Old Charleston Map from 1872Many people who consider Charleston, South Carolina as a retirement destination or a possible move with a job transfer sometimes feel overwhelmed with the number of options available.  Each area that surrounds Charleston has its own unique character, charm, and feel about it.  I am excluding the beaches this go-around, but I’d like to briefly explain some of the areas that surround Charleston, in hopes that it might make it a little easier for those from out of state:

Charleston Peninsula- This is obviously the anchor for Charleston.  The historic draw of the city, the culture and world-class restaurants, and the “Old South” way of living is still evident here.  People from all over the country seek this spot as a perfect destination, close to the beaches with a wonderful climate.  Homes in a decent location typically start in the low 500’s and will get into the millions.  Condos start in the 300’s, but if you want below Calhoun St, then the prices go up from there.

Mount Pleasant- Mount Pleasant is located just North of Downtown, Charleston.  Mount Pleasant is known for some of the best schools in all of Charleston, and a great location to the beaches (Sullivans Island and Isle of Palms) and downtown.  If you’re in Mt. Pleasant, you are likely within 5-15 minutes to downtown and 5-15 minutes to the beach.  A lot of folks find this as the number 1 choice in Charleston.  Homes typically begin in the 200’s, but average in the mid 400’s.  Condos begin in the 100’s, but average in the upper 200’s.

James Island- James Island lies South of Downtown, Charleston.  This is also a great location in Charleston; 5 minutes to downtown and 10 minutes to the beach (Folly Beach).  James Island is mostly made up of older brick ranch homes, with a large number of condo communities.  It has more of a “laid back” feel than Mt. Pleasant, too.  A lot of tidal creeks and water are located within the island.  Plenty of MUSC & CofC students choose James Island due to better affordability.  Homes typically start in the 200’s and average around 250K.  Condos start in the upper 100’s and average around the 225K mark.

West Ashley- West Ashley also borders Downtown Charleston.  It has a large surface area, with the more expensive real estate being close to downtown (and the beaches).  5 minutes from downtown and 15-20 minutes from the beach, this location is great for those with affordability in mind without going farther North out of town.  Homes in West Ashley begin in the upper 100’s and average around the 225K mark.  Condos begin in the 100’s and average around 200K.  A lot of first-time homebuyers move here.

Summerville- Summerville is really a town within itself.  It is about 25 minutes from Downtown Charleston, is self-sustaining, and has a ton of character.  Historic homes, smiling faces, beautiful landscaping and plenty of flowers remind me of Summerville.  A lot of new construction has gone up in the area, and you can really get an inexpensive home for the $ here.  Homes here are a third of the price than homes close to downtown Charleston are.  New construction starts in the 100’s and condos are the same.  A slower pace of living and a great alternative to living so close to town!

If you'd like further information on any of these areas, please let us know.  You can also search for real estate in these areas using the Charleston MLS.


Posted by Mike Ciucci on


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This is even helpful for me. I've lived in Columbia SC almost all my life and never had a simple explanation of Charleston like this one.

Posted by Columbia SC Real Estate on Thursday, November 11th, 2010 at 7:01am

This is the great post and very informative.You are right about the loaction,Each area that surrounds Charleston has its own unique character, charm, and feel about it.You show the great location, these all place are very nice.
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Posted by Adirondack Waterfront Property on Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 11:55pm

Hello everyone,I will try and make my long story as short as possible..I was born in Charleston in 1969,but haven't lived there since 78. (visited a few times) So you can imagine, times has changed. After being in the upstate,SC and my present job after 21 years is going out in about 1 1/2 yrs. So we are looking to moving back to the area of Charleston. I wanna be close to the beach, but also want plenty of job oppurtunities. Especially for the avg "Joe". I have heard great things about Mt Pleasant, but housing there is going be WAY OUTTA my price range. But I also wanna be in a nice area where families are a premium. I have 2 small kids, and I want some good schooling for them as well. So, whats the best area I could hope for to meet my needs.What neighborhoods are best? Thanks for any help.

Posted by Wayne on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 at 6:37am

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