsh from Kiawah Island. It is surrounded by lush landscapes and native wildlife, making it a nature-lover’s paradise. Residents have access to a clubhouse, tennis courts, swimming pool, and community dock. Additionally, owners can join the Seabrook Island Club or the Governor’s Club at Kiawah Island Resort for even more amenities. Kiawah River Estates provides a less-expensive alternative to living on Kiawah Island itself.
Finally, Headquarters Island is actually a peninsula on Johns Island just over the Stono River from James Island. It offers captivating views of the Intracoastal Waterway and surrounding marshlands. Most homes are waterfront with private deepwater docks. The community has easy access to James Island and downtown Charleston’s shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
LUXURY REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT POTENTIAL
Whether you want to become a permanent resident or purchase a second home, Investing in a home on a private island isn’t just a lifestyle choice, it can be a savvy financial move. Charleston’s real estate market historically has seen steady appreciation. Limited inventory and increasing demand contribute to long-term value growth.
Additionally, many homeowners rent their properties when not in use. The allure of these exclusive retreats attracts affluent travelers, offering a lucrative source of short-term income. There is also long-term value as a cherished family retreat that preserves special memories, as well as wealth, for generations. No matter your goal, be sure to find experienced long-distance movers in Charleston to guarantee a hassle-free relocation.
PRIVATE ISLAND LIFESTYLE
Living on a private island is an invitation to embrace a lifestyle that blends luxury with natural beauty. Here, you’ll find endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in Charleston, and the experience is nothing short of extraordinary. Picture yourself waking up to the soft sounds of waves lapping against the shore and stepping onto the beach for a morning stroll. The sand and water are your playground, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or water sports. Explore the island’s trails through lush maritime forests that are a serene backdrop for leisurely walks or bike rides. Birdwatching enthusiasts will delight in the abundant coastal wildlife, while anglers can cast their lines into the surrounding waters to reel in a catch.
Enjoy all this with the charm of Charleston just beyond your shores. The Holy City offers a rich cultural scene, historic sites, and world-class dining experiences. Explore the historic district’s cobblestone streets and opulent mansions, watch a concert, attend a festival, or savor a seafood feast at a waterfront restaurant. With a private island as your base, you have the perfect balance of tranquility and access to the Charleston, SC lifestyle.
In this current sellers’ market with high interest rates, being able to buy a home with cash can be advantageous. However, navigating the process alone can be overwhelming. That’s why even cash buyers need a real estate agent. In fact, working with an agent who is experienced in cash transactions can significantly improve your home-buying journey. Let’s look at some of the ways a real estate agent helps cash buyers:
When you work with a real estate professional, you gain access to their years of expertise. DHM agents have in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market, including current trends, property values, and investment opportunities. They help you make informed decisions and ensure you get the best value for your investment. Real estate agents assist buyers at every step, from identifying suitable properties that meet your criteria, to guiding you through the intricacies of the buying process. Their assistance proves invaluable throughout the entire journey.
ACCESS TO LISTINGS
Real estate agents have access to all properties in the MLS, as well as off-market (or “pocket”) listings not yet available to the general public. They keep you ahead of the competition by sharing quick notifications about new listings that align with your preferences. They also work their personal and industry connections to find homes that fit your needs if none are currently on the market. This exclusive access gives you a significant advantage in finding the perfect property for your cash purchase.
Real estate agents possess in-depth knowledge of the local community, including amenities, schools, neighborhood dynamics, and other factors that may impact the value and desirability of a property. They stay updated on future trends and market changes crucial for making informed decisions about investment properties. A good agent can identify areas with high appreciation potential. They also understanding the rental market for income-generating properties.
Once you have found that perfect property, real estate agents negotiate on your behalf. They will use knowledge and experience to protect your interests and secure your best possible deal. Once you’ve submitted a compelling offer backed by proof of funds from your financial institution, they will continue to advocate for you, ensuring your needs and goals are met. With such expert guidance, you can confidently navigate negotiations.
You may think a cash closing is a simple process. In fact, there are still many steps to take and details to keep track of. Real estate agents facilitate and streamline this. One of the key benefits buying a home with cash is the reduced closing costs. Cash buyers do not carry the burden of mortgage application fees, loan origination fees, and other expenses that make up a significant portion of closing costs. Your real estate agent will make sure you get all the discounts you are entitled to.
