Water World: Rebounding economy playing role in popularity of Lowcountry waterfront residences, marina attractions
By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
The phrase isn’t necessarily novel but hits the mark in the Charleston area real estate market today, which is getting its feet wet again after a lengthy downturn.
“I feel like the oceanfront, there’s no more of it. They are not making any more,” says Helen Geer, broker-in-charge of William Means Real Estate.
In other words, the Atlantic Ocean and most any other body of water is in limited supply as is the prime property bordering tributaries and seas.
“The supply is extremely limited, as a matter of fact,” says Geer, long-time agent with the downtown-based company. And that’s as more people move to the coast and to areas around Charleston.
Still she calls the waterfront property market “strong. (It) seems to be in great shape.”
Geer says a difficult part is figuring out a property’s value when it’s on the water, taking into consideration boating access and views. “If you’ve got it priced right, it will sell,” she says.
Realtors across the Lowcountry are promoting homes and land on the ocean, rivers, creeks and lakes, while also championing properties raised near the half-dozen or so marinas in the three-county area.
Pristine sights from marsh to winding rivers work out to be key factors in setting property values. “The closer to downtown, it helps,” Geer says. For instance, places with views of the Intracoastal Waterway are best sellers as are scenes of historic Charleston from James Island and vice-versa, she says.
Even expanses on Johns Island that aren’t too far in the country can fetch a solid price, Geer says. Wide-open visions of marsh and water can command high values while obscured views may not. “There are views, and there are views,” she says.
At the same time, people who buy river and ocean front homes enjoy cruising around or fishing on the water and likely own a vessel or two, she contends.
“Most everybody has some interest in boating,” Geer says.
Deep water lots typically are more popular than tidal creeks, while places with docks can tip the scales over sites without river or creek access.
Geer gave an example of a recent trend in waterfront sites. “People are actually buying properties, tearing down the house and rebuilding.” In at least one such case, a buyer purchased a site and built a dock where there hadn’t been one before.
She says 2 Concord St. ranks as a prime case of Charleston area homeowners’ and shoppers’ admiration of waterfront properties.
William Means is listing the property, which is built out into Charleston Harbor. Considered the only deep water property with a dock in the historic district, 2 Concord St. is priced for sale at $13 million.
The agency is affiliated with Christie’s, and the auction house-real estate marketer plans to include 2 Concord in a new magazine this fall highlighting the 16 best properties in the world, she says.
“We’re thrilled,” Geer says.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.