Charleston’s Private Islands – Ultimate Luxury Real Estate

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.

2 sailboats in the water in Charleston, SCPrivate 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

Teak table and chairs and umbrella outside on the marsh with a boat in the water in the distance on Kiawah Island, 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.

Private docks across the marsh into the water in Kiawah River EstatesKiawah 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

House on marsh and golf course in Kiawah Island, SCWhether 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

Wooden hiking trail sign in the woods on a private island near Charleston, SCLiving 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.

 

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Top 10 Reasons to Own a Second Home in Charleston, SC

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

Cobblestone street and row houses in Charleston, SCCharleston 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

Man lying on the beach beside an Isle of Palms sun umbrellaImagine 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

Person grabbing a sample of food at the Charleston Wine and Food festivalFood 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

Charleston City Hall with banner for Spoleto Festival and a crowd in frontGetting 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

Father and son biking across a beach in Charleston, SCWhether 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

female healthcare worker holding stethoscopeCharleston’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

basket of magnolia flowers with a welcome signThe 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

three women in black caps and gown with red scarfs at a college student graduationCharleston 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

map of the US east coast around Charleston, SCCharleston’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.

 

CONCLUSION

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.

 

 

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Charleston House Types: Historic Mansions to Modern Marvels

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.

 

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

Exterior shot of historically significant brick row houses on a cobblestone street in Charleston, SCDo 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.

 

ARCHITECTURAL STYLE

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.

 

COMMUNITY ATMOSPHERE

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

in ground pool surrounded by landscaping in a Charleston, SC homeConsider 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.

 

FUTURE PLANS

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:

 

HISTORIC MANSIONS

Charleston historic house interior. Living room with blue walls, white trim, antique furniture, and crystal chandelier. 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 single family home exterior. White 2-story house with blue door surrounded by trees.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.

 

WATERFRONT RETREATS

View of the Ashley River from a white porch with columns and rails on a waterfront Charleston home. 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.

 

ROW HOUSES

Charleston row houses. Colorful historic houses along Broad Street.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.

 

CONTEMPORARY DESIGNS

Interior of a Charleston contemporary style house.Great room with kitchen to the right, kitchen island in the center, and dining table to the left. Cabinets are blonde wood; floor is medium hardwood. 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!

 

 

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Popular Architectural Styles in Charleston, SC

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

Example of a Charleston Single House in Charleston architectureEmerging 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 HOUSE

Example of a Double House in Charleston architectureDouble 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.

 

GEORGIAN

Drayton Hall, an example of Georgian architecture in Charleston, SCWith 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.

 

FEDERAL

Joseph Manigault House, an example of Federal or Adams Style architecture in Charleston, SCAnother 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

Example of Victorian architecture in a house in Charleston, SCVictorian 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

The Dock Street Theatre, an example of Italinate architecture in Charleston, SCItalianate 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.

 

GREEK REVIVAL

US Custom House an example of Greek Revival architecture in Charleston, SCAnother 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

The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, an example of Gothic Revival architecture in Charleston, SCGothic 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.

 

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Six Spring Blooms in Charleston Gardens

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.

 

AZALEAS

azaleaWant 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

daffodil

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.

 

CAMELLIAS

camellia

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.

 

SOUTHERN MAGNOLIAS

southern magnolia

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.

 

NOISETTE ROSES

Noisette rose

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.

 

HYDRANGEAS

hydrangea

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.

 

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Best Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors in Charleston This Summer

It would be hard to find a more beautiful place to live than Charleston, SC. People come here for the history and beaches, and end up staying for the mild weather and beautiful scenery. The location is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as those who have an appreciation for native plants and wildlife. You’ll find plenty of activities to enjoy under the warm southern sun. So get outside and check out these places to enjoy the summer in Charleston!

