South Carolina is a popular vacation location for anyone searching for famous southern-style cooking and charm, kind local residents, and gorgeous beaches. In this area, Mount Pleasant is becoming one of the most sought-after places to live and is growing quickly because of it.
However, Mount Pleasant is like any other city in that the area has drawbacks as well. 17 of these reasons are listed below to help potential newcomers see whether Mount Pleasant is really the best location for them and their families to live.
1 Heavy Traffic and Narrow Roads
The Mount Pleasant area has a plethora of entertainment options, which keeps both resident and tourist populations traveling into the city regularly. In the last 10 years, the area has also experienced a strong influx in commercial growth, which contributes to this traffic as well.
Locals consistently complain about heavy traffic that continues to increase. This is especially true across Ravenel bridge and on Highway 17. Weekends are generally more crowded than weekdays, as is expected with so many people receiving time off of work. This can become quite a nuisance when running simple everyday errands becomes a tedious journey with lines of cars standing between you and your desired destination.
Being in such a warm southern location, Mount Pleasant struggles with the same pest problems as the rest of the state. In fact, there are even different pests that pose problems in the summer and winter seasons!
In the summer, there are mosquitoes, cockroaches, all types of ants, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, bees, ticks, stink bugs, spiders, cicadas, termites, chiggers, and fleas, to name a few! These bugs can require intricate and consistent efforts to keep out of your home.
Winter pests in the area are more limited. They generally consist of small rodents like squirrels, mice, rats, and raccoons nearby. While spiders and cockroaches are definitely still an issue in the summer, they will pose a problem in winter months as they seek warmth and shelter from cooling temperatures. Silverfish and wasps will also search to escape the cold and are commonly found in attics and on bathroom ceilings in the winter.
3. Growing Quickly
Mount Pleasant is a wonderful place to live, and this is clearly a widely accepted truth! The city is considered to be one of the nation’s “top boomtowns” in 2021. It has a current growth rate of 2.47% annually, and has increased by 5.06% since the last census!
This growth isn’t limited to the last few years, either. From 2015 to 2020, the city’s population increased by 13.53%! There are so many people moving in, that the housing prices are skyrocketing, schools are overcrowded, and the job market is limited. In the current state of the city, only very wealthy individuals are able to afford to live in Mount Pleasant, and the remaining individuals that are interested are likely to continue coming as a part of the tourist population.
There is no shortage of tourist groups for these individuals to join, either! Mount Pleasant is located only about a 15-minute drive from Charleston, which is the capital of South Carolina and a famous tourist hotspot.
It is difficult to distinguish tourists that visit Mount Pleasant and Charleston because the two are so closely positioned, that anyone who travels to one city visits the other, and tourists stay at vacation homes and hotels throughout the two cities. In 2018, there were more than 7.3 million people who visited the Charleston area that year alone!
5. Expensive Housing
With such exponential growth in the area over the last 10 years, Mount Pleasant real estate prices have skyrocketed! In fact, the city of Mount Pleasant has the highest prices of real estate properties in the state, with the exception of beach properties and Charleston itself.
The price ranges on family homes in Mount Pleasant are around $655,000 to $810,000 on average. Even condos and townhome prices are high there, as they sell for an average of around $311,000 to $403,000.
6. Low Wages & High Cost of Living
Being such a popular tourist location, there is a large population of individuals and families that would like to live in the Mount Pleasant area. With such a large amount of job applicants and interest, wages remain rather low. The sales tax in Mount Pleasant is 9%, an accumulative amount from state, county, and city sales taxes. This sales tax is relatively high.
The high sales tax is especially difficult for those who do not have secure employment because the price of living expenses in the area is high and difficult to maintain on a low wage.
7. Bible Belt
Clearly, this is not a downside to many people, but it may be for others. South Carolina is part of the bible belt, and residents most definitely make this clear. The area has churches all over town, quite nearly on every corner!
The church buildings aren’t the only indication of this strongly religious community, either. The vast majority of residents are active participants in church services, events, and activities. These groups become families and involve tight-knit social circles. Attending a local church and getting to know the members of the congregation well will most definitely improve your ability to find friends and form relationships in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
8. Crowded Public Areas
Closely related to traffic and high amounts of tourism are the crowded public areas in Mount Pleasant. Stores, restaurants, downtown, sidewalks, parks, bathrooms, boutiques, and nearly any other public space are almost constantly filled with people.
This is to be expected in a city with a population of nearly 100,000 on its own, a neighboring city of 137,000, and millions of tourists throughout the year. Combined with the millions of tourists that constantly inhabit the area, it is rare to have a quiet visit to the store that isn’t shared with a large number of other shoppers.
