Edisto Island: A Local’s Best Kept Secret

Noah Park

Edisto Island is a secluded beachfront community located about 45 minutes south of Charleston, South Carolina.

For centuries, Charlestonians have been escaping to Edisto in the summer months to escape the city and soak up the sun on the pristine beaches of Edisto Island. Many locals have second homes on the island and consider it a true retreat for the fact that it hasn’t pushed for major development. There aren’t any motels or hotels, gift shops or beachwear stores lining the island as you enter. Avoiding development hasn’t been easy but it’s what keeps Edisto the charming, close-knit beach community that it is.

Edisto Island offers a variety of things to do whether you choose it as a summer destination or for a day trip.

Where to Eat

Whaley’s Restaurant
2801 Myrtle Street
Edisto Beach, SC 29438
A self proclaimed dive seafood restaurant. Locally owned and operated. Go for the fried seafood and sushi nachos.

McConkey’s Jungle Shack
108 Jungle Road
Edisto Island, SC 29438
Tropical themed cafe with outdoor seating and casual fare including burgers and hot dogs. Open from 11am-8pm most days. Is a popular spot for brunch on the patio.

Pressley’s at the Marina
3702 Docksite Road
Edisto Island, SC 29438
Classic seafood fare with water views makes the perfect spot for happy hour and sunset watching.

What To Do

Bike Riding
A paved 5 mile bike path trails the island. The flat terrain makes it easy to bike and a perfect afternoon activity.

Golf
The Plantation Course
19 Fairway Drive
Edisto Beach, SC 29438
The Plantation Course at Edisto offers views of the ocean and lake. Private and quiet spot surrounded by nature and wildlife.

Beach
37 public access points to the beach make Edisto very easy to visit. you can find parking alongside the streets at no charge.

Where To Live

Dreaming of island life yet? Check out my listing on Edisto Island and see if this little beach community if the right fit for you! Contact Frank Thornhill at frank@askfrankrealestate.com or 843.224.7996 for any questions or to schedule a showing.

How To Live in Your House – and Maintain Your Sanity – While Showing It

House Picture

There are a few key things that you can do to keep your house ready for showings so that it sells faster while ensuring it’s still comfortable to live in at the same time. “The real balance is having what you need while making sure your home actually looks ready for a new owner,” says real estate news source Redfin. “Once you figure that out, it’s a sure bet you will get your home sold without sacrificing too much comfort.”

With some hard-won tips from my years helping clients and some expert-approved tips from Realtor.com, here’s a guide for how to live in your house (and maintain your sanity) when you can’t really live in your house.

1. Declutter by at least 50%

Look at this a good time to get rid of things you don’t use; plus, you’ll have less stuff to move once your home sells!  Whitney Parrott, lead designer at Everything Creative Designs, suggests this 50% decluttering rule for her clients who choose to stay (at least part of the time) in a staged or listed home. You want your place to look inviting, but not necessarily lived-in. “Take you out of the home,” she says. “Remove your emotional attachment and look at the home as a product you’re selling, which I realize is easier said than done.”

2. Rent storage space.

Even if you aren’t going to have your home professionally staged, you’ll likely need a storage unit for your excess belongings. Get a slightly larger unit than you think you’ll need (we all have more stuff than we think). Plus, it’s a good idea to save yourself the headache and hire professionals to maximize your storage space with their expert packing hacks.

3. Create a cleaning schedule and stick to it.

If you can afford it, invest in a weekly cleaning service. Before each showing, vacuum the floors, dust all furniture, and wipe down all kitchen and bath surfaces.

4. In the kitchen…

Keep countertops clear. Stash paper towels, sponges, and dish soap under the sink when they’re not in use. Make a habit of placing dirty dishes immediately in the dishwasher, and keep most appliances off the countertops. Buyers will open cabinets. Be sure your glasses, plates, pots, and pans are well organized and stacked neatly.

5. In the bathroom …

Use totes or bins to keep daily bathroom items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap out of sight.

