Great outdoors Lowcountry house hunters eager for spaces that take them beyond residences’ four walls

A deck overlooking marsh in Northbridge west of the Ashley is set up for a meal at a metal table with a small grill nearby. Outside activities are popular in the Charleston area, where the weather is temperate most of the year.

Not that she has to dress up, but Caprice Atterbury typically gets ready before she walks to the curb at her Stono Ferry residence.

“Every time I go to the mailbox, I have to make sure I’m presentable,” says Atterbury, broker-in-charge of Complete Action Real Estate Services (CARES). “I see my neighbors” on a walk or outside, she explains.

While her remarks were somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Atterbury’s point was spot-on. Many homeowners at Stono Ferry in Hollywood and in neighborhoods all across the Charleston area enjoy outdoor activities — strolling around the block, jogging, pushing an infant in a carriage, biking or hiking. They may be playing football with their kids in the backyard, out fishing, going on a swim, boating or sitting on the screened porch taking in the day’s warmth. They grill out, garden, make minor exterior repairs.

“I would say people like to be outside, even when at home,” says Atterbury, a 13-year Stono Ferry resident who currently lists a 3,178-square-foot brick house overlooking the neighborhood’s golf course priced at $558,000. “Charleston’s beautiful weather creates a haven for outdoor living throughout the year,” she says.

Lowcountry communities tend to offer at least some type of outdoor amenities including community docks, swimming pools, trails that wind through woods, tennis courts, playgrounds, parks and multipurpose athletic fields. Master-planned communities such as Park West in Mount Pleasant showcase town tracks, baseball fields and football stadiums.

In many cases, a neighborhood’s or home’s outdoor lifestyle ties into the Charleston area’s brilliant scenery with views of towering live oaks and magnolias, ornamental gardens or pristine swamps.

Ron Rash, real estate associate with Elaine Brabham and Associates, focuses his business on St. Paul’s Parish including Meggett, Ravenel, Yonges Island, Botany Bay and Edisto Beach.

“I see a lot of (house shopping) activity,” he says, noting large lots attract buyers who like open spaces. Rash can’t recall potential buyers specifically asking to look at homes with outdoor kitchens or other exterior features. But if the homes include outside perks such as patios and docks, buyers are intrigued, he says. Curb appeal draws in the prospects, who are sold when they see the amenities, he notes.

Rash and his wife bought a home overlooking Wadmalaw Sound eight years ago. Their outdoor enjoyments include boating, and the property edges a tidal creek rather than the more distant deep water sound. “It’s better with a 100 foot (long) dock than 1,000 feet,” Rash says.

Although he doesn’t specifically promote properties based on their outdoor ambience, the agent shows homes surrounded by natural amenities all the time.

“St. Paul’s Parish has a lot to offer in terms of tidal creeks, marsh views and deep water,” Rash says.

The Plantation at Stono Ferry, located off S.C. Highway 162 southwest of Charleston, “exemplifies Southern outdoor living surrounded by beautiful oak trees, rivers and marshlands,” Atterbury says. Single acre estates with docks on deep water, golf course-side homes and the large and bright condos at Ironwood are available for sale.

According to the real estate broker, Stono Ferry boasts the Links at Stono Ferry golf course, two polo fields, horse track, junior Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts and a play park.

“Residents enjoy walking, biking, golf and many neighborhood outdoor events including an annual oyster roast and chili cook off,” Atterbury says.

On the second Sunday in November, the community “hosts the Charleston Cup steeplechase (event) which brings horse races, hats and great fun,” she says.

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or