 

CHARLESTON HARBOR

Charleston Harbor and the Ravenel BridgeCharleston’s prime location on the waterfront makes it easy to access a variety of water activities. You can enjoy a sunset sail on a charter boat or test your skills by angling for a big fish. Kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals are also quite popular if you want to explore Charleston Harbor from the water. You can also catch a boat out to Fort Sumter, to see where the Civil War began. Or cross the Ravenel Bridge to the Mt. Pleasant side of the harbor to tour the USS Yorktown.

 

WATERFRONT PARK

Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park, CharlestonVisitors and locals alike are quite fond of Waterfront Park. This beautiful park stretches along 10 acres of harborfront property in downtown Charleston. It’s perfect for a morning jog or evening stroll. Bring a book, grab one of the many benches and enjoy the breeze coming off the water. Walk down the public pier and sway in one of the hanging porch swings. Take in the sights of boats and marine life. Let the kids splash around in the Pineapple Fountain, a symbol of Southern hospitality.

 

JAMES ISLAND COUNTY PARK

Searching for an adventure? Look no further than James Island County Park, just a short drive from Charleston. This park features great activities for anyone looking for an adrenaline rush. You’ll find a 50-foot climbing wall that’s popular with guests. Many organizations take advantage of the challenge course for a team-building exercise. Enjoy a walk or jog down one the miles of paved trails lined by subtropical loving plants. Bring some friends and challenge them to the 18-hole disc golf course. Cool off in the seasonal Splash Zone Water Park. A visit to James Island County Park is perfect for those afternoons when you need to get out of the house.

 

MCLEOD PLANTATION HISTORIC SITE

McLeod Plantation There are many plantations in the Charleston area that date back centuries. McLeod Plantation Historic Site, est. 1851, sits on 37 acres on James Island. Here, you’ll learn how critical sea island cotton and the plantation system were to Charleston. You’ll also learn about the lives of the free and enslaved men and women who built and ran McLeod. Walking paths take you past 19th-century buildings, which you can also tour. Keep an eye out for the many native plants that cover the area. Be sure stop by the McLeod Oak Tree, which dates back more than 600 years.

 

GO WEST

Angel Oak, John's Island, SCThe famous Angel Oak is located just a short drive west from Charleston, on Johns Island. You can’t miss this beautiful tree that is at least 400 years old and covers more than 17,000 square feet. The tree itself is stunning, but there are also other outdoor activities to enjoy on this side of town. Travel a little further up picturesque Maybank Highway to Wadmalaw Island. Here, check out Charleston’s only winery, Deep Water Vineyard, and sample some of their muscadine wines. Or tour the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only tea plantation in the US.

 

Author John Williams is an outdoor living expert and explorer. When he’s not traveling to nature’s well-known beauty spots, he tends to the greenery surrounding his home.

 

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Tips for Home Buyers Moving to Charleston

If you are looking to relocate to Charleston, you are not alone. Young professionals, couples, and families alike are all flocking to the picturesque South Carolina Lowcountry. Our weather, beaches, job opportunities, and historic charm all draw new residents to Charleston. If you are among them, here are some important considerations when searching for your new home.

 

DISCOVER CHARLESTON’S NEIGHBORHOODS

Disher, Hamrick & Myers Charleston Real Estate aerial view of downtown Charleston and harborThe first thing you’ll want to do is narrow your search by exploring Charleston’s neighborhoods and surrounding areas. DHM provides a convenient Neighborhood Guide to help you determine which part of town is right for you. Each location offers its own perks. For example, if you are looking for a historic home, South of Broad is a beautiful, walkable area rich in history. If you prefer a bungalow in an up-and-coming area, North Central may be the right fit. If you want to live on the water or close to the beach, then you are going to want to check out Folly Beach or one of our other coastal islands. Is it important to you to be near a park, a bike path, or a recreational activity? What community amenities does your family want? Charleston has something to offer everyone. So prioritize your lifestyle wishes, then tour the town to find your best fit.

