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Thinking of Moving to SC...Need Advice

Hi Ladies,

I am from R.I and in case anyone didn't know..."Our state totally sucks right now" I have owned my own home for 13 years and am barely making my payments. I just got re-married last year and my husband works for the Local eclectricians Union in Providence. However, he is constantly out of work. He was actually out of work for 9 months last year. I was in the mortgagee business for several years until my company went out of business.

Currently, I have a great job that I love and it pays pretty well, still a cut in pay from what I was making. We have four children. Three are mine from my pm and one is his. My oldest is going to College next fall. We visited Clemson, USC and Georgia over the summer. Her number one choice is USC..."GO COCKS"!! She is definitly attending one of those schools in the fall. My question is.... How is the job market in SC? I currently pay 1750 per month for a 1500 sq. ft. house. I know the housing prices are much better there. I keep hearing that pay is not the best. I am almost positive that we are going to move for September. I need some guidance as to which area. I love Greenville. However, my daughter will probably be in Columbia. Any thoughts on job market, areas to look ect. would be appreciated. Sorry this is so long. TIA...Charleen 

Re: Thinking of Moving to SC...Need Advice

  • I'm a totally newbie too to the Greenville area so I'll tell you what I've found so far.  We just moved here in June after 30 years in Illinois.  My best advice: come here and drive around.  We came and spent 4 days here and we knew the second we were here that this is where we wanted to live.

    Housing: I think the housing market is amazing here.  Just do a search on like and you'll see what kind of house falls into your price range.  For us, we were able to buy a comparable house to ours in IL at a much cheaper rate.  Plus, the taxes here are dirt cheap!!  And honestly, I wonder what IL did with our tax money because here it seems that everything is new or very well taken care of (ie. all new schools in Greenville County, beautiful parks with lots of activities provided, clean, nice landscaping everywhere, etc.).  The new housing developments are everywhere...and don't seem to be affected by the economy too much. 

     Kids: We don't have kids, but I work with kids (well, want to) and I cannot believe how much there is here for kids.  You should have your realtor send you an issue of the Upstate Parent magazine to get a glimpse of that. 

    Jobs: From my experience, this has been the most frustrating.  I just have a degree in child development and have worked for non-proifts, but I have been desperately searching for a job for the last 4 months to no avail.  But like I said before, this area is growing so much, I don't know if you or your husband would have troubles. 

    Overall: If you want the city life, Greenville is a hopping place.  I personally prefer more of the "suburbs" and have enjoyed Simpsonville.  People here are so nice and honestly, no one really is from here.  No one feels like an outsider in this whole area.  If you like the outdoors, there is tons to do in the area and the beach is only 3 hours away.  Like I said, despite the job situation for me (my husband transferred with his company), we absolutely love it here.  It's always sunny and the weather is amazing.  I really wished we had moved here years ago!

  • Ervin 03,

     Thanks for your reply. This is such a difficult decision for us and I really appreciate the input. I did spend four days in Greenville over the summer when I went to look at colleges with my daughter. I loved the area. I didn't really get to drive around much though.

    We spent every day at a different school. The job is pretty much the only think holding me back. I have years of mortgage experiance and office exp. accounts payable, ect. And my husband is in telecommunications. I hope your job search ends soon with a fabulous job. Thanks again for your response.


  • I live in the Columbia Area and just graduated with my Master's from USC! Luckily the state is not that big and anywhere you choose to live will be within a couple hours of columbia. As far as the job market goes, my husband is in the banking/mortgage buisness as well and although it has gone down there are still jobs avaliable.(he acutally just quit his job that he hated). has a jobs section that will give you links to jobs all over the state in all different fields.  With housing our house is about 1500 sq. ft. and we pay 1000 a month, big difference! Good luck!!!
  • We moved to Greenville from DC and we love it here.


    Are you purely moving because your daughter is going to school here?  If so, what will you do when your other children choose to go to school elsewhere?


    I think Greenville would be a perfect location for you to live if she is in Columbia.  The little bit of distance will give her the independence a new college freshman needs, but she'll still be close enough to visit on the weekends if she chooses.

  • MrsZP2B

    I am not only moving because of my daughter. In fact, that is just a bonus for mom! I have to get out of R.I. My husband and I make almost 100k a year and are barely getting by. The utilities are so expensive here. Taxes are OUTRAGEOUS! I cannot believe the taxes in SC. My taxes alone are over $300.00 a month on top of my mortgage. I loved Greenville when I visited this past summer and my Dad lives in Travelers Rest. I am not very close with him, but it would be some family.

    TR is nice but I would want some distance from him and I'm a bit more of a city girl. I was hoping that I could get a feel from other people on these boards as to which areas would be close to the city but more in the suburbs. And for sure..How the job market is. My Son would be heading in to highschool next year and my youngest will be going to Jr. High. The issue is my middle son whom would be in his Sr. year. He is open to moving (SHOCKED ME), but I feel very badly taking him away. We need to find a place with growth, lower housing expenses and a better job market. I am sick of just "getting by". My husbands job is so not stable and I never know if he will be laid off from week to week. There are NO jobs here at all for what he does so he is stuck in the union which has no work right now. Thanks for listening and everyone's advice.


