Moving to South Carolina

With its diverse culture, rich history, southern hospitality, favorable weather, natural beauty, and a slower way of life, South Carolina offers a multitude of attractions and opportunities. The Palmetto State has a place for everyone, from its gorgeous coastline and low country to its majestic mountains. Whether you’re a young professional, family person, or retiree, South Carolina is where you can build the life you’ve always wanted.

Fascinated with South Carolina’s charms? If so, you’ll need to be ready for everything the state offers. To help, Great Guys Long Distance Movers has put together this helpful guide on the following topics:

  1. Things to Know Before Moving to SC
  2. Best Places to Live in the State
  3. Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Our Moving Services

Armed with this info, we hope you enjoy a smooth transition to the great state of South Carolina.

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Living in South Carolina: What to Know Before Moving to South Carolina

Relocating to South Carolina soon? Before you grab your moving boxes, there are several things you should know about the 23rd most populous state that covers 31,113 square miles and has over 5 million residents.

Pros and Cons of Living in South Carolina

Pros:

  • Healthcare: If you’re concerned about health issues, you’ll be happy to hear that South Carolina offers high-quality healthcare. This perk is particularly great news for retirees.
  • Weather: Though it can be hot and humid during the summer, there are more sunny days with blue skies and lower humidity compared to many other regions of the United States.
  • Southern hospitality: Of course, you can find unfriendliness in every state, but for the most part, folks are friendly and still possess that gracious Southern charm.
  • The pace of life: Looking for a more relaxed way of life? You’ve come to the right place! Things move slower down here, allowing you to experience the joy of simple living.
  • History: With cities like Charleston that predate the American Civil War, there’s plenty for history buffs to see – from preserved plantations and mansions to Fort Sumter.
  • Outdoor activities: With its numerous beaches, lakes, creeks, swimming holes, and much more, there’re endless ways to enjoy and explore the outdoor splendor that awaits.
  • Stunning scenery: South Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in the country. From its rolling hills to long coastline and barrier islands, the state’s beauty will steal your heart.

Cons:

  • Cost of living: Even though you can find some of the best housing deals here, costs for goods, healthcare, and utilities can be higher than the national average. 
  • Crime rate: The overall crime rate is higher than in most states. Keep in mind, however, that many towns in South Carolina have lower crime rates than the US average.
  • Resident satisfaction: When presented with well-being surveys, residents tend to give their home state a lower score compared to most other states.
  • Construction: Due to more people moving to the state, this means more construction. The increased building has resulted in higher noise pollution and traffic congestion.
  • Hurricanes: Weather is usually pretty favorable here, but one thing residents can’t escape is the threat of major hurricanes, which typically happen during the spring months.
  • Education: Currently ranked 42nd in the United States for education, there’s plenty of room for improvement across the board.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 0.57%. SC has the 7th lowest effective real-estate tax rate in the US.
  • Sales Tax: 6%. Coupled with local taxes, the total rate ranges between 6% and 9%, depending on the location you choose to live.
  • Income Tax: 0–7%. The state utilizes six tax brackets, which are the same for single or married.

Housing Market

To buy or rent? House prices in South Carolina are extremely reasonable, with one of the lowest median home values in the United States. Of course, this depends on the location. Cities like Charleston command a median home value of $316,000, but overall, buying a home can often be a cheaper option.

  • Median Home Value: $167,900
  • Median Rental Expense: $780 (1BR) and $936 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in South Carolina:

  1. Dillon
  2. Fountain Inn
  3. Bennettsville
  4. Mauldin
  5. Laurens
  6. Newberry
  7. Irmo
  8. Clover
  9. North Augusta
  10. Union

Cost of Living

According to PayScale, the cost of living in Charleston, South Carolina, is 4% lower than the US average.

Cost comparison with the rest of the US:

  1. Housing = 2% lower
  2. Utilities = 24% higher
  3. Transportation = 6% lower
  4. Groceries = 2% higher

Breakdown of median costs:

  1. Median Home Value = $167,900 (statewide)
  2. Median Rent = $1,061 per month
  3. Energy Bill = $208.23 per month
  4. Phone Bill = $221.97 per month

Using the Family Budget Calculator, we can take a quick look at the expense breakdown for a family of four with two adults + two children. Let’s look at two metro areas in South Carolina.

