Want to know more about owning second-home real estate on the Isle of Palms or another area in or around Charleston, SC? This under-four-minute video gives a good rundown of some of the benefits of owning a second home in the area as well as several things to look out for. Whether you’re looking for investment beach rental real estate or a property to serve as a weekend retreat, this video will fill you in on some of the best areas for owning a second home and considerations like entertainment, transportation and taxes.
Taking “Dinner and a Movie” to the Next Level
One of the big draws to Charleston is the restaurant and cultural scene. The dining in Charleston is off-the-chart good with some of the best chefs in the country moving to the area. Of special note it the redevelopment of the once-blighted Upper King Street area, which is turning into one of the best dining spots in the Southeast. If you are considering purchasing a second home here, having unbelievably fresh, high-quality and artfully prepared food as a backdrop is a definite positive.
The cultural events, such as the Art Walk and the Dock Street Theatre, also add to the allure of Charleston as a second home location. Although the entire area is filled with worthy restaurants and cultural events, downtown Charleston is the epicenter. Luckily, it’s central to most places in the area.
The Pull of the Ocean
The next prong to Charleston’s appeal as a second home destination is of course its beaches. The three main beach islands — Folly Beach, Sullivans Island (SI) and the Isle of Palms (IOP) — are no more than a half hour or so from downtown Charleston.
Eclectic and casual Folly Beach is a little more bohemian than Sullivans Island or Isle of Palms. Folly is the least expensive beach property in the Charleston area. Its real estate doesn’t sell for as much and it doesn’t rent for as much as the real estate on some of the other area beach islands.
The Isle of Palms is probably the best of the three islands for rental property. A lot of redevelopment in the area occurred during the boom period between 2004 and 2008. And we’re seeing some recent beachfront development in the last year or so now that the market is stronger. IOP has a really nice, clean beach. It is also very close to the many amenities of Mount Pleasant.
Sullivans Island supports more of a primary home or secondary home market than a resort market. The rents on Sullivans Island are for the most part on par with the Isle of Palms. Sullivans does not have as many short-term rental properties as the Isle of Palms or Folly Beach, so the demand for SI homes is a little bit higher. The smaller inventory also creates a little bit higher price point for SI homes. As far as resale goes, Sullivans Island homes tend to do better pricewise than Isle of Palms real estate.
Easy on the Go
Ease of access is the third factor contributing to Charleston’s desirability as a second home market. The area is blessed by good roads. A lot of money has been spent in the last few years. The county is finishing up the road widening on Highway 17 and some roadwork in downtown Charleston. The Ravenel Bridge was build less than 10 years ago. If you like to travel or enjoy having guests, Charleston is a good location because it offers a number of easy ways to get in and out of the area in a car.
You also have the Charleston International Airport. Jet Blue started flying out of Charleston in February, and Southwest began offering service out of Charleston last year. Other carriers include United, U.S. Airways, Delta and American. Easy flight access is another consideration to factor in when thinking about a second home purchase.
Don’t Forget Uncle Sam
A fourth benefit of owning a second home in the Charleston area is the property taxes. Homeowners are taxed at 4% for primary residences (with a built-in state property tax relief benefit) and 6% for non-primary residences. Compared to a lot of other vacation home markets, that is quite competitive. South Carolina also offers a Homestead tax exemption for disabled seniors.
As always, please direct any questions you have to local Realtor Bob Brennaman. He’s happy to go into detail about anything covered in the video or additional queries you may have about buying a second home in the Charleston area. With years of experience in the Folly Beach, Sullivans Island and Isle of Palms beach real estate markets, he has helped many second-homeowners find property that fits their individual situations and specific criteria.