Barrons’ Twenty Best Places to Buy a Second Home: Brays Island Plantation, South Carolina

For second homes in America’s most affluent locations, the past year was ugly. No way else to describe it. Median home prices were down 50% in North Lake Tahoe, and 44% on Martha’s Vineyard, to cite two examples.

Last year was brutal for second homes in the nation’s most affluent areas. But the market is firming up again. Here’s our list, expanded to 20 sites, for those seeking top-tier refuges.

9. BRAYS ISLAND PLANTATION, SOUTH CAROLINA: Brays Island Plantation, a 200-house development master-planned for 325 one-acre lots in over 5,500 acres of wildlife attracts horseback riding, wing-shooting and fishing enthusiasts. Circle-shaped lots maximize privacy and tuck residents in among old oak trees draped with Spanish moss; 90% of the land is held in common trust, blocking overdevelopment. Savannah, Ga. (dine at The Olde Pink House), and Charleston, S.C. (dine at Husk), are close by. Amateur archaeologist Paul Burton, an on-site broker, takes you fossil hunting in the Low Country rivers that ring the island, where teeth of 10 million-year-old Megalodon sharks are found. Last year, $2.3 million was the top trade and the buyer paid the full price, but most sales are 85% of the ask, knocking the median down after prices had rocketed in 2010.

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