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Waterfront homes: Boating and quiet beauty on a Carolina creek

“We’re so fortunate to live here on South Carolina’s hidden treasure — Bohicket Creek,” says Allen Dawson, 63, a retired Charleston-area contractor.

The house was built with a brick veneer to be low-maintenance.

Although Johns Island is near enough to be a suburb of Charleston, Bohicket Creek is lightly developed and has single-family homes on large tracts of land, many with conservation easements.

Dawson, who grew up in the area, built the single-story, brick-veneered French Tudor-style home in 1995. Now the couple plans to downsize, yet remain on the riverfront. Their 3.4-acre Bohicket Creek property with deep-water frontage, a four-bedroom, 3-1/2-bath home with an attached two-car garage, a detached workshop, greenhouse, dock, ramp, float and boat lift is on the market for $1.495 million.

“We built the house to be low-maintenance, functional and comfortable,” Dawson says. “Windows, sliding glass doors and porches line the river side to take advantage of the great views. The house is on a hill, so it doesn’t need to be elevated.”

A crushed-shell walk leads to the front door. From the foyer you can see through the central living room to the river. Hardwood floors unify the interior and create a spacious ambience.

French doors close off the study from the foyer. Custom black walnut paneling, wainscoting and a wall of built-in cabinetry make the room a cozy retreat.

Dawson’s favorite spot is his easy chair next to the wood-burning fireplace in the living room. “I have the same river view as my wife, who prefers sitting on the screened waterfront porch. When the sliders are open, it’s just like one room. We can talk and watch the variety of shore birds and the boats on the river. Even at low tide the marsh has natural beauty that we enjoy so much,” he says.

A butcher-block-topped peninsular counter separates the waterfront kitchen from the dining area and living room. “I’m a wood guy, so all the countertops are butcher block, and the cabinets are all custom-built of cherry in Shaker style,” Dawson says. “I like wood’s warmth.”

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The updated stainless-steel appliances include a gas range with a drop-down exhaust fan.

At one end of the house two guest bedrooms, one with river views, share a connecting bath.

The master suite occupies the other end, with windows toward the water. “I love waking up to that river view. It’s spectacular,” says Melissa Dawson, 57, who was a paralegal for 20 years and now works part time as a bookkeeper. “Also, our major renovations to the master bath (granite counters, garden tub and updated fixtures) make it pretty sweet.”

One-third of the 35-by-60-foot detached garage is a workshop, which Dawson calls his “huge man cave.” The second floor contains a finished room and full bath. Attached to the garage is a 20-by-35-foot greenhouse.

The Dawsons enjoy their open and screened waterfront porches for morning coffee, an afternoon drink or just sitting. The bluestone patio simplifies grilling and entertaining.

They keep their kayaks and a 15-foot jonboat on their dock; a 17-foot fishing skiff is kept on the 16,000-pound covered lift.

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“This river is the area’s best,” Dawson says. “Deep, protected, very rural with lots of wildlife and not too much boat traffic. Boats from paddleboards to 80-foot yachts cruise here. We’re only 30 minutes from the North Edisto Inlet, with no bridges. Nearby are lots of places to drop anchor, set a chair on the beach and talk with other locals. We can boat all year, but September to June is best.”

Utilities include a heat pump, a well and a private septic system. Annual taxes are about $3,200.

Downtown Charleston is a 16-mile drive. Shopping, dining, chain stores and services are available closer on Johns Island.

Huger Sinkler II, (843) 412-3189, of Holcombe Fair & Lane, Charleston, S.C., (843) 722-2642, lists the property.

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue.