Buy a home at a reasonable rate with a VA loan in Mount Pleasant, SC

VA loans were established prior to the end of World War II and have since assisted numerous veterans, service members, and military families in fulfilling their dream of owning their a home. In recent times, the program has become increasingly significant, with VA loan volume skyrocketing and offering substantial financial advantages that enable countless veterans to purchase homes, thereby making homeownership a possibility for those who may not have qualified otherwise.

If you sacrificed comfort and security to help protect our great nation, Mission One Mortgage thanks you for your service. We believe that there's no greater honor than to serve those who have served our country. We're not afraid to go above and beyond for our veterans because that's exactly what they did for us.

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What is a VA Loan in Mount Pleasant, SC?

A VA loan is a mortgage option that is backed by the government and available to Veterans, service members, and surviving spouses. It is offered by private lenders such as banks and mortgage companies and not directly by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA home loans come with competitive interest rates and terms and can be used to purchase a variety of properties, including:

  • Single-Family Homes
  • Condominiums
  • Multi-Unit Properties
  • Manufactured Homes
  • New Construction Homes

One of the great benefits of VA loans is that eligible Veterans can buy a home with no down payment, no mortgage insurance, lenient credit requirements, and the lowest average fixed rates in the market.

Va Mortgages Mount Pleasant, SC

This program was created by the federal government to make it easier for those who have served our country to become homeowners, and it is widely considered the strongest benefit program available for this purpose.

What are the Biggest Benefits of Having a VA Loan in Mount Pleasant, SC?

At Mission One Mortgage, we work with many Veterans who know that VA loans exist but don't quite understand the full range of benefits they provide. If that sounds familiar, keep reading. This section was written especially for you.



No Down Payment Needed

One of the standout benefits of the VA Loan program is that qualified borrowers can purchase a home without having to make a down payment up to the conforming loan limit of their county. This is a significant advantage over conventional and FHA loans, which typically require minimum down payments of 5 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

For example, on a $400,000 mortgage, a conventional loan would require a $20,000 down payment, while an FHA loan would require $14,000. Saving up that kind of cash can take service members and veterans years, but with the VA Loan, they can pursue homeownership without having to scrape and stockpile for years on end.



Less Strict Credit Requirements

It's important for military buyers to stay informed about credit score requirements when considering home financing options. Although credit score requirements have eased up a bit, it's still necessary to meet certain benchmarks set by conventional and FHA lenders. However, even meeting these benchmarks can be a challenge for many buyers.

Most VA lenders require a credit score of at least 620, which falls in FICO's "Fair" credit score range. Borrowers will typically need to meet a higher threshold for conventional mortgages, particularly if they want to secure a low-interest rate. It's worth checking out VA Loan rates to learn more about financing options.

Despite common misconceptions, military buyers don't need a perfect credit score to obtain financing. While a higher credit score can certainly help, it's important to remember that VA loans in Mount Pleasant, SC are designed to help military members and veterans access affordable housing.



Help with Closing Costs

Closing costs are an inevitable part of the home-buying process, no matter what type of mortgage product you choose. However, if you're a veteran, you may be pleased to know that the VA places limits on the fees and costs you're required to pay at the time of closing. Additionally, homebuyers have the option to ask sellers to cover all loan-related closing costs, as well as up to 4 percent of the purchase price for other expenses like prepaid taxes, insurance, and collections.



No Need for Private Mortgage Insurance

Coming up with a down payment can be challenging for both conventional and FHA homebuyers. In addition, they are required to pay for mortgage insurance unless they can make a sizable down payment, usually 20% of the purchase price. For instance, on a $400,000 mortgage, this would be a staggering $80,000 in cash.

FHA loans carry an upfront mortgage insurance premium and annual mortgage insurance. The latter now lasts for the life of the loan. On the other hand, conventional homebuyers will pay this monthly cost until they have built up enough equity, which can take several years.

Fortunately, VA loans do not require any mortgage insurance. However, there is a mandatory funding fee that goes directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Borrowers with a service-connected disability are exempt from paying this fee, which helps keep the program going for future generations.



