Irmo, S.C.: Home to the world's largest known festival dedicated to the slimy green pod we all know and love: okra.
During most of the year, Irmo, South Carolina, a little suburb of Columbia, is home to just over 11,000 okra-loving people. In the spring, though, the annual Okra Strut festival draws more than 60,000 visitors. The festival began as a small fundraiser for a town library in 1973 and was so named the Okra Strut by local radio personality Gene McKay, who pronounced that okra was actually "ancient Irmese" for "farming community who thrives on okra." Whether you love okra or you don't, there is plenty to love about the city of Irmo. Average low temperatures never get below freezing and, although the summer months see sticky average highs in the 90s, the summer is when the city sees most of its annual rainfall. Steamy!
Apartments for Rent in Irmo
Unfortunately for the apartment-dweller, Irmo is pretty densely packed with single-family detached homes, so the options for rental apartments in Irmo are not huge, but neither are they nonexistent. Many of the homes are owner-occupied, but some rental houses are available. Be prepared to act quickly if you come across a home for rent, though, as they do not tend to stay on the market long. Most of the properties available for those looking to lease can be found along State Highway 76 and in the South Town Center area. Let's get you ready to find your new Irmo home!
How much will it cost?
Studio apartments for rent along the highway can be had really affordably. As Irmo is a good commuting distance to the University of South Carolina, it tends to be a popular option for college students, and a studio of your own is way cooler than sharing a lame dorm room with a pimply kid who smells like cabbage. Prices climb as you move up in number of bedrooms, and rentals in the Hollingswood Road area tend to be the highest priced in town.
When should you rent?
Student activity makes the end of summer a busy period, so avoid looking at that time if you can. Winter is a little quieter but, as the city is not made entirely of students (there's a military base nearby, as well as the regular 'burb-type folks, and don't forget about the crazy okra people), there's no rush season when everything becomes occupied or is vacated.
What do you need?
Besides the first and last month's rent, a decent credit score, and a moving van, you'll need a car in Irmo. Like most suburbs, walkability scores are low. While many rentals in the oldest city section (Highway 76) are within walking distance to shops and restaurants, you'll still need a vehicle to get to most of the places you'll want to go.
As you search for your new Irmo home, keep in mind that most of the property is owner-occupied, especially in the Spring Hill area. Your best bet is to concentrate your search in the central and southern city districts and, before you know it, you'll be frying up a big batch of okra in your new Irmo home!
Also keep in mind that because Irmo is small, there aren't any specific neighborhoods. But there's nothing stopping you and your friends from making up your own.
Living in Irmo
Friarsgate Park is the biggest park in Irmo and it offers a baseball diamond along with the traditional happenings of a park.
When you're looking to get shopping done, Irmo has the usuals like Kroger's, but don't forget to stop by the Irmo Station Shopping Center and the Irmo Village Shopping Center to do some more retail damage.
Irmo has plenty of places for you to stuff your face, too. Sun Ming Chinese Restaurant, Lizard's Thicket Restaurant, Firehouse Subs, and Bellacino's Pizza & Grinders are just some of the options available to locals.