Home Seller Checklist

Emily:

This past year has been the year of the Home Seller. As I do with first-time Home Buyers, I like to sit down with sellers, whether it's their first or fifth time selling a home. The process seems to change frequently with the flow of the market, the location of the home and advances in technology. Below is a basic checklist of how we work together to get the home listed and sold. 

1) Why Do You Want to Sell?
Has the time come to downsize? Is your family growing? Are you moving to a new city? Each of these reasons has a different launch pad into the process of home selling. If you're looking to sell your home and buy a new one at the same time, you need to list your home before searching for the new home. (That will take a whole other post!) If you're selling and not buying again, the process is a little less complicated. It's also important to figure out what kind of bottom line you want from the sale of your home. We will work through these reasons and many others during our first chat together.

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2) Contact a Realtor
It's important for the agent to talk you through the home selling process. Going through these steps below are just the beginning. Agents have the capability to get your house listed, marketed, and shared beyond your regular sphere of influence. At Dunes, we pride ourselves on creative marketing, effective communication, local expertise, and a record of success. The Dunes difference is fully outlined here, but reading testimonials from former clients tells the story on another level.

3) Focus on Necessary Updates
Yes, not all updates are necessary. Kitchen needs new countertops or one room needs new carpet? Well, what if the new buyers want to pick their own countertops or carpet? There are ways to offer a concession to the buyer for the improvement of those items without limiting yourself to picking for them. However, some maintenance issues like a leak in the roof, warped wood siding, or a loose toilet would be better off being repaired before listing. 

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4) Price Your Home
The agent you picked to list your home has incredible access to information about your neighborhood and the current market. What homes have sold most recently? How similar are they to your own? What is the bottom line of your price to sell? A combination of calculating expenses (closing attorney, agent's commission) and a comparable market analysis will bring you to a final number that you ultimately should feel comfortable with listing your home at.

5) Prepare Home for Sale
Dream clients are the ones that have their home under a regular maintenance schedule. We're talking heating/cooling units, fireplaces, termite bonds, home insurance, roofs, yard maintenance, electrical items, windows,and plumbing. We also know that time gets away from the best of us. It might be a bit past time to get one of those services inspected and we're happy to connect you to local service providers. Getting your home ready for sale also means taking care of the big ticket items before listing- and a home inspection from the buyer. It will make the transaction down the road much easier! So gather all those manuals to the stove and dishwasher you hid years ago, and have them ready for the new owner. 

Another big action item is staging. Clean, de-clutter, and then de-clutter again. We can't say enough about de-personalizing your space. Your bridal portrait truly is beautiful, but the buyer wants to picture themselves living the Lowcountry life, not you. Closets need to be decluttered, too. Hide the winter items, you don't really need them here anyway (other than the occasional cold spell). Hide those appliances that aren't permanent. Each room should have a purpose. Bring some color to the front stoop with a colorful doormat, wreath, and hanging plant. You will likely only have to keep it alive two months max. We believe in you! 

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6) List Home for Sale
Paperwork is signed, photos are taken (at Dunes, we will provide you with professional photos), 800 word or less description of your home is crafted better than the most recent non-fiction bestseller. It's time to click the LIST button (if only it were that easy, but we won't bore you). This is where a Open House comes into play. Preferably, within the first few days of being listed, so you can get the majority of the showings done when you (and your pets) won't be home, anyway. 

7) Showings
After your home is listed on our Multiple Listing Service, agents and clients searching the market will be able to see your home in person after sending in a request. There are many types of ways to schedule showings that your agent will discuss with you at the time of listing. Lockbox on the door? Dogs need to be put up before someone comes in the house? Baby naps 2-4pm? We can adjust the schedule to work best for you and the potential buyers. All we really need you to do is keep the house maintained on the same level that it was the day of its beautiful listing photos- and to turn the lights on before you leave the house every morning.

