Buying a Luxury Home in and Around Charleston, SC

Buying a Luxury Home in and Around Charleston, SC

  • Michelle Almeyda Wiedemuth
  • 04/5/24

Known for its beautiful weather, rich history, and award-winning restaurants, Charleston, South Carolina, is attracting a wave of new residents every year. If you’d like to live in a place where there are more than 230 sunny days each year, where gorgeous beaches are just around the corner, and where vibrant nightlife and other fun activities abound, Charleston may be the right place for you. Whether you already live in the area and are planning to upsize or you’re considering a relocation, you need to know a few things before you get started on your journey. Here is what you need to know about buying a luxury home in Charleston, SC.

Neighborhoods to consider

The Charleston metro area has a population of over 830,000 and features a variety of luxury neighborhoods to consider. Depending on how close you want to be to beaches, downtown, and certain amenities, some neighborhoods will likely be more attractive to you than others. Here are some of the top ones to explore.

Seabrook Island

Though it’s located 24.5 miles from downtown Charleston, Seabrook Island is still considered part of the Charleston metropolitan area. Seabrook Island is the only truly private, gated oceanfront community in Charleston with nearly 4 miles of private beach. Limited to owners of properties, their guests, and those who are renting homes on the island, it’s quiet, secure, and has a host of luxurious resort-like amenities. Villas, cottages, townhomes, and sprawling mansions are all represented on Seabrook Island, each close to oceanfront dining, two private golf courses, an equestrian center, racquet club with 15 Har-Tru clay courts, pickleball, a state of the art fitness center, five pools and a pristine beach. Properties range in price from the low $ 400,000 to several million. At the time of publication (3/18/24), 26 single-family homes in Seabrook Island are selling for a median price of $2.3 million.  The price of condos, cottages and townhomes vary.  Contact Michelle for specific information.

Kiawah Island

Also located within 25 miles of downtown Charleston is Kiawah Island. Kiawah is known for its 10-mile stretch of pristine beach, a variety of outdoor activities, including surfing, fishing, wildlife viewing, and five premier golf courses. This semi-private gated community is a preserved habitat for lush flora and fauna and is the perfect place to commune with nature. Property types include: villas, cottages, townhomes, and mansions.  At the time of publication, Kiawah currently has 104 properties for sale, including vacant lots. Prices on Kiawah Island range from $449,000 - $39.5 million.

Downtown Charleston

Charleston's historic downtown is a significant attraction located on a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. This area is known for its cobblestone streets and diverse architectural styles, including Colonial, Georgian, Gothic Revival, and Italianate. The district offers a historical journey, maintaining a close-knit community ambiance despite its global popularity. Charleston, established in 1670 and incorporated in 1783, has consistently been lauded by travelers, with accolades from Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as a top U.S. city. The real estate market in Charleston is diverse, ranging from modest single-story cottages to grand historic homes with intricate designs and brick exteriors.

The downtown area has several small neighborhoods, including the exclusive South of Broad, where homes routinely sell in the $1 - $10 million dollar range, to the lovely Harleston Village that is near Colonial Lake and has homes selling in the $500,000 - $8 million range.

Mount Pleasant

Located just nine miles from downtown Charleston is Mount Pleasant, a large suburb that sprawls over 58 square miles and boasts a population of more than 92,000. A coastal destination that is often described as a slice of paradise, Mount Pleasant is surrounded by water on three sides.

Mt. Pleasant, a suburb of Charleston, offers residents not only easy access to downtown but also a variety of amenities, including golf, shopping, parks, and a vibrant dining and nightlife scene. This area has a rich history, originally inhabited by the Sewee people and later becoming a shipbuilding hub. "Old Town," the oldest residential part of Mt. Pleasant, features historic homes like the Hibben House, dating back to 1755. The real estate market in Mt. Pleasant is diverse, with properties ranging from affordable starter homes to luxurious waterfront houses, many of which date back to the early 20th century.

Due to its size, Mount Pleasant has more homes to choose from than some of the island neighborhoods. Currently, homes on the market range in price from $500,000 up to $5.3 million.

Isle of Palm/Sullivans Island

The beach is within a short walk or bike ride, no matter where you live. Restaurants and shops are popular for both island residents and visitors. Isle of Palm is known for its large beachfront homes and is also home to the Wild Dunes Resort, a renowned vacation destination on the southeast coast. Condos and townhouses are available for purchase. Single-family homes generally range from $850,000 - $15 million. At the time of publication, there are 44 single homes for sale ranging from $895,000 - $11,259,000.

Daniel Island

Daniel Island offers diverse living options, from single-family homes, to condos, and townhouses. The master-planned community is an award-winning example of new urbanism with the Cooper and Wando Rivers on either side. South of 526, you will find an urban-suburban feel, whereas north of 526, the homes are grander and closer to the exclusive Daniel Island Country Club. Just a short drive to Mount Pleasant and downtown Charleston, Daniel Island is especially popular with families. Single-family homes generally range from $800,000 - $5.7 million. At the time of publication, 22 single-family homes were for sale ranging from $924,900 - $6,750,000.

Narrow down your search criteria

With so many wonderful neighborhoods and homes to choose from, it’s crucial to hone in on your specific needs and wants before you proceed with buying a luxury home in Charleston, SC. Knowing your search criteria will help your real estate agent curate a list of homes currently for sale as well as be on the lookout for off-market listings and other homes that aren’t actively being marketed to the public. Here are some things to consider:

Your budget

How much you want to spend on a home will help your agent decide what neighborhoods you should consider, as well as prevent you from being disappointed if you fall in love with a home  or neighborhood only to realize it’s out of your price range. Most experts suggest spending 28% or less of your monthly gross income on housing expenses, including a mortgage. Of course, if this is not your first home and you will be reinvesting proceeds from your current home’s sale, you’ll likely have a much larger budget.


Before you get into amenities or features you’d like in an ideal home, you need to nail down your needs. The number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, school district, and type of property (condo, townhouse, ranch, multi-level, etc.) you will require.


Once you’ve identified your needs, it’s time to look at your wish list. Do you want a pool? A community with resort-like amenities such as: golf, racquet sports? A luxurious spa-like primary bathroom? A dedicated office space? Wants are non-deal-breaker items that could possibly be added during future remodeling projects.

Get pre-approved

Before you even start looking at homes for sale, get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval will not only give you a better idea of what price range you are looking in, but it will also show luxury sellers you are a serious buyer. Many sellers will not consider an offer by a buyer who is not pre-approved, especially in the luxury realm.

Ready to take the next step?

Have you settled on a neighborhood, know your budget, and understand what you want in a home? Or do you need help finding the right neighborhood?  If so, it’s time to start the journey of buying a luxury home in Charleston, SC. When you’re ready to take the next step, reach out to experienced local agent Michelle Wiedemuth. Michelle relocated her family to Charleston from the northeast and can help answer any questions you have about its many neighborhoods and show you what’s currently on the market, ensuring you have a seamless experience buying a luxury home.

*Header photo courtesy of Michelle Wiedemuth | Builder: Cornerstone Estates LLC

Work With Michelle

Michelle knows the complexities of relocating and understands the importance of finding the right location for her clients. Whether you are considering Seabrook or the Charleston area, she is uniquely positioned to help you find your dream home or property.

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