17 Reasons Not to Move to Charleston, South Carolina (Voted by the Locals!)

When it comes to Charleston, South Carolina, many people think about its abundant history and sunny beaches. However, living in the area isn’t only filled with sunshine and roses. There are some issues. To help you determine whether or not you should move to Charleston, South Carolina, here are 17 reasons why you shouldn’t move to the area.

1. Tourists

About 7.3 million people came to Charleston, South Carolina in 2018 as tourists. Although they spent a lot of money while there that helped the city continue to thrive, the number of people that visited made it hard to navigate the sidewalks and made traffic even worse than it normally is. If you don’t like having to deal with tourists, you don’t want to move to Charleston, South Carolina.

In the summer, the streets, beaches, sidewalks, museums, and historical sites are nearly always crowded with tourists that you can’t avoid. They will likely ask you questions, especially if you tell them that you live in the area. They may be considering moving to the area, which you don’t want to happen.

2. Dense Population

Charleston, South Carolina is very densely populated, so it is hard to find a home with a large backyard or that has a lot of lands for you to enjoy, away from neighbors. Instead, you will have to deal with your neighbors, especially because many people that live in Charleston, South Carolina are nice and want to chit-chat with their neighbors when they see them.

Charleston, South Carolina is the second-largest city in South Carolina, but it is the most densely populated with a population of more than 137,000Opens in a new tab. in 2020.

What makes the density of the population in Charleston, South Carolina even worse is the fact that people are constantly moving there, so the population is growing. Soon, the city will become overcrowded, and you will have a hard time finding the space you desperately need, even if you like living nearby with people that you aren’t related to or know.

3. Traffic

The traffic in Charleston, South Carolina is absolutely awful, especially during rush hour. There are simply too many people on the roads at once. Traffic is especially bad during the summer, when tourists add their cars to the mix and have no idea where they are going, so they slow down and block the people that are driving behind them. Locals have complained that it took them about 1 hour to get to the beach when it should have only taken them about 20-30 minutes.

The traffic in Charleston, South Carolina is so bad that it is ranked #17 out of 80 different states in the United States when the traffic in the area was evaluated. One of the worst parts is that the traffic is getting worse, not better, and there is only so much that the government can do to improve the situation.

4. Dangerous at Night

Although Charleston, South Carolina is generally considered a relatively safe city during the day, that is not the case at night. Locals avoid going out at night, especially if you are walking alone in the downtown area. If you choose to move to Charleston, South Carolina, you will definitely want to invest in items that you can use for self-defense, like a taser or pepper spray, if you plan on going out at night. You will definitely want to finish running all of your errands during the day, which isn’t always possible.

5. Crime

The crime rate in Charleston, South Carolina is a relatively mixed bag. When it comes to robbery, assault, and property crimes, the number of them that happen every year is steadily increasing, even though the police force tries to prevent them.

However, Charleston, South Carolina only has a violent crime rate of 17.7, which is lower than the national average. The property crime rate is much higher at 35.9, which is slightly higher than the national average. You will definitely need to invest in a security system if you choose to move to Charleston.

6. Cost of Housing

When it comes to the cost of housing, Charleston, South Carolina is quite expensive. Not as expensive as rent in Los Angeles or New York, but still expensive. On average, it will cost you $1,720 per month to rent an apartment. That doesn’t include the cost of utilities, parking, and other various fees that an apartment complex can charge you, and it is easy to find an apartment more expensive than the average cost.

7. Cost of Living

The cost of living is high in Charleston, South Carolina. In fact, it is about 4% higher than the national average cost of living, partially because of the cost of housing.

If you enjoy saving money rather than spending it on things that are necessary to live, you will sometimes be appalled at what you will have to spend while living in Charleston, South Carolina, so you shouldn’t move to the city.

8. Constant Construction

If you like living in an area where you can avoid construction sites, you definitely don’t want to move to Charleston, South Carolina. There is always construction, and it will be hard for you to keep up with the number of places that you should avoid because of construction when you want to get to where you are going on time.

9. Weather

If you love cold weather and enjoy watching the snowfall in the winter, you definitely don’t want to move to Charleston, South Carolina anytime soon. It rarely snows in Charleston, South Carolina, and winters are often cold and windy. The fall season is beautiful but quite rainy.

In the spring, it is almost constantly raining in Charleston. Even if it isn’t raining when you leave the house in the spring, you will want to bring an umbrella with you, as the weather is unpredictable and you never know when it will start raining cats and dogs.

