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Charleston is the Most Affordable City in South Carolina

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCIf majestic palmettos and access to some of the best beaches in the U.S. aren’t enough motivation for you to move, perhaps the low cost of living in South Carolina will convince you.

But the cities on this list aren’t necessarily just the cheapest places in SC. Instead, we looked at the average cost of living, as well as key components such as transportation, housing, dining options, and utilities. From this, we looked for cities that offered a nice balance between affordability and quality of life.

1. Charleston

With an expansive dining, art and shopping scene, as well as history galore, are you surprised to find that South Carolina’s second largest city is an affordable place to call home?

Founded in 1670, Charleston is the oldest city in the state, and as such, historic homes, churches and other structures dot nearly every corner of it. Another piece of trivia: The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

Considered one of the top cities for theater, Charleston is the site of the popular Spoleto Festival USA, a performing arts event held every spring.

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC, contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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Livability.com

Best States to Find a Job – Charleston, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 20, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCSome states are adding jobs much faster than others. CNBC knows, because we've been measuring job creation in all 50 states for 10 years in our annual America's Top States for Business study.

Job growth is a key metric in our Economy category, measuring employment increases over the previous 12 months based on seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll numbers from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means we've been measuring job growth since June of 2006. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but these 10 states have been the best places to find a job over the last 10 years.

South Carolina didn't experience the overbuilding that many of its neighbors did during the housing boom, But the overall economic crisis still hit hard-and it hit the state earlier than most. That has made for easier comparisons as the recovery rumbled along, bit SC has also benefited from a surging health-care sector that continues to add jobs.

#10 South Carolina

2006-2016 Job Growth 8.28%
Net jobs added: 156.200
Key industries: Healthcare, manufacturing
10-year Tops States Economy Rank: No. 40

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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CNBC

There are Many Financial Benefits of Renting – Charleston, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 13, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCRenting rather than owning a home may not be as expensive as many people think.

The prospect of no longer having to pay rent, known as imputed rent, is often cited as a major incentive to owning a home.

However, a financial researcher has argued that many buyers overlook costs included in their rent, such as building insurance and property maintenance. He believes a failure to properly account for these outgoings can cause householders to overestimate the financial benefits of owning versus renting.

Individual circumstances and market conditions play a big part in determining whether it is smarter to rent or buy, but this research should help households make an informed choice.

The new research provides a step-by-step explanation of how households can objectively compare the costs of renting versus buying a home, while taking their own personal circumstances and macro-economic conditions into account.

In reviewing transaction costs, imputed rental yields, opportunity costs, inflation and the length of time owning a home, the study also shows that – during periods of deflation or zero inflation – people who rent are financially better-off than those who own their home.

Even when economic conditions are favorable, households may need to own their home for between five and 10 years before returns from the rent they are no longer paying are sufficient to compensate for the high transaction costs of buying.

It is often thought that buying a house makes more financial sense in the long run: however, renting is frequently more worthwhile than buying for financially-constrained households, as well as households likely to relocate within 10 years.

As well as a reduced ability to recover transaction costs, households relocating within a few years face a higher risk that medium-term prices will move against them, thus reducing or eliminating their equity, while financially-constrained households face much higher mortgage costs.

The research charts how deflation, or rising interest rates without a corresponding increase in wages, has the potential to impact negatively on homeowners. For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC, contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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knowridge.com

How Much More it Costs to Own Than Rent In Your State – Charleston, SC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCOwning a home is often considered the American dream — and it’s an expensive one. Homeowners in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., pay from 33% to 93% more for housing each month than do renters living in the same state, according to a new NerdWallet analysis.

But many homeowners reap benefits that you can’t get from renting. The equity you build can be leveraged for loans that can be used to improve the home and boost its value or be used in financial emergencies.

While renting can’t offer thosefinancial benefits, it’s cheaper to rent on a month-to-month basis. If you’re wondering how to save money for a down payment, renting can help you build that nest egg — but in extremely expensive or competitive markets, renting might be better for the long haul.

To determine the monthly homeownership premium — the additional cost of owning instead of renting, expressed as a percentage — NerdWallet compared 2015 American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau for the median gross rent and median homeownership cost in each state and Washington, D.C. Median gross rent includes the costs of monthly rent and utilities for all kinds of rental properties, and median homeownership cost includes monthly mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance and utilities. This comparison doesn’t include the down payment required to buy a home, which is traditionally 20% of the home price for conventional mortgages, but is lower for FHA or VA loans.

Key takeaways

  • Owning is more expensive everywhere. Across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., it costs more each month to own a home than to rent. The median cost people pay nationwide to own a home is 54% more than the median cost to rent each month.
  • The smallest difference is still a third more to own.
  • In some states, the cost of owning far eclipses renting.

