I have cash in the bank and great credit, I can relocate to Charelston whenever I want> I want to get the

Asked by Charlie Joe, New York, NY Mon Jan 19, 2009

best possible deal on a 4-500 k new construction house this year. When do you think the prices in Mount Pleasant will be adjusted to be more realistic with current economic trends? Prices do not seem to be declining fast compared to other regions price corrections, It seems as if Charleston is behind the DC and Southern Cali area for similar homes. Is everyone there seriously underwater in equity?

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Suspectbuyer, Home Buyer, Charleston, SC
Fri Jun 5, 2009
The RE market especially on homes priced >$700K is DEAD. There is something like 30-40 months of inventory on some of the higher end homes.
Rent for now as prices will substancially decline over the next 6-12 months. Add rising interest rates and the price decline will be even worse.
And there are lots of homes in this price range not even on the market - when they hit, the inventory rate will skyrocket and it's going to be devastating.
Some advice to sellers of higher price homes: Sell now or you will be price IN forever.
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Marty C, , Austin, TX
Mon Feb 23, 2009
Just rent and wait. You fill find a great places as prices go down. Doing it on your own will save tons of money. Prices in Charleston have just begun to drop.
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Lee Keadle, , Charleston, SC
Mon Feb 23, 2009

You are asking the million dollar question. The truth is that know one really knows what prices will do, but I wouldn't compare the Mount Pleasant or Charleston real estate market to DC or So Cal. Our markets have always been behind other more populated areas, but that is part of the reason Charleston isn't feeling the crunch as much as the rest of the country. Sure prices here got inflated 2004-2006, but because we were behind the rest of the country, we didn't get hyper inflated like the rest of the country. I think that is why our area has only seen an 8% loss this past year.

I think that prices have fallen the majority of the way down and we will still see some lower prices, but mainly on Short Sales and Foreclosures. The real key to finding a great deal in Mount Pleasant is to keep an eye on the market, learn what homes should sell for and wait to buy when you find that great deal. The best deals in my opinion are not the short sales, but the homes where a nervious seller with good equity decides to unload a well kept house for a great price. I have a great Mount Pleasant page below if you want to do some of your own research!
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Donald, Both Buyer And Seller, Rocky Hill, CT
Sun Feb 22, 2009
There is no doubt that Realtors were overpricing homes in 2004/2005 and anxious buyers were purchasing, but many people moved to Charleston (where I'm returning after a short move to Jacksonville, FL) with strong salaries which allows them to barely survive the huge mortgage payment. I would not look upon buying in the Charleston area as an investment. For a primary home, cool. For an investment that will appreciate? I'd be leery of that. Just look at each property individually and plan your attack based upon the situation of each individual homeowner's plight.

I personally know of MANY that are over their head with awareness that their equity is gone because they bought with 100% financing at the 300-400K range. They no longer care if it's a short sale because of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. With that, the financial repercussions are gone. But get a realtor heavily experienced in short sales because it's a very complicated process. One of my friends used a realtor not well versed in short sales and both the buyer and seller had a nerve wracking time during the negotiation process with the bank. Had the realtor been experienced, the timeframe would've been short with much less hassle.

I can't stress it enough that you should negotiate for a "short sale" at every step of the turn. And I would strongly recommend that you not deal with a Realtor that has experience of less than 10 short sales.

Remember, "You don't make money when you sell a house. You may money when you BUY a house." I'm a school Economist and quickly learned to laugh at National Association of Realtor's (NAR) economic forecasts. Research will most definitely payoff and verify whatever any realtor tells you. Be very wary of realtors at every step of the way, as they get their information from the (NAR) which is very biased and unsubstantiated. They have been making statements such as that since 2003 which hurt hundreds, if not thousands, of homebuyers in this region who are financially upside down in their homes.

As for me, I'm looking at paying $190k for a home purchased for $200k in 2000 because $190k is owned on the note. That's a 5% drop in price since 2000, but it took a lot of research and luck to find this home.

