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Habitat for Humanity’s first neighborhood on Hilton Head Island, The Glen off Marshland Road is a major boon for families who cannot afford housing. Hilton Head Monthly sat down with Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity’s president, Patricia Wirth, to discuss the community milestone.

Change in the heart of the Lowcountry comes slowly — and most often in subtle tones when it does.

When Bill and Bonnie Miller bought their furnished home tucked away in May River Forest at Palmetto Bluff three years ago, they were impressed with the quality, detail of craftsmanship, architecture, design and location of the home. They didn’t want to change a thing structurally of the residence, built 10 years ago by Bluffton’s Reclamation by Design based on an architectural design by a Savannah firm.

Lowcountry home design has evolved much like the history of the South Carolina coast itself in population growth, economic forces, cuisine and culture. Naturally, adaptations to original home designs had to be made — and they were.

Its infancy began when the first permanent settlement in South Carolina took root in 1670 along the Ashley and Cooper rivers near present-day Charleston. The English transplanted their basic one-room cottage design from coastal tidewater Virginia and Maryland locations, and that marked the beginning of Lowcountry home design.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of homes is at an all-time high because of a number of factors.

The group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that can be viewed as both good and not-so-good news. On one hand, current homeowners looking to sell their homes can get more for their property, gaining equity for the down payment on their next homes. On the other hand, rising home prices make it more difficult for first-time, younger buyers to enter the market, as they don’t have equity from a previous home — and often are struggling to save as it is.

Todd Hawk and his family-owned company H2 Builders in Bluffton have been building beautiful custom-designed homes in the Hilton Head Island area since 1996, many in the traditional or transitional Lowcountry style. And that style is becoming more popular than ever.

But perhaps none of these spectacular homes are as quintessentially Lowcountry in every exacting detail as the one he built for himself, his family, extended family and friends in the small town of Pineland in Jasper County.

The Leamington homeowner didn’t really know what she wanted, but she knew she wanted it to be beautiful.

She and her husband bought their 4,600-square-foot second home three years ago because of its location, straddling a lagoon and the Arthur Hills Golf Course, and the interior layout. The only hitch was a black-and-gold and yellowish color motif.

In the good old days, interior cooling and heating were limited to a specific room or portion of a building with localized units. That worked out just fine, so long as the entire family didn't mind camping out in the living room. Some could afford more than one unit. Most could not.

Luckily, the invention of HVAC units changed the game.

The phrase “Southern charm” brings to mind delightful images, wonderful memories, soft sounds, generations of tradition and a distinctive lifestyle. Live oaks and magnolia trees, flowing creeks and magical marshes, friendly neighbors, front porches, a sense of being, comfort and a quiet contentment … you get the picture.

Now picture a Lowcountry cottage in a homey neighborhood in a quaint town that embodies “Southern charm.” Picture Habersham, a stone’s throw from Beaufort, and which was selected last year as South Carolina’s Inspired Community by Southern Living magazine.

Nathan Cameron of Cameron & Cameron Custom Homes builds a house unlike any other in Palmetto Bluff.

Nathan Cameron had never seen anything like it. So the local homebuilder built it. Now he lives in it, and it’s a showpiece professionally.

RENOVATED WEXFORD HOME MAKES MOST OF LOCATION ON UPDATED GOLF COURSE

Like a vintage bottle of red wine that matures into greatness in time, Terry and Chris Baehr of Wexford Plantation have come to appreciate the jewel of a golf course that straddles their backyard on Yorkshire Drive on Hilton Head Island.

This wasn’t always the case.