Reasons to Live in Charleston, SC
When we talk to clients about living in Charleston, we're always interested to hear the different reasons they have for moving to (or remaining in) Charleston. Over the years we've heard hundreds of reasons, but we've managed to narrow it down to the top reasons to purchase Charleston Real Estate:
South Carolina's Best Beaches
One of the most popular reasons people move to Charleston is that they want to live near the beach. With 6 beaches in Charleston to choose from, we have to ask clients what kind of beach they're looking for. Folly Beach is popular with surfers, and it has a more laid back feel - some people have likened it to Key West for its funky and shabby atmosphere. If you're looking for seclusion from the city, then a private beach like Kiawah, Seabrook, will be the best areas to start looking. Isle of Palms has an upscale and newer feel, even though it's a highly popular public beach. Its beach resort on the northern end, or Wild Dunes, has fantastic golf and tennis amenities. Sullivan's Island is one of the most historic beaches on the East Coast since its Fort Moultrie dates back to the Revolutionary War.
Charleston's Culture and History Set it Apart
Charleston's culture and role in history have made it one of the top ranked international tourism destinations. Since tourism is one of Charleston's biggest industries, you'll find plenty of things to do. Pick up almost any travel magazine, and you'll find a list of local restaurants to choose from since Charleston is known as a foodie hot spot. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the numerous public parks, museums, art galleries, historic sites, South Carolina aquarium, plantations, performing arts venues, and shopping.
Outdoor activities include going to the beach, kayaking, and boating. Since the port city is only 60 miles from the Gulf Stream, it hosts many fishing tournaments throughout the year. There are also more than a dozen marinas and more than 20 public boat landings throughout the area! Charleston also boasts some of the nicest golf courses and tennis facilities in the southeast. Most of the entertainment that is tourist driven is in historic downtown Charleston. However, you'll find a range of activities throughout the Charleston area.
Many Young Professionals Stay in Charleston after Graduating
Since Charleston has several colleges and universities, there are a lot of students in the area. And, you'll find that there is truth to that saying that once you go to College of Charleston (or any other colleges in the Charleston area) you never move away. The two owners of this website are perfect examples! Many of the students who attend the Citadel, Charleston Southern, and College of Charleston choose to stay in the area after they graduate. Charleston is also home to the state's medical university, which is MUSC (the Medical University of South Carolina). A lot of these graduates also opt to live in Charleston because it's considered one of the state's major medical areas.
A Fantastic City to Raise a Family
Buyers will find a great selection of homes and neighborhoods to meet their families' needs. Also, Charleston has some of the best public and private schools in South Carolina. Charleston has tons of kid-friendly places, too, like the SC Aquarium, the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry, and county parks. Parents are also pleased with the highly ranked children's hospital at MUSC.
Charleston is a Dream Town for Retirees
AARP has named Charleston as one of the top five Dream Towns in the United States for retirees. Home buyers looking to retire in Charleston are very pleased to learn that the city has some of the best medical care in the state. This is in large part due to many offices and other patient care facilities associated with the medical university. Relatively low income and property taxes also help to stretch their retirement income further. Retirees looking for age restricted communities will find plenty of options in Summerville (especially for newer construction). Even a decade ago, it was very hard to find 55+ communities in Charleston, but we're seeing a sharp increase in these inventories to meet a growing demand for them. Or, retiring home buyers forego the 55+ age restriction and instead choose where to live based on the community or location they like best. Since Charleston has such a wonderful mix of people, they might prefer a neighborhood with other retirees as well as younger and older families.
Great Job Opportunities and a Strong Local Economy
A lot of buyers relocate to Charleston for the jobs. Our economy continues to thrive - in the past two years, over $1 billion has been invested to create new businesses and expand existing ones. Perhaps the biggest recent additions Charleston's economy are Volvo and Boeing. The city's economic diversity is a major reason for its long-term success.
The biggest industries involve tourism, the ports in Charleston's harbor, the military, and the medical field. Tourism is Charleston's biggest industry, with an estimated 5.1 million visitors annually who bring Charleston about $5.4 billion each year and create about 78,000 jobs in the area. As Charleston's international reputation in travel magazines and other sources increases, the additional dollars should continue to grow our local businesses.
As the fourth biggest container port in the United States (and one of the top ports on the southeast coast), Charleston relies heavily on this industry for the local economy. The Port of Charleston contributes about $3.3 billion annually to the economy. Charleston is an international port city that interchanges with about 150 countries worldwide. Approximately 2100 ships sail into Charleston's harbor each year to reach the five terminals located throughout the harbor's waterways.
The military brings over 27,000 jobs to the Charleston area. Most of these jobs relate to the Navy, but the Charleston Air Force Base also makes up a good percentage. One estimate shows that the military accounts for about $3.28 billion. Besides tourism, the port, and the military, Charleston also relies on large corporations like Bosch and Amoco to continue to expand its economy.
Mild Weather Means Outdoor Enjoyment Year Round
Residents of Charleston enjoy a subtropical climate with mild winters. From December to February, normal temperatures range from about 36 to 62 degrees Fahrenheit. It rarely snows during Charleston winters, and outdoor activities slow down only a little for residents. People who like taking a daily jog or a walk can still enjoy their routines, even in the middle of winter. In the summer's hottest months (May through August), normal temperatures range from about 62 to 91 degrees. The hottest weather peaks around the middle to end of July. On the very hottest days of the year, temperatures soar to just over 100 degrees! Only a handful of days each year reach these temperatures, but the warm weather in general attracts both residents and visitors to the local beaches.
Charleston's mild weather appeals to many buyers, especially those relocating from northern cities. We talk to a lot of clients in the Michigan and Ohio regions of the country, and they often tell us that they're tired of shoveling snow! In fact, I think we've worked with clients from almost every northern state. For most of those clients, the weather in Charleston was on the top of their lists for moving here (lower taxes and real estate prices were usually also ranked highly as reasons to move).
Charleston Metro Area Quick Facts
- Population: 744,526
- Total Area (including land and water): 3,163 sq. miles
- Median Household Income: $61,993
- Median Age of Residents: 33.2
- Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
The reasons to live in Charleston are as varied as the people who give them. Charleston attracts all kinds of people - singles as well as families, Northerners and native Southerners, young professionals and retirees (and all the ages in between). If you are ready to search for your dream home, use our Charleston Real Estate MLS Search to tailor your home search using factors such as price, year built, square footage, school, or even neighborhood amenities!
Start Your Charleston Home Search:
Need more information about Charleston Real Estate?
For the best assistance in buying or selling Charleston area homes, contact The Keadle Group online or call 800.804.2187.