While the early days of the state were mired in the exploits of pirates like Blackbeard, South Carolina today represents one of the Atlantic states and dates back to being among the original 13 colonies at the beginning of the United States. The coastal side of South Carolina has a greater portion of the state's population and development than inland, which tends to be highly rural and forested. South Carolina also has famous Atlantic beaches which regularly draw tourists through the summer and warm months. The largest developed areas of the state include Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Rock Hill. In terms of tourism one the most vivid coastal sights is the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge which spans across Charleston Harbor. In terms of industry the states sees economic revenue for agriculture, chemical and paper production, heavy machinery manufacturing, automobile manufacturing and tourism.
Though the Palmetto State is small in area, it is home to nearly 5 million Americans and the 24th largest population in the United States. Recent estimates put gross state product at more than $150 billion, driven largely by services like healthcare and education. SC is a relatively business friendly state, which has lead to both domestic and foreign companies setting up shop.
The average home in South Carolina is worth around $125,000. Average sale price is a bit higher at more than $160,000. The most expensive towns in the state are located on the Atlantic ocean; Isle of Palms and Hilton Head Island lead the pack, with median sales prices of over $1 million. More affordable cities include Marion and Lancaster, SC. If you're looking for more information about relocating to South Carolina, check out this helpful guide.
Columbia is SC's capital and the home of the University of South Carolina, the state's flagship university. Nearly 800,000 people live in the Columbia metro area. Major local employers include the university, the state, and various healthcare companies. There are also a number of banks and insurance companies headquartered in Columbia.
Founded in 1670, Charleston is one of the historic American cities. The city is famous for its southern hospitality, and more than one publication has named it the nicest city in America. Charleston has done a great job maintaining its historic buildings, and its economy is largely driven by tourism. The economy is growing rapidly, which may make Charleston a good choice for young people getting ready to start a career.
Charlotte, NC, is one of America's banking meccas, so it should come as no surprise that its southern neighbor enjoys a strong banking sector as well. This strength trickles down into increased consumer choice for South Carolinians. There are a number of strong community lenders like AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, headquartered in Columbia, with a long track record of helping local businesses and consumers.
That said, the local option is not for everyone, especially those who rely heavily on online banking or travel across the United States frequently and need a bank with a bigger national footprint. Luckily, SC has branches of numerous national banks, a few of which are listed below.
Community / local banks:
SC's biggest credit unions:
National banks with local branches:
Whether you're looking for a checking account, a CD, or a money market account, RateZip.com's financial search engine can help you compare today's interest rates. Our database includes offers from all sorts of institutions, from SC banks & credit unions to online banks that compete solely on rate.
If a move to the coast or relocation to South Carolina's inland area is in order, RateZip.com should definitely be reviewed to find the best mortgage rates in the area from lenders. Additionally, we can help current homeowners find the right rate for refinancing a home loan. Read on for further information.
If you're looking at one of the more expensive areas in SC - generally places located on the water - you may need to look into a jumbo mortgage. These mortgages are useful when the loan amount falls somewhere above the conforming limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In general, the limit is $417,000. However, there are "high cost" areas where the limit is pushed up to over $700,000.