First, the Columbia metro area:

  1. Housing = $891
  2. Food = $746
  3. Childcare = $805
  4. Transportation = $1,163
  5. Healthcare = $1,297
  6. Other necessities = $660
  7. Taxes = $790
  8. Grand total = $6,352 per month or $76,224 per year

Next, the Spartanburg metro area:

  1. Housing = $734
  2. Food = $701
  3. Childcare = $730
  4. Transportation = $1,122
  5. Healthcare = $1,210
  6. Other necessities = $579
  7. Taxes = $627
  8. Grand total = $5,702 per month or $68,419 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate. This climate produces mild winters and hot summers. Depending on the region, the state sees between 40 and 80 inches of annual precipitation. Tropical cyclones and thunderstorms tend to hit during the summer months. Tornadoes primarily occur during spring.

Climate Facts:

  1. Coldest Month: January (55 °F)
  2. Hottest Month: July (90 °F)
  3. Wettest Month: July (5.5 inches)
  4. Average Winter Temps: 62 °F (Dec), 59 °F (Jan), 63 °F (Feb)
  5. Average Spring Temps: 70 °F (Mar), 76 °F (Apr), 83 °F (May)
  6. Average Fall Temps: 85 °F (Sept), 77 °F (Oct), 70 °F (Nov)
  7. Average Summer Temps: 88 °F (June), 91 °F (July), 90 °F (Aug)

Natural Disaster Threats & Risks:

  1. Hurricanes
  2. Tornadoes
  3. Floods
  4. Wildfires
  5. Thunderstorms
  6. Earthquakes
  7. Drought
  8. Severe winter weather
  9. Extreme heat

Economy & Job Market

According to the 2019 Economy Ranking by US News, South Carolina’s economy rates #16 in the nation. This ranking is based on three main categories: business environment (#34), employment (#23), and growth (#8). The median income is $27,909, and the state’s GDP comes in at almost $222 billion.

Top Industries:

  1. Aerospace
  2. Agribusiness
  3. Automotive
  4. Advanced Manufacturing
  5. Advanced Materials
  6. Distribution & Logistics
  7. Life Sciences
  8. Office & Shared Services

Top Employers:

  1. Cryovac
  2. Michelin
  3. Sonoco
  4. InterTech Group
  5. KEMET Electronics
  6. BlueCross BlueShield
  7. BE&K
  8. AVX
  9. Medical University of South Carolina
  10. Domtar

Looking for work in South Carolina? Here are some useful resources:

  1. SC.gov page: Find a Job – SC DEW
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

Primary Forms of Transportation:

  1. Road – 4th largest state-maintained system (41,500 miles total)
  2. Rail – passenger (Amtrak) and freight (CSX and Norfolk Southern)
  3. Airports – seven airports that also act as regional hubs

Primary Interstate Highways:

  1. Interstate 20
  2. Interstate 26
  3. Future Interstate 73
  4. Future Interstate 74
  5. Interstate 77
  6. Interstate 85
  7. Interstate 95

According to Best & Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, South Carolina ranks #29. Here’s a breakdown of other relevant rankings: cost of ownership & maintenance (#10), traffic & infrastructure (#24), safety (#47), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#27).

