"I've got South Carolina on my mind / Remembering all those sunshine Summertimes / And the beauty of the Autumn when the leaves turn to gold / Touches my heart and thrills my soul to have South Carolina on my mind / With those clean snow-covered mountain Wintertimes / And the white sands of the beaches and those Carolina peaches / I've got South Carolina on my mind." - Hank Martin and Buzz Arledge plant
Life in South Carolina

South Carolina is a state that has earned a reputation for boasting ample amounts of sunshine and sprawling, sandy beaches. Delicious Southern cuisine can be gobbled up in inviting restaurants across the entire state. People who move to the Palmetto State feel welcomed with open arms to a state that is famous for its Southern hospitality. There's a good reason that nearly 5 million people have decided to call South Carolina their home. Residents of the state aren't turning tail and running anytime soon. The food is rich, plentiful and always made with a little bit of love. The Southern lifestyle offers a balanced focus on both working hard and relaxing, and the rat race that many people have found themselves trapped in has not yet leaked into the laid-back state. The ample opportunities to find a cheap South Carolina apartment for rent make it an ideal state to move to. Use this guide to aid you in your apartment search.

Finding an Apartment in South Carolina

The great news about living in South Carolina is that it's not hard to find an apartment. There are plenty of openings in great areas, and rental prices tend to be reasonable. People who are thinking about moving to South Carolina from a big city like New York or Los Angeles are sure to be pleasantly surprised by the cost and abundance of apartment homes.

When to Rent

The most popular time for people to move to South Carolina is during the spring and summer seasons. You might be attracted to the state during these seasons because of the mild weather and ample opportunities to spend time outdoors, but you should be aware that you'll have more competition in warmer months.

If you're not interested in having to elbow the competition aside to get to your dream apartment, consider holding off on the search until the fall or winter. Waiting until the holidays arrive is ideal because of the high number of units that go empty at this time. Landlords who just want to fill a unit may be willing to commit to a lower rate over the entire rental term, so you could afford those little extras that may not have fit into your budget during other times of the year.

The bottom line when it comes to renting an apartment in South Carolina is that there are always beautiful units available in desirable locations. You don't have to limit yourself to looking during a specific time of year if that's not your thing.

Bring the Right Materials

Being prepared for your apartment search could mean the difference between getting the apartment of your dreams and crashing in your car for the night. Taking along some valuable tools also allows you to gather the information that you need to determine whether you could really tough the next year out in a South Carolina apartment rental. You know that you need to do your research before you head out the door, but how can you continue to be in investigative reporter mode when you arrive at a showing?

Start by throwing a pen and notepad in your car. If you're really desperate for writing tools, you could text yourself some quick notes about the place. Jot down your first impressions of the place to review later. For example, you're going to want to remember that you saw a mouse-sized hole in the wall, and you might get overwhelmed by that walk-in closet and forget all about the negative points of the place. Cameras can help you out, too.

If you decide that you absolutely have to have that 2 bedroom apartment for rent, you'll need to have financial documents and references. Take along your paycheck stubs, bank statements and a list of references just in case you fall in love with a place.

Cities in South Carolina

Charleston: Charleston boasts a population over 120,000. Can this many people really be wrong about choosing the perfect place to live? The city combines the small-town feeling with the amenities of a big city. Visitors will note that there's a relaxed, content feeling that residents convey.

Columbia: The city's population of over 130,000 makes it the largest city in the state. Columbia provides outdoor activities and cultural centers that are sure to enrich the lives of its residents. Friendly people are known to inhabit the city, and newcomers to the town may be surprised to get a warm greeting from total strangers wherever they go. In terms of the attitude of the residents, you can think of Columbia as New York's polar opposite.

North Charleston: This unique city is located across three different counties. The population hovers just above 101,000, so this is another South Carolina city that lets residents enjoy a combination of city and small-town living. Cost of living tends to be low in North Charleston, so anyone who can find a lucrative professional opportunity in the city can save money for having fun on nights and weekends.

Mount Pleasant: While it is the fourth largest city in South Carolina, the population of Mount Pleasant is only 69,357. It may be a bit of a culture shock for people who move in from the big city, but wouldn't you like to know the names of some of your neighbors? Wouldn't it be amazing to step out the door and put a smile on your face instead of the obligatory scowl that other cities seem to require of their residents?

The South Carolina Lifestyle

People who live in South Carolina tend to adopt a unique lifestyle that is attractive to residents. As mentioned above, people who live in South Carolina tend to take their fun time as seriously as their work time. Punching the clock to relax on the water, socialize in an amazing eatery or just lounge on an over-sized porch is something that you can expect to do when you adopt the lifestyle.

Outdoor living is popular in South Carolina because of the mild weather that residents enjoy throughout the year. Open outdoor spaces might take some getting used to if you're from a big city, and South Carolina has plenty of mountains, forests and water to explore.

Here are some fun facts that help to sum up life in the southern state.

  • Ballet is just one of the dances that have maintained popularity in South Carolina over the years. Dancing is a pastime that people of all ages enjoy in the Palmetto State.
  • What are those palmettos about, anyway? The tree that has become an icon of South Carolina grows along the coast. Palmettos give the state a tropical feel without the overwhelming, year-round heat and humidity.
  • Gardeners will find their paradise in the state. Beautiful blossoms adorn trees and sprout from the ground every spring. Green thumbs will never be bored in South Carolina.
  • Healthcare is a big deal in the state. Medical professionals can find ample employment opportunities, and you could get the treatment that you need if you have an aching back that just won't respond to normal methods of treatment. Imagine living a more comfortable life with top-notch medical care.
SC Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states
Here’s how SC ranks on:
Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Social Life
Commute time
State and local taxes
Public transit

Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released South Carolina’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"South Carolina renters expressed general satisfaction with the state overall," according to Apartment List. "They gave most categories above average and average scores."

Key findings in South Carolina include the following:

  • South Carolina renters gave their state an A- overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for South Carolina were weather, social life and pet-friendliness, which all received A+ grades.
  • The areas of concern to South Carolina renters are public transit (C) and commute time (C+).
  • Millennial renters are very satisfied with their state, giving it an overall rating of A-, while renters who are parents are less satisfied, giving it a C.
  • South Carolina earned similar scores to other Southern states, including North Carolina (A-) and Florida (B+) , but earned higher marks than Arkansas (F) and Mississippi (F).
  • South Carolina earned similar scores to other states nationwide, including California (A-), Texas (A) and Florida (B+).
  • The top rated states nationwide for renter satisfaction include Colorado, Alaska, South Dakota, Idaho and Minnesota. The lowest rated states include Wyoming, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana.

Surveyed Cities in South Carolina