Where In The Neighborhood?

Thanks to everyone who emailed me with the correct answer to the “Where In The Neighborhood” game.  Yes, you are correct, the picture is from the Etiwan Masonic Lodge Number 95, located at 438 Whilden Street!

Meet Joanna with the White Gallery!

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“We are so thrilled to have relocated our gallery from Sullivan’s to our new location on the corner of Coleman Blvd and Fairmont Ave.  Our gallery is packed with unique and eclectic finds that include artwork, jewelry, vintage antiques, and more.  Looking for something special?  We have it!  And if we don’t have it, we will try to find it, because locating and repurposing treasure is our personal passion!  Stop by and check out our one-of-a kind items!  We are thrilled to bring The White Gallery to this special community! Follow us on Instagram!

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Meet Helen Hall of Blender Bomb!

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Welcome Helen Hall to the neighborhood!  Helen is the owner and creator of Blender Bomb (BlenderBomb.coman Omega-3 Rich Smoothie Boosters designed to make your smoothie the ultimate meal replacement!, and Hustle Smoothie Bar (hustlesmoothiebar.com), as well as Hushup X Hustle (www.hushupxhustle.com).  “Blend ’em” in your smoothie,”Break ’em” over your bowl, or “Bite ’em” for a snack.

A note from Helen:  “The fuse was lit in 2017 when I created Hushup X Hustle: a lifestyle brand intended to share my wellness journey. The HxH mission began after I gained an unwelcome 30 lbs (oops!) countered with fad diets, and exhausted myself with two-a-day workouts. Determined to lose weight, I found balance through replacing one meal a day with a B.B. smoothie and practicing an 80/20 plant-based lifestyle. Born out of my kitchen the Blender Bombs became my ‘go-to’ addition for every smoothie.” We opened Hustle Smoothie Bar in Mount Pleasant and Downtown, where we serve the blender bomb smoothies and other items that fall into the 80X20 plant-based lifestyle. Stay tuned for our upcoming brands that make it easier for people to be a little healthier and cleaner. Tipsy Spritzers, is a low ABV organic sparkling spritzer, that launches this year. 80X20 is a brand that provides healthier alternatives to your favorite items which include food, beauty and lifestyle products. This brand is launching within the next couple of months.

2020 Real Estate Projections

This will be an interesting year for residential real estate. With a presidential election taking place this fall and talk of a possible recession occurring before the end of the year, predicting what will happen in the 2020 U.S. housing market can be challenging. As a result, taking a look at the combined projections from the most trusted entities in the industry when it comes to mortgage rates, home sales, and home prices is incredibly valuable – and they may surprise you.

Mortgage Rates

Projections from the experts at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac all forecast mortgage rates remaining stable throughout 2020:

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Since rates have remained under 5% for the last decade, we may not fully realize the opportunity we have right now.

Here are the average mortgage interest rates over the last several decades:

  • 1970s: 8.86%
  • 1980s: 12.70%
  • 1990s: 8.12%
  • 2000s: 6.29%

Home Sales

Three of the four expert groups noted above also predict an increase in home sales in 2020, and the fourth sees the transaction number remaining stable:

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With mortgage rates remaining near all-time lows, demand should not be a challenge. The lack of available inventory, however, may moderate the increase in sales.

Home Prices

Below are the projections from six different expert entities that look closely at home values: CoreLogic, Fannie Mae, Ivy Zelman’s “Z Report”, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).Each group has home values continuing to improve through 2020, with four of them seeing price appreciation increasing at a greater pace than it did in 2019.

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Is a Recession Possible?

In early 2019, a large percentage of economists began predicting a recession may occur in 2020. In addition, a recent survey of potential home purchasers showed that over 50% agreed it would occur this year. The economy, however, remained strong in the fourth quarter, and that has caused many to rethink the possibility.

For example, Goldman Sachs, in their 2020 U.S. Outlook, explained:

“Markets sounded the recession alarm this year, and the average forecaster now sees a 33% chance of recession over the next year. In contrast, our new recession model suggests just a 20% probability. Despite the record age of the expansion, the usual late-cycle problems—inflationary overheating and financial imbalances—do not look threatening.”

