Homes for Rent in Columbia, SC: What You Need to Know
Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, is also the state’s largest city (population: 131,674). Don’t be surprised if locals call their hometown Cola, the old abbreviation of Columbia.
Schools and Higher Education
The city is home to the University of South Carolina (USC), with 34,795 students on the flagship campus. The university was founded in 1801 to help unite South Carolinians in the wake of the American Revolution, but also as part of a movement for public higher education advocated for by Thomas Jefferson. Apart from USC, there are 74 colleges within 100 miles of Columbia. The city has 85 public schools (52,446 students). Brockman Elementary School and Spring Valley High School are among the highly ranked schools in the city.
Sports and Recreation
Columbia rallies around its sports teams – the University of South Carolina’s Gamecocks and the Columbia Fireflies, a Class A affiliate of the New York Mets and the city’s Minor League Baseball team. USC’s Gamecock baseball team won national championships in 2010 and 2011. The Gamecocks compete in men’s baseball, football, and basketball, as well as women’s basketball, softball, and volleyball.
The Cost of Living in Columbia
This college town is budget-friendly, with a cost of living rate that’s 8.5% lower than the national average. Likewise, food and housing costs are 20.8% and 18.9% lower than the national average, respectively. The median gross rent in the city is $910; the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $841. South Carolina’s progressive income tax rate ranges from 0% to 7%. It levies 6% to 9% in sales tax.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Columbia offers a variety of housing options with more than half of the city’s residents renting. Locals love their hometown’s affordability, amenities, and USC-related social activities. Prefer the suburbs? Forest Acres is right next door to Columbia and yet it maintains a quiet suburban ambiance. Irmo, also close by, offers a lot of outdoor recreations, thanks to Lake Murray. Forest Acres and Irmo both have great schools.
Weather and Climate
Columbia adopted its “Famously Hot” slogan as a nod to its scorching and humid summers. In July, the average high temperature of 93.6 degrees Fahrenheit is one of the hottest in the state. The city gets 217 sunny days per year compared with the U.S. average of 205 sunny days. Columbia gets about 46 inches of rain annually versus the national average of 38 inches, and only about one inch of snow per year versus the U.S. average of 28 inches.