Your Columbia SC Real Estate Questions Answered

Photos of Columbia South Carolina

Your Columbia, SC Real Estate Questions Answered

Columbia is one of South Carolina's most dynamic cities. The city has everything you'd expect from living in a state capitol: historic landmarks, arts and culture, excellent dining, and plenty of recreational amenities. Here you'll find a diverse population, driven by a collection of large universities and the political scene. Add it all together, and the nicknamed "Soda City" is a great place to live.

Are you thinking about making Columbia, South Carolina, your home? We answer questions about living in Columbia all the time. Here's a collection of the most frequently asked questions about Columbia's real estate market. 

What is the average price of a home in Columbia, SC?

In October 2021, the Columbia real estate market had 474 active residential listings with a median list price of $248,000. The average price per sq ft was $138.24. The listings started at $55,000 for a fixer-upper or investment properties and topped out with a lakefront property priced at $2.35 million for 6,661 sq ft. 

Historically, Columbia's median prices have been on the rise since 2012.

Real estate markets fluctuate frequently, and home prices vary widely based on where you plan to live inside Columbia. The EZ Home Search database updates every 15 minutes with the latest real estate market information. You can filter by the kind of property you're looking for and get a better idea of average home prices for Columbia.

Are there any condos or townhomes available in Columbia, SC? 

Yes! With a bustling university scene and retirement population, Columbia does have condominiums and townhomes available. Available units started as low as $39,900 for investment properties in Briargate and topped out at $875,000 for a high-rise luxury condo with 2,850 sq ft at The Heritage. 

Stylistically, your options are diverse. You can find high-rise condos, such as the previously mentioned The Heritage, but also The Spur at Williams Brice, Adesso, and Carolina Walk. Other properties have more traditional townhome styling, such as The Battery at Arsenal Hill, Sims Alley, and Rosewood Commons. Some, such as Yacht Cove, provide waterfront access. 

What is the property tax rate for Columbia, SC?

South Carolina residents pay a 4% state property tax rate for primary properties, and Richland County charged a base millage rate of 0.12640 in 2020. In the same year, the city of Columbia assessed 0.09380, while the school district rates varied from 0.32150-0.43570.

What county is Columbia, SC in?

Columbia takes up most of Richland County, South Carolina. Richland County is in the heart of South Carolina and earned its name due to its "rich lands" for agriculture, although the modern county is primarily urban. The early South Carolina lawmakers opted to build the state capital along the Congaree River rather than Charleston because of its central location. Columbia has been the most significant inland community in the Carolinas since the American Civil War. It's home to a US Army Base and served as a World War I industry hub.

Richland County is surrounded by Fairfield, Sumter, Calhoun, Lexington, and Newberry County. Large parts are sandhills and longleaf pine forests. Wide valleys and swamps are found more towards the south and eastern areas as the county transitions to the South Carolina Lowcountry.

No longer an agricultural center, Columbia is an industrial and manufacturing hub for the state. Major employers include Amazon, Blue Cross, the Department of Defense, Charter Communications, Richland County School Districts, the University of South Carolina, and Wells Fargo & Company.

Is Columbia, SC growing?

As a regional hub for politics, education, and employment, Columbia attracts people of all ages, and so it is a growing city. The US Census counted 136,632 residents in 2020, up 5% since the 2010 count. The total makes it the largest city in the state by population, and it was the 10th fastest growing city in the United States.

Around 10% of the population was 65 and over, while 16% was 18 years or younger. Over 44% of residents held a bachelor's degree or higher, highly educated the local population. 

The entire Richland County area is seeing more people moving into the region. Richland County's population rose 8.2% over the last ten years for an updated census count of 416,147 residents. The county predicts the population by 2030 will be 534,998 residents. While Columbia is the state's most populated city, Richland County ranks behind Greenville County for the number of residents. 

What neighborhoods are in Columbia, SC?

Columbia is broken into diverse neighborhoods with a business sector, government district, college areas, quiet residential havens, and bustling nightlife districts. Each community has something to offer its residents. 

The Vista is the arts and culture hub of Columbia, with proximity to the Columbia Museum of Art. It spans 48 blocks from the Congaree River towards the Main Street area, and many buildings date to the early 1900s.

Cottontown is in the heart of downtown, with a mix of bungalows, historic homes, and traditional homes. It's walkable to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital.

Five Points is a charming and quirky section of Columbia near downtown and the University of South Carolina. It's known as the "original village neighborhood" with lots of historic and residential buildings. Residents enjoy hanging out and browsing the boutiques, craft breweries, and local dining scene.

