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


Feb. 28, 2020

Charleston SC Real Estate March 2020 Update

March is here and we should be seeing better weather and some more outdoor activities.  The Wine and Food event is the big March happening.  Charleston has become many things to many people over the last 10-15 years, but food has been a big part of everything.  Of course, Savannah is well known for its St Patrick’s Day celebrations, but Charleston will have plenty of that as well.  

Here is your March Calendar of events:


1: Old Crow Medicine Show, Gaillard

1: Gary Gullman, Chas Music Hall

4-8: Charleston Wine and Food, Culinary Village in Marion Square

5,6: Little Big Town Nightfall Tour, Gaillard

6-8: 17th Annual Charleston Antique Show, Gaillard

6: Indigo Girls, Chas Music Hall

6,7: Friends of the Library Big Book Sale, Otranto Library

7: IOP Front Beach Fest, IOP

7: Steeldrivers Bad for You Tour, Chas Music Hall

7: Viva Momix, Gaillard

12: Wine, Women, and Shoes, Gaillard

13: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Chas Music Hall

14: Artfest, Mt P Towne Center

14: Palmetto Swamp Fox Adventure Race, Francis Marion National Forest

14: 17th Annal St Patrick’s Day Block Party and Parade, Park Circle

14: Nestor Torres and The Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Chas Music Hall

17: City of Charleston’s St Patrick’s Day Parade

20: Cher, N Chas Coliseum

21: Charleston Indoor Games, Citadel

21: Pet Fest, Mt Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park

24: An Evening with Midori, St Matthew’s Lutheran Church

28: Plantasia, Old Towne Creek County Park

27-29: 30th Annual East Coast Paddlesports Symposium, James Island County Park


The Charleston real estate market has gotten off to its fastest start ever in 2020.  2019 was a record-setting year in terms of the number of transactions and the median sales price.  January of 2019 was fantastic; however, January 2020 was up 22.3% over Jan 2019 in terms of transactions!!  And the median sales price was up 7.8% to an all-time high of $291k.  If January and February are any indications, 2020 is likely to be a record-breaking year as well.  But don’t be concerned that we are overvalued.  Our regression analysis of median sales prices back to 1991 shows that our current prices are right where they should be.  While the prices in 2008 were certainly inflated, we suffered through the correction that put us back on the right path.

Feb. 25, 2020

How To Get Your Home Ready To Sell

Photo via Pixabay by Paulbr75

Preparing your home to put it on the market is a big job, without a doubt. There are so many things to plan for and so many people who need to be involved that it can truly be overwhelming, especially if you have a large home or one that needs a lot of love before you can put it up for sale. For that reason, it’s best to start early so you can take your time. Selling and buying a home can be one of the most stressful things you’ll go through in life, but it doesn’t have to be; there are some things you can do to make it a bit easier.

Getting organized will help. Start by making a list of what each room needs, and come up with a budget for repairs and minor updates. Work out a schedule for cleaning, and get the family involved. If you have pets, there are certain considerations you’ll need to make, such as removing stains and repairing any damage to flooring or window treatments.

Here are a few of the best tips on how to get started with getting a home ready to sell.

Get rid of pet odors

Getting rid of pet odors and stains is sometimes harder than it sounds, especially if you’ve been a pet owner for a long time, but it’s imperative to give potential buyers a clean, odor-free home to walk into; in fact, it may be a dealbreaker if you don’t. Carpets, furniture, and window treatments should all be cleaned well. Consider using enzyme-based cleansers, which will help deep-clean rugs and remove stains. 

Look for update potential

Updates within the home can run the gamut from inexpensive DIY to take-out-a-loan-and-hire-a-contractor, so it’s important to do some research before making any decisions. Look at the kitchen and bathrooms first, as these are usually the rooms that potential buyers look at when they want extras. Lighting, cabinets and storage solutions, and expensive-looking countertops and fixtures are just a few of the things buyers look for when they tour a home, and they can add quite a bit of resale value if they’re done right.

