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Best Home Value

Best Home Value

“We want to build our new home in the Charleston area – where can we find the best value?

First of all, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to that frequently asked question! In broad terms, the cost of a lot or land, which represents at least one-third of your total project cost, is significantly higher the closer you get to the City of Charleston itself.  While an investor seeking to build a residence for Section 8 rental income on a very small infill lot of around 0.12 – 0.15 acres in a low income neighborhood within the City limits of Charleston or in the City of North Charleston might find an opportunity for around $15,000, an infill lot of similar size in highly desirable area of downtown Charleston will command a minimum price upwards of $200,000!.

On the other hand, those of you willing to entertain a 25-50 minute commute into the Charleston/North Charleston area will be able to purchase a lot of between 0.25 and 1-acre for between $15,000 and $75,000. If your preference is for a lot with a natural tidal creek or waterway boundary and, depending on distance from the metro area, you will have options in the $165,000 – $1-million range.

Seeking to build on a larger parcel of land suitable for horses or for hunting? Then you will be looking for 5+ acres within 35-50 minutes drive from the metro area and a land cost in the range $10,000 per acre up to around $35,000 per acre.

How often do I meet with a client who says ”We need a 3-4 bed 2.5 bath house of around 2,250 sq.ft on at least ½ acre and within a 15-20 commute of Charleston and convenient for shopping and schools and our budget is $280,000”.

Answer? “That’s achievable BUT only if either you or your spouse/partner are prepared for a 30-40-minute commute if your business or employment is in the metro area of Charleston/North Charleston.

Please read our BLOG article titled LOT PURCHASING – CAVEAT EMPTOR. Whatever the asking price is of the lot or land you have interest in can easily wind up costing you almost as much if not more in terms of site improvements!

CMSSC is unique in that we are the only home builder in the Charleston area who will help and guide your lot purchasing decision based on the needs of your family situation, your advised preferences and your total budget. With regard to budget, please also read our blog article titled ARE YOU REALLY READY TO BUILD YOUR NEW HOME?

As a reference guide to areas you may wish to consider for building your new home please check out the following Commute Times & Distances from the City of Charleston and from the City of North Charleston:



James Island   4.2 miles / 11 mins      9.4 miles / 18 mins

Goose Creek  18 miles / 28 mins       12.1 miles / 16 mins

Wadmalaw and Johns Island  18.3 miles / 30 mins    22.5 miles / 36 mins

Hollywood       20.6 miles / 33 mins    20.2 miles / 31 mins

Ravenel           20.9 miles / 34 mins    21.9 miles/ 31 mins

Summerville    25.5 miles / 36 mins    19.5 miles / 25 mins

Huger  27.9 miles / 35 mins    29.7 miles / 46 mins

Adams Run     28.2 miles / 40 mins    27.7 miles / 38 mins

Jacksonboro   32.1 miles / 43 mins    31.7 miles / 41 mins

Moncks Corner           32.8 miles / 44 mins    26.9 miles / 34 mins

Awendaw        35.2 miles / 51 mins    37.8 miles / 47 mins

Ridgeville        38.3 miles / 44 mins    32.3 miles / 33 mins

Cottageville     40 miles / 55 mins       37.4 miles / 49-mins

Cross   53.1 miles / 60 mins    47.2 miles / 50-mins


Bear in mind that actual travel miles will vary depending on exact “from” and “to” distances between specific locations. Also, estimated travel times are an average expectation between “best case and worst case” travel conditions, time of day, weather, and lane restrictions caused by accidents and/or road works.  Having lived in the Charleston area for almost 20-years I can give you a more accurate idea of travel times once I know where you will be working and your start/finish times. Obviously, if you are retired or are mostly working from home then that data is probably not relevant.

Also an important consideration for parents of school aged children is access to schools of appropriate quality whether private, Public or Charter. Will you rely on school bus transportation or do you have the freedom to transport your kids to and from school?  If you are in your Golden or Silver Years maybe local and convenient access to hospitals, clinics and centers is a primary factor in selecting a lot on which to have your home built.


Feel free to email me: Bob@cmssc.com or call my cell phone 843-364-5413. I am available weekdays 8:00am – 8:00pm and between 10:00am and 2:00pm on Sat/Sun.

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