Consider This When Buying Real Estate in Charleston’s 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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45 Photos 91 East Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401

91 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20029170 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2311 Sqft

This beautifully restored Carriage House on Rainbow Row, circa 1850, has recently been updated with a bright new interior. This special property i... 

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$1,950,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.
31 Photos 7 Sheppard Street Charleston, SC 29403

7 Sheppard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 20029149 / Active
6 br, 2 ba, 1832 Sqft

DUPLEX. GREAT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY just a short walk to upper King Street, Courier Square, and the Cigar Factory. Perfect chance to earn rental ... 

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$525,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston Real Estate Group
69 Photos 128 Bull Street Charleston, SC 29401

128 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20029080 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 4875 Sqft

The Joseph Bennett House (Thomas Grange Simons House) is a Notable, Category 2 home, built Circa 1814 and is emphasized by a central pedimented pa... 

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$2,349,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.
29 Photos 5 Aston Place Charleston, SC 29401

5 Aston Place
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Green
Residential

MLS# 20028993 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1597 Sqft

Stunning recently remodeled town house! With two deeded parking places! Current owner spared no expense making this space truly special and upscale... 

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$569,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
39 Photos 5 Motley Lane Charleston, SC 29401

5 Motley Lane
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 20028961 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 4059 Sqft

Welcome to 5 Motley Lane! This home, stunning and unique, is ready for you to make it yours. Walk out your front door to a myriad of shops and rest... 

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$2,020,000
Provided courtesy of The Pulse Charleston
37 Photos 4 Gibbes Street Charleston, SC 29401

4 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20028929 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3888 Sqft

This historic home, circa 1790, in the South of Broad neighborhood of Charleston, has been renovated with the utmost respect to the properties uniq... 

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$2,675,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
43 Photos 32 Lenwood Boulevard Charleston, SC 29401

32 Lenwood Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20028874 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2873 Sqft

So charming in every way, this very special South of Broad carriage house was recently enlarged to offer a beautiful first-floor master suite, with... 

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$1,995,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
18 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street UNIT 406 Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street UNIT 406
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 20028823 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 753 Sqft

Like-new, lock-and-leave furnished condo in downtown Charleston. Move right in, as all furnishings, appliances, window treatments, and appointments... 

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$604,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
37 Photos 32 Menotti Street Charleston, SC 29401

32 Menotti Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 20028745 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2080 Sqft

Built in 1997, this immaculate Charleston single style residence is currently configured as two bedrooms with a second floor sitting room that can ... 

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$1,095,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
86 Photos 122 Tradd Street Charleston, SC 29401

122 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20028741 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 5475 Sqft

The ''William C Bee'' House, circa 1835, is a grand and beautiful masonry Greek Revival mansion with Italianate styling, sitting on a high elevatio... 

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$4,950,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
58 Photos 61 Warren Street Charleston, SC 29403

61 Warren Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 20028720 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1746 Sqft

This 1830s jewel was meticulously restored and maintained for many years by the previous Director of the Preservation Society and most recently exp... 

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$897,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
47 Photos 180 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29403

180 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 20028587 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1860 Sqft

This updated Charleston Single was home to multiple families who lived in this neighborhood beginning in 1852. Natural light and beautiful hardwood... 

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$695,000
Provided courtesy of Redfin Corporation
24 Photos 10 Clifford Street Charleston, SC 29401

10 Clifford Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20028579 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1544 Sqft

Welcome to 10 Clifford Street. This well cared for historic home is just a half block off of well known lower King Street. The property is currentl... 

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$1,079,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
47 Photos 315 King Street UNIT 201 Charleston, SC 29401

315 King Street UNIT 201
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 20028558 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2296 Sqft

Like no other loft-style residences in Charleston! Davidson Lofts is an elegant, urban, above-street transformation of one of the city's most notab... 

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$1,795,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston Real Estate Group
48 Photos 248 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

248 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 20028522 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2102 Sqft

This house has just completed a transformative restoration. Every interior surface painted, all new fantastic light fixtures installed. Exterior ... 

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$785,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
10 Photos 7 Wraggborough Lane Charleston, SC 29403

7 Wraggborough Lane
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 20028523 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3300 Sqft

Must see!! Opportunities abound with this beautiful Charleston single behind the gates in Wraggborough. Double porches and courtyard let you enjoy ... 

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$1,259,000
Provided courtesy of BHHS Carolina Sun Real Estate
40 Photos 25 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29401

25 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20028517 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2700 Sqft

Located in Charleston's vibrant Harleston Village neighborhood, this charming historical c.1840 Charleston-single home was carefully guided through... 

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$1,350,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
66 Photos 138 & 140 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29401

138 & 140 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20028510 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 6442 Sqft

A unique opportunity to purchase a piece of storied history. The Kerrison House, later known as Villa De La Fontaine, was built circa 1840 and rest... 

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$4,490,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group
32 Photos 26 Smith Street UNIT A Charleston, SC 29401

26 Smith Street UNIT A
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20028509 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1590 Sqft

Come see this beautiful end unit townhome, located south of Calhoun Street, steps from King Street, Colonial Lake and so much more. This home featu... 

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$795,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
8 Photos 96 Cooper Street Charleston, SC 29403

96 Cooper Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 20028492 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1665 Sqft

Fantastic New Construction in the heart of an up and coming area with lots of new construction going up all around. Live in Downtown Charleston and... 

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$670,000
Provided courtesy of Realty One Group Coastal
7 Photos 94 Cooper Street Charleston, SC 29403

94 Cooper Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 20028431 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1763 Sqft

Fantastic New Construction in the heart of an up and coming area with lots of new construction going up all around. Live in Downtown Charleston and... 

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$670,000
Increase +$35,000
Provided courtesy of Realty One Group Coastal
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