Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Charleston, SC

Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Charleston, SC

  • Katherine Cox + Co.
  • 03/13/24

Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina, a city where the warmth of the sun matches the warmth of the community. Renowned for its stunning beaches stretching along the Atlantic, Charleston is a picturesque postcard come to life. It is beautifully preserved with a rich history, which is evident in its breathtaking architecture. Walking through the city, you're transported to another era with cobblestone streets underfoot and the gentle sway of palm trees overhead.

But what truly sets Charleston apart is its welcoming community. Residents of this city take pride in their homes and are eager to share its beauty and heritage with newcomers. Whether you're moving to Charleston, SC, for its career opportunities, stunning real estate, or undeniable charm, you're taking on a delightful journey.

Charleston's cost of living

Charleston's cost of living is approximately 12% above the national average, reflecting the city's desirability and the quality of life it offers. This figure is notably 25.4% higher than the South Carolina average, suggesting that Charleston's charm comes with a premium. However, this premium is matched by the city's robust economy and job market, with an average household income of $76,556. It is higher than the average household income across the United States, which is $69,021.

When it comes to housing, the median home value in Charleston is $493,200, with 58.4% of homes being owner-occupied. It reflects the Charleston's robust real estate market, offering a range of options from cozy downtown condos to Charleston, SC, luxury homes. The higher living costs, higher average income, and higher home values paint a picture of Charleston as a place where quality of life is prioritized and the community thrives together.

Charleston's job market and economic outlook

The city's job market is promising, with a positive growth rate of 0.7% over the last year. This upward trend is not just a flash in the pan; it's expected to soar by an impressive 43.34% in the coming years. Such robust growth significantly outpaces the anticipated US job growth rate of 30.54%, highlighting Charleston as a fertile ground for career advancement and business development.

The local unemployment rate further underscores the city's economic vitality, resting at a comfortable 4.0%. This figure is notably lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.0%, reflecting the successful match of job seekers with opportunities in Charleston's diverse employment landscape. The city's thriving job market is supported by various industries, including technology, aerospace, manufacturing, and the port-driven trade sector, contributing to a stable and growing economy.

Charleston's climate

The most pleasant months in Charleston are October, May, and April. July marks the peak of summer's embrace, boasting an average high temperature of 90°F. This sultry period also ushers in the most uncomfortably humid months, with July, August, and June often requiring a retreat to cooler, air-conditioned spaces.

Rainfall in Charleston is spread throughout the year, with an average annual precipitation of 48 inches. It ensures the city's landscapes remain lush and verdant but also means residents occasionally navigate through nature's showers. Winter in Charleston gently brushes the town with a cooler palette, making December the snowiest month. However, "snowiest" in Charleston translates to a mere 0.2 inches of snowfall, with the lowest temperatures hovering around a manageable 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Charleston's must-visit attractions

Charleston, SC, is a treasure trove of cultural, historical, and natural attractions, each offering a unique window into the soul of this enchanting city. The Charleston City Market is a vibrant hub of artisan crafts, local cuisine, and the spirited buzz of community life. On Rainbow Row is a kaleidoscope of historic homes painted in cheerful hues. This picturesque street captures the essence of Charleston's historic charm and is a favorite subject for photographers and artists.

Joe Riley Waterfront Park offers a serene escape with its sprawling lawns, waterfront views, and the famous Pineapple Fountain, symbolizing the city's warm hospitality. With its majestic oaks and historical monuments, White Point Garden provides a peaceful retreat amidst the city's bustling rhythm. For those seeking an immersive encounter with marine life, the South Carolina Aquarium offers insights into the region's diverse aquatic ecosystems.

The Charleston Museum, known as America's First Museum, delves into the rich tapestry of South Carolina's history and culture, and the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum aboard the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier offers a hands-on experience of America's naval heritage. Art enthusiasts will find a haven in the Gibbes Museum of Art, which showcases a stunning collection of American art focusing on the Southern United States.

Charleston's dining scene

The city's dining scene is a testament to its ability to blend tradition with innovation. Slightly North of Broad is a modern Southern & Lowcountry cuisine restaurant housed in an airy, 18th-century warehouse, serving dishes as rich in flavor as they are in history.

Magnolias takes a refined approach to traditional Southern cooking, serving dishes in a warm, sophisticated environment that feels elegant and welcoming. Circa 1886, the original carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion®, is a romantic escape into the old-world charm of downtown Charleston. Inspired by the rich culinary history of the South, its menu makes every meal a journey through the flavors that have shaped the region.

Peninsula Grill has elevated Southern fare served in a luxurious, roomy space. The restaurant's renowned coconut cake has become a must-try delicacy for anyone visiting Charleston.

Charleston's educational landscape

The Charleston County School District (CCSD) is the second-largest school system in South Carolina, reflecting the community's emphasis on education and providing ample opportunities for its students.

For families seeking an independent educational path, Mason Prep School is a non-profit, co-educational institution for grades kindergarten through eight. Mason Prep prides itself on fostering a nurturing environment encouraging curiosity, learning, and personal development. Charleston Day School, located in the heart of downtown Charleston's historic district, offers a co-ed private education for kindergarten through eighth grade. This school emphasizes a balanced education that combines academic rigor with character development, preparing students for high school and life beyond.

Ashley Hall takes students from kindergarten through grade 12. With a co-educational preschool program, Ashley Hall is dedicated to cultivating an all-encompassing learning environment. This private school is known for its commitment to excellence in education, focusing on each student's intellectual, artistic, and personal growth.

Charleston awaits

Charleston promises a quality of life that is both enriching and fulfilling. Katherine Cox was born and raised in this charming city. She is deeply committed to educating future buyers on every aspect of life in Charleston. With her organized approach, a keen eye for new listings, and unwavering dedication to meeting the individual needs of her clients, Katherine ensures a seamless and personalized home-buying experience.


My roots are grounded in The Lowcountry and I am committed to educating future buyers on every aspect of life here in Charleston. I am passionate about my job and dedicated to helping buyers and sellers get the most value out of my services!

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