Moving to South Carolina? Relocation Guide for 2021

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Get all the information you need to know about moving to South Carolina

Looking for a moving company in South Carolina?

A big move is never easy, even if you’re genuinely looking forward to it.

Finding a moving company in South Carolina that you can trust with all that you own takes a leap of faith. But you can help shift the odds in favor of a great experience.

Be prepared to do a lot of homework, because that’s what it takes.

When you’re looking for a moving company in South Carolina the best place to start looking is through people you know.

Testimonials online are wonderful to find, but you have no clue about who wrote them or whether or not they’re legitimate.

A reputable referral service, such as Mover Junction, is another ideal place to start since movers are typically pre-screened. Once you have a few names in mind, that’s when the real work begins.

Let’s get started.

move to South Carolina

Top 10 reasons to move to South Carolina

Here are ten key reasons why moving to South Carolina is such a great idea:

  • People in South Carolina are warm and friendly

    South Carolina is known for its warm hospitality. Every second person you’ll meet in the park, shopping center, or in the public transport will be too eager to strike up a conversation. The residents here welcome everyone and are amiable.

  • Cost of living in South Carolina is low

    Surprisingly, South Carolina is highly affordable to live in. The cost of living here is lower than the national average, which means everything including groceries, healthcare, transportation, and housing is cheaper than in the neighboring states.

  • Homes are affordable in South Carolina

    The home affordability rate is high in South Carolina. Whether you are buying a home or renting one, you won’t need to spend high as the housing costs are lower than the US national average. The median home value in the state is $177,396. This is lower than the national average of $340,000.

  • Low gas taxes and low transportation rates

    South Carolina has one of the lower gas tax rates in the Southeast, 26.75 cents per gallon which is much lower than many states, including North Carolina or Georgia. Even public transport is cheaper in South Carolina, which prompts many people to skip personal vehicles at home.

  • Property taxes are low in South Carolina

    South Carolina has some of the lowest property tax rates of any state in the country. The average effective property tax rate in South Carolina is just 0.55%, well below the national average of 1.07%.

  • You’ll enjoy lots of outdoor activities

    Whether you're interested in history, love relaxing at the beach, or are looking for interesting things to do with kids, you’ve got them all in South Carolina. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 top attractions in the state.

    • Charleston Tea Plantation
    • The Gardens of the South Carolina Governor's Mansion
    • Charleston's Historic District
    • South Carolina Plantation Gardens
    • Hilton Head Island
    • Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor
    • USS Yorktown and Patriots Point
    • South Carolina State Museum
    • Brookgreen Gardens
    • Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

  • Unemployment rate is low and the job market is booming

    South Carolina is highly industrialized and is one of the top economies in the US. Tourism and agriculture are two other major sectors that contribute to the state coffers. As the economy is booming, the unemployment rate is 3.2% which is lower than the national average.

  • South Carolina is a beautiful state with a beautiful coastline

    The state has 2,800 miles of coastline that boasts some of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in the USA.

    Here’s a list of the 10 best beaches in South Carolina.

    • Myrtle Beach
    • Coligny Beach Park
    • Kiawah Beachwalker Park
    • Folly Beach, Charleston
    • Edisto Beach
    • Litchfield Beach
    • View 26 Photos
    • Hilton Head
    • Pawleys Island
    • Folly Beach
    • Huntington Beach State Park

  • Crime rates in South Carolina is relatively low

    South Carolinians worry less about crime and safety than most of the country as both violent crimes and property-related crimes are extremely low here. And the crime rate is further dipping in the state.

  • If you love seafood you’ll enjoy South Carolina

    South Carolina is a hot seafood destination and there is a huge variety of cuisines to relish here.

    Here’s a list of seafood items you need to try in South Carolina.

    • Oyster roast
    • Crab cake
    • Shrimp kedgeree
    • Shrimp and grits
    • She-crab soup
    • Cooter soup
    pros and cons of South Carolina

    Pros and cons of living in South Carolina

    Reviewing the pros and cons of living in Palmetto State can make it easier for you to make the right choice about moving to South Carolina.

