Charleston SC Real Estate- Find Your Community!

Ravenel- Charleston SC Real Estate

Rantowles Shores

Rantowles Shores

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Ravenel

Ravenel

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Rhetts Crossing

Rhetts Crossing

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Ropers Run

Ropers Run

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Scarletts Retreat

Scarletts Retreat

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Shilelagh Oaks

Shilelagh Oaks

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Shilelagh Oaks Farms

Shilelagh Oaks Farms

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Tea Farm

Tea Farm

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Isle of Palms- Charleston SC Real Estate

Beachside

Beachside

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Forest Trail

Forest Trail

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Goat Island

Goat Island

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Ocean Boulevard

Ocean Boulevard

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Ocean Inn

Ocean Inn

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Ocean Palms

Ocean Palms

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Oceanside

Oceanside

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Oceanview

Oceanview

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Pavillion Place

Pavillion Place

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Sea Cabin

Sea Cabin

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Sea Cabin on the Ocean

Sea Cabin on the Ocean

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Sea Oats

Sea Oats

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Seaside Inn

Seaside Inn

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Wild Dunes

Wild Dunes

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Wildwood

Wildwood

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Daniel Island- Charleston SC Real Estate

Barfield Park

Barfield Park

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Center Park

Center Park

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Cochran Park

Cochran Park

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Codner's Ferry Park

Codner's Ferry Park

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Daniel Island Park

Daniel Island Park

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Etiwan Park

Etiwan Park

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Pierce Park

Pierce Park

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Hanahan-Charleston SC Real Estate

Avalon in the Pines

Avalon in the Pines

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Belvedere Estates

Belvedere Estates

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Berkeley Hills

Berkeley Hills

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Briarwood

Briarwood

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Carlton Place

Carlton Place

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Eagle Landing

Eagle Landing

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Hanahan

Hanahan

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Kennsington

Kennsington

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Otranto Station

Otranto Station

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Tanner Hall

Tanner Hall

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Tanner Plantation

Tanner Plantation

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The Reserve

The Reserve

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The Reserve at Old Point

The Reserve at Old Point

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Yeamans Park

Yeamans Park

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Goose Creek- Charleston SC Real Estate

Braemoor

Braemoor

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Brickhope Greens

Brickhope Greens

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Brickhope Plantation

Brickhope Plantation

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Bushy Park Terrace

Bushy Park Terrace

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Camelot Village

Camelot Village

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Coker's Crossing

Coker's Crossing

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Crowfield Plantation

Crowfield Plantation

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Devon Forest

Devon Forest

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Fairfax

Fairfax

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Forest Lawn

Forest Lawn

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Foxborough

Foxborough

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Harbour Lake

Harbour Lake

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Indigo Place

Indigo Place

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Lakeview Commons

Lakeview Commons

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Liberty Hall Plantation

Liberty Hall Plantation

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Longford Place

Longford Place

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Longleaf

Longleaf

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Medway Landing

Medway Landing

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Montague Pointe

Montague Pointe

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Oak Creek

Oak Creek

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Persimmon Hill

Persimmon Hill

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Pineview Acres

Pineview Acres

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Quail Hill

Quail Hill

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St James Estates

St James Estates

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Willowbrook

Willowbrook

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Woodland Lakes

Woodland Lakes

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Moncks Corner- Charleston SC Real Estate

Barons Retreat

Barons Retreat

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Berkeley Country Club

Berkeley Country Club

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Berkeley Run

Berkeley Run

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Fairlawn Barony

Fairlawn Barony

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Foxbank Plantation

Foxbank Plantation

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Inglewood

Inglewood

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Moss Grove Plantation

Moss Grove Plantation

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Oak Hill

Oak Hill

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Oak Hill Plantation

Oak Hill Plantation

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Oakley Pointe

Oakley Pointe

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Pimlico

Pimlico

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Spring Grove Plantation

Spring Grove Plantation

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Sterling Oaks

Sterling Oaks

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Stoney Creek

Stoney Creek

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Stony Landing

Stony Landing

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Summerville- Charleston SC Real Estate