Don’t forget the yard

Both the front and back yards should be well-manicured and should have no traces of your pets. Consider doing some light landscaping in front to give your home some added curb appeal; a few brightly-colored flowers, some neat shrubbery, and some fresh mulch can make a world of difference and won’t break the bank. Around back, fill in any holes and lay fresh sod. If you have a pool, it should be clean and have safety measures for children, such as fencing or a motion sensor alarm.

Don’t get personal

Remember that your home is on display for someone else. It should have touches of your personality but not too much; you want to allow the buyers to see themselves living there rather than simply walking through someone else’s memories. Remove personal photos and take one piece of furniture out of each room to make them feel bigger.

Plan for moving day

Don’t forget to plan for moving day! It’s especially important to make sure your pets will be safe and comfortable during this chaotic time, so consider hiring a pet sitter for the day. Or, you might decide to hire a boarder who can take your pet in during the entire week so you can focus on the move without worrying about his safety or mental health. Make packing lists for each box you pack so you’ll be able to find things easily in the new house, and leave a few empty boxes for moving day so you can bring cleaning supplies and personal items like medication.

Moving can take a toll on any family, so take the stress out of selling your house by making sure it’s perfect for potential buyers. Start by making a list of tasks so you can stay focused, and aim to get a little bit done every day rather than all at once so you won’t be overwhelmed.


Post was written by Erin Reynolds of

Photo via Pixabay by Paulbr75


Jan. 24, 2020

Charleston SC Real Estate February 2020 Update


February is almost here with it’s colder temperatures and the annual Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE)!  Of course, colder for Charleston means we might have 2 or 3 days where it doesn’t make it over 50. Here is your February calendar of Charleston events:


1: 3rd Annual Pup Bowl, The Oaks

1: Save the Light half marathon and 5k, Folly Beach

7: Kathleen Madigan, Chas Music Hall

8: Bacon and Bourbon, Chas Convention Center

9: 6th Annual Coffee Fest, Lo-Fi Brewing

9: Illuminate Charleston, N Chas Marriott

9: 21st Chefs Fest, N Chas Conv Center

13: Pints for Preservation, Home Team BBQ downtown

14: Kansas, N Chas PAC

14-16: SEWE

15: Ellington at Newport, Chas Music Hall

16: Bill Maher, N Chas PAC

20: ArchiTALK, SC Society Hall

21: Good Catch Oysterfest, Aquarium

21: 31st Annual Chocolate Affair, Trident Tech

22: Napoleon Dynamite, Chas Music Hall

23: Lowcountry Irish Fest, Chas Music Hall

27: Amy Grant, Chas Music Hall

29: Jupiter Coyote, Chas Music Hall

29: 16th Annual Mardi-Crawl on Leap Day, Shem Creek

29: PBR Rodeo, N Chas Coliseum


2019 turned out to be an incredible year for the Charleston’s real estate market.  We set a record for transactions just barely surpassing the number of homes sold in 2017.  The tri-county area including Dorchester, Berkeley, and Charleston counties had just under 18k transactions with a median sales price of $280k.  That median sales price was also a record high for any year and a 3.3% increase over 2018. The median sales price of only single-family detached homes reached a record of $300k.  Our sales prices are still below the trend line going back to 1991. That shows that we are still somewhat undervalued and still have room to appreciate.


The Washington Post did a piece on Charleston called Detours with the Locals.  SC is 6th in population growth. Nearly, 89% of this growth came from folks moving here from other states rather than birth rate increases.  Conde Nast’s Travel and Leisure Magazine ranked Charleston as one of the top 12 best places to be in winter. forecasted Columbia and Charleston to be 2 of the top 10 housing markets in the US for 2020. 


Jan. 6, 2020

Charleston SC Real Estate January 2020 Update


January is here and we are starting a new decade.  The last one was pretty incredible for Charleston and myself personally.  