Shandon is a popular neighborhood near Five Points. It's a high-end neighborhood with proximity to urban amenities.

Devine Street is another historic neighborhood popular with USC alums, young professionals, and families. Walk to the restaurants, retailers, and boutiques. 

Rosewood neighbors Shandon and is close to USC and Fort Jackson. It's near dining and boutique shopping options. 

Across the Congaree River from downtown is Cayce, a suburban area with a distinctly more neighborhood feel. It has an eight-mile riverwalk, museums, and a history park.

North Columbia mixes residential with retail and commercial. There's some redevelopment happening here, such as the BullStreet District. 

Forest Acres has a city-within-a-city vibe. Here you'll find historic homes, tree-lined streets, great retail options. Forest Acres is also close to Fort Jackson, the US Army Base.

Are there any waterfront properties found in Columbia, SC? 

As a centrally located city, Columbia does not have beachfront properties. However, the Saluda and Broad River converge in Columbia to form the Congaree River. On the western side of town are lakes and lakefront properties. Across the Richland County border is the expansive Lake Murray, a South Carolina vacation destination.

Is there lakefront or riverfront property in Columbia, SC?

Thanks to the Broad and Saluda rivers meeting, yes, there is riverfront property available in Columbia. Today, more of the Congaree riverfront is commercial, but you can find residential properties along the river in West Columbia. 

As for lakes, Columbia is home to several, mostly on its western side. These include Lake Katherine, Forest Lake, Spring Lake, Carys Lake, and Rockyford Lake. Most of the lakes are congregated near the Arcadia Lakes community north of Forest Acres. The community has waterfront residential lots, as do some sections of Forest Acres. 

Lake Katherine is off Trenholm Road, with proximity to Fort Jackson and area hospitals. Spring Valley has waterfront and golf course homes inside a gated community. 

How is golf in Columbia, SC?

Golfing fans have 12 golf courses in Columbia and another 14 with proximity to the city. Recommended courses include Oak Hills Golf Club, Northwoods Golf Club, LinRick Golf Course, and Cobblestone Park. 

The Oak Hills Golf Club course designed by Steve Melnyk-Davis Love III is on 160 acres of rolling hills, oaks, and dogwoods. Play in the spring for optimal nature viewing. Cobblestone Park has 27 total holes and was voted #4 in Golf Pass' "Top 25 College Golf Courses" list in 2021. 

Are there golf course communities in Columbia, SC? 

Columbia does not have a golf course community inside its city borders, but just outside the city limits is Long Creek Plantation in Blythewood. Homes range from $200s to $600s with well-established neighborhoods and mature trees. Amenities include two golf courses and a junior-Olympic sized pool, equestrian center, and tennis courts. 

Woodcreek Farms near Elgin has a clubhouse with a restaurant, a Tom Fazio 18-hole golf course, and golf course homesites. 

The Woodlands is in northeast Columbia surrounding the Woodlands Golf & Country Club. The lot sizes and square footage varies, so you can find more spacious properties. Residents are close to an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis, swimming, and a clubhouse.

Spring Valley has the double bonus of being a golf course community and with waterfront properties. It prides itself on a classic look with mature landscaping and varying architectural styles, and spacious homes are on private roads. 

What areas are near Columbia, SC?

Two notable areas are the Fort Jackson US Army Base and Lake Murray. 

Fort Jackson comprises a large portion of Richland County and abuts the Columbia city limits, and it's a major provider of employment in the area. 

Lake Murray in Lexington County is a well-known fishing and boating recreation spot for Columbia area residents. Depending on where you reside in Columbia, the lake is a 30-45 minute drive away.

Surrounding Columbia are suburbs and bedroom communities.

St. Andrews is a densely populated suburb along the Broad River on the Lexington County border. Across the river is Columbia International University, so the area is popular with students and young professionals. Over 20,000 people live in St. Andrews.

Irmo is a large suburb near Lake Murray with around 12,000 residents. Despite its large size, Irmo does not have an established downtown area.

Blythewood is another large suburb that's been growing quickly over the last few decades, and it's a popular choice for new and established residents. 

Dentsville is in the northeastern tip of Columbia near several smaller lakes and The Spur at Northwoods Golf Club.

The small town of Hopkins lies just six miles northwest of the state's only National Park, the Congaree National Park.

What to know about living in Columbia, SC

If you're thinking about moving to Columbia, you are making a great choice. Columbia's diverse neighborhoods offer a lifestyle to suit every interest and personal taste. What else would you like to know about living in Columbia, SC? Send us your questions, and we will answer them!


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