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Kiawah Island Real Estate Investment Property Information | James Schiller Team

When it comes to Kiawah Island real estate finding the right deal makes all the difference in your ROI. Kiawah is its own niche market that doesn’t fit the traditional mold of standard suburban or even resort type real estate. Given the fact that Kiawah Island resort is an hour + drive time from the city of Charleston and “civilization” if you will, it doesn’t perform like most real estate markets. Most of the buyers and owners on Kiawah Island are not living there as their primary residence and in many cases not even second home. Many of the properties here are 3rd and even 4th homes for their owners, and because of this a lot of them are try to recoup some of their investment by renting out to the hundreds of thousands of guests that visit the famous golf resort each year.


What makes Kiawah Island resort such a special place is no mystery to those who have been, and many of its visitors come back year after year to either stay at the famed luxurious Sanctuary Hotel, or rent one of the hundreds of villas (really just condos), cottages or homes that are available to guests that stay in the resort. So if you too want to buy your own slice of golf heaven on Kiawah there are some things you may want to know.


One- the costs to own in the resort is not cheap. Let me explain. There are quite a few regular expenses that one must consider such as yearly HOA dues, upfront closing cost dues, insurances for living near the beach and in a flood zone, and last but not least regime fees (if you want a villa/condo). If you want to buy into one of the club memberships then that is another thing altogether. For a lot of people who want to buy on the island many of whom have never owned a single family attached home (aka condo, villa, townhouse) there are factors to condo ownership one must take into account as well.


There are essentially three property management options available to buyers who wish to rent out their properties when they aren’t using them. The obvious being behind the gate – official resort agency. Then there are two well respect outside of the resort real estate companies that also to property management.



Here is how their costs break down:



The Resort– charges 40% for oceanfront properties (easier to rent) and 50% for the non-ocean front. Keep in mind most people who research online to come to visit here will find them first and call them first, and that’s why you pay so much commission for rental management. If you have a newly renovated property they sometimes reduce their commissions to 45% or 35% (for oceanfront).


The two companies outside the resort –  Charge 30% for rental commissions so your net income would obviously be greater. Sometimes only 20% for certain criteria on a per situation basis.


For a greater understanding of what an average condo might make here are a few examples:


Units such as one like 4465 Sea Forest Dr. (aka Windswept Villas)


Gross rental income = $82,000 +/- yr 


Management fees = $17,000 +/-

House Keeping = $4400 +/-

Regimes = $12,800 +/-

Kiawah HOA = $2300

Regime insurance = $4500 +/-

Utilities = $3700 +/-

Taxes = $8975

MISC = $2000 +/-


NET = $26,325




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