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If you're buying a home, it can take some effort to find the best mortgage rates. You'll want to get quotes from several mortgage lenders to see which offers the best loan terms. Doing the work is worth it -- even a small difference in interest rates can have a major impact on your monthly mortgage payments.
Your mortgage rate and the cost of your home will both affect how much you pay for your loan. To keep the purchase price down, consider buying in one of these places in South Carolina recognized for their low cost of living.
Columbia is one of the most inexpensive cities in South Carolina, and is ranked 89th in America by Niche for low cost of living. A median home value of $181,100 -- below the national median of $217,500 -- is one reason living in Columbia is so affordable. Niche also identifies Columbia as one of the best cities in America to live in, and one of the top 75 cities in which to raise a family. Attractions such as Congaree National Park, the South Carolina State Museum, and the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden are part of what makes this area so pleasant. Just 46% of residents own their homes, even though property taxes are relatively affordable. They average around 0.76% of assessed fair market value in Richland County, according to Tax-rates.org.
North Charleston is one of the top 65 most-diverse cities in the U.S. and is recognized for its public schools. Median home value is a bit lower here than in Columbia, coming in at $174,800, but the majority of residents -- 55% -- are renters. Property taxes are also lower in Dorchester County, where North Charleston is located, than in Richland County. In Dorchester County, they average 0.67% of assessed fair market value.
Charleston ranks second for the best places to live in South Carolina cities for young professionals. Tourists love visiting as well, and both locals and guests can enjoy Waterfront Park, the Historic Charleston City Market, and the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, among other attractions. Most Charleston residents own their homes, with only 44% renting. Home values are much higher here than in North Charleston or Columbia, however, with a median value of $330,600. Charleston County does have lower property taxes, with an average rate of just 0.5% of assessed fair market value.
Parker is a suburb of Greenville, and Niche ranks it at No. 31 among 121 suburbs in South Carolina for cost of living. A little more than 12,000 people live in this mid-sized town, 58% of whom are renters. Median home values are much lower here, at $81,400. However, Greenville County's taxes are higher than Charleston's, averaging 0.66% of assessed fair market value.
North Augusta has a population of around 23,000 and ranks as the 25th-best suburb in the state in which to buy a house. Median home value here is $161,100 and about 66% of residents are homeowners. Aiken County offers some of the lowest property taxes in the U.S., with an average rate of just 0.49% of a property's assessed fair market value.
No matter your situation, consider how much it costs to live in the area where you're interested in buying a house. Cost of living, as well as the terms of your South Carolina mortgage, will determine how affordable it is to become a homeowner.
If you want to uncover more about the best mortgage lenders for low rates and fees, our experts have created a shortlist of the top mortgage companies. Some of our experts have even used these lenders themselves to cut their costs.
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