Parking in Downtown Charleston south of the Crosstown can be tricky, so you have to know what you are doing, or be with someone who does when you are buying a house or condo. (If it’s not me, at least make sure sure the Realtor you are using does. Ask them how much a parking permit costs and where you go to get it. You’ll know by their answer.)
So here’s the deal…
OFF-STREET PARKING IS VERY IMPORTANT.
And here’s the caveat – off-street parking is not a big deal in some areas, you just have to know which ones. Our condo does not have it, and the only time I can’t find a space directly in front of it, is when I have an enormous load of groceries. Murphy’s Law I guess.
But, to have a home or condo with some type of off-street parking definitely adds value to your place. Parking spaces alone sell for $100,000-$250,000 in some key areas.
If you fall in love with a place that doesn’t have parking, evaluate the area and the time of year you are looking. If it is popular with college students and it is the middle of the school year, you’ll probably have a tough time finding a space. Don’t be fooled by the summer time emptiness! If you are in the western-most part of Harleston Village or around Colonial Lake for example, you’ll most likely be fine. But let’s say you love the place enough that you don’t care about the parking, then good for you – welcome to the delights and challenges of Charleston urban living. It all equals out I promise :). And you’ll be able to brag to your friends about your parallel parking abilities.
How to get a parking permit
Charleston south of the Crosstown is divided into residential parking zones, and within each zone, each residential unit is allowed two parking permits, and thus allowed to park in that specific zone all day any day. Posted rules do not apply.
To obtain these coveted permits, you must go to the 2nd floor of the big building on Lockwood Blvd across from Brittlebank Park. Permits are $10 each, and you have to have your property taxes paid if you own, a current lease if you rent, all parking tickets paid, your license and registration. Once you’ve got your sticker, you put it on the inside right of your windshield and eventually your car might look like this. (Some consider it a badge of pride).
If you live north of the Crosstown, you don’t have to worry about any of this, though Hampton Park Terrace and surrounds did just implement limited visitor parking times.