    Pros of living in South Carolina Cons of living in South Carolina
    You’ll enjoy the warm and friendly southern hospitalityYou’ll have to learn a new way of speaking
    Low gas taxes and lowest cost of transportation in the countryYou’ll develop a sweet-talk vocabulary similar to sweet tea
    You’ll enjoy lots of outdoor activitiesYou’ll have to deal with eating barbecue with mustard in the sauce
    You’ll explore mountains, lakes, beaches, and moreFried food everywhere
    South Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S.It’s illegal to get a tattoo on your face or keep a horse in a bathtub
    South Carolina property taxes are among the lowest in the U.S.The state is home to one of the most haunted places in the U.S.
    You’ll enjoy a warm and relaxed atmosphere all over the stateNightlife isn’t so thrilling in South Carolina
    Crime rates in South Carolina are lower than in the US. average
    Seafood is never lacking in South Carolina
    South Carolina has a booming job market and low unemployment rates
    palce to live in South Carolina

    Where Are The Best Places To Live In South Carolina?

    If you’re moving to South Carolina, you deserve to be in the best places to live in the state. We’ve collated data about the ten best places to live in the state and here they are:

    Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
    1Mount Pleasant86,9822.1%$461,000
    2James Island12,0761.2%$300,600
    3Tega Cay10,4125.0%$331,100
    4Simpsonville22,2343.6%$173,400
    5Mauldin25,2174.8%$163,800
    6Lexington21,3343.7%$190,500
    7Fort Mill17,6922.7%$289,200
    8Forest Acres10,4124.5%$193,700
    9Charleston135,2573.4%$330,600
    10Bluffton20,7991.4%$290,800
    cost of living in Virginia

    Cost of living in South Carolina

    South Carolina’s cost of living is 88.5. The United States average is 100. This means the cost of living in South Carolina is way below the national average. Moving to South Carolina is a great idea if the cost of living is one of the key things on your priority list.

    South Carolina Housing Market

    The home affordability rate is high in South Carolina. Whether you’re renting or buying a home after moving to South Carolina, homes are affordable in the state. Here are the stats:

    What’s the median home value in South Carolina?

    South Carolina’s median home value is $177,396. This is lower than the national average of $340,000. There are 1,918,780 homes and apartments in South Carolina. Since you’re considering moving to South Carolina, you should know that homes are highly affordable in the state.

    Tip: Often, you feel like calculating the moving cost before you connect with a moving company. To help you, we've got a free moving cost calculator.

    What’s the average rental cost in South Carolina?

    Renting a home could be a good idea if you’re moving to South Carolina. Up to 26.1% of the state’s residents are renters. Here’s the average cost of renting various homes or apartment in South Carolina:

    • Average cost of a Studio apartment in South Carolina is $670
    • Average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in South Carolina is $756
    • Average cost of a 2-bedroom home or apartment in South Carolina is $891
    • Average cost of a 3-bedroom home or apartment in South Carolina is $1,183
    • Average cost of a 4-bedroom home or apartment in South Carolina is $1438
    jobs in Virginia

    South Carolina Job Market

    How is the job market in South Carolina?

    South Carolina’s unemployment rate is 3.2%. The national average is 3.7%. This means South Carolina’s job market is booming and the state’s unemployment rates are lower than the national average.

    • South Carolina job growth has been positive so far
    • South Carolina’s job market has risen by 0.8% over the past year
    • South Carolina’s average salary is $54,673 a year

    What are the top industries in South Carolina?

    South Carolina is home to several large industries powering the state’s economy. Since you’re considering moving to South Carolina, here’s a list of the largest industries in the state:

    • Agriculture
    • Aerospace and Aviation
    • Automotive
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Tourism
    • Life sciences industry
    • Office & Shared Services Industry
    • Biotechnology

    What are the top career options in South Carolina?

