charleston harbor with sailboats at james island

 

 

May 25, 2018

Historical Spots in Mt Pleasant SC

Mount Pleasant's Historical Markers

If you enjoy learning about local history, reading the local historical markers adds a depth of understanding you may appreciate. 

Below is a reproduction of the writings on local Mount Pleasant historical markers located across the Mount Pleasant area.

ALHAMBRA HALL - In 1847, Charles Jugnot and Oliver Hillard, owners of Mount Pleasant Ferry Company, developed a picnic ground in a grove of live oaks, called Hort’s Grove. They built the first Alhambra as a summer retreat and dance hall overlooking Charleston Harbor. The present building was constructed in 1937 and is maintained by the town as a multipurpose recreational facility. 

 

 

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ARTHUR RAVENEL, JR. /BRIDGE - ARTHUR RAVENEL, JR. BRIDGE Named by an Act of the General Assembly in honor of State Senate Arthur Ravenel, Jr., who enthusiastically spearheaded a broad-based effort to secure the funds for its construction. See Reverse (Reverse) ARTHUR RAVENEL, JR. Born 1927, Native of Charleston, US Marine, graduate of the College of Charleston, successful businessman, environmentalist, SC House of Representatives 1953-1958, SC Senate 1981-1986,US Congress 1987-1994, SC Senate 1999- 2004. Erected in 2005 

 

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BOONE HALL PLANTATION - Boone Hall Plantation, established in 1681 by a grant to Major John Boone, remained in the family for 130 years. The plantation, purchased by the Horlbeck family in 1817, produced primarily Sea Island cotton. A cotton gin, smokehouse, and 9 slave cabins, all built of brick made here, survive from the antebellum period. The present main house at Boone Hall was built for Thomas A. Stone in 1936. 

 

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BRICKYARD PLANTATION - Brickyard Plantation is a portion of the vast Boone Hall Plantation. The soils that cover much of the tract contain dense red clay and sand making it suitable for brick production. In 1817, “a plantation with a Brick Yard established thereon called Boon Hall” was purchased by John and Henry Horlbeck. The brothers were partners in the construction industry having built several notable structures in Charleston such as the St John’s Lutheran Church and St. Stephen’s Chapel. The Horlbecks developed the brick yard into a major enterprise. From 1850 to 1860, twenty five million bricks were produced at a profit of $170,000. The brick yard operated throughout the nineteenth century and was later known as the Horlbeck Brick and Tile Company. The facility consisted of several kilns, workshops, drying areas, a brick lined cistern, a commissary, and a steam boiler. The boiler’s brick chimney stands today. 

 

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BRITISH ATTACK AT BREACH INLET/BATTERY MARSHALL - BRITISH ATTACK AT BREACH INLET In 1776, a force of British Army regulars attempted to cross Breach Inlet in an effort to capture Fort Sullivan (Fort Moultrie). Their advance was thwarted and many British lives lost when their boats were caught intreacherous currents while under fire from Colonel Thomson’s Eutawville sharpshooters who had erected a temporary fort near this spot overlooking Breach Inlet. (Reverse)

BATTERY MARSHALL In 1864, the Confederate submarine, H.L. Hunley departed from Battery Marshall near this spot on Sullivan’s Island. It passed through Breach Inlet on assignment to sink the U.S.S. Housatonic. The Hunley crew signaled Battery Marshall that their mission was successful, but the submarine sank. The wreck of the H.L. Hunley and crew were recovered in 2000. 

CHANNEL 2 & SUZIE Q - On September 25, 1954, WUSN, the second television station in Charleston, signed onto the airwaves as a NBC affiliate. The call letters stood for U.S. Navy in an effort to gain a loyal following among Charleston Navy Yard personnel. Early local programs included The Lucky 2 Ranch, Time for Teens, and Afloat & Afield. In 1975, the call letters were changed to WCBD, a reference to the tri-county. (Reverse) In 1954, Drayton Hastie, owner of WUSN, purchased Suzie Q, an Asian elephant, for $2,700 from a New York importer. A gimmick to lure viewers from WCSC, Suzie Q became WUSN’s mascot in residence sharing the grounds with an alligator, kangaroo, donkey, exotic birds, and other animals. This pachyderm packed pleasure and adventure in her trunk and imprinted indelible memories on the Lowcountry. 

CENTER STREET WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT- WATERWORKS - In 1933 this land was the property of Clovis Goblet. Yonge Simmons purchased it by auction in 1934. Mr. Simmons’ descendant sold the property to the Town of Mount Pleasant and Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Sewer Commission in 1968. In the early 1960s the Commission began design of a wastewater collection system. Construction began on a primary treatment facility capable of processing 1.4 million gallons per day (MGD). The Department of the Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit to fill in the marsh and construct an 18” outfall line. Plant operations for this contact stabilization, secondary treatment plant began in June 1970: Mount Pleasant’s first form of wastewater treatment. Under the Federal Grants Program the facility was expanded in 1980 from 1.4 MGD to 3.7 MGD with the addition of flow equalization and conversion to the conventional activated sludge treatment process. (Reverse) Simultaneously, small package plants were taken out of service and flow from these plants was diverted to Center Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. A new outfall line was constructed in 1989, with a capacity of 17 MGD. All treated wastewater is discharged through the outfall line 4,700 feet into Charleston Harbor, in the Rebellion Reach Channel. From 2012-2015 $27.2 million was invested in the Center Street Wastewater Treatment Capacity Enhancement Project. Increased treatment capacity sustains economic development, which in turn facilitates job growth to benefit the Town, region and State. Energy efficiency enhancements reduced annual treatment costs and the positive impact on water quality 

The Church Act of 1706 created Christ Church Parish. The first church, a wooden structure built in 1707, accidentally burned in 1725. A brick church was erected in 1726, and although the British burned it in 1782 and the interior was destroyed by Union Troops in 1865, the original walls still stand. In 1874, the church was restored and consecrated. 

COLEMAN BLVD/KING’S HIGHWAY In the 1700s, the King’s Highway began in Virginia and wound down the coast through the Carolinas. The section of road that passed through Mount Pleasant became one of the first coastal roadways serving as a colonial post road for the delivery of mail. President George Washington traveled this route in 1791 during his Southern tour. The road was later designated S.C. 40, then U.S. 17. (Reverse) COLEMAN BOULEVARD In 1958, the section of U.S. 17 that passed through Mount Pleasant, also known as Old Georgetown Road, was named in honor of Mayor Francis F. Coleman (1946-1960). During his term in office, the road was widened, town limits extended, and the population grew from 1500 to 5000. He was also known for his dedication to improving the standard of living for all citizens of Mount Pleasant. 

CONFEDERATE LINES  The earthworks nearby are remains of the 1861 fortification built to defend Mount Pleasant. They extended east 2.5 miles from Butler’s Creek at Boone Hall Plantation to Fort Palmetto on Hamlin Sound. Supporting this line were Battery Gary and those at Hobcaw Point, Hog Island, Hibben Street, and Venning’s and Kinloch’s landings. Federal troops occupied the town 18 February 1865. 

COOK’S OLD FIELD CEMETERY/COPAHEE PLANTATION AND HAMLIN BEACH - COOK’S OLD FIELD CEMETERY This plantation cemetery predates the American Revolution. It was established by early members of the Hamlin, Hibben and Leland families. James Hibben (d. 1835), one of the founders of Mount Pleasant, is buried here. Generations of both white and black families are interred here. In 2003 this cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. (Reverse) COPAHEE PLANTATION AND HAMLIN BEACH Thomas Hamlin established Copahee Plantation here in 1696. Later divided into Copahee and Contentment Cottage, it is now known as Hamlin Farms. In 1881 African American farmers bought 31 ten-acre lots from the Hamlins and founded the Hamlin Beach community. White and black descendants still live here today.

COVE INLET Before the Revolutionary War, a plank bridge built on barrels was constructed across the inlet separating Mount Pleasant from Sullivan's Island.  In 1864, the H.L.Hunley crew crossed the footbridge on the way to Breach Inlet to test dive the submarine. A trolley bridge spanned the cove in 1898 and was replaced by a vehicle bridge in 1927 known as Pitt Street Bridge.

DARBY BUILDING  This building was constructed in 1884 as the Berkeley County Courthouse. Mount Pleasant served as the Berkeley County seat from 1883 to 1895, when the town rejoined Charleston County. The old courthouse, named in 1991 for former Mayor G. Magrath Darby Jr., has been used for newspaper offices, a school, seminary, Baptist church and Town Hall.

