The New Year brings new beginnings.

That applies to most areas of our lives and one of the biggest is the place we call home. As we move through the chapters of our lives, our wants for that space evolves as well. In the Lowcountry, there are so many choices in which to settle in and settle down.

What the market is bringing this year is not only more vertical living in areas such as Mount Pleasant, but much-needed affordability in that area.

Country club living is more affordable in Goose Creek and one can find a 4,000 square foot home on a golf course for about $700,000.

According to a recent Forbes magazine article, mortgage rates which are one percent lower than this time last year could drop even more. That means refinancing and a surge in purchasing homes.

Some experts from Fannie Mae think mortgage rates will be at an all-time low – between 3.5 and 3.6 percent throughout 2020. Prices for homes will continue to rise according to those same experts. A property data firm, Core Logic predicts home prices ticking upwards by 5.6 percent by next September.

According to a November 2019 article by Redfin, “The typical American homeowner in 2019 had spent 13 years in their home, up from eight years in 2010.” According to Freddie Mac, “Nearly 1.1 million more homes would have come to market by 2018 if those born between 1931 and 1941 had behaved like earlier cohorts.” Seniors are aging in place which means that large group of millennials (the pool of buyers that make up 46 percent of all mortgages) will be paying more for their first homes.

Suburban living will be a draw for many buyers to accommodate rising prices.

Areas such as Mount Pleasant and Goose Creek are two places where one can still find their part of the American dream of owning a home.

Mount Pleasant

From a press release of December 2019, “The Mount Pleasant Workforce Housing Proposal Builds Momentum,” the Mount Pleasant Planning Commission approved a workforce housing proposal by a unanimous vote. There will be 42 condos for sale – 21 one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom homes with prices ranging from $212,000 to $285,000.

According to Wendy Bauerschmidt, executive director, Housing for All – Mount Pleasant, “Workforce housing equals economic development. We know there is a consensus in the Town among elected leaders, public servants, and business leadership that there is an urgent need for more workforce housing options in the Town. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with The Berry Companies to provide housing for our teachers, nurses, firefighters, engineers and police officers among others. This is a great step forward and we look forward to working with Town and elected leaders to solve this crisis.”

The housing would provide affordable options for this demographic — in the $40,000 to $62,000 income range.

Upon council approval, the development located on Gregorie Ferry Road and Winnowing Way in North Mount Pleasant, replaces a 23,000 square foot office building, which will reduce the potential traffic generated by 514 trips per day.

With more that 70 percent of Mount Pleasant’s workforce living outside of Mount Pleasant due to higher home prices, this is a much-needed solution according to Will Jenkinson, Broker in Charge of Carolina One New Homes.

“We are excited for the opportunity to bring an affordable housing option to Mount Pleasant,” Jenkinson said. “We will be selling these homes and the developer and Housing For All - Mount Pleasant are forming a public and private partnership.”

Jenkinson said they are already working on getting more property under contract to do more workforce housing projects that will involve towns and single family detached cottages. “This is exciting stuff,” he added.

A bit further north off of Highway 17, more vertical living is nearly finished in the Park West community. Located on 1545 Moss Spring Road are the Warrington townhomes.

“We have 10 move-in ready townhomes available now at Warrington and will have another three home ready by the end of January,” said Jonathan Greene, New Homes Advisor of Mungo Homes Coastal Division “All of the homes should be finished by late March.”

The townhomes have open floor plans with garages and upscale finishes that come standard. Residents have access to Park West’s amenities. The three- and four-bedroom homes range in size from 2,326 to 2,392 square feet.

“Prices start in the high $300’s for interior homes and end unit homes are in the low $400’s,” Greene said.

Greene said that single family homes located further north on Highway 17, past the large master-planned community of Carolina Park, will be ready for move in by late February. The Tupelo Community consists of three to five-bedroom homes that will range in size from over 1,600 to nearly 2,800 square feet. Prices start in the mid-$300,000s.

For those buyers wanting vertical living in the middle of everything Mount Pleasant, Sea Island Hamlet located off Chuck Dawley on 1232 Gatch Court, will have 24 luxury townhomes of two, three and four-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,700 to 2,000 square feet.

A few units are already sold according to Ali Bring of Carolina One Real Estate. “Our most affordable home here is $499,900,” she said. “The ones I have for sale now are $525,000 and $540,000.”

Pricing depends on lot size and the closer one is to the end of the cul-de-sac Bring said. “The monthly HOA fee is $330. That takes care of landscaping, irrigation, termite bond, exterior building insurance, re-roof reserve, exterior paint reserve and pressure washing once a year.”

Bring said that options include white cabinets, oil rubbed faucets, Bosch appliances and tile back splashes. They all have elevator shafts (which are optional for a fee of approximately $30,000) from the garage to the other floors. The main floor includes hardwood flooring. They all have four outdoor spaces. The bottom floor has a covered patio and there’s three additional small decks off the living spaces. They all come with tile showers and double vanities in the dual master bedrooms.

Construction is still underway and the permitting process is still pending on some of the building. Bring said she doesn’t expect the completion of the townhome village taking more than a year to complete.

“I have five that are available between now and the first quarter,” she said.

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Goose Creek

“Goose Creek is still well priced,” said Maggie Burr of Realty ONE Group Coastal. “It’s still one of the areas of the Lowcountry where you’ll get more for your money.”

Burr has a brand new to the market listing in Goose Creek at 107 Sedburgh. Located in the Crowfield neighborhood, the custom-built home is a blend of two things according to Burr.

“It’s thoughtful design with livability upgrades and probably the best lot in the Hamlets of Crowfield,” she said.

The home sits on .83 acres and is nestled between the 13th and 18th green. Nearby are the ruins from the old Crowfield Plantation home, gardens and reflection pond that date back to the 1730s.

What’s more the area is convenient to a number of the Lowcountry prime employers – Google, Boeing, Bosch, Volvo and Mercedes.

“Crowfield Plantation itself has several parks, recreation amenities and 20 miles of trails and membership to the country club is optional,” Burr said.

The 4,605 square foot home has six bedrooms, a grand spiral staircase, three balcony porches and a large rear deck.

“The master suite is like an oasis with a dual-sided fireplace and a spa-like en suite bathroom,” she added.

The list price for all that luxury and space is $749,000.

Growth is good

As the market here in the region continues to thrive and grow, the good news is that developers are taking note of the issue of affordability. New to the market are homes that satisfy the need for buyers who want to live in areas such as Mount Pleasant.

Though rural areas beyond West Ashley and Goose Creek are still more budget-friendly, change is on the horizon for 2020 and vertical living will most assuredly be a part of that.

Contact Brigitte Surette at bsurette@postandcourier.com.