Bankruptcy and Foreclosure

If you've experienced a financial setback such as a foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy, you may be worried about your chances of securing a VA home loan. However, don't lose hope just yet. With VA loans, it's still possible to be eligible for a home loan just two years after a foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy. In some cases, veterans who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection can be eligible for a VA loan just a year after the filing date.

It's worth noting that the waiting periods for conventional or FHA financing can be significantly longer than those for VA loans. Additionally, even if you've lost a VA-backed mortgage to foreclosure, you may still be eligible for another VA loan.

So, if you're a veteran who's experienced a financial setback but still dreams of owning a home, don't give up hope. Explore your options and see if a VA loan with Mission One Mortgage could be the solution you need.



DTI Ratio Flexibility

It's important to keep in mind that VA lenders typically prefer borrowers to spend no more than 41 percent of their gross monthly income on major debts, such as mortgage payments or student loans. However, it's possible to get a VA home loan even if you have a higher DTI ratio. Some lenders may offer up to 55 percent or more depending on your credit score and ability to meet additional income requirements. This can give homebuyers more flexibility and greater purchasing power when it comes to finding their dream home.

Remember - if you have any questions about the benefits you just read about - like what credit score Mission One Mortgage requires for a VA loan - contact our office today. It would be our pleasure to help you navigate the VA loan process, one step at a time.

How to Determine Your VA Loan Eligibility

One of the most common questions we get at Mission One Mortgage revolves around VA loan eligibility. Who is actually eligible for this type of loan? What are the requirements for getting a VA loan? If you meet the following requirements, chances are you'll be eligible for a VA loan.

  • If you have completed 90 days of service during wartime or 181 days of service during peacetime, you may qualify as an active-duty military member or veteran.
  • If you have served in the National Guard or Reserve for a minimum of six years, or have completed 90 days of active duty under Title 32 orders, with at least 30 of them being consecutive, you may be eligible for a VA loan in Mount Pleasant, SC.
  • If your spouse was a service member who passed away while on active duty or due to a service-connected disability, and you haven't remarried, you may be eligible for a VA loan. In some cases, surviving spouses who remarried after the age of 57 and after Dec. 16, 2003, may also be eligible. Spouses of prisoners of war or service members missing in action may also be eligible for VA loans, as well.
  • You meet the necessary requirements for credit and income to be eligible for a VA loan. It's important to note that while the VA doesn't set a minimum credit score for VA loans, individual lenders may have their own standards. In addition to credit, your lender will also evaluate your income and debts to assess your ability to repay the mortgage.
  • The property you're interested in purchasing complies with the necessary safety standards and building codes. It's also worth mentioning that in most cases, the borrower is required to make the residence their primary home within 60 days of purchase. However, there are certain circumstances in which this timeline can be extended up to 12 months.
 HomeReady Mortgages Mount Pleasant, SC

Follow These 5 Steps to Begin the VA Home Loan Process

Curious what the general steps are for purchasing a home with a VA loan? You're not alone. Keep reading to get a feel for what you have to do to enjoy the wonderful benefits of homeownership.

 Home Ready Mortgages Mount Pleasant, SC

When applying for a VA home loan benefit, the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is an important document that verifies your eligibility to your lender. If you have already used your VA loan benefit in the past, a current COE can help you determine how much remaining entitlement you have. Additionally, it can ensure that your entitlement has been restored for previous VA-backed loans that were paid in full.

After you've applied for your COE, it's a good idea to examine your finances. We're talking about items such as income, expenses, credit profile, and your monthly budget. That way, you know for sure that you're ready to purchase a home.

As a veteran, you have the choice of going through a bank, credit union, or a private VA mortgage company like Mission One Mortgage. Most lenders will have different loan interest rates and fees, so it's important to shop around. Remember - Mission One specializes in VA loans in Mount Pleasant, SC. Other lenders, such as large corporations and banks, often can't match the expertise and attention to detail that Mission One provides to veterans.

