What to Consider When Buying Real Estate in Charleston’s Downtown Historic District

Ever feel nervous about buying a home or moving to a new location, and think “Is this the right move for me?

A quick city-guide or list of property details can give you some insight, but there are doubts. For those moving to Charleston’s Downtown Historic District, there’s a double whammy. First, you have to wonder if downtown Charleston is right for you. Then you have to answer if you should buy a historic real estate property.

Real estate is already filled with too many decisions. To narrow your choices and get you in the right mindset, let’s dive into the questions you should ask yourself before deciding on Charleston, SC.

  1. Should I buy a historic home in Charleston?

Charleston and the outlying suburbs offer plenty of choices for real estate. You can find ranch-style properties, modern living arrangements, houses on the beach, and homes situated within historic districts. All have different pros and cons.

Historic homes in Charleston are typically located on the peninsula, giving you quick access to many workplaces, restaurants, and other entertainment options. The main selling point to historic real estate is the character of the home. No property is the same and each has a layout that has been distinguished by its previous owners (some dating back to the early 1800’s).

Living in a historic home means you get to be a part of something unique. You get a glimpse into the past few are privy to. How cool is that?

Some things you may want to research before buying include:

  • What taxes will you pay? Are there any tax credits (or incentives) from state and local governments?
  • What restrictions are there for renovating historic homes?
  • What kind of costs will you face with maintaining a historic property?
  • Does the location create a setting you want to live in or be away from?

  1. Is downtown Charleston the right location for me?

Downtown Charleston is naturally alluring. You’re connected to almost everything -- entertainment, work, travel spots, and so on. Choosing Charleston means understanding what kind of vibe you want to live among.

Downtown is more energetic and lively than other suburbs like Mount Pleasant or James Island. Restaurants and events are just blocks away. Each weekend is its own adventure. You don’t have to worry about sitting through traffic, since you’re already in the heart of things.

The price for living in downtown Charleston means less space for your dollar. Properties, here, don’t have acre-sized backyards. You’re choosing to live in a traditional, Southern home where you’re close to your neighbor. Other things to consider include knowing your flood zone. Charleston is located in a flood zone and does, occasionally, experience inclement weather. This means paying more for home and flood insurance.

  1. Does the home (or location) have the right amenities?

Depending on your lifestyle, Charleston’s Downtown Historic District may or may not be the right place for you. If you’re someone who wants to be on the beach, surfing every day … downtown Charleston may not be the best option, since you can choose a home on Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, or Folly Beach.

But if you love being in the heart of activity and cherish opportunities to try new things, downtown is a great choice. Before selecting a property, perform a local Google Map search. See what parks, schools, and other venues are nearby. Example: if you’re a sailor, you’ll enjoy the marina just down the road.

Double check what effort it will take to live your lifestyle and see if it’ll be a happy (and easy) one.

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61 Barre Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17023243 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, n/a sqft

Halsey Park has just released the first of two Town Homes, custom designed by BEAU CLOWNEY ARCHITECTS. Each has 3 Bedrooms and 3.5 baths with over ... 

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$1,995,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

18 Broad Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17023322 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 8363 sqft

Elegant, exclusive, and sophisticated, this penthouse encompasses the top two floors of the People's Building, Charleston's first skyscraper. With ... 

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$16,500,000
Provided courtesy of Hudson Phillips Properties Charleston LLC

11 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 17023135 / Active
10 br, 6 ba, 6017 sqft

Step inside the City Centre Inn, a 6,000+ sq. ft. property in the heart of downtown in Charleston's historic Ansonborough neighborhood, that boasts... 

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$3,495,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

32 Prioleau Street
Charleston, SC 29401
One Vendue Range
Residential

MLS# 17023018 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2583 sqft

One Vendue Range- Old Hollywood glamour in a beautiful Historic Charleston setting. Step off the elevator into your own stately foyer and experienc... 