    South Carolina has a booming job market. If you’re considering a career change after moving to the Palmetto state, here’s a list of the top ten fastest-growing jobs in the state:

    • Home Health aide
    • Nurse Practitioner
    • Computer Numerical Controller Machinist
    • Operations Analyst
    • Physical Therapist Assistant
    • Web Developer
    • Physician Assistant
    • Physical Therapist
    • Lineman
    • Industrial Mechanic

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    How is the salary like in South Carolina?

    Moving to South Carolina most likely means you’ll be getting new pay if you get a new job. Here’s a breakdown of the average pay in South Carolina:

    • The average annual pay for hourly jobs in South Carolina is $54,673 a year
    • South Carolina average hourly rate is $26.28 an hour
    • South Carolina average weekly rate is $1,051 per week
    • The average monthly pays for hourly jobs in South Carolina is $4,556/month
    • Majority of salaries in South Carolina range between $31,152 to $74,105

    Tip: When you’ve got a home to move in South Carolina, getting the best moving quote will be your goal. Request moving company quotes to save on moving cost.

    10 Biggest companies in South Carolina

    Rank Company City Employees
    1CryovacDuncan23,000
    2MichelinGreenville23,000
    3SonocoHartsville21,000
    4PruittHealthNorth Augusta16,000
    5The InterTech GroupNorth Charleston15,832
    6Corestaff ServicesRock Hill14,000
    7Medical University of South CarolinaCharleston13,400
    8BlueCross BlueShield of South CarolinaColumbia11,000
    9AVXFountain Inn10,800
    10DomtarFort Mill10,000

    Commuting in South Carolina

    South Carolina’s average one-way commute time takes 24.3 minutes. The national average is 26.4 minutes. This means commuting in South Carolina is shorter than the United States average commuting time. This is a key benefit if you’re moving to South Carolina.

    Here’s how people in South Carolina commute to work daily:

    • About 82.6% of South Carolina residents drive their own car alone
    • Up to 9.3% of South Carolina residents carpool with other
    • 3.8% of South Carolina residents work from home
    • About 0.6% of South Carolina residents take mass transit

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    Is South Carolina a safe place?

    Safety will most likely be among the key agenda on your checklist before making up your mind about moving to South Carolina. Here we present key stats about South Carolina crime rates to help you make a fair comparison with your current state or anywhere else.

    • Violent crime rates in South Carolina are rated 27.8. The national average is 22.7
    • Property crime rates in South Carolina are rated 46.1. The national average is 35.4
    • Robbery accounted for 14% of all violent crimes reported in South Carolina
    • Burglary accounted for 13% of all property crime reported by the safest cities in the state
    • Burglary accounted for 19% of all property crimes reported in South Carolina
    • Digital security was rated as the first safety concern in South Carolina
    • Larceny-theft is the most common property crimes (71%) in South Carolina
    • Up to 78% of all property crimes reported in the safest cities are larceny-theft
    Virginia taxes

    South Carolina Taxes

    Moving to South Carolina could mean paying more or less in taxes depending on where you’re moving from. To help you make a fair comparison, we’ve collated key stats about South Carolina taxes.

    How much will you be paying in taxes in South Carolina?

    South Carolina has some of the least property and gas taxes in the United States. However, considering the local rates of its sales taxes, they are rated among the top 20 in the U.S.

    • South Carolina income tax is 0% - 7%
    • Sales taxes in South Carolina range from 6% - 9%
    • South Carolina average effective property tax rate is 0.55%
    • Gas tax is 24 cents per gallon of regular diesel and gasoline
    Virginia

    What is South Carolina most known for?

    South Carolina is known for so many things. Given that you’re contemplating moving to South Carolina, you’d most likely be interested in what the state is most known for. Here are the key things South Carolina is known for:

    • Sweet tea

      South Carolina is the birthplace of sweet tea and this fresh beverage is a part of the food culture.

