By Terri Seignious, Guest Contributor
Asking for waterfront property in Charleston is a bit like asking Godiva for chocolate. Can we find it? Absolutely! The question is what kind of waterfront property do you want and what are your specific interests? Charleston, after all, is surrounded by water.
My question to you might begin with whether or not boating is important. We have an extensive interconnected river system where at their end, they merge into Charleston Harbor and empty into the Atlantic Ocean. If you enjoy large boats and the possibilty to head out from your own dock for deep sea fishing then you are more than likely looking for a property we define as “true deep water” (4 or more feet at low tide) and potentially one on the Intracoastal Waterway or close to the mouth of the rivers. When looking for property you will find waterfront listings with deep water on the Wando, Cooper, Ashley, Bohicket, Stono, and Wadmalaw Rivers and on the islands of Folly Beach, Sullivans and Isle of Palms.
Smaller boats can navigate well on what we term “tidal creek”. Tidal by definition means the water level is going to be raised or lowered by the incoming or outgoing tides and many of these properties have little to no water at the end of the dock when the tide is out. You will need to be prepared to have your boat on a lift and to potentially wait longer to get in and out to the river depending on the time of day when mid to high tide is available. Tidal creek properties can be just as spectacular as deep water properties as far as their marsh and water vistas but they will not demand as high a price as true deep water.
Another question might be whether a dock is a “must have.” Not every buyer who wants to be on the water is a boater. Some just enjoy the views and possibly only want the ability to launch a kayak or fish. In that case a “water view” or non dock-able waterfront property would be a perfect fit.
It is important to note that whether a dock is desired or not is something your real estate agent must know. The docks in SC are all regulated by the OCRM ( Office of Coastal Resource Management) and every property has very specific criteria that must be met to be approved for a dock. Please do not assume you can have a dock just because a property sits on water. Make sure your agent is appropriately educated about the rules regarding docks and the permitting process. In neighborhoods or developments on the water there will be a master dock plan.
In many neighborhoods in and around the Charleston area there are lakes or ponds. Some lakes are restricted as far as the types of boats allowed so it would be wise to check the covenants in advance. On smaller lakes non motorboats such as electric, paddle boats or kayaks may be allowed but you will want to know the restrictions.
NOTE: Our team includes Realtors that are experts at helping clients navigate the ins-and-outs of purchasing a waterfront property that most closely matches their needs. If living on one of Charleston's breathtaking waterways is what you've dreamed of... find out how we can help.
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