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Summerville Real Estate Provides Southern Small Town Living

Summerville, S.C. epitomizes small Southern hometown living. Dubbed “The Flower Town in the Pines” by locals, this centuries-old village marks time with its ambiance and traditions, yet embraces the future with grace and enthusiasm.

Summerville’s prime location about 20 miles north of Charleston made this little town nestled against a fragrant pine forest an ideal vacation spot for early planters and their families seeking to escape the sweltering summer heat and the disease-carrying mosquitoes it brought with it. Today Summerville is located just off Interstate 26 at U.S. 78, and is only about a 30 minute drive from Interstate 95, the major north/south route through South Carolina, providing a direct link to the eastern portion of North Carolina to the north, and Savannah, Ga. and Jacksonville, Fla. to the south.

Historic Preservation
As with many small towns across the nation, downtown Summerville suffered when strip malls began cropping up on the outskirts of town drawing customers away from the traditional shopping district. As a result, 40% of the buildings in downtown Summerville were vacant by 1991. That’s when hundreds of residents banded together to form Summerville DREAM, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing the downtown area. Summerville DREAM (which stands for Downtown Restoration, Enhancement, and Management) is a member of Main Street SC, an affiliate of the National Main Street Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Since its inception, Summerville DREAM has helped improve the quality of life in Summerville by enhancing the aesthetic, cultural, social and economic aspects of the downtown area, while preserving the town’s historic identity.

The town’s population was only about 3,000 residents during the century following the Civil War, not reaching 6,000 until the late 1970s when Summerville was considered primarily as a bedroom community for Charleston. But as more and more people discovered the town’s charm as well as the commitment of its people to preserve the quality of life there, the population boom was on. Summerville doubled its population in the 1980s; and the estimated population was a whooping 41,575 in 2006, making it the seventh largest municipality in the state.

And yet, the word “city” seems inappropriate for this Southern gem. The pace in Summerville is slow, and life still focuses on family and friends. Summerville residents take pride in the hometown atmosphere, where every resident is a Summerville High School “Green Wave” football fan; the school boasting the “winningest coach in America.” Summerville touts 700 local buildings on the National Historic Register, and proudly flies a “Tree City USA” flag above its town hall. And despite stiff competition from Charleston, Summerville’s own Woodlands Resort and Inn is one of only three hotels in the U.S. to earn Mobil Five-Star Awards for BOTH dining and lodging; and the only South Carolina property to earn the AAA Five Diamond Award for hotel excellence.

Real Estate
Like the rest of the region, Summerville has experienced a tremendous rate of appreciation on real estate, with the median house/condo values increasing to $157,000 in 2005, up from $116,600 in 2000. Add the mild year-round climate, the region’s thriving economy and Summerville’s close proximity to all the assets of the city of Charleston – first-rate dining, shopping, entertainment, world-class golf, tennis, boating, and a plethora of other outdoor opportunities – it’s easy to conclude that Summerville is a perfect place to enjoy an exceptional lifestyle.

Summerville, South Carolina, Statistics
Population (Estimated 2006): 41,575
Median Age: 34.4
No. of Households: 11,254
Median Household Income (Estimated 2005): $50,500
Average Temperature: 66°F