 EDMUND JENKINS/OCEAN GROVE CEMETERY  Edmund Jenkins, an African-American veteran of the Civil War, was elected as a Town Marshal in Mount Pleasant and served from the 1890s until the late 1920s. He died on December 26, 1930. His gravestone is directly to the left of this marker. The public housing facility located two blocks north was built in 1952 and named the Edmund Jenkins Homes in (Reverse) building was dedicated on March 15, 1964. The school opened that fall with kindergarten and first grade students. A new grade level was added each year until the school reached the eighth grade. The Christian Life Center was dedicated when the church celebrated its 70th anniversary on October 25, 1987. The center provided shelter as Hurricane Hugo raged on the night of September 21, 1989, and then served as a storage area for clothes, food, and staples. Out-of-town volunteers who aided in clean-up and home repairs were housed there. First Baptist Church sponsored missions that became independent churches in Awendaw and McClellanville. The church anticipated town population growth and purchased 34 acres on U.S. Highway 17 North in 1979. With the opening of The Church at LifePark on this property in 2010, First Baptist Church became a two-campus ministry in Mount Pleasant. 

THE FERRY TRACT In 1779, Andrew Hibben bought land on the south side of Shem Creek from Jacob Motte, which became known as the Ferry Tract. Until the opening of the Grace Memorial Bridge in August 1929, ferries connected Mount Pleasant to Charleston. Hibben’s Ferry operated until 1847, followed by others on Hog Island, Ferry Street, and Hort’s Grove. (Reverse) The Ferry Tract was bordered by Shem Creek and Hibben, Bennett, and Beach streets. From colonial days until the 1980s, small shipyards operated on Shem Creek. A bucket factory was also on the creek leading to the name Factory Street, now Live OakDrive. Restaurants and shrimp boats line the creek, while private homes occupy the boatyard lands. 

FRIENDSHIP AME CHURCH  This church, founded during Reconstruction, has been at the same site since 1890. The first sanctuary serving this congregation was located on Hibben Street and built on a lot leased by the Town of Mount Pleasant in 1877. After moving here and building a new church under pastorate Rev. F.E. Rivers in 1890, the congregation grew so quickly that it built its third sanctuary, a large frame church, by 1895. (Reverse) A 1911 storm during the pastorate of Rev. Frank Woodbury nearly destroyed the sanctuary, which was essentially rebuilt. Later renovations, including the application of a brick veneer in 1961 during the pastorate of Rev. J.A. Sabb, Jr. gave the church its present appearance. Friendship AME church also hosted the graduation exercises of nearby Laing School for many years until the school closed in 1953. 

GREENHILL COMMUNITY/GREENHILL FARMING-  GREENHILL COMMUNITY In 1870, freedman Hardy Green purchased 30 acres of land along Mathis Ferry Road. The area was called Spark Hill, but was later named Greenhill by the Moultrie School District. Children walked several miles to Laing School, then in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant. Greenhill received electricity in 1942, paved roads in 1951, and was annexed into Mount Pleasant in 1983. (Reverse) GREENHILL FARMING Farming was the major source of income in Greenhill. People, produce, and livestock were carried aboard boats from a dock behind Somerset Point to the Charleston City Market. In the 1920s and ‘30s, mules and wagons transported goods to a ferry at Shem Creek. The LOOP Bus became a major source of transportation in the 1940s. Greenhill continues to thrive as a residential community.

 

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HADDRELL’S POINT extended along the waterfront from Shem Creek to Cove Inlet and was named for George Haddrell, an early settler. The land bordering Shem Creek became home to important industries including factories, canneries, and rice and saw mills. The mills drew their power from the tides of Shem Creek. (Reverse) In early 1776, a battery was erected at Haddrell’s Point and placed under the command of Brigadier General John Armstrong. The strategic location of the battery was vital in safeguarding Charleston from British attacks. With ceremonial fanfare, President George Washington embarked from Haddrell’s Point to Charleston, during his Southern tour in 1791.

 

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HIBBEN HOUSE/BRITISH OCCUPATION -  HIBBEN HOUSE A 1777 map shows a house on this property owned by Jacob Motte, Charleston City Treasurer. His 67 acre plantation called Mount Pleasant provided the name for the present town. James Hibben purchased the land in 1803. The home now known as the Hibben House is one of the oldest in the area. It has been extensively renovated and modified. (Reverse) BRITISH OCCUPATION Following the surrender of Charleston to the British in May 1780, General William Moultrie and other patriots were held captive near here. His memoirs recount a June 1780 meeting in the upstairs drawing room of Jacob Motte’s home with British officers, Lord Cornwallis and General Patterson. 

HOBCAW POINT POWDER MAGAZINE- in 1770, the South Carolina colonial government authorized construction of a powder magazine near the Wando River plantations and Hobcaw Point shipyards. A four-sided earthen embankment with a brick powder magazine and guardhouse stood near here from 1772 to 1783, on the land of Capt. Clement Lempriere. A detachment of colonial militia was assigned to protect the magazine. 

 

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HOBCAW SHIPYARDS - Shipyards built on Hobcaw Creek included Pritchard’s Shipyard, the largest in colonial South Carolina. Notable ships launched there were the 180 ton Heart of Oak (1776) and the 200 ton Magna Carta (1770). The South Carolina Navy built and maintained naval vessels at Prichard’s during the Revolutionary War. The shipyard industry closed in 1831, after 78 years of operation.

HOG ISLAND  -  Now called Patriots Point, Hog Island played a crucial role in the defense of the Charleston Harbor. In 1775, Patriot forces were sinking old ships in the deep Hog Island Channel to block British access to the Wando and Cooper Rivers. They were fired upon by British ships in the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War in SC. This hostile act served to promote the Patriot cause. (Reverse) During the Civil War, mines were placed in the Hog Island Channel by the Confederates as a defense against Union ships. A Confederate gun battery on the tip of Hog Island also protected the channel. The island was gradually connected to the mainland by dredge spoil. The area was annexed by Mount Pleasant in 1975 and was later developed and renamed Patriots Point. 

 

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JACOB BOND I’ON  -  Jacob Bond I’On (1782-1859), planter, US Army and militia officer, and state legislator is buried in the family cemetery ½ mi. north. I’On a contemporary of John C. Calhoun at Yale University, represented Saint James Santee Parish in S.C. House 1810-1812, then resigned to become captain in the second U.S. Artillery, serving with distinction during the War of 1812. (Reverse) I’On described at his death in 1859 as “a representative of a true Carolina gentleman,” was elected to the S.C. Senate in 1816, serving until 1837 and representing first Saint James Santee Parish, then Christ Church Parish; he was president of the Senate 1822- 1828. He was also intendant, or mayor, of Sullivan’s Island in 1823 and a delegate to the Nullification Convention of 1832-1833.

JASPER GREEN/ SERGEANT WILLIAM JASPER - JASPER GREEN Jasper Green, a grassy field, became part of Moultrie High School’s campus and was named for Sergeant William Jasper. Jasper Green was home to the Moultrie High School Generals, now the Moultrie Middle School Patriots. The Green continues to be used for band, physical education, multi-purpose athletic fields, playground, and other events. (Reverse) SERGEANT WILLIAM JASPER (c. 1750-1779) A Revolutionary War hero, Jasper distinguished himself by an act of reckless bravery in the 1776 Battle of Fort Sullivan. A British cannonball hit the flagstaff causing the flag to fall outside the fort. Facing enemy fire, Jasper leapt through an embrasure, gathered, raised, and held the flag on a temporary staff. He was killed during the 1779 Siege of Savannah, GA. 

LAING SCHOOL - Laing School located here from 1868 to 1953 was founded in 1866 by Cornelia Hancock, a Quaker who had served as a nurse with the Union Army during the Civil War. First housed in Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Laing Industrial School was named for Henry M. Laing of the Friends Association for the Aid and Elevation of the Freedmen. The 1868 school destroyed by the Charleston Earthquake of 1886 was replaced by a school which stood here until 1954. (Reverse) Early instruction at Laing with its motto “Try to Excel” combined academics with instruction in industrial, farming and homemaking skills. A new Laing Elementary opened at King and Greenwich Streets in 1945; the high school remained here until a new Laing Highopened on U.S. Hwy. 17 North in 1953. Laing High closed in 1970 with the desegregation of county schools. That building later housed Laing Middle School when it opened in 1974. 

LAUREL HILL PLANTATION - John Boone owned this land by 1694, and the plantation that developed here passed in 1864 to Dr. Peter Bonneau, Confederate army surgeon and signer of the Ordinance of Secession. John D. Muller, Jr., a later owner, died in 1984 and set up a trust specifying that Laurel Hill be made available to benefit religious, charitable, scientific, literary, and educational groups. 

MAYBANK GREEN/ HOBCAW PLANTATION - MAYBANK GREEN In 1697 David Maybank II (1660-1713) acquired 200 acres along Hobcaw Creek from the Lords Proprietors. Maybank, a carpenter, built a house on this site which he named Hobcaw Plantation. The plantation passed to his daughter Susannah (1700-1746) and her husband Capt. Jacob Bond (1695-1766), planter and member of the Commons House of Assembly. After Bond’s death the plantation was owned by his daughter Rebecca Bond Read (1730-1786). (Reverse) HOBCAW PLANTATION Rebecca and James Read’s son Dr. William Read (1754- 1845) was a deputy surgeon general in the Continental Army, serving under both George Washington and Nathanael Greene. This was one of Read’s several lowcountry plantations; his principal residence was in Charleston. In 1819 Read’s cousin Jacob Bond I’On (1782- 1859), planter, army office, and legislator, hosted President James Monroe and Secretary of State John C. Calhoun at Hobcaw Plantation.

