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Old 10-05-2009, 12:11 PM
4 posts, read 10,222 times
Reputation: 10


I am a single white female in my early 30's with no children. I am planning on moving to the downtown area of Charleston June 2010. I have never been to Charleston before and am looking to possibly rent a 1-2 bedroom house/apartment in the area where I can walk/bike or drive a short distance to work (I work in the food industry) and shops/restaurants and not have to worry too much about getting robbed or having my house or car broken into.

I would like to live in an area that is quirky and artistic and has good places to see live music and has people in their mid-to late 20's to early 30's that have similar tastes and interests. I also plan to enroll in CofC next spring, so I would like to stay in an area that would be easily accessible to the College.

I used to live downtown Savannah, Georgia, right off of Broughton Street and Abercorn Avenue by City Market and I really enjoyed the horse drawn carriages and seeing people walking around. I also enjoyed the ability to walk to a restaurant or go see live music. I would like to move to an area in Charleston that is similar to that area (art galleries, clubs, restaurants, etc.) but not so much that I would have to look behind me when I walk, carry a knife or have bums sleeping on my porch or drug dealers on the corner.

I am looking to pay between $400-$700 in rent for a 1-2 bedroom apartment/house that is not a dump, but a place that I can make my own (maybe paint the walls different colors, etc.). Can anyone offer me any suggestions as to what areas or street to stay away from or where I should be looking. I would like to live in an area that is pretty safe, but more urban. I don't really mind if it is loud during the day or at night, I like the hustle and bustle (I am from New Jersey originally).

I know this may be asking too much, but any help you be appreciated to get as close to my ideal as possible. I'd appreciate anyone's comments/suggestions. Thanks so much!!!

Last edited by michele77; 10-05-2009 at 12:54 PM.. Reason: added more info
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:50 PM
2,866 posts, read 4,018,700 times
Reputation: 1989
It is not very promising on that budget. CoC dumps about 12000 students into downtown who are willing to load 3-4 people into a unit to get the rent where they want it plus a healthy amount of trust fund babies. A lot of $400,000 condos/townhomes around Morris and coming were purchase as glorifies student housing.

We also do not have the number of galleries that Savannah does. Our down town is between two rivers instead of beside a single river. The peninsula is narrower than my perception of Savannah and has more defined boundaries between nice/not nice. I'd say you'll need to visit and look unit by unit since two blocks can make a big diference north of Calhoun.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:39 PM
4 posts, read 10,222 times
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Thanks for the advice. I really wouldn't mind just having a 1 bedroom apartment if that's all I could afford. Any areas that I should look?
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:34 PM
Location: Charleston, SC
459 posts, read 1,406,002 times
Reputation: 167
As he says, you need to come for a look. There are quite a few apartments and Carriage Houses attached to the older homes downtown that provide the eclectic style you seek. Downtown is such a hodge-podge you need to get online and start making a list of possibles and then come look.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:43 PM
146 posts, read 286,942 times
Reputation: 51
I apartment hunted downtown earlier this year and had no luck- was looking for a 2BR or large 1 BR on a safe block close to campus, with a max budget of $1500 (if we found something we loved). Nothing was worth the price. Everything in the Broad St area we could afford was in absolutely terrible shape- not renovated, no central air, just destroyed for the most part. North of campus we saw some very nicely renovated apartments but they were not on the best blocks, or close enough to bad blocks that walking home would be a problem (and I say this as a former NYC resident). Overall we just found it not worth the cost of admission.

If you're willing to share, you could find a nice 2 BR for $1400 and get a roommate. We saw a few places like this on Spring St- again, you've got pretty rough blocks not far from you, but we found a few nice places on the east end of Spring in that range. Also worth keeping in mind- we looked at the end of June and landlords are holding apartments waiting for students to snatch them up. So I think prices get better (inventory drops though) midway through the academic year.

Between college students and the wealthy, there really is a terrible lack of affordable housing for young professionals in Charleston, which has been my biggest disappointment so far. We ended up on James Island a quick ride from the college- not happy about this mundane suburban lifestyle, but paying $1400 for a rathole would just make me angry on a daily basis, especially with the lack of artistic and alternative lifestyle in the downtown area.

You can find good listing on the college's housing website and if you are moving here to go to school, the people in the housing office will be really good about telling you which blocks get complaints, which landlords they've had success with, ect. We saw a lot of places and it was very typical college ghetto- a lot of landlords who just don't put much time or effort into maintaining their properties b/c they know the tenants aren't going to be staying long...
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:05 AM
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,889 posts, read 4,727,788 times
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Your rent budget is a little low, but maybe you can find something. Just do your self a favor and don't bother looking until a month before hand. Rentals do not last. Your only positive is College is already out so most of the students are gone.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:14 AM
4 posts, read 10,222 times
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Thanks for all of the suggestions
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:04 PM
435 posts, read 716,494 times
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Anything below Morris should be fine. Spring is right on the edge that I don't really feel comfortable about. It will be hard to find a good 1 bedroom in downtown for 700. I am paying 950 for an okay one.
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