 

RESEARCH THE COST OF LIVING

The local cost of living is important to consider when moving to Charleston. While the state of South Carolina tends to be less expensive than the national average, Charleston tends to be a bit higher. This is especially true when it comes to housing. Home prices vary greatly depending on the part of town you choose. In order to better determine what you can afford, you’ll want to get preapproved for your mortgage. Completing this process will help you focus your search to areas and homes that fit within your budget. In addition, you’ll need to account for costs that may not be necessary where you live now — such as flood, hurricane, and earthquake insurance, as well as pest control.

 

WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED LOCAL REALTOR®

Disher, Hamrick, Myers Charleston, SC Local Real Estate AgentsTo successfully navigate the busy Charleston market, you’ll want to seek the advice of an experienced local real estate agent. A professional that knows Charleston inside and out will help you find your perfect home with confidence. Especially in a hot seller’s market, working with a local expert is a must. Your Realtor® will present your offer quickly and negotiate on your behalf in the case of a bidding war.

 

CONNECT WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS

A great and often overlooked way to learn about homes in Charleston is to reach out to local social groups, clubs, and organizations. Like-minded members can tell you firsthand what it is like to live in a particular neighborhood. They can also provide personal insights or make suggestions that you might not be able to find otherwise. As an added bonus, once you get here, you’ll already have friends and a social support network to help you quickly become part of the community.

 

CONSIDER EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION

Student Housing in Charleston, SCDon’t forget to think about your new home’s proximity to your job, employment opportunities, and schools. How much of a commute are you willing to trade for outdoor space in the suburbs as opposed to a downtown condo? Also, if you are looking to further your education or have children, be sure to research Charleston’s many great public and private schools, colleges, and universities. You may even want to consider investing in a home or condo for student housing.

 

When looking for your ideal home in one of America’s most popular cities, it’s essential to do your homework. Charleston has so much to offer, there truly is something for everyone. From historic downtown to the beaches, you’re sure to find your dream home. And DHM is here for you every step of the journey. To get started, give us a call at 843.577.4115 or click here:

 

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The Joggling Board in Charleston, SC Homes

If you’re not from the Lowcountry, you might be curious about those long green planks on rockers that grace the piazzas of many Charleston, SC homes. They’re called joggling boards, and their history and folklore are quite interesting.

CREATION OF THE JOGGLING BOARD

Joggling boards are typically 16 feet long and made of flexible pine painted Charleston green (a tint so dark it almost appears black). Although they are mainly used for decoration or fun seating today, they actually started out as an exercise device. According to legend, the first joggling board was built at Acton Plantation in Sumter County in the early 1800s. The owner of the plantation, Cleland Kinloch, was a widower who invited his widowed sister Mary Huger to run the household. That woman developed rheumatoid arthritis that made it too painful for her to do many activities. Riding in a carriage that was outfitted with a rocking chair was one of the few things she could enjoy. Upon hearing this, the Kinlochs’ relatives in Scotland devised an apparatus that would simulate the movement of a carriage ride and gently “joggle” its occupant back and forth, up and down, providing a little exercise and joint pain relief. The result was the joggling board.

Soon many houses in Charleston and across the state had joggling boards. They provided a fun way to relax on your porch or in your yard as you enjoyed the breezes and took a break from the southern heat. Throughout the 19th century they became so ubiquitous that they made their way into some of life’s most important events.

COURTING BENCHES

EA Joggling boardOne of the more colorful stories in Southern lore says that no house with a joggling board on its front porch has an unmarried daughter living there. Back in the days when proper young couples couldn’t be alone together without supervision, the distance of the joggling board was deemed adequate protection. So if the young lady sat on one end and her suitor on the other, they were far enough apart not to require a chaperone. But as they talked and joggled, they’d slowly move closer to each other. If they got so close that his hand touched her knee, her reputation for purity would be ruined and he’d be forced to propose marriage. Imagine a father concerned that his daughter may become a spinster deciding that his best option was to get a joggling board!

Another popular use was to rock babies to sleep. Nannies were often seen soothing fussy infants with the gentle swaying motion.