MILTON’S FERRY TAVERN - By 1832, Milton’s Ferry offered a ferry service to and from Charleston by way of a canal dug through the marsh. The ferry tavern was a two-sided house with stables and carriage houses to serve travelers. A Bi-weekly stage ran from the tavern to Georgetown. The first ferry operator was William Mathewes, locally pronounced “Mathis,” as in Mathis Ferry Road. 

 MOULTRIE SCHOOLS/ GENERAL WILLIAM MOULTRIE - MOULTRIE SCHOOLS General William Moultrie High School, originally on Pitt Street, relocated here in 1944. In 1973, students moved into the new Wando High School on Whipple Road. The old high school became Moultrie Middle School. This facility was demolished in 2007 and the new building completed in 2009. This is the third Moultrie School to be built on this site. (Reverse) GENERAL WILLIAM MOULTRIE The Moultrie Schools were named in honor of General William Moultrie, the highest ranking S.C. officer during the Revolutionary War and hero of the 1776 Battle of Fort Sullivan, which was renamed Fort Moultrie. He fought in the S.C. Militia during the 1761 Cherokee Wars, and served in the Royal Assembly and first Provincial Congress. He was elected Lieutenant Governor and was Governor twice. While Governor, he relocated the capital from Charleston to Columbia and established the county system and county court system. Moultrie designed the first S.C. state flag during the American Revolution.

MOUNT PLEASANT ACADEMY - In 1809, the SC General Assembly incorporated Mount Pleasant Academy to educate the children of Christ Church Parish. Funded by a legacy and a lottery, a schoolhouse was built, but its site is uncertain. At times, classes were held in private homes, the village church, and the courthouse. In 1860, the academy, at 140 Hibben Street, offered foreign languages and the classics. (Reverse) In 1908, the academy was built at the corner of Pitt and Venning Streets. In 1938, a modern two-story public school building was constructed on Boundary Street and Hwy. 40 (now Simmons and Coleman). The old academy building on Pitt Street later became the first Moultrie High School. The present academy, on Center Street, was completed in the 1960s. 

MOUNT PLEASANT HOME FOR DESTITUTE CHILDREN - At this site in 1881, Abby Munro, a Quaker from Philadelphia, established a home for orphans, neglected, and destitute children. Funds to purchase and operate the home were solicited locally and from friends in the North. It was incorporated in 1883 and is believed to have been the first orphanage for colored children in the State. (Reverse) Room and board cost approximately one dollar a week per child. The children were taught to cook, wash, iron, knit, sew, mend clothes, and all the duties of a household. The older children attended school regularly and made commendable progress in their studies. The orphanage operated here until the building was destroyed by fire in 1920. 

MOUNT PLEASANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - Erected in 1854 and originally a Congregational Church affiliated with Old Wappetaw Church, founded about 1699. Served as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War, then briefly housed the Laing School for freedmen during Reconstruction. Was accepted into Charleston Presbytery as a mission church and renamed Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church in 1870. 

 MOUNT PLEASANT WATERWORKS -  In the early 20th century, Mount Pleasant’s leaders and citizens believed that the town’s rural locale and lack of a quality water supply hindered residential growth and prosperity. The situation changed when the Cooper River Bridge opened as the new northsouth gateway, placing the town on the shortest New York to Miami route. Leaders sought to capture the hearts of passersby with modernization that upheld the attractive charms of the past. In 1933, Mayor T. G. McCants initiated plans to build a waterworks system for public convenience and municipal advancement. The project was completed by his successor Mayor W. L. Erckmann. Citizens voted 102 to 0 in favor of securing a Public Works Administration loan for the essential water plant. After navigating a difficult course, a distribution system of wells, mains, storage tanks, fire hydrants, 175 water meters and a pumping station provided (Reverse) 160,000 gallons of water per day. On October 17, 1935, a dedication was held at Alhambra Park with a dance at the Mount Pleasant Yacht Club. Four years later, waterworks operated at a profit with over 240 customers. A wastewater system was added in 1942 and later, two treatment plants. Captain S. A. Guilds provided astute leadership for over a decade as commission chairman. The first superintendent, C. B. Venning, devoted 34 years to creating an efficient, profitable utility. The office started at Guilds Inn on Pitt Street and later moved to the facility on Center Street. In 1990, the commission acquired Bulls Bay Rural Community Water District. Mount Pleasant set an example for coastal communities by building a water system and was the state’s first city to use reverse osmosis treatment. The Operations Center opened in 1997 on Rifle Range Road. This marker commemorates the 75 th anniversary of Mount Pleasant Waterworks. 

OAKLAND PLANTATION - Oakland Plantation, one of Mount Pleasant’s oldest plantations, is associated with some of the town’s prominent early founders. The land that became Oakland Plantation was part of 1,300 acres granted to Captain George Dearsley in 1696. In 1704, Antiguan planter John Perrie acquired 982 acres of the original grant and hired John Abraham Motte to settle this land he never visited. Motte established Oakland Plantation, then called Youghal Plantation after Perrie’s hometown in Ireland. Motte managed the property and was paid half the annual profits. Perrie left his estate to his daughter Mary, who sold the plantation to Captain George Benison in 1740. Benison built the house that stands at Oakland today. The house has its original crushed shell and sand fireplace and mahogany floors. Many of the window panes are etched with the names or thoughts of past visitors. An emissary of John Wesley etched “Exalt we O our God” in 1773. (Reverse) In 1755, Oakland Plantation became the property of Thomas Barksdale who immediately conveyed it to his son Charles. The plantation remained in the Barksdale family for nearly 100 years. Charles’ son Thomas Barksdale inherited the property in 1757 and lived there until his death in 1806. During his life Thomas Barksdale represented Christ Church Parish in the 16th General Assembly and served as a captain in the 30th Regiment of the state militia. In 1852, Youghal Plantation was conveyed to Thomas Barksdale’s granddaughter Mary and her husband James McBeth. Historians believe McBeth added the beautiful oak allee and changed the plantation’s name to Oakland. McBeth sold Oakland Plantation to Philip Porcher in 1859. Oakland Plantation is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes the main plantation house, kitchen, dairy, smokehouse, family cemetery, and slave cemetery. Erected 2012 

OLD SUNKEN HULL/BG JAMES ESTCOURT SAWYER  -  OLD SUNKEN HULL Commissioned on Oct 18, 1919, the Army Quartermaster River Steamer Col. J. E. Sawyer was the first concrete passenger vessel made in America. The 700- ton, 128.5-foot ship, able to carry 500 people, was one of nine built from 1919-1920 by the Newport Shipbuilding Corp. of New Bern, N.C. Made of steel and ferrocement, these vessels were named after esteemed deceased army quartermasters. In 1923, Joseph Sable brought the decommissioned Sawyer and an identical ship the Maj. Archibald Butt to Charleston for commercial use. In 1926, the Sawyer sank near Adger’s Wharf creating long-term problems for port authorities who dubbed her the “old sunken hull.” As thousands cheered, the Sawyer was raised on June 22, 1929, after weeks of frustrating yet amusing attempts. The old hull was towed to this site and remains an iconic fixture. Local lore named this steamer the Archibald Butt; however, that vessel was relocated to Miami in 1925.(Reverse) BG JAMES ESTCOURT SAWYER Brigadier General James Estcourt Sawyer, born in New York in 1846, was of distinguished military lineage. His ancestors served at Ticonderoga in 1758 and Bunker Hill in 1775. Sawyer entered the military at age 19. By 1884, he was Acting Judge Advocate of the Division of the Atlantic and Department of the East. Sawyer served as Aide de Camp to Gen. Schofield who commanded the Department of the Atlantic. Sawyer transferred to the Quartermaster Department in 1893. During the Spanish-American War, he was Chief Quartermaster at Camp Wyckoff, N.Y., Camp Meade, P.A., and Augusta, G.A. Sawyer served as Special Disbursing Officer to the Philippine Commission and as a member of the Spanish War Claims Board in Washington, D.C. Promoted quickly, and he retired as Brigadier General and Chief Quartermaster at the Department of Dakota in 1910. He died on May 29, 1914, in New York and is buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington, V.T. Erected 2012

OLD WAPPETAW CHURCH - Congregationalists from New England built a church near here around 1700. Troops from both sides camped on the grounds during the American Revolution. Burned by the British in 1782, it was rebuilt in 1786. The building was abandoned during the Civil War and its members organized Presbyterian churches in Mount Pleasant and McClellanville. 

 

 

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PATJENS POST OFFICE - In 1899, the Patjens family built this small office adjacent to their store on Church Street, to serve as the post office in Mount Pleasant. The Patjens family served as postmasters until 1917. Patjens Post Office has been owned and maintained by the Alhambra Garden Club since 1971, when it was moved to Edwards Park. The club restored the building in 2001. 

