Why HGTV Chose the Lowcountry for Its 2013 Dream Home

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Every year, HGTV builds one enviable home in a different locale. Viewers from all over the country enter to win the homes, which are custom-built, sustainable, fully furnished and professionally decorated. Not surprisingly, tens of millions of people enter. Who wouldn’t want an exquisite home for free?

In 2013, HGTV chose South Carolina’s charming Lowcountry for its Dream Home. The Lowcountry is a geographic region along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts that includes popular tourist destinations such as Charleston and Hilton Head, as well as the Sea Islands. The 2013 HGTV Dream home was located on Kiawah Island, about 15 miles from Charleston.  

The Lowcountry is picturesque and charming. There are ample beaches, golf resorts and historical sites. The region is known for its architecture, its arts and cultural scene, and its dining - which ranges from Southern barbecue to seafood. Moss-draped oak trees line the streets, and the vibe is friendly and relaxing. Kiawah Island is primarily a beach and golf resort, known for its expansive grassy marshes. Dining, outdoor activities, shopping and attractions are abundant.

About the 2013 HGTV Dream Home

HGTV’s 2013 Dream Home pairs the best of traditional Lowcountry architecture with modern style. HGTV producer-turned-designer Brian Patrick Flynn described it as a serene, contemporary bungalow by the shore. The look is stylish and casual, with weathered woods and soothing, earth-colored palates.

Overlooking the salty marsh, the home features a wide front porch, an oversized great room with a cathedral ceiling and a fireplace, a chef’s kitchen with high-end appliances and open shelving, a main-floor master suite, and more. Small touches like a built-in coffee bar showcase the attention to detail that went into the design. The look is relaxed and beachy, but also sophisticated. The designers said they were going for a laid back, Zen-like design. As for outdoor amenities, the home has a 600-square foot deck, a plunge pool and access to the beach.

The winner of the home was a woman named Carole Simpson from Columbia, Tennessee. However, as many winners do, Simpson quickly listed the house for sale. It is currently on the market for nearly $2.4 million. Sometimes geography prompts the winner to sell; other times they can’t afford the carrying costs.

How Does HGTV Choose Dream Home Sites?

HGTV planners spend a significant amount of time researching locations for the dream home site. Consideration is given to all sorts of factors, including the history and culture of the area, and its architectural style. The planners look for exclusive destinations that are desirable places to live. With every year that passes, HGTV ups the ante. The 2015 home is located on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard off of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The home, valued at more than $2 million, is accessible only by boat or plane. 

Sites are always chosen with the scenery and view in mind. Whether the location is mountainside or waterfront, HGTV looks for a piece of land with picturesque views to build the Dream Home. The design of the home is important, but just as much attention is paid to choosing the piece of property.

The HGTV Dream Home contest is in its 19th year. Past locations have ranged from beach towns to ski resorts to mountainside retreats. The home in Kiawah Island was actually HGTV’s second home in the Lowcountry. In 1998, the home was located in Beaufort, South Carolina’s charming, second-oldest city.