What You Need to Know About Low-Maintenance Communities

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Picture this: It’s winter. It’s freezing. You still need to clear the last of the leaves from your lawn, but you’re finding every excuse to stay huddled inside your warm home and out of the cold, biting air. More than ever, you’re wishing your yard work would just do itself.
fallen leaves on a lawn in the winter

Sound familiar? Maintenance and lawn care can be tedious and exhausting chores, especially on the coldest or hottest days of the year. But there are types of residential developments that take care of these chores for you.

The Many Faces of Low-Maintenance Living

Low-maintenance communities, in general, are neighborhoods that provide services such as lawn care and exterior maintenance through an association fee. In a maintenance-free community, especially, little — if any — maintenance is required on the homeowner’s part.

As is the case with any neighborhood, different communities offer different amenities, especially when it comes to low- or no-maintenance living. So to give you a better idea about what to look for in a low-maintenance home, we’ve come up with a quick guide.

Low-Maintenance Townhome Developments
properties along a wide street

If you want all the space of a single-family home but don’t mind sharing a wall, a townhouse is a great option for low-maintenance living. Though the amenities many vary from community to community, townhome developments typically provide common area maintenance and landscaping.

Low-Maintenance Condominiums

Think of condos as upgraded rental apartments: you have your own space, you can access community amenities, and you can count on someone else to take care of the most mundane chores. It’s important to note that condos are a type of ownership: when you own a condo, you own everything within the walls of your home. Unlike with townhomes, you aren’t required to care for the exterior. In addition, condo associations typically maintain the common areas and provide services like trash removal and pest control. Depending on the association, the community may also provide utilities, phone service, and cable or Internet.

No-Maintenance Residential Communities

house common in a maintenance-free community
Some communities, like 55+ communities, take care of more than just the common areas. True maintenance-free communities may also take care of your home’s exterior maintenance, lawn care, landscaping, and services like trash or snow removal.

Real estate options in these no-maintenance communities can include condos, townhomes, and/or single-family homes.

Where to Do Your Research

If a community has an association, check the rules and regulations to learn about what services the association provides. Not sure where to look? It never hurts to ask a trusted real estate agent.

Reposted with permission of .
Please visit for a comprehensive list of articles pertinent to home-ownership in the Lowcountry.

Transform Your Home with These Timeless Seasonal Color Schemes

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Nothing can transform a home quite like a simple seasonal color palette. Whether you want to embrace the fall foliage, some holiday whimsy, or a little winter coziness, you can do all that with a few coats of paint and some well-placed splashes of color. The best part of all? Not only are these color schemes great for seasonal home decorating, they work wonders when staging your home to sell, too! Here are a few irresistible color schemes you can blend into your home this fall and winter.

Down to Earth: Rust Red and Terra Cotta

Connect with nature in the fall season using rich tones of red and brown. For an added touch of earthiness, incorporate natural elements like wood to really pull the look together.

Rustic: Persimmon and Oatmeal

orange wicker couch next to coffee table

Play up the autumn harvest theme with muted orange, shades of beige, and decorative elements like apples and pumpkins.

Cozy: Cream and Espresso

room with wood bed and beige walls

Neutral hues can make your home feel warm and inviting in the chilly fall and winter months. For a fun and functional look, add floor-length window coverings, which will keep the cold out and the coziness in.

Cheerful: Turquoise and White

gray couch with blue decorative pillows

Even if the weather outside is frightful, your home doesn’t have to be! Pair bright shades of blue with white to achieve a relaxing yet cheerful look. On a gray couch (like in the image above), turquoise accent pillows add a fun pop of color to the room’s neutral surroundings.

Small splashes of color here and there can go a long way into decorating a room for all seasons. All you have to do is switch out a few decorations and you’re set for the next season!

Merry and Bright: Snow White and Holly Green

stark white kitchen with greenery

While we typically think of red as a traditional holiday color, you don’t need bold hues to achieve a dramatic and trendy look. Stark white is becoming more and more common in interior design. To achieve this minimalist winter look, paint your space bright white and add pops of color with greenery.

When Selling a Home, Stay Neutral

The art of home staging is all about catering to the buyer. But since home buyers have drastically different tastes in color schemes, staying with a neutral color palette is the best way to appeal to the greatest number of buyers.

Reposted with permission of RARE Charleston.
Please visit for a comprehensive list of articles pertinent to home-ownership in the Lowcountry.

Hurricane Planning 9/10/18

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There is a category 4 hurricane forecasted to come to the Charleston area. We are tracking the storm through the National Weather Service and with the local and state government working through plans for a storm. We hope that some of this information is helpful for you and your family to stay safe.


Governor Henry McMaster has ordered evacuations along South Carolina’s entire 187-mile coastline border starting at 12:00 noon tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11, 2018. The eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 heading into Charleston will be reversed when the order takes effect, opening all lanes to evacuees.

National Weather Service:

Planning Schedule:

  • TODAY/Monday – MAKE PLANS to secure any personal property that could be left in the path of any storm including a low level tropical storm. Residents should identify and plan for a safe place to evacuate with your family in the event of an evacuation order.
  • Tuesday – Full time residents should clean all of your clothes, gas up the car(s), make sure you have drinking water and snacks. WATCH THE EVENING NEWS! Pay attention to closings and evacuations!
  • Wednesday – Do not look to your neighbors for counsel if an evacuation notice is issued because the evacuation notice is sufficient notice that conditions will not be safe. If there is a hurricane in Charleston you can an assumption that you will not have access to the normal resources available to you like groceries, water, electricity, handy man, plumber. Check all windows and make sure that they are closed and locked properly. WATCH THE NEWS and pay attention to evacuation notices!!! The national Weather service will advise everyone in the area how you need to proceed.
  • Thursday – Hopefully your preparations have paid off.