During the summer, you will definitely want to avoid going outside and enjoy the air conditioning in your home because of the humidity in Charleston. However, humidity is not the only thing that you will have to combat during the summer while living in this city, as it rains often. In fact, August is considered the rainiest month in Charleston.

10. Natural Disasters

Charleston, South Carolina is prone to quite a few natural disasters that you will have to suffer through and recover from if you choose to move there. Some of these natural disasters include flooding, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Flooding is the most common natural disaster, so if you move to Charleston you will definitely want to purchase flooding insurance, or you may be paying to replace the flooring in your home out-of-pocket.

While living in Charleston, South Carolina, you will also have to deal with high winds and lightning storms.

11. Bugs

If you choose to move to Charleston, South Carolina, you will have to deal with the thousands of bugs that run rampant. The main bug that you will have to deal with is mosquitos, the bane of many humans.

Unfortunately, mosquitos thrive in the environment and climate in Charleston, South Carolina, as there is plenty of water and heat to create optimal breeding grounds, especially during the summer. If you don’t like bugs or don’t want to constantly be applying bug repellent, you don’t want to move to Charleston any time in the near future.

12. Car-Dependant City

If you don’t like driving or want to reduce your carbon footprint by walking or biking around the city, you will be out of luck most of the time. The city is quite large and relatively spread out, especially if you live in the suburbs, so you will need to use your car regularly to get to where you want to go.

If you don’t own a car and don’t want to purchase one, there is public transportation in Charleston, South Carolina that you can definitely use. However, it is not always consistent, and many places are not nearby any public transportation stations.

13. High Sales and Restaurant Taxes

If you enjoy going out to eat at restaurants or often purchase items not food-related and don’t enjoy paying high taxes on these expenditures, you do not want to move to Charleston, South Carolina. The sales tax is currently 6.5%, which is about the same as the sales tax in many other states, but the added county and city sales taxes make the total amount of sales tax that you will pay while living in Charleston 10%.

When you purchase clothing, you will have to pay a sales tax of 8.5%. If you purchase alcohol at a restaurant, you will have to pay up to a whopping extra 15% in taxes. When it comes to paying for food at a restaurant, the taxes will increase your bill by about 10.5%. Your wallet and your budget will not like the extra taxes that come with living in and going out in Charleston, South Carolina.

14. Income Tax

On top of the various sales taxes that you will have to pay while living in Charleston, South Carolina, if you work in the area you will also have to pay income tax, which will automatically be deducted from your paycheck every pay period. The amount of income tax that will be deducted will vary depending on where you work, but if you work in a corporate job, you will have to pay about 5% of your income in income taxes. While that may not seem like a lot of money, it adds up quickly.

15. Extremely Low Minimum Wage

Charleston, South Carolina has quite a low minimum wage when you consider the fact that an hourly wage of $19.42 is considered a livable wageOpens in a new tab.. South Carolina has a minimum wageOpens in a new tab. of $7.25 per hour, which is atrocious, but Charleston County luckily has a minimum wage of $13.50 per hour. While it still isn’t a liveable wage, it is much better than getting $7.25 per hour.

16. Alligators

Alligators are common in Charleston, South Carolina, so if you want to avoid seeing these large reptiles, you definitely don’t want to move to the area. If you do choose to move to the area, you will likely see an alligator when you are nearby rivers, ponds, golf course lakes, marshes, and canals. Hopefully, they will leave you alone if you leave them alone, but there is never a guarantee that they will do so.

17. There is a Lot of Spicy Food

If you don’t like spicy food, you will definitely not want to move to Charleston, South Carolina because you will want to cut your tongue off because of the number of spices that many people put in the food. Many people put hot sauce, ghost peppers, and more spicy things in all of the food that they make, so when you go to other people’s homes to eat lunch or dinner, you may have to chug water or milk before you feel like your tongue is back to normal.

However, if you really enjoy eating spicy foods, you will probably enjoy the food that is often made in Charleston, South Carolina. You may find some foods that are too spicy for your comfort level, but you may enjoy the challenge and new experiences that come with that. You may even start to like food spicier than what you have enjoyed in the past.

Overall, there are many people that enjoy living in Charleston, South Carolina, but it is not for everyone. If you don’t like heat or humidity, you will want to avoid living there in the summer and late spring seasons. Also, if you don’t want to pay income taxes, high sales taxes, or high rent costs, you definitely do not want to move to Charleston, South Carolina, even if you think that it is a beautiful area that you may enjoy living in. However, it is ultimately up to you whether or not you choose to move there.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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