Your agent will also guide you through gathering necessary documentation, ensure accurate and timely completion of paperwork, and keep track of deadlines. She or he will coordinate inspections, appraisals, and other due diligence tasks. If financing becomes necessary, they can actively assist in arranging it and liaise with lenders on your behalf. Their involvement saves you valuable time, effort, and stress.
NETWORK OF PROFESSIONALS
As you can see, even in all-cash deals, there are many third parties involved in real estate transactions. Fortunately, real estate agents have connections with appraisers, inspectors, contractors, and other service providers who play a crucial role in home buying. Your agent will recommend reliable professionals to assist with all of your property-related needs, taking that burden off of you.
If you are moving from out of state, they can help you find a reliable cross-country mover to safely pack, transport, and deliver your belongings to your new destination. A good agent will even recommend restaurants, clubs, and civic activities you’ll enjoy in your new home!
In conclusion, collaborating with a real estate agent brings a cash buyer many benefits. From expert guidance and exclusive access to listings, to streamlined processes and a network of professionals, working with a real estate agent simplifies your home buying experience. DHM’s expert team of real estate agents are all well-versed in cash sales and are here to give you a seamless and successful buying journey!
Are you considering investing in a second home? If so, Charleston, SC should be at the top of your list. This charming city is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. The Holy City has something for everyone, from the stunning natural landscapes to the thriving arts scene. Let’s countdown the top 10 reasons to own a second home in Charleston.
No. 1: RICH HISTORY & ARCHITECTURE
Charleston is renowned for its well-preserved historic district, with cobblestone streets, antebellum houses, and charming gardens. The city’s architectural diversity, from historic mansions to modern marvels, is truly captivating. Owning a second home here means immersing yourself in the city’s fascinating history and unique architecture. Stroll along Rainbow Row, a series of colorful historic row houses. Then visit iconic landmarks like Fort Sumter and the Battery to appreciate their historical significance.
As a local, don’t forget to seek out the hidden gems of the city’s historic district. These include cobblestone streets, hidden courtyards, secret gardens, and tucked-away alleyways. Experience a sense of discovery as you wander these lesser-known spots.
No. 2: BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
Imagine waking to the sound of waves crashing against the shore and stepping outside to enjoy miles of sandy beach. The Lowcountry provides access to several breathtaking beaches, including the friendly Isle of Palms, funky Folly Beach, and exclusive Kiawah. Having a second property here allows you to indulge in beachfront living whenever you desire, whether for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation.
No. 3: CULINARY DELIGHTS
Food lovers will be delighted by the city’s thriving culinary scene, which offers a wide range of delectable dishes and a unique farm-to-table experience. Charleston chefs pride themselves on locally sourced ingredients and a commitment to sustainable and organic practices.
Be sure to explore the vibrant farmers’ markets that dot the area, where you can find fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and homemade preserves. Visiting these markets allows you to connect with local farmers, taste seasonal delights, and gain a deeper appreciation for the farm-to-table movement. Whether exploring the bustling Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square downtown, or the Sunday Brunch Farmers Market at the Pour House on James Island, you’ll discover a wealth of flavors and a true celebration of Lowcountry foodways.
No. 4: FESTIVALS & CULTURAL EVENTS
Getting bored in Charleston is nearly impossible, as the city hosts yearly festivals and events. Something exciting always happens, from the renowned Spoleto Festival that showcases world-class performing arts, to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival that samples the region’s culinary excellence. Other festivals celebrate Caribbean or Greek heritage, jazz, antiques, and wildlife. In the spring and fall, you have the opportunity to glimpse inside historic homes and support local historic preservation groups. Owning a second home allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s cultural offerings fully.
No. 5: VIBRANT ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SCENE
Charleston boasts a vibrant arts and entertainment scene with numerous art galleries, theatres, and music venues offering diverse cultural experiences. From theatrical productions, to live musical performances, to local artist exhibitions, you’re bound to find something to satisfy every artistic inclination. Owning a second home here means having easy access to a thriving arts community and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s creative energy.
No. 6: OUTDOOR RECREATION
Whether you enjoy fishing, boating, kayaking, biking, or simply exploring scenic trailways, there are many ways to enjoy the outdoors in Charleston. With abundant beaches, parks, gardens, and waterways, you’ll never run out of places to connect with nature or embark on exciting outdoor adventures.