During this phase, it's a good idea to meet with a range of real estate professionals. Try to choose an agent who has experience processing and overseeing VA loans. Once you select an agent, you can bring your lender's pre-approval letter to their office and begin shopping.

This is the best part of the VA loan process, other than getting the keys to your new home. When looking for a house, remember to look at homes within your price range and budget. Lean on your real estate agent, friends, and family for help in your search.

A Word of Advice from Mission One Mortgage

If you're thinking about buying a home, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of homeownership. While renting can provide flexibility and less responsibility for maintenance, it comes with the risk of rent increases, potential property sales, and uncertainty about security deposit refunds.

On the other hand, owning a home can offer relatively stable mortgage payments and an opportunity to build long-term wealth for you and your family. Before making a decision, it's crucial to determine your priorities, such as your monthly budget for mortgage payments and other expenses like transportation and childcare. Ultimately, only you can determine what's best for your housing and financial needs.

The Key to Homeownership Starts with a VA Loan in Mount Pleasant, SC

At Mission One Mortgage, we take immense pride in simplifying the mortgage process and ensuring that our clients experience minimal stress. We understand that navigating the world of mortgages can be daunting, which is why we are committed to making it as smooth as possible.

By choosing to work with us, you're not just getting a mortgage broker - you're selecting a partner who is devoted to your financial well-being and dedicated to helping you achieve your dream of homeownership. By working together, we can work through the VA loan process one step at a time.

That rings true for all of our clients, but especially the U.S. Veterans we serve. In fact, we specialize in VA mortgages and are proud to offer them to US Veterans, those on Active Duty, and their spouses. VA Loans are one of the best mortgages available, offering no down payment requirements, no PMI, and some of the most favorable rates and terms.

If you're ready to take the next big step in your life and provide stability for your family with a place to call home, contact our office today. You're closer to the dream of home ownership than you might think.

Want to know more?

Clarify your Queries Call Us Now! (843)822-5685

Latest News in Mount Pleasant, SC

$2.4B deal buys 3 South Carolina hospitals, including Mount Pleasant facility

Listen to this articleThree area hospitals have been sold in a $2.4 billion deal to North Carolina-based Novant Health by the previous owner, Tenet Healthcare of Dallas, Texas.The sale of East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant, Hilton Head Hospital in Hilton Head and Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville includes the associated physician clinics and other operations, according to a news release from Novant Health.“We are beyond thrilled to welcome our new team members...

Listen to this article

Three area hospitals have been sold in a $2.4 billion deal to North Carolina-based Novant Health by the previous owner, Tenet Healthcare of Dallas, Texas.

The sale of East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant, Hilton Head Hospital in Hilton Head and Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville includes the associated physician clinics and other operations, according to a news release from Novant Health.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome our new team members and grow our presence in South Carolina,” said Carl S. Armato, president and CEO, Novant Health, which is headquartered in Winston-Salem. “Novant Health’s long-term vision is to transform the health and wellness of these communities through expanded specialty services and clinical expertise. We are energized and united behind our cause to create a healthier future together by building connections with patients and clinicians in coastal South Carolina.”

The East Cooper Medical Center includes 15 physician clinics. Hilton Head Hospital includes the Bluffton Okatie Outpatient Center and 12 physician clinics. Coastal Carolina Hospital in Jasper County includes the Tidewatch Free-Standing Emergency Department in Bluffton, according to the news release.

Novant Health said continuity of care is a priority and appointments and procedures will continue as scheduled during the transition period. “We are working closely with our new Novant Health team members to ensure a seamless transition for patients and team members,” Joel Taylor, market CEO of Hilton Head Regional Healthcare, said in the release. “We are eager to move forward together in support of our teams and know decisions will be made with our community’s needs at the forefront.”

“There’s a lot to be excited about when planning for our future,” Tyler Sherrill, CEO of East Cooper Medical Center, said in the release. “Novant Health is known for elevating clinician leadership to provide patients with a trusted health care experience through world-class technology, personal connections and convenient access to care.”

