Volume6-articlea.jpegWhen I began my real estate career a decade ago, I would estimate that only 5% of buyers in the Bulls Bay area were moving from Mt. Pleasant. In recent times, people leaving Mt. Pleasant are making up roughly half of our buyer activity. The explosive growth of that area has people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Mt. Pleasant. We speak with people every day and whether they moved to the city 5 years ago or 25 years ago, they are saying that it just isn’t the same place anymore. The common theme in their request is peace and quiet that comes with more land, lower home density, and less commercialization and the Bulls Bay area delivers exactly that.
Based on this growing demographic, I thought it would be good to address some of the frequently asked questions we hear from people looking at homes and land in the area and these are certainly not specific to only those moving from Mt. Pleasant.
Future Growth – If your reason for moving is to escape overdevelopment, the first question you may ask is whether or not the Bulls Bay area will suffer the same fate in a few years if everyone moves here next. While I can’t predict the future, I can discuss some of the factors protecting the area and guiding future development. The protected lands of the Francis Marion National Forest and Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge bring with them groups fighting for preservation of the area such as the Coastal Conservation League. Unincorporated Charleston County and the Towns of Awendaw and McClellanville share a common goal in preserving the existing way of life through conservation and zoning. Awendaw has some large tracts of land which may be developed and increase the population and services, however home density plans to remain rural. The Town of McClellanville has passed numerous rules to protect its rural nature including maximum home size limits of 3500 sq.ft., 1 acre lot minimums, and commercial and sign restrictions to protect the highway corridor from becoming over-commercialized.
Well and Septic Systems – With few exceptions, the Bulls Bay area is served by well and septic systems which also serve to protect our rural nature. Paradise Island has public water and sewer and the Town of Awendaw has begun extending public waterlines from their Town Hall to residents on parts of Doar and Seewee Roads and is seeking funds to continue this project, but there is currently no public sewer system. Wells in the area are typically dug to a depth of around 60 feet (costing around $3,000) and produce clean drinking water. Traces of sulfur are common in Awendaw and iron is common in McClellanville, however both can be treated and removed with on-premise water treatment. There are several types of septic systems that can be approved depending on the soil condition and their costs can vary from $3,500 to as high as $20,000 in some rare cases. Volume6-articleb.jpg
Commuting – Many people moving here will continue to commute to Mt. Pleasant or Charleston for work and they fear moving farther away and increasing their drive. I put together the picture on the right to illustrate how long it takes to drive from different locations into or out of Mt. Pleasant and although the distance is much greater to McClellanville and Awendaw, the actual commute time isn’t so bad because you are driving on open roads with no traffic or stop lights. The most common thing that I hear echoed from commuters from Awendaw and McClellanville is that the drive is worth it when they get to come home to a place that is truly relaxing.
Modern Conveniences – Those used to the conveniences of city life may find moving out of the range of pizza delivery a scary thought. McClellanville is nearly a half hour drive to the closest grocery store, fast food, bank, etc. Many residents become more self-sufficient and group their errands together rather than making lots of trips; an extra fridge, chest freezer, or large pantry doesn’t hurt either. It’s not uncommon to hear, “I’m going to town, do you need anything?” in McClellanville and it is implied in the statement that Mt. Pleasant is said “town”. McClellanville and Awendaw also each have a local Dollar General, which probably won’t suit all of your shopping needs, but is great at supplementing the basics like bread, milk and toilet paper between trips when you just need a few things to pull dinner together.
Also on the note of modern conveniences are household services. Most of the area is serviced by TDS Telecom who offers home phone and hi-speed internet, which is fast enough to stream Netflix. There is not a cable company, so Dish Network and DirecTV are common providers of cable television channels. Residents of McClellanville enjoy free trash collection as part of their taxes, but the rest of the area takes their waste and recycling to Charles- ton County convenience centers.
Schools – Mt. Pleasant schools are known for their exceptional test scores and scholastic opportunities and if you have children enrolled there, moving out of the district is an understandable concern. McClellanville and most of Awendaw make up Charleston County School District 1 and are served by St. James Santee Elementary and Lincoln Middle-High School. There is also top-ranked Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School (or CREECS for short) in McClellanville which serves K-8th grades. Future plans for the district are currently under discussion, however historically, trans- fers by District 1 residents to attend schools in District 2 have been approved.
Final Word – MCVL Realty was founded on serving this rural niche and we are experts in all aspects of sales in the area from homes to land, residential to commercial, waterfront, acreage and more. We live and breathe it every day and make our livings helping newcomers to the area find their dream property. Agents not knowledgeable about construction, septic systems, wells, wetlands, docks, local zoning, restrictions, etc. can unintentionally do a lot of harm to their clients through their inexperience. We have seen first-hand these mistakes cost buyers thousands and also make them miss out on the property of their dreams. Before signing anything with an agent you should always explore how many properties (especially land if you are buying land) they have sold in the specific area you are looking in and determine their local knowledge of that area. We’re always happy to meet for a cup of coffee and discuss your goals with no commitment needed.

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