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Southeastern Wildlife Expo Kicks Off

By | Around Charleston

The one-of-a-kind event that celebrates everything wild returns to Charleston this weekend for a packed schedule featuring the crowd-pleasing DockDogs competition, birds of prey expo, live animal exhibits, tons of outdoor demos and hundreds of vendors ranging from local and regional artisans, artists, professional chefs, craftspeople, conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts.

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The Birds of Prey Flight Demo in Marion Square at SEWE 2015.

You can browse everything from custom made knives, nature inspired wildlife paintings, a variety of foods from local restaurants and vendors,sculptures, custom duck calls, oyster shuckers, woodworking crafts, wildlife photography exhibits, custom fishing lures, hunting and fishing accessories, duck boats and canoes, handmade jewelry and much, much more!

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Vendors in Marion Square at SEWE 2015.

This year many vendors and craftspeople will be setting up in the newly constructed Gaillard Center on Calhoun Street. The 3 year project cost $142 million and ranks as one of the most extravagant revitalized venues in Charleston. In addition, the Southeastern Wildlife Expo will also be occupying its normal locations including Birttlebank Park, Marion Square, Charleston Place hotel, Charleston Music Hall, the Charleston Marriott and several other locations.

Each venue will be holding unique events throughout the weekend. To see a full schedule of SEWE events click here. There is also shuttle service available that will be doing loops to different venues as well. To view a map of all of the venues and shuttle route click here.

The Southeastern Wildlife Expo opens all of its exhibits at 10 a.m. Friday morning, February 12th and continues through Sunday, February 14th. VIP ticket holders can take advantage of private viewings, exclusive events and more. General admission tickets run $50 and are good for all 3 days of the expo. Single day tickets can also be purchased for $25.

Online ticket sales ended on February 1st, but you can still get tickets at the Gaillard Center, the Charleston Visitors Center, Town of Mount Pleasant Visitors Center, the North Charleston Visitors Center and at select event venues downtown.

Visit the Southeastern Wildlife Expo website for more information.

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Charleston Real Estate Surging In 2016

By | Around Charleston

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2015 was an impressive year for the Charleston real estate market. Activity records were broken and the median home sales price in Charleston rose to its highest level ever. However, what’s more stunning is that so far, 2016 has been even busier than this same time a year ago.

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Buying activity got off to a fast start and has been very strong these first couple weeks of 2016. Last year, there were a total of 1,322 properties under contract through week 5. This year we are already at 1,390. If this trend continues we could see records shattered again this spring.

What’s encouraging is that we are seeing robust activity across the board in all Charleston MLS areas. Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, Hanahan/Summerville, and West Ashley are all off to a great start. The Charleston peninsula, which slowed down after last spring, has rallied showing an uptick in activity over the past couple weeks as well.

Island homes are selling well.  There were 77 under contract just in the last 2 weeks, 6 of those being listed over $1 million. New construction continues to be a big hit among buyers and represents a significant portion of what’s under contract. Inventory numbers are climbing which is good. The Charleston real estate market is need of new listings.

Don’t Wait Until Spring

If you are thinking about selling your home, listing sooner than later maybe advantageous. Buyers have learned to shop around before the seasonal spring activity heats up to avoid bidding wars with other buyers. Those who list their home earlier can tap into the off-season buyer’s market who typically want to close quickly and with cash.

If you are thinking about selling your Charleston home or just have questions about the buying or selling process, contact me directly to discuss your options or visit our sister site CharlestonListing.com for free home valuation based on current market conditions in Charleston not a broad national average like Zillow or Trulia.

Call me directly: (843) 437-8386
Matt Anderson

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The Most Expensive Listing in Charleston

By | Around Charleston
The most expensive listing in Charleston - 60 Montagu Street

Listing Provided by Debbie Fisher of Handsome Properties, Inc.

The Most Expensive Listing In Charleston

60 Montagu Street, also known as the Gaillard-Bennet House, is the most expensive listing in Charleston. It’s listed at a cool $12,950,000. The Federal style home was originally built in 1800.

