Three More Favorite Dorchester County Neighborhoods and some not so hot

Our last post on neighborhood favorites is already a big hit, so we thought we’d give you some more.  One of our goals is to highlight the importance of picking the right neighborhood, especially if you want to maximize how much your primary residence helps you get ahead financially.  Bridges of Summerville is another favorite in Dorchester County.  The location, between roads Ladson and Old Trolley provide quick access to I26, and to the Air Base.  Dorchester II schools, of course.  A Summerville address just has a nice ring to it.  Centex and Beazer are the builders, all other things being equal, I’d rather have a Centex built home.  The neighborhood is finished out so, while there are quite a few listings for sale, there is pretty decent movement and there’s no new construction competition inside the subdivision.  There really isn’t anything nearby that compares, especially if neighborhood asthetics are important to you.  There are several green spaces and preserved wetlands that make the community feel less “stripped out” than it’s Wescott neighbors. 

Kings Grant is looking  better.  Prices were stuck around $90 sq/ft while the golf course controversy was being resolved.  Homes are going to take longer to sell, because of the style, and they’re older, about 30 years mostly.  It looks now like the new owners of the golf course are going to be able to follow through on developing the defunked golf course.  The pool and clubhouse areas are being worked on right now.   We don’t have any solid information at this point on the new home development. 

Summer Trace stands apart from it’s neighbors off of Old Trolley Rd.  Developed by two local builders, Steve Hill and Landura Homes, the construction quality and floor plan variety makes for a nicer feel driving through the community.  It’s right across the street almost from Publix and restaurants.  Prices are mostly in the 200’s.  It’s a pretty quick shot to I26, either cutting through Bridges of Summerville, or thru Miles Jamison Rd over to Ladson and then 78. 

Some neighborhoods I don’t recommend:  the front part of Wescott is nice, I have two satisfied clients there, and I’d certainly live there.  BUT They two new areas currently under construction, The Farm by DR Horton , and Woodlands by Centex I think are going to be dogs for resale.  Woodlands, mostly because of the location, and the way the homes are laid out along with the elevations of the homes don’t make very good curb appeal.  The Farm is all packaging.  Quality isn’t that great, and if you haven’t read about the thruway from Ashley Phosphate thru to Ladson road, check the archives.  Also, The Retreat, and Eagle Run, anything built down Parlor Rd.  The approach up Parlor Rd is not very appealing, and the traffic turning in from Dorchester is a mess.  Also, a reminder about KB homes.  Just don’t do it.  If you’re considering one of these homes, I suggest taking a week or two and think about your decision carefully.  The model homes are very appealing, and the design centers are the icing on the cake that make them seem nearly irresistable. 

I’d stick with the subdivisions off Ladson Rd if you want new construction  closer to town.  You just have to watch out for the county lines, which run right through Ladson.  Berkeley and Dorchester Schools are fine.  North Charleston/Charleston County schools have very poor performance numbers.  There are several builders working off Miles Jamison and also Lincolnville rd., both cross streets of Ladson.  If you really want brand new construction in the low 200’s, I recommend Highwood Plantation by Brentwood Homes or Paddock Point by Harbor.  These regional builders offer good or better quality than Centex in my opinion.  Brentwood has some homes in Windsor Hill, but they are a more expensive series starting in the high 200’s.   Also, slightly off topic, but many of you have told me commute times are important, Centex and Harbor Homes both have communities in Liberty Hall, also worth looking at. 

Stay tuned for more, it’s a fast changing picture out there. 


12 responses to “Three More Favorite Dorchester County Neighborhoods and some not so hot

  1. Thank you for the great information! What’s your view on Sabal Homes, specifically Foxbank Plantation?

  2. Haven’t heard anything bad, or good. We tried to find some information online, but it’s tough to find. There is nothing about them on J. D Power. I’m assuming here, but they seem to be a regional builder…and it’s not uncommon for info to be hard to find.

    No matter who the builder is, it’s always good to speak to people in the community. The site manager varies from location to location, and the quality in a community is often driven by how good a manager/leader the site manager is.