Explore the breathtaking gardens and plantations throughout the region to combine nature with history. See the world-famous Magnolia Plantation and Gardens with its stunning azaleas and camellias. Then visit the Middleton Place with its majestic oak trees and vibrant floral displays. These gardens provide a tranquil retreat where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, while learning about the city’s past.
Enjoy a stroll through meticulously manicured landscapes, take in the fragrant blooms, and embrace the serenity of these enchanting spaces. Whether you’re a nature lover, an avid hiker, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, a top reason to own a second home in Charleston is the abundance of outdoor wonders.
No. 7: THRIVING ECONOMY
Charleston’s economy is thriving, making it an ideal location for investment. The city has experienced growth in various sectors, including manufacturing, technology, tourism, healthcare, logistics, and aerospace engineering. The area’s housing market also remains strong. Owning a property here allows you to enjoy the city’s amenities and offers the potential for a sound financial investment.
No. 8: SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY
The Holy City is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, epitomizing the true essence of Southern hospitality. Friendly locals, charming neighborhoods, and tight-knit communities make this a place where you’ll feel right at home.
No. 9: EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Charleston is home to several prestigious institutions of higher learning, including the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina. There are also many excellent secondary schools (private, public, and charter), including the #2 nationally-ranked Academic Magnet High School. If you have children or are considering furthering your education, buying a property here provides access to excellent academic resources and various educational opportunities. Purchasing a home for your student, in place of a dormitory or renting, can also be a sound financial decision.
No. 10: PROXIMITY TO OTHER DESTINATIONS
Charleston’s location makes it an ideal base for exploring nearby destinations. From the charming coastal towns of Hilton Head Island and Beaufort to the historic city of Savannah, Georgia, there’s no shortage of places to visit within a reasonable drive. Therefore, you can easily embark on exciting day trips and discover the beauty of the surrounding areas.
ADVICE FOR OWNING A SECOND HOME IN CHARLESTON
Take precautions while away from both your primary and secondary homes. First, be sure to install a security system in each to discourage break-ins. There are many smart home devices that can help your house look lived-in even when you are not there. Second, consider renting storage to keep your belongings safe while spending time in Charleston. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing your possessions are well-protected until you return.
As you can see, you’ve got plenty of compelling reasons to own a second home in Charleston, from the stunning beaches and rich history to the thriving culture and warm hospitality. Whether seeking a relaxing beachfront retreat or a vibrant downtown with endless opportunities, Charleston has it all. With its unique charm and abundant offerings, Charleston, SC is an ideal destination for those looking to invest in a second home.
Disher, Hamrick & Myers has been representing buyers for over 40 years and we can help you through the process of finding your perfect second home. Give us a call at 843.577.4115 or visit our website to see our current listings and search the MLS.
Choosing the right Charleston house type is a delightful journey that allows you to explore the city’s diverse architectural heritage. Downtown Charleston offers a range of dwellings to suit every taste and lifestyle. From historic mansions of the city’s past, to modern marvels of contemporary design, to serene waterfront retreats, there’s a Charleston house type to suit everyone. Be sure to take the time to explore each, visit our neighborhoods, and consult with real estate professionals who can guide you through the process.
Let’s delve into some of the considerations that will help you find your downtown Charleston dream home.
Do you value a property’s historical significance and wish to immerse yourself in Charleston’s past? Historic mansions and row houses, like those found South of Broad, should top your list. These properties allow you to experience the city’s heritage firsthand and become a part of preserving its rich culture.
Charleston’s architectural landscape is diverse, ranging from Colonial and Victorian, to Greek Revival and contemporary designs. Determine your preferred architectural style and explore houses that align with your aesthetic tastes.
Are you drawn to a close-knit neighborhood feel? Single-family homes and row houses offer a strong sense of community, with neighbors living in proximity and opportunities for social interactions.
LIFESTYLE & AMENITIES
Consider your lifestyle preferences and the amenities that are important to you. Do you want easy access to restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions? Are you a nature enthusiast who desires proximity to parks and outdoor activities? Do you dream of waking up to panoramic water views and indulging in coastal living? Downtown Charleston’s different parts of town offer varying degrees of convenience and access to amenities, so choose accordingly.
Consider your long-term goals and be sure your house type aligns with them. Are you planning to expand your family and need a home with ample space? Do you enjoy outdoor living and gardening? Or do you want a low-maintenance property that accommodates your busy lifestyle? Factor in your future plans to ensure your new home will adapt to your evolving needs.
