Are there alligators here? What about hurricanes? What’s the deal with flood insurance?

These are all very common questions we get about Charleston. Alligators do live here. You don’t normally see them every day in your front yard, nor will you see them driving along the highway, but they do exist. My closest interaction was when I was shooting photographs of a backyard in Mount Pleasant. This was back in 1999 and it was an estate sized house in a community on the marsh. The lots are large which meant for more space and for more wildlife to coexist with the neighborhood inhabitants.

I was minding his own business, shooting nice pictures of the view and in my left side periphery I saw this giant log. Did this log just move? slowly I turned to my left and about 40 feet away was the largest alligator I had ever seen. It was thick. Probably 12 feet long, and essentially looked like a dinosaur. Needless to say, I quickly retreated broke out my zoom lens and finished my photo shoot. To this day, I always scan my surroundings. I was startled. That is my alligator story.

Hurricanes are even less common. We do live on the coast, and there is a hurricane season each year that can have an effect on our lives. The counterbalances that we did to go to the beach whenever we want. Hurricane Hugo hit
Charleston head on in 1989. I was a kid, I stayed for the storm with my family in Mount Pleasant and it was pretty scary. I literally walked out in the eye and there was a dead calm. In the distance I could hear the other side of the storm coming. It was like a freight train stop My family retreated back inside and rode out the rest of the storm. Fortunately we sustained little damage, and we were not affected with the flooding. That is my hurricane story. The next time a hurricane comes, I will leave town.

So that brings us to the flood zone and flood insurance question. Charleston is in the low country. We enjoy its many spoils, and with those conveniences and benefits come some necessities. Flood insurance is one of them. There are a few different levels of flood zones as delineated on a map, and some require flood insurance should you have a mortgage and other zones do not. This is all fairly common knowledge.

What is not common knowledge but certainly important to know is how flood zones may or may not affect an older home. Flood maps were developed in 1979. Any of the houses built prior to that, and there are plenty, may not of been built to current flood codes. These codes dictate the height of a property built above sea level.

I’m sure you can imagine that there are many 1960s style ranch homes on James Island that existed prior to 1979. The same is also true for West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, and other areas as well. For years and years these properties have been grandfathered in. They have not been required to pay high flood insurance based on the fact that they were built prior to the flood maps existing. There was a recent legal change that created quite a bit of debate that has been since repealed. For a short time homeowners were devastated with the fact that they are flood insurance rates could increase 10 fold. A person once paying $400 a year could be facing $4000 per year with this simple change in law. I even heard of some cases where ranch-style homes valued at 200,000 would have been required to pay $30,000 in flood insurance each year.

During our initial consultation with prospective purchasers, this is a detail that we discuss heavily. I live in an older home and love a more established neighborhood. Generally the older homes are in better locations because they are closer to town. So please, don’t be scared out of buying an older home. Just know going into it that there are several steps we as your agents will take to help you fully evaluate and determine the risks if any.

Nat Wallen’s marketing campaign sells homes.

Thank You Charleston!

"I did not know there was a contest, so when Charleston City Paper readers voted me as their favorite Realtor, it was really nice. Charleston is a beautiful place, but the people here are what make living here so great!" - Nat Wallen

The Carolina One™ Sign

Every aspect of what makes a sale successful has been carefully dissected for your benefit. Even down to what colors are most memorable and recognizable together on the Carolina One Real Estate sign.

Drone Photography

Luxury properties and large tracts of land need to be viewed from a different perspective to attract a buyer. Standing out to buyers on the web is critical, and drones can make that happen in the right situation.

Luxury Portfolio Program

Carolina One sells more homes over $1,000,000 than any other company in Charleston. Our Luxury Portfolio Program includes high quality peripherals, professional photography and an international marketing reach including the Wall Street Journal, and our Luxury Homes magazine.

Coming Soon Program

With nearly 1000 agents, I will share your homes as a "coming soon" offering in our private Facebook group. Your home will be exposed to all of the buyers Carolina One agents are working with and will sell your home faster, and for more money... and this may even happen before it is placed on the market.

A Secure Lockbox

The latest technology is utilized to ensure your home is easily accessible and completely secure. You can rest assured that your home will only be accessed by licensed SC Realtors, on your time frame, and on your specific terms.

Showing Appointments

Handling the day-to-day showing appointments is an integral part of the sales process. Nat is able to efficiently arrange showings designed to follow the guidelines that you determine.

High-Quality Photography

Quality photography plays an important role in attracting a buyer for your home. By taking the time to determine the best angle, time of day and what photos to include in your marketing campaign, Nat’s photography speaks volumes.

A Professional Description

Careful attention to details will ensure your home is described and presented in the best light possible. By describing your home accurately and positively, Nat will work with YOU as the seller to craft the best feature and benefit list possible.

Carolina One™ Marketing

Your home sale will benefit with the Carolina One team at work. Through a variety of different mediums, the fully staffed marketing department works to expose your home to all buyers coming into the Charleston area.

The Caravan Tour

Nat Wallen will arrange a Carolina One agent tour of your home. Agents will become familiar with what your home offers by seeing it in person, and can share this information with their clients. In addition, agent feedback provides insightful opinions on the asking price and what will aid in the process.

The “Now Showing” System

Using Carolina One’s exclusive “Now Showing System,” Nat will proactively contact agents currently looking for a home like yours. This proprietary software system will locate agents currently working with buyers that fit the price range and area for your home.

Office Notifications

Carolina One has several offices in the Charleston area. With quality materials and a strong network of active Realtors selling homes each day in your neighborhood, your home sale will benefit with the strength of Carolina One’s agents working together.

Free Home Warranty

An American Home Shield home warranty will be placed on your property at no cost to you. This coverage is provided to you while your home is listed with Nat Wallen of Carolina One Real Estate.

Multiple Listing Service

Nat Wallen takes great care to provide an engaging description and high-quality photography to share your home’s features with all Charleston area buyers.

Buyer E-mail Notifications

With Nat’s knowledge of how to push the MLS features to their full capabilities, each day as buyers come into the market looking for a home like yours, they will receive an e-mail from their agent letting them know it is for sale and ready to be shown.

With over 80,000 visitors each month, Carolina One’s professional website allows your home’s quality photos, detailed description and availability to be shared with incoming buyers to the area on a local, national and global scale.

Relocation Notifications

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World will be notified of your home’s availability for sale. Composed of 550 firms, 4,600 offices and 140,000 sales associates in over 30 countries, this group of successful real estate agencies send referrals daily.

Mass Realtor Syndication is a heavily used Charleston real estate website. In addition to reaching hundreds of buyers visiting each day, your home will be syndicated to over 3,000 Realtor websites.

Multiple Websites

Your property will be listed on,, Google,,,,,,,,,,,,,, etc.

Social Networking

Your home will be shared through various social networking portals. Nat controls several Facebook pages and groups. Your property will be shared on pages like “Charleston, SC” - “Fans of Charleston” - “Fans of MUSC” - “Mt. Pleasant SC”- “The Nat Wallen Team” - ”Nat Wallen Real Estate” and “The Best of Charleston.”

Sell your home with the market leader.

Hey there, thanks for reaching out!
Are schools important to you?
When do you need us?
Your general price point?
Don’t worry... this is not set in stone :)
Want to add a note?
Call: 843.708.4488
Thanks for wanting the GPS tour!
Are schools important to you?
When do you need us?
Your general price point?
Don’t worry... this is not set in stone :)
Want to add a note?