    When we go out looking together, I’ll suggest wew stop and talk to some people and ask them about their experience. I also suggest you go out there to Foxbank yourself and talk to the neighbors. I like the location of Foxbank. As more new homes are built, the schools will improve both from the result of a larger tax base, and from a larger diversity of economic backgrounds. I definately like the idea of crawlspace homes and hardi-plank siding. In this area, you want to make sure the site work is done properly so the moisture drains away from the house. And you’ll want to monitor the moisture levels under the house some how. Excessive moisture will cause wooden structural members to disintegrate over time.

  3. Hello
    Considering relocating to SC.
    Thanks for the great info.
    What is your take on built-in termite protection like Taexx Home Team?
    Does it work?

  4. I don’t know anyone who has it, haven’t read any reports about it, so I’m afraid I just don’t know. I think it’s pretty inexpensive, so if you have an aversion to our “Palmetto Bugs”, it might be worth a try. I’ve been meaning to call my pest control buy for awhile about spraying my house.

  5. Are you familiar with Brentwood homes Indigo Palms subdivision?
    Also researching Cane Bay by Centex and First Coastal builders. They say it will be built over 25 years. How will I know if they will ever complete it with a time frame like that?

  6. Starting with your last question, that is a concern. We have some larger communities in the area that have turned out OK, Park West in Mt. Pleasant, Grand Oaks in West Ashley, Crowfield Plantation built in Goose Creek in the 90’s.

    I would look closely at the Master Plan. There are probably some up sides with a well planned community. If you’re uncomfortable with the unknown presented by new construction, there are plenty of established neighborhoods, including some with newer homes.

    Also, don’t judge it as a whole. Ther are sections of Wescott Plantation that are nice aesthetically speaking. Most of it is just stripped out with no trees.

    If you want new construction, there are other choices in areas not so enormous. Carolina Bay in West Ashley is going to be very nice.

    To your first question. Plusses for Indigo Palms. I’m a fan of Brentwood Homes. I’ve sold four of their homes in Highwood Plantation, all the buyers are very happy, and the home completion and buying process were terrific. Indigo Palms is expensive for the location…it’s hard for me to imagine paying $300k plus for a home in “Windsor Hill” off Ashley Phosphate Rd, it just doesn’t fit. Windsor Hill is ideal under $180k. Much more than that then you’re pushing the upper range of the neighborhood. Commute wise, Indigo Palms is in a great location. If you’re going to be there awhile, and being close to 526 is important to you, it might be worth it for you.

    A shameless plug. Find a good agent that puts helping you first, and their own interests second, and you’ll navigate through all the pro’s and con’s just fine. Work directly with a listing or site agent, and you deserve what you get. They’re paid to represent their client’s which are the sellers, which means presenting their product in the best light. If they were working for you, that’s what you’d want.

  7. To address the issue of the approach up Parlor Rd to Eagle Run and Oakbrook Elementary–Parlor Road and Old Fort Drive are scheduled for a major construction and extension to Ladson Road beginning in Spring 2009. This will not only improve the aesthetics of the roadway but relieve traffic issues coming from Dorchester. Several new business have moved into the area including the Noisy Oyster, Payless Shoes and Game Stop. The construction at the Conveience Site along the road is nearly complete and has resulted in a nice recycling center that is now completely hidden behind a privacy fence. The three neighborhoods in the area are Eagle Run, Eagle Run Reserve and Heatherwoods and are governed by Southern Community Services, the same Property Management Service employed by the likes of Park West in Mount Pleasant. All 3 neighborhoods provide the convience and advantages of allowing parents to walk their children to school. These neighborhoods are literally a few hundred feet from N. Charleston, Summerville and Ladson. If there is a center of things–this may actually be it. There is a lot more going on along Old Fort, but too much to mention here. This area is definitely in transitition and all for the better.

  8. Mike Sutherland

    Barry Simmons – Concerning Cane Bay: I have been thinking about Cane Bay as well, but also have concerns.

