Buying, Greenville, SC

Buying vs Renting a home in Greenville, SC

In most U.S. cities, it’s cheaper to rent a home than to buy but not in Greenville, South Carolina. This brimming southern charm city was ranked # 3 by SmartAsset among the top 20 U.S. cities where it’s cheaper to buy a home than to rent.

Buying vs Renting in Greenville?

According to the 2017 SmartAsset report, the average monthly mortgage payment in Greenville was $485, with average home prices standing at $175, 235. This faired very favorably compared to the average monthly rent of $1,008.

Thriving Real Estate for Owners

Based on Palmetto Park MLS data for March 2017, the average price of a single-family home in the greater Greenville area was $212,789. One year later, the average price of all closed sales was $236,734.

Homes located in the suburbs tend to be considerably cheaper than those closer to the city but the general real estate market in this city continues to grow.  This makes owning a home or an investment property in the Upstate Greenville area a gainful decision.

Booming Local Economy

Greenville is one of the best spots to own a home and live in the entire Palmetto state. A booming local economy means higher living standards, positive employment effects, and new investment opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average unemployment rate in Greenville is 2.6%, which is significantly lower than the national average of 3.6%.

Thanks to a favorable business environment and strategic policies by the city’s authorities, Greenville continues to attract multinationals and local corporations in major sectors.  There’s a boom in technical, engineering, and health care jobs in the Greenville metro area. If you’re planning to move here for work or investment, then it makes more sense to buy a home.

Reasons You May Want to Rent

Although it’s cheaper to buy a home in Greenville, there might be situations when it still makes sense to rent.

a) Liquidity

When you rent a home, you have liquidity – a very important financial flexibility in today’s economy. Think of it this way – If you rent a home today, you can walk away any time since you have not invested any equity in the property. On the other hand, if you purchase the home, you have a very illiquid form of investment because you cannot easily/sell the home. A house cannot be converted into cash on a moment’s notice, at least not without losing a huge percentage off its value. Renters are able to go without this attachment.

b) Flexibility

For individuals who are looking to be flexibly mobile, renting property in Greenville, SC makes more sense than buying. You’re free to move whenever you want when your lease expires…without being tied down by the hectic process of finding a buyer for your home. Renters also have more flexibility to try new neighborhoods. In addition, they don’t have to rehab the property before they move in, or pay for fixtures to be fixed (that’s entirely the landlord’s responsibility).

Renting also gives you the flexibility to operate on a fixed budget. With homeownership, you have little to no predictability. You never know when the water heater will break, when the termites will invade your home, or when the foundation may crack. Each one of these emergency situations will require cash to fix. But when it comes to renting a home, you have a fixed dollar amount that you pay every month. Whatever repairs might be required are the landlord’s responsibility.

c) Lifestyle

Many rental apartments and other rental properties tend to come with many amenities that homeowners don’t have access to. These may include upgraded kitchens, smart control HVAC systems, energy efficient appliances, and designated storage spaces. There are also community amenities such as gyms, dog runs, in-apartment daycare, and others that homeowners do not have. What’s more, when you rent a home in Greenville, you can avoid membership fees.

If buying a home does not fit your lifestyle and financial situation, then renting might be the better choice.

d) Location

According to a 2012 survey, 42% of renters believe that it allows them to live in a more convenient location. This is especially true for millennials who prefer city living.

According to, the average rent for an apartment in Greenville SC (as of September 2018) was $1,059. This was a few hundred dollars lower than the national average. This is a 2% drop compared to the same period last year when the average rent was $1,085. Studio apartments in Greenville went for $1,011, while one-bedroom apartments went for $949 per month. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $1,115. The most expensive rental property in Greenville is located in the Cleveland Forest, Downtown Greenville, and East Park areas.