South Carolina: Where to Buy a Second Home?

South Carolina is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country, and it’s easy to see why: the state has more than 2,800 miles of coastline, is home to beautiful beaches and quiet islands, is dotted with lively resort towns, and enjoys mild temperatures throughout the year. Second-home buyers seeking bigger homes outside major urban areas have driven up demand in the southern state, just as they do in Florida.

Among beach, resort, and waterfront properties, “there has a big spike in activity,” Ruthie Ravenel, top producer with Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty and a native Charlestonian, told Travel + Leisure. “The shortage of properties for prospective sellers to move into is a direct result of the high demand currently on the market.”

The Island of Sullivan

This barrier island in Charleston Harbor is the prototypical coastal little town, with a population of just over 2,000 permanent residents. Sullivan’s Island has seen a massive 103 percent spike in housing values in 2021 because to its picturesque historic cottages, beautiful beaches, and bustling downtown commercial strip packed with prominent eateries.

Keep in mind that locals prohibited from obtaining permits to operate as short-term landlords. Currently, fewer than forty “grandfathered in” permits exist on Sullivan’s Island, as stated by Ravenel. If you don’t have cash in hand, she said, “creative negotiation points like a seller leaseback after closing or high-dollar escrow deposits might make your offer more desirable.” Without further ado, let’s look at the top South Carolina vacation home investment markets, which range from secluded islands to guard-gated neighborhoods.

Paradise Island, also known as Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms is one of the best beach towns in South Carolina, and for good reason. It has white sand beaches, a driving directions marina, and world-class golf courses and tennis courts, all within a 12-mile drive of historic Charleston.

Vacasa has included the city on its list of top locations to purchase an investment property because of its lenient rental regulations. For instance, the condominiums, townhomes, and single-family homes at Wild Dunes all inside a secure gated community and have access to first-rate resort-style facilities like a golf course and beach club. The earning potential of a beachfront property is huge, especially now that regulations restricting holiday rentals have loosened. Many excellent property management firms make being a landlord completely hands-free, “as Ravenel elucidated.

In the vicinity of Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is a golfer’s paradise and one of the top 10 growing high-end real estate areas in the country. South Carolina’s lone PGA Tour tournament is held at Harbour Town Golf Links, one of the city’s more than 23 public and private golf courses. Even if you’re not a golfer, Hilton Head Island is still worth visiting. This low country haven is ideal for second homebuyers because to its more than 60 miles of bicycle trails, gorgeous beaches, and rich cultural history. Homes typically stay on the market for approximately 56 days, so you’ll need to ready to move swiftly and offer the asking amount or more.

Although vacation houses “extremely limited” at the moment, as admitted by Ravenel, it is still feasible to discover your ideal holiday home in South Carolina. She recommends being selective while choosing an agency. Get in touch with a specialist who is well-versed in the market you’re keen in and who can fill you in on any off-market opportunities.

To relax on Folly Beach

This barrier island to the south of Charleston all about the laid-back shabby chic lifestyle. Folly Beach has a chill surfer feel since it is one of the top surfing sites in the state (it is where the world-famous Washout surf break can found). It has a bustling downtown where locals and visitors may enjoy nightly entertainment from pubs, restaurants, and clubs.

Ravenel claims that the city’s property market is as varied as its seashore, from luxurious mansions to little cottages “in need of a little TLC.” You needn’t go much farther than Folly Beach if you’re in the market for a fixer-upper with great rental potential.

South Carolina’s Kiawah Island

The 1,600 permanent inhabitants of this gated enclave enjoy the area’s beautiful beaches, abundant vegetation, and the exclusive Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Previous listings by Ravenel indicate that the average sale price of a property in this area little over $1.5 million, with beachfront residences selling for as much as $12 million.

Said of Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island is like being transported to another planet. Visitors drawn to this South Carolina barrier island because of its relaxing atmosphere, picture-perfect ocean vistas, thick maritime forests, and excellent golfing facilities.

More than 35 communities of townhouses, cottages, and condo-style villas may found around the island. While most houses in Seabrook are about 3,000 square feet in size, there plenty of available plots of land with scenic marsh and ocean views if that’s what you’ve always wanted to construct.

Dewees Island

This 1,200-acre nature preserve/barrier island only accessible by ferry or private boat, making it the pinnacle of isolation. Those who live on the island have made protecting the island’s ecosystem a top priority. Although housing scarce, the few structures so well-integrated into their natural surroundings that they provide the perfect environment in which to relax and rejuvenate.

There aren’t any places to eat or shop in this quiet corner of the low country. Its various beaches and wetlands make it a delight for anyone interested in animals and the outdoors. The private island feel achieved by several of the deepwater lots and their accompanying docks that available as building sites.


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