Have you thought of sending for an apartment guide from Greenville or Columbia or Charleston or Myrtle Beach areas?
They are free; one is small, and the other larger in size has some of the same or different properties. This will give you an idea of where you might want to live before you buy. Go on line to apartmentguide.com and look at the "Greater Columbia Apartment Guide." I prefer the book in my hands for quicker searches. They should list the other areas listed above as well as online to look at and to send for their guides. Right now I can't think of the bigger different apartment guide.
I've lived in 3 states growing up in the cold
North including Pittsburgh and found Columbia, SC (the "Midlands") perfectly in the middle of things as an area growing so fast! We are 1/2 way from the mountains and 1/2 way to the ocean (each 2 hours drive away).
I'm happy we chose here as our 2nd summer, Hurricane Hugo, came in to Charleston high tide the middle of the night!
It took them 10 years to rebuild down there which affected several states going up North through the mountainous states! That was a rarity, but everyone fled up here though we had some minor effects from it, such as no electric in hot early September 1989. Charleston is quaint but lacks great shopping and an area for those into cultural events.
Myrtle Beach isn't like the ocean cities with boardwalks that N.J., MD., NY., and Delaware have with rides and shops, but that's the beach to those here and nearer states. The housing market is very depressed there like Charleston and apartment/house/mobile home renter's or owner's insurance is sky high or no longer available to mobile/modular/manufactured homes as of the other day. As one would expect prices are quite high still.
The Greenville/Spartanburg area gets cold and has snow more plus jobs are harder to find. Though this is the capital city, we are spread out some and run into people often who we get to know. Our area is military, government civilian jobs that pay more, hospital (medical school and teaching hospitals) and some tourism.
I love my 7 Walmarts in Columbia!!! We're not a state of huge malls 2 or more stories. Weather is nice enough to go to the strip malls or 3 indoor malls (1 small in zipcode 29210, 2 stories at 29223, and 29212 by Lake Murray)
Expect jobs to be far less in pay as we are a "Right to Work" state from Maryland on down throughout the South; unions don't exist unless you work for the VA Hospital with federal benefits and all. Cost of living isn't too bad. Though summers can be hot, we LOVE our air conditioning!
The address for the Greater Columbia Apartment Guide is 1320 Elmwood Avenue., Suite C-Columbia, SC 29201.
You can live up by Lake Murray (Irmo-Harbison zipcode 29212) which has a drive with traffic into and out of town but a great place. Lexington is a nice little community (29072) across the beautiful dam with lots of shopping and the same type of commute near the lake.
The "Riverwalks" (about 6-7 of them) near to downtown offer walking trails and biking and roller blading and scenic areas by the river with call boxes and lighting for safety and picnic tables and fishing and rest rooms and a dam near the end of one, to name a few offerings are closer downtown in zipcodes 29201, 29169 (West Columbia not 29033 oe 29172) and....29210 by the Riverbanks Zoo if closer to town in Richland County.
The other side of the 3 small rivers in Lexington County in West Columbia 29169 has a back entrance to the zoo with the Botanical Gardens at Riverbanks Zoo way up on the hill for a good trek down or around the zoo walking areas or taking the tram car to ride up or down for free.
My last website that will tell you more about S.C. is called "sciway" (pronounced "skyway") where it will give you a wealth of information about our state and areas.
I hope this helps, and you learn to love South Carolina as much as we do. I love obtaining as much information I can before I visit or move somewhere which was more tedious before computers and many websites were not available. This IS our home!!!