Tenet Health also owns a cluster of imaging centers and urgent care clinics in York, Rock Hill and Fort Mill, but those South Carolina properties were not part of the deal for the coastal hospitals.

“We understand that taking care of our patients starts with taking care of our people, so I’m delighted to join a leadership team that strives to not only be a healthc are provider of choice but also an employer of choice,” Ryan Lee, CEO of Coastal Carolina Hospital, said in the release. “I look forward to expanding the resources available to our team.”

Novant Health supports health and wellness programs in the community, including health education/screenings, community health workers and mobile cruisers. Each year, Novant Health provides hundreds of programs that serve patients, neighbors and some of their communities’ most vulnerable citizens, the company said in the release.

The Novant Health network consists of more than 1,900 physicians and more than 38,000 team members who provide care at more than 800 locations, the release said.

Mount Pleasant plans to limit home building permits until 2029 in effort to slow growth

MOUNT PLEASANT — In an ongoing backlash to years of soaring population growth and traffic complaints, this affluent suburb plans to extend ...

MOUNT PLEASANT — In an ongoing backlash to years of soaring population growth and traffic complaints, this affluent suburb plans to extend strict limits on building permits for another five years.

Just 600 new residences would be permitted yearly in the town of more than 94,000 people, and the actual number would likely be lower.

The yearslong effort to slow residential development by capping building permits is a step no other municipality in South Carolina has taken, but few have experienced growth like Mount Pleasant. The town's population has roughly doubled since 2000 and tripled since 1990.

“There was concern in the community about our infrastructure being able to keep up with the growth rate, and I don’t think that concern has gone away," said Councilwoman G.M. Whitley, who put the permit limit extension before Town Council in November.

The measure is scheduled for a Planning Commission hearing Dec. 13, with a final Town Council vote expected in January. The "building permit allocation system" has been in place nearly five years, and instead of expiring in early 2024, it would be extended to 2029.

Mount Pleasant News

It's among many steps the town has taken to thwart rapid growth. There's also a moratorium on new apartment construction that's been in place for seven years, zoning rules have been changed to limit building height and density, and development impact fees were increased dramatically.

In 2018, the year before the permit caps began, the town saw 1,407 new dwelling units — houses, apartments, townhouses and other types of residences. Last year, there were 759.

The permit limits were aimed at slowing the town's annual growth rate for residences from more than 3 percent to a target of 2.1 percent. The result was a growth rate even lower, marked by a low of 1.29 percent in 2020 when just 520 new residences were built.

Real Estate

Mount Pleasant's ordinance in 2019 laid out justifications for limiting building permits, and nearly five years later those have not changed.

The ordinance to extend the permit limits uses the same language, which says "the effects of significant growth are apparent and have resulted not only in increased traffic, congestion and noise, but have also burdened the services.." and "...the town’s road system is barely capable of adequately handling current traffic..."

The permit rules are particularly strict when it comes to higher density multi-family construction, such as apartments and condos. Just 500 new multi-family residences would be allowed over five years, while 2,400 single-family homes could be permitted.

Perhaps surprisingly, despite the limits in place since 2019, hundreds of single-family-home permits went unclaimed.

“Right now we have in excess of 800-900 single-family permits," said Michele Reed, the town's planning director.

Real estate professionals said a lack of developable land in Mount Pleasant and the high cost of any land available help explain why hundreds of permits to build houses were not used.

“Mount Pleasant, in a lot of ways, is near build-out," said Josh Dix, government affairs director for the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. "There’s not a lot of opportunity for single-family."

Real Estate

If the town were to annex more properties, that could change. The town is currently in a lawsuit over rules that require property owners to become part of the town in order to get the water and sewer service needed for development.

The suit was filed by owners of a 185-acre tract on the Wando River, known as the Republic tract.

If it were to be developed in the town, Mount Pleasant's impact fees would apply and permit limits would allow just 25 new homes per developer every six months. If it could be developed as an unincorporated part of Charleston County, town officials have said the county's zoning would allow about 1,600 homes.

So, Mount Pleasant is mostly built-out, but that could change.

