Is it better to rent or buy in Charleston?

The decision of whether to rent or buy in Charleston will significantly affect both your lifestyle and your financial health. However, the right decision greatly depends on your life situation and your regards to the future. Therefore, it would be best to examine both options in-depth since South Carolina has become one of the most popular moving destinations, which is a fact that has an impact on the home value. With that said, most people consider buying a better option than renting, as it allows you to build equity. Still, renting also has its advantages.

Thus, we will help you conclude decide what the best option for yourself and your family is. Enjoy reading!

Rent vs. buy

The housing market in Charleston is continually growing. Experts predict it will be among the top 10 U.S. housing markets in the next couple of years. The reason for this is relatively affordable housings, solid local economic expansion, and ongoing job growth.

So, it's no wonder why you and many people decided to move here. One of the reasons we wrote this article is to help you get started. Once you decide which option to go for, you will only need to pack your stuff and leave. Online databases that can connect you with the most trustworthy movers for your relocation to S.C. is the best place to find help. Then, after you've successfully moved to your new home or rental, it's time to settle in and enjoy Charleston to its fullest. To help you get to this step, let's consider both possibilities.


According to recent research, Charleston is one of the best renters’ markets in the U.S. It got a high rating due to its active marketplace, affordability of rental housing, and excellent life quality. An additional reason for this is the imbalance between the supply and demand of accommodations.

Renting offers predictable monthly expenses and more flexibility.


Let's now consider the reasons to rent a home.


  • Offers flexibility


Renting in Charleston will allow you to get familiar with the area. Having this experience and knowledge will lead your decision of whether to rent or buy in Charleston. It also means you can move each time your lease ends.


  • A good option for those whose carrier is uncertain


Even though Charleston's job market is constantly growing, it's always been dominated by tourism, transportation, and technology. If these are not the areas of your career choices, or you are uncertain whether your new job will require you to move, the safest option is to rent.

Additionally, if your income is uncertain at the moment, renting will allow you to "buy time" until you are sure you can afford to purchase a home.


  • Better for people with a weaker credit report


You might have had some tough times that left a blemish on your credit report. However, this doesn't mean you should despair. On the contrary, renting will allow you to create a history of on-time payments. This way, you will repair your credit score and be one step closer to becoming a homeowner.


  • No maintenance


Finally, if you are a person who travels and moves a lot and isn't always around to perform regular home maintenance, then renting would be the better option for you.

Let's not forget there are also downsides to both renting and buying in Charleston. Some downsides to renting are having no control over fluctuating rents or a poor landlord who doesn't provide proper home maintenance. Additionally, you have no control over the potential sale of the home you are renting or some other reason you will have to move out unexpectedly.

Knowing the pros and cons of renting, let's take a look at the key market stats.

  • Over the past year, rents in Charleston have increased by 9%.
  • More than 50% of the housing units rent for $1000-1500 a month.
  • Renters already occupy around 47% of housing units in Charleston.
  • The neighborhoods with the lowest rents are Four Mile Hibernian and Rosemont, with an average monthly rent of around $1100.
  • In contrast, the neighborhoods with an average monthly rent of $2875 are Downtown Charleston, South of Broad, and Harleston Village.


As the consultants from unform us, the number of homebuyers who seek their services to find some of the finest moving companies is constantly growing. This fact is in accordance with what is stated in Charleston Regional Business Journal that most properties get sold in less than a month.

Many residents and employers are drawn to this market because of the high quality of life, the growing job market, and a strong economy.

The demand for homes in Charleston is high, while there's an inventory shortage.


Knowing this, let's see what the advantages of owning your dream home in Charleston are.


  • Build equity


When paying rent, the money goes to your landlord. While when you own a house, you pay the mortgage and increase ownership stake with every payment you make. The general rule says that living in the house for at least five years compensates for the cost of purchasing and maintaining your property. 


  • Tax savings


There are significant federal and South Carolina tax savings accessible to those who own a home. This way, the federal government encourages people to purchase a property rather than rent it by deducting their mortgage interest and property taxes.


  • Freedom


The most common advantage homeowners mention is that they enjoy having freedom of choice. You get to decide how often and when to maintain it; you decide on the style and the wall color. 

Personalizing your home the way you want goes in favor of owning when deliberating whether to rent or buy in Charleston.



  • Always a good investment


The real estate market has grown slowly and steadily over the years. Buying a house should be where you want to raise your family, take pride in homeownership, and improve it over time. This way, if someday you decide to upsize or downsize, you will have the means to succeed.


  • Cheaper in the long run


Finally, we have to be realistic and say that homeownership costs. For example, if you own a home, you are the one who repairs the broken roof, replaces appliances, and repaints the house. So, if you are a homeowner, it would be a good idea always to have some money saved in case of unexpected problems and home maintenance. Therefore, more significant responsibility can be considered as a downside to buying.

However, experts believe it is cheaper and more profitable to own a home than to rent it. You can use some of the rent vs. buy online calculators to help you determine the best option for you. 

Rent vs. buy online calculators are an excellent option to help you decide.


Ultimately, take a look at the actual market data.

  • Home values in Charleston have increased by 11,4% in the last year. More remarkably, they have increased by more than 30% over the past five years. As a result, the average median sales price is currently $536,000.
  • However, the inventory of homes for sale has decreased by nearly 74%.
  • The most affordable Charleston neighborhood is Village Green, where you can get a median home for $308,000.
  • Furthermore, the most expensive neighborhood is South of Board, where a median listing price is $1,6 million. 

The takeaway from rent or buy in Charleston

At the end of the day, the decision of whether to rent or buy in Charleston falls entirely on you and your family's plans for the future. Whichever option you go for, make sure you meet the locals, create friendships and enjoy Charleston to its full potential.


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