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8) Review Offers
There's a buyer- and they want to buy your home! Sometimes this happens the day of an Open House and sometimes, it's a wait. Either way, we'll review the offer together and its contingencies to make sure it's a good fit for your bottom line. A response to the offer can come in the form of a counter offer or acceptance. Negotiations are on the table until the expiration time period runs out. There is always the possibility of a multiple offer situation in this market- meaning more than one buyer wants to buy your home. You have the upper hand in negotiations as the seller and can work on crafting the best final contract for your home.

9) Under Contract
Once the home is under contract with a buyer, we work quickly with the Buyer's Agent to get their home inspection (should that be a part of their contract) scheduled during the allotted time frame and closing scheduled with an attorney. From the home inspection, there may be a few punch list items that would be submitted as repair requests, which are also negotiable. They may also need to visit the home with contractors to get quotes for any work they may want to be done after closing. We will constantly be checking in with the Buyer's Agent to assure us that the financing (if there is any) is on track to close. Typically, within 30-45 days, you will be ready to close, but first you'll need to work on the transferring of utilities to the buyers and sending information to your lender/ closing attorney for loan pay off on your current home. Most buyers also choose to do a final walk through a few days before closing to make sure repairs have been done as necessary and the home is still in the similar state as they viewed it last.

10) Closing
You've packed up the house and are ready to go... to the closing table. Bring your ID and get ready to sign your name a hundred times (buyers have to sign a thousand times). You'll also want to bring any keys, the garage door openers, mailbox keys, manuals, and any other documents pertaining to the home. You can't go overboard with this- the new buyer will truly appreciate your diligence.

Note- this is simply an overview. The process can seem overwhelming at first glance, but that's why I'm here to help! Call or email me today to discuss your home's potential for sale.

***Photos are of my newest listing in the Clearview neighborhood on James Island, 615 Beauregard Street. Contact me or your Buyer's agent for a showing today!***

ANNOUNCEMENT:
Beginning in 2018, Angela will be stepping away from her blogging duties to focus on her full-time job, motherhood, with the occasional assist to Emily in child-rearing and home showings/ inspections. It's been a wonderful couple of years working on this project together and we look forward to seeing what the future brings! For now, Emily would love your feedback on what you'd like to see on Lowcountry Love Letters in the years to come.

From Fixer Upper to Listing

Today, we're sharing the blog with our colleague, Taylor Tillman. Last week, Taylor held an Open House for her listing at 40 Poinsett Street and we knew we had to share its story (beginning in 2015!) with our followers. Remember when Emily had her listing at 2 Shand and did Neighborhood Spotlight on the North Central neighborhood? Well, since then Huriyali has done an expansion and Renzo will be opening soon. Emily got some good time in at the new coffee shop, The Harbinger, before the Open House. The LowLine will be such a beautiful revitalization to the area.

Taylor:
If you’re an avid HGTV watcher, like myself, you’ve probably seen one of the many shows geared toward house flipping and renovation.  While the entire process is condensed into either a 30 or 60 minute show, I didn’t realize everything else that occurs behind the scenes but thanks to my parents, I have learned quite a bit about house renovation in the past year.

My parents started their adventure into the house renovation business in the Summer of 2015 after starting a business with my brother, Trey, and family friend and contractor, Rick Rockwell. Rick specializes in restoring historic Charleston homes to their original character and since my dad, who grew up in downtown Charleston, wanted his focus to be on historic downtown Charleston, the pairing could not have been better.

The lucky winner ended up being a house on Poinsett street, located in the North Central neighborhood.  North Central is close to Upper King Street and Rutledge Ave.  It is also a hop, skip, and a jump away from Morrison Drive which is home to both Edmund’s Oast and Tattooed Moose (two of my favorites).   It is also a neighborhood with a great deal of real estate investment potential so I can absolutely see why my dad chose this area.

And now I present to you, 40 Poinsett Street:

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She’s a beaut, right?

