In 1816, Columbia was a small town with 250 homes and more than 1,000 residents. There weren't even any municipal workers at the time - the adult citizens had to take turns clearing weeds and bushes to ensure the streets were clean and neat. Columbia didn't get its charter as a city until 1854. It was the headquarters for many Confederate agencies and a flourishing municipality until 1865 when Union soldiers burnt most of its structures to the ground. The city was always forward-thinking and invested in its infrastructure by paving streets for 17 blocks in 1908.
Columbia is still on the ball and now has a healthy, diverse economy. Major industries in the city include insurance information and technology, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, health care, green energy production, and research, development, and discovery. Over a dozen colleges and universities also employ many of the city's residents. With a population of 131,671 spread over 132.21 square miles, Columbia has a comfortable density level with a nice mix of urban and suburban neighborhoods and open space. It might not be a major city, but it has most of the amenities of one. Its diverse residents enjoy the small-town feel of their mid-sized city, and you can, too - by moving into one of the rent-to-own homes in Columbia.
Columbia, SC is a great place for affordable rent-to-own
With a median household income of over $47,416
and a median rent of $956, the Columbia, SC
rent-to-own market is more affordable than the traditional housing market
which has shown tremendous growth across the U.S. and with it, aggressive
competition for home purchases.
With the current housing shortage trend it can make it harder to become a
homeowner, including in Columbia, SC. This means higher
than average down payments for homes and higher qualification standards for
conventional home loans. With a rent-to-own property, tenants are also
buyers. You can live in the house for a set amount of time before you
purchase it, meaning that you get to know the house, your neighbors, and
your community before making the final purchase. This enables you and your
family to make the right choice based on both information and experience.
Rent-to-own is also a great alternative way to get into a home if you have
bad credit or don't have enough saved for a down payment.
Average Cost of Living in Columbia
Columbia is an extremely affordable place to live in. The city's overall cost of living is 4.2% lower than South Carolina's average and 15.7% lower than the national average. Health care and utilities are on the more expensive side, transportation and housing are on the low end, and groceries are average. The surrounding municipalities include Forest Acres, Lexington, Irmo, Dentsville, and Cayce. Forest Acres, Lexington, and Irmo are 9.3%, 6.9%, and 6.7% higher, while Dentsville and Cayce are .50% and 3.2% lower, respectively. Columbia is larger, more populous, and has more to offer its residents than neighboring towns, but it is still very affordable - even compared to the nearby municipalities.
Average Home Prices in Columbia
Though Columbia is the second-most populous city in the state, it has an excellent, reasonably-priced housing market. The median cost of a home in the city is $136,700. That's $33,400 less than South Carolina's average of $170,100 and $94,500 less than the United States' average of $231,200. Homes in other towns in the region range from $109,400 in Cayce to $196,800 in Forest Acres. It's surprising that Columbia's housing market is so affordable. It is one of the better cities for people looking to buy a rent-to-own home.
If you're interested in Columbia rent-to-own homes, don't forget to consider important factors in addition to monthly living costs, such as average commute, taxes, crime rates, etc. The following are some common Columbia statistics compared to the U.S. national average.
| ||Columbia Averages ||National Averages |
|One-Way Commute ||15.2 minutes ||26.4 minutes |
|Violent Crime ||39.5 ||22.7 |
|Property Crime ||76.0 ||35.4 |
|Unemployment Rate ||3.7% ||3.9% |
|Income Tax Rate ||7.0% ||4.6% |
|Air Quality ||40 ||58 |
|Water Quality ||56 ||55 |
|Median Household Income ||$41,454 ||$53,482 |
|Median Property Taxes ||$700 ||$2,200 |
|Utilities ||$470/month ||$112/month |
|Monthly Rent ||$1,090 ||$1,470 |
|Median Home Cost ||$136,700 ||$231,200 |
|Median Home Age ||46 years ||40 years |
Popular Amenities and Attractions in Columbia
Columbia has a well-developed downtown. You can do plenty of shopping during the day until you're ready to sit down to a meal at one of the many fine restaurants located along Main Street. Visit the downtown museums, watch a movie, and even check out the statehouse and watch legislators go about their daily business. If you want to relax for a bit, you can visit Finlay Park, located alongside the heart of downtown. It encompasses 18 acres and has beautiful lakes and ponds, playgrounds, walking paths, picnic areas, and a cafÃ©, and if you're there during the summer, you can catch an outdoor concert in the park. When it gets dark, the fun begins with live indoor performances in the downtown theaters and late-night dining and drinking at its bars and restaurants.
The city has more transportation options than expected for a municipality its size. Long-distance travelers can use the Columbia Metropolitan Airport to get to and from the city. Getting around town is a breeze with the city's affordable, neon Comet buses. To traverse the downtown, you can ride the Soda Cap Connector buses for free or take advantage of the city's bike-share program. If cars are more your thing, Uber, Lyft, and taxis operate throughout the area, and if you have your own vehicle, there are plenty of municipal parking garages and spaces available for a daily maximum of $10. The city even has a convenient app for its bike riders and parking garages.
Columbia has a diverse population, a vibrant downtown, a healthy economy, an excellent transportation system, and an affordable housing market. Check out some of the rent-to-own options in Columbia, and make this wonderful city your home.