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 Prioleau Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17032613 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1866 sqft

This PRIME, Southernmost, top-floor home within ''One Vendue Range'' offers total turnkey luxury. Sun-filled rooms throughout, recently renovated k... 

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$1,895,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

28 Hanover Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17032682 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2148 sqft

Welcome to 28 Hanover Street, a historic Charleston Single that underwent a complete modern renovation in 2015. Located on a south facing corner i... 

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$605,000
Provided courtesy of RE/Max Elite

126 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17032558 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 3 half bath, 3467 sqft

Fabulous location on the southeast corner of Church and Chalmers. This three story masonry building was originally a dry goods store in the early 1... 

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$1,690,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

4 Ascot Alley
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Green
Residential

MLS# 17032479 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1734 sqft

Location, Location, Location...Welcome to this charming, renovated Harleston Green home perfectly located within walking distance to MUSC, Roper Ho... 

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$775,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

2 Wharfside Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Laurens Marina
Residential

MLS# 17032400 / Active
n/a br, n/a ba, n/a sqft

Best boat slip/lift on the Peninsula. Private, secure Marina on the harbor, next to the Maritime Center in Downtown Charleston. Unit #12 dock/slip ... 

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$125,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

9 Montagu Court
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17032262 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 896 sqft

An adorable two bedroom, two bath home located in the highly sought after Harleston Village neighborhood awaits you. This home exudes character fro... 

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$649,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

58 Laurens Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 17032336 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 2752 sqft

Look no further for a classic home which could become your downtown Charleston residence, rental investment property - or BOTH! With two spacious 2... 

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$1,889,000
Provided courtesy of Brand Name Real Estate

20 Elliott Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031961 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2704 sqft

This beautiful George Gibbs home, constructed Circa 1802, is located in the heart of downtown Charleston within walking distance to the Battery, Wa... 

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$2,250,000
Provided courtesy of ERA Wilder Realty

44 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031920 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2 half bath, 4941 sqft

Exquisite property showcases beautifully proportioned rooms with soaring ceilings, extensive crown molding, original heart pine floors, multiple fi... 

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$3,550,000
Provided courtesy of Historic Properties of Charleston

175 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17032036 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2926 sqft

Fabulous ''French Quarter,'' penthouse level luxury apartment overlooking Charleston Harbor. Just steps away from the best restaurants and Waterfro... 

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$2,595,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 17031867 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1237 sqft

Enjoy views of Charleston Harbor, the Charleston Maritime Center and the downtown cityscape from this 2 bedroom, 2 full bath Dockside condominium. ... 

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$645,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

85 Cumberland Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17031695 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 424 sqft

Market's Gate at 85 Cumberland Street is one of the French Quarter's most desirable condominiums since its complete overhaul in 2007, and Unit 4 is... 

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$430,000
Provided courtesy of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

7 Kracke Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Middleton
Residential

MLS# 17031653 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 787 sqft

A great opportunity to own a slice of downtown Charleston! This two bedroom one bath home located right below the crosstown is freshly painted, alo... 

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$279,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group

60 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031542 / Active
6 br, 4 ba, 2 half bath, 6065 sqft

A Charleston Landmark - Imagine, within the walls of the four-story mansion situated at the northeast corner of Tradd and Meeting Streets, a Pre-Re... 

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$4,000,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

32 Vendue Range
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17031592 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 288 sqft

French Quarter living at a must see price. This ''pied a terre'' condo is perfect for a working professional, a student at College of Charleston o... 

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$225,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

251 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 17031453 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 891 sqft

Welcome to 251 Ashley Ave. Unit C is a two-bedroom,2 baths Historic Charleston Single Home Built 1890. Unit C is located on the second level. Beau... 

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$425,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

33 Pitt Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17031452 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 397 sqft

Charleston living at its finest! This newly renovated 1bd/1bath condo has all the bells and whistles including granite countertops, stainless steel... 

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$249,900
Increase +$10,000
Provided courtesy of Hayden Jennings Properties

54 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031239 / Active Contingent
4 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4374 sqft

Circa 1910, total luxury abounds within this very charming, turn-of-the-century masonry home, located in the heart of ''South of Broad.'' Recently ... 

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$1,875,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

41 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031192 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4260 sqft

The Albert W. Todd House.This 3-story, 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath Colonial Revival home was built in 1909 as the architect's personal residence. Situated ... 

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$4,100,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

8 Chisolm Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031363 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1736 sqft

Circa 1928 and totally restored in 2007. House is bright with lots of windows, high ceilings, heart pine floors, open floor plan, and a great kitch... 

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$1,049,500
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

158 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17031359 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1404 sqft

This incredible unit in a downtown triplex property is situated in a desirable location only minutes from King Street, restaurants, shopping, and m... 

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$495,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
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