6. Mail.

Immediately sort mail when it arrives at your house, and dispose of anything that isn’t vitally necessary. Have a designated (and hidden) place to put magazines, newpapers and bills that need to be paid.

7. Block showings.

Ask your agent to schedule showings in large blocks of time a few afternoons a week to ensure you can get everyone out of the house.

8. Don’t forget the pets.

If you have work outside of the house and have pets, consider boarding the pets on weekdays when showings might occur.

For sure, living in a staged home is not quite easy, especially if you’re juggling children, pets, careers, and more. But it’s most definitely worth the time and investment. The key is to get organized and stay vigilant about keeping it in that way all the time so that it’s ready for showings.

Ready to lighten your load? What it takes to hold a wildly successful yard sale

Yard Sale HelpThere are many good reasons to have a yard sale: you’re getting ready to put your house on the market or move into a new home and you want to clear out the clutter. Maybe “getting organized” was at the top of your New Years Resolutions list. Or perhaps you’re afraid that if you don’t tackle that spare room soon, you’ll wind up on an episode of “Hoarders.”

 

No matter what your motivation, a yard sale, when done right, can help you lighten your load and fatten your wallet. With some insights from Wholefully (who made $1549 in a two day yard sale) and HGTV, here’s some “best of” advice to help you hold an effective yard sale

1. Gather and price your goodies

Simply getting started can be the most intimidating part of the process. Make it easier by taking it room-by-room: sort things into three piles—donate, sell, and keep. When you’re finished with a room, put those three piles into three separate marked boxes. One more thing before you’re done: before you place items in your “sell” box, put prices on them now.

2.  Why you should price things.

It might seem easier to not price things and just let people come up and ask about prices, right? Ask most yard sale regulars and they’ll tell you that if they don’t see prices on items at a sale, they’ll turn around and leave. Here’s why: the thought of asking a price or haggling for every single item is just too much work. So price things. You’ll be more successful and make things easier for your customers, too.

3. What you should price things.

Use whole numbers. Most people don’t carry around a lot of change, so keep items priced in single dollar increments ($1 instead of $1.50).

4. Location, location, location

As a realtor, this is concept I am quite familiar with. As with a home, a yard sale’s location is absolutely everything. But what if you are located in an area that doesn’t receive a lot of foot traffic? Does a family member or friend live near a major road? See if you can “borrow” their yard for your sale and offer a percentage of your profits in return. Even better, combine your efforts and host a two (or even three) family yard sale!

5. Get the word out wisely

Yes, some people will learn about your yard sale on Craigslist (and I do recommend advertising your info on the site), but most people will find out about your sale the old fashioned way: by driving by one of your signs. I believe that signs will be your best marketing tool; but not just any sign will do. You can’t just jot down the details on a piece of paper and staple it to a telephone pole in your neighborhood the morning of your sale. Make sure your signs are simple and easy to read (usually the words “Yard Sale” with an arrow, address, days and times are enough) and can be found on every corner in your neighborhood a week before your sale.

6. Split your sale into two shorter days.

Sell everything half-off the second day – and make sure to advertise your second day sale! You’ll probably end up selling more items and making more money by the time the weekend is over.

Yard Sale Display

I wish you the best in your yard sale. If you have any tips or advice that has worked for you in the past, or if you’ve seen an unbelievably creative idea at a yard sale, please share. I would love to hear your thoughts!

What To Eat For Luck in 2018: a Southern New Years

We humans can be a suspicious bunch – and we’ve got all kinds of traditions to help bring in good luck and ward off the bad. Throughout the ages and in every culture, there are customs and superstitions around New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. In the South, those customs usually revolve around something everyone loves dearly: food. If you’re a native Southerner, these customs likely sound familiar. If you’re a transplant, consider this your Southern food primer of what to eat for good luck in 2018.

