Historic Charleston Gates – A Brief History

Amongst stunning architecture and well-preserved historic homes, Charleston boasts some of the world’s most beautiful and ornate gates. Guarding the entrance to a driveway or a secret garden South of Broad, wrought iron gates can be found at the most prestigious of homes in downtown Charleston.

Wrought iron is a tough yet malleable metal, ideal for crafting into the beautiful patterns seen around Charleston. Historically, iron was not only made into gates, but also into grilles for first-floor windows, sharp spikes on top of fences, and boot scrapers (a necessity before paved streets). In the mid to late 1800s, iron was increasingly used for embellishing gates with beautiful life-like replicas of flowers, leaves and branches that reflected the popular Victorian style.

One of Charleston’s most well-known artisans, Philip Simmons, produced hundreds of decorative gates and other ornamental ironworks. Called “Keeper of the Gate,” his work has stood the test of time and his legacy is loved and appreciated by many. From St. John’s Church and Hibernian Hall to private residences, his beautiful swirled iron designs can be seen all over the city. Simmons’ work can also be viewed at the South Carolina State Museum and Smithsonian Institution.

For those looking to incorporate the beauty of wrought iron metal work into their property, there are many local companies who specialize in replicating the well-loved styles of antebellum ironwork. Or perhaps you have been fortunate enough to inherit a stunning gate with the purchase of a new home. Either way, the next time you are in downtown Charleston, make sure to enjoy a closer look at the intricate gates that decorate the Holy City.

Is New Construction Right for You?

If you’re in the market for a new home, choosing between that glistening newly constructed home and that charming pre-owned property can be an overwhelming decision.

For many buyers, new construction provides thy opportunity to buy a “tract” home from a builder – often resulting in lower costs, energy efficiencies, and new fixtures and finishes. Additionally, new home construction allows buyers to see their dream home come to life.

On the other hand, existing or older homes typically have the advantage of architectural charm and sizable lots, and are generally located in more established neighborhoods. However, older homes, and especially ones that were not meticulously maintained, might need a little TLC at move-in time, but can be slightly less expensive than a newly built home.

Benefits of New Construction

1. Modern floor plans designed for the way we live today.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a newly built home is that they are designed and built for today’s lifestyle. They come with flowing open floor plans and features that meet modern-day demands, including open, eat-in kitchens, walk-in closets, large master baths, more access to outdoor entertaining areas, and even additional storage. Many older existing homes built between the 1920s and the 1990s often lack one or more of those features as part of their original home design.

2. More customization and more choices.
Today, more than ever, home builders are offering buyers the ability to customize their homes with a vast number of options. Lighting, flooring, cabinetry, countertops, wall coverings, paint colors, and even landscaping can often be selected from a wide variety of choices. Some of the choices are considered upgrades and will add to your base price, but now builders are adding options that are still considered part of the original price package. You’ll be moving into a home that’s customized for your needs.

3. New homes are energy efficient.
Utilizing new construction materials, just-built homes are usually more energy efficient — and that means potentially lower utility bills. Not only are these newly built homes rated higher for insulation, but many new homes also are incorporating renewable sources of clean energy like solar. All of this new home tech could save you thousands over the course of the years you live in the home.

4. New homes are smarter, too.
New construction homes are often equipped with the latest technology built right in. Think cable, alarm systems, speaker systems, high-speed wired Internet, digital thermostats and detectors — when they’re just the flip of a switch or a voice-command away, you save lots of time and money, not to mention holes in the walls.

5. Fewer maintenance and repair bills.
With new construction or pre-construction purchases, the work is already done for you. You don’t have to do a darn thing. You don’t have to lift a finger (or a hammer). A big financial benefit to a new home is that you won’t have much maintenance to do for quite a while. With modern, new appliances, plumbing, heating, and air, you should be able to live repair-free for a few years.

6. You’ll save money in repairs.
When you buy new from a reputable and established builder, you are able to include your selected upgrades in the original purchase price and mortgage amount, financing them. When you purchase an older home, you will have to secure a mortgage, buy the home, and then begin renovations on a separate line of funds. That means the money for renovations will have to come directly out of your pocket.

This can be especially tough for homebuyers who are low on cash after plunking down a big down payment. New construction, however, allows you to make your choices of upgrades and additions and have those costs incorporated into the overall purchase price of the home. That way, you are able to finance these upgrades rather than pay for them in full, out-of-pocket.

7. New trumps retrofit.
New homes are built with the latest building plans, designs, and materials. Their systems (electrical, plumbing, sewage lines, central heating, and air) already meet today’s codes and standards. It is always much more efficient and practical to have these systems built into a new home, rather than have to upgrade and retrofit existing older systems, which can sometimes mean ripping into the walls, floors, and ceilings to gain access to the key home systems.

8. You’ll have free weekends.
When you buy new, you get more time relaxing at home. You won’t be spending all your weekends at home renovation stores as you try to tackle that “honey-do” list of home improvements each week. Buying a new construction home allows you to enjoy your weekends at home almost as soon as you are unpacked.

If you’re in the market for a new construction home, start your search with Novellus Real Estate today.