Charleston Small Choices

Charleston Small, Lois Lane Properties, Real Estate, For Sale, For Rent

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Let's get Charleston Small

It seems like everywhere you turn these days, someone’s talking about the small house movement, and we have to admit these tiny spaces have piqued our interest. But long before this fad’s country-wide explosion about ten years ago, Charlestonians had discovered that less could be more here on the peninsula, with its unique mix of urban pied-a-terres and large single family homes. Since small spaces have been seeing so much action lately, we thought we’d share some examples of the myriad types of Charleston small choices available downtown. What would be a good fit for you?

Old is new.

There are two major pressures for the conversion of large single-family dwellings into multi-family use: periodic housing shortages and the difficulty of smaller families in maintaining such large residences. Charleston’s certainly had its share of both over the years, dividing large (or even not-so-large) homes into several apartments. As early as the 1970s and well into the 1980s, many of these apartments formerly housing workforce or students were renovated and sold as luxury condominiums. The benefits of buying a condominium in a renovated former Charleston single-family dwelling include having the charm and character of a historic building combined with the luxury and comfort of a modern home--to say nothing of the savings on maintenance costs. Lois just represented the sellers of a 588 square foot condominium in a renovated 1830 dependency in Ansonborough, and is closing on a 400 square foot unit in a 1826 Harleston Village Charleston single house next week. Both of these condominiums are great examples of a cozy downtown home or nice city spot for someone who lives out of town who wants to own a little bit of Charleston history. Aren’t they great?

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Lois represented the seller in the closing of Unit E, part of a 1830 dependency at 55 Hasell Street (top)
Lois is soon closing on Unit B of this 1826 dwelling at 11 West Street (bottom)

Many of Charleston’s older non-residential buildings have been renovated and repurposed as luxury residences as well. Some were converted during WWII to meet the high demands for housing, like the former awning factory at 85 Cumberland Street in the French Quarter. And more recently, places like the Murray Vocational School South of Broad, The People’s Building on Broad and State, and the old Connelly Funeral Home on Meeting Street have been converted to luxury condominiums. Adaptive reuse--the conversion of a historic building to perform a different function-- is growing in popularity as concerns over sustainability persist. Have y’all been in the recently repurposed Cigar Factory yet? It’s pretty awesome; go check it out!

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Lois just listed Unit 22 in Berkeley Court, across from Colonial Lake, for sale

Old Originals

Some older structures on the peninsula were built as tenements (rental units that were usually attached) and of course, we have one of the original tiny houses built as rentals--that vernacular style original to Charleston known as Charleston Cottages (sometimes erroneously referred to as Freedman’s Cottages). But we also have original flapper-era “high-class” apartment buildings such as Berkeley Court-- read more about it here. Looking much as it did when it was built in 1922, the apartment building was converted to condominiums in the 1970s. Not only has Lois represented many buyers and sellers of the fabulous units at 63 Rutledge Avenue over the years, this is the site of her own very first home! She just listed adorable Unit 22 which has 784 square feet. Who can see themselves living in a cozy nook with a sunporch overlooking Colonial Lake? Check it out and give Lois a call at (843) 270-2797 for a showing!

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Lois represented the sellers last week in the sale of 33 Calhoun Street, Unit 123

In with the new.

There are a few “high rise” apartment-cum-condominiums buildings in Charleston, such as the Ashley House on Lockwood Drive at Calhoun and Dockside over there by the Aquarium. But recent years have seen a surge in construction of new luxury condominium complexes downtown, including units of all sizes. There must be a dozen or so of these new structures, including those on Prioleau and Concord Streets near the Waterfront Park and Anson House and Wharfside on the water at the end of Laurens Street. Across the field of Gadsdenborough Park is the ten-year-old complex at 33 Calhoun Street, where Lois just represented the sellers of the 925 square foot unit 123. With four floors over a garage, these new condominium units aren’t the condominium skyscrapers seen elsewhere (thank goodness), but they’re a great option for those who really love living downtown but would rather live in a modern structure. Is that you? If so, now’s the time to snatch one up! Give us a call at (843) 577-2900 and we’ll show you some great units that are currently available--and if you want to go large, that’s okay, too!