Life in the coastal lowcountry of Charleston SC has two distinct facets. There is the sophistication that is offered by historic downtown Charleston with its theaters, restaurants, history, and eateries; then there is the quiet that comes in parts of the still rural countryside with its vistas, wildlife, rivers, hanging moss and awe inspiring sunrises and sunsets.
We came to the lowcountry seven years ago seeking a different lifestyle than that of a busy metropolis. Having lived and worked in London, we wanted the sophistication of downtown and also space to experience the true beauty of the lowcountry, space to enjoy our last child in the fleeting years before he grew to join his older siblings. Downtown was an easy choice for launching our business, but we looked long and hard before finding just that right space - near enough to downtown yet far enough to be away from work and its demands.
Just what criteria loomed high on the list when were we looking for our home? My wife is a daughter of the south so wide porches and the ubiquitous swing or two were a must. I like being near water so lake and deep water access were also on the list. A little land would be a useful buffer and we needed space for hobbies. Bedrooms for children and guests, an ancillary suite perhaps. Being in the business of real estate and construction, build standards were scrutinized, so we looked for a newer property and a good elevation for when the inevitable storm comes rolling in. Something with a large, modern kitchen, snug family room with lounge area and office. I like gardening so something “deer proof” for the vegetables and, of course, what man would be complete without a large garage and workshop. A good pool would add enjoyment and entertainment to the summer days and shaded pergola to escape the midday sun. Now those evenings also beg for a fire pit, and a little bourbon perhaps when those evenings turn chilly, and why not include a lake or river view as compliment to the seemingly unattainable lifestyle we crafted with our list.
So we looked and we explored and drove a significant distance, learning about the area and where we might land. Mt. Pleasant was too developed, with sprawling neighborhoods of manicured lawns, and to find the space we needed, North Charleston too challenged. James Island had some possibilities though, they were not many. Folly Beach lots were too small, Wadmalaw Island too far out and Daniel Island - well, just too "planned" for us. The allure of rural Johns Island was where we found what we were looking for. Roads shaded by the canopy of ancient oak trees, dotted with vegetable stands and horse farms. And, although the island is now developing, the particular area we found will always stay the same. The quiet, open, established neighborhood of Stono Pointe.
On a quiet day it’s an easy 15 minute drive to downtown but, as the beauty and appeal of this sleepy island has become the proverbial "cat out of the bag," a more typical commute may be nearer to 40 minutes both ways (although promised road improvements to be completed in 2018 are now underway). Charleston's International Airport is a short 30 minutes, Johns Island Executive airport a mere 5 minutes. The famed golf courses of Kiawah Island are just 15 minutes. From the neighborhood deep water dock you are downtown by boat in 20 minutes, you can be fishing at the Folly Flats or on the Kiawah River in 15 minutes. The nearest marina is 5 minutes, nearest boat slip is 10. And, while these time and distances have meaning, for me the best parts are watching the sunrise from the swing on the wide front porch, or watching it set across the lake at the back. Commute time? … Zero.
This is a family home that wraps you with the warm, enveloping blanket of the lowcountry lifestyle. Quiet enough to hear the osprey cry, yet near enough to downtown for an evening's revelry. The home will never be short on space, plenty of room for frequent guests, great neighbors, swimming, tennis, fishing and boating. Space to celebrate and live life together, and yet still offers those small, personal spaces for those more reflective moments in our lives.
Note: Life at 2635 Burden Creek Road on Johns Island is unmatched, with it's rural and natural surroundings, room to spread out inside, and true lowcountry lifestyle the sea island provides. Have a look at the digital book to see inside and imagine this family home for yourself...