To say this house was a fixer upper was the understatement of the year.  I am sure you are asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t you just tear it down and start fresh?”.  Downtown Charleston has a governing body known as the Board of Architectural Review whose purpose is “preservation and protection of the old historic or architecturally worthy structures and quaint neighborhoods which impart a distinct aspect to the city and which serve as visible reminders of the historical and cultural heritage of the city, the state, and the nation.” This means that in addition to the permits one has to get when building or renovating a property, you also have to get the approval from the BAR.  Thankfully, my dad knew all this this before buying the property so he was prepared for the extra hoops to jump through.

October 2015 comes around and my parents close on the house.  My dad’s first order of business was clearing out the yard.  He’s a DIY kind of guy so he was able to get a lot done himself along with some help from my brother and boyfriend.  The house had been abandoned for approximately 40 years so he definitely had his hands full with the yard for a couple months.  February 2016 began the start of obtaining permits and getting the green light from the BAR to proceed with the design plan.  (This can be an arduous process because it is generally unheard of to obtain the go ahead on the first try with the BAR) After months of speed bumps and probably a few “Why did we decide to do this again?” conversations, we are now in August 2016 and my parents are finally able to talk about an interior design plan.  My mom has quite the knack for interior design so this is right up her alley. I also love interior design so it was fun for my mom and I to discuss different options.

Follow Taylor's story in Part 2 and Part 3 on her blog, LowcountryGuide.com.

What's your favorite part of the North Central neighborhood? Experience with Fixer Uppers?

When Buying and Selling Become Personal

Angela:

Ever wonder what happens when a Real Estate Agent decides to sell their personal home? The art of buying and selling residential real estate is a very personal business by nature, but when my husband and I decided to list our darling Riverland Terrace cottage, the emotions ran high. Luckily my husband is a 'go-with-the-flow' kind of guy and allowed me complete control over all of the details that I, as a Realtor, understood to be crucial to getting top dollar for our little piece of paradise in the Lowcountry. Below are a few tips to keep in mind to get top dollar when listing your home.

 Allow a healthy budget for prepping your home for the market:

I blame HGTV for the attitude of today's consumer; everyone expects to walk into an immaculately staged house. For us (read: family with a toddler), this meant out with the old and in with the new. I spent $1,000 on new (smaller, or as described by my husband, "museum quality") furniture, rugs, lighting, house plants, and even rented artwork (courtesy of the lovely Julia Deckman), in order to set our stage. We rented a storage unit and packed away most of our personal photos, books, tv/gaming consoles, and most of the baby toys. We rented boxes from EcoPax, making storing super easy! I also took the opportunity to clean out and organize all of our closets (remember, people look in every corner when you are showing your home).

PRO TIP: House plants make a space seem alive and welcoming. Unfortunately, house plants rarely survive living with me, so I shopped exclusively from the Lowe's house plant clearance shelves. I was able to pick up around $200 in house plants for $40 the day before we listed and by some miracle, they are all still alive.

Hire professionals:

Cutting corners on items such as landscaping, photography, pressure washing, etc., can really cut into potential profit. Curb appeal is king in this business!  We hired a professional landscaper (Coastal Green) to ensure that our yard was in tip top shape.  We had the house professionally pressure washed (by Under Pressure). Most importantly, we chose a very talented photographer. I would say one of the things that I never 'cheap out' on is photography. Pictures are ultimately what will capture the attention of potential buyers and get them through the door. Donnie Whitaker Photography did an amazing job!

PRO TIP: Adding an American Flag to the front of your home can really make it pop with curb appeal in photographs.

Keep your house and yard neat and tidy:

This seems like common sense, but you wouldn't believe how many homes we have shown where the buyers were completely turned off by clutter, dirty dishes, unmade beds, and the list goes on. You are ultimately trying to allow the buyer to imagine themselves living there, which is hard to do if the house is dirty. This particular tip was especially challenging for our family with a one-year old running around. Sticky hands and crushed goldfish crackers seem to be the norm.  Since I knew that keeping the house super clean and tidy would be challenging, it was important to me that showings were limited and that our house wasn't sitting on the market for months on end. This is where listening to your Real Estate Agent, especially in regards to pricing, becomes key.

