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.”

 

A Guide to Historic Downtown Charleston’s Neighborhoods

Downtown Charleston is considered one of the most gorgeous and historically significant areas of the United States. However, if you are trying to buy or sell here, you know the Downtown Charleston real estate market can be a full of twists and turns. If you want to understand the Downtown Charleston real estate market a good place to start is to look at the different neighborhoods or boroughs.

Why? Which neighborhood a house is in can impact the price by hundreds of thousands of dollars. You will also see a dramatic difference in home prices depending on whether they are inside or outside of Crosstown. Inside of Crosstown is on the left side of Highway 17 which bisects the city while outside of Crosstown is to the right.

In this blog, we will cover Historic Downtown Charleston which includes the neighborhoods inside of Crosstown. These neighborhoods are South of Broad, the French Quarter, Harleston Village, Ansonborough, Radcliffeborough, and Cannonborough-Elliottborough.

South of Broad

South of Broad is the most expensive and exclusive neighborhood in Downtown Charleston. South of Broad offers those who can afford it the peace of the suburbs with the proximity to downtown amenities.

Home prices in the South of Broad neighborhood range from $850,000 to $23,000,000 for the grand estate, The Sword Gate House.

French Quarter

The French Quarter neighborhood is located just north of Broad Street and south of Market Street. The French Quarter is also home to many of the best-known attractions in Downtown Charleston such as the Waterfront Park and the Dock Street Theater on Church Street. Well-known street names associated with the French Quarter are: Queen Street, Broad Street, State Street, and Cumberland Street, to name a few.

Homes prices in the neighborhood range from $600,000 to $2,000,000 plus and condos start at $200,000 and go to $3,000,000.

Harleston Village

Centrally located at Colonial Lake and Moultrie Park the Harleston Village neighborhood is only a quick walk to the King Street shopping district and the City Marina making it very pedestrian friendly.

Home prices in Harleston Village range from $500,000 to $3,000,000, and you’ll find condominiums starting at $200,000.

Ansonborough

Ansonborough is considered the first neighborhood in Downtown Charleston. It is located at the Calhoun Street and along the middle-eastern side of the peninsula (on the Mount Pleasant Harborside).

Home prices for historic homes range from $500,000 – $2,000,000, while you’ll find condos starting at $400,000, up to $1,600,000 for a luxury space with harbor views.

Radcliffeborough

Radcliffeborough is in a small square of streets south of Cannon Street, north of Calhoun Street, and in between Rutledge and King Streets. The area is extremely popular for College of Charleston students, as this location is within walking distance to campus.

Home prices here are more affordable than those in the neighborhoods south of Calhoun Street (South of Broad, Ansonborough, French Quarter, and Harleston Village) and range from $300,000-$700,000.

Cannonborough-Elliottborough

Cannonborough-Elliottborough is, in fact, two neighborhoods Cannonborough and Elliottborough. But in real estate listings, it is often combined into one Cannonborough-Elliottborough. Centrally located on the Downtown Charleston peninsula Cannonborough-Elliottborough is near the King Street district which is famous for its shopping and dining opportunities.

The more well-liked streets for homes Cannonborough are Spring Street and Cannon Street, which run parallel to each other. Meanwhile, in Elliotborough the streets north of Cannon and Spring Streets and in between Ashley and King Street offer the best real estate options.

The Cannonborough-Elliottborough neighborhood is a good area to buy in if you are looking to invest. Home prices in the area vary widely ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000, so you can find a fixer-upper if you look.

Real Estate Market

As for the real estate market for Historic Downtown Charleston overall, the numbers are positive! The most recent figures from March 2017 show the median sales prices for Single-Family Detached Homes have gone up from this time last year. With prices rising from $800,000 to $1,208,500 this means that home prices have increased 51.1%!

Meanwhile, the inventory of homes has gone down by 23.9%, and sellers received 92.4% of their asking price.

The supply of Townhouse-Condo Attached Homes has also diminished by 12.0%, and homes median sales prices have increased by 7.4% from this time last year from $507,500 to $545,000. Closed sales also grew by 70.6%! While this is mostly a seller’s market if you are looking to buy, we can help! At Ask Frank, we are experts at finding the best home for you and your family!

In the next blog, we will cover the real estate market for the neighborhoods in Downtown Charleston outside of Crosstown.

