Greenville, South Carolina, is a charming southern city that’s drawing in new residents from around the world. Between the barbecue, the sunshine, and the broad range of work opportunities, it’s easy to see why the city is so attractive.
What isn’t always easy to see is why people should think twice about moving to Greenville. Yes, the city is appealing, but there are still some features that could be deal-breakers for interested new residents. Mosquitoes, tornadoes, and drug crimes should make you think twice about buying some available homes. Keep this in mind while you read these seventeen reasons not to move to Greenville, South Carolina.
1. Rising Housing Costs are Concerning
While Greenville’s housing costs are currently nothing compared to states like California, Utah, Oregon, or Idaho, the rate at which costs are rising is concerning to many people. Greenville is among 2022’s top 10 hottest housing markets in the entire nation. The price of real estate is expected to rise accordingly.
This is filling many potential home buyers with dread. People are used to being outbid by investors, Airbnb, and people from other high-income states, so the fact that this is starting to pick up in Greenville is understandably alarming. If you still want to buy a home in Greenville, you may find yourself cornered into an impulse purchase, waiving inspections, or paying bids outside of your comfort zone to secure the house you want.
Things aren’t likely to get better, either. Costs and inflation are expected to rise over the course of this year. Homes that cost $229,000 in 2019 are listed for $339,000 in 2022, and they’re frequently selling for over the asking price. Any potential home buyer in Greenville should brace themselves for situations like this and for a likely bidding war.
2. Lack of Public Transportation
If you want to move to Greenville, make sure you can afford a car. You can’t get far without one.
With an average walkability score of 43/100, a public transit score of 19/100, and a biking score of 39/100, Greenville is firmly car-bound. Nothing in the city limits is walkable besides downtown, and it is highly unlikely that you’ll live within walking distance of downtown Greenville.
For people used to living in the midwest, suburbs, or more rural areas, this is normal. For people used to living in cities with a bus or subway system, this is a change that takes some significant adjustment.
Rising gasoline prices, rising car prices, and constant road construction will add stress to your morning commute, and that’s before you find out about the traffic problems that come from narrow, winding roads in a city that wasn’t designed for this kind of population.
If you hate driving, Greenville just isn’t the city for you. There’s no way around it.
3. High Heat Can Be Overwhelming In the Summer
Southern heat might not reach the same levels as Arizona, New Mexico, or Nevada, but it’s still nothing to scoff at. Summer highs of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit leave residents feeling like they’re being steam-cooked like broccoli. The high humidity levels just make things worse.
To make it worse, many old homes don’t offer air conditioning. This means that you’ll have to dish out a separate air conditioning unit, invest in a whole bunch of fans, or just suffer through the heat until fall comes again. This is frustrating enough for the general population, but it can actually be dangerous for the elderly, the very young, and people with health conditions that impact temperature regulation.
If you can’t handle the heat, either buy a house with great air conditioning or move to a different city. Things are likely to get worse here before they get better.
4. The High Humidity is Inescapable
Have you ever stepped outside of your home and felt humidity so high you couldn’t inhale? Did you feel like you were drinking the air? Was it similar to stepping into a sauna fully clothed and realizing that this is just going to be how your day goes now?
If so, you’ve experienced southern humidity. Some people love it, and other people will move as far as they need to avoid ever living through a humid southern summer again.
High humidity like this is hard to get away from. You’ll need a dehumidifier in your apartment, multiple dehumidifiers in a home, and lots of mold and bug-killing supplies if you want to thrive. Learning all these little hacks and survival tools can take years.
Before you commit to moving to Greenville, take a summer vacation here. Experience the heat and humidity firsthand. If you can’t handle it, it’s better to know before you commit to the move.
5. There’s a Surprisingly High Crime Rate
Considering the city’s family-friendly and hospitable reputation, the city has a shockingly high crime rate. It came away with a 4/100 rating from Neighborhood Scout and a D+ from CrimeGrade. Violent Crime and Property Crime are to blame.
The top crime issue in Greenville is theft. Considering the clash of demographics, where a happy family reputation meets drug crimes and a growing homeless population, this isn’t that surprising. Many people don’t know how to protect their homes, cars, and pockets from new threats.
If you move to Greenville, check the crime rates near potential new addresses. You can even call up police departments to ask what they think of a new neighborhood. Whatever you do, stay safe and stay smart.
6. There’s a Growing Homeless Problem
There are many reasons why homelessness is a growing problem, but this list is going to focus on the results. In short, the homelessness problem is one of the reasons you might not want to move to Greenville.
While it isn’t terrible compared to some cities like Portland, Salt Lake City, or New York City, the homeless population does come with an increase in drug crimes, theft, and other safety issues, along with just being sad. If you aren’t prepared to handle this, you should look into neighborhoods that have less of an issue.