PRO TIP: I hired a professional house cleaner to do a deep cleaning prior to picture day and also to come weekly for maintenance cleanings while the house was being shown. Also, a bowl of fresh lemons sitting out can mask daily kitchen odors (I learned that tip from my Granny!).

MOST IMPORTANTLY Listen to your Real Estate Agent!

We decided to enlist the help of Emily for the sale of our home. Legally, I could have listed my personal home on my own, but emotionally, I knew that I needed a buffer. This was one of the best decisions that we could have made. By having Emily list the house, I was able to focus on the emotions that I was struggling with about leaving our cute home and neighborhood. She manned an open house and fielded questions that I would have probably taken too personally. She buffered me from criticism that was not constructive and headed up a mass marketing campaign so that I could focus on getting the dirty dishes out of the sink and watering those doomed house plants.

PRO TIP: Don't be afraid to speak openly with your Real Estate Agent about anything that may be burdening you. Their job to is represent your best interests!  Trust me, they will want to know if you are feeling uncomfortable or unsure throughout any part of the process. A "Big Thank You" to Emily for taking my crazy calls at all hours of the day/night!

Stay Calm and Trust the Process:

Three days after officially listing our house, we had multiple offers, and five weeks later, we closed. Those five weeks were a roller coaster of emotions, but by preparing properly, hiring professionals, and trusting in the guidance of a great Real Estate Agent, we have successfully moved onto our next chapter...life in Park Circle!

 The wicke's new home! welcome to Park Circle!

The wicke's new home! welcome to Park Circle!

Gettin' Buggy With It

Emily:

Ah, summer in the South. Hot days, hopefully spent by the water somewhere with a refreshing drink, good reading material and company, and a hefty breeze. Some days, I get to live this relaxing description of life. Others, I’m out exploring new homes with clients, in and out of an air conditioned car, and if we’re lucky- air conditioned homes. This time last year, I was showing homes to clients from out of town, where the power had been turned off, due to no one living in the home. Oh, the audacity! Not that I want to pay that electric bill, either (Pro-tip: It will help you sell your home faster, if it’s on and working well). What did many of these homes, and many others around the Lowcountry, host? Bugs. 

Grossed out? Don't worry, no actual images of bugs ahead. Not to go all Forrest Gump on you, but we have palmetto bugs (yes, they’re different from cockroaches), cicadas, mosquitos, termites, and no-see-ums, to mention a few. Move along if you’d like*, but it’s a fact of Lowcountry life. So much so, that we have a jewelry line designed around the palmetto bugs, the Goldbug Collection, by the oldest family-owned jewelry store in Charleston, Croghan's Jewel Box. And it’s cute. And I own the crest ring. Those clients from out of town were introduced to a palmetto bug that had seen better days, while I showed off my ring and how we embrace our buggy friends.

Follow @croghans:

Nearly a decade ago, I had my first experience with a palmetto bug. I was visiting South Carolina for the weekend, walked into a friend’s bathroom, and found one dead on the floor. Oh, bless their heart, I thought. I couldn’t dare mention it, thinking I’d be critiquing their cleaning skills. Now I know, clean or not, your home is going to have a surprise friend from time to time. Sure, there are ways to keep your home ‘bug lite’ with exterminators I could recommend from around town or some homemade remedies. It’s even required by most loan under-writers to get a CL-100, a termite clearance letter, before buying your home.

The musical artist, Ben Folds, knows about bugs in the South. Just last month, my husband and I were at his show with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, when he stopped mid-song and said, “What the hell is that noise?”. And everyone replied like true South Carolinians, “Cicadas!”. And so he composed a song about them, right on the spot (full of colorful language, so beware).

