Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester County Real Estate & Community News


April 23, 2019

Setting Up For Success: Your First Rental

If you’ve never owned a vacation home before, be prepared to learn a lot about taxes, lease agreements, and customer service. But these lessons will come with time and experience, and you will work out the kinks in no time. Right now, you are probably most interested in making the best impression on your guests, earning rave reviews, and supplementing your income. From setting up the ideal bedroom to taking photos that showcase your home’s appeal, the following suggestions can help you get started.

What your guests want

You already know that your location plays a role in how often you lease your property and how much it will command per night. But more than being walking distance from the attractions, vacationers want a cozy rental that feels like home.

Starting in the bedroom, you’ll want to make sure it’s a restful retreat. After all, nobody wants to plan for a week of relaxation only to be kept awake thanks to an uncomfortable bed or paper thin walls. Angie’s List offers a rundown of what a restful bedroom should have. This list includes blackout shades, cozy bedding, clutter-free decor, and sounds that lull you into slumber. In addition to these things, you will also want to make sure to have extra pillows and blankets. If your home has a view, position the bed to take advantage of the scenery.

The kitchen and bathroom are other areas to pay close attention to. Breckenridge Vacation properties explains that a well-stocked kitchen should include everything needed to cook, including a pantry filled with a few staples. A cookbook with local recipes is a nice touch, and a coffee maker is almost non-negotiable. Provide sample bottle toiletries in the bathroom, including shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. These items are ridiculously inexpensive but hold great value to anyone who forgot to pack the essentials. You can pick up a supply at your local dollar store or buy in bulk online.

When your rental targets outdoor enthusiasts, such as beach- or mountain-goers, make the outdoor space fun, functional, and accessible. An outdoor patio with dining table, a simple fire pit, or play area for families with children will go a long way toward increasing customer satisfaction. These outdoor living space examples are great inspiration. 

Attract attention

It doesn’t matter if you have a luxury condo, backyard apartment, or an outlandish vacation rental, your photographs and property description are what draw people in. Get comfortable behind the camera or hire a professional to help you photograph the best features of your home. Taking your own photos is work, but it pays off and will help you stand out in the crowd. Before you start snapping away, stage the property by cleaning it from top to bottom. Then, open the windows to take advantage of the natural light. Don’t be afraid to light a fire and show off the best of each space and from multiple views.

Make things clear and convenient

In addition to an accurate property description, you also want to be very clear on your rental policies. Money stresses that a strong rental agreement combined with a required security deposit can help guard against rowdy vacationers. Make sure your guests are well aware of your policies before they schedule their booking. Important points to note include the cancellation timeline, method of payment, occupancy limit, and any restrictions, such as pets or smoking, that would result in the loss of their security deposit.

Launching your vacation rental business is fun and exciting. And even if you plan to stop with just one property, it’s a learning experience. But with a few pre-emptive steps, such as having a clear-cut rental agreement and a clean, comfortable, and well-equipped property, you can find success and supplement your income.

Contact Christopher Louviere to purchase your first rental property in Charleston SC!

Image via Pixabay

Post was guest written by Erin Reynolds.

Oct. 30, 2018

Insurance Provider

Anderson Insurance Associates - Parker McMillan

Phone: 843-614-5078

~ Automobile ~ Homeowners ~ Flood ~

~ Watercraft ~ Life ~ Health ~ Business ~

Oct. 26, 2018

Charleston SC Real Estate November Update

Thanksgiving month is here!  Let’s give thanks that all the hurricanes missed us again this year.  They always look like they’re coming our way, but they usually get turned by the gulf stream and hit poor Cape Hatteras.  The weather is so great right now that they’re going to let us have an extra hour in November.  On the table again are oysters, basketball, Holiday Festival of Lights, and chili. 


Here is your calendar of events for November:


1-3: Coastal Carolina Fair still in town, Ladson

1-3: Scottish Games and Highland Gathering

1-4: Disney on Ice, N Chas Coliseum

2: Phantasmagorical Candlelight Concert, Unitarian Church

3: Harvest Festival, Johns Island County Park

3: Boots, Bottles, and Blessings – Wadmalaw

3: Heather Land, Gaillard

3: Take Ten: A Decade of Jazz Gala and Concert, Memminger

4: Bob Dylan, N Chas PAC

4: Charleston Battery Food Truck Festival, MUSC Health Stadium

4: Isle of Palms Marina Festival

8: Charleston Literary Festival, Library Society and Dock Street Theatre

8: Spyro Gyra, Chas Music Hall

8: Vince Gill, N Chas PAC

9: Keb Mo, Gaillard

9-30: Holiday Festival of Lights, James Island County Park

10: 14th Annual Fur Ball, Francis Marion

10: Shrimp and Grits Festival, Joe Riley Stadium

11: Kris Kristofferson, Chas Music Hall

13: Daughtry, Chas Music Hall

15-18: 11th Annual Charleston Classic NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

15: Dwight Yoakam, Chas Music Hall

16: Ray LaMontagne, N Chas PAC

16: 7th Annual Some on the Harbor BBQ Throwdown, Chas Harbor Resort and Marina

17: 19th Annual Chas Animal Society Chili Cook-Off and Oyster Roast, Riverfront Park