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The entire property has been meticulously restored including the kitchen house, carriage house and Tack House. Take a video tour of this historic home:


[idx-listing mlsnumber=”15011094″ showall=”true”]

When Californians Taste Test South Carolina Food

By | Around Charleston

When you live in South Carolina for long enough, you lose sight of the fact that our cuisine is actually unique. From boiled peanuts to sweet tea to shrimp and grits, these Southern staples simply don’t exist in other parts of the country.

To help shed some light on some of our most beloved delicacies, these Californians taste test South Carolina food for the first time to put their west coast pallets to the test. Here’s what happens:

Californians Taste Test South Carolina Food

Video provided by Movoto and Movoto Originals YouTube Channel.

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Adele – Hello Realtor Parody Going Viral

By | Around Charleston

Over the past year we have seen real estate agents around the country showcasing their creative side while putting a humorous spin on common challenges that occur routinely in the real estate industry.

About 6 months ago we came across this funny Taylor Swift parody by real estate agent Andrea Madison Romero of Romero Homes in Phoenix, Arizona. Cleverly, instead of  Swift’s original “shake it off”, it’s “a day off” which I’m sure every agent can relate to.  The video went on to be featured by several real estate blogs and news sites. The video has over 10,000 views currently.

However, there’s a new real-estate-parody sheriff in town now and she’s powered by one of Adele’s most popular songs: ‘Hello’. This hilarious spoof is produced by REALTOR® Megan Hill Mitchum and her realtor friends Jennifer Clark and Heather Carey in Iowa. The video was posted to Youtube on Saturday and already has over 80,000 views! Check out the Adele Hello Realtor parody here:

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Charleston Staycations: Capers Island

By | Around Charleston

Thousands of years of human innovation has lead to the world as we know it today; a digitally connected society where everyday tasks have never been easier or more convenient. Ironically, disconnecting from all of the conveniences and escaping back to the primitive wilderness has become a task within itself. We know that taking a break from the city life is good every once in a while, there are even studies that suggest unplugging from the modern world can have psychological benefits. The problem is uninhabited, people-less places are becoming harder and harder to find, especially in Charleston where development and growth is exploding.

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Capers Island at sunset.

However, the good news is there are places that exist, not far from Charleston, where it is possible to disconnect, unplug, signout and experience the natural environment free from modern distractions.

Located just 15 miles north of Charleston, Capers Island lies in between Dewees Island and the Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge. Capers Island is a unique barrier island in that it is completely unspoiled. The island is protected from development and remains in its natural state. Capers is about 3 miles long and features over 200 acres of front beach, 850 acres of maritime forests and uplands, and over a hundred acres of brackish ponds and impoundments.

Capers Island remains secluded and isolated because there are no roads or bridges that connect it to the mainland or neighboring islands. The only way to access it is by boat.

How To Get To Capers Island

Since the island is only accessible by boat, visitors will have to plan ahead to get there. The most popular way is by kayak or canoe. There are several options of where to put in. The closest boat landing to Capers is the Gadsdenville Public Boat Landing which is just over 2 miles away. This boat landing is in Mt. Pleasant and would require a short kayak or boat trip across the marshland’s smaller creeks and scenic waterways.

The next closest boat landing is Garris Public Boat Landing, located farther north in Awendaw. This route is a little over 5 miles and will land you on the north end of Capers. There is also a marina located south along the Intracoastal Waterway on the Isle of Palms. This route is also around 5 miles and will land you on the southern end of Capers Island.

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A small creek leads to the backside of Capers Island.

Which ever route you choose you will experience a beautiful, wide open expanse of native marshalnds, winding creeks and waterways teeming with wildlife of all kinds including bottlenose dolphin, egrets, herons, ospreys, as well as many species of fish including red drum, sea trout, flounder, and king whiting.

If you do plan to kayak or canoe to the island it is important to check the weather forecast beforehand and also make sure to check the tides to avoid becoming grounded or stuck during low tide. Check the NOAA Tides and Currents for Charleston. Another option is to setup a charter with a local expedition company like Coastal Expeditions or Barrier Island Eco-Tours.