JOGGLING BOARDS TODAY

In the 20th century, the cost of suitable lumber increased to the point where joggling boards fell out of fashion. Today, however, they are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. One of the first companies to bring them back is based in Charleston.  They harken back to a more genteel time and still provide an enjoyable place to sit. Plus they require less space than a porch swing. As not all houses have expansive porches, modern versions are built in various smaller sizes. They are particularly well-loved by children.

If you would like to see and try out a joggling board, they are found in several museum houses in Charleston. Please visit the Edmondston-Alston House or the Nathaniel Russell House in downtown Charleston or Middleton Place in West Ashley.

Would you like to have a joggling board in your Charleston home?

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Walk to Work Living in the Upper King Design District

Looking for a trendy and relatively affordable home in Charleston, SC? Be sure to consider Upper King Street. With almost every type of business — from hip tech firms, to interior designers, to architects, to collaborative work spaces — in this neighborhood, many residents take advantage of the opportunity to walk to work. This area is a great place to stay when visiting, as hotels aren’t as expensive as in other parts of the historic district. It’s also an ideal home base from which to explore the Charleston area.

King Street crosses through the middle of the Charleston peninsula and is divided into three zones: Lower King is the Antiques District, Middle King has the Fashion District, and Upper King is known as the Design District. It runs north of Calhoun Street from Marion Square to the Septima P. Clark Expressway, more commonly called the Crosstown. The neighborhood features new construction as well as restored historic homes and those ready for renovation. It also boasts some of the city’s latest and trendiest restaurants along with hotels, art galleries, fantastic shopping, flourishing businesses, and a lively nightlife. With its proximity to the College of Charleston, students and a younger crowd frequent it during the school year.

Charlestonians love this neighborhood for its eclectic vibe, easy access, and cultural value. Are you a foodie? Look no further: Upper King boasts some the latest and greatest Charleston restaurants. On Saturdays, visitors and locals alike shop the Marion Square Farmers Market for fresh food and local treats. You can spend your days window shopping along the picturesque avenue, then enjoy your nights in the latest hot spots.

THE HISTORY OF UPPER KING STREET

King Street, Charleston, SC c.1910-1920s

At more than 200 years old, King Street is the second most historically and architecturally significant street in downtown Charleston, after Meeting Street. It was named for King Charles II of England and was a main route in the early city of Charles Towne. Many side streets were named after prominent families, including Ann, John, and Mary Wragg. In the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries, King Street bustled as a retail corridor. Accordingly, many of the buildings are commercial, with residential spaces on the upper floors. Today, Upper King Street continues to be home to mostly local businesses and remains a work-where-you-live neighborhood.

Edwards Store, Upper King St, Charleston, SC, c. 1930–1945

The story of Upper King Street closely parallels that of downtown Charleston as a whole. After the Civil War, it fell into disrepair. But during the 1950s, it experienced a regrowth. The shopping district was very popular, perhaps too popular, leading to traffic congestion. As a result, in 1950, King turned into a one-way street. This sped up traffic, but hurt local businesses, as the road became more of a thoroughfare than a place to stop and shop. The general move to the suburbs during this time also hurt in-town businesses, and buildings along Upper King fell into disrepair. Like elsewhere in the city, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 destroyed many of the structures that were left or forced the remaining businesses to close. A silver lining of the storm is that it brought awareness to the need to revitalize the area, along with insurance money to make that happen.

REVITALIZATION

Bluestein Brothers Department Store, Upper King Street, Charleston, SCIn his first mayoral campaign, Mayor Joe Riley “promised to reverse the flow of business from downtown Charleston to the suburban shopping malls by revitalizing the central business district.” He spurred the revival of King Street throughout the decade of the 1980s, beginning with the construction of the Charleston Place Hotel. He also prompted the city to spend almost $50,000 to rebuild the c.1913 Bluestein’s clothing store at 494 King Street, which had been gutted by fire in 1987.

