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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32 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16027451 / Active
9 br, 13 ba, 3 half bath, 17142 sqft

Legare street's oldest residence known locally as "the sword gate," was built in 1803. This federal style residence is privately nestled behind its... 

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$19,500,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

2 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 1303255 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 2 half bath, 5923 sqft

Iconic views complement the luxury of this truly one of a kind property located at 2 concord street. The only single family residence downtown with... 

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$8,850,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

54 Hasell Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 15016790 / Active
6 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 8705 sqft

Distinguishing characteristics: 1) national register - national register of historic places - considered one of the "charleston seven". 2) built ... 

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$6,400,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

38 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16030154 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 3 half bath, 5891 sqft

Circa 1812, historically known as "the george keenan house." Purchased after construction and renovated by dr. Vincent leseigneur in 1814. Born i... 

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$5,850,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

91 & 91.5 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16029142 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 2 half bath, 6471 sqft

A beautifully restored historic residence on rainbow row, the inglis arch house, circa 1787, is perfectly suited for every lifestyle. Enter through... 

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$5,750,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

71 Anson Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 16003912 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 6919 sqft

Exceptionally rare, historically significant, impeccably maintained, the thomas doughty estate is situated on over .3 acres in the heart of charles... 

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$5,500,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

20 South Battery
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 1224342 / Active
17 br, 16 ba, 2 half bath, 15669 sqft

20 south battery is the premier charleston residence, prominent for its location and presence as a historic and social feature of the community. Lo... 

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$5,500,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

10 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16019013 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 6000 sqft

Just steps from the battery, the ingraham-forrest house, c 1800 charleston single, represents a timeless collaboration of past and present. Classic... 

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$5,200,000
Provided courtesy of Atlantic Properties

18 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16002384 / Active
5 br, 6 ba, 6992 sqft

Circa 1840's, south of broad on desirable lower church st. This fine, recently restored "charleston single" style home is offered in excellent cond... 

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$4,450,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

23 Longitude Lane
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16001672 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4500 sqft

Tucked away in a very private setting in the heart of historic charleston, this house has been meticulously restored with no attention to detail sp... 

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$4,289,500
Reduced -$200,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

59 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 15006091 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 2 half bath, 4239 sqft

The thomas rose house was constructed c. 1735 and is considered one of charleston's best preserved colonial dwellings. The house has retained many ... 

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$3,750,000
Reduced -$1,050,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

71 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 15019445 / Active
4 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 5504 sqft

This classically-inspired house was designed by randolph martz and constructed in 2003. An elevator goes to all three floors for your convenience. ... 

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$3,649,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

57 Laurens Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 16030556 / Active
6 br, 5 ba, 3 half bath, 5676 sqft

Circa 1836, the augustus taft house is situated on a large, double lot and is a prime example of early greek revival style. Downstairs features dou... 

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$3,450,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

23&23 1/2 Lamboll Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16016112 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 4 half bath, 5060 sqft

Located south of broad, just off legare street on secluded, yet central, lamboll street. Probably one of the most desirable locations in the city. ... 

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$3,398,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

2 S Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16031039 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4544 sqft

Right on the battery. One of the most sought after locations in charleston. Beautiful views of charleston harbor and white point gardens from the... 

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$3,395,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

517 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
King Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 16003816 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4698 sqft

Incredibly beautiful and stunning penthouse in charleston's trendiest neighborhood. This luxurious penthouse truly has it all. An open floor plan w... 

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$3,395,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

175 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 16022752 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3464 sqft

This luxury condo is located in the heartbeat of the peninsula on the corner of cumberland and concord enjoying protected views of the ravenel brid... 

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$3,350,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

104 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17000164 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 5571 sqft

This stuccoed brick single house was built by thomas b.Seabrook, a prosperous edisto island planter.The victorian tower was a later addition. The ... 

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$3,125,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

24 S Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 15029095 / Active
6 br, 6 ba, 1 half bath, 5144 sqft

Rental income! Live in the front house and collect rental income from the rear cottage, which has been approved by the city of charleston zoning de... 

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$2,995,000
Reduced -$4,999
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group

9 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16012110 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4931 sqft

The most private lot on gibbes street, just off legare street. Secluded entrance with room for four parking places. Upon entering the piazza there ... 

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$2,950,000
Reduced -$300,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

82 Pitt Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 16025205 / Active Contingent
4 br, 4 ba, 2 half bath, 4500 sqft

From the moment you arrive at 82 pitt street, you are greeted by the lush gardens, designed by glen gardner, and the beautiful outdoor spaces conne... 

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$2,950,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

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