Searching for the perfect neighborhood
in Charleston, SC? Whether looking for houses for sale in Summerville, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, North Charleston, or Moncks Corner, there are ample choices in this rapidly expanding area. While many will begin their search in or around downtown Charleston, suburban cities located within 30 miles are experiencing explosive growth.
New and established neighborhoods in the area offer a myriad of benefits and amenities for residents. Choosing the right community for your needs is easy when you know what you want, as well as what to expect when living in the idyllic Lowcountry.
Check out our top six tips for finding your perfect neighborhood near Charleston.
Decide which amenities are most important to you
Locals and tourists alike adore Charleston for its many things to do, see, and explore. From the bustling new restaurants and stores found at Nexton to long-standing favorites, such as the Charleston City Market, there’s no shortage of year-round fun and amusement.
Since every city and neighborhood has its own restaurants, shops, and attractions, knowing which amenities you’d like to be closest to is essential for picking the right place to live. When you reside minutes away from your favorite spots, life will be as enjoyable as possible.
While certainly not an exhaustive list, here are some of the top attractions, restaurants, and amenities in each Charleston-area city:
: Shops and restaurants at Nexton, Summerville Farmers Market
, downtown Summerville, shopping at Azalea Square, The Icehouse restaurant, Coastal Coffee Roasters, Flowertown Players.
- North Charleston: North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Coliseum, Riverfront Park (the site of many festivals and concerts), restaurants and breweries in and around Park Circle, Wannamaker County Park, Northwoods Mall, Holy City Brewing, Firefly Distillery, Tanger Outlets.
- Goose Creek/Moncks Corner: Cypress Gardens, Goose Creek Farmers’ Market, Mepkin Abbey, boating on the Cooper River, Crowfield Golf Club, Wannamaker North Trail.
- Downtown Charleston/West Ashley: Historic Charleston City Market, South Carolina Aquarium, Waterfront Park, The Battery, shopping and dining on King Street, Charles Towne Landing, and restaurants in the Avondale neighborhood.
- Mount Pleasant: Close to top beaches, ample shopping and dining options, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Shem Creek, Boone Hall, Palmetto Islands County Park, and Mount Pleasant Towne Center.
- Isle of Palms: Public beaches, Wild Dunes Golf Course, Isle of Palms County Park, Coconut Joe’s Beach Grill, Acme Lowcountry Kitchen, The Windjammer.
- Sullivan’s Island: Public beaches, Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park, The Obstinate Daughter (restaurant), Poe’s Tavern, Home Team BBQ.
- Folly Beach/James Island: Public beaches, James Island County Park (featuring the seasonally-held Festival of Lights), Bowen’s Island restaurant, Folly Beach Pier, Lost Dog Cafe, Folly Beach County Park.
Select your preferred neighborhood style
Part of achieving the feeling of being “at home” in your new residence is related to being in an environment that you enjoy. From the bustling, fast-paced city to rural parts of the area, it is important to choose a neighborhood style that suits your personality.
Every community has its advantages. The suburban developments around Charleston are located near top public and private schools, making them a top choice for families moving to Charleston.
Learn about neighborhoods in each city
Once you’ve narrowed your search to select cities, you’ll want to dive deeper into each locale’s distinct neighborhoods and subdivisions. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Summerville include Wescott and Nexton. Around Moncks Corner, Spring Grove, and Foxbank are two of the most popular subdivisions, lined with newer homes and top community amenities.
Finding the right neighborhood for you and your family is about getting a feel for the community’s overall “vibe.” The best way to do this is to take a virtual or in-person tour.
Chart your estimated commute time
Over the past decade, commute times in Charleston have increased. Although only a sub-15 mile journey, commute times between West Ashley and Mount Pleasant can be as high as 45 minutes to one hour in dense traffic. This type of scenario is found all throughout the Lowcountry. In addition to traffic volume, inclement weather can affect driving times.
As you search for the perfect neighborhood, be sure to chart out your estimated commute time to and from work on Google Maps. Also, if you have kids in school, see how long it takes to get to and from their school. Doing this in advance can save you headaches and frustration.
Evaluate nearby schools
While exploring Goose Creek, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville real estate
, all families with school-aged children should evaluate nearby schools. The entire Charleston area is known for having excellent schools — both public and private.
Although there are many outstanding options anywhere you choose to settle, Dorchester School District 2 (which encompasses many Summerville schools) is consistently ranked as the area’s best. Don’t just take our word for it, however, and we strongly suggest using the counties’ and national websites to research any school you are considering.
Explore the merits of new versus established neighborhoods
Thanks to its continued, rapid growth, the Charleston area is home to both new and established neighborhoods. In fact, many of the neighborhoods in the Charleston suburbs, including Summerville, Goose Creek, and Moncks Corner, did not exist 10-15 years ago. Moncks Corner, in particular, is adding thousands of homes in brand-new subdivisions that will be completed in the coming years.
As you decide where to purchase a home near Charleston, explore the benefits of living in new and established neighborhoods. Even if you are already leaning one way or the other, take the time to learn about both types to make the right decision.
What are some of the benefits of buying property in a brand-new subdivision? Newer communities often have homes that are still on warranty, houses are turn-key ready, and neighborhood amenities are all top-notch. Established communities come with the benefit of consistent property values, exclusive amenities, and home styles that brim with character.
Hands down, hiring the right real estate team to represent you is the best strategy for finding the perfect neighborhood near Charleston. As long-time area locals with a passion for providing the highest level of service, you can enjoy peace of mind when working with the team at Real Estate House International. Their integrity, commitment to client satisfaction, and timely communication help ensure that they exceed all of your expectations. Contact the team today