Cornering the Market: Longtime home for energy company, county government spreading out as shoppers look for less pricey country homes

This dock in Fairlawn Barony doubles as a deck for entertaining. It's along the west branch of the Cooper River near Moncks Corner, which is drawing homeowners who want to be close to water (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).

Anyone who's spent much time around Moncks Corner likely has heard the Law name at least in passing.

James Law served a mayor in the late 1980s and 1990s and later would be a state representative.

More recently, his son Jay Law and Jay's wife Mandy Law bought and renovated a 1920s house on Main Street in Moncks Corner and moved with their children into the home and office.

Located next to the school the couple attended, the house offers wide open spaces. "I've got a baseball and football field in my backyard," Jay Law quipped.

What's interesting about the Law couple is they went to school together in the Berkeley County seat, parted ways in college, rekindled a relationship afterwards, got married and lived across the Lowcountry from Mount Pleasant to James Island and Johns Island before returning to their home town in the past year.

"It's a great community," says Jay Law, a Realtor for The Beach Co. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

"I'm getting good (volume of) showings," he says, noting that he's "amazed with the traffic on waterfront property." One property he's listing on Catfish Landing sports a 120 foot water frontage with a dock, Law says.

The Laws aren't the only people returning to their roots, or finding Moncks Corner for the first time.

The combined Goose Creek-Moncks Corner area ranked fourth highest in the Lowcountry last year in terms of its new homes' share at 32.8 percent of all residences, according to Charleston Trident Association of Realtors figures. Close to 400 houses are now on the market in Moncks Corner and environs.

Law credits the town's versatile, alluring real estate market. Lake Moultrie stands a couple of miles away: lakefront Pinopolis sports houses for sale in the upper six figures. Outyling estates top the million dollar barrier. And homes on the Cooper River near the Santee Cooper headquarters can be purchased at $500,000 or less.

Meanwhile, new homes communities south on U.S. Highway 52 and annexed into town attract hundreds of buyers to residences priced from the $150,000s to the $300,000s.

Law says he noticed the 218 Main Street house built in 1926 next to St. Johns school but the $750,000 price tag was high. Then the price dropped, and the couple scooped it up.

For all the moving around, the Laws believed "once the kids were ready for school, we need to go back to Moncks Corner," he says.

Their daughter Addison is 6; son Drayton is 3.

Moncks Corner's "Mayberry" like influence is already showing up. In their former homes, the children spent a lot of time indoors on tablets and video games. "When I got them on this property - we have been here three to four weeks - they've not asked about (video and electronic toys) one time," Law says. "They run to the open field."

Greater Moncks Corner can be reached from downtown Charleston a number of ways. The most direct involves heading west on Interstate 26 to exit 209A for U.S Highway 52. Take the exit and continue through upper North Charleston to Goose Creek. Stay on Highway 52 for about nine miles past Goose Creek to downtown Moncks Corner. New home neighborhoods such as Foxbank Plantation and Spring Grove are along the highway or accessible from side roads.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or

Location: Berkeley County

Number of homes: Close to 5,000 including surrounding area

Square footage: 768-6,480

Look & feel: For a reasonably small town, Moncks Corner provides a slew of looks more typical to a larger city. The downtown sports the county courthouse and tree-lined streets. Tail Race Canal sits just north and east of town. Fancy homes and river docks with boats can be found in the Santee canal area. South on U.S. Highway 52 are new-homes neighborhoods with children riding bikes and playing in community parks. Greater Moncks Corner stretches as far as Cypress Gardens to the southeast and Bushy Park along the Cooper River due east of town. North of the village is Lake Moultrie, the fishing and watersports haven surrounded by moderate to upscale houses at Pinopolis and Bonneau.

Homes on market: 378

List prices: $29,990-$2.3 million

Schools: Berkeley, H.E. Bonner, Whitesville elementary; Berkeley Intermediate, Berkeley, Macedonia middle; Berkeley, Berkeley Alternative and Berkeley Middle College high.

Fun facts: While Mepkin Abbey isn't far away, historians typically credit landowner Thomas Monck as Moncks Corner's namesake; a then-new train depot became the center of the new town when it was chartered in 1885, according to S.C. Sciway.