By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

An alluring perk with the Charleston area is that people from all walks of life can negotiate the rare chance to live in an historic city, even if only for a year or two.

Mind you, scores of homes downtown are out of the question, pricewise, for many people to purchase. For sure, working class families aren’t likely to reside in multimillion dollar mansions south of Broad Street. Even leasing costs in the sections below Calhoun Street and even the Crosstown can be substantial — more than many homeowners pay in mortgage expenses.

But with careful research, patience and perhaps pooling of resources, tenants can secure decades-old properties at reasonable rates that at least tangentially tap into the city’s venerable heritage.

A property that touches on these attributes stands on a shaded street within walking distance of some of Charleston’s older neighborhoods. The two-story house at 197 Smith St. can be rented for $1,275 a month with a year’s lease. The home is available now, says Debbie Abraham, property manager with The Space Co. in Charleston.

It’s “very convenient, right off of Cannon Street,” she says. The two bedroom, one bath home would be well placed for students at the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina, she says.

The single-family home provides a cottage-like aura, Abraham says. First-floor features include a living room; eat-in kitchen with refrigerator, stove and dishwasher; and laundry room. “It has all the appliances, including a washer and dryer,” she says.

The two bedrooms dominate the second floor. There’s a guest room as well as the master bedroom, which comes complete with a fireplace, Abraham says.

Outside, the residence sports a fenced-in backyard and is shaded by tall trees.

She says the home is on a side street yet close to a west-east thoroughfare through town: “the second house on Smith off of Cannon.”

To get there from the south, take Ashley Avenue across Calhoun Street and passing by MUSC, then make a right on Cannon Street. Go two blocks and turn right on Smith Street. Ahead is 197 Smith St.

For more information, contact Abraham at 843-577-2676.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.