These Are The 10 Best Places To Buy A House In South Carolina For 2019


Using science and data, we can tell you which places in South Carolina have seen home prices rising and people flocking over the past year.

Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers. Article updated for 2019.

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There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in South Carolina:

Should I buy a place or rent?

Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉

And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in South Carolina, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Palmetto State.

To do that we are going to look at places in South Carolina that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.

The best deal in South Carolina at the moment? That would be Fountain Inn according to our analysis.

Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in South Carolina for 2019:

  1. Fountain Inn (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Lake City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Lancaster (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Bluffton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Hanahan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Clover (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Laurens (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Fort Mill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. North Charleston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. West Columbia (Photos | Homes For Sale)

The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.

If you’re not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in South Carolina and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in South Carolina.

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in South Carolina for 2019?

We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.

So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in South Carolina. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in South Carolina with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.

To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:

  • Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
  • Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
  • Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)

We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for South Carolina with the following caveats:

So of the 394 cities and towns in South Carolina, only 63 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 63 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.

Turns out that Fountain Inn is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Palmetto State.

Read on for more on these places.

Fountain Inn, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,455
Median Home Price: $129,800
Population Change: 5.1%
Home Price Change: 8.7%
More on Fountain Inn: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The Cannon Building, Fairview Presbyterian Church, Fountain Inn High School, Fountain Inn Principal’s House and Teacherage, McDowell House, Robert Quillen Office and Library, Tullyton, and F. W. Welborn House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lake City, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,697
Median Home Price: $84,900
Population Change: -0.8%
Home Price Change: 22.3%
More on Lake City: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The Lake City area was originally part of Williamsburg Township, which was first settled by a group of Scots-Irish in 1736. It was first called “Graham’s Crossroads” and then “Graham”, after Aaron Graham, a land owner around the crossroads that now form Church and Main streets in Lake City.

Lancaster, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 8,948
Median Home Price: $119,900
Population Change: -0.3%
Home Price Change: 13.5%
More on Lancaster: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The Robert Barnwell Allison House, Craig House, Cureton House, Thomas Walker Huey House, Lancaster Cotton Oil Company, Lancaster County Courthouse, Lancaster County Jail, Lancaster Downtown Historic District, Lancaster Presbyterian Church, Mount Carmel A.M.E. Zion Campground, North Carolina-South Carolina Cornerstone, Perry-McIlwain-McDow House, Leroy Springs House, Wade-Beckham House, and Waxhaw Presbyterian Church Cemetery are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bluffton, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,164
Median Home Price: $244,100
Population Change: 8.9%
Home Price Change: 10.4%
More on Bluffton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the area comprising southern Beaufort County was known as Granville County of St. Luke’s Parish. The Yamasee people were invited to settle in the area by Lord Cardoss, leader of the nearby Scottish settlement in Beaufort. The Yamasee established ten towns with over 1,200 inhabitants in the area. In 1715, the Yamasee War broke out, and after several years of fighting, the Yamasee migrated to Florida, opening the “Indian Lands” to European settlement. In 1718, the Lords Proprietors carved the area into several new baronies, including the Devil’s Elbow Barony that contained the future town of Bluffton. The first titled owner of the land was the Barbadian planter Sir John Colleton. Following the departure of the Yamasee people, colonists began building plantations in the Bluffton area in 1728. The Colletons prospered by growing cotton, corn and indigo.

Hanahan, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 21,729
Median Home Price: $205,700
Population Change: 4.9%
Home Price Change: 8.4%
More on Hanahan: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Clover, SC

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,731
Median Home Price: $125,000
Population Change: 2.5%
Home Price Change: 3.4%
More on Clover: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Clover was founded just north of an earlier settlement, New Centre, which had waned during the Civil War. The pivotal American Revolutionary War battle of Kings Mountain occurred approximately eight miles to the west of modern-day Clover, on October 7, 1780.

Laurens, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,931
Median Home Price: $85,900
Population Change: -1.3%
Home Price Change: 8.9%
More on Laurens: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Located in the Upstate region of South Carolina, the city of Laurens is named after Henry Laurens of Revolutionary War fame. It is part of the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Fort Mill, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,451
Median Home Price: $222,700
Population Change: 9.6%
Home Price Change: 6.5%
More on Fort Mill: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The town of Fort Mill was established in 1873, taking its name from a colonial-era fort built by the British and a grist mill on nearby Steele Creek. The Catawba Indians made their home in present-day Fort Mill for many years. Scotch-Irish settlers began arriving in the 1750s and 1760s and a small settlement soon developed. Fort Mill grew rapidly in the late 19th century as textile mills were established. After many textile mill shut-downs the town continued to grow rapidly and became a major suburb of Charlotte.