 

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PATRIOTS POINT NAVAL & MARITIME MUSEUM/ MEDAL OF HONOR  PATRIOTS POINT NAVAL & MARITIME MUSEUM The South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation in 1973 enabling the establishment of the Patriots Point Authority to develop a portion of Hog Island as a national naval museum. The museum opened on October 13, 1975, the 200th birthday of the United States Navy. Displayed are ships and aircraft honoring the crews who valiantly served in the defense of our country. (Reverse) MEDAL OF HONOR The Medal of Honor is the highest award bestowed upon an individual for acts of valor in the armed services of the United States. It is generally 

PHILLIPS COMMUNITY -This community, settled along Horlbeck Creek in the 1870s by freedmen, was named after the Phillips Plantation. Former slaves of the Laurel Hill, Parker Island, and Boone Hall Plantations purchased the land in ten acre parcels and founded the Phillips Community. The freedmen who settled here were middle class tradesmen and successful businessmen whose descendents still own the land. (Reverse) Dr. John Rutledge was the first owner of Phillips Plantation which was named after his birthplace in Phillips County, Ireland. He was the Father of Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and John Rutledge, signer of the U.S. Constitution. Dr. Rutledge, the first medical doctor in Christ Church Parish, is buried near here in the Phillips Community. 

PIERATES CRUZE - PIERATES CRUZE The Pierates Cruze property, once part of the Hilliardsville tract, was a private residence and garden. The property changed hands several times before it was purchased and named by the Osgood family in 1928. The Osgoods transformed the grounds into a magnificent private garden that contained a variety of flowers, shrubs and trees, including many prize-winning camellias and azaleas. (Reverse) PIERATES CRUZE GARDENS The Osgoods opened Pierates Cruze Gardens to the public in 1943. It became a popular tourist attraction in the 1940s and 50s. In 1947, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society awarded Mrs. Osgood the prestigious “Gold Medal” for her development of new varieties of hybrid camellias. After the Osgood’s deaths, the land was sold and subdivided into 13 lots that initially sold for $10,000 each. 

 

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PITT STREET MERCHANTS - By the middle of the 20th Century, the residents of the old village shopped on Pitt Street. This area included grocery, hardware, department stores, a dress shop, doctors’ offices, the pharmacy, barber shop, post office, and Mount Pleasant Academy. A passive control device then referred to as a “dumb policeman” directed traffic at the intersection of Venning, Pitt, and Church streets. 

 

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POINT PLANTATION / RICHMOND PLANTATION - POINT PLANTATION In 1715, John Vanderhorst purchased 540 acres known as the Point for ?360. So began a long line of ownership by this well-known Colonial family. By 1740, John’s son Joseph and 29 slaves lived at the Point and operated a successful livestock and timber business. The land remained in the Vanderhorst family until John’s granddaughter Mary married Joshua Toomer in the 1770s. The couple lived in the house at the Point. Joshua Toomer was an unwavering Patriot during the American Revolution. On one occasion, cavalrymen under British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton came to the Point in search of Joshua. When they could not find him, the British soldiers carried off cattle, horses, and provisions. In 1997, archaeologists excavated the ruins of the Point, located at the end of North James Gregarie Road, and recovered hundreds of artifacts associated with the Toomer family. (Reverse) RICHMOND PLANTATION Richmond Plantation on Toomer Creek was owned by William Vanderhorst. After the death of his first wife Mary, Joshua Toomer married William’s daughter Sabina in 1784. Together, they acquired Richmond Plantation which they combined with the Point. In 1796, the property passed to their son Anthony V. Toomer, a wealthy physician and planter. A. V. Toomer owned other Christ Church Parish plantations and homes in Charleston and Rhode Island. Richmond and the Point were working plantations rather than family manors. The plantations produced bricks, oak firewood, rice, and livestock. Richmond and the Point remained in the Toomer family until 1856. In 1997, archaeologists studied the ruins of Richmond Plantation that were located in this park. Artifacts and architectural features provided insight into life at this nineteenth century plantation.

ERECTED IN 2009 RIFLE RANGE ROAD - A U.S. Navy rifle range was built near here during World War I on the site of an old S.C. National Guard firing range. Included were 100 targets. 2 armories, a 600 seat mess hall, 12 barracks, and auxiliary buildings. After 1918 the 100 acres site leased from George E. Goblet, now Harborgate Shores, was used by the National Guard Army Reserves and Citadel cadets until 1937. 

RIVERSIDE BEACH/WHITE’S PARADISE - RIVERSIDE BEACH Riverside Beach, developed by the Cooper River Bridge Company, opened in 1930 as the first black beach in the area. It was sold to the County in 1941. The site featured a dance pavilion, boardwalk, bath house, playground and ball fields. Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ivory Joe Hunter, and B.B. King performed here. The County sold the beach to developers in 1975. (Reverse) WHITE’S PARADISE White’s Paradise located on Riverside Beach Road, now 5th Avenue, was the first black motel and nightclub east of the Cooper. The air conditioned motel and club, built by owner Henry White, operated from 1943 to 1975. Soul singer James Brown performed there before his hit “Papa’s got a Brand New Bag.” The buildings were demolished in 1993. 

RONKIN’S LONG ROOM/FERRY SERVICE  -  RONKIN’S LONG ROOM The crew of the Confederate submarine, H.L. Hunley, commanded by Lt. George Dixon, and was temporarily quartered at Ronkin’s Long Room, 205 Ferry Street, in early 1864. The building, previously known as Shell Hall, summer home of Charles Pinckney, was used during the Civil War as an armory and barracks. (Reverse) FERRY SERVICE A ferry service connected Mount Pleasant to Charleston from the wharf at the end of Ferry Street (c. 1847) until the completion of the Cooper River Bridge. Passengers traveled by trolley from Ferry Street east on Pitt Street, across Cove Inlet to Sullivan’s Island and across Breach Inlet to the Isle of Palms resort. 

ROSENWALD SCHOOLS - Guided by Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute, Julius Rosenwald, CEO for Sears and Roebuck, began a program in 1912 to build schools and vocational centers to educate African American children in the rural South. The Rosenwald program provided partial funding for the schools, which were administered by local school trustees. (Reverse) Local families raised money and provided land and labor to build the schools, which were also used as community centers. The schools were designed to take advantage of sunlight and some had as many as six teachers. Boys learned a trade, while girls learned homemaking skills. The school on your right was one of several built in the Mount Pleasant area in the late 1920s.

SCANLONVILLE - In 1868, John Scanlon, a freedman, purchased 614 acres of the former Remley Plantation at auction for $6,100. He then founded the Charleston Land Company to provide land ownership to freed slaves. The tract was subdivided into a planned community with lots, numbered streets and avenues, and common areas such as a graveyard, park and a wharf called Remley’s Point. 

SEASIDE -The earliest documented owner of the property known as Seaside was Thomas Whitesides. A plat shows the property included a main house, a barn, other outbuildings, and a row of four slave cabins. The land was divided among his five sons in the 1790s. There was a succession of owners throughout the nineteenth century. By 1859, Peter P. Bonneau owned the property and produced cotton, corn, sweet potatoes, butter, and wool, typical products grown on Christ Church Parish farms. During the 1890s, owner Theodore Stoney divided the land into small parcels, sold chiefly to African American farmers, which now make up the community of Four Mile. Other portions of the original property are part of the mixed-use development known as Seaside Farms. 

SHELL RINGS AND SHELL MIDDENS (31) (Front) Shell rings and shell middens found along the SC coast were made by Native Americans 3000-4000 years ago. Several have been discovered in the East Cooper area. The rings, composed largely of shell, animal bone and pottery were sometimes used as habitation sites. Some middens contain post holes, structural remains and large pits used to steam shellfish. (Reverse) The purpose of the rings remains a mystery. They may have been the gradual accumulation of shell and refuse at the sites, perhaps built for ceremonial purposes or created as public monuments. The nature of the rings suggests that inhabitants successfully harvested natural resources which allowed nomadic bands eventually to settle at permanent locations.

 

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SHEM CREEK - The name of this deepwater tidal creek is derived from the Indian word “Shemee.” The creek has been an important site for shipbuilding, fishing, transportation, and milling industries since the early 1700’s. Shem Creek was also known as Sullivan’s, Dearsley’s, Parris’, and Lempriere’s creek. It is now known for its shrimping trawlers, charter boats and restaurants. 

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SHIPYARD ROAD/SHELMORE BOULEVARD - SHIPYARD ROAD A close relationship existed between the Jacob Bond family of Hobcaw Plantation and the owners of the nearby colonial shipyards. The plantation’s live oaks and longleaf pines were used to build ships. East and West Shipyard roads follow the route of the original road from Mathis Ferry Road to the shipyard and are still lined with some of the oak trees. (Reverse) SHELMORE BOULEVARD The Shelmore Oyster Products Company bought Hobcaw Plantation in 1938. The company's goal was to "shell more and sell more" oysters. The land became a truck farm that produced vegetables for area markets. The firm also canned locally grown tomatoes and okra. Farming was an important economic source for the area until the mid-twentieth century. 