18: Spamalot, Gaillard

22: 41st Annual Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble, Marion Square

23: Drivin and Cryin, Chas Music Hall

24: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, N Chas PAC

30: Sounds of Charleston from Gospel to Gershwin, Circular Congregational Church


For the 5th consecutive year, Charleston has been chosen as the #1 City in the US and Canada by Travel and Leisure Magazine. Amazon has ordered 20,000 Mercedes Sprinter Vans from our local factory in North Charleston.  And Volvo is hinting there will be a third vehicle manufactured here in addition to the S60 and XC90.  United Airlines also just ordered 9 new 787’s to be built at our Boeing Plant.  All this manufacturing is always a good thing.  Obviously, this probably has a lot to do with the growth in our real estate market. 2018 will be very close to matching the record sales of 2017.  And the median price is at $272k, up 7.1% year to date over 2018.  Remember, there will be an economic recession at some point in the future.  However, real estate usually holds its value during recessions.  This is one of the many great things about owning real estate. You will not likely ever see a real estate downturn like 2008 ever again. 

Oct. 6, 2018

Financial Planning

Coastal Wealth Management - Byron Stahl

Phone: 843-388-4300

Oct. 6, 2018

Window Tinting

Tint Farm - Jonathan Farmer

Phone: 843-224-9282

Oct. 6, 2018

Mortgage Lender

Movement Mortgage - Sherri Drolapas

Phone: 843-343-1751

Oct. 6, 2018

Real Estate Attorney

Charpia Law Firm LLC

Phone: 843-261-7026



Butler and College

Phone: 843-284-8676

Oct. 6, 2018

Home Warranty

American Home Shield - Sugie Stout

Phone: 843-327-5700

Oct. 6, 2018

Home Inspection

Cardinal Home Inspection

Phone: 843-832-5740





Hello Home Inspection Services

Phone: 843-605-1669

Oct. 1, 2018

Charleston SC Real Estate October Update

October is finally here and the Fall weather is looking very nice for all kinds of outdoor activities. Hercules and I are both very excited! Thankfully, Hurricane Florence did what most other hurricanes do.  She looked as if she would head our way and then went slightly north of us. Hurricanes always look like they are going to hit us, but they rarely do thanks to the Gulfstream that pulls them into Cape Hatteras on the NC coast. This scenario has played out dozens of times over the past few decades. We have been lucky to have been on the south side of most hurricanes over the past 50 years.  Only Hugo really managed to do any damage to Charleston back in September of 1989.

Here is your October calendar of events:


1-8: 35th Annual MOJA Arts Festival

3-7: 35th Annual Alan Fleming Senior Open Clay State Championship Tennis Tournament, Seabrook Island

4-28: 42nd edition of Fall Tours of Homes, History, and Architecture

5-6: The Myth of an Atom, Queen St Playhouse

6: 6th Annual Chucktown Showdown, Brittlebank Park

6: Swanky Southern Soiree, Country Club of Charleston

7: Scrumptious Summerville Kitchen Tour

9: Eddie Izzard, Gaillard

9: Jonny Lang, Chas Music Hall

11: Steven Wright, Chas Music Hall

13: The Victory Cup, Hyde Park Farm and Polo Club in Ravenel

13: Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K, Johns Island County Park

13: Oktoberfest, St Matthew’s Lutheran Church

13: Edisto & Beyond Self Driving Tour

13: 3rd Annual East Cooper Speakeasy, Sweetgrass Event Center

14: Tale of a Fish, Wild Dunes Resort

14: 7th Annual HALOS Oyster Roast, Harborside East in Mt Pleasant

14: 27th Annual Latin American Festival, N Chas Wannamaker County Park

15: SCORE Charleston 8th Annual Captain’s Choice, Chas National Golf Club

16-21: Les Miserables, N Chas PAC

17: Blues Traveler, Chas Music Hall

18: Kathleen Madigan, Chas Music Hall

19: Lodges of Hope 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, Legend Oaks

21: Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Chas Music Hall

21: Festival of Mountain Music, East Beach Conference Center at Kiawah

25-4: Coastal Carolina Fair, Exchange Club Park in Ladson

28: 5th Annual Coffee Cup, Memminger

28: Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, Gaillard

29: Adam Devine, Chas Music Hall


The Charleston SC real estate market continues to do extremely well.  2017 was a record-setting year with almost 18k transactions. So far, 2018 is up 1% in the number of sales year to date over 2017. The median sales price is up to a record high of $270k. That is up 6.5% YTD over 2017.  That’s a little more than we should be hoping for. We’ll have to keep an eye on that. I have had many buyers recently say they are waiting until this bubble pops and the housing prices go down. Many of these are younger people like myself that only remember 2008.  What we all need to understand is that was an anomaly. Real estate prices rarely go down. We cannot create new land. They may remain relatively level for 6-10 years during a period of economic recession. Certainly, the economy will go up and down. But usually, when the economy goes into its period of recession, housing prices simply remain flat.  Then, when the economy inevitably bounces back, we see housing prices rise again. Waiting for the next bubble in real estate may cost you a lot of money especially with rising interest rates playing a factor too. We are sure the economy will go into recession at some point in the future. But real estate values are not likely to fall. And rental rates are going to continue to rise.