Charleston area - Where to Live?

13 Replies | Charleston, South Carolina

We're moving from Charleston from South Florida. We're late 20s early 30s, looking for a fun downtown scene, good restaurants,  and a nice place to live.  It seems like Charleston has a a lot to offer in terms of large houses, and communities, but where would you - the Charleston real estate professionals - suggest we start our search?

We have a dog and want to be able to walk her on sidewalks,  real nice neighborhoods, maybe a park, and not more than a 15 minute ride to downtown. 

Price isn't an issue, we just want to hit those marks -  nice place, great Charleston feel, and a fun enjoyable life for our first year in the carolinas.



We just bought a house on James Island, and I love the location! Beautiful, walk to beaches and parks, nice sidewalks and beautiful homes, and only about 10-15 minutes from downtown. 

@Ryan Perrone Sounds to me like you're looking for Charleston's Upper Peninsula around Hampton Park.   Great area that has already up and come but it has farther to go, imo.    There are both vintage and newer homes to be found around there and you might even find a fixer upper if you're of that mindset.   I have friends who live there who love it.

@Ryan Perrone Based on your criteria, I would probably recommend Mount Pleasant. I think I saw in a previous post that you were looking to rent, so I'm assuming you are looking for something turn key in a great neighborhood. It is 10-15 minutes to downtown and offers the best restaurants outside of downtown, in my opinion. Also, just a short drive to Sullivan's Island with great beaches. If you are looking more for the downtown Charleston feel I like @John Semanchuk 's recommendation, too. 

Thanks everyone for being so helpful, it's really appreciated.  I forgot to mention in my re-post that we are looking to rent for our 1st year, as we get acquainted to the area, and the lifestyle.  

We were looking at a house on James Island, it's really nice but not sure of the layout.  Question - do any houses in the Charleston area have basements? I'm seeing 4 bedroom+ houses, but I assume it's too low lying for basements?

There actually are a few basements in Charleston.  The only ones I know of are in a few of the older houses on the peninsula.    I worked in one on South Battery that had an amazing pneumatic hatch that rose out of the kitchen floor to reveal a set of steps.  I don't think the owners used it much but I remember it as being dry. 

No newer houses will have basements though.  The lowcountry equivalent is to have the house raised with a usable footprint underneath.  

@Ryan Perrone  digging a basement in the lowcountry usually results in an "indoor pool"  :-).  

We live in Old Mt. Pleasant, near Sullivans Island and love it.  10 minutes to downtown.  We can ride bikes 2 miles to the beach.  Kids bike to school.  We walk, bike, skateboard or drive our street-legal golf cart to outstanding coffee shops and restaurants, as well as shem creek marina where we keep our boat.  If I were young with no kids, I would probably opt for downtown Charleston (peninsula), Hampton Park or Park Circle.  Traffic has become so congested around here that "quality of life" for me equals not having to drive anymore than necessary.  If you don't mind the traffic, James Island and West ashley are relatively affordable.  Crime is quite low in Charleston, with the exception of the isolated drug war zones of North Charleston.  

Thanks everybody, we're moving to James Island on the 15th!  Kind of by that large county park.   

The next thing on the agenda for the spring will be to find a small multifamily fixer upper in the  Charleston area, fix it, rent it, and come back when we're done traveling.  We're so excited, Charleston's going to be great

Iv taken my dogs to that park several times. Has a lake and a little beach in the dog park and my lab and bloodhound love it. Did you end up buying or renting? I have a few friends in that area if your interested in meeting some locals let me know and I can set up some meet and greets. Lemme know if I can help in any way. Good luck with the move!