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$2,575,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston

249 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17022942 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1932 sqft

Off-street gated parking for 5 in front and private walled and gated courtyard in back with bricked patio garden. Walk to MUSC and all the new upco... 

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$760,000
Provided courtesy of Classic Charleston Properties LLC

267 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17023048 / Active
6 br, 6 ba, 4291 sqft

Three story Victorian Charleston Single house with commercial space located south of the crosstown.The property consists of two 3 bedroom and 3 bat... 

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$1,695,000
Provided courtesy of Flyway Real Estate, LLC

315 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17022899 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1378 sqft

1.) There are two large ceiling to floor windows in the dining room. There are a wall of windows with decorative exposed brick in the great room. A... 

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$749,000
Provided courtesy of Bryant Real Estate Group

66 South Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17022744 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1408 sqft

THREE BEDROOM TWO BATH HOUSE. Traditional Charleston Single style with a highly functional layout. Downstairs has one bedroom, one full bath, and... 

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$335,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group

87 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17022560 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1301 sqft

Perfectly placed pied a terre! Wonderful South of Broad location with views that will take your breath away. There are only a handful of downtown p... 

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$1,550,000
Provided courtesy of Atlantic Properties

85 Cumberland Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17022335 / Active Contingent
1 br, 1 ba, 534 sqft

Located in the heart of the historic district in the French Quarter neighborhood, this building retains many of it's original features. Gleaming ha... 

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$425,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties

278 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17022293 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1042 sqft

Gorgeous, beautifully renovated 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath condo located on Historic King Street. High smooth ceilings, tall windows with an abundance o... 

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$550,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

278 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17022291 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1000 sqft

Gorgeous, beautifully renovated 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath condo located on Historic King Street. High smooth ceilings, tall windows with an abundance o... 

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$550,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

104 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17022248 / Active
n/a br, 4 ba, 5571 sqft

Seabrook Manor is a stucco over brick Charleston single house. It has an Adamesque interior which is highlightedby a 300 year old hand carved Itali... 

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$2,995,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

42 Laurens Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 17022202 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1936 sqft

This Ansonborough jewel is one of the most charming carriage houses in Charleston. It has been beautifully restored and appointed with an eye for d... 

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$1,594,900
Reduced -$100
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston

17 Radcliffe Place
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 17022154 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1524 sqft

Great Location with UPDATED Charleston Charm. Located on a gorgeous tucked away street in historic downtown Charleston, this updated home built in ... 

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$784,000
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate

62 Columbus Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17022150 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 1945 sqft

ATTENTION INVESTORS: Potential college rental, with 5 bedrooms, living room, dining room, eat-in kitchen, and 3 full baths with tiled showers. 62 ... 

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$875,000
Provided courtesy of Hudson Phillips Properties Charleston LLC

175 Concord
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17022067 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1434 sqft

Charming light filled 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in the desirable French Quarter. Open floor plan with a well designed kitchen with stainless steel ap... 

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$1,150,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

150 Bee
Charleston, SC 29401
Bee Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 17021909 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1495 sqft

URBAN THIRD FLOOR CONDOMINIUM IN GREAT LOCATION CLOSE TO MUSC AND OVERLOOKING UPCOMING WESTEDGE DEVELOPMENT. SPACIOUS TWO BEDROOM UNIT WITH NEW HAR... 

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$485,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

45 South Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17021983 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 4277 sqft

Privately situated on one of the most beautiful and desirable streets South of Broad. 45 South Battery is a classic Charleston home with a refined ... 

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$2,500,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

76 Society Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 17021943 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1305 sqft

Well appointed condominium, located within walking distance of acclaimed restaurants, and notable shopping. 76 Society offers fine amenities - incl... 

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$695,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 17021708 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1219 sqft

Extraordinary views from this eighth floor condominium at the luxurious Dockside. This renovated and well appointed two-bedroom corner unit offers... 

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$597,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
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