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Old 06-30-2007, 08:51 AM
Location: portland, oregon
79 posts, read 322,039 times
Reputation: 29


South Carolina, in particular areas like Walterboro, Rock Hill, York, Chester, and not Myrtle Beach, Colombia, etc.. I am sure there IS a difference. My husband is very much against me going to interviews in South Carolina in two weeks. He thinks that it will be as expensive to move to Florida. (We were in Florida originally). The cost of living is very low in TN, but there's NO work for me either. (I am an English teacher.) In just two days of posting my resume and credentials in a SC teacher database, I had 4 phone interviews and four requests to meet the administration in person.

I need some advice from people, and hopefully it will be encouraging. My interviews are on the 12-13th of July. I should know by then, or within a few days, whether or not I have a job or jobs. At that point, I select the one I want and start the relocation. We live 3 hours from Chester and York and 5 from Walterboro. If I get the job,we will need to leave by the first week of August. School will be starting soon thereafter, and in order to save my money, I won't have to pay another month of rent here.

He is thinking that, like Florida, landlords and apartment complexes will want first month rent, last month rent, and a security deposit. Whereas, I am thinking that the rural areas of SC will be more like here: Requiring first month's rent and a security deposit.

So, I know this sounds terrible, but we will have perhaps 1700 to move with. The good news is that I will get a check within 2-4 weeks once there.

My two concerns are: Cost of rent up front, cost of an electric deposit, water deposit?


How easy will it be to find a place?

We are thinking of calling landlords and apartments, lining something up, and then making one trip back there to put down a deposit and such. Then, coming back, packing our stuff, and heading over.

Does anyone know of a real estate company they can recommend that works with rentals and can do some legwork for me.

Please help and advise. If I stay here (in TN), I will not get a teaching job (No more openings in my area)...It's hard to find work that is for a $8 dollar an hour pay. This is my once chance to get out of here and teach--which is my passion. I know that i won't have a lot to move with, but with a 33,000 salary starting up within a few weeks of arriving there, it sounds like such a safer leap than staying here and watching my meager savings dwindle as I look for $8 dollar an hour secretarial work.

Thanks, all.
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:18 AM
Location: Fort Mill, SC (Charlotte 'burb)
4,730 posts, read 17,213,644 times
Reputation: 1008
Fort Mill School District - York 4 - Homepage

Town between Charlotte and Rock Hill. Nice area, great schools. Taxes are low if you live in an unicorporated area of Ft Mill (but you will pay slightly more for water and have to pay for trash pickup). SC and NC both charge annual property tax on vehicles. No inspection or emissions test in SC. Homes are reasonably priced and gasoline in SC is currently among the cheapest in the nation. Utilities are reasonable too and groceries cost about the same as most other places. SC is MUCH cheaper to live in that Florida.

There are all kinds of schools in the Charlotte metro area that are hiring due to how fast the area is growing, and that includes parts of SC. Also try Indian Land schools in Lancaster Co SC.

Most apartment complexes in the Charlotte area do not charge a security deposit or last months rent if you sign a 12 month lease. They usually charge an app fee of $30-50 to cover the cost of a credit check and around a $200 mainntance fee. When you leave, this is often not returned to you as it covers the basic cost of getting the place ready for the next tenant. So you if you are renting a place for say $700, it will usually cost around $1000 to move in.

Last edited by groove1; 06-30-2007 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:40 AM
2,141 posts, read 6,152,893 times
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I have a home in the upstate of South Carolina and its alot cheaper! I am a Florida Native and trust me its not cheap here.
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Old 06-30-2007, 12:17 PM
Location: Tega Cay, SC
390 posts, read 1,318,982 times
Reputation: 100
If you have had a consistent payment record (usually at least 10-12 months consecutively) you may be able to avoid paying the service deposits to the electric and gas utilities. They will all do credit checks or accept credit letters and often waive the up front deposits. We've never had to pay a water deposit down here.

We're in an apartment in Fort Mill right now and didn't have to pay much at all to move in - at least compared to the apartments we rented in Michigan. We had to pay $35 to apply, a $200 service fee, $350 for our pets, and then rent at the daily pro-rated amount to get us through to the next first of the month. If you moved mid-month you could possibly get a paycheck before you had to pay a full month's rent.

It is pricey to register vehicles in SC, but you have 60 days and you'll be getting paychecks by then.

Sounds like the chance of a lifetime to start anew and follow your dreams. It's a booming market here - I'm sure you could find the right opportunity. Good luck!
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Old 06-30-2007, 01:05 PM
31 posts, read 117,401 times
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I think the previous estimates are pretty much in the ballpark. You don't mention what part of Florida you live in though...

I have helped a number of companies with relocation and while I have used a number of databases and statistical models, I have a simple method for comparing the cost of living between two places that is pretty reliable:

1. Go to the nearest 2-5 McDonald's to your House.

2. Find the pre-tax price of a Big Mac Sandwich (only the Big Mac) at each.

3. In the area you are moving to (or considering) find 2-5 McDonald's. Record the pre-tax price of Big Macs for each.

4. Take the average of each area

5. Now divide the average price of the area you are considering moving to, by the average price of your current area. The resulting number tells you the relative cost of living between the two locations (i.e. if the resulting number is 1.2, this means the new location is 20% more expensive than the old location. On the other hand, if the resulting number is 0.9, then the new location is approximately 10% cheaper)

This method isn't guaranteed to be 100% accurate, but I have found it to be a pretty good indicator, particularly considering how easy it is to do. The larger the number of different McDonald's you can sample, the better the results, generally.