Things to Do

  • Food & Drink: DeSano Pizza Bakery, Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant, Proof, Westbrook Brewing, Magnolias, Husk, Early Bird Diner, Red Orchids, Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Patissier, Methodical Coffee, Cupcrazed Cakery, Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts, Charleston Farmers Market, Pink Bellies, Tattooed Moose, Harris Teeter, Sandy’s, The Ocean Room, Sweet Cream Company, Trattoria Lucca, The Ordinary, Crave Kitchen & Cocktails, Minero, Peninsula Grill, McGrady’s Tavern 
  • Games & Entertainment Centers: Escape Plan Columbia, Craft Axe Throwing (Greenville and Columbia), Pounce Cate Café, Broadway Grand Prix, Treasure Island Mini Golf, WonderWorks, Jungle Lagoon, Spy Glass Golf, The Track, Fun Plaza, Jack Axe Throwing, 710 Bowling, Molten Mountain Indoor Miniature Golf, Backstage Mirror Maze, Shipwreck Island Miniature Golf, Adventure Cove Family Fun Center, Jungle Safari Mini Golf, Frankie’s Fun Park, Atomic Virtual Arcade 
  • Nature & Parks: The Center for Birds of Prey, Falls Park on the Reedy, Hilton Head Island Bike Trails, Brookgreen Gardens, Savannah’s Playground, Huntington Beach State Park, Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Hitchcock Woods, Cherry Grove Beach, Shem Creek Park, Litchfield Beach, Cypress Gardens, GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail, Glencairn Gardens, Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Garden, Isle of Palms Beach, Hunting Island State Park, Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront, Hopelands Gardens
  • Museums: Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum, Pat Conroy Literary Center, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, North Charleston & American LaFrance Fire Museum & Educational Center, Aiken County Historical Museum, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Coastal Discovery Museum, Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, Fort Sumter National Monument, The Charleston Museum, Edmondston-Alston House, South Carolina State Museum, Chapman Cultural Center
  • Sights & Landmarks: Liberty Bridge, Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, The Church of the Cross, St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church, St. Helena’s Anglican Church, Memorial Stadium, Hunting Island Lighthouse, Beaufort National Cemetery, The Point, St. Michael’s Church, Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Old Sheldon Church Ruins, Kings Mountain National Military Park, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Mount Pleasant Pier, Hopsewee Plantation, Joe Riley Waterfront Park
  • Cultural & Theme Tours: Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Tour, Ghost & Graveyard Tour, Charleston Harbor History Tour, Beaufort History & Film Location Tour, Historic Charleston Walking Tour, The Ghosts of Liberty Tour, Daytime Carriage Tour of Historic Charleston, Pleasing Terrors Ghost Tour, Ghosts of Charleston Walking Tour, Lost Stories of Black Charleston Walking Tour, The Chicora Walk, Daufuskie Island History & Artisans Excursion, Greenville Haunted Segway Tour
  • Nightlife: Charleston Brews Cruise, Hypno Jimbo Entertainment, The Jazz Corner, Carolina Improv, Comedy Cabana, Charleston Historic Tours, The Original Pub Tour of Charleston, The Bowery, Carolina Comedy Club, Pool Bar Jim’s, Nick’s Cigar & Wine Bar, The Charles Towne Pub Stroll, Theatre 99, The Griffin, Hard Rock Café Myrtle Beach, Palmetto Brewing Company, The Icehouse, Fat Harold’s Beach Club, Pour Taproom: Greenville, The Electric Piano Bar, The Tasting Room
  • Water & Amusement Parks: Lulu’s Beach Arcade & Ropes (North Myrtle Beach), Wild Water & Wheels (Surfside Beach), Family Kingdom Amusement Park (Myrtle Beach), Hawaiian Rumble (North Myrtle Beach), Broadway Amusement Rides (Myrtle Beach), Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Park (North Charleston), Myrtle Beach Sling Shot (North Myrtle Beach), Frankie’s Fun Park (North Charleston), Ripley’s Haunted Adventure (Myrtle Beach), Splash Island Waterpark (Mount Pleasant)
  • Spas & Wellness: Back in Balance Wellness Spa, Seeds of Calm Spa, Ahh Green Spa, Heavenly Spa by Westin, The Awakening Room, Zendulgence Salon & Spa, Majestic Massage & Day Spa, Inner Peace Massage & Spa, Fountain Spa, Estuary Spa, LAVA 24 Fitness, Jiva Yoga Center, The Art of Massage & Yoga Therapy, FACES DaySpa, Earthling Day Spa, Beaufort Day Spa, Arum Spa, The Indigo Spa, Malama Massage Therapy, The Sanctuary Spa, Tao Massage Therapy & Bodywork Spa
  • Cool & Unusual: The Angel Oak, Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden, UFO Welcome Center, Old Slave Mart, Mars Bluff Crater, Poinsett Bridge, Stumphouse Tunnel, Tunnelvision, God’s Acre Healing Spring, Old Sheldon Church Ruins, Old Charleston City Jail, Poe’s Tavern, South of the Border, Oyotunji African Village, The Button Museum, St. Helena Parish Chapel of Ease Ruins, Unitarian Church Cemetery, HL Hunley Submarine, Neverbust Chain, Busted Plug Plaza, Charleston Tea Plantation.

Schools and Universities

According to State Ranking by Education by The Balance, South Carolina has the 4th worst eighth-grade reading scores in the nation. As for collegiate education, Education Rankings by US News & World Report places the state at #42. Despite the low rankings, South Carolina is home to several highly respected public school districts and colleges.

