Points of Interest
South Carolina mortgage and refinance rates are a little lower than the national average. Couple that with a competitive cost of living and a ton of location choices and there’s plenty to draw homebuyers to this state.
South Carolina is a popular state to live in, and thanks to its thriving economy, natural beauty and outdoor spaces, it’s easy to see why. The cost of living in South Carolina will depend largely on your lifestyle, but it’s generally lower than the national average — and so are the mortgage rates overall when compared to the national average — making it a great choice for those looking for a taste of Southern living without spending a whole lot of money.
Getting a mortgage in South Carolina
The process of obtaining a South Carolina mortgage is largely the same as it is anywhere else. Once you’ve found a property, showed a lender you have the income necessary to make the monthly payments, put a contract on the house and have gone through the credit checks necessary for a mortgage loan, you’ll be on your way to your new home.
South Carolina mortgage rates are lower on average than the rest of the U.S., and you may find savings in other areas due to the relatively low cost of living in the state. This will, of course, depend largely on the area into which you plan to move to, though.
- Median home price: $154,800
- Average 30-year fixed rate: 3.03%
- Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,227
- Homeownership rate: 68.9%
South Carolina state mortgage rate trends
As with the rest of the country, South Carolina mortgage rates saw a significant spike in interest rates during the 1980s recession. However, since that time, rates in the state have been steadily falling. The current South Carolina mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan is now lower than the national average, as are the refinance and other loan rates.
South Carolina state current mortgage rates
Current South Carolina mortgage rates and South Carolina refinance rates are fairly low, meaning there is plenty of opportunity for homebuyers in the state. As of Sept. 3, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage in South Carolina was 3.03%, which was slightly lower than the national average. The average rate for a 5/1 ARM was 3.15%, and the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.53% — much lower than the national average.
Keep in mind there’s more to buying a home than the interest rate. For example, this state enjoys a below-average cost of living, meaning your bills for groceries and gas could save you more on top of the low mortgage rates.
Most and least expensive places to live in South Carolina
South Carolina has a cost of living below the national average. However, like any state, it has its more and less expensive counties.
5 most expensive
- Charleston County: Packed with bars, restaurants and bars, Charleston County is ideal for families and young professionals.
- Beaufort County: With above-average public schools and beautiful countryside, Beaufort is home to many retirees and young professionals alike.
- Dorchester County: A great area with a thriving jobs market, Dorchester County is a community that’s filled with opportunity.
- Georgetown County: Georgetown County has a wonderful family-friendly environment and is a brilliant place to raise children.
- Berkeley County: A culturally diverse and energetic college town, Berkeley County is perfect for those with college-age children or people who simply enjoy the hustle and bustle.
5 least expensive
- Marlboro County: Originally colonized by Welsh settlers, Marlboro is famous for its wide-open spaces and, of course, the well-known cigarette brand.
- Chesterfield County: A small rural county where everyone knows each other, Chesterfield County is famous for excellent watermelons and peaches.
- Hampton County: Named for Confederate Civil War General Wade Hampton, Hampton is home to the incredible Lake Warren State Park.
- Union County: A small and friendly county, Union County is popular with professionals who can commute easily to the larger cities in the area.
- Chester County: A quiet area ideal for raising a family, Chester County is not far from larger population centers.
South Carolina state mortgage resources and intricacies
There are several programs in South Carolina designed to make it easier for people to purchase property. Depending on your personal situation, you may find you qualify for one of the following programs:
- South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority
- HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in South Carolina
- HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients in South Carolina
- Habitat for Humanity
- USDA Rural Development in South Carolina
For example, the USDA program offers direct loans and loan guarantees to help families get started on the homeowner journey, and Habitat for Humanity can help with things like affordable housing.
The South Carolina government also has useful HUD resources and support tools to help homebuyers in the state with finding the best South Carolina refinance rates, accessing money for repairs and maintenance, and avoiding unscrupulous and predatory lenders. It even offers special assistance for returning veterans, who make up a disproportionate percentage of the nation’s homeless population.
The final word
South Carolina has much to offer the savvy homebuyer, with many beautiful locations and a cost of living below the national average. Plus, not only are South Carolina mortgage rates lower than the national average, there are also plenty of resources and assistance available to those who might need a little leg up when buying a home.