    • The palmetto trees

      The palmetto trees that most people assume to be ornamentals to beautify South Carolina cities have got historical significance. The palmetto tree is a venerated symbol of liberty in South Carolina and was included on the South Carolina state seal in 1777 and later on the state flag in 1860.

    • The United States first commercial tea farm

      Commercial tea farming in the US started at the Charleston tea plantation at Middleton Barony (now Middleton Place) in 1799 and is now open to the public for viewing. The annual First Flush Tea Festival attracts a huge crowd and is accompanied by music and food.

    • Remarkable golf courses

      South Carolina golf courses are both world-renowned and locally- loved. Hundreds of golf courses are spread across the state but the most are in Charleston.

      Here are a few golf courses in the state.

      • Wild Dunes Golf Links
      • Azalea Sands Golf Course
      • Blackmoor Golf Club
      • Diamondback Golf Course
      • Grande Dunes Resort Club
      • Indigo Creek Golf Club
      • Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf
      • Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course
      • Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines
      • Arthur Hills Golf Course

    • Beautiful coastline

      With a 2,800- mile-coastline, South Carolina is a top destination for beach lovers and water sports fanatics. From bustling stretches of golden sand with easy access to family-friendly restaurants and attractions to more quiet and cozy spots, South Carolina's beaches offer plenty of options to be enjoyed.

    • Charleston's Historic District

      The National Historic District is packed with over 1,400 historic structures, mostly representing the18th and 19th-century architecture, including many distinctive Charleston "single houses. Most of the structures here follow Georgian, Regency, Federal, Adamesque, Classical Revival, Greek Revival, Italianate, Gothic Revival, and Queen Anne architectural styles.

    • Myrtle Beach

      A coastal city, Myrtle Beach is a popular tourist attraction with miles of beaches, 86 golf courses and 1,800 restaurants that attract over 20 million visitors each year. The city also hosts many festivals every year.

    • Shrimp and grits

      It is a popular and staple diet in South Carolina and the passion for the dish has resulted in the grooming of hundreds of diners and restaurants serving it across the state.

    • Friendly neighbors

      South Carolina is known for its welcoming nature and you’ll love the friendly attitude of neighbors. With a warm embrace and amiable attitude, they will make you forget you are new to the state.

    • Barbecue (mustard-based)

      While speaking about the cuisines in South Carolina, the barbeques there cannot be skipped for popularity, taste, and the unique style of preparation. What makes the barbeque different here is the use of the mustard sauce.

    • Carolina and Clemson sports

      Carolina- Clemson sports rivalry is all about American collegiate athletic rivalry when both the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson University Tigers come face-to-face for multiple sports events. Heated events take place between the fans of both sides often leading to tensions.

    • BMW plant

      The BMW manufacturing plant in Greer has the highest production volume of the BMW plants worldwide. Approximately 1,500 vehicles are produced every week. The 1,150-acre production plant has been in operation since 1994.

    What to consider before hiring a moving company in South Carolina

    Screen Movers Carefully

    You should try to find several movers in South Carolina, to begin with. You’ll whittle down your list through your screening process. The important thing is to really do your homework, not just go through the motions.

    For example, the existence of a license or certification doesn’t tell you whether it’s valid. And even a vetted mover could have a recent incident that a referral service or friend hasn’t been made aware of yet.

    Here are several things that you should ask for, South Carolina moving companies should be able to provide without hesitation:

    • Company name, physical address, and telephone numbers
    • Company web address and email address
    • Point of contact information
    • U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) or your in-state DOT, and Motor Carrier (MC) license information
    • Proof of valid insurance

    You can call the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to check the status of the moving and storage company’s licensing and insurance at (202) 366-9805 for licensing, and (202) 385-2423 for insurance. Or check online at safersys.org.