Daniel Island Neighborhood Profile | Ask Frank Real Estate

Upcoming Events

Some of best events of the summer are right around the corner. The world-famous Spoleto Festival USA will be entering its 41st season this year. Internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival this year the festival will take place May 26 through June 11, 2017, at multiple Charleston locales.

We also recommend going out to see the Maritime Tall Ships® Festival held May 19th through 21st 2017 at the old Charleston Naval Shipyard. This three-day event includes ships from around the world, wooden boat show, live music, a pirate camp, family boat building, and benefits local maritime organizations.

Daniel Island

Continuing our profiles, we move to Daniel Island. The Wando and Cooper rivers surround Daniel Island. Daniel Island is perfect for wealthy seniors, homeowners looking to move up in the world, upper tier executives, water lovers, and those looking for a private home.

Daniel Island sits apart from population centers such as East Cooper, North Charleston and to a lesser extent, the Clements Ferry Road area. Although it sits apart, Daniel Island is still an important part of the Lowcountry economic scene.

The island has secured its importance for the local economy by attracting a group of jobs-creating technology companies including nonprofit computer programming behemoth Blackbaud, back office medical accounting giant Benefitfocus and a local outpost for AT&T.

History

Named for Robert Daniell, the English granted Daniell the island. Daniell would also eventually became governor of the Carolina colony.  In the 18th century, the land was divided into several large plantations and used for farming.

In the mid-1900’s the Guggenheim family of New York purchased the island for use in agriculture, cattle ranching, and as a private hunting retreat. With the completion of the I-526 expressway, the door opened for development on Daniel Island in the early 1990s.

To make sure the island developed as a natural extension of Charleston, the Guggenheim Foundation sponsored the development of a master plan that would guide the island’s development.

Work on the first residential properties began in 1996, and the year after that the island was purchased by the Daniel Island Company, a developer of master-planned communities.

Since then the island has seen the creation of hundreds of acres of parks, two professional sports facilities- the Volvo Car Stadium and the MUSC Health Stadium. The Volvo Car Stadium also sponsors the Women’s Tennis Association’s Volvo Car Open.

Daniel Island Real Estate

Looking to buy on the island? You’ll appreciate such benefits as traditional Charleston-style single houses, also available in downtown Charleston and pictured below. The island also offers low to moderate taxes, riverside properties and views as well as million-dollar designer homes, and predominately new houses.

For March the number of listings for Single-Family Detached Homes are up 51.9% from this time last year! Sellers in March on Daniel Island received 99.5% of their original list price; this also went up from last year.

And the number of days’ houses have remained on the market has gone down from March of last year by 47.1%. If you want to get a Single-Family home on the island for the best price, now may be the time to buy as prices are only going up. Talk to us, and we can help you find the best property for you!

The prices are lower for properties south of I-526, you are likely to pay from $400,000s to $ 1 million. In this area, you can find multiple housing options condos, townhomes, and apartments.

When you go north of I-526 homes with golf courses and waterside mansions, cottages, and multifamily residences abound are more common. Higher price tags are there to match these higher end properties; the prices range from $ 1 million to $4 million.

The island’s schools include private, regionally recognized Bishop England High School and the Daniel Island School, a respected public school for K-8.

The market is strong, and there’s truly something out there for everyone. We can help you buy or sell your home and make the best decisions for this changing market. So, don’t wait another day, contact us at Ask Frank today!

James Island Profile Plus Awards and Events

Charleston Events and Awards

This spring has been a rich one when it comes to awards for Charleston, South Carolina. Multiple magazines and websites are realizing what locals already know. Charleston was voted the South’s Best City by Southern Living 2017 South’s Best Awards and No. 1 City in the United States and Canada By Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards.

In addition to these honors, there are tons of events coming up, but we suggest checking out the 30th Annual Town of Mt. Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival, which takes place on April 30, 2017.

This festival honors Mount Pleasant’s local shrimping and fishing industry offers a boat parade, live music, craft show and countless other activities with the iconic Ravenel Bridge and Charleston Harbor as a backdrop.

Cooper River Bridge Charleston South Carolina

We also recommend stopping by the North Charleston Arts Festival taking place May 3 through 7, 2017.

This five-day event features over one hundred national, regional, and local artists and performers. Visitors will have a chance to see work from the fields of dance, music, theater, visual arts, crafts, photography, media arts, and literature.

