What Is The Cost Of Living In Charleston, SC?

What Is The Cost Of Living In Charleston

The vibrant city of Charleston, which can be found in the state of South Carolina, is well-known for the historical charm it radiates, as well as the cobblestone streets and inviting atmosphere it provides. As a result of Charleston, South Carolina’s popularity as a tourist destination as well as a site for new residents, a lot of people are curious about the standard of living in Charleston and want to find out more information about it. 

As a result of the strong demand for its services and the limited supply, Charleston has evolved into one of the most expensive cities in the United States. The cost of living in Charleston, SC, varies depending on factors such as housing, transportation, and personal preferences

In this post, we will provide a comprehensive summary of the numerous costs that you might anticipate incurring as a result of deciding to make this amazing city your permanent home. These costs will consist of items like accommodation, transportation, food, and various forms of entertainment. You should now have a better idea of whether or not it is the ideal location for you to make your home and whether or not you should move to Charleston. 

Housing Costs in Charleston, SC

Rental Market

Average Rent Prices

The cost of living in Charleston, SC, begins with understanding the rental market. According to recent data, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Charleston is around $1,400 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment costs approximately $1,700 per month. These prices may vary depending on the neighborhood and available amenities.

Neighborhoods and Their Impact on Rent Prices

Different neighborhoods in Charleston have varying rental rates. For example, the historic downtown area tends to have higher rents due to its prime location and historic charm. In contrast, neighborhoods like West Ashley and James Island offer more affordable options for renters.


Average Home Prices

For those looking to buy a home, the cost of living in Charleston, SC, will be largely determined by local real estate prices. The average cost of living in Charleston regarding home price is currently around $375,000. However, this number can vary significantly depending on factors such as the neighborhood, home size, and condition.

Property Taxes

Another factor to consider when looking at homeownership costs is property taxes. In Charleston County, the average property tax rate is 0.57%, which is relatively low compared to the national average.

Transportation Costs

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Charleston is managed by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). A single ride on a CARTA bus costs $2, while a monthly pass is available for $60. For those who rely on public transportation, this is a relatively affordable option.

Car Ownership

If you prefer to drive, it’s essential to consider the costs associated with car ownership. Gas prices in Charleston are slightly higher than the national average, with a current average of around $3.10 per gallon. Additionally, car insurance rates in South Carolina are also higher than the national average, so it’s crucial to factor these costs into your overall budget.

Food and Groceries

Grocery Costs

The cost of groceries in Charleston is slightly higher than the national average. To minimize expenses, consider shopping at discount grocery stores like ALDI or Save-A-Lot.

Dining Out

Charleston is famous for its culinary scene, with a wide range of restaurants and bars to choose from. While dining out can be costly, there are numerous budget-friendly options available throughout the city.



The average electricity bill in Charleston is around $140 per month, which is slightly higher than the national average.

Water and Sewer

Water and sewer costs in Charleston are relatively affordable, with the average monthly bill being around $45.

Internet and Cable

Internet and cable services can vary in price depending on the provider and chosen package. On average, you can expect to pay around $70 per month for internet service and an additional $40 to $100 for cable TV.


The cost of living in Charleston regarding healthcare is slightly higher than the national average, with the average family spending around $5,000 per year on healthcare expenses. It’s important to factor in the costs of insurance premiums, copays, and prescription medications when budgeting for healthcare in Charleston.

Education and Childcare

Public Schools

Charleston is served by the Charleston County School District, which offers a variety of public schools for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Public education is funded through local property taxes, so there is no direct cost to families for attending these schools.

Private Schools

For those who prefer private education, Charleston has several private schools to choose from, with tuition costs varying widely. Some of the more affordable private schools charge around $5,000 per year, while others can cost upwards of $20,000 annually.


Childcare costs in Charleston can vary depending on the provider and the specific needs of your family. On average, you can expect to pay around $1,000 per month for full-time childcare at a licensed center.

Entertainment and Recreation

Museums, Attractions, and Activities

Charleston boasts a wide variety of entertainment and recreational activities, with something for everyone. While some attractions may have an entrance fee, many parks, beaches, and historical sites are free or have minimal costs. For example, a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium will cost around $30 per adult and $20 per child.

Fitness and Sports

Fitness enthusiasts will find a range of gyms, yoga studios, and recreational sports leagues in Charleston. Membership costs can vary depending on the facility, but expect to pay around $40 to $100 per month for a gym membership.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Clothing and Personal Items

The cost of living in Charleston regarding clothing and personal items is roughly in line with the national average. With numerous shopping centers and boutiques, you can find options to suit any budget.

Sales Tax

South Carolina’s state sales tax rate is 6%, and Charleston County imposes an additional 2% sales tax, for a combined rate of 8%. This sales tax rate is important to consider when budgeting for various expenses.


While some expenses may be higher than the national average, the city’s charm, history, and thriving arts and culture scene make it an attractive place to call home. By carefully considering your budget and lifestyle preferences, you can determine if Charleston is the right fit for you and your family. A move that goes smoothly and successfully requires the use of packing and unpacking services that are dependable and inexpensive. So there are movers in Charleston,SC.


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