Arbor Oaks

Arbor Oaks

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Arbor Walk

Arbor Walk

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Ashborough

Ashborough

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Ashborough East

Ashborough East

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Ashley Forest

Ashley Forest

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Ashley Plantation

Ashley Plantation

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Azalea Estates

Azalea Estates

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Bay Village

Bay Village

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Berkeley Commons

Berkeley Commons

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Blackberry Creek

Blackberry Creek

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Boykin Creek

Boykin Creek

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Boyle Plantation

Boyle Plantation

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Bradford Chase

Bradford Chase

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Braeland

Braeland

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Branch Creek

Branch Creek

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Brandymill

Brandymill

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Briarwood

Briarwood

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Bridges of Summerville

Bridges of Summerville

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Brookwood

Brookwood

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Buckshire

Buckshire

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Cane Bay Plantation

Cane Bay Plantation

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Carnes Crossroads

Carnes Crossroads

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Carriage Lane

Carriage Lane

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Chestnut Acres

Chestnut Acres

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Clemson Terrace

Clemson Terrace

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Cobblestone Ridge

Cobblestone Ridge

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Coosaw Creek Country Club

Coosaw Creek Country Club

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Coosaw Preserve

Coosaw Preserve

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Corey Woods

Corey Woods

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Cottages at Shepard Place

Cottages at Shepard Place

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Cottages of Gahagan

Cottages of Gahagan

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Crestwood

Crestwood

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Crichton Parish

Crichton Parish

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Cypress Point

Cypress Point

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Daniels Orchard

Daniels Orchard

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Dubard Acres

Dubard Acres

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Eagle Harbor

Eagle Harbor

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Eagle Run

Eagle Run

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Evergreen

Evergreen

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Felder Creek

Felder Creek

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Fieldview

Fieldview

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Gadsden Acres

Gadsden Acres

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Gadsden Manor

Gadsden Manor

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Gahagan

Gahagan

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Gahagan East

Gahagan East

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Glynn Acres

Glynn Acres

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Greenhurst

Greenhurst

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Greenwood Ranches

Greenwood Ranches

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Guilford Gates

Guilford Gates

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Hidden Hills

Hidden Hills

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Hidden Palms

Hidden Palms

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High Meadow Farms

High Meadow Farms

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Highwoods Plantation

Highwoods Plantation

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Hillside Farms

Hillside Farms

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Historic District

Historic District

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Huntington Farms

Huntington Farms

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Indian Springs

Indian Springs

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Irongate

Irongate

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Kensington Park

Kensington Park

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Kings Grant

Kings Grant

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Knightsville

Knightsville

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Ladson

Ladson

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Lakes of Summerville

Lakes of Summerville

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Legend Oaks Plantation

Legend Oaks Plantation

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Madison Ridge

Madison Ridge

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Magnolia Hill

Magnolia Hill

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Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge

