Charleston South Carolina is now a very hot spot in the real estate market. With history, culture, great food, wonderful weather and amazing people who would not love Charleston. Daily as Realtors we receive calls, e-mails and schedule appointments for potential buyers to view real estate. In speaking with fellow Realtors and based on my own experience we seem to share a few things in common when it comes to potential buyers.
They have no real information on the area or where they want to live. The buyers have fallen in love with Charleston and just want to be here. They want to view properties downtown, every island and suburb. Not only is this confusing but it defeats the purpose of finding the right home in the right location. Before you start your search in Charleston realize Charleston is a lifestyle. Think about your lifestyle and how you plan to live once you settle in Charleston. Speak with your Realtor about your lifestyle and your Realtor will be able to direct you to the areas best for you. Charleston has many different lifestyles. There is something for everyone.
Buyers call every agent in town. Or at least every listing agent they see advertising a property. If you are a buyer reading this stop right there. As a buyer this in no way benefits you or helps you “get a better deal” In South Carolina the agents work for the seller. The contract to sell the property and the commission has already been determined and agreed upon. The best advice to a buyer is to find an experienced and reputable agent to represent you and look out for your best interest. It will also save you valuable time navigating through the areas. Also, your Realtor will know the area and know what things as a buyer you need to be aware of.
Price points. Potential buyers flock to Charleston with a wish list something like this. “ I want three to four bedrooms in the historic area, with water views under $500,000.00 and also I have to have parking.” That just does not exist in Charleston. As Realtors we certainly wish we had a lot of properties like that, as we could sell them quickly. Be realistic with pricing. Do some research but more importantly rely on her Realtor to advise you on pricing for the areas of Charleston. Different areas of Charleston and especially downtown vary significantly in price.
To find the right Realtor make sure to do your research. If you are interested in historic property please make sure you are connected to a Realtor that sells and knows historic property. It is invaluable in your search and the information needed regarding historic easements, renovations and historic value. If you are interested in one of the islands or the suburb connect with an agent that knows those areas and is knowledgable to guide you through the process.
Living in downtown Charleston I am fortunate during my daily walks to stop at the many art galleries along my route. I not only take in the beautiful art but in many galleries I meet the artist. Getting to know them and their work has been an interesting experience.
I recently discovered an artist showing at the RLS Gallery on Queen Street. I so loved his art that every few days I would stop in the gallery to view Fred Jamar’s work. The bold colors and whimsical trees reminding me of balloon shapes certainly grabbed my attention.
Speaking with the young lady in the gallery I discovered that Fred had a studio right down the street. He painted daily and had additional paintings on display. I walked to the studio on Vendue not to discover Fred but a small room filled with bright colorful paintings. That day standing in the RLS Gallery I was ready to purchase. Now standing in Fred’s studio I was overwhelmed with all of the beautiful paintings. Each being unique and different there was no way I could pick just one!
For weeks every few days I stopped by Fred’s studio with hopes to meet him. But I did not find Fred but every visit I would discover a new painting with a small sign work in progress. Being overwhelmed each visit with all the paintings and how wonderful each piece was.
Until one day I walk in and there is Fred painting. A small framed white haired gentleman with a white beard. We talked and he explained with his french accent his life in Belgium, spending years at sea, his first painting in which he was actually paid, his career in New York City working in Finance and his journey to Charleston. How he has no formal art training and his father discouraged his painting as he needed to have a real job.
Fred was working on a piece at the time that I just fell in love with. I told him that I walk my dog, Sophia around Charleston and down that alley. He said he could add to the painting.
I now own one of Fred’s works which features me and Sophia walking in Charleston.
Living in Charleston you never know what you will discover!
What can scare off a buyer more than anything - a home inspection
You find a great agent, list your house, get a great offer and then what? The home inspection. Many sellers are nervous during the home inspection process. They wonder what will be found. Often they have thought they kept their home in great repair and then the home inspector finds something. Sometimes it is not really that bad but to the buyer it is and sometimes a red flag. It can cause the buyer to ask for repairs, credit toward the purchase price or at times cause the entire deal to fall apart.
How can you avoid this? Many times , especially on a higher priced home I suggest the seller have a home inspection completed before we list. If they find anything then have it repaired. Having that home inspection up front with repairs complete to show potential buyers is like money in the bank. It avoids a wait time on a home inspection, negotiations on repairs and a potential lost deal.