Top SC Colleges:

  1. The Citadel (Charleston)
  2. Coker College (Hartsville)
  3. University of South Carolina – Aiken (Aiken)
  4. University of South Carolina – Upstate (Spartanburg)
  5. College of Charleston (Charleston)
  6. Newberry College (Newberry)
  7. Lander University (Greenwood)
  8. Converse College (Spartanburg)
  9. Winthrop University (Rock Hill)
  10. Bob Jones University (Greenville)

Top SC School Districts:

  1. Fort Mill School District (Fort Mill)
  2. Lexington-Richland School District No. 5 (Irmo)
  3. Spartanburg County School District No. 6 (Roebuck)
  4. Clover School District (Clover)
  5. Lexington County School District No. 1 (Lexington)
  6. Spartanburg County School District No. 1 (Campobello)
  7. Charleston County School District (Charleston)
  8. Spartanburg School District Seven (Spartanburg)
  9. Dorchester School District No. 2 (Summerville)
  10. York School District No. 1 (York)

How to Become a South Carolina Resident

To establish official residence, a person must live in the state for 12 consecutive months. Residency is especially important for students who want to pay in-state intuition. The following documents are acceptable for proof of residency:

  1. Valid South Carolina driver’s license or ID card
  2. Valid South Carolina vehicle registration card
  3. Statement of full-time employment
  4. Proof of domicile in South Carolina
  5. License to run professional practice in the state
  6. Proof of paying SC income taxes during the previous year
  7. Ownership of SC residence (must be primary)

Moving to South Carolina (SCDMV)

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

If you move to the state, you’re required to obtain a South Carolina driver’s license to drive here. Most new driver’s licenses are valid for eight years. The state has a new driver’s license & ID card, called REAL ID, that will be required to enter a federal/military facility or take a domestic flight after September 30, 2020. To get a South Carolina license, you must:

  1. Visit an SCDMV branch
  2. Provide proof of:
    • US citizenship, identity, and birthdate
    • Current SC address
    • Social security number
    • Legal name change (if applicable)
  3. Take a vision test
  4. Pass knowledge, road, and vision tests (if a license is expired)
  5. Pay application fees

Vehicle registration:

New residents have 45 days to transfer the registration of an out-of-state vehicle. Follow these steps:

  1. Update your insurance info with new SC address
  2. Contact county of residence auditor’s office. Share VIN. Visit the office and pay the property tax bill.
  3. Visit an SCDMV branch (bring original paid property tax receipt)
  4. Complete Title Application
  5. Lien on vehicle: supply name and address of the company that holds your lien.
  6. Provide identification
  7. Show liability insurance information
  8. Leasing vehicle: must use Power of Attorney
  9. Pay applicable fees (IMF, title, and registration)

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A United States citizen
  2. At least 18 years old by the next election
  3. A resident of SC and the county & precinct
  4. Not under a court order declaring mental incompetence
  5. Not confined in public prison due to a conviction of a crime
  6. Not be convicted of felony or offense against election laws
  7. If convicted, have served entire sentence OR have received a pardon

Important: Upon release, voting rights are automatically restored to ex-offenders. Re-registration is required to vote. Also, there is no requirement for the length of residency. Voters can register at any time.

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Best Places to Live in South Carolina

Here are some of the top cities and towns to call home in the Palmetto State.

Upstate South Carolina

Five Forks

Population: 17,500
Median Home Value: $282,400

There’s a lot to love about this top Greenville suburb. Known for its friendly community, gorgeous weather, and beautiful homes, Five Forks is currently ranked #1 on the 2019 Best Places to Live in South Carolina list by Niche. Along with being the reigning champion overall, it’s also considered the best place to raise children in SC. 91% of residents own their homes and tend to be conservative.

So, what makes this community so great? The list is long: it’s safe, clean, and well-kept; you’ll find a strong sense of community; there’s a flourishing downtown; proximity to airport, cities, etc.; nice mix of well-known and new neighborhoods; schools are highly rated; job opportunities in sectors such as corporate, healthcare, retail, and higher education; and great shopping and dining.

Are you looking for public K–12 education? Top public schools serving Five Forks include Eastside High School, Sterling School, Brashier Middle College Charter School, Wade Hampton High School, and Langston Charter Middle School. Those in the market for a private school should consider Southside Christian School, Greenville Classical Academy, or Hope Academy.