7. It Wasn’t Spared The South’s Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic is related to several items on this list, including the homeless issues, crime rates, and high housing costs in safer neighborhoods. While many people are actively looking for a solution, it isn’t coming anytime soon to Greenville.
If this is a concern for you, try to find a house that’s far from potential risks. Recovering addicts and others who would be triggered by drug sales or houses should find a city well away from areas where drug abuse is frequent, and everyone should address the higher rates of property crime. If this sounds like too much for you to handle, you might want to choose a different city to move to.
8. There’s Limited Diversity Compared to Other Hub Cities
It might come as a surprise to some people from other cities, but Greenville isn’t very diverse. The majority of the population is white. While most people handle this well and treat minorities with respect, there are still individuals who keep intensely questionable or outright racist bumper stickers and clothing in plain view.
LGBTQ+ and religious diversity are also limited. While these groups will also face limited intentional discrimination, individuals may find a lack of resources available to them. Churches of different denominations can be hard to find or require a long commute, and it can be difficult for LGBTQ+ individuals to find therapists, dates, or medical care that they need.
9. There are Frequent Festivals that Bring Tourists
This is primarily annoying for anyone who works near the festivals. Remember, there is extremely limited public transportation here, so everyone needs to drive.
When you’re driving around bike races, crafting fairs, or music festivals, that can quickly become a problem. Tourists get underfoot and quickly fill restaurants and parking spots.
If you move to Greenville, you may need to learn to schedule appointments around fairs and festivals. If not, you can end up stuck.
10. Too Many People are Moving Here
Many of Greenville’s charms come from the fact that it’s retained the environment of a charming little southern city. Despite hosting major companies like 3M, GE, and Michelin, the culture has stayed relaxed.
This vibe is threatened by the sheer number of people moving to Greenville. With the potential to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, Greenville could easily start to follow the path of Portland and become overwhelmed by the new population.
11. Racism is Still a Problem for Some People
This is a simple problem that, tragically, doesn’t seem like it will go away anytime soon. Confederate flags, “heritage, not hate” stickers, and statues in poor taste are still found around the city. While even the more conservative population generally disapproves of these items, racism still persists. Be aware of this if you’re moving to the city, especially if you won’t feel safe.
12. Greenville Gets Tornadoes
If you thought tornadoes were just a midwestern problem, think again. Greenville has a regular history of tornadoes touching down and doing damage. While they aren’t typically deadly, they are known to cause injuries and ruin a day.
Even a small tornado can be more than enough to knock over some trees, as is shown in this photo from a tornado in 2020. This can be a terrifying experience for anyone living in the city. The tornadoes probably won’t do you any physical harm, but if you have a deep fear or phobia of tornadoes, then this risk might not be for you.
13. Thunderstorms are Nothing to Mess With
Southern thunderstorms are hard to picture if you’ve never experienced them. Thick black storm clouds, heavy winds, and pouring rain combine to make something beautiful, awe-inspiring, and a little scary. They can do some serious damage to houses and people that aren’t prepared for them.
14. The City is Vulnerable to Flooding
This is a problem directly related to the South Carolina thunderstorms. When the rain comes down hard, floods can come up just as quickly.
Floods are more than just water getting into a basement. Even minor floods can do a lot of structural damage, ruin belongings, and cost a horrible amount of money in repairs and replacements. They can bring diseased water up from sewer systems and spread mold up walls. In a worst-case scenario, pools of water in basements can become dangerously electrified through water damage to wires.
Basically, floods are not something to take lightly. While the city has tried to mitigate flood risk where possible, even going as far as relocating residents in high-risk areas, it would still be beneficial to search for any potential homes on the flood maps provided for the city.
15. Bugs are a Year-Round Problem
In Greenville, mosquito season is when there’s no snow on the ground. It’s more of an ebb and flow than a bug-free time period.
Other bugs like cockroaches, ants, and gigantic spiders will also happily take advantage of the heat and humidity. Your house can quickly become a haven for every species of vermin you’ve tried to avoid. If you want to move to Greenville, keep a close eye out for bugs and have an exterminator on speed dial.
16. Road Construction Projects are Never-Ending
Heat, humidity, rain, and increased traffic are bad news for road projects. The new construction begins as fast as the last area finishes. While this is a complaint in other areas, too, the skinny roads of Greenville can make it particularly problematic.
17. Once You’re Here, You’ll Never Quite Leave
If you’ve met someone who lived in Greenville, you’ll know it. They’ll talk about it.
In spite of Greenville’s problems, it does have a tight hold on the people who have lived there. Schools are good, life is fairly slow and easy, and the sun is bright. Locals don’t tend to move out easily, and if they do, they’ll struggle to find another place that compares. This might seem like a complaint of “the biggest problem is that it’s perfect,” but it really is a problem for people who fear getting trapped in a city.
Once you’re in Greenville, a part of you will always stay in Greenville. Are you ready for that?
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