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Marlin Estates

Marlin Estates

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Mateeba Estates

Mateeba Estates

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McKewn

McKewn

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Meadowbrook

Meadowbrook

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Millwood

Millwood

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Moodys Plantation

Moodys Plantation

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Myers Mill

Myers Mill

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New Hope Estates

New Hope Estates

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Newington Gardens

Newington Gardens

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Newington Plantation

Newington Plantation

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Nexton

Nexton

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Oak Knoll

Oak Knoll

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Orchard Hill

Orchard Hill

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Pine Forest

Pine Forest

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Pine Forest Country Club

Pine Forest Country Club

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Pine Hill

Pine Hill

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Pinehill Acres

Pinehill Acres

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Plum Creek

Plum Creek

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Quail Arbor

Quail Arbor

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Quail Arbor V Reminisce

Quail Arbor V Reminisce

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Reminisce

Reminisce

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River Birch

River Birch

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Salisbury Acres

Salisbury Acres

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Sangaree

Sangaree

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Scotch Range

Scotch Range

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Scott's Mill

Scott's Mill

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Shepard Place

Shepard Place

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Shepards Park

Shepards Park

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South Pointe

South Pointe

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Steeple Point

Steeple Point

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Summer Glen

Summer Glen

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Summer Park

Summer Park

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Summer Ridge

Summer Ridge

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Summer Trace

Summer Trace

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Summer Wood

Summer Wood

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Summers Corner

Summers Corner

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Summerset Acres

Summerset Acres

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Summerville

Summerville

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Summerville Crossing

Summerville Crossing

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Summerville Estates

Summerville Estates

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Summerville on the Ashley

Summerville on the Ashley

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Summerville Place

Summerville Place

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Sunburst Lakes

Sunburst Lakes

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Sweetbriar

Sweetbriar

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Tea Farm

Tea Farm

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The Bluffs at Ashley River

The Bluffs at Ashley River

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The Farm at Wescott

The Farm at Wescott

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The Glen at Summerset

The Glen at Summerset

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The Ponds

The Ponds

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The Summit

The Summit

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Townhomes at Berkeley Commons

Townhomes at Berkeley Commons

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Tramway

Tramway

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Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes

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Walden Ridge

Walden Ridge

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Walnut Farms

Walnut Farms

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Waring Hall

Waring Hall

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Warington

Warington

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Waterside Landing

Waterside Landing

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Weatherstone

Weatherstone

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Wescott Plantation

Wescott Plantation

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White Gables

White Gables

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Winterseat

Winterseat

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Woodland Estates

Woodland Estates

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West Ashley- Charleston SC Real Estate