January is Museum Mile Month. Here in Charleston, you can by a pass for the month and visit many houses, museums, and art galleries.  Of course, there will be lots of New Year’s Eve Celebrations at the Yorktown, Marion Square, the Music Hall, the Alley, the Cedar Room, SC Society Hall, and the Rice Mill just to name a few.  And the Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop and Fireworks show at midnight. Here’s the January calendar of events:


1: Bill Murray Look-a-Like Polar Bear Plunge, Folly Beach

1: Dunleavy’s Pub Polar Bear Plunge, Sullivan’s Island

1: Polar Bear Plunge, Kiawah Sanctuary

2: Harlem Globetrotters, N Charleston Coliseum

3: Sarah Rutledge Dinner, Middleton Place

5: James Gregory, Chas Music Hall

8: Grace Potter, Chas Music Hall

9-19: Charleston Restaurant Week

11: 7th Annual Snowboard Rail Jam, Mex 1

12: 7th Annual East Cooper Meals on Wheels Oyster Roast, Palmetto Island County Park

14: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Gaillard

14-17: 17th Charleston Comedy Festival

18: Cars and Coffee, Freshfields Kiawah

19-20: St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Chas Music Hall

22: Three Dog Night

23-26: Charleston Jazz Festival

25: The Great Amazing Race Charleston, James Island County Park

25-26: Monster Jam, N Chas Coliseum

26: Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Boone Hall

30: Caropolis Awards, Riviera Theatre

31: A Night in the Valley, Trident Tech Thornley Campus

31: Todd Snider, Chas Music Hall


2019 was a tremendous year for Charleston Real Estate.  2019 surpassed the 17,515 closed sales of 2018. 2019 ended up being the best year ever, even beating the previous record set in 2017.  And the median sales price is at an all-time high too. Fortunately, the gains in median sales prices have been modest and sustainable over the past few years.  And very importantly, we are still below the long term growth trend line which shows we still have room for appreciation.


The end of the last decade was a completely different story.  We were mired in the disaster of the mortgage debacle. We had just over 8k sales and the median sales price was at $184k, which was considerably off the high of $210k reached in 2007.  This a similar story to many of the bigger US metropolitan cities. Charleston and most of the US has recovered nicely. Charleston has probably done a bit better than most due to its coastal location and the relocation of Boeing to Charleston.  The tourism industry has always been good to us and we have pretty much been voted the best city in the US by Travel and Leisure Magazine for the past decade. Now, we are seeing another boom about to hit Charleston with the building of the Volvo Plant in the Moncks Corner area.  Charleston is well prepared for another successful decade.

Oct. 25, 2019

Taking on a Fixer-Upper as Your First Home

   Photo credit by Pixabay

The idea of buying a fixer-upper sounds appealing to many people. It’s an affordable way to buy the home of your dreams, but first-time home buyers need to be cautious before making this investment. Here is what you need to know before taking on a fixer-upper.

Before You Commit

Not everyone is well-equipped to buy a fixer-upper. Here are a few things you need to know to make sure this purchase is right for you.

  • Handyman skills. An older house will need some basic repairs. If you can’t do them, you may end up spending far more on services than you planned. 
  • Plenty of free time. Even if you’re not doing the bulk of updates yourself, you’re going to need time to take care of things like getting permits, selecting design elements, and so on.
  • Patience. This won’t be done overnight! It may take months to complete the project, so make sure you can wait.

Read more character traits that you might need from Architectural Digest.

Estimate What You Can Afford

Next, you should estimate how much you can afford to spend on a home. Begin by looking at your total annual income. Next, figure out how much of a down payment you will make and your monthly spending. Add in your APR, or the average annual percentage rate on your credit cards. Keep in mind that a home in a different neighborhood or with more square footage than your current living space could mean higher monthly bills. On top of that, you’ll need to budget for your home’s renovations.

Next, you’ll need to determine what kind of loan you can get. Bankrate has an excellent overview of the different loans first-time home buyers can get, depending on their qualifications.

How to Buy the Right Home

Choosing the right house is important in preventing you from wasting time and money on things like a poor foundation or leaky roof. While cosmetic problems may not be eye-catching, they are easy to fix. How can you tell the difference? Draft On Design recommends hiring a home inspector before purchasing a fixer-upper. You should also consider asking for a reduced price when purchasing a home that is in bad shape or tacking on a “hassle factor” fee. This fee is reserved for when time-consuming repairs must be done before you can comfortably live in the home.

It’s important that you have a budget and stick to it when purchasing your home and doing renovations. Making Sense of Cents has a helpful article on how to save money while working on your fixer-upper.