We have a state bird, reptile, spider, dog, duck, and fish. I hereby declare palmetto bugs our state bug. 

What ways have you seen the Lowcountry embrace our bugginess? These engagement party invites from Ink Meets Paper, a local letterpress shop, are modern and fun.

@inkmeetspaper

*Of note: I am not afraid of bugs, snakes, or many things in general, but put a clown in front of me and I will lose it.

First-Time Homebuyer Checklist

Emily:

One of my favorite email inquiries I've ever received was from a couple looking to become first-time homebuyers. You could tell they took their time with the email, asking lots of important questions, until they felt like they had a good handle on what was ahead of them. This was before we even met in person to seriously discuss the process. Since then, I've continually used a version of our Q&A, from that email, to send out to first-time homebuyers before our initial meeting.

Below are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started on your first home purchase, or to review if it's been a while since you've invested in property. Remember: The home-buying process varies for everyone, so this is just an overview of what to expect! There are lots of links to take you to the next level of each subject, if you're ready to enter that rabbit hole.

1) Select an Agent
Find an agent that you immediately feel comfortable talking to. Some are buyer's agents, some are seller's agents, and some do both. Obviously in this situation, you're looking for someone to handle your purchase, so you'll want a buyer's agent. There's nothing wrong with 'interviewing' the agent to see if they're a good fit. You're going to be spending the next few weeks/months communicating with them on an almost daily basis. To feel even more secure in your decision, read more to understand how they get paid. Make sure they communicate effectively from the very beginning and are able to reasonably answer your questions. A great agent should have a blank buyer's agreement for you to review, an agency agreement, an agency disclosure, and references to back up their previous achievements- at the first meeting. (Disclosures and agreements vary from state to state). 

2) Obtain a Pre-Approval
Pardon? When do we get started looking at houses? Yes, in this market, that comes later. Your agent should have access to credible lender references. Interview those lenders just like the agents and they will provide you with a pre-approval letter for your mortgage, along with a good idea of your goal for a down payment and interest rate qualifications. The way most of the homes are moving in the Charleston market (an average of 62 days on the market, YTD), a lot of seller's agents are requiring a pre-approval letter to be submitted with the offer. This makes sense, don't you want to know how much house you can reasonably afford before you start looking?

3) Start Your Home Search
You knew we'd get to the fun part. Work with your agent to set up a search or portal through their Multiple Listing Service (MLS). A lot of the information you find on your own, through searchable real estate sites, can be inaccurate and out-dated. You hired a pro, now use them! Once you've selected your top homes, schedule with your agent to see them. We can typically work through 8 homes on a good weekend day, and 3-4 homes during the evening. As agents, we are used to working evenings and weekends, so we work with your schedule. You're just as likely to receive an email from me at 9:45pm on a Friday as you are 11:30am on a Sunday. Realize that some homes require 24-hr notice to view and others have restrictions on times that the home can be shown. Use that time to do a drive-thru of the neighborhood before the showing. You can never be too prepared when it comes to buying a home. 

4) Select Your Favorites
Maybe you loved 2 of the 8 homes visited. Review the details (Seller's Disclosure, HOA fees/ regulations, Flood Insurance estimates) your agent will send you on each home, and if you want to go see those 2 homes again, schedule a second appointment. As I mentioned before, the average home currently stays on the market 62 days in Charleston County. This differs in location and price range, but if you're set on a home, make that offer. We've all lost that one home we wished we would have jumped on sooner. Viewing comps (comparable home information) can help you come to an offer price and a better understanding the home's value.

5) Start Negotiating
Remember the blank buyer's agreement your agent provided you at your first meeting? Well, now is the time to fill it out with your agent. They should review each section with you, until you feel comfortable about what you're signing. Contracts are not beach reads, y'all. Once completed, the documents (also normally includes a Seller's Disclosure and any addendums), are sent to the seller's agent for review. A deadline is part of the buyer's agreement, so you're on your toes until you hear back. Believe me, it's just as stressful for us agents!