The Big Mac is used as the McDonald's franchise agreement pretty much guarantees that all Big Macs are made to the same standard throughout the world.
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:21 AM
2,356 posts, read 2,285,771 times
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Excluding places like downtown Charleston and Hilton Head, I see no reason why Kingsport, TN would cost significantly more or less than South Carolina. I think Columbia, Greenville, and Rock Hill would all be in the same ballpark. Places like Walterboro and Chester would be a little less expensive, because they are more rural. I'm not sure why your husband equates South Carolina with Florida. I would question this; it doesn't seem like he has an accurate picture of what SC is like.

The Economist magazine, which is very well respected, uses a similar "Big Mac" model that exileinsc mentions. I've never tried it, but it is supposed to be surprisingly accurate. However, I think it is intended for people who are moving to a totally unfamiliar place, like in a foreign country.

I've rented houses, duplexes, and apartments in North and South Carolina. Everywhere has been the same; at the beginning, you pay the first month's rent, and a security deposit (which is equal to 1 month's rent). I don't think I'd rent from someone who did it differently.
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:56 AM
Location: portland, oregon
79 posts, read 322,039 times
Reputation: 29
Default I want to thank everyone for their input!

I truly appreciate the responses to my post. Moving to a new area that I am entirely unfamiliar with is more than a little harrowing. My previous experience with SC has been solely staying in Rock Hill over night on a road trip from Florida to New Jersey. My interviews on the 12-13 of this month will be the first time I am really visiting the area. I am prepared to make the relocation immediately if I get a job at one of the schools.

Someone asked where in Florida I lived: I lived in the greater Tampa Bay area...in Spring Hill, which is essentially a bedroom community for Tampa. My 2 bedroom apartment (900 sq feet, one bathroom, and shoddy maintenance) now goes for $700 a month. When I lived there, I paid $670 a month. Port Richey, where I went to elementary school and middle school, now has apartments that start in the high $600 area for a 2 bedroom. I know that such prices don't seem high, but when the teaching salaries are about the same as SC and TN, it's not too encouraging.

Since posting here, I was able to get into contact with a very helpful real estate agent who is going to help me find affordable and comfortable housing in an apartment in York, should I get a job in York or Chester. I haven't lined anything up for Walterboro yet. She has reassured me that I will have enough to relocate with, and that it would be best to stay in York, as it's more affordable, quieter, and a better commute to Chester, if I get the Chester job, and of course, York would be ideal for the York job!

We are only going to be staying there for two or three nights, so I really only had enough time to line up something with an estate agent in York. I really won't know anything until after the interviews. I will have to cancel with the agent if it turns out that I don't have a good feeling after the York and Chester interviews. It's tough, because I might end up in two areas that are not exactly next door to each other. I have been able to find out a lot about York, but haven't been as successful with locating information about Walterboro.

My husband's concern about the prices in SC come from learning that there is a state tax there, unlike in TN or Florida. I have experience with a state tax, as I went to college in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. I explained to him that although state taxes mean more taken out of each pay check, that simply means that more money will be refunded after tax season. When I lived in PA, I was always happy to receive my tax refund checks. His other concern was hearing about higher car insurance rates and the dreaded tax on our car. Again, like a helpful user reminded me, I won't have to face that until a few months into my stay, and that would mean a few paychecks later. I only have a 2000 nissan sentra with close to 100,000 miles. It's not like I will be paying a small fortune.

I thank everyone for helping.

If anyone knows any information for Waltersboro, especially rent and availability of apartments or houses that are no higher than $600-700 a month to rent, please let me know. I want to line up a contact there as well, so if I get a job there instead of York or Chester, I will be able to get the ball rolling asap.

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Old 07-01-2007, 09:01 AM
Location: portland, oregon
79 posts, read 322,039 times
Reputation: 29
Default Thanks, Groove1

I am checking out the school district link you posted!
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:40 PM
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My sister lives in a gated apartment community in Walterboro. A 2 bedroom with one bathroom is $600.00 a month. I know that they require your monthly income to be at least 3x the monthly rental amount. There are quite a few teachers from the Colleton County School District that live there. It's a very quiet area. Walterboro itself is ok, you'll have to go to Charleston or Buefort for decent shopping or entertainment. My mother retired from the school system 3 years ago, but still subsitutes. I must say that the schools are not as good as York schools.
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:24 PM
Location: portland, oregon
79 posts, read 322,039 times
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BKLYN868 :

Thanks. I am personally hoping for the teaching job in York or Chester. I have one interview in York, one in Chester and two in Waltersboro. I am not necessarily all about the $$$, but the pay will be better for me in York, and I am really excited about York after speaking to a few people. I really hope I get A job though. My confidence is completely shattered after having such a terrible experience in TN. I almost feel like posting my experience in the Tri-cities TN forum, but I don't want to start a battle with the gung-ho citizens who didn't have the same experience. I am enthused by the open-minded and receptiveness of people in SC to newcomers. In Eastern TN, I walked head first into a close knit community that really didn't see the need for any additional "outsiders". One after another, I went on interviews where I was told that I was "wonderful" and a "strong candidate", but when I would get turned down and inquire, I was told that the job went to someone who has "more experience in TN and has been in the area a little longer". I was told to "earn my wings" as a teacher in TN by substituting and working as a Teacher's Assistant. This was told to me by a person in the personnel department at Kingsport City Schools. How sad. I can't afford to live on substitute teaching, and I didn't get my Masters in Ed to be a kindergarten aide. And again, I can't live on that.

The cost of living here is very low. I pay $365 for a dingy little place in a very rough part of Kingsport, but the land lady saw me coming. I could easily have found a place in a better area for cheaper. Again, the job situation reflects the low cost of living.

Thanks again to everyone who has responded and given me advice.

I will keep the thread alive when I have word about my interviews and job status.
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