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Old 07-06-2012, 10:57 AM
 
211 posts, read 265,188 times
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My husband and I are considering moving ourselves and our 1 year old son down to Charleston within the next year. We're driving down to see the area in person in a few weeks, but in the meantime I've been doing a lot of internet research and I'm starting to zero in on Mount Pleasant and Summerville for different reasons.

It looks like we'll be able to afford a nicer place to live in Summerville, and that there are some things to do there, but Mount pleasant sounds like it is closer to tons of things to do including the beach. It would be extremely helpful if anyone could give me their own comparison of the two areas, having actually been there. Thanks so much!
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant
51 posts, read 50,930 times
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lady katie,

I can give you my humble opinion. I went down from ny a few weeks ago and looked around like your about to do. I was generally comparing the same areas as you are too. My opinion after spending a few days there:
MP: more newer developments. Generally less property for your money. Seems like a 4 bedroom house that would go for about 450-500k in MP would be abour 380-420 in Summerville. So - it seems your money to buy a house would get you more in summerville.

But - to me, there seemed to be a bit less you can do in summerville as compared to MP. Like - in mp you can generally get to downtown charleston or the beach in about 10 mins give or take, from summerville it would be about 20 mins to downtown, 30 mins to beach (thats what it took us while driving back and forth) and that was without traffic. MP, for my wife and I, seemed to be a better fit because there were more places to shop, more places to do things with the kids, it was closer to downtown & the beach, etc.

Also, to me (and maybe we didn't see every inch of summerville) - when we were driving around summerville, it seemed a lot older with not a lot to do. There were some places to go hang out and bring the kids to, but not as much as MP.

I'm sure some people on here who live in summerville will tell me I have no idea what i'm talking about, lol, but like I said - we only spent 4 days looking around and so I can't compare my experience with someone who has lived there.

Anyway, for what its worth =)
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Goose Creek, SC
870 posts, read 1,707,551 times
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I grew up in the Summerville area so I may be a little biased.

Both are nice and each has it's ups and downs.

You're a young family so you will care about schools. For public schools, Summerville is in a better district but it can be (and usually is) argued that Mt. Pleasant would rank higher if it wasn't in the same district as all of the low ranking Charleston County schools (Burke, North Charleston, Stall etc). You would want to do a school by school comparison to be sure where the best option was for your particular situation.

You will get more bang for your buck when it comes to housing in Summerville. You will either spend less for the same amount of house or spend the same amount of money for more house. My personal favorite option would be to spend around the same and get a similar house on a large piece of land. Your kids would have lots of room to play, you could expand the house as your needs (and family) grew and the only thing worse than being able to hear your neighbors alarm clock is being able to reach through their window and hit the snooze button for them. The land will happen in Summerville, East of the Cooper, you'd have to go pretty far North on 17 or out on 41 to get the same deal and at that point, you may as well be in Summerville.

People always talk about proximity and that's the biggest draw of Mt Pleasant. Summerville isn't exactly remote. Sure, it's not as close to the beach or downtown but it isn't an all day trek to get there either. It's maybe an hour in bad traffic. Maybe.

Homeowners insurance is something you will need to consider as well. In 1989, Charleston was hit by Hurricane Hugo. The state was devastated but we (Charleston) haven't been hit hard since. In 2005, Katrina hit New Orleans and the insurance companies collectively crapped their pants.

Bottom line, homeowners insurance in the North Area (of which Summerville is a part) is pricey. In Mt. Pleasant, it can be crippling. I've been told by some that East of the Cooper policies come with nasty restrictions too (like limits on water and wind damage or ridiculously high deductibles for named storms) that you don't see in Summerville.

All of these things and an array of others should be considered before you buy a house and put down roots. In the end, I suggest you find a place that meets your needs and budget. Talk to a realtor. There are several on this forum but if you need a suggestion, I'd be happy to send you one via pm.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Daniel Island SC
870 posts, read 1,425,107 times
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Ive only visited Sommerville twice and have only lived in DI (next to Mt. Pleasant) a month so my opinion isn't based on too too much experience, but here goes.

Both places are very nice but quite different. MP, it seems, is where most transplants and "yuppies" move to with lots of great restaurants and shopping. Yes, a bit closer to downtown but with that comes traffic and a bit busier life. Yes, it is closer to the beaches.

Summerville, as I refered to it the other day, is a charming antique type of town. I bet people get to know the other townspeople where I don't know if I would guess that from Mt. Pleasant. I would guess they have great town gatherings like the old days, great 4th of July parades, etc.

I speak to people that are passionate about both. I personally like Mt Pleasant for those things I mentioned (newer homes, restaurants, etc) but I know some people that absolutely love Summerville and I can see why. They love how they can have a bigger home on 3 acres of land and that they are "out" in distance a bit.

So, really it's apples and oranges and when you visit, one will click for you I'm sure.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Northeast Columbia
183 posts, read 303,694 times
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You are somewhat accurate, Coobs. There is more to do in the area around Mt. Pleasant as far as being close to downtown and the beach. However, as far as shopping, restaurants, etc. Summerville and Mt. Pleasant are pretty similar. Mt. Pleasant's Town Center is a bit more than Summerville's Azalea Square, but they are pretty comparable. Mt P also has the Oakland Plantation shopping center, which I haven't been to very much. I just know it has a Kohl's, which Summerville also has. Both are in good proximity to the Tanger outlet mall in North Charleston. Summerville has its own downtown that, while not very large, hosts different festivals (such as the popular Flowertown) and some fine places to eat. On the other hand, Mt P has Shem Creek, which is a unique spot. Summerville has a walking/biking trail, Mt P has the Pitt Street Bridge.