Adams Run

Adams Run

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Air Harbor

Air Harbor

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Albemarle Point

Albemarle Point

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Anavesta Park

Anavesta Park

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Arboretum

Arboretum

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Archfield Plantation

Archfield Plantation

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Ardmore

Ardmore

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Asheford Place

Asheford Place

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Ashland Plantation

Ashland Plantation

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Ashley Hall Manor

Ashley Hall Manor

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Ashley Hall Plantation

Ashley Hall Plantation

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Ashley Harbor

Ashley Harbor

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Ashley Park

Ashley Park

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Ashleytowne Landing

Ashleytowne Landing

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Ashleytowne Village

Ashleytowne Village

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Avondale

Avondale

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Battery Gaillard

Battery Gaillard

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Battery Haig

Battery Haig

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Bolton's Landing

Bolton's Landing

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Bull Creek Peninsula

Bull Creek Peninsula

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Bull Run

Bull Run

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Byrnes Down

Byrnes Down

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Canterbury Woods

Canterbury Woods

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Capri Isle

Capri Isle

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Carolina Bay

Carolina Bay

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Carolina Cove

Carolina Cove

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Carolina Terrace

Carolina Terrace

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Charlestowne Estates

Charlestowne Estates

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Church Creek

Church Creek

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Citadel Woods

Citadel Woods

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Concord West of the Ashley

Concord West of the Ashley

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Croghans Landing

Croghans Landing

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Drayton on the Ashley

Drayton on the Ashley

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East Oak Forest

East Oak Forest

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Edgewater Park

Edgewater Park

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Farmfield

Farmfield

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Forest Lakes

Forest Lakes

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Gadsden Village

Gadsden Village

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Geddes Hall

Geddes Hall

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Grand Oaks Plantation

Grand Oaks Plantation

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Greenwood Park

Greenwood Park

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Harrison Acres

Harrison Acres

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Heathwood

Heathwood

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Hemmingwood

Hemmingwood

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Hoff Gardens

Hoff Gardens

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Hollywood

Hollywood

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Hollywood Manor

Hollywood Manor

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Hunt Club

Hunt Club

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Huntington Woods

Huntington Woods

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Jacobs Point

Jacobs Point

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Jo Eva Cove

Jo Eva Cove

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Lems Bluff

Lems Bluff

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Lenevar

Lenevar

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Longbranch

Longbranch

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Maclaura Hall

Maclaura Hall

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Magnolia Ranch

Magnolia Ranch

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Marsh Cove

Marsh Cove

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Mclaura Bluff

Mclaura Bluff

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Meggett

Meggett

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Melrose

Melrose

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Memminger Hall

Memminger Hall

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Moreland

Moreland

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Myrtle Grove

Myrtle Grove

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Northbridge Terrace

Northbridge Terrace

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Oak Grove Pointe

Oak Grove Pointe

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Oakland

Oakland

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Old Towne Acres

Old Towne Acres

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Orange Grove Estates

Orange Grove Estates

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Osborn

Osborn

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Palmetto Park Place

Palmetto Park Place

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Parish Park

Parish Park

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Park Place

Park Place

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Parkdale

Parkdale

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Parkshore

Parkshore

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Parkwood Estates

Parkwood Estates

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Pierpont

Pierpont

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Pinecrest Gardens

Pinecrest Gardens

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Poplar Grove

Poplar Grove

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Providence Commons

Providence Commons

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Quigley Farms

Quigley Farms

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Radcliffe Place

Radcliffe Place

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Ripley Light Marina

Ripley Light Marina

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Rotherwood Estates

Rotherwood Estates

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Royal Harbor

Royal Harbor

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Sandhurst

Sandhurst

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Schieveling Plantation

Schieveling Plantation

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Seagate

Seagate

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Shadowmoss

Shadowmoss

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Shaftsbury

Shaftsbury

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Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest

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South Windermere

South Windermere

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Springfield

Springfield

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St Andrews Heights

St Andrews Heights

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Stone Creek

Stone Creek

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Stono Estates

Stono Estates

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Stono Ferry

Stono Ferry

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Stono Park

Stono Park

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Sylvan Shores

Sylvan Shores

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The Colony at Heron Reserve

The Colony at Heron Reserve

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The Crescent

The Crescent

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The Hamlets

The Hamlets

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The Shadows

The Shadows

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The Villas of West Ashley

The Villas of West Ashley

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Village Green

Village Green

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Wappoo Heights

Wappoo Heights

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Waterway South

Waterway South

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Wespanee Plantation

Wespanee Plantation

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West Ashley Plantation

West Ashley Plantation

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West Oak Forest

West Oak Forest

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Westborough

Westborough

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Westwood

Westwood

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Willow Oaks

Willow Oaks

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Windermere

Windermere

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Mt. Pleasant- Charleston SC Real Estate

