Before moving to South Carolina, taking time to learn about the state’s cost of living, weather, and activities is essential. Understanding life in South Carolina before arriving means being able to better budget for movers and initial living costs, not getting hit with unexpected expenses, and having an easier time getting acclimated to the area.
South Carolina boasts a ton of natural beauty, from the Lowcountry marshes to the Blue Ridge Mountains. So it is no wonder that more and more people are using state-to-state movers to relocate to the Palmetto State to get a taste of the Southern lifestyle.
Here are some things you should keep in mind before diving in to hire long-distance movers and making the big move to South Carolina.
1. The cost of living is lower than in Florida
Florida is a well-known retirement state thanks to low taxes and other benefits for retirees. But with tourists, crowds, and rising housing costs, the state is no longer as affordable as it once was. The same can’t be said for its neighbor, South Carolina.
The cost of living in South Carolina is actually a few percentage points lower than Florida’s, making it a great state to retire to if you’re looking for an affordable place to live.
Additionally, South Carolina doesn’t have a social security tax and offers generous exemptions for other times of income received during retirement.
2. If you come from out of state, you'll be charged long-distance moving rates
If you are moving to South Carolina from another state, you’ll be charged by moving companies near you a flat rate that ranges between $0.60-1.00+ per mile traveled and pound of stuff moved for essential moving services that include loading, unloading, and transport.
If you have completed local moves before, you will know that they usually come with an hourly rate and a lower overall cost for the same types of service.
This is because local moves don’t have the same fuel, time, labor, and equipment overhead costs. So the same stuff you moved to a new city within your old state may cost more when crossing state lines to move to South Carolina.
Knowing this can help you budget better for your interstate move, get quotes from a few different long-distance moving companies, and save up in advance if needed.
3. Parking availability varies from city to city
Each city in South Carolina offers excellent amenities, but the only trouble might be parking. In bigger cities like Charlottesville, you may have to park your car a few blocks away from where you are going and walk or pay for parking at a rate of $2-$3 per hour.
In other areas, like Hilton Head, there is free parking, but it is limited and not always located near where you want to be. However, parking meters in the city are abundant, with rates starting at $0.25 per 15 minutes.
When it comes to parking in Myrtle Beach, only residents with a parking permit will be able to park for free around the city. Everyone else will need to pay for parking at meters or in lots.
4. You may want to opt for unpacking services
The weather in South Carolina is hot and humid, making unpacking a real pain if you’re doing it yourself. If you’re moving during the summer months, you may want to consider paying for unpacking services so that you don’t have to deal with the heat and humidity while trying to get everything sorted out in your new place.
You can get an idea of how much unpacking and other moving services will cost by using a free, online moving cost calculator. This moving assistance tool takes account of all your belongings and creates an accurate estimate of the cost for unpacking services from various movers in your area.
5. Getting around is easy
Getting around the state is relatively easy whether using a car or public transport. The state’s main interstates include I-95, I-26, and I-77 which all converge in the capital city of Columbia.
If you’re looking to save on gas money or avoid traffic, consider taking advantage of public transportation in your new city. Areas such as Charlottesville, Colombia, Sumpter, and Myrtle Beach all offer free or low-cost public transport, making it easy and affordable to get around without a car.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best city to move to in South Carolina?
Ultimately, the best city to move to in South Carolina depends on your lifestyle and budget. That being said, families find cities like Charleston and Myrtle Beach ideal because of the ample amount of activities and attractions.
On the other hand, young adults often prefer places like Columbia because of the vibrant nightlife and job market.
Do I need a car to get around South Carolina?
If you live in a city, it’s not totally necessary to have a car. Many of the state’s cities offer free or low-cost public transportation, making it easy and affordable to get around without a car. Outside of the cities, though, a vehicle will be necessary.
How much does it cost to move to South Carolina?
Moving to South Carolina will typically cost between $2,000 and $7,000, depending on the size of your home and the distance of your move.
Additionally, extra moving services like unpacking or storage will add to the overall cost of your move.
What is the best time to move to South Carolina?
The best time of year to move to South Carolina depends on your budget and preferences. Spring and fall are typically the most popular times to move because of the temperate weather.
However, those looking for a bargain may find that moving in the winter months can save them money.
Will movers transport a piano to South Carolina?
Yes, but not all may offer the service, so you’ll need to get moving quotes from a few different companies to ensure that you’re able to find one that can accommodate your needs.
Pricing for piano moving varies from $100 to $1000 or more, depending on the size of the piano and the distance it needs to be transported.
Make Moving To South Carolina Easy
Knowing what to expect before arriving in South Carolina can make a world of difference in your moving processes. When you’re prepared for the challenges and know how to make the most of the state’s resources, you’ll be on your way to enjoying your new life in no time. Use this guide as a resource during your move and take advantage of all South Carolina offers its new residents.