Charleston, SC, is a beautiful coastal town where the architecture and design are just as much photographed as the pristine beaches. In 2019, the population was approximately 137,566 people so life in Charleston provides a family-friendly atmosphere without feeling too crowded. Charleston is full of wonderful business opportunities and has great educational opportunities for both school-age and college students. Charleston is a gem and would be an excellent place to live. When looking for a house in Charleston, you should be prepared for looking for a home in a coastal city.
Be open to possibilities.
When looking for a Charleston house to call home, you need to be open to possibilities. You will most likely be able to get more square footage for your money for homes that are older or further inland. If you purchase an older home, you can renovate it to your liking, and by living inland, you are still only minutes away from the picturesque coast but can enjoy some of the inland charms of Charleston too.
Understand it’s a seller’s market.
The Charleston housing market is currently a seller’s market so you need to be prepared to make competitive offers. Even an older home that is a fixer-upper shouldn’t be low-balled because other people will be interested in it and you could miss out on the housing opportunity. When making an offer, you should offer a competitive offer that is reasonable to others on the Charleston market because chances are that others will be making offers too.
Have a realistic wish list.
Before beginning the house hunting process, you need to be realistic with your wishlist and realize that no house is perfect. You will have to make compromises along the way, and you need to decide which features are the most important to you. For you, you might be firm on having a pool and walk-in closets, but others might feel like a gourmet kitchen or living in a historic house are non-negotiable to them. Most likely, you won’t be able to find everything on your wishlist in a house that is within your budget so you need to be realistic and flexible.
Check the flood zones.
Living in Charleston, flooding is bound to happen so you might as well factor it into your plan. Before making any real estate decisions, you should look where the house is located in Charleston’s flood zones because this will not only determine the possibility of a flood but how much your insurance will cost. Speaking of insurance, always purchase flood insurance because it’s better to be over prepared and have it versus not having it and needing it.
Research property tax information.
At 0.57%, South Carolina has one of the lowest state property taxes, but you still need to research taxes for the city and county you choose to live in. Since the median South Carolina home value is $154,800, the median state property tax in South Carolina is $887 which is one of the lowest in the country.
Know the school zone.
Which school a house is zoned for should be one of the first things you look at. If you have children, this will be important because you want to send your children to a solid, quality school. Even if you don’t have any children, you need to look at the school zone because you never know what the future holds and the school zone could affect your resale ability and value.
Living in Charleston will be a wonderful experience for you, and finding a place to call home is the first step. When looking for a new house in the Charleston area, you should be open to all possibilities and have a realistic wish list. Since Charleston is a coastal town, you should research any potential house locations to see what flood zone they fall in and always purchase flood insurance. Purchasing in Charleston, SC, will be worth it in the end because it is such a beautiful area to call home.