Located in upstate South Carolina and nestled in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Greenville is an outdoor recreational paradise with big-city amenities and small-town charm. From modern restaurants in the historic downtown district to new homes in the surrounding suburbs, you’re sure to find a place to love. But is Greenville, SC, a good place to live?
If you’re looking at homes for sale in Greenville or are just curious about what the area has to offer, this Redfin guide is for you. Here are 10 pros and cons to consider before making the move to South Carolina.
5 pros of living in Greenville, SC
There’s a lot to love about living in Greenville. Here are five of the best.
1. Affordable cost of living
The cost of living in Greenville, SC, is 9% lower than the national average, and much lower than other large US cities. Housing costs, in particular, are affordable, which makes it an attractive option for those looking for an affordable major city. For example, the median sale price of a house in Greenville is $377,500, $40,000 cheaper than the national average.
Renting in Greenville is also more affordable than a majority of the country; the average apartment costs $1,210, which is just below the national average.
2. Outdoor recreation
With its picturesque location near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. The area is known for its beautiful parks and green spaces, including the expansive Paris Mountain State Park and the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 22-mile multi-use trail that attracts cyclists, runners, and walkers. Whether you enjoy hiking, camping, boating, or simply exploring nature, Greenville has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts.
3. Vibrant downtown
Downtown Greenville is known for its lively atmosphere and charming streets. It has undergone significant revitalization in recent years, with tons of new restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. The downtown area also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Upstate Shakespeare Festival, the weekly Greenville Saturday Market, and the yearly Poinsettia Christmas Parade.
4. Food and dining
Living in Greenville means you’ll have access to a thriving culinary scene, with a wide range of dining options to suit every taste and preference. The city boasts numerous restaurants, cafes, and eateries, offering diverse cuisines from traditional Southern fare to international flavors. Popular local restaurants include Asada, Comal 864, and Fork and Plough. If you’re in the mood for more casual dining, visit Seoul Republik, The Black Tie, or Roll-In Cuban.
5. Arts and culture
Greenville has a vibrant cultural scene with a variety of artistic and cultural attractions. The Peace Center for the Performing Arts is a renowned venue hosting Broadway shows, concerts, and other performances. The city also has several art galleries, museums, and theaters, such as the Greenville Center for Creative Arts and Centre Stage, providing opportunities for everyone to immerse themselves in the arts and culture.
5 cons of living in Greenville, SC
Greenville has a lot of positives, but it also comes with a few downsides. Here are five to keep in mind.
1. Hot and summers
Summers in Greenville can be hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching the high 80s or 90s Fahrenheit (around 30°C). The humidity can make the weather feel even hotter, which may not be comfortable for everyone, especially if you prefer cooler climates. Additionally, the city has a major heat risk, meaning it will experience exceptionally hot temperatures more regularly in the coming years.
2. Limited public transportation
Greenville’s public transportation system is relatively limited compared to larger metropolitan areas, with a Transit Score of just 19. While there are bus services available, the coverage and frequency may not meet everyone’s needs. If you move to Greenville, plan on relying on private transportation or set up a carpool system with friends and coworkers.
3. Traffic congestion
As Greenville continues to grow in popularity and public transit struggles to keep up, traffic congestion has become a common issue, particularly during peak hours. The increased population and ongoing development projects can lead to traffic jams and delays, especially on major roadways and during rush hours. The city has been investing in alleviating congestion, but more work is needed. If you’re commuting to Greenville from a nearby suburb, plan in additional time.
4. Few public parks
While Greenville offers beautiful natural surroundings and tons of nearby destinations, it lacks the abundance of public parks that many other cities offer. However, there are still plenty of options, including Falls Park and Cleveland Park. If you make the move to Greenville, keep in mind that there isn’t an expansive park system.
5. Limited nightlife
Although Greenville has a vibrant downtown with various restaurants and bars, the city’s nightlife options may not be as extensive as those in larger cities. If you prefer a bustling nightlife with a wide range of clubs, late-night entertainment venues, and cultural events, you may find the options in Greenville relatively limited.