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The 9 Best Places in South Carolina to Raise a Family, According to Local Real Estate Professionals

2023-06-25  Maliyah Mah

South Carolina has become one of the states with the most rapid population growth as a direct result of its robust economy, affordable housing market, agreeable climate, and breathtaking natural scenery.

While Charleston

Although Charleston, with its historic architecture and world-class culinary scene, may be South Carolina's most recognised vacation destination (and recent tourist statistics make a fair argument for it), the Palmetto State has no shortage of other towns to call home that are just as gorgeous and interesting as Charleston.

In point of fact, South Carolina was the third fastest-growing state in the country in 2022, adding approximately 90,000 new citizens in a single year to its population. The question is, therefore, what draws so many people to make the move there.

A low cost of living, pleasant weather, a vibrant employment market, and abundance of chances for outdoor recreation are all important appeals. These outdoor opportunities are made possible by the Blue Ridge Mountains, the gorgeous coastline, and the lakes. The well-known warmth and hospitality of southerners, in addition to the region's abundant cultural customs, are undoubtedly big draws for visitors.

According to local real estate brokers, the following are nine of the most desirable locations in South Carolina in which to make your home.




The state capital of South Carolina is located in Columbia. They are never too far away from the coast or the mountains, and they enjoy a multitude of natural monuments like as the verdant Congaree National Park and Lake Murray. Thanks to its centre location in the state, its citizens are able to enjoy all of these natural features. Recently, the city was ranked as the second most popular among members of Generation Z, and it was recognised as one of the top 10 property markets that are positioned for growth in 2023.

"Factor in a pleasant climate, award-winning local restaurants, lively craft beer and music scenes, and a spirited festival schedule, and the popularity of Columbia is no surprise to those of us who live there," Jill Moylan, owner and broker at Home Advantage Realty, told Travel+Leisure. Moylan added that Columbia's youthful energy is boosted by the fact that it is home to a large number of universities.

Those who are looking for a place with a low cost of living and real estate that is affordable will most likely find it here. Zillow reports that the city has a typical sales value of $216,536 and that people have access to a wide variety of alternatives for recreation and sports-related activities.

"Columbia has 14 golf courses (20 if you include those within a 20-mile radius), there are 56 tennis courts, Lake Murray provides 650 miles of shoreline for boating enthusiasts, and there is dedicated land for hunting, fishing, and equestrian activities," said Bhavna Vasudeva, a broker at Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty. "In addition," she continued, "there are 650 miles of shoreline for boating enthusiasts on Lake Murray."




Even for people who have lived in this lovely city in the upstate of South Carolina for a long time, the changes that have taken place there during the past decade are remarkable.

"Our low cost of living, moderate climate, outdoor adventures, spectacular downtown, and walkability have contributed to all the recent buzz," Sharon Wilson, president and broker at Wilson Associates Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International, revealed. "Our low cost of living, moderate climate, outdoor adventures, spectacular downtown, and walkability have contributed to all the recent buzz." "Greenville is proud to be the home of 539 international companies from 34 different countries, which gives us tremendous reach across a wide variety of business sectors." One other advantage that comes from the city's favourable environment for business? Greenville's unemployment rate for April 2023 was merely 2.2 percent.

Greenville is a popular destination for people who enjoy the great outdoors and people who are looking for activities that can be enjoyed throughout the year because of its location at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its proximity to a number of lakes.

Robby Brady, a broker with Allen Tate Realtors/Luxury Portfolio International, mentioned that the central business district of Greenville is always one of the most sought-after locations when asked about popular neighbourhoods. He noted that neighbourhoods that feature a high concentration of parks and other types of green space have also seen an increase in demand from purchasers, particularly in the regions surrounding Swamp Rabbit Trail and Unity Park.




"Charleston provides prospective homeowners with that hard-to-find combination of a storied past, breathtaking coastal vistas, and an enviable quality of life made possible by year-round warm weather." B.V. Messervy of Carolina One Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International asked, "Where else can you follow cobblestone streets to world-class dining, harbor-front parks, and architectural marvels year-round?" And who could possibly disagree with that?

Vacationers and those who are fortunate enough to call Charleston home both have a lot to look forward to in this city, which has been voted the finest city in the United States by readers of Travel+Leisure for the past ten years in a row. The unemployment rate in the city is only two percent, and the cost of living is two percent less than the average across the country.

Zillow reports that the median home price in Charleston is $502,776, which is far lower than the prices in other large cities. Messervy notes that although home prices in Charleston have increased, they are still significantly lower than those in other major cities.

Even though home prices have reached an all-time high, a large number of the people shopping for real estate in Charleston are relocating here from larger metropolitan areas with higher pricing. She elaborated, "They see Charleston as a major upgrade when it comes to quality of life, and as a result, they see purchasing real estate in Charleston as a smart buy for investment."


The city of North Charleston

North Charleston

Consider moving to North Charleston if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of downtown Charleston but yet be close enough to the city to take advantage of everything it has to offer. This city, which currently has a population of approximately 117,000 people, was founded in 1972 and is located between the Cooper and Ashley Rivers. During the past 23 years, the city has expanded at a remarkable pace, with new developments continually being built and retail sales taking the lead across the state. Oak Terrace Preserve, Mixson, and Park Circle are three of the neighbourhoods that are consistently ranked among the most desirable places to buy a home for the first time.

"It is a great time to buy in Park Circle as the area has transitioned into a very desirable place to live, but you are still gaining a tonne of appreciation currently," Joel Mathis, a broker with Carolina One Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International, said in an interview with Travel+Leisure. "Not only has the area transitioned into a very desirable place to live, but you are still gaining a tonne of appreciation."Because of the large amount of commercial construction and city improvements that are taking place right now and will continue to take place over the next five years, it is possible that this location will appreciate more than any other place in Charleston County.