SNEE FARM - The country home of Charles Pinckney (1757-1824), Snee Farm stands about 0.7 M. west of here. One of SC’s signers of the US Constitution, Pinckney also served in the General Assembly and in Congress. He was elected governor of SC four times and was appointed minister to Spain in 1801 by Thomas Jefferson. George Washington visited Snee Farm in 1791 during his presidency. 

ST. ANDREW’S CHURCH - Reverend Andrew Fowler was elected rector of Christ Church in 1828. He bought a village home on Whilden Street where he held services for 40 people from June to Advent to avoid the malaria-plagued sickly season. Services were held at Christ Church during the rest of the year. In 1833, the congregation proposed to build a village chapel for summer services. Governed by Christ Church, St. Andrew’s Chapel was consecrated on September 29, 1835. By 1855, the growing congregation needed a larger church. A new Whilden Street lot was purchased for $250. James M. Curtis built the church, designed by distinguished Charleston architect Edward Brickell White. The cornerstone was laid on May 20, 1857, and the church was consecrated one year later. The old building was sold for $500 to the Etiwan Masonic Lodge No. 95. Over the next 130 years, St. Andrew’s overcame many trials. During the Civil War, when Union shelling drove most residents to the (Reverse) Upstate, the chapel was closed from October 1863 until February 1866 when it re-opened as the only place for public worship. The building withstood destructive hurricanes in 1885, 1893, and 1989, and the earthquake in 1886. Earthquake bolts were added to stabilize the church. The congregation grew steadily in the next century as ferries and the Cooper River Bridge that opened in 1929, connected Mount Pleasant to Charleston. St. Andrew’s Chapel gained independence from Christ Church in 1954. The Ministry Center designed to match the historic chapel was completed in 1996. In 2009, as one of the nation’s largest Episcopal churches, St. Andrew’s elected to affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America.

STORM OF THE CENTURY - At midnight on September 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo, a category four storm, blew into Charleston County. Winds in excess of 140 mph, a massive 20 foot storm surge, and extraordinarily high tides ravaged the area. Hugo cut a swath 50 miles wide and 200 miles long across South Carolina, and was one of the strongest storms to hit the East Coast since Hurricane Hazel in 1954. (Reverse) The storm’s 6 foot surge destroyed the town hall/police station located here, and severely damaged nearby Alhambra Hall. After the storm 1,000 truck loads of debris were removed per day at a cost of $4 million for the 2 month cleanup. The debris stockpile stretched almost 1 mile and was 30 feet in height. The depth of the storm surge at this marker was 5 feet. 

 

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SWEETGRASS BASKETS - Coil baskets of native sweetgrass and pine needles sewn with strips of palmetto leaf have been displayed for sale on stands along Highway 17 since the 1930s. This craft, handed down in certain families since the 1700s, originally was used on plantations in rice production. Unique to the lowcountry it represents one of the oldest West African art forms in America. 

THOMAS LYNCH AT RIVERTOWNE - Thomas and Sabina Lynch were some of Mount Pleasant’s earliest and wealthiest residents. Their 18th century plantation house was located here in Rivertowne. The Lynch family story begins in 1677 when Jonack Lynch emigrated from Ireland to Charles Towne and was granted land on the Cooper River. He established Blessing Plantation and quickly amassed a fortune. He used his new wealth to expand his holdings and cement the family’s social standing among the planter elite. By 1715, Jonack’s son Thomas had acquired 1,170 acres of land on the east bank of the Wando River and additional property in Berkeley County and along the Santee River. Thomas built a "new dwelling house" called Brick House on his Wando property in 1713. Lynch served in the Commons House of Assembly and was a colonel in the Christ Church Parish militia. When Thomas died in 1738, he left his property to his wife Sabina Vanderhorst and their children. (Reverse) Thomas’s wife, Sabina, lived on the plantation until her death in 1741. Sabina was the last member of the Lynch family to reside on their Wando River property. Their son Thomas amassed his own fortune and resided at his principal home on Hopsewee Plantation near Georgetown. Thomas was a staunch patriot and was elected as a representative to the First Continental Congress. Sadly, he was struck down by a cerebral hemorrhage. His son, Thomas Lynch, Jr., signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of his ailing father in 1776. In the 1990s, archaeologists located the foundation of Thomas Lynch’s Brick House and a small brick kiln used to make bricks for its construction. A variety of household artifacts were found including a silver needle case engraved with Sabina Lynch’s initials. The artifacts confirm that the house was built in the early 1700s. This may be the oldest house excavated in Mount Pleasant.

USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) -  The keel for the aircraft carrier BonHomme Richard was laid down December 1, 1941, six days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The vessel was renamed USS Yorktown (CV-10) in honor of the original carrier Yorktown (CV-5), the only U.S. carrier lost at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. The CV-10 conducted numerous air strikes including the Marshall Islands, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Battle of the Philippine Sea, Formosa, and on the Japanese mainland. The ship’s crew numbered 380 officers, 3,088 enlisted personnel and 90 planes. Nicknamed “The Fighting Lady”, she received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned eleven battle stars for World War II service. She was placed in reserve from January 1947, until December 1952. Her deck was cantilevered in 1955 in order to accommodate newer aircraft. (Reverse) In 1957, the vessel was again overhauled and reclassified as an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) carrier and designated CVS-10. During deployment in the Pacific, she qualified for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal on three occasions for her responses to the Communist Chinese shellings of Formosa, Quemoy, and Matsu. From 1965 until 1967, Yorktown’s main activity was in combat operations in Vietnam where she earned an additional five battle stars. In 1968, she recovered NASA’s Apollo 8 capsule from the Pacific Ocean. In the late 1960s, she conducted exercises in the Atlantic Ocean participating in the major fleet exercise Operation Peacekeeper. The carrier was featured in the 1970 Japanese American produced film, Tora, Tora, Tora. Decommissioned that same year, she is now the honored main feature of the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. 

WANDO POTTERY - Indians living along the Wando River 1200 years ago made distinctive pottery using limestone and clay from the river banks. This type of pottery is found only in the Wando River Basin and is distinguished by the presence of limestone used to temper the clay during the firing process. Some pottery shards exhibit impressed and stamped designs. 

 

 

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WAR OF 1812 ENCAMPMENT - On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war against Great Britain. One of the first units to be mustered into the service was the Third Regiment of South Carolina Militia, which was stationed at Haddrell’s Point, west of here, to aid in the defense of Charleston harbor. Their barracks stood within the present town limits of Mount Pleasant, and they were equipped with state funds. (Reverse) The 1812 monument in this cemetery originally marked a burial plot of the Third Regiment of State troops. The soldiers who were buried there apparently died from disease while stationed at Haddrell’s Point, nearby. Before the Civil War, the monument is said to have stood at the corner of Pitt and King Streets. It was moved to this Confederate cemetery for protection from vandalism. 

 

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WHILDEN HOUSE/ 54th MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT - THE WHILDEN HOUSE Elias Whilden, planter and mayor (1857-1858), built his home c. 1840. Five sons fought for the Confederacy, including John Marshall Whilden. John was Captain of the Citadel cadets who fired on the steamer, The Star of the West. This action on January 9, 1861 prevented Union efforts from supplying the troops at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. It was the first shot of the Civil War. (Reverse) 54TH MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT The Whilden House served as Union headquarters after the fall of Mount Pleasant in February 1865. Among the occupying troops was the first black volunteer 54th Mass. regiment. Under the command of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, this unit was made famous by its assault on Battery Wagner in February 1865. The regiment mustered out in Mount Pleasant in August 1865 

WILLIAM HOPTON’S STARVEGUT HALL- Dunes West was part of two proprietary grants that deeded 460 acres to Francis Gracia in 1699 and 620 acres to Thomas Carry in 1704. When the two properties were combined and sold to George Logan in 1708, there was already a sizable plantation with a house, outbuildings, barns, a stable, orchards, and gardens situated along the Wando River. During the early 18th century, the land was owned by a succession of families including the Chalmers, Peronneaus, and Vanderhorsts. William Hopton purchased the land in 1759, and it remained in his extended family until 1853. William Hopton was a successful Charleston merchant, served as Deputy Naval Officer for the colony, and was appointed public registrar in 1748. He named his new Wando plantation Starvegut Hall. Hopton managed his property from his principal residence on Meeting Street in Charleston. The land was known as Hopton throughout the 19th century and as Wando Plantation in the 20th century. (Reverse) William Hopton’s wife, Sarah Ward Clapp, was an avid gardener and corresponded with the famous botanist William Bartram. When Bartram visited Charleston in 1763, William Hopton invited him to visit his Wando plantation. Bartram wrote in his journal, “Set out with Mr. Hopton to his seat which he called starve gut hall on Wando River. He shewed me his rice ground and we walked in his salt swamps.” An interest in botany ran in the Hopton family. William Hopton’s grandson James Gregorie Jr. inherited the Wando lands in 1808. James moved permanently to his residence at Starvegut Hall in 1834 where he developed an everbearing strawberry. In 1996, archaeologists excavated the site of William Hopton’s Starvegut Hall. They found remnants of 10 buildings and thousands of artifacts associated with the everyday lives of the Hopton family, plantation overseer, and enslaved community. 