The distance to downtown and the beach hasn't been a problem for me. If you plan on going to the beach numerous times a week, it's obviously better to live closer. However, the drive from Summerville/North Charleston hasn't kept me from going to those places closer to the ocean. It may seem like it's a big perk being so close (and for some it really is) but for the most part when you are living here and get caught up in your job and everyday life, having to drive 30 minutes to get to the beach isn't a big deal. Even the drive downtown to go hang out isn't that much different depending on traffic and where you live.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:32 PM
 
211 posts, read 265,188 times
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Thank you so much for the responses!! This is really very helpful to me, as I'm trying to go into our visit with a very good idea of what goes on in these two places. I hadn't even thought of homeowners insurance. I grew up in a crowded place that was near the ocean and I found that it was *too* crowded for me, and now I live in a rural place that is *too* desolate and completely boring...so I have a feeling that Summerville is probably going to end up being a happy medium.

Is Summerville like a village? I'm having a hard time finding many pictures of it online. I lived in a village for awhile in college (with a "main street" full of shops/restaurants), and found that I loved it. It was so great to be able to walk to coffee shops and things.

I'm getting so excited about coming down there
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Goose Creek, SC
870 posts, read 1,707,551 times
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Now there's Summerville and there's Summerville. Confused yet? I'll explain.

Old Summerville, Downtown Summerville, Historic Summerville etc. is older (obviously). There is a main street (it's actually called Main Street but it's a stretch of 17-A). The homes in that area tend to be older and the newer ones tend to favor the older architectural style so as to blend better. Main St and the surrounding area is full of shops and such and every year that is where they hold the Flowertown Festival (amusingly enough, they almost always aim wrong on the calendar and either end up doing it too early and the azaleas haven't bloomed yet or too late and the first crop have died off).

The greater Summerville area is newer and may be more to your liking. It's not strictly within city limits and there are more newer developments where you have a better chance of finding that land I was talking about in my first post. There are some aging (not old enough to call them old but old enough that they were around when I was a kid) developments as well in the area that you may want to look into.

It is true that Mt Pleasant has more newer developments but newer developments have one characteristic that I absolutely abhor. They TEND to have small lot sizes. It's difficult to find less than half an acre in the neighborhoods I grew up living in (all in Summerville) and the houses are brick, distinct from one another, have character and stability. They aren't these cookie cutter, vinyl clad abominations that builders are crapping out these days...sorry I'll get off my soap box now.

I stand by my suggestion of finding a realtor to work with. Explain that you are attempting to decide between Mt P and Summerville and would like to get a sense of both areas. Be clear that you don't want the agent to SELL you on one area over the other but to give you the information you need to make an informed decision on your own.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,691,992 times
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Summerville more blue collar, ruralish. Mount Pleasant more white color, urbanish.

Your HVAC technician will live in Summerville, Your doctor will live in Mount Pleasant.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:06 PM
 
211 posts, read 265,188 times
Reputation: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techgeek View Post
Now there's Summerville and there's Summerville. Confused yet? I'll explain.

Old Summerville, Downtown Summerville, Historic Summerville etc. is older (obviously). There is a main street (it's actually called Main Street but it's a stretch of 17-A). The homes in that area tend to be older and the newer ones tend to favor the older architectural style so as to blend better. Main St and the surrounding area is full of shops and such and every year that is where they hold the Flowertown Festival (amusingly enough, they almost always aim wrong on the calendar and either end up doing it too early and the azaleas haven't bloomed yet or too late and the first crop have died off).

The greater Summerville area is newer and may be more to your liking. It's not strictly within city limits and there are more newer developments where you have a better chance of finding that land I was talking about in my first post. There are some aging (not old enough to call them old but old enough that they were around when I was a kid) developments as well in the area that you may want to look into.

It is true that Mt Pleasant has more newer developments but newer developments have one characteristic that I absolutely abhor. They TEND to have small lot sizes. It's difficult to find less than half an acre in the neighborhoods I grew up living in (all in Summerville) and the houses are brick, distinct from one another, have character and stability. They aren't these cookie cutter, vinyl clad abominations that builders are crapping out these days...sorry I'll get off my soap box now.

I stand by my suggestion of finding a realtor to work with. Explain that you are attempting to decide between Mt P and Summerville and would like to get a sense of both areas. Be clear that you don't want the agent to SELL you on one area over the other but to give you the information you need to make an informed decision on your own.
Thanks, this is really descriptive, I think I'm starting to get a better idea now. We currently own an acre of land and find that it is way too large for us. I mean, it's nice to look at, not so nice to take care of. I don't think we'd want more than a half an acre ever again. That being said, I did get used to having some privacy and breathing room, which is really nice.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:10 PM
 
211 posts, read 265,188 times
Reputation: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by accufitgolf View Post
Summerville more blue collar, ruralish. Mount Pleasant more white color, urbanish.

Your HVAC technician will live in Summerville, Your doctor will live in Mount Pleasant.
This actually paints a pretty good picture for me. I've lived in all kinds of areas so I know what you mean. I think we're more blue collar. My husband is an engineer, so he *technically* works in an office...but he's not a pencil pusher. He likes to build furniture in his spare time, and I'm more of a tom-boy than anything. I think that Summerville is starting to sound like a good fit
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