Also known as the peninsula, downtown Charleston is the heart of the city and is home to the beautiful architecture, charming streets, and incredible culture that has made Charleston famous.
Downtown is known for its charming, centuries-old homes with gas lanterns, gracious side porches, and bright colors. These homes are further down on the peninsula and offer you the chance to own a piece of American history.
Further up the peninsula, there are many opportunities to buy recently renovated properties or older homes in need of repair. These make great places to live and great investments, as real estate prices continue to rise along with development in the area.
Across the Ashley River to the west of the peninsula and stretching out beyond I-526, West Ashley is popular with young families, retirees, and single professionals alike. Many native Charlestonians live in West Ashley, and it has a real community feel.
West Ashley is a hot and happening now, with fun and quirky neighborhoods like Avondale tucked in among neighborhoods with older brick homes built in the 50s. Closer to I-526, you’ll find many new developments with a variety of condos, townhomes, and single-family homes.
James Island is in a great location, with easy access to both downtown Charleston and Folly Beach. As more people discover the charms of James Island, the area attracts more restaurants, bars, and shops to serve its residents.
Like West Ashley, it has a strong feeling of community, and offers a mix of new homes and older homes suited for both families and individuals.
Across the Cooper River to the east of the peninsula, Mount Pleasant is not a neighborhood of Charleston but its own separate town – one of the fastest growing in the U.S. Though it’s growing quickly, there are still many opportunities to get a great home at a great price here, if you know where to look.
Mt. Pleasant has some of the best schools in the area, making it a popular choice for families with school-age children. It’s also a popular choice for newcomers to the Charleston area, with a mix of older homes and luxury condos close to the Ravenel Bridge and newer developments further up Hwy. 17.
Johns Island is just miles from downtown Charleston but feels a world away. You can find everything here from small, modestly priced homes to new condos to luxurious mansions. This is also a good place if you’re looking for vacant land to build on.
This island to the southwest of West Ashley and James Island has been growing quickly but still offers buyers great opportunity to get bang for their buck. Some buyers initially drawn to Kiawah and Seabrook have found that Johns Island – just 10 miles up the road – is an excellent and more affordable alternative.
If your dream is to live by the beach, these are the places to look. Folly Beach is known for its laid-back, surfer vibe, while Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island feel more quiet and upmarket. All three have gorgeous homes near and on the beach.
Before you set your heart on a beach home, you need to know what the restrictions are, as these homes are often heavily regulated. For instance, don’t expect to buy a beach home on Sullivan’s Island as a rental property; you won’t be allowed to rent it out, unless the home has been grandfathered in.
The agents at The Shahid Team can walk you through what it means to own a beach home in the Charleston area so you’re sure it matches your family’s needs.