Back Bay Village

Back Bay Village

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Bayview Acres

Bayview Acres

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Belle Hall

Belle Hall

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Braemore

Braemore

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Brickyard Plantation

Brickyard Plantation

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Bridlewood

Bridlewood

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Brookgreen

Brookgreen

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Brookgreen Meadows

Brookgreen Meadows

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Candlewood

Candlewood

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Carol Oaks

Carol Oaks

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Carolina Park

Carolina Park

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Cassina Heights

Cassina Heights

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Center Lake

Center Lake

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Charleston National

Charleston National

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Chelsea Park

Chelsea Park

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Commonwealth

Commonwealth

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Copahee View

Copahee View

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Creekside Park

Creekside Park

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Crowne Pointe

Crowne Pointe

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Darrell Creek

Darrell Creek

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Daybreak

Daybreak

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Dunes West

Dunes West

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East Crossing

East Crossing

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Fairway Place

Fairway Place

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Fiddlers Marsh

Fiddlers Marsh

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Glenlake

Glenlake

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Grassy Creek

Grassy Creek

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Hamlet Square

Hamlet Square

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Hamlin Plantation

Hamlin Plantation

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Harborgate Shores

Harborgate Shores

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Harbour Watch

Harbour Watch

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Heritage

Heritage

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Hickory Shadows

Hickory Shadows

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Hidden Cove

Hidden Cove

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Hidden Lakes

Hidden Lakes

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Hobcaw Creek Plantation

Hobcaw Creek Plantation

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Hobcaw Point

Hobcaw Point

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Horlbeck Creek

Horlbeck Creek

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Ion Subdivision

Ion Subdivision

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Ivy Hall

Ivy Hall

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Lakeshore

Lakeshore

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Landings Run

Landings Run

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Laurel Grove

Laurel Grove

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Laurel Hill

Laurel Hill

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Laurel Lakes

Laurel Lakes

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Longpoint

Longpoint

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Mallard Lakes

Mallard Lakes

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Marsh Harbor

Marsh Harbor

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Molasses Creek Plantation

Molasses Creek Plantation

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New Parrish Village

New Parrish Village

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North Point

North Point

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Oak Park

Oak Park

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Oakhaven Plantation

Oakhaven Plantation

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Old Mt Pleasant

Old Mt Pleasant

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Old Village

Old Village

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Old Village Landing

Old Village Landing

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Olde Park

Olde Park

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Oyster Point

Oyster Point

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Palmetto Fort

Palmetto Fort

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Palmetto Place

Palmetto Place

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Parish Place

Parish Place

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Park West

Park West

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Patriots Province

Patriots Province

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Phillips Park

Phillips Park

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Pinckney Place

Pinckney Place

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Planter's Pointe

Planter's Pointe

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Point Pleasant

Point Pleasant

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Quail Hollow

Quail Hollow

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Ravens Run

Ravens Run

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River Reach at Remely Point

River Reach at Remely Point

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River Watch

River Watch

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Rivertowne

Rivertowne

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Seaside Farms

Seaside Farms

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Sewee Preserve

Sewee Preserve

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Shelmore Village

Shelmore Village

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Shemwood

Shemwood

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Simmons Point

Simmons Point

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Snee Farm

Snee Farm

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Somerset Point

Somerset Point

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St Thomas Point

St Thomas Point

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Sweetgrass

Sweetgrass

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The Groves

The Groves

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Wakendaw Lakes

Wakendaw Lakes

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Wando East

Wando East

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Wando Lakes

Wando Lakes

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Watermark

Watermark

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Waters Edge

Waters Edge

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West Point

West Point

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Yough Hall

Yough Hall

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James Island- Charleston SC Real Estate

Affirmation Oaks

Affirmation Oaks

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Back Bay

Back Bay

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Bayview Farms

Bayview Farms

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Cloudbreak Court

Cloudbreak Court

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Country Club

Country Club

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Cross Creek

Cross Creek

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Eaglewood Retreat

Eaglewood Retreat

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Eastwood

Eastwood

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Farmington

Farmington

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Fort Johnson Estates

Fort Johnson Estates

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Ft Lamar

Ft Lamar

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Harbor Place

Harbor Place

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Harbor Woods

Harbor Woods

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Jamestowne Village

Jamestowne Village

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Lakeside Village

Lakeside Village

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Lawton Bluff

Lawton Bluff

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Lawton Harbor

Lawton Harbor

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Lighthouse Point

Lighthouse Point

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Magnolia Walk

Magnolia Walk

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Oakcrest

Oakcrest

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Ocean Neighbors

Ocean Neighbors

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Old Orchard

Old Orchard

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Parrot Bluff

Parrot Bluff

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Parrot Creek

Parrot Creek

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Quail Run

Quail Run

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Queensboro

Queensboro

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Riverland Crossing

Riverland Crossing

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Riverland Terrace

Riverland Terrace

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Seaside Estates

Seaside Estates

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Seaside Plantation

Seaside Plantation

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Secessionville

Secessionville

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Secessionville Acres

Secessionville Acres

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St Michaels Place

St Michaels Place

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Stiles Point

Stiles Point

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Stiles Point Plantation

Stiles Point Plantation

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Stone Edge

Stone Edge

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Stoneboro Court

Stoneboro Court

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Stono Shores

Stono Shores

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Village of Secessionville

Village of Secessionville

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Westfield Place

Westfield Place

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Wexford Sound

Wexford Sound

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White Point Estates

White Point Estates

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Woodland Shores

Woodland Shores

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Woodward Pointe

Woodward Pointe

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Johns Island- Charleston SC Real Estate