    When I look at successful large master plan multi-neighborhood projects like Park West, Daniels Island etc. Cane Bay looks attractive, not to mention location seems convenient to Moncks Corner, Goose Creek, Summerville, I-26, etc. However, I had a home in a large master plan community in Columbia which I basically had to dump. I owned that puppy for 10+ years experiencing flat appreciation, and when it came time to leave Columbia I could not give it away: 1). 15-20 years after ground breaking I was still competing with new construction 2). the big development company which started the master plan decided to get out and sell everything to another development company ( because the land was not moving fast and they became tangled with the community concerning what business were being brought into the commercial parts the master plan) 3). the building standards went down to below what people had been told were the minimum standards were, 4). tracts of land got sold to bottom feeder development companies building the cheap houses for 10-15K less than what the entry level houses were sold for 10-15 years ago, 5). the CCRs became diluted, and then the final wave of a perfect storm, 5). a brand new highly sought after “Yuppie” community opened right down the road taking the last bit of luster from our tarnished master plan. If you are building a 250K-500K house, why build in the old master plan in decline when you can go a couple miles down the road and build in the up and coming master plan that everyone is dying to move into? When I left, there was still many acres of land still available for development, the median new house price was probably selling for around 95-100K and the people sitting in the 250K-400K houses that were the showcase communities were not happy.

    Now the flip side of that coin is this, I had an opportunity to buy in Daniels Island when they were breaking ground and did not see the vision or the value. The houses seemed steep to me at the time. I ended up leaving Charleston and when I came back I found what a idiot I had been. Why did the on site managers not tell me that DI would become some of the hottest property in Berkeley County . So much for my crystal ball. I am 0 for 2. Would Cane Bay make me 0 for 3 and strike me out? You mileage may very, Please consult a professional Realtor before attempting anything you may have seen in ths post.

  9. Thanks for your participation Mike. You’ve given us so many things on which to comment.

    1. The pro’s and con’s of buying a home in a Master Plan community.
    2. What is the crystal ball for Cane Bay?
    3. What made Daniel Island/Park West Successful?
    4. What made the community in Columbia unnsuccessful?

    First I want to comment on Master Plan Communities. If you’ve driven around the Charleston area much, you see what a lack of planning produces. Much of this area is just downright ugly with sprawl. I work with many buyers, and community aesthetics are very important to 90%. You run the risk of dealing with the unknown, but if you buy in a small community on a dumpy looking road in an unplanned area, there are risks with that as well.

    2. The crystal ball for Cane Bay? Park West is 10 minutes from the Isle of Palms connector…and much pricier than Summerville Berkley County so it’s hard to make comparisons. People are moving to the Charleston area from all around the country because of our climate and because of all the things there are to see and do. It’s a great place to live. I don’t know how many people are choosing Columbia SC. They share our climate, but what is there to do there? Lake Murray is terrific, and they have a quaint downtown area, but it’s certainly far from a tourist destination.

    3. Daniel Island’s attraction comes from Aesthetics and location. Obviously, there are enough people that can get past the Disney Land feel of a newly built downtown area; you have to admit, the concept works. Rows of historic style homes with detached garages. Park West has the best of all worlds for those that can afford the high cost/sqft. Schools, proximity to ocean, and there’s just something about Mt. Pleasant that draws in yupee’s. Not the least of which is Whole Foods. (The yupees were here first) Mt Pleasant is only slightly less sprawly than other parts of town, some would argue that it’s worse.

    4. Already answered above. There has to be enough growth in an area to support new construction.

    And that is my concern for Cane Bay. We’ll never return to 2005 – 2006 generally speaking. Because of our past growth and appreciation, investors can only carve out small positive cash flow. Look at what they can buy now versus 2004/2005. Prices have continued to climb.

    We’ve all been enjoying a sweet ride with 100% financing, even for people with poor credit, much less mid-range. That, I understand, is now history, or will be by the end of the month. Buyers are going to have to have a downpayment unless they have stellar crediit. This will drive down the supply of buyers even further.

    Mike, thank you for your comment on working with a Realtor. One that you can trust to tell you the good the bad and the ugly.

