Renter's Guide to Greenville
Greenville is a beautiful city located in the upstate region of South Carolina. While it’s not a bustling metropolis, the city has everything you could want and need for a comfortable lifestyle, from great restaurants and trendy coffee shops to boutique stores and great trails for mountain hiking and biking. It’s also known for its burgeoning arts community.
CBS News named Greenville one of 2015’s Hottest New Vacation Destinations, and Bicycling Magazine deemed it one of the Best Small Cities for Cycling in 2012. Moreover, the AARP designated Greenville as one of the Best Places to Retire in 2013.
Greenville continues to draw accolades and recognition as it grows. It is known for its beautiful parks, notably Falls Park, and its outdoor areas such as the 21 mile Rabbit Swamp Trail, in addition to its thriving job market.
Greenville is 251 miles from Myrtle Beach, SC, 212 miles from Charleston, SC, and 101 miles from Charlotte, NC. Asheville, another popular retirement destination in the Western Carolinas, is a mere 63 miles away. Greenville’s proximity to both North and South Carolina’s major cities make it a very desirable place to live.
The climate of Greenville is subtropical despite the fact Greenville is located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The average temperature in July is 79.9 degrees and Greenville has an average of 43 days with temperatures of over 90 degrees. However, the winters are quite mild and balance out the hot summer. The average January temperature is a moderate 43 degrees.
Greenville, SC Demographics
- Total Population61,734
Female 30,782Male 30,952
- Median Age34.3
Cost of Living in Greenville, SC
Overall, Greenville’s cost of living is 6.8% lower than the national average. The average cost for a meal in Greenville at a casual and inexpensive restaurant is around $11.00. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will be around $45.00 for three courses. An imported beer in Greenville is around $4.50 and a cappuccino is $3.47.
The average utility cost for a 915-square-foot apartment in Greenville is only $109.00 which is lower than the national average of $147.
Greenville has limited public transit called the Greenlink. The Greenlink offers bus and trolley service. A full fare pass for 20 rides is $27. The Greenlink trolley operates on a fixed route with 20 stops throughout Greenville.
Average Rent in Greenville, SC
- Greenville, SC Average Rental Price, December 2018$1,059/mo
- 1 Bedroom$949
- 2 Bedrooms$1,115
Greenville, SC Apartment Rent Ranges
- < $5001%
- > $2,0001%
Greenville, SC Rent Trends
|All rentals||Studio||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds|
|Dec / 2018||$1,059||$1,011||$949||$1,115|
|Jan / 2018||$1,053||$932||$941||$1,114|
|Sept / 2017||$1,074||$962||$934||$1,157|
|May / 2017||$1,085||$996||$957||$1,153|
|Jan / 2017||$1,064||$1,078||$958||$1,120|
|Sept / 2016||$1,074||$1,024||$951||$1,139|
|May / 2016||$1,077||$1,037||$964||$1,132|
|Jan / 2016||$1,049||$950||$939||$1,104|
|Sept / 2015||$1,016||$926||$910||$1,069|
|May / 2015||$987||$956||$883||$1,033|
Living in Greenville
Just like any other city in the US, there are pros and cons to living in Greenville. The city’s quiet, suburban vibe with tree-lined streets and friendly people is one of the things that make people want to stay here. Moreover, the city has implemented a bicycle initiative called Bikeville which encourages bicycle use and aims to increase ridership and expand bicycling facilities. This is just one way that Greenville is forward thinking and the community is focused on increasing quality of life for those who live there.
The city is also home to several historic districts which add to the area’s charm. The Colonel Elias Earle Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The Greenville historic districts and the city’s commitment to honoring its past is a major pro of living in Greenville.
On the negative side, Greenville has many days with temperatures in the 90s and summers here tend to be very warm and humid. There is hardly any public transit in Greenville and owning a car is a necessity. There are also no professional or semiprofessional sports teams in the city so for a die-hard sports fan that can make the city a little less attractive.
Things to do in Greenville
One of the most popular things to do in Greenville is visiting Falls Park - named the ninth best park in the country by Trip Advisor in 2013. Admission and parking are free at this beautiful park which features the Liberty Bridge. Spanning the Reedy River, this gorgeous, modern bridge is a single suspension with two inclined towers and was built in 2004. The design has won many awards and is a must-see in Greenville.
Another top attraction in Greenville is the GHS Rabbit Swamp Trail which is a 21 mile multi-use trail that connects Greenville to Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina, a nearby town. The trail runs along the Reedy River and is perfect for biking and running.
The Greenville Zoo attracts many visitors and is fun for the whole family. The Zoo has a very popular giraffe exhibit as well as leopards, lions, and orangutans. The Greenville Zoo spans 14 acres and is one of the most popular attractions in all of South Carolina.
Shopping in Greenville can be found at Haywood Mall which recently underwent a renovation in 2015. Haywood Mall has stores such as Apple, Michael Kors, and Coach. Discount shopping can be found at Gaffney Premium Outlets for those looking for a great deal. Other retailers in the area include Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Costco, and Publix.
Greenville has an impressive art museum, the Greenville County Museum of Art. The GCMA draws many visitors to see installations by two of America’s best known contemporary artists, Jasper Johns and Andrew Wyeth. Best of all, admission to the museum is free!
Greenville does not have any professional sports teams but it does have the Greenville Sports League which organizes co-ed intramural sports teams such as flag football teams, kickball teams, and softball for adults.
Employment & Economy
The unemployment rate in Greenville is very low at only 3.8%, far lower than the national average of 6.3%.
The biggest employer in Greenville is Greenville Health Systems which employs approximately 12, 770 people. There are also major manufacturers in Greenville such as Michelin North America which manufactures radial tires. Their American headquarters and research and development department is located in Greenville. General Electric also has a plant in Greenville which manufactures turbines.
Greenville, SC Households
- Total Number of Households26,636
Family 13,193Non-family 13,443
Children 6,317No Children 20,319
- Average People Per Household2.16
- Median Household Income$41,924
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$837
Education in Greenville SC
Greenville is served by The Greenville County School District which is the largest school district in the state of South Carolina. The Greenville Public School system is at an all-time high graduation rate of 84.2%, up 16.3% since 2012.
As to higher education, Greenville has several colleges and universities including Furman University, a small, private co-educational college with an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,660 students. Furman has a beautiful campus in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and has a 40 acre lake as the highlight of its more than 700-acre wooded campus. The school has a football team and a baseball team that draw spectators from Greenville.
The Greenville metro area is also home to North Greenville University, a Southern Baptist liberal arts university located in Tigerville that features more than 40 undergraduate, graduate, and online degree options.
Greenville, SC Education Statistics
- No High School3%
- Some High School28%
- Some College22%
- Associate Degree6%
- Bachelor Degree25%
- Graduate Degree15%
Tips for Renting in Greenville
Renters and landlords are both protected under the South Carolina Landlord Tenant Act which outlines the responsibilities and expectations of both the renter and the landlord. This legislation protects both parties. One right that renters have in Greenville is the right to receive their security deposit back within 30 days of their move out date. Any deductions must be itemized. This protects the renters and ensures that their funds are being used appropriately when they vacate a rental.
Many people looking to retire in the South compare Greenville, SC to nearby Asheville, NC. Asheville is smaller than Greenville and has harsher winters. While it rarely snows in Greenville, snowfall is quite common in the winter in Asheville. Asheville is generally more expensive than Greenville, housing included. A dollar is going to garner a renter more space in Greenville than in Asheville. Asheville is centered around downtown, partly due to its mountainous terrain, whereas Greenville is much larger and more accessible.
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