9. Not Many Job Options
The job market in the area has a specific target group that is limited to medical and tourism positions. This means that there are limited options for occupational openings in Mount Pleasant, making it difficult to find employment. If you don’t already have a job lined up, don’t move to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
10. Few Bike Lanes
With so much traffic on the roads, it may seem like a good time to utilize a bicycle for shorter trips! This is not, however, as great of a solution as it may appear to be at first. The city doesn’t have a very well-established biking system on roads. There aren’t many bike lanes at all, really, which can be difficult and unsafe when using this method of travel.
Humidity is crazy in the southern United States. In Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the relative humidity has an average of around 73% to 78% depending on the time of year. Humidity makes a hot summer day hotter and wetter. It also gives cold days a moist chill that sits in the air constantly.
In fact, humidity impacts more than just the climate. High humidity makes food react differently in both cooking and baking, and recipes that were originally created in drier areas will likely require some basic adjustments. This will also cause different reactions in your hair, especially if it is long or curly. Mold also grows more quickly in areas that experience high humidity.
12. Confederate Flags
This may seem like a no-brainer for anyone who lives in the Southern United States, but for anyone thinking about moving down from further west or north, this will be a large change. There are still many people in the south who harbor beliefs defending Confederate actions and slave ownership. Some may still feel that the North was overstepping and wrongly ended their way of life.
With that being said, not everyone in the south feels this way, and some people who fly Confederate flags may be doing so only in memory and respect for their history. Either way, Confederate flags and other mementos from the civil war, such as statues of Confederate leaders, will most likely be present if you choose to move to Mount Pleasant.
There are two different types of flooding that can occur in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The first type of flooding in the area is caused by plugged or inadequate drainage systems. The second type of flooding there is due to increased water levels that rise from something referred to as the “storm surge”. A storm surge refers to rising water levels that increase due to an oncoming tropical storm or hurricane.
In the 60 years between 1950 to 2010, Mount Pleasant records a total of approximately 227 floods. This is only including a 50-mile radius around the city. This is incredibly dangerous and has a large impact on local residents.
There is information provided locally to help residents know how to best respond in these flooding situations. Coastal flooding can have a large influence on the area. There are sites online with emergency procedure protocols.
14. Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
From 1950 to 2010, only a 20-year period, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and the area within a 50-mile radius experiences a total of 8 hurricanes! In fact, Mount Pleasant is considered to be an area with a very high hurricane risk. There have been a total of 84 hurricanes within 150 miles of the city since 1930. They also experienced 12 tropical storms during this time. If planning on moving to the area, be prepared for a hurricane to hit, and have an emergency procedure and plan in place.
15. Overcrowded Schools
The schools in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina are highly ranked and known to be of good quality. Unfortunately, the exponentially increasing population of residents in the area is having an incredibly large impact on the number of students in schools. There are serious overcrowding issues in the schools there.
A recent school district meeting proposed big zoning changes to 3 elementary schools in the city because they are unable to sustain such a high number of students safely or properly.
There are mobile trailer units being implemented in many schools to accommodate the number of students that are enrolled. In fact, some parents have expressed serious concerns with the use of separate units as buildings, believing it to be unsafe for children to leave the portable unit and enter the school from outside to use the bathroom. They feel that in the case of an emergency, the child would likely be caught outside and left unable to enter the school or their mobile unit classroom, leaving them to fend for themselves while they are completely defenseless.
Especially if looking to move to the area with a family and school-age children, keep these changes in mind. The overcrowding in schools is posing an incredibly large issue for the area. Some parents opt to homeschool or enter their children in private schools to avoid these issues.
With so many people that want to live in the city and such high home prices, it is difficult for many people to move in. There are a large number of people, in fact, who are unable to afford housing within the city at all. Because only the wealthiest individuals have the means to afford to live in the area, there is a sort of reputation attributed to residents of Mount Pleasant. People in other parts of the state are likely to assume that you fit the stereotype of wealthy and privileged when you say that you live in Mount Pleasant.
17. Higher-End Living, Nearly All Locals Have Money
Mount Pleasant is an incredibly popular vacation location, and, consequently, an incredibly high amount of people want to live there as permanent residents. With such high and widely spread interest in the area, housing prices and the cost of living in the city both continue to rise consistently. This means that nearly everyone who is able to afford housing in the area has higher-paying jobs. Some South Carolina residents stated that only doctors, lawyers, and trust fund babies can live in the city.