North Charleston, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 108,186
Median Home Price: $155,900
Population Change: 2.0%
Home Price Change: 8.1%
More on North Charleston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

From the 17th century until the Civil War, plantations cultivated commodity crops, such as rice and indigo. Some of the plantations located in what is now North Charleston were:|The large plantations were subdivided into smaller farms in the late 19th century as the urban population began moving northward. Due to the large labor forces of enslaved African Americans who worked these properties, the population of Charleston County in 1870 was 73 percent black; they were mostly freedmen. After the Civil War, phosphate fertilizer plants were developed, with extensive strip mining occurring between the Ashley River and Broad Path. The main route for transportation of these phosphates eventually became known as Ashley Phosphate Road.

West Columbia, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 17,056
Median Home Price: $133,500
Population Change: 7.0%
Home Price Change: 1.8%
More on West Columbia: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

West Columbia was incorporated in 1894 as Brookland, but the United States Postal Service called the town “New Brookland” since there was another town called Brookland. In 1936, the name was changed to West Columbia to emphasize its proximity to Columbia, South Carolina. Numerous businesses, churches and a high school retain the Brookland and New Brookland names.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In South Carolina for 2019

There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in South Carolina. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.

In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 394 places in the state.

So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In South Carolina

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Fountain Inn 1 $129,800 5.1% 8.7%
Lake City 2 $84,900 -0.8% 22.3%
Lancaster 3 $119,900 -0.3% 13.5%
Bluffton 4 $244,100 8.9% 10.4%
Hanahan 5 $205,700 4.9% 8.4%
Clover 6 $125,000 2.5% 3.4%
Laurens 7 $85,900 -1.3% 8.9%
Fort Mill 8 $222,700 9.6% 6.5%
North Charleston 9 $155,900 2.0% 8.1%
West Columbia 10 $133,500 7.0% 1.8%
Greer 11 $154,600 3.1% 3.5%
Hollywood 12 $234,600 2.3% 18.6%
Gaffney 13 $107,700 -0.8% 5.2%
Easley 14 $148,000 0.3% 5.6%
Conway 15 $148,400 4.4% 1.7%
Marion 16 $111,500 -2.5% 12.9%
Rock Hill 17 $140,500 0.7% 3.3%
Irmo 18 $126,300 0.8% 2.2%
Dillon 19 $105,300 -2.0% 6.3%
Beaufort 20 $210,700 2.6% 5.1%
Seneca 21 $147,300 -0.4% 5.6%
Greenville 22 $255,600 2.0% 7.5%
Summerville 23 $189,400 2.5% 3.6%
Hardeeville 24 $301,600 6.2% 3.8%
Clemson 25 $207,500 2.4% 5.1%
Camden 26 $155,500 -0.2% 6.2%
York 27 $132,400 0.2% 2.6%
Cayce 28 $122,400 -0.1% 2.0%
Clinton 29 $80,300 1.5% -6.5%
Spartanburg 30 $118,600 -0.5% 2.3%
Georgetown 31 $158,000 -1.2% 31.0%
Mount Pleasant 32 $413,600 3.5% 5.0%
Simpsonville 33 $155,500 2.8% 1.0%
Myrtle Beach 34 $178,300 2.2% 2.7%
James Island 35 $261,300 0.5% 7.1%
Goose Creek 36 $174,500 1.2% 2.8%
Sumter 37 $141,000 -1.2% 5.1%
Charleston 38 $286,200 1.0% 6.2%
Greenwood 39 $92,800 -0.5% 0.1%
Chester 40 $73,800 -0.9% -0.1%
Port Royal 41 $211,500 2.7% 1.9%
Lexington 42 $178,300 1.7% 1.9%
Hartsville 43 $108,400 -1.6% 1.9%
Columbia 44 $168,800 -0.2% 2.8%
Moncks Corner 45 $168,400 4.9% -4.8%
Tega Cay 46 $306,600 4.9% 1.8%
Darlington 47 $87,200 -1.8% 1.4%
Newberry 48 $88,600 -0.8% -1.0%
Anderson 49 $123,200 -0.7% 0.2%
Cheraw 50 $111,500 -1.6% 1.5%
Central 51 $106,400 -0.5% -5.6%
Mauldin 52 $153,700 0.4% -0.7%
Union 53 $76,500 -1.9% -1.4%
Abbeville 54 $77,300 -1.6% -3.9%
North Myrtle Beach 55 $263,300 2.0% 1.3%
North Augusta 56 $150,600 -0.2% -3.2%
Bennettsville 57 $73,200 -2.3% -12.0%
Walterboro 58 $109,100 -2.7% -0.8%
Aiken 59 $175,200 -0.4% -0.1%
Florence 60 $157,500 -1.0% 1.2%
Orangeburg 61 $121,900 -2.0% -4.2%
Hilton Head Island 62 $454,300 0.0% 1.7%
Forest Acres 63 $185,800 -1.0% -0.6%

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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