    Here are things to consider before hiring any moving company:

    • Reputation
    • Insurance
    • The company’s policy
    • Experience
    • Cost of service
    • Cancellation policy
    • Referrals
    • Get multiple moving quotes
    • Move during off-peak season (winter)
    • Get a binding-not-to-exceed moving estate

    Check each company with the Better Business Bureau and the American Moving and Storage Association, and inquire about complaints through FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at 888-368-7238 (open 24/7).

    Tip: While moving the home, safety of your belongings is the priority and you need a trustworthy mover at your side. Know the top-rated moving companies in South Carolina.

    Calculate Your Moving Costs

    How much should you budget for your move? This is often a tricky question to ask when you’re planning a relocation. Thankfully, you can figure that out easily by using our free moving cost calculator. Once you have a crystal-clear idea of how much your move will most likely cost, you’d be able to plan your budget better.

    Get Multiple Moving Quotes

    You shouldn’t rely on having just one moving quote from a South Carolina moving company. Rather, you should request several moving quotes from various movers. You can do all that on just one platform. You request once and get multiple moving quotes from various moving companies. This gives you the opportunity to compare costs before hiring any moving company.

    Also, you’ll get the chance to go over each item on the moving quote carefully with your preferred mover. If a certain amount is much higher or lower without any reasonable explanation for it, check the details closely.

    schools and university in Virginia

    Best Schools & Universities in South Carolina

    Living closer to a top-quality school district or a higher institution often pays off in the long run. Since you’re considering moving to South Carolina, chances are that you’d be interested in the top schools in the state.

    Here are the top-rated colleges, high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools in South Carolina.

    Best elementary schools in South Carolina

    • Lake Murray Elementary School
      Lexington 01 School District, Public, PK-5 | 767 students, Rating: 10/10

    • Ashley River Creative Arts
      Charleston 01 School District, Public, K-5 | 613 students, Rating: 10/10

    • Tega Cay Elementary School
      York 04 School District, Public, K-5 | 794 students, Rating: 10/10

    • Tigerville Elementary School
      Greenville 01 School District, Public, PK-5 | 278 students, Rating: 10/10

    • St. James Elementary School
      Horry 01 School District, Public, PK-5 | 767 students, Rating: 10/10

    Middle schools in South Carolina

    • Southwood Academy For The Arts
      Anderson 05 School District, Public, 6-8 | 346 students, Rating: 10/10

    • Chapin Middle
      Lexington 05 School District, Public, 6-8 | 835 students, Rating: 9/10

    • Gold Hill Middle School
      York 04 School District, Public, 6-8 | 709 students, Rating: 9/10

    • Riverside Middle School
      Anderson 04 School District, Public, 7-8 | 410 students, Rating: 9/10

    • East Cooper Montessori Charter School
      Charleston 01 School District, Charter, PK-8 | 377 students, Rating: 9/10

    Best High schools in South Carolina

    • Governor's School For Arts And Humanities
      Governor's School For The Arts And Humanities, Public, 10-12 | 235 students, Rating: 10/10

    • Governor's School For Science And Mathematics
      Governor' School For Science And Mathematics, Public, 11-12 | 273 students, Rating: 10/10

    • Academic Magnet High School
      Charleston 01 School District, Public, 9-12 | 664 students, Rating: 10/10

    • Greer Middle College Charter High School
      School Public Charter School District, Charter, 9-12 | 430 students, Rating: 10/10

    • Mayo High For Math Science And Technology
      Darlington 01 School District, Public, 9-12 | 286 students, Rating: 10/10

    Best Colleges & Universities in South Carolina

    • Rank 1. University of South Carolina, Columbia

    • Rank 2. Clemson University, Clemson

    • Rank 3. Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston

    • Rank 4. College of Charleston, Charleston

    • Rank 5. Furman University, Greenville

    • Rank 6. Winthrop University, Rock Hill

    • Rank 7. Coastal Carolina University, Conway

    • Rank 8. The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston

    • Rank 9. Lander University, Greenwood

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