South Carolina’s beaches are beautiful, and the seafood you can get in the state’s coastal towns is not to be missed. After moving to South Carolina, why not make time to visit the state’s famous beaches, including Myrtle Beach, Kiawah Island, Hilton Head and Folly Beach? Those interested in Native American history, colonial history, African-American history, Civil War history and more will also find South Carolina fascinating.
Keep the following tips in mind when moving to South Carolina:
- You will not need a moving permit when moving to South Carolina, but the cities are generally busy during weekdays. Contact your local city ahead of time to find out if any parking restrictions apply.
- Roads get congested around Columbia and Charleston, especially during busy commute times, as well as along coastal areas and resort towns between May and late September.
- Highways and other roads can be heavily littered in South Carolina, and there are numerous fatalities each year from litter and debris-caused accidents. Be extra careful when driving.
- Summers get very hot, so try to avoid heavy lifting during the heat of the day.
- Springtime is the rainiest season, so try to avoid moving to South Carolina during this time of year.
- Watch out for gators! Gator attacks are rare, but it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t approach or feed alligators, or swim in areas that are known to host gators.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to South Carolina easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in South Carolina is slightly lower than the national average cost of living. Of course, your cost of living will depend on where you settle in the state and on the lifestyle you want to maintain. But in general, South Carolina is not one of the nation’s more expensive states.
South Carolina has some of the lowest property taxes of any state in the Union. The state’s progressive income tax system means it doesn’t have to use property taxes to make up for lost revenue, as happens in some states with no income tax.
Home prices in South Carolina have appreciated 152.0% higher than the national level from last year. Looking back three years at the median price in October 2019 compared to October 2022, prices have increased 47.5% in South Carolina VS 35.8% nationwide.
As of October 2022, the median price for a home in the state was $353,200, which is up 12.6% above last year’s median price. Comparing prices over the last three years, we can see they have decreased -2.4% from the peak of $362,000 in Jun-2022.
Winters in South Carolina are mild, particularly on the coast (inland communities will experience colder winter low temperatures). But if you’ve never experienced summer in the South, your first summer in South Carolina could come as a shock. It’s hot and humid, with afternoon thunderstorms and even tornadoes. Daytime temperatures are around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, while in the winter they vary from 60 degrees Fahrenheit on the coast to 32 or lower inland.
The entire state gets a lot of precipitation, particularly in springtime, with snow being reserved for inland and mountainous areas. You’ll most likely experience some severe storms after moving to South Carolina, as thunderstorms occur relatively frequently. Tropical cyclones, hurricanes and even tornadoes (though not as commonplace as in more southern states), still hit South Carolina regularly.
There are a number of renowned educational institutions that students of all ages can attend when moving to South Carolina. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to South Carolina. What follows are some of the top-ranked elementary and high schools, as well as some notable colleges:
- Elementary Schools: Buist Academy in Charleston, Sterling Elementary in Greenville and Mount Pleasant Academy in Mount Pleasant are some of the top-ranked elementary schools.
- High Schools: Three of the top ten high schools are Greenville Tech Charter High School in Greenville, Charleston School of the Arts in North Charleston and Wando High School in Mount Pleasant.
- Higher Education: The College of Charleston, Furman University, The University of South Carolina and The Citadel are just a few of the renowned higher educational institutions you can attend when moving to South Carolina. The state also features the South Carolina Technical College System with 16 campuses.
If you are moving to South Carolina and need government information, South Carolina’s Official State Web Portal provides many of the things you will need to know about your new state. Here are a few important facts and specific resources:
- You will have to pay an excise tax of 5 percent on any vehicle you own that has not been taxed in a different state.
- There are currently no toll roads in South Carolina, but there are plans to turn a number of Interstate routes such as I-22, I-26 and I-385 into partial toll roads in order to relieve traffic congestion.
- You can register to vote when you apply for your South Carolina driver’s license or by completing a form at your county’s board of voter registration.
- Trash & Recycling are usually handled by the municipality and paid for as part of your property taxes.
- You have 90 days to apply for a South Carolina driver’s license and 45 days to register your vehicle, which you must do in person at your local Department of Motor Vehicles.