Finding the most affordable places to live in South Carolina is challenging even if you're a native. State-wide, South Carolina has a median home value of $280,600. When you add in maintenance costs and property taxes, it can be difficult for many to buy and own a home. Because of that, we scoured the data to find the most affordable cities in South Carolina, looking at median home prices, cost of living, and other factors to find your best options.
Looking for the most affordable places in South Carolina is a start, but you'll save even more money by working with a great agent. The top South Carolina real estate agents know the local market and where to find pockets of more affordable homes. They can also help negotiate a better price when you do find your dream home.
Ready to buy? Clever is a free service that connects you with the best real estate agents in South Carolina from top brokers, like Keller Williams and RE/MAX.
With a Clever agent, you'll get instant MLS alerts on affordable South Carolina homes, on-demand showings, and an expert negotiator on your side. Even better? Eligible home buyers get a check for up to 0.5% of the purchase price back after closing!
Ready to learn more about the most affordable places in South Carolina? These are our top picks.
1. Downtown Charleston
Downtown Charleston highlights a fine blend of college students and families along with residents who have lived in Charleston all their lives. Downtown gives off a a European vibe with cobblestone streets and wrought iron gates in front of many of the homes.
You’ll find both 19th century-style homes with beautiful architecture mixed in with more modern-style homes many showcasing window boxes and well-maintained courtyards.
Indeed, downtown is home to Rainbow Row, a street lined with 13 colorful and picturesque, historic Georgian houses.
Home values are expected to rise 2% in the coming year with downtown median home prices listed around $377,000.
Everything in the downtown area is highly walkable with countless restaurants, historic sites, museums, and parks, including the eight-acre Waterfront Park making it perfect for families as well as singles who are looking to be right in the action.
2. Mount Pleasant
The neighborhood of Mount Pleasant consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Charleston. While it can border on the pricier side with median homes around $393,800, the area is popular because of the excellent schools, low crime, and steady employment.
Mount Pleasant is extremely family-friendly with 84% of residents married and over half have children under the age of 18. The neighborhood offers plenty of parks, dining options, close access to downtown, grocery stores, shopping malls, and an incredible farmers market.
And with Shem Creek running through the main portion of Mount Pleasant, you’ll enjoy scenic walks, fishing, and can imbibe at the numerous restaurants and bars lining the waterfront.
Finding a home to buy here is easier with a local agent! With Clever, you'll find a great South Carolina realtor who can help with your home search.
Earning a place on the National Register of Historic Places, the historic district of Summerville showcases homes that date back to the Civil War era. The neighborhood has a distinct suburban feel with impressive homes and quiet streets.
Many families and young professionals are attracted to the area for its top-rated schools as well as its proximity to big companies like Google, Volvo, and Boeing. Certainly, Summerville makes commuting to work or school easy with close access to I-26.
You’ll find homes in Summerville more affordable than in other surrounding neighborhoods with the median home price of $182,800. The cost of living in Summerville is only 9% higher than the rest of the state compared to Kiawah Island, SC where the cost of living is 137% higher.
Located by the Goose Creek Reservoir, you’ll find plenty of beautiful hiking trails, kayaking, and scenic nature vistas in the Hanahan neighborhood.
Hanahan is a small, suburban community with quiet roads and great schools. Many young families are drawn to the area for not only better education options but also for the local mom-and-pop bar and restaurant scene.
Additionally, Hanahan’s home prices are an attractive option for many young buyers with the median home price around $189,800.
And while you are more removed from the action, the area is close to downtown as well as the coast with a reasonable work commute time of around 22 minutes.
5. Sullivan’s Island
Sullivan’s Island is right on the water providing amazing views and miles and miles of beach. Living in this small city of around 2,000 people will feel like you’re on vacation every day with plenty of amenities and great restaurants and bars right on the water.
Many young couples and retirees settle down in this area enjoying water activities and a lively nightlife. However, you’ll want to check your budget as homes here are mostly high-end luxury, modern-style homes with the median home value at $1,248,900.
If you can afford it, you’ll also enjoy Sullivan Island’s highly rated schools, low crime, low unemployment rate, and great waterfront views.
All of these neighborhoods provide great and diverse options in terms of housing and neighborhood feel. So whether you’re looking for a quiet, affordable suburban area to raise your kids or perhaps a luxury lifestyle on the coast, Charleston has a neighborhood for you.
How to find affordable homes in South Carolina
Whether you want to live in a bustling South Carolina metro area or a tranquil small town, there's plenty to love in South Carolina. Working with a local real estate agent is the best way to find the most affordable places to live in South Carolina.
Ready to start house hunting? Clever is a free service that can match you with the best realtors in South Carolina. And, when you buy with a Clever partner agent, you could get 0.5% of your purchase price back as a check after closing. On a $300,000 home, that's an extra $1,500 back in your pocket. That's real money!