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 1/2 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17028367 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2016 sqft

Perfect pied a terre in a secluded South of Broad location. This 3 story masonry home is the original kitchen house for the Jacob Mott House circa ... 

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$1,695,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties

207 St Philip Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17028411 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 2 half bath, 2720 sqft

Great opportunity in downtown Charleston. This building is perfect for investor looking for a prime rental unit which has both office and living sp... 

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$904,900
Provided courtesy of BHHS Southern Coast Real Estate

12 Porters Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 17028417 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 956 sqft

Excellent opportunity to own a Charleston Single below the crosstown from under $500K! Walk to work, shopping, restaurants and pubs, MUSC, The Coll... 

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$459,000
Provided courtesy of Dana Properties, LLC

40 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17028296 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1858 sqft

Charming brick home located South of Broad in Downtown Charleston! Situated on a quiet street on a high lot just steps from the battery, this home ... 

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$1,050,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
Open House
Sat October 21st, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
22  Bennett Street Charleston, SC 29401

22 Bennett Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17028170 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 3700 sqft

Perfect family home in a great location! Beautifully restored home in Harleston Village has an open floor plan that's perfect for entertaining or ... 

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$1,639,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston

175 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17028159 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1958 sqft

This luxury condo is located in the historic French Quarter and enjoys spectacular views of Waterfront Park from its private corner balcony/covered... 

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$1,600,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Island Real Estate Co Inc

41 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17028140 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3200 sqft

The Jonathan Badger House is a Pre-Revolutionary masonry dwelling and architectural ''gem'' which is believed to have been built sometime after 174... 

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$2,495,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

23 Cannon
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 17028097 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1368 sqft

This circa 1840 ''Like New'' Charleston home was largely rebuilt in 2007 and is a short term rental property. Currenly leased as a licensed STR fo... 

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$795,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

22 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17028035 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3053 sqft

Fantastic opportunity to own this fully renovated, historic South of Broad home, just steps from the Battery and Rainbow Row! Forget the headache o... 

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$2,290,000
Provided courtesy of iSave Realty

51 Chapel Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 17028017 / Active Contingent
5 br, 3 ba, 3244 sqft

Seldom available! Historic Charleston Single-style triplex, just minutes to the College of Charleston, Charleston School of Law, The Citadel, and M... 

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$950,000
Provided courtesy of EarthWay Real Estate

151 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17027970 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 760 sqft

Welcome to our charming condo in the middle of downtown Charleston with parking and private courtyard attached to the Unit. The unit is located on ... 

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$449,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Preferred Group

9 Bogard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 17027756 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1742 sqft

Charming 1840 Charleston single house with wide columned double piazzas. Striking architectural brick fireplaces are the focal point of each of the... 

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$595,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

102 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17027850 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3271 sqft

A wonderful opportunity for elegant & charming living with income potential too.From the beautiful hardwood floors with mahogany border,to the orna... 

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$1,375,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

28 Savage Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17027518 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1860 sqft

Charming Charleston Single with fenced brick courtyard, updated kitchen and bathrooms. Large rooms with high ceilings. Each bedroom has its own f... 

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$1,000,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

16 Water Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17027492 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2284 sqft

Beautifully restored, sun-filled, circa 1815 home loaded with historic details and in mint condition. The owners have spared no expense maintaining... 

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$1,595,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

160 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 17027457 / Active
8 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4589 sqft

Turnkey vacation rental! Two separate fully furnished and equipped homes, both have vacation rental licenses with the City of Charleston and strong... 

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$2,437,500
Provided courtesy of iSave Realty

1 Bogard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 17027423 / Active Contingent
4 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1420 sqft

Legal short-term rental in the heart of Elliottborough! Walking distance to Upper King, College of Charleston, easy access to I-26 & the Crosstown.... 

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$877,500
Provided courtesy of iSave Realty

348 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17027311 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 824 sqft

Welcome to 348 King Street, unit K! This 2 bedroom, end-unit condo is located in the heart of Charleston in the historic King Street shopping distr... 

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$450,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

33 Lockwood Drive
Charleston, SC 29401
The Harborage At Ashley Marina
Residential

MLS# 17027257 / Active
n/a br, n/a ba, n/a sqft

Remarks: 40 X 18 foot boat slip at The Closet to the parking lot!!! At this location you dont have to haul all your supplies a mile!!!Harborage At ... 

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$59,000
Provided courtesy of BHHS Carolina Sun Real Estate

212 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 17027195 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2072 sqft

Contemporary single family home at the corner of Coming Street and Brewster Court just two blocks from the Upper King Street Design and Restaurant ... 

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$759,000
Provided courtesy of Fogle & Associates LLC

3 Kracke Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 17027209 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 916 sqft

Upgraded to perfection and move-in ready. Each bedroom has a private bath. Located on a quaint and quiet street just a few blocks from the Medical... 

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$425,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
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