Island Hideaway

The two-story, 2,127-square-foot Ashbury model home is indicative of the houses in the smallish Johns Island community.

Jim Parker

Even before the first house when up in The Retreat at Johns Island, an arborist was brought in during the land development process.

Not just someone making a cursory look-see of the property, but a full-fledged specialist in the care and maintenance of trees.

The objective was not just to preserve the enormous live oaks dotting the semi-rural tract, but to keep as much foliage as possible undisturbed.

“That’s definitely what we are most proud of,” says Jenny Sain, real estate agent with Crescent Homes. “We work around the trees.”

The community, launched in 2008, will have 59 houses when completed. Crescent Homes is the builder.

“It’s a quiet little neighborhood,” says Ted Terry, owner-president of Crescent Homes.

The Retreat backs up to the city of Charleston’s Johns Island Park, and there are walking trails and sidewalks throughout the neighborhood.

Home plans are numerous and varied. The 11 offerings are 1,427-2,912 square feet and with base values from $199,990 to $247,000.

“Those are pretty good price points around here,” Terry says.

Extras such as stainless appliances, fireplaces, sunrooms and screened-in porches can push up the total cost. “Most people put in (about) $15,000,” Sain says.

Houses are three to four bedrooms and two to three baths with ranch and two story models available. Other features, depending on the design, are lofts, bonus and game rooms and front porches.

Lots vary from 1/5 acre to close to 2/3 of an acre. Wetlands, ponds and woods surround the village.

Floor plans are the Hamlin, Warwick, Fenwick, Wellington, Delaware, Newport, Cassidy, Mannington, Wagner, Kerrington and Ashbury, which is the sales model.

Standard highlights include 9-foot ceilings, crown molding in dining rooms, tray ceilings in the master bedrooms, two-car garages, 30-year architectural shingles and fully sodded, landscaped yards.

Another attraction of all the homes is EarthCraft certification via an Atlanta-based partnership of public and private organizations and businesses. The homes are considered more energy efficient, producing 40 percent savings on utility bills, less maintenance and improved indoor air quality.

“Our homes are tested, inspected and certified by a third party and they’re guaranteed to perform,” Sain says.

A homebuyer’s warranty is offered that protects dwellings for two years from mechanical problems and 10 years structural.

While out in the country, The Retreat is no more than 10 miles from Kiawah and Seabrook islands, which has shopping at Freshfields Village, and from the Medical University of South Carolina in downtown Charleston.

As a result, the neighborhood has lured upscale buyers such as dual income couples and young professionals, Terry says.

“What I’ve found is a pretty good mix out here,” Sain says.

Professionals like being fairly close to downtown, while some people want to be nearer to the ocean and are buying a second home in the neighborhood.

Still, the biggest draw, Sain says, is the natural setting.

“As soon as you enter The Retreat, you immediately notice all the draping oaks,” she says. “The number of grand trees that have been saved really gives a feeling of a secluded neighborhood surrounded by natural beauty.”

To reach The Retreat at Johns Island from downtown Charleston, cross the Ashley River Bridge on U.S. Highway 17 South (Savannah Highway) then bear left onto Folly Road. Cross the Wappoo bridge and turn right on Maybank Highway. Continue for about 4 miles and take a right on River Road. Turn left on Murraywood Road, then another left on Brownswood Road. The Retreat is ahead, about 1 1/2 miles on the left.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com

Neighborhood: The Retreat at Johns Island

Location: Charleston County

Phone: (843) 559-1088

Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday and Monday

Web site: www.crescenthomes.net