  • Well my husband and I moved here out of anywhere on the map really in October of last year.  We were living in the DC area and knew that wasn't where we wanted to be so we packed up, left our jobs, and moved.

    I was fortunate enough to find a position where I can work from home from ANYWHERE right before we moved.

    Dh has had more trouble securing employment here.  He's temped pretty regularly through a local staffing service, and they placed him in a temp to hire position.  The company loved him and he was doing really well, and then a week AFTER he was supposed to go full time (and after his managers had discussed with him that they WERE taking him on full time) they started laying off employees and DH was one of them.

    I would not say this is a land of milk and plenty when it comes to careers, but I can't speak specifically as to the fields you are specifically interested in.

     Like you said though the cost of living is so much lower here.  Our mortgage on a 3 year old 2100 square foot house (financed for 15 years) is less than our rent for a 1 br 1 1/2 bath apartment was in Fairfax, VA.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make.  We really love it here, but I just can't personally brag on and on about the professional opportunities we have found here.  The people are great though and the city of Greenville is perfect for us.


  • Hey Charleen,

     I'm a recent transplant to Columbia, SC from Michigan.  I found my way here through a job transfer (I work medical), but my engineer husband has had tremendous difficulty finding work in this area.  He has finally secured a transfer to another division of his company, but it is in Rock Hill, SC, about an hour's drive from us. ( Even though the job market isn't the greatest, it's still better than Metro-Detroit and its 8.9% unemployment rate. )

     I like Columbia, it's a nice little town and I was pleasantly surprised by the amenities here.  I found a decent variety of restaurants, and family oriented activities in this town.  You could also kayak to your heart's content in this city if you like river views.  I haven't been to Greenville, but I've heard nice things about it, and you're only an hour or so from some pretty decent hiking in the mountains if you like that.

    Things that I, as a yankee, am having some trouble getting used to: heat.  I don't go out during the day, and I'm actually happy with the 60 degree mornings they've been having lately.  I'm sure I'll be out in my sweatshirt and jeans when the people down here are bundled in winter coats and wool caps.  :) I hate to admit it, but I'm not used to all the sunshine either--it's been an adjustment.

    Because we have not been able to sell our house in Michigan, we're renting, which I think is a complete rip-off--I think rent is outrageous here.  I also think the utilities are horribly priced, as I'm paying $100/month to cool a 900 square foot apartment, and I keep the thermostat at 80 degrees.  Housing--if you own--is cheap, true, and the taxes are affordable, but I've noticed they have to make up for it in other areas.  They have, in my opinion, some crazy sales tax systems down here that vary depending on where you are.  The vehicle taxes I thought were crazy too--but I'm not sure how it is in R.I.  I just have never had to pay property tax on a vehicle before.  Gas is cheaper though.  I don't think groceries are any less expensive here, and I feel I got better variety and fresher produce at home in Michigan.  Then there's the weird blue laws that prevent you from purchasing certain items on Sunday before a certain time--though this is only in some areas as well, and I'm not sure how it's enforced in other areas of the state.  Call me crazy, but if I want to buy sparkplugs for my car at 10 am on a Sunday morning, I think I should be allowed to.  :) These are just some of the things that irked me a bit when I finally got down here.  I'm learning to cope now.

     Overall. though, I'm pretty happy with the move.  The people are extremely friendly, very helpful and great for a laugh when they tell me about their version of bad traffic and how frightening snow is.  :)  Just thought you might want another yankee's opinion.


  • Edinari,

    I think we need to meet if I make the move. LOL. My husband and I both are afraid of the heat. We are not fans. give me 70 degrees all year long and those 60 degree mornings are my kind of mornings. I have always had to pay taxes on my automobile. We pay taxes on everything. I knew about the Sunday thing. That will be an adjustment for me as well.

    My utilities are ridiculous, I pay about 150 or more for my electricity and my gas bill is 400 in the winter and about 200 the rest of the year. However, we use heat for approximately five months out of the year. I visited Columbia over the summer because my daughter is applying to USC (she just applied for early decision) and I loved the town. I also love greenville. I find the people so nice everywhere and they are just not as happy here in RI! Our unemployment rate is 8.5 right now, I believe 2nd in the country. I am the most worried about employment than anything else. I would rent a home at first to make sure we like it there and are sure of the job situation as well as the area we want to live in. I have owned my own home for the past 13 years so it will be weird to rent. It looks like there are some very nice homes to rent for a lot less than I was paying for my mortgage though. Thanks for replying to me. I will keep the board informed along the way as to our decision. 

    It will be nice if we move that I will feel like I have already gotten to know the area and some cool people!   

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