Camping on Capers Island

Visitors are aloud to stop by the island anytime during daylight hours free of charge and without a permit. Although, if you want to camp overnight you must obtain a free DNR permit. Camping is only allowed on the north and south ends of the island and is restricted to 80 total people per night. Click here for all of the Capers Island DNR regulations. What really sets Capers apart from other DNR managed lands is that fires are permitted on the island and dogs can also accompany you anytime.

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Fires are permitted while camping on Capers Island.

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A unique feature of Capers Island is the “bone-yard beach”.

If you do bring your 4 legged companion, there is plenty of room for them to run and explore. The beach is one of the cleanest, most pristine beaches in the lowcountry. It also features the”bone-yard” which is a collection of weathered tree skeletons that succumbed to natural erosion years ago. Many of the tree skeletons appear frozen in time as the land beneath them has disappeared. In fact, the island is eroding an average of 15 feet per year since 1875.

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The “bone-yard” on the south end of the island.

Another feature is McCaskill Trail whcih is a primitive walking path for exploring the interior part of the island although parts of it are overgrown or washed out from time to time. The trail extends from the front beach to the back of the island on the marsh side where there is a dock for boats or kayaks to park.

Exploring Capers Island is truly a unique experience. The natural features of the island combined with the abundance of wildlife make it an excellent destination for nature photographers, explorers and adventurers as well as those who need a break from the modern world. It is a magical place that seems worlds away until you make the short trip back to Charleston.

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Why 2015 Was A Great Year For Charleston Real Estate

By | Around Charleston

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Percentage Change In Median Home Sales Price in Charleston

 If you are thinking about selling your Charleston home or just have questions about the buying or selling process, contact me directly to discuss your options or visit our sister site CharlestonListing.com for free home valuation based on current market conditions in Charleston not a broad national average like Zillow or Trulia.
Call me directly: (843) 437-8386
Matt Anderson

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Unrefined Island To Coastal Oasis

By | Around Charleston

An Unrefined Island

There was a time when Sullivans island was considered unrefined and rural compared to the developing city of Charleston. Its early history revolves around the strategic importance of the fort that was built on its south west end. Fort Moultrie was a key defensive position in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. After its closure in the 1940’s a small island community began to fill the void.

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The remains of Fort Moultrie today.

The island at that time was said to be unrefined, overgrown and rustic, but the few locals that lived there preferred it that way. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, a graveyard of historical shipwrecks was found by a longtime island resident. Over the course of a few years, 6 Civil War blockade runners and a number of other ships were found along the shores of Sullivans Island. For outsiders, the island appeared rough around the edges and out of the way, while for locals, it encompassed everything one could want in a quaint beach paradise.

The residents fought to preserve their simple and quiet way of life for decades. They succeeded in that regard and now it seems like people have found out about it all over again. Once considered a rustic, outlying island-town of Charleston in the 1960’s and 70’s, Sullivans Island has slowly made its way into the spotlight as a small, coastal oasis.

The Happiest Seaside Town

Despite its jump in popularity, surprisingly little has changed. The island remains as relaxed in nature as it was in the 1960’s. There are still no traffic lights on the island, you still have to wait for the Ben Sawyer swing bridge to open and close for sailboats, and the Charleston Light (Sullivans Island lighthouse) still guides sea vessels into the harbor as it did over 50 years ago. Since 1960, Sullivans Island has grown very little adding only about 500 residents. As of 2014, less than 2,000 people live on the 2.5 square mile barrier island.

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Ben Sawyer Bridge Opening for a sailboat.

What sets Sullivans Island apart from other island communities are the people. There are no hotels, motels, resorts, or shopping malls on the island so most of the people that you come into contact with live there permanently and are proud of their home. They are also more than happy to share their piece of paradise with visitors. The island residents are truly some of the friendliest people you can meet in the South.

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Longtime island residents taking in the views.

