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Charleston area Charleston - North Charleston - Mt. Pleasant - Summerville - Goose Creek
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:04 AM
2 posts, read 4,756 times
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Hello, I know this topic has been posted many times, but I am considering a transfer to SC from Connecticut, mostly because of the cost of living. Right now it is just my wife and I, but a few years down the road we will likely have children. We would be spending $250k-$350k on a house (which here in CT might buy a condo or a small rehab project). We also have a boat, so we would want to live within 20 minutes or so of a marina. We were told that Mount Pleasant is a nicer area than Summerville, but I wanted to get opinions from people who actually live in these areas. Logically we would want to live in the best neighborhood we could afford, but if a Summerville neighborhood in that price range is just as nice as a Mount Pleasant neighborhood in that price range, that's really what I'm looking to find out (I've never even been to SC, so I'm completely foreign to any of these areas).

A few concerns/questions:

1) Are there any bad or less than desirable areas in either town?
2) If you had our budget, which town would you pick, and why?
3) How have home values been typically? If we for some reason had to sell in a year or two would you anticipate some appreciation in house value, or do values stay generally flat?
4) How long is the commute into downtown Charleston from either town, figuring rush hour traffic?
5) This is a silly question, but do kitchen and bath upgrades pay off on resale? Here in the Northeast, granite countertops, stainless appliances and marble/stone bathroom floors and tubs are desirable and have become almost standard - so far in my search in SC, I haven't seen a single granite countertop or "upgraded" kitchen or bath - the only thing I can think of is that the taste differs in these areas and/or the upgrades wouldn't add much value. Any input?

Any input at all is appreciated - this would be a big change for us, and it seems like a great area, but it's hard to make the decision when we really don't know much about the area!
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:07 AM
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Default Summerville vs. Mt. Pleasant

Oh, and as a followup...how are schools in both towns, and are there any other towns you would recommend looking at besides these two?
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:20 AM
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Mount Pleasant is in the hurricane band area, while Summerville is not, i.e. high insurance vs normal insurance.

Granite, stainless steel, marble floors, updated baths - nah, we don't know what that is down here! bring some with you from the NE.
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Old 01-25-2007, 09:24 AM
Location: Summerville
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It's no secret that you get more home and land for your money in Summerville, the schools also have a good reputation. Put those two together and that is why it has become the fastest growing county in the area. Mount Pleasant has good schools also. Your home owners insurance will run higher in Mount Pleasant because you are closer to the ocean and are at greater risk from hurricanes.

I can give my opinion and tell you our experience when we were looking. We looked in Mount Pleasant for a few months before we came to the conclusion that the area for many reasons wasn't right for us. We wanted a more hometown relaxed environment. Mount Pleasant to us seemed stuffy and too competitive. We were tired of dealing with the wrath of hurricanes. We also did not like the layout of the neighborhoods. We like breathing room and privacy. We couldn't find it there. People kept telling us to check out Summerville. So finally we did. Made an appointment with a Realtor and within 48hrs of arriving in Summerville we had a home under contract with everything and more we were looking for. Dont' get me wrong, I'm not saying by any means Mount Pleasant isn't nice, it just isn't for us. It all comes down to what appeals to YOU.

To answer some of your questions:

1. There are pockets in both areas that have their less than desireable areas. The Charleston area overall is pretty much like this.

2. See above, I pretty much answered that.

3. Appreciation in both areas the last few years has been hot. Both have slowed down recently, but I think Summerville's market is still a little stronger probably for the reasons I stated above. You will get good appreciation in both areas unless......and I will tell you this from experience, god forbid if there is a hurricane the housing market where it hits will take a significant hit and it will take years to recoup. Just something to think about.

4. Coming from Mount Pleasant you would have to deal with Highway 17 which gets very congested. Coming from Summerville you would have to deal with I-26 which gets very congested. I would say your commute would probably be about 20-30 minutes longer living in Summerville.

5. Yes those upgrades do pay off in resale. The new homes being built here do offer them as upgrades some even come standard depending on the price of the home. Stainless steel appliances are usually shown in the model homes but I'm sure like anything else it is an upgrade. Most of the older resale homes usually won't have granite but that's not just a local thing, most of the homes in the south don't. The newer ones however do. Our home was 14 years old and had formica countertops. We just had Silestone installed last year and love it. With the growth coming to this area having these things will be a definite resale advantage.

Last edited by scjj; 01-25-2007 at 10:10 AM..
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