FAQs at The Real Estate Studio

As we start to wrap-up our business this year and look to next, I stumbled across a list of questions that I have been compiling over the year in my handy-dandy planner. These are questions that we are frequently asked about real estate and the Lowcountry, and they really vary!  We thought it might be helpful as we review this year, to post and address a few of these frequently asked questions: (please note that most of these are asked of us as we sit in The Real Estate Studio located at 214 King Street, daily)

Question: We are thinking about buying a condo. What do you have to offer?
Response: The Charleston peninsula is home to multiple condominiums located in the heart of our historic city and can offer some of the most sought-after locations within walking distance to select restaurants, the King Street shopping district, old city market, multiple Universities, and parks. Maintenance-free living and luxurious amenities offer a great alternative to higher cost historic homes. Downtown condos include:  Dockside Condominiums which are situated overlooking beautiful Charleston harbor; The Bristol is built along the Ashley River with deep-water access, swimming pool, covered garage, and a full-service marina; and XXI George Street Condominiums offer high-end finishes with oversized terraces with some providing up to 900 sq. ft. of outdoor living space that present views of the city skyline from every angle, just to name a few.

Question: Can you take our photo under this sign?
Response: You may not realize this about our fair city, but the sign for King Street and Princess Street has to be one of the most photographed signs in all of Charleston (also happens to be near the corner where our office is located). We watch folks stop for a photo-op under this sign multiple times a day!

Our lovely Sales Coordinator, Tara.

Our lovely Sales Coordinator, Tara.

Question: Where are the best places to live around here?
Response: There is no simple answer to this question. Charleston is made up of many different communities, all with their own unique characteristics. When thinking about moving into any new area, you should take into consideration some of these questions: 1)What is important to you? 2)Do you prefer new construction or a more established neighborhood? 3)What amenities are desirable? 4) Do you prefer a historic neighborhood, the beach, golf community, walkable community, a shorter or longer commute, a specific school district? For your first visit, if possible, we recommend that you allow a day or two to explore the area. We will be able to offer suggestions about neighborhoods and areas that may be a good fit. This will help you rule out areas that do not meet your criteria and save you time.

Follow @angelawicke on Instagram to see some great shots of communities around the Lowcountry. Below is a picture taken in Riverland Terrace after the torrential rainfall experienced this past October 2015.

Question: Where can we get lunch?
Response: We like to provide folks with an array of choices. Charleston is known for it's delicious food scene. We tend to steer people to places that are frequented by locals and use local food sources for their menu items. A few of our favorites within walking distance of The Real Estate Studio are Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French Inc., Minero, and Blind Tiger. Note: if it's 2pm on a week day, Brasserie Gigi is your best option!  They serve food and drinks starting at 11:30am every day and never disappoint!

Question: What are the taxes like here?
Response: Our taxes are some of the lowest in the country (The Tax Foundation found that South Carolina ranked in the lowest percent in tax burdens as compared across the country). The Charleston County Tax Estimator is a great tool that we use to estimate taxes for properties. Rates are around 4% (primary residence)  vs. 6% (second homes, investment properties). Homeowners at age 65 or older may benefit from some exemptions from property tax once they apply for the Homestead Exemption at their local county auditor’s office.

Question: Where can I rent a bike?
Response: The Bicycle Shoppe or Affordabike are great options. Also be sure to ask your hotel, as most provide bicycles for free! And while at The Real Estate Studio, we do not rent out bicycles, we do have a few that we occasionally show property on (pictured below).

Question: Does it really flood here? What is the flood insurance like?
Response: Since the Lowcountry is made-up of coastal communities, at times, we are prone to flooding. Flood insurance requirements will vary from home to home. The best way to be sure that you completely understand the risks associated with purchasing property located in a flood zone is to work with a licensed real estate agent.

Question: Where can we get a good cup of coffee?
Response: City Lights , Starbucks , Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer, Black Tap Coffee are just a few of our favorites located close to the Studio. 

As you can see, our time in The Real Estate Studio often is so much more than discussing the real estate market. If you are ever in the area, please feel free to drop by and say "Hello!" at 214 King Street. We love a good chat!

Lowcountry Staycation: Summer Edition

So you’re visiting the Lowcountry and want the ‘true’ Charleston experience? What should you do? How can you possibly choose what to see with all of the amazing things to do and see here?  This week, we decided to see what a local would do given a chance to vacation in their own city...  

Folly Beach steps to my beach chair

Folly Beach steps to my beach chair

I had a few days to myself and decided to have a true ‘Staycation.’ For those unfamiliar with the term, a staycation is when you vacation in your own home town. I started my planning by writing down all of the ‘tourist hotspots’ as they’re known to us locals; places that I’ve always meant to go, but never really taken the time to visit/tour. Since moving here many years ago, I’ve always enjoyed exploring. Especially in my line of work, exploring different neighborhoods and communities is in the job description.

I started the staycation by enjoying Second Sunday on King Street. It was a hot day, so I made sure to enjoy a cool popsicle from the King of Pops. My husband and I strolled down King Street, admiring the local musicians, performers and artists. I had a craving for tacos, so we decided to make our way to East Bay Street to try out Minero. We had heard great things about it and love chef Sean Brock, so decided to give it a try. We weren’t disappointed. On the way back to King Street, we cut down Queen Street and discovered a cute vintage shop, Curiosity. It was a bit off of the beaten path, but definitely worth wandering into (located at 56 1/2 Queen Street).  

Checkout @shopcuriousity on instagram!

Checkout @shopcuriousity on instagram!

Day two I decided to head down to Folly Beach for a beach day. I dropped into Baguette Magic to grab a quick breakfast, making sure to leave reasonably early so that I could beat the beach traffic. To my surprise, I was able to get to the beach with little hassle (parking at Folly Beach is free if you head away from Center Street and ensure that all four of your tires are off of the road). After some sunbathing and frolicking in the ocean, I decided to walk to the Folly Beach Pier. Here they have public restrooms, a restaurant, and showers. After a quick break, I crossed the street to The Juice Joint and bought myself a refreshing juice for the walk back to my beach chair. I decided to end the day with a stop at The Barrel for a cold beer, game of cornhole, and to enjoy some live music. The sunset over the marsh was spectacular and I’m never disappointed with the views that The Barrel has to offer.

On my last day of my staycation I decided to go for some cooler options and catch a mid-day movie at the Terrace Theater. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go to a movie in the middle of the day when all of your friends/family are at work. It felt mischievous. If you’ve never been to the Terrace Theater, it’s worth checking out! A nice glass of wine and scoop of gelato while watching an indie film was the perfect ending to my mini-vacation, I meant staycation.

While I admit, I didn't actually make it to anything on my list, such as Fort Sumter, Magnolia Plantation, or The Black Fedora Comedy and Mystery Theater, I did get to experience just enough to go back to work relaxed and satisfied!