If you are living in Charleston, South Carolina and looking to invest some of your hard-earned money into real estate- which areas should you consider, and what might be a good buy?
There are many opinions on what might be the best gameplan. One certainly has to take into consideration the best areas, the best price ranges to purchase in, and what kind of investment property to purchase. For this blog post, I'd like to cover a few of the areas surrounding downtown, Charleston. I'm not the 'end all' pro when it comes to investing, but after living here in Charleston practically all of my life- I've seen different areas excel in this Charleston real estate market.
As anyone knows, the three most important factors when choosing real estate is location, location, location. Closest to the Charleston Peninsula might be at the top of your list considering there is only so much physical land on the Peninsula, plus the draw of the College of Charleston, MUSC, and of course dining and entertainment downtown. There are plenty of areas near or above Crosstown that I certainly would not have considered 20 years ago, but are great places to live today. Areas around Crosstown and near Upper King Street have been in transition over the last 10 to 15 years and some investors have really done well there. A little more risk in certain areas, but for the long-term investor, it pays off. This real estate will continue to climb here over the years.
Outside of Charleston you have Mount Pleasant, James Island, and West Ashley. Of these areas, Mount Pleasant has what I would call the “best” market- in that, any price range (at the time of this writing) below $450K in “inner Mt. Pleasant” is a seller’s market and will continue to perform VERY well. Short term or long term. Real estate continues to climb here, and there is never a short supply of those wanting to rent close to downtown, Charleston. Be aware, homes in this area do not come on the market very often- so it’s important to find a Mount Pleasant realtor that has his or her ‘ear to the ground’ for homes coming on the market before they do.
On the other side of the Peninsula is James Island. Home of the brick ranch house. These will always be in demand due to location (downtown and beach), and due to the fact that James Island is already built out (there is only so much land this close to the Chas. Peninsula). I'd say that a brick ranch on James Island in the 150 to 200K range is a fantastic investment. No shortage of renters and home values are rock-solid. This pick is also based upon the fact that the homes are of solid construction (brick), one story, and have very durable hardwood floors and/or tile. These homes are very durable and this means less annual maintenance costs vs. vinyl siding rips/tears, annual exterior pressure washing and also carpet replacement often. These houses are also 3 bedroom and 2 bath, offering the best options for tenants (especially if college girls, or similar that want more than 1 full bath).
West Ashley is also a great area to invest in. Close to downtown Charleston like the others, and plenty of brick range homes noted above. Your dollar will also go much farther in this area vs. Mount Pleasant or James Island. The neighborhoods do not have annual HOA dues that will eat into your ROI. In the West Ashley area, you lose some of those looking to get closer to the beach and downtown, and since location is everything in real estate- West Ashley is a little further out from the Chas. Peninsula (the areas under 200K vs. under 200K James Island). However, you should be able to "get more house for the money". Rental rates will not be as high, and it may be more difficult to rent the further out you are, so stay in close.
These are just 3 areas surrounding Charleston that may make sense for you to invest in. There are many other areas and price ranges that might make more sense, depending upon your unique situation. If you want the best advice, give us a call so that we can go over your needs in person or over the phone.
Mike Ciucci specializes in the Charleston SC real estate market. He has been a Charleston realtor for over 15 years, focusing on quality and attention to detail his clients have come to expect.