State: South Carolina
Homeownership Premium: 43%
Median Monthly Cost to Own: $1168
Median Monthly Cost to Rent: $819
Difference: $349

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC, contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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NerdWallet

South Carolina is a Great Place to Retire – Charleston, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, March 16, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCWhere to retire is a deeply personal decision that no one else can make for you. However, if you haven't already settled on a destination, a comprehensive analysis of your options can help narrow your search.

We rated all 50 states based on quantifiable factors that are important to many retirees. Our rankings favored states that are affordable—especially in terms of lower taxes on retirees and lower health care costs. Then we took health into account—both the economic health of each state and the overall health of the population. Finally, we rewarded states with relatively prosperous populations of residents age 65 and up.

We ranked 10 states in the top rankings for retirement destinations. They offer a wide diversity of climates and lifestyles, so you're likely to find one that suits your tastes. Of course, states are big places, so we narrowed the search even more for you. Within each, we identified a city or two that should hold particular appeal to retirees.

#6 South Carolina

Population: 4.7 million
Share of population 65+: 14.7%
Cost of living: 12% below the U.S. average
Average income for 65+ households: $39,985
Average health care costs for a retired couple: Below average at $373,631
South Carolina's tax rating for retirees: Tax Friendly

If the mild weather and southern charm of the Palmetto State isn't enough of a retirement draw for you, surely the affordability can tempt you. On top of well-below-average living costs, the tax situation goes easy on a fixed income, too. South Carolina doesn't tax Social Security benefits and offers generous exemptions on other types of retirement income. It also does not levy an inheritance or estate tax. Property taxes tend to be very low.

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC, contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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Kiplinger

Best Places to Live in America – Charleston, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCWhen deciding where to put down roots, many factors are in the eye of the beholder, such as climate, politics, or proximity to extended family.

Other aspects are coveted by nearly everybody: affordable housing, access to well-paying jobs, a low cost of living, good schools, and quality healthcare. In its recently released ranking of the best places to live in America, U.S. News & World Report gathered data on these crucial components for the 100 most populous US cities.

They then categorized the data into five indexes for each city — job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration — to definitively rank these major metro areas.

Scores for "value," a blend of annual household income and cost of living, and "quality of life," which accounts for crime, college readiness, commute, and other factors, are included below on a 10-point scale, as well as the city’s population and median annual salary.

19. Charleston, South Carolina

Population: 697,281
Median annual salary: $42,770
Quality of life: 6
Overall value: 6.5

Charleston’s charming, historic, and sophisticated ambiance is exemplary of southern culture. “Not only is the area overflowing with entertainment and good food, but this low country locale is also gorgeous,” said a local expert.

Tourism is booming in Charleston, creating plenty of jobs, especially in the summer months. Year-round, jobs in tech, sales, marketing, and advertising keep the city’s economy strong.

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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businessinsider.com

Should I Rent or Should I Buy? - Charleston, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCWhen relocating, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is if you are going to rent or buy. The answer is not always so straightforward.

If you’re just passing through, renting may be a better option.

When Renting a Home Makes More Sense:

You Plan on Relocating

While it’s true many people stick around for the long term, many are just passing through Charleston. If you know you’re not going to be around for the long-term, renting is an easier option with less commitment.

Your Income Is Unpredictable

Self-employed professionals, new graduates, start-up employees, and contractors don’t always know what their income will be in the long-term. While contractors can expect a predictable paycheck while on contract, once the term ends you’ll be stuck with a mortgage payment no matter what. If cash flow is an issue, owning a home will make it harder for you to downsize when times get hard.

Retirement is Close

Even if you have a pretty hefty retirement fund, a high cost of living can wipe that out quick. If you can buy for cash and still have plenty to live on, then owning may be for you. Otherwise, renting is a better option. The fixed costs will make it easy to budget. Renting also provides you with the flexibility to downsize or move into your RV and travel.

Mortgage Rates Are High

The past few years have seen some of the lowest rates for a long time, but lately rates have begun to rise slightly. Because of the high sticker price of many homes, try to buy when rates are at a low and rent in the meantime.

There’s no one perfect answer for the rent vs. buy question. It all depends on your situation. Take your time to explore your goals and your financial picture before making the decision.

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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ARLnow

Should Active Military Members Rent or Own? - Charleston, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCDeciding when to take the home-buying plunge can be tough. For military members and their families, the unique nature of their service often adds a new layer of consideration.

Here are a few key things to consider.

1. Frequent relocation

Active-duty military personnel move frequently, often once every two to three years. Prospective buyers should be comfortable with the idea of turning around and reselling a property or renting it out—and the possibility of neither of those coming to pass.

Talk with real estate agents and other experts to get a feel for the local housing market and near-term trends. You might have no problem selling the home or finding renters in your particular community, but there are no guarantees.

Even if your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves you across the country, you’re still on the hook for that new mortgage payment. Short sales and foreclosures can wreck your credit and put home buying out of reach for years. So it’s not a decision to take lightly.

