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The Top Reasons to Invest in South Carolina Real Estate

Guest Blogger: Austin Winder

Historically, land has been a safe long term investment. While stocks can fall and companies can close, land is an investment that will eventually bounce back from any downturns in the market. With interest rates currently low and the housing market booming, that is as true now as it has ever been. 

Cities such as Charleston are particularly appealing to investors. Strong job growth, a growing population, and low taxes have all made owning in this vibrant city a smart bet for both seasoned investors and those looking to dip their toes in the water.

Companies are Investing in South Carolina

For buyers looking for property, prices are forecast to continue to climb. In 2019 alone, the Charleston real estate market should see an increase of 5%, a number that highlights the robustness of the current market. With new factories having recently been opened by Mercedes Benz and Volvo, and strong hiring from more established businesses such as Boeing and Bosch, that growth isn't likely to slow down any time soon. 

That makes buying a starter home in or near the city an appealing prospect, as when it comes time to move or upgrade, that initial investment will pay off with a nice nest egg that can be put towards the next home purchase, or just into a savings account. Selling isn't likely to be difficult, either, in a state with a growing number of retirees looking to downsize while growing families are upsizing.

No Real Estate License Required

Investment buyers have even more to celebrate. With median home prices of $160,738 and average rental prices of about 1,100, a buyer with 20% down and a good credit history can find a home whose mortgage will be fully covered by their renters year one. Nor does the state require a license to become a landlord. Additionally, a large local military and student population means that there is no shortage of high quality renters looking for stable homes to live in during their time in the city. Over the course of a 20 or 30 year fixed rate loan, rent will only continue to rise while the mortgage payment will stay steady, slowly resulting in ever larger monthly gains. Best of all, down the line, when it comes time to sell, it will have been the renters who paid off that mortgage.

Tourism is Growing

Tourism is also up, which trickles down into the real estate market. The historic walking tours, foodie reputation, and the great outdoor adventures to be had in Charleston draw millions of tourists each year. Those tourists pump billions into the city's economy. Visitors spent over 7 billion in 2017, almost double the 2016 number, just in the greater Charleston area alone, and that number keeps growing.

Savvy buyers who have the time and inclination can translate those numbers into a business opportunity by renting out rooms or entire homes on AirBnB or other similar sites. Beach rentals can be particularly profitable through this strategy. This can mean even homeowners who are living in their investment property themselves can use visitors to pay their mortgage. While running an AirBnB is more work than managing a long term rental, it can also result in much higher profits, especially in the busy season.

All this goes to say that there has never been a better time to invest in real estate in South Carolina. South Carolina prices are about 30,000 below the national average. Combined with low unemployment rates and booming business, this sweet Southern state is increasingly becoming a haven for homebuyers looking for somewhere to settle down. Whether in the city of Charleston or in one of the surrounding counties, great deals abound. It just needs the right buyers to take advantage of them.

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