In the current permit-limiting plan that started in 2019, all but 10 of the 500 multi-family permits were claimed, as were all 100 of the permits allowed for accessory dwellings — generally small second homes on the same property as a primary home.

Mount Pleasant News

Unclaimed permits will not roll over into the next proposed 5-year program. And as with the current program, there would be limits on how many single-family permits could be obtained every six months.

Drew Grossklauss, a Mount Pleasant realtor who became president of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors in November, said he understands the town needs to address growth but the length of the permit limit extension seems unnecessary.

“I would say five years seems like an extreme to do something," he said.

There are exceptions to the permit caps. The two developments that have ongoing agreements with the town, Carolina Park and Liberty Hill Farm, are exempt, as are developments of affordable housing.

Real Estate

During the last five years, there was one townhouse development, Gregorie Ferry Towns, that qualified for the affordable housing exception — townhomes started at $279,000 — but real estate professionals doubt private developers could create more.

"The cost of land, the cost of construction — all these things add up," said Dix. He said allowing more permits for multi-family housing could help create more affordable housing.

“There is a lot of talk from realtors that if we build a lot of multi-family housing, Mount Pleasant would be more affordable, but I think that’s not true," said Whitley. "They will charge what the market will bear."

Reach David Slade at 843-937-5552. Follow him on Twitter @DSladeNews.

Hamlin settlement community asks Mount Pleasant officials to stop new development

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) — Saving Hamlin.That's the message from people living in the Hamlin Beach Community who showed up at...

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) — Saving Hamlin.

That's the message from people living in the Hamlin Beach Community who showed up at Mount Pleasant Town Hall Wednesday night. The town’s planning commission voted to recommend the town council deny a rezoning request that would allow for new development.

Multiple people dressed in red brought up their concerns with this possible rezoning to the planning commission.

“We are wearing this red because this is the blood, sweat, and tears that our ancestors have shed to get this land, keep this land,” said Myra Richardson. “And we are also still shedding blood, sweat, and tears to preserve, protect, and keep it for our children, and our great-grandchildren and everybody to come.”

Richardson told News 4 that a move like this would devastate Hamlin.

Read more: "Mount Pleasant native transfers to Tigertown, Graduates from Titletown."

Hamlin Beach is one of Charleston County’s many settlement communities seeking protection for its land, but people say it’s more than just that. They say it’s preserving the roots of the Gullah Geechee culture spanning for decades.

“I’m 51 years old, and I still live on the land, and I can trace my history back to my great-great-grandfather who was a slave living on that land,” said Cassandra Davis.

Land that could be rezoned, giving developers the green light to build new homes.

Read more: "Bailem family protests against alleged unauthorized conversion of John Ballam Road."

Mount Pleasant’s planning commission unanimously decided to recommend denying the zoning request. That recommendation will go to the town council and a final vote will be in its members’ hands.

People living in Hamlin hope the council will also choose to protect their homes.

“Once they come in, one little project at a time, it'll be something that overflows, and it'll be uncontrollable. If you allow one person to do it, then you're not going to be able to deny the next applicant that comes through,” Richardson said.

Richardson said she also worries about development causing traffic and flooding issues. She thinks the rezoning request was extremely vague and fears it would give developers too much power.

Read more: "Mount Pleasant family responds to Charleston County's attempt to dismiss their lawsuit against them."

“You don't know what they want, you don't know what they were planning.”

The planning commission said it’s learning it must shift its focus to protecting the area’s neighborhoods; something the people of Hamlin are grateful for.

“They have just really come together with one sound, one voice to make sure that communities like the Hamlin Beach Community is protected,” Davis said.

The planning commission also mentioned Hamlin Beach is working to get its historic designation, and they wouldn’t want something like a new development to hinder that process.

How does Trader Joe's choose new locations? Here's what analysts say.

MOUNT PLEASANT — The saying goes that beggars can’t be choosers, and Trader Joe’s certainly doesn’t need to beg for business (if you've ever fought for a parking spot on a Sunday afternoon, you know).The California-based grocery chain has a reputation for being highly selective about where it opens new stores — even if that means choosing a second location a few miles fr...