Once you have considered your current and future needs, determined your preferred architectural style, and found the right part of town for you, here are some of your options for a new Charleston home:
Charleston’s historic mansions embody the city’s storied past with architectural elegance and timeless appeal. These homes often feature intricate details, expansive gardens, classic columns, and spacious piazzas. An updated historic home allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s past while indulging in luxurious modern living.
SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
Charleston’s single family homes, including the iconic Charleston single house, offer a sense of community. Many have traditional wraparound porches, colorful shutters, and vibrant gardens that capture the essence of classic Southern living. You’ll find various architectural styles, including Colonial, Victorian, and Greek Revival, each with its unique charm.
Charleston’s proximity to the water offers an opportunity to experience coastal living at its finest. Whether it’s a luxurious harborview estate or a cottage on the marshes, these homes provide breathtaking views, access to water activities, and a serene atmosphere. Waterfront properties in Charleston offer a chance to embrace a relaxed lifestyle where the beauty of nature merges seamlessly with architecture.
Charleston row houses, also known as townhouses, are a popular choice for those seeking a blend of historic charm and urban living. These attached homes line the downtown city streets. They showcase architectural details including ornate ironwork, colorful facades, and seasonal window boxes. Charleston row houses provide easy access to the city’s amenities, making them an excellent option for those who desire a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Charleston’s architectural landscape has expanded to include modern abodes that incorporate innovative and forward-thinking designs. These contemporary homes boast sleek lines, large windows, and open-concept floor plans. They tend to emphasize natural light and seamless indoor/outdoor living. Sustainable materials and smart features cater to those with a penchant for modern aesthetics and eco-conscious living. These residences showcase the city’s evolving architectural identity.
MOVING TO CHARLESTON, SC?
If you are planning a move to Charleston, SC, be sure to work with a local real estate agent who will help you narrow down your choices and show you around the different parts of town. Once you have chosen your dream house style, hiring interstate movers is a wise decision to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transition. An experienced team can help facilitate your relocation, providing expertise in navigating the logistics, packing your belongings securely, and ensuring a seamless transport of your possessions. Entrusting your move to professionals allows you to focus on the excitement of starting a new chapter in Charleston!
The annual Spoleto Festival USA runs from May 26-June 11 this year. Charleston residents and visitors alike will have the opportunity to enjoy world-class theatrical and musical performances. Want to know how to enjoy the festival like a local? Whether this will be your first Spoleto or you are a regular, here are some insider tips and tricks to make the most out of your visit to the festival.
SPOLETO ON A BUDGET
Tickets are less expensive for weekday performances than for those on the weekends.
Some city garages offer free parking during the performances.
Select events offer senior, military, student, and group discounts.
Piccolo Spoleto is a complementary festival with regional rather than international artists. Many Piccolo events are free, such as the opening weekend concert at the Customs House, the Marion Square outdoor art exhibition, and the Festival Finale at Hampton Park. Others have only a minimal charge.
Select performances have tickets starting at $25. Be sure to check these out.
Restaurants and bars tend to be full before and after performances. Take this into consideration when scheduling your meals out and plan accordingly.
Allow more time than you think you need if dining before a show.
If you’re not attending a performance, choose to dine during those hours. Reservations are much easier to get at those times.
Parking is always difficult. Be prepared to drive around to find a spot and then walk a good distance to the venue. The earlier you arrive, the better chance to find a good parking spot.
On-street parking meters are free after 6:00pm and on Sundays.
Neighborhood parking is usually limited to an hour or two. If you park in a residential area, you will be ticketed if you stay longer.
Some garages offer flat rates for the evening.
If possible, leave the car at home and walk or Uber.
Indoor venues tend to be very cold, despite the usual Charleston heat and humidity outside. Be sure to bring a wrap or a jacket with you.
You can purchase last-minute tickets at the venue an hour before the show. They are not discounted, but are often available, especially for shows at larger venues such as the College of Charleston Cistern and the Gaillard Center.
Go to the festival office at the Gaillard Center to get information and brochures on Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto. They will provide all the information on times, dates, length of productions, maps, etc.
And if you enjoy your trip to Charleston so much you’d like to move here permanently or invest in a vacation home, Disher, Hamrick & Myers can help you find the perfect place! Call us at 843.577.4115 to start your Charleston home search.
Do you have any additional insider tips for Spoleto? If so, please add them in the comments.