 

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Call me if I can help you buy or sell a home!

April 17, 2018

Obviously, insurance

Obviously, insurance

During the process of purchasing your new home, you will need to consider homeowners insurance. If you purchase your home for cash, homeowners insurance, while not mandated by the lender, it's probably even more important since the entire equity is yours and therefore the entire exposure to loss longs to you. Very few people choose not to maintain proper coverage.

How you select your insurance provider does make a difference. You may already have a relationship with an insurer. You may take the advice of friends or guidance from your real estate professional, or you may simply open the phone book researcher the Internet to find someone who provides what you need in your area. As with any service provider, a good referral is often your best bet.

Lining up homeowners insurance should begin as soon as you have a contract to purchase. You may even do your research and advanced and began developing a relationship with an insurer prior to contract to purchase. Obtaining homeowners insurance, while straightforward, may take somewhat longer now that hasn't past especially if you plan to live in an area exposed to storm hazards.

 

Anywhere within the greater Charleston region, you can expect to consider issues such as flood insurance and even wind and hail cover. Nearly every property was in the Charleston region is in some sort of flood zone. Some areas will require flood insurance but many will not. Your real estate professional may or may not be able to provide you with accurate flood insurance requirements for a particular property. 

Chris DeLoach

843-270-1272

April 11, 2018

Rent or Buy this Spring in Charleston?

Rent or Buy this Spring?

 

It's time that we reconsider our homes for what they really are: places to live. Yes, appreciation potential and tax advantages are key components in determining if and when we choose to own a home. But, are they the most important factors? What about the old-fashioned idea of owning a home that is right for you that carries with it pride of ownership and all of the underlying personal and emotional reasons for homeownership? In times like we've seen in the last few years, perhaps it is time that we re-balance our perspective on ownership. Owning a home is far more than just owning an investment vehicle. 

I have been overwhelmed with the number of calls I have received recently from people requesting information on rental properties.  Yet, even with the experience we've had with home values of late, I am still surprised that so many people are willing to miss out on homeownership out of fear.  Certainly, many people cannot afford to own a home. I agree that there are many reasons for and I think many of those reasons are perfectly fine. There are times when you should rent. But homeownership remains the single most important component in long-term economic stability and long-term value accumulation for most households in America. This holds true whether prices are falling or rising. 

Renting a home is only a substitute for homeownership. While it provides many of the benefits that come with homeownership, it still lacks the most important benefits – the essential intangible ones. Renting does provide you a place with a roof, walls and a floor.  It also allows you to defer some of the upfront investment costs you may experience with purchasing a home.  When you rent you can forgo many of the repair costs homeownership might entail. 

Yes, there are reasons to rent; yet, when you rent you own nothing.  The pride of ownership belongs to your landlord.  The title belongs to your landlord.  The right to determine how long you live there and whether or not you have to move belongs to the landlord - even the choice of whether or not to own a pet belongs to the landlord.  The equity appreciation potential belongs to the landlord, too.  And, making that property your home rather than just a house or just a place to live, from an emotional standpoint, is elusive. For most of us, a rental property is not quite a home. 

If you are considering renting a home and you are in a position to purchase a home, do yourself a big favor and list the reasons owning a home is important to you and your family (it should be a lengthy list). Consider your timeline - that should be an important ingredient in the decision.  For example, if you plan to stay in your home for more than five years, what is the likelihood that your home will be worth more or be worth ess when it's time to sell? What's the probability that ownership will be a poor decision for you? What’s the likelihood that renting will end up costing you more than buying? What are you giving up so you can stay out of the owners’ club? 

 

Before you choose to rent a home rather than purchase, step back and think. Get past the unsettling emotions and think about the positive reasons for homeownership. Are you being driven by balanced consideration of the reasons for homeownership or are you being driven by fear? There is no question that purchasing a home requires careful financial consideration. But homeownership, having your own home, is the American dream that embodies so much more than the monetary investment. When you own the place that you call home, it becomes part of you and part of your family. 

Chris DeLoach

843-270-1272

 

April 4, 2018

Buying a New Home in Charleston- Advantages and Disadvantages

Are You Ready to Buy New?

One of my favorite experiences is walking into a brand new home with a buyer and watching the expression on his or her face as they take in the moment.  A brand new home is indeed a beautiful thing.  Sparkling new appliances, fresh paint, shining hardwoods and bright carpets, stylish new hardware and even the latest bathroom fixtures all come together to create an amazing picture of perfection.  Even the smell of new construction is enticing to the Charleston home buyer.

Building your dream home or purchasing a home that is under construction or has been just finished is always exciting.  Purchasing new construction brings with it numerous advantages (and perhaps a few disadvantages).

Having the opportunity to select a home from a menu of homes offered by the builder, tailored to meet your lifestyle needs, is a very big plus.  Being able to move right into a home that is in perfect condition without the need to make any upgrades or improvements is another reason new home purchases are selected over re-sales. With new construction, you often have the opportunity to be involved in the selection of options for the home  - and even choose colors.  Being directly involved in the entire process is one reason so many people enjoy the new-home building in buying experience in the Charleston home market.

Significant warranties that are available to the new home buyer.  Charleston area new construction homes are sold with home warranties from the builder, warranties from vendors for the mechanicals and warranties from the manufacturers of the appliances themselves.  If you have a problem after you move in related to construction, you can usually get it fixed at no cost.  Charleston area home builders are required to provide a "bumper to bumper" warranty for the first year.  Some builders extend that warranty is in the first year.  All builders are required to provide extended structure warranties.

Over the past several years, new construction has been extremely popular among home buyers in South Carolina for many good reasons.  One major advantage of purchasing new construction in South Carolina is that the home will be up to the latest codes for safety and for efficiency, meaning that you will likely pay lower bills for utilities and for insurance.  

An advantage that people don't often consider unless you have purchased a new construction home before, is that you are probably moving into the neighborhood where your neighbors are also going through the same experience.  While this may seem relatively trivial at first, you will quickly find that this community experience creates a bond among neighbors and encourages community activities, such as cookouts. It helps people get to know their neighbors quickly and more thoroughly.  This common experience can make important connections among long-term neighbors and can help create an atmosphere of cooperation and a positive sense of belonging.  Not only is this important to many home buyers themselves, this can also turn out to be very important to other members of the family.  Teenagers, in particular, seem to find this common experience to be an advantage in developing friendships.

When you ponder purchasing a new home in a new home community in Charleston, don't forget that there also some disadvantages to consider.  First, you will probably have to deal with ongoing construction and the noise, traffic and inconvenience that brings.  Next, you may encounter additional expenses, such as in adding fencing, buying window treatments and other items. 

New homes typically have very with limited landscaping.  If you want to have a beautifully landscaped yard, you may have to do that yourself or pay a professional to do it for you after the close.  For in neighborhoods in Charleston, Summerville or Goose Creek or any of the other surrounding areas, a built-in sprinkler system can make a big difference in how your yard will look in the long run.  Although some builders now offer sprinkler systems, these are still rare with new construction; and, you will be charged an additional fee to have one installed by the builder.  Again, many existing homes for sale in the Charleston area have sprinkler systems already installed.

How about gutters? Frequently, buyers remark to me that they are surprised that new construction homes in Charleston typically do not come with gutters.  That's right, if you want gutters on your new home, it will usually be an aftermarket expense.

With new construction, it is difficult to tell how the community will turn out as it matures.  With home purchases in established Charleston communities,  what you see is what you get.  The majority of new construction communities in Charleston have very few mature trees.  So, it is difficult to judge how things will look just a few years down the road.  Charleston buyers who want a more mature looking neighborhood with large trees and established yards will need to consider resale homes.

Some real estate experts contend that resale homes in Charleston are a better value than new construction homes because most resale homes have had owner added home improvements that are not necessarily reflected in the MLS list price.  Some of such items that I see frequently: closet organizing systems, swimming pools, decks, fences, upgraded lighting, landscaping, ceiling fans, gutter systems, sprinkler systems, and upgraded flooring.  While some of these items help raise the value of a home, they usually do not raise it by the amount of the investment.  For something like an in-ground swimming pool that might cost $25,000 or $35,000 for example, it is amazing how little a value is added to the market value of the home. 

When you begin the process, if you're like most people, you'll go online and began browsing through various new home builders in the Charleston area.  Most home builders to provide extensive information online.  Before you meet with any Charleston area home builder or visit Charleston area new home community, you should first meet with a buyer's agent.  If you want to have representation in the process you need to begin by having a buyer's agent at your side rather than as than to come in, later on, to help out.  