MOUNT PLEASANT — The saying goes that beggars can’t be choosers, and Trader Joe’s certainly doesn’t need to beg for business (if you've ever fought for a parking spot on a Sunday afternoon, you know).

The California-based grocery chain has a reputation for being highly selective about where it opens new stores — even if that means choosing a second location a few miles from an existing one.

Trader Joe’s confirmed in January that Mount Pleasant will soon have not one, but two stores in town.

The announcement sparked excitement, praise and a fair amount of grumbling from outside fans of the grocery chain who believe their communities are more deserving of a new Trader Joe's location. A post about the chain's plans for Mount Pleasant drew more than 800 comments on The Post and Courier's Facebook page.

"This is the craziest decision," one reader groused. "Right around the corner basically from the current one...why not spread out a bit and go to James Island, West Ashley, N. Charleston or Summerville?"

"Do better Trader Joes," another demanded. "Two locations in the same area is preposterous."

As one might imagine, the news received a much more favorable reception in Mount Pleasant.

Tasha Blomquist and her son perused the floral offerings in front of the store on a cloudy morning. Blomquist said she stops by the store twice a week and is eager to see a new location, hopefully, in the northern part of town, where she lives.

“I live way in north Mount Pleasant, so I’m happy there might be one there,” Blomquist said. “I think it’s needed though because every time I’m here … I feel like you have to do multiple laps around the parking lot just to find a spot.”

Another shopper, Kelly Crowley, who lives near Brickyard Plantation, said opening a second store will hopefully cut down on crowds.

“We come by here pretty regularly. If you come here on Sunday or even Saturday, it’s lines all the way back into the aisle," Crowley said.

Though Trader Joe’s has not disclosed where the new store will be, multiple sources have told The Post and Courier the grocery chain is considering the old Bi-Lo building at the foot of the Isle of Palms Connector — a few miles from the store on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard that opened in 2011, and not farther into northern Mount Pleasant as customers like Blomquist would hope.

Real Estate

The proximity to an existing store seems like a head-scratching move — why does Mount Pleasant get two stores 5 miles apart, bypassing places like Summerville or West Ashley?

Demand for a Trader Joe’s in these areas is high, as evidenced by petitions that attract thousands of signatures calling for the chain to open the shop in their towns and cities.

One such petition from 2020 that called for a store in Summerville earned nearly 5,000 signatures. Another in West Ashley gained over 6,000.

Similar efforts also crop up in Myrtle Beach regularly. The city is one of South Carolina’s fastest-growing, yet you won’t find a Trader Joe's in the coastal municipality. Former Horry County Director of Planning David Schwerd said he had that conversation over and over during his 30-year tenure.

“'We need Trader Joe's. Everybody always wants a Trader Joe's. Pretty much every time a commercial rezoning or development planning comes up, it's usually the first one that gets mentioned,” Schwerd said.

Jeff Campbell, the University of South Carolina's department of retailing chair, said grocery stores, particularly Trader Joe's, are extremely strategic in opening new locations. You won't see a Trader Joe's on every corner, and they take their time scouting areas before settling on a city.

"Typically, they would use a variety of metrics in site selection, and while location is still an important consideration, they'll look at things like projected foot traffic, the demographics of the area, where the current transportation routes are, where competitors are located," Campbell said.

Myrtle Beach being a hot spot for tourists might not be attractive to the chain either. People who visit the coastal city are looking to stock up for the week, heading to Walmart or Costco for items in bulk, rather than prepackaged, single-serve foods, Campbell said.

People can request that Trader Joe’s consider their city for a new store. Nakia Rohde, a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s, said the company receives “tons” of requests for stores nationwide.

The company doesn’t share much about how it chooses the perfect site for a new Trader Joe's. But Schwerd has a hunch. He pointed to the region’s median income, age and education level — factors the grocer is thought to consider when choosing sites for a new store.