  10. Sir, I believe you are in disregard of the following
    Standard of Practice 12-8

    The obligation to present a true picture in representations to the public includes information presented, provided, or displayed on REALTORS®’ websites. REALTORS® shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that information on their websites is current. When it becomes apparent that information on a REALTOR®’s website is no longer current or accurate, REALTORS® shall promptly take corrective action. (Adopted 1/07)

    I believe that the information provided in this section of your blog is no longer current or accurate. Specifically, information about the approach down Parlor and the traffic situation is not accurate. Parlor and Old Fort drives are currently being paved…part of a the project to widen the rode and extend it to Ladson Road. A new stop light has been installed on Dorchester Road in front of Geralds near the Wal-Mart which will allow a secondary access to the Westcott shops and to Parlor drive. Also, access to Old Fort can be made from Ballentine drive and provides a quick 6 minute drive to the new Lowes on Dorchester. County officials have stepped up code enforcement along Old Fort drive. These are only the first of many steps that will soon go forward to improve the approach to the new and thriving neighborhoods old Old Fort Drive. I encourage you to visit the neighborhoods, notice the new shops and restaurants in the area , take note of the planned County park behind Eagle Run, and to take into account what this area will look like in weeks, and months to come as it continues to flourish. I encourage you to please consider removing the above referenced article as it clearly is in violation of real estate agents’ code of ethics.

    • By the way. I did drive back in that area recently, and so far nothing has changed. Old Fort Dr is still an eys sore in my opinion, and many of the buyers I deal with would disqualify it for this reason. I hope it changes as it will be to my benefit. I live in Kings Grant on the other side of Dorchester Road and the better the property values are in the greater community outside Kings Grant, the better it is for me. I WILL say that I very much appreciate the Dorchester Rd section between Ladson and Ashley Phosphate Rd. I think it’s a very convenient location to shopping, downtown, and the beaches while being affordable at the same time. The area is developing rapidly. Whether or not this turns out to be a good thing remains to be seen as all the woods are replaced with more shopping centers. I am fortunate in that I do NOT commute and so do not have to endure the terrible morning traffic on Dorchester Rd, particularly during the school year while so many parents are driving their children to school. Obviously, I don’t believe that my posts are so “clearly” a violation of ethics. I am merely stating my personal opinion. Since I have integrity, I always drive my clients all around their new neighborhood and encourage them to do the same. My father got shafted once by trusting an agent that took him through the nice neighborhood to get to what was to be his new home. He didn’t find out until later that the other side was “dicey” to say the least. My advice to all readers is, do you due diligence and explore the area around a prospective home BEFORE you put in an offer. That way you don’t end up regretting your decision, AFTER you find out a thruway is going to be going past your back yard. I have a friend that has Patriot’s Blvd going past his back yard and he doesn’t mind it.

  11. Hi Christine,

    I appreciate your comments. Since this is a blog, I would prefer to leave the comments where they are and include your comments as an update. I live right across the street from Wescott Plantation, and many of my concerns still stand. Yes, the area has many new shops which my wife and I have been enjoying. While it will be nice not to have to drive 20 minutes to go to Lowes, the traffic on Dorchester Road was already farely congested on Saturdays, and now is even more so. I encourage anyone purchasing a home to take the time to roam the area so that they know the good the bad and the ugly. That includes doing some surveillance at rush hour. Dorchester Road was very congested 8 years ago, and is becoming even more so. I like the location because we are close to Charleston, North Charleston, and Summerville. It’s 30 minutes from the light as Wescott to downtown Charleston.

    Before you make a decision to buy in Eagle Run, or Wescott Plantation, make sure to get the facts on what’s coming in the upcoming months and years. My goal is always to provide unbiased information. I have no ax to grind regarding Wescott Plantation or Eagle Run. Thank you Christine for adding your perspective. It has been a few months since I”ve driven back in Eagle Run. I’ll check it out next time I get a chance and comment on what I see. There are LOTS of choices out there for home buyers, and time is on their side.

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