Located just 12 miles southeast from Greenville and six miles north of Simpsonville, Five Forks is a fast-growing suburb that offers topnotch amenities, activities, and a close-knit community perfect for raising a family.

Greenville

Population: 68,000
Median Home Value: $187,100

Not to be confused with the North Carolina city of the same name, Greenville is a lively metropolis nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Greenville County. The majority of residents rent their homes and hold moderate views, while the public schools are highly respected.

Home to one of the best downtowns in America, Downtown Greenville also serves as the state’s largest business district. The city boasts myriad attractions: beautiful parks, family-friendly activities, live music, museums, events, festivals, restaurants, shopping – the list goes on. The Greenville housing market also offers great value. Coupled with a strong economy and lower tax rates – you’ll find Fortune 500 companies such as GE, Lockheed, and 3M here – and you’ve got a great recipe for a high quality of life.

Top public schools include SC Governor’s Schools for Arts & Humanities, Eastside High School, Sterling School, Brashier Middle College Charter High School, and Wade Hampton High School. Top private schools include Christ Church Episcopal School, Bob Jones Academy, First Presbyterian Academy, and St. Mary’s Catholic School. If you’re considering colleges, take a look at Furman University, Bob Jones University, Greenville Technical College, and Strayer University – South Carolina.

From Southern hospitality to leading urban amenities, Greenville is one of the United States’ fastest-growing cities and a great place to live.

Spartanburg

Population: 37,500
Median Home Value: $118,500

Our tour of Upstate South Carolina concludes with Spartanburg. Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city of less than 40,000 is a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of a large metropolis. About 54% of residents rent their homes, and the majority of residents tend to lean liberal. The public school system is also highly ranked, offering some of the best schools in the Upstate region.

Spartanburg offers several attractive selling points: active living with endless outdoor activities; diverse community with focus on development; affordable housing with a median home value of $118,500; top-rated schools (it’s also a college town); downtown Spartanburg which is home to assorted shops and restaurants; mild weather (snows once or twice a year); and numerous events & festivals including Retrofest, The Hub City Farmers’ Market, Spring Fling, Music on Main, and The Hub City Hog Fest.

Top public schools include Spartanburg Preparatory School, Dorman High School, Pine Street Elementary School, and Reidville Elementary School. Top private schools: Montessori Academy, St Paul the Apostle Catholic School, St. James Methodist Kindergarten, Eddlemon Adventist School, and First Baptist Weekday Preschool. Top colleges: Wofford College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Converse College, Spartanburg Community College, and the University of South Carolina – Upstate.

Are you looking for a city with Southern charm and a small-town feel? As one of South Carolina’s best-kept secrets, Spartanburg offers the perfect blend for families, professionals, and retirees alike.

Central South Carolina

Aiken

Population: 30,700
Median Home Value: $144,700

Named one of South Carolina’s best towns, Aiken holds many charms, particularly for equestrians. Located in west-central South Carolina, Aiken was once a winter colony in the 1800s. Now it’s an attractive community filled with a rich history, beautiful homes, and the ideal location to train and ride horses. Two-thirds of residents are homeowners and tend to be politically moderate, while the public schools are above average.

From its world-class horse training facilities to downtown Aiken and the historic buildings, Aiken offers a diverse mix of attractions and activities. Even if you’re not into riding, there’s still plenty to do. Take a walk in the 2,100-acre Hitchcock forest or check out the eclectic shops and restaurants of downtown. Enjoy the college-town atmosphere thanks to the University of South Carolina; or attend one of the numerous arts & entertainment events presented by the Aiken Civic Ballet, Masterworks Chorale, the Aiken Symphony Guild, or the Aiken County Historical Museum.

Have children? If you’re looking for public schools, consider Chukker Creek Elementary School, Aiken Elementary School, Millbrook Elementary School, MB Kennedy Middle School, and East Aiken School of the Arts. Are you looking for private education? Take a look at Mead Hall Episcopal School, South Aiken Baptist Christian School, St Mary Help of Christians School, South Aiken Presbyterian Kindergarten, and First Presbyterian Preschool. Aiken is also home to the University of South Carolina – Aiken.

Are you searching for a small, equestrian town with great open spaces tucked away from the congestion of the city? Aiken should make your list of best places to live in western South Carolina.