Black-Eyed Peas

One theory says this tradition began during the Civil War when General Sherman and his troops raided the Confederate food supplies but left the black-eyed peas and salted pork, thinking both were animal foods.  Since it was the only food they had left to eat, Confederate soldiers considered the two items lucky. Others believe that African Americans ate the legume on January 1, 1863, the day the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. A related tradition holds that counting the number of peas predicts the number of lucky days one will have in the coming year (one pea = one day), so perhaps the optimum serving on New Year’s Day is 365 black-eyed peas?

Collard Greens

“Today, anyone with any Southern blood in them at all eats their black-eyed peas on the first day of the new year with some type of greens, as the color signifies money, and a little more of that never hurts,” says George Mahe, editor of St. Louis magazine. While tradition holds that collard greens are said to bring in the cash for the New Year, there’s a more practical reason Southerners eat greens this time of year: they’re a late crop, so they’re still in season.

Cornbread

Yellow is the color of gold, and golden yellow cornbread is said to represent golden opportunities and wealth in the New Year.

Pork

In the South, pigs are considered symbols of good luck and progress for two reasons: they root forward when foraging for their food and because they cannot look backward without completely turning around.

Ready to combine all these Southern customs into a New Year’s feast and exponentially increase your luck in 2018? Here are some recipes to get your started:

http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/new-years-recipes-traditions#good-luck-greens-and-peas-with-ham_2

http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2008/12/new-year-traditional-southern-foods.html#axzz502e80mJT

Finding Your Perfect Christmas Tree in Charleston

What is the one thing that most represents Christmas to you?

If you’re like many, the answer is a Christmas tree. Now, whether that tree is put up the day after Thanksgiving or the night before Christmas, whether it’s grand and glowing with decorations or small and simply adorned, that all varies. But the tree itself, that’s something a lot of us have in common. The finding and decorating of the family Christmas tree may be one of our most ubiquitous holiday traditions.

As you head out to find that perfect tree your family, here’s a roundup of the different types of Christmas trees grown here in South Carolina. Like the homes that host them, each is different in its very own way, with its own strengths, weaknesses and even, in some cases, distinctive scent:

Virginia Pine
One of the most widely grown Christmas trees, the Virginia Pine has short needles, dense foliage and a pleasant pine scent. Its strong branches make it an excellent choice for hanging heavy ornaments.

White Pine
White Pine is a dense, full tree with has soft, blue green needles, a pleasant pine scent and decorates well with lightweight ornaments.

Leyland Cypress
One of the most popular Christmas trees, the Leyland Cypress drops very few needles and with proper care, will easily stay fresh through the entire Christmas season. In addition to being a beautiful tree with soft foliage, it is grown from cuttings and does not produce pollen; therefore enabling many asthma suffers to enjoy a real tree in their home.

Carolina Sapphire
One of the newer species developed for Christmas trees, the Carolina Sapphire has foliage that is blue green in color, soft to the touch and very dense with an outstanding aroma. Because of its tendency to dry out even in water stands, it is recommended not cutting this type of tree until three to four weeks before Christmas.

Eastern Red Cedar
If you grew up in the South, you probably had this type of tree in your home as a child. The traditional native Christmas tree of the South, the Eastern Red Cedar has a wonderful cedar aroma with dense (and sometimes prickly) foliage. Like the Carolina Sapphire, it can dry out even in water stands, so its best not to cut this tree until two to three weeks before Christmas.

In the Charleston area, most Christmas tree yards open shortly after Thanksgiving. And if you want to pick and cut your own tree, you can do that as well. The South Carolina Christmas Tree Association has an online directory of Christmas tree farms in Charleston and nearby counties.

No matter where or how you find your tree, here’s a bit of Christmas trivia to take with you. The first Christmas tree was decorated in Riga, Latvia in 1510. Men of the local merchants’ guild decorated a tree with artificial roses, danced around it in the marketplace and then… set fire to it. Thankfully, some things changed over time.

 

What’s Not to Love about the Charleston Farmer’s Market?