2. Costs of renting vs. buying

Do your homework, and get a clear sense of what’s likely to cost more. Paying a mortgage is may be cheaper than renting in some U.S. markets, but every buyer’s situation is different. A good lender can help you get pre-approved and run realistic affordability numbers.

Keep in mind homeownership comes with costs that renters don’t typically face, like maintenance, lawn care, appliance repairs, and more. And buying with $0 down means you’ll start life as a homeowner with little to no equity.

3. Wants and needs

Homeownership offers a lot of freedom, but it also comes with significant responsibility. Take stock of your priorities to see where you land. How important is it for you to personalize your space? Do you enjoy home and yard maintenance? How do you feel about paying for them?

Owning a home means you can’t call the landlord to fix a broken pipe or replace the water heater. Renting means you’re building equity for someone else.

In the end, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Buying a home evokes thoughts of long-term stability that are sometimes at odds with the unpredictability of the military lifestyle.

Still, there’s something to be said for the sense of pride and independence that come along with homeownership. Think long and hard about what’s right for you, and get good information from real estate and mortgage experts you trust.

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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Realtors.com

Buying a Home Is Not a Financial Decision – Charleston, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCMany young workers today are mired in a kind of adulting limbo, yearning for a mortgage that they simply cannot afford. Homeownership among people aged 35 and younger has fallen by 18% since 2006 thanks to the Great Recession's aftershocks and the strain of historic levels of student loan debt.

Even so, three-quarters of young adults believe owning a home makes more financial sense than renting, and eventually want one for themselves. But should you inflict such self-torment? Is it really that much smarter to buy than to rent? That all depends on what a home means to you -- because ultimately, buying a home might not even be a financial decision.

Risks of Buying

Homeownership comes with a host of risks. You're sinking a large portion of your savings into an asset that's expensive to maintain, and may be extremely difficult to sell. People move, jobs change, markets tank, life happens. There's no guarantee that you'll want to live in the same area in two years, much less that your family situation will remain constant.

Rent prices have moved higher since the financial crisis -- but not being the master of your domain comes with certain advantages. You can move more easily, since you don't have to worry about finding a buyer, and won't end up spending the $1,100 or more that the average homeowner shells out each year on maintenance costs.

Meanwhile, you could very well earn a better return on your down payment by investing it in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds instead of a half-acre plot. Stocks rebounded much more quickly than home prices after the Great Recession, and over the long haul there isn't that much evidence that homes provide a decent return for your money. From 1900 to 2011, housing gained 1.3% annually after inflation -- compared to 5.4% for stocks.

Your home can also change abruptly from an asset to a liability. The national median home price dropped 23% from just before the housing crash to the bottom in December 2011. Home prices, excluding inflation, have only just now returned to pre-crisis levels. Nearly a third of homeowners were under water five years ago -- owing more on their mortgage than their home was worth.

Emotional Decision-Making

The truth is that, for most people, buying a home is as much about sentiment as it is about dollars and cents.

Beyond the financials people often want a place that is their own. Owning a home feels terrifying -- yet liberating.

Indeed, young renters who aspire to homeownership do so to control their living space, have a sense of privacy and security, and establish a place to raise a family. They want a home for the freedom it confers. Don't like those cabinets? Hate the carpet? You can generally do what you please if you're the owner.

You have to pay for that freedom, and it doesn't come cheap. But it's worth remembering that whether to rent or buy isn't a clear-cut decision. And it's certainly not only about finances.

Rather it's a reflection of your particular desires -- which means you should think deeply about what it is you're after. If you're looking to leverage your savings to build more money for the future, you could easily end up disappointed.

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC, contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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Time – Money

What's it like to live in Charleston, SC?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Abberly at West Ashley, Charleston, SCThere is no place quite like Charleston. The region features a unique blend of historic preservation and new development, displayed in its cobblestone walkways and eerie cemeteries, buzzy nightlife and sophisticated art galleries. Its unique brand of Southern style shines in the bespoke boutiques that line downtown's King Street, while Southern hospitality radiates from the award-winning dining establishments.

Not only is the area overflowing with entertainment and good food, but this low country locale is also gorgeous. Although summers are hot and humid, the rest of the year features pleasant temperatures that allow residents to soak in the area's scenery. A handful of beaches within striking distance make a day at the shore a commonplace activity for Charlestonians.

Whether it's Spanish moss dangling from oak trees or the smell of shrimp and grits wafting downtown – Charleston is sure to charm you.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 100 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there. Charleston ranks as #27 with an overall score of 6.8 out of 10.

Charleston, SC - #27 in Best Places to Live

  • 6.8 Overall Score
  • 6.0 Quality of Life
  • 6.1 Value

For more information on apartments in Charleston, SC, contact Abberly at West Ashley.

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US News