In fact, Coastal Living magazine recently named Sullivans Island as one of the happiest seaside towns in the nation. The finalists were ranked on “Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of clear and sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, walkability, crime ratings, standard of living and financial well-being of the locals, geographic diversity, and our editors’ assessment of each town’s coastal vibe.”

“Best Beach No One Knows About”

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A beach to yourself.

Take a short stroll down one of the island’s many public access paths today and you will still be greeted with one of the nicest beaches in South Carolina. Arguably, the beach is one of the most defining characteristics of the entire island. It’s hard to find a beach that rivals the cleanliness or peacefulness of Sullivans while being in such close proximity to the city of Charleston.

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Beach access paths extend through the naturally occurring maritime forests and sand dunes. Pictured here is the Station 25 beach access path.

Sullivans Island is unique in that the beachfront lands have accreted over time which has produced beautiful maritime forests and natural sand dunes leading to the beachfront. This land is owned by the town and is protected from development to preserve the coastal ecosystem.  This has lead to the creation of beautiful, secluded walking paths and boardwalks that lead from the streets to the beach. In fact, last summer a special nature trail was established at the Station 16 Street access path.

This nature trail is made up of 650 feet of boardwalks, observation decks and benches offering peaceful, secluded views of the harbor, forested wetlands and vegetated dunes. – Post & Courier

But probably the best part about the beach on Sullivans is that dogs are allowed, albeit at designated times and with a town issued dog tag and collar. In the winter months they can be totally off leash to run freely during off-hours. For residents, walking the dog on the beach with a cup of coffee has become a natural morning routine.

However it’s also not uncommon to find dog owners from Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, and other areas taking advantage of the canine-friendly laws on the island especially during winter. Rules for dogs do change seasonally so be sure to check the town’s website here for dog laws.

During the summer months, Sullivans Island has gotten increasingly popular with beach goers, although compared to Folly Beach and Isle of Palms, it’s still consistently less crowded. Last year GQ Magazine ranked the “six best beaches in America” and Sullivans Island was named “the best beach know one knows about”.

Rarely will you see more than ten people laid out on its dunes. Which means you can pick up a bag of boiled peanuts (side of the road; $2), set up camp at the edge of the receding tide, and pretend this little slice of sand is all yours. – Mark Byrne, GQ Magazine

It seems that people have taken a liking to the old-school island feel. It’s hard to believe that this island was once shunned for lacking progress and being too rustic. Things have undoubtedly come full circle now as the once unrefined island is now basking in the spotlight for simply being itself.

Check out the latest real estate listings on Sullivans Island

[idx-listings zip=”29482″ statuses=”1″ propertytypes=”293″ orderby=”DateAdded” orderdir=”DESC” count=”10″ showlargerphotos=”true”]

If you are thinking about selling your Charleston home or just have questions about the buying or selling process, contact me directly to discuss your options or visit our sister site CharlestonListing.com for free home valuation based on current market conditions in Charleston not a broad national average like Zillow or Trulia.

Call me directly: (843) 437-8386
Matt Anderson

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Secret, Off-Market Deals On The Rise In Charleston

By | Around Charleston

2015: A Historical Year for Charleston Real Estate

2015 went down as the 3rd busiest year in Charleston real estate history as 15,000 homes were sold. The median home sales price rose 5% to around $235k in 2015, but many areas around Charleston saw a 10% gain in value or more. 2016 looks to be more of the same, albeit at a slightly slower rate of appreciation. A few key interest rates edged higher, but mortgage rates still remain under 4.5% which is a big driver of demand right now.

Demand has kept inventory low, with many areas possessing less than 3 months of inventory, meaning sellers are in the drivers seat. Buyers coming from the Multiple Listing Service are forced to compete with each other when supply is limited which drives the price higher.

