Folly Beach is one of the most affordable options for buying beach real estate in the Charleston area, and you will find a large selection of homes for sale in a wide range of prices. I’ve organized some of the more popular condo and townhouse communities below by price so that you can get a good idea of what you can afford in your price range.
Under $400,000: Mariners Cay is one of the most popular condo options in this price range. These are townhouse-style homes are marshfront, and the gated community has amenities such as a marina and dock facilities, a swimming pool, and tennis courts. Marsh Winds is also a good option, and it is located near Mariners Cay (just before you go over the bridge to the island). These condo buildings have elevators, which is a plus especially if you plan to use the home for vacations. There is also a swimming pool, and many of these condos have screened porches that overlook the marsh. Pelican Pointe Villas is a little further out from the beach (located just across from the Piggly Wiggly grocery), but these are some of the newest (and most affordable) options for condos at Folly Beach. These also have good marsh views as well as screened porches. Pelican Pointe Villas also has a community pool.
$400-600,000: In addition to upgraded units in Mariners Cay, you’ll also see in this price range some newer townhouse options. Back Bay has the newest townhouses available at Folly. Turtle Bay has a pool as well as boat facilities. Waters Edge town homes are set up more like houses that have been divided down the middle, meaning that all of these are end units. Buyers generally like that these have more of a “house” feel to them with added privacy. All three of these communities are located at the back of the island (the marsh side), so they’re only about a 6 block walk or bike ride to the beach. Palmetto Pointe sits on its own little island within a few minutes’ drive outside of Folly Beach. These two story condos have incredible views, nice upgrades, plenty of privacy, and good boat facilities. All of the communities I have recommended in this price range have marshfront homes, but the listing price generally reflects a unit’s proximity to water (and views). So, some of these may be directly marshfront, while others have more of a marsh view.
$600-800,000: Towards the upper part of this price range, you will start to find beachfront condos. Many of these will be in the Charleston Oceanfront Villas, which has a pool and elevator. This is an unbeatable location because these are about as close to the Folly Beach Pier and the downtown section of Folly as it gets. Pavilion Watch also has a good selection of condos in these prices. This community is located just across the street from the beach, and many of these have beach views. Although Pavilion Watch is not beach front like Charleston Oceanfront Villas, you will find that they are more affordable options and have a comparable location otherwise (to downtown and to the pier). Folly Creek Place is also a good option – especially if you want to avoid some of the traffic associated with living on the island. These have marsh views on both sides of the townhouses (which is quite rare) and good dock facilities with boat lifts. In this price range, you can also find nicer units in Palmetto Pointe and Waters Edge.
$800,000+: If you are looking to buy a home over $800K, I recommend houses rather than condos and townhouses. Although it is possible to find houses for sale in the lower price ranges, they usually amount to little more than cement block cottages. It is really only in the $800+ range that you can buy a good single family home – and one that can be used as a vacation rental to offset some of your costs. On the other hand, you can certainly find condos and townhouses in this price range at Folly Beach. However, know that if you buy one of these, you will be buying at the top of the condo and townhouse market. As far as appreciation is concerned (and in addition to potential rental income), it simply makes a better investment to purchase a house rather than a condo or townhouse when you reach a certain price range.