The Pleasant Mount

Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant is a wonderful place to live because of its proximity to both the historic city of Charleston and the beautiful beaches of Sullivan's Island and the Isle of Palms. Families seek out this area because of its relative peace and quiet, its facilities that cater to children, its high-quality educational opportunities, and its outstanding dining options. However, real estate agents are in agreement that the price of the property will reflect all of the aforementioned attributes.

Related link : The Finest New Luxury Hot Spots in South Florida, Including Old-Fashioned Hotels, Speakeasies, and a Confidential Omak's Restaurant

The housing market is considered to be one of the most robust marketplaces in our region. Georgia Nettles, a broker with Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty, noted that current prices range from approximately $300,000 for a condo with one bedroom and one bathroom to over $5 million for a deep water home with five bedrooms, seven and a half bathrooms.

According to Jackie Scarafile, who works with Carolina One Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International, it is crucial to work with a local real estate agent who is familiar with the market extremely well and who has access to properties that are not displayed on the market. You are genuinely investing in the location by choosing to live in Mount Pleasant, which has historically been one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in the area. She went on to clarify that opportunities might be found with a real estate agent that has a strong network.


Sullivan's Island

Sullivan's Island

This small town on a barrier island that is only 2.5 miles long is not only rich in history (which makes it one of the best small towns in South Carolina), but it also boasts a large number of modern conveniences, which make it an appealing place to live. Its proximity to Charleston, its beautiful sandy beaches that are not overrun with people, its strong feeling of community, its superb sports facilities and parks, and its overall excellence have combined to make it a popular option for families. Another advantage of relocating here with your family if you have young children?

"Sullivan's Island Elementary School is one of a very small number of oceanfront charter public elementary schools in the nation," Charlie Aikman of Carolina One Real Estate said, explaining that it's not unusual to meet parents who commute to larger urban areas such as New York City during the week and return on weekends. "Sullivan's Island Elementary School is one of a very small number of oceanfront charter public elementary schools in the nation," Charlie Aikman said.

However, because to the restricted inventory, prospective homebuyers in this area should be prepared to pay a higher price. Zillow estimates that the median value of a home on the island is $3,390,353 at the moment.

Aikam gave the advice, "Only a few homes come onto the market each year, so if something you like comes up, don't hesitate to make an offer now." "Only a few homes come onto the market each year," "If at all possible, you should try to find a real estate agent that resides on the Island. Island real estate professionals are always going to be the first to know when something spectacular comes on the market, and often times, they will know before these properties even hit the market.



Hilton Head Island

Summerville is referred to as "The Flower Town in the Pines" and has hundreds of buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city is located just 25 miles from Charleston. Summerville caters to those who are looking for a more laid-back lifestyle and idyllic vistas (the city has hundreds of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places) as well as those urbanites who are craving good entertainment and top-notch dining.

Mark Barnes of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty stated that the downtown area features a number of antique and artisan businesses in addition to a community theatre where the Flowertown Players perform on a continuous basis throughout the year. He went on to say that purchasers might explore Nexton, Cane Bay, and Carnes Crossroads if they are looking for contemporary developments with open floor designs.

In addition, Jana Bantz, a broker with Long & Foster, mentioned that the city is home to a number of golf complexes, such as the Pine Forest Country Club and the Coosaw Creek property, which is a private gated community.

The Island of Hilton Head


There is no need to give an introduction to Hilton Head Island because it is well-known for being consistently regarded as one of the best islands in the continental United States and a top beach destination with plenty of activities to keep its numerous visitors pleased. So, tell me, what is it like to make your home in this picture-perfect nook of South Carolina? Steve Timperman, who has lived in this area for more than four decades, says that he loves the "small-town feel" of the community because it "offers friendly and familiar faces around each corner."

The Charter One Realty broker is one of the approximately 40,000 people who live on Hilton Head Island full-time and take use of the island's 11 miles of beaches, parks, restaurants, art festivals, and golf courses throughout the year.

"One of the things that I love most about Hilton Head Island is the many different neighbourhoods that offer a diverse selection of amenities, ways of life, and activities to choose from when enjoying the island. According to Timperman, private club communities such as Wexford and Long Cove provide a variety of sports and activities, including golf, tennis, pickleball, marinas, and amazing social activities.

Cindy Creamer, who works with Dunes Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International and is also a local real estate agent, concurred with the sentiment that the island's varied neighbourhoods are its primary selling point.

"I enjoy enlightening my clients about the many different communities that are available on the island so that they can select the one that best suits their needs." She continued, "I always tell people that you shouldn't choose the house first; instead, choose the community that fits you."




Even though it is known as the entrance to Hilton Head Island, the picturesque town of Bluffton, which has a population of around 32,000 people, has plenty to offer both visitors and residents. Locals like to remark that living in Bluffton is a state of mind.

"Bluffton is characterised by all things river life, world-class golf and tennis, a burgeoning food scene, festivals and events, friendly people, abundant live music, fertile land, an artistic community, and a deep love of the Lowcountry that comes through not only in its careful protection, but through the hundreds of talented artists who lovingly portray its many faces," Daniella Stonefield, a partner of Elevé Properties of Charter One Realty, shared with Travel+Leisur. Stonefield was speaking Old Town Bluffton, Palmetto Bluff "with its classic Southern aesthetic," Gascoigne Bluff for its grand riverside estates, and Colleton River, Belfair, and Berkeley Hall are some of the most sought after private golf communities in this area. Other neighbourhoods that she enjoys living in include Gascoigne Bluff for its grand riverfront properties.

2023-06-25  Maliyah Mah