Every Saturday in Marion Square, right in the heart of Charleston’s Historic District, you’ll find a weekend favorite of locals and tourists alike. It’s the Charleston Farmer’s Market. But the CFM is more than just a farmer’s market; it’s a source of pride and connection for the entire Charleston community, bringing together people from all parts of the Lowcountry and beyond.

Founded by Mayor Joe Riley in 1988, and the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, the Charleston Farmers Market (CFM) has received numerous awards: in 2005, it was awarded the Three Sisters Award from the Charleston Save the City Committee; in 2008, the CFM was ranked by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the top 10 Best Farmers Markets in the Nation; and the Charleston City Paper Readers’ Poll, readers have named CFM the “Best Outdoor Event” for seven years in a row (and running).

There’s many reasons for all the rewards: you’ll find over 100 local vendors, offering everything form local produce, plants, herbs and cut flowers to breakfast and lunch vendors, live entertainment and an assortment of juried arts and crafts from local artisans.

“Whether you stop to grab a bite to eat, get your local grocery shopping done, find a one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one (or for yourself) or relax while enjoying live music on what we like to call, the largest outdoor dining patio in all of Charleston your entire family is certain to enjoy a memorable Saturday at the market,” says Harrison R. Chapman, CFM Manager.

What To Know Before You Go

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your CFM visit:

1) Bring cash and small change.

Your purchases will go easier and faster if you have exact (or close to exact) change. Some vendors accept credit cards, but most deal exclusively in cash, and almost all the vendors will appreciate your single and $5 bills.

2) Bring your own bags.

Not all vendors offer bags. Your precious purchases will be easier to carry if you bring your own large bag with handles or, even better, a backpack.

3) Talk to the farmers.

If you see an unusual looking item and and want to give it a try, ask the farmer how to prepare it. For the best tips ask how they like to eat it.

4) Know what’s in season.

To help with your shopping and recipe planning, know what will be in season when you visit. This handy South Carolina produce availability chart shows you what is in season when. (insert image titled SC-Produce-Avail)

More about the Charleston Farmer’s Market:

http://www.charlestonfarmersmarket.com/about/

MARION SQUARE

(329 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403)

CFM is open every Saturday, from April 8th through November 25th, 8 AM to 2 PM as well as Saturdays and Sundays in December during Holiday Magic for the Holiday Market.

Your Invitation for a Slice of Charleston Heaven

Beginning next week, the Preservation Society of Charleston gives you unprecedented access to the homes and gardens that make Charleston such a unique and memorable piece of heaven.

It’s an opportunity that comes only once a year – and it all begins next week. The Fall Tours: Homes, History & Architecture, which runs from October 5-29, extends a rarefied invitation to go beyond the wrought iron gates and behind the columned doors of some of Charleston’s finest privately-owned Antebellum homes and gardens.

Architecture Unlike Any Other City

As the oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston is one of the few places where you’re likely to meet someone who lives in a home built around 1750. The astounding residential architecture of the Holy City has defined both on daily life and the legendary lore of Charleston.

That level of tangible, physical history is integral to Charleston – but usually not available to the public. That’s why The Fall Tours are such a coveted opportunity for tourists and locals alike.

There’s a tour dedicated to practically every neighborhood, taste and interest. Here are some of the highlights:

The South of Broad tour showcases some of the city’s most architecturally significant properties – and the area of the city you see depicted in many famous etchings, pastels, and watercolors. The remarkable craftsmanship of local artisans and the enduring stewardship of early preservationists, made this one of the most renowned residential districts in the city.

Private Garden Tours. Whether you’re a budding horticulturist or a nature lover, you’re invited to go through the iron garden gates and enjoy some of the finest private gardens in the Historic District on this tour.

The Battery Tours. Walk through some of Charleston’s most stately private antebellum residences along East and South Battery. From the rooftops and piazzas of these grand houses, built just a few years before the start of the Civil War, Charlestonians watched the firing on Fort Sumter that began the Civil War in 1861.

