With Charleston ranking No. 1 on Travel + Leisure’s list of the Top 10 U.S. Cities 2022 and undertaking multiple high-profile developments this year, we figured it was time to talk about the cost of planting some roots in the Holy City.
The overall cost of living in Charleston is higher than the national average and higher than the rest of the state.
In Charleston, the cost of healthcare is lower compared to other parts of the state + the US. The cost of transportation is also lower than the national average. However, the cost of groceries, housing, and other miscellaneous expenses in the city have higher average costs than other cities in South Carolina and the country overall.
Breaking down the numbers
Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $50,000 annually – according to experts — you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities. Don’t worry, we did the math for you — your max monthly rent budget would be $1,250. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Charleston is $1,872 — putting you over budget.
According to a recent study by ATTOM Data Solutions, it’s actually more affordable to rent a home in Charleston County than to buy.
Take a look at the chart below to see how Charleston’s cost of living compares to that of the Soda City.
Interested in seeing Charleston’s cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities are affordable for you to live in.
We also took a look at the cost of living in Charleston compared to Greenville. Hey, GVLtoday. Here’s what we found:
- The cost of living is 4% lower in Greenville.
- To maintain our standard of living, we’ll need a household income of $48,146 in Greenville.
- The median cost of rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,053, which is $302 less than Charleston.
There are also a number of local organizations working on apartments seemingly all the time — from the renovation of the former Archer School on Nassau Street, expected to be converted into affordable housing for older adults, to the affordable housing planned for Lowline Park for those earning 30-70% of the area median income.