Charleston, South Carolina is a city known for its rich history and beautiful architecture. From opulent estates to charming cottages, Charleston is home to a range of architectural styles influenced by different cultural inspirations as well as years of expansion and development. From the Georgian Revival of the Colonial period, to the Greek Revival and Italianate styles of the early 19th century, to the Gothic Revival of the mid-19th century, Charleston’s architecture provides a window into the city’s past.
As a result, today Charleston is not just an amazing tourist destination, it’s also a great place to call home. Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular architectural styles in Charleston and the distinctive qualities that make them cherished by residents and visitors alike. The next time you’re out walking the charming streets of historic downtown Charleston, keep your eyes open to spy each of these examples. Experience the beautiful way they all fit together to create one of the most magical cities in America.
CHARLESTON SINGLE HOUSE
Emerging in the late 18th century, the Charleston single house remains the most popular architectural style in historic downtown Charleston. These long, narrow, two- or three-story structures are one room wide and oriented perpendicular to the street. A covered porch, called a “piazza,” runs the length of the house. What appears to be a front door instead opens to the piazza, with the main entrance located on the side of the building.
Single houses are found throughout the city, but are most prevalent in the French Quarter, South of Broad. A great way to see a variety is to partake in a First Friday Art Walk, which will wind you through the alleyways and cobblestone streets of this section of town.
Double houses were also built starting in the late 18th century, but never reached the widespread popularity of the Charleston single house. These large, two-story homes are two rooms deep by two rooms wide, symmetrically divided by a center stair hall. Unlike single houses, the long facade of the house fronts the street. Piazzas can be placed on the front or side, and often feature intricate wrought-iron railings.
With its pleasing symmetry and simple, yet opulent embellishments, Gregorian style was prevalent in Charleston throughout the 18th century. Its design harkens back to traditional structures from Greece and Rome. In order to convey flawless cohesion, it stresses equilibrium and mathematical dimensions. Georgian structures typically have a flat facade with symmetrical windows and doors. They are frequently decorated with granite pillars, limestone ornamentation, and ornate cornices. This classic style is seen not only in downtown residences and public buildings, but is also closely associated with antebellum plantation houses.
One of the most famous Charleston Georgian structures is Drayton Hall. This 18th-century brick estate with striking double portico is the only Ashley River plantation house to survive the Civil War. It is currently owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is open for public tours. The Heyward-Washington House is another Georgian residence you can visit to see where America’s first president stayed during his visit to the city in 1791.
Another neoclassical variation that blossomed in Charleston is Federal, or Adams style architecture. While also based on the classical ideals of order and symmetry, its decorative details are more delicate than Georgian architecture. Look for a center-hall floor plan, an elliptical fanlight over the front door, also flanked by sidelights, and Palladian windows. The exteriors may include octagonal or oval projections with correspondingly-shaped interior rooms.
Federal style was extensively adopted in Charleston in the decades surrounding the turn of the 19th century. The Nathaniel Russell House, constructed in 1808, is one of Charleston’s (and indeed, America’s) finest examples. It features rectangular, oval, and square rooms on each of three floors. Owned by Historic Charleston Foundation, it has been exquisitely restored to its original condition and is open for public tours. Another Federal home, the Joseph Manigault House, is also available to visit through The Charleston Museum.
Victorian style originated in England during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) and immediately became fashionable in the US as well. Victorian homes are marked by ornate and detailed design elements. Many feature asymmetrical shapes, steep roofs, large front porches, and intricate ornamentation such as stained glass windows, decorative ironwork, and ornamental shingles. The use of vibrant colors and bold patterns is another a hallmark of Victorian design. As this style persisted for so many decades, it spawned several subgenres.
Italianate architecture is a variation of the Victorian style that was all the rage in America in the latter part of the 19th century. It is characterized by rectangular structures with wide-hipped, low-pitched roofs. They are often topped with square cupolas. Windows are tall and usually rounded at the top, without shutters. Decorative corbels with ornate brackets and cornices support overhanging eaves. Italian motifs frequently find their way into masonry and stonework.
A fine example of civic Italianate architecture that you can visit today is the Dock Street Theatre. In 1835, it underwent renovations that added a projecting loggia supported by brownstone columns and topped with an ornate cast-iron balcony. Downtown Charleston’s largest private home, the Williams Mansion, is another remarkable example of an Italianate style building.
Another recognizable form in Charleston’s architectural history is Greek Revival. This style uses classical Greek components such as columns, pediments, and friezes, and first appeared in the early 19th century.