Providing my sellers with ideas, suggestions and marketing that sells homes fast. If you have plans to sell your home in the near future give me a call. Myself and my team will be happy to provide you with a plan to get your property sold.
MOVING TO CHARLESTON HOW TO KNOW WHERE TO BUY
Many of my clients come to Charleston in search of a home with a list that reads 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2,000 square feet, yard for pet and the list goes on. Many of my clients are from out of town or "from off" as the locals say.
Early on in this game of real estate I discovered all of my out of town clients had one thing in common. They had no idea about where to live in Charleston based on their life style. In speaking with them I would ask what their life would be like once they moved to Charleston. What would they spend their time doing? Many did not understand why a realtor would ask such questions. In doing some extra homework getting to know my clients and their lifestyles I was able to find them a home in the area that fit their life style. Once a client was determined to purchase a home in Mount Pleasant. After spending the day viewing homes with the family I suggested James Island as it was a perfect fit for their family. I asked that they take one day and do three things I suggested. They did and called to say James Island was a perfect fit. Months after purchasing their home they still stay in touch to say how happy they are with their home and location. Another client , after several transactions, says“ spend a few moments with Lisa and she will tell you where you need to live in Charleston.”
Charleston has a number of life styles to offer. Purchasing a home in Charleston is all bout your lifestyle. Village and Cottage, Downtown, Historic, Gold and Resort, Sea Island or Beach. What is your life style?
When thinking about a move to Charleston take time to consider what you plan to do once you move. Will you be retiring to Charleston. How do you want to spend your retirement? A job move? But still consider what is your life like outside of work? How much time would you spend at the beach or taking advantage of the historic district?
Work with a realtor that knows the area and that will take the time to show you areas not just homes.
WHY INVEST IN CHARLESTON
When I am working with a buyer client we often speak on the subject of why they picked Charleston. Most claim they want to move out of colder climates. As Charleston has wonderful weather most of the year it fits the bill for those that want to escape cold climates and shoveling snow. Many move to Charleston for history, culture, the arts, the amazing food, the friendly people and laid back atmosphere.
But did you know that Charleston, South Carolina is ranked as one of the top 20 places to invest in real estate? One of the top places to retire and the number one city in the world! The real estate market in Charleston has been on the radar for some time. Even the locals are a little shocked at the home values. Buyers are paying 9.5% more for homes in the region than they did last year. Homeowners investments continue to grow.
With expansion of the Boeing plant, an addition of a Volvo facility and expansion of Mercedes and continued growth in technical positions and companies the area is experiencing positive growth.
Low Country living has always been a way of life for locals but visitors experience something they want to call home. Many people come for a vacation and purchase a home!
Charleston has something to offer for everyone. History, beaches, culture, arts, food, amazing weather, shopping. And what I value most amazing friendly people! Charleston is also a walkable city. Who would not want to call Charleston home? Before home prices soar to the next level call me to purchase your piece of the low country!
Lisa Patterson - Blog
Pink Kitchen House on 70th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens Tour
My love of history, architecture and historic properties has led me to volunteer for years during the Festival of Houses and Garden Tours. This is the largest fund raiser each year held by the Historic
Charleston Foundation. The annual Festival of Houses and Gardens tour enables the public to view some of the most amazing historic homes and gardens in Charleston.
For many years I have volunteered as a Docent during the tours. It is something I truly love and look forward to each year. Working as a Realtor in Historic Charleston I am in these homes often. But sharing the history of these homes with others is enjoyable and fun. Not to mention that through my volunteer efforts I have met some amazing friends and have established some very special and dear friendships. Each year I often see return visitors and we exchange a brief conversations and chuckle as we say goodbye and see you next year.
Last year it was such an honor to receive the letter from The Historic Charleston Foundation asking that I include my historic kitchen house on the tour. Now many would say why would you want 100’s of strangers walking through your home. I not only caught the historic renovation bug from my Father but he also taught me something important about the over 30 historic properties I have restored. They are not just homes they are works and pieces of history. Something that I have been given the opportunity to care for so that the history is not lost and can be shared with others. Given this opportunity I am able to share a piece of Charleston history with others. And in doing so help the Historic Charleston Foundation continue their efforts.
Its has been very interesting learning the history of the small pink kitchen house. And two years later I am still learning stories about the house. The home endured a nine month renovation. This was the smallest renovation I have tackled but at times it seemed to be the hardest. During the 70th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens tours, the little pink lady will once again share her piece of Charleston history. This is my way of giving back to Charleston. A city that truly has given me so much.