Are you moving to South Carolina from Minnesota? You’re not alone. In fact, in 2022, South Carolina was the third-fastest growing state in the US.
Moving to a new state involves adapting to a different environment, culture, regulatory framework, and whatnot. Understanding what to expect in the new state can help you settle down faster.
As professional movers with years of experience in moving from Minnesota to South Carolina, here are the 10 things we’d like everyone to know:
1. Research about the neighborhood
You may have already been researching the city you’re moving to in the coming weeks or days. That’s obvious. But it’s highly advised that you research thoroughly about the neighborhood as well.
That’s because, within a city, no two neighborhoods are created equal. Charleston, a city of 150,000 residents, has more than dozens of neighborhoods or localities. There’s downtown, there’s French Charter, there’s Harleston village, there’s Westside, among others. French Quarter is more touristy with heavy foot traffic, while Harleston village is filled with stately townhouses. You won’t get such details by merely researching about the city.
So, conduct proper research before moving in. Use online blogs, newspapers, local forums, travel directories, etc. If possible, fly down to the location and get a first-hand experience.
2. Learn about the South Carolina tax structure
As you change states, you’ll have to live by the tax structure of the new state, which, in this case, is South Carolina. Every state collects tax differently to fund the state-run programs. In South Carolina, the sales and income tax are on the upper end, while property taxes are on the lower side.
Here’s a brief overview of the tax structure in the state:
- Income tax – South Carolina has a progressive income tax system with six tax brackets. The rates range from 0% to a maximum of 7% on taxable income. The brackets and rates are subject to change, so it’s crucial to check for any updates.
- Corporate tax – South Carolina imposes a corporate income tax on businesses operating within the state. The corporate income tax rate is a flat rate of 5% of federal taxable income.
- Sales tax – South Carolina has a statewide sales tax around the 6% range. Also, the local jurisdictions (counties and municipalities) may impose additional sales taxes. Therefore, the total sales tax rate varies depending on the location.
- Property tax – Property taxes in South Carolina are primarily levied by local governments, including counties, municipalities, and school districts. The assessed value of a property is determined by county assessors, and property tax rates vary by location.
It’s important to update yourself on tax matters and make necessary adjustments.
3. Calculate the cost of living differences
Besides taxes, you’re also going to experience differences in the cost of living. Whether it’ll be more or less would depend on the city and neighborhood you’re moving into.
The average cost of living index is 6% lower than the national average. Housing, in particular, is more affordable and is 18% below the national average. However, utilities and food are on the higher side, with the indexes being 8% and 3% higher than the national average.
The cost of living index for Minnesota, on the other hand, was 3% lower than the national average. Thus, you can expect your new state to be cheaper, depending on the location.
4. Get your paperwork in order before leaving
People wait until they move and settle in their new homes before updating the documents. But it’s a mistake. You must get all the paperwork done ahead of time before leaving Minnesota.
Doing so is crucial because it takes time for the changes to be reflected in the official records. So, by the time you have settled in your new home, the address in the official record will be the old address. So, there’s a possibility that the postal department and bank will ship critical documents to your old address.
To avoid this issue, it’s recommended to get all the paperwork in order weeks in advance.
5. Check the job market
When moving into a new state, it’s wise to check the local labor market, especially if you’re seeking employment.
South Carolina is the fastest-growing job market in the country, beating second-placed Minnesota. In the last 10-year period from 2013 to 2023, the state saw an impressive 142.36% increase in job openings.
In terms of salaries, the average salary for a South Carolinian is around $48,000, as per ZipRecruiter. Aerospace, utilities, and logistics are the dominating industries in the state.
Keep an eye on the labor market as it’s booming in the state.
6. Home market is cheaper, but planning is necessary
South Carolina is a dream for any home buyer. Affordable prices, great locations, soothing climate – all seem to be in your favor. The average home price in the state is around $287,063. In certain cities like Eastover, it goes as low as $80,000.
But you must still be cautious while buying or constructing a new home. That’s because South Carolina is still evolving and has a huge influx of people. This can drive the price up in certain cities and sections, thus causing a bubble.
Therefore, plan accordingly and make an informed decision when buying a home in the state.
7. Golfing is a MUST
Not a fan of Tiger Woods? No problem. You will once you move to South Carolina. The state’s golfing culture is so vibrant that you can’t ignore it.
The state is home to a diverse range of golf courses, many set against picturesque backdrops. From coastal courses with ocean views to courses nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, South Carolina offers a variety of scenic landscapes for golfers to enjoy.
Many residential communities in South Carolina are designed around these golf courses. These communities often offer residents easy access to golf facilities and create an environment where golf becomes a central part of the lifestyle.
The state hosts several prestigious golf tournaments like RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island and various events on the PGA Tour. So don’t be surprised if you eventually develop a soft heart for Tiger (or Bryson).
8. Be prepared for the hot summers
With mild winters and warm summers, South Carolinians enjoy soothing weather throughout much of the year. However, the state experiences high humidity, especially during summer.
The combination of heat and humidity can be challenging for some individuals, and it may take time for newcomers to acclimate to the climate. It’s recommended that you take precautions during the summer months.
9. Be prepared for hurricanes
South Carolina is susceptible to natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, and occasional tornadoes. Coastal areas are particularly at risk during hurricane seasons, and residents must be prepared for such events.
August through early October is the prime month for hurricanes to hit the state. Certain counties like Jasper, Charleston, Georgetown, and Berkley are more hurricane-prone than others. Thus, be alert and keep yourself prepared for the hurricane season.
10. Hire a reputed moving agency to handle your belongings
Last, but not least, it’s highly advised that you work with a reputed moving company when moving to South Carolina from Minnesota. The states are 1,400 miles apart, and you need an expert behind the wheel to transport your valuable items safely. Thus, conduct some research and find the right partner to work with.
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With seventy years of experience, Piepho Moving & Storage is a reputed moving company and an esteemed agent for Allied Van Lines. We know the industry inside-out and provide a smooth and effortless relocation.
Contact us today for a free quote and a stress-free moving experience!