Tackling the Renovation

Once you have everything in place, your next job is deciding what projects to work on and how to tackle them. Your first decision is whether you should live there while the renovations are ongoing. You will likely need to live elsewhere if you are doing major overhauls of foundational elements. If so, your first updates must be those that will allow you to move in. Also, keep in mind how long you’ll be out of the home. If seasons change, you might need to work on heating or air conditioning.

If not, you have more leeway. states that flooring is the first thing to check and update, and has plenty of tips on how. This Old House advises starting with the entryway and improving curb appeal. If you have duplicate or unused rooms that need updating, that’s an easy choice.

However, comfort might be a top objective. Working bathrooms, a completed bedroom, and a kitchen that works will make life easier as you continue the work on your home. Before you tackle any of these projects, make sure you have the right tools for the job, including sanders, hammers, and power drills.

Buying a fixer-upper for your first home is not impossible. With proper planning and a fluid budget, you can get the home of your dreams at a price you can afford.

Post was guest written by Erin Reynolds.

Posted in Buying a Home
July 5, 2019

A Home for Two: Why You Should Downsize After the Kids Leave

The extra bathrooms, the big yard, the playground down the street — these were all wonderful to have when the kids were young, but now that they’re grown and gone, they don’t fit your lifestyle anymore. Even though you imagine living in a smaller home, you’re not sure if you’re ready to say goodbye to the home you raised your family in. It’s a common predicament for recent empty nesters, but downsizing comes with perks that are worth a second look.

Moving to a smaller house doesn’t just mean fewer floors to sweep, although it’s certainly a great perk. Outside of major systems that exist in every home -- like the roof, HVAC system, and water heater -- a smaller home means less maintenance. Even if you’re not using them, extra rooms are still collecting dust and need to be cleaned. And eventually, you end up filling the extra space with stuff, adding to your list of chores. 

Unless you’re heading to the countryside, the move will probably mean less yard maintenance as well. Yes, there’s something nice about spending a Saturday afternoon tending the lawn. But now that you’re kid-free, you have a lot more options for outdoor recreation. Instead of pushing a mower, why not grow a garden, learn to fish, or take up hiking?

Not only will you save time when you downsize, but you’ll save money too. Even if your house itself isn’t much cheaper (is there any better time to finally move into that hip neighborhood or get that designer kitchen you’ve dreamed of?), you’ll save in other ways. Lower square footage means lower utility bills, and now that you’re no longer a hub for neighborhood kids, you can scale back your homeowner’s insurance. You can also choose to move out of a homeowner’s association to save on HOA fees; according to Time, the average HOA fee is more than $300 a month. And if you do buy a less-expensive home, you’ll save on property taxes and have some money to add to your retirement accounts or vacation fund.

Despite the perks, moving isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Before you even start thinking about packing up the house, you have to make sure it’s ready to sell. Between damage and dated designs, a house that’s been lived in for several years will need improvements to maximize its resale value.

Sometimes, this is as simple as a fresh coat of paint and a few flooring fixes, but if you’ve raised a few rambunctious kids, yours might need a little more work. Start by assessing the major systems, including the foundation, roof, heating and cooling system, and plumbing, for problems, and call in licensed professionals to make repairs and replacements as needed.

Hopefully, your home’s infrastructure is in good condition and you only have to worry about cosmetic fixes. In addition to the walls and flooring, look at your appliances, counters, cabinets, and lighting fixtures. If these are dated or dingy, it can make your whole house look drab. If you’re not sure, check what features other homes on the market are offering. If they’re all more modern than yours, it’s probably time to update.

If you’re thinking of moving in the next few years, start working on preparing your home now. You’ll be able to spread out the costs over time and spend time enjoying the improvements before you sell. 

You might think a smaller house has less to offer, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. (Just check out these stylish small homes on Design*Sponge!) There’s a lot of livability to be found in small homes, whether it’s a cozy bungalow nestled near the city center or a condo by the slopes. If downsizing is on your mind, start planning how you’ll get your home ready to sell, and dreaming about what’s next.

Image via Unsplash

Post was guest written by Erin Reynolds.

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