James Island Neighborhood Profile

As we continue with our neighborhood profiles, we move on to James Island which located just over the Wappoo Creek from Charleston. While much of its construction took place during the 1960’s there are still many new subdivisions throughout the island.

The town saw its access jump immeasurably in the 1990’s with the completion of the James Island Connector tying together Folly Road and peninsula Charleston.  The community features countless restaurants and shopping opportunities. Commuters should consider James Island due to its convenient location just minutes from downtown Charleston and the beaches of Folly Beach.

James Island Attractions

While there are numerous attractions, some of the most notable are the James Island County Park, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, and McLeod Plantation.

James Island County Park offers various attractions including a campground and ten vacation cottages along the Stono River marsh and South Carolina’s tallest outdoor climbing facility! The park also offers a fantastic dog park right on the water so your pup can run and swim around for hours.

Are you more of a golfer? There are two golf courses on James Island. There is the Charleston Municipal Golf Course. This course was established in 1929 and often referred to by locals as the “The Muni” it is especially suitable for first-timers and players who are still new to the sport. This course is also exceptionally affordable with fees starting at just $15!

Meanwhile, the Country Club of Charleston is a members-only club with a long history starting in 1786.  It is the closest golf course to Downtown, and it has a fantastic location on the Intracoastal Waterway, where you can see the marshes and Charleston Harbor while you golf.

Country Club of Charleston James Island

Finally, the McLeod Plantation established in 1851 saw some of Charleston’s most noteworthy events. Staff did meticulous research so that the stories of all the people who lived there were given equal attention.

James Island Real Estate

Real estate on James Island today is mostly a mix middle-class homes and high-end waterfront options in neighborhoods such as Riverland Terrace, the Country Club of Charleston, and Eastwood which overlooks Charleston Harbor.

Charleston Harbor James Island Real Estate

Looking to buy or sell on the island? The latest Real Estate numbers from March are promising. For Single-Family Detached Homes 96.1% of sellers received their original list price. Prices on Single-Family Homes have also risen from this time last year from $343,427 to $362,116, an increase of 5.4%. Finally, Single-Family Detached Homes on James Island also had an above national average price on the MLS.

For Townhouse-Condo Attached Homes in the James Island area, the inventory has decreased by 10.9%. While closed sales have increased by 47.1% so for those looking to snap up a townhome now may be the time to do.

For both Single-Family Detached Homes and Townhouse-Condo Attached new listings and closed sales are both up from last year.

For buyers with children, the Island includes a range of fine schools most notably the James Island Charter High School, but also James Island and Fort Johnson Middle Schools and James Island, Harbor View, Stiles Point and Murray-LaSaine Elementary Schools.

Need further guidance on where to buy on James Island or want to take advantage of great property you’ve already spotted on our site? At Ask Frank, we can help you get into your dream home, let us use our name and reputation to serve you!

Johns Island Events and Area Profile

Exciting Johns Island Events

Several exciting events are coming up in the next few weeks for the residents of Johns Island to enjoy. Those interested in Charleston’s long Military history should check out the 13th Annual Battle of Charleston.

Battle of Charleston is presented by Legare Farms and the 7th SC Infantry and offers a living Military Timeline featuring Pirates, the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War as part of a living history and skirmishes.

The Battle will take place at Legare Farms on April 7th through the 9th.

If you are more of a foodie consider Oysters and Hog for a Good Cause, all ticket proceeds will benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – Lowcountry. Tickets are $20 per person, which includes all food. It will be held on Sunday, April 9th, 5 pm to 8 pm at The Fat Hen.

johns island events and neighborhood profile

Need an event for the family? Consider attending the Fool’s Fest at The Tattooed Moose on Saturday, April 1 from 1 PM to 7 PM.

This family-friendly day of live music, food, and fun will feature Bill Carson, The Lowhills, Black Diamond, along with tons of other bands.

Johns Island-Basic Facts

You may know the merits of John’s Island if you are a long-time resident. But for those who don’t know its advantages we will give a quick overview of all that the largest island in South Carolina and the fourth largest on the East Coast has to offer.

Johns Island is just over the Stono River from James Island, it is also accessible via the Limehouse Bridge from Highway 17 in West Ashley.