Barberry Woods

Barberry Woods

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Black Pen

Black Pen

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Brickhouse Plantation

Brickhouse Plantation

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Cedar Springs

Cedar Springs

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Chisolm Green

Chisolm Green

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Dunmovin

Dunmovin

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Edenvale

Edenvale

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Enclave on Bohicket

Enclave on Bohicket

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Gift Plantation

Gift Plantation

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Grimball Gates

Grimball Gates

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Headquarters

Headquarters

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Headquarters Plantation

Headquarters Plantation

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Holloway Court

Holloway Court

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Hope Plantation

Hope Plantation

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Hopkinson Point

Hopkinson Point

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Humbert

Humbert

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Island Estates

Island Estates

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Johns Island

Johns Island

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Kiawah River Estates

Kiawah River Estates

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Marshall Creek

Marshall Creek

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Marshes at Rushland

Marshes at Rushland

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Morris Acres

Morris Acres

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Oak Reserve

Oak Reserve

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Ravens Bluff

Ravens Bluff

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Royal Oaks

Royal Oaks

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Rushland

Rushland

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Rushland Plantation

Rushland Plantation

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Shell Point

Shell Point

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St. Johns Crossing

St. Johns Crossing

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Stono Watch

Stono Watch

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Summertrees

Summertrees

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The Bend at River Road

The Bend at River Road

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The Commons at Fenwick Hall

The Commons at Fenwick Hall

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The Green on Bohicket Creek

The Green on Bohicket Creek

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The Marshes at Rushland Landing

The Marshes at Rushland Landing

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The Villages in St. John's Woods

The Villages in St. John's Woods

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Timmons

Timmons

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Tremont

Tremont

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Twelve Oaks

Twelve Oaks

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Village Gardens

Village Gardens

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Westland

Westland

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Whippoorwill Farms

Whippoorwill Farms

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Whitney Lake

Whitney Lake

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Winnsboro Lakes

Winnsboro Lakes

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How to Choose a Charleston Neighborhood

           

If houses are like spouses, a neighborhood is like the extended family. But while you can have a good marriage and still dread holidays with the in-laws, you'll never love a house if you don't like your neighborhood. 

How can you choose the right community? Become a neighborhood detective. Figure out what you're looking for, do research and find a neighborhood that fits your description. You don't even have to wear a trench coat -- but it probably wouldn't hurt. 

STEP 1 -- Profile Your Perfect Neighborhood

Before you start scrutinizing Charleston real estate neighborhoods, turn the magnifying glass back on yourself. 

Think about what you're really looking for in a new neighborhood. Remember, you'll probably have to make compromises, so put the "must-haves" at the top and the "would- like-to-haves" at the bottom.

Here are some things to consider: 

  • Do you have children or are you planning to have children anytime soon? Parents know that the first thing to do when looking at a neighborhood is to research the school system. Even if you're single, living in an area with a much sought-after school system raises your property value. If you have kids, you'll also want to live close to parks and community centers.
  • What type of home do you want? Are you interested in a single-family home or an apartment, townhouse or co-op? Read more about the different types of homes.
  • How far are you willing to commute? Do you plan to drive, walk or take mass transit to work? Do you have a car or would you be willing to get one?
  • Do you want to be in a historic neighborhood or a new development? Historic neighborhoods have tons of character, but often require lots of repair work and are governed by community associations with strict standards. Newer developments have more modern features, but are typically far from the city center. Read more about the different types of architecture styles.
  • What is your current community lacking? If you're currently landlocked, but have always wanted to live on the waterfront, put that at the top of your list. If you're a coffee junkie, having a Starbucks down the street may be a dream come true.
  • Do you want to be able to go places on foot? Would you like to be within walking distance of shops, restaurants and bars? Or would you be willing to drive to nearby businesses?
  • Think about what you don't want in a neighborhood, too. If you can't stand late-night noise, you'll probably want to steer clear of the college area or an area with a lively bar scene.

STEP 2 -- Zero In on the Area

If you're moving within the same city, you may already know the various neighborhoods. Choose the ones that best match your list of wants. If you're moving to a new city, you'll have to do more research. Start by picking a part of town to search in. For instance, if your job is on the west side of town, start there. In a really large city, narrow it down to a few-block radius, say, SoHo in New York City. This will make your search more focused. 