Chris DeLoach

843-270-1272

 

 

 

March 27, 2018

Taking advantage of this sellers market in Charleston

Dear Home Seller,

I am glad to see you are taking advantage of our strong sellers’ market. Here are a few tips to get you started. Visit my site for many more or give me a call. (www.scseller.com or 843-270-1272) Thanks. Chris DeLoach.

1.     Proper pricing early is critical to maximizing your bottom line. Overpricing shuts out the most likely buyers early - during the time when your home is fresh on the market. Price at the “sweet spot” to grab those most likely buyers while you have their attention.

2.     Study the neighborhood and get a good idea about the degree of negotiation that takes place during a real estate sale. How? Use a comparison of last listing price to the final contract price. Use this range as you set your price.

3.     A sale happens or fails in the first 3 minutes. Prepare your home. Make it look like a model home, smell great, and be convenient to see.

4.     Develop a marketing strategy. Create a budget for online, print, flyers, signs, etc. Marketing has become highly competitive and more complex.

5.     Create an open house plan: safety, advertising, recording visitors, call backs

6.     Often the first offer is the best you will receive. Be ready for it. If you get an offer quickly, you may conclude that you have underpriced your home. Caution: a brand-new listing priced right garners a lot of attention. You may have just received an offer from someone who has been patiently waiting for a home just like yours to hit the market.

7.     Get out during showings. Buyers are turned off when sellers are present. Plus, sellers often say things inadvertently that can harm negotiations.

8.     Adjust - The market's way of telling you that you need to lower the price is when 1. you have too few showings or 2. after many showings, you are getting few or no offers or you are getting only low ball offers.

9.     The top reasons sellers hire agents today 1. marketing 2. negotiations 3. better bottom line 4. faster sale 5. peace of mind

I will be happy to stop by for a free market analysis. While there I will give you my opinion about what you need to do to get your home ready.

Also, if you ask me to stop by for a preview, I will have a better idea as to whether your home fits my buyers’ needs. I have over 2,000 active buyers and sellers in my data base and I network with several organizations.

Call me. There is no cost or obligation to have me stop by.

Sincerely,

Chris DeLoach – Charleston Realtor since 2001

MAT, MEd, ABR, SFR, CNE, Broker/Realtor

 

843-270-1272

March 20, 2018

Selling? A few tips you need to know

A few tips you need to know

Even if you sold homes before, the process can be overwhelming. Let's look at how

Once your home is on the market, be prepared to monitor and adjust as necessary. Listen carefully to the feedback you receive from potential buyers and buyers agents.  As offers come in, be ready to make counter offers. Study and understand the importance of every element of the offer and contract. You may only have a few hours to respond so be sure you have a good grasp of this material prior to the first offer.

Know your bottom line, your dates, and what you are willing to convey with the home. Are you going to offer a home warranty? Are you willing to assist with seller closing costs or prepaid items? Who will pay transfer fees? Are you OK with all types of financing and all lenders the buyer may want to use?

Know about the paperwork you will need such as an elevation certificate and CL-100.  Study up on legal disclosures and your liabilities. Use care in advertising as some of the fair housing requirements are not all that obvious (for example, using the term “within walking distance” is problematic).

Set your limits. How much involvement are you willing to invest on your own to get your home sold? How much can you invest in marketing? How much will you spend on repairs, upgrades and cleaning?

Know yourself. Are you a good negotiator? Are you good at marketing? How much do you know about offers, contingencies, and contracts? Are you willing to negotiate directly? How do you feel about doing open houses?

What are the steps?

First, determine the market value of your home. Of all the steps involved in the process, this may be the most important. There are many online tools to help. I have one on my website that is far better than a Zestimate (www.scseller.com). But, no automated tool will be as effective as a trained human being in coming up with the best fair market value for your home. Ask a Realtor to assist - even if you are selling alone. I will be happy to help – give me a call.

Next, study the neighborhood and get a good idea about the degree of negotiation that takes place during a real estate negotiation. How? Use a comparison of last listing price to final contract price. You need to find out how much flexibility, on average, sellers in your neighborhood have. You need to be confident that you have the correct market price to account for the expected level of market negotiation. I am not suggesting overpricing. I am suggesting tactical pricing. Stay within 1% of estimated fair market value.

It is critical to understand that the market determines value – not you are your agent.  No matter what you want to sell your home for, no matter what you paid for your home or the upgrades you made, no matter what helpful neighbors tell you your home should sell for, the ONLY thing that determines value is what another person is willing to pay for your home. Too obvious? Maybe not. Sellers work hard to show that their home exceeds the value of other similar homes in the neighborhood. We all feel that our home is special. And it is special - to us - but it is a commodity to the buyer. We all overestimate the value of upgrades, repairs and the “intrinsic” aspects of our own homes. That is 100% normal. That is what an unbiased 3rd party can help.

As a commodity, buyers look at your home in comparison to similar homes on the market for sale and homes that have sold recently. Buyers are just simple comparison shoppers, looking for the perfect home at the right price. They see kitchen upgrades as positive, old roofs as negative, and swimming pools as either negative or positive, depending on their needs. If they like the style, they give bonus points. If they think the neighbors are too close or the neighborhood association is a bother, they subtract.

Still, a simple price per square foot comparison is often the easiest common denominator in understanding how the average buyer looks at your home. They focus on the core for 95% and add or subtract the good and the bad.  While great care and upgrades can influence your home valuation, and can certainly help with the speed of sale, by not overestimating the value of these improvements, you will do a better job targeting the correct market value for your home.

TIP: Proper pricing early on is critical to maximizing your bottom line.

Studies have shown time and time again that sellers who attempt to maximize their return by pricing at or above the top of the market have a significant chance of making less than if they had priced properly in the beginning. Target the sweet spot for pricing - that very narrow range of peak consumer interest. Both overpricing and underpricing will damage your bottom line.

The temptation to overprice is strong. No one wants to "leave money on the table." ALERT: Overpricing shuts out the most likely buyers early - during the time when your home is fresh and hot on the market. Buyers are smart and well informed. They know if your home is overpriced. The market is more transparent than ever before, so it is easy for a buyer to have a very good idea of the value of your home in advance. Buyers agents are even more savvy to price. Overpriced homes are avoided just like homes in poor condition are avoided. There are simply too many homes out there that are priced fairly. Pricing your home correctly at the beginning is fundamental to maximizing your bottom line. Do not overprice - it will almost certainly cost you money and lost time.

Prepare your home. You may need to do a few repairs or even many repairs. You may need to organize and cut back on clutter. And it's likely you'll need to do some significant detailing to guarantee the best showing results. I have many tips on my website to help you prepare your home. I also share many tips for great showings on my site. (www.scseller.com)

Decide what sort of marketing strategy you wish to use. The second most important item in selling your home for top dollar is effective marketing. The way we market homes today looks nothing like the way we did just five years ago. Marketing has become highly competitive and more complex. Still, there are many ways for people who do not use agents to get information out about their homes for sale.

Are you going to hire a Realtor? If not, how will you advertise and how much will you spend? How will you market effectively online? What is your marketing budget for each type of advertising? How will you maximize your marketing dollar?

Of course, experienced agents have a great deal of marketing expertise and savvy. Arguably, the two most important reasons listing agents are still hired today are 1. marketing expertise, and; 2. negotiation expertise.  Regardless of your choice (agent or FSBO), a solid marketing strategy absolutely must be in place before you put your home on the market. Again, I have many marketing tips on my website to help with this part of the process.

TIP: Often the first offer is the best you will receive. Be ready for it.

If you get an offer quickly, you may conclude that you have underpriced your home. Caution is recommended here. Because a brand-new listing garners a lot of attention, you may have just received an offer from someone who has been patiently waiting for a home just like yours to hit the market. It may have nothing to do with an underpricing. So, take the first offer, and every offer, seriously and negotiate carefully. Avoid the error of overconfidence if you get an offer "too fast". Make the most of it. I have seen sellers destroy a negotiation and a great chance to sell when they felt the offer arrived too soon after listing. Again, a fast offer does NOT usually mean you underpriced the home. It just means that the right buyer saw it at the right time.

 

Adjust - adjust - adjust. If it turns out that you are not getting showings at a rate similar to other listings nearby, you are probably overpriced. The market's way of telling you that you need to lower the price is when 1. you have too few showings or 2. after many showings, you are getting few or no offers or you are getting only low ball offers.  Do not wait more than three weeks after you list your home to make a price adjustment if showings appear to be anemic.

 

Chris DeLoach

843-270-1272

 

March 15, 2018

Get your home ready - it's Spring!

 

Get your home ready - it's Spring!

