Charleston Market Updates

New Charleston Flood Maps – New Insurance Rates

By Charleston Market Updates

Starting January 29, 2021 new Charleston flood maps created by FEMA and Charleston Country will go into effect for residents across the Lowcountry. These new maps will help define whether thousands of homeowners will be required to  have flood insurance and what options will be available to them for post-storm home repairs.

In general, the new studies have shown an overall decreased risk of flooding for most areas around Charleston. More than 80,000 buildings have been re-zoned, many from a high risk category to a lower risk one. This means that starting January 29th, next year many homeowners will see a decrease in insurance costs. Builders will also be affected by having lower height requirements than previous standards. Some areas, such as Edisto Island, have lowered the heights by as much as 7 feet.

Chris Silcox, an owner of C.T. Lowndes Insurance says, “Some of the largest changes you are going to see will be the more exposed properties on the oceanfront or a row or two back,” Silcox said. “They will see a substantial reduction in their rates. There’s a credit for every one foot above base flood elevation up to four feet. If someone is right at the right level currently or maybe a foot above and then the base flood elevation comes down and they end up ‘more positive’ then their rate would come down.”

There were also updates to FEMA’s flood insurance rules for storm damage. “Homes that are “substantially damaged,” or require repair beyond 50 percent of their value, must meet FEMA’s base height for houses in flood zones when they are fixed. That can mean additional expense for older homes, built before the federal flood insurance rules were in effect.”

To see the proposed new flood insurance rate maps visit this link:  Charleston Country FEMA Flood Zones.


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Matt Anderson Nominated for CTAR Board of Directors

By Charleston Market Updates

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The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (CTAR) 2017 Nominating Committee has recently released their recommendations for the 2018 CTAR Board of Directors. CTAR is the primary source for real estate services in Charleston and all of the Lowcountry.

About The CTAR Board of Directors

CTAR has served as the “voice of real estate” in the Lowcountry for over 100 years by providing relevant statistics for current market conditions, offering legislative support and serving as the leading resource for all things real estate in the Lowcountry.

The CTAR Board of Directors provides leadership and guidance to all its Realtor® members and is an active component in the real estate community as a whole. CTAR is devoted to maintaining a code of ethics for all of its members in order to protect and promote the interests of real estate clients and customers.

As a Realtor® member of CTAR for more than a decade, Matt Anderson is committed to bringing his real-world expertise to the CTAR Board of Directors. He has been recognized as a top 10% producing realtor in Charleston with the Realtor of Distinction – Executive Circle award.  In working with Residential, Multi-Family, and Commercial investors/developers, he has gained extensive knowledge in all of the major facets of the Charleston real estate market.

His passion lies in the adaptive reuse of historically significant and urban infill projects on the Peninsula. Matt’s comprehensive knowledge of the entitlement, Board of Architectural Review (BAR) and Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) processes have aided him as well as his clients with the marketing and sale of their primary, secondary, and investment properties.

Read more about the CTAR Board of Directors Recommendations

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Investment Properties in Downtown Charleston SC – The Time to Buy is Now

By Charleston Market Updates

Ever had the itch to become a property mogul or found yourself glued to the TV for hours watching re- runs of Million Dollar Listing or Flip This House? I hate to admit it, but I am guilty. With the increase in stock market volatility surrounding the election and the debt crisis in the Euro zone, many are looking for an alternative form of investment. Investors are ditching their Mutual Funds and low yield savings accounts in favor of a more tangible asset, real estate. Taking things a step further, real estate investors are focusing on markets that are showing signs of growth while still being affordable. This is where Charleston enters the picture. With the influx of positive press and industrial/technological growth in recent months, businesses and investors are taking note. In fact, Charleston was recently voted the #1 City in the World by Conde Nast Magazine. A lofty claim, but I as well as many Charleston natives would argue that our city is finally getting the attention it deserves. With the increase of business activity and tourism, many, both young and old, have decided to make Charleston their home and the real estate statistics prove this point. Year-to-date home sale figures have grown 12% over 2011. On the commercial/investment side of the spectrum vacancy rates are at all time lows, retail/office rent rates are at all time highs, as well as residential rental rates.

How are large real estate developers responding? The answer is simple; they are buying up every site on the Peninsula that they can get their hands on, specifically on the Upper King and Upper Meeting Street corridors. Smaller local development groups have taken note and are doing the same and they all seem to be focusing on three areas: food & beverage, hotels, and student housing. Holiday Inn has identified a new site on Meeting Street, Greystar is working on a mid-rise boutique apartment project dubbed Elan and there are new bars/restaurants opening weekly downtown. This is all part of a master plan for the Midtown area connecting Upper King with Upper Meeting. You might ask, how does this affect you as a smaller real estate investor in Charleston? The answer to this question can be defined in terms of proximity and demand. Unless you are a long –time restaurateur you may want to stay away from this side of the business and unless you have experience as a hotel developer you probably won’t get off the ground . This leaves one clear option; student housing. Limited rental properties on the Peninsula and large number of students attending the MUSC, the College of Charleston, Charleston School of Law, and now the USC satellite campus coupled with low barriers of entry make student house the clear choice for first-time or seasoned investors looking at the Charleston real estate market. Property values are relatively low with high rent rates ($900-1000 per bedroom or more) in many of the neighborhoods directly adjacent to the Upper King/Upper Meeting corridors. Areas such as the Eastside, Cannonborough, Elliottborough, Wraggborough, Ansonborough, Radcliffeborough and Harleston Village are all smart choices.

How do I get started? Rather than spend time driving around and calling off of real estate signs, call me and I will set you up on a search specific to your requirements. I specialize in the purchase and sale of Investment Properties in downtown and have extensive experience dealing with investors needs in the ever-changing real estate market here in Charleston. I can promise you that you will only receive properties that fit your budget and that have the potential for significant financial gain with no filler. Now is the time to invest while the deals are still out there and before real estate prices on the Peninsula adjust to the demand.

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