STEP 3 -- Get the Suspects

With your area of the city in mind, start digging up information. Find interesting neighborhoods online, ask local real estate agents for recommendations and compile all the background information you can, including: 

  • School information: Look into the local public and private elementary, junior and high schools, as well as daycare programs.
  • Crime statistics: Most real estate sites have statistics that tell you how the zip code's crime rates measure up to the national average. If you want specifics, call the local police station.
  • Parks and recreation: How far is it to the closest park or recreation center?
  • Neighborhood associations: Does the community you're looking at have one, and, if so, are there lawn or construction restrictions? Is there a yearly fee?
  • Tourist attractions: Get a guidebook or check out the convention and tourism bureau's Web site to see all the city has to offer.

STEP 4 -- Find the Clues

Once you've done the background research, visit Charleston real estate neighborhoods that made the preliminary grade in person. There's no better way to paint a real picture of life in the neighborhood. Use your senses to get a complete picture of the prospective community. 

Sights:

  • Remember your first impression. What do you notice first about the neighborhood? Do the streets have curb appeal? Are the houses well-maintained? Do the shops and restaurants look hip and inviting? You'll want to feel good about where you call home, and impress buyers when you're ready to move on.
  • Visualize yourself in the neighborhood. Think of your daily routine. If you can't live without a morning latte, is there a coffee shop nearby? Where will you walk your dog or go jogging? You'll enjoy the neighborhood more if it's easy to do what you like.
  • Observe the neighborhood at different times of the day. Driving through will help you get a snapshot of life in the community -- good and bad. Do the roads turn into a parking lot after school or during rush hour? Are people using grills or decks in the evening? Are neighbors and kids socializing or do people keep to themselves? Are the streets well-lit at night? These visual clues can help you decide if you'll fit in.
  • Make sure the local schools make the grade. Even if you don't have kids, pay a visit to the nearby schools. High ratings are great, but seeing the buildings is much more telling. It will be easier to sell your house later if the schools are nice.
  • Look for warning signs. Be on the lookout for signs that the neighborhood is in trouble. Do you see abandoned buildings or vandalism? Are there a lot of "For Sale" signs or rentals? If the community goes downhill, so does your house's value.

Sounds:

  • Stop and listen. Bird and nature sounds are generally pleasant, but what about noise from the highway, airport, hospital, train tracks or nearby clubs and bars? It's not very relaxing to listen to trains screech by during your morning coffee -- especially not every morning.
  • Talk to your future neighbors. Ask how they like the area, and get the dirt on anything they don't like about the place. What do they want to change? What's their favorite place to hang out? If they're rude to you, they probably wouldn't be good neighbors anyway.
  • Talk to more people. You'll get the best information from regular people who aren't trying to make a sale. (Read: not your real estate agent.) Hit up your waiter for information when you're checking out the local food, or ask a gas station attendant to spill what they know about your chosen neighborhood.

Smells:

  • Specifically, are there any? You can't experience unpleasant smells on the Internet and they're not advertised in tourism brochures, but they can certainly affect your decision to live in an area. Take a big whiff of the air, and ask around if you smell any fishy (or just bad) odors.

Taste:

  • No, I'm not asking you to lick your prospective home's mailbox. But ask yourself if the neighborhood matches your taste in a living environment -- and if it meets your criteria. Just because it's a nice neighborhood doesn't mean it's the one for you. If the neighborhood meets your list but still feels wrong, search out another area. Trust your gut feeling -- after all, you're the one who has to live there.

STEP 5 -- Close the Case

You've chosen your neighborhood. Now for the hard part: finding a house you love. Luckily, you've narrowed it down to a few streets. Now, make sure to: 

  • Find out how much house you can afford. The amount of money a lender offers you is often more than you can truly afford to pay. Use our handy mortgage calculator to add all your current debts and see how much you can afford. You don't want to be stuck eating ramen noodles for the next 15 to 30 years.
  • Compare your loan options. Ask yourself these basic questions to find out what mortgage is right for you. Decide between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages with FrontDoor's comparison tool. Then, try another tool to see which loan term is best for you.
  • Draw up your vision of home. It worked for your neighborhood -- now think about what you want in a home. Write your own vision of home and stick to it while you're house hunting. Don't know a Craftsman home from a contemporary one? This where a good buyer's agent will come in handy!
  • Find the perfect house! Search for homes by neighborhood across the Charleston area at www.ChuckTownHomes.com

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