Johns Island historically has been an agricultural community with the resort communities of Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island at its southern end.

Today, Johns Island is growing rapidly and transforming into a residential suburb of Charleston. Housing on John’s Island ranges from apartment living to large waterfront estates and the multi-million dollar homes.

Some of the neighborhoods on John’s Island include Gift Plantation, Grimball Gates, Headquarters, Kiawah Island, Kiawah River Estates, Rushland, Seabrook Island, Shoreline Farms, and The Villages in St. Johns Woods

Real Estate Outlook

If you are looking to buy on Johns Island here are some facts to consider. The last available figures from February 2017 showed 13.5% fewer homes on the market for a buyer looking for a Single-Family Home when compared to February 2016.

Meanwhile, the market has simply gone stagnant for a purchaser looking for a Townhome/Condo on John’s Island with no change from the number of homes available February 2016.

All this would lead potential home buyers to think it is a sellers’ market, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The number of days’ properties sat on the market has exploded! For a Single-Family Home, it has gone from 45 to 71 an increase of nearly 58%!

If you think that figure is bad wait till you see the one for a Townhome/Condo, where the number of days a property has had to sit has gone from 20 to 95, ouch! This is an increase of 375%.

These numbers give buyers more negotiating leeway with sellers who are more likely to have had a property sitting on the market for a longer time.

Attractions

Once you buy here, it’s easy to get caught up in the island’s natural beauty. Even those who haven’t been to the island itself have probably heard of its most famous attraction the Angel Oak.

The tree, a Southern live oak tree, is estimated to be between 400–1500 years old and draws visitors from around the world.

The island has also been a favorite spot for movie productions with several big-budget motion pictures such as “The Notebook” being filmed here.

john's island events

If you are more a fan of the water, consider trying Captain Jack’s Kiawah Sailing and Dolphin Watching. They offer day, sunset, and dolphin watching tours. These tours take place on a 33′ Center Cockpit Sailboat and last around three hours.

Don’t wait, buy now!

Does this rapidly growing community with a rich history and a bright future sound like just the place for you to set down roots? Talk with us today! We will find you the ideal location for you to make your home on Johns Island. If you already live here and want move into a home or change your location, we can help with that too!  Think about it this way, the sooner you speak with us, the sooner you could be enjoying the island’s natural beauty.

Wadmalaw Island and Events

Events Around the Lowcountry in March

At Ask Frank Real Estate Services, we want to keep our customers up to date on some of the most exciting events going on throughout the Lowcountry. The first event worth mentioning is the 70th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens. The festival takes place March 16th through April 22nd, 2017. It consists of a series of award-winning tours and educational events that showcase Charleston’s distinctive architecture, history, gardens, and culture. The tours provide a rare opportunity for guests to go inside the private houses and gardens of some of America’s most beautiful historic residences.

The next event worth noting is the Charleston Antiques Show which is coming to town March 17th to 19th, and there will be a range of English, European, and American items from late 17th through 20th centuries showcased. Also, taking place on March 17th is Charleston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade which begins at 10 am at the corner of Radcliffe and St. Phillip Streets. Those looking for the best spots to watch the parade go by should check out the view from the sidewalk on King Street. These are just many of the exciting events happening around our city this month, including many other St. Patrick’s Day events, so we encourage you to get out and explore!

Wadmalaw Island Profile

We are going to continue to get a closer look at Charleston’s different neighborhoods and subsections.  One Charleston community that doesn’t get as much press as is deserved is Wadmalaw Island. Johns Island borders this quiet local gem to the South and West. Though the island is quiet, it isn’t too far out of the way from more bustling places such as the Charleston Metro. The island is only an approximately fifteen to thirty-minute drive, making it the ideal location for someone who has to do business in Charleston but wants to escape the hustle and bustle when they come home.

Wadmalaw Island isn’t small; it is an estimated 10 miles long by 6 miles wide. But with a bigger neighbor like Johns Island taking all the attention, it is easy to see why this smaller island can get overlooked.  This quiet island doesn’t offer any major restaurants, hotels or shopping centers. Instead, the island offers visitors and locals alike rich history, unique natural resources, and a break from the rush of modern life.  The history of Wadmalaw Island began with Native Americans who settled the island centuries before the English. In fact, Wadmalaw Island takes its name of the tribe of Native Americans who originally settled here. When the English did arrive in 1666 Captain Robert Sandford, and his crew claimed the land. Later England sent 148 colonists to the region. They survived for four years in the area, thanks mainly to the generosity of the local natives, until the settlers relocated to present-day Charleston.