Columbia 

Population: 133,000
Median Home Value: $135,300

As the capital and second-largest metro area in South Carolina, Columbia is located right in the center of the state. This college town offers many job opportunities, an affordable cost of living, and a strong sports culture. The student community and residents share a solid bond, and with a median age of 28 years, Cola Town is an attractive destination for young professionals and prospective students. 55% of residents rent and tend to be liberal.

If you’re looking for entertainment, Main Street is the place to be. From the Columbia Museum of Art to the weekly Soda City Market, there’s a plethora of cultural interests, eateries, clubs, festivals, and arts & crafts. Home to several college campuses, there’s a strong sense of community solidified by a mutual love for sports. Go South Carolina Gamecocks!

Top public schools include Spring Hill High School, Oak Pointe Elementary School, Dutch Fork High School, Dutch Fork Middle School, and Harbison West Elementary School. Top private schools: Hammond School, Covenant Classical Christian School, St. Joseph School, Eastminster Day School, and Center for Learning. Top colleges: University of South Carolina, Columbia International University, Columbia College – South Carolina, South University – Columbia, and Fortis College – Columbia.

If you’re pining for a southern city with great employment and educational opportunities, or want to enjoy your retirement years surrounded by great amenities, Columbia offers affordability, diversity, and more.

Irmo

Population: 12,000
Median Home Value: $160,800

As the #1 suburb of Columbia, Irmo is a flourishing town located northwest of the capital in Richland and Lexington Counties. This Central South Carolina community scores high in public schooling, housing, family-friendliness, and diversity. Three-quarters of residents are homeowners and lean politically liberal.

Filled with kind folks and a close-knit community, Irmo is great for families. Previously a sleepy little town, it has transformed into a lively area filled with cute shops, restaurants, parks, outdoor living (Lake Murray is a popular spot), fun nightlife, events & festivals (including the Okra Strut), and delicious BBQ. On top of that, it’s only a couple of hours away from beaches and mountain adventures.

Home to some of the most distinguished schools in the state, Irmo offers great public education. Top public schools include Spring Hill High School, Irmo Elementary School, Ballentine Elementary School, River Springs Elementary School, and Dutch Fork High School. Private schools include Union United Methodist Church Kindergarten and Victory Bible Christian School. Several colleges, including the University of South Carolina, are about 15–20 minutes away in Columbia.

Families looking to raise children should put Irmo at the top of their list, especially with its proximity to Columbia and a host of other fantastic benefits.

Coastal South Carolina

Charleston

Population: 131,000
Median Home Value: $316,000

Charleston, the oldest and largest metro area in South Carolina, holds many charms. Located in Charleston County, the city sits along the coastline on Charleston Harbor. Equal parts Southern hospitality, historical attractions, foodie destination, and a slew of other elements, the Holy City offers a diverse and sophisticated mix. Residents tend to own their homes and hold moderate views.

With great job opportunities; excellent schools; historic sites like Fort Sumter; beautiful beaches & water activities such as Sullivan’s Island, Shem Creek, and Charleston Harbor; renowned food including Husk, The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene, and Hominy Grill; tons of activities such as downtown Charleston, West Ashley, and Mt Pleasant; art galleries & museums including The Charleston Museum, Gibbes Museum of Art, and Charleston Museum Mile; living in Charleston is hard to beat.

On the downside, traffic congestion can be horrendous, and the crime rate is higher than other places on our list. Summers can get extremely hot and humid, and the housing market is relatively overpriced. Nonetheless, Charleston has many pluses that far outweigh the negatives.

Top public schools: Academic Magnet High School, Charleston School of the Arts, Montessori Community School, Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School, and Orange Grove Elementary Charter School. Top private schools: Porter-Gaud School, Ashley Hall School, Bishop England High School, First Baptist School, and Mason Prep School. Top colleges: Citadel Military College of South Carolina, College of Charleston, Charleston Southern University, Trident Technical College, and Charleston School of Law.

Best places to live include Moncks Corner, West Ashley, Downtown, The Islands, and Summerville.

Combining mild-winter coastal living with big-city amenities and Southern charm, Charleston is a city that’s easy to fall in love with and hard to leave.

Myrtle Beach

Population: 32,800
Median Home Value: $152,000

Last but not least is South Carolina’s most famous vacation destination: Myrtle Beach. Though it may be a top spot for tourists and retirees, this beach town is ideal for people looking to live on the beautiful coast. 52% of residents own their homes and tend to be conservative.