Up Close and Personal. Led by an expert in their field, these tours live up to their name, treating guests to in-depth interpretations and access to the Holy City’s most iconic homes and gardens.

Walking Tours. A family-friendly introduction to Charleston’s remarkable architecture, these walking tours are both fun and educational for all ages. You’ll learn to identify the iconic physical elements of historic homes and how they relate to the various periods in history.

The Grimke Sisters. If you’re a fan of Sue Monk Kidd’s Invention of Wings, this tour was made for you: follow in the Grimke sisters’ footprints to see, feel and hear how life in Charleston was for both whites and blacks during the 1800s.

For tickets and information, visit https://www.preservationsociety.org/falltours/

Shagging in Mount Pleasant?

For those looking to move to Charleston and thinking about Mount Pleasant, here’s yet another reason to love this community: Shaggin’ on the Cooper. 

This popular live beach music and dance event series marks the summer months in the Lowcountry. Locals see it as an opportunity to dust off their dancing shoes and kick up their heels – and invite you to join in on the fun.  

But it gets even better, because Shaggin’ on the Cooper combines two things that can only be found here in South Carolina’s Lowcountry: shagging and the Mount Pleasant Pier.

1. The Mount Pleasant Pier

Part of the Memorial Waterfront Park complex (aka “the Crown Jewel of Mount Pleasant”), the 1250-foot long Mount Pleasant Pier stretches out into picturesque Charleston Harbor under the foot of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge.

One end of the pier, you’ll find the 8,100-square-foot covered pavilion that hosts Shaggin’ on the Cooper. In addition to the sound of live music performed by local bands, you can enjoy magnificent views of the bridge and harbor. 

While you’re here, take advantage of the opportunity to soak in the other highlights of Waterfront Park – there’s a manicured lawn perfect for family outings, a nautical-themed playground, the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion, War Memorial, and, of course, soft-serve ice cream at the River Watch Café.

2. Shagging

Shagging – the dance style otherwise known as the Carolina Shag – has been the official state dance of South Carolina since 1984. The “original” Carolina Shag was born in the mid 1940s along the coasts between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Wellington, North Carolina.

Dancing on the sands of the Carolina beaches helped define the Carolina Shag and give it its nickname: shagging. And with the lovely and easy to learn shag comes the nostalgia of cool winds and ocean waves on a warm South Carolina summer’s night.

Remember, this is the South and Southern hospitality lives on: at Shaggin’ on the Cooper, the dance floor is open to all ages and all levels. Here, everyone is invited to relax, breathe in the harbor breeze and dance the night away under the stars.

For tickets and additional information about Shaggin’ on the Cooper in 2018, visit http://www.charlestoncvb.com/events/shaggin-on-the-cooper~9210/?search=&end_date=09/30/2017&category=&start_date=09/01/2017

Charleston’s Iconic Ravenel Bridge

The majestic Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge is not only an iconic structure in Charleston, SC, it is an awe-inspiring image that’s become practically synonymous with a city that consistently ranks as a top travel destination. The Ravenel not only links downtown Charleston to Mt. Pleasant but connects points further south to the northern states via Highway 17 that crosses through the bridge.

The bridge, built in 2005, is named after former South Carolina Senator Arthur Ravenel, Jr., a retired U.S. Senator who dedicated his campaign and his term in Congress to raising the $600 million needed to turn the dream of a modern, eight-lane bridge into a magnificent reality.

The Ravenel Bridge replaced an old, dilapidated and dangerous original structure built in 1929, known as the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge.  The original bridge, built with Ford Model ‘A’s in mind, was, years later, often referred to as a “roller-coaster bridge” because of its steep approach, sharp curves and extremely narrow width.

1n 1966, a new bridge, the Silas N. Pearman (named after the state’s Highway Commissioner) was built alongside the Grace Memorial Bridge. This additional bridge was dedicated to northbound traffic (going towards Mt. Pleasant) while the older Grace Memorial Bridge carried southbound traffic into downtown Charleston. Yet, little more than a decade had passed when neither of these bridges could safely accommodate the significant increase in traffic throughout the Charleston area.