Other significant steps in the revitalization of Upper King into the lively hub it is today include:

  • 1991: the Charleston Visitor Center opened in an old train station, bringing tourists to this side of town.
  • 2001: the city renovated Marion Square for public use.
  • 1994: Upper King Street converted back into to two-way road.
  • 2005-2007: a streetscape project buried power lines, upgraded communication and gas lines, made stormwater improvements, and added bluestone sidewalks with granite curbs.

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

Charleston Visitor Center, Upper King StreetAll of these enhancements paved the way for new businesses to venture into Upper King Street. The relatively inexpensive rent, compared to other more established retail venues, was also an incentive. The transformation into a dining and entertainment district began in 2005 with the opening of two popular restaurants, Chai’s and Reval. In 2009, fine dining came to Upper King with Halls Chophouse, and the city’s nightlife began to move from the Market to Upper King. Since then, dozens of the city’s trendiest restaurants have made their home here, including:

  • O-Ku
  • Macintosh
  • Cocktail Club
  • 39 Rue de Jean
  • Stars with its rooftop bar
  • Barsa
  • Rarebit
  • Hutson Alley

Click here for a full guide to Upper King restaurants and bars, including links to their menus and reservations.

UPPER KING ACTIVITIES

fountain at Marion Square, Upper King Street, Charleston, SCBe sure also to explore the retail shops and art galleries along King Street. While other areas of town have become populated by national and regional chains, Upper King remains home to mostly local businesses. In addition to shopping and dining, Upper King has plenty of landmarks to entertain you.

Contact Disher, Hamrick, & Myers Real Estate at 843.577.4115 for homes for sale in the Upper King Design District. Start enjoying everything this neighborhood has to offer today!

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The Charleston Single House

The single house is an architectural style found almost exclusively in Charleston, SC. This home plan gives the historic city much of its unique charm. The layout of a single house is ideally suited to the narrow street-facing lots originally laid out in Charleston in the late 17th and early 18th centuries (see Grand Modell). The homes are only one room wide and two rooms deep on each level, with a central hall between. Typically a porch, or “piazza” as it is known in Charleston, runs the length of the house. A public door faces the street, but leads only to the piazza. Visitors must enter the home through this entrance and traverse the porch before entering the central private door into the home. To take best advantage of prevailing breezes, piazzas face south or west.

Charleston Singe House

Public spaces, like an entry or office, inhabit the first floor. Entertaining spaces, such as drawing rooms, withdrawing rooms, or ballrooms, occupy the second floor. This put them above the hustle and bustle (and mess and smells) of the streets. Family spaces and bedrooms are found on the third floor. Each room incorporates more or less decorative detail according to its use. Second floor spaces have the highest ceilings, with intricate and colorful moldings. Those high ceilings, coupled with tall windows, allow breezes to flow through the rooms. In the days before air conditioning, this helped make Lowcountry weather more bearable.

Outbuildings, such as kitchens, stables, and carriage houses, were constructed separate from the main house to the rear of the property. Today, many of these have been converted into separate residences. This gave rise to the unique ½ address that dot the Charleston peninsula. Other outbuildings were later connected to the main residence via “hyphens.” Kitchens were built away from the main house in an attempt to prevent fires – such as the numerous ones that destroyed large swaths of the city – from spreading to the living quarters. This is also why the back wall of the main houses had fewer windows than might be expected for ventilation.

Charleston Single House at 45 Church St.

Various decorative architectural styles have been applied to the single house layout, including Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victorian. Two and three-story piazzas often employ the classical order of columns with the ground level being Doric, followed by Ionic, and Corinthian. Formal gardens beautified the side yards to be enjoyed from the shady porches. In fact, upper porches were sometimes used as sleeping quarters on hot, humid nights.

Don’t believe a tour guide who tells you single houses were a reaction to the city taxing street frontage. Instead, “early Charlestonians developed the Single House as an ingenious solution to the various demands of their unique urban landscape: a house that provided privacy, ventilation, fire protection, and social status within the confines of a tightly restrictive public space.” (credit Charleston County Pubic Library)

If this style historic home appeals to you, contact us for a list of Charleston single houses currently for sale.

 

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