The impressive US Custom House, with its stately portico, tall Corinthian columns, and temple fronts, is one of Charleston’s most visible examples of Greek Revival architecture. Another noteworthy instance is the Edmondston-Alston House. This gorgeously maintained home on Charleston’s High Battery is open for tours. Or if you prefer a home that has been preserved without restoration, visit the Aiken-Rhett House. This double house had Greek Revival features added in 1831.
Gothic Revival style draws influence from the medieval era and makes a bold statement on Charleston’s architectural landscape. This style is distinguished by tall towers, rib vaults, elaborate parapets, and a profusion of pointed arched windows. It was commonly used amongst the Holy City’s churches. The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, the French Huguenot Church, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, the Unitarian Church, and Mother Emmanuel AME all make use of Gothic Revival architecture. It can even be found on much less grand scale, in the outbuildings that make up the urban plantation behind the Aiken-Rhett House.
If all this talk of Charleston’s architectural diversity and beauty makes you want to visit, or perhaps even move to our beautiful city, be sure to call Disher, Hamrick & Myers for all your Charleston real estate needs. With over 40 years in business downtown, nobody knows the area and the housing market better. If you’re moving to Charleston from another state and searching for long distance movers, don’t forget to team up with the right pros. You’ll be able to get a start on exploring your new city without an ounce of worry while the experts take care of your furniture and possessions. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy all that Charleston has to offer.
Spring is a colorful time in Charleston, SC. From the lawns of historic plantations to decorative flowers in parks, the city rebounds from winter with a burst of pigments and hues. From Hampton Park to Magnolia Plantation, there are so many places to catch a glimpse of the vibrant spring blossoms. Take the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and soak in the sights of these 6 blooms, which you will see everywhere in Charleston gardens this spring.
Want to catch a glimpse of azaleas in full bloom? You’ll have plenty of opportunities to view these shade-tolerant blooms in Charleston, where they blossom for several weeks. Azalea Park in nearby Summerville is filled with hot pink azaleas, as well as other flowering plants like lavender, wisteria and white dogwoods. The annual Flowertown Festival, held in April, brings thousands of guests to view its flora and enjoy food, craft booths and family fun activities.
Daffodils take hold in spring in Charleston gardens. You can find them as early as February in most parts of the city. These perennials bloom until the end of April and continue to come back every season. Typically planted in the fall, daffodils are resistant to deer and other pests and hold up well to the hustle and bustle of the city. They display blooms that are white, yellow, orange, pink or tricolor. They are often seen as a harbinger of spring.
Charleston is home to hundreds of types of camellias, including the “Reine des Fleurs” or “Queen of Flowers.” This specimen is the only surviving one of the first four camellias planted and cultivated in America – in 1786! You can see it today at Middleton Place, which hosts camellia walks throughout the spring. On this tour, you’ll learn about the different forms these flowers take and see other ancient camellias as well as more modern cultivars.
The city is famous for its magnolias, which are native to South Carolina. These trees come into bloom in May, producing gorgeous foliage in spring and early summer. Their saucer-like white flowers emit a wonderful scent that is used in many locally-produced perfumes, candles, soaps and home fragrances. This iconic tree lends its name to the famous Magnolia Plantation, where romantic gardens allow it and other plants to grow informally, as nature intended.
Take the time to pause and smell the roses in Charleston. Here, they bloom in late April and continue until the first frost, which is usually not until November. Charleston is the birthplace of one of the most famous garden roses, the Noisette rose. In fact, it’s the only class of rose to originate in the US. No surprise, they’re a favorite in Charleston gardens. You can also find them growing in public attractions like Boone Hall and Hampton Park.
If you’re a hydrangea lover, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to view them throughout Charleston in early summer. That’s when thousands of these large blossoms, which make beautiful cuttings, are in bloom. Hydrangeas present in many colors, including a rarity for the flower kingdom: blue. Interestingly, their hue depends on the pH of the surrounding soil, creating shades from white to pink to purple to blue. The floral clusters also dry very well, so you can enjoy their beauty into fall.
No matter where you roam in Charleston – from parks to plantations – there are plenty of places to catch a glimpse of these beautiful spring colors. Make sure you bring the camera and enjoy the colorful palate this spring!
Author David Wheeler is a landscape design writer and nature enthusiast. He is an avid traveler and loves to spend his time hiking and strolling through magnificent gardens, learning about rare and native flowers across the world.