10 Affordable Places to Live in South Carolina

Recently we’ve seen homebuyers facing many challenges thanks to the pandemic. It can be hard enough to find the perfect home without the added stress of a competitive market and rising home prices.

Thankfully, purchasing your dream home doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are affordable gems in every state and if your search takes you to South Carolina we’re happy to share there are plenty of inexpensive options.

Plus with some of the best winter weather and temperate climates, South Carolina is an amazing place to live. So, using Census and Realtor.com data, we’ve found some of the best and cheapest places to live. Whether you’re looking for a community that’s passionate about art or somewhere with a simple way of life, we’ve got you covered with our list of the most affordable places to live in South Carolina.

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Sumter

palmetto trail bridge

With a population of nearly 43,000 people, Sumter is one of the largest cities on our list. Home prices can range, but on average cost around $138,900. Plus, Sumter’s service-based economy is one of the largest in South Carolina, and it also has one of the lowest unemployment rates (3.5%).

Like many communities in South Carolina, Sumter is surprisingly diverse. When you think of the Palmetto State, you probably don’t think of sandhills and oak-hickory forests, but nearby State Parks like Poinsett Park provide diverse environments to hike and explore. In fact, the Palmetto Trail, one of South Carolina’s longest pedestrian and bicycle trails, is nearby, and by the time the trail is finished, it will be over 500 miles long.

Sumter also has museums, performance venues, and solid public schools designated Purple Star schools because of their commitment to support Military families.

This beautiful city offers plenty of outdoor activities and is an excellent spot for nature enthusiasts.

Lake City

overlooking the bluff at sunset

The average cost of a home in Lake City is around $89,700, and this small city is home to only 5,903 residents, according to the 2020 census.

The community sits about 60 miles Southwest of the popular tourist destination, Myrtle Beach, making this an excellent place for those looking to enjoy the sun and surf. Lake City is also one of the most art-friendly places on this list. With their April Art Walk and a handful of public art installations, this town truly appreciates artists of all kinds.

It’s no surprise that this town was also one of twelve to make the Travel and Leisure’s 12 Best Places to Travel in May.

We highly recommend you check out their events calendar and while you’re there enjoying the arts, drive around and imagine what it would be like to live there.

Bennettsville

lake tucked into the mountain

Designated by the state as one of South Carolina’s first great towns, Bennettsville has a small population of about 7,000 with home prices averaging around $79,600, according to Census Estimates.

The nearby Lake Wallace is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, and the community is only about 60 miles away from Fayetteville. Bennettsville is also home to one of the richest agricultural areas in the entire state.

Founded in 1819, this community offers its residents a slower pace of life. Although it’s not the largest town on this list, Bennettsville is a great place to retire or bring your family.

Gaffney

old building south carolina

Gaffney is a popular place for history fans, and it’s also one of the most affordable places to live in South Carolina. The average home price is $111,000.

Like many other towns on this list, Gaffney has had its ups and downs economically speaking, but unemployment dropped below 4% recently. What makes this town truly special, though, are the nearby historical locations. The community has multiple sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and this town is truly a treasure trove for history. Some of these sites include:

  • Revolutionary War Sites
  • Gaffney History Museum
  • The Gaffney Visitors Center

This small community of about 12,000 people also boasts a rich art culture with great places like the Limestone Galleries and the City Hall Galleries.

Spartanburg

colorful downtown block

If you’re looking for a town in the same area as Gaffney but want something a little bigger, Spartanburg might be perfect. Although this city has a little bit higher average home price, the population is around 38,732. However, the median price doesn’t increase much, with estimates putting a home in Spartanburg at about $125,600.

Spartanburg is an exciting place to live, and its motto is Always Doing. The city puts on community events year-round and boasts five different outdoor performance venues, 15 public art exhibits, and 24 creative industries. Spartanburg is also home to The Music Trail and the Spartanburg Little Theatre. So, if you enjoy art and performances, this is an excellent place for you.

Orangeburg

capital building south carolina

Orangeburg has a smaller population of around 13,240, and the median housing value is about $105,600. The low prices are great for anyone looking to start a family or downsize now that their family has moved out.

The town is home to South Carolina State University, and the city isn’t far from the state capital, Columbia, being only 37 miles away.

Orangeburg is one of the oldest cities on this list. It was founded by a Native American trader named George Sterling in 1704 and named in honor of William IV, Prince of Orange.

They also have some great attractions nearby, including the Edisto Memorial Gardens, which puts on events throughout the year. If you are looking for an area close to the capital that is more budget-friendly, Orangeburg could be a great choice.

Union

Another popular place for families and retirees, Union is an affordable community full of natural beauty.

This city has a population of around 8,174, and the average cost for a home is approximately $80,700. Union is one of those cities that has grown a lot in recent years and continues to grow.

The city is home to the famous Sumter National Forest and the Union County Museum. This is a beautiful small town dedicated to its community and with lots of character.

Its mission statement is to provide quality service to all citizens. If this doesn’t have you sold, check out Union’s community video tour, to discover more great reasons to call Union home.

Pageland

watermelons stacked on eachother

On the border of North Carolina, this city is the smallest city on this list. So much so that Census doesn’t provide much data. We looked at Realtor.com listings and took an average of the offered home prices. The average price of a home in Pageland is around $185,000.

Founded in 1793 by Thomas Sumter Jr, who used a government grant to settle the area, this tiny town has a lot of character. Pageland is known as the Watermelon Capital of the world, and the Watermelon Festival is a highlight for the community every summer. Thousands of visitors descend on the town to celebrate and enjoy this sweet fruit.

While this town is small, it has its charm, and at least in the summer, there is plenty of fun to be had.

Anderson

city block during the day

Anderson is one of the larger cities on this list, with around 28,106. The cost of living isn’t high here, and the median housing price is about $136,800.

Anderson has a lot to offer residents, including a bustling downtown area, The SculpTOUR, the only tour of its kind in the world, and seven public parks.

The city of Anderson is also known as the Electric City since it was one of the first locations in the United States to have street lights downtown. This historical achievement was all thanks to the efforts of William Whitner, who brought electricity to the city by installing a generator.

In June 2000, Anderson County was also one of the only ten communities designated an all-American city by the National Civic League. This is a beautiful city with an exciting history that would probably surprise most people.

Dillon

Finishing off our list is Dillon, with around 6,384 people and an average home price of about $118,500.

Dillon has a close-knit community with an active wellness center where you can find regular events.

As one of the few cities to highlight their pet adoption and senior programs on their website, Dillon could be a great place to retire. It also offers plenty of amenities, and one of the main attractions in the city is the train depot, reconstructed in 1905.

This town started to grow in 1888 when John W. Dillon wanted to develop the city and convinced Wilson Short Cut (later Atlantic Coast Line Railroad) to build freight tracks through the town. Since then, the area has developed and continues to grow.

Make Your Move

In South Carolina, there is no shortage of low-cost housing, as long as you know where to look.

At On Q Financial, Inc., we love talking with homebuyers! Whether you’re thinking about a large home or a small home, we’ve got plenty of options. If you’re ready to start thinking about financing your next dream purchase, contact us today! We’ll answer any questions you have.

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*This material is provided for information and educational purposes only. All information was sourced through Census.gov using their QuickFacts table and the American Community Survey (2019). On Q Financial, Inc.02010220685d00000L24s9