Off Market Sales And Investment Properties

However, another route that homeowners took in 2015, particularly in Charleston, was selling to buyers or investors before their homes hit the market. These “secret listings” are considered “off-market” or “pocket listings” meaning they are not listed in any of the Multiple Listing Services. Most of these deals are done through a network of luxury real estate agents that specialize in matching buyers and sellers in these exclusive deals. In 2015, we (Matt Anderson Properties) sold over 20 properties that were off market and 40+ in total sales all around Charleston including the Old Village, historic downtown and the Isle of Palms. These numbers represent a significant jump compared to a year earlier. Off-market deals in hot real estate markets make up 15% of total sales in some cases, which is significantly higher than the past few years.

In A Hot Market Like Charleston, Why Would You Sell Your Home Off Market?

Conventional wisdom suggests that if you want to sell something, you want as many people to see it so that it creates competition and demand among buyers, raising the value of the product. In off-market deals buyers are paying a premium to close a deal without competition and in confidentiality. In some cases the homeowners never intended to sell, but were approached with an enticing enough deal that it made sense financially.

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Matt Anderson Properties sold this beautiful off-market 5 bedroom/3.5 bath, 3077 sq foot home in the heart of Old Village for $959,800 in August.

Off-market sales are more popular in the high end, luxury market, but similar deals can be done at all levels. Sellers find it convenient for several reasons. For one, there is no time constraint. Both parties can craft a deal that suits their needs. For example, a buyer could allow for a flexible time table for the seller to find and close on a new home before completing the deal. Or vice versa, the seller could offer as much time as necessary to get any desired home inspections done before the buyer enters into the contract.

Sellers can also take advantage of reduced preparation costs because they avoid expenses related to required home inspections, pest inspections and home repairs.  They also avoid the inconvenience of having prospective buyers continuously looking through their home while it is listed on the MLS.

In rare occasions the buyer and seller may know each other and opt to complete the purchase without a real estate agent, however this is not recommended because real estate transactions are complicated and can be risky. Hiring a local real estate agent who knows the market can ensure proper valuation of the deal through a professional market analysis, uncover any flaws in the contract and also bring peace of mind to the whole deal.

Like any purchase, off market transactions are not without risk. You should always consult a real estate professional before entering into any form of real estate contract.

If you are interested in exploring some of the off-market deals in Charleston or are considering selling your home you can contact me anytime. If you just have questions about the buying or selling process, please contact me directly and I would be happy to answer all of your questions.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (843) 437-8386

Matt Anderson 

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Forbes Ranks Charleston #2 Hottest Real Estate Market

By | Around Charleston

#1 (1)If Charleston has a trophy room for the city’s awards, accolades and titles, it will need a major expansion or perhaps a relocation to a large warehouse after these past few years. Earlier this year, Charleston took home the title “best small city in America” thanks to the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Charleston has won “best city” 5  years in a row now.

In October, Charleston’s own Bulldog Tours in historic downtown won best ghost tour in the country in USA Today’s 10Best by virtue of the long, spooky history of the old jail, historic graveyards and gardens within the city proper.

Now, Charleston has been spotted on another top-10 list. Forbes has ranked Charleston as the second hottest real estate market to watch in 2016. Forbes explains that Charleston has the 6th highest job growth rate in the country which moved it into the second position behind Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since the Charleston real estate market has had a historical year, breaking activity records and exhibiting above average sales in the traditionally slower seasons. Sales are up over 14% compared to this same time last year and median sales prices are up over 10% in many areas around Charleston. Our market is on pace to have the third busiest year on record selling over 15,000 total homes in 2015.

Looking ahead to 2016, the momentum is expected to carry forward. As more people move to the area for employment thanks to Boeing, Mercedes and Volvo, demand for housing will continue to rise. Furthermore, homeowners who have been on the fence about selling in the past now have recouped the value they lost in the recession.  With all of these factors culminating together, this spring could be one of the busiest we have seen.

If you are thinking about selling your Charleston home or just have questions about the buying or selling process, contact me directly to discuss your options or visit our sister site CharlestonListing.com for free home valuation based on current market conditions in Charleston not a broad national average like Zillow or Trulia.

Call me directly: (843) 437-8386
Matt Anderson

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