While visitors mostly come to relax, there are a few attractions the island is known for. The biggest are the Charleston Tea Plantation, Firefly Distillery, and Deep Water Vineyard. The Charleston Tea Plantation is the only “tea garden” in the United States. It is also one of the region’s most famous attractions with regular factory tours and scenic trolley tours through the tea fields available year-round. Meanwhile, Deep Water Vineyard and Firefly Distillery and  share a multi-acre site.  Deep Water Vineyard holds the honor of being the only domestic winery in Charleston County Lowcountry. The Firefly Distillery is famous for creating the nation’s first Sweet Tea Vodka. Sweet Tea Vodka is now popular and made by vodka makers around the globe. The site offers other attractions such as walking trails, a petting zoo, and a beautiful seasonal garden.

Are you looking to buy a home on Wadmalaw Island? You may want to consider buying now. The number of listings is going up providing buyers with more options for properties.  Listing prices for homes on Wadmalaw Island have risen to an average of $858,168 this year.  When thinking about neighborhoods buyers looking to purchase on the island should consider both Anchorage Plantation and Selkirk Plantation. Both are old plantations that have been turned into residential areas.

Want a quiet alternative to Johns Island or Folly Beach? Consider Wadmalaw Island. The island is often called the “Back Porch” of Charleston, and it may be the perfect place for you to take off your shoes and kick up your heels.

West Ashley Profile

Charleston West Ashley real estate

As anyone looking to buy or sell in the Charleston, South Carolina area knows, the real estate market is an intricate one. Within Charleston there are many neighborhoods and sub-sections where prices can vary drastically. This can make it tough for a buyer to find the home they are looking for at the price they can afford.

To make the Charleston real estate market easier to understand for our buyers, especially those who aren’t from the area, we are doing profiles on neighborhoods where we sell homes.  In these profiles, we will cover the history, community features, and the real estate outlook of these neighborhoods beginning with West Ashley.

West Ashley Neighborhood

West Ashley is a mix of homes and businesses and conveniently located close to the downtown area. Thankfully the home prices here are significantly lower than downtown real estate prices.

This part of the city is one of Charleston’s fantastic suburbs. Today it makes up the city’s western border and has attractions like rivers, historic plantations, and gorgeous gardens. It has commercial offerings such as the Citadel Mall, recently opened MakeLab, MOD Pizza and Wild Flour Pastry. This trend looks to continue in 2017, with a Whole Foods opening, as well as plans for many small businesses to open.

West Ashley is currently revitalizing itself with numerous apartment complexes, homes, and shopping centers being constructed, proposed, or redeveloped.

On our website when searching for homes we have an option for West Ashley or inside and outside the Mark Clark, this is the local name for Interstate 526. The housing prices are more expensive inside and less expensive outside of the 526 corridor (the Mark Clark).

When searching for a place to call home in West Ashley you can certainly find what you are looking for, regardless if your preference is for an apartment or a multi-million-dollar mansion. The area has a range of properties for buyers at all price points.

West and south of the Ashley River, buyers can find custom built and brick homes, popular with the city’s young workforce. This area also offers middle price range developments from new builders along Savannah Highway (U.S. Highway 17 South) and Ashley River Road (S.C Highway 61).

The route along the Savannah Highway on north side of the Stono River also offers many upscale options including large homes and many chic neighborhoods. Buyers looking for large upscale homes with docks and boat access should keep an eye out particularly in the area off Ashley River Road near Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place. While golf enthusiasts should note the Shadowmoss Plantation development, which offers its own golf course.

Avondale neighborhood in West AshleyIf buyers are on the hunt for more established developments they should check out the Byrnes Downs, West Oak Forest, and Avondale neighborhoods.  Or search for homes near Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Old Towne Road near Charles Towne Landing.

Neighborhood Schools

The area offers great schools that include Ashley River Creative Arts, Orange Grove Charter Elementary, C.E. Williams, West Ashley Middle, West Ashley High and the private Porter-Gaud.

If you are buying a home in Charleston and are looking for the downtown feel, without the downtown prices, you should keep West Ashley on your radar.