6) Keep Negotiating
You make an offer, they accept, everyone cheers! This is often not the case, but would you really expect that in likely the biggest purchase of your life? There are many scenarios that put you through contract negotiations, so I won't go through them here, but know that this is where that credible agent really comes in handy (again). When you've come to acceptable terms with the seller's agent, this called having a 'ratified contract'. Now you can cheer... and wait for closing.

7) Go Back to Your Lender
Were you impressed with the lender that provided you with your pre-approval letter? Chances are they will be great to work with on acquiring your mortgage, as well. Shopping rates is fine, but read the fine print of that contract you ratified, most have a deadline for applying for the mortgage to get the home closed quickly.

8) Find an Attorney
As Realtors, we're pretty great at writing a contract, but we are NOT attorneys. You will need to reach into your agent's magical bag of credible references and find a closing attorney that will work closely with your lender and agent to guide you through the rest of this process. They get to do all the exciting stuff like, research a deed, file a title, and make lots and lots of copies.

9) Inspect the Home
Another part of your ratified contract (man, for an approximately 8 page document, that thing holds a lot of weight!) is the Due Diligence section. Your agent should have access to credible home inspector references; along with termite inspectors in SC, which is required. The home inspector will give you all the details of the home you're preparing to buy. From this inspection, you're likely to draft a Repair Addendum with your agent, to discuss any repairs and/or negotiations. The termite inspection will give you a qualified CL-100 letter for closing.

10) Apply for Homeowner's Insurance
Your agent (BFF at this point) can provide you with those credible references all over again for homeowner insurance companies. There are going to be a lot of questions about the home during this application process. Don't hesitate to ask your agent the most mundane of questions. Yes, I know the distance to the closest fire station from your home.

11) Set a Closing Date
Your loan is well on it's way to final approval, the repairs are being done or you've settled on a financial exchange for what's necessary, you've read your ratified contract before bed every night for the past few weeks- sounds like you're ready to close! In the ratified contract, you selected a 'Close Date' to aim for, but if you've read through everything to this point, you realize not everything sticks to a strict schedule. Work with your closing attorney to find a date that works for you, your lender, and the sellers to close (us agents will move mountains to be there, so don't worry about us!). This is also where all of your closing costs come together. Estimate sooner than later, so you don't feel ill-prepared.

12) You're Home!
Go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief. You have the keys and a real-life mortgage! In Charleston County, you'll want to apply for your 4% primary resident tax rate ASAP, transfer your utilities, and setup preferred technicians to provide regular service to your home for things like your HVAC system, termite bond, and fireplace (yes, we use those once a year here).

Other helpful links:
Why Should You Use a Realtor (if you read this post, you should already know, but just in case)
Expenses Homeowners Pay, but Renters Don't
"Should I Buy or Rent?" Calculator
5 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers (the pre-pre-approval process)
How Are Real Estate Agents Paid?
Real Estate Dictionary
What Comes After You've Bought the Home

What tips do you have for being a first-time homebuyer? Any stories you'd like to share of your experience?

Neighborhood Spotlight: Riverland Terrace

There are hundreds of neighborhoods in the Lowcountry area, but how do you know which is the right fit for you?  A truly unique characteristic of most neighborhoods in the Lowcountry, is their historical significance. This week, we focus on one neighborhood, a James Island community called Riverland Terrace.

Riverland Terrace started to develop in the 1920s and is James Island’s oldest neighborhood. The Terrace is located just a few minutes west of downtown Charleston along Wappoo Creek and the inland waterway. Neighborhood highlights include a public boat landing, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, a shaded playground, three city parks (Medway Park, Parkway Park, and Plymouth Park), and two ball fields.