Bottom Line

Mortgage rates are projected to remain under 4%, causing sales to increase in 2020. With growing demand and a limited supply of inventory, prices will continue to appreciate, while the threat of an impending recession seems to be softening. It looks like 2020 may be a solid year for the real estate market.

**Information provided by Keeping Matters, click here for more.

202 Pitt Street- Available For Purchase for the First Time in over 50 Years!

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HOME IS AVAILABLE FOR $2,150,000

Circa 1892, this home has withstood the test of time and is now available for purchase for the first time in over 50 years!  Known as the Hale-Seabrook house, 202 Pitt Street in one of the Old Village’s most recognizable homes.  The dignified 4400 square foot estate is a blend of old and new, and is located just steps from the Pitt Street Shopping district.  No historical feature has been removed.

Built by lumberman Harry Hale in 1892 the home was later sold to John G. Seabrook, who recognized its superior quality and vast potential.  Mr. Seabrook hired a master carpenter and contractor to renovate the home, which was lifted and repositioned to face Pitt Street.  Creating the home’s grand style, he also added the beautiful brick-lined walkway and portico, flanked by four dramatic two-story columns (which were reclaimed from a mill in Marion, SC) topped with a stunning entryway door with curved transom and sidelights.  The home has been lovingly maintained and was renovated in 2005 (kitchen/ den, etc) to reflect a modern feel while maintaining the architectural history.

The traditional floor plan features a formal living room, formal dining room, updated kitchen, adjoining den, and guest bedroom on the first floor.  The remaining 3 bedrooms are located upstairs, including the master suite and deck overlooking Pitt Street.  There is also a finished basement with a second kitchen, built in bar plus garage doors leading to an outdoor kitchen- perfect for entertaining.  You will love the traditional antique heart pine flooring, original clear cypress walls, classic crown molding, 10 foot ceilings and more!

202 PItt Street is listed for $2,150,000 by Jackie Kelly, REALTOR® with The Cassina Group.  For more details, contact Jackie@TheCassinaGroup.com or visit www.SearchOldVillage.com.

 

 

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Plans Announced for the Former Old Village Post House

Basic Kitchen team reveals plans for former Old Village Post House in Mount Pleasant

Charleston area residents have grown inured to the openings of high-end hotels with signature restaurants, but Kate and Ben Towill are inverting the model by opening “a restaurant with rooms” on the site of the former Old Village Post House.

The Towills, best known locally for developing Basic Kitchen in downtown Charleston, plan to open The Post House Restaurant + Inn at 101 Pitt St. in the first half of 2020. In addition to seven rooms, the property will feature a dining room with an outdoor courtyard, private event space and street-front bar.

Ben Towill says the decision to relocate the bar from the back of the restaurant has unsettled some former Old Village Post House customers who were fond of the dimly-lit hideaway. But he’s assured them that his overarching aim is to move the historic building’s best features out of the shadows, and to better integrate the restaurant with its surrounding neighborhood.

“We’re trying to open it all up,” Towill says.

To that end, the Towills have already swapped out plain plate glass for greenhouse-style windows, and knocked out the ceiling which loomed over the one-time Captain’s Room. Currently, the building looks like a walled-in construction site.

“What started as just a refurbishing turned into a full renovation,” Towill admits.

When the project’s finished, Towill says, the restaurant and hotel components should flow together seamlessly. He compares the intended setup to old English pubs offering beds upstairs and hearty meals below. For example, he envisions hotel guests checking in at the main host stand and taking their breakfasts in the barroom, as opposed to the secluded second-floor nook where guests started their days during the Old Village Post House era.

Menus haven’t yet been worked out, but Towill imagines the restaurant will serve a fair amount of fresh seafood in a nod to nearby Shem Creek, as well as burgers and salads.

“Because of where we are, we’re super sensitive to price point,” he says.

Towill isn’t complaining. “We heard this was coming on the market, and it’s very rare that something like this comes up,” he says. Still, “I don’t know if I would have jumped on it if it had been downtown.”

Built in the 1880s, Old Village Post House in 1984 was redesigned as a restaurant and inn. Hall Management Group, which took over its ownership with the 2015 purchase of Maverick Southern Kitchens, sold it to local investors in February 2019.

Hanna Raskin
postandcourier