And, for what it's worth, I like Randall's answer the best.
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Chris Havila…, Agent, Isle of Palms, SC
Mon Jan 19, 2009
J- Part of the problem with comparing the drop in home prices across the country has a lot do with what happened in each of these markets leading up to this point. This Forbes article lists the 25 worst markets in the country. The one thing they all have in common is that they were very hot markets a couple years ago. The markets that rose the most are falling the furthest. Charleston saw some very good growth and we've had our share of price erosion, and will likely see more. But we will probably not see as much pressure on pricing as say southern CA or Las Vegas and many areas of FL. In fact the pricing pressures are more specfic than just the city. For example, the Isle of Palms (here in Charleston) is seeing a higher % price drop than Mt. Pleasant, just across the bridge.
On a seperate note, most sellers can not tell you (or us) the lowest price they will take for their home until they are presented with an offer. I had one seller listed at $1.45m tell me he would not go below $1.3m and we sold his home for $1.1m. Go figure.....In addition we can do some digging and find out how desperate a particular seller is. Some new home builders are on more solid ground than others. Let me know if I can help.
843-327-8986 (c)
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The Cassina…, Agent, Mount Pleasant, SC
Mon Jan 19, 2009
Actually the market in the greater Charleston area has held on pretty well when compared with larger metro areas across the country. What we are seeing locally is sellers are now more willing to negotiate on list price. That being said I have been encouraging my buyer clients to "just make an offer" and the response has been good. For the most part sellers are not giving the houses away but are coming down significantly of the list price and everyone feels it is a win - win situation. Our area has held on well to values for a number reasons and the activity for the first few weeks of January 2009 looks good - more buyers are looking and writing contracts. I would say give it a shot, come down look around, I'm sure you will find something you like and make an offer -rates are low and many homes on the market are hitting the 12 month mark and the sellers are eager. Let me know if you have any question, I would love to help out.

Owen Tyler
(843) 224-5398
Web Reference:  http://www.OwenTyler.com
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Cheryll Wood…, Agent, Mount Pleasant, SC
Mon Jan 19, 2009
Dear Charleston Area Home Buyer,

Charleston's average sale prices have seen a decline of just about 8% over the last year. There are some great buys available now, particularly on new homes that builders would like to part with, with fantastic interest rates. In fact, I have a client that had a contract on an Isle of Palms home for $150,000 less (a short sale) than an appraisal that was just a couple of months old. I am currently working on three short sales for clients and I am sure that there will be more. It is true that our prices have not seen the same decline as some areas that are not coastal communities.

You can search all available Charleston area homes at http://woodsflowers.com . I love to help investors and families that are relocating!

Cheryll Woods-Flowers
Home Grown on Charleston's Shore
Web Reference:  http://woodsflowers.com
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Randall Sand…, Agent, Charleston, SC
Mon Jan 19, 2009
J - Thanks for your question. As of today, there are 34 active listings in that price range with 4 under contract with only 4 having sold in the last 3 months.

Our prices dropped a fair amount over the last few months but the issue was that they were overpriced in the first place. So a $50,000 reduction on a house that is $75,000 overpriced is not that great of a deal.

There is a lot of underwater equity - many people re-fi'd and pulled equity lines and now their home has declined in value and they cannot sell or they are listing at way too high of a price.

If you would like some more specifics, please let me know and I will be happy to help you out.

Randall Sandin
Carolina One Real Estate
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Laura Sargent, Agent, Awendaw, SC
Mon Jan 19, 2009
J - There are some amazing deals to be had in the Mount Pleasant area! The great location with easy access to the ocean and downtown Charleston is what really keeps prices strong. "When will prices drop more"...each seller is going to have to deal with the numbers they can sell at...They are all waiting for that ready, able, and willing buyer. Underwater in equity? Too many and that is what makes it hard for them to sell.

Must be pretty busy in DC right now - What a GREAT city!
Web Reference:  http://www.laurasargent.com
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