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Which Area in Charleston, SC Should I Choose to Live?



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By : Mike Ciucci    99 or more times read
People relocating to the Charleston, SC area have one major question I find. Which area surrounding Charleston is best to live in? Well, the short answer is quite simple. Why are you moving here? In real estate, I find that buyers are typically categorized into one type of group, “buyers”. However, there are a number of different ‘types’ of buyers out there. There’s the buyer relocating for a job, there are buyers moving to Charleston for retirement, there are those moving for college, and those looking for a second home along or near the ocean. Which type of buyer are you? Well let me explain the different areas that surround Charleston, and give you a brief overview of each.

Charleston Peninsula. This is ‘Downtown, Historic Charleston’. This is referred to as the ‘Holy City’ and is the anchor for all other areas. It is the focal point of the lowcountry, and most folks commute from other areas to Charleston to work. The Charleston Peninsula is beautiful, with historic homes from the 1700’s, great restaurants, and the ability to walk where you want to go (other areas surrounding Charleston you mostly have to drive to where you’re going). Pros: Historic city, restaurants, entertainment, short or no commute to work, location. Cons: Expensive to live, traffic during tourist season, not as ideal for families w/kids in school (less young kids).

Mount Pleasant. This is a favorite for families relocating here. It borders downtown Charleston and the beaches. Mount Pleasant has large, planned communities with swimming pools, golf, tennis, schools (inside the neighborhoods), and plenty of shopping. This area is more progressive, having quite a good number of businesses based there. We’re seeing more growth in the Mt. Pleasant area and the area holds property values better than all other areas. Pros: Location (close to town, close to the beaches), best public schools in Charleston, active community, shopping & restaurants. Cons: Heavy traffic at times, most neighborhoods have CCR’s which brings HOA dues, higher housing prices.

Daniel Island. What a wonderfully planned community. They say you don’t need to leave the island if you don’t have to, and that’s true. A large, master planned community with meticulously designed streets and shopping. This area is more expensive, but has a great ‘small town’ feel and good for the discriminate buyer. Tennis is a big draw here, as is walking and neighborhood biking. Two of Charleston’s larger technology companies reside here. Bishop England High School lives here, and the community really supports the school. A lot of young professionals, families, and retirees live here. Pros: Small-town America. Streets with walkways, great downtown spot, very safe. A great tennis community. Cons: More expensive than most areas, a drive to downtown Charleston, may need to leave the island for nightlife.

James Island. This is a little quieter ‘bedroom community’ that borders downtown, Charleston. Location is great for this area, being 5 minutes to downtown Charleston and 10 minutes to Folly Beach. James Island is laid back, with one main busy Folly Road that has restaurants and shopping. It has a very good elementary and high school public school system. Most of the neighborhoods are made with brick-ranch style homes, with pocket neighborhoods of new construction. This area has a lot of live oaks and homes on tidal creeks. It has a more “outdoor” feel. Pros: Location! Less expensive than downtown or Mt. Pleasant or Daniel Island. Cons: Not many neighborhood amenities, bad traffic sometimes on Folly Road, not as many new homes.

I hope that these brief descriptions on these areas help you out. Really, if you’re moving to Charleston- you will be just fine in any area you end up!


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