  • Get rid of clutter.
  • Keep everything extra clean.
  • Depersonalize the rooms by putting away family photos, mementos, and distinctive artwork.
  • Put away any items that may be offensive to some buyers
  • Put away/secure bills, mail and other items that contain personal information
  • Put up books out of view that may not appeal to some buyers
  • Throw out newspapers and magazines
  • Pack away small decorative items or collectables
  • Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier
  • Clean out the garage
  • Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior
  • Wash fingerprints from light switch plates
  • Mop and wax floors
  • Clean the stove and refrigerator
  • Get rid of smells
  • Clean carpeting and drapes
  • Open the windows
  • Clean blinds and windows
  • Put in higher wattage bulbs to make rooms bright
  • Replace any burnt-out bulbs – buyers do notice
  • Paint your front door
  • Paint inside trim if needed
  • Power-wash your sidewalk
  • Power-wash your home’s exterior
  • Replace your A/C air filter if it is dirty – buyers’ agents will notice this.  A clean air filter is a sign that the home is being maintained well
  • Remove clutter in the yard
  • Clear off magnets, photos etc. from the refrigerator
  • Put a pot of bright flowers on your porch
  • Put fresh flowers in the dining room and master bedroom
  • Add new shower curtains, fresh towels, and new liquid soap dispensers
  • Clean the showers/tubs
  • Set out potpourri or fresh baked goods for a homey smell
  • Set the dining table with pretty dishes and candles
  • Buy a fresh doormat
  • Replace torn screens
  • Avoid cooking with strong seasonings prior to showings or cooking foods with strong odors such as frying fish
  • Take one or two major pieces of furniture out of every room
  • Put away kitchen appliances and personal bathroom items to enhance the counter space
  • Put a fire in the fireplace if you have a cold day. Or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use
  • Turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before a showing
  • Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained
  • Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks and around trees. Trim bushes and trees near the home so they don’t block windows and cut down on the light
  • Replace dead patches of grass with new sod
  • Make a centerpiece for your table with fruit or artificial flowers
  • Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light
  • Put the toilet seat down … please
  • Put new doorknobs on your front door or polish your front doorknob
  • Put a fresh coating on your driveway or have it power-washed
  • Keep your garden tools out of site
  • Be sure kids put away their toys
  • Buy a new mailbox
  • Upgrade your outside lighting
  • Polish or replace your house numbers
  • Clean your gutters
  • Put out fresh mulch
  • Program your thermostat around showings – not too hot or too cold
  • Bake cookies before a showing – makes your home inviting
  • Buy new pillows for the sofa
  • Dust – clear cobwebs. Get on top of ceiling fans as well
  • Check the yard where animals might visit
  • Send your pets to the neighbor’s house during a showing
  • Remove any evidence of pets (bowls, cat litter box)
  • Play nice, very soft music in the background
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors to avoid unexpected beeping
  • Verify that front door locks work smoothly and that lockbox keys work well
  • Eliminate squeaks when doors or windows open
  • Eliminate squeaks in floors

 

For other tips and strategies, give me a call or spend some time on my website. I'm always happy to share the knowledge I have with sellers even if they are selling on their own. 

Chris DeLoach

843-270-1272

 

March 15, 2018

Charleston Market Report - Spring

Charleston Market - Spring 2018

Charleston, Summerville Mount Pleasant and beyond remain in a tightening sellers’ market. Across the Charleston area, building activity is revving up for single-family homes and multifamily homes and apartment complexes.

We have been enjoying strong market activity since the beginning of 2018. Concerns over rising interest rates appear to be causing a boost in refinancing activity while prodding fence-sitting buyers into the already buyer-crowded market. With inventories already very low, the forecast of rising interest rates likely will add upward pressure to pricing across the market.

As we approach the Spring selling season, Realtors anticipate significant buyer activity. In addition, sentiment suggests that more sellers will become active in the market but will not be able to offset buyer demand significantly enough to ease inventory pressures. In addition, homebuilders likely will not be able to adequately fill the demand either. Rising interest rates, at the expected pace, likely will have an only marginal impact in reducing demand.

We have seen a reduction in sales volume in some areas of town. Why? Restricted supply is the culprit as buyers are struggling to find the perfect home at the right price. Sellers are responding by pricing high and resisting price reductions.  Over the last 12 months, sales jumped 3.1% overall, although sales recently have been under pressure. Over the past 12 months, the median sales price was up 5% to $252,938.  Single-family homes saw the largest price increase with prices rising an impressive 6.3% to $271,012. The fastest selling range was between $150,000 and $200,000. Homes above $300,000 remained on the market on average over 80 days.

Inventory across the region has dropped by 13%. Today we have just three months’ supply for single-family homes and 2.8-month supply for condominiums.

If you’re interested in more data about the market, please visit my website, or give me a call.

Chris DeLoach

Your Charleston Realtor

843-270-1272

www.CharlestonPrimeHomes.com  

 

March 12, 2018

How to choose a real estate agent in Charleston, South Carolina

Choosing your agent

How people choose agents hasn’t changed a lot over the years. Both sellers and buyers continue to perceive agents as generic. That is, they see very little difference from one agent to the next. Of course, as with selecting any professional to help you, whether you’re choosing a lawyer, a doctor, an account or anyone else who may be involved in very important personal decisions, it’s a good idea to dig a little bit deeper, taking the time to go beyond first impressions. 

Real estate continues to be a uniquely personal business. Most sales transactions we deal with are impersonal but real estate holds a special place because it involves the transfer of something very important to most of us - the home. In addition to sentimental issues, a home usually represents a substantial portion of a family’s portfolio. It is a very big financial decision to purchase or to sell a home. 

Buying and selling real estate is deeply emotional for both buyers and sellers with few exceptions. Selecting an agent begins by understanding your own needs and goals. Whether you are using an agent to list your Charleston area home or are using an agent to help you purchase a home, you will quickly find that working with a real estate agent is not unlike a short-term marriage. As such, while professional skills are paramount, personality interactions need to be considered as well.

First, let's be very clear. Today, agent tools are powerful but ubiquitous. No agent has much over on any other in terms of tools - although they seem to promote that claim in listing presentations quite a bit. So, at this time, skip the "agent with the best tools" thing.

Next, let's skip the 21 step, whiz-bang  "marketing plan". Why? Today, a solid marketing plan is a MINIMUM standard, not a competitive consideration. If your agent does not have a bang-up, amazing, powerful plan locked and loaded, then don't bother with the points below. 

Let's address what really makes the distinctions. 

Here are the most important factors you need to consider:

1. A BIG #1 - experience. Nothing substitutes for experience.

2. Business focus - is the focus on promoting you (your sale) or self-promotion? Today, unfortunately, some agents advertise themselves far more than their listings.

3. Personality - do you mesh? Do you feel comfortable with the agent?

4. Is the listing agent the servicer for the duration or will you be handed off to a team "partner" to move you on to the next step? There are advantages to both models. What makes more sense to you? Do you like to always work with one person or are you fine working with several?  

5. Is the agent a good negotiator ready to stand up for your interests or is he/she willing to hand you to the wolves just to get the sale? 

6. Does the agent have actual, useful market knowledge, including neighborhood knowledge? Real estate is a selling "game". Selling requires quality information about the sales playing field. 

7. What is the communication plan? That's right. This is very important and rarely much of a consideration by the seller. The #1 seller complaint about agents is poor communication. 

8. Does the agent appear to have a structured, disciplined, professional approach? Real estate does not offer hourly pay or require close supervision. A successful agent has amazing time management.  A Realtor is self-driven and largely autonomous. Listen to the words you hear. Notice the dress. Look for a disciplined pro. Selling your most expensive asset is not a matter of fact sort of thing. It is a process to be managed by a serious, professional master of the art. 

This list could be much longer. But, you get the idea. Hiring an agent goes beyond the minimum basics. It is like a marriage. You better be ready to get along for the long haul!

Call me if you want me to sell your home!

Chris DeLoach

Charleston Realtor

843-270-1272

 

March 7, 2018

Value is in the eye of your buyer

 

It is critical to understand that the market determines value – not you are your agent. 

No matter what you want to sell your home for, no matter what you paid for your home or the upgrades you made, no matter what helpful neighbors tell you your home should sell for, the ONLY thing that determines value is what another person is willing to pay for your home. Too obvious? Maybe not. Sellers work hard to show that their home exceeds the value of other similar homes in the neighborhood. We all feel that our home is special. And it is special - to us - but it is a commodity to the buyer. We all overestimate the value of upgrades, repairs and the “intrinsic” aspects of our own homes. That is 100% normal. That is what an unbiased 3rd party can help. 

As a commodity, buyers look at your home in comparison to similar homes on the market for sale and homes that have sold recently. Buyers are just simple comparison shoppers, looking for the perfect home at the right price. They see kitchen upgrades as positive, old roofs as negative, and swimming pools as either negative or positive, depending on their needs. If they like the style, they give bonus points. If they think the neighbors are too close or the neighborhood association is a bother, they subtract. 

Still, a simple price per square foot comparison is often the easiest common denominator in understanding how the average buyer looks at your home. They focus on the core for 95% and add or subtract the good and the bad.  While great care and upgrades can influence your home valuation, and can certainly help with the speed of sale, by not overestimating the value of these improvements, you will do a better job targeting the correct market value for your home. 

Call me for an even better, professional estimate of value (CMA). 

Your Charleston Realtor

Chris DeLoach

843-270-1272