Hurricane Guide:

If Charleston is impacted by Hurricane Florence we will be inspecting properties and arranging for clean-up and repairs following the storm. If you have issues to report you can email and call our offices: and 843-768-9480. If you speak to an on call operator please be sure to provide your name and a telephone number where someone can call you back. Also please reference your community’s name and property address to ensure your message is promptly routed.

6 Important things to ask when considering a community with an HOA

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Choosing the right association can be as important as the home style. After all it not just about the amenities offered, but what type of guidelines you will be expected to adhere to. In this business we often encounter new homeowners that purchase without considering the HOA's role in the community and how it may affect them. While HOAs can help maintain home values and may provide fantastic amenities they may also prevent you from constructing that 20 ft rock climbing wall you've been dreaming of building in your backyard. To make sure the community is a good fit for your family be sure to ask these 6 questions before you buy.

RARE Charleston: 6 Questions to Ask When Considering a Neighborhood with an HOA

Choosing an Electric Grill

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While we all love to grill, communities that share common walls such as condos and townhomes often have regulations prohibiting open fire grills. But that doesn't have to ruin your summer barbecue plans. Read on to learn about's top three pick for electric grills and their advice for picking the one that is right for you.

Bob Vila's Buyer’s Guide: Electric Grills

Working to Stamp Out Hunger

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For the second year, team members from Ravenel Associates came together to sort food at the Ashley River Road Post Office in support of the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. This event is the single largest food drive that the Lowcountry Food Bank hosts. The Ashley River post office branch alone collected over 6,000 pounds of food last year. Thank you to all who donated food to support our community!

Team Ravenel1.jpg

Pictured above are RA team members Debbie Rentz, Shannon Zuchowski and Vickie Phillips. Not pictured are our honorary RA team members Kaylee Zuchowski and Ted Phillips.

Lowcountry Orphan Relief needs your help!

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The Lowcountry Orphan Relief is a nonprofit that provides support services for Lowcountry children identified as at-risk or suffering from abandonment, abuse and/or neglect. They have served over 100 children in the last two days and are in desperate need of supplies, particularly size 7-18 pants and shorts for both boys and girls. If you have any gently used items that could help, please drop them of at one of the their many drop off locations.

The Lowcountry Orphan Relief Distribution Center in North Charleston.
Call 843-747-4099 if you need directions.

You may also drop off items at any of the Neighborhood Captains' homes. Please click here to see the various locations.

United Community Bank branches have royal blue bins in their lobbies to be used as drop off points. United Community Bank branches are located at:

  • 875 Lowcountry Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, Phone 388-8433 (near I’on)
  • 1510 Old Trolley Rd., Summerville, 871-7202
  • 946 Orleans Rd., West Ashley, 284-1199 (across street from Target)

Terrace Theater also has a royal blue bin in their lobby. Terrace Theater is located at:

  • 1956 Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412


Stamp Out Hunger!

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The Lowcountry Food Bank’s largest food drive of the year, the National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger, will take place Saturday, May 12th! Volunteers are needed at post offices throughout our area to help unload and sort food donations as they come in. Individuals and groups welcome! Locations and times vary by post office, so please check the individual slot for details. Each post office will have a Lowcountry Food Bank staff member leading the group of volunteers. Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing. Your support will help Lowcountry Food Bank collect over 100,000 pounds of donated food in one day.

For more information or to sign-up click here.

Proud Sponsor of the Sea Island Habitat of Humanity

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Ravenel Associates is proud to announce we are a Tier 1 sponsor for the Sea Island Habitat of Humanity’s National Women Build Week 2018. This week is meant to spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by women and invite them to devote at least one day to help families build strength, stability and independence through housing.

This year’s home is being built in the Heritage Oaks community on James Island. The proud new owner is Leland, a single father and hardworking employee of the Kiawah Island Community Association. The progress on this home is quite amazing. Follow along on Sea Island Habitat’s Facebook page or on their website at Below is a picture of the Donor board posted at the jobsite. Our logo is also on the t-shirts worn by volunteers.

Ravenel Associates wouldn’t have been able to make this contribution if it wasn’t for all of our wonderful employees that make our continued growth and success possible.

Quickly improve your curb appeal

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Curb appeal can make all the difference when it comes to selling your home. Without it, buyers will lose interest before seeing the amazing features the inside of your home has to offer. The following slideshow from helps identify ten common issues that may be hurting your curb appeal, most of which can be resolved quickly and at no cost.

Click here to view the slideshow.

Your choice of plants can help repel mosquitos

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After our record cold winter most of us can't wait to start spending time outside. As you begin preparations for your garden keep in mind that some plants can do more than just add curb appeal. This year you may want to consider plants that also help with mosquito control.

Click here to learn more.

Quick DIY steps to stop a leaking toilet

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Anyone who's ever experienced a leak from a connecting unit knows what a nightmare it can be coordinating access and repairs. Don't let your leaking toilet become a problem when most repairs are simple fixes.

To learn Bob Vila's Top Tips for a Leaking Toilet click here.