Leading into the neighborhood is the historic Avenue of Oaks (recognized as one of SC’s most scenic roads), consisting of over 70 live oak trees believed to be over 100 years old. They once led to Wappoo Hall Plantation, owned by Lt. Col. George Lucas of the English Army and managed by his daughter Eliza Lucas Pinckney. She developed the indigo industry of the colony as a successful cash crop before the American Revolution. The plantation fronted the Stono River. Fort Pemberton, one of the largest confederate forts constructed in the defense of Charleston during the Civil War, was built in 1862 and remains today on the Stono River side of the community.

The Terrace consists of approximately 800 homes. Sizes and prices vary greatly. Smaller homes of 900 square feet in the front of the community begin around $300,000 and vary all the way to 2 million plus for deep water lot homes in the back of the community. There is an active volunteer neighborhood association that meets three to four times each year. The neighborhood's 'Hometown Feel' is attributed to the association actively working to preserve the historical integrity of the community.

Around the corner from the residential community, you will find The Terrace Theater, several restaurants (which include: The Lot, How Art Thou Cafe, Crust, Zia Taqueria, Maybank Public House), multiple antique shops including the Terrace Oaks Antique Mall and A World Apart, two florists, and two spas (check out Charleston Medical Spa if you are ever in the neighborhood). In addition, if you enjoy exercising, you can join in one of the boot-camps that meet at Medway Park, or check out Studio Barre where men and margaritas are always free on Fridays. The community also hosts a Sunday Farmers Market and Sunday community yoga in the cooler months.  The neighborhood is in the process of building a community garden for all neighbors to access, this endeavor is sponsored in partner with the Charleston Parks Conservancy.

The largest event of the year is Halloween Under the Oaks Trick or Treating. The community closes the streets to traffic and several neighbors turn their homes into scary haunted houses. It truly is a great time to be a part of the community.   If you’re ever in the area, feel free to park your car and walk the streets of the neighborhood. A volunteer community garden club keeps the neighborhood beautiful. There are multiple public swings and benches where you can rest and take in the scenery and the shade of the historic oaks not only keeps you cool, but makes you feel like you have entered a truly secret paradise.

*The Riverland Terrace Neighborhood Association (RTNA) is a not-for-profit volunteer neighborhood organization for those who live, work, or play within Riverland Terrace. RTNA is committed to promoting and protecting the beauty, safety, stability, cleanliness, and social and economic viability of the neighborhood by fostering alliances with the local residents, merchants, and government officials. RTNA seeks to represent community interests as a single voice.

**Facts throughout this article were from wikipedia.org/wiki/RIverland_Terrace

In Pursuit of the Perfect Terrace

When I first made the move to Charleston, I temporarily stayed with a friend who resided in Wagener Terrace. It was love at first sight with the Terrace and Hampton Park.  I just knew that I had to live there!  I discovered a fabulous apartment that I rented which was perfect walking distance to the park and biking distance to all that King Street has to offer. After enjoying several years of exploring life in Wagener Terrace , I ended up meeting and marrying my husband.  While I loved living near Hampton Park, it was time for a bigger space.  I made the transition to island life (James Island that is) and moved into my husband's house.

I hated giving up the walkable community lifestyle that I had become so accustomed to. His house was located in the center of the island on a busy street with no sidewalks. This change in lifestyle was having a major effect on our relationship.

After living in "his" home for a year, we began to look for "our" home in Wagener Terrace, the neighborhood that had first stolen my heart. After some failed offers and a few contracts falling through, we took a chance and opened our search to other communities that are considered “walkable.” This is when we discovered Riverland Terrace (who knew there was another Terrace out there that I could love as much?!). This was the perfect compromise for my husband and I. We still had the conveniences that he enjoyed on James Island and I had a walkable community full of parks, gardens, and friendly neighbors. We love our tucked away home with a water view. I knew that I was destined to live in a terrace!

If you're interested in learning more about Wagener Terrace, Hampton Park, Riverland Terrace or James Island, I would be happy to share my experience!

 Tater Approved

Tater Approved