With 215+ days of sunshine, Myrtle Beach offers a high quality of life. The town has many selling points: great weather; the reasonable cost of living; new housing; excellent healthcare; beaches for miles; water activities such as boating, swimming, and fishing; lower taxes; and activities galore. With a lot of transplants, there’s less of a Southern flavor, and Myrtle Beach gives off a vibe closer to living in Florida than other parts of SC.

Overall, schools are above average. Top public schools include Lakewood Elementary, HCS Early College High School, Palmetto Academy of Learning & Success Charter School, Caroline Forest High School, and Socastee High School. Top private schools are St. Andrew Catholic School and Chabad Academy.

Are you looking to trade chilly winters for sunny weather and coastal living? Myrtle Beach is quickly turning into more than just a tourist town, filled with year-round residents and fun things to do.

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How to Move to South Carolina

There’s no way around it – without proper preparation, moving can be overwhelming. Follow this relocation checklist to stay organized and on budget when moving to or from South Carolina.

Plan Ahead:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute! Give yourself at least 2–3 months to comfortably plan and carry out your South Carolina relocation.
  • Considering how complicated a move can be, it’s a good idea to get your hands on an organizer folder. This notebook will help you arrange moving lists, receipts, and other important papers.
  • Have family members or friends willing to lend a hand? If so, get them together to discuss your plan. Delegate the duties. These tasks range from packing and cleaning to donating or selling stuff.
  • Make a priority list of things that you must accomplish. Place it on the fridge or another visible place.

Provide Ample Notice:

  • Rent your home? Notify your landlord as soon as you know you’re moving. This notice will save you the headache of extra charges and the possibility of jeopardizing your security deposit.
  • Own your home? Give a heads up to your neighbors and real estate agent. You’ll want to have enough time to sell or rent your place.
  • Notify employees, care providers, lawn service, landscapers, and any other service providers of your upcoming move. Give them at least a month’s notice to adjust and find new work.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget about loved ones — plan on meeting up one-on-one. If not doable, give them a call or email with new contact info. 

Research & Select Moving Company:

  • Want to enjoy great availability and cheaper rates? Hire an SC moving company ASAP.
  • Compare at least 3–5 moving companies. Make sure they’re fully licensed and insured.
  • Once you’re ready, make your selection. Contact Great Guys today to see how easy it is.

Consider Storage Options:

  • Moving, renovating, or traveling soon? In any event, you probably need storage.
  • Many SC moving companies offer short-term and long-term storage options.
  • Need help? Great Guys makes it easy to find an affordable SC storage solution.

Purge & Downsize:

  • The purging process is a great way to save space and money.
  • Begin by touring your place. Make a note of the items each space contains.
  • Now, starting with one room, sort through your belongings.
  • Create piles of items you want to discard.
  • Once ready, sell online, throw a sale, donate, or recycle unused possessions.
  • Hazardous materials (gas, oil, aerosol cans, etc.) must be disposed of properly.

Begin Packing:

  • Fun time! Seriously, do yourself a favor and don’t procrastinate.
  • Are you packing on your own? Grab plenty of cardboard boxes, tape, packing peanuts, etc.
  • Start filling boxes with heavier items. When possible, pair belongings of similar size.
  • Once a box has been packed, fill it with peanuts or another packing material.
  • Clearly label every moving box and don’t forget to use enough tape.
  • Continue to pack at a steady rate to keep everything manageable.
  • If you’re unable to pack, we can hook you up with a cheap packing service.

Arrange Travel:

  • Driving? Plan for auto inspection and service at least two weeks before moving.
  • Flying? Purchase tickets ahead of time for best dates and rates.
  • Plan to arrive at your new home ahead of the moving company.
  • In South Carolina, you must register your out-of-state vehicle within 45 days of moving here.

Schedule Doctor Visits:

  • This item goes for yourself, partner, and kids: get checkups with the dentist, physician, etc. 
  • Take pets to see the vet and research South Carolina pet laws.
  • Prep kids for the move. If possible, take a trip to your new home.
  • Transfer all important records, including medical, school, and prescriptions.
  • Moving day is a hectic time. Plan for playdates, babysitting, and pet care.

Turn On & Off Services:

  • Schedule for utilities such as electric, internet, cable, trash, gas, etc. to be turned off.
  • One month before moving, set up new utilities and other services.
  • Fill out a change-of-address form. Visit your post office or go online (USPS site).
  • While you’re at it, update info for subscriptions and online services.