“They have their undisclosed lists of what they're looking for in demographics,” Schwerd said. “Even though Trader Joe's does not list any specific criteria in their evaluation, that's what they're looking for. They have an upscale, educated clientele.”

An interview with Joe Coulombe, the store’s founder and namesake, published in the LA Times in 2011 demonstrates this ideology that seems to have stuck with the company: “Unless you have enough well-educated people, Trader Joe’s will not work.”

Because of these factors, Schwerd said Horry County or Myrtle Beach are unlikely to get a Trader Joe’s any time soon.

According to U.S. census data, Myrtle Beach has a median income of $57,713, a median age of 51.5 years and 28.8 percent of residents who hold bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Mount Pleasant’s median age of 41.3 years is slightly higher than the state’s 40.5 years, but in Greenville and Columbia, where the other two Trader Joe’s are located, the median ages are much younger at 35.9 and 28.4, respectively.

“They want younger consumers, they want a little bit better-income consumers," Campbell said.

Mount Pleasant, where the median income is $114,237 and 66 percent of residents hold a bachelor’s degree, is far above the state’s median income level of roughly $64,000 and where 32.6 percent of the state hold bachelor's degrees.

So, Trader Joe’s wants to open stores in higher-earning areas with higher volumes of college-educated folks, and Mount Pleasant happens to fit the bill. It fits so well that shoppers will soon find half of South Carolina's Trader Joe's in town.

Campbell, who lives in Lexington, said he’d like to welcome a store in his city, but it’s not likely — it's just not what Trader Joe’s is looking for.

“They're not trying to sell to everybody. They're trying to sell to a particular demographic, and that demographic tends to do very well,” Campbell said.

Reach Anna Sharpe at 843-806-6790.

Retail venture coming to shuttered Charleston-area shop to offer 'something for everyone'

A new eclectic retail enterprise is moving into the large Lowcountry building once occupied by a home decor store and farm-to-table food emporium....

A new eclectic retail enterprise is moving into the large Lowcountry building once occupied by a home decor store and farm-to-table food emporium.

Modern Manor, a cooperative of 35 merchants selling apparel, home decor items, antiques, plants, jewelry and other products in leased booths, opens Feb. 9 at 2521 U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.

The 10,000-square-foot building is the former site of the short-lived Heavens Marketplace, which closed in December after expanding down the coast from Myrtle Beach 16 months earlier. The building also previously served as the retail operation for nearby Boone Hall Farms for 14 years before closing in early 2020.

The new retail venture is owned by East Cooper residents Karen Massarotti and Jessica Wiley, who are among the nearly three dozen boutique owners with booths in the 65 spaces created in the former open-space structure.

The business partners latched onto the site shortly after the home decor business closed before the end of last year.

"There wasn't much for a business like ours in the northern part of Mount Pleasant," Massarotti said. "We wanted to do something different."

The duo said they didn't have to reach out to others to rent spaces in the building.

"It was mostly just word of mouth," Massarotti said. "They called us."

Wiley, too, believes the shop will fill a missing niche in the state's fourth-largest municipality that nearly 100,000 people call home.

As the Charleston area continues to grow and attract more residents, so does the need for food and the vendors who provide it.

No fewer than 12 new grocery stores are in the works across the Lowcountry, including plans to tear down and replace one store on site and relocate two others.

Around Charleston, the population boom — now expanding at an average net daily rate of 36 residents, according to the latest update — keeps fueling competition among supermarket chains that are angling to be as close as possible to the proliferating housing enclaves that keep their cash registers ringing.

That's about 13,300 new residents each year spread across Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties, with many of the newcomers settling on the fringes of the growing region, especially in large-scale developments in Goose Creek, Moncks Corner and Summerville.

The three counties saw a 20 percent population surge over the past decade to a combined 830,000 residents, according to the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.

Competing grocery chains closely analyze the numbers to decide where to set up shop.

By one measure, a general rule for a full-service supermarket of 40,000 square feet or more to be viable is to have 10,000 residents, or about 4,000 rooftops, within a 20-mile radius. If there's competition in the market, the required number of residents is higher and vice versa for an area with no rivals.


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