This upscale home stands within a newer neighborhood, but its weighty columns, stucco siding, dormer windows and broad stairs leading to a generous front porch recall a somewhat compacted version of a well-to-do 19th century country residence.
As it turns out, 693 Whispering Marsh Drive dates back 25 years — custom-designed with a plantation-style floor plan that was a "big rage in the 1990s," says Ellen Leigh Murray, broker Realtor with Charleston Premier Properties and the listing agent.
What makes the James Island property, with similarities to sweeping Southern estates, particularly notable is it stands on the site of Stiles Point Plantation. The neighborhood gets its name from a significant home there in the 1740s. The serendipitous result is a three-tier custom house with plantation design on the "site of an old plantation," she says.
On the market for the first time, the 3,423-square-foot residence boasting high ceilings and access to a tidal creek is priced for sale at $799,000.
"I think it's a good family home," the Realtor says. Located a few miles from downtown Charleston, the house would suit medical professionals for instance because of the short driving distance to MUSC.
Murray says plantation-like designs "all had the symmetry," with an equal number of windows on each side. Built in 1993 based on plans obtained from an online historical design firm, 693 Whispering Marsh Drive counts four bedrooms, two full baths and a powder room. The James Island property has sufficient acreage to tweak the layout. "People can do what they want (such as) put a pool in," she says. Another option would be to build a dock on the creek, already accessible for kayaking.
Interior perks include a downstairs master suite with walk-in closets and separate whirlpool tub and shower in the bathroom. The house further showcases built-in living room bookshelves, wood burning fireplace and huge windows that provide wide views of oaks and palmettos, according to Murray. A large room off the foyer currently boasts a piano and has plenty of room left over. Other features include a butlers pantry and modern kitchen with top-end counters and stainless steel appliances.
"It's a solid feeling home," she says.
Upstairs are three bedrooms and a section closed off with French doors that the owner, a music producer, uses as a recording studio. Three front dormer windows provide views from the second floor.
The backyard creek stands three feet at high tide. Beyond the water are marshlands and views of the community's scenic Compass Point. The half-acre home site counts 17 live oaks, many draped with Spanish moss, filing the backyard. "It's just a nice place here," she says.
Murray notes there's a history of newer homes such as 693 Whispering Marsh that are designed to resemble antebellum residences. "Once the mansions of the South, plantation style architecture is now seen less frequently, but still bears the signature grandness of deep porches with columns, center entrances and large rooms with wood flooring," she says.
According to the Realtor, owners purchased plans from www.historicaldesigns.com to build the home. Attractions include 10-foot ceilings on the main floor and nine footers on the upper level. Perusers "can easily feel a spaciousness that harkens back to another time when folks lived in a grand way," Murray says.
She suggests that possible buyers would include people who work in the city love "the proximity of this family oriented neighborhood with a great school district," as well as folks who work at home and need an office or studio space while also enjoying the 10 minute drive to Charleston's peninsula "with all its galleries, shops and restaurants."
As it is, James Island can claim its share of culture, Murray says. The island touts South Carolina's second settlement: 40 Dutch transplants from New York established a 12,000 acre colony on the Ashley River a year after the Charles Towne settlement. Large plantations cropped up through the 1700s. The Stiles-Hinson House, built circa 1742 at the end of what's now Old Plantation Road — the entrance street to Stiles Point Plantation — is considered one of the oldest houses on James Island. In the 1950s and '60s, numerous James Island property owners divided their holdings and sold the land to developers, she says.
In her listing write-up, Murray describes 693 Whispering Marsh as a "beautiful executive family home located on a quiet cul-de-sac near the community tennis courts and playground."
She says the property's "teeming with custom finishes and (showcases) hardwood floors in all rooms. The ground floor garage is huge and could easily house an office or extra playroom with plenty of parking," she says.
For more information and photos, go to www.postandcourier.com/business/real_estate/jim-parker.
Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agent: Ellen Leigh Murray, Broker Realtor
Office: Charleston Premier Properties