Hire Cleaners & Other Services:

  • Rent your home? Safeguard your security deposit by hiring a cleaning crew.
  • Own your home? Ensure a great showing with professional cleaning services.
  • Other services to consider painting, carpet or wood floor cleaning, and landscaping.
  • If doable, have your old place cleaned right after the movers empty it.

Celebrate With Loved Ones:

  • Spend quality time with loved ones. This to-do can be spread out over weeks or days.
  • This transition can be an emotional time. Be kind to yourself and others.
  • Say your farewells. Schedule a party, BBQ, group outing, or individual lunch dates. 

Week of Move:

  • Confirm arrival time, contact info, and other details with moving company.
  • Eat or give away remaining food in the kitchen to neighbors or charity. 
  • Clean your fridge and other appliances. This to-do will save weight and reduce the likelihood of mold.
  • Pack essentials box. Fill with meds, clothing, bedding, etc. for the first day at your new place.
  • The night before moving: relax, eat well, and get plenty of sleep.
  • It’s moving day! Be present in your old place to communicate with the moving crew.
  • Perform a walkthrough. Look for messes, items, or damage that you may have previously overlooked.
  • Finally, enjoy the journey. It’s just as crucial as the destination.

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Quality Moving Services from South Carolina Movers

Moving to or from South Carolina? Great Guys Long Distance Movers connects you with an assortment of quality services at low prices.

Long Distance Moves

Does an out-of-state move have to be hard? No way! With the right help, you can experience a drama-free relocation. Our network of long-distance movers has the right equipment, training, and experience to make your SC move enjoyable.

Intrastate & Local Moves

Renting a new apartment down the road? Buying a house in another county? In any case, it can be daunting having to move your entire household. Leave it to our pros. Our local movers make easy work of relocating within the great state of South Carolina.

International Moves

Whether for the military or a new corporate position, an overseas relocation takes a lot of preparation and understanding of international shipping logistics and laws. Luckily, we make it easy to find an international shipping company that will guide you through everything.

Small Load Moves

Moving out of a college dorm or other small space? Save yourself the hassle of DIY moving. We’ll hook you up with an affordable, quick small load moving service. Sit back while our moving partners get you in and out in a snap.

Furniture Shipments

Is it worth the risk of injury? How about property damage? If your answer is no, we’ve got the perfect alternative for you. Each company in our network of highly proficient furniture movers is experienced to tackle any size or type of furniture. Trust us; your back will thank you.

Piano Transport

Your piano or organ requires and deserves special handling. Whether you need to relocate to a new venue, church, or multi-level home, we can connect you with one of our fully certified piano moving specialists. Experience the difference with professionals that take every precaution during transport.

Art and Antiques

Need to relocate a private collection or art installation? Don’t risk damage by hiring any typical moving company. We make the process simple to find a specialized art shipping company in South Carolina. Rest assured that the pros will handle your fine art, antiques, or collectibles with the greatest care.

Storage-in-Transit

Require short-term storage? Whether you’re moving, traveling, or renovating, you may need an inexpensive storage solution. Great Guys can pair you with the right moving and storage company who will safely store your items in a climate-controlled warehouse.

Last Minute, Emergency, & Short Notice Moves

Regular moving can be taxing, but an unexpected move can send anyone over the edge. We understand exactly how stressful it can be. To help, we’ve made it super simple to source last minute movers in your area. Breathe a sigh of relief as they quickly transport your stuff.

Residential Moves

It’s time to pack up and move your entire household. Who should you hire? Instead of taking a shot in the dark, check out our top-rated moving partners. Easily select a residential moving service that caters to your precise needs and budget.

Packing Services

From electronics to fragile valuables, you don’t want to take any chances. Proper packing involves a lot of work. If you’re not up to the task, you can always hire packing specialists to do the job for you. From partial to full-service packing, our professional packers offer exceptional services at unbeatable rates.

Commercial and Office Moves

Relocating your office, retail business, or factory? Limit delays and downtime with one of our highly trained commercial moving partners. From local office moves to out-of-state corporate relocations, we can connect you with the perfect service to keep your business on track.

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We’ll connect you with the best South Carolina relocation specialists to help you with your South Carolina move. They’re affordable, insured, and licensed.  Click ‘Get Started’ now for your free moving quotes!

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Movers you can trust. Pricing you can afford.

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