Forest Acres has a lot to offer, and it's not difficult to find a great place to live in this sweet Southern suburb. If you're looking for an apartment to rent in Forest Hills, you can expect an affordable range, although exact prices may vary depending on the neighborhood. The city has an abundance of options, and finding rental condos and apartments will be a breeze - whether it's a studio, one-bedroom, or larger. Plus, it's a quiet refuge within easy commuting distance to Columbia - less than a 10 minute drive will put you at city center. If you've set your sights on Forest Acres, here are a few considerations you'll want to keep in mind when you begin looking for a rental property.
Set Your Sights
Before you find an apartment to inquire about, consider what amenities are important to you. Making a list of what you'd consider essential and what would just be nice is a great way to start the process. Just need a roof over your head? That should be easy to accommodate. Need a place that'll accommodate your pooch? That might narrow down your options. Would you like to be in an apartment complex? Do you really need a pool, or would that just be a nice way to cool off during those hot Southern summers? Keep in mind that because this is a suburban area, most people get around by car -- so if you're used to easy access to public transportation, you may need to rethink your options. Being honest with yourself about what you actually need and what would just be nice is an important first step in apartment hunting -- no matter where you're looking.
Depending on the type of rental property you're looking for, start your search about a month in advance. Vacancy rates are fairly high in this area, meaning you likely won't face too much competition when you look for your new abode. Decide whether you'd prefer a complex or a condo-style offering -- there are great options in Forest Acres for both. Be sure to gather the necessary paperwork beforehand, so the process runs smoothly. Keep in mind you'll probably need to budget for an application fee and credit check, and of course, if you have a four-legged friend, be sure to have his vaccination paperwork, and give the landlord a heads up -- some apartments have restrictions on pets based on weight or breed.
In South Carolina, tenants need to give notice to vacate anywhere from 30-90 days, depending on the situation. So, if you're looking to move three months from now, chances are you might not find much on the market. But, wait another month to the sweet spot between the two, and you'll have better luck. Start keeping your eyes peeled, and if you see something you like, call the landlord. Make sure to specify up front your desired move-in date, pets and who would be on the lease. If you're moving from across the country, or even across the state, finding a furnished apartment in Forest Acres is also a possibility and might make the transition easier. You may even want to consider a month-to-month lease; that way, if you change your mind about the neighborhood, you'll be able to easily switch.
Forest Acres has a little corner for everyone, but you can bet no matter where you end up, it'll have elegant architecture and southern charm. Many of the neighborhoods are close-knit and friendly, which would be great for newcomers to the area.
Heathwood: This area of Forest Acres is swanky and elegant. Beautiful old homes showcase lovely landscaping, especially in the spring. It's also home to Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, which has won three National Blue Ribbon School awards from the U.S. Department of Education. If you're looking for entertainment, Heathwood has plenty of local charm, and is home to national favorites like Bonefish Grille as well.
Forest Hills: The Forest Hills neighborhood is the historic district with lovely homes and southern hospitality. It's a close-knit community that hosts events like wine and cheese parties, ice cream socials and family picnics.
Melrose Heights: As a protected architectural conservation district, you can bet this neighborhood has a lot to offer. The Historic Columbia Foundation has even made a walking tour to feature the great homes in this area.
The balmy climate is one of the main draws to living in South Carolina - fresher air a step away from the city. Lows of 40 degrees may seem cold to native Southerners, but if you're from other parts of the country, it'll seem downright tropical. And, the tremendous weather is just one excuse to take in Forest Acres' great outdoorsy offerings.
There's a farmers market all summer long that offers yummy local produce and products. If music is more your style, the quarterly outdoor music festival Rooftop Rhythms is a fun way to let loose. Plus, Forest Acres offers bountiful parks, like Forest Lake Park, and lakes for an opportunity to relax. If you're willing to travel a bit further, a weekend trip to Myrtle Beach to the east or the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west is as easy as a quick two-hour drive in each direction. Centrally-located Forest Acres has all the benefits of small-town life, with the excitement that proximity to an urban setting provides.