Today, the Ravenel Bridge – or the Cooper River Bridge – as it is also called – is one of Charleston’s most famous structures, drawing thousands of tourists each year to snap pictures of its immense towers and soaring white cables, suggestive of the thousands of sailboats that float through the harbor each year.

The Ravenel Bridge is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is also structurally sound, designed to withstand wind gusts of 300 mph and earthquakes that hit 7.4 on the Richter scale. Certainly, the bridge has held up well each spring as 25,000 runners from around the world pound their way down the bridge’s wide lanes, closed to traffic, during the popular, annual Cooper River Bridge Run, a renowned 10-K celebrating its 40th year in 2018.

Visitors and local residents who simply enjoy walking or biking will appreciate the bridge’s dedicated 3.5 mile walking/biking lane as they take in the panoramic view of the Cooper River below and the S.S. Yorktown, a World War II-era aircraft carrier, anchored in the harbor at Mt. Pleasant’s historical Patriots’ Point.

Image from bbatsell

The Ravenel is a perfect reflection of the city it serves, strikingly beautiful and an unforgettable, long lasting part of America’s history.

Folly Beach SOS! | Help Our Paradise Stay Pristine and Plastic-Free

About Folly Beach, South Carolina

Folly Beach, located in South Carolina’s Lowcountry region, is famous for its pristine white sand beaches sprinkled with seashells, the lulling rhythm of pounding surf with the beautiful blue-green ocean beyond and seabirds soaring through a cloudless blue sky. Many visitors, however, come to see the wide variety of marine life, including dolphins and loggerhead turtles, that make Folly Beach their home.

Folly Beach SOS

But this beautiful coastline gem was beginning to disappear…..under a mound of plastic bags and Styrofoam food containers carelessly left behind.

Until recently, that is.  

In January, 2017, Folly Beach passed an ordinance forbidding stores and restaurants to provide Styrofoam containers to customers, including cups and plates, in an effort to keep these items off the beach. Folly Beach is the first municipality in the Lowcountry to enact a law against the distribution of polystyrene materials, commonly known as Styrofoam, by local vendors as well as against the use of any Styrofoam containers on the beach; In October, 2016, Folly Beach had already ruled against the use of plastic bags, in step with a similar rule on the Isle of Palms. Plastic balloons are also off-limits on the beach, although they may be sold at stores for off-beach use.

Vendors, residents and even visitors who disregard the law may face fines of up to $500 and possible jail time. While local law-enforcement promises to do what it can to enforce the new rules, Folly Beach residents are encouraged to support the ban by doing their part, educating visitors about the damage that plastics cause, not to mention the unsightly vision of plastic bags and Styrofoam cups littered across the beach.

Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin calls the ban on plastic bags “critically important” in the effort to protect the pristine Lowcountry.

Louis Dodson, president of Folly Beach Association of Businesses agrees and points to the added protection of the environment by eliminating polystyrene items: “We saw the damage that the non-recyclable plastic bags and Styrofoam containers were inflicting on our most valuable asset, the beach and ocean, and decided to make a change.”

Research shows that plastic bags are not biodegradable, so they never completely break down and return to the environment as planet-friendly resources. Plastic bags and polystyrene containers also release toxic additives into the environment and upset the delicate endocrine systems of marine life. Moreover, scientists have discovered that marine animals often confuse plastic bags for food and have been found starving to death because of bags blocking their digestive tracts. Sadly, studies show, about half the sea turtle population and fully 90% of seabirds in the world have ingested plastic.

Adds Mayor Goodwin, “[The ordinances against plastic bags and Styrofoam containers are] just one small step for the health of the environment. Our ocean and our ocean life are the most important pieces of what makes Folly so special, and we have to do our part to preserve our piece of paradise.”